The pattern of paediatric HIV/AIDS as seen at the National Hospital Abuja Nigeria
Background: Paediatric HIV/AIDS has become a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in our environment. Objectives: The objective of this paper is to determine the mode of transmission, clinical presentations and outcome of hospital admissions in children with Paediatric HIV/AIDS at the National Hospital Abuja Nigeria. Methods: A retrospective study of children with Paediatric HIV/AIDS admitted into the hospital from January – December 2000 was done. Screening for HIV infection was based on clinical criteria as recommended by WHO except in 3 children with previously diagnosed HIV seropositivity. One positive ELISA and one positive Western Blot assay diagnosed HIV seropositivity. Results: Forty-three HIV positive children aged six weeks to nine years (mean 16.5 months, SD 26.32) were admitted into the Paediatric unit (exclusive of the newborn unit) of the hospital, accounting for 5.7% of all admissions into the unit. There were 35 infants (81.4%). There were 18 males and 25 females (male: female ratio 1:0.72). The presumed modes of transmission were mother to child transmission 40(93.02%), blood transfusion 2 (4.6%) and an unidentified route 1 (2.3%). All parents were in the reproductive age group and there were 6 discordant couples identified (mother HIV positive, father HIV negative).Common presenting symptoms were fever 16(37.2.8%), diarrhoea 13(30.2%), difficult/fast breathing 12(27.9%) and vomiting 8(18.6%), while clinical signs were crepitations in the lungs 27(62.7%), pallor 22(51.2%), oral thrush 20(46.5%), hepatomegaly 18(41.9%), and dehydration 16 (37.2%). Admitting diagnoses were pneumonia 26(60.5%), septicaemia 4(9.3%), diarrhoea with dehydration, intestinal obstruction and malnutrition 2 (4.7%) each. There were 14 deaths (mortality rate 32.6%); accounting for 28.57% of total deaths in the paediatric unit during the period. Thirteen (13) (92.8%) deaths occurred in children aged 2 years old and below. The greatest contributors to mortality were pneumonia 10(71.4%) and septicaemia 2(14.3%). Poor nutritional status was associated (p<0.05) with increased mortality. Conclusion: The findings indicate that paediatric HIVAIDS occurs predominantly by mother to child transmission and constitutes a significant cause of childhood morbidity and mortality at the National Hospital Abuja Nigeria. We recommend intensification of efforts to implement the existing prevention of mother to child transmission programme and further evaluation of pneumonia in HIV positive children.
Keywords: Paediatric HIV/AIDS; HIV positive children; Mother to Child Transmission
Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice Vol. 9 (2) 2006: pp.153-158