Windhoek, Namibia

University of Namibia
Windhoek, Namibia

The University of Namibia is the national university of Namibia, located in the Pioneers Park residential area of Windhoek. Established by an act of National Assembly on 31 August 1992, UNAM includes Faculties of Agriculture and Natural resources, Economics & Management science Education, Humanities and Social science, Law, Medical & Health Science, and Science. The University of Namibia is the only institution to offer a doctorate in the study of the Khoekhoe language. Wikipedia.

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Since many rural-poor Lozi people of Sesheke District (Western Province, Zambia) that suffer from sexually transmitted infections do not usually access public health facilities; they turn to traditional healers who administer remedies extracted from medicinal plants. However, the medicinal plants used for sexually transmitted infections and data on the usage of plants in Sesheke District in particular and Western Province in general have not been documented. In this study, an ethnobotanical survey was con-ducted to document the indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants that alleviate symptoms of sexuallytransmitted infections in Sesheke District, Western Province, Zambia. Using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires, ethno botanical data were collected from twenty traditional healers that manage patients presenting with sexually transmitted infections. The results showed that 52 plant species in 25families and 43 genera were used to treat gonorrhoea, syphilis, chancroid, chlamydia, genital herpes, andano-genital warts. Sexually transmitted infections were frequently managed using the following plants:Terminalia sericea, Strychnos cocculoides, Ximenia caffra, Cassia abbreviata, Cassia occidentalis, Combretumhereroense, Combretum imberbe, Dichrostachys cinerea, Boscia albitrunca, Momordica balsamina and Pel-tophorum africanum. Many of these plants have putative antimicrobial activities which may justify theirroles as natural remedies for sexually transmitted infections. Further studies are needed to determine the dosages, minimum inhibitory concentrations, biological activities and toxicities, and characterise the plants’ chemical compounds. © 2016 Sociedade Brasileira de Farmacognosia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

Gunther G.,University of Namibia
Clinical Medicine, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London | Year: 2014

Multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis are recent global health issues, which makes tuberculosis - after the success of short course treatment during the second half of the last century - a major health challenge. Globalisation, health inequalities, competing economic interests and political instability contribute substantially to the spread of drug-resistant strains, which are associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Issues such as increasing transmission of drug-resistant strains, poor diagnostic coverage and a lengthy, toxic treatment need to be overcome by innovative approaches to tuberculosis control, prevention, diagnostics and treatment. This review addresses recent developments and future concepts. © Royal College of Physicians 2014. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra-PP | Phase: INFRA-2010-2.2.10 | Award Amount: 8.01M | Year: 2010

The Cherenkov Telescope Array CTA will be the first open facility for gamma-ray astronomy in the very-high-energy domain, with a performance which is dramatically improved over existing instruments in terms of sensitivity, energy coverage, survey capability and flexibility. CTA will probe non-thermal phenomena in the Universe known to have comparable energy content to other forms of energy such as thermal radiation both in our own Galaxy and at cosmological distances, addressing questions in astrophysics, astroparticle physics, particle physics, plasma physics, cosmology, and fundamental physics. The CTA preparatory phase CTA-PP will address a number of crucial prerequisites for the approval, construction and operation of CTA: > the set-up of a Project Office offering means for electronic communication as well as data storage and handling for documents of the whole consortium > the legal framework, governance schemes, and financial regulations for the following phases of CTA (pre-construction, construction and operation) > assuring funding for the pre-construction phase after termination of CTA-PP > the preparation of funding agreements between potential funding agencies > the preparation of negotiations with potential host countries for the CTA instrument > the detailed technical design and costing of the CTA observatory > the selection of sites for deployment negotiations, and detailing and cost-estimation of the required site infrastructure > the schemes for procurement and industry involvement in the technical design and construction of CTA > the required linking with relevant science communities regarding the detailed definition of the science program, the corresponding final optimisation of the observatory layout, and the definition of user services and data access. For CTA-PP, support is sought primarily for work on the legal, governance and financial issues, for the installation of a project office coordinating and supporting management of CTA-PP as well as the design of CTA and the planning of the implementation, and for studies regarding the optimisation and production of CTA components by industry. The ultimate delivery of CTA-PP will be a detailed implementation plan for the CTA infrastructure.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.5-02 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2012

