Full Text Available A fundamental step in the evolution of the visual system is the gene duplication of visual opsins and differentiation between the duplicates in absorption spectra and expression pattern in the retina. However, our understanding of the mechanism of expression differentiation is far behind that of spectral tuning of opsins. Zebrafish (Danio rerio have two red-sensitive cone opsin genes, LWS-1 and LWS-2. These genes are arrayed in a tail-to-head manner, in this order, and are both expressed in the long member of double cones (LDCs in the retina. Expression of the longer-wave sensitive LWS-1 occurs later in development and is thus confined to the peripheral, especially ventral-nasal region of the adult retina, whereas expression of LWS-2 occurs earlier and is confined to the central region of the adult retina, shifted slightly to the dorsal-temporal region. In this study, we employed a transgenic reporter assay using fluorescent proteins and P1-artificial chromosome (PAC clones encompassing the two genes and identified a 0.6-kb "LWS-activating region" (LAR upstream of LWS-1, which regulates expression of both genes. Under the 2.6-kb flanking upstream region containing the LAR, the expression pattern of LWS-1 was recapitulated by the fluorescent reporter. On the other hand, when LAR was directly conjugated to the LWS-2 upstream region, the reporter was expressed in the LDCs but also across the entire outer nuclear layer. Deletion of LAR from the PAC clones drastically lowered the reporter expression of the two genes. These results suggest that LAR regulates both LWS-1 and LWS-2 by enhancing their expression and that interaction of LAR with the promoters is competitive between the two genes in a developmentally restricted manner. Sharing a regulatory region between duplicated genes could be a general way to facilitate the expression differentiation in duplicated visual opsins.
Srinivasan, Sundaramoorthy; Fernández-Sampedro, Miguel A; Morillo, Margarita; Ramon, Eva; Jiménez-Rosés, Mireia; Cordomí, Arnau; Garriga, Pere
Human color vision is mediated by the red, green, and blue cone visual pigments. Cone opsins are G-protein-coupled receptors consisting of an opsin apoprotein covalently linked to the 11-cis-retinal chromophore. All visual pigments share a common evolutionary origin, and red and green cone opsins exhibit a higher homology, whereas blue cone opsin shows more resemblance to the dim light receptor rhodopsin. Here we show that chromophore regeneration in photoactivated blue cone opsin exhibits intermediate transient conformations and a secondary retinoid binding event with slower binding kinetics. We also detected a fine-tuning of the conformational change in the photoactivated blue cone opsin binding site that alters the retinal isomer binding specificity. Furthermore, the molecular models of active and inactive blue cone opsins show specific molecular interactions in the retinal binding site that are not present in other opsins. These findings highlight the differential conformational versatility of human cone opsin pigments in the chromophore regeneration process, particularly compared to rhodopsin, and point to relevant functional, unexpected roles other than spectral tuning for the cone visual pigments. Copyright © 2018 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Henze Miriam J
taxa and awaits a functional explanation. From the opsin phylogeny, we conclude that gene duplications, which permitted differential opsin expression in insect ocelli and compound eyes, occurred independently in several insect lineages and are recent compared to the origin of the eyes themselves.
Full Text Available A quantitative analysis of photoreceptor properties was performed in the retina of the nocturnal deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, using pigmented (wildtype and albino animals. The aim was to establish whether the deer mouse is a more suitable model species than the house mouse for photoreceptor studies, and whether oculocutaneous albinism affects its photoreceptor properties. In retinal flatmounts, cone photoreceptors were identified by opsin immunostaining, and their numbers, spectral types, and distributions across the retina were determined. Rod photoreceptors were counted using differential interference contrast microscopy. Pigmented P. maniculatus have a rod-dominated retina with rod densities of about 450.000/mm(2 and cone densities of 3000-6500/mm(2. Two cone opsins, shortwave sensitive (S and middle-to-longwave sensitive (M, are present and expressed in distinct cone types. Partial sequencing of the S opsin gene strongly supports UV sensitivity of the S cone visual pigment. The S cones constitute a 5-15% minority of the cones. Different from house mouse, S and M cone distributions do not have dorsoventral gradients, and coexpression of both opsins in single cones is exceptional (<2% of the cones. In albino P. maniculatus, rod densities are reduced by approximately 40% (270.000/mm(2. Overall, cone density and the density of cones exclusively expressing S opsin are not significantly different from pigmented P. maniculatus. However, in albino retinas S opsin is coexpressed with M opsin in 60-90% of the cones and therefore the population of cones expressing only M opsin is significantly reduced to 5-25%. In conclusion, deer mouse cone properties largely conform to the general mammalian pattern, hence the deer mouse may be better suited than the house mouse for the study of certain basic cone properties, including the effects of albinism on cone opsin expression.
Full Text Available Opn3/TMT opsins belong to one of the opsin groups with vertebrate visual and non-visual opsins, and are widely distributed in eyes, brains and other internal organs in various vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrate Opn3/TMT opsins are further classified into four groups on the basis of their amino acid identities. However, there is limited information about molecular properties of these groups, due to the difficulty in preparing the recombinant proteins. Here, we successfully expressed recombinant proteins of TMT1 and TMT2 opsins of medaka fish (Oryzias latipes in cultured cells and characterized their molecular properties. Spectroscopic and biochemical studies demonstrated that TMT1 and TMT2 opsins functioned as blue light-sensitive Gi/Go-coupled receptors, but exhibited spectral properties and photo-convertibility of the active state different from each other. TMT1 opsin forms a visible light-absorbing active state containing all-trans-retinal, which can be photo-converted to 7-cis- and 9-cis-retinal states in addition to the original 11-cis-retinal state. In contrast, the active state of TMT2 opsin is a UV light-absorbing state having all-trans-retinal and does not photo-convert to any other state, including the original 11-cis-retinal state. Thus, TMT opsins are diversified so as to form a different type of active state, which may be responsible for their different functions.
Van Bocxlaer, Bert
Ecological processes, non-ecological processes or a combination of both may cause reproductive isolation and speciation, but their specific roles and potentially complex interactions in evolutionary radiations remain poorly understood, which defines a central knowledge gap at the interface of microevolution and macroevolution. Here I examine genome scans in combination with phenotypic and environmental data to disentangle how ecological and non-ecological processes contributed to population differentiation and speciation in an ongoing radiation of Lanistes gastropods from the Malawi Basin. I found a remarkable hierarchical structure of differentiation mechanisms in space and time: neutral and mutation-order processes are older and occur mainly between regions, whereas more recent adaptive processes are the main driver of genetic differentiation and reproductive isolation within regions. The strongest differentiation occurs between habitats and between regions, i.e. when ecological and non-ecological processes act synergistically. The structured occurrence of these processes based on the specific geographical setting and ecological opportunities strongly influenced the potential for evolutionary radiation. The results highlight the importance of interactions between various mechanisms of differentiation in evolutionary radiations, and suggest that non-ecological processes are important in adaptive radiations, including those of cichlids. Insight into such interactions is critical to understanding large-scale patterns of organismal diversity. © 2017 The Author(s).
Gutierrez, Eduardo de A; Schott, Ryan K; Preston, Matthew W; Loureiro, Lívia O; Lim, Burton K; Chang, Belinda S W
Bats represent one of the largest and most striking nocturnal mammalian radiations, exhibiting many visual system specializations for performance in light-limited environments. Despite representing the greatest ecological diversity and species richness in Chiroptera, Neotropical lineages have been undersampled in molecular studies, limiting the potential for identifying signatures of selection on visual genes associated with differences in bat ecology. Here, we investigated how diverse ecological pressures mediate long-term shifts in selection upon long-wavelength ( Lws ) and short-wavelength ( Sws1 ) opsins, photosensitive cone pigments that form the basis of colour vision in most mammals, including bats. We used codon-based likelihood clade models to test whether ecological variables associated with reliance on visual information (e.g. echolocation ability and diet) or exposure to varying light environments (e.g. roosting behaviour and foraging habitat) mediated shifts in evolutionary rates in bat cone opsin genes. Using additional cone opsin sequences from newly sequenced eye transcriptomes of six Neotropical bat species, we found significant evidence for different ecological pressures influencing the evolution of the cone opsins. While Lws is evolving under significantly lower constraint in highly specialized high-duty cycle echolocating lineages, which have enhanced sonar ability to detect and track targets, variation in Sws1 constraint was significantly associated with foraging habitat, exhibiting elevated rates of evolution in species that forage among vegetation. This suggests that increased reliance on echolocation as well as the spectral environment experienced by foraging bats may differentially influence the evolution of different cone opsins. Our study demonstrates that different ecological variables may underlie contrasting evolutionary patterns in bat visual opsins, and highlights the suitability of clade models for testing ecological hypotheses of
Battelle, Barbara-Anne; Kempler, Karen E; Harrison, Alexandra; Dugger, Donald R; Payne, Richard
The eyes of the horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus, are a model for studies of visual function and the visual systems of euarthropods. Much is known about the structure and function of L. polyphemus photoreceptors, much less about their photopigments. Three visible-light-sensitive L. polyphemus opsins were characterized previously (LpOps1, 2 and 5). Here we characterize a UV opsin (LpUVOps1) that is expressed in all three types of L. polyphemus eyes. It is expressed in most photoreceptors in median ocelli, the only L. polyphemus eyes in which UV sensitivity was previously detected, and in the dendrite of eccentric cells in lateral compound eyes. Therefore, eccentric cells, previously thought to be non-photosensitive second-order neurons, may actually be UV-sensitive photoreceptors. LpUVOps1 is also expressed in small photoreceptors in L. polyphemus ventral larval eyes, and intracellular recordings from these photoreceptors confirm that LpUVOps1 is an active, UV-sensitive photopigment. These photoreceptors also express LpOps5, which we demonstrate is an active, long-wavelength-sensitive photopigment. Thus small photoreceptors in ventral larval eyes, and probably those of the other larval eyes, have dual sensitivity to UV and visible light. Interestingly, the spectral tuning of small ventral photoreceptors may change day to night, because the level of LpOps5 in their rhabdoms is lower during the day than during the night, whereas LpUVOps1 levels show no diurnal change. These and previous findings show that opsin co-expression and the differential regulation of co-expressed opsins in rhabdoms is a common feature of L. polyphemus photoreceptors. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Nielsen, Mogens Brøndsted
This tutorial review reports on model systems that have been synthesised and investigated for elucidating how opsin proteins tune the absorption of the protonated retinal Schiff base chromophore. In particular, the importance of the counteranion is highlighted. In addition, the review advocates...... is avoided, and it becomes clear that opsin proteins induce blueshifts in the chromophore absorption rather than redshifts....
Methods: The MEDLINE/PubMed database, a registry of articles from over 5,000 scientific journals was searched for articles originating from Malawi between 1996 – 2006 by typing Malawi in the author affiliation search field. A review of abstracts was performed to determine health field and origin of first author – Malawian ...
Wright, Weldon; Pradhan, Sanjay; Bhattacharya, Sulgana; Mahapatra, Vasu; Tripathy, Ashutosh; Gajjeraman, Sivakumar; Mohanty, Samarendra
Photodegenerative retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and dry age related macular degeneration (dry- AMD) lead to loss of vision in millions of individuals. Currently, no surgical or medical treatment is available though optogenetic therapies are in clinical development. Here, we demonstrate vision restoration using Multi- Characteristics Opsin (MCO1) in animal models with photo-degenerated retina. MCO1 is reliably delivered to specific retinal cells via intravitreal injection of Adeno-Associated Virus, leading to significant improvement in visually guided behavior conducted using a radial-arm water maze. The time to reach platform significantly reduced after delivery of MCO1. Notably, the improvement in visually guided behavior was observed even at light intensity levels orders of magnitude lower than that required for Channelrhodopsin-2 opsin. Chronic light exposure study showed that chronic light exposure did not compromise viability of vMCO1-treated retina. Safe virus-mediated MCO1-delivery has potential for effective gene therapy of diverse retinal degenerations in patients.
Borges, Rui; Khan, Imran; Johnson, Warren E; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Zhang, Guojie; Jarvis, Erich D; O'Brien, Stephen J; Antunes, Agostinho
The wide range of complex photic systems observed in birds exemplifies one of their key evolutionary adaptions, a well-developed visual system. However, genomic approaches have yet to be used to disentangle the evolutionary mechanisms that govern evolution of avian visual systems. We performed comparative genomic analyses across 48 avian genomes that span extant bird phylogenetic diversity to assess evolutionary changes in the 17 representatives of the opsin gene family and five plumage coloration genes. Our analyses suggest modern birds have maintained a repertoire of up to 15 opsins. Synteny analyses indicate that PARA and PARIE pineal opsins were lost, probably in conjunction with the degeneration of the parietal organ. Eleven of the 15 avian opsins evolved in a non-neutral pattern, confirming the adaptive importance of vision in birds. Visual conopsins sw1, sw2 and lw evolved under negative selection, while the dim-light RH1 photopigment diversified. The evolutionary patterns of sw1 and of violet/ultraviolet sensitivity in birds suggest that avian ancestors had violet-sensitive vision. Additionally, we demonstrate an adaptive association between the RH2 opsin and the MC1R plumage color gene, suggesting that plumage coloration has been photic mediated. At the intra-avian level we observed some unique adaptive patterns. For example, barn owl showed early signs of pseudogenization in RH2, perhaps in response to nocturnal behavior, and penguins had amino acid deletions in RH2 sites responsible for the red shift and retinal binding. These patterns in the barn owl and penguins were convergent with adaptive strategies in nocturnal and aquatic mammals, respectively. We conclude that birds have evolved diverse opsin adaptations through gene loss, adaptive selection and coevolution with plumage coloration, and that differentiated selective patterns at the species level suggest novel photic pressures to influence evolutionary patterns of more-recent lineages.
Betlach, Mary; Pfeifer, Felicitas; Friedman, James; Boyer, Herbert W.
The bacterio-opsin (bop) gene of Halobacterium halobium R1 has been cloned with about 40 kilobases of flanking genomic sequence. The 40-kilobase segment is derived from the (G+C)-rich fraction of the chromosome and is not homologous to the major (pHH1) or minor endogenous covalently closed circular DNA species of H. halobium. A 5.1-kilobase Pst I fragment containing the bop gene was subcloned in pBR322 and a partial restriction map was determined. Defined restriction fragments of this clone were used as probes to analyze the defects associated with the bop gene in 12 bacterio-opsin mutants. Eleven out of 12 of the mutants examined had inserts ranging from 350 to 3,000 base pairs either in the bop gene or up to 1,400 base pairs upstream. The positions of the inserts were localized to four regions in the 5.1-kilobase genomic fragment: within the gene (one mutant), in a region that overlaps the 5′ end of the gene (seven mutants), and in two different upstream regions (three mutants). Two revertants of the mutant with the most distal insert had an additional insert in the same region. The polar effects of these inserts are discussed in terms of inactivation of a regulatory gene or disruption of part of a coordinately expressed operon. Given the defined nature of the bop mRNA—i.e., it has a 5′ leader sequence of three ribonucleotides—these observations indicate that the bop mRNA might be processed from a large mRNA transcript. Images PMID:16593291
Prust, Margaret L; Banda, Clement K; Nyirenda, Rose; Chimbwandira, Frank; Kalua, Thokozani; Jahn, Andreas; Eliya, Michael; Callahan, Katie; Ehrenkranz, Peter; Prescott, Marta R; McCarthy, Elizabeth A; Tagar, Elya; Gunda, Andrews
In order to facilitate scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Malawi, innovative and pragmatic models have been developed to optimize the efficiency of HIV service delivery. In particular, three models of differentiated care have emerged for stable patients: adjusted appointment spacing through multi-month scripting (MMS); fast-track drug refills (FTRs) on alternating visits; and community ART groups (CAGs) where group members rotate in collecting medications at the facility for all members. This study aimed to assess the extent to which ART patients in Malawi are differentiated based on clinical stability and describe the characteristics and costs associated with the models of differentiated care offered. A mixed methods process evaluation was conducted from 30 purposefully selected ART facilities. Cross-sectional data for this evaluation was collected between February and May 2016. The following forms of data collection are reported here: structured surveys with 136 health care workers; reviews of 75,364 patient clinical records; 714 observations of visit time and flow; and 30 questionnaires on facility characteristics. Among ART patients, 77.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 74.1-80.6) were eligible for differentiated models of care based on criteria for clinical stability from national guidelines. Across all facilities, 69% of patients were receiving MMS. In facilities offering FTRs and CAGs, 67% and 6% of patients were enrolled in the models, respectively. However, eligibility criteria were used inconsistently: 72.9% (95% CI 66.3-78.6) of eligible patients and 42.3% (95% CI 33.1-52.0) ineligible patients received MMS. Results indicated that patient travel and time costs were reduced by 67%, and the unit costs of ART service delivery through the MMS, FTR and CAG models were similar, representing a reduction of approximately 10% in the annual unit cost of providing care to stable patients that receive no model. MMS is being implemented nationally and has
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Full Text Available Because visual genes likely evolved in response to their ambient photic environment, the dichotomy between closely related nocturnal moths and diurnal butterflies forms an ideal basis for investigating their evolution. To investigate whether the visual genes of moths are associated with nocturnal dim-light environments or not, we cloned long-wavelength (R, blue (B and ultraviolet (UV opsin genes from 12 species of wild-captured moths and examined their evolutionary functions. Strong purifying selection appeared to constrain the functions of the genes. Dark-treatment altered the levels of mRNA expression in Helicoverpa armigera such that R and UV opsins were up-regulated after dark-treatment, the latter faster than the former. In contrast, B opsins were not significantly up-regulated. Diel changes of opsin mRNA levels in both wild-captured and lab-reared individuals showed no significant fluctuation within the same group. However, the former group had significantly elevated levels of expression compared with the latter. Consequently, environmental conditions appeared to affect the patterns of expression. These findings and the proportional expression of opsins suggested that moths potentially possessed color vision and the visual system played a more important role in the ecology of moths than previously appreciated. This aspect did not differ much from that of diurnal butterflies.
Lesser, Michael P.; Carleton, Karen L.; Böttger, Stefanie A.; Barry, Thomas M.; Walker, Charles W.
All echinoderms have unique hydraulic structures called tube feet, known for their roles in light sensitivity, respiration, chemoreception and locomotion. In the green sea urchin, the most distal portion of these tube feet contain five ossicles arranged as a light collector with its concave surface facing towards the ambient light. These ossicles are perforated and lined with pigment cells that express a PAX6 protein that is universally involved in the development of eyes and sensory organs in other bilaterians. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based sequencing and real time quantitative PCR (qPCR) also demonstrate the presence and differential expression of a rhabdomeric-like opsin within these tube feet. Morphologically, nerves that could serve to transmit information to the test innervate the tube feet, and the differential expression of opsin transcripts in the tube feet is inversely, and significantly, related to the amount of light that tube feet are exposed to depending on their location on the test. The expression of these genes, the differential expression of opsin based on light exposure and the unique morphological features at the distal portion of the tube foot strongly support the hypothesis that in addition to previously identified functional roles of tube feet they are also photosensory organs that detect and respond to changes in the underwater light field. PMID:21450733
Liegertová, Michaela; Pergner, Jiří; Kozmiková, Iryna; Fabian, Peter; Pombinho, António R.; Strnad, Hynek; Pačes, Jan; Vlček, Čestmír; Bartůněk, Petr; Kozmik, Zbyněk
Roč. 5, Jul 8 (2015) ISSN 2045-2322 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP305/10/2141; GA MŠk LO1220 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : Cubozoan genome * opsins * photoreceptor * evolution Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 5.228, year: 2015
Robert W Meredith
Full Text Available Cetaceans have a long history of commitment to a fully aquatic lifestyle that extends back to the Eocene. Extant species have evolved a spectacular array of adaptations in conjunction with their deployment into a diverse array of aquatic habitats. Sensory systems are among those that have experienced radical transformations in the evolutionary history of this clade. In the case of vision, previous studies have demonstrated important changes in the genes encoding rod opsin (RH1, short-wavelength sensitive opsin 1 (SWS1, and long-wavelength sensitive opsin (LWS in selected cetaceans, but have not examined the full complement of opsin genes across the complete range of cetacean families. Here, we report protein-coding sequences for RH1 and both color opsin genes (SWS1, LWS from representatives of all extant cetacean families. We examine competing hypotheses pertaining to the timing of blue shifts in RH1 relative to SWS1 inactivation in the early history of Cetacea, and we test the hypothesis that some cetaceans are rod monochomats. Molecular evolutionary analyses contradict the "coastal" hypothesis, wherein SWS1 was pseudogenized in the common ancestor of Cetacea, and instead suggest that RH1 was blue-shifted in the common ancestor of Cetacea before SWS1 was independently knocked out in baleen whales (Mysticeti and in toothed whales (Odontoceti. Further, molecular evidence implies that LWS was inactivated convergently on at least five occasions in Cetacea: (1 Balaenidae (bowhead and right whales, (2 Balaenopteroidea (rorquals plus gray whale, (3 Mesoplodon bidens (Sowerby's beaked whale, (4 Physeter macrocephalus (giant sperm whale, and (5 Kogia breviceps (pygmy sperm whale. All of these cetaceans are known to dive to depths of at least 100 m where the underwater light field is dim and dominated by blue light. The knockout of both SWS1 and LWS in multiple cetacean lineages renders these taxa rod monochromats, a condition previously unknown among
Melin, Amanda D; Wells, Konstans; Moritz, Gillian L; Kistler, Logan; Orkin, Joseph D; Timm, Robert M; Bernard, Henry; Lakim, Maklarin B; Perry, George H; Kawamura, Shoji; Dominy, Nathaniel J
Debate on the adaptive origins of primates has long focused on the functional ecology of the primate visual system. For example, it is hypothesized that variable expression of short- (SWS1) and middle-to-long-wavelength sensitive (M/LWS) opsins, which confer color vision, can be used to infer ancestral activity patterns and therefore selective ecological pressures. A problem with this approach is that opsin gene variation is incompletely known in the grandorder Euarchonta, that is, the orders Scandentia (treeshrews), Dermoptera (colugos), and Primates. The ancestral state of primate color vision is therefore uncertain. Here, we report on the genes (OPN1SW and OPN1LW) that encode SWS1 and M/LWS opsins in seven species of treeshrew, including the sole nocturnal scandentian Ptilocercus lowii. In addition, we examined the opsin genes of the Central American woolly opossum (Caluromys derbianus), an enduring ecological analogue in the debate on primate origins. Our results indicate: 1) retention of ultraviolet (UV) visual sensitivity in C. derbianus and a shift from UV to blue spectral sensitivities at the base of Euarchonta; 2) ancient pseudogenization of OPN1SW in the ancestors of P. lowii, but a signature of purifying selection in those of C. derbianus; and, 3) the absence of OPN1LW polymorphism among diurnal treeshrews. These findings suggest functional variation in the color vision of nocturnal mammals and a distinctive visual ecology of early primates, perhaps one that demanded greater spatial resolution under light levels that could support cone-mediated color discrimination. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Full Text Available Following gene duplication events, the expression patterns of the resulting gene copies can often diverge both spatially and temporally. Here we report on gene duplicates that are expressed in distinct but overlapping patterns, and which exhibit temporally divergent expression. Butterflies have sophisticated color vision and spectrally complex eyes, typically with three types of heterogeneous ommatidia. The eyes of the butterfly Papilio xuthus express two green- and one red-absorbing visual pigment, which came about via gene duplication events, in addition to one ultraviolet (UV- and one blue-absorbing visual pigment. We localized mRNAs encoding opsins of these visual pigments in developing eye disks throughout the pupal stage. The mRNAs of the UV and blue opsin are expressed early in pupal development (pd, specifying the type of the ommatidium in which they appear. Red sensitive photoreceptors first express a green opsin mRNA, which is replaced later by the red opsin mRNA. Broadband photoreceptors (that coexpress the green and red opsins first express the green opsin mRNA, later change to red opsin mRNA and finally re-express the green opsin mRNA in addition to the red mRNA. Such a unique temporal and spatial expression pattern of opsin mRNAs may reflect the evolution of visual pigments and provide clues toward understanding how the spectrally complex eyes of butterflies evolved.
The NCD screening models were integrated into existing platforms, utilising regular mass screening events in the ... feasible to introduce NCD screening into a public system, but screening may have ... been advocated.10 However, limited data exist in Malawi on ..... system of drugs and equipment forecasting, procurement,.
Kamperewera, A.M; Chiumbuzo, T.M.; Bonongwe, A.
Discusses incidents and developments in illicit trafficking, unauthorized activities involving nuclear materials in Malawi, government systems for prevention and detection of nuclear material trafficking and response to unauthorized activities involving nuclear materials and systems put in place for nuclear trafficking information management and coordination.
Emmanuel, Nikolas G.
a political conditionality approach. Few countries have felt the weight of conditionality as much as Malawi did in the 1990s. Here, donors were able to use aid sanctions to successfully encourage democratization, while strengthening the demands of domestic opposition forces. This paper argues that three...
groups of people: smallholder farmers, female-headed households, estate workers ... poverty in Malawi and these are: low agricultural production, low income, low education .... A agreed to pay tax for anyone who worked for two months and also ..... efficient, environmentally sustainable and socially equitable land tenure.
As 85% of Malawi's popu- lation are agricultural smallholders, IDRC has focused much of its support on farming systems. Early efforts improved crop production and processing methods. For example, researchers developed a low-cost wooden tool to shell groundnuts, saving farmers time and money. Hand pump designs ...
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financing of health care services and a weak health system. Malawi is one of the ... and two-thirds of adults, who need antiretroviral treatment for HIV are ... health service delivery”4. There are two ... estimated the cost for the provision of minimal services .... However, the key issue is to differentiate between tax incentives that.
The Johns Hopkins University- Ministry of Health OHU-MOH) Project ... HIV infection among low ... in Africa were infected with the virus; these women gave ... information and medical, repro(l1K;Y~ ;~d pregnancy ... white blood cell differentials were done with a ... Malawi are at increased risk during the postnatal period.
Hope, A J; Partridge, J C; Hayes, P K
The rod photoreceptors of the European eel, Anguilla anguilla (L.), alter their wavelength of maximum sensitivity (lambda max) from c.a. 523 nm to c.a. 482 nm at maturation, a switch involving the synthesis of a new visual pigment protein (opsin) that is inserted into the outer segments of existing rods. We artificially induced the switch in rod opsin production by the administration of hormones, and monitored the switch at the level of mRNA accumulation using radiolabelled oligonuleotides that hybridized differently to the two forms of eel rod opsin. The production of the deep-sea form of rod opsin was detected 6 h after the first hormone injection, and the switch in rod opsin expression was complete within four weeks, at which time only the mRNA for the deep-sea opsin was detectable in the retinal cells. It is suggested that this system could be used as a tractable model for studying the regulatory control of opsin gene expression. PMID:9633112
Peter W Hildebrand
Full Text Available The G protein coupled receptor rhodopsin contains a pocket within its seven-transmembrane helix (TM structure, which bears the inactivating 11-cis-retinal bound by a protonated Schiff-base to Lys296 in TM7. Light-induced 11-cis-/all-trans-isomerization leads to the Schiff-base deprotonated active Meta II intermediate. With Meta II decay, the Schiff-base bond is hydrolyzed, all-trans-retinal is released from the pocket, and the apoprotein opsin reloaded with new 11-cis-retinal. The crystal structure of opsin in its active Ops* conformation provides the basis for computational modeling of retinal release and uptake. The ligand-free 7TM bundle of opsin opens into the hydrophobic membrane layer through openings A (between TM1 and 7, and B (between TM5 and 6, respectively. Using skeleton search and molecular docking, we find a continuous channel through the protein that connects these two openings and comprises in its central part the retinal binding pocket. The channel traverses the receptor over a distance of ca. 70 A and is between 11.6 and 3.2 A wide. Both openings are lined with aromatic residues, while the central part is highly polar. Four constrictions within the channel are so narrow that they must stretch to allow passage of the retinal beta-ionone-ring. Constrictions are at openings A and B, respectively, and at Trp265 and Lys296 within the retinal pocket. The lysine enforces a 90 degrees elbow-like kink in the channel which limits retinal passage. With a favorable Lys side chain conformation, 11-cis-retinal can take the turn, whereas passage of the all-trans isomer would require more global conformational changes. We discuss possible scenarios for the uptake of 11-cis- and release of all-trans-retinal. If the uptake gate of 11-cis-retinal is assigned to opening B, all-trans is likely to leave through the same gate. The unidirectional passage proposed previously requires uptake of 11-cis-retinal through A and release of photolyzed all
Lord, Nathan P; Plimpton, Rebecca L; Sharkey, Camilla R; Suvorov, Anton; Lelito, Jonathan P; Willardson, Barry M; Bybee, Seth M
Arthropods have received much attention as a model for studying opsin evolution in invertebrates. Yet, relatively few studies have investigated the diversity of opsin proteins that underlie spectral sensitivity of the visual pigments within the diverse beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera). Previous work has demonstrated that beetles appear to lack the short-wavelength-sensitive (SWS) opsin class that typically confers sensitivity to the "blue" region of the light spectrum. However, this is contrary to established physiological data in a number of Coleoptera. To explore potential adaptations at the molecular level that may compensate for the loss of the SWS opsin, we carried out an exploration of the opsin proteins within a group of beetles (Buprestidae) where short-wave sensitivity has been demonstrated. RNA-seq data were generated to identify opsin proteins from nine taxa comprising six buprestid species (including three male/female pairs) across four subfamilies. Structural analyses of recovered opsins were conducted and compared to opsin sequences in other insects across the main opsin classes-ultraviolet, short-wavelength, and long-wavelength. All nine buprestids were found to express two opsin copies in each of the ultraviolet and long-wavelength classes, contrary to the single copies recovered in all other molecular studies of adult beetle opsin expression. No SWS opsin class was recovered. Furthermore, the male Agrilus planipennis (emerald ash borer-EAB) expressed a third LWS opsin at low levels that is presumed to be a larval copy. Subsequent homology and structural analyses identified multiple amino acid substitutions in the UVS and LWS copies that could confer short-wavelength sensitivity. This work is the first to compare expressed opsin genes against known electrophysiological data that demonstrate multiple peak sensitivities in Coleoptera. We report the first instance of opsin duplication in adult beetles, which occurs in both the UVS and LWS opsin classes
The 521-pigment extracted out of the retina of the Tokay gecko has the typical stereospecificity of the vertebrate visual pigments. This is true for the pigment in the chloride-depleted, "blue-shifted" state as well as for the normal pigment with added chloride. While in the chloride-deficient state, pigment regeneration occurred with both 11-cis- and 9-cis-retinals and the regenerated photopigments were also in the blue-shifted, chloride-depleted state. As with the native pigment, these regenerated pigments were bathochromically shifted to their normal positions by the addition of chloride. Chloride-deficient opsin by itself also responded to chloride for the pigment regenerated with 11-cis-retinal from such chloride-treated opsin was in the normal 521-position. Regeneration was always rapid, reaching completion in less than 5 min, and was significantly faster than for cow rhodopsin regenerating under the same conditions. This rapid rate was found with or without chloride, with both 11-cis- and 9-cis-retinals and in the presence of the sulfhydryl poison, p-hydroxymercuribenzoate (PMB). Like the native chloride-deficient pigment, the regenerated chloride-depleted photopigments responded to PMB by a blue shift beyond the position of the chloride-deficient state. The addition of chloride to these "poisoned" regenerated pigments caused a bathochromic shift of such magnitude as to indicate a repair of both the PMB and chloride-deficient blue shift. In this discussion the possible implications of these results to phylogenetic considerations are considered as well as to some molecular properties of the 521-pigment.
elderly, or urban populations.2 Furthermore, the interventions aimed around NCDIs ... disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in Malawi are from the big 4 categories ... chronic NCDs, as well as health promotion, are currently being scaled up ...
AFRICAN JOURNALS ONLINE (AJOL) · Journals · Advanced Search · USING AJOL · RESOURCES ... The Malawi Journal of Science and Technology (MJST), the research journal of the Faculty of Science, Chancellor College in Malawi is ...
Quiroga Artigas, Gonzalo; Lapébie, Pascal; Leclère, Lucas; Takeda, Noriyo; Deguchi, Ryusaku; Jékely, Gáspár
Across the animal kingdom, environmental light cues are widely involved in regulating gamete release, but the molecular and cellular bases of the photoresponsive mechanisms are poorly understood. In hydrozoan jellyfish, spawning is triggered by dark-light or light-dark transitions acting on the gonad, and is mediated by oocyte maturation-inducing neuropeptide hormones (MIHs) released from the ectoderm. We determined in Clytia hemisphaerica that blue-cyan light triggers spawning in isolated gonads. A candidate opsin (Opsin9) was found co-expressed with MIH within specialised ectodermal cells. Opsin9 knockout jellyfish generated by CRISPR/Cas9 failed to undergo oocyte maturation and spawning, a phenotype reversible by synthetic MIH. Gamete maturation and release in Clytia is thus regulated by gonadal photosensory-neurosecretory cells that secrete MIH in response to light via Opsin9. Similar cells in ancestral eumetazoans may have allowed tissue-level photo-regulation of diverse behaviours, a feature elaborated in cnidarians in parallel with expansion of the opsin gene family. PMID:29303477
Koutalos, Y.; Ebrey, T.G.; Tsuda, M.
The authors consider the problem of color regulation in visual pigments for both bovine rhodopsin and octopus rhodopsin. Both pigments have 11-cis-retinal as their chromophore. These rhodopsins were bleached in their native membranes, and the opsins were regenerated with natural and artificial chromophores. Both bovine and octopus opsins were regenerated with the 9-cis- and 11-cis-retinal isomers, but the octopus opsin was additionally regenerated with the 13-cis and all-trans isomers. Titration of the octopus opsin with 11-cis-retinal gave an extinction coefficient for octopus rhodopsin of 27,000 ± 3,000 M -1 cm -1 at 475 nm. The absorption maxima of bovine artificial pigments formed by regenerating opsin with the 11-cis dihydro series of chromophores support a color regulation model for bovine rhodopsin in which the chromophore-binding site of the protein has two negative charges: one directly hydrogen bonded to the Schiff base nitrogen and another near carbon-13. Formation of octopus artificial pigments with both all-trans and 11-cis dihydro chromophores leads to a similar model for octopus rhodopsin and metarhodopsin: there are two negative charges in the chromophore-binding site, one directly hydrogen bonded to the Schiff base nitrogen and a second near carbon-13. The interaction of this second charge with the chromophore in octopus rhodopsin is weaker than in bovine, while in metarhodopsin it is as strong as in bovine
This paper gives an overview of the kind of community development projects that the Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF) has supported since its inception in July 1996. The MASAF has tended to subscribe to a demand-driven approach in its evaluation of projects, thereby introducing an element of competition in commu ...
No Abstract. Malawi Medical Journal Vol. 18 (4) 2006: pp. 160-175. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/mmj.v18i4.10920 · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for Librarians ...
The Resistable Rise of Surgical Sepsis in Malawi. C Lavy, C Schmidt, E Kalau, J Phuka. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for Librarians · for Authors · FAQ's · More about ...
Madsen, Henry; Bloch, Paul; Makaula, Peter
Historically, open shorelines of Lake Malawi were free from schistosome, Schistosoma haematobium, transmission, but this changed in the mid-1980s, possibly as a result of over-fishing reducing density of molluscivore fishes. Very little information is available on schistosome infections among...
Sakamoto; Hisatomi; Tokunaga; Eguchi
The primary structures of two opsins from the brachyuran crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus were deduced from the cDNA nucleotide sequences. Both deduced proteins were composed of 377 amino acid residues and included residues highly conserved in visual pigments of other species, and the proteins were 75 % identical to each other. The distribution of opsin transcripts in the compound eye, determined by in situ hybridization, suggested that the mRNAs of the two opsins were expressed simultaneously in all of the seven retinular cells (R1-R7) forming the main rhabdom in each ommatidium. Two different visual pigments may be present in one photoreceptor cell in this brachyuran crab. The spectral sensitivity of the compound eye was also determined by recording the electroretinogram. The compound eye was maximally sensitive at about 480 nm. These and previous findings suggest that both opsins of this brachyuran crab produce visual pigments with maximal absorption in the blue-green region of the spectrum. Evidence is presented that crustaceans possess multiple pigment systems for vision.
Moritz, Gillian L; Lim, Norman T-L; Neitz, Maureen; Peichl, Leo; Dominy, Nathaniel J
A nocturnal activity pattern is central to almost all hypotheses on the adaptive origins of primates. This enduring view has been challenged in recent years on the basis of variation in the opsin genes of nocturnal primates. A correspondence between the opsin genes and activity patterns of species in Euarchonta-the superordinal group that includes the orders Primates, Dermoptera (colugos), and Scandentia (treeshrews)-could prove instructive, yet the basic biology of the dermopteran visual system is practically unknown. Here we show that the eye of the Sunda colugo ( Galeopterus variegatus ) lacks a tapetum lucidum and has an avascular retina, and we report on the expression and spectral sensitivity of cone photopigments. We found that Sunda colugos have intact short wavelength sensitive (S-) and long wavelength sensitive (L-) opsin genes, and that both opsins are expressed in cone photoreceptors of the retina. The inferred peak spectral sensitivities are 451 and 562 nm, respectively. In line with adaptation to nocturnal vision, cone densities are low. Surprisingly, a majority of S-cones coexpress some L-opsin. We also show that the ratio of rates of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions of exon 1 of the S-opsin gene is indicative of purifying selection. Taken together, our results suggest that natural selection has favored a functional S-opsin in a nocturnal lineage for at least 45 million years. Accordingly, a nocturnal activity pattern remains the most likely ancestral character state of euprimates.
Full Text Available Examples of direct differentiation by defined transcription factors have been provided for beta-cells, cardiomyocytes and neurons. In the human visual system, there are four kinds of photoreceptors in the retina. Neural retina and iris-pigmented epithelium (IPE share a common developmental origin, leading us to test whether human iris cells could differentiate to retinal neurons. We here define the transcription factor combinations that can determine human photoreceptor cell fate. Expression of rhodopsin, blue opsin and green/red opsin in induced photoreceptor cells were dependent on combinations of transcription factors: A combination of CRX and NEUROD induced rhodopsin and blue opsin, but did not induce green opsin; a combination of CRX and RX induced blue opsin and green/red opsin, but did not induce rhodopsin. Phototransduction-related genes as well as opsin genes were up-regulated in those cells. Functional analysis; i.e. patch clamp recordings, clearly revealed that generated photoreceptor cells, induced by CRX, RX and NEUROD, responded to light. The response was an inward current instead of the typical outward current. These data suggest that photosensitive photoreceptor cells can be generated by combinations of transcription factors. The combination of CRX and RX generate immature photoreceptors: and additional NEUROD promotes maturation. These findings contribute substantially to a major advance toward eventual cell-based therapy for retinal degenerative diseases.
J. J. M. Smit
Full Text Available Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs and traditional healers form an important link in the chain of health personnel providing primary health care in Malawi. In spite of the establishment of hospitals and health centres, it is to these traditional healers and TBAs that the majority of people turn in times of sickness and child-birth. Approximately 60 percent of all deliveries in Malawi occur in the villages. It is therefore important that due regard be paid to the activities of these traditional practitioners in order to ensure the achievement of the goal - "Health for all by the year 2000". The training of TBAs is seen as part of the Maternal and Child Health Services in the country.
J. J. M. Smit
Full Text Available Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs and traditional healers form an important link in the chain of health personnel providing primary health care in Malawi. In spite of the establishment of hospitals and health centres, it is to these traditional healers and TBAs that the majority of people turn in times of sickness and child-birth. Approximately 60 percent of all deliveries in Malawi occur in the villages. It is therefore important that due regard be paid to the activities of these traditional practitioners in order to ensure the achievement of the goal - "Health for all by the year 2000". The training of TBAs is seen as part of the Maternal and Child Health Services in the country.
Characterization of the solar climate in Malawi using. NASA's surface meteorology and solar energy. (SSE) model. Senganimalunje, T. C.1 and Tenthani, C. M. 2*. 1Malawi Bureau of Standards, Metrology Services Department, Box 946, Blantyre, Malawi. 2Physics and Biochemical Sciences Department, Malawi Polytechnic, ...
Since the adoption of the Environmental Management Act of 1996, Malawi has been using environmental impact assessment (EIA) as a tool for predicting and assessing the impact of development projects on the environment. This study assessed the extent of public participation in Malawi's EIA process. Desktop study of ...
Matemba, Yonah Hisbon
This article gives an overview of (Christian) Theological Education (CTE) in Malawi. To place the discussion in its appropriate context, information about Malawi is given including the impact of Christianity on the country. The article then describes historical aspects of CTE and highlights some of its inherent shortcomings, before shifting to…
Brouwer, J. A.; Boeree, M. J.; Kager, P.; Varkevisser, C. M.; Harries, A. D.
Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) and Blantyre district, Malawi. To investigate the use that tuberculosis (TB) patients in Malawi make of traditional healers and traditional medicine. A questionnaire study was carried out on 89 smear-positive pulmonary TB patients admitted to QECH. Seven
Full Text Available Next generation sequencing (NGS technology allows to obtain a deeper and more complete view of transcriptomes. For non-model or emerging model marine organisms, NGS technologies offer a great opportunity for rapid access to genetic information. In this study, paired-end Illumina HiSeqTM technology has been employed to analyse transcriptomes from the arm tissues of two European brittle star species, Amphiura filiformis and Ophiopsila aranea. About 48 million Illumina reads were generated and 136,387 total unigenes were predicted from A. filiformis arm tissues. For O. aranea arm tissues, about 47 million reads were generated and 123,324 total unigenes were obtained. Twenty-four percent of the total unigenes from A. filiformis show significant matches with sequences present in reference online databases, whereas, for O. aranea, this percentage amounts to 23%. In both species, around 50% of the predicted annotated unigenes were significantly similar to transcripts from the purple sea urchin, the closest species to date that has undergone complete genome sequencing and annotation. GO, COG and KEGG analyses were performed on predicted brittle star unigenes. We focused our analyses on the phototransduction actors involved in light perception. Firstly, two new echinoderm opsins were identified in O. aranea: one rhabdomeric opsin (homologous to vertebrate melanopsin and one RGR opsin. The RGR-opsin is supposed to be involved in retinal regeneration while the r-opsin is suspected to play a role in visual-like behaviour. Secondly, potential phototransduction actors were identified in both transcriptomes using the fly (rhabdomeric and mammal (ciliary classical phototransduction pathways as references. Finally, the sensitivity of O.aranea to monochromatic light was investigated to complement data available for A. filiformis. The presence of microlens-like structures at the surface of dorsal arm plate of O. aranea could potentially explain phototactic
Steven R. Ahrendt
Full Text Available Background Opsin proteins are seven transmembrane receptor proteins which detect light. Opsins can be classified into two types and share little sequence identity: type 1, typically found in bacteria, and type 2, primarily characterized in metazoa. The type 2 opsins (Rhodopsins are a subfamily of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs, a large and diverse class of seven transmembrane proteins and are generally restricted to metazoan lineages. Fungi use light receptors including opsins to sense the environment and transduce signals for developmental or metabolic changes. Opsins characterized in the Dikarya (Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes are of the type 1 bacteriorhodopsin family but the early diverging fungal lineages have not been as well surveyed. We identified by sequence similarity a rhodopsin-like GPCR in genomes of early diverging chytrids and examined the structural characteristics of this protein to assess its likelihood to be homologous to animal rhodopsins and bind similar chromophores. Methods We used template-based structure modeling, automated ligand docking, and molecular modeling to assess the structural and binding properties of an identified opsin-like protein found in Spizellomyces punctatus, a unicellular, flagellated species belonging to Chytridiomycota, one of the earliest diverging fungal lineages. We tested if the sequence and inferred structure were consistent with a solved crystal structure of a type 2 rhodopsin from the squid Todarodes pacificus. Results Our results indicate that the Spizellomyces opsin has structural characteristics consistent with functional animal type 2 rhodopsins and is capable of maintaining a stable structure when associated with the retinaldehyde chromophore, specifically the 9-cis-retinal isomer. Together, these results support further the homology of Spizellomyces opsins to animal type 2 rhodopsins. Discussion This represents the first test of structure/function relationship of a type 2 rhodopsin
Andrew S French
Full Text Available Our current understanding of insect phototransduction is based on a small number of species, but insects occupy many different visual environments. We created the retinal transcriptome of a nocturnal insect, the cockroach, Periplaneta americana to identify proteins involved in the earliest stages of compound eye phototransduction, and test the hypothesis that different visual environments are reflected in different molecular contributions to function. We assembled five novel mRNAs: two green opsins, one UV opsin, and one each TRP and TRPL ion channel homologs. One green opsin mRNA (pGO1 was 100-1000 times more abundant than the other opsins (pGO2 and pUVO, while pTRPL mRNA was 10 times more abundant than pTRP, estimated by transcriptome analysis or quantitative PCR (qPCR. Electroretinograms were used to record photoreceptor responses. Gene-specific in vivo RNA interference (RNAi was achieved by injecting long (596-708 bp double-stranded RNA into head hemolymph, and verified by qPCR. RNAi of the most abundant green opsin reduced both green opsins by more than 97% without affecting UV opsin, and gave a maximal reduction of 75% in ERG amplitude seven days after injection that persisted for at least 19 days. RNAi of pTRP and pTRPL genes each specifically reduced the corresponding mRNA by 90%. Electroretinogram reduction by pTRPL RNAi was slower than for opsin, reaching 75% attenuation by 21 days, without recovery at 29 days. pTRP RNAi attenuated ERG much less; only 30% after 21 days. Combined pTRP plus pTRPL RNAi gave only weak evidence of any cooperative interactions. We conclude that silencing retinal genes by in vivo RNAi using long dsRNA is effective, that visible light transduction in Periplaneta is dominated by pGO1, and that pTRPL plays a major role in cockroach phototransduction.
