Pwani University
  • Kilifi, Kenya
Recent publications
Background: Ivermectin (IVM) mass drug administration is currently under evaluation as a complementary malaria vector control tool. Mosquitoes that ingest blood from treated hosts suffer reduction in survival. Estimating the bio-efficacy of IVM on wild-caught mosquitoes requires they ingest the drug in a bloodmeal either through a membrane or directly feeding on a treated host. The latter, has ethical implications, and the former results in very low feeding rates. Therefore, there is a need to develop a safe and effective method for monitoring IVM bio-efficacy in wild mosquitoes. Results: The mosquitocidal effect of IVM when administered in glucose solution is not comparable to the observed effects when same concentrations are administered in blood. Equal concentrations of IVM administered in blood resulted in more pronounced reductions in the probability of mosquito survival compared to when administered in glucose solution only. However, by adding small amounts of blood to a glucose solution, mosquito mortality rates can be increased resulting in effects closer to what is observed when blood feeding. A field bioassay was developed in the insectary to test bio-efficacy of IVM by using glucose solution containing a small amount of blood and administering it through a filter paper. Finally, the feasibility of the bioassay was tested using wild-caught mosquitoes in Kwale, Kenya. Conclusion: Bio-efficacy of ivermectin is strongly dependent on how the drug is ingested by the mosquito and is likely influenced by the associated digestive processes. The assay developed is a good candidate for field-based bio-efficacy monitoring: wild mosquitoes readily feed on the solution, the assay can be standardized using pre-selected concentrations and by not involving a treated blood host (human or animal) it avoids variation due to individual pharmacokinetic profiles as well as ethical issues. Meal volumes did not explain the difference between the lethality of IVM compared across the different meal types, further research is needed to understand the underlying mechanism.
Background: Both fatal and nonfatal suicidal behaviours are important complications of mental, neurological, and substance use disorders (MNSDs) worldwide. We aimed at quantifying the association of suicidal behaviour with MNSDs in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) where varying environmental and socio-cultural factors may impact outcome. Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to report the associations between MNSDs and suicidality in LMICs and the study-level factors of these associations. We searched the following electronic databases: PUBMED, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL, World Cat, and Cochrane library for studies on suicide risk in MNSDs, with a comparison/control group of persons without MNSDs, published from January 1, 1995 to September 3, 2020. Median estimates were calculated for relative risks for suicide behaviour and MNSDs, and when appropriate, these were pooled using random effects metanalytic model. This study was registered with PROSPERO, CRD42020178772. Results: The search identified 73 eligible studies: 28 were used for quantitative synthesis of estimates and 45 for description of risk factors. Studies included came from low and upper middle-income countries with a majority of these from Asia and South America and none from a low-income country. The sample size was 13,759 for MNSD cases and 11,792 hospital or community controls without MNSD. The most common MNSD exposure for suicidal behaviour was depressive disorders (47 studies (64%)), followed by schizophrenia spectrum, and other psychotic disorders (28 studies (38%)). Pooled estimates from the meta-analysis were statistically significant for suicidal behaviour with any MNSDs (odds ratios (OR) = 1∙98 (95%CI = 1∙80-2∙16))) and depressive disorder (OR = 3∙26 (95%CI = 2∙88-3∙63))), with both remaining significant after inclusion of high-quality studies only. Meta-regression identified only hospital-based studies (ratio of OR = 2∙85, CI:1∙24-6∙55) and sample size (OR = 1∙00, CI:0∙99-1∙00) as possible sources of variability in estimates. Risk for suicidal behaviour in MNSDs was increased by demographic factors (e.g., male sex, and unemployment), family history, psychosocial context and physical illness. Interpretation: There is an association between suicidal behaviour and MNSDs in LMICs, the association is greater for depressive disorder in LMICs than what has been reported in High Income Countries (HICs). There is urgent need to improve access for MNSDs care in LMICs. Funding: None.
