We gratefully acknowledge our research participants who provided useful information for this work. We are also grateful to Dr. Onyait Julius for his role as a preceptor and mentor in this project. Heartfelt Thanks to Rebecca Nekaka for coordinating the whole project.
This work was supported by the Department of Community and Public health and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. The funding only covered only field data collection and laboratory tests.
Availability of data and materials
All data on which the conclusions of this manuscript are drawn has been made available together with this manuscript.
GMA, MN, BW, PS, PK and MA participated in conception of the research idea, study design and drafting the first manuscript; JO, PO and JN conducted critical reviews, RN coordinated the whole project and JSI conducted critical reviews and supervised the study. All authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
We obtained ethical approval for this study from Mbale Regional Referral Hospital Research and Ethics Committee (MRRHREC). A letter of introduction to the study area following approval was obtained from the Busitema University Faculty of Health Sciences community education program office and used by the researchers to seek permission from the Medical superintendent of Ngora district health Centre IV. Written informed consent was obtained preceding to the actual data collection exercise. Access to collected data was restricted to only persons directly involved in the study. Participants were free to withdraw their consent to participate in the study at any stage of the study. Such a decision did not affect the medical care they received or possible participation in future research studies in anyway. The procedures were clearly explained to the research participants. Those who agreed to continue with the study were allowed to consent and participate.
Consent for publication
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest
1Department of Community and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Busitema University, Mbale, Uganda.
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Faculty of Health Sciences, Busitema University, Mbale, Uganda.
3Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Busitema University, Mbale, Uganda.
4Ngora Health Center IV, Ngora district local government, Uganda