(1/712) Understanding lay perspectives: care options for STD treatment in Lusaka, Zambia.
Understanding lay persons' perceptions of STD care is critical in the design and implementation of appropriate health services. Using 20 unstructured group interviews, 10 focus group discussions and 4 STD case simulations in selected sub-populations in Lusaka, we investigated lay person perspectives of STD services. The study revealed a large diversity of care options for STD in the communities, including self-care, traditional healers, medicine sold in the markets and streets, injections administered in the compounds, private clinics, health centres and hospital. The factors identified as influencing care seeking behaviour are: lay referral mechanisms, social cost, availability of care options, economics, beliefs, stigma and quality of care as perceived by the users. (+info)
(2/712) HIV stress in primary school teachers in Zambia.
A study was made of stress factors experienced by primary school teachers in Zambia after they had attended a course on stress management and counselling skills. Their pupils were significantly affected by poverty, death and illness of parents, fellow-pupils and teachers, teenage sex and pregnancy, violence in the home and, among girls, low self-esteem. The HIV epidemic had a major bearing on these factors, and there were wide-ranging effects on the teachers' own lives. Despite the training they had been given, many teachers felt that they could not adequately counsel their pupils on these matters. The teachers were in need of continuing support and training to enable them to cope with this aspect of their work. (+info)
(3/712) A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled field trial to determine the efficacy and safety of Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil) for the prophylaxis of malaria in Zambia.
Malaria poses a major health risk to people who are exposed to infection in malaria-endemic areas. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to determine the efficacy and safety of Malarone (250 mg of atovaquone/100 mg of proguanil hydrochloride per tablet) for the chemoprophylaxis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Zambia. Adult volunteers received a three-day treatment course of Malarone to eliminate pre-existing parasitemia and were then immediately randomized to treatment with either one Malarone tablet daily (n = 136), or one placebo tablet daily (n = 138) for at least 10 weeks. Malaria blood smears were prepared on a weekly basis and a failure of chemoprophylaxis was defined as any subject who had a positive blood smear, or who withdrew from the study due to a treatment-related adverse event. The prophylaxis success rates in the Malarone and placebo groups were 98% and 63%, respectively (P < 0.001). The most commonly reported adverse events with at least a possible causal relationship to study medication were headache and abdominal pain, which occurred with a higher incidence in the placebo group. No subjects were withdrawn from the study due to a treatment-related adverse event. Thus, Malarone appears to have an excellent safety and efficacy profile for the chemoprophylaxis of P. falciparum infection. (+info)
(4/712) Does the availability of blood slide microscopy for malaria at health centers improve the management of persons with fever in Zambia?
Some Ministries of Health in Africa plan to make blood slide microscopy available in peripheral health centers to improve malaria diagnosis over the current practice, which relies solely on clinical findings. To assess whether microscopy improves the management of febrile persons in health centers, we prospectively reviewed medical records of all outpatients visiting six health centers with laboratories in Zambia during a 2-3-day period. Staff interviews and a blinded review of a series of blood slides from each facility by two expert microscopists were also conducted. Of 1,442 outpatients, 655 (45%) reported fevers or had a temperature > or = 37.5 degrees C. Blood slide microscopy was ordered in 28-93% of patients with fever (mean = 46%). Eighty-eight (35%) patients without parasitemia were prescribed an antimalarial drug. Antimalarial drugs were prescribed with equal frequency to those who were referred for a blood slide (56%) and those not referred (58%). The sensitivity of microscopy was 88% and the specificity was 91%. Use of malaria microscopy varied widely, indicating that clinicians are not using standard criteria for ordering this test. Although diagnosis by microscopy was generally accurate, it appeared to have had little impact on the treatment of persons with fever. Guidelines for using blood slide microscopy are needed and prescription of antimalarial drugs should be discouraged when slide results are negative. (+info)
(5/712) Short report: prevalence of antibodies against spotted fever, murine typhus, and Q fever rickettsiae in humans living in Zambia.
The causative agents of rickettsial diseases (Rickettsia conorii, R. typhi, and Coxiella burnetii) have been reported throughout the African continent. However, there have been no reports on epidemiologic surveys of these infections in Zambia. This study was designed to clarify the prevalence of three rickettsioses in 377 humans in Zambia. The seroprevalence of antibodies against R. conorii, R. typhi, and C. burnetii was 16.7%, 5.0%, and 8.2%, respectively. The rates of antibody positivity against R. conorii and C. burnetii were higher in the eastern (23.1% and 11.8%) and western (16.8% and 7.4%) areas of Zambia than in the northern (3.0% and 3.0%) area of this country. There was little difference among the three areas in the distribution of antibodies against R. typhi. Since cattle breeding is more extensive in the western and eastern areas than in the northern area, it is thought that cattle-breeding areas are foci of R. conorii and C. burnetii infections in Zambia. (+info)
(6/712) United nations estimates of HIV prevalence in Zambia under attack.
(7/712) Replicated evolution of trophic specializations in an endemic cichlid fish lineage from Lake Tanganyika.
The current phylogenetic hypothesis for the endemic Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes of the tribe Eretmodini is based solely on morphology and suggests that more complex trophic morphologies derived only once from a less specialized ancestral condition. A molecular phylogeny of eretmodine cichlids based on partial mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b and control-region sequences was used to reconstruct the evolutionary sequence of trophic adaptations and to test alternative models of morphological divergence. The six mitochondrial lineages found disagree with the current taxonomy and the morphology-based phylogeny. Mitochondrial lineages with similar trophic morphologies are not grouped monophyletically but are typically more closely related to lineages with different trophic phenotypes currently assigned to other genera. Our results indicate multiple independent origins of similar trophic specializations in these cichlids. A pattern of repeated divergent morphological evolution becomes apparent when the phylogeography of the mitochondrial haplotypes is analyzed in the context of the geological and paleoclimatological history of Lake Tanganyika. In more than one instance within Lake Tanganyika, similar morphological divergence of dentitional traits occurred in sympatric species pairs. Possibly, resource-based divergent selective regimes led to resource partitioning and brought about similar trophic morphologies independently and repeatedly. (+info)
(8/712) Integrating reproductive health: myth and ideology.
Since 1994, integrating human immunodeficiency virus/sexually transmitted disease (HIV/STD) services with primary health care, as part of reproductive health, has been advocated to address two major public health problems: to control the spread of HIV; and to improve women's reproductive health. However, integration is unlikely to succeed because primary health care and the political context within which this approach is taking place are unsuited to the task. In this paper, a historical comparison is made between the health systems of Ghana, Kenya and Zambia and that of South Africa, to examine progress on integration of HIV/STD services since 1994. Our findings indicate that primary health care in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia has been used mainly by women and children and that integration has meant adding new activities to these services. For the vertical programmes which support these services, integration implies enhanced collaboration rather than merged responsibility. This compromise between comprehensive rhetoric and selective reality has resulted in little change to existing structures and processes; problems with integration have been exacerbated by the activities of external donors. By comparison, in South Africa integration has been achieved through political commitment to primary health care rather than expanding vertical programmes (top-down management systems). The rhetoric of integration has been widely used in reproductive health despite lack of evidence for its feasibility, as a result of the convergence of four agendas: improving family planning quality; the need to improve women's health; the rapid spread of HIV; and conceptual shifts in primary health care. International reproductive health actors, however, have taken little account of political, financial and managerial constraints to implementation in low-income countries. (+info)