The COVID-19 pandemic galvanized the field of virus genomic surveillance, demonstrating its utility for public health. Now, we must harness the momentum that led to increased infrastructure, training, and political will to build a sustainable global genomic surveillance network for other epidemic and endemic viruses. We suggest a generalizable modular sequencing framework wherein users can easily switch between virus targets to maximize cost-effectiveness and maintain readiness for new threats. We also highlight challenges associated with genomic surveillance and when global inequalities persist. We propose solutions to mitigate some of these issues, including training and multilateral partnerships. Exploring alternatives to clinical sequencing can also reduce the cost of surveillance programs. Finally, we discuss how establishing genomic surveillance would aid control programs and potentially provide a warning system for outbreaks, using a global respiratory virus (RSV), an arbovirus (dengue virus), and a regional zoonotic virus (Lassa virus) as examples.
Background: Little is known about the reasons for suicidal behaviour in Africa, and communities' perception of suicide prevention. A contextualised understanding of these reasons is important in guiding the implementation of potential suicide prevention interventions in specific settings. Aims: To understand ideas, experiences and opinions on reasons contributing to suicidal behaviour in the Coast region of Kenya, and provide recommendations for suicide prevention. Method: We conducted a qualitative study with various groups of key informants residing in the Coast region of Kenya, using in-depth interviews. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and translated from the local language before thematic inductive content analysis. Results: From the 25 in-depth interviews, we identified four key themes as reasons given for suicidal behaviour: interpersonal and relationship problems, financial and economic difficulties, mental health conditions and religious and cultural influences. These reasons were observed to be interrelated with each other and well-aligned to the suggested recommendations for suicide prevention. We found six key recommendations from our thematic content analysis: (a) increasing access to counselling and social support, (b) improving mental health awareness and skills training, (c) restriction of suicide means, (d) decriminalisation of suicide, (e) economic and education empowerment and (f) encouraging religion and spirituality. Conclusions: The reasons for suicidal behaviour are comparable with high-income countries, but suggested prevention strategies are more contextualised to our setting. A multifaceted approach in preventing suicide in (coastal) Kenya is warranted based on the varied reasons suggested. Community-based interventions will likely improve and increase access to suicide prevention in this study area.
Background Sexual risk-taking behavior (SRTB) is a well-documented pathway to HIV acquisition in emerging adults (EmA) and remains common amongst African EmA. We aimed to describe the relationship between disordered eating behavior (DEB) and SRTB amongst EmA attending a tertiary educational institution at the Kenyan Coast. Methods We applied a cross-sectional design nested in a young adults’ cohort study. Eligibility included sexually active EmA aged 18-24 years. Three DEBs (emotional, restrained and external eating) were assessed using the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire and analyzed using exploratory factor analysis. Seven SRTB indicators were assessed: i) non-condom use ii) casual sex iii) multiple sex partners iv) transactional sex v) group sex vi) age-disparate relationship and vii) anal sex, and grouped into low vs. high SRTB using latent class analysis. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between DEB and SRTB. Results Of 273 eligible participants (female, n =110 [40.3%]), the mean [SD] of emotional, restrained and external eating was 1.9 [0.6], 2.0 [0.6] and 3.0 [0.5] respectively. Overall, 57 (20.9%) were grouped into the latent high SRTB class. Emotional (Adjusted odds ratio {AOR [95% confidence interval, CI]: 1.0 [0.9 – 1.0], p = 0.398), restrained (AOR, 1.0 [CI: 0.9 – 1.1], p = 0.301) and External (AOR, 1.0 [CI: 0.8 – 1.2], p = 0.523) eating were not independently associated with latent high SRTB. Conclusion There was no significant association between DEB and SRTB. More studies in different African settings are needed to validate our findings in order to lay a strong evidence base for public health interventions on SRTB in this and similar settings.
