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Kosmos
Astronomia Astrofizyka
Inne

Kultura
Sztuka dawna i współczesna, muzea i kolekcje

Metoda
Metodologia nauk, Matematyka, Filozofia, Miary i wagi, Pomiary

Materia
Substancje, reakcje, energia
Fizyka, chemia i inżynieria materiałowa

Człowiek
Antropologia kulturowa Socjologia Psychologia Zdrowie i medycyna

Wizje
Przewidywania Kosmologia Religie Ideologia Polityka

Ziemia
Geologia, geofizyka, geochemia, środowisko przyrodnicze

Życie
Biologia, biologia molekularna i genetyka

Cyberprzestrzeń
Technologia cyberprzestrzeni, cyberkultura, media i komunikacja

Działalność
Wiadomości | Gospodarka, biznes, zarządzanie, ekonomia

Technologie
Budownictwo, energetyka, transport, wytwarzanie, technologie informacyjne

Journal of Public Health in Africa

Little is known about the drivers of twomonth sputum smear non-conversion in the South African context. Our study sought to determine these factors in new sputum smear positive tuberculosis (TB) patients in South Africa’s Free State Province. A retrospective record review was conducted for all TB patients on treatment between 2003 and 2009. Twomonth sputum smear non-conversion was defined by a positive sputum smear result. Data was subjected to univariate, bivariate and regression analyses. Generalized linear regression models were used to estimate the risk for two-month sputum smear non-conversion. Age, pre-treatment sputum smear grading, HIV status and TB disease classification influenced two-month sputum smear non-conversion. Significant associations were thus established between health systems, microbiological, clinical and demographic factors, and two-month sputum smear non-conversion. This study provides program managers with evidence to support the development of more tailored TB care.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/324 2014/07/10 - 22:07

Our study assessed the health profile of neonates in relation to anemia in pregnancy and pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH). This was a retrospective study where a systematic random sampling technique was used to select a total of 1046 case records of pregnant women registered for ante-natal care at Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria, between 2005 and 2009. Socio-demographic characteristics of the mothers, prevalence of anemia and PIH, and neonatal health profile were obtained from the case records and were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Pearson product moment correlation was used to show the relationship (P≤0.05) between maternal complications and neonatal health profile. Majority (68.8%) of the mothers had anemia and 6.7 % had PIH. Majority (97.12%) of the neonates were live births and 2.88% of the neonates were still births, 65.4% of the women with still birth pregnancy outcome had anemia, and 34.6% had PIH. Majority (74%) of the neonates had birth weight within normal range (2.5-4.0 kg) and majority (68%) had normal Apgar score at 5 min of birth (7- 10). A positive correlation existed between the packed cell volume of the mother and the birth weight of the neonates (r=0.740, P≤0.05). A negative correlation existed between the incidence of PIH and the birth weight of the neonates (r=

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/286 2014/07/05 - 13:22

The study assessed the implementation of Kenya comprehensive school health pilot intervention program. This pilot program has informed the Kenya Comprehensive School Health Policy which is a critical document in the achievement of Millennium Development Goals relating to child health, gender equality, universal education and environmental sustainability. The study was based on focus group discussions, field observations and in-depth interviews with government officers who implemented the pilot program. The findings were categorized into implementation process, what is working well, what is not working well and lessons learned. During the course of the study, it was noted that involvement of all stakeholders enhances program ownership and sustainability but if they are not well coordinated or where supportive supervision and monitoring is not carried out, then some components of the comprehensive school health program may not be sustainable. We learnt that comprehensive school health program increases students’ enrolment, attendance and retention, factors that are very important in a country’s human resources development. The study has shown that although the formulation of a policy may be participatory and bottom-top, the implementation requires allocation of enough resources and coordination to bridge the gap between policy formulation and implementation.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/313 2014/06/19 - 19:50

The vision of Nigeria’s immunization program is to reach and sustain routine immunization coverage of greater than 90% for all vaccines by 2020. In order to achieve this, Abia state embarked on a unique private-public partnership (PPP) between private health facilities and the Abia state ministry of health. The aim of this partnership was to collaborate with private health facilities to provide free childhood immunization services in the state - the first of its kind in Nigeria. This is a retrospective study of the 2011 Abia state, Nigeria monthly immunization data. In the 4 local governments operating the PPP, 45% (79/175) of the health facilities that offered immunization services in 2011 were private health facilities and 55% (96/175) were public health facilities. However, 21% of the immunization services took place in private health facilities while 79% took place in public health facilities. Private health facilities were shown to have a modest contribution to immunization in the 4 local governments involved in the PPP. Efforts should be made to expand PPP in immunization nationally to improve immunization services in Nigeria.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/297 2014/06/05 - 23:15

The limited access to oral health care in developing countries can be greatly improved by integrating oral health into the Primary Health Care (PHC) system. This study was designed to assess the views of PHC workers on integrating oral health care into the PHC system. A self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted in two selected local government areas of Lagos State. The instrument contained three sections assessing sociodemographic features, knowledge of common oral diseases and views on integration of oral health into PHC respectively. The mean knowledge score was 7.75 (SD=±1.81), while 60.4% of the respondents had average knowledge scores. Educational status (P=0.018) and designation (P=0.033) were significantly related to the mean knowledge scores. There was no significant difference in the oral health knowledge of the various cadres (P=0.393). Majority (85.4%) of the respondents were willing to include oral health education in their job schedule and 82% believed they needed more training on oral health. The knowledge of the respondents on the causes of the common oral diseases was deficient. Oral health education should be included in the future curriculum of these personnel.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/328 2014/06/03 - 14:15

