Open Access Opinion Article

COVID-19 and Preventing Child Trafficking – A Need for Collaborative Attitudes between Public Health and Educational Professionals in Supporting Vulnerable Children

Rajeev Nagpal, Meera Kumanan, Probhati Biswas, Rashika Nandwani

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 48-52
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2020/v41i1430353

The present study aims to describe the need for collaborative attitudes between public health and educational professionals in supporting vulnerable children during COVID-19 pandemic. Trafficking is more common in socioeconomically underprivileged communities. COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of children across the world – in terms of resource availability, educational access, and safety. Child trafficking victims are recruited, harboured, or transferred for the purpose of exploitation. This alarming problem exists in all nations. Current social systems are not equipped to adequately manage our increasingly globalized world and are failing the world’s vulnerable children. Child protective service providers, medical/mental health support, as well as teachers and educational organizations are becoming more inaccessible due to poor funding and understaffing. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has recently reported increased risk for children and current victims during this pandemic. This paper suggests the critical role teachers and doctors can play in recognizing and blocking child trafficking and supporting victims. For these reasons, greater funding and resources for healthcare professionals and educators is necessary for training and implementation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorder Symptoms and Relationship with Work Posture among Staff of a Nigerian University

I. N. Ojule, S. S. Dokubo, B. C. Ephraim- Emmanuel

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2020/v41i1430348

Background: Improper work postures have been associated with many detrimental health outcomes including musculoskeletal disorders. Emerging evidence however suggests that some of these health concerns may be lessened by reducing sedentary behaviour at work. Musculoskeletal disorders have been ranked top among the most prevalent health problems relating directly to working conditions.

Aim: This study was thus aimed at determining the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorder symptoms and their relationship with work posture among staff of the University of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: A descriptive, cross sectional design was used in conducting this study among academic and non-academic staff of the University of Port Harcourt. 256 study participants were involved in this study. They were selected using the multistage sampling technique. A self-administered semi-structured questionnaire was the study instrument. Collected data was transferred to the Microsoft Excel (2016) software for cleaning and coding. The Statistical Package for Social Science was used for analysis of the data. Descriptive and inferential statistics were computed and statistical significance was set at <0.05.

Results: Majority 172 (54.3%) of the respondents had experienced musculoskeletal pain that involved the head, neck, back and other regions of their bodies. Also, a statistically significant association was found to exist between work posture and the occurrence of pelvic and perineal pain. Dynamic postures while working was found to offer a protective effect against the occurrence of thoracic and abdominal pain (O.R. = 0.88).

Conclusion and Recommendations: Work-related musculoskeletal disorder symptoms were found to be prevalent in this study. The relationship between work postures and the identified symptoms among the staff was also established. It was recommended that health information on alternation between sitting and standing working postures be passed on to staff working in the study area as well as a redesigning of the work-stations of the staff to adopt ergonomic standards necessary for preventing the occurrence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Allure of Abdominal Scarification (`UDE`) among the Esan Tribe in South-South Nigeria – A Prospective Analysis

T. A. T. Salami, E. Irekpita, A. Emorinken, T. I. A. Oseni, A. A. Akinkugbe, O. E. Oziegbe, F. O. Agbebaku

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 9-19
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2020/v41i1430349

Background: The practice of inflicting cuts (incisions) on the anterior abdominal wall to treat splenomegaly of various causes is a very common one in some parts of Edo State, Nigeria. Such incisions may result in several complications including sepsis (especially in children who are the major targets); massive blood loss leading to symptomatic anemia that may require blood transfusions or lead to death and massive keloidal growth as sequelae in some of the patients. This practice is a long-term practice of the Esan people of the central part of Edo State Nigeria. This study aims to identify the factors that continue to make this practice attractive to members of the community, the common complications encountered, and how to develop an advocacy tool for health education and promote the health-seeking behavior of the populace.

Methods: This was a prospective community based cross-sectional descriptive study that was conducted in all the 5 Esan speaking local government areas of Edo State where this practice is very common. The study was done between January 2017 and June 2018. Participants were interviewed using a structured questionnaire by previously trained researchers, after pretesting and validation. The questionnaire was administered on 700 adults, however, 500 were returned. The data obtained were summarized as frequencies and percentages.

Results: The majority of the participants were middle-aged. Ninty-five percent (95%) of respondents were aware of the practice of abdominal scarification and 80% of them think it is effective. It was mainly carried out by herbalists in 95% of the respondents. Half of the respondents were unaware of any complications associated with the procedure.

Conclusion: Abdominal scarification is a common practice among the Esan people of south-south Nigeria. They believe it's effective, affordable, and risk-free. This is despite the availability of effective alternatives in orthodox medicine. There is, therefore, a need for advocacy and health education considering the dangers and complications associated with the practice.

Open Access Original Research Article

Paediatric Tuberculosis at the Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course Clinic of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

B. I. Garba, T. Yusuf, L. K. Coker, K. O. Isezuo, M. O. Ugege, A. Adamu

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 32-38
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2020/v41i1430351

Introduction: Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious disease killer worldwide, despite significant progress against the disease in recent years. Most cases of TB in children occur in the TB endemic countries but the actual burden of paediatric TB is unknown. With early diagnosis and treatment using the first-line anti-tuberculous drugs, most people who develop the disease can be cured and onward transmission of infection curtailed.

