Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of the Immunological Status in Occult Hepatitis B Virus-infected Patients Attending Rivers State University Teaching Hospital

Baribefe Banavule Daniel Koate, Blessing Didia, Tombari Pius Monsi, Zacchaeus Awortu Jeremiah

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2021/v42i830474

Background: Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) is a rare form of infection that is characterized by the presence of replication-competent HBV DNA in the liver but without detectable HBsAg in the serum.

Aim: This study aimed to determine the comparative levels of immunological variables particularly CD4 counts and differential white blood cell (WBC) counts in occult hepatitis B and HBsAg positive subjects among prospective blood donors in Port Harcourt Metropolis in Nigeria.

Methods: The CD4 count and total and differential WBC counts were analyzed with automated techniques using BD Fascount and Sysmex XP-300 respectively. Data were analyzed as mean (standard deviation) and significance was assumed at 95% confidence interval using student t-test and one-way ANOVA on GraphPad prism.

Results: The mean values for CD4, WBC, LYM (lymphocyte), MXD (differential mixed cells), and NEU (neutrophils) were 607±286 µ/l, 16±24 /l, 1.8±0.55 %, 0.46±0.15 % and 3.1±1.1 % respectively for occult hepatitis B subjects; 609±222 µ/l, 5.4±1.7 /l, 2.3±1.2 %, 0.54±0.31 % and 2.7±1.2 % respectively for HbsAg positive subjects and 823±256 µ/l, 10±5.4 /l, 2.4±1.6 %, 0.69±0.49 % and 6.4±4.7 % respectively for hepatitis B negative subjects. CD4 levels for male and female occult hepatitis B subjects are 729±309 µ/l and 461±190 µ/l respectively; 582±210 µ/l and 643±250 µ/l respectively for HBsAg positive subjects while that of hepatitis B negative subjects were 824±305 µ/l and 821±199 µ/l respectively. OBI showed a significant negative association between differential mixed cells and lymphocytes (r= -0.89 and p= 0.001) alone signifying that increment in former could reduce the latter. Only the HBsAg positive subjects showed a significant positive correlation of age to differential mixed cells (r=0.94 and p=0.000) which imply as the age increase the level of differential mixed cells will rise. Again, the HBsAg positive subjects showed a significant positive correlation between the differential mixed cells against neutrophil and WBC (r=0.53 and p=0.050), (r=0.56 and 0.036) respectively. Smoking and alcohol consumption caused raised levels of CD4 cells in OBI.

Conclusion: This study revealed a significant decrease in CD4 count, increase in total WBC and neutrophil counts while lymphocyte counts were decreased in occult hepatitis B subjects. Gender difference affect the level of CD4 cells and significant correlation were observed especially with the differential mixed cells.

Open Access Original Research Article

Knowledge on Menstrual Hygiene among Adolescent Girls Studying in Grade 8-10 in Private School of Dailekh District, Nepal

Harikala Thapa, Madan Kumar Oli, Saroj Adhikari

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 10-31
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2021/v42i830475

Background: Adolescence is a significant period in the life of a woman. The beginning of menstruation represents the girls' mild stone of pubertal development or maturity. Good menstrual hygiene is crucial for health. Lack of proper menstrual hygiene in adolescent period can have an effect on their health. (Abisola Monisola Oladimeji, 2014) Menstrual health issue has remained in dark for a longer period of time in Nepal. Lack of proper education and socio cultural barriers has led to knowledge gap on menstrual hygiene and health amongst adolescent female in Nepal.

Objective: The main objective of the study was to assess the knowledge on menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls studying in grade 8 to 10.

Methodology: This study was conducted in Nayaran Municipality, Dailekh. Study design was descriptive cross-sectional study. The study population was adolescent girls studying in grades 8 to 10 in selected private schools of Dailekh district, Nepal. The sample size in this study was 173 subjects. Data was taken by self-administered questionnaires. Data analysis was done by SPSS, version 21.0.

