Standardized comparison of glucose intolerance in west African-origin populations of rural and urban Cameroon, Jamaica, and Caribbean migrants to Britain.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the prevalence of glucose intolerance in genetically similar African-origin populations within Cameroon and from Jamaica and Britain. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Subjects studied were from rural and urban Cameroon or from Jamaica, or were Caribbean migrants, mainly Jamaican, living in Manchester, England. Sampling bases included a local census of adults aged 25-74 years in Cameroon, districts statistically representative in Jamaica, and population registers in Manchester. African-Caribbean ethnicity required three grandparents of this ethnicity. Diabetes was defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) 1985 criteria using a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (2-h > or = 11.1 mmol/l or hypoglycemic treatment) and by the new American Diabetes Association criteria (fasting glucose > or = 7.0 mmol/l or hypoglycemic treatment). RESULTS: For men, mean BMIs were greatest in urban Cameroon and Manchester (25-27 kg/m2); in women, these were similarly high in urban Cameroon and Jamaica and highest in Manchester (27-28 kg/m2). The age-standardized diabetes prevalence using WHO criteria was 0.8% in rural Cameroon, 2.0% in urban Cameroon, 8.5% in Jamaica, and 14.6% in Manchester, with no difference between sexes (men: 1.1%, 1.0%, 6.5%, 15.3%, women: 0.5%, 2.8%, 10.6%, 14.0%), all tests for trend P < 0.001. Impaired glucose tolerance was more frequent in Jamaica. CONCLUSIONS: The transition in glucose intolerance from Cameroon to Jamaica and Britain suggests that environment determines diabetes prevalence in these populations of similar genetic origin. (+info)
How and why public sector doctors engage in private practice in Portuguese-speaking African countries.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the type of private practice supplementary income-generating activities of public sector doctors in the Portuguese-speaking African countries, and also to discover the motivations and the reasons why doctors have not made a complete move out of public service. DESIGN: Cross-sectional qualitative survey. SUBJECTS: In 1996, 28 Angolan doctors, 26 from Guinea-Bissau, 11 from Mozambique and three from S Tome and Principe answered a self-administered questionnaire. RESULTS: All doctors, except one unemployed, were government employees. Forty-three of the 68 doctors that answered the questionnaire reported an income-generating activity other than the one reported as principal. Of all the activities mentioned, the ones of major economic importance were: public sector medical care, private medical care, commercial activities, agricultural activities and university teaching. The two outstanding reasons why they engage in their various side-activities are 'to meet the cost of living' and 'to support the extended family'. Public sector salaries are supplemented by private practice. Interviewees estimated the time a family could survive on their public sector salary at seven days (median value). The public sector salary still provides most of the interviewees income (median 55%) for the rural doctors, but has become marginal for those in the urban areas (median 10%). For the latter, private practice has become of paramount importance (median 65%). For 26 respondents, the median equivalent of one month's public sector salary could be generated by seven hours of private practice. Nevertheless, being a civil servant was important in terms of job security, and credibility as a doctor. The social contacts and public service gave access to power centres and resources, through which other coping strategies could be developed. The expectations regarding the professional future and regarding the health systems future were related mostly to health personnel issues. CONCLUSION: The variable response rate per question reflects some resistance to discuss some of the issues, particularly those related to income. Nevertheless, these studies may provide an indication of what is happening in professional medical circles in response to the inability of the public sector to sustain a credible system of health care delivery. There can be no doubt that for these doctors the notion of a doctor as a full-time civil-servant is a thing of the past. Switching between public and private is now a fact of life. (+info)
Evaluation of a quantitative determination of CD4 and CD8 molecules as an alternative to CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte counts in Africans.
In the developed word, monitoring HIV-infected patients is routinely determined by CD4+ T lymphocyte absolute counts. The reference procedure, flow cytometry, is expensive, requires sophisticated instrumentation and operators with specific training. Due to these limitations, CD4 counting is often unavailable in developing countries. The Capcellia assay is an enzyme-linked immunoassay for quantitative determination of CD4 and CD8 molecules. We evaluated this method in West Africa on blood samples collected from 39 HIV-uninfected and 44 HIV-infected adult subjects. CD4 concentration ranges were determined according to the clinical stages of the disease. We then studied the relationship between the two methods in the HIV-infected patients. The Spearman's rank correlation was 0.61 (95% confidence interval: 0.38-0.76, P < 0.0001). Nevertheless, determination of limits of agreement revealed discrepancies between the two methods, especially for CD4 counts > 0.4 x 10(9)/l, which are discussed. We conclude that the Capcellia assay is a convenient means to determine the immunodepression level where flow cytometric instrumentation is unavailable, and can be complementary to CD4 T lymphocyte enumeration. (+info)
Partial sweeping of variation at the Fbp2 locus in a west African population of Drosophila melanogaster.
