Tanzania health research bulletin

Description

The Tanzanian Health Research Bulletin is published twice a year as an organ of the Health User's Trust Fund (HRUTF), whose mission is to promote in Tanzania the Essential National Health Research Initiative, and in particular demand driven health research. The Bulletin is targeted at all readers interested in health research issues in Tanzania, including priority health research, its planning, funding, implementation, and utilization of findings. It is also aimed at non-specialist scientists, policy and decision makers and the general public.

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  • Website
    Tanzanian Health Research Bulletin website
  • ISSN
    0856-6496
  • OCLC
    225531195
  • Material type
    Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: The magnitude of trafficking in persons in Tanzania is unknown. Consequently, available information on health risks of persons trafficked for different forms of exploitation is extremely scanty. We conducted a baseline study in eight administrative regions of Tanzania using both qualitative and quantitative methods to generate data on the health conditions of trafficked persons to inform trafficking in persons control measures through HIV and AIDS interventions. Study participants included the national, regional and district community development officers, district medical officers, local government leaders, managers or representatives of non-governmental organizations involved in anti-trafficking in persons activities, members of the community and victims. Findings indicated that common forms of labour into which persons are trafficked include domestic services, agriculture (farming), construction, mining/quarrying, fishing, lumbering and manufacturing. Trafficked persons are reported to be exposed to risks like overcrowding, long working hours, psychological problems, physical injuries, impotence, breathing problems and sexually transmitted infections including HIV. It is concluded that the reported occupational hazards in industries where trafficked persons are forced into are not specific to trafficked persons as they affect all labourers. However, the underground nature of the trafficking in persons process increases health problems and risks, including the vulnerability to HIV infection. More tailored research is needed, especially to find means of how to reach out and provide services to this particular vulnerable population, validate labour forms of exploitation into which persons are trafficked to enable the integration or mainstreaming of HIV and AIDS and trafficking in persons at the policy and programmatic levels. In addition, findings would facilitate the understanding of the link between increased risk of HIV and trafficking in persons.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 01/2012; 14(1).
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    ABSTRACT: The present study investigated the effect of the various fractions of hydromethanolic extract of the leaves of Vitex negundo (Verbenaceae) against ethanol-induced cerebral oxidative stress in rats. Cerebral oxidative stress was induced by the administration of 20% ethanol (5 ml/100gbw) for a period of 28 days. The petroleum ether (PEF), chloroform (CF), ethylacetate (EAF) and residual (RF) fractions at a dose of 200 mg/kgbw orally were simultaneously administered with ethanol for 28 days. α-tocopherol at a dose of 100 mg/kg orally was used as the standard. Administration of ethanol resulted in a significant elevation in serum biochemical parameters like aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), uric acid, triglycerides and lipoprotein levels. In addition there was a significant (P<0.01) elevation in malondialdehyde (MDA) and lipid hydroperoxide (LH) levels and a significant (P<0.01) reduction in enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants in the brain tissue. Histopathological examination of the brain tissue of the ethanol treated animals showed marked gliosis. Simultaneous administration of the fractions prevented the enzymatic leakage and elevation of serum uric acid, triglycerides and lipoprotein levels. All the fractions (except the residual fraction) prevented the rise in lipid peroxidation and enhanced the antioxidant enzymes. Further, histopathological examination revealed that the fractions of V. negundo offered a significant protection against ethanol toxicity in rat brain. The activity exhibited by the chloroform fraction is comparable to that of the standard. The present study reveals that the leaf of V. negundo has protective action on the brain, which could be attributed to its antioxidant potential.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 01/2012; 14(1).
