University of Zimbabwe
  • Harare, Zimbabwe
Recent publications
Fruits contribute to carbon (C) fixation in fruit tree species of savannah woodlands despite that the C fixed in fruits is rapidly turned back to carbon dioxide (CO2) when the fruits decompose or are eaten. The aim of this study was to determine biomass allocation between fruit components of Strychnos madagascariensis and Strychnos spinosa and to derive the C stocks sequestrated by fruits. A total of 400 ripe fruits were harvested from trees distributed in seven plots across the UMkhanyakude district. Fruit shell and pulp were separated from seeds. Puree and juice of S. spinosa were separated by centrifugation and steam extraction, respectively. Moisture contents of the fruit components were measured. For S. madagascariensis fruits, seeds contributed the most biomass (50.2%), followed by the shell (30.8%), and pulp had the least biomass (16.7%). The loss of material was 2.3%. For S. spinosa, the largest part of fruit biomass was in the shell (41.8%), followed by puree (25.6%), seeds (18.6%), juice (6.2%), and pulp (0.9%). The loss of material was 6.9%. Fruit dry biomass (FDB; in g) and fruit carbon stocks (CB; in g) were both related to fruit diameter (D; in cm) for S. madagascariensis (FDB = 1.022 ᵡ D2.492; CB = 0.463 ᵡ D2.539) and S. spinosa (FDB = 1.015 ᵡ D2.38; CB = 0.198 ᵡ D2.821). Proportion values and regression techniques were both valid methods to derive biomass and carbon stocks of the fruit and its components.
The main objective of the study was to investigate the impact of microfinance on smallholder resettled sugarcane farmers’ productivity and technical efficiency. The study evaluated the impact of microfinance on technical efficiency of resettled sugarcane smallholders as well as the determinants of their technical efficiency. The study used Transcendental Logarithmic (Translog) Stochastic Frontier Analysis. Data from a household level survey of 2018 was collected using questionnaires in a multi-stage sampling technique. The hypothesis tests confirmed the adequacy of Translog SFA frontier over Cobb–Douglas together with the appropriateness of SFA over OLS. The results revealed that both microfinance and intensity of participation significantly improve technical efficiency. Extension services, secondary education, tertiary education, experience, and farming assets were among statistically significant determinants of observed variation in technical efficiency. Estimated technical efficiency scores from the truncated normal distribution model with heteroscedasticity and exogenous determinants were on average 64.4% and 33.6% for treatment and control groups, respectively. Bank participants were more efficient (65.4%) than MFIs participants (63.3%). The results confirmed that microfinance promote efficient utilization of agricultural inputs. Policy suggestions include expansion and sufficient disbursement of microfinance.
Background Traditional foods have superior nutritional composition; however, they are largely absent from the Zimbabwean diet. Objective To identify barriers and facilitators to the consumption of traditional foods among adults aged 18–69 years in Zimbabwe. Methods An online-based cross-sectional survey was conducted among adults aged 18–69 years in Zimbabwe. The questionnaire was based on a socio-ecological model designed to assess barriers and facilitators at the individual, interpersonal, community, and national levels. Data were analysed using Microsoft Excel and SPSS version 20 software package. The level of significance was set at p < 0.05. Ethical approval was obtained from the Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe (MRCZ/B/1931). Results The study enrolled 440 participants. Traditional food consumption was low in this population with only 9.3% consuming these foods daily. At the individual level, 44.4% of study participants mentioned their consumption of traditional foods is facilitated by generational factors, while the most important barrier at this level was the inconvenience in accessing and preparing traditional foods (33.2%). At the community and national levels, the most important facilitator was family members (26.2%) and lack of environmental contaminants (38.9%), respectively, while most important barrier at the community and national levels was their residential location or residence (31.8%) and aggressive marketing of processed foods (47.8%), respectively. Conclusions Consumption of traditional foods was low in general. Generational factors, family contribution, and food safety impact the consumption of traditional foods among adults in Zimbabwe. The food environment, particularly commercial advertising of alternative foods, is a deterrent. Therefore, interventions to promote the consumption of traditional foods must take into account these factors at every stage of the socio-ecological model.
