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  Subjects -> SCIENCES: COMPREHENSIVE WORKS (Total: 374 journals)
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AAS Open Research
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2515-9321
Published by African Academy of Sciences Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Cost reduction strategies in the remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon
           contaminated soil [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]

    • Authors: Ismail B. Ahmed, Eucharia O. Nwaichi, Ejikeme Ugwoha, John N. Ugbebor, Samuel B. Arokoyu
      Abstract: Petroleum hydrocarbon spill on land pollutes soil and reduces its ecosystem. Hydrocarbon transport in the soil is aided by several biological, physical, and chemical processes. However, pore characteristics play a major role in the distribution within the soil matrix. Restoring land use after spills necessitates remediation using cost-effective technologies. Several remediation technologies have been demonstrated at different scales, and research is ongoing to improve their performances towards the reduction of treatment costs. The process of removing the contaminants in the soil is through one or a combination of containment, separation, and degradation methods under the influence of biological, physical, chemical, and electrically-dominated processes. Generally, performance improvement is achieved through the introduction of products/materials and/or energy. Nevertheless, the technologies can be categorized based on effectiveness period as short, medium, and long term. The treatment cost of short, medium, and long-term technologies are usually in the range of $39 – 331/t (/tonne), $22 – 131/t, and $8 – 131/t, respectively. However, the total cost depends on other factors such as site location, capital cost, and permitting. This review compiles cost-saving strategies reported for different techniques used in remediating petroleum hydrocarbon polluted soil. We discuss the principles of contaminant removal, performance enhancing methods, and the cost-effectiveness analysis of selected technologies.
      PubDate: 2022-04-08T13:47:01Z
      DOI: 10.12688/openresafrica.13383.1
      Issue No: Vol. 5 (2022)
  • Small area estimation for South African resource distribution and policy
           impacts during COVID-19 [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]

    • Authors: Thomas Ferreira, Wendy Stone, Emile Vercuil, Marna Lourens, Nolwandle Made, Thuli Madonsela
      Abstract: The South African constitutional social justice commitment and equality duty requires that everyone is treated with equal consideration, but also tilts the scales in favour of the most disadvantaged. This paper explores the challenge of utilising publicly available data to promote social justice in resource distribution and fair access to essential services during crisis regulations, and explores Small Area Estimation (SAE) as a method to overcome some of these data challenges. The paper evaluates the strengths and limitations of the primary South African datasets that were available to inform fiscal and resource relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis. The potential to use SAE was found to be limited due to data constraints but statistics were generated at a district council level from data statistically representative at national level. This demonstrated stark disparities in hunger, access to medical products and piped water - all critical equality considerations during a pandemic. However, the level of disaggregation achieved with SAE is shown to be ineffective to represent the geographical disparities indicative of the true South African population, where extreme inequalities manifest in much closer proximities. This supports the need for improved statistical tools and more targeted and resolved data gathering efforts, to inform fair, social-impact conscious and equality-congruent regulatory impact, as well as just fiscal relief during crisis. Particularly, this work proposes the development of such tools and repositories outside of crisis times, to facilitate awareness of equality and justice issues during the tensions of national crisis.
      PubDate: 2022-03-25T15:44:27Z
      DOI: 10.12688/aasopenres.13345.1
      Issue No: Vol. 5 (2022)
  • Stigma-directed services (Stig2Health) to improve ‘linkage to care’
           for people living with HIV in rural Tanzania: study protocol for a nested
           pre-post implementation study within the Kilombero and Ulanga
           Antiretroviral Cohort [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]

    • Authors: Raphael Magnolini, Elizabeth Senkoro, Aneth Vedastus Kalinjuma, Olivia Kitau, Bernard Kivuma, Leila Samson, Anna Eichenberger, Getrud Joseph Mollel, Eileen Krinke, James Okuma, Robert Ndege, Tracy Glass, Herry Mapesi, Fiona Vanobberghen, Manuel Battegay, Maja Weisser
      Abstract: Background: HIV-related stigma is a major barrier to the timely linkage and retention of patients in HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa, where most people living with HIV/AIDS reside. In this implementation study we aim to evaluate the effect of stigma-directed services on linkage to care and other health outcomes in newly diagnosed HIV-positive patients. Methods: In a nested project of the Kilombero and Ulanga Antiretroviral Cohort in rural Tanzania, we conduct a prospective observational pre-post study to assess the impact of a bundle of stigma-directed services for newly diagnosed HIV positive patients. Stigma-directed services, delivered by a lay person living with HIV, are i) post-test counseling, ii) post-test video-assisted teaching, iii) group support therapy and group health education, and iv) mobile health. Patients receiving stigma services (enrolled from 1st February 2020 to 31st August 2021) are compared to a historical control receiving the standard of care (enrolled from 1st July 2017 to 1st February 2019). The primary outcome is ‘linkage to care’. Secondary endpoints are retention in care, viral suppression, death and clinical failure at 6-12 months (up to 31st August 2022). Self-reported stigma and depression are assessed using the Berger Stigma scale and the PHQ-9 questionnaire, respectively. The sample size calculation was based on cohort data from 2018. Assuming a pre-intervention cohort of 511 newly diagnosed adults of whom 346 (68%) were in care and on antiretroviral treatment (ART) at 2 months, a 10% increase in linkage (from 70 to 80%), a two-sided type I error rate of 5%, and 90% power, 321 adults are required for the post-implementation group. Discussion: We expect that integration of stigma-directed services leads to an increase of proportions of patients in care and on ART. The findings will provide guidance on how to integrate stigma-directed services into routine care in rural sub-Saharan Africa.
      PubDate: 2022-03-21T10:01:08Z
      DOI: 10.12688/aasopenres.13353.1
      Issue No: Vol. 5 (2022)
  • Building community and public engagement in research – the experience of
           early career researchers in East Africa [version 1; peer review: awaiting
           peer review]