  • Tanzania health research bulletin 06/2010; 12(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been recognized world wide as an important causative agent of nosocomial and community acquired infections. Clindamycin has been considered as an alternative drug for the treatment of such strains. However, the possibility of clindamycin inducible resistance complicates the choice of treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of clindamycin inducible resistance of MRSA at Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) in Mwanza Tanzania. A total of 600 clinical specimens of pus, wound swabs and aspirates from patients admitted at BMC surgical wards were processed over a period of 4 months. Of these, 160 of S. aureus clinical isolates analysed. MRSA was identified using cefoxitin disc, oxacillin disc and oxacillin agar. Inducible clindamycin resistance was detected using erythromycin (15µg) and clindamycin (2µg) discs placed 15mm apart on Muller Hinton agar. Of the 160 isolates, 26 (16.3%) were found to be MRSA. Overall prevalence of inducible clindamycin resistance (iMLS B ) was 28.8% (46/160), with 22% (30/134) of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and 61% (16/26) of MRSA exhibiting inducible clindamycin resistance ( P= 0.0001). Constitutive resistance (cMLS B ) was found in 1 (3.7%) of the MRSA isolates and was not detected among MSSA. MS B phenotype was detected in 1 (3.8%) of MRSA isolates and 2 (1.5%) of MSSA. Eight (29.6%) of the MRSA isolates were sensitive to both clindamycin and erythromycin. In conclusion, a high prevalence of inducible clindamycin resistance was observed among S. aureus with significant association between MRSA and inducible clindamycin resistance. It is important that susceptibility test of staphylococci is routinely done to facilitate early detection of clindamycin inducible resistance in the country.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 08/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in children under five years in developing countries. Viruses have been long established to be causes of ARIs, but there is little information in developing countries especially Africa. This cross-sectional study was carried out in April-July 2008 in Nairobi, Kenya aiming at establishing which virus isolates and what age cluster in children with ARIs are affected. Throat swabs were collected from patients with clinical ARI and inoculated to various cell lines to isolate and identify viruses. A total of 388 children (age range = 1-132 months) were recruited. Of these 210 (54.1%) were males and 178 (45.9%) were females. Twenty-six percent (101) had upper (URTI) while 74% (287) had lower (LRTI) respiratory tract infections. There were 177 (45.6%) viruses isolated; adenovirus (27; 7%), parainfluenza (25; 6.4%), influenza (20; 5.2%), respiratory syncytial virus (19; 4.9%) and unidentified viruses (86; 22.2%). Majority of the viruses were isolated from patients with LRTI (110; 28.4%) while URTI had 67 (17.3%) isolates. The age cluster 1-12months (105; 27.1%) followed by 13-24months (36; 9.3%) had majority of the viral isolates. Thus this study indicates that viruses are associated with ARIs in children 1-2years of age and therefore a longitudinal study with sensitive virus detection methods is required to provide more information on the precise disease burden and magnitude of the problem.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 08/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Warburgia ugandensis Sprague (Canellaceae), is widely used by Traditional Health Practitioners in Eastern and Southern Africa for treatment of diseases and conditions associated with HIV/AIDS infections. The most commonly prescribed parts of the plant are usually barks and roots. The aim of this study is to investigate whether leaves of this plant have biological activities comparable to those of barks and roots. Fresh leaves of W. ugandensis were freeze-dried to complete dryness while another portion of the leaves from the same collection were air-dried under shade. Ethanolic extracts from the two differently dried leaves were tested for antimicrobial activity and for brine shrimp toxicity test. Ethanolic extract from the freeze-dried leaves exhibited both antibacterial activity against standard strains of Staphylococcus aureus , Escherichia coli , Vibrio cholerae , Bacillus cereus and antifungal activity against Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans . The extract from the air-dried leaves showed similar antibacterial activity against the mentioned organisms but had no antifungal activity. However, both extracts exhibited comparable cytotoxic activity (95% CI), against brine shrimp larvae with reference to cyclophosphamide, a standard anticancer drug. Fresh leaves of W. ugandensis have shown to exhibit anticandida activity, a factor which substantiates their application as a traditional herbal remedy to complement treatment of fungal infections in HIV/AIDS patients. Further studies to gate leaves of this plant to establish constituents responsible for the exhibited antifungal activity are highly desirable.