The validity of self-reported smoking is questionable because smokers are inclined to deny smoking. We aimed to determine the prevalence of self-reported smoking among intra-city commercial drivers in Lagos, and assess its validity based on urinary cotinine assessment. This study was conducted at three major motor parks in Lagos, Nigeria. Information on smoking status and habits was obtained from 500 consecutive male drivers using a structured questionnaire during a face-to-face interview. Eighty-one self-reported smokers and non-smokers were selected by systematic random sampling for urinary cotinine assessment using cotinine strips. The prevalence of self-reported smoking was compared to the prevalence of smoking based on urinary cotinine and the specificity and positive predictive values of self-reported smoking was determined. Prevalence of self-reported current smoking was 32% and 17.9% of nonsmokers were passive smokers. Among 81 drivers in whom urinary cotinine assessment was performed, the prevalence of smoking based on self-report was 34 (42%) compared to 41 (50.6%) when based on urinary cotinine, (X2=38.56, P<0.001). The rate of misclassification among self-reported non-smokers as smokers was 21.3% and misclassification rate for self-reported smokers as non-smokers was 8.8%. The sensitivity of self-reported smoking in accurately classifying smoking status was 91.2% and the specificity was 78.7%. The prevalence of self-reported cigarette smoking among commercial drivers in Lagos is high and a significant proportion of self-reported non-smokers are passive smokers. Self-reported smoking status obtained during face-to-face interview appears unreliable in obtaining accurate smoking data in our locality.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/316 2014/05/29 - 18:34

The study primarily aimed at assessing the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions in a section of public health institutions in Lesotho using an assessment tool formulated from principles of antibiotic prescribing. Relevant data on procedures of infection diagnosis and prescribed antibiotics were collected from both inpatient and outpatient case reports for a one month period in five public hospitals in Lesotho. These were analysed for the appropriateness of the prescribed antibiotics. Prescription appropriateness assessment was based on conformities of prescribed antibiotics to criteria developed from pertinent principles of antibiotic prescribing. Assessed prescriptions, 307 inpatient and 865 outpatient prescriptions in total, were classified into categories of appropriateness based on extents to which they satisfied conditions defined by combinations of criteria in the assessment tool. Antibiotic prescriptions from inpatient and outpatient departments of study site hospitals were categorized into groups of different degrees of appropriateness. A total of 32.2% inpatient prescriptions and 78.4% outpatient prescriptions assessed were appropriately written for the empiric treatment of infections for which bacterial pathogens were considered absolute or possible aetiologies. The use of prescription assessment tools based on principles of antibiotic prescribing is a feasible option of assessing the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions, particularly in low-income countries where expert panels cannot be formed.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/354 2014/05/13 - 23:02

The primary purpose of this study is to identify predictors of complete household enrollment into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) among inhabitants of the Barekese sub-district in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Heads of households in 20 communities from the Barekuma Collaborative Community Project (BCCDP) site were interviewed to gather data on demographic, socioeconomic status (SES) indicators and complete household subscription in the NHIS. Logistic regression model was used to predict enrollment in the NHIS. Of the 3228 heads of households interviewed, 60 percent reported having all members of their respective households enrolled in the NHIS. Residents in the classified Middle and High SES brackets had 1.47 [95% CI: 1.21-1.77] and 1.66 [95% CI: 1.27-2.16] times higher odds, respectively, of complete household enrollment compared to their counterparts in the Low SES category. The odds of enrolling in the program tend to increase progressively with the highest level of education attained by the head of the family unit. Eight years after the introduction of the national health insurance policy in Ghana, the reported subscription rate for complete households was about 60 percent in the 20 rural communities that participated in the study. This finding calls for the need to step up further national strategies that will help increase enrollment coverage, especially among the poor and less educated in the rural communities.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/352 2014/04/30 - 20:14

High blood pressure is a global health concern which is mainly managed by taking antihypertensive medications. Although medication is available to control high blood pressure, adhering to treatment is a major problem among hypertensive patients. The purpose of the study was to assess the predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors to medication adherence among hypertensive patients in Gweru urban aged 40-70 years. A descriptive cross sectional study was used with a sample size of 110 conveniently sampled hypertensive patients. We used an interviewer administered questionnaire designed using phase 4 of the PRECEDE model. The modal age was 70 years and mean age was 58 years (SD=10.29). There were 61.8% females and 38.2% males. Variables associated with medication adherence were: age (P=0.0059), marital status (P=0.015), average monthly income (P=0.0002), support group (P=0.027) and knowledge (P=0.0058). Providing information to patients with high blood pressure and having a good patient-provider relationship improves medication adherence. There is need to focus on the predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors of medication adherence since demographic and socio-economic factors may be more difficult to change.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/304 2014/04/29 - 15:50

Epilepsy is the most common condition reported through the psychiatric returns surveillance system in Gokwe South District. Review visits attendance is crucial to the successful control of seizures among epilepsy patients. We sought out to establish the attendance pattern of epileptic patients, prevalence of non-attendance and the associated factors. An analytic cross-sectional study was conducted where consenting respondents (N=110) were selected randomly from the district epilepsy register. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to collect data. Odds ratios were calculated to determine associations. Logistic regression analysis was done to identify independent risk factors and to control for confounding variables. A total of 110 epileptic patients were included in the study. The patients missed treatment review visits ranging from 1 to 11 of the expected 12 visits between June 2011 and June 2012. Most (70.9%) missed at least 2 visits in a 12month period while 46.4% missed 2 or more consecutive visits. Knowledge of treatment duration [POR 0.24 (95% CI 0.08-0.74)] and high risk perception [POR 0.14 (95% CI: 0.06-0.33) were associated with a lower likeliness of missing review visits. Barriers such as shortage of drugs [POR 7.09 (95% CI: 3.00-16.72)] and long distances to health facilities [POR 6.63(95% CI: 2.63-16.76)] were associated with high likelihood of missing two or more review visits consecutively. Shortage of drugs [AOR 6.7336 (95% CI: 1.8538-24.4581)] and higher risk perception [AOR 0.1948 (95% CI: 0.0625-0.6071)] remained significant on logistic regression analysis. A high number of epileptic patients miss their review visits mainly owing to shortage of drugs, and long distances from health facilities.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/351 2014/04/09 - 14:08