    • Authors: Joel L. Bargul, Denna M. Mkwashapi, Imelda Namagembe, Immaculate Nakityo, Annettee Nakimuli, Josaphat Byamugisha, Daniel Semakula, Janet Seeley, Nelson K. Sewankambo
      Abstract: Background: In this paper, we explain how three early career researchers actively engaged community members in health research in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in their research projects, and what was learnt from the experience. The research project in Kenya was on camel trypanosomiasis and the role of camel biting keds (or louse flies) in disease transmission. The project in Tanzania looked at the effect of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and antiretroviral therapy on fertility and ascertained the trends in the use of family planning services amongst women of reproductive age. The focus of the project in Uganda was the implementation of maternal death surveillance and the response policy to determine the cause of maternal deaths and how they might be prevented. Methods: In the three different settings, efforts to ensure local community engagement provided a focus for the researchers to hone their skills in explaining research concepts and working in partnership with community members to co-develop ideas, their research methods and outputs. Results: Involvement of communities in scientific research, which entailed a two-way mutual engagement process, led to (i) generation of new research ideas that shaped the work, (ii) strengthened mutual trust, and (iii) promoted uptake of research findings. Conclusions: Our key findings strongly support the need for considering community engagement as one of the key components in research studies.
      PubDate: 2022-03-16T15:14:11Z
      DOI: 10.12688/aasopenres.13349.1
      Issue No: Vol. 5 (2022)
  • Systemic and Mucosal Concentrations of Nine Cytokines Among Individuals
           with Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection in Nairobi Kenya [version 1; peer
           review: awaiting peer review]

    • Authors: Anne Maina, Marianne Mureithi, John Kiiru, Gunturu Revathi
      Abstract: Introduction The human-restricted sexually transmitted Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) has been shown to modulate the immune response against it and consequently the cytokines produced. The levels of cytokines in NG infection in the African population have not been well described. We aimed to quantify the systemic and mucosal cytokines in NG infection. Methods This was a comparative cross-sectional study. Levels of nine cytokines (IL-1b, IL-2, IL-4, 1L-6, 1L-10, 1L-12p70, IL-17A, TNF-a and INF-g) were measured from plasma and genital samples (urethral swabs in men and cervicovaginal lavage in women) from 61 Neisseria gonorrhoeae infected individuals seeking treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at Casino Health Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. A comparative group of 61 NG-uninfected individuals, seeking treatment at the same facility but with laboratory-confirmed negative Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) and Trichomonas vaginalis(TV) was also included. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare the cytokine levels between NG-infected and uninfected individuals. Data was analyzed using STATA ver. 15.1. Results Overall, systemic IL-6, TNF-a and IL-10 were elevated while genital IL-10 and TNF-a were lower in NG positive participants. On subgroup analysis by sex, the levels of genital IL-1b and IL-6 and systemic IL-6 were elevated in NG-infected men. None of the genital cytokines were elevated in NG-infected women, while all systemic cytokines, except INF-g, were elevated in NG-infected women. Conclusion  Neisseria gonorrhoeae induced the production of different cytokines in men and women, with men having a pro-inflammatory genital response. These differences should be taken into consideration during development of various interventions e.g. vaccine development.
      PubDate: 2022-03-16T15:12:11Z
      DOI: 10.12688/aasopenres.13351.1
      Issue No: Vol. 5 (2022)
  • Community-structures that facilitate engagement in health research:
           Ifakara Health Research Institute-Bagamoyo case study [version 2; peer
           review: 2 approved with reservations]

    • Authors: Leah Bategereza, Ally Olotu, Dorcas Kamuya
      Abstract: Background: Involvement of communities in health research has been at the forefront of ethical conduct of research Worldwide. Many scholars put forward different ways of engaging communities in health research, debates on the levels of engagement, who should be engaged in the community and how, still persist. At the Ifakara Health Research Institute (IHI) in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. Different approaches to engaging with the community in health research have been used over the last decade. The present research was aimed to describe the nature of community structures, that could be engaged in health research at the Ifakara Health Institute. Methods: Data collection was undertaken in between February 2019 and December 2019.A total of 25 interviews in which 19 were In-Depth Interviews, and 6 were Focus Group Discussions were carried out.  Respondents were those previously participated in IHI research. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using framework analysis.   Results: Different community structures including; village executive officers, community health workers, hamlet leaders, and community advisory board were involved in engagement activities. Approaches used as per the findings; community-level public meetings, information giving at household level/health facilities, the outpatient attendance at hospital/dispensary, Health District Coordinators,  village leaders/representatives  and  routine health care campaigns; such as Tuberculosis day (TB day), Malaria day and HIV day. Reported   weaknesses were   inconsistence research feedback, insufficient engagement with participants about specific research projects are recruited into and false promises by researchers to community stakeholders. Conclusion: The results emerged the need to strengthen community engagement system at IHI, which require coordination of engagement at the institute and across different research activities. The current approach, seems inadequate but also is very challenging due to minimal opportunities for interactions and for deeper levels of engagement. Recommendations to use other methods such as mass media to reach larger populations is more appropriate than ever.
      PubDate: 2022-03-23T12:59:47Z
      DOI: 10.12688/aasopenres.13187.2
      Issue No: Vol. 4 (2022)
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