29 research outputs found

    Knowledge and perceptions of type 2 diabetes among Ghanaian migrants in three European countries and Ghanaians in rural and urban Ghana: The RODAM qualitative study.

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    African migrants in Europe and continental Africans are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes (T2D). Both groups develop T2D at a younger age, and have higher morbidity and mortality from T2D and complications, compared to European populations. To reduce risk, and avoidable disability and premature deaths, culturally congruent and context specific interventions are required. This study aimed to: (a) assess perceptions and knowledge of T2D among Ghanaian migrants in Europe and their compatriots in Ghana and (b) identify specific perceptions and knowledge gaps that might predispose migrants to higher risk of diabetes. Data was gathered through 26 focus groups with 180 individuals, aged 21 to 70, from Amsterdam, Berlin and London and rural and urban Ashanti Region, Ghana. Thematic analysis of the data was informed by Social Representations Theory, which focuses on the sources, content and functions of social knowledge. Three key insights emerged from analysis. First, there was general awareness, across migrant and non-migrant groups, of T2D as a serious chronic condition with life threatening complications, and some knowledge of biomedical strategies to prevent diabetes (e.g healthy eating) and diabetes complications (e.g medication adherence). However, knowledge of T2D prevention and reduction of diabetes complications was not comprehensive. Secondly, knowledge of biomedical diabetes theories and interventions co-existed with theories about psychosocial and supernatural causes of diabetes and the efficacy of herbal and faith-based treatment of diabetes. Finally, migrants' knowledge was informed by both Ghanaian and European systems of T2D knowledge suggesting enculturation dynamics. We discuss the development of culturally congruent and context-specific T2D interventions for the research communities

    Potential impact of host immunity on malaria treatment outcome in Tanzanian children infected with Plasmodium falciparum

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>In malaria endemic areas children may recover from malaria after chemotherapy in spite of harbouring genotypically drug-resistant <it>Plasmodium falciparum</it>. This phenomenon suggests that there is a synergy between drug treatment and acquired immunity. This hypothesis was examined in an area of moderately intense transmission of <it>P. falciparum </it>in Tanzania during a drug trail with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) or amodiaquine (AQ).</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>One hundred children with uncomplicated malaria were treated with either SP or AQ and followed for 28 days. Mutations in parasite genes related to SP and AQ-resistance as well as human sickle cell trait and alpha-thalassaemia were determined using PCR and sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (SSOP-ELISA), and IgG antibody responses to a panel of <it>P. falciparum </it>antigens were assessed and related to treatment outcome.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Parasitological or clinical treatment failure (TF) was observed in 68% and 38% of children receiving SP or AQ, respectively. In those with adequate clinical and parasitological response (ACPR) compared to children with TF, and for both treatment regimens, prevalence and levels of anti-Glutamate-rich Protein (GLURP)-specific IgG antibodies were significantly higher (P < 0.001), while prevalence of parasite haplotypes associated with SP and AQ resistance was lower (P = 0.02 and P = 0.07, respectively). Interestingly, anti-GLURP-IgG antibodies were more strongly associated with treatment outcome than parasite resistant haplotypes, while the IgG responses to none of the other 11 malaria antigens were not significantly associated with ACPR.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>These findings suggest that GLURP-specific IgG antibodies in this setting contribute to clearance of drug-resistant infections and support the hypothesis that acquired immunity enhances the clinical efficacy of drug therapy. The results should be confirmed in larger scale with greater sample size and with variation in transmission intensity.</p

    Rationale and cross-sectional study design of the Research on Obesity and type 2 Diabetes among African Migrants: the RODAM study.

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    INTRODUCTION: Obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are highly prevalent among African migrants compared with European descent populations. The underlying reasons still remain a puzzle. Gene-environmental interaction is now seen as a potential plausible factor contributing to the high prevalence of obesity and T2D, but has not yet been investigated. The overall aim of the Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants (RODAM) project is to understand the reasons for the high prevalence of obesity and T2D among sub-Saharan Africans in diaspora by (1) studying the complex interplay between environment (eg, lifestyle), healthcare, biochemical and (epi)genetic factors, and their relative contributions to the high prevalence of obesity and T2D; (2) to identify specific risk factors within these broad categories to guide intervention programmes and (3) to provide a basic knowledge for improving diagnosis and treatment. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: RODAM is a multicentre cross-sectional study among homogenous sub-Saharan African participants (ie, Ghanaians) aged >25 years living in rural and urban Ghana, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK (http://rod-am.eu/). Standardised data on the main outcomes, genetic and non-genetic factors are collected in all locations. The aim is to recruit 6250 individuals comprising five subgroups of 1250 individuals from each site. In Ghana, Kumasi and Obuasi (urban stratum) and villages in the Ashanti region (rural stratum) are served as recruitment sites. In Europe, Ghanaian migrants are selected through the municipality or Ghanaian organisations registers. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval has been obtained in all sites. This paper gives an overview of the rationale, conceptual framework and methods of the study. The differences across locations will allow us to gain insight into genetic and non-genetic factors contributing to the occurrence of obesity and T2D and will inform targeted intervention and prevention programmes, and provide the basis for improving diagnosis and treatment in these populations and beyond

    Host candidate gene polymorphisms and clearance of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites

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    Resistance to anti-malarial drugs is a widespread problem for control programmes for this devastating disease. Molecular tests are available for many anti-malarial drugs and are useful tools for the surveillance of drug resistance. However, the correlation of treatment outcome and molecular tests with particular parasite markers is not perfect, due in part to individuals who are able to clear genotypically drug-resistant parasites. This study aimed to identify molecular markers in the human genome that correlate with the clearance of malaria parasites after drug treatment, despite the drug resistance profile of the protozoan as predicted by molecular approaches

    Community and individual sense of trust and psychological distress among the urban poor in Accra, Ghana.