Departure of molecular variation from neutral equilibrium was studied in a highly recombining region of the Drosophila genome. A 2.2-kb region including the Fbp2 locus was sequenced for 10 chromosomes from a D. melanogaster sample from West Africa and for the related species D. simulans. Of the 33 variable sites present in the 1.3-kb transcription unit, 32 made up a single haplotype present in half of the D. melanogaster sample. This pattern significantly departed from predictions of the neutral drift-mutation equilibrium model. The major haplotype presented a diagnostic restriction site which was investigated in 226 chromosomes from three distant European and African populations. It was found at a high frequency (31%) in the population from which the sequenced sample originated, but was nearly absent from the other two (below 4%), suggesting that the major haplotype frequency resulted from a local selective sweep event. Partial sweeping of variation in regions of high recombination rates has previously been found for American and European populations of D. melanogaster. Our study shows that this phenomenon also occurs in African populations, which are in the ancestral range of this species. (+info)
Nutrition advocacy and national development: the PROFILES programme and its application.
Investment in nutritional programmes can contribute to economic growth and is cost-effective in improving child survival and development. In order to communicate this to decision-makers, the PROFILES nutrition advocacy and policy development programme was applied in certain developing countries. Effective advocacy is necessary to generate financial and political support for scaling up from small pilot projects and maintaining successful national programmes. The programme uses scientific knowledge to estimate development indicators such as mortality, morbidity, fertility, school performance and labour productivity from the size and nutritional condition of populations. Changes in nutritional condition are estimated from the costs, coverage and effectiveness of proposed programmes. In Bangladesh this approach helped to gain approval and funding for a major nutrition programme. PROFILES helped to promote the nutrition component of an early childhood development programme in the Philippines, and to make nutrition a top priority in Ghana's new national child survival strategy. The application of PROFILES in these and other countries has been supported by the United States Agency for International Development, the United Nations Children's Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Micronutrient Initiative and other bodies. (+info)
Sequence diversity of TT virus in geographically dispersed human populations.
TT virus (TTV) is a newly discovered DNA virus originally classified as a member of the Parvoviridae. TTV is transmitted by blood transfusion where it has been reported to be associated with mild post-transfusion hepatitis. TTV can cause persistent infection, and is widely distributed geographically; we recently reported extremely high prevalences of viraemia in individuals living in tropical countries (e.g. 74% in Papua New Guinea, 83% in Gambia; Prescott & Simmonds, New England Journal of Medicine 339, 776, 1998). In the current study we have compared nucleotide sequences from the N22 region of TTV (222 bases) detected in eight widely dispersed human populations. Some variants of TTV, previously classified as genotypes 1a, 1b and 2, were widely distributed throughout the world, while others, such as a novel subtype of type 1 in Papua New Guinea, were confined to a single geographical area. Five of the 122 sequences obtained in this study (from Gambia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Brazil and Ecuador) could not be classified as types 1, 2 or 3, with the variant from Brazil displaying only 46-50% nucleotide (32-35% amino acid) sequence similarity to other variants. This study provides an indication of the extreme sequence diversity of TTV, a characteristic which is untypical of parvoviruses. (+info)
Effect of strategic gastrointestinal nematode control on faecal egg count in traditional West African cattle.
This paper reports on the effect of strategic anthelmintic treatments and other determinants on faecal egg counts (FEC) of Trichostrongyles in N'Dama cattle of a west African village. Initially, 527 animals from 13 private N'Dama cattle herds were monitored in a longitudinal study from October 1989 to December 1994. Each herd was stratified by age and animals were sequentially allocated to two groups with similar age distributions. One group received a single anthelmintic treatment of fenbendazole (7.5 mg/kg BW), in October 1989 (n = 250), whereas the other group remained untreated (n = 277) throughout the study. In the next rainy season (June to October), the treated animals were treated twice (in July and September). The same treatment schedule was used in the subsequent rainy seasons until December 1994. Biannual anthelmintic treatments decreased the level of FEC between 31% (late dry season) and 57% (rainy season), when compared to untreated controls. The highest levels of FEC were found during the rainy season from June to October. FEC levels decreased until 4 years of age, after which they remained on a constant low level. The variability of returns to anthelmintic treatments between herds did not seem to be influenced by FEC at the herd level. The financial evaluation of anthelmintic interventions cannot be predicted from FEC and must necessarily rely on the direct monitoring of livestock productivity parameters. (+info)
Smallpox eradication in West and Central Africa.(8/379)