Spatial variation and genotype by environment (GxE) interaction are common in varietal selection field trials and pose a significant challenge for plant breeders when comparing the genetic potential of different varieties. Efficient statistical methods must be employed for the evaluation of finger millet breeding trials to accurately select superior varieties that contribute to agricultural productivity. The objective of this study was to improve selection strategies in finger millet breeding in Ethiopia through modeling of spatial field trends and the GxE interaction. A dataset of seven multi-environment trials (MET) conducted in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with two replications laid out in rectangle (row x column) arrays of plots was used in this study. The results revealed that, under the linear mixed model, the spatial and factor analytic (FA) models were efficient methods of data analysis for this study, and this was demonstrated with evidence of heritability measure. We found two clusters of correlated environments that helped to select superior and stable varieties through ranking average Best Linear Unbiased Predictors (BLUPs) within clusters. The first cluster was chosen because it contained a greater number of environments with high heritability. Based on this cluster, Bako-09, 203439, 203325, and 203347 were the top four varieties with relatively high yield performance and stability across correlated environments. Hence, scaling up the use of this efficient analysis method will improve the selection of superior finger millet varieties.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the golden‐rumped sengi (Rhynchocyon chrysopygus) as an ‘endangered’ species’. They are endemic to fragmented forests in eastern Kenya. Existing evidence indicates a decline in their population in Arabuko‐Sokoke Forest; however, these studies were conducted over a decade ago. This study assessed their abundance in three vegetation types. This study was conducted in the months of September, October and November in the year 2019. We used line transects in the forest types to locate nests and recorded the distances to the nests together with habitat variable measurements. We used (10 by 10 m) quadrats to obtain data on deadwood. We used line transect distance sampling to estimate sengi density and abundance. We employed linear regression models to examine the association between the number of nests per transect and deadwood volume, while means and proportions were used to examine the determinants of sengi nesting sites. The golden‐rumped sengi population was estimated to be 19,423. Besides, deadwood volume was not associated with nest site occurrence. Although findings from this study indicate an increase in the golden‐rumped sengi population from 12,750 individuals in 2009, continued monitoring is essential to inform conservation measures. L'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature (UICN) classe le sengi à croupion doré (Rhynchocyon chrysopygus) comme une espèce « en voie de disparition ». Ils sont endémiques aux forêts fragmentées de l'est du Kenya. Les preuves existantes indiquent un déclin de leur population dans la Forêt d'Arabuko‐Sokoke ; cependant, ces études ont été menées il y a plus d’une décennie. Cette étude a évalué leur abondance dans trois types de végétation. Cette étude a été menée au cours des mois de septembre, octobre et novembre de l'année 2019. Nous avons utilisé des transects linéaires dans les types de forêts pour localiser les nids et enregistré les distances par rapport aux nids avec les mesures des variables d'habitat. Nous avons utilisé des quadrats (10 sur 10 m) pour obtenir des données sur le bois mort. Nous avons utilisé un échantillonnage de distance par transect linéaire pour estimer la densité et l'abondance des sengis. Nous avons utilisé des modèles de régression linéaire pour examiner l'association entre le nombre de nids par transect et le volume de bois mort, tandis que les moyennes et les proportions ont été utilisées pour examiner les déterminants des sites de nidification des sengis. La population de sengis à croupion doré était estimée à 19 423. De plus, le volume de bois mort n'était pas associé à la présence de sites de nids. Même si les résultats de cette étude indiquent une augmentation de la population de sengis à croupion doré de 12 750 individus en 2009, une surveillance continue est essentielle pour éclairer les mesures de conservation.