In the early 90s, the Cameroon ministry of health implemented a National Health Information System (NHIS) based on a bottom-up approach of manually collecting and reporting health data. Little is known about the implementation and functioning of the NHIS. The purpose of this study was to assess the implementation of the NHIS by documenting experiences of individual stakeholders, and to suggest recommendations for improvement. We reviewed relevant documents and conducted face-to-face interviews (N=4) with individuals directly involved with data gathering, reporting and storage. Content analysis was used to analyze textual data. We found a stalled and inefficient National Health Information System characterised by general lack of personnel, a labour intensive process, delay in reporting data, much reliance on field staff, and lack of incentives. A move to an electronic health information system without involving all stakeholders and adequately addressing the issues plaguing the current system is premature.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/322 2014/03/18 - 19:51

The Littoral region of Cameroon met most of its routine immunization and surveillance objectives in 2010 but has not reiterated such a performance since then. We describe the case-based measles surveillance performance of 2010 by person, place, time and determine measles surveillance system delays. Descriptive statistics were performed using Epi Info 3.5.3. There were 130 suspected measles cases investigated by 17(89.5%) health districts, 83(64%) males and 99(76%) ≤ 5 years. At least 4 cases were investigated per month with a peak of 23 cases in June. About 67(51.5%) patients visited a hospital more than 48 hours after disease onset, 34(26.2%) health facilities informed the district service late after receiving a suspected case and 65(50%) samples got to the reference laboratory more than 24 hours after reception by the specimen collection centre. More than 2 discarded measles/100 000 population were investigated but with health facilities, specimen collection centre and patients’ ability to seek healthcare delays. All specimens got to the reference laboratory within 72 hours. Patients’ health seeking behavior need to be improved and personnel involved in surveillance sensitized on timeliness.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/334 2014/03/18 - 19:51

Recent studies reveal that teachers are more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behaviour compared to the rest of the adult population. Yet the education sector could be a major vehicle for imparting knowledge and skills of avoiding and/or coping with the pandemic. This study set out to establish HIV risk behaviours among teachers in Uganda, to inform the design of a Behaviour Change Communication Strategy for HIV prevention among teachers. It was a cross sectional rapid assessment conducted among primary and secondary school teachers in Kampala and Kalangala districts, in Uganda. A total of 183 teachers were interviewed. HIV risk behaviour, in this study was measured as having multiple sexual partners and/or sex with a partner of unknown status without using a condom. We also considered transactional/sex for favours and alcohol use as exposures to HIV risk behaviour. Odds Ratios (OR) and their corresponding 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) were calculated. All data analysis was performed using SPSS version 17.0 and EPI Info Version 3.5.1. Forty five per cent of teachers reported having multiple concurrent sexual partners in the last three months, of these, only 24% acknowledged having used a condom at their last sexual encounter yet only 9.8% knew their partners’ HIV status. Teachers below 30years of age were more likely to have two or more concurrent sexual partners (OR 2.6, CI 1.31-5.34) compared to those above 30 years. Primary school teachers were less likely to involve with partners of unknown HIV status compared to secondary school teachers (OR 0.43, CI 0.19-0.97). Teachers aged below 30 years were also more likely to engage with partners of unknown HIV status compared to those above 30 years (OR 2.47, CI 1.10-5.59). Primary teachers were also less likely to have given or received gifts, money or other favours in exchange for sex (OR 0.24, CI 0.09-0.58). Teachers engage in risky sexual behaviours which lead to HIV infection. There is need to promote individual risk perception, condom use and reduction in sexual partners. Also to encourage partners to know each other’s status, and teachers to avoid risky situations or carefully negotiate such situations.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/350 2014/03/18 - 19:51

Dermatophyte infection is a common skin disorder. Tinea capitis, infection of the scalp and hair shaft, is the most common dermatophytosis in children aged between six months and pre-pubertal age. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence, causative agents and to identify predisposing factors among primary school children in a rural community in Sagamu, Ogun state, Nigeria. This was a descriptive cross sectional study. Interviewer administered questionnaire was used. Following a physical examination, children with a clinical diagnosis of tinea capitis had scalp and hair scrapings for microscopy and culture. Tinea capitis was confirmed in 15.4%. Trichophyton mentagrophyte (51.7%) and Microsporum aoudouinii (20.7%) were the most prevalent organisms in this study. The most common predisposing factors were carrying of objects on the scalp; sharing of hair clippers, scissors, combs, towels and fomites. Low socioeconomic status coupled with overcrowding and poor hygiene was the major determinant of tinea capitis among the children. Tinea capitis remains a common infection among Nigerian school children. Health promotion and health education interventions are recommended to promote good hygiene, better living conditions, early identification and treatment.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/349 2014/03/18 - 19:51

This study examined the demographic implications of the HIV prevalence trend in Nigeria. Data from the 2010 National Antenatal Sentinel Survey was used to produce various graphs to determine the trend of HIV at the national level, state levels, urban and rural areas, and various age groups. This study has found that though a decline exists in the national HIV prevalence and the HIV prevalence among women aged 15-24 years, there is a potential for an increased trend if adequate HIV services are not provided in rural areas. This is because the HIV prevalence in many states has risen between 2008 and 2010 owing to a rise in HIV prevalence in rural areas and in women aged 15-39 years. This study has significant implications for achieving Millennium Development Goals 4, 5, and 6 related to HIV in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan countries.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/277 2014/03/03 - 19:06

