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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Featured Issue: African Health Sciences Vol.13 No. 2 & 3

Today we wll be featuring issues 2 & 3 from vol.13 of African Health Sciences. African Health Science is journal that publishes articles quarterly on topics such as public health policy, planning, and the health and science field in Africa and the tropics.

Vol.13 no.2 includes articles on Nodding syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Malaria and sexuality. James K. Tumwine, editor-in-Chief of African Health sciences discusses these issues in his editorial for this issue.


Nodding syndrome, or nodding disease, is a disease that causes physical and mental stunted growth and seizures in children and young adults. This is a recent disease that started in the 1960s and affects areas in Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda. "Nodding syndrome: origins and natural history of a longstanding epileptic disorder in sub-Saharan Africa" by Spencer, Palmer & Jilek-Aall. This article discusses the first reported case of Nodding syndrome, (amesinzia kichwa in Swahili) in the Wapogoro tribe of Tanzania, where it was observered by Jilek-Aall. The study aims to shed some light on the early years and outcome of Nodding syndrome among the Wapogoro tribe based on data and clinical notes by Jilek-All of 150 patients between 1060 and 1971.


No.2 also includes "Nodding syndrome in Mundri county, South Sudan: environmental, nutritional and anfectious factors" by Spencer et al., which looks at more recent cases of Nodding syndrome in Mudri county, South Sudan.
You can find the complete articles and other articles from this issue here.

Issue 3 of vol.13 includes articles on non-communicable diseases, as discussed in the editorial by James K. Tumwine. One of the articles, "Overnight soaking or boiling of "matooke" to reduce potassium content for patients with chronic kidney disease: does it really work?" aims to find an effective method for removing potassium from bananas, a staple food in Uganda's health facilities for patients with chronic kidney disease. 


For this study, bananas from five different markets in Kampala Uganda were tested. Bananas were soaked in water and the concentration of potassium was measured with a spectrophotometer after the bananas soaked for different amounts of time. The potassium concentrations were also tested in the water and bananas after the bananas were boiled for 60 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius at 10-minute intervals. The results showed that soaking had no affect on potassium levels, but boiling decreased the concentration of potassium in the bananas and increased the concentration of potassium in the water. The results indicated that boiling removes potassium better than the soaking method.

This article and others from this issue can be found here.

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