Major Finding: Only 40.6% of respondents had good knowledge on ideal time to change absorbent. 75.8 % respondents were aware of the importance of bathing during menstruation. Around 83.9 % respondents had good knowledge on significance of using clean clothes during menstruation and more than 88 % respondents had good knowledge on menstrual blood. 40% responded that menstrual blood is unhygienic. Out of five menstrual hygiene related questions, good knowledge was found among 48 % respondents while 52 % had poor knowledge. 10-19 age-group girls had good knowledge on menstrual hygiene than 10-15 years age group. Students of grade 10 had better knowledge among the respondents. Hindu girls had more knowledge than girls of other religion. Similarly, respondents from nuclear family had better knowledge than those of joint family. Higher the monthly income of family, better the knowledge about menstrual hygiene was observed. Girls of parents having higher secondary level education had better knowledge on menstrual hygiene than illiterate, primary and secondary level educated parents.

Open Access Original Research Article

Vaccination Hesitancy: The Case of Cervical Cancer Vaccination in Fako Division, Cameroon

C. Neh Fru, Tassang Andrew, David Greenspan, F. Nchang Cho, Mokake Martin, Joseph Livingstone, Tassang Thierry, P. Ngum Fru, Nembulefac Derick

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 32-43
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2021/v42i830476

Introduction: The fight against cervical cancer stumbles against resistance to accepting vaccines. Vaccination hesitancy is a worldwide phenomenon. It seems this phenomenon is more amplified in Africa. With the advent of COVID 19, many conspiracy theories against all the vaccines have emanated from various quarters. Vaccination against Human Papilloma Virus is no exception to the current dynamics. A study on this topic was carried out in the Fako Division-Cameroon. Structural and individual reasons could explain vaccination hesitancy.

Objective: The objective of this study is to attempt an explanation of why vaccination hesitancy has to do with poor uptake of cervical cancer vaccines.

Methodology: a community-based cross-sectional study was carried out in some towns of the Fako Division – Cameroon from 5 to January 20, 2021. Paper-based questionnaires were administered only to those who consented to participate in this study. And chi-square test was estimated to establish the association between participant socioeconomic characteristics and cervical cancer vaccine hesitancy

Results: A total of 250 consecutively enrolled participants were included in the study. Women with a high level of education will readily accept vaccination against cervical cancer. About 71% of our sample does not trust government decisions regarding judgments against cervical cancer. If given a choice between medical treatment and prayers, 62% of our studied population will prefer prayers. There is some degree of bias against female children in our community.

Conclusion: Many components constitute vaccination hesitancy. The corruption of political elites, brainwashing of masses by the new type of churches, self-convictions, ignorance, lack of knowledge on CC, and gender bias are some. They all increase on structural causes: the colonial background and the low socioeconomic status of these countries.

Open Access Original Research Article

Understanding Segregation and Recycling Practices of Tin Cans and Plastic Bottles in the Household, Municipality, and Agency in Zanzibar

Abdalla I. Ali, Chukwuma J. Okafor, J. K. Hassan, S. A. Abdulla, M. M. Khamis, O. M. Said, T. I. Saadat, H. A. Maalim, A. S. Abdulkadir

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 44-55
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2021/v42i830477

This study seeks to understand waste handling and disposal practices, including hindering segregation and recycling plastic bottles and tin cans in Zanzibar. Focusing specifically on the household, schools, collectors, pickers, key informants, and recycling agencies in Zanzibar, the study uncovered the factors that influence the separation and selling of empty plastic bottles and tin cans from households to recycling agencies in Zanzibar. Therefore, this study was done to understand the current practices on waste recycling, agencies involved, and barriers to market penetration from households to recycling agencies. Data were collected from 60 household surveys, focus group discussions with secondary school students and NGOs, in-depth interviews with key informants, and systematic observations in the households, recycling agencies, and collectors. The findings show that waste is generally not separated in households, among collectors and Zanzibar Municipality Council. The study identifies a lack of proper education, poor knowledge of law and policy enforcement, insufficient capital, limited storage warehouses, and an unstable recycling market among the major challenges to sustainable plastic bottle handling and tin can waste. To encourage tin can and plastic bottle users to separate their waste and hand in their plastic bottles and tin cans for recycling, the study recommends some suggestions to improve the situation such as the provision of proper education and loan, law enforcement, promotion of environmental clubs, as well as the creation of a more stable market for the recycling agents.