Perry, George H; Martin, Robert D; Verrelli, Brian C
While color vision perception is thought to be adaptively correlated with foraging efficiency for diurnal mammals, those that forage exclusively at night may not need color vision nor have the capacity for it. Indeed, although the basic condition for mammals is dichromacy, diverse nocturnal mammals have only monochromatic vision, resulting from functional loss of the short-wavelength sensitive opsin gene. However, many nocturnal primates maintain intact two opsin genes and thus have dichromatic capacity. The evolutionary significance of this surprising observation has not yet been elucidated. We used a molecular population genetics approach to test evolutionary hypotheses for the two intact opsin genes of the fully nocturnal aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a highly unusual and endangered Madagascar primate. No evidence of gene degradation in either opsin gene was observed for any of 8 aye-aye individuals examined. Furthermore, levels of nucleotide diversity for opsin gene functional sites were lower than those for 15 neutrally evolving intergenic regions (>25 kb in total), which is consistent with a history of purifying selection on aye-aye opsin genes. The most likely explanation for these findings is that dichromacy is advantageous for aye-ayes despite their nocturnal activity pattern. We speculate that dichromatic nocturnal primates may be able to perceive color while foraging under moonlight conditions, and suggest that behavioral and ecological comparisons among dichromatic and monochromatic nocturnal primates will help to elucidate the specific activities for which color vision perception is advantageous.
Henning, Yoshiyuki; Mladěnková, Nella; Burda, Hynek; Szafranski, Karol; Begall, Sabine
Mammals usually possess a majority of medium-wavelength sensitive (M-) and a minority of short-wavelength sensitive (S-) opsins in the retina, enabling dichromatic vision. Unexpectedly, subterranean rodents from the genus Fukomys exhibit an S-opsin majority, which is exceptional among mammals, albeit with no apparent adaptive value. Because thyroid hormones (THs) are pivotal for M-opsin expression and metabolic rate regulation, we have, for the first time, manipulated TH levels in the Ansell's mole-rat (Fukomys anselli) using osmotic pumps. In Ansell's mole-rats, the TH thyroxine (T4) is naturally low, likely as an adaptation to the harsh subterranean ecological conditions by keeping resting metabolic rate (RMR) low. We measured gene expression levels in the eye, RMR, and body mass (BM) in TH-treated animals. T4 treatment increased both, S- and M-opsin expression, albeit M-opsin expression at a higher degree. However, this plasticity was only given in animals up to approximately 2.5 years. Mass-specific RMR was not affected following T4 treatment, although BM decreased. Furthermore, the T4 inactivation rate is naturally higher in F. anselli compared to laboratory rodents. This is the first experimental evidence that the S-opsin majority in Ansell's mole-rats is a side effect of low T4, which is downregulated to keep RMR low.
Yang, F; Tu, J; Pan, J-Q; Luo, H-L; Liu, Y-H; Wan, J; Zhang, J; Wei, P-F; Jiang, T; Chen, Y-H; Wang, L-P
Glioblastomas are aggressive cancers with low survival rates and poor prognosis because of their highly proliferative and invasive capacity. In the current study, we describe a new optogenetic strategy that selectively inhibits glioma cells through light-controlled membrane depolarization and cell death. Transfer of the engineered opsin ChETA (engineered Channelrhodopsin-2 variant) gene into primary human glioma cells or cell lines, but not normal astrocytes, unexpectedly decreased cell proliferation and increased mitochondria-dependent apoptosis, upon light stimulation. These optogenetic effects were mediated by membrane depolarization-induced reductions in cyclin expression and mitochondrial transmembrane potential. Importantly, the ChETA gene transfer and light illumination in mice significantly inhibited subcutaneous and intracranial glioma growth and increased the survival of the animals bearing the glioma. These results uncover an unexpected effect of opsin ion channels on glioma cells and offer the opportunity for the first time to treat glioma using a light-controllable optogenetic approach. PMID:24176851
Full Text Available Abstract Background Animals often display phenotypic plasticity in morphologies and behaviors that result in distinct adaptations to fluctuating seasonal environments. The butterfly Bicyclus anynana has two seasonal forms, wet and dry, that vary in wing ornament brightness and in the identity of the sex that performs the most courting and choosing. Rearing temperature is the cue for producing these alternative seasonal forms. We hypothesized that, barring any developmental constraints, vision should be enhanced in the choosy individuals but diminished in the non-choosy individuals due to physiological costs. As a proxy of visual performance we measured eye size, facet lens size, and sensitivity to light, e.g., the expression levels of all opsins, in males and females of both seasonal forms. Results We found that B. anynana eyes displayed significant sexual dimorphism and phenotypic plasticity for both morphology and opsin expression levels, but not all results conformed to our prediction. Males had larger eyes than females across rearing temperatures, and increases in temperature produced larger eyes in both sexes, mostly via increases in facet number. Ommatidia were larger in the choosy dry season (DS males and transcript levels for all three opsins were significantly lower in the less choosy DS females. Conclusions Opsin level plasticity in females, and ommatidia size plasticity in males supported our visual plasticity hypothesis but males appear to maintain high visual function across both seasons. We discuss our results in the context of distinct sexual and natural selection pressures that may be facing each sex in the wild in each season.
Tsujimura, Taro; Chinen, Akito; Kawamura, Shoji
Duplication of opsin genes has a crucial role in the evolution of visual system. Zebrafish have four green-sensitive (RH2) opsin genes (RH2–1, RH2–2, RH2–3, and RH2–4) arrayed in tandem. They are expressed in the short member of the double cones (SDC) but differ in expression areas in the retina and absorption spectra of their encoding photopigments. The shortest and the second shortest wavelength subtypes, RH2–1 and RH2–2, are expressed in the central-to-dorsal retina. The longer wavelength subtype, RH2–3, is expressed circumscribing the RH2–1/RH2–2 area, and the longest subtype, RH2–4, is expressed further circumscribing the RH2–3 area and mainly occupying the ventral retina. The present report shows that a 0.5-kb region located 15 kb upstream of the RH2 gene array is an essential regulator for their expression. When the 0.5-kb region was deleted from a P1-artificial chromosome (PAC) clone encompassing the four RH2 genes and when one of these genes was replaced with a reporter GFP gene, the GFP expression in SDCs was abolished in the zebrafish to which a series of the modified PAC clones were introduced. Transgenic studies also showed that the 0.5-kb region conferred the SDC-specific expression for promoters of a non-SDC (UV opsin) and a nonretinal (keratin 8) gene. Changing the location of the 0.5-kb region in the PAC clone conferred the highest expression for its proximal gene. The 0.5-kb region was thus designated as RH2-LCR analogous to the locus control region of the L-M opsin genes of primates. PMID:17646658
Pergner, Jiří; Kozmik, Zbyněk
Roč. 61, č. 10-12 (2017), s. 665-681 ISSN 0214-6282 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA17-15374S; GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015062; GA MŠk LO1419 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : chordate * opsin evolution * photoreceptor * eye evolution * phototransduction Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology Impact factor: 1.981, year: 2016
Yi Ta Shao
Full Text Available Optomotor studies have shown that three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus are more sensitive to red during summer than winter, which may be related to the need to detect the red breeding colour of males. This study aimed to determine whether this change of red light sensitivity is specifically related to reproductive physiology. The mRNA levels of opsin genes were examined in the retinae of sexually mature and immature fish, as well as in sham-operated males, castrated control males, or castrated males implanted with androgen 11-ketoandrostenedione (11 KA, maintained under stimulatory (L16:D8 or inhibitory (L8:D16 photoperiods. In both sexes, red-sensitive opsin gene (lws mRNA levels were higher in sexually mature than in immature fish. Under L16:D8, lws mRNA levels were higher in intact than in castrated males, and were up-regulated by 11 KA treatment in castrated males. Moreover, electroretinogram data confirmed that sexual maturation resulted in higher relative red spectral sensitivity. Mature males under L16:D8 were more sensitive to red light than males under L8:D16. Red light sensitivity under L16:D8 was diminished by castration, but increased by 11 KA treatment. Thus, in sexually mature male sticklebacks, androgen is a key factor in enhancing sensitivity to red light via regulation of opsin gene expression. This is the first study to demonstrate that sex hormones can regulate spectral vision sensitivity.
Berglund, Ken; Clissold, Kara; Li, Haofang E.; Wen, Lei; Park, Sung Young; Gleixner, Jan; Klein, Marguerita E.; Lu, Dongye; Barter, Joseph W.; Rossi, Mark A.; Augustine, George J.; Yin, Henry H.; Hochgeschwender, Ute
Luminopsins are fusion proteins of luciferase and opsin that allow interrogation of neuronal circuits at different temporal and spatial resolutions by choosing either extrinsic physical or intrinsic biological light for its activation. Building on previous development of fusions of wild-type Gaussia luciferase with channelrhodopsin, here we expanded the utility of luminopsins by fusing bright Gaussia luciferase variants with either channelrhodopsin to excite neurons (luminescent opsin, LMO) or a proton pump to inhibit neurons (inhibitory LMO, iLMO). These improved LMOs could reliably activate or silence neurons in vitro and in vivo. Expression of the improved LMO in hippocampal circuits not only enabled mapping of synaptic activation of CA1 neurons with fine spatiotemporal resolution but also could drive rhythmic circuit excitation over a large spatiotemporal scale. Furthermore, virus-mediated expression of either LMO or iLMO in the substantia nigra in vivo produced not only the expected bidirectional control of single unit activity but also opposing effects on circling behavior in response to systemic injection of a luciferase substrate. Thus, although preserving the ability to be activated by external light sources, LMOs expand the use of optogenetics by making the same opsins accessible to noninvasive, chemogenetic control, thereby allowing the same probe to manipulate neuronal activity over a range of spatial and temporal scales. PMID:26733686
Men, Jing; Li, Airong; Jerwick, Jason; Tanzi, Rudolph E.; Zhou, Chao
Electrical pacing is the current gold standard for investigation of mammalian cardiac electrical conduction systems as well as for treatment of certain cardiac pathologies. However, this method requires an invasive surgical procedure to implant the pacing electrodes. Recently, optogenetic pacing has been developed as an alternative, non-invasive method for heartbeat pacing in animals. It induces heartbeats by shining pulsed light on transgene-generated microbial opsins which in turn activate light gated ion channels in animal hearts. However, commonly used opsins, such as channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), require short light wavelength stimulation (475 nm), which is strongly absorbed and scattered by tissue. Here, we expressed recently engineered red-shifted opsins, ReaChR and CsChrimson, in the heart of a well-developed animal model, Drosophila melanogaster, for the first time. Optogenetic pacing was successfully conducted in both ReaChR and CsChrimson flies at their larval, pupal, and adult stages using 617 nm excitation light pulse, enabling a much deeper tissue penetration compared to blue stimulation light. A customized high speed and ultrahigh resolution OCM system was used to non-invasively monitor the heartbeat pacing in Drosophila. Compared to previous studies on optogenetic pacing of Drosophila, higher penetration depth of optogenetic excitation light was achieved in opaque late pupal flies. Lower stimulating power density is needed for excitation at each developmental stage of both groups, which improves the safety of this technique for heart rhythm studies.
IDRC's Democratic Governance, Women's Rights and Gender Equality initiative is ... They continue to be underrepresented in positions of power. ... social, economic, cultural and political situation of rural women in Malawi affects the political ...
Millennium Challenge Corporation — Social Impact was contracted by MCC to develop and conduct an evaluation of the Malawi Compact. Specifically, SI has been tasked to “assess the program design and...
Our support has aided the fight against poverty and malnutrition in Malawi. ... find ways to address degraded soils, food insecurity, and child malnutrition. ... explore urban-rural interdependence and the impact of climate change on food supply ...
Pauw, Karl; Dorosh, Paul A.; Mazunda, John
This study demonstrates why devaluation was ultimately necessary in Malawi and also what its eventual impact might be in terms of prices, income distribution, and domestic production. Our approach is to use a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to evaluate the economywide impacts of foreign exchange shortages in Malawi under two alternative exchange rate regimes. The foreign exchange shortages are modeled by simulating the effect of actual shocks, including tobacco price declines and r...
Although Malawi started a Medical College in 1991 to train medical doctors, it continues to face a chronic shortage of medical staff. Malawi Medical Journal Vol. 20 (3) 2008: pp. 74-77. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT.
The Soil and Terrain database for Malawi (version 1.0), at scale 1:1 million, was compiled based on the soil map of Malawi at scale 1:250,000 (compiled by the Land Resources Evaluation Project) that was complemented with soil boundary information from the provisional soil map at scale 1:1 million.
"Environment and Development" was held in Brazil ... income and employment, health and education, ... Fertility is extremely high in Malawi, with the ..... school fees, biased parent/teacher attitudes and ..... Malawi: 'Country profile 1991-92.
Malawi has high rates of maternal mortality despite concerted efforts to increase the rate of births at health facilities. Topic: MATERNAL AND CHILD ... Malawi has the highest preterm delivery rate in the world. Topic: MATERNAL AND CHILD ...
Information Management in Malawi's PMTCT program 306. © 2017 The College of ..... system in Malawi: issues, innovations and results. Oxf Univ Press ... Role of Information and Knowledge Managers: Managers Perspectives. In Barcelona ...
Vanhoutte, K J A; Eggen, B J L; Janssen, J J M; Stavenga, D G
The cDNAs of an ultraviolet (UV) and long-wavelength (LW) (green) absorbing rhodopsin of the bush brown Bicyclus anynana were partially identified. The UV sequence, encoding 377 amino acids, is 76-79% identical to the UV sequences of the papilionids Papilio glaucus and Papilio xuthus and the moth Manduca sexta. A dendrogram derived from aligning the amino acid sequences reveals an equidistant position of Bicyclus between Papilio and Manduca. The sequence of the green opsin cDNA fragment, which encodes 242 amino acids, represents six of the seven transmembrane regions. At the amino acid level, this fragment is more than 80% identical to the corresponding LW opsin sequences of Dryas, Heliconius, Papilio (rhodopsin 2) and Manduca. Whereas three LW absorbing rhodopsins were identified in the papilionid butterflies, only one green opsin was found in B. anynana.
Hering, Lars; Henze, Miriam J; Kohler, Martin; Kelber, Almut; Bleidorn, Christoph; Leschke, Maren; Nickel, Birgit; Meyer, Matthias; Kircher, Martin; Sunnucks, Paul; Mayer, Georg
Multiple visual pigments, prerequisites for color vision, are found in arthropods, but the evolutionary origin of their diversity remains obscure. In this study, we explore the opsin genes in five distantly related species of Onychophora, using deep transcriptome sequencing and screening approaches. Surprisingly, our data reveal the presence of only one opsin gene (onychopsin) in each onychophoran species, and our behavioral experiments indicate a maximum sensitivity of onychopsin to blue-green light. In our phylogenetic analyses, the onychopsins represent the sister group to the monophyletic clade of visual r-opsins of arthropods. These results concur with phylogenomic support for the sister-group status of the Onychophora and Arthropoda and provide evidence for monochromatic vision in velvet worms and in the last common ancestor of Onychophora and Arthropoda. We conclude that the diversification of visual pigments and color vision evolved in arthropods, along with the evolution of compound eyes-one of the most sophisticated visual systems known.
Kaposi's sarcoma is a common malignancy in Malawi and is often managed with single agent vincristine. This article outlines feasible combination chemotherapy for Kaposi's sarcoma in Malawi which should be made more widely available. Malawi Medical Journal Vol. 20 (4) 2008: pp. 129-132.
Kandoole, Priscilla; Record, Richard; Deininger, Klaus; Kalemba, Sunganani; Stylianou, Eleni; Chilima, Efrem; Kufeyani, Linly
The Malawi Economic Monitor (MEM) provides an analysis of economic and structural development issues in Malawi. The aim of the publication is to foster better-informed policy analysis and debate regarding the key challenges that Malawi faces in its endeavor to achieve high rates of stable, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth. Malawi’s economy is primarily based on agriculture and he...
Pantzartzi, Chrysoula; Pergner, Jiří; Kozmiková, Iryna; Kozmik, Zbyněk
Roč. 61, č. 10-12 (2017), s. 763-772 ISSN 0214-6282 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA17-15374S; GA MŠk LO1220; GA MŠk(CZ) LQ1604; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : Branchiostoma * amphioxus * opsin * expression Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology Impact factor: 1.981, year: 2016
Melin, Amanda D; Matsushita, Yuka; Moritz, Gillian L; Dominy, Nathaniel J; Kawamura, Shoji
Tarsiers are small nocturnal primates with a long history of fuelling debate on the origin and evolution of anthropoid primates. Recently, the discovery of M and L opsin genes in two sister species, Tarsius bancanus (Bornean tarsier) and Tarsius syrichta (Philippine tarsier), respectively, was interpreted as evidence of an ancestral long-to-middle (L/M) opsin polymorphism, which, in turn, suggested a diurnal or cathemeral (arrhythmic) activity pattern. This view is compatible with the hypothesis that stem tarsiers were diurnal; however, a reversion to nocturnality during the Middle Eocene, as evidenced by hyper-enlarged orbits, predates the divergence of T. bancanus and T. syrichta in the Late Miocene. Taken together, these findings suggest that some nocturnal tarsiers possessed high-acuity trichromatic vision, a concept that challenges prevailing views on the adaptive origins of the anthropoid visual system. It is, therefore, important to explore the plausibility and antiquity of trichromatic vision in the genus Tarsius. Here, we show that Sulawesi tarsiers (Tarsius tarsier), a phylogenetic out-group of Philippine and Bornean tarsiers, have an L opsin gene that is more similar to the L opsin gene of T. syrichta than to the M opsin gene of T. bancanus in non-synonymous nucleotide sequence. This result suggests that an L/M opsin polymorphism is the ancestral character state of crown tarsiers and raises the possibility that many hallmarks of the anthropoid visual system evolved under dim (mesopic) light conditions. This interpretation challenges the persistent nocturnal-diurnal dichotomy that has long informed debate on the origin of anthropoid primates.
David A Marques
Full Text Available Repeated adaptation to a new environment often leads to convergent phenotypic changes whose underlying genetic mechanisms are rarely known. Here, we study adaptation of color vision in threespine stickleback during the repeated postglacial colonization of clearwater and blackwater lakes in the Haida Gwaii archipelago. We use whole genomes from 16 clearwater and 12 blackwater populations, and a selection experiment, in which stickleback were transplanted from a blackwater lake into an uninhabited clearwater pond and resampled after 19 y to test for selection on cone opsin genes. Patterns of haplotype homozygosity, genetic diversity, site frequency spectra, and allele-frequency change support a selective sweep centered on the adjacent blue- and red-light sensitive opsins SWS2 and LWS. The haplotype under selection carries seven amino acid changes in SWS2, including two changes known to cause a red-shift in light absorption, and is favored in blackwater lakes but disfavored in the clearwater habitat of the transplant population. Remarkably, the same red-shifting amino acid changes occurred after the duplication of SWS2 198 million years ago, in the ancestor of most spiny-rayed fish. Two distantly related fish species, bluefin killifish and black bream, express these old paralogs divergently in black- and clearwater habitats, while sticklebacks lost one paralog. Our study thus shows that convergent adaptation to the same environment can involve the same genetic changes on very different evolutionary time scales by reevolving lost mutations and reusing them repeatedly from standing genetic variation.
Jennifer L Kelley
Full Text Available Light detection not only forms the basis of vision (via visual retinal photoreceptors, but can also occur in other parts of the body, including many non-rod/non-cone ocular cells, the pineal complex, the deep brain, and the skin. Indeed, many of the photopigments (an opsin linked to a light-sensitive 11-cis retinal chromophore that mediate color vision in the eyes of vertebrates are also present in the skin of animals such as reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans and fishes (with related photoreceptive molecules present in cephalopods, providing a localized mechanism for light detection across the surface of the body. This form of non-visual photosensitivity may be particularly important for animals that can change their coloration by altering the dispersion of pigments within the chromatophores (pigment containing cells of the skin. Thus, skin coloration may be directly color matched or tuned to both the luminance and spectral properties of the local background environment, thereby facilitating behavioral functions such as camouflage, thermoregulation, and social signaling. This review examines the diversity and sensitivity of opsin-based photopigments present in the skin and considers their putative functional roles in mediating animal behavior. Furthermore, it discusses the potential underlying biochemical and molecular pathways that link shifts in environmental light to both photopigment expression and chromatophore photoresponses. Although photoreception that occurs independently of image formation remains poorly understood, this review highlights the important role of non-visual light detection in facilitating the multiple functions of animal coloration.
Borges, Rui; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Gomes, Cidália; Heesy, Christopher P; Antunes, Agostinho
Based on evolutionary patterns of the vertebrate eye, Walls (1942) hypothesized that early placental mammals evolved primarily in nocturnal habitats. However, not only Eutheria, but all mammals show photic characteristics (i.e. dichromatic vision, rod-dominated retina) suggestive of a scotopic eye design. Here, we used integrative comparative genomic and phylogenetic methodologies employing the photoreceptive opsin gene family in 154 mammals to test the likelihood of a nocturnal period in the emergence of all mammals. We showed that mammals possess genomic patterns concordant with a nocturnal ancestry. The loss of the RH2, VA, PARA, PARIE and OPN4x opsins in all mammals led us to advance a probable and most-parsimonious hypothesis of a global nocturnal bottleneck that explains the loss of these genes in the emerging lineage (> > 215.5 million years ago). In addition, ancestral character reconstruction analyses provided strong evidence that ancestral mammals possessed a nocturnal lifestyle, ultra-violet-sensitive vision, low visual acuity and low orbit convergence (i.e. panoramic vision). Overall, this study provides insight into the evolutionary history of the mammalian eye while discussing important ecological aspects of the photic paleo-environments ancestral mammals have occupied.
One of the biggest challenges for healthcare professionals working in developing countries is the lack of trained personnel to carry out much needed health care provision. Shirley Stronge worked as a nurse/midwife tutor in a rural area in the north of Malawi. Millennium Development Goals four and five have focused our attention on the care required by mothers and newborns. Shirley has chosen to reflect on the role of Traditional Birth Attendants in the north of Malawi and their positive impact on maternity services in this area.
This is a study of the variation in incorporation of labeled amino acids into opsin and rhodopsin during the 12 hour light-dark cycle. Groups of 12 adult, light-entrained R. pipiens were injected with tritiated amino acids at selected times of the day and night. Twenty four hours later, the frogs were sacrificed and their rhodopsin purified by column chromatography. It was found that the peak incorporation of amino acids into rhodopsin occurred shortly after light onset and declined to lower levels at later hours. Light microscopic autoradiography revealed the presence of radioactive disc membranes in the rod outer segments. However there was no correlation between outer segment grain density and rhodopsin specific activity. Succeeding experiments showed that light onset, rather than the time of day, played an important role in stimulating isotope incorporation. Electro-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed a changing specific activity for inner segment opsin during the light-dark cycle. Peak levels of amino acid incorporation occurred shortly after light onset and then declined to lower levels. For all time points, opsin was found to be radioactive, indicating opsin biosynthesis occurred continually throughout the diurnal cycle
Greater retention in care among adolescents on antiretroviral treatment accessing "Teen Club" an adolescent-centred differentiated care model compared with standard of care: a nested case-control study at a tertiary referral hospital in Malawi.
MacKenzie, Rachel K; van Lettow, Monique; Gondwe, Chrissie; Nyirongo, James; Singano, Victor; Banda, Victor; Thaulo, Edith; Beyene, Teferi; Agarwal, Mansi; McKenney, Allyson; Hrapcak, Susan; Garone, Daniela; Sodhi, Sumeet K; Chan, Adrienne K
There are numerous barriers to the care and support of adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) that makes this population particularly vulnerable to attrition from care, poor adherence and virological failure. In 2010, a Teen Club was established in Zomba Central Hospital (ZCH), Malawi, a tertiary referral HIV clinic. Teen Club provides ALHIV on antiretroviral treatment (ART) with dedicated clinic time, sexual and reproductive health education, peer mentorship, ART refill and support for positive living and treatment adherence. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether attending Teen Club improves retention in ART care. We conducted a nested case-control study with stratified selection, using programmatic data from 2004 to 2015. Cases (ALHIV not retained in care) and controls (ALHIV retained in care) were matched by ART initiation age group. Patient records were reviewed retrospectively and subjects were followed starting in March 2010, the month in which Teen Club was opened. Follow-up ended at the time patients were no longer considered retained in care or on 31 December 2015. Cases and controls were drawn from a study population of 617 ALHIV. Of those, 302 (48.9%) participated in at least two Teen Club sessions. From the study population, 135 (non-retained) cases and 405 (retained) controls were selected. In multivariable analyses, Teen Club exposure, age at the time of selection and year of ART initiation were independently associated with attrition. ALHIV with no Teen Club exposure were less likely to be retained than those with Teen Club exposure (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.27; 95% CI 0.16, 0.45) when adjusted for sex, ART initiation age, current age, reason for ART initiation and year of ART initiation. ALHIV in the age group 15 to 19 were more likely to have attrition from care than ALHIV in the age group 10 to 14 years of age (aOR 2.14; 95% CI 1.12, 4.11). This study contributes to the limited evidence evaluating the effectiveness of service delivery
Schnitzler Christine E
Full Text Available Abstract Background Calcium-activated photoproteins are luciferase variants found in photocyte cells of bioluminescent jellyfish (Phylum Cnidaria and comb jellies (Phylum Ctenophora. The complete genomic sequence from the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, a representative of the earliest branch of animals that emit light, provided an opportunity to examine the genome of an organism that uses this class of luciferase for bioluminescence and to look for genes involved in light reception. To determine when photoprotein genes first arose, we examined the genomic sequence from other early-branching taxa. We combined our genomic survey with gene trees, developmental expression patterns, and functional protein assays of photoproteins and opsins to provide a comprehensive view of light production and light reception in Mnemiopsis. Results The Mnemiopsis genome has 10 full-length photoprotein genes situated within two genomic clusters with high sequence conservation that are maintained due to strong purifying selection and concerted evolution. Photoprotein-like genes were also identified in the genomes of the non-luminescent sponge Amphimedon queenslandica and the non-luminescent cnidarian Nematostella vectensis, and phylogenomic analysis demonstrated that photoprotein genes arose at the base of all animals. Photoprotein gene expression in Mnemiopsis embryos begins during gastrulation in migrating precursors to photocytes and persists throughout development in the canals where photocytes reside. We identified three putative opsin genes in the Mnemiopsis genome and show that they do not group with well-known bilaterian opsin subfamilies. Interestingly, photoprotein transcripts are co-expressed with two of the putative opsins in developing photocytes. Opsin expression is also seen in the apical sensory organ. We present evidence that one opsin functions as a photopigment in vitro, absorbing light at wavelengths that overlap with peak photoprotein light
Faggionato, Davide; Serb, Jeanne M
The rise of high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and de novo transcriptome assembly has had a transformative impact on how we identify and study genes in the phototransduction cascade of non-model organisms. But the advantage provided by the nearly automated annotation of RNA-seq transcriptomes may at the same time hinder the possibility for gene discovery and the discovery of new gene functions. For example, standard functional annotation based on domain homology to known protein families can only confirm group membership, not identify the emergence of new biochemical function. In this study, we show the importance of developing a strategy that circumvents the limitations of semiautomated annotation and apply this workflow to photosensitivity as a means to discover non-opsin photoreceptors. We hypothesize that non-opsin G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) proteins may have chromophore-binding lysines in locations that differ from opsin. Here, we provide the first case study describing non-opsin light-sensitive GPCRs based on tissue-specific RNA-seq data of the common bay scallop Argopecten irradians (Lamarck, 1819). Using a combination of sequence analysis and three-dimensional protein modeling, we identified two candidate proteins. We tested their photochemical properties and provide evidence showing that these two proteins incorporate 11-cis and/or all-trans retinal and react to light photochemically. Based on this case study, we demonstrate that there is potential for the discovery of new light-sensitive GPCRs, and we have developed a workflow that starts from RNA-seq assemblies to the discovery of new non-opsin, GPCR-based photopigments.
Full Text Available of 50.4%. The average overloaded mass on the 1 356 overloaded vehicles was 4 264 kg, representing an average degree of overloading of 26.1%. Weigh data from 4 of the 5 permanent weighbridges in Malawi were also analysed to compare the extent and degree...
Bergmans, Wim; Jachmann, Hugo
Five species of bats are recorded from Kasungu National Park, Malawi: Eidolon helvum (Kerr, 1792); Epomophorus anurus Heuglin, 1864; Epomophorus minor Dobson, 1880; Epomops dobsonii (Bocage, 1889); and Scotoecus hindei Thomas, 1901. Some other Malawian records of these species, based on literature
Malawi Medical Journal. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 13, No 1 (2001) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. Username, Password, Remember me, or Register. Cholera Epidemic Control. R Zachariah. Full Text: EMAIL FREE ...
African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology Vol. 6(2), pp. 94-103 ... that national authorities in Malawi need to spearhead public policies that will effectively regulate the operations of .... private sector combined with the commercialisation of ..... International Institute for Geo- Information Sciences and Earth.
Kamanga, Tamara; Chisenga, Chikondi; Katonda, Vincent
The geology of Malawi is broadly grouped into four main lithological units that is the Basement Complex, the Karoo Super group, Tertiary to Quaternary sedimentary deposits and the Chilwa Alkaline province. The basement complex rocks cover much of the country and range in age from late Precambrian to early Paleozoic. They have been affected by three major phases of deformation and metamorphism that is the Irumide, Ubendian and The Pan-African. These rocks comprise gneisses, granulites and schists with associated mafic, ultramafic, syenites and granite rocks. The Karoo System sedimentary rocks range in age from Permian to lower Jurassic and are mainly restricted to two areas in the extreme North and extreme Alkaline Province - late Jurassic to Cretaceous in age, preceded by upper Karoo Dolerite dyke swarms and basaltic lavas, have been intruded into the Basement Complex gneisses of southern Malawi. Malawi is endowed with different types of natural stone deposits most of which remain unexploited and explored. Over twenty quarry operators supply quarry stone for road and building construction in Malawi. Hundreds of artisanal workers continue to supply aggregate stones within and on the outskirts of urban areas. Ornamental stones and granitic dimension stones are also quarried, but in insignificant volumes. In Northern Malawi, there are several granite deposits including the Nyika, which is the largest single outcrop occupying approximately 260.5 km2 , Mtwalo Amazonite an opaque to translucent bluish -green variety of microcline feldspar that occurs in alkali granites and pegmatite, the Ilomba granite (sodalite) occurring in small areas within biotite; apatite, plagioclase and calcite. In the Center, there are the Dzalanyama granites, and the Sani granites. In the South, there are the Mangochi granites. Dolerite and gabbroic rocks spread across the country, treading as black granites. Malawi is also endowed with many deposits of marble. A variety of other igneous
Hanneken, Anne; Neikirk, Thomas; Johnson, Jennifer; Kono, Masahiro
To test the hypothesis that delayed dark adaptation in patients with macular degeneration is due to an excess of free unliganded opsin (apo-opsin) and a deficiency of the visual chromophore, 11 -cis retinal, in rod outer segments. A total of 50 human autopsy eyes were harvested from donors with and without macular degeneration within 2-24 hrs. postmortem. Protocols were developed which permitted dark adaptation of normal human eyes after death and enucleation. Biochemical methods of purifying rod outer segments were optimized and the concentration of rhodopsin and apo-opsin was measured with UV-visible scanning spectroscopy. The presence of apo-opsin was calculated by measuring the difference in the rhodopsin absorption spectra before and after the addition of 11 -cis retinal. A total of 20 normal eyes and 16 eyes from donors with early, intermediate and advanced stages of macular degeneration were included in the final analysis. Dark adaptation was achieved by harvesting whole globes in low light, transferring into dark (light-proof) canisters and dissecting the globes using infrared light and image converters for visualization. Apo-opsin was readily detected in positive controls after the addition of 11 -cis retinal. Normal autopsy eyes showed no evidence of apo-opsin. Eyes with macular degeneration also showed no evidence of apo-opsin, regardless of the severity of disease. Methods have been developed to study dark adaptation in human autopsy eyes. Eyes with age-related macular degeneration do not show a deficiency of 11 -cis retinal or an excess of apo-opsin within rod outer segments.
Full Text Available The demographic study of nuptiality in African countries is not very developed and often of secondary interest in a discussion of the proximate determinants of fertility. This paper uses unusual marriage history data to examine divorce and remarriage in rural Malawi. Life table probabilities of divorce range from 40 to 65 percent and are among the highest on the continent. An investigation into the determinants of marital instability using proportional hazards models confirms the importance of kinship systems and female empowerment, but the mechanism underlying the high divorce rates in Malawi seems to be more complicated than that. This is, for example, illustrated in the effect of the polygyny variables. Marriage, divorce, and remarriage are further considered as empowering strategies that women deploy throughout their lives.
Full Text Available Adverse effects of extreme wet events are well documented by several studies around the world. These effects are exacerbated in developing countries like Malawi that have insufficient risk reduction strategies and capacity to cope with extreme wet weather. Ardent monitoring of the variability of extreme wet events over Malawi is therefore imperative. The use of the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI has been recommended by many studies as an effective way of quantifying extreme wet events. In this study, ETCCDI indices were used to examine the number of heavy, very heavy, and extremely heavy rainfall days; daily and five-day maximum rainfall; very wet and extremely wet days; annual wet days and simple daily intensity. The Standard Normal Homogeneity Test (SNHT was employed at 5% significance level before any statistical test was done. Trend analysis was done using the nonparametric Mann-Kendall statistical test. All stations were found to be homogeneous apart from Mimosa. Trend results show high temporal and spatial variability with the only significant results being: increase in daily maximum rainfall (Rx1day over Karonga and Bvumbwe, increase in five-day maximum rainfall (Rx5day over Bvumbwe. Mzimba and Chileka recorded a significant decrease in very wet days (R95p while a significant increase was observed over Thyolo. Chileka was the only station which observed a significant trend (decrease in extremely wet rainfall (R99p. Mzimba was the only station that reported a significant trend (decrease in annual wet-day rainfall total (PRCPTOT and Thyolo was the only station that reported a significant trend (increase in simple daily intensity (SDII. Furthermore, the findings of this study revealed that, during wet years, Malawi is characterised by an anomalous convergence of strong south-easterly and north-easterly winds. This convergence is the main rain bringing mechanism to Malawi.
Nov 8, 2011 ... New attitudes key to progress in Malawi, Cameroon ... in Malawi — good laws protecting women's rights — but they are not working. Why? ... Colonial rule — first by the Germans and later the French and British — brought in a ...
students at the University of Malawi's College of Medicine.i. Malawi is both culturally ... influences of the structural adjustment programs mandated ... For five decades, social scientists have examined the moral ... studied the impact of medical training outside the global ... Wanted to help people. 42% .... political issues.15,16.
Methods A hospital-based case-control study of the association between environmental risk factors and oesophageal cancer was conducted at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. Ninety-six persons with squamous cell carcinoma and 180 controls were ...
This article focuses on the decay of almost all of Malawi's indigenous languages with the exception of ciCewa. The languages facing loss and decay have been suppressed, neglected and not developed, particularly since Malawi attained her independence in 1964. This is a crucial matter in issues of national unity, group ...
other providers in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi located in the central region. BCIH is situated in Blantyre in the southern region of Malawi. Therefore it is not unexpected that there is likely to be a natural bias towards treatment of southern patients. This bias was noted at 5-years with 48% of operatively treated case hailing ...
High adolescent fertility is recognized as a global challenge given its adverse consequences. As such understanding the factors that influence adolescent fertility is critical to addressing this challenge. This study aims at examining the causes of adolescent fertility in Malawi using the 2010 Malawi Demographic and Health ...
The Malawi Country Procurement Assessment Report is a joint undertaking between the Malawi Government and the World Bank to analyze the country procurement system and recommend appropriate actions to improve the efficiency, economy and transparency of the system. This report is divided into (a) an Executive Summary, (b) Main Report on Findings and Recommendations, and (c) Annexes. Since th...
The Malawi Country Procurement Assessment Report is a joint undertaking between the Malawi Government and the World Bank to analyze the country procurement system and recommend appropriate actions to improve the efficiency, economy and transparency of the system. This report is divided into (a) an Executive Summary, (b) Main Report on Findings and Recommendations, and (c) Annexes. Since th...
In Malawi, fish provide 70% of the animal protein in people's diets: small fish, in particular, are a vital source of calcium, vi- tamin A, iron, and zinc. ... es in Malawi coincide with seasonal rains and high humidity, which interfere with drying and ...
Family medicine training and practice in Malawi: History, progress, and the anticipated role of the family physician in the Malawian health system. ... The idea of formal family medicine training and practice in Malawi started as early as 2001 but did not come to fruition until 2011, with the start of the undergraduate clerkship in ...
Health spending, illicit financial flows and tax incentives in Malawi. B O'Hare, M Curtis. Abstract. This analysis examines the gaps in health care financing in Malawi and how foregone taxes could fill these gaps. It begins with an assessment of the disease burden and government health expenditure. Then it analyses the tax ...
Kamwamba-Mtethiwa, J.; Namara, R.; Fraiture, de C.M.S.; Mangisoni, J.; Owusu, E.
As part of their irrigation strategy, the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Malawi are actively promoting the use of treadle pumps in smallholder irrigation. The positive impact of treadle pumps on food security and poverty reduction in Malawi and elsewhere in sub-Saharan
Management of the Newspaper Industry in Malawi. ... The new media is the focus of Chapter Three titled Online Journalism in Malawi: Emergence, ... The chapter tackles a number of areas of national development and the beauty ... commodity, including market forces or regulations, which sometimes can restrict new market.
Tkatch, Tatiana; Greotti, Elisa; Baranauskas, Gytis; Pendin, Diana; Roy, Soumitra; Nita, Luliaoana I; Wettmarshausen, Jennifer; Prigge, Matthias; Yizhar, Ofer; Shirihai, Orian S; Fishman, Daniel; Hershfinkel, Michal; Fleidervish, Ilya A; Perocchi, Fabiana; Pozzan, Tullio; Sekler, Israel
Key mitochondrial functions such as ATP production, Ca 2+ uptake and release, and substrate accumulation depend on the proton electrochemical gradient (ΔμH + ) across the inner membrane. Although several drugs can modulate ΔμH + , their effects are hardly reversible, and lack cellular specificity and spatial resolution. Although channelrhodopsins are widely used to modulate the plasma membrane potential of excitable cells, mitochondria have thus far eluded optogenetic control. Here we describe a toolkit of optometabolic constructs based on selective targeting of channelrhodopsins with distinct functional properties to the inner mitochondrial membrane of intact cells. We show that our strategy enables a light-dependent control of the mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψ m ) and coupled mitochondrial functions such as ATP synthesis by oxidative phosphorylation, Ca 2+ dynamics, and respiratory metabolism. By directly modulating Δψ m , the mitochondria-targeted opsins were used to control complex physiological processes such as spontaneous beats in cardiac myocytes and glucose-dependent ATP increase in pancreatic β-cells. Furthermore, our optometabolic tools allow modulation of mitochondrial functions in single cells and defined cell regions.
Berman, A L; Suvorov, S A; Parnova, R G; Gracheva, O A; Rychkova, M P
Thermal stability of rhodopsins and opsins has been studied in endothermic (sheep, cattle, pig, rat) and ectothermic (frog) animals under two different conditions -- in the intact photoreceptor membranes (PM) and after substitution of the lipid surrounding of rhodopsins by molecules of a detergent Triton X-100. Lipid composition of PM in these animals was also studied, as well as the effect of proteases (pronase and papaine) upon thermal stability of rhodopsins in PM and in 1% Triton X-100 solutions. The thermal resistance of rhodopsins in PM was found to vary in the animals used to a great extent. The maximal differences in thermal stability of rhodopsins in ecto- and endothermic animals were due to the properties of photoreceptor protein itself, whereas in ectothermic animals they resulted mainly from differences in the lipid composition of PM. PM of endothermic animals differ from those of ectothermic ones by a lower content of polyenoic fatty acids and by a higher amount of phosphatidyl ethanolamine. The thermal stability of rhodopsins is not due to rhodopsin molecule as a whole, and depends mainly on its part which is directly bound to 11-cis retinal, located in hydrophobic region of PM and inaccessible to protease attack.
Malawi Medical Journal. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 20, No 3 (2008) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. Username, Password, Remember me, or Register · Download this PDF file. The PDF file you selected should load ...
Danley, P D; Kocher, T D
Rapid evolutionary radiations provide insight into the fundamental processes involved in species formation. Here we examine the diversification of one such group, the cichlid fishes of Lake Malawi, which have radiated from a single ancestor into more than 400 species over the past 700 000 years. The phylogenetic history of this group suggests: (i) that their divergence has proceeded in three major bursts of cladogenesis; and (ii) that different selective forces have dominated each cladogenic event. The first episode resulted in the divergence of two major lineages, the sand- and rock-dwellers, each adapted to a major benthic macrohabitat. Among the rock-dwellers, competition for trophic resources then drove a second burst of cladogenesis, which resulted in the differentiation of trophic morphology. The third episode of cladogenesis is associated with differentiation of male nuptial colouration, most likely in response to divergent sexual selection. We discuss models of speciation in relation to this observed pattern. We advocate a model, divergence with gene flow, which reconciles the disparate selective forces responsible for the diversification of this group and suggest that the nonadaptive nature of the tertiary episode has significantly contributed to the extraordinary species richness of this group.
Namoto, M.; Likoswe, M.G.
This study of 42 case studies of nurseries was made as part of a major sample survey of 360 nurseries in 6 districts in Malawi. The purpose of the study was to let the small nurseries in the country explain in their own words how they source seed, how and for whom they produce seedlings......, and to explain about their problems and opportunities in the nursery business. The assessment was made within the framework of Improved Seed Supply for Agroforestry in African Countries (ISSAAC), a Danida supported programme implemented in cooperation between Forest & Landscape Denmark and World Agroforestry...