Food security is a major concern for all countries in the face of population increase and diminishing energy and water supplies. Over one billion people in low and middle income countries suffer from malnutrition. To meet the UN Millennium Development Goals to eradicate hunger and poverty, it is essential to reduce post harvest losses, including in the fisheries sector. The overall objectives of SECUREFISH are to strengthen capacity in low cost technology; to improve the preservation of existing fish supplies; to utilise waste and bycatch to produce value-added products; to develop an integrated quality management tool and finally to test the developed technology and quality management tool in different real third country conditions. There are six work packages (WP). WP1 will ensure the efficient management of the project. WP2 will develop low cost innovative processing tools based on traditional technology for preserving fish including a solar tunnel drier, a modified solar assisted extruder and fast freezing/ continuous atmosphere freeze-drier (CAFD). In WP3, underutilised bycatch and waste by-products of fish processing will be recovered and converted to high value products. WP4 will develop an effective total quality management tool (safety and risk assessment; HACCP quality cost and traceability, nutritional and eating quality and carbon footprint) of three fish product chains (solar dried, extruded and frozen/CAFD) which will be tailored to suit local needs. The technological advances (WP2) and quality management tool (WP4) will be evaluated in the three fish product chain case studies in Africa (Kenya, Namibia, Ghana), Asia (India and Malaysia) and Latin America (Argentina) to include different economic, cultural and social conditions. The case studies involve stakeholders including SMEs to ensure sustained implementation of project results. WP6 details a strategy for education, training and dissemination to widely promote the results and guidelines.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.5-2 | Award Amount: 3.31M | Year: 2009

Healthcare can be neither universal nor equitable if it is less accessible to some sections of society than it is to others. EquitAbles focus on activity limitations brings recent thinking on disability, public health and health policy together to provide data that is crucial to enable universal and equitable access to healthcare in resource poor settings. EquitAble is a four-year collaborative research programme comprised of both leading and upcoming researchers, from two European and four African countries. Each of the African partner countries represent distinct challenges in terms of equitable access to health care in contexts where a large proportion of the population has been displaced (Sudan); where the population is highly dispersed (Namibia); where chronic poverty and high disease burden compete for meagre resources (Malawi); and where, despite relative wealth, universal and equitable access to health care is yet to be attained (South Africa). Documentary analysis of international and country-level health policy will identify health policy aspirations and challenges; along with opportunities for alignment and harmonisation, between different stakeholders. Intensive qualitative interviews and case studies, along with behavioural observations will explore the experiences of healthcare users, non-users and providers, and feed into the development of a household survey instrument. The extensive quantitative household survey will allow us to test models of access to healthcare, taking into account how the relationship between activity limitations and healthcare access is mediated by, or interacts with, cultural, contextual and systems variables. These work packages will constitute a much needed evidence base for health policy and practice in resource poor areas. EquitAble also goes beyond the provision of information and addresses how to ensure that research evidence affects policy and practice; both within the EU and Africa.

Chinsembu K.C.,University of Namibia
Acta Tropica | Year: 2016

Due to the growing problem of drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, coupled with the twinning of tuberculosis (TB) to human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), the burden of TB is now difficult to manage. Therefore, new antimycobacterial agents are being sought from natural sources. This review focuses on natural antimycobacterial agents from endophytes and medicinal plants of Africa, Europe, Asia, South America and Canada. In the countries mentioned in this review, numerous plant species display putative anti-TB activity. Several antimycobacterial chemical compounds have also been isolated, including: ellagitannin punicalagin, allicin, anthraquinone glycosides, iridoids, phenylpropanoids, beta-sitosterol, galanthimine, crinine, friedelin, gallic acid, ellagic acids, anthocyanidin, taraxerol, termilignan B, arjunic acid, glucopyranosides, 1-epicatechol, leucopelargonidol, hydroxybenzoic acids, benzophenanthridine alkaloids, neolignans, and decarine. These compounds may provide leads to novel and more efficacious drugs to lessen the global burden of TB and drug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains. If there is a long-term remedy for TB, it must lie in nature's pharmacy of putative antimycobacterial agents. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Chinsembu K.C.,University of Namibia
Acta Tropica | Year: 2015

