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Monday, April 27, 2015


Although development into anti-malarial drugs have come a long way, much work still needs to be done in order to prevent the hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of senseless deaths caused by this rampant virus each year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3.2 billion people are at risk of contracting malaria, with an estimated 198 million cases and 584 thousand deaths in 2013, alone. The Guardian recently published an article outlining some of the blockades preventing the treatment of malaria.

Carla Kweifio-Okai in her article: "When people come with severe malaria, it is like a race against time", notes the lack of adequate healthcare services within Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda. Further, special emphasis is given to the lack of new and better medications being used to treat malaria, such as injectable Artesunate. Despite its advantages, she notes, the use of Artesunate is pitiful and its roll-out has been frustratingly slow. In Ethiopia, the government has introduced the drug into its national guidelines, yet adequate training in administering it ceases to exist; combined with higher prices and shortages, means the many healthcare facilities have chosen to use older, less effective drugs.  

While this is an issue that needs to be addressed, another issue within this area is increasingly becoming a greater threat to the spread of malaria. Omole et al., in their journal: "A Survey of Antimalarial Drug Use Practices among Urban Dwellers in Abeokuta, Nigeria" emphasizes the increasingly problematic use of Artesunate by locals who are self-medicating to treat malaria. While it's noble that they are taking an initiative to get better, the drug is not being used appropriately, which according to the authors, posses a greater risk of new drug-resistant strains of malaria to form.

A descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out to assess anti-malarial drug-use practices amongst locals residing in Adigbe communities, Abeokuta, Nigeria. The study documented the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of 350 respondents in terms of drug preference, attitudes to drug use, and effects of non-compliance to anti-malarial medication. Structured questionnaires were used for data collection with a total of 370 being handed out and 350 used for analysis. 125 (35.71%) of the respondents frequently experienced malaria attacks and practiced self-medicating in hopes of ridding themselves of the illness. 115 (32.86%) of the respondents treated their malaria episodes with a Sulphadoxine-Phyrimethamine combination, while 90 of the respondents frequently purchased Artesunate as a monotherepy malaria treatment due to cost-implications associated with newer and readily available Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs). This equates to only 43 (12.29%) of the respondents purchasing the newer and more better Artemisinin- Combination Therapy. 

The results revealed that therapeutic failure to conventional use of Sulphadoxine-Phyrimethamine by the respondents, as 139 (33.71%) of them experienced no cure and had to repeat self-medicating with anti-malarial medication. The authors suggest that if this pattern of self-medicating persists and is not monitored adequately, there is a possibility of early emergence of resistance to the highly effective anti-malarial drugs presently in use.  

For this journal and others from this issue, click here. 

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Friday, April 24, 2015


Gender equality: while we have come along way to an equal path for both men and women, there is still much work to be done. The United Nations' new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being finalized at this very moment with much talk and recognition being on equality for women within the developing world. It is within this goal that brings attention to women having adequate access to education and tools for sexual and reproductive health; the choice to choose their family size, according to Sarah Shaw. 

Sarah Shaw is the author of the Guardian's article: "Sustainable development must prioritise women's sexual health" and states that the governments around the world are now accepting the fact that the key to achieving a world without poverty, is the rights of women and their sexual and reproductive health. Having access to adequate women's healthcare services is of great importance, as well as educating them. Most cannot deny this fact. Women are the foundation of our society, they give birth to us and they should have the same rights as men do when it comes to their health and well-being, amongst many other rights they deserve, but do not receive at this present time. 

While there is much talk - Shaw goes on to suggest - between now and September, while in discussions of the post-2015 development proposals, there is no guarantee that the references of sexual and reproductive health will remain in the original document. And so it begins, the push to continue the talk and public opinion on the importance of this crucial issue. Equality of rights has come far, lets continue the push to empower women. To not, would mean the utter breakdown of the new Sustainable Development Goals and continue the existence of deprivation and poverty throughout the Global South. 

Larsson et al. in their journal: "Women's Education, Empowerment, and Contraceptive Use in Sub-Saharan Africa: Findings From Recent Demographic and Health Surveys" echo the need for better sexual and reproductive healthcare services. 

According to Larsson et al., fertility remains higher and contraceptive levels are substantially lower in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else in the developing world. In their paper, the authors used information on individuals and couples from recent Demographic and Health Surveys that took place in Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, and Zambia. They used both a bivariate and multivariate method to examining the determinant of contraceptive use among married women (age 15-49), with special emphasis on women's education and empowerment. 

The results indicated that education was an important determinant of contraceptive use, but mattered less in choice of method effectiveness. The overall impact of education was similar in all countries studied, except for Kenya, where it was non-existent. Empowerment of women was less important in determining contraceptive use. 