The use of health insurance schemes in financing healthcare delivery and to minimize the poverty gap is gaining considerable recognition among the least developed and resource challenged countries around the world. With the implementation of the socialized health insurance scheme, Ghana has taken the lead in Sub-Saharan Africa and now working out further strategies to gain universal coverage among her citizenry. The primary goal of this study is to explore the spatial relationship between the residential homes and demographic features of the people in the Barekese subdistrict in Ghana on the probability to enroll the entire household unit in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Household level data were gathered from 20 communities on the enrollment status into the NHIS alongside demographic and socioeconomic indicators and the spatial location of every household that participated in the study. Kulldorff’s purely spatial scan statistic was used to detect geographic clusters of areas with participatory households that have either higher or lower enrollment patterns in the insurance program. Logistic regression models on selected demographic and socioeconomic indicators were built to predict the effect on the odds of enrolling an entire household membership in the NHIS. Three clusters significantly stood out to have either high or low enrollment patterns in the health insurance program taking into accounts the number of households in those sub-zones of the study region. Households in the Cluster 1 insurance group have very high travel expenses compared to their counterparts in the other idenfied clusters. Travel cost and time to the NHIS registration center to enroll in the program were both significant predictors to participation in the program when controlling for cluster effect. Residents in the High socioeconomic group have about 1.66 [95% CI: 1.27-2.17] times the odds to enroll complete households in the insurance program compared to their counterparts in the Low socioeconomic group. The study demonstrated the use of spatial analytical tools to identify clusters of household enrollment pattern in the NHIS among residents in rural Ghana. In the face of limited resources, policy makers can therefore use the findings as guideline to strategically channel interventions to areas of most need. Furthermore, these analyses can be repeated annually to assess progress on improving insurance coverage.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/353 2014/02/04 - 15:35

During the last decade much progress has been made in reducing malaria transmission in Macha, Southern Province, Zambia. Introduction of artemisinin combination therapies as well as mass screenings of asymptomatic carriers is believed to have contributed the most. When an endemic malaria situation is moving towards a non-endemic situation the resident population loses acquired immunity and therefore active case detection and efficient surveillance is crucial to prevent epidemic outbreaks. Our purpose was to evaluate the impact of cell phone surveillance and geographical information systems on malaria control in Macha. Furthermore, it evaluates what screening and treatment of asymptomatic carriers and implementation of rapid diagnostic tests in rural health care has led to. Ten in-depth semistructured interviews, field observations and data collection were performed at the Macha Research Trust and at surrounding rural health centers. This qualitative method was inspired by rapid assessment procedure. The cell phone surveillance has been easily integrated in health care, and its integration with Geographical Information Systems has provided the ability to follow malaria transmission on a weekly basis. In addition, active case detection of asymptomatic carriers has been fruitful, which is reflected in it soon being applied nationwide. Furthermore, rapid diagnostic tests have provided rural health centers with reliable malaria diagnostics, thereby decreasing excessive malaria treatments and selection for drug resistance. This report reflects the importance of asymptomatic carriers in targeting malaria elimination, as well as development of effective surveillance systems when transmission decreases. Such an approach would be cost-efficient in the long run through positive effects in reduced child mortality and relief in health care.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/171 2014/02/04 - 15:35

The purpose of this study was to identify the various problems with surgical care in the developing world and enumerate identified strategies or propose solutions. We also sought to rank these strategies in order of potential impact. The MEDLINE database was sought. Studies published in English, reporting currently employed solutions to identified barriers or problems to surgical care in developing countries or potential solution(s) and published between 2000 and 2012 were eligible for inclusion. 2156 articles were identified for possible inclusion. MeSH terms include surgery, general surgery, developing countries, health services accessibility and quality improvement. Forty-nine full articles with a primary focus on the solutions to the challenges to surgical care in the developing world were included in the final review. Many articles identified problems with infrastructure, workforce shortage, inadequate or inappropriate policies, and poor financing as major problems with healthcare in the developing world. Solutions addressing these problems are multifactorial and would require active participation of local authorities and collaboration with providers from the developed world. The burden of surgical care is increasing. There is poor access to surgical services in the developing world. If and when surgical care is received, the quality could be less than the standard in developed nations. Solutions exist to tackle these problems but require a multidimensional approach to be successful.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e20 2014/01/03 - 13:42

The essence of primary health care is the provision of essential health services and commodities to individuals and communities using available, acceptable and sustainable resources. However, there has been a growing lack of confidence by the populace as evidenced by poor utilization of the services. This study sought to identify the predominant barriers affecting the utilization of primary health care services in Batsari Local Government in Katsina State, Nigeria. A cluster of 630 households was surveyed in the catchment of the 21 health primary health facilities. A catchment been defined as a household located within 5 km of a primary health center. Using a three digit randomly generated numbers a household was selected. Once selected the start house and twenty-nine contiguous houses were visited. a total of 630 households were surveyed. In all households, questions were asked on the predominant health problems, as well as the major determinants of access and utilization of primary health care services .The results were computed and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences software SPSS. Version 17.0. The findings from all the respondents (n=630) showed that majority of the people preferred to seek care from the patent medicine stores (53.63%) as against only 7.6% who utilized the primary health care services. The commonest reasons why respondents do not utilize these services were lack of essential drugs, high cost of services as well as inadequate infrastructure in primary healthcare facilities. The study has highlighted some of the multiple factors affecting the utilization of primary healthcare services. It is expected that these findings will guide policy makers in improving healthcare delivery particularly where the need is greatest - at the grassroots - in line with the national health policy and national health strategic development plan.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e13 2013/12/21 - 18:13