Open Access Original Research Article

Soil-Transmitted Helminths Infection and Associated Risk Factors among Primary School Pupils in Omogho and Awa Communities, Anambra State, Nigeria

Amarachukwu Nwankwo, Anthony Chibuike Onyebueke, Kindness Chidi Irikannu, Chibumma Immaculata Nzeukwu, Ifediba Vivian Onwuzulike, Nnazimuzo Maria Okafor

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 56-64
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2021/v42i830478

Background: Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STHs) remain a public health problem. Infections are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas of the world.

Aim: This study was to investigate the prevalence and intensity of STH infections, the prevalence of STH mixed infections in relation to age and sex, and to identify the risk factors associated with STH infections among pupils in Omogho and Awa rural communities in Orumba North Local Government Area, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Study design: The study was a cross-sectional survey of faecal samples collected from 453 randomly selected pupils from four primary schools.

Duration of study: The study was conducted between June and September 2017.

Materials and methods: The faecal samples were examined by direct smear and formol ether concentration techniques. Questionnaires based survey was done to determine the risk factors of STH among the pupils.

Results: The overall prevalence of STH infections was 44.2%. Among the schools, Primary School, Awa had the highest prevalence (17.0%) while Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy Primary School, Omogho, had the least prevalence (5.3%). Others were Community Primary School, Omogho (12.8%) and Community Primary School, Awa (9.1%). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of STH infections among the primary school pupils (p = 0.36, p > .05). Ascaris lumbricoides (17.2%) was highest while Strongyloides stercoralis (2.0%) was the least prevalent. Other STHs observed were hookworms (15.9%) and Trichuris trichiura (9.1%). Pupils who do not practice proper hygiene had highest infections. A total of 149(32.9%) who do not wash hands after the use of toilet had more infections than 51(11.3%) who wash their hands. There was significant difference on prevalence of STH with responses on hygiene practices (p = 0.00, p < .05).

Conclusion: Absence of good toilet facility and adequate water supply in the schools made it difficult for the pupils to practice good hygiene. An integrated control of STH which should include provision of adequate toilet facilities for pupils, piped drinking water, chemotherapy and health education is recommended.

Open Access Original Research Article

Malaria Infection Prevalence and Haematological Profiles of Nursery and Primary School Children in Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State-Nigeria

A. E. Onyido, J. O. Esene, J. U. Anumba, P. U. Umeanaeto, C. Ugha, C. C. Umenzekwe, R. N. N. Obiezue

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 65-84
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2021/v42i830479

A study on malaria infection prevalence and haematological profiles of nursery and primary school pupils aged 0 – 14 years old was conducted in three selected primary schools in Fegge, Onitsha South Local Government Area, Anambra State. Three hundred and sixty (360) pupils were randomly selected from the schools and 2ml of venous blood was collected by venipuncture. Thick and thin blood films were made and stained with Field’s stain A and B. Haematological profiles such as Haemoglobin, White Blood Cell Count, Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin (Hb) Concentration and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate were determined using the anticoagulated blood samples. Of the 360 blood samples examined, 342 (95.0%) comprising 170 (47.22%) males and 172 (47.78%) females were positive for Plasmodium falciparum across the three primary schools. Differences in malaria prevalence among the schools and gender was not statistically significant (P>0.05). Pupils within the age group 3 - 5 and 6 - 8 years recorded the highest infection rate of 118 (96.72%) and 102 (96.22%) respectively which was not statistically significant (P>0.05). The highest percentage of the pupils 10 (55.6%) with heavy malaria intensity had their haemoglobin levels within the lower normal range of 11.0 – 11.9g/dl. There were significant and no significant differences in the haematological profiles of the pupils – Haemoglobin and Packed Cell Volume (P<0.05) indicating mild anaemia, while White Blood Cell Counts (P>0.05) indicates mild leukopenia and for Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (P>0.05). The study showed that malaria is holoendemic in Fegge area of Onitsha and poses a significant health problem for the children in the study area. Improved health education in the schools on preventive measures for malaria transmission including integrated vector control to reduce vector-man is recommended.