Marine foods produced by small-scale fishers can make vital contributions to sustainable, healthy food systems with multisectoral considerations of public health nutrition, gender equity, economics, and marine ecology. This pilot study aimed to map the multidimensional determinants of fish food security and young child nutrition in four coastal communities of Kenya with a view toward designing a large intervention trial. We compared anthropometric and dietary diversity indicators of children under 5 years in fishing vs. non-fishing households. Mixed methods included household surveys, 24-h recalls for dietary intake, and anthropometric measures of children. Child dietary diversity score (CDDS) and height-for-age Z (HAZ) were primary outcomes tested in ordinary least square regression modeling. Stunting was widely prevalent (20.2%), as were morbidities for acute diarrhea (29.0%) and fever (46.5%), with no statistically significant differences in fishing compared to non-fishing households. High proportions of children showed nutrient intake inadequacies for vitamins A, C, and E, iron and zinc; <50% met requirements for all nutrients except protein, which was derived primarily from plant-based foods. Regression modeling showed children living in fishing households were associated with lower CDDS. Maternal education, maternal body mass index (BMI), and household livelihood diversity were positively associated with both CDDS and HAZ, while child morbidities and north coast (of Mombasa) residence showed negative associations. Our findings highlight nutritional vulnerabilities within a coastal food system of Kenya and the need to involve multiple sectors—education, environment, health, finance, communications, and governance and policy—in deriving solutions.
The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to evaluate available prevalence and viral sequencing data representing chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection in Kenya. More than 20% of the global disease burden from CHB is in Africa, however there is minimal high quality seroprevalence data from individual countries and little viral sequencing data available to represent the continent. We undertook a systematic review of the prevalence and genetic data available for hepatitis B virus (HBV) in Kenya using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) 2020 checklist. We identified 23 studies reporting HBV prevalence and 8 studies that included HBV genetic data published in English between January 2000 and December 2021. We assessed study quality using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal checklist. Due to study heterogeneity, we divided the studies to represent low, moderate, high and very high-risk for HBV infection, identifying 8, 7, 5 and 3 studies in these groups, respectively. We calculated pooled HBV prevalence within each group and evaluated available sequencing data. Pooled HBV prevalence was 3.4% (95% CI 2.7–4.2%), 6.1% (95% CI 5.1–7.4%), 6.2% (95% CI 4.64–8.2) and 29.2% (95% CI 12.2–55.1), respectively. Study quality was overall low; only three studies detailed sample size calculation and 17/23 studies were cross sectional. Eight studies included genetic information on HBV, with two undertaking whole genome sequencing. Genotype A accounted for 92% of infections. Other genotypes included genotype D (6%), D/E recombinants (1%) or mixed populations (1%). Drug resistance mutations were reported by two studies. There is an urgent need for more high quality seroprevalence and genetic data to represent HBV in Kenya to underpin improved HBV screening, treatment and prevention in order to support progress towards elimination targets.
Commercial broilers have high growth rates and are raised in total confinement systems. Birds spend more time lying down predisposing them to skin lesions from moist litter. This study aimed to determine whether the free-range production system (FRPS) for broiler birds would reduce footpad lesions and the risk of bacterial infection using four treatments. Treatments A, B and C, where the birds were under FRPS at 2, 3 and 4 weeks of age, respectively, and the conventional complete confinement, treatment D (control). The broilers were weighed and their footpad lesions evaluated at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age. Broiler liver samples were collected at 8 weeks of age and processed for culture and sensitivity. Relative risk analysis (RR) was used to determine the association between confinement as a risk factor and bacterial infection. Birds in the FRPS had lower body weights and therefore less pressure on their skeleton. Birds in treatment D had the highest pressure. Treatment D birds had severe footpad lesions (P < 0.05) compared to the other treatments at weeks 6, 7 and 8 and the severity decreased with increasing duration of FRPS. Complete confinement treatment was significantly associated with bacterial infection (RR = 3) at week 8. These results show that broilers in FRPS significantly lower body weight pressure on their skeleton and fewer footpad lesions, reducing bacterial infection and antibiotic use. Reduced antibiotic residues and pathogens in meat suggest improved meat quality. The free-range broiler production system would be a better production system to improve the welfare and quality of the meat produced.
