African Health Sciences, Vol. 7, No. 1, March, 2007, pp. 2
Code Number: hs07001
Welcome to the first issue of African Health Sciences this year.
We are grateful to the authors, editorial board, international consultants, readers and others who have all continued to contribute to the success of AHS.
This issue presents an interesting, novel and unique collection of articles on a variety of topics ranging from effects of common household substances like organophosphate insecticides and botulinum, to issues of “man biting man” or more politely; human bites and their treatment .
First, Ferdinand Ngoula’s caution against organophosphate insecticides, consequent to his study of the harmful effects of pirimiphos-methyl on fertility of adult male rats1. Ngoula et al stumble on a hair-raising finding: pirimiphos-methyl reduces sperm density and maturity plus dropping fertility, through reduction of spermatogenesis.
Uterine sarcoma is another cause of PV bleeding in postmenopausal women accounting for 0.5-4% of gynaecological emergencies in Nigerian women2.This finding is articulated by Seleye-Fubara et al, following a 12 year-long retrospective clinical-pathological study. Botulinum, that ancient poison, infamous for it paralysing effects, has improved its public image3. It is recommended by Mohamed Ramdan et al as an effective alternative for surgery for treatment of uncomplicated idiopathic anal fissure.
Chlamydia, that mysterious organism, once believed to be a virus, but now a recognized microbiological foe, in its won class, dwells abundantly and pathogenically within humans, inflicting all manner of ill4. Okoror L et al following screening of 565 Nigerian women and men bring this interesting discovery to light.
Health related perceptions might appear so real, to those who have not been fortunate to be exposed to truth, that they unjustly rob them of their meagre health resources. False teeth “ebiino” and millet disease alias “Oburo”, are perhaps the most important of such perceptions in Africa5. Fred Nuwaha et al, from their work in Bushenyi district, Uganda, remind us of these age old perceptions, noting that they are commoner among the low social class, and are attributed to low access to preventive and curative health services.
Odong-Aginya et al describe an interesting modification of the Kato-Katz method for helmith eggs demonstration6. We then switch over to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa.As Andre Paschal Kengne puts it; NCDs such as hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases are becoming important causes of mortality and morbidity in all developing countries and may soon challenge infectious diseases as a threatening health priorities 8.This is exemplified by the frighteningly high prevalence (20.8%), of hypertension and related risk factors among Cameroon urban dwellers.
Adamson S Muula et al carry NCDS to further heights by focusing on the alarmingly high exposure of vulnerable school-going adolescents, to tobacco and tobacco-related advertisements, in Lilongwe: Malawi and Kampala: Uganda.
“Man bites man”, sounds strange, doesn’t it, that man can like some veracious beast, pounce upon fellow, man and bite of part, or parts of his/her anatomy, worse still, leading to loss of this invaluable body part! But thanks to science and medicine, there are now effective surgical methods for achieving good results in cases on human bites. Olaitan et al from Nigeria narrate how to surgically deal with wounds, resulting from this not infrequent, but inappropriate human defensive/ offensive behaviour10.
The parting shot comes from Erasmus Otolok-Tanga et al who articulate the actions of Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) and their influence on HIV/AIDS-related stigma in Uganda11.
Michael G Kawooya
Copyright © 2007 - Makerere Medical School, Uganda