This article investigated varieties of livelihoods strategies employed by some informal women traders doing business at flea markets in the Harare Business Districts of the Harare Province. The study was informed by the Sustainable Livelihood Approach proffered by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Division (SIDA 2001) for Policy and Socio-Economic Analysis. A quantitative and qualitative research design was developed and data was gathered through questionnaires, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and direct observations during transect walks. The objectives of the study were to; identify micro-credit schemes used by the informal women traders doing business at flea markets, explore the livelihoods of microcredit schemes as pathways to poverty eradication and finally determine interventions and sustainable strategies that could be used for the informal women traders. The study discovered that women informal traders engaged in diverse activities for sustainable livelihoods strategies that eradicate poverty. The bulk of informal women traders face staid livelihoods challenges, resulting in them living in poverty. The study thus calls on Government and financing institutions to finance them for local empowerment, gain access and control of available livelihoods resources in a meaningful way. A range of policy interventions and sustainable strategies could be developed that enable informal women traders to eradicate poverty in Zimbabwe
Maize ( Zea mays L.) is an important staple food crop in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and contributes significantly to food security. Due to Striga , maize yield loss is estimated between 20 and 80% forcing some farmers to abandon their land therefore threatening food security. Many strategies have been applied to combat Striga infested fields to improve maize yields but alternative feasible approaches are still required. This study aimed at determining effects of phosphorus (P) and maize variety on Striga asiatica germination and attachment. A factorial experiment of eight P levels (0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 kg ha ⁻¹ ), six maize varieties and Striga (inoculated and non-inoculated) in a 4 × 24 α-lattice design with three replications was set in a glasshouse at the University of Zimbabwe. A similar experiment was set under laboratory conditions using agar gel plates to determine S. asiatica germination using a complete randomized design with three replications. Adding P (at 40 kg ha ⁻¹ ) to soil infected with Striga , significantly (p < 0.05) reduced Striga counts and haustorial root attachments in all varieties with CV4 and R201 supporting lowest numbers. P also significantly (p < 0.05) improved plant height, chlorophyll content, leaf, cob, total biomasses and grain yield across all maize genotypes. Cultivar CV4 produced the highest grain yield under Striga attack. Furthermore, cultivars CV4 and CV1 had significantly (p < 0.05) lowest Striga seed maximum germination distance and percentages at zero P. Application of P reduced Striga germination, attachments and emergence in all varieties and increased tolerance of maize varieties.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration is the transfer of CO2 from the atmosphere into soil organic matter. It, therefore, relies on photo- synthesis and plant-derived carbon (C) input, which usually occurs through biomass production. Janzen et al. (2022) reminded us that when calculating SOC sequestration potential, we should recognise the source of C input to the soil as estimated by Net Primary Production (NPP). Indeed, increasing plant biomass production via NPP has been discussed as the most important driver of many SOC sequestration strategies (Soussana et al., 2019). Janzen et al. described a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation to demonstrate the limits of SOC stock increase as defined by the current NPP. While such a straightforward approach is reasonable to get a rough guestimate, it is important to recognise that there are limits to such a simplified modelling approach which carries significant uncertainties. In this comment, we discuss the limitations of such an approach and the way forward. Moreover, we show that Janzen et al.’s calculation con- tains inaccurate assumptions. When
Africa is particularly affected by climate change due to its exposure to climate hazards, high vulnerability, and low adaptive capacity. Yet, Africa is also a continent rich in Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) that has a long history of informing responses to climatic variability and change. This paper explores the extent to which ILK has been used in climate change adaptation in Africa. It deploys a bibliometric analysis to describe the connections between ILK and climatic change adaptation in Africa, complemented by an analysis of ILK literature and case studies. We consider four key dimensions of ILK, 1) type, 2) contexts of application, 3) value for adaptation, and 4) outcomes and effects in responses to climate change in Africa. Examples drawn from 19 countries across Africa highlight ILK systems are closely connected with biocultural relationships associated with observed patterns of climate change and where adaptation can be more effective when informed by ILK. This body of knowledge is critical to the delivery of climate change adaptation in Africa. The paper suggests some measures through which ILK may be more widely leveraged, both for improved adaptation outcomes, as well as enhancing the biocultural heritage value of ILK systems across Africa. The study commends the remarkable value of ILK in Africa for climate change adaptation and its value for supplementing climate services, particularly in areas with limited access to modern climate and weather forecasts as well as the encouragement of Indigenous communities to develop senses of ownership and active contribution to the sustainability of the future interventions.
