Open Access Minireview Article

The Challenges of Retirees and Older Persons in Nigeria; a Need for Close Attention and Urgent Action

O. E. Daramola, N. S. Awunor, T. M. Akande

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2018/v34i430099

The Nigerian population is undergoing demographic transition, with a rising population of older persons. The population of the older persons in Nigeria is estimated to be around 6 million and a continuous increase is projected as a developing country in the second stage of demographic transition, with its high birth rate and lower death rate.

There are usually three main challenges confronting this age group. The first is poverty, due to loss or reduction of earning power. The second is the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, with the accompanying increased healthcare utilization and financial burdens. Elder abuse has also been gaining attention as a major social problem.

Tackling these challenges requires multidimensional approach, joint collaborations and involvement of many stakeholders, hinging on strong government and political commitment, which is critical for effective implementation of any policy. It is essential to engage all stakeholders including; governments, institutions, organizations, civil society groups, private sector, community leaders, youth and youth groups, health-care providers, researchers, caregivers, families, older people, and the general public towards developing capacities for translating internationally agreed policy frameworks into practical realities  and ensuring that older persons in Nigeria enjoy income security, access to health care and not subjected to abuse.

Open Access Original Research Article

Plasmodium falciparum Sporozoite Rates in Anopheles gambiae s.l. at a University Teaching Hospital and Contiguous Village, Rivers State, Nigeria

M. Aline E. Noutcha, Melina O. Emumejakpor, Samuel N. Okiwelu

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2018/v34i430100

Malaria is a major burden to human health in tropical and sub-tropical areas. In Nigeria, the entire population is at risk. Over the past decade, there had been persistent reports of mosquito nuisance and an increase in malaria prevalence at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital in lowland rainforest, Rivers State, Nigeria. It was therefore decided to obtain provisional malaria risk data, by determining the sporozoite rates of anthropophilic, endophlic and endophagic Anopheles gambiae s.l. in the hospital wards and rooms in the contiguous village. Standard keys and guides were used for mosquito identification and dissection to observe sporozoites in their salivary glands. More than half of all female Anopheles gambiae caught at the hospital had fed; similarly, 40.9% of Anopheles gambiae collected from the contiguous village had fed. The sporozoite rates were 75.0% and 73.29% at the hospital and the village respectively. These high sporozoite rates and the preponderance of endophilic, endophagic, anthropophilic An. gambiae s.l. among anophelines indicate high malaria risk at both sites. Since indoor residual spraying is not advisable in hospitals, physical (bed/outlet netting) and chemical (ITNs/LLINs) barriers and larval source management are the recommended alternatives.

Open Access Original Research Article

Comparative Analysis of Haematological Parameters in Hookworm and Plasmodium falciparum Co-Infected Individuals in Kintampo North Municipality, Ghana

Benjamin Amoani, Ben Gyan, Francis A. Armah, Cecil Otabil, Kofi Tchum, Margaret T. Frempong, Michael D. Wilson

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2018/v34i430101

Background: Hookworm and Plasmodium falciparum are endemic in Ghana, especially in the north-east and middle belt areas. Haematological parameters have been shown to predict the presence of these infections in patients. This study investigated the effect of hookworm-P. falciparum co-infection on haematological parameters among the patients.

Methodology: Stool and blood samples from 984 participants in a cross-sectional study conducted in the Kintampo North Municipality of Ghana were examined for hookworm and Plasmodium falciparum parasites. Malaria parasitaemia was estimated by microscopy and Plasmodium falciparum-specific 18S rRNA gene by polymerase chain reaction. Hookworm eggs in faecal samples were analyzed using Kato-Katz and formol-ether concentration methods. Hookworm speciation was done by PCR. Estimation of haematological parameters was done by automated haematology analyzer. Tukey multiple comparisons test was used to compare continuous variables among the infected groups and Spearman’s rank correlation test determined the relationships between variables.