Abstract Background Comorbid mental health conditions are common in people with epilepsy and have a significant negative impact on important epilepsy outcomes, although the evidence is mostly from high-income countries. This systematic review aimed to synthesise evidence on the association between comorbid mental health conditions and quality of life and functioning among people with epilepsy living in low- and middle income countries (LMICs). Methods We searched PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, Global Index medicus (GID) and PsycINFO databases from their dates of inception to January 2022. Only quantiative observational studies were included. Meta-analysis was conducted for studies that reported the same kind of quality of life and functioning outcome. Cohen’s d was calculated from the mean difference in quality-of-life score between people with epilepsy who did and did not have a comorbid depression or anxiety condition. The protocol was registered with PROSPERO: CRD42020161487. Results The search strategy identified a total of 2,101 articles, from which 33 full text articles were included. Depression was the most common comorbid mental health condition (33 studies), followed by anxiety (16 studies). Meta-analysis was conducted on 19 studies reporting quality of life measured with the same instrument. A large standardized mean effect size (ES) in quality of life score was found (pooled ES = −1.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) − 1.70, − 0.63) between those participants with comorbid depression compared to non-depressed participants. There was significant heterogeneity between studies (I2 = 97.6%, p
Background: Psychotic disorders increase the risk for premature mortality with up to 40% of this mortality attributable to suicide. Although suicidal ideation (SI) and suicidal behavior (SB) are high in persons with psychotic disorders in sub-Saharan Africa, there is limited data on the risk of suicide and associated factors among persons with psychotic disorders. Methods: We assessed SI and SB in persons with psychotic disorders, drawn from a large case-control study examining the genetics of psychotic disorders in a Kenyan population. Participants with psychotic disorders were identified using a clinical review of records, and the diagnosis was confirmed with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). We conducted bivariate and multivariate logistic (for binary suicide outcomes) or linear regression (for suicide risk score) analysis for each of the suicide variables, with demographic and clinical variables as determinants. Results: Out of 619 participants, any current SI or lifetime suicidal attempts was reported by 203 (32.8%) with psychotic disorders, of which 181 (29.2%) had a lifetime suicidal attempt, 60 (9.7%) had SI in the past month, and 38 (20.9%) had both. Family history of suicidality was significantly associated with an increased risk of suicidality across all the following four outcomes: SI [OR = 2.56 (95% CI: 1.34-4.88)], suicidal attempts [OR = 2.01 (95% CI: 1.31-3.06)], SI and SB [OR = 2.00 (95% CI: 1.31-3.04)], and suicide risk score [beta coefficient = 7.04 (2.72; 11.36), p = 0.001]. Compared to persons aged <25 years, there were reduced odds for SI for persons aged ≥ 25 years [OR = 0.30 (95% CI: 0.14-0.62)] and ≥ 45 years [OR = 0.32 (95% CI: 0.12-0.89)]. The number of negative life events experienced increased the risk of SI and SB [OR = 2.91 (95% CI: 1.43-5.94)] for 4 or more life events. Higher negative symptoms were associated with more suicidal attempts [OR = 2.02 (95%CI: 1.15-3.54)]. Unemployment was also associated with an increased risk for suicidal attempts [OR = 1.58 (95%CI: 1.08-2.33)] and SI and SB [OR = 1.68 (95% CI: 1.15-2.46)]. Conclusion: Suicidal ideation and SB are common in persons with psychotic disorders in this African setting and are associated with sociodemographic factors, such as young age and unemployment, and clinical factors, such as family history of suicidality. Interventions targeted at the community (e.g., economic empowerment) or at increasing access to care and treatment for persons with psychotic disorders may reduce the risk of suicide in this vulnerable population group.
