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Monday, December 23, 2013

Did you know...

school, south africa
Did you know that parent absenteeism affects whether or not a child completes school and whether or not they engage in risky behaviour?

Vol.27 No.1 of African Population Studies includes "
Parent absenteeism and adolescent work in South Africa: An analysis of the levels and determinants of adolescents who work 10 or more hours a week" by Nicole De Wet. This study examines the correlation between youth (ages 10-17) in the work force and if parent absenteeism is a contributing factor.

The article provides background information on why youth join the workforce as opposed to continuing their education. The study also yields some interesting results: 38.7% of adolescents in South Africa have one parent absent from their household, and 2% of youth who have at least one absent parent are not enrolled in school. 

You can find the complete study and other articles from this issue here.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Featured Issue: African Population Studies Vol.26 No.2

Vol.26 no.2 of African Population Studies has been updated on Bioline. This issue features a number of articles, including "School enrollment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: family economic well-being, gender, and place of residence" by Mabika & Shapiro. 
This study looks at how the enrolment of children in Democractic Republic of the Congo in schools is affected by the demographics of children's families. The study also examines how political and economic issues experienced by the country affected enrolment at those times. Qualitative data from 1999 was used to examine school enrolments of youth 6 to 24 years of age.

For the results of this study and other articles from this issue, go to: 


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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Featured New Issue: African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development Vol 13. No 4

The latest issue from African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development is now available at Bioline International! Below are some highlight from this issue:

"The Urgent Need for African Leadership in Science,Engineering and Technology to Transform African Agriculture into Agri-Food Value Chains" by Opara alludes to how the continent of Africa is portrayed as a hub for high rates of poverty, low human development index, corruption, prevalence and persistence of malaria and HIV/AIDS, high infant and maternal mortality, recurrent food and nutrition insecurity, high frequency of political strife and instability. Opara emphasizes that the negative images of Africa will continue to persist throughout generations unless appropriate economic and political leadership is undertaken to erase these images and restore the dignity of its people. He argues that since some countries in Africa rely heavily on foreign aid, the capacity to direct and implement developmental strategies is lacking resulting in the economy's inability to prosper. The role of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) in sustainable economic development is the area often over looked. The agricultural industry has been critical in the economic development of Africa but has over time lagged behind that of other developing countries. Opara suggests that for the agricultural industry to prosper, development and deployment of new technologies on farm, post harvest and processing operations but be implemented.

In Olielo's article, "Food Security problems in various groups of Kenya" information on the causes of food insecurity and ways to combat this situation is provided. The author alludes to low incomes and poverty being the major determiners of food insecurity which eventually leads to malnutrition. Income levels play an influential role in food consumption. Individuals with low incomes are unable to purchase the foods recommended by the FAO nor meet the WHO's recommended levels of nutrient intake. Improvements in education and employment through increase in small scale businesses, crop irrigation especially in arid and semi arid soils, improved health status and sanitation will result in the ability to earn a higher income thereby reducing poverty and evidently enhancing food security and nutrition.

These articles and others in this issue can be viewed here.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Featured Issue: African Population Studies Vol.26 No.1

Nairobi, Kenya
Today we will be featuring an article from vol.26 no.1 of African Population Studies.

We are featuring African Population Studies on blog for the very first time! 

African Population Studies is a journal published by Union for African Population Studies. It focuses on issues relating to population and demographics that affect Africa. 
For more information on this journal, visit the Union for African Population Studies website: http://www.uaps-uepa.org/home/

The article, "Under-five mortality differentials in urban East Africa: a study of three capital cities" by Gideon Rutaremwa explores the differences in under-five mortality rates in three different East Africa cites: Nairobi, Dar-es Salaam and Kampala. Data was analyzed by a count-data regression model to understand the differences in relevant issues affecting under-five mortality rates.

The results indicate that Nairobi experiences lower mortality rates than the other two cities, and the overall study recommends that living conditions and the affects of these conditions should be examined in future studies.

For the complete article and other articles from this issue, go to: http://www.bioline.org.br/titles?id=ep&year=2012&vol=26&num=01&keys=v26n1

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Did you know...

Jatropha multifida 3
Did you know that the root of Jatropha Multifida is used in traditional African medicine to treat pain, fever, infection, inflammatory conditions, tumours and diseases?

Vol.17 No.3 of Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management includes "
Chemical Characterization, Anti inflammatory and Analgesic Properties of Jatrophia Multifida Root Bark" by Falodun et al. This study evaluates the effects of different doses of the menthanol root bark extract. The results suggest that Jatropha Multifida does have anti-inflammatory properties.