Infection with genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) remains a common viral sexually transmitted disease, often subclinical and a major worldwide problem of women of reproductive age group. Herpes cervicitis is an unusual presentation of Herpes simplex virus infection in females. The finding of herpes cervicitis on routine pap smear of an asymptomatic woman on Intrauterine contraceptive device still further supports the need for increased awareness on the possibility of Herpes simplex virus infection among women, particularly those on Intrauterine contraceptive device. The index case is a 28 years old Nigerian female who was referred to our Special Treatment Clinic on account of an abnormal pap smear cytology which was in keeping with Herpes cervicitis. There was no history of genital ulcer in this patient; however ELISA for HSV 2 IgM was positive in her. We therefore describe a case of herpes cervicitis in an asymptomatic woman on intrauterine contraceptive device. This case highlights to clinicians the need to be aware of the possibility of this association and to carry out relevant investigations so as to identify and treat these patients appropriately. Therefore, there is a need to put in place adequate public health intervention strategy to prevent genital herpes in women of reproductive age group with a view to preventing the possibility of congenital herpes in subsequent pregnancy.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e14 2013/12/18 - 00:58

There is limited data on the prevalence of depression in HIV and AIDS patients in Sub- Saharan Africa and little resources have been allocated to address this issue. Depression affects patient adherence to treatment and predisposes patients to resistance which poses a public health threat. It also affects quality of life and productivity of patients. From August 2008 to March 2009, 731 patient adherence surveys were administered to assess disease, treatment knowledge and services received. The primary variable of interest was patients’ level of depressive symptoms score, constructed using factor analysis from five survey questions relating to: sadness, need to be alone, hopelessness and confusion and was categorized as no depressive symptoms (score 0), low depressive symptoms (score 1-2), moderate depressive symptoms (score 3-4) and high depressive symptoms (score 5-10). Majority of the patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) (59%) were found to have depressive symptoms and this was more among women than men (66% vs 43%). There was some association of depressive symptoms with non-disclosure (70% of those who had not disclosed had depressive symptoms compared to 53% among those who had disclosed). There is a high prevalence of depressive symptoms among adult patients on HAART. There is need for in-depth evaluation to find out the root causes of depressive symptoms among HAART patients in AIDSRelief clinics. There is need to integrate mental health management in HIV care and treatment as well as training the existing health workers on mental health management.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e19 2013/12/18 - 00:58

None-barrier methods are the most predominant contraceptive methods of choice among Zimbabwean women, with the contraceptive pill being the most popular. The spread of HIV/AIDS is most prevalent in sub-Saharan African countries, Zimbabwe included. The prevalent mode of transmission is unprotected heterosexual sex. Although Zimbabwe boasts of a high literacy rate some women may still be vulnerable like in other parts of the world, as they may not understand the role of the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) and other reproductive health service providers. This is because some women at risk may expose themselves to unprotected sex while they are on hormonal contraceptives. This paper seeks to infer into pros and cons of hormonal contraceptive use among Zimbabwean women. There is also need to discuss the effectiveness of providers (ZNFPC clinics and the Ministry of Health) in educating women about the risk of HIV transmission, which may be associated with some non-barrier methods of contraception. An understanding of women’s attitudes towards the different forms of contraception is of paramount importance as is that of the factors that could contribute to women in different social settings resorting to uninformed contraceptive choices.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e16 2013/12/12 - 22:34

Resource limited countries continue to be plagued with rising prevalence of malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS as well as other emerging diseases despite the huge financial support provided by bilateral and multilateral agencies to combat these diseases. While progress may have been made in reducing the global burden caused by these diseases on one hand, there has also been a weakening of the primary health care facility on the other hand which was the hallmark to the Alma Ata declaration of 1978. More attention has been placed on our global health needs while the diverse health needs of every community have been neglected. This fatal neglect at the community level highlights the need for the provision of specialize primary health care (PHC) facilities which should not only be affordable, accessible and available, but be appropriate to the priority health needs of the community, especially at the rural level. Hence specialized PHC facilities will be tailored to meet the most pressing health needs of the communities it covers among other diseases. Consequently, this innovative approach will not only strengthen the primary health care system by improving wellbeing especially at the rural level but will also improve the outcome of vertical program at communities where it is most needed.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e17 2013/12/12 - 22:34

Pharmacogenetics holds great potential for improving the effectiveness of treatment modalities in infectious diseases by taking into account the genetic determinants of both the host and infectious agents’ individuality. Better utilization of resources and improved therapeutic efficiency are the expected outcomes of personalized medicine using pharmacogenetic and pharmacogenomics information made available by technological advances. However, there has been growing concern in the clinical community regarding the evaluation of the true benefits of these approaches. This perception is partly due to the limited number and perceived poor quality of economic evaluations in this field, and initiatives aimed at harmonizing and communicating strategies improving the quality of these studies and their acceptance by the clinical community are greatly needed. This paper reviews current literature of economic evaluations of pharmacogenetics interventions guiding pharmacotherapy in infectious diseases. PubMed and the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination databases were searched using a combination of five broad research terms related to pharmacogenetic approaches, and papers relative to economic evaluations of pharmacogenetic interventions in infectious diseases retained for further analysis. Using these criteria, a total of 14 papers were included in this review. The area of economic evaluation of pharmacogenetic interventions in infectious diseases remains understudied and would benefit from greater harmonization. The main weaknesses of evaluations reviewed in this paper seem to be represented by poor evidence of pharmacogenetic marker validation, inconsistencies in the selection of costs and utility included in the economic models and the choice of sensitivity analysis. All these factors limit the overall transparency of the studies, greater acceptance of their results and applicability to diverse and possibly resourcelimited environments where these approaches could be expected to have the greater impact.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e18 2013/12/12 - 22:34