Ortiz-Rivas, Benjamín; Moya, Andrés; Martínez-Torres, David
Viviparous aphids (Aphididae) constitute a monophyletic group within the Homoptera with more than 4000 extant species worldwide but higher diversity in temperate regions. Several aspects of their biology account for attention paid to this group of insects. Their plant-sap-sucking way of feeding with many species transmitting viruses to crop plants has important implications on crop management strategies. Cyclical parthenogenesis associated in many groups to host alternation and elaborate polyphenisms is of special interests for evolutionists. Finally, the ancient association of most aphid species with intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria (Buchnera sp.) has also received much attention from evolutionists interested in mechanisms involved in the symbiotic process. Knowing the phylogenetic relationships among major aphid taxa is of special interest to evolutionists interested in the above issues. However, until recently, molecular approaches to aphid phylogeny were absent and discussions on the evolution of aphid life-cycles and on evolutionary aspects of their symbiotic association with Buchnera were framed by morphology-based phylogenies. Recently, two reports using molecular approaches attempted to address the yet unresolved phylogeny of Aphididae with limited although somehow different conclusions. In the present report we study the utility of the long-wave opsin gene in resolving phylogenetic relationships among seven subfamilies within the Aphididae. Our results corroborate some previously proposed relationships and suggest a revision of some others. In particular, our data support grouping the analysed aphid species into three main clades, being the subfamily Lachninae one of them, which contradicts its generally accepted sistership relationship with the subfamily Aphidinae. Moreover, our data also suggest a basal position of Lachninae which has implications on current discussions about the ancestrality of conifer-feeding in modern aphids.
Jahn, Andreas; Harries, Anthony D; Schouten, Erik J; Libamba, Edwin; Ford, Nathan; Maher, Dermot; Chimbwandira, Frank
In Malawi, health-system constraints meant that only a fraction of people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and in immediate need of antiretroviral treatment (ART) received treatment. In 2004, the Malawian Ministry of Health launched plans to scale-up ART nationwide, adhering to the principle of equity to ensure fair geographical access to therapy. A public health approach was used with standardized training and treatment and regular supervision and monitoring of the programme. Before the scale-up, an estimated 930 000 people in Malawi were HIV-infected, with 170 000 in immediate need of ART. About 3000 patients were on ART in nine clinics. By December 2015, cumulatively 872 567 patients had been started on ART from 716 clinics, following national treatment protocols and using the standard monitoring system. Strong national leadership allowed the ministry of health to implement a uniform system for scaling-up ART and provided benchmarks for implementation on the ground. New systems of training staff and accrediting health facilities enabled task-sharing and decentralization to peripheral health centres and a standardized approach to starting and monitoring ART. A system of quarterly supervision and monitoring, into which operational research was embedded, ensured stocks of drug supplies at facilities and adherence to national treatment guidelines.
Sujet: URBAN HOUSING, HOUSING NEEDS, HOUSING CONDITIONS, LOW COST HOUSING, HOUSING POLICY, HOUSING PROGRAMMES, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH. Région: North of Sahara, South of Sahara, Malawi, Senegal, Tunisia, Uganda. Programme: Alimentation, environnement et santé. Financement total ...
Topic: CLIMATE CHANGE, ADAPTATION TO CHANGE, NATURAL DISASTERS, DISASTER PREPAREDNESS, DISASTER MANAGEMENT. Region: Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South of Sahara. Program: Climate Change. Total Funding: CA$ 1,398,500.00. Strengthening ...
government sponsored settlement schemes in Zimbabwe, for example, are viewed as ... diversity of community development projects and state provided public ..... Development Project in Malawi: case studies of beneficiary groups in Machinga ...
Further to this, there is no regulating or coordinating body for social work ... A regulating body of social work in Malawi would enhance development of the ... A reflexive approach where curriculum and practice would inform each other is ...
This was a multistage random cluster sampling national survey. Households ... sample size was estimated to be 1497 households from a pilot study that was ..... with fracture management by skeletal traction; a qualitative study from. Malawi.
May 25, 2017 ... Malawi Integrated Guidelines on 'Clinical Management of ... referred by nursing staff to attend the HIV counsellor's ... Implementation of a bedside testing service at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital significantly increased HIV ...
Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Malawi: Contributions to Clinical Care, Medical Education and Biomedical Research. MJ Potchen, S Kampondeni, GL Birbeck, CA Hammond, A Gonani, KS Phiri, KB Seydel, TE Taylor ...
Improving high quality, equitable maternal health services in Malawi (IMCHA) ... In response, the Ministry of Health implemented a Standards-Based Management and Recognition for Reproductive Health initiative to improve ... Total funding.
establish journalists' salaries and benefits in Malawi; to determine if these salaries .... Agency reporter from the districts of Zomba, Dedza and Nkhata Bay, which were .... responsibilities of employers and employees and copyright ownership of ...
Phiri, Mphatso J
Malawi is one of the few African countries that has experienced neither a military coup nor a civil war, and has remained peaceful since independence despite being under a dictatorial regime for three decades...
Chimwemwe Kwanjo Banda
reporting to managers, telling their friends, crying, retaliating, or ignoring the incident. Most ... Conclusions: Workplace violence against nurses exists in Malawi and it affects nurses ... safety, well-being or health” (WHO, 2010, p. 1).
Elizabeth B Mapoma
Feb 17, 2014 ... Malawi as regards water resources use and degradation ...... action plan for integrated water resource development and management that establishes rules and procedures to implement joint management of water resources.
Research on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Malawi: the Johns Hopkins University- Ministry of Health (JHU-MOH) project. TE Taha, JK Canner, AM Wangel, JD Chiphangwi, NG Liomba, PG Miotti, GA Dallabetta, AJ Saah ...
ordinate the MNCP since 2007. At present the program has a total of 29 clinics, which have treated 5748 patients. Furthermore, BCIH has overseen the full or partial training of 5 orthopaedic surgeons and 82 orthopaedic clinical officers in Malawi.
Sleeping sickness surveys: game reserve adjacent villages in Malawi. ... Sera from 160 game ranger volunteers and from 82 suspected cases_of Rhodesian sleeping sickness were tested by use of ELISA, ... AJOL African Journals Online.
in rural Malawi: Lungwena nutrition studies ... a community based nutritional intervention for malnourished children in rural .... and height gain were similar in the two groups. .... A-M, Ashorn P. Socio-economic support for good health in rural.
ZMH) is the only government- run tertiary psychiatric referral hospital in Malawi. ... use, multiple sex partners and intravenous drug use,12,13 ... SPECIAL COMMUNICATION ... for psychiatric referral in subjects who have been informed about a ...
Mataya, Charles S.; Veeman, Michele M.
The effects of successive currency devaluations, since the 1980s, on Malawi's trade balance are analysed. The major hypothesis tested is that currency devaluation leads to an improvement in trade balance through changes in the real exchange rate. This hypothesis is not supported by the data for Malawi. Although there is evidence of a lagged adjustment yielding an improvement in the trade balance three years after devaluation, the magnitude of this improvement is insufficient to overcome the i...
Simoe, Bruno F; Sampaio, Filipa L.; Loew, Ellis R.; Sanders, Kate L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.; Partridge, Julian C.; Gower, David J.
In 1934, Gordon Walls forwarded his radical theory of retinal photoreceptor ‘transmutation’. This proposed that rods and cones used for scotopic and photopic vision, respectively, were not fixed but could evolve into each other via a series of morphologically distinguishable intermediates. Walls' prime evidence came from series of diurnal and nocturnal geckos and snakes that appeared to have pure-cone or pure-rod retinas (in forms that Walls believed evolved from ancestors with the reverse complement) or which possessed intermediate photoreceptor cells. Walls was limited in testing his theory because the precise identity of visual pigments present in photoreceptors was then unknown. Subsequent molecular research has hitherto neglected this topic but presents new opportunities. We identify three visual opsin genes, rh1, sws1 and lws, in retinal mRNA of an ecologically and taxonomically diverse sample of snakes central to Walls' theory. We conclude that photoreceptors with superficially rod- or cone-like morphology are not limited to containing scotopic or photopic opsins, respectively. Walls' theory is essentially correct, and more research is needed to identify the patterns, processes and functional implications of transmutation. Future research will help to clarify the fundamental properties and physiology of photoreceptors adapted to function in different light levels.
The reproductive biology of an open-water spawning Lake Malawi cichlid, Copadichromis chrysonotus. Lance W. Smith. Abstract. Copadichromis chrysonotus is a zooplanktivorous cichlid member of the diverse fish community inhabiting Lake Malawi's rocky, littoral habitat. Like most Lake Malawi cichlids, this species' ...
Boubakri, Meriam; Chaya, Taro; Hirata, Hiromi; Kajimura, Naoko; Kuwahara, Ryusuke; Ueno, Akiko; Malicki, Jarema; Furukawa, Takahisa; Omori, Yoshihiro
In the retina, aberrant opsin transport from cell bodies to outer segments leads to retinal degenerative diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. Opsin transport is facilitated by the intraflagellar transport (IFT) system that mediates the bidirectional movement of proteins within cilia. In contrast to functions of the anterograde transport executed by IFT complex B (IFT-B), the precise functions of the retrograde transport mediated by IFT complex A (IFT-A) have not been well studied in photoreceptor cilia. Here, we analyzed developing zebrafish larvae carrying a null mutation in ift122 encoding a component of IFT-A. ift122 mutant larvae show unexpectedly mild phenotypes, compared with those of mutants defective in IFT-B. ift122 mutants exhibit a slow onset of progressive photoreceptor degeneration mainly after 7 days post-fertilization. ift122 mutant larvae also develop cystic kidney but not curly body, both of which are typically observed in various ciliary mutants. ift122 mutants display a loss of cilia in the inner ear hair cells and nasal pit epithelia. Loss of ift122 causes disorganization of outer segment discs. Ectopic accumulation of an IFT-B component, ift88, is observed in the ift122 mutant photoreceptor cilia. In addition, pulse-chase experiments using GFP-opsin fusion proteins revealed that ift122 is required for the efficient transport of opsin and the distal elongation of outer segments. These results show that IFT-A is essential for the efficient transport of outer segment proteins, including opsin, and for the survival of retinal photoreceptor cells, rendering the ift122 mutant a unique model for human retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:27681595
Full Text Available Abstract Background The medical "brain drain" has been described as rich countries "looting" doctors and nurses from developing countries undermining their health systems and public health. However this "brain-drain" might also be seen as a success in the training and "export" of health professionals and the benefits this provides. This paper illustrates the arguments and possible policy options by focusing on the situation in one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi. Discussion Many see this "brain drain" of medical staff as wrong with developed countries exploiting poorer ones. The effects are considerable with Malawi facing high vacancy rates in its public health system, and with migration threatening to outstrip training despite efforts to improve pay and conditions. This shortage of staff has made it more challenging for Malawi to deliver on its Essential Health Package and to absorb new international health funding. Yet, without any policy effort Malawi has been able to demonstrate its global competitiveness in the training ("production" of skilled health professionals. Remittances from migration are a large and growing source of foreign exchange for poor countries and tend to go directly to households. Whilst the data for Malawi is limited, studies from other poor countries demonstrate the power of remittances in significantly reducing poverty. Malawi can benefit from the export of health professionals provided there is a resolution of the situation whereby the state pays for training and the benefits are gained by the individual professional working abroad. Solutions include migrating staff paying back training costs, or rich host governments remitting part of a tax (e.g. income or national insurance to the Malawi government. These schemes would allow Malawi to scale up training of health professionals for local needs and to work abroad. Summary There is concern about the negative impacts of the medical "brain-drain". However a
Record, Richard; Mohiddin, Abdu
Background The medical "brain drain" has been described as rich countries "looting" doctors and nurses from developing countries undermining their health systems and public health. However this "brain-drain" might also be seen as a success in the training and "export" of health professionals and the benefits this provides. This paper illustrates the arguments and possible policy options by focusing on the situation in one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi. Discussion Many see this "brain drain" of medical staff as wrong with developed countries exploiting poorer ones. The effects are considerable with Malawi facing high vacancy rates in its public health system, and with migration threatening to outstrip training despite efforts to improve pay and conditions. This shortage of staff has made it more challenging for Malawi to deliver on its Essential Health Package and to absorb new international health funding. Yet, without any policy effort Malawi has been able to demonstrate its global competitiveness in the training ("production") of skilled health professionals. Remittances from migration are a large and growing source of foreign exchange for poor countries and tend to go directly to households. Whilst the data for Malawi is limited, studies from other poor countries demonstrate the power of remittances in significantly reducing poverty. Malawi can benefit from the export of health professionals provided there is a resolution of the situation whereby the state pays for training and the benefits are gained by the individual professional working abroad. Solutions include migrating staff paying back training costs, or rich host governments remitting part of a tax (e.g. income or national insurance) to the Malawi government. These schemes would allow Malawi to scale up training of health professionals for local needs and to work abroad. Summary There is concern about the negative impacts of the medical "brain-drain". However a closer look at the evidence
The vertebrate ancestral repertoire of visual opsins, transducin alpha subunits and oxytocin/vasopressin receptors was established by duplication of their shared genomic region in the two rounds of early vertebrate genome duplications.
Lagman, David; Ocampo Daza, Daniel; Widmark, Jenny; Abalo, Xesús M; Sundström, Görel; Larhammar, Dan
Vertebrate color vision is dependent on four major color opsin subtypes: RH2 (green opsin), SWS1 (ultraviolet opsin), SWS2 (blue opsin), and LWS (red opsin). Together with the dim-light receptor rhodopsin (RH1), these form the family of vertebrate visual opsins. Vertebrate genomes contain many multi-membered gene families that can largely be explained by the two rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD) in the vertebrate ancestor (2R) followed by a third round in the teleost ancestor (3R). Related chromosome regions resulting from WGD or block duplications are said to form a paralogon. We describe here a paralogon containing the genes for visual opsins, the G-protein alpha subunit families for transducin (GNAT) and adenylyl cyclase inhibition (GNAI), the oxytocin and vasopressin receptors (OT/VP-R), and the L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (CACNA1-L). Sequence-based phylogenies and analyses of conserved synteny show that the above-mentioned gene families, and many neighboring gene families, expanded in the early vertebrate WGDs. This allows us to deduce the following evolutionary scenario: The vertebrate ancestor had a chromosome containing the genes for two visual opsins, one GNAT, one GNAI, two OT/VP-Rs and one CACNA1-L gene. This chromosome was quadrupled in 2R. Subsequent gene losses resulted in a set of five visual opsin genes, three GNAT and GNAI genes, six OT/VP-R genes and four CACNA1-L genes. These regions were duplicated again in 3R resulting in additional teleost genes for some of the families. Major chromosomal rearrangements have taken place in the teleost genomes. By comparison with the corresponding chromosomal regions in the spotted gar, which diverged prior to 3R, we could time these rearrangements to post-3R. We present an extensive analysis of the paralogon housing the visual opsin, GNAT and GNAI, OT/VP-R, and CACNA1-L gene families. The combined data imply that the early vertebrate WGD events contributed to the evolution of vision and the
Forestry and energy policies in Malawi place the blame for the country's high rate of deforestation on the demand for woodfuel. The government has been involved in a range of questionable supply-side initiatives, as well as in a number of interventions in woodfuel markets, with the objective of slowing rates of deforestation. It seeks to encourage farmers to grow woodfuel to meet market demands, and has provided subsidies to do so. The Forest Department has kept prices for firewood from its plantations low, both in order to discourage the market for wood from free resources and because of concerns about the impact of high producer prices on the urban poor. In doing so, the government is less able to rely on the market to provide producers with the incentive to plant trees to meet market demands. In any event, the market accounts for a relatively small proportion of total woodfuel demand. Policies do not distinguish between rural household demands and the specific market demands which are having the greatest impact on deforestation: woodfuel for urban markets, for tobacco curring, and for small industries. These, coupled with the expansion of the estate sector, have had a far greater impact on woodland clearance than rural, subsistence woodfuel demands. Rural household energy demands need to be addressed from a much broader perspective which considers the household's larger needs for tree based products or outputs: income, food, fibre, fodder, soil fertility, as well as for fuel. (author). 24 refs, 3 figs, 2 tabs
Mulder, Monique Borgerhoff; Msalu, Lameck; Caro, Tim; Salerno, Jonathan
Livingstone's second mission site on the shore of Lake Malawi suffers very high rates of consequential lightning strikes. Comprehensive interviewing of victims and their relatives in seven Traditional Authorities in Nkhata Bay District, Malawi revealed that the annual rate of consequential strikes was 419/million, more than six times higher than that in other developing countries; the rate of deaths from lightning was 84/million/year, 5.4 times greater than the highest ever recorded. These remarkable figures reveal that lightning constitutes a significant stochastic source of mortality with potential life history consequences, but it should not deflect attention away from the more prominent causes of mortality in this rural area.
The study examined the factors affecting agroforestry technology upscaling and identified gaps in scaling up approaches of agroforestry technologies. One hundred and sixty-four farmers in Malawi Agroforestry Extension (MAFE) project districts of Mzimba, Ntcheu and Mangochi were interviewed. Logistic model was used in ...
City councils in Malawi have often considered shooting animals, especially .... believed that a hyena's tail makes people fall into a deep slumber and facilitates the .... Observing such animals performing acts akin to human beings helps us to love ... of indirect duties a human being who kills a dog belonging to someone or.
Sujet: HEALTH PERSONNEL, COOPERATION BETWEEN ORGANIZATIONS, TRAINING METHODS, TRAINING PROGRAMMES. Région: South of Sahara, Malawi, South Africa. Programme: Santé des mères et des enfants. Financement total : CA$ 307,640.00. Délégation des tâches en Afrique de l'Est : soins de la vue.
At present the program has a total of 29 clinics, which .... Thus a total of 1154 paediatric orthopaedic operations were known to have taken place in Malawi during the 10th year of operational services with 53% of cases being performed at BCIH. ... regional hip replacement course, 1 regional knee replacement course for ...
Life history traits, including age, growth, reproduction and diet of Bathyclarias nyasensis from Lake Malawi were studied between December 1996 and November 1998. Owing to reabsorp tion of pectoral spines with increasing fish size, and the relatively low number of spines that could be aged reliably, only otoliths were ...
Cholera is endemic in Malawi with seasonal outbreaks during the wet season. People living around Lake Chilwa rely on the lake for their water supply. From May 2009 to May 2010, a cholera outbreak occurred in fishing communities around Lake Chilwa. This paper describes the outbreak response and lessons learned for ...
Adherence to hand hygiene protocol by clinicians and medical students at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre-Malawi · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. NL Kalata, L Kamange, AS Muula, 50-52 ...
Jagger, Pamela; Jumbe, Charles
Malawi has set a target of adoption of two million improved cookstoves (ICS) by 2020. Meeting this objective requires knowledge about determinants of adoption, particularly in rural areas where the cost of traditional cooking technologies and fuels are non-monetary, and where people have limited capacity to purchase an ICS. We conducted a discrete choice experiment with 383 households in rural Malawi asking them if they would chose a locally made ICS or a package of sugar and salt of roughly equal value. Six months later, we assessed adoption and stove use patterns. Sixty-six percent of households chose the ICS. We find that having a larger share of crop residues in household fuel supply, awareness of the environmental impacts of woodfuel reliance, time the primary cook devotes to collecting fuelwood, and peer effects at the village-level increase the odds of choosing the ICS. Having a large labor supply for fuelwood collection and experience with a non-traditional cooking technology decreased the odds of choosing the ICS. In a rapid assessment six months after stoves were distributed, we found 80% of households were still using the ICS, but not exclusively. Our findings suggest considerable potential for wide-scale adoption of low cost ICS in Malawi. - Highlights: •There is demand for locally produced improved cookstoves in rural Malawi. •Environmental awareness, labor availability, and peer effects influence adoption. •Sustained and exclusive use of improved cookstoves requires training and follow-up.
The participants discussed recruitment, training, rewards, retention, and roles of village health volunteers. This paper presents background data on village health volunteers in Malawi and elsewhere and reviews the key issues facing health care providers in working with village health volunteers. A copy of the workshop ...
Despite having a well-documented avifauna, some areas of Malawi, such as Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve (986 km²), are still poorly known ornithologically. We spent 12 days in October 2009, before the wet season, and two days in November 2009, after the first rains, documenting the birds of Vwaza. We found six new ...
Introduction This qualitative and quantitative exploratory study was conducted to assess patients'/customers' knowledge, beliefs and practices about antibiotics and other prescription only medication (POM) in 10 community pharmacies in Blantyre, Malawi. Method 5 out of 10 pharmacies were selected by simple random ...
Activities around the creation of digital library collections in Malawi libraries started after some librarians attended workshops on the subject both within and outside the country. Major challenges to these projects include inadequate technical expertise and equipment, lack of OCR software, inappropriate copyright law, and ...
Given that oesophageal cancer (OC) is common in Malawi and its outcome is so dismal, would it be pragmatic to promptly mitigate the effects of smoking, alcohol and aflatoxins rather than seek a higher degree of local evidence for their role in OC? We retrospectively analysed a total of 13,217 OC and. Kaposi's sarcoma ...
1. Centre for Bioethics in Eastern and Southern Africa (CEBESA),. University of ... researchers found three main barriers to care, namely: (a) ... Malawi: (a) lack of interaction with health workers, (b) .... ah, this time we don't have schedules but we are planning ... three topics of six food groups, three topics maybe of birth.
We, therefore, investigated effects of exposure to biomass fuels on reduced birth weight in the Malawian population. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using secondary data from the 2010 Malawi Demographic Health Survey with a total of 9124 respondents. Information on exposure to biomass fuels, ...
This grant will support the creation of two task forces in Kenya and Malawi, respectively, to articulate nationally owned and strategies for an effective health research system in each country. The idea is to enhance the capacity of health research institutions to generate new scientific knowledge, and health policymaking ...
Assessment of laboratory test utilization for HIV/AIDS care in urban ART clinics of Lilongwe, Malawi · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. S Palchaudhuri, H Tweya, M Hosseinipour, 42-44 ...
'The rise of cancer in less affluent countries is an impending disaster' Malawi Medical Journal Vol. 20 (4) 2008: pp. 108-108. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/mmj.v20i4.10978 · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO ...
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Malawi Medical Journal. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 20, No 4 (2008) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. Username, Password, Remember me, or Register · Download this PDF file. The PDF file you selected should load ...
Malawi Medical Journal. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 20, No 4 (2008) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. Username, Password, Remember me, or Register · Download this PDF file. The PDF file you selected should load ...
Perceptions of a mobile health intervention for Community Case Management in Malawi: Opportunities and challenges for Health Surveillance Assistants in a ... Relationship between tumour size and response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy among breast cancer patients in a tertiary center in Nigeria · EMAIL FREE FULL ...
Background: Motivation of health workers is a critical component of performance and is shaped by multiple factors. This study explored factors that influence motivation of health surveillance assistants (HSAs) in Malawi, with the aim of identifying interventions that can be applied to enhance motivation and performance of ...
: small fish, in particular, are a vital source of calcium, vi- tamin A, iron, and zinc. Once caught, most fish are sun-dried, smoked, parboiled, or pan roasted. However, peak fish catches in Malawi coincide with seasonal rains and high humidity,.
policies and guidelines on HIV, AIDS and sexual and reproductive health in Malawi for ... reflect the social cultural experiences of couples living with HIV. In addition, there is ... then, treatment is available free of charge in the public hospital facilities. ... started implementing an integrated antiretroviral / PMTCT programme ...
The paper argues that the maltreatment/cruelty and destruction of animals common in Malawi is rooted in an African form of utilitarian ethics and a biased conception of animals that is promoted by Umunthu/Ubuntu ethical discourse. It explores the possibility of developing or discovering a moral ground for animal ethics ...
has been decreasing: it was 67% in 1992, then 55%, 54% and 51% in 1996, 2000 and 2004, respectively. The review has also shown that birth order of the child, residence (rural/ urban) and mother's education are major determinants of the immunization status of the child. Malawi Medical Journal Biology Vol. 19 (2) 2007: ...
also shown that birth order of the child, residence (rural/ urban) and mother's education are major determinants of the immunization status of the child. Introduction. Vaccination has been practised in Malawi since the arrival of the missionaries and colonial administrators. While these vaccinations were taking place, ...
Research on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Malawi: the Johns Hopkins University- Ministry of Health (JHU-MOH) project · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. TE Taha, JK Canner, AM Wangel, JD Chiphangwi, NG Liomba, PG Miotti, GA Dallabetta ...
Changes in Escherichia coli resistance to co-trimoxazole in tuberculosis patients and in relation to co-trimoxazole prophylaxis in Thyolo, Malawi · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. R Zachariah, AD Harries, MP Spielmann, V Arendt, D Nchingula, ...
Presentation of Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) at Lions Sight First Eye Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. PC Kayange, HB Nkume, A Feyi-Waboso, K Kalua, G Msukwa, M Schwering Schulze, 60-62 ...
Mar 1, 2012 ... five plants (individuals) growing next to each other were collected representing each ... and Ecology Research Unit, DNA laboratory in Zomba, Malawi for analysis. ..... diversity in this case would be due to self pollination and inbreeding .... including the long-term evolutionary history of the species. (shifts in ...
After spending 30 of the last 40 years working in Malawi's health service, I am ... the infection in women attending the antenatal clinic, for example, rising from 0% .... possible exception of North Korea, that attempts to move forward on its own.
Malawi Medical Journal. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 13, No 1 (2001) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. Username, Password, Remember me, or Register · Download this PDF file. The PDF file you selected should load ...
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Ward Round - a boy with multiple joint swellings. D Tickell. Abstract. No Abstract Malawi Medical Journal Vol. 20 (3) 2008: pp. 99-100. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/mmj.v20i3.10968 · AJOL African Journals Online.
This paper reports on the preliminary findings (year one) of a four-year intervention and participatory-action research (PAR) project in Malawi. Project goals are to enhance the response capacity and effectiveness of faith community (FC) leaders to the problem of HIV/AIDS. Ethnographic interviews with FC leaders were ...
Grant, Monica; Lloyd, Cynthia; Mensch, Barbara
The provision of toilets and menstrual supplies appears to be a promising strategy to promote adolescent girls' school attendance and performance in less developed countries. In this article, we use the first round of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Survey (MSAS) to examine the individual- and school-level factors associated with…
Fedderke, Johannes; Garlick, Julia
This paper constructs a new set of institutional indicators for Malawi. We develop indicators of political rights, of freehold, traditional (communitarian) and intellectual property rights, based on the Malawian legislative framework. In exploring the association between our rights measures and a range of indicators of socio-economic development,…
Advanced medical imaging technologies are generally unavailable in low income, tropical settings despite the reality that neurologic disorders are disproportionately common in such environments. Through a series of donations as well as extramural research funding support, an MRI facility opened in Blantyre, Malawi in ...
L. Cherchye (Laurens); B. de Rock (Bram); S. Walther (Selma); F. Vermeulen (Frederic)
textabstractDo individuals divorce for economic reasons? Can we measure the attractiveness of new matches in the marriage market? We answer these questions using a structural model of the household and a rich panel dataset from Malawi. We propose a model of the household with consumption, production
No Abstract Malawi Medical Journal Vol. 20 (1) 2008 pp. 23. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/mmj.v20i1.10952 · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for Librarians · for Authors ...
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Makoka Mwai H
Full Text Available Abstract Background Life-threatening infections present major challenges for health systems in Malawi and the developing world because routine microbiologic culture and sensitivity testing are not performed due to lack of capacity. Use of empirical antimicrobial therapy without regular microbiologic surveillance is unable to provide adequate treatment in the face of emerging antimicrobial resistance. This study was conducted to determine antimicrobial susceptibility patterns in order to inform treatment choices and generate hospital-wide baseline data. Methods Culture and susceptibility testing was performed on various specimens from patients presenting with possible infectious diseases at Kamuzu Central Hospital, Lilongwe, Malawi. Results Between July 2006 and December 2007 3104 specimens from 2458 patients were evaluated, with 60.1% from the adult medical service. Common presentations were sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia and abscess. An etiologic agent was detected in 13% of patients. The most common organisms detected from blood cultures were Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella species and Streptococcus pneumoniae, whereas Streptococcus pneumoniae and Cryptococcus neoformans were most frequently detected from cerebrospinal fluid. Haemophilus influenzae was rarely isolated. Resistance to commonly used antibiotics was observed in up to 80% of the isolates while antibiotics that were not commonly in use maintained susceptibility. Conclusions There is widespread resistance to almost all of the antibiotics that are empirically used in Malawi. Antibiotics that have not been widely introduced in Malawi show better laboratory performance. Choices for empirical therapy in Malawi should be revised accordingly. A microbiologic surveillance system should be established and prudent use of antimicrobials promoted to improve patient care.
Full Text Available To test the importance of a certain cell type or brain area it is common to make a lack of function experiment in which the neuronal population of interest is inhibited. Here we review physiological and methodological constraints for making controlled perturbations using the corticothalamic circuit as an example. The brain with its many types of cells and rich interconnectivity offers many paths through which a perturbation can spread within a short time. To understand the side effects of the perturbation one should record from those paths. We find that ephaptic effects, gap-junctions, and fast chemical synapses are so fast that they can react to the perturbation during the few milliseconds it takes for an opsin to change the membrane potential. The slow chemical synapses, astrocytes, extracellular ions and vascular signals, will continue to give their physiological input for around 20 milliseconds before they also react to the perturbation. Although we show that some pathways can react within milliseconds the strength/speed reported in this review should be seen as an upper bound since we have omitted how polysynaptic signals are attenuated. Thus the number of additional recordings that has to be made to control for the perturbation side effects is expected to be fewer than proposed here. To summarize, the reviewed literature not only suggests that it is possible to make controlled lack of function experiments, but, it also suggests that such a lack of function experiment can be used to measure the context of local neural computations.
Zulu, Leo Charles
This article examines woodfuel policy challenges and opportunities in Malawi two decades after woodfuel-crisis narratives and counter-narratives. A nuanced examination of woodfuel supply, demand, use, and markets illuminated options to turn stagnant policies based on charcoal 'bans' and fuel-substitution into proactive, realistic ones acknowledging woodfuel dominance and its socio-economic importance. Findings revealed growing, spatially differentiated woodfuel deficits in southern and central Malawi and around Blantyre, Zomba and Lilongwe cities. Poverty, limited electricity access, reliability and generation exacerbated by tariff subsidies, and complex fuel-allocation decisions restricted energy-ladder transitions from woodfuels to electricity, producing an enduring urban-energy mix dominated by charcoal, thereby increasing wood consumption. Diverse socio-political interests prevented lifting of the charcoal 'ban' despite progressive forest laws. Despite implementation challenges, lessons already learnt, efficiency and poverty-reduction arguments, limited government capacity, growing illegal production of charcoal in forest reserves, and its staying power, make targeted community-based forest management (CBFM) approaches more practical for regulated, commercial production of woodfuels than the status quo. New differentiated policies should include commercial woodfuel production and licensing for revenue and ecological sustainability under CBFM or concessions within and outside selected reserves, an enterprise-based approaches for poverty reduction, smallholder/private tree-growing, woodfuel-energy conserving technologies, improved electricity supply and agricultural productivity.
Zulu, Leo Charles [Michigan State University, Department of Geography, 103 Geography Building, East Lansing, MI 48823 (United States)
This article examines woodfuel policy challenges and opportunities in Malawi two decades after woodfuel-crisis narratives and counter-narratives. A nuanced examination of woodfuel supply, demand, use, and markets illuminated options to turn stagnant policies based on charcoal 'bans' and fuel-substitution into proactive, realistic ones acknowledging woodfuel dominance and its socio-economic importance. Findings revealed growing, spatially differentiated woodfuel deficits in southern and central Malawi and around Blantyre, Zomba and Lilongwe cities. Poverty, limited electricity access, reliability and generation exacerbated by tariff subsidies, and complex fuel-allocation decisions restricted energy-ladder transitions from woodfuels to electricity, producing an enduring urban-energy mix dominated by charcoal, thereby increasing wood consumption. Diverse socio-political interests prevented lifting of the charcoal 'ban' despite progressive forest laws. Despite implementation challenges, lessons already learnt, efficiency and poverty-reduction arguments, limited government capacity, growing illegal production of charcoal in forest reserves, and its staying power, make targeted community-based forest management (CBFM) approaches more practical for regulated, commercial production of woodfuels than the status quo. New differentiated policies should include commercial woodfuel production and licensing for revenue and ecological sustainability under CBFM or concessions within and outside selected reserves, an enterprise-based approaches for poverty reduction, smallholder/private tree-growing, woodfuel-energy conserving technologies, improved electricity supply and agricultural productivity. (author)
Zulu, Leo Charles, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Michigan State University, Department of Geography, 103 Geography Building, East Lansing, MI 48823 (United States)
This article examines woodfuel policy challenges and opportunities in Malawi two decades after woodfuel-crisis narratives and counter-narratives. A nuanced examination of woodfuel supply, demand, use, and markets illuminated options to turn stagnant policies based on charcoal 'bans' and fuel-substitution into proactive, realistic ones acknowledging woodfuel dominance and its socio-economic importance. Findings revealed growing, spatially differentiated woodfuel deficits in southern and central Malawi and around Blantyre, Zomba and Lilongwe cities. Poverty, limited electricity access, reliability and generation exacerbated by tariff subsidies, and complex fuel-allocation decisions restricted energy-ladder transitions from woodfuels to electricity, producing an enduring urban-energy mix dominated by charcoal, thereby increasing wood consumption. Diverse socio-political interests prevented lifting of the charcoal 'ban' despite progressive forest laws. Despite implementation challenges, lessons already learnt, efficiency and poverty-reduction arguments, limited government capacity, growing illegal production of charcoal in forest reserves, and its staying power, make targeted community-based forest management (CBFM) approaches more practical for regulated, commercial production of woodfuels than the status quo. New differentiated policies should include commercial woodfuel production and licensing for revenue and ecological sustainability under CBFM or concessions within and outside selected reserves, an enterprise-based approaches for poverty reduction, smallholder/private tree-growing, woodfuel-energy conserving technologies, improved electricity supply and agricultural productivity.
Macintyre, Linda M; Rankin, Sally; Pinderhughes, Howard; Waters, Catherine M; Schell, Ellen; Fiedler, Rachel
Malawi women are in the ironic juxtaposition of being socially disempowered while, at the same time, thought to hold the key to shaping an effective community response to the HIV crisis. Based on this juxtaposition, a descriptive, qualitative study was conducted in Malawi and the United States where 26 participants from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) discussed the roles of Malawi women. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed. We identified an improvement in women's economic status as the strongest factor in reducing gender inequities. Through providing stipends for rural Malawi women, one NGO created unintended changes in gender roles.
Dougill, Andrew; Stringer, Lindsay; Whitfield, Stephen; Wood, Ben; Chinseu, Edna
-smart agriculture) to better accommodate, and respond to, the differentiated needs of marginalised groups (e.g. poor, elderly, carers). We identify good practices that can be used to design, plan and implement conservation agriculture projects such that the multiple benefits can be realised. We further outline changes to multi-level policy and institutional arrangements to facilitate greater adoption of conservation agriculture in Malawi, noting the vital importance of District-level institutions and amendments and capacity building required within agricultural extension services. We highlight the need for capacity building and support to ensure conservation agriculture's multiple benefits are realised more widely as a route towards sustainable land management.
Lungu, Edgar Arnold; Biesma, Regien; Chirwa, Maureen; Darker, Catherine
In many developing countries including Malawi, health indicators are on average better in urban than in rural areas. This phenomenon has largely prompted Governments to prioritize rural areas in programs to improve access to health services. However, considerable evidence has emerged that some population groups in urban areas may be facing worse health than rural areas and that the urban advantage may be waning in some contexts. We used a descriptive study undertaking a comparative analysis of 13 child health indicators between urban and rural areas using seven data points provided by nationally representative population based surveys-the Malawi Demographic and Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys. Rate differences between urban and rural values for selected child health indicators were calculated to denote whether urban-rural differentials showed a trend of declining urban advantage in Malawi. The results show that all forms of child mortality have significantly declined between 1992 and 2015/2016 reflecting successes in child health interventions. Rural-urban comparisons, using rate differences, largely indicate a picture of the narrowing gap between urban and rural areas albeit the extent and pattern vary among child health indicators. Of the 13 child health indicators, eight (neonatal mortality, infant mortality, under-five mortality rates, stunting rate, proportion of children treated for diarrhea and fever, proportion of children sleeping under insecticide-treated nets, and children fully immunized at 12 months) show clear patterns of a declining urban advantage particularly up to 2014. However, U-5MR shows reversal to a significant urban advantage in 2015/2016, and slight increases in urban advantage are noted for infant mortality rate, underweight, full childhood immunization, and stunting rate in 2015/2016. Our findings suggest the need to rethink the policy viewpoint of a disadvantaged rural and much better-off urban in child health
Sawatsky, Adam P; Parekh, Natasha; Muula, Adamson S; Bui, Thuy
There is a critical shortage of healthcare workers in sub-Saharan Africa, and Malawi has one of the lowest physician densities in the region. One of the reasons for this shortage is inadequate retention of medical school graduates, partly due to the desire for specialization training. The University of Malawi College of Medicine has developed specialty training programs, but medical school graduates continue to report a desire to leave the country for specialization training. To understand this desire, we studied medical students' perspectives on specialization training in Malawi. We conducted semi-structured interviews of medical students in the final year of their degree program. We developed an interview guide through an iterative process, and recorded and transcribed all interviews for analysis. Two independent coders coded the manuscripts and assessed inter-coder reliability, and the authors used an "editing approach" to qualitative analysis to identify and categorize themes relating to the research aim. The University of Pittsburgh Institutional Review Board and the University of Malawi College of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee approved this study and authors obtained written informed consent from all participants. We interviewed 21 medical students. All students reported a desire for specialization training, with 12 (57%) students interested in specialties not currently offered in Malawi. Students discussed reasons for pursuing specialization training, impressions of specialization training in Malawi, reasons for staying or leaving Malawi to pursue specialization training and recommendations to improve training. Graduating medical students in Malawi have mixed views of specialization training in their own country and still desire to leave Malawi to pursue further training. Training institutions in sub-Saharan Africa need to understand the needs of the country's healthcare workforce and the needs of their graduating medical students to be able to
High dropout rates is a critical issue in most of developing countries. Malawi follows this trend of student nonpersistence; in 2013, the primary school dropout rate was approximately 12.2%.This study aims to find the causes of dropout in rural Malawian primary schools. There are two features: data were collected through survival analysis, which has been used to study dropout in developed countries; a multilevel logistic regression was used to classify individual, family, teacher and school f...
This study investigates the main determinants of real effective exchange rate in Malawi and South Africa. In our empirical analysis, we conducted unit root and cointegration test in order to determine the time series properties of the data and establish whether there is a long run relationship between real effective exchange rate and explanatory variables. Having ascertained that almost all variiables are integrated of order one and cointegrated, an error correction model is formulated and es...
Maseko Fresier C
Full Text Available Abstract Background The migration of health professionals from southern Africa to developed nations is negatively affecting the delivery of health care services in the source countries. Oftentimes however, it is the reasons for the out-migration that have been described in the literature. The work and domestic situations of those health professionals continuing to serve in their posts have not been adequately studied. Methods The present study utilized a qualitative data collection and analysis method. This was achieved through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with health professionals and administrators to determine the challenges they face and the coping systems they resort to and the perceptions towards those coping methods. Results Health professionals identified the following as some of the challenges there faced: inequitable and poor remuneration, overwhelming responsibilities with limited resources, lack of a stimulating work environment, inadequate supervision, poor access to continued professionals training, limited career progression, lack of transparent recruitment and discriminatory remuneration. When asked what kept them still working in Malawi when the pressures to emigrate were there, the following were some of the ways the health professionals mentioned as useful for earning extra income to support their families: working in rural areas where life was perceived to be cheaper, working closer to home village so as to run farms, stealing drugs from health facilities, having more than one job, running small to medium scale businesses. Health professionals would also minimize expenditure by missing meals and walking to work. Conclusion Many health professionals in Malawi experience overly challenging environments. In order to survive some are involved in ethically and legally questionable activities such as receiving "gifts" from patients and pilfering drugs. The efforts by the Malawi government and the international
Chimwaza, Wanangwa; Chipeta, Effie; Ngwira, Andrew; Kamwendo, Francis; Taulo, Frank; Bradley, Susan; McAuliffe, Eilish
Background Malawi faces a severe shortage of health workers, a factor that has contributed greatly to high maternal mortality in the country. Most clinical care is performed by mid-level providers (MLPs). While utilization of these cadres in providing health care is a solution to the current shortages, demotivating factors within the Malawian health system are pushing them into private, non-governmental, and other non-health related positions. This study aims to highlight these demotivating f...
Cherchye, Laurens; Rock, Bram; Walther, Selma; Vermeulen, Frederic
textabstractDo individuals divorce for economic reasons? Can we measure the attractiveness of new matches in the marriage market? We answer these questions using a structural model of the household and a rich panel dataset from Malawi. We propose a model of the household with consumption, production and revealed preference conditions for stability on the marriage market. We define marital instability in terms of the consumption gains to remarrying another individual in the same marriage marke...
teacher who was responsible for discipline and physical education and was the most feared teacher at every institution. In short, Banda successfully...of guidance is particularly evident in the higher education program of the armed forces. The Malawi Defense Force, in 2007, established a Centre for...has lost respect, due to what he termed childish and irresponsible, with opposition MPs and their leaders who use abusive language while transacting
Grant, Monica J.; Lloyd, Cynthia B.; Mensch, Barbara S.
The provision of toilets and menstrual supplies has emerged as a promising programmatic strategy to support adolescent girls’ school attendance and performance in less developed countries. We use the first round of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Survey (MSAS) to examine the individual- and school-level factors associated with menstruation-related school absenteeism. The MSAS is a school-based longitudinal survey of adolescent students enrolled in coed public primary schools in the southe...
Sally H. Rankin
Full Text Available With one of the highest rates of poverty and HIV in the world, Malawi faith-based organizations (FBOs, non-governmental organizations (NGOs, and community-based organizations (CBOs are expected to provide tangible and emotional support to people living with HIV (PLWH. Using Lin’s social capital theoretical approach, we examine the perspective of PLWH regarding the adequacy of support responses. Forty-six rural Malawi HIV+ adults provided interviews that were recorded digitally, translated, and transcribed by Malawi research assistants. Atlas.ti was used to organize the data and to aid in the analytic process. Participants expressed disappointment in the lack of resources that could be accessed through the FBOs although their expectations may have been unrealistic. Outcomes from accessing and mobilizing the FBO network were negative in terms of stigmatization by FBO leaders and members, whereas outcomes related to CBOs and NGOs were generally positive in terms of empowerment through HIV information and attendance at support groups.
Hulsey, C D; Roberts, R J; Loh, Y-H E; Rupp, M F; Streelman, J T
Divergence along a benthic to limnetic habitat axis is ubiquitous in aquatic systems. However, this type of habitat divergence has largely been examined in low diversity, high latitude lake systems. In this study, we examined the importance of benthic and limnetic divergence within the incredibly species-rich radiation of Lake Malawi cichlid fishes. Using novel phylogenetic reconstructions, we provided a series of hypotheses regarding the evolutionary relationships among 24 benthic and limnetic species that suggests divergence along this axis has occurred multiple times within Lake Malawi cichlids. Because pectoral fin morphology is often associated with divergence along this habitat axis in other fish groups, we investigated divergence in pectoral fin muscles in these benthic and limnetic cichlid species. We showed that the eight pectoral fin muscles and fin area generally tended to evolve in a tightly correlated manner in the Lake Malawi cichlids. Additionally, we found that larger pectoral fin muscles are strongly associated with the independent evolution of the benthic feeding habit across this group of fish. Evolutionary specialization along a benthic/limnetic axis has occurred multiple times within this tropical lake radiation and has produced repeated convergent matching between exploitation of water column habitats and locomotory morphology.