Development of stable, high yielding and micronutrient dense bean cultivars offers a sustainable solution to the challenge of malnutrition in developing countries. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of genotypes, environments and genotype by environment (GEI) on iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) in grain and grain yield (GYD) in navy bean genotypes, identify genotypes with high adaptability and stability for high grain Fe, Zn and GYD, and study the associations among grain Fe, Zn and GYD. The study was conducted in four locations over two seasons (2018/19 and 2019/20) resulting in eight environments (year-location combinations). Eight-four breeding lines and check cultivars were field-tested using a 12 × 7 alpha lattice design. The GEI was highly significant (p < 0.001) for GYD but not significant for grain Fe and Zn. Grain yield ranged from 2002 (G65) to 2501 (G27) kg/ha and was largely influenced by environment (38.87%) and the GEI (39.48%). Grain Zn and GYD had the largest heritability estimates of 0.82 and 0.60, respectively. The largest variance was observed on Fe, which ranged from 86.5 (G63) to 119.78 ppm (G37). Highly significant and positive associations (r = 0.52, p < 0.001) were observed between Fe and Zn. Stability analysis using additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI), AMMI stability value (ASV) and Yield Stability Index, identified six genotypes (G12, G66, G69, G39, G38 and G3) with high GYD, good GYD stability and desirable grain Fe and Zn concentrations above breeding targets of 95 and 40 ppm, respectively. These genotypes should be used as parents for crossing with other cultivars to improve micronutrient density, GYD and GYD stability. The vertex genotypes G27, G24 and G33 combined specific adaptation and high GYD with desirable micronutrient density as revealed by the “which-won-where” polygon-view of GGE biplot. These genotypes could be recommended for deployment in their respective mega-environments.
This study assesses the effects of changing climate on the groundwater potential along the Chongwe River Catchment of Chongwe and Rufunsa Districts, through the use of remote sensing (RS) and geographic information systems (GIS). The study area has since the year 2012 experienced water supply shortages, partly attributed to climate change, with the local utility considering the prospects of using groundwater for the area's water supply. The area's groundwater characterisation employed multi-parametric data sets that comprised of remotely sensed data and conventional maps, generated using a weighted overlay approach in geographical information system. A total of 12 general circulation models (GCMs) outputs for precipitation were used for the period 1980 to 2080 as one of the thematic layers for the prediction of the groundwater potential (GWP) zones. The GCMs predicted decreases in precipitation, with the EC-EARTH model being the best performing model in restructuring precipitation with NSE of 0.66 compared with the other 11 GCMs. The spatial-temporal GWP zones showed reductions in zones of high and moderate potential under decreasing rainfall amounts. For continued groundwater availability, the study advocates for optimal allocation of groundwater resources based on the spatial variability of groundwater potential and aquifer yields.
Introduction Sub-Saharan Africa bears the greatest burden of HIV. Concomitant mental disorders are common, necessitating the integration of mental healthcare into routine HIV care. Consequently, it is necessary to holistically evaluate the mental health of adolescents and young adults living with HIV (AYALHIV, 10–24 years old) by measuring negative and positive psychological constructs (eg, anxiety and self-acceptance, respectively). There has been a proliferation of positive psychological outcome measures, but the evidence of their psychometric robustness is fragmented. This review, therefore, seeks to (1) identify positive psychological outcomes used in AYALHIV in sub-Saharan Africa and map the constructs onto corresponding measures and (2) critically appraise the psychometrics of the identified outcomes Methods and analysis This mixed review will be done in two parts. First, a scoping review will identify positive psychological outcomes and map them onto corresponding outcome measures. Subsequently, we will systematically evaluate the psychometric properties of the outcomes identified from the scoping review. Independent and blinded reviewers will search articles in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Africa-Wide Information, CINAHL, PsychINFO and Google Scholar from inception through 30 September 2022. Thereafter, separate independent reviewers will screen the retrieved articles. We will apply a narrative synthesis to map the key constructs emerging from the scoping review. For the systematic review, the risk of bias across studies will be evaluated using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist. The quality of the psychometric properties will be rated using the COSMIN checklist and qualitatively synthesised using the modified Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation checklist. Ethics and dissemination No ethical approvals are needed. The mixed-review outputs will collectively inform the development, implementation and evaluation of bespoke interventions for AYALHIV. Review outcomes will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed journal, on social media and through policy briefs. PROSPERO registration CRD42022325172.
