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Buea, Cameroon

University of Buea or Université de Buea is located in Buea in South West Cameroon near Mount Cameroon. It was founded as a university centre in 1985 and it became a university in 1992 on basis of government decree. It is one of the two English speaking universities alongside the newly created university of Bamenda in Cameroon.The university was born following wide-ranging university reforms in Cameroon. UB, as it is fondly referred to, was conceived in the English-speaking tradition; the University of Buea seeks to foster the essence of that system, while situating itself within the larger bilingual and multicultural context of Cameroon. Wikipedia.

Cholera has been endemic in Douala since 1971. Most outbreaks start from Bepanda, an overcrowded neighbourhood with poor hygiene and sanitary conditions. We investigated water sources in Bepanda as reservoirs of Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera, determined its antibiotic susceptibility and some physico-chemical characteristics that could maintain the endemicity of this organism in Bepanda. Three hundred and eighteen water samples collected from 45 wells, 8 taps and 1 stream from February to July 2009 were analyzed for V. cholerae using standard methods. Isolates were characterized morphologically, biochemically and serologically. The disc diffusion technique was employed to investigate antibiotic susceptibility. Differences in prevalence of organism between seasons were analysed. Correlation strength and direction of association between physico-chemical parameters and occurrence of V. cholerae was analyzed using the Kendall tau_b non-parametric correlation. This was further confirmed with the forward-stepwise binary logistic regression. Eighty-seven (27.4%) samples were positive for V. cholerae. Isolation was highest from wells. The organism was isolated in the rainy season and dry season but the frequency of isolation was significantly higher (χ2 = 7.009, df = 1, P = 0.008) in the rainy season. Of the 96 confirmed V. cholerae isolates, 32 (33.3%) belonged to serogroup O1 and 64 (66.6%) were serogroup non-O1/non-O139. Isolates from tap (municipal water) were non-O1/non-O139 strains. Salinity had a significant positive correlation with isolation in the dry season (+0.267, P = 0.015) and rainy season (+0.223, P = 0.028). The forward-stepwise method of binary logistic regression indicated that as pH (Wald = 11.753, df = 1), P = 0.001) increased, odds of isolation of V. cholerae also increased (B = 1.297, S.E = 0.378, Exp(B) = 3.657). All isolates were sensitive to ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin. Multi-drug resistance was predominant among the non-O1/non-O139 isolates. V. cholerae was found in wells and stream in both seasons. Cholera will continue to be a health threat in Bepanda if intervention measures to prevent outbreak are not implemented. Continuous monitoring of water sources in this and other cholera high-risk areas in Cameroon is necessary, for a better preparedness and control of cholera. Source

Monekosso G.L.,University of Buea
Academic Medicine | Year: 2014

Developments in medical education in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past 100 years have been characterized by the continent's unique history. During the first half of the 20th century, the Europeans effectively installed medical education in their African colonies. The years 1950 to 1960 were distinguished by successful movements for independence, with new governments giving priority to medical education. By 1980, there were 51 medical schools in Sub-Saharan Africa. The period from 1975 to 1990 was problematic both politically and economically for Sub-Saharan Africa, and medical schools did not escape the general difficulties. War, corruption, mounting national debts, and political instability were characteristics of this period. In many countries, maintaining medical school assets - faculty members, buildings, laboratories, libraries - became difficult, and emigration became the goal of many health professionals. In contrast, the past 20 years have seen rapid growth in the number of medical schools in Sub-Saharan Africa. Economic growth and political stability in most Sub-Saharan African countries augur well for investment in health systems strengthening and in medical education. There are, nonetheless, major problem areas, including inadequate funding, challenges of sustainability, and the continuing brain drain. The 20th century was a time of colonialism and the struggle for independence during which medical education did not advance as quickly or broadly as it did in other regions of the world. The 21st century promises a different history, one of rapid growth in medical education, leading to better care and better health for the people of Africa. Source

Cho-Ngwa F.,University of Buea
BMC complementary and alternative medicine | Year: 2014

