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Mbugi E.V.,Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences | Chilongola J.O.,Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute
World Allergy Organization Journal | Year: 2010

In Africa, the burden of some diseases has been a problem for centuries. The spectrum of African diseases includes allergies, infections, nutritional deficiencies, and natural disasters. Efforts made by scientists to search for possible means of disease control have been outstanding; however, in some infections, solutions are still out of reach. In disease control programs, it might be worthwhile to pay attention to the most striking diseases than merely follow a holistic approach. This short review tackles the problems of allergy and allergens in Africa as compared with other disease burdens that may suggest the need for a more balanced approach based on priority. Copyright © 2010 by World Allergy Organization.

Dima A.L.,University of Amsterdam | Stutterheim S.E.,Open Box | Lyimo R.,Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute | De Bruin M.,University of Amsterdam | De Bruin M.,Aberdeen Group
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2014

Disclosure of HIV status has been the focus of three decades of research, which have revealed its complex relations to many behaviors involved in HIV prevention and treatment, and exposed its central role in managing the HIV epidemic. The causes and consequences of disclosure acts have recently been the subject of several theoretical models. Although it is acknowledged that individual disclosure events are part of a broader process of disclosing one's HIV status to an increasing number of people, this process has received less theoretical attention. In quantitative studies of disclosure, researchers have often implicitly assumed that disclosure is a single unidimensional process appropriately measured via the total number of one's disclosure acts. However, there is also evidence that disclosure may have different causes and consequences depending on the types of actors involved (e.g. family members, friends) and on the presence or absence of the discloser's intention, suggesting that the unidimensionality assumption may not hold. We quantitatively examined the dimensionality of voluntary and involuntary disclosure to different categories of actors, using data collected via structured interviews in the spring of 2010 from 158 people living with HIV in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. For voluntary disclosure, nonparametric item response analyses identified two multi-category clusters, family and community, and two single-category dimensions, partner and children. Involuntary disclosure consisted of several single- or two-category dimensions. Correlation analyses between the resulting disclosure dimensions and stigma and social support revealed distinct relationships for each disclosure dimension. Our results suggest that treating disclosure as a unidimensional construct is a simplification of disclosure processes that may lead to incorrect conclusions about disclosure correlates. We therefore recommend examining disclosure acts jointly to identify sample-specific dimensions before examining causes and consequences of disclosure. We propose a methodology for investigating disclosure processes, and recommend its adoption in future disclosure studies. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Lyimo R.A.,Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute | De Bruin M.,Wageningen University | Van Den Boogaard J.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Hospers H.J.,Maastricht University | And 2 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2012

Background: To design effective, tailored interventions to support antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, a thorough understanding of the barriers and facilitators of ART adherence is required. Factors at the individual and interpersonal level, ART treatment characteristics and health care factors have been proposed as important adherence determinants. Methods. To identify the most relevant determinants of adherence in northern Tanzania, in-depth interviews were carried out with 61 treatment-experienced patients from four different clinics. The interviews were ad-verbatim transcribed and recurrent themes were coded. Results: Coding results showed that the majority of patients had basic understanding of adherence, but also revealed misconceptions about taking medication after alcohol use. Adherence motivating beliefs were the perception of improved health and the desire to live like others, as well as the desire to be a good parent. A de-motivating belief was that stopping ART after being prayed for was an act of faith. Facilitators of adherence were support from friends and family, and assistance of home based care (HBC) providers. Important barriers to ART adherence were the use of alcohol, unavailability of food, stigma and disclosure concerns, and the clinics dispensing too few pills. Strategies recommended by the patients to improve adherence included better Care and Treatment Centre (CTC) services, recruitment of patients to become Home Based Care (HBC) providers, and addressing the problem of stigma through education. Conclusion: This study underscores the importance of designing tailored, patient-centered adherence interventions to address challenges at the patient, family, community and health care level. © 2012 Lyimo et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Lyimo R.A.,Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute | Stutterheim S.E.,Open University | Hospers H.J.,MaastrichtUniversity | De Glee T.,Wageningen University | And 2 more authors.
AIDS Patient Care and STDs | Year: 2014

This study examines a proposed theoretical model examining the interrelationships between stigma, disclosure, coping, and medication adherence among 158 HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in northern Tanzania. Perceived and self-stigma, voluntary and involuntary disclosure, positive and negative coping, and demographics were assessed by trained interviewers, and self-reported adherence was collected during 5 months follow-up. Data were examined using correlation and regression analyses. The analyses showed that perceived stigma is primarily related to involuntary disclosure, whereas self-stigma is related to voluntary disclosure. Religious coping positively relates to acceptance, whereas perceived stigma explains higher levels of denial of HIV status. Lastly, adherence was negatively affected by alcohol use, self-stigma, and denial. We conclude that adherence is predominantly predicted by negative rather than positive coping mechanisms. Therefore, substituting maladaptive coping mechanisms like denial and alcohol use with a more adaptive coping style may be an important strategy to improve long-term ART adherence and well-being of patients. Moreover, this study showed that it is useful to examine both involuntary and voluntary disclosure when studying its relation with stigma. © 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Rugemalila J.,Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College | Maro V.P.,Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College | Kapanda G.,Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College | Ndaro A.J.,Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute | Jarvis J.N.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Tropical Medicine and International Health | Year: 2013

Objectives: Cryptococcal antigen (CRAG) screening at antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation and pre-emptive antifungal treatment for those testing positive could prevent many cases of cryptococcal meningitis (CM). To investigate whether CRAG screening would be feasible in Tanzania, we conducted a cross-sectional study measuring CRAG prevalence in ART clinic patients and comparing the novel lateral flow assay (LFA) with the cryptococcal latex agglutination (LA) test. Methods: Consecutive HIV-infected outpatients with CD4 counts <200 cells/μL, who were ART naive or had been on ART for <6 months, were screened for CRAG using the LA and LFA kits. For further assay validation, HIV-infected inpatients with suspected cryptococcal disease were also tested using the LA and LFA kits. Results: Cryptococcal antigen was detected in seven of 218 ART clinic attendees (3%). Six patients (5%) with CD4 cell counts ≤100 cells/μL (n = 124) were CRAG-positive. Agreement between the LA and LFA test in the 218 outpatients was 100%. Another 101 inpatients were tested for CRAG, of whom 56 (55%) were CRAG-positive on both the LA and LFA tests. One patient was positive using the LFA test but negative on the LA test. The overall agreement between the two assays was 99.7%, kappa coefficient 0.99 (standard error 0.06, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Five percentage of ART clinic patients with CD4 cell counts ≤100 cells/μL in northern Tanzania had asymptomatic cryptococcal antigenaemia, suggesting that CRAG screening would be worthwhile in the Tanzanian ART programme. The LFA is a reliable, cheap and practical alternative to LA for detection of CRAG. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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