Objective To systematically review and meta-analyse data from advanced cardiovascular imaging studies evaluating computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA), positron emission tomography (PET), and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), in people living with HIV (PLHIV) compared to uninfected individuals. Methods Three databases were searched for studies investigating the association between cardiovascular pathology and HIV using CTCA, CMR and PET in PLHIV from inception to February 11th 2022. Primary outcomes moderate to severe (>50%) coronary stenosis (CTCA), vascular and myocardial target-to-background ratio (PET), late gadolinium enhancement prevalence (CMR). Prevalence and risk ratios (RR) (comparing PLHIV to uninfected individuals) were pooled for using a random effects model. Results Forty-five studies including 5218 PLHIV (mean age 48.5 years) and 2414 uninfected individuals (mean age 49.1 years) met the inclusion criteria. Sixteen studies (n=5107 participants) evaluated CTCA, 10 (n=681) vascular PET, 3 (n=146) both CTCA and vascular PET, and 16 (n=1698) CMR. No studies originated from low-income countries. The prevalence of moderate/severe coronary disease in 17.3% in PLHIV and 13.8% in controls (RR 1.33, 95%CI 0.96–1.82, I2= 62%). The prevalence of myocardial fibrosis was 47.5% in PLHIV and 31.7% in controls (RR 2.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.34–4.08, I2=88%). PET studies indicated that PLHIV have an increase in vascular inflammation however these findings are derived from populations with well controlled HIV in middle age. Conclusion Significant associations were observed between HIV and risk of myocardial fibrosis but not moderate to severe coronary disease. These findings were derived largely from populations in regions of low HIV endemicity.
Background Globally, cervical cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst women, and it is especially common in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The aim of the study was to determine the current patterns and characteristics of CC management in Zimbabwe in the HIV pandemic era, including the knowledge, attitude and practice of patience. Methods The study was a mixed method which incorporated a cross-sectional survey of 408 CC patients which was conducted from October 2019 to September 2020 using an interviewer administered paper questionnaire. The study was conducted at Parirenyatwa hospital, the only cancer treating public health facility in Harare, Zimbabwe. Differences in study outcome by categorical variables were assessed using the Person Chi-square (χ ² ) test. Odds ratios (unadjusted and adjusted) and 95%CIs for potential risk factors associated with the outcome were estimated using logistic regression model. Results From a total of 408 CC patients recruited into the study no prevention mechanism was available or known to these patients and only 13% knew that CC is caused by Human papillomavirus. Only 87 (21%) had ever been screened for CC and 83 (97%) of those who had been screened had the visual inspection with acetic acid procedure done. Prevention (screening uptake) is statistically high among the educated (with secondary education OR = 9.497, 95%CI: 2.349–38.390; with tertiary OR = 59.381, 95%CI: 11.937–295.380). Late presentation varied statistically significantly with marital status (high among the divorced, OR = 2.866; 95% CI: 1.549–5.305 and widowed OR = 1.997; 95% CI: 1.112–3.587), was low among the educated (Tertiary OR = .393; 95% CI: .166-.934), low among those living in the rural (OR = .613; 95% CI: .375-.987), high among those with higher parity OR = 1.294; 95% CI: 1.163–1.439). Less than 1% of the patients had surgery done as a means of treatment. Radiotherapy was administered to 350 (86%) of the patients compared to chemotherapy administered to 155 (38%). A total of 350 (86%) have failed to take medication due to its unavailability, while 344 (85%) missed taking medication due to unaffordability. Complementary and alternative medicines were utilized by 235 (58%). Majority, 278 (68%) were HIV positive, mainly pronounced within age (36–49 years OR = 12.673; 95% CI: 2.110–76.137), among those with higher education (secondary education OR = 4.981; 95%CI: 1.394–17.802 and in those with no co-morbidities (893.956; 95%CI: 129.611–6165.810). Conclusion CC management was inadequate from prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care hence there is need to improve CC management in Zimbabwe if morbidity and mortality are to be reduced to acceptable levels. Education helped improve prevention, but reduces chances of diagnosis, working as a doubled edged sword in CC management Prevention was high among the educated. Those in rural areas experience poor CC management. It should be noted that general education is good; however it must be complimented by CC awareness to improve CC management outcomes holistically. Cervical cancer management services need to be decentralized so that those in rural areas have easy access. Given that those with co-morbidities and high parity have better CC management, CC services need to be tied to co-morbidity and antenatal/post-natal care and management services.