O'Hare, B; Curtis, M
This analysis examines the gaps in health care financing in Malawi and how foregone taxes could fill these gaps. It begins with an assessment of the disease burden and government health expenditure. Then it analyses the tax revenues foregone by the government of Malawi by two main routes: Illicit financial flows (IFF) from the country, Tax incentives. We find that there are significant financing gaps in the health sector; for example, government expenditure is United States Dollars (USD) 177 million for 2013/2014 while projected donor contribution in 2013/2014 is USD 207 million and the total cost for the minimal health package is USD 535 million. Thus the funding gap between the government budget for health and the required spending to provide the minimal package for 2013/2014 is USD 358 million. On the other hand we estimate that almost USD 400 million is lost through IFF and corporate utilization of tax incentives each year. The revenues foregone plus the current government health spending would be sufficient to cover the minimal public health package for all Malawians and would help tackle Malawi's disease burden. Every effort must be made, including improving transparency and revising laws, to curtail IFF and moderate tax incentives.
van den Broek Nynke
Full Text Available Abstract Background Maternal death reviews is a tool widely recommended to improve the quality of obstetric care and reduce maternal mortality. Our aim was to explore the challenges encountered in the process of facility-based maternal death review in Malawi, and to suggest sustainable and logically sound solutions to these challenges. Methods SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis of the process of maternal death review during a workshop in Malawi. Results Strengths: Availability of data from case notes, support from hospital management, and having maternal death review forms. Weaknesses: fear of blame, lack of knowledge and skills to properly conduct death reviews, inadequate resources and missing documentation. Opportunities: technical assistance from expatriates, support from the Ministry of Health, national protocols and high maternal mortality which serves as motivation factor. Threats: Cultural practices, potential lawsuit, demotivation due to the high maternal mortality and poor planning at the district level. Solutions: proper documentation, conducting maternal death review in a blame-free manner, good leadership, motivation of staff, using guidelines, proper stock inventory and community involvement. Conclusion Challenges encountered during facility-based maternal death review are provider-related, administrative, client related and community related. Countries with similar socioeconomic profiles to Malawi will have similar 'pull-and-push' factors on the process of facility-based maternal death reviews, and therefore we will expect these countries to have similar potential solutions.
Kongnyuy, Eugene J; van den Broek, Nynke
Maternal death reviews is a tool widely recommended to improve the quality of obstetric care and reduce maternal mortality. Our aim was to explore the challenges encountered in the process of facility-based maternal death review in Malawi, and to suggest sustainable and logically sound solutions to these challenges. SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of the process of maternal death review during a workshop in Malawi. Strengths: Availability of data from case notes, support from hospital management, and having maternal death review forms. Weaknesses: fear of blame, lack of knowledge and skills to properly conduct death reviews, inadequate resources and missing documentation. Opportunities: technical assistance from expatriates, support from the Ministry of Health, national protocols and high maternal mortality which serves as motivation factor. Threats: Cultural practices, potential lawsuit, demotivation due to the high maternal mortality and poor planning at the district level. Solutions: proper documentation, conducting maternal death review in a blame-free manner, good leadership, motivation of staff, using guidelines, proper stock inventory and community involvement. Challenges encountered during facility-based maternal death review are provider-related, administrative, client related and community related. Countries with similar socioeconomic profiles to Malawi will have similar 'pull-and-push' factors on the process of facility-based maternal death reviews, and therefore we will expect these countries to have similar potential solutions.
Mollick, Tanzina; Mohlin, Camilla; Johansson, Kjell
Retinal neurodegenerative disorders like retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment decrease retinal functionality leading to visual impairment. The pathological events are characterized by photoreceptor degeneration, synaptic disassembly, remodeling of postsynaptic neurons and activation of glial cells. Despite intense research, no effective treatment has been found for these disorders. The current study explores the potential of human neural progenitor cell (hNPC) derived factors to slow the degenerative processes in adult porcine retinal explants. Retinas were cultured for 3 days with or without hNPCs as a feeder layer and investigated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), immunohistochemical, western blot and quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) techniques. TUNEL showed that hNPCs had the capacity to limit photoreceptor cell death. Among cone photoreceptors, hNPC coculture resulted in better maintenance of cone outer segments and reduced opsin mislocalization. Additionally, maintained synaptic structural integrity and preservation of second order calbindin positive horizontal cells was also observed. However, Müller cell gliosis only seemed to be alleviated in terms of reduced Müller cell density. Our observations indicate that at 3 days of coculture, hNPC derived factors had the capacity to protect photoreceptors, maintain synaptic integrity and support horizontal cell survival. Human neural progenitor cell applied treatment modalities may be an effective strategy to help maintain retinal functionality in neurodegenerative pathologies. Whether hNPCs can independently hinder Müller cell gliosis by utilizing higher concentrations or by combination with other pharmacological agents still needs to be determined. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Jacobs, Gerald H
All mammalian cone photopigments are derived from the operation of representatives from two opsin gene families (SWS1 and LWS in marsupial and eutherian mammals; SWS2 and LWS in monotremes), a process that produces cone pigments with respective peak sensitivities in the short and middle-to-long wavelengths. With the exception of a number of primate taxa, the modal pattern for mammals is to have two types of cone photopigment, one drawn from each of the gene families. In recent years, it has been discovered that the SWS1 opsin genes of a widely divergent collection of eutherian mammals have accumulated mutational changes that render them nonfunctional. This alteration reduces the retinal complements of these species to a single cone type, thus rendering ordinary color vision impossible. At present, several dozen species from five mammalian orders have been identified as falling into this category, but the total number of mammalian species that have lost short-wavelength cones in this way is certain to be much larger, perhaps reaching as high as 10% of all species. A number of circumstances that might be used to explain this widespread cone loss can be identified. Among these, the single consistent fact is that the species so affected are nocturnal or, if they are not technically nocturnal, they at least feature retinal organizations that are typically associated with that lifestyle. At the same time, however, there are many nocturnal mammals that retain functional short-wavelength cones. Nocturnality thus appears to set the stage for loss of functional SWS1 opsin genes in mammals, but it cannot be the sole circumstance.
Dees, Elise W; Gilson, Stuart J; Neitz, Maureen; Baraas, Rigmor C
Chromatic contrast sensitivity may be a more sensitive measure of an individual's visual function than achromatic contrast sensitivity. Here, the first aim was to quantify individual- and age-related variations in chromatic contrast sensitivity to a range of spatial frequencies for stimuli along two complementary directions in color space. The second aim was to examine whether polymorphisms at specific amino acid residues of the L- and M-opsin genes (OPN1LW and OPN1MW) known to affect spectral tuning of the photoreceptors could influence spatio-chromatic contrast sensitivity. Chromatic contrast sensitivity functions were measured in 50 healthy individuals (20-71 years) employing a novel pseudo-isochromatic grating stimulus. The spatio-chromatic contrast sensitivity functions were found to be low pass for all subjects, independent of age and color vision. The results revealed a senescent decline in spatio-chromatic contrast sensitivity. There were considerable between-individual differences in sensitivity within each age decade for individuals 49 years old or younger, and age did not predict sensitivity for these age decades alone. Forty-six subjects (including a color deficient male and eight female carriers) were genotyped for L- and M-opsin genes. The Ser180Ala polymorphisms on the L-opsin gene were found to influence the subject's color discrimination and their sensitivity to spatio-chromatic patterns. The results expose the significant role of neural and genetic factors in the deterioration of visual function with increasing age. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kalanda, Boniface Francis
Malawi is one of the countries with a youthful population. Youths are susceptible to various social-economic pressures that put their well being into jeopardy. One of the issues that affect youth is early drop out of school, drug abuse and contracting sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. To address these issues, the Malawi Government…
The Malawi Country Procurement Assessment Report is a joint undertaking between the Malawi Government and the World Bank to analyze the country procurement system and recommend appropriate actions to improve the efficiency, economy and transparency of the system. This report is divided into (a) an Executive Summary, (b) Main Report on Findings and Recommendations, and (c) Annexes. Since th...
A principal objective of the Malawi government is to provide public health services that reach poor men and women. This paper assesses to what extent the Government has been successful in achieving this. Malawi was also found to be more successful than other countries in Africa at providing health services that reach ...
Dijk, van R.A.; Haynes, J.
This chapter explores the relationship between the father-metaphor, gerontocratic power, democratization and religion in the context of changing political culture in Malawi. It argues that democratization in Malawi signalled a change in the nature of the dominant gerontocratic power relations
Andrew T. Hudak; Carol A. Wessman
Malawi is critically short of fuelwood, the primary energy source for its poverty-stricken populace. Deforestation from 1981 to 1992 in Mwanza District in southern Malawi was assessed using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values calculated from multitemporal Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) images. A control site, where vegetation change was assumed to...
Malawi indicates that the fish populations at Metangula are not yet as impacted as they are on the populous and accessible Malawi coast. Some constraints on the fishery include the lack of management and financial support, poor gear and infrastructure, and the lack of access to markets. African Journal of Aquatic Science
Water insecurity is one of the most pressing issues currently faced by Malawi. The consequences of these issues are borne significantly by women, who are most directly involved with water provision and use, particularly at the household level. Since the mid-1990s, Malawi has undertaken a process of water policy reform. Reflective of international…
Sung Wook Kim
Full Text Available Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV is a significant contributor to Malawi's burden of disease. Despite a number of studies describing socio-economic differences in HIV prevalence, there is a paucity of evidence on socio-economic inequity in HIV testing in Malawi. Objective: To assess horizontal inequity (HI in HIV testing in Malawi. Design: Data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHSs 2004 and 2010 in Malawi are used for the analysis. The sample size for DHS 2004 was 14,571 (women =11,362 and men=3,209, and for DHS 2010 it was 29,830 (women=22,716 and men=7,114. The concentration index is used to quantify the amount of socio-economic-related inequality in HIV testing. The inequality is a primary method in this study. Corrected need, a further adjustment of the standard decomposition index, was calculated. Standard HI was compared with corrected need-adjusted inequity. Variables used to measure health need include symptoms of sexually transmitted infections. Non-need variables include wealth, education, literacy and marital status. Results: Between 2004 and 2010, the proportion of the population ever tested for HIV increased from 15 to 75% among women and from 16 to 54% among men. The need for HIV testing among men was concentrated among the relatively wealthy in 2004, but the need was more equitably distributed in 2010. Standard HI was 0.152 in 2004 and 0.008 in 2010 among women, and 0.186 in 2004 and 0.04 in 2010 among men. Rural–urban inequity also fell in this period, but HIV testing remained pro-rich among rural men (HI 0.041. The main social contributors to inequity in HIV testing were wealth in 2004 and education in 2010. Conclusions: Inequity in HIV testing in Malawi decreased between 2004 and 2010. This may be due to the increased support to HIV testing by global donors over this period.
Joy E. Hecht
Full Text Available Both development practitioners and conservation organizations are focused on community ownership and management of natural resources as a way to create incentives for the conservation of biodiversity. This has led to the implementation of a number of large community-based conservation projects in sub-Saharan Africa, in countries including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, and Rwanda. While the concept is logical, and valuation studies may suggest that conservation is more valuable than other uses of the resources in some areas, there has been little detailed analysis of the ﬁnancial costs and beneﬁts to the communities, to determine whether they would actually have an incentive to conserve if they had more extensive legal rights to the resources. This paper assesses the conditions under which this approach may be viable, based on a valuation study of the resources of Mount Mulanje in southern Malawi.Les spécialistes du développement et les organisations de conservation s’intéressent à la propriété et à la gestion communautaire des ressources naturelles comme moyen de créer des mesures d’incitation en faveur de la conservation de la biodiversité. Cette approche a conduit à la mise en œuvre d’un certain nombre de grands projets de conservation communautaires en Afrique subsaharienne, notamment en Namibie, au Zimbabwe, au Malawi, en Zambie et au Rwanda. Même si cette approche est logique et si les études d’évaluation semblent suggérer que, dans certaines régions, la conservation est plus utile que l’exploitation des ressources, il existe peu d’analyses détaillées sur les coûts et les avantages financiers que cela engendrerait pour les communautés, analyses qui permettraient de déterminer si le développement des droits légaux des communautés sur ces ressources les inciterait à les conserver. Ce rapport évalue les conditions de viabilité de cette approche sur la base d’une étude d’évaluation des
Singogo, E; Kanike, E; van Lettow, M; Cataldo, F; Zachariah, R; Bissell, K; Harries, A D
Paper-based village registers were introduced 5 years ago in Malawi as a tool to measure vital statistics of births and deaths at the population level. However, usage, completeness and accuracy of their content have never been formally evaluated. In Traditional Authority Mwambo, Zomba district, Malawi, we assessed 280 of the 325 village registers with respect to (i) characteristics of village headmen who used village registers, (ii) use and content of village registers, and (iii) whether village registers provided accurate information on births and deaths. All village headpersons used registers. There were 185 (66%) registers that were regarded as 95% completed, and according to the registers, there were 115 840 people living in the villages in the catchment area. In 2011, there were 1753 births recorded in village registers, while 6397 births were recorded in health centre registers in the same catchment area. For the same year, 199 deaths were recorded in village registers, giving crude death rates per 100 000 population of 189 for males and 153 for females. These could not be compared with death rates in health centre registers due to poor and inconsistent recording in these registers, but they were compared with death rates obtained from the 2010 Malawi Demographic Health Survey that reported 880 and 840 per 100 000 for males and females, respectively. In conclusion, this study shows that village registers are a potential source for vital statistics. However, considerable inputs are needed to improve accuracy of births and deaths, and there are no functional systems for the collation and analysis of data at the traditional authority level. Innovative ways to address these challenges are discussed, including the use of solar-powered electronic village registers and mobile phones, connected with each other and the health facilities and the District Commissioner's office through the cellular network and wireless coverage. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Limaye, Rupali J; Rutkow, Lainie; Rimal, Rajiv N; Jernigan, David H
Through the eyes of those involved in the alcohol policy-making process in Malawi, we explored the role of informal (non-commercial) alcohol in rural communities, its harmful effects, and implications for appropriate national policy. Harms included early drinking initiation, violence, and sexual risk exposure. Informants suggested that policy should address informal alcohol's content, selling times, and easy access. Because most informal alcohol producers are women who rely upon sales for subsistence, policies must avoid limiting women's economic opportunities while protecting community health.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Until 2005, the Malawi National Tuberculosis Control Programme had been implemented as a vertical programme. Working within the Sector Wide Approach (SWAp provides a new environment and new opportunities for monitoring the equity performance of the programme. This paper synthesizes what is known on equity and TB in Malawi and highlights areas for further action and advocacy. Methods A synthesis of a wide range of published and unpublished reports and studies using a variety of methodological approaches was undertaken and complemented by additional analysis of routine data on access to TB services. The analysis and recommendations were developed, through consultation with key stakeholders in Malawi and a review of the international literature. Results The lack of a prevalence survey severely limits the epidemiological knowledge base on TB and vulnerability. TB cases have increased rapidly from 5,334 in 1985 to 28,000 in 2006. This increase has been attributed to HIV/AIDS; 77% of TB patients are HIV positive. The age/gender breakdown of TB notification cases mirrors the HIV epidemic with higher rates amongst younger women and older men. The WHO estimates that only 48% of TB cases are detected in Malawi. The complexity of TB diagnosis requires repeated visits, long queues, and delays in sending results. This reduces poor women and men's ability to access and adhere to services. The costs of seeking TB care are high for poor women and men – up to 240% of monthly income as compared to 126% of monthly income for the non-poor. The TB Control Programme has attempted to increase access to TB services for vulnerable groups through community outreach activities, decentralising DOT and linking with HIV services. Conclusion The Programme of Work which is being delivered through the SWAp is a good opportunity to enhance equity and pro-poor health services. The major challenge is to increase case detection, especially amongst the poor
Kaphagawani, Nanzen Caroline; Kalipeni, Ezekiel
This study explores sociocultural and other risk factors associated with unplanned teenage pregnancy in Zomba district of Malawi. Data were obtained from 505 participants under the age of 20 years using a questionnaire administered through face-to-face interviews held at five antenatal clinics. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, frequency tables and chi-square analysis which allowed comparative understanding of the sociocultural risk factors for planned and unplanned teenage pregnancy in Zomba district. The findings revealed that teenage pregnancy is a major health and social problem. Over 76% of the teenage respondents in the study had experienced unplanned pregnancy. Among the prominent factors that stood out in the analysis for this high rate of teenage pregnancy were early sex and marriage, low contraceptive use, low educational levels, low socio-economic status, lack of knowledge of reproductive and sexual health, gender inequity, and physical/sexual violence. The consequences on teenage mothers of unplanned pregnancy have been tragic and have compromised their physical, psychological and socioeconomic wellbeing, not just on them but also their families and society at large. The findings point to the need for a multi-sectoral approach to tackle the problem on teenage pregnancy in this district, and likely throughout Malawi.
Muula Adamson S
Full Text Available Abstract Background The migration of health professionals trained in Africa to developed nations has compromised health systems in the African region. The financial losses from the investment in training due to the migration from the developing nations are hardly known. Methods The cost of training a health professional was estimated by including fees for primary, secondary and tertiary education. Accepted derivation of formula as used in economic analysis was used to estimate the lost investment. Results The total cost of training an enrolled nurse-midwife from primary school through nurse-midwifery training in Malawi was estimated as US$ 9,329.53. For a degree nurse-midwife, the total cost was US$ 31,726.26. For each enrolled nurse-midwife that migrates out of Malawi, the country loses between US$ 71,081.76 and US$ 7.5 million at bank interest rates of 7% and 25% per annum for 30 years respectively. For a degree nurse-midwife, the lost investment ranges from US$ 241,508 to US$ 25.6 million at 7% and 25% interest rate per annum for 30 years respectively. Conclusion Developing countries are losing significant amounts of money through lost investment of health care professionals who emigrate. There is need to quantify the amount of remittances that developing nations get in return from those who migrate.
Full Text Available This article discusses the function of the English and the local form it takes in three Southern African countries, namely Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland. English was introduced in these countries as a result of contacts between the indigenous people and British traders and missionaries during the 19th century. English, which had initially been the language of trade, became the official language in colonial administration. Since then, English has had shifting but always important roles alongside the indigenous languages. As usually happens with languages in contact, there has been a fair amount of mutual influence. In this article, we examine some of the changes in English, concentrating on the usage of non-L1 speakers. Kachru (1982 speaks of this process as ‘indigenisation’: changing the language to suit the communicative needs of non-native users in new, un-English contexts. That explanation is only partly satisfactory. Languages influence one another in sophisticated sociolinguistic ways that require more penetrating analysis. In this article, we are concerned mainly with examining and describing the transfer of syntactic, phonological, lexical and semantic features from indigenous languages into English. From observation, most of the Africanisms that apply in the three countries discussed, particularly in Malawi, could well apply to Zambia and Zimbabwe as well. Finally, we reflect on some future possibilities.
Frye, Margaret; Chae, Sophia
Qualitative evidence from sub-Saharan Africa, where a generalized AIDS epidemic exists, suggests that attractiveness may play a role in shaping individual-level HIV risk. Attractive women, who are often blamed for the epidemic and stigmatized, are believed to pose a higher HIV risk because they are viewed as having more and riskier partners. We examine the association between perceived attractiveness and HIV infection and risk in rural Malawi in the midst of the country's severe AIDS epidemic. We use interviewers' ratings of respondents' attractiveness, along with HIV test results and women's assessments of their own likelihood of infection, to estimate the association between perceived attractiveness and HIV infection and risk for a random sample of 961 women aged 15-35. Results show that women who are rated by interviewers as 'much less' or 'less' attractive than other women their age are 9% more likely to test positive for HIV. We also find that attractiveness is associated with women's own assessments of their HIV risk: Among women who tested negative, those perceived as 'much less' or 'less' attractive than average report themselves to be at greater risk of HIV infection. These results suggest that attractiveness is negatively associated with HIV risk in Malawi, countering local beliefs that hold attractive women responsible for perpetuating the epidemic. This study highlights the need to consider perceived physical attractiveness, and sexual desirability more broadly, as an under-examined axis of inequality in HIV risk in high-prevalence settings.
Simona Bignami-Van Assche
Full Text Available AIDS morbidity and mortality are expected to have a large impact on households' labor supply in rural Malawi since they reduce the time that adults can spend on production for subsistence and on income generating activities. However, the data demands for estimating this impact are high, limiting the amount of empirical evidence. In this paper, we utilize a unique combination of quantitative and qualitative data, including biomarkers for HIV, collected by the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project, to analyze the impact of AIDS-related morbidity and mortality on time allocation decisions for rural Malawians. We evaluate both the direct effect of HIV/AIDS on the time allocation of affected individuals as well as its indirect effect on the time allocation of surviving household members. We find that the latter is the most important effect of AIDS-related morbidity and mortality, especially on women's time. Specifically, AIDS induces diversification of income sources, with women reallocating their time from work-intensive (typically farming and heavy chores to cash-generating tasks (such as casual labor.
Anglewicz, Philip; VanLandingham, Mark; Manda-Taylor, Lucinda; Kohler, Hans-Peter
Despite its importance in studies of migrant health, selectivity of migrants-also known as migration health selection-has seldom been examined in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This neglect is problematic because several features of the context in which migration occurs in SSA-very high levels of HIV, in particular-differ from contextual features in regions that have been studied more thoroughly. To address this important gap, we use longitudinal panel data from Malawi to examine whether migrants differ from nonmigrants in pre-migration health, assessed via SF-12 measures of mental and physical health. In addition to overall health selection, we focus on three more-specific factors that may affect the relationship between migration and health: (1) whether migration health selection differs by destination (rural-rural, rural-town, and rural-urban), (2) whether HIV infection moderates the relationship between migration and health, and (3) whether circular migrants differ in pre-migration health status. We find evidence of the healthy migrant phenomenon in Malawi, where physically healthier individuals are more likely to move. This relationship varies by migration destination, with healthier rural migrants moving to urban and other rural areas. We also find interactions between HIV-infected status and health: HIV-infected women moving to cities are physically healthier than their nonmigrant counterparts.
Maluwa, Veronica Mary; Gwaza, Elizabeth; Sakala, Betty; Kapito, Esnath; Mwale, Ruth; Haruzivishe, Clara; Chirwa, Ellen
Nurses are expected to provide comprehensive, holistic and ethically accepted care according to their code of ethics and practice. However, in Malawi, this is not always the case. This article analyses moral competence concept using the Walker and Avant's strategy of concept analysis. The aim of this article is to analyse moral competence concept in relation to nursing practice and determine defining attributes, antecedents and consequences of moral competence in nursing practice. Analysis of moral competence concept was done using Walker and Avant's strategy of concept analysis. Deductive analysis was used to find the defining attributes of moral competence, which were kindness, compassion, caring, critical thinking, ethical decision making ability, problem solving, responsibility, discipline, accountability, communication, solidarity, honesty, and respect for human values, dignity and rights. The identified antecedents were personal, cultural and religious values; nursing ethics training, environment and guidance. The consequences of moral competence are team work spirit, effective communication, improved performance and positive attitudes in providing nursing care. Moral competence can therefore be used as a tool to improve care in nursing practice to meet patients' problems and needs and consequently increase public's satisfaction in Malawi.
Dougill, Andrew J; Whitfield, Stephen; Stringer, Lindsay C; Vincent, Katharine; Wood, Benjamin T; Chinseu, Edna L; Steward, Peter; Mkwambisi, David D
Conservation agriculture (CA) practices of reduced soil tillage, permanent organic soil coverage and intercropping/crop rotation, are being advocated globally, based on perceived benefits for crop yields, soil carbon storage, weed suppression, reduced soil erosion and improved soil water retention. However, some have questioned their efficacy due to uncertainty around the performance and trade-offs associated with CA practices, and their compatibility with the diverse livelihood strategies and varied agro-ecological conditions across African smallholder systems. This paper assesses the role of key institutions in Malawi in shaping pathways towards more sustainable land management based on CA by outlining their impact on national policy-making and the design and implementation of agricultural development projects. It draws on interviews at national, district and project levels and a multi-stakeholder workshop that mapped the institutional landscape of decision-making for agricultural land management practices. Findings identify knowledge gaps and institutional barriers that influence land management decision-making and constrain CA uptake. We use our findings to set out an integrated roadmap of research needs and policy options aimed at supporting CA as a route to enhanced sustainable land management in Malawi. Findings offer lessons that can inform design, planning and implementation of CA projects, and identify the multi-level institutional support structures required for mainstreaming sustainable land management in sub-Saharan Africa. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Pimmer, Christoph; Mhango, Susan; Mzumara, Alfred; Mbvundula, Francis
Mobile instant messaging (MIM) tools, such as WhatsApp, have transformed global communication practice. In the field of global health, MIM is an increasingly used, but little understood, phenomenon. It remains unclear how MIM can be used by rural community health workers (CHWs) and their facilitators, and what are the associated benefits and constraints. To address this gap, WhatsApp groups were implemented and researched in a rural setting in Malawi. The multi-site case study research triangulated interviews and focus groups of CHWs and facilitators with the thematic qualitative analysis of the actual conversations on WhatsApp. A survey with open questions and the quantitative analysis of WhatsApp conversations were used as supplementary triangulation sources. The use of MIM was differentiated according to instrumental (e.g. mobilising health resources) and participatory purposes (e.g. the enactment of emphatic ties). The identified benefits were centred on the enhanced ease and quality of communication of a geographically distributed health workforce, and the heightened connectedness of a professionally isolated health workforce. Alongside minor technical and connectivity issues, the main challenge for the CHWs was to negotiate divergent expectations regarding the social versus the instrumental use of the space. Despite some challenges and constraints, the implementation of WhatsApp was received positively by the CHWs and it was found to be a useful tool to support distributed rural health work.
Diabetes mellitus is a global public health problem. In Malawi ... Information Education and Communication messages ... health education, foot care and screening for signs of neuropathy .... knowledge about the recommended diabetes diet.
Mother-tongue education in primary schools in Malawi: From policy to ... The policy remains fragmented, and suffers from a lack of appropriate planning and ... to bring about social change in terms of linguistic balance and social justice.
Emerling, Christopher A; Huynh, Hieu T; Nguyen, Minh A; Meredith, Robert W; Springer, Mark S
Retinal opsin photopigments initiate mammalian vision when stimulated by light. Most mammals possess a short wavelength-sensitive opsin 1 (SWS1) pigment that is primarily sensitive to either ultraviolet or violet light, leading to variation in colour perception across species. Despite knowledge of both ultraviolet- and violet-sensitive SWS1 classes in mammals for 25 years, the adaptive significance of this variation has not been subjected to hypothesis testing, resulting in minimal understanding of the basis for mammalian SWS1 spectral tuning evolution. Here, we gathered data on SWS1 for 403 mammal species, including novel SWS1 sequences for 97 species. Ancestral sequence reconstructions suggest that the most recent common ancestor of Theria possessed an ultraviolet SWS1 pigment, and that violet-sensitive pigments evolved at least 12 times in mammalian history. We also observed that ultraviolet pigments, previously considered to be a rarity, are common in mammals. We then used phylogenetic comparative methods to test the hypotheses that the evolution of violet-sensitive SWS1 is associated with increased light exposure, extended longevity and longer eye length. We discovered that diurnal mammals and species with longer eyes are more likely to have violet-sensitive pigments and less likely to possess UV-sensitive pigments. We hypothesize that (i) as mammals evolved larger body sizes, they evolved longer eyes, which limited transmittance of ultraviolet light to the retina due to an increase in Rayleigh scattering, and (ii) as mammals began to invade diurnal temporal niches, they evolved lenses with low UV transmittance to reduce chromatic aberration and/or photo-oxidative damage. © 2015 The Author(s).
Muula Adamson S
Full Text Available Abstract Background Physical trauma is an important cause of childhood morbidity and mortality in Africa. There are however, few community-based reports on the subject on the continent. The present study was conducted to explore school children's experience of physical trauma in a disadvantaged periurban area of Blantyre, in Malawi. Methods A cross sectional questionnaire study was carried out among school children in Ndirande-Blantyre, Malawi in 2004. Data were obtained to describe the following aspects of trauma experience: being a victim or observer of motor vehicular accidents involving pedestrians; history of falls from heights; and knowledge about road safety. Sex differences were determined for some of the variables in order to gain insights as to whether there is a difference in trauma experience between boys and girls. Results A total of 217 school children, 99 (45.6% boys and 118 (54.4% girls participated in the study. Eight of them reported to have ever been hit by a motor vehicle, 87 (40.1% had witnessed a road accident where a pedestrian had been hit and 83 (38.2% had witnessed a pedestrian they knew having been hit by a motor vehicle. Of those that reported to have ever been hit by motor vehicle, 2 (25% reported that they had been hospitalized as a result of injury. With regard to falling from heights, 86 reported to have ever fallen from tree, 44 of these (51.2% were injured from the fall and 14 (16.3% were hospitalized as a result of injury sustained from the fall. Girls were more likely to fall from trees and getting injured as compared to males (p = 0.04 for both situations. Just under half (41.9% of the study participants were able to report the correct procedure of crossing the road despite the fact that the majority (80% reported having been taught road safety at home or school. Conclusion Many school children in Blantyre, Malawi have been exposed to trauma either involving themselves or someone they observed. Prevention
Full Text Available The age structure of the elephant population in Liwonde National Park, Malawi was determined for the first time in 1993 and again in 1995 using the photogrammetric method. Sampling was done during a four year-long severe drought from 1991/92 to 1994/95. The drought reached its highest intensity in the first year. Therefore, the study also attempted to assess the impact of the drought on the population. The results show that the population consisted of mostly young animals 20 years old - 18.3 and 20.5 . The population is young and growing. The prolonged drought did not have any significant impact on the population.
Full Text Available Medium-scale farms have become a major force in Malawi’s agricultural sector. Malawi’s most recent official agricultural survey indicates that these account for over a quarter of all land under cultivation in Malawi. This study explores the causes and multifaceted consequences of the rising importance of medium-scale farms in Malawi. We identify the characteristics and pathways of entry into farming based on surveys of 300 medium-scale farmers undertaken in 2014 in the districts of Mchinji, Kasungu and Lilongwe. The area of land acquired by medium-scale farmers in these three districts is found to have almost doubled between 2000 and 2015. Just over half of the medium-scale farmers represent cases of successful expansion out of small-scale farming status; the other significant proportion of medium-scale farmers are found to be urban-based professionals, entrepreneurs and/or civil servants who acquired land, some very recently, and started farming in mid-life. We also find that a significant portion of the land acquired by medium-scale farmers was utilized by others prior to acquisition, that most of the acquired land was under customary tenure, and that the current owners were often successful in transferring the ownership structure of the acquired land to a long-term leaseholding with a title deed. The study finds that, instead of just strong endogenous growth of small-scale famers as a route for the emergence of medium-scale farms, significant farm consolidation is occurring through land acquisitions, often by urban-based people. The effects of farmland acquisitions by domestic investors on the country’s primary development goals, such as food security, poverty reduction and employment, are not yet clear, though some trends appear to be emerging. We consider future research questions that may more fully shed light on the implications of policies that would continue to promote land acquisitions by medium-scale farms.
Full Text Available Advising women on , haemorrhage in pregnancy could, be viewed, as an integral aspect of maternal health care in M alawi. The WHO (1999 confirmed, that haemorrhage in pregnancy was not only a direct reason for maternal mortality but also a major cause of maternal death. The question on the nature of information that midwives and traditional birth attendants (referred to as TBA’s in the Chiradzulu district in Malawi gave with regard to haemorrhage in pregnancy, therefore arose. Research available focused on the women’s knowledge about the complications of pregnancy but not on the nature of information women received from midwives and TBA’s. This study explored and described the nature of information that was given to rural women in the Chiradzulu district by the midwives and TBA’s regarding haemorrhage in pregnancy. The findings revealed that although both the midwives and TBA’s included important information about haemorrhage in pregnancy, there were deficiencies in some critical areas. Examples of these deficiencies were the definition of haemorrhage in pregnancy; the predisposing factors for antepartum and postpartum haemorrhage and deficiencies in the nature of information on the management and referral of haemorrhaging patients. The findings provided insights into the nature of the information that was provided to the women regarding haemorrhage in pregnancy in the Chiradzulu district in Malawi. Thereafter guidelines were developed for the provision of this information. Finally a follow-up study was recommended after implementation of these guidelines in the district to evaluate the change in the nature of the information communicated to patients regarding haemorrhage by midwives and TBA’s. In this study, haemorrhage during pregnancy referred to the perinatal phase, including antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum haemorrhage.
Patrick Albert Chikumba
Full Text Available This paper is an extended version of the conference paper presented at IST Africa Week Conference 2016 and it discusses in detail the existing technology gaps using DHIS2 (District Health Information System 2.0 as an example, and how Geographic Information System (GIS and mobile application, as specific examples of technology, can enhance health management information system (HMIS in Malawi. The paper focuses on management of health information. When organisation information is made available, it is expected that the decision-makers use it objectively making rational decisions. This can be achieved by how the information is organized, integrated and presented probably through technology. Along with the increase in strengthening HMIS, questions of how to support the management of information at various organizational levels arise. Research on technologies in health management in developing countries has been on single technologies. Therefore, in this paper, the interest is on multiple technologies and how they support each other to enhance health information management. It has been observed that when it comes to health information management, HMIS employs a mix of paper-based and technology-based practices. Taking into account the infrastructure in Malawi, as in many developing countries, this is probably the most feasible approach. Hence, discussions of existing technology gaps include both paper-based and technology-based practices and how to better support health information management practices through this mixed use of media. The case study confirms that technology plays a role in strengthening HMIS. However, this should be supported by enhancing a culture of information management. It has been noted that DHIS2 is the main information system but it requires the enhancement through inclusions of other technologies. The DHIS2 alone cannot do everything.
Full Text Available Background: Qualitative evidence from sub-Saharan Africa, where a generalized AIDS epidemic exists, suggests that attractiveness may play a role in shaping individual-level HIV risk. Attractive women, who are often blamed for the epidemic and stigmatized, are believed to pose a higher HIV risk because they are viewed as having more and riskier partners. Objective: We examine the association between perceived attractiveness and HIV infection and risk in rural Malawi in the midst of the country's severe AIDS epidemic. Methods: We use interviewers' ratings of respondents' attractiveness, along with HIV test results and women's assessments of their own likelihood of infection, to estimate the association between perceived attractiveness and HIV infection and risk for a random sample of 961 women aged 15‒35. Results: Results show that women who are rated by interviewers as 'much less' or 'less' attractive than other women their age are 9Š more likely to test positive for HIV. We also find that attractiveness is associated with women's own assessments of their HIV risk: Among women who tested negative, those perceived as 'much less' or 'less' attractive than average report themselves to be at greater risk of HIV infection. Conclusions: These results suggest that attractiveness is negatively associated with HIV risk in Malawi, countering local beliefs that hold attractive women responsible for perpetuating the epidemic. Contribution: This study highlights the need to consider perceived physical attractiveness, and sexual desirability more broadly, as an under-examined axis of inequality in HIV risk in high-prevalence settings.
韩娟娟; 戴旭锋; 戚艳; 张华; 庞继景
-视蛋白更为明显.随着鼠龄的增长,rd11小鼠M-视蛋白变性从视神经周围区向鼻下方,再向颞上方逐渐进展,而S-视蛋白变性由颞上方向鼻下方逐渐进展.%Background The retinal degeneration 11 (rd11) mouse is a newly discovered naturally occurring recessive animal model with lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 1 (Lpcatl) mutation.Previous studies showed that the photoreceptor cells are characterized by typical rod-cone degeneration pattern in rd1 1 mice,while cone degeneration pattern in rd11 mice is unclcar.Objective Using immunofluorescence staining techniques with retinal wholemount,we aim to clarify the degeneration patterns of cone-function related M-opsin or S-opsin in different ages of rd1 1 mice.Methods A total of thirty rd1 1 and C57BL/6J mice at postnatal (P) day 14,28,42 (five in each age group) were sacrificed and retinal wholemounts were prepared.Immunohistochemistry was performed to identify the expression of M-opsin or S-opsin in retinal wholemounts,which were photographed with a fluorescent microscope.Cone opsins were compared between rd1 1 retinas and age-matched normal C57BL/6J retinas by manually counting the opsin positive cone cells in different quadrants of the retinas.Results The number of M-opsin or S-opsin positive fluorescent dots in each quadrant was similar at all ages of normal C57BL/6J retina.M-opsin positive fluorescent dots in dorsal/temporal,ventral/temporal,dorsal/nasal and ventral/nasal quadrants of rdl 1 retina at P28 were (414±32),(300± 8),(324 ± 22) and (250± 20)/0.037 mm2,which were lower than the age-matched normal C57BL/6J mice (t =4.114,15.225,7.505,17.990,all at P＜0.05).At the same time the S-opsin positive fluorescent dots in P28 rd11 were (8 ±4),(175 ± 16),(74 ± 13) and (315 ±20)/0.037 mm2,with significant decrease in comparison with those in the age-matched normal C57BL/6J mice (t =8.555,17.076,21.637,13.498,all at P＜0.05).With the development of retinal degeneration
Onaji, P.B.; Siemons, R.V.
The feasibility of charcoal production from cotton stalks in Malawi was studied based on experience from Sudan. The country relies considerably on biomass fuels. Of the total energy consumption in Malawi of 2.376 MTOE in 1989, 92% was met by biomass (fuelwood: 83.6% and charcoal: 8.3% Petroleum
Kamanga, B.C.G.; Waddington, S.R.; Almekinders, C.J.M.; Giller, K.E.
Mineral fertiliser is a scarce input for smallholder maize farmers in Malawi. A recent provision of small amounts of subsidised fertilisers by government programmes to farmers throughout Malawi has increased fertiliser access and raised maize production, but fertiliser management and yield responses
Useem, Michael; Chipande, Graham
To identify general principles of implementing a system of evaluation, the experience of Malawi in building a national system for agriculture is described. Applying principles of both centralization and decentralization and principles of trial and error has helped translate theories of evaluation into practice in Malawi. (SLD)
Sherr, L; Hensels, I S; Skeen, S; Tomlinson, M; Roberts, K J; Macedo, A
Violence during childhood may affect short and long-term educational factors. There is scant literature on younger children from resource poor settings. This study assessed child violence experiences (harsh punishment and exposure to domestic or community violence) and school enrolment, progress and attendance in children attending community-based organisations in South Africa and Malawi (n=989) at baseline and at 15 months' follow-up, examining differential experience of HIV positive, HIV affected and HIV unaffected children. Violence exposure was high: 45.4% experienced some form of psychological violence, 47.8% physical violence, 46.7% domestic violence and 41.8% community violence. Primary school enrolment was 96%. Violence was not associated with school enrolment at baseline but, controlling for baseline, children exposed to psychological violence for discipline were more than ten times less likely to be enrolled at follow-up (OR 0.09; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.57). Harsh discipline was associated with poor school progress. For children HIV positive a detrimental effect of harsh physical discipline was found on school performance (OR 0.10; 95% CI 0.02 to 0.61). Violence experiences were associated with a number of educational outcomes, which may have long-term consequences. Community-based organisations may be well placed to address such violence, with a particular emphasis on the challenges faced by children who are HIV positive. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Chimwaza, Wanangwa; Chipeta, Effie; Ngwira, Andrew; Kamwendo, Francis; Taulo, Frank; Bradley, Susan; McAuliffe, Eilish
Malawi faces a severe shortage of health workers, a factor that has contributed greatly to high maternal mortality in the country. Most clinical care is performed by mid-level providers (MLPs). While utilization of these cadres in providing health care is a solution to the current shortages, demotivating factors within the Malawian health system are pushing them into private, non-governmental, and other non-health related positions. This study aims to highlight these demotivating factors by exploring the critical aspects that influence MLPs' intention to leave their jobs. This descriptive qualitative study formed part of the larger Health Systems Strengthening for Equity (HSSE) study. Data presented in this paper were collected in Malawi using the Critical Incident Analysis tool. Participants were asked to narrate an incident that had happened during the past three months which had made them seriously consider leaving their job. Data were subjected to thematic analysis using NVivo 8 software. Of the 84 respondents who participated in a Critical Incident Analysis interview, 58 respondents (69%) indicated they had experienced a demotivating incident in the previous three months that had made them seriously consider leaving their job. The most commonly cited critical factors were being treated unfairly or with disrespect, lack of recognition of their efforts, delays and inconsistencies in salary payments, lack of transparent processes and criteria for upgrading or promotion, and death of patients. Staff motivation and an enabling environment are crucial factors for retaining MLPs in the Malawian health system. This study revealed key 'tipping points' that drive staff to seriously consider leaving their jobs. Many of the factors underlying these critical incidents can be addressed by improved management practices and the introduction of fair and transparent policies. Managers need to be trained and equipped with effective managerial skills and staff should have access
Molyneux Malcolm E
Full Text Available Abstract Background Described here is the first population genetic study of Plasmodium malariae, the causative agent of quartan malaria. Although not as deadly as Plasmodium falciparum, P. malariae is more common than previously thought, and is frequently in sympatry and co-infection with P. falciparum, making its study increasingly important. This study compares the population parameters of the two species in two districts of Malawi with different malaria transmission patterns - one seasonal, one perennial - to explore the effects of transmission on population structures. Methods Six species-specific microsatellite markers were used to analyse 257 P. malariae samples and 257 P. falciparum samples matched for age, gender and village of residence. Allele sizes were scored to within 2 bp for each locus and haplotypes were constructed from dominant alleles in multiple infections. Analysis of multiplicity of infection (MOI, population differentiation, clustering of haplotypes and linkage disequilibrium was performed for both species. Regression analyses were used to determine association of MOI measurements with clinical malaria parameters. Results Multiple-genotype infections within each species were common in both districts, accounting for 86.0% of P. falciparum and 73.2% of P. malariae infections and did not differ significantly with transmission setting. Mean MOI of P. falciparum was increased under perennial transmission compared with seasonal (3.14 vs 2.59, p = 0.008 and was greater in children compared with adults. In contrast, P. malariae mean MOI was similar between transmission settings (2.12 vs 2.11 and there was no difference between children and adults. Population differentiation showed no significant differences between villages or districts for either species. There was no evidence of geographical clustering of haplotypes. Linkage disequilibrium amongst loci was found only for P. falciparum samples from the seasonal transmission
Full Text Available Malawi, like other countries with a generalized HIV epidemic, is striving to reach the ambitious targets set by UNAIDS known as the three 90’s for testing, provision of antiretroviral therapy and viral suppression. Assisted by Malawi’s progressive policies on HIV/AIDS, it appears possible that Malawi will attain these targets, but only by employing innovative program approaches to service delivery which help fill policy gaps. This article describes how a dedicated cadre of layperson testers and HIV-positive peers appears to have helped attain increases in HIV and viral load testing and retention in care in four districts in Malawi, and situates these innovations in a policy framework analysis.
Full Text Available Challenges for the Dutch Reformed Church in Southern Africa with Malawi and Zambia as illustration areas What will be the challenges for the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa if in the coming decades its isolation from Africa could be ended because of political developments in a post-apartheid era? The Dutch Reformed Church planted indigenous churches in many African Countries like Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Namibia. The role of the church in Africa will be determined by its relations with these younger churches. The challenges in the fields of evangelism, church ministry, the youth and in the socioeconomic and political areas are illustrated specifically in the cases of Malawi and Zambia.