For the complete study as well as other articles from this issue, click here.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Esha Homenauth -- A Student Perspective: Role of Nutrition in Anti-Retroviral Therapy

In Africa, approximately 25 million people are victim to HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 2006). In Malawi 46% of young adults between the ages of 15-24 are affected, with 60% of the infections occurring mostly among girls. Gender, demographic and geographical discrepancies in HIV/AIDS prevalence exists within the country, reinforcing the need for government interventions. Through improved education on modes of HIV transmission, risk reduction, blood screening and efficient barrier methods, antibody testing, disclosure and notification of partners, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services, medical treatment and management of infected individuals including the use of anti-retroviral therapy (ART), the risk of transmission of HIV/AIDS will be greatly reduced.

Wasting and weight loss are the main problems among HIV-infected individuals. Adequate nutrition is important for successful ART. Research shows that malnutrition prior to ART is significantly associated with increased mortality (Ni et al, 2006). As such, nutritional intervention plays an integral role in the HIV treatment program, reinforcing the need for an improved diet to enhance ART acceptability, adherence and effectiveness.

A study by Bisika and Mandere published in vol. 20 no 3 of the Malawi Medical Journal focuses on identifying an intervention that would complement the the use of ART in Malawi. Qualitative data was collected through consultative workshops and in-depth interviews with health professionals and representatives from community-based organizations. 85% of the ART beneficiaries reported inability to afford a balanced diet due to illness, while 17% reported missed treatment due to lack of food. Bisika and Madere argue that the institutional capacity to implement nutritional support is limited due to already strained human resources, food storage facilities and size of health facilities. They also highlight the cost associated with nutritional support for ART beneficiaries as well as differential food assistance for individuals at different stages of infection.

Most patients on ART battling HIV indicate the need for nutritional support when ill.Health officials suggested the need for therapeutic and supplementary feeding and food rationing for individuals experiencing weight loss due to malnutrition. Therapeutic and supplementary feeding was provided based on information about adult BMI, pregnant or lactating mothers and children weight for height ratio. Due to unfamiliarity of therapeutic nutrition, the need for nutritional education is imperative. Food rationing was provided to individuals who lacked food security. Researchers suggest that advances in nutrition for HIV infected individuals on ART will require increasing the number of facilities that provide nutritional support as well as addressing limitations such as irregular food supplies and human resources.

In summary, this paper highlights the importance of adequate nutrition for individuals affected with HIV/AIDS. An appropriate diet is important for all individuals utilizing anti-retroviral therapy, not just those affected in developing countries. However, the role of nutrition is fundamental in developing countries due to unpredictable availability and unequal distribution of food supply. Information regarding the measures in place in developing countries like Malawi is important as it highlights the short comings in dealing with the HIV/AID epidemic. In Malawi, as the number of individuals affected by HIV/AIDS increases, the pressure on these already strained resources also increases. Providing open access to this article as well as others in this issue allow relevant information regarding the importance of improved nutrition on the health status of HIV/AIDS-affected individuals. It allows provides a forum for discourse among public health officials in these developing countries to seek out interventions in order to improve the livelihood of these infected individuals.

Bisika, T., & Mandere, G.(2008)Integration of nutrition in the antiretroviral therapy scale up plan for Malawi. Malawi Medical Journal; 20(3):93 - 98

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Celebrating 20 years of Bioline at CRIA

20 Years ago, scholarly communication via the Internet had only just started. Prior to the arrival of the Web, Bioline experimented with early communication systems such as Gopher, Telnet and file transfer protocols, and allowed early exchange of research globally [1]. CRIA, who provided the technical infrastructure for Bioline, was a pioneer in developing new tools and working with the UK in publication management. In 1993, along with the partner publishers in developing countries, the Bioline platform was launched.

In 2000, the University of Toronto Scarborough arrived as a new partner to take over the document management and international advocacy work. As an early adopter of the Web and provider of freely available journal articles, Bioline was invited to participate in the first Budapest Open Access Initiative meeting[2], an historical event that defined the Open Access movement. The early founders of Bioline could not have anticipated the global growth of Open Access. It now feels natural to share data and publications, 20 years ago it was a very new concept. But much still needed to be done, as the research carried out in the developing world remained ‘invisible’, due to lack of communication capability and other barriers [3]. Bioline made possible, distribution of research information between the South and the North and enabling capacity building of more appropriate development programs. The usage statistics of Bioline demonstrate the increasing value of the service. For example, the number of full text articles downloaded for the year of 2006 was 2.5 million, whereas the number for a single month in 2013 was 2.1 million.

Today open access is a global phenomenon. More and more organisations, funders and even countries are putting in place policies for the free and open exchange of publications and data. Bioline is very proud to have contributed to this movement and the transformation it has brought to the advancement of science communication throughout the world. On December 10th 2013, Bioline celebrated its 20th birthday, and looks forward to working with others in taking the process forward.

[1] https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/71/2/Bioline-ALPSP.pdf
[2] http://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/read
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