Marine litter surveys were carried out to determine the role of mangroves as a sink for litter. General litter density in the mangroves was 0.088 ± 0.076 items m-2, composed mainly of plastic (85.9 %). Higher litter densities occurred in the middle (0.162 ± 0.150 items m-2) compared to the landward (0.066 ± 0.049 items m-2) and the seaward zones (0.036 ± 0.028 items m-2), indicating the important role played by the middle zone in providing a sink for litter from both land and sea-based sources. Landward zones were a sink for heavier litter from land that could easily be trapped by mangrove roots (plastic and clothing). The middle zones retained mainly the litter that are not easily trapped by the mangroves' roots in seaward and landward zones, particularly soft plastics. The seaward zones acted as a sink for litter from sea-based sources mainly marine and fishing gears, and materials used for fishing and boat repairs.
We surveyed tree hyrax populations living in forests, limestone rocky formations, and caves in coastal Kenya to identify the species and estimate the threat‐level populations are in. Tree hyrax vocalizations were recorded in three different habitats with passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) for a total of 84 h in January and February 2022. We also observed tree hyrax behavior with thermal imaging camera and photographed individuals. Tree hyraxes in coastal Kenya are vocally active throughout the night, with most calls emitted between 23.00 and 04.00. We identified four different calls: snort, hac, hac ping‐pong, and wheeze. Their calling range is between 220 and 15,000 Hz. Calls of tree hyraxes from the coast of Kenya were compared with calls stored by the Oxford Brookes University's Nocturnal Primate Research Group and identified as eastern tree hyrax, previously recorded from Tanzania. Here, we present what are, to our knowledge, the first photographs of live D. validus from Kenya. These tree hyraxes live in social groups. Due to strong pressure from humans, conservation measures are necessary to prevent the extinction of these isolated D. validus populations in Kenya. In this article, we describe the appearance, behavior, acoustic communication, and habitats of Eastern tree hyraxes (Dendrohyrax validus) from the coast of Kenya. Outside Shimba Hills National Reserve, tree hyraxes are extremely endangered and survive in sacred caves and rocky outcrops.
Background Although tuberculosis (TB) patients coinfected with HIV are at risk of poor treatment outcomes, there is paucity of data on changing trends of TB/HIV co-infection and their treatment outcomes. This study aims to estimate the burden of TB/HIV co-infection over time, describe the treatment available to TB/HIV patients and estimate the effect of TB/HIV co-infection on TB treatment outcomes. Methods This was a retrospective data analyses from TB surveillance in two counties in Kenya (Nyeri and Kilifi): 2012‒2020. All TB patients aged ≥ 18years were included. The main exposure was HIV status categorised as infected, negative or unknown status. World Health Organization TB treatment outcomes were explored; cured, treatment complete, failed treatment, defaulted/lost-to-follow-up, died and transferred out. Time at risk was from date of starting TB treatment to six months later/date of the event and Cox proportion with shared frailties models were used to estimate effects of TB/HIV co-infection on TB treatment outcomes. Results The study includes 27285 patients, median (IQR) 37 (29‒49) years old and 64% male. 23986 (88%) were new TB cases and 91% were started on 2RHZE/4RH anti-TB regimen. Overall, 7879 (29%, 95% 28‒30%) were HIV infected. The proportion of HIV infected patient was 32% in 2012 and declined to 24% in 2020 (trend P-value = 0.01). Uptake of ARTs (95%) and cotrimoxazole prophylaxis (99%) was high. Overall, 84% patients completed six months TB treatment, 2084 (7.6%) died, 4.3% LTFU, 0.9% treatment failure and 2.8% transferred out. HIV status was associated with lower odds of completing TB treatment: infected Vs negative (aOR 0.56 (95%CI 0.52‒0.61) and unknown vs negative (aOR 0.57 (95%CI 0.44‒0.73). Both HIV infected and unknown status were associated with higher hazard of death: (aHR 2.40 (95%CI 2.18‒2.63) and 1.93 (95%CI 1.44‒2.56)) respectively and defaulting treatment/LTFU: aHR 1.16 (95%CI 1.01‒1.32) and 1.55 (95%CI 1.02‒2.35)) respectively. HIV status had no effect on hazard of transferring out and treatment failure. Conclusion The burden of TB/HIV coinfection was within previous pooled estimate. Our findings support the need for systematic HIV testing as those with unknown status had similar TB treatment outcomes as the HIV infected.