Although the burden of malaria is decreasing, parasite resistance to current antimalarial drugs and resistance to insecticides by vector mosquitoes threaten the prospects of malaria elimination in endemic areas. Corollary, there is a scientific departure to discover new antimalarial agents from nature. Because the two antimalarial drugs quinine and artemisinin were discovered through improved understanding of the indigenous knowledge of plants, bioprospecting Sub-Saharan Africa's enormous plant biodiversity may be a source of new and better drugs to treat malaria. This review analyses the medicinal plants used to manage malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. Chemical compounds with antiplasmodial activity are described. In the Sub-Saharan African countries cited in this review, hundreds of plants are used as antimalarial remedies. While the number of plant species is not exhaustive, plants used in more than one country probably indicate better antimalarial efficacy and safety. The antiplasmodial data suggest an opportunity for inventing new antimalarial drugs from Sub-Saharan-African flora. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Challenges of resistance to synthetic antimicrobials have opened new vistas in the search for natural products. This article rigorously reviews plants and other natural products used in oral health: Punica granatum L. (pomegranate), Matricaria recutita L. (chamomile), Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze (green tea), chewing sticks made from Diospyros mespiliformis Hochst. ex A.D.C., Diospyros lycioides Desf., and Salvadora persica L. (miswak), honey and propolis from the manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium J.R. Forst. & G. Forst.), rhein from Rheum rhabarbarum L. (rhubarb), dried fruits of Vitis vinifera L. (raisins), essential oils, probiotics and mushrooms. Further, the review highlights plants from Africa, Asia, Brazil, Mexico, Europe, and the Middle East. Some of the plants' antimicrobial properties and chemical principles have been elucidated. While the use of natural products for oral health is prominent in resource-poor settings, antimicrobial testing is mainly conducted in the following countries (in decreasing order of magnitude): India, South Africa, Brazil, Japan, France, Egypt, Iran, Mexico, Kenya, Switzerland, Nigeria, Australia, Uganda, and the United Kingdom. While the review exposes a dire gap for more studies on clinical efficacy and toxicity, the following emerging trend was noted: basic research on plants for oral health is mainly done in Brazil, Europe and Australia. Brazil, China, India and New Zealand generally conduct value addition of natural products for fortification of toothpastes. African countries focus on bioprospecting and primary production of raw plants and other natural products with antimicrobial efficacies. The Middle East and Egypt predominantly research on plants used as chewing sticks. More research and funding are needed in the field of natural products for oral health, especially in Africa where oral diseases are fuelled by human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Quaye I.K.,University of Namibia
Frontiers in Physiology | Year: 2015

Hemoglobin (Hb) is a highly conserved molecule present in all life forms and functionally tied to the complexity of aerobic organisms on earth in utilizing oxygen from the atmosphere and delivering to cells and tissues. This primary function sustains the energy requirements of cells and maintains cellular homeostasis. Decades of intensive research has presented a paradigm shift that shows how the molecule also functions to facilitate smooth oxygen delivery through the cardiovascular system for cellular bioenergetic homeostasis and signaling for cell function and defense. These roles are particularly highlighted in the binding of Hb to gaseous molecules carbon dioxide (CO2), nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO), while also serving indirectly or directly as sources of these signaling molecules. The functional activities impacted by Hb outside of bioenergetics homeostasis, include fertilization, signaling functions, modulation of inflammatory responses for defense and cell viability. These activities are efficiently executed while Hb is sequestered safely within the confines of the red blood cell (rbc). Outside of rbc confines, Hb disaggregates and becomes a danger molecule to cell survival. In these perpectives, Hb function is broadly dichotomous, either a friend in its natural environment providing and facilitating the means for cell function or foe when dislocated from its habitat under stress or pathological condition disrupting cell function. The review presents insights into how this dichotomy in function manifests. © 2015 Quaye.

Metal complex of Cobalt (11) containing a dithio-based ligand have been synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, mass spectrometry, Proton NMR and FT-IR spectrometry. A single crystal X-ray structure of the cadmium complex has been analyzed. The metal complex was subjected to biological tests on falcipain-2 (FP-2) and falcipain-3 (FP-3) cysteine protease enzymes from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. They were further tested in vitro against chloroquine resistant strain (W2). Whereas the potency of the metal complexes was weaker than the control regarding the FP-2 and FP-3, the potency of metal complexes was found to be exceedingly greater than the control when tested against the chloroquine resistant strain (W2) with a strength ratio of (0.5). This paper describes the synthesis, characterization and biological results of the said metal complex containing the deprotonated 3-[1-(2-pyridyl) ethylidene] hydrazinecarbodithioate ligand (FIG. 1).

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