It is suggested within the study that efforts to increase contraceptive use in general and the use of modern methods needs to be addressed. Specifically, emphasis needs to be taken on providing basic education for all women and on changing gender roles.   

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015


Within the West we experience upheavals that in some cases are severely problematic. Developing countries - on the other hand - continue to face ongoing social, political, climatic and economic disparities on an ongoing basis. In turn, locals are forced to flea these ongoing stresses and migrate in hopes of a better life. Most within the African continent turn to Europe, its faraway neighbor. 

It is a fact that we are bombarded with coverage in the news of the amount of migrants fleeing war-torn areas. Yet, in most cases we are not provided with the full story. Rather, the migrants are described in a negative fashion as being a burden on Western society because of their overwhelming numbers. In turn, most news coverage of this issue lacks acknowledgment of the individual struggles migrants go through for a better life in the West. The Guardian in their article: "Fear, fatigue and separation: a journey with migrants willing to risk everything", has done just this - gave the individuals a voice.

The unnamed journalist followed a group of African migrants and the smugglers from Athens, Greece through the Balkans. Most migrants use Greece as a safe haven because they can claim asylum, but many do not stay due to the economic struggles Greece is currently under. In turn, smugglers then bring the hopeful group on a 10-day journey in hopes of gaining entry to the heart of the EU - Germany and France. Most, however, don't make it and are caught by police who take them back to Athens. One woman in particular was caught and was separated from her small child, causing her great stress and sadness. She describes these ordeals as being wrong and inhuman. 

While most migrants believe that the EU - specifically Germany - would free them of their worries, Erhabor Sunday Idemudia states that this might not be the case. In his journal Idemudia studies the "Associations between demographic factors and perceived acculturative stress among African migrants in Germany". Further, special emphasis is placed on the idea that living in Germany would be stressful on African migrants. 

Data from 85 migrants from the general population, as well as prisons, showed that 73.4% were males and 26.6% were females with age ranging from 18 to 46 years old. Participants of the study completed the MAQ interview that is used while assessing acculturative stress.

Results from the hierarchical regression analysis indicated that: majority of Africans living within Germany reported some form of racial discrimination, a negative situation, precarious job and a substantially large amount of daily hassles. To this extent, acculturative stress increased with duration of stay within Germany. Family fragmentation and being separated from one's spouse was a strong predictor of acculturative stress, as well as being an economic refugee. 

It is recommended that genuine attempts to support African migrants within Germany should be put it place. Moreover, attitudes of "you should not be here in the first place" has not only effected the migrants, but has also put economic and political stresses on the host country - Germany.   

For this journal and others from this issue, click here.

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Saturday, April 04, 2015

IMPACT OF FLOODING ON FISHERMEN'S FAMILIES IN PEDRO COMMUNITY, IWAYA-LAGOS, NIGERIA - Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management, Vol. 18, No. 4

Climate change is getting much worse. While some self-interested individuals like to deny its very existence, many throughout the developing world are seeing it first hand. The Guardian's most recent publication: "Cameroon's fishing industry and tourism industry battered by extreme weather" outlines the struggles many in Kribi southern Cameroon, Africa are feeling. This is due to the increase in unusual heavy rains and inland flooding. Elias Ngalame - who is the author - first opens up the story with a compelling, yet very real, story of a struggling fisherman.

"I go for days without going to sea for my catch because of the frightening weather [...] this is the first time we are witnessing such aggressive weather".

The lack of fishing has essentially increased poverty according to Ngalame's article. The town of Kribi has seen a drastic decrease in tourism, which is another staple the locals rely on. All this due to the vicious increase of torrential rain and argued to be the externalities of global warming.

Chuckwu, MN's journal: "Impact of Flooding on Fishermen's Families in Pedro Community, Iwaya-Lagos, Nigeria" echoes Ngalame's above article. The study examined the effects flooding has had on a total of 50 fishermen within Iwaya-Lagos, Nigeria. Further, the fishermen were interviewed using structured questionnaires that were distributed through a simple random sampling technique. Data was then collected, summarized and computed using a technique called descriptive statistics. 

Results indicated that flooding was a dominant seasonal climate factor. Seventy-six percent of the individuals interviewed stated that flooding played a substantial role in the decrease in fishing. Destroying fishing implements and impacted negatively on their social lives. In turn, flooding also disrupted children's schooling, increased environmental pollution, and reduced the amount of fish caught. Consequently, it decreased family income and increased the occurrence of water born diseases. 

Most (96%) were recorded saying that they would not like their children to continue in the fishing business, and that if they had an alternative means of income, they would opt out altogether. 

The study concludes by suggesting that efforts to remedy the effects of flooding should include: provision of alternative skill development, as well as affordable health services for treatment of water born diseases.

For this journal and others from this issue, click here.


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