Objective: To determine the pattern and outcome of paediatric tuberculosis managed at a tertiary facility in Sokoto, Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: Records of children managed for TB at the Directly observed treatment short-course (DOTS) clinic over a three-and-a-half-year period were reviewed retrospectively. All children (≤ 15 years) treated for TB over the study period was included. Relevant information was retrieved from the register and analysed accordingly.

Results: 74 children were treated with 33(44.6%) being males, giving a M: F ratio of 1:1.2. Mean (±SD) age was 85.78 (±55.40) months and 34 (45.9%) belonged to the 0.0-5.0-year age group. Seventy-one (95.9%) were new cases and three (4.1%) were relapse. Pulmonary TB (PTB) was seen in 50 (67.6%), more females had PTB than males, which was not significant (χ2=0.4, p=0.52).

Acid fast bacilli (AFB) were positive in only 8 (10.8%) while GeneXpert MTB/RIF sensitivity was detected in 7 (9.2%). Majority 36 (48.6%) were lost to follow up, 30 (40.5%) completed treatment, only 4(5.4%) were cured with no recorded mortality. Successful treatment outcome was low (45.9%).

Conclusion: Treatment outcome using DOTS strategy was poor, far below the WHO benchmark. There is need to improve adherence to DOTs therapy to prevent development of multi drug resistant TB. 

Open Access Original Research Article

Rational Use of Antibiotics – A Point Prevalence Study Carried out at a Tertiary Hospital in South-South Nigeria

Okechukwu Chioma

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 39-47
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2020/v41i1430352

Introduction: The burden of antibiotic resistance in the hospitals and communities is progressively worsening hence the critical need to put into practice all the key components of rational use of antibiotics in our daily patient interactions. This paper aims to highlight the problem of antibiotic resistance, the importance of rational use of antibiotics and to show an on the spot sketch of the antibiotic use pattern among in-patients in the children wards in a tertiary hospital.

Methodology: A brief review of the existing literature on antibiotic resistance and the rational use of antibiotics was done. A one-day cross-sectional point prevalence study was conducted in the children wards in UPTH and all children receiving antibiotics on that day, identified. The prevalence of antibiotic use was determined by dividing the number of inpatients on antibiotics at the time of the survey by the total number of patients on admission. Data were presented in percentages using pie and bar charts.

Results: There were a total of 40 children on admission in the paediatric wards with a Male: Female ratio of 1.2:1. 34 (85.0%) of the children on admission were receiving at least one antibiotic. The most common route of administration of the antibiotics was the intravenous route (94.1%). The five most commonly prescribed antibiotics in the children medical wards and the emergency ward were Ceftriaxone, Gentamycin, Cefuroxime, Metronidazole and Crystalline penicillin, while the five most common antibiotics prescribed in the special care baby unit were Gentamycin, Ceftazidime, Ceftriaxone, Metronidazole and Ofloxacin. Only 10 (29.4%) out of children receiving antibiotics had a microbiology culture result available, and 4 were receiving antibiotics in line with the culture sensitivity pattern. Two (5.9%) children had a multidrug-resistant infection.

Conclusion: This study showed a high prevalence of antibiotic use among inpatients and low utilization of microbiology culture results in the choice of antibiotics in a tertiary hospital in South-south Nigeria. Antibiotic prescribing patterns among healthcare workers should be improved upon by training and retraining of personnel as well as strict adherence to antibiotic prescription guidelines.

Open Access Review Article

Toxoplasmosis in Humans and Animals in Ghana (1962 – 2020): A Review

Papa Kofi Amissah- Reynolds

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 20-31
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2020/v41i1430350

Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by the ubiquitous, Apicomplexan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. This disease remains a significant aetiologic factor in pregnant women and HIV patients. In Sub-Saharan African countries like Ghana, the low antiviral therapy coverage exacerbates the risk of HIV-related mortality resulting from concurrent infections like toxoplasmosis. This paper reviews published data on toxoplasmosis in both humans and animals in Ghana. Serological surveys in humans indicate high prevalence of toxoplasmosis (up to 92.5%) in a cross-section of Ghanaians, including pregnant women and their neonates, blood donors, as well as HIV and eye patients. Limited data from epidemiological surveys also show Toxoplasma infections in four food animals, with the prevalence ranging from 7.5% to as high as 64%. Molecular analyses in animals have also revealed three novel genotypes, TgCkGh1, TgCkGh2 and TgCtGh1. There are, however, no reports in other food animals like dogs, cattle and grass cutters in Ghana. The role of environmental matrices in the epidemiology of the disease also needs to be investigated. There is paucity of data in the Northern part of Ghana, with most reports concentrated on Southern Ghana, thus necessitating nationwide surveys under a ‘One-Health’ concept to inform management of the disease. Policies which mandate screening of expectant mothers and blood donors are recommended to limit disease transmission in Ghana.