The purpose of this study was to identify the various problems with surgical care in the developing world and enumerate identified strategies or propose solutions. We also sought to rank these strategies in order of potential impact. The MEDLINE database was sought. Studies published in English, reporting currently employed solutions to identified barriers or problems to surgical care in developing countries or potential solution(s) and published between 2000 and 2012 were eligible for inclusion. 2156 articles were identified for possible inclusion. MeSH terms include ‘surgery’, ’general surgery’, ‘developing countries’, ‘health services accessibility’ and ‘quality improvement’. Forty-nine (49) full articles with a primary focus on the solutions to the challenges to surgical care in the developing world were included in the final review. Many articles identified problems with infrastructure, workforce shortage, inadequate or inappropriate policies, and poor financing as major problems with healthcare in the developing world. Solutions addressing these problems are multifactorial and would require active participation of local authorities and collaboration with providers from the developed world. The burden of surgical care is increasing. There is poor access to surgical services in the developing world. If and when surgical care is received, the quality could be less than the standard in developed nations. Solutions exist to tackle these problems but require a multidimensional approach to be successful.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/331 2013/12/04 - 17:22

There is limited data on the prevalence of depression in HIV and AIDS patients in Sub-Saharan Africa and little resources have been allocated to address this issue. Depression affects patient adherence to treatment and predisposes patients to resistance which poses a public health threat. It also affects quality of life and productivity of patients. From August 2008 to March 2009, 731 patient adherence surveys were administered to assess disease, treatment knowledge and services received. The primary variable of interest was patients’ level of depressive symptoms score, constructed using factor analysis from five survey questions relating to: sadness, need to be alone, hopelessness and confusion and was categorized as 'no depressive symptoms' (score 0), 'low depressive symptoms' (score 1-2), 'moderate depressive symptoms' (score 3-4) and 'high depressive symptoms' (score 5-10). Majority of the patients on HAART (59%) were found to have depressive symptoms and this was more among women than men (66% vs 43%). There was some association of depressive symptoms with non-disclosure (70% of those who had not disclosed had depressive symptoms compared to 53% among those who had disclosed). There is a high prevalence of depressive symptoms among adult patients on HAART. There is need for in-depth evaluation to find out the root causes of depressive symptoms among HAART patients in AR clinics. There is need to integrate mental health management in HIV care and treatment as well as training the existing health workers on mental health management.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/203 2013/11/26 - 16:35

Pharmacogenetics holds great potential for improving the effectiveness of treatment modalities in infectious diseases by taking into account the genetic determinants of both the host and infectious agents’ individuality. Better utilization of resources and improved therapeutic efficiency are the expected outcomes of personalized medicine using pharmacogenetic and pharmacogenomics information made available by technological advances. However, there has been growing concern in the clinical community regarding the evaluation of the true benefits of these approaches. This perception is partly due to the limited number and perceived poor quality of economic evaluations in this field, and initiatives aimed at harmonizing and communicating strategies improving the quality of these studies and their acceptance by the clinical community are greatly needed. This paper reviews current literature of economic evaluations of pharmacogenetics interventions guiding pharmacotherapy in infectious diseases. PubMed and the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) databases were searched using a combination of five broad research terms related to pharmacogenetic approaches, and papers relative to economic evaluations of pharmacogenetic interventions in infectious diseases retained for further analysis. Using these criteria, a total of 14 papers were included in this review. The area of economic evaluation of pharmacogenetic interventions in infectious diseases remains understudied and would benefit from greater harmonization. The main weaknesses of evaluations reviewed in this paper seem to be represented by poor evidence of pharmacogenetic marker validation, inconsistencies in the selection of costs and utility included in the economic models and the choice of sensitivity analysis. All these factors limit the overall transparency of the studies, greater acceptance of their results and applicability to diverse and possibly resource-limited environments where these approaches could be expected to have the greater impact.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/310 2013/11/26 - 16:35

None-barrier methods are the most predominant contraceptive methods of choice among Zimbabwean women, with the contraceptive pill being the most popular. The spread of HIV/AIDS is most prevalent in sub-Saharan African countries, Zimbabwe included. The prevalent mode of transmission is unprotected heterosexual sex. Although Zimbabwe boasts of a high literacy rate some women may still be vulnerable like in other parts of the world, as they may not understand the role of the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) and other reproductive health service providers. This is because some women at risk may expose themselves to unprotected sex while they are on hormonal contraceptives. This paper seeks to infer into pros and cons of hormonal contraceptive use among Zimbabwean women. There is also need to discuss the effectiveness of providers (ZNFPC clinics and the Ministry of Health) in educating women about the risk of HIV transmission, which may be associated with some non-barrier methods of contraception. An understanding of women’s attitudes towards the different forms of contraception is of paramount importance as is that of the factors that could contribute to women in different social settings resorting to uninformed contraceptive choices.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/358 2013/10/19 - 15:26