Background Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) accounts for considerable morbidity and mortality globally. Paucity of SARS-CoV-2 genetic data from Tanzania challenges in-country tracking of the pandemic. We sequenced SARS-CoV-2 isolated in the country to determine circulating strains, mutations and phylogenies and finally enrich international genetic databases especially with sequences from Africa. Methods This cross-sectional study utilized nasopharyngeal swabs of symptomatic and asymptomatic adults with positive polymerase chain reaction tests for COVID-19 from January to May 2021. Viral genomic libraries were prepared using ARTIC nCoV-2019 sequencing protocol version three. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was performed using Oxford Nanopore Technologies MinION device. In silico genomic data analysis was done on ARTIC pipeline version 1.2.1 using ARTIC nCoV-2019 bioinformatics protocol version 1.1.0. Results Twenty-nine (42%) out of 69 samples qualified for sequencing based on gel electrophoretic band intensity of multiplex PCR amplicons. Out of 29 isolates, 26 were variants of concern [Beta ( n = 22); and Delta ( n = 4)]. Other variants included Eta ( n = 2) and B.1.530 ( n = 1). We found combination of mutations (S: D80A, S: D215G, S: K417N, ORF3a: Q57H, E: P71L) in all Beta variants and absent in other lineages. The B.1.530 lineage carried mutations with very low cumulative global prevalence, these were nsp13:M233I, nsp14:S434G, ORF3a:A99S, S: T22I and S: N164H. The B.1.530 lineage clustered phylogenetically with isolates first reported in south-east Kenya, suggesting regional evolution of SARS-CoV-2. Conclusion We provide evidence of existence of Beta, Delta, Eta variants and a locally evolving lineage (B.1.530) from samples collected in early 2021 in Tanzania. This work provides a model for ongoing WGS surveillance that will be required to inform on emerging and circulating SARS-CoV-2 diversity in Tanzania and East Africa.
A survey was conducted on farmers’ fields at Werugha and Wusi‐Kishamba wards in Taita Taveta County, Kenya to assess the factors influencing farmers' decisions on the use of bioslurry in the management of soil fertility. Knowledge gaps on bio‐slurry use provide contrasting claims about the value of bio‐slurry from source, storage and handling, crop types, soil, and climate conditions, and as a fertilizer. The majority of the farmers in the study sites double up as dairy farmers which has resulted in enormous production of under‐utilized cow dung. Over‐dependence on the use of inorganic fertilizers leads to the destruction of soil physical and biological properties hence, the provision of essential nutrients required by plants for growth and development is not achieved at the maximum recommended rates. This results in a yield decrease with potato yield ranging from 8 to 15 t ha‐1, which is 2 to 3 times below the achievable yield of 40 t ha‐1. A survey questionnaire was developed and administered to 120 small‐scale farmers within the two wards. Results showed that the use of bioslurry has not been well adopted by farmers from the two wards as only 18% responded to using bioslurry on their farms whereas 78% relied on chemical fertilizers and other forms of manures such as farmyard manure. However, even those using slurry had since been reported to have challenges with its use and application. The 36% of farmers who applied bioslurry alone did so due to its availability considering the high cost of inorganic fertilizers while those who combined it with inorganic fertilizers had faith in chemical fertilizers and that they aimed at achieving high crop yields. The major challenges farmers faced while using slurry on their farms were reported to be on lack of knowledge on the exact quantity to be applied per unit area and on the storage of excess slurry from biodigesters. This implied that even though slurry was available, it was still not useful to the farmers due to under/over application and poor storage. The study, therefore, recommends capacity‐building programs and agricultural extension services to be developed, to ensure adequate knowledge on bioslurry use and adoption by smallholder farmers in the management of soil fertility in enhancing crop productivity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Multiple fisher groups target billfish species, each with different motivations and experiences, which can influence the effectiveness and sustainability of governance approaches. However, limited studies underscore the perceptions of billfish resource users in defining and implementing governance in the Western Indian Ocean region. We conducted 211 semi-structured qualitative interviews between December 2020 and September 2021, to explore how artisanal fishers perceive the performance and sustainability of governance