Results: The overall mean (SD) age of the study participants was 22.8 (17.4). Mean lymphocytes and eosinophils counts were higher while mean neutrophil and monocytes counts were lower in the co-infected individuals compared to the single infections. The mean red blood cell (RBC) count and haemoglobin (Hb) levels were higher in the co-infected individuals than in those with malaria only infection. However, white blood cell count and platelet counts were not statistically significant among the groups. There was a significant negative correlation between malaria parasite density and Hb level (r = - 0.239, p = 0.001)

Conclusion: Hookworm and Plasmodium falciparum co-infections showed an increased in lymphocyte, eosinophil count and Haemoglobin levels, but a decrease in neutrophil and monocyte levels compared to malaria only infection. The possible mechanisms accounting for the variations in haematological levels remain to be elucidated.

Open Access Original Research Article

Mothers’ Misconceptions about Hepatitis B Disease and Hepatitis B Vaccine

Huynh Giao, Pham Le An, Bui Quang Vinh, Tran Thien Thuan, Nguyen Quang Vinh, Pauline E. Jolly

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2018/v34i430102

Introduction: Hepatitis B vaccination has resulted in dramatic reductions in the prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection among children since its introduction into infant immunization schedules. However, 45% of Vietnamese mothers did not have their infants immunized at birth in 2013-2014.

Aim: To assess mothers’ misconceptions about HBV and HBV vaccinations, as well as barriers to mothers getting their children vaccinated.

Study Design: A qualitative cross-sectional study was conducted from April to October 2015 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam among mothers of children under one year of age. This study consisted of one-on-one interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) designed to collect information on the mothers’ perceptions about HBV and decisions to immunize their child.

Methodology: Thirty-five mothers of children under one year of age who were completely or incompletely immunized at the Pediatric Number 2 Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam participated in the study. Eligible mothers were identified and recruited by nurses in the Hospital’s vaccination clinic for 10 in-depth interviews and 5 FGDs comprised of 5 mothers each.

Results: With regards to HBV transmission, 25.7%, 22.9% and 34.3% of mothers believed that HBV could be transmitted genetically, through sharing food, or from an unclean environment, respectively. Over half of the mothers (51.4%) were unaware that HBV could be transmitted during childbirth and 34.3% of mothers believed that vaccines which were purchased were more effective than free vaccines from the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI).

Conclusion: Public educational interventions should be conducted to clear up the misconceptions identified in this study and to reassure parents that the free vaccines offered through the EPI are of the same quality as the vaccines that are purchased in the private clinics at public hospitals.

Open Access Original Research Article

Determinants of Occupational Injury among Building Construction Employees in Southeastern Ethiopia

Abate Lette, Musa Kumbi, Abduljewad Hussen, Shemsu Nuriye

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2018/v34i430103

Introduction: An occupational injury is the primary cause of workplace absenteeism, disability, retirement, mutilation, and mortality. Therefore, injuries in the workplace pose major public health and developmental problems especially in developing countries. Therefore, the present study identified the prevalence of injury and its determinants among building construction employees in Robe town, Ethiopia.

Methods: An institutional-based cross-sectional study was conducted among building construction employees in Robe town from March 01-25/2017. A simple random sampling technique was used to select the study participants. The data was entered into EPiData 3.1and analysed by using SPSS version 20 software. Face to face interview was conducted on 402 respondents using structured and pretested questionnaire. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the effect of explanatory variables on injuries.

Results: The overall prevalence of injury among building construction employees was 39.2% [95 % CI: (34.4, 44.2)] in the past one year. The three leading causes of injuries were falls from the same level (38.5%), followed by injuries caused by movable or falling object (23.1%), and falls from elevation (13.4%). Being male, use of personal protective equipment, health and safety training, regular supervision and job satisfaction were factors significantly associated with injury.

Conclusion: This study reported a relatively higher prevalence of injury among building construction workers compared to other studies. Factors such as being male, working without using personal protective equipment, absence of health and safety trainings, lack of regular supervision and job dissatisfaction were associated with significantly higher levels of occupational injury among construction workers. Therefore, employers should focus on providing safety training, promoting use of personal protective equipment during work, regular workplace supervision, and satisfying their employees by creating good work environments and working situations to reduce the rate of occupational injury.