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Trends in diarrhea hospitalizations among infants at three hospitals in Tanzania before and after rotavirus vaccine introduction

Lyamuya, Faraja, Michael, Fausta, Jani, Bhavin, Fungo, Yohana, Chambo, Alfred, Chami, Inviolatha, Bulali, Regina, Mpamba, Amina, Cholobi, Happy, Kallovya, Dotto, Kamugisha, Christopher, Mwenda, Jason M., Cortese, Margaret M.
Vaccine 2018 v.36 no.47 pp. 7157-7164
Rotavirus, children, diarrhea, hospitals, infants, monitoring, vaccines, Tanzania
The Tanzania Ministry of Health introduced monovalent human rotavirus vaccine in January 2013, to be administered at ages 6 and 10 weeks. Data suggest there was high vaccine uptake. We used hospital ward registers from 3 hospitals to examine trends in diarrhea hospitalizations among infants before and after vaccine introduction.Ward registers from Dodoma Regional Referral Hospital (Central Tanzania), and two hospitals in Mbeya (Southwest area), Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital and Mbalizi Hospital, were used to tally admissions for diarrhea among children by age group, month and year. Rotavirus surveillance had started at these hospitals in early 2013; the proportion of infants enrolled and rotavirus-EIA positive were examined by month to determine peak periods of rotavirus disease post-vaccine introduction.Registers were available for 2–4 prevaccine years and 2–3 post introduction years. At Dodoma Regional Referral Hospital, compared with the mean of 2011 and 2012, diarrhea hospitalizations among infants were 26% lower in 2015 and 58% lower in 2016. The diarrhea peak shifted later in the year first by 1 and then by 2–3 months from prevaccine. At the Mbeya hospitals, the number of diarrhea admissions in prevaccine period varied substantially by year. At Mbeya Referral Hospital, diarrhea hospitalizations among infants were lower by 25–37% in 2014 and 11–26% in 2015, while at Mbalizi Hospital, these hospitalizations were 4% lower in 2014 and 14% higher in 2015. Rotavirus testing data demonstrated a lowering of the prevaccine peak, a shift in timing of the peak months and indicated that other diarrheal peaks in post-introduction years were not due to rotavirus.In this ecological evaluation, total diarrhea hospitalizations among infants were lower (≥25% lower in ≥1 year) following introduction in 2 of 3 hospitals. There are challenges in using ward registers to ascertain possible impact of rotavirus vaccine introduction on trends in hospitalizations for treatment of all diarrheal illness.