Objective: We aimed to elucidate the role of partnerships with older men in the HIV epidemic among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 15-24 years in sub-Saharan Africa. Design: Analysis of Population-based HIV Impact Assessments (PHIAs) in Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Methods: We examined associations between reported partner age and recent HIV infection among AGYW, incorporating male population-level HIV characteristics by age-band. Recent HIV infection was defined using the LAg avidity assay algorithm. Viremia was defined as a viral load >1000 copies/ml, regardless of serostatus. Logistic regression compared recent infection in AGYW with older male partners to those reporting younger partners. Dyadic analysis examined cohabitating male partner age, HIV status, and viremia to assess associations with AGYW infection. Results: Among 17,813 AGYW, increasing partner age was associated with higher odds of recent infection, peaking for partners aged 35-44 (adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=8.94, 95% CI: 2.63-30.37) compared to partners aged 15-24. Population-level viremia was highest in this male age-band. Dyadic analyses of 5,432 partnerships confirmed the association between partner age-band and prevalent HIV infection (male spousal age 35-44- aOR=3.82, 95% CI: 2.17-6.75). Most new infections were in AGYW with partners aged 25-34, as most AGYW had partners in this age-band. Conclusions: These results provide evidence that men aged 25-34 drive most AGYW infections, but partners over 9 years older than AGYW in the 35-44 age-band confer greater risk. Population-level infectiousness and male age group should be incorporated into identifying high-risk typologies in AGYW.
Background Asthma is the commonest chronic respiratory tract disease in children. In low-income countries, challenges exist in asthma diagnosis. In surveys done in children, the prevalence of ‘asthma’ defined by symptoms is high compared to ‘doctor diagnosed asthma’. The questions answered by this review are (i) What challenges have been experienced in the diagnosis of asthma in children? (ii) What solutions will address these challenges? Methods The Arksey and O’Malley’s framework for scoping reviews was used for the study methodology, while the PRISMA-ScR checklist guided the reporting process. Electronic databases: PubMed Central, EMBASE and Google Scholar were searched. Primary quantitative and qualitative studies and reviews from 2010 to 2021, from Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda written in English or translated to English, which answered the study questions were included. The author, title, country, study type, methods, purpose, findings and references were captured onto a predefined data collection table. The ‘Preview, Question, Read, Summarise’ system was used and a narrative report was used to summarise the findings. Results A total of 28 studies were included. The causes of under-diagnosis of asthma include lack of community knowledge and perception of asthma, poor accessibility to health care, strained health systems, lack of diagnostic tests including spirometry, low levels of knowledge among health-care workers and lack of or non-implementation of asthma guidelines. Strategies to improve asthma diagnosis will include community and school based education programmes, revision of asthma diagnostic terms, guideline development and implementation and health systems strengthening. Conclusion This scoping review provides research evidence for policy makers and health-workers involved in the care of asthmatic children on challenges faced in asthma diagnosis and strategies to improve asthma diagnosis.
Background Although Namibia started implementing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in 2016, no study to determine its budget impact has been conducted. This study, therefore, aimed to estimate the budget impact of adopting tenofovir/emtricitabine for PrEP of HIV for all eligible people in the public health sector in Namibia from 2021 to 2023. Methods A country-specific model was developed for this budget impact analysis (BIA). PrEP has targeted all eligible people in Namibia who receive health services from the public sector. It was assumed that the adherence rate was 75% and PrEP effectiveness 60% in this study. Costs used in this study were taken from a study that included Namibian costs. Results The BIA suggests that adopting PrEP may be cost saving as US$104 823, US$143 620, and US$182 452 of additional HIV care costs will potentially be saved in 2021, 2022, and 2023, respectively. Cost savings rely on high adherence rates, high PrEP effectiveness rates, low PrEP costs, and a small number of people living with HIV (PLHIV). Conclusion Further economic analysis could aid decision-making in Namibia, both to stress test assumptions in the BIA and conduct cost-effectiveness analysis to estimate the value for money of PrEP.
Institution pages aggregate content on ResearchGate related to an institution. The members listed on this page have self-identified as being affiliated with this institution. Publications listed on this page were identified by our algorithms as relating to this institution. This page was not created or approved by the institution. If you represent an institution and have questions about these pages or wish to report inaccurate content, you can contact us here.
2,479 members
Nyasha Chin'ombe, PhD
  • Department of Medical Microbiology
Justen Manasa
  • Department of Medical Microbiology
Steady Mushayabasa
  • Department of Mathematics
Petty Makoni
  • College of Health Sciences
Obert Jiri
  • Research and Innovation Directorate
Harare, Zimbabwe