Although female sterilization is the most widely used modern contraceptive method in the world, most family planning programs in Africa have had difficulty providing it. Malawi, however, despite daunting constraints, has made female sterilization widely and equitably accessible, thereby increasing method choice and helping its citizens better meet their reproductive intentions. Ten percent of currently married Malawian women of reproductive age rely on female sterilization for contraceptive protection, compared with less than 2 percent across Africa, and demand to limit births now exceeds demand to space births. Malawi's female sterilization prevalence surpasses that of some high-resource countries. Key service-delivery factors enabling this achievement include supportive policies, strong public-private partnerships, and mobile services delivered at no cost by dedicated providers. Challenges remain, but Malawi's achievement offers lessons for other countries with low availability of female sterilization and similar resource constraints. © 2013 The Population Council, Inc.
Reuben Makayiko Chirambo
Full Text Available Though Malawian democracy could still be described as in transition from authoritarianism, it has enabled an atmosphere for critical debate of and dissent against seemingly popular opinions, which was not possible during the authoritarian rule of former life president, Dr. H. K. Banda, 1964-1994. This article examines politicised cultural populism in Malawi under the dictatorship and democracy in comparative terms. President Banda, as a political populist, appropriated culture to legitimate and validate his political power as well as to cultivate popular support from the majority of ordinary people. Following reforms towards democracy since 1992, his successors have also tended towards populist politics by similarly appropriating culture and cultural activities, among other means, to cultivate popular support from mostly ordinary people for their regimes. Such politicised cultural populism involves adopting traditional roles, cultural symbols and images of power such as praise-titles, and participating in cultural activities such as traditional dances. This article examines the efforts of President Bingu wa Mutharika in the democratic dispensation to appropriate cultural artefacts used by Banda during a dictatorship in order to cultivate popular support for his regime. The article argues that Bingu’s efforts at politicised cultural populism are constrained, among other factors, by the nature and climate of democratic politics mainly because democracy, unlike a dictatorship, enables critical debate and the questioning of political leader’s behaviour and their motives. Auch wenn die Demokratie in Malawi sich immer noch in einem Übergangsstadium befindet, ist inzwischen eine Atmosphäre entstanden, in der eine kritische Debatte und das Äußern unpopulärer Meinungen möglich sind, was in den Jahren 1964-1994 unter dem früheren Präsidenten auf Lebenszeit, Dr. H. K. Banda, nicht denkbar war. Der Autor vergleicht die Nutzung von Elementen
Mbweza, Ellen; Norr, Kathleen F; McElmurry, Beverly
To examine the decision-making processes of husband and wife dyads in matrilineal and patrilineal marriage traditions of Malawi in the areas of money, food, pregnancy, contraception, and sexual relations. Qualitative grounded theory using simultaneous interviews of 60 husbands and wives (30 couples). Data were analyzed according to the guidelines of simultaneous data collection and analysis. The analysis resulted in development of core categories and categories of decision-making process. Data matrixes were used to identify similarities and differences within couples and across cases. Most couples reported using a mix of final decision-making approaches: husband-dominated, wife-dominated, and shared. Gender based and nongender based cultural scripts provided rationales for their approaches to decision making. Gender based cultural scripts (husband-dominant and wife-dominant) were used to justify decision-making approaches. Non-gender based cultural scripts (communicating openly, maintaining harmony, and children's welfare) supported shared decision making. Gender based cultural scripts were used in decision making more often among couples from the district with a patrilineal marriage tradition and where the husband had less than secondary school education and was not formally employed. Nongender based cultural scripts to encourage shared decision making can be used in designing culturally tailored reproductive health interventions for couples. Nurses who work with women and families should be aware of the variations that occur in actual couple decision-making approaches. Shared decision making can be used to encourage the involvement of men in reproductive health programs.
This paper examines the gestational age at first antenatal care (ANC) visit and factors associated with timely initiation of ANC in Malawi in a context where maternal and child health services are generally provided for free. Lognormal survival models are applied to Demographic and Health Survey data from a nationally representative sample of women (n = 13,588) of child-bearing age. The findings of this study show that less than 30 % of pregnant women initiate ANC within the World Health Organization recommended gestational timeframe of 16 weeks or earlier. The hazard analysis shows a gradient in the initiation of ANC by maternal education level, with least educated mothers most likely to delay their first ANC visit. However, after adjusting for variables capturing intimate partner violence in the multivariate models, the effect of maternal education attenuated and lost statistical significance. Other significant predictors of gestational age at first ANC include media exposure, perceived distance from health facility, age, and birth order. The findings of the study link domestic violence directly with the gestational age at which mothers initiate ANC, suggesting that gender-based violence may operate through delayed initiation of ANC to undermine maternal and child health outcomes.
A growing body of literature has examined the impact of different types of family structures on children’s schooling in sub-Saharan Africa. These studies have investigated how living arrangements, gender of the household head, parental death, and paternal migration are related to schooling. Although many sub-Saharan African countries have high divorce rates, very few studies have explored the impact of parental divorce on children’s schooling. The present study uses three waves of data from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH) to investigate the effect of parental divorce on children’s schooling and the possible mechanisms driving this relationship. Unlike prior studies, this study uses child-level fixed-effects models to control for selection into divorce. Results show that parental divorce is associated with lower grade attainment and a larger schooling gap, defined as the number of years a child is behind in school (among children currently attending school). Although no association exists between parental divorce and current school attendance, girls affected by divorce are significantly less likely to be attending school. Differences in economic resources, maternal coresidence, or maternal psychological well-being do not explain the relationship between parental divorce and children’s schooling. PMID:27822897
A growing body of literature has examined the impact of different types of family structures on children's schooling in sub-Saharan Africa. These studies have investigated how living arrangements, gender of the household head, parental death, and paternal migration are related to schooling. Although many sub-Saharan African countries have high divorce rates, very few studies have explored the impact of parental divorce on children's schooling. The present study uses three waves of data from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH) to investigate the effect of parental divorce on children's schooling and the possible mechanisms driving this relationship. Unlike prior studies, this study uses child-level fixed-effects models to control for selection into divorce. Results show that parental divorce is associated with lower grade attainment and a larger schooling gap, defined as the number of years a child is behind in school (among children currently attending school). Although no association exists between parental divorce and current school attendance, girls affected by divorce are significantly less likely to be attending school. Differences in economic resources, maternal coresidence, or maternal psychological well-being do not explain the relationship between parental divorce and children's schooling.
This study looks at the dynamics of the Parallel Economy. I estimate the size of the Parallel Economy in Malawi and its relationship with Tax Revenues. The Parallel Economy in Malawi was 12.3%, 23.1% and 17.3% of GDP in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s respectively. Income Taxes were a major driver of the Parallel Economy as compared to Import and Consumption Taxes. An increase in Tax Revenue led to an increase in the Parallel Economy and a decrease in tax Revenue led to a decrease in the Parallel...
Ravenhall, Matt; Benavente, Ernest Diez; Mipando, Mwapatsa
BACKGROUND: Malawi experienced prolonged use of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) as the front-line anti-malarial drug, with early replacement of chloroquine and delayed introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy. Extended use of SP, and its continued application in pregnancy is impacting...... the genomic variation of the Plasmodium falciparum population. METHODS: Whole genome sequence data of P. falciparum isolates covering 2 years of transmission within Malawi, alongside global datasets, were used. More than 745,000 SNPs were identified, and differences in allele frequencies between countries...
Full Text Available Background: While there is a rich literature on the practice of child fostering in sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about how fostering impacts receiving households, as few studies consider household conditions both before and after fostering. Despite the fact that circumstancessurrounding fostering vary, the literature's key distinction of fostering is often drawn along the simple line of whether or not a household is fostering a child. This paper argues that anticipation of fostering responsibilities, in particular, is a useful dimension to distinguish fostering experiences for receiving households. Objective: This paper examines the relationship between receiving a foster child and subsequent changes in household wealth. Particular emphasis is placed on how these changes are conditioned by differing levels of anticipation of the fostering event. Methods: This study uses data from Tsogolo la Thanzi (TLT, a longitudinal survey in Balaka, Malawi. Using data from 1754 TLT respondents, fixed effects pooled time-series models are estimated to assess whether and how receiving a foster child changes household wealth. Results: This paper demonstrates the heterogeneity of fostering experiences for receiving households.The results show that households that anticipate fostering responsibilities experience a greater increase in household wealth than both households that do not foster and those that are surprised by fostering. Conclusions: Households that anticipate fostering responsibilities exhibit the greatest increase in householdwealth. While fostering households that do not anticipate fostering responsibilities may not experience these gains, there is no evidence to indicate that such households are negatively impacted relative to households that do not foster. This finding suggests that additional childcare responsibilities may not be as detrimental to African households as some researchers have feared.
Chikaphupha, Kingsley R; Kok, Maryse C; Nyirenda, Lot; Namakhoma, Ireen; Theobald, Sally
Motivation of health workers is a critical component of performance and is shaped by multiple factors. This study explored factors that influence motivation of health surveillance assistants (HSAs) in Malawi, with the aim of identifying interventions that can be applied to enhance motivation and performance of HSAs. A qualitative study capturing the perspectives of purposively selected participants was conducted in two districts: Salima and Mchinji. Participants included HSAs, health managers, and various community members. Data were collected through focus group discussions (n = 16) and in-depth interviews (n = 44). The study sample was comprised of 112 women and 65 men. Qualitative data analysis was informed by existing frameworks on factors influencing health worker motivation. Our analysis identified five key themes shaping HSA motivation: salary, accommodation, human resource management, supplies and logistics, and community links. Each of these played out at different levels-individual, family, community, and organisational-with either positive or negative effects. Demotivating factors related primarily to the organisational level, while motivating factors were more often related to individual, family, and community levels. A lack of financial incentives and shortages of basic supplies and materials were key factors demotivating HSAs. Supervision was generally perceived as unsupportive, uncoordinated, and top-down. Most HSAs complained of heavy workload. Many HSAs felt further recognition and support from the Ministry of Health, and the development of a clear career pathway would improve their motivation. Factors shaping motivation of HSAs are complex and multilayered; experiences at one level will impact other levels. Interventions are required to enhance HSA motivation, including strengthening the supervision system, developing career progression pathways, and ensuring clear and transparent incentives. HSAs have unique experiences, and there is need to hear
Chunga, Richard M; Ensink, Jeroen H J; Jenkins, Marion W; Brown, Joe
This paper presents the results of a mixed-methods study examining adaptation strategies that property owners in low-income, rapidly urbanizing areas in Malawi adopt to address the limitations of pit latrines, the most common method of disposing human excreta. A particular challenge is lack of space for constructing new latrines as population density increases: traditional practice has been to cap full pits and simply move to a new site, but increasing demands on space require new approaches to extend the service life of latrines. In this context, we collected data on sanitation technology choices from January to September 2013 through 48 in-depth interviews and a stated preference survey targeting 1,300 property owners from 27 low-income urban areas. Results showed that property owners with concern about space for replacing pit latrines were 1.8 times more likely to select pit emptying service over the construction of new pit latrines with a slab floor (p = 0.02) but there was no significant association between concern about space for replacing pit latrines and intention to adopt locally promoted, novel sanitation technology known as ecological sanitation (ecosan). Property owners preferred to adapt existing, known technology by constructing replacement pit latrines on old pit latrine locations, reducing the frequency of replacing pit latrines, or via emptying pit latrines when full. This study highlights potential challenges to adoption of wholly new sanitation technologies, even when they present clear advantages to end users. To scale, alternative sanitation technologies for rapidly urbanising cities should offer clear advantages, be affordable, be easy to use when shared among multiple households, and their design should be informed by existing adaptation strategies and local knowledge.
In order to identify reasons clinicians in Malawi might not offer HIV testing to patients, a cross-sectional descriptive postal census with telephone and fax follow-up was conducted. Proportions were calculated for each reason given for not offering HIV testing. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine whether ...
Woltering, M.; Johnson, T.C.; Werne, J.P.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.
We present a TEX86-derived surface water temperaturerecord for LakeMalawi that provides the first continuous continental record of temperature variability in the continental tropics spanning the past ∼ 74 kyr with millennial-scale resolution. Average temperature during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5A
Glasson, George E.; Frykholm, Jeffrey A.; Mhango, Ndalapa A.; Phiri, Absalom D.
The purpose of this 2-year study was to investigate Malawian teacher educators' perspectives and dispositions toward teaching about ecological sustainability issues in Malawi, a developing country in sub-Sahara Africa. This study was embedded in a larger theoretical framework of investigating earth systems science through the understanding of nature-knowledge-culture systems from local, place-based perspectives. Specifically, we were interested in learning more about eco-justice issues that are related to environmental degradation in Malawi and the potential role of inquiry-oriented pedagogies in addressing these issues. In a science methods course, the African educators' views on deforestation and teaching about ecological sustainability were explored within the context of the local environment and culture. Teachers participated in inquiry pedagogies designed to promote the sharing of perspectives related to the connections between culture and ecological degradation. Strategies encouraging dialogue and reflection included role-playing, class discussions, curriculum development activities, teaching experiences with children, and field trips to a nature preserve. Data were analyzed from postcolonial and critical pedagogy of place theoretical perspectives to better understand the hybridization of viewpoints influenced by both Western and indigenous science and the political hegemonies that impact sustainable living in Malawi. Findings suggested that the colonial legacy of Malawi continues to impact the ecological sustainability issue of deforestation. Inquiry-oriented pedagogies and connections to indigenous science were embraced by the Malawian educators as a means to involve children in investigation, decision making, and ownership of critical environmental issues.
Chikasanda, Vanwyk Khobidi; Otrel-Cass, Kathrin; Jones, Alister
Internationally there has been concern about the direction of technical education and how it is positioned in schools. This has also been the case in Malawi where the curriculum has had a strong focus on skills development. However, lately there has been a call for enhancing technological literacy of students, yet little support has been provided…
Israëls, Trijn; van de Wetering, Marianne D.; Hesseling, Peter; van Geloven, Nan; Caron, Huib N.; Molyneux, Elizabeth M.
Background. infection in neutropenic children is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children treated for cancer. In developing countries, children with cancer are often malnourished at diagnosis. In Blantyre, Malawi, children with Burkitt lymphoma are treated with a local protocol with
Iyengar, Radhika; Karim, Alia; Chagwira, Florie
Reading fluency is a skill foundational to academic performance, and acquiring this skill in early grades is crucial. Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, reading levels of students are far below grade level, and Malawi is no exception. Research suggests that students, particularly in consistently spelled languages, acquire automaticity most easily by…
Background: The true surgical requirement of a rural African population is also not precisely known. Methods: Data gathered over a 2-year period from 1993 to 1995 on surgical and anaesthetic activities in 18 District Hospitals in Malawi are presented. Results: Theatre records showed that 45,032 operations were carried out ...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Trachoma, one of the neglected tropical diseases is suspected to be endemic in Malawi. OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of trachoma and associated risk factors in central and southern Malawi. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A population based survey conducted in randomly selected clusters in Chikwawa district (population 438,895, southern Malawi and Mchinji district (population 456,558, central Malawi. Children aged 1-9 years and adults aged 15 and above were assessed for clinical signs of trachoma. In total, 1010 households in Chikwawa and 1016 households in Mchinji districts were enumerated within 108 clusters (54 clusters in each district. A total of 6,792 persons were examined for ocular signs of trachoma. The prevalence of trachomatous inflammation, follicular (TF among children aged 1-9 years was 13.6% (CI 11.6-15.6 in Chikwawa and 21.7% (CI 19.5-23.9 in Mchinji districts respectively. The prevalence of trachoma trichiasis (TT in women and men aged 15 years and above was 0.6% (CI 0.2-0.9 in Chikwawa and 0.3% (CI 0.04-0.6 in Mchinji respectively. The presence of a dirty face was significantly associated with trachoma follicular (TF in both Chikwawa and Mchinji districts (P10%, and warrants the trachoma SAFE control strategy to be undertaken in Chikwawa and Mchinji districts.
Increasing the number of women who access skilled attendance at birth is the goal of many developing countries including Malawi. The Skilled Attendance for Everyone (SAFE) international research programme coordinated by the Dugald Baird Centre for research on Women\\'s Health at the University of Aberdeen, ...
Mtibo, Charles; Kennedy, Neil; Umar, Eric
Objective: A commonly cited, but unproven reason given for the rise in reported cases of child sexual abuse in Sub-Saharan Africa is the "HIV cleansing myth"--the belief that an HIV infected individual can be cured by having sex with a child virgin. The purpose of this study was to explore in Malawi the reasons given by convicted sex…
R. Hartwig (Renate); M. Grimm (Michael)
textabstractThe food crisis encountered in 2002 in Malawi was arguably one of the worst in the recent history of the country. The World Food Programme estimated that between 2.1 and 3.2 million people were threatened by starvation. Despite this assumed severity, not much research on the actual
The Shire River drains from Lake Malawi to the Lower Zambezi River. Annual flow is dependent mainly on lake level, partially controlled by the operation of a barrage at Liwonde to regulate flows for hydroelectricity generation in the escarpment reaches of the river. Downstream of the escarpment, the floodplains of the ...
Professor, Department of Agricultural Communication, Education & .... In Malawi, sex and condom use is seen largely as the responsibility of the male, ... largely successful (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2008). ... x To assess perceived awareness of HIV & AIDS, condom usage and role of religion on self- ... Literature Review.
... Malawi in connection with the Program, (ii) sales tax, value added tax, excise tax, property transfer tax... Resources; Budget Section 2.7 Limitations of the Use of MCC Funding Section 2.8 Taxes Article 3... means of family planning. Section 2.8 Taxes (a) Unless the Parties specifically agree otherwise in...
Tjørnehøj, Kirsten; Lawrence, J. A.; Kafuwa, P. T.
A field study was conducted in the Southern Region of Malawi to evaluate the possible benefits of immunisation of improved dairy cattle against Anaplasma marginale, Babesia bigemina and Babesia bovis. Friesian crossbred heifers were immunised when they were being reared on Government farms. They ...
Beltman, Jogchum Jan; van den Akker, Thomas; Bwirire, Dieudonne; Korevaar, Anneke; Chidakwani, Richard; van Lonkhuijzen, Luc; van Roosmalen, Jos
Background: To identify factors contributing to the high incidence of facility-based obstetric hemorrhage in Thyolo District, Malawi, according to local health workers. Methods: Three focus group discussions among 29 health workers, including nurse-midwives and non-physician clinicians ('medical
Beltman, J.J.; van den Akker, T.; Bwirire, D.; Korevaar, A.; Chidakwani, R.; van Lonkhuijzen, L.; van Roosmalen, J.
Background: To identify factors contributing to the high incidence of facility-based obstetric hemorrhage in Thyolo District, Malawi, according to local health workers.Methods: Three focus group discussions among 29 health workers, including nurse-midwives and non-physician clinicians ('medical
International Planned Parenthood Federation, London (England).
Data relating to population and family planning in eight foreign countries are presented in these situation reports. Countries included are Hong Kong, Malawi, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa), Sabah, and Sarawak. Information is provided where appropriate and available, under two topics, general background and family planning…
Zozie, Paxton Andrew; Kayira, Peter Benwell
This article reviews the role of guidance and counselling in Malawi in reducing dropout and easing the transition of students to tertiary education, as well as in helping them during their time in tertiary education. It begins by identifying key success factors in guidance and counselling services for learners in both developed and developing…
Inoue, Kazuma; Oketch, Moses
Malawi and Ghana are among the numerous Sub-Saharan Africa countries that have in recent years introduced Free Primary Education (FPE) policy as a means to realizing the 2015 Education for All and Millennium Development Goals international targets. The introduction of FPE policy is, however, a huge challenge for any national government that has…
Yamaguchi, S.; Dunga, A.; Broadhead, R. L.; Brabin, B. J.
Measles surveillance data in Blantyre, Malawi were reviewed for 1996-8 to describe the epidemiology of infection and to estimate vaccine efficacy (VE) by the screening method. A total of 674 measles cases were reported to the Blantyre District Health Office during this period. Age distribution
1University of Pretoria, School of Health Systems and Public Health, 2Centre for Social Research,. University of Malawi, 3Zomba Mental Hospital, Ministry of Health, 4Zomba Central Hospital,. Ministry of ... childbearing age group of 16.4%. Youth aged 15-24 claim 46% of new HIV ... same drugs are responsible for their.
We consider the role of institutional and personal actors involved in Malawi's recently instated and decentralised behaviour-change intervention strategy, as well as the form and function of interpersonal social networks that mediate this information. The research reveals that the organisational capacity of actors and the ...
For many Malawians the concept of home is strongly associated with the rural areas and one's (supposedly rural) place of birth. This 'grand narrative about home', though often reiterated, doesn't necessarily depict lived reality. Malawi's history of movement and labor migration coupled with
first step towards behaviour change lies in whether or not people accept that the illness they ... account the issues of culture and gender. The problem I ..... transmission, see J.C. Chakanza, "HIV/AIDS and Culture in Malawi," The. Lamp, 43 ...
Background: Worldwide, 90% of injury deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Road traffic collisions (RTCs) are increasingly common and result in more death and disability in the developing world than in the developed world. We aimed to examine the prehospital case fatality rate from RTCs in Malawi.
for those who were non-users of health services due to poor attitudes of health workers, they ..... services (especially mother and child services) free of charge to the .... Ngozo C: Malawi: vaccination foiled by divine intervention. Africaonline: the ...
Tjørnehøj, Kirsten; Whiteland, A. P.; Mfitilodze, M. W.
Crossbred dairy heifers on a farm in an East Coast fever (ECF) endemic area in Malawi were immunised against Theileria parva, Anaplasma spp., Babesia bigemina, Babesia bovis and Cowdria ruminantium. They were treated at infrequent intervals with chlorfenvinphos to limit infestation with adult tic...
September 2016 marks 25 years since the College of Medicine of the University of Malawi was established. In this article we reflect on its conception, birth, adolescence, and youth. The contributions of multiple stakeholders are celebrated while being mindful of the ongoing efforts to consolidate past and current gains.
Kamanga, B.C.G.; Whitbread, A.M.; Wall, P.; Waddington, S.R.; Almekinders, C.J.M.; Giller, K.E.
Building from the perception that farmers have an intimate knowledge of their local environment, production problems, crop priorities and criteria for evaluation, an on-farm experiment was conducted with farmers in 2003/4 in Chisepo, central Malawi, to evaluate the response of six annual legumes to
Soil infertility undermines the agriculture-based livelihoods in Malawi, where it is blamed for poor crop yields and the creation of cycles of poverty. Although technologies and management strategies have been developed to reverse the decline in soil fertility, they are under-used by smallholder
Smith, William C.; Ikoma, Sakiko; Baker, David P.
Education and health are both capital investments in national development, often viewed as independent factors on a country's labor force supply and productivity. This study uses the 2010-2011 Third Integrated Household Survey in Malawi to propose an Education-enhanced Health Human Capital (EHHC) model where education influences labor force supply…
For many Malawians the concept of home is strongly associated with the rural areas and one's (supposedly rural) place of birth. This 'grand narrative about home', though often reiterated, doesn't necessarily depict lived reality. Malawi's history of movement and labor migration coupled with
Brabin, B. J.; Kalanda, B. F.; Verhoeff, F. H.; Chimsuku, L. H.; Broadhead, R. L.
The prevalence of infants born with low cord haemoglobin (fetal anaemia) is high in areas where malaria and iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy are common. The objective of the present study was to determine risk factors for fetal anaemia in an area of high malaria transmission in southern Malawi.
Verhoeff, Francine H.; le Cessie, Saskia; Kalanda, Boniface F.; Kazembe, Peter N.; Broadhead, Robin L.; Brabin, Bernard J.
In a cohort study of mothers and their infants, information was collected from women attending the antenatal services of two hospitals in a rural area of Malawi and 561 of their babies were enrolled in a follow-up study. There were 128 with a low birthweight (LBW, <2500 g), 138 with fetal anaemia
Mwendera, Chikondi A; de Jager, Christiaan; Longwe, Herbert; Hongoro, Charles; Mutero, Clifford M; Phiri, Kamija S
Malaria research can play a vital role in addressing the malaria burden in Malawi. An organized approach in addressing malaria in Malawi started in 1984 by the establishment of the first National Malaria Control Programme and research was recognized to be significant. This study aimed to assess the type and amount of malaria research conducted in Malawi from 1984 to 2016 and its related source of funding. A systematic literature search was conducted in the Medline/PubMed database for Malawian publications and approved malaria studies from two Ethical Committees were examined. Bibliometric analysis was utilized to capture the affiliations of first and senior/last authors, funding acknowledgements, while titles, abstracts and accessed full text were examined for research type. A total of 483 publications and 165 approved studies were analysed. Clinical and basic research in the fields of malaria in pregnancy 105 (21.5%), severe malaria 97 (20.1%) and vector and/or agent dynamics 69 (14.3%) dominated in the publications while morbidity 33 (20%), severe malaria 28 (17%) and Health Policy and Systems Research 24 (14.5%) dominated in the approved studies. In the publications, 146 (30%) first authors and 100 (21%) senior authors, and 88 (53.3%) principal investigators in approved studies were affiliated to Malawian-based institutions. Most researchers were affiliated to the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust, College of Medicine, Blantyre Malaria Project, Ministry of Health, and Malaria Alert Centre. The major malaria research funders were the National Institute for Health/USA, Wellcome Trust and the US Agency for International Development. Only three (2.5%) out of 118 journals publishing research on malaria in Malawi were from Africa and the Malaria Journal, with 76 (15.7%) publications, published most of the research from Malawi, followed by the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene with 57 (11.8%) in comparison to only 13 (2.7%) published in the local Malawi
Melanie Y. Hami
Vroue se vermeende vatbaarheid en benutting van servikale kanker dienste in Malawi Agtergrond: Malawi verskaf gratis servikale kanker siftings dienste by sommige openbare gesondheids instansies. Min vrouens maak gebruik van die kanker siftings dienste in Malawi en baie vrouens word steeds gediagnoseer met servikale kanker tydens die laat onopereerbare fases van die toestand. Doelwitte: Die doel van die studie was was om te bepaal of Malawiese vrouens wat 42 en ouer is se waargenome vatbaarheid vir servikale kanker hulle beïnvleod om beskikbare gratis servikale siftingsdienste te gebruik. ’n Kwantitatiwe, deursnee beskrywende navorsingsontwerp was gekies. Metode: Gestruktureerde onderhoude is met 381 vrouens gevoer wat drie gesondheidsdiensentrums in die Blantyre Distrik van Malawi besoek het. Resultate: ’n Statistiese beduidende verhouding het bestaan tussen vrouens se voornemens om vir servikale kanker getoets te word en hulle kennis oor servikale kanker (X² = 8.9; df = 1; p = 0.003 en dat hulle al gehoor het van MPV infeksies (X² = 4.2; df = 1; p = 0.041 op die 5% vlak van beduidenis. Servikale kanker siftingsdienste is gratis beskikbaar in openbare gesondheidsdiensinrigtings in Malawi. Desnieteenstaande was daar ’n lae waargenome risiko van servikale kanker onder vrouens wat 42 jaar oud en ouer was en dit het bygedra tot die beperkte benutting van siftingsdienste, wat verduidelik waarom 80% van servikale kankergevalle in Malawi gedurende die laat onopereerbare fases gediagnoseer is. Gevolgtrekkings: Malawiese vrouens was onbewus van hulle vatbaarheid vir servikale kanker en het inligting benodig oor servikale kanker siftingsdienste. Malawi se vrouens wat 42 jaar oud en ouer is, moet ingelig word aangaande die voordele van servikale sifting en die belangrikheid van effektiewe behandeling indien ’n vroë diagnose gemaak is. Vrouens van 42 of ouer benut selde voorgeboorte, nageboorte gesonde baba, of gesinsbeplanningsklinieke waar voorliging
Intimate partner violence is a social and public health problem that is prevalent across the world. In many societies, power differentials in relationships, often supported by social norms that promote gender inequality, lead to incidents of intimate partner violence. Among other factors, both a woman's years of education and educational differences between a woman and her partner have been shown to have an effect on her likelihood of experiencing intimate partner abuse. Using the 2010 Malawian Demographic and Health Survey data to analyze intimate partner violence among 3,893 married Malawian women and their husbands, this article focuses on understanding the effect of educational differences between husband and wife on the likelihood of physical and emotional abuse within a marriage. The results from logistic regression models show that a woman's level of education is a significant predictor of her likelihood of experiencing intimate partner violence by her current husband, but that this effect is contingent on her husband's level of education. This study demonstrates the need to educate men alongside of women in Malawi to help decrease women's risk of physical and emotional intimate partner violence.
Victoria K Fort
Full Text Available Victoria K Fort1, Mary Sue Makin2, Aaron J Siegler1, Kevin Ault3, Roger Rochat11Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; 2Mulanje Mission Hospital, Mulanje, Malawi; 3Emory University Medical School, Atlanta, Georgia, USABackground: In Malawi, cervical cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among women, with an 80% mortality rate. The Mulanje Mission Hospital has offered free cervical cancer screening for eight years; however, patients primarily seek medical help for gynecologic complaints after the disease is inoperable.Methods: We investigated how women in rural Malawi make health-seeking decisions regarding cervical cancer screening using qualitative research methods. The study was conducted between May and August of 2009 in Mulanje, Malawi.Results: This study found that the primary cue to action for cervical cancer screening was symptoms of cervical cancer. Major barriers to seeking preventative screening included low knowledge levels, low perceived susceptibility and low perceived benefits from the service. Study participants did not view cervical cancer screening as critical health care. Interviews suggested that use of the service could increase if women are recruited while visiting the hospital for a different service.Conclusion: This study recommends that health care providers and health educators target aspects of perceived susceptibility among their patients, including knowledge levels and personal risk assessment. We believe that continued support and advertisement of cervical cancer screening programs along with innovative recruitment strategies will increase usage density and decrease unnecessary deaths from cervical cancer in Malawi.Keywords: cervical cancer, interviews, health care, Mulanje Mission Hospital
Klug, M.; Cissell, J.; Grossman, M.
Malawi has become increasingly prone to landslides in the past few decades. This can be attributed to the terrain, types of soil and vegetation, increased human interference, and heavy flooding after long periods of drought. In addition to the floods and droughts, landslides cause extra stress to farmlands, thus exacerbating the current food security crisis in the country. It can be difficult to pinpoint just how many people are affected by landslides in Malawi because landslides often occur in rural areas or are grouped with other disasters, such as floods or earthquakes. This project created a Landslide Susceptibility Map to assess landslide-prone areas in Malawi using variables such as slope, distance to roads, distance to streams, soil type, and precipitation. These variables were derived using imagery from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI), Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Version 3 (SRTM-v3), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellites. Furthermore, this project created a Landslide Exposure Map to estimate how much of the local population lives in susceptible areas by intersecting population data with the Landslide Susceptibility Map. Additionally, an assessment of GPM and TRMM precipitation measurements was generated to better understand the reliability of both measurements for landslide monitoring. Finally, this project updated NASA SERVIR's Global Landslide Catalog (GLC) for Malawi by using WorldView data from Google Earth and Landsat 8 OLI. These end products were used by NASA SERVIR and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) for aiding in disaster management throughout Malawi.
Melanie Y. Hami
Full Text Available Background: Malawi provides cervical cancer screening services free of charge at some public health facilities. Few women make use of these cancer screening services in Malawi and many women continue to be diagnosed with cervical cancer only during the late inoperable stages of the condition. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to discover whether the perceived susceptibility to cervical cancer, amongst Malawian women aged 42 and older, influenced their intentions to utilise the available free cervical cancer screening services. Method: A quantitative, cross-sectional descriptive study design was adopted. Structured interviews were conducted with 381 women who visited 3 health centres in the Blantyre District of Malawi. Results: A statistically-significant association existed between women’s intentions to be screened for cervical cancer and their knowledge about cervical cancer (X² = 8.9; df = 1; p = 0.003 and with having heard about HPV infection (X² = 4.2; df = 1; p = 0.041 at the 5% significance level. Cervical cancer screening services are provided free of charge in government health institutions in Malawi. Nevertheless, low perceived susceptibility to cervical cancer amongst women, aged 42 and older, might contribute to limited utilisation of cervical screening services, explaining why 80% of cervical cancer patients in Malawi were diagnosed during the late inoperable stages. Conclusion: Malawian women lacked awareness regarding their susceptibility to cervical cancer and required information about the available cervical cancer screening services. Malawi’s women, aged 42 and older, must be informed about the advantages of cervical cancer screening and about the importance of effective treatment if an early diagnosis has been made. Women aged 42 and older rarely attend antenatal, post-natal, well baby or family-planning clinics, where health education about cervical cancer screening is often provided. Consequently, these women
Chokotho, Linda; Mulwafu, Wakisa; Singini, Isaac; Njalale, Yasin; Maliwichi-Senganimalunje, Limbika; Jacobsen, Kathryn H
Introduction Road traffic collisions are a common cause of injuries and injury-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Basic prehospital care can be the difference between life and death for injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Problem This study examined the challenges associated with current first response practices in Malawi. In April 2014, focus groups were conducted in two areas of Malawi: Karonga (in the Northern Region) and Blantyre (in the Southern Region; both are along the M1 highway), and a qualitative synthesis approach was used to identify themes. All governmental and nongovernmental first response organizations identified by key informants were contacted, and a checklist was used to identify the services they offer. Access to professional prehospital care in Malawi is almost nonexistent, aside from a few city fire departments and private ambulance services. Rapid transportation to a hospital is usually the primary goal of roadside care because of limited first aid knowledge and a lack of access to basic safety equipment. The key informants recommended: expanding community-based first aid training; emphasizing umunthu (shared humanity) to inspire bystander involvement in roadside care; empowering local leaders to coordinate on-site responses; improving emergency communication systems; equipping traffic police with road safety gear; and expanding access to ambulance services. Prehospital care in Malawi would be improved by the creation of a formal network of community leaders, police, commercial drivers, and other lay volunteers who are trained in basic first aid and are equipped to respond to crash sites to provide roadside care to trauma patients and prepare them for safe transport to hospitals. Chokotho L , Mulwafu W , Singini I , Njalale Y , Maliwichi-Senganimalunje L , Jacobsen KH . First responders and prehospital care for road traffic injuries in Malawi. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(1):14-19.
Peterson, Erin N.; Cline, Maggie E.; Moore, Emily C.; Roberts, Natalie B.; Roberts, Reade B.
East African cichlids display extensive variation in sex determination systems. The species Astatotilapia calliptera is one of the few cichlids that reside both in Lake Malawi and in surrounding waterways. A. calliptera is of interest in evolutionary studies as a putative immediate outgroup species for the Lake Malawi species flock and possibly as a prototype ancestor-like species for the radiation. Here, we use linkage mapping to test association of sex in A. calliptera with loci that have been previously associated with genetic sex determination in East African cichlid species. We identify a male heterogametic XY system segregating at linkage group (LG) 7 in an A. calliptera line that originated from Lake Malawi, at a locus previously shown to act as an XY sex determination system in multiple species of Lake Malawi cichlids. Significant association of genetic markers and sex produce a broad genetic interval of approximately 26 megabases (Mb) using the Nile tilapia genome to orient markers; however, we note that the marker with the strongest association with sex is near a gene that acts as a master sex determiner in other fish species. We demonstrate that alleles of the marker are perfectly associated with sex in Metriaclima mbenjii, a species from the rock-dwelling clade of Lake Malawi. While we do not rule out the possibility of other sex determination loci in A. calliptera, this study provides a foundation for fine mapping of the cichlid sex determination gene on LG7 and evolutionary context regarding the origin and persistence of the LG7 XY across diverse, rapidly evolving lineages.
Mulwafu, Wapulumuka O.; Msosa, Hendrina K.
Like most other countries in the SADC region, Malawi has swiftly endorsed the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. In the water sector, these principles are reflected in the National Water Policy (2004) and in the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) (2002) which emphasize three key aspects. First, the articulation of a vision and policy objectives that address development and management of water for productive purposes, conservation and poverty reduction. Second, the recognition of international and regional conventions and agreements on water resources to which Malawi is a signatory, thereby promoting global partnership for development. Third, the provision of mechanisms for monitoring, assessment and development related to watershed management, conservation and the mitigation of floods and droughts. Both the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and the National Water Policy seek to reduce poverty by increasing access to water for domestic and productive purposes. In particular, the MPRSP will focus on constructing and rehabilitating water facilities, extend water supply capacity, promote community-based management and improve water resources conservation and management. In this paper, we examine the challenges of implementing these goals against the background of various institutional reforms in the water sector. We argue that although Malawi has come up with very clear strategies and guidelines for promoting MDGs, a combination of human and financial resources, bedevil the successful implementation of these ideas. In addition, the strategies do not articulate water as a medium for poverty alleviation in a holistic manner. The paper further demonstrates ways in which the promotion of IWRM can facilitate in reducing poverty.
Kumwenda, Newton I.; Khonje, Tiwonge; Mipando, Linda; Nkanaunena, Kondwani; Katundu, Pauline; Lubega, Irene; Elbireer, Ali; Bolton, Steve; Bagenda, Danstan; Mubiru, Michael; Fowler, Mary Glenn; Taha, Taha E.
Background Data on paediatric reference laboratory values are limited for sub-Saharan Africa. Objective To describe the distribution of haematological and chemical pathology values among healthy infants from Malawi and Uganda. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among healthy infants, 0–6 months old, born to HIV-uninfected mothers recruited from two settings in Blantyre, Malawi and Kampala, Uganda. Chemical pathology and haematology parameters were determined using standard methods on blood samples. Descriptive analyses by age-group were performed based on 2004 Division of AIDS Toxicity Table age categories. Mean values and interquartile ranges were compared by site and age-group. Results A total of 541 infants were included altogether, 294 from Malawi and 247 from Uganda. Overall, the mean laboratory values were comparable between the two sites. Mean alkaline phosphatase levels were lower among infants aged ≤21 days while aspartate aminotransferase, creatinine, total bilirubin and gamma-glutamyl transferase were higher in those aged 0–7 days than in older infants. Mean haematocrit, haemoglobin and neutrophil counts were higher in the younger age-groups (<35 days) and overall were lower than US norms. Red and white blood cell counts tended to decrease after birth but increased after ~2 months of age. Mean basophil counts were higher in Malawi than in Uganda in infants aged 0–1 and 2–7 days; mean counts for eosinophils (for age groups 8–21 or older) and platelets (for all age groups) were higher in Ugandan than in Malawian infants. Absolute lymphocyte counts increased with infant age. Conclusion The chemical pathology and haematological values in healthy infants born to HIV-uninfected mothers were comparable in Malawi and Uganda and can serve as useful reference values in these settings. PMID:23164296
Zafar, Shamsa; Jean-Baptiste, Rachel; Rahman, Atif; Neilson, James P; van den Broek, Nynke R
For more accurate estimation of the global burden of pregnancy associated disease, clarity is needed on definition and assessment of non-severe maternal morbidity. Our study aimed to define maternal morbidity with clear criteria for identification at primary care level and estimate the distribution of and evaluate associations between physical (infective and non-infective) and psychological morbidities in two different low-income countries. Cross sectional study with assessment of morbidity in early pregnancy (34%), late pregnancy (35%) and the postnatal period (31%) among 3459 women from two rural communities in Pakistan (1727) and Malawi (1732). Trained health care providers at primary care level used semi-structured questionnaires documenting signs and symptoms, clinical examination and laboratory tests which were bundled to reflect infectious, non-infectious and psychological morbidity. One in 10 women in Malawi and 1 in 5 in Pakistan reported a previous pregnancy complication with 1 in 10 overall reporting a previous neonatal death or stillbirth. In the index pregnancy, 50.1% of women in Malawi and 53% in Pakistan were assessed to have at least one morbidity (infective or non-infective). Both infective (Pakistan) and non-infective morbidity (Pakistan and Malawi) was lower in the postnatal period than during pregnancy. Multiple morbidities were uncommon (Pakistan 2.6% in Malawi had an Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Score (EPDS) > 9. Complications during a previous pregnancy, infective morbidity (p <0.001), intra or postpartum haemorrhage (p <0.02) were associated with psychological morbidity in both settings. Our findings highlight the need to strengthen the availability and quality of antenatal and postnatal care packages. We propose to adapt and improve the framework and criteria used in this study, ensuring a basic set of diagnostic tests is available, to ensure more robust assessment of non-severe maternal morbidity.
Full Text Available Many Malawian politicians have exploited religious and cultural discourses, encouraging the discourse of the “God-fearing Malawi nation” while also acknowledging the country as a secular state. This discourse – which most recently underwent further development in the early 1980s when Christians and Muslims, funded by donor money, accelerated their evangelical drives in the context of a one-party Malawi – resonates with a patriarchal, conservative political dispensation. This paper traces the evolution of the “God-fearing nation” discourse in Malawian politics. It posits that the government used the “gay rights issue” as a strategy to disorient human rights activists and donors. Gay rights were de-linked from other civil rights, forcing a binary approach toward gay rights, which were seen by government supporters as “anti-Christian”, “anti-Malawian” concepts. The debate with donors enabled the government to claim “sovereign autonomy” and galvanise the population into an anti-aid mentality (better no aid than aid that supports homosexuality.Für ihren Diskurs der “God-fearing Malawi Nation” bedienten sich viele Politiker Malawis an religiösen und kulturellen Debatten, während sie Malawi gleichzeitig als säkularen Staat anerkannten. Dieser Diskurs wurde in den frühen 1980er Jahren fortentwickelt, als Christen und Muslime im Rahmen des malawischen Einparteiensystems – und unterstützt von externen Geldgebern – ihren Glaubenseifer steigerten. In ihm schwingt die Vorstellung partriarchalischer, konservativer politischer Verhältnisse mit. Der vorliegende Beitrag verfolgt die Entwicklung des Diskurses der “God-fearing Nation” in der malawischen Politik. Die Autoren zeigen auf, wie die Regierung die Frage der Rechte für Homosexuelle zur Desorientierung von Menschenrechtsaktivisten und Gebern einsetzte: Die Rechte Homosexueller wurden von den anderen Bürgerrechten getrennt betrachtet und so konnte zu diesen
Milanzi, Edith B; Namacha, Ndifanji M
Use of biomass fuels has been shown to contribute to ill health and complications in pregnancy outcomes such as low birthweight, neonatal deaths and mortality in developing countries. However, there is insufficient evidence of this association in the Sub-Saharan Africa and the Malawian population. We, therefore, investigated effects of exposure to biomass fuels on reduced birth weight in the Malawian population. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using secondary data from the 2010 Malawi Demographic Health Survey with a total of 9124 respondents. Information on exposure to biomass fuels, birthweight, and size of child at birth as well as other relevant information on risk factors was obtained through a questionnaire. We used linear regression models for continuous birth weight outcome and logistic regression for the binary outcome. Models were systematically adjusted for relevant confounding factors. Use of high pollution fuels resulted in a 92 g (95% CI: -320.4; 136.4) reduction in mean birth weight compared to low pollution fuel use after adjustment for child, maternal as well as household characteristics. Full adjusted OR (95% CI) for risk of having size below average at birth was 1.29 (0.34; 4.48). Gender and birth order of child were the significant confounders factors in our adjusted models. We observed reduced birth weight in children whose mothers used high pollution fuels suggesting a negative effect of maternal exposure to biomass fuels on birth weight of the child. However, this reduction was not statistically significant. More carefully designed studies need to be carried out to explore effects of biomass fuels on pregnancy outcomes and health outcomes in general.
Hundalani, Shilpa G; Richards-Kortum, Rebecca; Oden, Maria; Kawaza, Kondwani; Gest, Alfred; Molyneux, Elizabeth
Background Low-cost bubble continuous positive airway pressure (bCPAP) systems have been shown to improve survival in neonates with respiratory distress, in developing countries including Malawi. District hospitals in Malawi implementing CPAP requested simple and reliable guidelines to enable healthcare workers with basic skills and minimal training to determine when treatment with CPAP is necessary. We developed and validated TRY (T: Tone is good, R: Respiratory Distress and Y=Yes) CPAP, a s...