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 08/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: The fruits of Lagenaria siceraria Standl. (Cucurbitaceae) are widely used for medicinal and nutritional purposes in Africa. The health promoting ability of the fruits might be related to antioxidant properties of its constituents. In this study the antioxidant effect of fresh and dried fruits of L. siceraria was evaluated by comparing the 2,2-diphenyl-1,1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging and reducing capacity of ethyl acetate and n-butanol extracts of fresh and dried fruits. The comparison was further emphasized by high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) analysis of the extracts so as to relate activities with their chemical profiles. Results indicated that ethyl acetate (EA) extract of the fresh fruits exhibited higher DPPH radical scavenging activity than other samples. At 0.01 mg/ml the order of activity was: EA dried fruits (50.6%) < Bt ( n -butanol) fresh fruits (53.3%) < Bt ( n -butanol) dried fruits (64.8%) < EA fresh fruits (68.6%) < Gallic acid (81.8%). A slight change of activity was observed at 0.1 mg/ml, where the order was; EA dried fruits (70%) < Bt dried fruits (71.8%) ≤ Bt fresh fruits (72%) < EA fresh fruits (81.6%) < Gallic acid (88.5%). In the reducing capacity assay, Bt fresh fruits extract exhibited higher reducing power than all test samples. The HPTLC chemical profiles of both fresh and dried fruit extracts showed some slight differences. The slight differences in antioxidant activities were justified by the HPTLC chemical profiles of the fruits. Therefore, taking fresh or dried fruits of L. siceraria may relatively give similar antioxidant effects. Since the fruits of this plant matures in bulky, then drying, milling and packing the products under hygiene environment can ensure a constant supply of antioxidant supplement.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 08/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical management of tuberculosis (TB) cases in developing countries is hampered by the lack of a simple and effective diagnostic test. Correct diagnosis of TB is needed to improve treatment, reduce transmission, and control development of drug resistance. This study was undertaken to establish microscopic observation for drug susceptibility (MODS) in clinical microbiology routine. Thirty Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates and four smear positive sputum specimens were tested for susceptibility to isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol and streptomycin using MODS. Results were compared to gold standard methods used at a TB reference laboratory. The median turn around time (TAT) was six days for both direct and indirect assays. Results for rifampicin were 100% concordant with the reference laboratory and those of ethambutol, streptomycin and isoniazid were 97%, 94% and 94% concordant, respectively. In all discordant cases MODS categorize the isolates as resistant. Using SYBR Green to detect growth, there was clear increase in fluorescence for cultures of drug-resistant strains when compared to culture of sensitive strains. The discrepancy in these cases can be explained by the fact that in MODS any growth in drug-containing wells is labelled as resistance and can be resolved in using SYBR Green. MODS can therefore, be considered as a reliable and fast method which could be used as routine in Clinical Microbiology Laboratory in a TB endemic area.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 08/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: An analysis of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey for Kilimanjaro, Tanzania was carried out to assess sex differences in the prevalence rates and predictors of current cigarette smoking among in-school adolescents. A total of 2323 adolescents participated in the study of whom 53% were females and 47% males. The prevalence of current cigarette smoking was 3.0% and 1.4% among males and females, respectively. The common factors that were significantly positively associated with cigarette smoking between sexes were: having more pocket money, closest friend smoked cigarettes, seeing actors smoke on TV, videos or movies, and seeing advertisements for cigarettes at social gatherings. Seeing anti-smoking messages at social gatherings were negatively associated with smoking among both sexes. While having had something such as a t-shirt or pen with a cigarette brand logo on it was positively associated with cigarette smoking among males, it was negatively associated with cigarette smoking among females. Male adolescents older than 15 years, those in their 9th year of schooling, and those who had seen cigarette brand names on TV were more likely to smoke. Meanwhile, male respondents who were in their 8th year of schooling, had seen anti-smoking media messages, and advertisements for cigarettes in newspapers or magazines were less likely to smoke. Among female adolescents, those who had parents who smoked, and surprisingly those who perceived that cigarette smoking as harmful were more likely to smoke. Interestingly, seeing advertisement for cigarettes on billboards was negatively associated with smoking among female adolescents. Interventions aimed to reduce adolescent smoking need to be designed and implemented with due consideration of sex differences in these associated factors.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 10/2007; 9(3):190-5.