Onchocerciasis caused by Onchocerca volvulus is the world's second leading infectious cause of blindness. There is currently no cure for the disease. Ivermectin, the current drug of choice is only microfilaricidal and suboptimal response to it is increasingly being reported. Thus, in contributing to the search for a cure, crude extracts and chromatographic fractions of Craterispermum laurinum and Morinda lucida were screened in vitro, against the bovine and most popular model of the parasite, Onchocerca ochengi. Extracted parasites were cultured in RPMI-1640 based media for 05 days in the presence of control drugs, test drugs or drug diluents only. Microfilarial motility was scored using microscopy while adult worm viability was determined biochemically by MTT/formazan colorimetry. Cytotoxicity and acute toxicity of active fractions were tested on monkey kidney epithelial cells (LLCMK2) and in Balb/c mice, respectively. Out of the 18 extracts screened, the methanolic extracts of the leaves of both plants recorded the highest activities against both the microfilariae (IC100 of 125 μg/ml for both extracts) and adult worms (IC100 of 250 μg/ml and 500 μg/ml for M. lucida and C. laurinum respectively). The most active chromatographic fraction was obtained from M. lucida and had an IC50 of 7.8 μg/ml and 15.63 μg/ml on microfilariae and adult worms respectively, while the most active fraction from C. laurinum had an IC50 of 15.63 μg/ml and 46.8 μg/ml, respectively on microfilariae and adult worms. The 50% cytotoxic concentration (CC50s) on LLCMK2 cells ranged from 15.625 μg/ml to 125 μg/ml for the active fractions. No acute toxicity was recorded for the extracts from both plants. Phytochemical analysis of the most active fractions revealed the presence of sterols, alkaloids, triterpenes, saponins and flavonoids. This study validates the use of these plants by traditional health practitioners in managing the disease, and also suggests a new source for isolation of potential lead compounds against Onchocerca volvulus. Source

Computer-aided drug design (CADD) often involves virtual screening (VS) of large compound datasets and the availability of such is vital for drug discovery protocols. We assess the bioactivity and "drug-likeness" of a relatively small but structurally diverse dataset (containing >1,000 compounds) from African medicinal plants, which have been tested and proven a wide range of biological activities. The geographical regions of collection of the medicinal plants cover the entire continent of Africa, based on data from literature sources and information from traditional healers. For each isolated compound, the three dimensional (3D) structure has been used to calculate physico-chemical properties used in the prediction of oral bioavailability on the basis of Lipinski's "Rule of Five". A comparative analysis has been carried out with the "drug-like", "lead-like", and "fragment-like" subsets, as well as with the Dictionary of Natural Products. A diversity analysis has been carried out in comparison with the ChemBridge diverse database. Furthermore, descriptors related to absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity (ADMET) have been used to predict the pharmacokinetic profile of the compounds within the dataset. Our results prove that drug discovery, beginning with natural products from the African flora, could be highly promising. The 3D structures are available and could be useful for virtual screening and natural product lead generation programs. Source

Nsagha D.S.,University of Buea
The Pan African medical journal | Year: 2011

Leprosy is caused by Mycobacterium leprae and manifests as damage to the skin and peripheral nerves. The disease is dreaded because it causes deformities, blindness and disfigurement. Worldwide, 2 million people are estimated to be disabled by leprosy. Multidrug therapy is highly effective in curing leprosy, but treating the nerve damage is much more difficult. The World Health Assembly targeted to eliminate leprosy as a public health problem from the world by 2000. The objective of the review was to assess the successes of the leprosy elimination strategy, elimination hurdles and the way forward for leprosy eradication. A structured search was used to identify publications on the elimination strategy. The keywords used were leprosy, elimination and 2000. To identify potential publications, we included papers on leprosy elimination monitoring, special action projects for the elimination of leprosy, modified leprosy elimination campaigns, and the Global Alliance to eliminate leprosy from the following principal data bases: Cochrane data base of systematic reviews, PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, and the Leprosy data base. We also scanned reference lists for important citations. Key leprosy journals including WHO publications were also reviewed. The search identified 63 journal publications on leprosy-related terms that included a form of elimination of which 19 comprehensively tackled the keywords including a book on leprosy elimination. In 1991, the 44th World Health Assembly called for the elimination of leprosy as a public health problem in the world by 2000. Elimination was defined as less than one case of leprosy per 10000-population. Elimination has been made possible by a confluence of several orders of opportunities: the scientific (the natural history of leprosy at the present state of knowledge), technological (multi-drug therapy and the blister pack); political (commitment of governments) and financial (support from NGOs for example the Nippon Foundation that supplies free multi-drug therapy) opportunities. Elimination created the unrealistic expectation that the leprosy problem could be solved by 2000. First, the elimination goal was not feasible in several areas which had high incidence of leprosy. Even if elimination was to be attained, significant numbers of new cases of leprosy would continue to occur and many people with physical imperfections, severe psychological, economic and social problems caused by leprosy would need continuous assistance. Extra-human reservoirs of Mycobacterium leprae, the relationship between leprosy and poverty, prevention of disabilities, lack of a reliable laboratory test to detect subclinical infection and a vaccine are also challenging issues. The evidence base available to inform on leprosy elimination is highly positive with the availability of multi-drug therapy blister packs. There are concerns that leprosy was not the right disease to be targeted for elimination as there are no reliable diagnostic tests to detect subclinical infection including the lack of a vaccine, extra-human reservoirs (monkeys and armadillos), increase in the burden of child cases, no good epidemiological indicator as prevalence instead of incidence is used to measure elimination. Multi-drug therapy treats leprosy very well but there is no proof that it concurrently interrupts transmission. The high social stigma, prevention of disabilities, and the relationship between leprosy and poverty are still major concerns. Source

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