Tione, Sarah Ephridah
Government of Malawi has been promoting initiatives like Malawi Agriculture Commodity Exchange (MACE) that aim at reducing information asymmetry among market players especially smallholder farmers. Using co-integration error correction models, the study assessed effectiveness of modern ICT based market interventions on improving maize marketing efficiency in Malawi. Considering that efficient markets are integrated markets when price difference is only a factor of transaction costs, TAR model...
Rachel Bezner Kerr
Full Text Available Abstract Background In countries where the majority of undernourished people are smallholder farmers, there has been interest in agricultural interventions to improve nutritional outcomes. Addressing gender inequality, however, is a key mechanism by which agriculture can improve nutrition, since women often play a crucial role in farming, food processing and child care, but have limited decision-making and control over agricultural resources. This study examines the approaches by which gender equity in agrarian, resource-poor settings can be improved using a case study in Malawi. Methods A quasi-experimental design with qualitative methods was used to examine the effects of a participatory intervention on gender relations. Thirty married couple households in 19 villages with children under the age of 5 years were interviewed before and then after the intervention. An additional 7 interviews were conducted with key informants, and participant observation was carried out before, during the intervention and afterwards in the communities. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and analysed qualitatively for key themes, concepts and contradictions. Results Several barriers were identified that undermine the quality of child care practices, many linked to gender constructions and norms. The dominant concepts of masculinity created shame and embarrassment if men deviated from these norms, by cooking or caring for their children. The study provided evidence that participatory education supported new masculinities through public performances that encouraged men to take on these new roles. Invoking men’s family responsibilities, encouraging new social norms alongside providing new information about different healthy recipes were all pathways by which men developed new ‘emergent’ masculinities in which they were more involved in cooking and child care. The transformational approach, intergenerational and intra-gendered events, a focus on
Kerr, Rachel Bezner; Chilanga, Emmanuel; Nyantakyi-Frimpong, Hanson; Luginaah, Isaac; Lupafya, Esther
In countries where the majority of undernourished people are smallholder farmers, there has been interest in agricultural interventions to improve nutritional outcomes. Addressing gender inequality, however, is a key mechanism by which agriculture can improve nutrition, since women often play a crucial role in farming, food processing and child care, but have limited decision-making and control over agricultural resources. This study examines the approaches by which gender equity in agrarian, resource-poor settings can be improved using a case study in Malawi. A quasi-experimental design with qualitative methods was used to examine the effects of a participatory intervention on gender relations. Thirty married couple households in 19 villages with children under the age of 5 years were interviewed before and then after the intervention. An additional 7 interviews were conducted with key informants, and participant observation was carried out before, during the intervention and afterwards in the communities. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and analysed qualitatively for key themes, concepts and contradictions. Several barriers were identified that undermine the quality of child care practices, many linked to gender constructions and norms. The dominant concepts of masculinity created shame and embarrassment if men deviated from these norms, by cooking or caring for their children. The study provided evidence that participatory education supported new masculinities through public performances that encouraged men to take on these new roles. Invoking men's family responsibilities, encouraging new social norms alongside providing new information about different healthy recipes were all pathways by which men developed new 'emergent' masculinities in which they were more involved in cooking and child care. The transformational approach, intergenerational and intra-gendered events, a focus on agriculture and food security, alongside involving male leaders
Hrapcak, Susan; Kuper, Hannah; Bartlett, Peter; Devendra, Akash; Makawa, Atupele; Kim, Maria; Kazembe, Peter; Ahmed, Saeed
With improved access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV infection is becoming a chronic illness. Preliminary data suggest that HIV-infected children have a higher risk of disabilities, including hearing impairment, although data are sparse. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and types of hearing loss in HIV-infected children in Lilongwe, Malawi. This was a cross-sectional survey of 380 HIV-infected children aged 4-14 years attending ART clinic in Lilongwe between December 2013-March 2014. Data was collected through pediatric quality of life and sociodemographic questionnaires, electronic medical record review, and detailed audiologic testing. Hearing loss was defined as >20 decibels hearing level (dBHL) in either ear. Predictors of hearing loss were explored by regression analysis generating age- and sex-adjusted odds ratios. Children with significant hearing loss were fitted with hearing aids. Of 380 patients, 24% had hearing loss: 82% conductive, 14% sensorineural, and 4% mixed. Twenty-one patients (23% of those with hearing loss) were referred for hearing aid fitting. There was a higher prevalence of hearing loss in children with history of frequent ear infections (OR 7.4, 4.2-13.0) and ear drainage (OR 6.4, 3.6-11.6). Hearing loss was linked to history of WHO Stage 3 (OR 2.4, 1.2-4.5) or Stage 4 (OR 6.4, 2.7-15.2) and history of malnutrition (OR 2.1, 1.3-3.5), but not to duration of ART or CD4. Only 40% of caregivers accurately perceived their child's hearing loss. Children with hearing impairment were less likely to attend school and had poorer emotional (p = 0.02) and school functioning (p = 0.04). There is an urgent need for improved screening tools, identification and treatment of hearing problems in HIV-infected children, as hearing loss was common in this group and affected school functioning and quality of life. Clear strategies were identified for prevention and treatment, since most hearing loss was conductive in nature, likely due to
Hrapcak, Susan; Kuper, Hannah; Bartlett, Peter; Devendra, Akash; Makawa, Atupele; Kim, Maria; Kazembe, Peter; Ahmed, Saeed
Introduction With improved access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV infection is becoming a chronic illness. Preliminary data suggest that HIV-infected children have a higher risk of disabilities, including hearing impairment, although data are sparse. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and types of hearing loss in HIV-infected children in Lilongwe, Malawi. Methods This was a cross-sectional survey of 380 HIV-infected children aged 4–14 years attending ART clinic in Lilongwe between December 2013-March 2014. Data was collected through pediatric quality of life and sociodemographic questionnaires, electronic medical record review, and detailed audiologic testing. Hearing loss was defined as >20 decibels hearing level (dBHL) in either ear. Predictors of hearing loss were explored by regression analysis generating age- and sex-adjusted odds ratios. Children with significant hearing loss were fitted with hearing aids. Results Of 380 patients, 24% had hearing loss: 82% conductive, 14% sensorineural, and 4% mixed. Twenty-one patients (23% of those with hearing loss) were referred for hearing aid fitting. There was a higher prevalence of hearing loss in children with history of frequent ear infections (OR 7.4, 4.2–13.0) and ear drainage (OR 6.4, 3.6–11.6). Hearing loss was linked to history of WHO Stage 3 (OR 2.4, 1.2–4.5) or Stage 4 (OR 6.4, 2.7–15.2) and history of malnutrition (OR 2.1, 1.3–3.5), but not to duration of ART or CD4. Only 40% of caregivers accurately perceived their child’s hearing loss. Children with hearing impairment were less likely to attend school and had poorer emotional (p = 0.02) and school functioning (p = 0.04). Conclusions There is an urgent need for improved screening tools, identification and treatment of hearing problems in HIV-infected children, as hearing loss was common in this group and affected school functioning and quality of life. Clear strategies were identified for prevention and treatment, since most
Ellis, Geoffrey S.; Barry J. Katz,; Christopher A. Scholz,; Peter K. Swart,
This study examines the relationship between depositional environment and sedimentary organic geochemistry in Lake Malawi, East Africa, and evaluates the relative significance of the various processes that control sedimentary organic matter (OM) in lacustrine systems. Total organic carbon (TOC) concentrations in recent sediments from Lake Malawi range from 0.01 to 8.80 wt% and average 2.83 wt% for surface sediments and 2.35 wt% for shallow core sediments. Hydrogen index (HI) values as determined by Rock-Eval pyrolysis range from 0 to 756 mg HC g−1 TOC and average 205 mg HC g−1 TOC for surface sediments and 228 mg HC g−1 TOC for shallow core samples. On average, variations in primary productivity throughout the lake may account for ~33% of the TOC content in Lake Malawi sediments (as much as 1 wt% TOC), and have little or no impact on sedimentary HI values. Similarly, ~33% to 66% of the variation in TOC content in Lake Malawi sediments appears to be controlled by anoxic preservation of OM (~1–2 wt% TOC), although some component of the water depth–TOC relationship may be due to physical sediment transport processes. Furthermore, anoxic preservation has a minimal effect on HI values in Lake Malawi sediments. Dilution of OM by inorganic sediment may account for ~16% of variability in TOC content in Lake Malawi sediments (~0.5 wt% TOC). The effect of inputs of terrestrial sediment on the organic character of surface sediments in these lakes is highly variable, and appears to be more closely related to the local depositional environment than the regional flux of terrestrial OM. Total nitrogen and TOC content in surface sediments collected throughout the lake are found to be highly correlated (r2 = 0.95), indicating a well-homogenized source of OM to the lake bottom. The recurring suspension and deposition of terrestrial sediment may account for significant amounts of OM deposited in offshore regions of the lake. This process effectively separates denser
Full Text Available Identification, propagation, and introduction of a nutritionally rich, indigenous plant species in the existing cropping system are presented in this paper as a method of rural nutrition intervention. A case study of Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam., Moringaceae, which is a common tree in Malawi and one of the richest sources of vitamin A and vitamin C compared to the commonly consumed vegetables is presented to address the problem of vitamin A deficiency. After a brief review of the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency and the efforts to reduce its incidence in Malawi, Moringa is suggested as a potential solution to the problem. A framework for designing nutrition intervention with Moringa is described for actual implementation. It is argued that attempts to identify, document, and encourage the utilization of nutrient-rich indigenous plants could be cost-effective, and a sustainable method of improving the nutritional status of local populations.
Shattuck, Dominick; Kerner, Brad; Gilles, Kate; Hartmann, Miriam; Ng'ombe, Thokozani; Guest, Greg
We examined the effect of a peer-delivered educational intervention, the Malawi Male Motivator intervention, on couples' contraceptive uptake. We based the intervention design on the information-motivation-behavioral skills (IMB) model. In 2008 we recruited 400 men from Malawi's Mangochi province who reported not using any method of contraception. We randomized them into an intervention arm and a control arm, and administered surveys on contraceptive use at baseline and after the intervention. We also conducted in-depth interviews with a subset of intervention participants. After the intervention, contraceptive use increased significantly within both arms (P communication within couples were the only significant predictors of uptake (P communication skills are essential mechanisms for successfully enabling men to help couples use a contraceptive.
Full Text Available This paper is an attempt to measure the economic efficiency of Dedza smallholder Irish potato (Solanum tuberosum farmers in Malawi using a translog cost frontier, inefficiency effect model and input Elasticities from Seeming Unrelated Regression Model for asystem of cost share equations for labour, fertilizer, seed and land. A sample of 200 farmers has been considered from Dedza district in Malawi. Results indicate that the mean economic efficiency of Irish potato production in Dedza District is 0.61 with scores ranging between 0.12 and 0.94. The economic efficiency differences are significantly explained by non-farm employment, education, credit access, farm experience, degree of specialization, household size and frequency of weeding. The highest input substitution existed between labour and fertilizer, followed by seedfertilizer.
Full Text Available This paper discusses tomato value chain performance in Malawi and Mozambique using data collected from a market study commissioned by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture as part of a regional research on conservation agriculture in maize-based farming systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. The results show that Malawi has a slightly higher competitive advantage in the production of tomato compared to Mozambique. Malawi’s relative competitiveness in tomato is mainly due to slightly higher productivity and the cost advantage in labor (low wages and irrigation costs. The paper proposes policy implications aimed at raising the productivity and trade competitiveness of tomato, as this will ensure the overall productivity of the maize-based smallholder farming systems in the two countries.
Wendland, Claire L
At an understaffed and underresourced urban African training hospital, Malawian medical students learn to be doctors while foreign medical students, visiting Malawi as clinical tourists on short-term electives, learn about “global health.” Scientific ideas circulate fast there; clinical tourists circulate readily from outside to Malawi but not the reverse; medical technologies circulate slowly, erratically, and sometimes not at all. Medicine's uneven globalization is on full display. I extend scholarship on moral imaginations and medical imaginaries to propose that students map these wards variously as places in which—or from which—they seek a better medicine. Clinical tourists, enacting their own moral maps, also become representatives of medicine “out there”: points on the maps of others. Ethnographic data show that for Malawians, clinical tourists are colleagues, foils against whom they construct ideas about a superior and distinctly Malawian medicine and visions of possible alternative futures for themselves.
Full Text Available The accommodation services sector is a vital underpinning of the competitiveness of destinations in especially emerging tourism regions of the global economy. Within the environment of Africa building the competitiveness of countries as tourism destinations is inseparable from the challenge of establishing a network of different forms of accommodation at competitive prices and internationally acceptable quality standards. This paper uses a longitudinal approach to analyse the development of the accommodation services sector in one African country - Malawi - which is scaling up its tourism industry. Using historical evidence the objective is to examine the unfolding evolution of accommodation services as a factor in enhancing tourism destination competitiveness. The chequered pathway followed in Malawi to building the country’s network of hotels and small-scale accommodation establishments is traced from the colonial period to post-independence developments. It is argued that in understanding the historical evolution of accommodation services policy re-orientations have been significant drivers of change.
Kamoto, K; Makombe, SD; Nkhata, A; Jahn, A; Moses, P; Schouten, EJ; Harries, AD
: HIV testing and antiretroviral therapy (ART) has scaled up tremendously in Malawi in the last 5 years. We analyzed trends of HIV testing uptake in the course of ART scale-up in 25 government and mission hospitals, which were selected because they do not receive support from non-governmental organizations. Data on numbers of clients HIV tested and on cumulative ART registrations were collected from annual country-wide situational analyses and from quarterly ART supervisory visits from 2002 t...
The assumption that poverty and gender inequality push women to exchange sex for material support is increasingly used to explain the continued spread of HIV throughout sub-Saharan Africa and consequently to inform policy. Based on one year of anthropological field research, this case study from rural Malawi comes to a different conclusion. While the findings confirm that the sexual and relationship choices of village women put them at increased risk of contracting HIV, the study shows that t...
Zimba, Evelyn; Kinney, Mary V; Kachale, Fannie; Waltensperger, Karen Z; Blencowe, Hannah; Colbourn, Tim; George, Joby; Mwansambo, Charles; Joshua, Martias; Chanza, Harriet; Nyasulu, Dorothy; Mlava, Grace; Gamache, Nathalie; Kazembe, Abigail; Lawn, Joy E
Malawi is one of two low-income sub-Saharan African countries on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG 4) for child survival despite high fertility and HIV and low health worker density. With neonatal deaths becoming an increasing proportion of under-five deaths, addressing newborn survival is critical for achieving MDG 4. We examine change for newborn survival in the decade 2000-10, analysing mortality and coverage indicators whilst considering other contextual factors. We assess national and donor funding, as well as policy and programme change for newborn survival using standard analyses and tools being applied as part of a multi-country analysis. Compared with the 1990s, progress towards MDG 4 and 5 accelerated considerably from 2000 to 2010. Malawi's neonatal mortality rate (NMR) reduced slower than annual reductions in mortality for children 1-59 months and maternal mortality (NMR reduced 3.5% annually). Yet, the NMR reduced at greater pace than the regional and global averages. A significant increase in facility births and other health system changes, including increased human resources, likely contributed to this decline. High level attention for maternal health and associated comprehensive policy change has provided a platform for a small group of technical and programme experts to link in high impact interventions for newborn survival. The initial entry point for newborn care in Malawi was mainly through facility initiatives, such as Kangaroo Mother Care. This transitioned to an integrated and comprehensive approach at community and facility level through the Community-Based Maternal and Newborn Care package, now being implemented in 17 of 28 districts. Addressing quality gaps, especially for care at birth in facilities, and including newborn interventions in child health programmes, will be critical to the future agenda of newborn survival in Malawi.
28 avr. 2016 ... Depuis 2001, le programme Écosystèmes et santé humaine du CRDI finance au Malawi des recherches centrées sur les liens entre la fertilité des sols, ... L'équipe examine la façon dont la recherche participative peut guider l'élaboration de stratégies d'adaptation aux changements climatiques, dans un ...
Nisbet Zoe; Cummings Maria; Rankin Jean; Atkinson John; MacPherson Gordon; Gulliver John; Dickinson Natalie; Hursthouse Andrew; Taylor Avril; Robertson Chris; Burghardt Wolfgang
Abstract Background Global food insecurity is associated with micronutrient deficiencies and it has been suggested that 4.5 billion people world-wide are affected by deficiencies in iron, vitamin A and iodine. Zinc has also been identified to be of increasing concern. The most vulnerable are young children and women of childbearing age. A pilot study has been carried out in Southern Malawi, to attempt to link the geochemical and agricultural basis of micronutrient supply through spatial varia...
Étant donné que la population du Malawi est composée à 85 % de petits exploitants agricoles, nous avons axé notre aide sur les systèmes d'exploitation agricole, nous concentrant d'abord sur l'amélioration des méthodes de production végétale et de transformation.
The author argues that conversion of over 1 million hectares of customary land to leasehold land tenure merely endowed the elite with excessive landholdings they did not fully utilise for tobacco production because it exceeded the requirement for production of the quota of tobacco output allocated to Malawi. However, as a result of population growth food demands exceeded the carrying capacity of household land whose quality also diminished resulting in steep decline in food productivity. The ...
van den Broek Nynke
Full Text Available Abstract Background There are two dimensions of quality of maternity care, namely quality of health outcomes and quality as perceived by clients. The feasibility of using clinical audit to assess and improve the quality of maternity care as perceived by women was studied in Malawi. Objective We sought to (a establish standards for women friendly care and (b explore attitudinal barriers which could impede the proper implementation of clinical audit. Methods We used evidence from Malawi national guidelines and World Health Organisation manuals to establish local standards for women friendly care in three districts. We equally conducted a survey of health care providers to explore their attitudes towards criterion based audit. Results The standards addressed different aspects of care given to women in maternity units, namely (i reception, (ii attitudes towards women, (iii respect for culture, (iv respect for women, (v waiting time, (vi enabling environment, (vii provision of information, (viii individualised care, (ix provision of skilled attendance at birth and emergency obstetric care, (x confidentiality, and (xi proper management of patient information. The health providers in Malawi generally held a favourable attitude towards clinical audit: 100.0% (54/54 agreed that criterion based audit will improve the quality of care and 92.6% believed that clinical audit is a good educational tool. However, there are concerns that criterion based audit would create a feeling of blame among providers (35.2%, and that manager would use clinical audit to identify and punish providers who fail to meet standards (27.8%. Conclusion Developing standards of maternity care that are acceptable to, and valued by, women requires consideration of both the research evidence and cultural values. Clinical audit is acceptable to health professionals in Malawi although there are concerns about its negative implications to the providers.
9 déc. 2010 ... Des chercheurs du Malawi et du Canada — spécialistes de l'agriculture, de la nutrition et des sciences sociales —ont collaboré avec le personnel de l'hôpital et des agriculteurs pour trouver les légumineuses les plus adéquates. Ce projet, que le CRDI appuie depuis 2001, a amélioré la nutrition, des ...
This study investigates the main determinants of real effective exchange rate in Malawi and South Africa. In our empirical analysis, we conducted unit root and cointegration test in order to determine the time series properties of the data and establish whether there is a long run relationship between real effective exchange rate and explanatory variables. Having ascertained that almost all variables are integrated of order one and cointegrated, an error correction model is formulated and est...
Full Text Available For more accurate estimation of the global burden of pregnancy associated disease, clarity is needed on definition and assessment of non-severe maternal morbidity. Our study aimed to define maternal morbidity with clear criteria for identification at primary care level and estimate the distribution of and evaluate associations between physical (infective and non-infective and psychological morbidities in two different low-income countries.Cross sectional study with assessment of morbidity in early pregnancy (34%, late pregnancy (35% and the postnatal period (31% among 3459 women from two rural communities in Pakistan (1727 and Malawi (1732. Trained health care providers at primary care level used semi-structured questionnaires documenting signs and symptoms, clinical examination and laboratory tests which were bundled to reflect infectious, non-infectious and psychological morbidity.One in 10 women in Malawi and 1 in 5 in Pakistan reported a previous pregnancy complication with 1 in 10 overall reporting a previous neonatal death or stillbirth. In the index pregnancy, 50.1% of women in Malawi and 53% in Pakistan were assessed to have at least one morbidity (infective or non-infective. Both infective (Pakistan and non-infective morbidity (Pakistan and Malawi was lower in the postnatal period than during pregnancy. Multiple morbidities were uncommon ( 9. Complications during a previous pregnancy, infective morbidity (p <0.001, intra or postpartum haemorrhage (p <0.02 were associated with psychological morbidity in both settings.Our findings highlight the need to strengthen the availability and quality of antenatal and postnatal care packages. We propose to adapt and improve the framework and criteria used in this study, ensuring a basic set of diagnostic tests is available, to ensure more robust assessment of non-severe maternal morbidity.
Wanga Z. Zembe-Mkabile
Full Text Available Background: Malawi has achieved a remarkable feat in reducing its under-5 mortality in time to meet its MDG 4 target despite high levels of poverty, low female literacy rates, recurrent economic crises, a severe shortage of human resources for health, and poor health infrastructure. The country's community-based delivery platform (largely headed by Health Surveillance Assistants, or HSAs has been well established since the 1960s, although their tasks and responsibilities have evolved from surveillance to health promotion and prevention, and more recently to include curative services. However, the role of and the form that community involvement takes in community-based service delivery in Malawi is unclear. Design: A qualitative rapid appraisal approach was utilised to explore the role of community involvement in the HSA programme in Malawi to better understand how the various community providers intersect to support the delivery of integrated community case management by HSAs. Twelve focus group discussions and 10 individual interviews were conducted with HSAs, HSA supervisors, mothers, members of village health committees (VHCs, senior Ministry of Health officials, district health teams, and implementing partners. Results: Our findings reveal that HSAs are often deployed to areas outside of their village of residence as communities are not involved in selecting their own HSAs in Malawi. Despite this lack of involvement in selection, the high acceptance of the HSAs by community members and community accountability structures such as VHCs provide the programme with legitimacy and credibility. Conclusions: This study provides insight into how community involvement plays out in the context of a government-managed professionalised community service delivery platform. It points to the need for further research to look at the impact of removing the role of HSA selection and deployment from the community and placing it at the central level.
Conscients de la corrélation entre la pauvreté, la vulnérabilité sociale et les inégalités entre les sexes, les chercheurs se demanderont dans quelle mesure la situation sociale, économique, culturelle et politique des femmes qui vivent en milieu rural au Malawi influe sur la participation, à la vie politique locale, des jeunes ...
Full Text Available Background: Nearly all newborn deaths occur in low- or middle-income countries. Many of these deaths could be prevented through promotion and provision of newborn care practices such as thermal care, early and exclusive breastfeeding, and hygienic cord care. Home visit programmes promoting these practices were piloted in Malawi, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Uganda. Objective: This study assessed changes in selected newborn care practices over time in pilot programme areas in four countries and evaluated whether women who received home visits during pregnancy were more likely to report use of three key practices. Design: Using data from cross-sectional surveys of women with live births at baseline and endline, the Pearson chi-squared test was used to assess changes over time. Generalised linear models were used to assess the relationship between the main independent variable – home visit from a community health worker (CHW during pregnancy (0, 1–2, 3+ – and use of selected practices while controlling for antenatal care, place of delivery, and maternal age and education. Results: There were statistically significant improvements in practices, except applying nothing to the cord in Malawi and early initiation of breastfeeding in Bangladesh. In Malawi, Nepal, and Bangladesh, women who were visited by a CHW three or more times during pregnancy were more likely to report use of selected practices. Women who delivered in a facility were also more likely to report use of selected practices in Malawi, Nepal, and Uganda; association with place of birth was not examined in Bangladesh because only women who delivered outside a facility were asked about these practices. Conclusion: Home visits can play a role in improving practices in different settings. Multiple interactions are needed, so programmes need to investigate the most appropriate and efficient ways to reach families and promote newborn care practices. Meanwhile, programmes must take advantage of
Maarten Klaveren; Kea Tijdens; Melanie Hughie Williams; Nuria Ramos Martin
*Management Summary* This report provides information on Malawi on behalf of the implementation of the DECISIONS FOR LIFE project in that country. The DECISIONS FOR LIFE project aims to raise awareness amongst young female workers about their employment opportunities and career possibilities, family building and the work-family balance. This report is part of the Inventories, to be made by the University of Amsterdam, for all 14 countries involved. It focuses on a gender analysis of work and ...
Rodas Moya, Carlos; Kodish, Stephen; Manary, Mark; Grede, Nils; Pee, de, Saskia
Objective: To elucidate the factors influencing food intake and preferences for potential nutritional supplements to treat mild and moderate malnutrition among adult people living with HIV (PLHIV). Design: Qualitative research using in-depth interviews with a triangulation of participants and an iterative approach to data collection. Setting: The study was conducted in a health clinic of rural Chilomoni, a southern town of Blantyre district, Malawi. Subjects: Male and female participants, age...
Emina, Jacques B O; Madise, Nyovani; Kuepie, Mathias; Zulu, Eliya M; Ye, Yazoume
To identify HIV-socioeconomic predictors as well as the most-at-risk groups of women in Malawi. A cross-sectional survey. Malawi The study used a sample of 6395 women aged 15-49 years from the 2010 Malawi Health and Demographic Surveys. Individual HIV status: positive or not. Findings from the Pearson χ(2) and χ(2) Automatic Interaction Detector analyses revealed that marital status is the most significant predictor of HIV. Women who are no longer in union and living in the highest wealth quintiles households constitute the most-at-risk group, whereas the less-at-risk group includes young women (15-24) never married or in union and living in rural areas. In the light of these findings, this study recommends: (1) that the design and implementation of targeted interventions should consider the magnitude of HIV prevalence and demographic size of most-at-risk groups. Preventive interventions should prioritise couples and never married people aged 25-49 years and living in rural areas because this group accounts for 49% of the study population and 40% of women living with HIV in Malawi; (2) with reference to treatment and care, higher priority must be given to promoting HIV test, monitoring and evaluation of equity in access to treatment among women in union disruption and never married or women in union aged 30-49 years and living in urban areas; (3) community health workers, households-based campaign, reproductive-health services and reproductive-health courses at school could be used as canons to achieve universal prevention strategy, testing, counselling and treatment.
Chunga, R; Jenkins, MW; Ensink, J; Brown, J
We carried out a stated preference survey in Malawi to examine whether access to microfinance for sanitation would significantly increase the proportion of households upgrading to improved pit latrines or alternative improved sanitation technologies (urine diverting dry toilet, fossa alterna, pour flush). We presented a range of sanitation options at local market prices, initially without and then with a real microfinance option, to 1,300 households sampled across 27 low-income urban settleme...
Muula, Adamson S; Thomas, James C; Pettifor, Audrey E; Strauss, Ronald P; Suchindran, Chirayath M; Meshnick, Steve R
Correct and consistent condom use within an HIV-discordant partnership could prevent sexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Data on ever-married women from rural Malawi were obtained from the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (MDICP) of 2006. We assessed the strength of association between religion and acceptability of condom use within marriage in general and also when one of the partners is suspected or known to be HIV infected. A total of 1,664 ever-married women participated in the MDICP 2006. Of these, 66.7% believed condom use was acceptable within marriage when one partner suspects or knows that the other was HIV infected; 38.2% believed condoms were acceptable within marriage generally. Only 13.8% reported ever having used condoms within the current or most recent marriage. Multivariate analysis found no difference in acceptability of condoms within marriage between Christians and Muslims, or between Catholics and all but one of the individual denominations assessed. Christian women in rural Malawi were no more or no less likely to accept condom use than Muslim women; there was also no difference in attitude toward condom use within marriage among Malawian women.
In Malawi, uranium mining and other potential radioactive waste generating activities are on the increase. An elaborate national policy document and strategy on radioactive waste management is however not available. A national policy is important because it provides overall direction and the basis for decision making with respect to the management of radioactive waste in a country. Thus the absence of the national policy creates a gap in the country’s regulatory framework for ensuring safety and protection of people and the environment from sources of ionizing radiation. The present study was undertaken to minimize the impact of this regulatory framework gap by proposing a predisposal radioactive waste management framework for Malawi. This was achieved by analyzing the current and anticipated applications of radioactive materials and activities. The international and national regulatory requirements related to predisposal radioactive waste management were also reviewed and analyzed. The study found out that a predisposal radioactive waste management frame work comprised of onsite management of wastes from hospitals and uranium mining and export of high activity disused sources to supplier or management facilities in nearby countries would be the best for Malawi for now and the next ten years. (au)
J. P. Grundling
Full Text Available Purpose of the study: The purpose this paper is to identify and describe the characteristics and influences of the cotton farming pipeline in Malawi and South Africa. Problem investigated: A broad based approach was followed to investigate the cotton farming pipeline to identify the major driving forces of the cotton pipeline in each of the respective countries. Research approach: A qualitative field research approach was followed to compile data on cotton farming in Malawi and South Africa. Data was compiled upstream from input suppliers, downstream from ginners, cotton transport conveyors, cotton marketing managers and agricultural government officials as well as from farmers and agricultural organizations. Findings: In Malawi a family farming model is followed versus an industrial model of production in South Africa. Despite the differences in approach, the farmers in both countries are faced with similar problems. In this regard, an urgent rethinking of the technological conditions of production and the possibilities of technological change is needed. Recommendations: The research proposes that these countries can benefit from establishing institutions like agricultural co-operatives and mechanisms like the development of a free traffic mechanism of seed-cotton. Conclusion: The present research may assist in developing first layer managerial recommendations that could enhance the sustainability and co-existence of cotton farming in the two countries.
Drury, Andrew; Gleadow-Ware, Selena; Gilfillan, Sheila; Ahrens, Jen
Little is published about mental disorders in Malawi, specifically in relation to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and it's treatment. Efavirenz is a medication commonly used as part of triple therapy for HIV treatment. Indeed, in 2013, Malawi introduced 5A with Efavirenz as part of it's 1st line treatment for HIV. There exists some literature documenting known psychiatric side effects of Efavirenz, which include anxiety, mood changes, nightmares, psychosis and suicidal ideation. Little is known about what features are most common in the presentation and what factors in the patient and drug which may make this reaction more likely. The aim of this commentary is to review the association between HIV and psychiatric disorder, and consider the neuropsychiatric side-effects of Efavirenz. An evaluative literature review was completed by means of multiple electronic database search as well as an additional manual search to obtain published works identified through the electronic search. Search terms used were: Efavirenz, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Africa, Antiretroviral Therapy, Developing Countries, Malawi, Mental Disorders, Public Health, and Psychiatry. This is an important area of study, as potentially large numbers of individuals with HIV are being placed on Efavirenz as first line treatment, yet 60% may experience some form of neuropsychiatric side effects.
Kaunda, Chiyembekezo S. [Department of Energy and Process Engineering – WaterPower Laboratory, Norway University of Science and Technology, Trondheim NO-7491 (Norway); Mtalo, Felix [Department of Water Resources Engineering, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35031, Dar es Salaam (Tanzania, United Republic of)
Hydropower is an important energy source in Malawi because it provides almost all of the country’s electricity generation capacity. This paper has reviewed the impacts of environmental degradation and climate change on hydropower generation in Malawi. Energy scenario and other issues that contribute towards the current state of environment have been discussed. All of Malawi’s hydropower stations are run-of-river schemes cascaded along the Shire River with an installed capacity of nearly 280 MW. The generation is impacted negatively by floods, siltation, droughts and aquatic weeds infestation. The way how these challenges are being exacerbated by the poor state of the environment, especially within the Shire River basin in particular is also discussed in the paper. Measures taken by the national electricity utility company on how to manage the impacts are discussed as well. The paper concludes that hydropower generation system in a highly environmental degraded area is difficult to manage both technically and economically. In the case of Malawi, diversifying to other energy sources of generating electricity is considered to be a viable option. Some mitigation measures concerning environment degradation and climate change challenges have been suggested in the paper.
Mlangeni, Angstone Noel J. Thembachako; Chiotha, Sosten Staphael
A study was conducted to investigate factors that affect students' poor performance in physical science examinations at Malawi School Certificate of Education and Junior Certificate of Education levels in Community day secondary schools (CDSS) in Lilongwe Rural West Education District in Malawi. Students' performance was collected from schools'…
Manda-Taylor, Lucinda; Mwale, Daniel; Phiri, Tamara; Walsh, Aisling; Matthews, Anne; Brugha, Ruairi; Mwapasa, Victor; Byrne, Elaine
For years, Malawi remained at the bottom of league tables on maternal, neonatal and child health. Although maternal mortality ratios have reduced and significant progress has been made in reducing neonatal morality, many challenges in achieving universal access to maternal, newborn and child health care still exist in Malawi. In Malawi, there is still minimal, though increasing, male involvement in ANC/PMTCT/MNCH services, but little understanding of why this is the case. The aim of this paper is to explore the role and involvement of men in MNCH services, as part of the broader understanding of those community system factors. This paper draws on the qualitative data collected in two districts in Malawi to explore the role and involvement of men across the MNCH continuum of care, with a focus on understanding the community systems barriers and enablers to male involvement. A total of 85 IDIs and 20 FGDs were conducted from August 2014 to January 2015. Semi-structure interview guides were used to guide the discussion and a thematic analysis approach was used for data analysis. Policy changes and community and health care provider initiatives stimulated men to get involved in the health of their female partners and children. The informal bylaws, the health care provider strategies and NGO initiatives created an enabling environment to support ANC and delivery service utilisation in Malawi. However, traditional gender roles in the home and the male 'unfriendly' health facility environments still present challenges to male involvement. Traditional notions of men as decision makers and socio-cultural views on maternal health present challenges to male involvement in MNCH programs. Health care provider initiatives need to be sensitive and mindful of gender roles and relations by, for example, creating gender inclusive programs and spaces that aim at reducing perceptions of barriers to male involvement in MNCH services so that programs and spaces that are aimed at
Galford, G. L.; Fiske, G. J.; Sedano, F.; Michelson, H.
Agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by smallholder production and low yields ( 1 ton ha-1 year-1 since records began in 1961) for staple food crops such as maize (Zea mays). Many years of low-input farming have depleted much of the region's agricultural land of critical soil carbon and nitrogen, further reducing yield potentials. Malawi is a 98,000 km2 subtropical nation with a short rainy season from November to May, with most rainfall occurring between December and mid-April. This short growing season supports the cultivation of one primary crop, maize. In Malawi, many smallholder farmers face annual nutrient deficits as nutrients removed as grain harvest and residues are beyond replenishment levels. As a result, Malawi has had stagnant maize yields averaging 1.2 ton ha-1 year-1 for decades. After multiple years of drought and widespread hunger in the early 2000s, Malawi introduced an agricultural input support program (fertilizer and seed subsidy) in time for the 2006 harvest that was designed to restore soil nutrients, improve maize production, and decrease dependence on food aid. Malawi's subsidy program targets 50-67% of smallholder farmers who cultivate half a hectare or less, yet collectively supply 80% of the country's maize. The country has achieved significant increases in crop yields (now 2 tons/ha/year) and, as our analysis shows, benefited from a new resilience against drought. We utilized Landsat time series to determine cropland extent from 2000-present and identify areas of marginal and/or intermittent production. We found a strong latitudinal gradient of precipitation variability from north to south in CHIRPS data. We used the precipitation variability to normalize trends in a productivity proxy derived from MODIS EVI. After normalization of productivity to precipitation variability, we found significant productivity trends correlated to subsidy distribution. This work was conducted with Google's Earth Engine, a cloud-based platform
Anthony D. Harries
Full Text Available Abstract The scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART in Malawi was based on a public health approach adapted to its resource-poor setting, with principles and practices borrowed from the successful tuberculosis control framework. From 2004 to 2015, the number of new patients started on ART increased from about 3000 to over 820,000. Despite being a small country, Malawi has made a significant contribution to the 15 million people globally on ART and has also contributed policy and service delivery innovations that have supported international guidelines and scale up in other countries. The first set of global guidelines for scaling up ART released by the World Health Organization (WHO in 2002 focused on providing clinical guidance. In Malawi, the ART guidelines adopted from the outset a more operational and programmatic approach with recommendations on health systems and services that were needed to deliver HIV treatment to affected populations. Seven years after the start of national scale-up, Malawi launched a new strategy offering all HIV-infected pregnant women lifelong ART regardless of the CD4-cell count, named Option B+. This strategy was subsequently incorporated into a WHO programmatic guide in 2012 and WHO ART guidelines in 2013, and has since then been adopted by the majority of countries worldwide. In conclusion, the Malawi experience of ART scale-up has become a blueprint for a public health response to HIV and has informed international efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Otañez, M G; Muggli, M E; Hurt, R D; Glantz, S A
To examine British American Tobacco and other tobacco industry support of the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation. Analyses of internal tobacco industry documents and ethnographic data. British American Tobacco co-founded the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation (ECLT) in October 2000 and launched its pilot project in Malawi. ECLT's initial projects were budgeted at US2.3 million dollars over four years. Labour unions and leaf dealers, through ECLT funds, have undertook modest efforts such as building schools, planting trees, and constructing shallow wells to address the use of child labour in tobacco farming. In stark contrast, the tobacco companies receive nearly US40 million dollars over four years in economic benefit through the use of unpaid child labour in Malawi during the same time. BAT's efforts to combat child labour in Malawi through ECLT was developed to support the company's "corporate social responsibility agenda" rather than accepting responsibility for taking meaningful steps to eradicate child labour in the Malawi tobacco sector. In Malawi, transnational tobacco companies are using child labour projects to enhance corporate reputations and distract public attention from how they profit from low wages and cheap tobacco.
Harries, Anthony D; Ford, Nathan; Jahn, Andreas; Schouten, Erik J; Libamba, Edwin; Chimbwandira, Frank; Maher, Dermot
The scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Malawi was based on a public health approach adapted to its resource-poor setting, with principles and practices borrowed from the successful tuberculosis control framework. From 2004 to 2015, the number of new patients started on ART increased from about 3000 to over 820,000. Despite being a small country, Malawi has made a significant contribution to the 15 million people globally on ART and has also contributed policy and service delivery innovations that have supported international guidelines and scale up in other countries. The first set of global guidelines for scaling up ART released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2002 focused on providing clinical guidance. In Malawi, the ART guidelines adopted from the outset a more operational and programmatic approach with recommendations on health systems and services that were needed to deliver HIV treatment to affected populations. Seven years after the start of national scale-up, Malawi launched a new strategy offering all HIV-infected pregnant women lifelong ART regardless of the CD4-cell count, named Option B+. This strategy was subsequently incorporated into a WHO programmatic guide in 2012 and WHO ART guidelines in 2013, and has since then been adopted by the majority of countries worldwide. In conclusion, the Malawi experience of ART scale-up has become a blueprint for a public health response to HIV and has informed international efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Nakagomi, Toyoko; Nakagomi, Osamu; Dove, Winifred; Doan, Yen Hai; Witte, Desiree; Ngwira, Bagrey; Todd, Stacy; Steele, A Duncan; Neuzil, Kathleen M; Cunliffe, Nigel A
The human, G1P rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix) significantly reduced severe rotavirus gastroenteritis episodes in a clinical trial in South Africa and Malawi, but vaccine efficacy was lower in Malawi (49.5%) than reported in South Africa (76.9%) and elsewhere. The aim of this study was to examine the molecular relationships of circulating wild-type rotaviruses detected during the clinical trial in Malawi to RIX4414 (the strain contained in Rotarix) and to common human rotavirus strains. Of 88 rotavirus-positive, diarrhoeal stool specimens, 43 rotaviruses exhibited identifiable RNA migration patterns when examined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The genes encoding VP7, VP4, VP6 and NSP4 of 5 representative strains possessing genotypes G12P, G1P, G9P, and G8P were sequenced. While their VP7 (G) and VP4 (P) genotype designations were confirmed, the VP6 (I) and NSP4 (E) genotypes were either I1E1 or I2E2, indicating that they were of human rotavirus origin. RNA-RNA hybridization using 21 culture-adapted strains showed that Malawian rotaviruses had a genomic RNA constellation common to either the Wa-like or DS-1 like human rotaviruses. Overall, the Malawi strains appear similar in their genetic make-up to rotaviruses described in countries where vaccine efficacy is greater, suggesting that the lower efficacy in Malawi is unlikely to be explained by the diversity of circulating strains. PMID:22520123
Makoka, Donald; Masibo, Peninah Kinya
Maternal education is strongly associated with young child nutrition outcomes. However, the threshold of the level of maternal education that reduces the level of undernutrition in children is not well established. This paper investigates the level of threshold of maternal education that influences child nutrition outcomes using Demographic and Health Survey data from Malawi (2010), Tanzania (2009-10) and Zimbabwe (2005-06). The total number of children (weighted sample) was 4,563 in Malawi; 4,821 children in Tanzania; and 3,473 children in Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Surveys. Using three measures of child nutritional status: stunting, wasting and underweight, we employ a survey logistic regression to analyse the influence of various levels of maternal education on child nutrition outcomes. In Malawi, 45% of the children were stunted, 42% in Tanzania and 33% in Zimbabwe. There were 12% children underweight in Malawi and Zimbabwe and 16% in Tanzania.The level of wasting was 6% of children in Malawi, 5% in Tanzania and 4% in Zimbabwe. Stunting was significantly (p values educational level in all the three countries. Higher levels of maternal education reduced the odds of child stunting, underweight and wasting in the three countries. The maternal threshold for stunting is more than ten years of schooling. Wasting and underweight have lower threshold levels. These results imply that the free primary education in the three African countries may not be sufficient and policies to keep girls in school beyond primary school hold more promise of addressing child undernutrition.
Chasukwa Mwalwenje, Yvonne; Chasukwa, Steria
Malawi is popularly known as the Warm Heart of Africa. Malawi has a total land area of 45,747 sq. miles. Of the total area, 80 % is covered by fresh water from Lake Malawi and other rivers. The country boasts that it holds large amounts of fresh water and has the third largest lake in Africa. Ironically, the number of households with reliable water access is low (Water Aid, 2014, UNDP, Human Development Report 2008). Regardless of signs of economic development, water security still remains a challenge in the Warm Heart of Africa. The problem with access to water prompted the Government of Malawi to introduce a National Water Policy in 1994 with the vision of 'Water and Sanitation for All'. Since then, other water access interventions have impacted on the ability to manage water sustainably. Over the past few years, more inclusive and diversified interventions have been put in place to reverse the situation. For instance, the government of Malawi has taken action to increase the number of water tanks in schools (UNICEF 2005). Several stakeholders' support the government in their role provides policy direction and coordinate management of the water sector. The outlined National Water and Sanitation Policy strategies includes promoting water conservation and catchment protection; incorporating local governments and communities in planning, development and management of water supplies and sanitation services; rehabilitating the existing infrastructure; creating an enabling environment for public-private partnerships in water supply and sanitation activities; undertaking rehabilitation and reduction of unaccounted-for-water of existing urban, peri-urban, as a priority; promoting economic incentives and opportunities to encourage the participation of small-scale water and sanitation service providers; and promoting water recycling and re-use. Despite of all these interventions, Malawi still continues to face significant challenges with issues of access and quality of
Wilson, Lynda Law; Somerall, D'Ann; Theus, Lisa; Rankin, Sally; Ngoma, Catherine; Chimwaza, Angela
This article describes participant outcomes of an interprofessional collaboration between health professionals and faculty in Malawi, Zambia, and the United States (US). One strategy critical for improving global health and addressing Millennium Development goals is promotion of interprofessional education and collaboration. Program participants included 25 health professionals from Malawi and Zambia, and 19 faculty/health professionals from Alabama and California. African Fellows participated in a 2 week workshop on Interprofessional Education in Alabama followed by 2 weeks working on individual goals with faculty collaborators/mentors. The US Fellows also spent 2 weeks visiting their counterparts in Malawi and Zambia to develop plans for sustainable partnerships. Program evaluations demonstrated participants' satisfaction with the program and indicated that the program promoted interprofessional and cross-cultural understanding; fostered development of long-term sustainable partnerships between health professionals and educators in Zambia and the US; and created increased awareness and use of resources for global health education. © 2014.
