LiST: Lives Saved Tool

IJE OxfordTheodoratou, E., et al., The effect of Haemophilus influenzae type b and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines on childhood pneumonia incidence, severe morbidity and mortality. Int J Epidemiol, 2010. 39 Suppl 1: p. i172-85.


Background With the aim of populating the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) with parameters of effectiveness of existing interventions, we conducted a systematic review of the literature assessing the effect of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and pneumococcal (PC) conjugate vaccines on incidence, severe morbidity and mortality from childhood pneumonia.


Methods We summarized cluster randomized controlled trials (cRCTs) and case–control studies of Hib conjugate vaccines and RCTs of 9- and 11-valent PC conjugate vaccines conducted in developing countries across outcome measures using standard meta-analysis methods. We used a set of standardized rules developed for the purpose of populating the LiST tool with required parameters to promote comparability across reviews of interventions against the major causes of childhood mortality. The estimates could be adjusted further to account for factors such as PC vaccine serotype content, PC serotype distribution and human immunodeficiency virus prevalence but this was not included as part of the LiST model approach.


Results The available evidence from published data points to a summary effect of the Hib conjugate vaccine on clinical pneumonia of 4%, on clinical severe pneumonia of 6% and on radiologically confirmed pneumonia of 18%. Respective effectiveness estimates for PC vaccines (all valent) on clinical pneumonia is 7%, clinical severe pneumonia is 7% and radiologically confirmed pneumonia is 26%.


Conclusions The findings indicated that radiologically confirmed pneumonia, as a severe morbidity proxy for mortality, provided better estimates for the LiST model of effect of interventions on mortality reduction than did other outcomes evaluated. The LiST model will use this to estimate the pneumonia mortality reduction which might be observed when scaling up Hib and PC conjugate vaccination in the context of an overall package of child health interventions.

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Background In high-income countries, administration of antenatal steroids is standard care for women with anticipated preterm labour. However, although >1 million deaths due to preterm birth occur annually, antenatal steroids are not routine practice in low-income countries where most of these deaths occur.

Objectives To review the evidence for and estimate the effect on cause-specific neonatal mortality of administration of antenatal steroids to women with anticipated preterm labour, with additional analysis for the effect in low- and middle-income countries.

Methods We conducted systematic reviews using standardized abstraction forms. Quality of evidence was assessed using an adapted GRADE approach. Existing meta-analyses were reviewed for relevance to low/middle-income countries, and new meta-analysis was performed.

Results We identified 44 studies, including 18 randomised control trials (RCTs) (14 in high-income countries) in a Cochrane meta-analysis, which suggested that antenatal steroids decrease neonatal mortality among preterm infants (<36 weeks gestation) by 31% [relative risk (RR) = 0.69; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.58–0.81]. Our new meta-analysis of four RCTs from middle-income countries suggests 53% mortality reduction (RR = 0.47; 95% CI 0.35–0.64) and 37% morbidity reduction (RR = 0.63; 95% CI 0.49–0.81). Observational study mortality data were consistent. The control group in these equivalent studies was routine care (ventilation and, in many cases, surfactant). In low-income countries, many preterm babies currently receive little or no medical care. It is plausible that antenatal steroids may be of even greater effect when tested in these settings.

Conclusions Based on high-grade evidence, antenatal steroid therapy is very effective in preventing neonatal mortality and morbidity, yet remains at low coverage in low/middle-income countries. If fully scaled up, this intervention could save up to 500 000 neonatal lives annually.

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