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    BACKGROUND:Mental health disorders present significant health challenges in populations in sub Saharan Africa especially in deprived urban poor contexts. Some studies have suggested that in collectivistic societies such as most African societies people can draw on social capital to attenuate the effect of community stressors on their mental health. Global studies suggest the effect of social capital on mental disorders such as psychological distress is mixed, and emerging studies on the psychosocial characteristics of collectivistic societies suggest that mistrust and suspicion sometimes deprive people of the benefit of social capital. In this study, we argue that trust which is often measured as a component of social capital has a more direct effect on reducing community stressors in such deprived communities. METHODS:Data from the Urban Health and Poverty Survey (EDULINK Wave III) survey were used. The survey was conducted in 2013 in three urban poor communities in Accra: Agbogbloshie, James Town and Ussher Town. Psychological distress was measured with a symptomatic wellbeing scale. Participants' perceptions of their neighbours' willingness to trust, protect and assist others was used to measure community sense of trust. Participants' willingness to ask for and receive help from neighbours was used to measure personal sense of trust. Demographic factors were controlled for. The data were analyzed using descriptive and multivariate regressions. RESULTS:The mean level of psychological distress among the residents was 25.5 (SD 5.5). Personal sense of trust was 8.2 (SD 2.0), and that of community sense of trust was 7.5 (SD 2.8). While community level trust was not significant, personal sense of trust significantly reduced psychological distress (B = -.2016728, t = -2.59, p < 0.010). The other factors associated with psychological distress in this model were perceived economic standing, education and locality of residence. CONCLUSION:This study presents evidence that more trusting individuals are significantly less likely to be psychologically distressed within deprived urban communities in Accra. Positive intra and inter individual level variables such as personal level trust and perceived relative economic standing significantly attenuated the effect of psychological distress in communities with high level neighbourhood disorder in Accra

    Levels of Antibody to Conserved Parts of Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Protein 1 in Ghanaian Children Are Not Associated with Protection from Clinical Malaria

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    The 19-kDa conserved C-terminal part of the Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (PfMSP1(19)) is a malaria vaccine candidate antigen, and human antibody responses to PfMSP1(19) have been associated with protection against clinical malaria. In this longitudinal study carried out in an area of stable but seasonal malaria transmission with an estimated parasite inoculation of about 20 infective bites/year, we monitored 266 3- to 15-year-old Ghanaian children clinically and parasitologically over a period of 18 months. Blood samples were collected at the beginning of the study before the major malaria season in April and after the season in November. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we measured antibody responses to recombinant gluthathione S-transferase‚ÄďPfMSP1(19) fusion proteins corresponding to the Wellcome and MAD20 allelic variants in these samples. Prevalence of antibodies recognizing the Wellcome 19 construct containing both epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like motifs in Wellcome type PfMSP1(19) was about 30%. Prevalence of antibodies to constructs containing only the first EGF domain from either Wellcome or MAD20 type PfMSP1(19) was about 15%, whereas antibodies recognizing a construct containing only the second EGF domain of MAD20 type PfMSP1(19) was found in only about 4% of the donors. Neither the prevalence nor the levels of any of the antibody specificities varied significantly with season, age, or sex. Significantly, and in contrast to previous reports from other parts of West Africa, we found no evidence of an association between antibody responses to PfMSP1(19) and clinical protection against malaria

    The Impact of Resettlement on Quality of Life in Ghana: The Mediating Role of Residential Satisfaction

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    The effects of large-scale land acquisitions for development projects such as mining, urbanization and dams are widely contested in the literature. Prior research has focused on the difficulties that resettlement poses for the affected families in terms of their capacity to meet the demands of the new community. This study suggests that resettlement (built environment) quality may act as a predictor and influence the residential satisfaction and quality of life of project-affected families. This study investigates how residential satisfaction influences the relationship between the quality of the dwelling, the context of resettlement homes, and the quality of life of mining-affected families in Ghana. A sample of 256 household heads displaced by a large-scale mining project in Ellembelle was used to evaluate the suggested model. The findings indicate that resettlement quality greatly enhances the quality of life of the mining-affected families. The findings also revealed that residential satisfaction was a significant mediator of the quality of dwellings and the context of the resettlement, in addition to being a strong predictor of quality of life. Indirectly, resident characteristics, such as socioeconomic and demographic conditions, influenced how people felt about their homes and quality of life. These results indicate that residential satisfaction and resettlement quality are accurate indicators of the mining-affected families’ quality of life. Integrating these features make it possible to quantify the mining-affected families’ quality of life for future research and public policy
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