As the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) evolves, further discussion and documentation of national policy and aspects of its implementation is needed to ensure effectiveness of interventions. Further research is required to foster beneficial shifts in policy advocacy, including resource allocation, and in the prioritization of adolescent programs in health and education systems, in communities and in workplaces. Adolescents are exposed to diverse interventions across all the countries under discussion; however there exist obstacles to realization of ASRH goals. In some countries, there exist a conflict of interest between national laws and global policy guidelines on ASRH; moreover national laws and policies are ambiguous and inconsistent. In addition, there have been strong negligence of vulnerable groups such as HIV positive adolescents, pregnant street youth; young sex workers; orphans; adolescents in conflict areas; adolescent refugees; adolescent girls working in the informal sectors and very young adolescents, likewise many adolescents in rural areas remain largely underserved. Furthermore there are consistently less disaggregated data available on adolescents’ key indicators for comparative purposes signifying considerable knowledge gaps. There are multiple obstacles to the realization of ASRH and need for research combining both qualitative and quantitative approaches to determine the extent to which factors are either conducive or impeding to consistency between global guidelines, national ASRH policies, and actual policy implementation.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e12 2013/10/16 - 12:45

There is a paucity of research demonstrating how best to address inequalities in health and access to specialist care faced by rural disadvantaged populations in high HIV-prevalent settings in Sub Saharan Africa. Delivering equitable and cost-effective specialist clinical services in many parts of Africa is challenging, given human resource shortages, poor transport infrastructure and competing health priorities. In this report we describe how an airborne outreach program to provide HIV services to high HIV burden health facilities in rural Botswana has been an important catalyst for improving specialist service delivery across the spectrum of clinical care. The success of Botswana’s airborne program is a consequence of many country-specific determinants as well as external funding support. We argue that lessons learned from the experience in Botswana are normative for other African settings. Specialist medical airborne outreach to rural hospitals can improve access to and quality of care, when part of a multifaceted, multidisciplinary intervention. Furthermore, we demonstrate how an HIV funded program can be a vehicle for enhanced access to essential sub-specialist clinicians in rural Botswana.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e11 2013/10/16 - 12:45

The essence of primary health care is the provision of essential health services and commodities to individuals and communities using available, acceptable and sustainable resources. However, there has been a growing lack of confidence by the populace as evidenced by poor utilization of the services. This study sought to identify the predominant barriers affecting the utilization of primary health care services in Batsari Local Government in Katsina State, Nigeria. A cluster of 30 households was surveyed in the catchment of the 21 health primary health facilities. A catchment been defined as a household located within 5 km of a primary health center. Using a three digit randomly generated numbers a household was selected. Once selected the start house and twenty-nine contiguous houses were visited. a total of 630 households were surveyed. In all households, questions were asked on the predominant health problems, as well as the major determinants of access and utilization of primary health care services .The results were computed and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences software SPSS. Version 17.0 The findings from all the respondents (n=630) showed that majority of the people preferred to seek care from the patent medicine stores (53.63%) as against only 7.6% who utilized the primary health care services. The commonest reasons why respondents do not utilize these services were lack of essential drugs, high cost of services as well as inadequate infrastructure in primary healthcare facilities. The study has highlighted some of the multiple factors affecting the utilization of primary healthcare services. It is expected that these findings will guide policy makers in improving healthcare delivery particularly where the need is greatest- at the grassroots-in line with the national health policy and national health strategic development plan.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/202 2013/10/09 - 09:57

Immunisation has been an important strategy for disease prevention globally. Despite proven successes in other settings, child immunisation has continued to be problematic in developing countries including Nigeria. In addressing the problems, policy in Nigeria is largely directed at overcoming socio cultural issues surrounding parents’ rejection of vaccines. However, determinants of immunisation have geographical implications as well. A cross sectional survey was used to select 484 mothers/ caregivers through a multi stage cluster sampling technique from the three senatorial districts of Borno State, Nigeria. Mothers or caregivers of children 12–23 months were interviewed using a structured questionnaire adapted from the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (2008). Socio cultural factors measured include mother’s education, religion, husband’s permission and sex of child while spatial variables include location i.e. whether rural or urban, and distance measured in terms of physical distance, cost and perception of physical distance. Descriptive statistics, univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to analyse the results. Data indicate that only 10.5% of children were fully immunised. Though immunisation uptake differed between the senatorial districts, this was not significant (P=0.1). In the bivariate analysis, mothers living in urban areas, <1 km to immunisation centre, their perception of travel distance and travel cost were the spatial predictors of immunisation while literacy and husband’s permission were the socio-cultural factors of significance. However, in the multivariate regression only two geographical factors i.e. living in an urban area [odds ratio (OR) 3.42, confidence interval (CI) 1.40–8.33] and mothers’ perception of distance (OR 4.52, CI 2.14–9.55) were protective against under immunisation while mother’s education was the only socio cultural variable of significance (OR 0.10, CI 0.03–0.41). It was concluded that while it is important to address socio cultural issues, policies directed at overcoming the friction of distance especially mobile clinics in rural areas are required to significantly improve immunisation uptake in the state.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e10 2013/09/26 - 10:29

Knowledge on HIV spread is important in combating HIV/AIDS, however its impact can only be realized if put into practice. This study was carried out in a Higher Learning Institution in Moshi Township in Kilimanjaro Region to assess the level of awareness of university communities about HIV/AIDs and its link with practice of risky sexual behaviors (RSB). We have found an adequate level of knowledge on the spread, risk behaviors and methods for protection leading to attendance to voluntary testing and counseling by 61% of respondents. Conversely, we have observed great extent of practice of RSBs including early sexual debut (16.7 years), having multiple and extramarital partners, involvement in practices that lead to unprotected sexual intercourse. We report an obvious gap between knowledge and behavior. This study therefore recommends that serious operational interventions must be put in place targeting the most sexually active groups, the youth in preliminary schools to sensitize on RSBs and ways to avoid them before they are engaged in sexual activities.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e8 2013/09/11 - 05:21

