Open Access Short Research Article
Introduction: Public health surveillance is a key strategy in controlling and preventing meningitis outbreaks especially in northern Ghana which continues to suffer yearly focal outbreaks. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of the meningitis surveillance system and to determine whether the surveillance system as established within the Ministry of Health is achieving its objectives.
Design: This was a cross sectional study conducted in the Talensi District between February and March, 2015. The study employed a qualitative method approach. Nine In-depth interviews (IDIs) and two Focussed Group Discussions (FGDs) were held with key informants involved in meningitis surveillance. Surveillance records for meningitis were also reviewed and analysed at community, sub-district, district and regional levels.
Results: The study revealed that the surveillance system was simple, flexible and highly accepted by healthcare workers. The system was fairly representative, stable with good data quality. However, it had a low sensitivity and a low positive predictive value in detecting/reporting cases of meningitis. Cerebrospinal fluid samples of suspected cases were timely presented to the public health reference laboratory. On the contrary, feedback of confirmation results was delayed. Also, lack of funding and motivation for surveillance activities, inadequate technical personnel to carry out lumbar puncture and unavailability of case definition at health facilities were system challenges that affected meningitis surveillance.
Conclusion: Relatively, some of the primary objectives of the surveillance system were met. However, we believe that motivation of the community-based surveillance volunteers, a construction of a regional public health laboratory and an effective training for healthcare workers would strengthen the surveillance system in northern Ghana. Consequently, adequate financial investment (especially through the government and other health-related international organisations) is required.
Open Access Original Research Article
Aims: To assess the level of early sensitization and education of adolescent high school girls in Rwanda about Breast Cancer (BC) and Breast Self-Examination (BSE) as one of strategic approaches to reduce the risk of late intervention and thence the BC related deaths.
Methods: 239 girls aged 17-20 years old, randomly selected from Nyarugenge secondary schools during the academic year 2013-2014 participated in this prospective cross-sectional survey using a structured self-administered questionnaire.
Results: Overall 94.6% of surveyed girls had heard about BC, but only few had limited knowledge about BC risk factors, diagnostic methods and BSE. Less than 24% practiced breast palpation and not more than 10% knew the correct frequency and technique of BSE performance. No formal education is planned in educational curriculum. The awareness was acquired through mainly media (58.4%) and classmates (17.2%), and lightly from parents (5.4%). The level of parents’ education, familial history of cancer and attendance to educational workshops may contribute to high alertness.
Conclusions: Evaluating the actual level of education given to adolescent high school students will help decision-makers drawing appropriate action. There is need to establish coordinated cooperation between parents, educators, and the media in dissemination of adequate information.
Open Access Original Research Article
Aims: This study investigated the prevalence of infection, implicated bacteria species and antibiotics for better treatment of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) among undergraduate female students of the Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, South East Nigeria.
Study Design: The study was a laboratory - based investigation.
Place and Duration of the Study: The investigation was carried out at the Applied Microbiology Laboratory, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria between April and August 2014.
Methodology: Microscopy and culture of 150 urine samples of female undergraduates were carried out using standard methods to isolate bacteria causing UTI. Sensitivity tests were also conducted to identify susceptibility of the isolates to selected antibiotics.
Results: The results obtained showed that 117 (78%) out of the 150 females students screened were positive for significant (UTI). The micro-organisms isolated in order of prevalence included; E.coli (35.9%), Staphylococcus Spp (29.9%), Streptococcus spp (12.8%), Proteus spp (11.1%) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (10.3%). Among the different antibiotics used against the isolates, ciprofloxacin was the most effective, followed by augumentin and gentamicin while the isolates were resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline.
Conclusion: The prevalence of UTI is high in the study population and females at the peak of their sexually active years are more prone to infection than the younger ones. Bacteriuria is therefore still an issue of serious public health importance in Nigeria. E. coli was implicated as the greatest causative agent of bacteriuria and ciprofloxacilin was the most sensitive antibiotic against the bacteria isolates. To successfully control the transmission and menace caused by UTIs, improvement of both personal and environmental hygiene and health education on the transmission and causes of this infection are recommended. Proper diagnosis and treatment of infected individuals with highly sensitive antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, augumentin and gentamicin are also encouraged.