approaches in Kenya, with a focus on billfish. Our findings show that artisanal fishers have adequate knowledge of fishing laws and regulations, as well as governing institutions and their performance. Further, artisanal fishers had a positive attitude and support for fishing rules, managing institutions, and effectiveness of governance intervention. Specifically, the fishers rated Beach Management Units (BMUs) as highly effective in implementing fisheries rules, indicating the involvement of fishers in co-management of fisheries and tendency for governance success and sustainability. This highlights the need to strengthen and support BMUs as an effective governance tool in the co-management of fisheries. We draw attention to our first-time study of the contribution of artisanal billfish fishers to governance of shared fisheries resources. We show that involvement of resource users promotes a bottom-up approach to the co-management of billfish which compliments the current regional and national efforts that have largely focused on commercial fisheries. Our research adds to the scientific body of knowledge on the importance of perceptions in the formation of natural resource governance interventions at varying scales, especially for transboundary species in data-poor areas.
This article examines how cultural beliefs and patriarchal practices during the early period of the spread of Christianity promoted intimate partner violence (IPV) against women in the church. The article begins by exploring some cultural and patriarchal beliefs that were practised by the Jews and Giriama people during the pre-evangelistic period that promoted IPV against women through religious and cultural practices to see violence as normal, thus choosing to persevere in violent relationships. New strategies for preventing IPV against women have been discussed. In this descriptive research, data were collected from 52 informants using questionnaires and in-depth interviews. The study interviewed 30 women facing IPV individually. Abused women provided information in focus group discussions. Ten pastors were sampled in order to gather data on how cultural and patriarchal practices with the support of biased biblical interpretation of texts, promoted IPV against Christian women. Twelve questionnaires were administered to six gender officers, three probation officers and three social workers, and the findings were used to supplement data collected from the key informants. This study established that some Bible texts are interpreted and used by wife abusers and pastors offering counselling to the IPV victims to promote and justify IPV. It, therefore, recommended that the church should organise to re-read and re-learn these Bible texts with a view to interpreting them without being biased against women. The church should also re-examine all patriarchal passages in the Bible with a view to facilitating contextual and reasoned scrutiny of the male-controlled beliefs and practices that promote IPV against women. The article established that cultural beliefs and patriarchal practices promote IPV against women. Some pastors and wife abusers interpret some Bible verses to justify spousal abuse; however, if the problem of IPV is to be prevented, the church, the government, and other stakeholders involved in a war against IPV on women must embrace new strategies that are free from cultural and patriarchal beliefs and practices.
Developing strategies that enhance the incorporation of rare and threatened flora into ecosystem restoration is urgently needed to capitalise on the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. We outline six major challenges that impede the widespread use of rare and threatened flora in restoration: (1) a lack of information about threatened species, (2) a lack of propagation material, (3) low survival rates and regeneration potential, (4) a lack of coordination and collaboration, (5) a lack of financial incentives, and (6) a lack of policy incentives. We also outline several potential solutions to overcome each of them, including changes to funding, legislation and markets, advancing use of modern technologies and knowledge, and development of new collaborations. All stakeholders have a role to play, including practitioners, academics, funders and policymakers. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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318 members
Halimu Shauri
  • Department of Social Sciences
Bernerd M. Fulanda
  • School of Pure & Applied Sciences - Dept of Biological Sciences
Mwakio P. Tole
  • Department of Environmental Sciences
Joseph Mwafaida Mghalu
  • Biological Sciences
Joseph Ouko Olwendo
  • Deparment of Physics
Mombasa-Malindi Road, 80108, Kilifi, Kenya
Head of institution
Prof. M.S. Rajab- Vice Chancellor
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