Memory J. Tembo
Full Text Available This critical reflection is based on my encounter with a disabled woman in a district in Malawi, and how I have reflected and analyzed the encounter using social work theories. The essay reflects on the story of the disabled woman and my own perception at that time, in addition to my analysis of these perceptions using different perspectives in social work based on my current understanding of these perspectives. In line with Fook’s (2002; 68 critical reflection techniques, social work theories will be applied to deconstruct and reconstruct the critical incident. The essay highlights the challenges and dilemmas I encountered in attempting to make meaning out of this encounter, which left me helpless and powerless, as I could not offer her any sustainable help at the time.
Malawi has for a long time relied on agriculture for the generation of foreign exchange. Due to varied reasons like climate change, the Malawi government has, therefore, identified tourism as one way of boosting foreign exchange earnings and is already in the process of developing the sector especially in the area of ecotourism. However, tourism is associated with increasing prostitution, drug abuse and a whole range of other sexual and reproductive health (SRH) problems such as teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This paper examines the knowledge, attitudes, practices and behaviour as well as risk perceptions associated with HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies among staff in the tourism industry and communities around tourist facilities in Malawi. The study was descriptive in nature and used both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The qualitative methods involved in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The quantitative technique employed a survey of 205 purposively selected subjects from the tourism sector. The study concludes that people in the tourism sector are at high risk of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies and should be considered as a vulnerable group. The study further observes that this group of people has not adopted behaviours that can protect them from HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies although there is high demand for voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) which offers a very good entry point for HIV prevention and treatment in the tourism sector. The study recommends that a comprehensive tourism policy covering tourists, employees and communities around tourist facilities is required. Such a policy should address the rights of HIV infected employees and the provision of prevention and treatment services for HIV/AIDS and STIs as well as a broad range of SRH and family planning services especially
Schulze Schwering, M; Kumar, N; Bohrmann, D; Msukwa, G; Kalua, K; Kayange, P; Spitzer, M S
This study focuses on the refractive implications of albinism in Malawi, which is mostly associated with the burden of visual impairment. The main goal was to describe the refractive errors and to analyze whether patients with albinism in Malawi, Sub-Saharan Africa, benefit from refraction. Age, sex, refractive data, uncorrected and best-corrected visual acuity (UCVA, BCVA), colour vision, contrast sensitivity, and the prescription of sunglasses and low vision devices were collected for a group of 120 albino individuals with oculocutaneous albinism (OCA). Refractive errors were evaluated objectively and subjectively by retinoscopy, and followed by cycloplegic refraction to reconfirm the results. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was also assessed binocularly. One hundred and twenty albino subjects were examined, ranging in age from 4 to 25 years (median 12 years), 71 (59 %) boys and 49 (41 %) girls. All exhibited horizontal pendular nystagmus. Mean visual acuity improved from 0.98 (0.33) logMAR to 0.77 (0.15) logMAR after refraction (p < 0.001). The best improvement of VA was achieved in patients with mild to moderate myopia. Patients with albinism who were hyperopic more than +1.5 D hardly improved from refraction. With the rule (WTR) astigmatism was more present (37.5 %) than against the rule (ATR) astigmatism (3.8 %). Patients with astigmatism less than 1.5 D improved in 15/32 of cases (47 %) by 2 lines or more. Patients with astigmatism equal to or more than 1.5 D in any axis improved in 26/54 of cases (48 %) by 2 lines or more. Refraction improves visual acuity of children with oculocutaneous albinism in a Sub-Saharan African population in Malawi. The mean improvement was 2 logMAR units.
Kohler, Iliana V; Kohler, Hans-Peter; Anglewicz, Philip; Behrman, Jere R
Intergenerational transfer patterns in sub-Saharan Africa are poorly understood, despite the alleged importance of support networks to ameliorate the complex implications of the HIV/AIDS epidemic for families. There is a considerable need for research on intergenerational support networks and transfers to better understand the mechanisms through which extended families cope with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and potentially alleviate some of its consequences in sub-Saharan Africa, and to comprehend how transfers respond-or not-to perceptions about own and other family members' health. Using the 2008 round of the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH), we estimate the age patterns and the multiple directions of financial and non-financial transfer flows in rural Malawi-from prime-aged respondents to their elderly parents and adult children age 15 and up. We also estimate the social, demographic and economic correlates of financial and non-financial transfers of financial intergenerational transfers in this context. Our findings are that: (1) intergenerational financial and non-financial transfers are widespread and a key characteristic of family relationships in rural Malawi; (2) downward and upward transfers are importantly constrained and determined by the availability of transfer partners (parents or adult children); (3) financial net transfers are strongly age-patterned and the middle generations are net-providers of transfers; (4) non-financial transfers are based on mutual assistance rather than reallocation of resources; and (5) intergenerational transfers are generally not related to health status, including HIV positive status.
Holm, R.; Felsot, A.
Throughout Malawi, governmental, non-governmental, religious and civic organizations are targeting the human need for water. Diarrheal diseases, often associated with unsafe drinking water, are a leading cause of mortality in children under five in Malawi with over 6,000 deaths per year (World Health Organization, 2010). From January to March 2012, a field study was undertaken in Malawi to study water quality and develop a public health risk communication strategy. The region studied, Area 1B, represents a comparatively new peri-urban area on the edge of Mzuzu city. Area 1B is serviced by a piped municipal water supply, but many shallow dug wells are also used for household water. Groundwater samples were collected from 30 shallow dug well sites and analyzed for nitrate, total coliform, Escherichia coli, total hardness, total alkalinity and pH. In addition to water quality analyses, a structured household questionnaire was administered to address water use, sanitation, health, consumption patterns, and socioeconomics. Results showed that more than half of the groundwater samples would be considered of unacceptable quality based on World Health Organization (WHO) standards for E. coli contamination. Low levels of nitrate were found in groundwater, but only one well exceeded WHO standards. The structured questionnaire revealed that some residents were still consuming groundwater despite the access to safer municipal water. In general, the widespread E. coli contamination was not statistically correlated with well depth, latrine proximity, or surface features. Similarly, nitrate concentrations were not significantly correlated with proximity to latrines. On the other hand, nitrate was correlated with well depth, which is expected given the high potential for leaching of anionic highly water soluble compounds. E. coli was significantly correlated with nitrate concentration. Projects targeting the need for clean water need to recognize that households with access to a
Reed, C. A.; Gao, S. S.; Liu, K. H.; Yu, Y.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Massinque, B.; Mdala, H. S.; Mutamina, D. M.
In order to evaluate the influence of crustal and mantle heterogeneities upon the initiation of the Malawi rift zone (MRZ) and reactivation of the Zambian Luangwa rift zone (LRZ) subject to Cenozoic plate boundary stress fields and mantle buoyancy forces, we installed and operated 33 Seismic Arrays For African Rift Initiation (SAFARI) three-component broadband seismic stations in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia from 2012 to 2014. During the twenty-four month acquisition period, nearly 6200 radial receiver functions (RFs) were recorded. Stations situated within the MRZ, either along the coastal plains or within the Shire Graben toward the south, report an average crustal thickness of 42 km relative to approximately 46 km observed at stations located along the rift flanks. This implies the juvenile MRZ is characterized by a stretching factor not exceeding 1.1. Meanwhile, P-to-S velocity ratios within the MRZ increase from 1.71 to 1.82 in southernmost Malawi, indicating a substantial modification of the crust during Recent rifting. Time-series stacking of approximately 5500 RFs recorded by the SAFARI and 44 neighboring network stations reveals an apparent uplift of 10 to 15 km along both the 410- and 660-km mantle transition zone (MTZ) discontinuities beneath the MRZ and LRZ which, coupled with an apparently normal 250-km MTZ thickness, implies a first-order high-velocity contribution from thickened lithosphere. Preliminary manual checking of SAFARI shear-wave splitting (SWS) measurements provides roughly 650 high-quality XKS phases following a component re-orientation to correct station misalignments. Regional azimuthal variations in SWS fast orientations are observed, from rift-parallel in the vicinity of the LRZ to rift-oblique in the MRZ. A major 60° rotation in the fast orientation occurs at approximately 31°E, possibly resulting from the modulation of mantle flow around a relatively thick lithospheric keel situated between the two rift zones.
Stanly Fon Tebug
Full Text Available Background: Many diseases are known to be naturally transmissible between vertebrate animals, including cattle and humans. Currently, much effort is being made to promote dairy farming in Malawi but there is limited information about zoonotic diseases including public awareness and practices. This study was designed to determine factors associated with dairy producer's awareness and practices with regard to zoonoses in Northern Region of Malawi. Materials and Methods: A structured questionnaire was used to collect information from 140 randomly selected dairy producers between January and June 2011. Level of awareness and practices with respect to zoonotic infections was evaluated using a score ranging from 0 to 11. Chi-squared test followed by a multivariable logistic model were used to assess potential factors associated farmer's awareness and practices. Results: Awareness and practice level was unsatisfactory. Significantly higher number of respondents (75.7 vs. 32.9%,x2 = 51.81, df =1, p< 0.001 had satisfactory level of awareness when compared to those who practiced preventive measures. Awareness of the existence of zoonotic infections and practices was higher in farmers who acquired animals through loan (p =0.008, farmers with above primary education (p = 0.002 and farmers with more than six years of dairy farming experience (p= 0.010. Most farmers (59.3% received information about zoonoses through Agricultural extension services. Conclusion: Awareness and practices with respect to zoonotic infections was dependent on farmer's formal educational level, dairy farming experience and means of acquiring parent stock. Regular disease surveillance and promotion of education on the risk associated with zoonotic infections through dairy extension and medical services should result in increased awareness and efficient control of zoonoses in Malawi. [Vet World 2013; 6(5.000: 249-253
Kathryn Elizabeth Lancaster
Full Text Available The HIV care continuum among female sex workers (FSW, a key population, has not been well characterized, especially within the generalized epidemics of sub-Saharan Africa. This was the first study to characterize the HIV care continuum among FSW in Lilongwe, Malawi.From July through September 2014, we used venue-based sampling to enroll 200 adult FSW in Lilongwe, Malawi into a cross-sectional evaluation assessing HIV care continuum outcomes. Seropositive FSW, identified using HIV rapid testing, received rapid CD4 counts in addition to viral loads using dried blood spots. We calculated proportions of HIV-infected FSW who had history of care, were on ART, and had suppressed viral load and we used Poisson regression to estimate the associations of demographic characteristics and transmission risk behaviors with each outcome.HIV seroprevalence was 69% (n = 138. Among all FSW the median age was 24 years (IQR: 22-28. Among the 20% who were newly diagnosed and reported previously testing negative, the median time since last HIV test was 11 months (interquartile range: 3-17. The majority (69% of HIV-infected FSW had a history of HIV care, 52% reported current ART use, and 45% were virally suppressed. Of the FSW who reported current ART use, 86% were virally suppressed. Transmission risk behaviors were not associated with continuum outcomes.FSW in Lilongwe were predominately young and have a high HIV prevalence. Only half of HIV-infected FSW reported current ART use, but the majority of those on ART were virally suppressed. To reduce ongoing transmission and improve health outcomes, increased HIV testing, care engagement, and ART coverage is urgently needed among FSW. Universal testing and treatment strategies for all FSW in Malawi must be strongly considered.
McBain, Ryan K; Petersen, Elizabeth; Tophof, Nora; Dunbar, Elizabeth L; Kalanga, Noel; Nazimera, Lawrence; Mganga, Andrew; Dullie, Luckson; Mukherjee, Joia; Wroe, Emily B
We performed an impact and cost-effectiveness analysis of a novel HIV service delivery model in a high prevalence, remote district of Malawi with a population of 143 800 people. A population-based retrospective analysis of 1-year survival rates among newly enrolled HIV-positive patients at 682 health facilities throughout Malawi, comparing facilities implementing the service delivery model (n = 13) and those implementing care-as-usual (n = 669). Through district-level health surveillance data, we evaluated 1-year survival rates among HIV patients newly enrolled between July 2013 and June 2014 - representing 129 938 patients in care across 682 health facilities - using a multilevel modeling framework. The model, focused on social determinants of health, was implemented throughout Neno District at 13 facilities and compared with facilities in all other districts. Activity-based costing was used to annualize financial and economic costs from a societal perspective. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were expressed as quality-adjusted life-years gained. The national average 1-year survival rate for newly enrolled antiretroviral therapy clients was 78.9%: this rate was 87.9% in Neno District, compared with 78.8% across all other districts in Malawi (P cost of receiving care in Neno district (n = 6541 patients) was $317/patient/year, compared with an estimated $219/patient in other districts. This translated to $906 per quality-adjusted life-year gained. Neno District's comprehensive model of care, featuring a strong focus on the community, is $98 more expensive per capita per annum but demonstrates superior 1-year survival rates, despite its remote location. Moreover, it should be considered cost-effective by traditional international standards.
Landis-Lewis, Zach; Manjomo, Ronald; Gadabu, Oliver J; Kam, Matthew; Simwaka, Bertha N; Zickmund, Susan L; Chimbwandira, Frank; Douglas, Gerald P; Jacobson, Rebecca S
Sub-optimal performance of healthcare providers in low-income countries is a critical and persistent global problem. The use of electronic health information technology (eHealth) in these settings is creating large-scale opportunities to automate performance measurement and provision of feedback to individual healthcare providers, to support clinical learning and behavior change. An electronic medical record system (EMR) deployed in 66 antiretroviral therapy clinics in Malawi collects data that supervisors use to provide quarterly, clinic-level performance feedback. Understanding barriers to provision of eHealth-based performance feedback for individual healthcare providers in this setting could present a relatively low-cost opportunity to significantly improve the quality of care. The aims of this study were to identify and describe barriers to using EMR data for individualized audit and feedback for healthcare providers in Malawi and to consider how to design technology to overcome these barriers. We conducted a qualitative study using interviews, observations, and informant feedback in eight public hospitals in Malawi where an EMR system is used. We interviewed 32 healthcare providers and conducted seven hours of observation of system use. We identified four key barriers to the use of EMR data for clinical performance feedback: provider rotations, disruptions to care processes, user acceptance of eHealth, and performance indicator lifespan. Each of these factors varied across sites and affected the quality of EMR data that could be used for the purpose of generating performance feedback for individual healthcare providers. Using routinely collected eHealth data to generate individualized performance feedback shows potential at large-scale for improving clinical performance in low-resource settings. However, technology used for this purpose must accommodate ongoing changes in barriers to eHealth data use. Understanding the clinical setting as a complex adaptive
Fogarty, Linda; Kim, Young Mi; Juon, Hee-Soon; Tappis, Hannah; Noh, Jin Won; Zainullah, Partamin; Rozario, Aleisha
This study describes job satisfaction and intention to stay on the job among primary health-care providers in countries with distinctly different human resources crises, Afghanistan and Malawi. Using a cross-sectional design, we enrolled 87 health-care providers in 32 primary health-care facilities in Afghanistan and 360 providers in 10 regional hospitals in Malawi. The study questionnaire was used to assess job satisfaction, intention to stay on the job and five features of the workplace environment: resources, performance recognition, financial compensation, training opportunities and safety. Descriptive analyses, exploratory factor analyses for scale development, bivariate correlation analyses and bivariate and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted. The multivariate model for Afghanistan, with demographic, background and work environment variables, explained 23.9% of variance in job satisfaction (F(9,73) = 5.08; P job satisfaction. The multivariate model for intention to stay for Afghanistan explained 23.6% of variance (F(8,74) = 4.10; P job satisfaction (F(8,332) = 4.19; P job are highly dependent on the local context. Although health-care workers in both Afghanistan and Malawi reported satisfaction with their jobs, the predictors of satisfaction, and the extent to which those predictors explained variations in job satisfaction and intention to stay on the job, differed substantially. These findings demonstrate the need for more detailed comparative human resources for health-care research, particularly regarding the relative importance of different determinants of job satisfaction and intention to stay in different contexts and the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve health-care worker performance and retention.
Johns, Benjamin; Munthali, Spy; Walker, Damian G; Masanjala, Winford; Bishai, David
Recent analyses show that donor funding for child health is increasing, but little information is available on actual costs to deliver child health care services. Understanding how unit costs scale with service volume in Malawi can help planners allocate budgets as health services expand. Data on facility level inputs and outputs were collected at 24 health centres in four districts of Malawi visiting a random sample of government and a convenience sample of Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) health centres. In the cost function, total outputs, quality, facility ownership, average salaries and case mix are used to predict total cost. Regression analysis identifies marginal cost as the coefficient relating cost to service volume intensity. The marginal cost per patient seen for all health centres surveyed was US$ 0.82 per additional patient visit. Average cost was US$ 7.16 (95% CI: 5.24 to 9.08) at government facilities and US$ 10.36 (95% CI: 4.92 to 15.80) at CHAM facilities per child seen for any service. The first-line anti-malarial drug accounted for over 30% of costs, on average, at government health centres. Donors directly financed 40% and 21% of costs at government and CHAM health centres, respectively. The regression models indicate higher total costs are associated with a greater number of outpatient visits but that many health centres are not providing services at optimal volume given their inputs. They also indicate that CHAM facilities have higher costs than government facilities for similar levels of utilization. We conclude by discussing ways in which efficiency may be improved at health centres. The first option, increasing the total number of patients seen, appears difficult given existing high levels of child utilization; increasing the volume of adult patients may help spread fixed and semi-fixed costs. A second option, improving the quality of services, also presents difficulties but could also usefully improve performance.
Full Text Available Invasive Non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS are an important cause of bacteraemia in children and HIV-infected adults in sub-Saharan Africa. Previous research has shown that iNTS strains exhibit a pattern of gene loss that resembles that of host adapted serovars such as Salmonella Typhi and Paratyphi A. Salmonella enterica serovar Bovismorbificans was a common serovar in Malawi between 1997 and 2004.We sequenced the genomes of 14 Malawian bacteraemia and four veterinary isolates from the UK, to identify genomic variations and signs of host adaptation in the Malawian strains.Whole genome phylogeny of invasive and veterinary S. Bovismorbificans isolates showed that the isolates are highly related, belonging to the most common international S. Bovismorbificans Sequence Type, ST142, in contrast to the findings for S. Typhimurium, where a distinct Sequence Type, ST313, is associated with invasive disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Although genome degradation through pseudogene formation was observed in ST142 isolates, there were no clear overlaps with the patterns of gene loss seen in iNTS ST313 isolates previously described from Malawi, and no clear distinction between S. Bovismorbificans isolates from Malawi and the UK. The only defining differences between S. Bovismorbificans bacteraemia and veterinary isolates were prophage-related regions and the carriage of a S. Bovismorbificans virulence plasmid (pVIRBov.iNTS S. Bovismorbificans isolates, unlike iNTS S. Typhiumrium isolates, are only distinguished from those circulating elsewhere by differences in the mobile genome. It is likely that these strains have entered a susceptible population and are able to take advantage of this niche. There are tentative signs of convergent evolution to a more human adapted iNTS variant. Considering its importance in causing disease in this region, S. Bovismorbificans may be at the beginning of this process, providing a reference against which to compare changes that may
Full Text Available Off-grid solar photovoltaic systems in Malawi are deployed increasingly as the primary option for rural public infrastructure such as primary schools and health centres. Overall, grid-connected electricity access has remained stagnant at around 9% with only 1% of rural population connected. To improve the technical sustainability of such systems, a novel remote monitoring technology utilising Wireless Sensor Networks was installed and the systems were monitored over roughly one year. This paper has described the technical design, performance, and benefits received from deployment of the technology. Furthermore, it has evaluated the cost implications for a larger scale rollout and potential benefits.
Munthali, Alister C; Mvula, Peter M; Silo, Lois
Somatic changes including growth and development of the brain of a human being occur very early in life. Programmes that enhance early childhood development (ECD) therefore should be part of the national agenda. Cognizant of this fact, the Malawi Government together with development partners facilitated the establishment of community-based child care centres (CBCCs) which are owned and managed by community members. This study was aimed at understanding how CBCCs operated and their core functions. Using information from databases kept by the District Social Welfare Officers from all the 28 districts in Malawi, coupled with snowballing, all functioning CBCCs were enumerated. A questionnaire was administered to the head of the CBCC or a care giver. Highly trained Research Assistants also carried our observations of the structures around the centres and the activities that actually happened. Data was analysed using a Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Communities provide structures, support for care givers, food, utensils, labour and play materials for the children in CBCCs. The first ECD centre was established in 1966 but the real surge in establishing these happened towards the end of the 1990s and by 2007 there were 5,665 CBCCs in Malawi caring for 407,468 children aged between 3 and 5 years. CBCCs were established to provide pre-primary school learning, and in some cases provide special care to orphans and other vulnerable. Despite the fact that most CBCC premises and structures fell short of the standards laid down by the CBCC profile, the activities and services provided were mostly to the book. Children were provided with nutritious foods and subjected to play that stimulated their cognitive and mental development. Despite the fact that some members of the community do not realize the value of the CBCCs, the existence of these institutions is an opportunity for the community to take care of their children communally, a task that has become imperative as a
Frye, Margaret Taylor
Access to formal education has expanded across sub-Saharan Africa over the past 20 years, as a result of a global policy commitment to provide "Education for All." In Malawi, an ambitious 1994 policy eliminated primary school fees, causing primary school enrollment to increase by over 60 percent in a single year. Yet these new opportunities to attend primary school have not been paired with similar expansions at higher levels, and in 2010, less than one percent of Malawian youth who entered s...
Bultemeier, Kaye I
Nursing in Malawi has been predominately a technical trade and only recently has begun the transition to a profession with autonomy and advanced degree preparation. Nursing theories provide a framework for the evolution of nursing to an independent profession. Theories provide a means for the articulation of the nursing role to other members of the healthcare team including consumers. Healthcare and human needs are basic and the guidance provided by nursing theories, including Nightingale's, gives language and structure to the education of nurses as the profession moves into advanced practice in a developing country.
Moses Majid Limuwa
Full Text Available Global environmental changes have negatively affected many food systems while the demand for food has continued to rise. An urgent need exists to identify other sustainable means of producing food. This is a case in Malawi, where capture fisheries and agriculture are not supplying sufficient food. Fish farming food systems by communities who rely on inland fisheries have not been evaluated. Therefore, a study was conducted in two phases: January 2016 to May 2016 and in July 2017 to evaluate if fish farming could sustainably support livelihoods of Lake Malawi riparian communities. We used mixed methods to collect and analyze data. The data collection methods included explorative surveys, household survey interviews, focus group discussion and key informant interviews. Qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis for themes. This identified themes that were quantitatively analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. We observed that fish farming was dominated by men and also not the main occupation for the respondents despite owning fishponds. The respondents have water and land, which are prerequisite for any farming. The study also observed fish farming production challenges related to quality fingerlings, formulated diets, and extension services. Cases of food insecurity amongst the respondents were also prevalent due to lack of food to cover the entire year. Weak synergies existed between fish farming and agriculture restricting bio-resource flow and water usage between these two food systems, meaning the outcomes of the food systems provide unsustainable diets. Furthermore, water availability, money spent on food, and cassava cropping increased fish farming participation. Whereas operating a bicycle taxi, casual labor, former fish farming, as well as application of agricultural wastes negatively affected fish farming. On the other hand, extreme weather events (increased incidences of droughts and floods attributed to inter
King, Carina; Hall, Jenny; Banda, Masford; Beard, James; Bird, Jon; Kazembe, Peter; Fottrell, Ed
Background\\ud \\ud As hardware for electronic data capture (EDC), such as smartphones or tablets, becomes cheaper and more widely available, the potential for using such hardware as data capture tools in routine healthcare and research is increasing.\\ud \\ud Objective\\ud \\ud We aim to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of four EDC systems being used simultaneously in rural Malawi: two for Android devices (CommCare and ODK Collect), one for PALM and Windows OS (Pendragon), and a custom-b...
Eckerle, Michelle; Crouse, Heather L; Chiume, Msandeni; Phiri, Ajib; Kazembe, Peter N; Friesen, Hanny; Mvalo, Tisungane; Rus, Marideth C; Fitzgerald, Elizabeth F; McKenney, Allyson; Hoffman, Irving F; Coe, Megan; Mkandawire, Beatrice M; Schubert, Charles
To achieve sustained reductions in child mortality in low- and middle-income countries, increased local capacity is necessary. One approach to capacity building is support offered via partnerships with institutions in high-income countries. However, lack of cooperation between institutions can create barriers to successful implementation of programs and may inadvertently weaken the health system they are striving to improve. A coordinated approach is necessary. Three U.S.-based institutions have separately supported various aspects of pediatric care at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), the main government referral hospital in the central region of Malawi, for several years. Within each institution's experience, common themes were recognized, which required attention in order to sustain improvements in care. Each recognized that support of clinical care is a necessary cornerstone before initiating educational or training efforts. In particular, the support of emergency and acute care is paramount in order to decrease in-hospital mortality. Through the combined efforts of Malawian partners and the US-based institutions, the pediatric mortality rate has decreased from >10 to <4% since 2011, yet critical gaps remain. To achieve further improvements, representatives with expertise in pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) from each US-based institution hypothesized that coordinated efforts would be most effective, decrease duplication, improve communication, and ensure that investments in education and training are aligned with local priorities. Together with local stakeholders, the three US-based partners created a multi-institutional partnership, Pediatric Alliance for Child Health Improvement in Malawi at Kamuzu Central Hospital and Environs (PACHIMAKE). Representatives from each institution gathered in Malawi late 2016 and sought input and support from local partners at all levels to prioritize interventions, which could be collectively undertaken by this consortium. Long
Dunkelberg, Elisa; Finkbeiner, Matthias; Hirschl, Bernd
Sugarcane ethanol is considered to be one of the most efficient first-generation biofuels in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The carbon footprint (CF), however, increases significantly when taking into account emissions induced by indirect land-use changes (ILUC). This case study investigates sugarcane ethanol production in the Republic of Malawi, in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA); the research objectives were to identify and quantify direct and indirect emissions and to identify measures to optimize the CF. The CF has been calculated with a life cycle approach and with data obtained from the involved companies; our estimations with regard to ILUC take into account further expansion plans for sugarcane crop production. Under existing production conditions ethanol produced in Malawi leads to GHG emissions expressed as CO 2eq of 116 g MJ −1 of ethanol. However, high optimization potentials exist when the vinasse is used as an input for biogas production and the harvesting switches from pre-harvest burning to green harvesting. ILUC induced by prospective sugarcane expansions in the Southern Region will, according to current planning, probably not occur since these expansions are linked to the implementation of a large-scale irrigation project. However if ILUC takes place, high levels of additional CO 2 emissions of about 77 g MJ −1 of ethanol are to be expected. Although the case study results are only valid for a specific region, some of the findings, such as the high compensation potential regarding ILUC through investments in irrigation systems, may be transferable to other regions in SSA. - Highlights: • We conducted a case study on sugarcane ethanol production in Malawi and calculated its carbon footprint (CF). • The current CF of sugarcane ethanol produced in the Southern Region in Malawi amounts for 116 g MJ −1 of ethanol. • The usage of vinasse in biogas plants would significantly improve the CF. • Another optimization measure is to
Full Text Available Racquel E Kohler,1 Clara N Lee,2 Satish Gopal,3 Bryce B Reeve,1 Bryan J Weiner,1 Stephanie B Wheeler11Department of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, 2Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; 3UNC Project-Malawi, Tidziwe Center, Lilongwe, MalawiBackground: In Malawi, routine breast cancer screening is not available and little is known about women’s preferences regarding early detection services. Discrete choice experiments are increasingly used to reveal preferences about new health services; however, selecting appropriate attributes that describe a new health service is imperative to ensure validity of the choice experiment.Objective: To identify important factors that are relevant to Malawian women’s preferences for breast cancer detection services and to select attributes and levels for a discrete choice experiment in a setting where both breast cancer early detection and choice experiments are rare.Methods: We reviewed the literature to establish an initial list of potential attributes and levels for a discrete choice experiment and conducted qualitative interviews with health workers and community women to explore relevant local factors affecting decisions to use cancer detection services. We tested the design through cognitive interviews and refined the levels, descriptions, and designs.Results: Themes that emerged from interviews provided critical information about breast cancer detection services, specifically, that breast cancer interventions should be integrated into other health services because asymptomatic screening may not be practical as an individual service. Based on participants’ responses, the final attributes of the choice experiment included travel time, health encounter, health worker type and sex, and breast cancer early detection strategy. Cognitive testing confirmed the acceptability of the final attributes
Lowe, R.; Chirombo, J.; Tompkins, A. M.
Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Malawi with more than 6 million episodes reported each year. Malaria poses a huge economic burden to Malawi in terms of the direct cost of treating malaria patients and also indirect costs resulting from workdays lost in agriculture and industry and absenteeism from school. Malawi implements malaria control activities within the Roll Back Malaria framework, with the objective to provide those most at risk (i.e. children under five years, pregnant woman and individuals with suppressed immune systems) access to personal and community protective measures. However, at present there is no mechanism by which to target the most 'at risk' populations ahead of an impending epidemic. Malaria transmission is influenced by variations in meteorological conditions, which impact the biology of the mosquito and the availability of breeding sites, but also socio-economic conditions such as levels of urbanisation, poverty and education, which influence human vulnerability and vector habitat. The many potential drivers of malaria, both extrinsic, such as climate, and intrinsic, such as population immunity are often difficult to disentangle. This presents a challenge for modelling of malaria risk in space and time. Using an age-stratified spatio-temporal dataset of malaria cases at the district level from July 2004 - June 2011, we use a spatio-temporal modelling framework to model variations in malaria risk in Malawi. Climatic and topographic variations are accounted for using an interpolation method to relate gridded products to administrative districts. District level data is tested in the model to account for confounding factors, including the proportion of the population living in urban areas; residing in traditional housing; with no toilet facilities; who do not attend school, etc, the number of health facilities per population and yearly estimates of insecticide-treated mosquito net distribution. In order to account for
Full Text Available This article examines ideas of morality and health, and connections between moral transgression and disease in both Scottish missionary and Central African thought in the context of the Livingstonia Mission of the Presbyterian Free Church of Scotland in Malawi during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.2 By concentrating on debates, conflicts and co-operation between missionaries and Africans over the key issues of beer drinking and sexual morality, this article explores the emergence of a new ‘moral hygiene’ among African Christian communities in Northern Malawi.
Este artículo analiza las ideas sobre moralidad y salud, así como las relaciones entre transgresión moral y enfermedad, tanto en el pensamiento misionero escocés como en el pensamiento del África central, en el contexto de la Misión de Livingstonia de la Iglesia Libre Presbiteriana de Escocia en Malawi entre finales del siglo XIX y principios del XX. Centrándose en las conversaciones, los conflictos y la colaboración entre los misioneros y los africanos sobre cuestiones clave como el consumo de cerveza y la moralidad sexual, este artículo estudia la aparición de una nueva «higiene moral» entre las comunidades cristianas africanas en Malawi del norte.
Primary school children (n = 424) from the Ntcheu District, Malawi, aged 6 - 8 years, were selected for a double-blind placebo-controlled study to evaluate the effect of iodine and iron supplementation on physical, psychomotor and mental development. After the baseline measurements were
Khasu, Denis S.; Williams, Thomas O., Jr.
In this brief article, the reliability of scores for the Draw-A-Person Intellectual Ability Test for Children, Adolescents, and Adults (DAP: IQ; Reynolds & Hickman, 2004) was examined through several analyses with a sample of 147 children from rural Malawi, Africa using a Chichewa translation of instructions. Cronbach alpha coefficients for…
Neuman, Michelle J.; McConnell, Christin; Kholowa, Foster
Over the past 20 years, more than 6,000 community-based childcare centers (CBCCs) have been created in mostly rural areas of Malawi. Although the original purpose of these CBCCs was to meet the care needs of orphans and vulnerable children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the services have since expanded their mandate to provide early…
Luke, Melissa; Hinkle, J. Scott; Schweiger, Wendi; Henderson, Donna
The Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) program utilizes a population-based curriculum and has been implemented in Malawi for the past seven years. This article reports findings from an ethnographic study that explored how 40 MHF stakeholders have experienced the MHF program. This transdisciplinary program is a 30-hour training in community mental…
This article conducts a value chain analysis of smallholder burley tobacco production in Malawi for the 2003/04 and 2009/10 agricultural seasons. The comparison suggests in 2003/04 smallholder profits from growing burley were limited by two main factors: first, the practices of leaf merchant...
Vugt, van S.M.; Sloot, H.
This training of four days focussed on two areas of capacity development of the home-based care (HBC) alliance in Malawi and Zambia: 1. Communities of Change (CoC) concept and practice linked to the Multi Stakeholder Process (MSP), and 2. Lobby & Advocacy (L&A). Since June 2010 Cordaid
Taniguchi, Kyoko; Hirakawa, Yukiko
School management in many sub-Saharan African countries has been enhanced through community participation in an attempt to improve education quality. This study uses field research in a rural district of Malawi to assess how community and parent participation differs between schools, the intentions of communities and parents when carrying out…
Full Text Available Abstract Background HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Malawi is 12.6%, and mother-to-child transmission is a major route of transmission. As PMTCT services have expanded in Malawi in recent years, we sought to determine uptake of services, HIV-relevant infant feeding practices and mother-child health outcomes. Methods A matched-cohort study of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected mothers and their infants at 18-20 months post-partum in Zomba District, Malawi. 360 HIV-infected and 360 HIV-uninfected mothers were identified through registers. 387 mother-child pairs were included in the study. Results 10% of HIV-infected mothers were on HAART before delivery, 27% by 18-20 months post-partum. sd-NVP was taken by 75% of HIV-infected mothers not on HAART, and given to 66% of infants. 18% of HIV-infected mothers followed all current recommended PMTCT options. HIV-infected mothers breastfed fewer months than HIV-uninfected mothers (12 vs.18, respectively; p p Conclusion This study shows low PMTCT program efficiency and effectiveness under routine program conditions in Malawi. HIV-free infant survival may have been influenced by key factors, including underuse of HAART, underuse of sd-NVP, and suboptimal infant feeding practices. Maternal mortality among HIV-infected women demands attention; improved maternal survival is a means to improve infant survival.
Psaki, Stephanie R.; Mensch, Barbara S.; Soler-Hampejsek, Erica
Growing evidence of the prevalence of school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) has raised concerns about negative effects on education. Previous quantitative research on this topic has been limited by descriptive and cross-sectional data. Using longitudinal data from the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study, we investigate associations…
8 nov. 2011 ... Télécharger le PDF. Renseignements. Maggie Banda Women's Legal Resources Centre PO Box 31472. Chichiri, Blantyre 3. Malawi email@example.com. Lotsmart Fonjong Faculté des sciences sociales et de gestion. Université de Buéa CP 63, Buéa Cameroun firstname.lastname@example.org · www.ubuea.
Sejvar, James; Lutterloh, Emily; Naiene, Jeremias; Likaka, Andrew; Manda, Robert; Nygren, Benjamin; Monroe, Stephan; Khaila, Tadala; Lowther, Sara A; Capewell, Linda; Date, Kashmira; Townes, David; Redwood, Yanique; Schier, Joshua; Barr, Beth Tippett; Demby, Austin; Mallewa, Macpherson; Kampondeni, Sam; Blount, Ben; Humphrys, Michael; Talkington, Deborah; Armstrong, Gregory L; Mintz, Eric
The bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi causes typhoid fever, which is typically associated with fever and abdominal pain. An outbreak of typhoid fever in Malawi-Mozambique in 2009 was notable for a high proportion of neurologic illness. Describe neurologic features complicating typhoid fever during an outbreak in Malawi-Mozambique Persons meeting a clinical case definition were identified through surveillance, with laboratory confirmation of typhoid by antibody testing or blood/stool culture. We gathered demographic and clinical information, examined patients, and evaluated a subset of patients 11 months after onset. A sample of persons with and without neurologic signs was tested for vitamin B6 and B12 levels and urinary thiocyanate. Between March - November 2009, 303 cases of typhoid fever were identified. Forty (13%) persons had objective neurologic findings, including 14 confirmed by culture/serology; 27 (68%) were hospitalized, and 5 (13%) died. Seventeen (43%) had a constellation of upper motor neuron findings, including hyperreflexia, spasticity, or sustained ankle clonus. Other neurologic features included ataxia (22, 55%), parkinsonism (8, 20%), and tremors (4, 10%). Brain MRI of 3 (ages 5, 7, and 18 years) demonstrated cerebral atrophy but no other abnormalities. Of 13 patients re-evaluated 11 months later, 11 recovered completely, and 2 had persistent hyperreflexia and ataxia. Vitamin B6 levels were markedly low in typhoid fever patients both with and without neurologic signs. Neurologic signs may complicate typhoid fever, and the diagnosis should be considered in persons with acute febrile neurologic illness in endemic areas.
Lutterloh, Emily; Likaka, Andrew; Sejvar, James; Manda, Robert; Naiene, Jeremias; Monroe, Stephan S; Khaila, Tadala; Chilima, Benson; Mallewa, Macpherson; Kampondeni, Sam D; Lowther, Sara A; Capewell, Linda; Date, Kashmira; Townes, David; Redwood, Yanique; Schier, Joshua G; Nygren, Benjamin; Tippett Barr, Beth; Demby, Austin; Phiri, Abel; Lungu, Rudia; Kaphiyo, James; Humphrys, Michael; Talkington, Deborah; Joyce, Kevin; Stockman, Lauren J; Armstrong, Gregory L; Mintz, Eric
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi causes an estimated 22 million cases of typhoid fever and 216 000 deaths annually worldwide. We investigated an outbreak of unexplained febrile illnesses with neurologic findings, determined to be typhoid fever, along the Malawi-Mozambique border. The investigation included active surveillance, interviews, examinations of ill and convalescent persons, medical chart reviews, and laboratory testing. Classification as a suspected case required fever and ≥1 other finding (eg, headache or abdominal pain); a probable case required fever and a positive rapid immunoglobulin M antibody test for typhoid (TUBEX TF); a confirmed case required isolation of Salmonella Typhi from blood or stool. Isolates underwent antimicrobial susceptibility testing and subtyping by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). We identified 303 cases from 18 villages with onset during March-November 2009; 214 were suspected, 43 were probable, and 46 were confirmed cases. Forty patients presented with focal neurologic abnormalities, including a constellation of upper motor neuron signs (n = 19), ataxia (n = 22), and parkinsonism (n = 8). Eleven patients died. All 42 isolates tested were resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole; 4 were also resistant to nalidixic acid. Thirty-five of 42 isolates were indistinguishable by PFGE. The unusual neurologic manifestations posed a diagnostic challenge that was resolved through rapid typhoid antibody testing in the field and subsequent blood culture confirmation in the Malawi national reference laboratory. Extending laboratory diagnostic capacity, including blood culture, to populations at risk for typhoid fever in Africa will improve outbreak detection, response, and clinical treatment.
Rock, Amelia; Barrington, Clare; Abdoulayi, Sara; Tsoka, Maxton; Mvula, Peter; Handa, Sudhanshu
Extensive research documents that social network characteristics affect health, but knowledge of peer networks of youth in Malawi and sub-Saharan Africa is limited. We examine the networks and social participation of youth living in extreme poverty in rural Malawi, using in-depth interviews with 32 youth and caregivers. We describe youth's peer networks and assess how gender and the context of extreme poverty influence their networks and participation, and how their networks influence health. In-school youth had larger, more interactive, and more supportive networks than out-of-school youth, and girls described less social participation and more isolation than boys. Youth exchanged social support and influence within their networks that helped cope with poverty-induced stress and sadness, and encouraged protective sexual health practices. However, poverty hampered their involvement in school, religious schools, and community organizations, directly by denying them required material means, and indirectly by reducing time and emotional resources and creating shame and stigma. Poverty alleviation policy holds promise for improving youth's social wellbeing and mental and physical health by increasing their opportunities to form networks, receive social support, and experience positive influence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Furnas, Hannah E
In a transitioning fertility climate, preferences and decisions surrounding family planning are constantly in flux. Malawi provides an ideal case study of family planning complexities as fertility preferences are flexible, the relationship context is unstable, and childbearing begins early. I use intensive longitudinal data from Tsogolo la Thanzi-a research project in Malawi that follows young adults in romantic partnerships through the course of their relationship. I examine two questions: (1) What are the typical patterns of family planning as young adults transition through a relationship? (2) How are family planning trajectories related to individual and relationship-level characteristics? I use sequence analysis to order family planning across time and to contextualize it within each relationship. I generate and cluster the family planning trajectories and find six distinct groups of young adults who engage in family planning in similar ways. I find that family planning is complex, dynamic, and unique to each relationship. I argue that (a) family planning research should use the relationship as the unit of analysis and (b) family planning behaviors and preferences should be sequenced over time for a better understanding of key concepts, such as unmet need. © 2016 The Population Council, Inc.
Daud J. Kachamba
Full Text Available In this study we present general (multiple tree species from several sites above- and belowground biomass models for trees in the miombo woodlands of Malawi. Such models are currently lacking in the country. The modelling was based on 74 trees comprising 33 different species with diameters at breast height (dbh and total tree height (ht ranging from 5.3 to 2 cm and from 3.0 to 25.0 m, respectively. Trees were collected from four silvicultural zones covering a wide range of conditions. We tested different models including dbh, ht and wood specific gravity ( ρ as independent variables. We evaluated model performance using pseudo-R2, root mean square error (RMSE, a covariance matrix for the parameter estimates, mean prediction error (MPE and relative mean prediction error (MPE%. Computation of MPE% was based on leave-one-out cross-validation. Values of pseudo-R2 and MPE% ranged 0.82–0.97 and 0.9%–2.8%, respectively. Model performance indicated that the models can be used over a wide range of geographical and ecological conditions in Malawi.
Parrott, Fiona R.
This paper examines how men's reproductive bodies are problematised in rural northern Malawi as access to biomedically defined diagnoses of the health of men's sperm contribute to the visibility of male infertility. Ethnographic research with infertile and fertile men explored pathways into the sexual health and fertility services offered in district hospitals, men's clinical engagements and masculine imaginaries. The research suggested that men's willingness to be referred for semen analysis is an extension of intensive and persistent help-seeking for childlessness instigated by couples and encouraged by families. Within the laboratory, acceptable social arrangements for semen sample collection are negotiated between male clients and laboratory staff, which emphasise heterosexual and marital virility. Following diagnosis, counselling by clinical officers, without any significant therapeutic interventions, focuses on compassion in marriage. This paper considers: what is the role of semen analysis within public health facilities and why do men participate? How do men experience an infertility diagnosis and what do they and their partners do with this knowledge? In addition, how do these practices shape gendered relationships in families and communities? The analysis builds on Inhorn's (2012) concept of ‘emergent masculinities’ to better understand the connections between male subjectivities, medical technologies and the globalisation of male reproductive health, as they relate to men's lives in rural Malawi. PMID:25175293
Amosun, S; Kambalametore, S; Maart, S; Ferguson, G
The College of Medicine in Malawi offers an undergraduate physiotherapy programme which started in 2010. The programme aims at training competent physiotherapists who can address the needs of people with disabilities. Therefore it is important to ensure that the perceptions of physiotherapy students towards disability are appropriate. The study explored the views of the first cohort of physiotherapy students (n=19) in the pre-medical class in the College of Medicine, University of Malawi, on disability. An audit of the views of premedical physiotherapy students was carried out in 2010 using the Q methodology. Two independent factors emerged which captured the views of 19 students on disability. Most of the views expressed suggest that the students empathised with people with disabilities. Participants perceived that people with disabilities can have a good quality of life like everyone else, and are as intelligent as people without disabilities. However, some participants also expressed some discomfort when around people with disabilities. While there was consensus on some positive views, the negative viewpoints have the potential to act as a barrier to the rehabilitation of people with disabilities. The curriculum should ensure that the positive views are reinforced throughout the training programme, while the negative viewpoints are reversed.
