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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Domestic unintentional injury of 1 to 5-year-old children in a rural area of West Bengal, India: a community-based study - Tanzania Journal of Health Research, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2016, pp. 1-8



After the partition of Pakistan and India in 1947, many refugee populations resided near the railway tracks that run through the southern parts of Calcutta. These populations lived in shanties of Calcutta’s Rail Colony for over 50 years (Chatterjee, 2005, p. 53). The population that resides in these railway colonies, are also known as “squatters”, and are always in a constant threat of eviction by the railway's authority as they have settled a space on the properties illegally (Chatterjee, 2005, p. 54). These colonies are more than just urban slums, they are the only home for marginalized communities. The people residing in shanties are then known as “non-citizens” who are unable to claim equal citizenship, benefits, agency, and power as everyone else.

 One can question what rights and facilities are in place for these marginalized communities. A lot of children living in these squatters are neglected as their caregivers are at work and are at risk of injuries as these colonies are right next to railway tracks. Childhood injuries is a leading public health issue where unintentional injuries are a cause of morbidity and mortality in children. According to the World Health Organization, over 630,000 deaths occur annually in children less than 15 years of age in 2011 as a result of unintentional injuries.

The Case study conducted by Banerjee et, Al.  sheds light on the issues of unintentional injuries in West Bengal, India at singur block, hoodhly district. It looks at why children are in risks of unintentional injuries. Primary caregivers were interviewed and the researchers assessed the household based on a checklist that identified the level of injury hazards. The results show that more than 37.4 % of the children had some type of injury in the last 3 months.

The study recommends that parental supervision and modification of the households can prevent these injuries.


Chatterjee, P. (2004). The Politics of the Governed Reflection on popular politics in most of the world. New York, New York, United States: Columbia University Press.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa: Call for a Paradigm Shift - African Journal of Reproductive Health, Vol. 20, No. 3, 2016, pp. 19-21

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had been a topic of focus in development. The MDGs were 8 goals that all United Nation members agreed to achieve by 2015.  That were committed “to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women (World Health Organization). Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that followed MDGs aim to not “leave no One Behind”. Not only are the SDGs more ambitious in their goals ( 17 goals and 169 targets), the SDGs have been developed with better consultations, where African countries have played a significant role, are transparent and aimed to have a participatory process.

These 17 Goals are: the eradication of poverty, end hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions and partnerships for the goal.

This commentary suggests that SDG will only bee successful if the succeed in Africa. The analysis suggested that the reform requires these three categories: those who require reform, those who require a revolution and those who require reversal. Reform is required to meet economic growth and strengthening domestic resource mobilization for development. Revolution is where the progress needs to spread in multiples to meet the targets such as eliminating hunger or reducing maternal mortality. The revolution category is being parried with reducing slum population or reducing waste.

Shettima argues that “Achieving gender equality goals will revolutionize the achievement of the other goals and is sin qua, non for the achievement of the other goals and for the general attainment of the values and ideas of SDGS.” She states that many of these targets under gender equality are embedded in cultural and social norms and legislation and policies might be involved to reach these targets. She calls for the implementation of compulsory free and education of women to meet the goal of gender equality.





Monday, May 29, 2017

Risk factors associated with pre-term birth in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: a case-control study - Tanzania Journal of Health Research, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2016, pp. 1-8

Lack of a proper health care system in many developing countries takes a toll on its citizens. There are a lot of disease in developing countries that can be prevented by accessible healthcare. Inadequate health care can affect women, especially when talking about obstetric care. Obstetric care is very crucial and can lead to many complex pregnancies, and infant mortality.

Regular check-ups are important to ensure that the infant is healthy and that the pregnancy is going well. However, with people living in extreme poverty, it is not feasible to get regular checkups. It is important to get checkups as they ensure that the child and the mother are both healthy and don’t have any viruses. However, due to the lack of education on prenatal care, most women do not understand the importance of regular checkups. Therefore, it becomes important to examine the causes of preterm birth.

This article looks at preterm birth, which can be defined as the birth of an infant before the completion of 37 gestation weeks. This is a serious problem in obstetric care. This article looks at how in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania a case-controlled study was conducted to determine the risk factors of preterm births.

This case study was conducted in three municipal hospitals ( Amani, Mwanayamala and Temeke) and 377 women participants with preterm birth cases and term births were asked to participate. Short interviews were conducted to compare these females lifestyles demographics to examine whether cross-cultural factors affect birth.

Results show that certain risk factors are associated with preterm birth that includes multiple pregnancies, untreated vaginal discharge, public prenatal care, untreated unitary tract infection etc.