This study aimed at establishing the determinants and distribution of the health-seeking behaviours of Port Harcourt residents, and comparing them between the upper and lower socio-economic classes. A descriptive crosssectional study using 204 respondents was carried out. The socio-economic classification used occupation and average monthly income. Multi-staged sampling technique was used; stage one being by stratified sampling using socio-economic classes for stratification; stage two involved clustered sampling; following which five-sectioned structured questionnaires were administered. Differences (P<0.05) in Health facility used existed: the upper class used mostly Government and Private Hospitals; the lower class additionally used health centres and un-orthodox health facilities. Reasons for using a health facility was similar (P>0.05) as both classes mostly go for treatment or medical check-ups. Health facility preference was mostly for good treatment outcome and accessibility; cost also, for the lower class. Commonly and last used health-care giver differed (P<0.05); upper class mostly saw a doctor, the lower saw the doctor, pharmacist and nurse. Competence; the major reason for health-care giver selection by the upper class differed (P<0.05) from the lower that had previous good treatment outcome and illness severity. The upper socioeconomic classed have better health-seeking behaviours because they use more competent Health facilities and health-care givers.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e9 2013/09/10 - 05:11

Health impact assessment (HIA) was carried out to evaluate development of a clinical waste management policy for Cameroon. Fifteen stakeholders of different portfolios within the health sector were selected during a HIA initiating study trip to the Northwest region of Cameroon. Questionnaires were then developed and emailed to the stakeholders. The stakeholders identified cross-contamination, environmental pollution, physical injuries and poor waste management sites as potential risk factors that can be associated with poor clinical waste management. They recommended strong economic and political capital as a prerequisite for the development and implementation of a successful clinical waste policy. Local impacts on health, according to the stakeholders, should be prioritized in deciding any treatment and disposal option. The whole HIA process run through 2008-2010.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e7 2013/09/10 - 05:11

The South African government released a policy document for the introduction of a National Health Insurance (NHI) system planned to start in 2012. The consultation process for involving the public in the implementation of the NHI was also announced in August. When the consultation process on the NHI was announced, everyone assumed that the Government’s aim was to devolve power to communities and create a more patientfocused and community-oriented NHI. In this paper we look not only at how community engagement process on the NHI works, but we also review the democratic process to determine if it is a good means of holding decision makers to account to communities before and during the implementation of the NHI in South Africa. We review reasons for involving or engaging communities in health and related matters, the policy context of community engagement and review potential roles of nongovernmental organizations in assisting people to participate in debates for implementation of this new health policy initiative.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e6 2013/08/14 - 07:20

Knowledge on HIV spread is important in combating HIV/AIDS, however its impact can only be realized if put into practice. This study was carried out in a Higher Learning Institution in Moshi Township in Kilimanjaro Region to assess the level of awareness of university communities about HIV/AIDs and its link with practice of Risky Sexual Behaviors (RSB). We have found an adequate level of knowledge on the spread, risk behaviors and methods for protection leading to attendance to Voluntary Testing and Counseling (VTC) by 61% of respondents. Conversely, we have observed great extent of practice of RSBs including early sexual debut (16.7 years), having multiple and extramarital partners, involvement in practices that lead to unprotected sexual intercourse. We report an obvious gap between knowledge and behavior. This study therefore recommends that serious operational interventions must be put in place targeting the most sexually active groups, the youth in preliminary schools to sensitize on RSBs and ways to avoid them before they are engaged in sexual activities.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/287 2013/08/09 - 16:33

The harmful effects of sexual abuse are long lasting. Sexual abuse when associated with violence is likely to impact negatively on the life of the victim. Anecdotal reports indicate that there was an increase in the number of cases of sexual violence following the 2007 post election conflict and violence in Kenya. Although such increases in sexual abuse are common during war or conflict periods the above reports have not been confirmed through research evidence. The purpose of the current study is to establish the trend in numbers of reported cases of sexual abuse at Kenyatta National Hospital over a 4-year period (2006-2009). Data on sexually abused persons for the year 2006-2009 was retrieved from the hospitals record. A researcher designed questionnaire was used to collect relevant data from the completed Post Rape Care (PRC) form. The PRC-Ministry of Health no. 363 (MOH363) form is mandatorily completed by the physician attending the sexually abused patient. There was an increase in the number of cases of sexual abuse reported in 2007 election year in Kenya, with a statistically significant increase in the sexually abused male cases. Sexual crime is more prevalent when there is war or conflict.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e5 2013/07/06 - 09:07

Zimbabwe faces an acute generalized HIV/AIDS epidemic combined with rapidly deteriorating economic and political conditions, under which levels of domestic violence are on the rise. We aimed to determine possible demographic and behavioral factors associated with physical domestic violence in a rural setting in order to better inform both national and local domestic violence and HIV prevention policies. Using the Project Accept baseline data set, we selected demographic, socio-economic, and behavioral variables that might be associated with physical domestic violence based on a review of the literature. Univariate and multivariate analyses were carried out, and odds ratios (OR) were computed using logistic regression. Women reporting physical domestic violence were significantly more likely to report (i) a history of childhood domestic violence (OR=2.96, P<0.001), (ii) two or more lifetime partners (OR=1.94, P<0.001), (iii) some form of sexual abuse as a child (OR=1.82, not significant), and (iv) low or medium socio-economic status as measured by type of homestead (OR=1.4, P=0.04) than women who reported no experience of physical domestic violence. Married women were less likely to experience physical domestic violence than unmarried women (OR=0.65, P=0.011). Women at greatest risk of domestic violence include those with a personal history of violence or sexual abuse, multiple lifetime partners, and low or medium socio-economic status. Risk assessments and joint interventions for both domestic violence reduction and HIV prevention should target these population groups, which are effective both on the public health and global heath diplomacy levels.

http://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/jphia.2013.e1 2013/07/02 - 21:57