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    ABSTRACT: A school-based study was carried out to assess the knowledge on malaria and its prevention among children in Kyela District, south-western, Tanzania in August-September 2004. A total of 400 schoolchildren (age = 10-20 years) from four schools were selected. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on knowledge on malaria transmission, methods of prevention, source of information and use of mosquito nets. More than 85% of the respondents were knowledgeable on malaria and preventive measures. Sources of information about malaria and its control were mainly from their teachers (47.4%), print materials (21.9%), family members (20.4%), television and radio (7.3%) and medical personnel (2.2.%). The perceived best control measures were untreated nets (32.1%), treated nets (21.4%), environmental management (25.7%) and burning mosquito coils and insect repellents (20.8%). Availability of mosquito nets was relatively high (70%), but only 38% of the pupils were using insecticide treated nets (ITNs). Low ITN use was due to its unavailability (57.5%), cost (35%) and foul smell and fear of side effects (7.5%). These findings suggest schoolchildren are aware about malaria and its prevention methods, but are not well-informed of the benefits of using ITNs. More education and advocacies on use of ITNs to parents and children is needed.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 10/2007; 9(3):207-10.
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    ABSTRACT: The Regional East African Health Research agenda was presented as a keynote speech during the first East African Health and Scientific Conference, held in Kampala, Uganda from 28th to 30th March 2007. The agenda was developed through a critical analysis of the global, African and Regional East African health challenges and mitigating strategies, taking into account the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the Abuja declaration and the New Partnership for African Development as background environment, within which the agenda will operate. It is proposed to establish a joint mechanism for research coordination, promotion and regulation; establish stronger collaborative mechanisms for research and training; create a joint Regional East African Community health research and development fund; create joint intellectual property rights protection mechanism; enhance patenting and link research to industry; create a mechanism to enhance translation of research to policy and practice; strengthen clinical research capacities; and strengthen innovation and discovery research capacities. Effective implementation of this agenda will greatly raise the profile and quality of research in the region and improve the health status of the East African populations.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 10/2007; 9(3):147-53.
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    ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to determine frequency and pattern of antimicrobial susceptibility of Shigella species isolated from stool specimens collected from patients presenting with bloody diarrhoea in Mwanza City, Tanzania. The study was carried out from October 2004 to October 2005 and involved patients attending Sekou Toure Regional Hospital and Butimba Health Centre. Bacteriological cultures were done at the National Institute for Medical Research laboratory. A total of 489 patients (median age = 20 years) participated in the study and were able to provide stool specimens. Shigella species were isolated from 14% (69/489) of the stool specimens collected. Of the sixty nine strains of Shigella spp isolated, 62 (90%) were S. flexneri and 7 (10%) were S. dysenteriae. All Shigella strains isolated showed high resistance to ampicillin, tetracycline, trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole and chloramphenicol, drugs commonly used for management of shigellosis in Tanzania. However all isolates were fully susceptible to ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid, erythromycin, cefuroxime and gentamycin. S. flexneri showed resistance to amoxy-clavulanic_acid and azithromycin in 5% and 2% of isolates, respectively. None of the S. dysenteriae isolates were resistant to these two drugs. Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia and Schistosoma mansoni were microscopically detected in 16.5%, 4.4% and 5.3% of patients, respectively. These findings suggest that there is a need to carry out extensive susceptibility studies in different parts of the country with view of re-appraising the current guidelines for management of bloody diarrhoea in Tanzania.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 10/2007; 9(3):186-9.
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    ABSTRACT: A cross-sectional study was conducted, based on systematic sampling of consecutive patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) symptoms and who attended the TB clinic for their medication at Ilala District Hospital, Tanzania. The study sample comprised of 153 people who were almost equally distributed among men and women. Three quarters (75%) of the subjects were vaccinated against TB with the majority being 40 years and younger. Half the study subjects were diagnosed to have TB between the 2nd and 4th month after their symptoms appeared. A chest X-ray was used to initiate anti-TB therapy in half the subjects. No consistency was followed in the diagnostic procedures done to confirm the diagnosis. Over half the patients (54.3%) admitted that they openly speak about their illness to others but that only one-third (33.3%) of their friends and family responded in a considerate and sympathetic manner. One-third (36.6%) of the friends and relatives became less friendly and the remaining one-third openly portrayed fear and tried to discriminate the patient even after the commencement of medications. The patients' compliance rate was 100%. The counselling received from the health personnel and the patients' own motivations to improve their health, was the main driving force in seeking treatment and taking daily medication. Discrimination against TB patients by relatives and friends is likely to hinder positive health seeking behaviour and thus impede control of this disease.
    Tanzania health research bulletin 10/2007; 9(3):169-73.