This study states that is important to have a planner design community-based intervention to tackle the complications of preterm birth.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Risk perception and correlates of alcohol use among out-of-school youth in motor parks in Lagos State, Nigeria - Malawi Medical Journal, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2016, pp. 19-25

Canada, United States, and European countries legalized Alcohol and the trade of alcohol with globalization has resulted in an mass alcohol driven economy. In most developed countries, there are measures in place to ensure that children or teenagers do not consume alcohol due to its risk on their health.  In Canada, the legal age to drink is 19. This is the age at which adolescent are usually in their first year of university, college, or in grade 13. In schools we are taught about alcohol tolerance, and how one should not consume more alcohol than their body can take, or one should not drink alone. There are a lot of health measures in place to ensure people don’t die or have alcohol intoxication. Even with these measures in place, some teenagers push their boundaries and engage in risky behaviours. Now imagine, if these teenagers were not in school and there were no measures placed by the government to ensure that teenagers cannot access alcohol. What will happen?

The study aims to analyze the risks, patterns of use, and the correlation of alcohol with the youth who are out of school, in Motor parks, Lago’s State Nigeria. Since the youth are out of school, they are more vulnerable to miss out an opportunity of learning healthy behaviours regarding the consumption of alcohol.

A cross-sectional study based on interviews was conducted with 380 youth who were out of school.  Results state that the level of alcohol prevalence was 61.1 % and 55.5 % of these youth were current drinkers.  More than half of the current drinkers have a drinking problem and three-quarters of them had experienced at least one episode of alcohol intoxication in the past month. Even though 63.5 % of them wanted to reduce alcohol intake, only 28.9 % received help in reducing drinking.

This study concludes that their needs be a program in place to help youth reduce alcohol intake. As suggested 63.5 % of the youth wanted to reduce their alcohol intake, however, they do not have proper infrastructure or support to reduce their alcohol intake. Thus, their attempts always lead to failure. With the proper help and support, youth can come out of alcoholism.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

INDOOR AIR POllUTION AS A RISK FACTOR FOR FATAL ANTHRACOSIS AND COPD IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA – THE CASE OF AN UNIDENTIFIED RWANDAN MALE ABOUT 50 YEARS - Rwanda Medical Journal, Vol. 73, No. 1, 2016, pp. 27-30


Air pollution one of the factors of climate change is a pressing issue in the world. Especially in third world countries, with carbon dioxide levels rising in the air, it is hard to breathe, and smog rates in cities such as Bangkok, Delhi are at all times high.

 Living in a developing country, the poor people usually migrate to urban cities to work, and usually end up working odd jobs. Living in slums these people burn biofuels or coal to either keep their house warm, to cook or have light at night. This results in them having heavy contact with indoor pollution. These are results of governments not having proper infrastructure to provide for the poor. Without electricity or gas, these people depend on burning wood, coal, whatever they can.

Similarly, this case study looked at the risks of indoor air pollution in Sub-Saharan Africa. This case study looks at a Rwandan male of the age of 50 years and his tendency of having anthracosis. Anthracosis is a disease that occurs due to the accumulation of coal dust in the lungs tissues, this takes places due to heavy pollution levels in major cities, smoking or in the coal mining sector.

This man was found dead in Kigali by the road side, he was fully clothed, and had no signs of trauma. His autopsy report of this man revises that he had severe chronic anthracnose’s, concluding that indoor air pollution, especially due to the burning of biomass and coal in a closed room is a risk factor for pulmonary diseases such as anthracosis.

This case depicts the morphological consequences of long-term exposure to the pollutants on humans. It concludes that there should be preventative methods to reduce the concentration of pollutants indoors by either using more technically advanced devices or improving ventilation in these rooms so the air could leave the room.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Where do we go in terms of safety and quality of obstetric care in Colombia? - Revista Colombia Médica, Vol. 47, No. 1, 2016, pp. 9-10

The United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals consisted of 8 goals that are:

                    1.    to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;
                    2.    to achieve universal primary education;
                    3.    to promote gender equality 
                           and empower women;
                    4.    to reduce child mortality;
                    5.    to improve maternal health;
                    6.    to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria,
                          and other diseases;
                    7.    to ensure environmental sustainability; and
                    8.    to develop a global partnership
                           for development.

All 189 UN member states had agreed to achieve these goals by 2015, the aimed to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women (WHO, 2017). After 2015, Sustainable Development Goals followed and aimed to build on MDG on a broader ambitious (WHO, 2017).  

This article looks at the how the MDG goal of reducing maternal mortality by 75 % was not met. Even though there was a visible achievement in the indicators of access to the prenatal care.  Extreme Maternal Morbidity (EMM) are serious complications that occur during pregnancy or childbirth which can lead to death. Columbia aimed to prevent maternal death and established the monitoring program of EMM.

The analysis of EMM cases that took place during 2007 to 2012 state that there is an occurrence of delay in obstetric care. This is due to factors such as either inability of recognition of the alarming symptoms by the patients, or the lack of proper medical care. The information regardless can give pointers as to what needs to be improved in the country. This also includes having an influence of education on pregnancy and its side effects on females.


EMM is a great way to analyze the obstetric care in Colombia and give pointers as to what the new model should entail under SDG. These recommendations include that the obstetric care should be based on the needs of pregnant women and not on the traditional (Pyramidal) model. It is stressed to have the model be more comprehensive, multidisciplinary and humanized. Usually, the models created look great on paper, but one seems to forget that these need to implemented and be used by humans, thus care and empathy are important parts of health care.

World Health Organization, (2017) Retrieved from:  


Summary Report of Bioline International User Survey



Summary Report of Bioline International User Survey
(June – December 2016)

The survey launched by Bioline International to assess the user base with which we are working finished at the end of December 2016, after some 300 individuals had responded over a period of 6 months. The aim of the survey was to try to establish from which countries usage was taking place, whether the main purpose was to support research activities, or whether it was used mainly as a teaching tool – or both. If the main usage was for research, we wanted to find out which branches of bioscience found the service useful, and what was the overall breadth of usage disciplines.
Since the statistics of usage, which are made public continually on-the-fly from the web site home page (http://www.bioline.org.br ), showed very high usage (more than 15 million full text downloads have been recorded annually in recent years), it seemed important to investigate the user base in order to improve the service in the future.
The full results can be seen on line from http://www.bioline.org.br/survey. From this it can be noted that responding users are drawn from some 65 countries around the world, both from LMICs and from the ‘North’ – particularly from the USA, China and some EU countries. This is interesting, as it demonstrates the importance of the ‘missing science’ to international research progress, and provides encouragement to the publishers in developing countries, and the authors from these regions who provide the content for the journals. Thus, not only is usage of the journals very high, but scientists in the North are finding these articles important to their own research.
Responding users are predominantly from the international university communities, although researchers in government and NGO institutes, both public and private, and schools are also represented. The bioscience disciplines represented are predominantly from the medical and health-related disciplines, including disease control measures and community health developments, but again, agriculture, environmental studies such as climate change research, and policy programmes are interested in the information to be found on the site. It is quite clear that the Bioline user base is very broad and very diverse.
As well as requesting users to complete the survey form, we also invited respondents to tell us a little more about the specific value to their own work that the site provided. Although some 40 respondents provided  more information, this was on the whole brief and generalised and may partly be explained by the fact that for many users, English is not their first language, so that writing more personally could be time consuming. Nevertheless, a few of the responses are attached below, to give a flavour of the general benefits the users found. It would seem from some of the responses that the fact that the service is Open Access and free of charge both to users and publishers is the prime benefit. It is clear also that some of the information appears to be unique and had not been found elsewhere.
It should be explained that Bioline was established more than 25 years ago in early Internet times and before the WWW, and has slowly and steadily grown, thanks to the dedicated work of the Bioline teams in Brasil (CRIA) and Canada (University of Toronto, Scarborough), and occasional UK support, who provide the service mainly within their existing work programmes, and often on a voluntary basis. There is a back log of journals wishing to become part of the service and benefit from the wide usage this would provide, but current resources do not allow expansion at the present time. However, new partners with additional resources would help meet this demand without overstretching current resources.

Some responses provided by individual users (their comments remain anonymous, although all respondents were willing to be contacted by Bioline).

From Malawi: It is indispensable. It has advanced my research skills in natural resource management.
From Ecuador: For scientific research projects concerning my career
It is one of the most relevant pages for research
From Ethiopia: I came across Bioline by mistake! Even though I have access to a lot of publications due to my affiliation to Lorraine University, I could not find an article I was searching for!! However, I could find here at Bioline
From Nigeria: Bioline is very important to us in Nigeria, in my University of Port Harcourt and to my personal research work. The major reason is because it is an open access. We are unable to access the big journals in Elsevier but we also get very useful information in Bioline
From Kenya : It will help the country in identification of public health issues that will inform policy
From Puerto Rica: Bioline provides the latest information of the plants under research. The Asian and India provides good works in our area of study.
From India: It usefull for new researchers given new ideas
From Mexico: Solo busco informacion, estoy a punto de terminar mi licenciatura. Muchas Gracias por brindar estos espacios from Mexico
From Ukraine: It is important to know about the study of plants in South America.
From Kenya: Bioline is important to find out other authors' advances in research work in various fields inclusive of agricultural science.

Bioline thanks the survey respondents that have taken the trouble to tell us a little more about their personal benefits. And thanks also are due to the CRIA team for developing the survey form and tracking usage.
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