Mapoma, Harold Wilson Tumwitike; Xie, Xianjun; Nyirenda, Mathews Tananga; Zhang, Liping; Kaonga, Chikumbusko Chiziwa; Mbewe, Rex
In this study, twenty one (21) trace elements in the basement complex groundwater of Blantyre district, Malawi were analyzed. The majority of the analyzed trace elements in the water were within the standards set by World Health Organization (WHO) and Malawi Standards Board (MSB). But, iron (Fe) (BH16 and 21), manganese (Mn) (BH01) and selenium (Se) (BH02, 13, 18, 19 and 20) were higher than the WHO and MSB standards. Factor analysis (FA) revealed up to five significant factors which accounted for 87.4% of the variance. Factor 1, 2 and 3 suggest evaporite dissolution and silicate weathering processes while the fourth factor may explain carbonate dissolution and pH influence on trace element geochemistry of the studied groundwater samples. According to PHREEQC computed saturation indices, dissolution, precipitation and rock-water-interaction control the levels of trace elements in this aquifer. Elevated concentrations of Fe, Mn and Se in certain boreholes are due to the geology of the aquifer and probable redox status of groundwater. From PHREEQC speciation results, variations in trace element species were observed. Based on this study, boreholes need constant monitoring and assessment for human consumption to avoid health related issues.
Full Text Available Introduction: In Malawi, non-communicable diseases (NCDs are thought to cause 28% of deaths in adults. The aim of this study was to establish the extent of primary care morbidity related to NCDs, as well as to audit the quality of care, in the primary care setting of Dedza District, central Malawi. Methods: This study was a baseline audit using clinic registers and a questionnaire survey of senior health workers at 5 clinics, focusing on care for hypertension, diabetes, asthma and epilepsy. Results: A total of 82 581 consultations were recorded, of which 2489 (3.0% were for the selected NCDs. Only 5 out of 32 structural criteria were met at all 5 clinics and 9 out of 29process criteria were never performed at any clinic. The only process criteria performed at all five clinics was measurement of blood pressure. The staff’s knowledge on NCDs was basic and the main barriers to providing quality care were lack of medication and essential equipment, inadequate knowledge and guidelines, fee-for-service at two clinics, geographic inaccessibility and lack of confidence in the primary health care system by patients. Conclusion: Primary care morbidity from NCDs is currently low, although other studies suggest a significant burden of disease. This most likely represents a lack of utilisation, recognition, diagnosis and ability to manage patients with NCDs. Quality of care is poor due to a lack of essential resources, guidelines, and training.
McAuliffe, Eilish; Manafa, Ogenna; Maseko, Fresier; Bowie, Cameron; White, Emma
The migration of doctors and nurses from low- to high-income countries has left many countries relying on mid-level cadres as the mainstay of their health delivery system, Malawi being an example. Although an extremely important resource, little attention has been paid to the management and further development of these cadres. In this paper we use the concept of organisational justice - fairness of treatment, procedures and communication on the part of managers - to explore through a questionnaire how mid-level cadres in jobs traditionally done by higher-level cadres self-assessed their level of job satisfaction. All mid-level health workers present on the day of data collection in 34 health facilities in three health districts of Malawi, one district each from the three geographical regions, were invited to participate; 126 agreed. Perceptions of justice correlated strongly with level of job satisfaction, and in particular perceptions of how well they were treated by their managers and the extent to which they were informed about decisions and changes. Pay was not the only important element in job satisfaction; promotion opportunities and satisfaction with current work assignments were also significant. These findings highlight the important role that managers can play in the motivation, career development and performance of mid-level health workers.
Jeanne Y. Coulibaly
Full Text Available Malawi is a country in southern Africa facing high climate variability and many agricultural challenges. This paper examines farmers’ coping strategies for crop failure and the determinants of their choices using household level data from rural southern Malawi. The results highlight that farmers are not responding directly to climate variability, but to crop failure, which is influenced by climate stress, as well as other constraints, such as poor soil fertility and lack of agricultural inputs and technologies. The coping strategies adopted by households are mostly ex-post measures, including engaging in casual labor, small businesses and the sale of forest products. The main determinants of the adoption of these coping options are education, gender of the head of household, soil fertility and frequency of crop failure. This study concludes by recommending, among other things, that policies for the more efficient communication of climate change threats should emphasize the risk of crop failure. Furthermore, initiatives to assist households to better cope with climate change should take into consideration the local context of decision-making which is shaped by multiple stressors.
Mandal, Mahua; Hindin, Michelle J
In the feminist paradigm, intimate partner violence (IPV) among heterosexual couples is gender asymmetric and largely a tactic of male control. However, research on the relationship between men's controlling behavior and physical violence against women is limited. This study examines whether having a controlling partner is associated with women's reports of experiencing physical violence in Malawi. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted using data from 8,385 women who completed the domestic violence module of the Malawi 2004 Demographic and Health Survey. About 18 % of women reported they had experienced moderately severe physical violence and 1 % experienced very severe violence in the past 12 months. A third of women reported their partners had ever been controlling. Results from multivariable ordinal logistic regression showed that women who had controlling partners were significantly more likely to report experiencing physical violence. Other factors significantly associated with women's experience of physical violence included women who reported initiating physical violence against their partners, women's work status, partners' lower education level, and partners' alcohol consumption. Women with controlling partners were at increased risk of experiencing physical violence in the past year. However, women who reported initiating physical violence in the past year were nearly four times more likely to experience partner violence in the same time period. Future research should attempt to elucidate these two important risk factors for IPV.
Full Text Available Poor road networks, inadequate financial resources and low levels of political will mean that many developing countries, especially their unplanned settlements, struggle with solid waste management. Recently, Informal Waste Pickers (IWPs have been incorporated into waste management cooperatives by formalizing their operations as a strategy to improve the quality and efficiency of waste management in such areas. This study was conducted in Zingwangwa, an unplanned settlement in Blantyre, Malawi, to understand whether the formalization of IWPs into cooperatives could be effective and/or accepted as a way of managing Municipal Solid Waste in unplanned urban settlements in Malawi. Thirty-four IWPs in Zingwangwa were identified and interviewed using a structured questionnaire; personnel from the Blantyre City Council and middlemen were interviewed as key informants. We determined that IWPs experience challenges in all dimensions of their lives: low material prices with exploitative price fluctuations, negative public perception and a lack of transportation are a few of their struggles. Furthermore, a fear of decreased income, conflicts during proceeds sharing, free riding behaviors and an attachment to their independence mean that IWPs are unlikely to form a cooperative on their own though some would be willing to join if a third party initiated the formalization process.
Kidman, Rachel; Heymann, S Jody
There are an estimated 15 million AIDS orphans worldwide. Families play an important role in safeguarding orphans, but they may be increasingly compromised by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The international aid community has recognized the need to help families continue caring for orphaned children by strengthening their safety nets. Before we build new structures, however, we need to know the extent to which community and public safety nets already provide support to families with orphans. To address this gap, we analyzed nationally representative data from 27,495 children in the 2004-2005 Malawi Integrated Household Survey. We found that communities commonly assisted orphan households through private transfers; organized responses to the orphan crisis were far less frequent. Friends and relatives provided assistance to over 75% of orphan households through private gifts, but the value of such support was relatively low. Over 40% of orphans lived in a community with support groups for the chronically ill and approximately a third of these communities provided services specifically for orphans and other vulnerable children. Public programs, which form a final safety net for vulnerable households, were more widespread. Free/subsidized agricultural inputs and food were the most commonly used public safety nets by children's households in the past year (44 and 13%, respectively), and households with orphans were more likely to be beneficiaries. Malawi is poised to drastically expand safety nets to orphans and their families, and these findings provide an important foundation for this process.
Bryson Gwiyani Nkhoma
Full Text Available The paper examines the progress made regarding the development of small irrigation dams in Malawi with the view of establishing their significance in improving rural livelihoods in the country. The paper adopts a political economy theory and a qualitative research approach. Evidence from Mzuzu Agricultural Development Division (ADD, where small reservoirs acquire specific relevance, shows that despite the efforts made, the development of small dams is making little progress. The paper highlights that problems of top-down planning, high investment costs, negligence of national and local interests, over-dependency on donors, and conflicts over the use of dams – which made large-scale dams unpopular in the 1990s – continue to affect the development of small irrigation dams in Malawi. The paper argues that small irrigation dams should not be simplistically seen as a panacea to the problems of large-scale irrigation dams. Like any other projects, small dams are historically and socially constructed through interests of different actors in the local settings, and can only succeed if actors, especially those from formal institutions, develop adaptive learning towards apparent conflicting relations that develop among them in the process of implementation. In the case of Mzuzu ADD, it was the failure of the government to develop this adaptive learning to the contestations and conflicts among these actors that undermined successful implementation of small irrigation dams. The paper recommends the need to consider local circumstances, politics, interests, rights and institutions when investing in small irrigation dams.
Wanda, Elijah M. M.; Gulula, Lewis C.; Phiri, Ambrose
Irrigation water quality is an essential component of sustainable agriculture. Irrigation water quality concerns have often been neglected over concerns of quantity in most irrigation projects in Malawi. In this study, a hydrochemical assessment of groundwater was carried out to characterize, classify groundwater and evaluate its suitability for irrigation use in Karonga and Rumphi districts, Northern Malawi. Groundwater samples were collected during wet (January-April 2011) and dry (July-September 2011) seasons from 107 shallow wells and boreholes drilled for rural water supply using standard sampling procedures. The water samples were analysed for pH, major ions, total dissolved solids and electrical conductivity (EC), using standard methods. Multivariate chemometric (such as Kruskal Wallis test), hydrographical methods (i.e. Piper diagram) and PHREEQC geochemical modelling program were used to characterise the groundwater quality. Electrical conductivity, percentage sodium ion (% Na+), residual sodium carbonate (RSC), total dissolved solids (TDS), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), Kelly’s ratio (KR) and permeability index (PI) were used to evaluate the suitability of water for irrigation. It was established that groundwater is neutral to alkaline and mostly freshwater (TDS management is suggested for sustainable development of the water resources for better plant growth, long-term as well as maintaining human health in the study area.
Background This study describes job satisfaction and intention to stay on the job among primary health-care providers in countries with distinctly different human resources crises, Afghanistan and Malawi. Methods Using a cross-sectional design, we enrolled 87 health-care providers in 32 primary health-care facilities in Afghanistan and 360 providers in 10 regional hospitals in Malawi. The study questionnaire was used to assess job satisfaction, intention to stay on the job and five features of the workplace environment: resources, performance recognition, financial compensation, training opportunities and safety. Descriptive analyses, exploratory factor analyses for scale development, bivariate correlation analyses and bivariate and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted. Results The multivariate model for Afghanistan, with demographic, background and work environment variables, explained 23.9% of variance in job satisfaction (F(9,73) = 5.08; P job satisfaction. The multivariate model for intention to stay for Afghanistan explained 23.6% of variance (F(8,74) = 4.10; P job satisfaction (F(8,332) = 4.19; P job satisfaction and intention to stay on the job, differed substantially. These findings demonstrate the need for more detailed comparative human resources for health-care research, particularly regarding the relative importance of different determinants of job satisfaction and intention to stay in different contexts and the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve health-care worker performance and retention. PMID:24533615
Bell, David J; Dacombe, Russell; Graham, Stephen M; Hicks, Alexander; Cohen, Danielle; Chikaonda, Tarsizio; French, Neil; Molyneux, Malcolm E; Zijlstra, Ed E; Squire, S Bertel; Gordon, Stephen B
Setting Detection of smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) cases is vital for tuberculosis control. Methods to augment sputum collection are available but their additional benefit is uncertain in resource-limited settings. Objective To compare the diagnostic yields using five methods to obtain sputum from adults diagnosed with smear-negative PTB in Malawi. Design Self-expectorated sputum was collected under supervision for microscopy and mycobacterial culture in the study laboratory. Confirmed smear-negative patients, provided physiotherapy-assisted sputum and induced sputum followed, the next morning, by gastric washing and bronchoalveolar-lavage samples. Results 150 patients, diagnosed with smear-negative PTB by the hospital service, were screened. 39 (26%) were smear-positive from supervised self-expectorated sputum examined in the study laboratory. The remaining 111 confirmed smear-negative patients were enrolled; 89% were HIV positive. Seven additional smear-positive cases were diagnosed using the augmented sputum collection techniques. No differences were observed in the numbers of cases detected using the different methods. 44 (95.6%) of the 46 smear-positive cases could be detected from self-expectorated and physiotherapy-assisted samples Conclusions For countries like Malawi, the best use of limited resources to detect smear-positive PTB cases would be to improve the quality of self-expectorated sputum collection and microscopy. The additional diagnostic yield using bronchoalveolar-lavage after induced sputum is limited. PMID:19105886
Sub-Saharan countries are facing a number of similar challenges, including their need to increase electricity access for both urban and rural dwellers and to limit the cases of malaria related morbidity and mortality. This study explores the link between using electricity, for either lighting or cooking purposes, and the occurrence of malaria cases using country-representative household level data for Malawi. The descriptive statistics and the econometric results highlight the fact that those household members living in ‘electrified’ households are more likely to experience malaria. The interpretations behind those results can be diverse; as evidence suggests, malaria vectors are attracted by electric lights and outdoor lighting available after the sunset may change people habits and increases their exposure to those vectors. This study aims at raising the attention to a nexus which has very rarely been studied theoretically and even less empirically, despite the fact that electricity projects are now in the agenda of several Sub-Saharan countries and that malaria still continue to constitute a major threat for an incredible high number of people, most of all children and pregnant women. - Highlights: • This study examines an unintended impact related to the electrification in Malawi. • The study looks if dwellers with electricity are more likely of having malaria. • ‘Vector density’ and ‘exposure’ channels explain the electricity/malaria nexus. • Results point out that electrified dwellers have higher chance of getting malaria.
Tavory, Iddo; Poulin, Michelle
This article focuses on Malawian sex workers' understandings of exchange and intimacy, showing how multiple historically emergent categories and specific work pragmatics produce specific patterns of relational meanings. As we show, sex workers make sense of their relationships with clients through two categories. The first is sex work; the second is the chibwenzi , an intimate premarital relational category that emerged from pre-colonial transformations in courtship practices. These categories, in turn, are also shaped differently in different work settings. We use narratives from in-depth interviews with 45 sex workers and bar managers in southern Malawi to describe how the everyday pragmatics of two forms of sex work-performed by "bargirls" and "freelancers"-foster distinct understandings of relationships between them and men they have sex with. Bargirls, who work and live in bars, blurred the boundaries between "regulars" and chibwenzi; freelancers, who are not tethered to a specific work environment, often subverted the meanings of the chibwenzi , presenting these relationships as both intimate and emotionally distant. Through this comparison, we thus refine an approach to the study of the intimacy-exchange nexus, and use it to capture the complexities of gender relations in post-colonial Malawi.
Full Text Available The Ministry of Education in Malawi introduced a Life Skills Education programwith the intention to empower children with appropriate information and skills to deal with social and health problems affecting the nation including the fight against HIV infections. This study investigated factors affecting the teaching of the Life skills education in four primary schools in the Zomba District, Malawi. Cornbleth’s (1990 notions of the structural and social contexts and Whitaker’s (1993 identification of key role players in curriculum implementation framed the study. Findings suggest that the teaching of Life skills is constrained by a variety of social and structural contextual factors such as the poor conditions under which teachers are working; greater attention given to subjects such as Maths and Languages; the cascade model of training teachers and the short duration of training; the language in teachers guides were not accesibile to teachers; hunger and poverty of learners; lack of community support for sexual education; both teachers and learners being infected or affected by the AIDS/HIV pandemic; teachers felt it is inappropriate to teach sexual education to 9 and 10 year old learners. These findings indicate structural and social barriers to effective life skills education within the current framework.
Woodhall, Dana M; Mkwanda, Square; Dembele, Massitan; Lwanga, Harriet; Drexler, Naomi; Dubray, Christine; Harris, Jennifer; Worrell, Caitlin; Mathieu, Els
Currently, a 30-cluster survey to monitor drug coverage after mass drug administration for neglected tropical diseases is the most common methodology used by control programs. We investigated alternative survey methodologies that could potentially provide an estimation of drug coverage. Three alternative survey methods (market, village chief, and religious leader) were conducted and compared to the 30-cluster method in Malawi, Mali, and Uganda. In Malawi, drug coverage for the 30-cluster, market, village chief, and religious leader methods were 66.8% (95% CI 60.3-73.4), 74.3%, 76.3%, and 77.8%, respectively. In Mali, results for round 1 were 62.6% (95% CI 54.4-70.7), 56.1%, 74.8%, and 83.2%, and 57.2% (95% CI 49.0-65.4), 54.5%, 72.2%, and 73.3%, respectively, for round 2. Uganda survey results were 65.7% (59.4-72.0), 43.7%, 67.2%, and 77.6% respectively. Further research is needed to test different coverage survey methodologies to determine which survey methods are the most scientifically rigorous and resource efficient. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Machira, Kennedy; Palamuleni, Martin E
The study seeks to examine factors associated with teen mothers' use of modern contraceptives after giving birth. The 2010 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey data was used to test the study objective. A sample of 12, 911 teen mothers aged between 10 and 18 years were extracted from 23, 020 women and were asked of contraceptive usage after first birth experiences, in which, a logistic regression model was employed to estimate correlates of contraceptive usage. The study found that 54.8% of the teen mothers are still at a risk of having a repeat teenage pregnancy due to their non-use of contraceptives. This implies that less than 50% of teen mothers use contraceptives after experiencing teen birth. It is noted that health care factors such as use of antenatal care, awareness of pregnancy complications, attainment of primary education and exposure to media predict teen mothers' use of modern contraceptives. Despite endeavours made by government to improve access to family planning, health care challenges still exist affecting women's use of contraceptives in Malawi. Ameliorating these health encounters call for wide-range approaches aimed at addressing teen birth comprehensively in order to prevent early motherhood and subsequently high fertility. None declared.
Israëls, Trijn; Chirambo, Chawanangwa; Caron, Huib; de Kraker, Jan; Molyneux, Elizabeth; Reis, Ria
Abandonment of paediatric cancer treatment is a common problem in developing countries. Little is known about the guardians' perspective on cancer treatment in these countries, especially the factors that affect adherence. Following a pilot study enquiring into the possible causes of abandonment, a problem analysis diagram was drawn which helped to develop the questionnaires. Semi-structured interviews (n = 83) and focus group discussions (n = 8) were held with the guardians of 25 Burkitt lymphoma patients and 7 Wilms tumour patients at different phases of therapy in Malawi. Parents in Malawi are very motivated to continue treatment if they think that it will cure their child. Financial costs are important concerns. Not all tasks at home are assumed by other household members. The diagnosis of cancer was unknown before being told about it in hospital and caused fear of recurrence and death. Guardians are reluctant to ask the health personnel questions. They worry that taking frequent blood samples will weaken their child. The side effects of the chemotherapy are seen as a proof of efficacy. It is important to appreciate the guardians' concerns when offering treatment that requires their sustained commitment. It is necessary to provide not only medical treatment, but also travel allowances and adequate nutritional support during long hospital stays to impoverished families. Information should be given proactively. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Full Text Available Malawi has a population of 9 million people with AIDS the leading cause of death in the 20 - 40 age group. The HIV positive prevalence rate, estimated at 23% in urban areas and 8% in rural areas, is one of the highest in the world (AIDSEC, 1994:1. Evaluation of counselling practices showed poor results with counsellors feeling ineffective and inadequate. Patients are mostly tested on medical indication but patients who do not see the benefit of knowing their HIV status increasingly refuse testing. The counselling practise as it is known in the Western world is a foreign concept for patients living in rural Malawi. The high stigma of AIDS complicates support of the patients. The goal of the research study was to describe a model of counselling that would meet the needs of an AIDS patient in rural community in Malawi. A qualitative research design that was explorative, descriptive and contextually specific to rural Malawi was used for the study. In order to describe a counselling model it was important to understand the illness experience of HIV reactive patients. The patients are seen in group context congruent with the African culture and therefore the experience of the primary care giver of AIDS patients is explored as the other major factor in the phenomenon examined. One phase of the research is described in this article namely exploring and describing the experience of the HIV reactive patient in rural Malawi. Results show that patients are in an advanced stage of AIDS when they are diagnosed and complain of weakness and an inability to do work, including an inability to do their daily chores. This causes a feeling of desperateness that is worsened by the perception that support systems are inadequate. Support systems are mostly identified as parents, partners and siblings to assist mainly with the physical care and financial support. Despite the fact that the family is very important to patients there is a reluctance to acknowledge their
Norseth, Hanne M; Ndhlovu, Patricia D; Kleppa, Elisabeth; Randrianasolo, Bodo S; Jourdan, Peter M; Roald, Borghild; Holmen, Sigve D; Gundersen, Svein G; Bagratee, Jayanthilall; Onsrud, Mathias; Kjetland, Eyrun F
Schistosoma (S.) haematobium is a neglected tropical disease which may affect any part of the genital tract in women. Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) may cause abnormal vaginal discharge, contact bleeding, genital tumours, ectopic pregnancies and increased susceptibility to HIV. Symptoms may mimic those typical of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and women with genital schistosomiasis may be incorrectly diagnosed. An expert consensus meeting suggested that the following findings by visual inspection should serve as proxy indicators for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis of the lower genital tract in women from S. haematobium endemic areas: sandy patches appearing as (1) single or clustered grains or (2) sandy patches appearing as homogenous, yellow areas, or (3) rubbery papules. In this atlas we aim to provide an overview of the genital mucosal manifestations of schistosomiasis in women. Photocolposcopic images were captured from women, between 1994 and 2012 in four different study sites endemic for S. haematobium in Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Madagascar. Images and specimens were sampled from sexually active women between 15 and 49 years of age. Colposcopic images of other diseases are included for differential diagnostic purposes. This is the first atlas to present the clinical manifestations of schistosomiasis in the lower female genital tract. It will be freely available for online use, downloadable as a presentation and for print. It could be used for training purposes, further research, and in clinical practice.
Theobald, Sally; Nhlema-Simwaka, Bertha
The case for research to promote equity in health in resource poor contexts such as Malawi is compelling. In Malawi, nearly half of all the people with tuberculosis cannot afford to access free tuberculosis services. In this scenario, there is a clear need to understand the multiple barriers poor women and men face in accessing services and pilot interventions to address these in a way that engages policy makers, practitioners and communities. This paper provides a critical reflection on our experience as applied social researchers working at the REACH (Research for Equity and Community Health) Trust in Malawi. Our work largely uses qualitative research methodologies as a tool for applied social research to explore the equity dimensions of health services in the country. We argue that a key strength of qualitative research methods and analysis is the ability to bring the perceptions and experiences of marginalised groups to policy makers and practitioners. The focus of this paper is two-fold. The first focus lies in synthesising the opportunities and challenges we have encountered in promoting the use of applied social research, and in particular qualitative research methods, on TB and HIV in Malawi. The second focus is on documenting and reflecting on our experiences of using applied social research to promote gender equity in TB/HIV policy and practice in Malawi. In this paper, we reflect on the strategic frameworks we have used in the Malawian context to try and bring the voices of poor women and men to policy makers and practitioners and hence intensify the research to policy and practice interface.
Nakagomi, Toyoko; Nakagomi, Osamu; Dove, Winifred; Doan, Yen Hai; Witte, Desiree; Ngwira, Bagrey; Todd, Stacy; Duncan Steele, A; Neuzil, Kathleen M; Cunliffe, Nigel A
The human, G1P rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix™) significantly reduced severe rotavirus gastroenteritis episodes in a clinical trial in South Africa and Malawi, but vaccine efficacy was lower in Malawi (49.5%) than reported in South Africa (76.9%) and elsewhere. The aim of this study was to examine the molecular relationships of circulating wild-type rotaviruses detected during the clinical trial in Malawi to RIX4414 (the strain contained in Rotarix™) and to common human rotavirus strains. Of 88 rotavirus-positive, diarrhoeal stool specimens, 43 rotaviruses exhibited identifiable RNA migration patterns when examined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The genes encoding VP7, VP4, VP6 and NSP4 of 5 representative strains possessing genotypes G12P, G1P, G9P, and G8P were sequenced. While their VP7 (G) and VP4 (P) genotype designations were confirmed, the VP6 (I) and NSP4 (E) genotypes were either I1E1 or I2E2, indicating that they were of human rotavirus origin. RNA-RNA hybridization using 21 culture-adapted strains showed that Malawian rotaviruses had a genomic RNA constellation common to either the Wa-like or the DS-1 like human rotaviruses. Overall, the Malawi strains appear similar in their genetic make-up to rotaviruses described in countries where vaccine efficacy is greater, suggesting that the lower efficacy in Malawi is unlikely to be explained by the diversity of circulating strains. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Background: In recent years, scaling up of antiretroviral therapy (ART in resource-limited settings moved impressively towards universal access. Along with these achievements, public health HIV programs are facing a number of challenges including the support of patients on lifelong therapy and the prevention of temporary/permanent loss of patients in care. Understanding reasons for treatment interruption (TI can inform strategies for improving drug adherence and retention in care. Objective: To evaluate key characteristics of patients resuming ART after TI at the Lighthouse Clinic in Lilongwe, Malawi, and to identify their reasons for interrupting ART. Design: This study uses a mixed methods design to evaluate patients resuming ART after TI. We analysed an assessment form for patients with TI using pre-defined categories and a comments field to identify frequently stated reasons for TI. Additionally, we conducted 26 in-depth interviews to deepen our understanding of common reasons for TI. In-depth interviews also included the patients’ knowledge about ART and presence of social support systems. Qualitative data analysis was based on a thematic framework approach. Results: A total of 347 patients (58.2% female, average age 35.1±11.3 years with TI were identified. Despite the presence of social support and sufficient knowledge of possible consequences of TI, all patients experienced situations that resulted in TI. Analysis of in-depth interviews led to new and distinct categories for TI. The most common reason for TI was travel (54.5%, n=80/147, which further differentiated into work- or family-related travel. Patients also stated transport costs and health-care-provider-related reasons, which included perceived/enacted discrimination by health care workers. Other drivers of TI were treatment fatigue/forgetfulness, the patients’ health status, adverse drug effects, pregnancy/delivery, religious belief or perceived/enacted stigma. Conclusions
Full Text Available Abstract Background Quality of life measurement is a useful addition to measurement of health outcomes in evaluation of the benefits of many health and welfare interventions. The WHOQOL-BREF measures quality of life from a broad multi-dimensional perspective but was not used in Malawi. The objective of this study was to translate the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire into the main local language of Malawi: Chichewa; and to validate it quantitatively with respect to internal consistency, domain structure, and discriminant validity for this context. Methods WHO-mandated guidelines were followed for translation, adaptation, pre-testing (focus groups, piloting (patient interviews and data coding. Analyses using descriptive statistics, correlation and regression were undertaken to investigate the validity of the WHOQOL-BREF in the ways described above. Additional regression analyses examined the impact of socio-demographic variables on the domain scores. Results 309 respondents completed the questionnaire (with >98% response rates for all questions except Q21 (sex life. 259 were sick with a variety of health problems, and 50 were considered healthy. All domains showed adequate internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha > =0.7 with all item scores also most highly correlated with the scores of their assigned domain. All domain scores varied by health problem, and more depressed respondents had significantly lower scores in all domains than those less depressed. Domain scores and their associations with socio-demographic variables are presented and discussed. Conclusion This study demonstrates that the new Chichewa WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire is acceptable and comprehensible to respondents in Malawi. The questionnaire also passed a number of tests of the validity of its psychometric properties. In the pilot population we found that older age was associated with lower Physical domain scores. Conversely, higher levels of educational attainment were found to be
Michael J. Pauers
Full Text Available For evolutionary ecologists, the holy grail of visual ecology is to establish an unambiguous link between photoreceptor sensitivity, the spectral environment, and the perception of specific visual stimuli (e.g., mates, food, predators, etc.. Due to the bright nuptial colors of the males, and the role female mate choice plays in their evolution, the haplochromine cichlid fishes of the African great lakes are favorite research subjects for such investigations. Despite this attention, current evidence is equivocal; while distinct correlations among photoreceptor sensitivity, photic environment, and male coloration exist in Lake Victorian haplochromines, attempts to find such correlations in Lake Malawian cichlids have failed. Lake Malawi haplochromines have a wide variability in their short-wavelength-sensitive photoreceptors, especially compared to their mid- and long-wavelength-sensitive photoreceptors; these cichlids also vary in the degree to which they express one of three basic color patterns (vertical bars, horizontal stripes, and solid patches of colors, each of which is likely used in a different form of communication. Thus, we hypothesize that, in these fishes, spectral sensitivity and color pattern have evolved in a correlated fashion to maximize visual communication; specifically, ultraviolet sensitivity should be found in vertically-barred species to promote ‘private’ communication, while striped species should be less likely to have ultraviolet sensitivity, since their color pattern carries ‘public’ information. Using phylogenetic independent contrasts, we found that barred species had strong sensitivity to ultraviolet wavelengths, but that striped species typically lacked sensitivity to ultraviolet light. Further, the only variable, even when environmental variables were simultaneously considered, that could predict ultraviolet sensitivity was color pattern. We also found that, using models of correlated evolution, color
Tataryn, Myroslava; Polack, Sarah; Chokotho, Linda; Mulwafu, Wakisa; Kayange, Petros; Banks, Lena Morgon; Noe, Christiane; Lavy, Chris; Kuper, Hannah
Epidemiological data on childhood disability are lacking in Low and Middle Income countries (LMICs) such as Malawi, hampering effective service planning and advocacy. The Key Informant Method (KIM) is an innovative, cost-effective method for generating population data on the prevalence and causes of impairment in children. The aim of this study was to use the Key Informant Method to estimate the prevalence of moderate/severe, hearing, vision and physical impairments, intellectual impairments and epilepsy in children in two districts in Malawi and to estimate the associated need for rehabilitation and other services. Five hundred key informants (KIs) were trained to identify children in their communities who may have the impairment types included in this study. Identified children were invited to attend a screening camp where they underwent assessment by medical professionals for moderate/severe hearing, vision and physical impairments, intellectual impairments and epilepsy. Approximately 15,000 children were identified by KIs as potentially having an impairment of whom 7220 (48%) attended a screening camp. The estimated prevalence of impairments/epilepsy was 17.3/1000 children (95% CI: 16.9-17.7). Physical impairment (39%) was the commonest impairment type followed by hearing impairment (27%), intellectual impairment (26%), epilepsy (22%) and vision impairment (4%). Approximately 2100 children per million population could benefit from physiotherapy and occupational therapy and 300 per million are in need of a wheelchair. An estimated 1800 children per million population have hearing impairment caused by conditions that could be prevented or treated through basic primary ear care. Corneal opacity was the leading cause of vision impairment. Only 50% of children with suspected epilepsy were receiving medication. The majority (73%) of children were attending school, but attendance varied by impairment type and was lowest among children with multiple impairments (38
Wang, Qun; Brenner, Stephan; Kalmus, Olivier; Banda, Hastings Thomas; De Allegri, Manuela
Evidence from population-based studies on the economic burden imposed by chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) is still sparse in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our study aimed to fill this existing gap in knowledge by estimating both the household direct, indirect, and total costs incurred due to CNCDs and the economic burden households bear as a result of these costs in Malawi. The study used data from the first round of a longitudinal household health survey conducted in 2012 in three rural districts in Malawi. A cost-of-illness method was applied to estimate the economic burden of CNCDs. Indicators of catastrophic spending and impoverishment were used to estimate the economic burden imposed by CNCDs on households. A total 475 out of 5643 interviewed individuals reported suffering from CNCDs. Mean total costs of all reported CNCDs were 1,040.82 MWK, of which 56.8 % was contributed by direct costs. Individuals affected by chronic cardiovascular conditions and chronic neuropsychiatric conditions bore the highest levels of direct, indirect, and total costs. Using a threshold of 10 % of household non-food expenditure, 21.3 % of all households with at least one household member reporting a CNCD and seeking care for such a condition incurred catastrophic spending due to CNCDs. The poorest households were more likely to incur catastrophic spending due to CNCDs. An additional 1.7 % of households reporting a CNCD fell under the international poverty line once considering direct costs due to CNCDs. Our study showed that the economic burden of CNCDs is high, causes catastrophic spending, and aggravates poverty in rural Malawi, a country where in principle basic care for CNCDs should be offered free of charge at point of use through the provision of an Essential Health Package (EHP). Our findings further indicated that particularly high direct, indirect, and total costs were linked to specific diagnoses, although costs were high even for conditions targeted by the EHP. Our
Rawlins, Barbara J; Kim, Young-Mi; Rozario, Aleisha M; Bazant, Eva; Rashidi, Tambudzai; Bandazi, Sheila N; Kachale, Fannie; Sanghvi, Harshad; Noh, Jin Won
this study was to evaluate the impact of a quality improvement initiative in Malawi on reproductive health service quality and related outcomes. (1) post-only quasi-experimental design comparing observed service quality at intervention and comparison health facilities, and (2) a time-series analysis of service statistics. sixteen of Malawi's 23 district hospitals, half of which had implemented the Performance and Quality Improvement (PQI) intervention for reproductive health at the time of the study. a total of 98 reproductive health-care providers (mostly nurse-midwives) and 139 patients seeking family planning (FP), antenatal care (ANC), labour and delivery (L&D), or postnatal care (PNC) services. health facility teams implemented a performance and quality improvement (PQI) intervention over a 3-year period. Following an external observational assessment of service quality at baseline, facility teams analysed performance gaps, designed and implemented interventions to address weaknesses, and conducted quarterly internal assessments to assess progress. Facilities qualified for national recognition by complying with at least 80% of reproductive health clinical standards during an external verification assessment. key measures include facility readiness to provide quality care, observed health-care provider adherence to clinical performance standards during service delivery, and trends in service utilisation. intervention facilities were more likely than comparison facilities to have the needed infrastructure, equipment, supplies, and systems in place to offer reproductive health services. Observed quality of care was significantly higher at intervention than comparison facilities for PNC and FP. Compared with other providers, those at intervention facilities scored significantly higher on client assessment and diagnosis in three service areas, on clinical management and procedures in two service areas, and on counselling in one service area. Service statistics
Lydon, Megan; Longwe, Monica; Likomwa, Dyson; Lwesha, Victoria; Chimtembo, Lydia; Donohue, Pamela; Guenther, Tanya; Valsangar, Bina
Despite introduction of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) in Malawi over a decade ago, preterm birth remains the leading cause of neonatal mortality. Although KMC is initiated in the health care facility, robust community follow-up is critical for survival and optimal development of preterm and low birth weight infants post-discharge. The objective of this qualitative study was to gain insight into community and health worker understanding, attitudes, beliefs and practices around preterm and low birth weight babies and KMC in Malawi. A total of 152 participants were interviewed in two districts in southern Malawi, Machinga and Thyolo, in April 2015. Focus group discussions (groups = 11, n = 132) were conducted with pregnant women, community members and women who have practiced KMC. In-depth interviews (n = 20) were conducted with fathers who have practiced KMC, community and religious leaders, and health workers. Purposive and snowball sampling were employed to identify participants. Thematic content analysis was conducted. KMC mothers and fathers only learned about KMC and care for preterm newborns after delivery of a child in need of this care. Men typically were not included in KMC counseling due to societal gender roles. Health facilities were the main source of information on KMC, however informal networks among women provided some degree of knowledge exchange. Community leaders were regarded as major facilitators of health information, conveners, key influencers, and policy-makers. Religious leaders were regarded as advocates and emotional support for families with preterm infants. Finally, while many participants initially had negative feelings towards preterm births and KMC, the large majority saw a shift in their perceptions through health counseling, peer modeling, and personal success with KMC. The findings offer several opportunities to improve KMC implementation including 1) earlier introduction of KMC to pregnant women and their families that are
Lindgren, T G; Deutsch, K; Schell, E; Bvumbwe, A; Hart, K B; Laviwa, J; Rankin, S H
The majority of Malawians are impoverished and primarily dependant on subsistence farming, with 85% of the population living in a rural area. The country is highly affected by HIV and under-resourced rural health centers struggle to meet the government's goal of expanding HIV testing, antiretroviral treatment, and other basic services. This report describes the work of two four-wheel drive mobile clinics launched in 2008 to fill an identified service gap in the remote areas of Mulanje District, Malawi. The program was developed by an international non-governmental organization, Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA), and the Mulanje District Health Office, with funding from the Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation. The clinics provide: (1) rapid HIV testing and treatment referral; (2) diagnosis and treatment of malaria; (3) sputum collection for TB screening; (4) diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted and opportunistic infections; and (5) pre-natal care. The clinic vehicles provide medical supplies and personnel (a clinical officer, nurse, and nurse aide) to set up clinics in community buildings such as churches or schools. In such a project, the implementation process and schedule can be affected by medication, supply chain and infrastructural issues, as well as governmental and non-governmental requirements. Timelines should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate unexpected delays. Once established, service scheduling should be flexible and responsive; for instance, malaria treatment rather than HIV testing was most urgently needed in the season when these services were launched. Assessing the impact of healthcare delivery in Malawi is challenging. Although mobile clinic and the government Health Management Information System (HMIS) data were matched, inconsistent variables and gaps in data made direct comparisons difficult. Data collection was compromised by the competing demand of high patient volume; however, rather than reducing the burden on
Shillington, D. J.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Scholz, C. A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Onyango, E. A.; Peterson, K.; Gaherty, J. B.; Nyblade, A.; Accardo, N. J.; McCartney, T.; Oliva, S. J.; Kamihanda, G.; Ferdinand, R.; Salima, J.; Mruma, A. H.
Many questions remain about the development and evolution of fault systems in weakly extended rifts, including the relative roles of border faults and intra-basin faults, and segmentation at various scales. The northern Lake Malawi (Nyasa) rift in the East African Rift System is an early stage rift exhibiting pronounced tectonic segmentation, which is defined by 100-km-long border faults. The basins also contain a series of intrabasinal faults and associated synrift sediments. The occurrence of the 2009 Karonga Earthquake Sequence on one of these intrabasinal faults indicates that some of them are active. Here we present new multichannel seismic reflection data from the Northern Basin of the Malawi Rift collected in 2015 as a part of the SEGMeNT (Study of Extension and maGmatism in Malawi aNd Tanzania) project. This rift basin is bound on its east side by the west-dipping Livingstone border fault. Over 650 km of seismic reflection profiles were acquired in the Northern Basin using a 500 to 1540 cu in air gun array and a 1200- to 1500-m seismic streamer. Dip lines image a series of north-south oriented west-dipping intra-basin faults and basement reflections up to 5 s twtt near the border fault. Cumulative offsets on intra-basin faults decrease to the west. The largest intra-basin fault has a vertical displacement of >2 s two-way travel time, indicating that it has accommodated significant total extension. Some of these intra-basin faults offset the lake bottom and the youngest sediments by up to 50 s twtt ( 37 m), demonstrating they are still active. The two largest intra-basin faults exhibit the largest offsets of young sediments and also correspond to the area of highest seismicity based on analysis of seismic data from the 89-station SEGMeNT onshore/offshore network (see Peterson et al, this session). Fault patterns in MCS profiles vary along the basin, suggesting a smaller scale of segmentation of faults within the basin; these variations in fault patterns
Williams, B Adam; Kidane, Teklay; Chirwa, Geoffrey; Tesfaye, Neghist; Prescott, Marta R; Scotney, Soleine T; Valle, Moussa; Abebe, Sintayehu; Tambuli, Adija; Malewezi, Bridget; Mohammed, Tahir; Kobayashi, Emily; Wootton, Emily; Wong, Renee; Dosani, Rahima; Subramaniam, Hamsa; Joseph, Jessica; Yavuz, Elif; Apple, Aliza; Le Tallec, Yann; Kang'ethe, Alice
Understanding post-launch demand for new vaccines can help countries maximize the benefits of immunization programmes. In particular, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) should ensure adequate resource planning with regards to stock consumption and service delivery for new vaccines, whereas global suppliers must produce enough vaccines to meet demand. If a country underestimates the number of children seeking vaccination, a stock-out of commodities will create missed opportunities for saving lives. We describe the post-launch demand for the first dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV1) in Ethiopia and Malawi and the first dose of rotavirus vaccine (Rota1) in Malawi, with focus on the new birth cohort and the 'backlog cohort', comprised of older children who are still eligible for vaccination at the time of launch. PCV1 and Rota1 uptake were compared with the demand for the first dose of pentavalent vaccine (Penta1), a routine immunization that targets the same age group and immunization schedule. In the first year, the total demand for PCV1 was 37% greater than that of Penta1 in Ethiopia and 59% greater in Malawi. In the first 6 months, the demand of Rota1 was only 5.9% greater than Penta1 demand in Malawi. Over the first three post-introduction months, 70.7% of PCV1 demand in Ethiopia and 71.5% of demand in Malawi came from children in the backlog cohort, whereas only 28.0% of Rota1 demand in Malawi was from the backlog cohort. The composition of demand was impacted by time elapsed since vaccine introduction and age restrictions. Evidence suggests that countries' plans should account for the impact of backlog demand, especially in the first 3 months post-introduction. LMICs should request for higher stock volumes when compared with routine needs, plan social mobilization activities to reach the backlog cohort and allocate human resources and cold chain capacity to accommodate high demand following vaccine introduction. © The Author 2016. Published by
Mödersheim, Sebastian Alexander; Basin, David; Viganò, Luca
We introduce constraint differentiation, a powerful technique for reducing search when model-checking security protocols using constraint-based methods. Constraint differentiation works by eliminating certain kinds of redundancies that arise in the search space when using constraints to represent...... results show that constraint differentiation substantially reduces search and considerably improves the performance of OFMC, enabling its application to a wider class of problems....
Kosinski, Antoni A
The concepts of differential topology form the center of many mathematical disciplines such as differential geometry and Lie group theory. Differential Manifolds presents to advanced undergraduates and graduate students the systematic study of the topological structure of smooth manifolds. Author Antoni A. Kosinski, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Rutgers University, offers an accessible approach to both the h-cobordism theorem and the classification of differential structures on spheres.""How useful it is,"" noted the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, ""to have a single, sho
Full Text Available Extra-marital sexual partnerships (EMSPs are a major route of HIV/AIDS transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we investigate the roles of two types of male friendships - best friends and friends with whom they talk about AIDS - in determining whether men have EMSPs. Using data from men in rural Malawi, we find that men's current extra-marital sexual behavior is most closely correlated with their best friends', but that the behaviors of both types of friends are associated with men's subsequent EMSPs. These findings suggest that men's friendships could be used to help combat the AIDS epidemic.
Prowse, Martin Philip
During the past century tobacco production and marketing in Nyasaland/Malawi has undergone periods of dynamism similar to changes since the early 1990s. This article highlights three recurrent patterns. First, estate owners have fostered or constrained peasant/smallholder production dependent...... on complementarities or competition with estates. Second, the rapid expansion of peasant/smallholder production has led to large multiplier effects in tobacco-rich districts. Third, such expansion has also led to re-regulation of the marketing of peasant/smallholder tobacco by the (colonial) state. The article...... concludes by assessing whether recent changes in the industry such as district markets, contract farming with smallholders, and the importance of credence factors have historical precedents, or are new developments in the industry....
During the past century tobacco production and marketing in Nyasaland/Malawi has undergone periods of dynamism similar to changes since the early 1990s. This article highlights four recurrent patterns. First, estate owners have either fostered or constrained peasant/smallholder production dependent...... on complementarities or competition with their estates. Second, rapid expansion of peasant/smallholder production has led to three recurrent outcomes: a large multiplier effect in tobacco-rich districts; re-regulation of the marketing of peasant/smallholder tobacco by the (colonial) state; and, lastly, concerns over...... the supply of food crops. The article concludes by arguing that whilst the reform of burley tobacco production and marketing in the 1990s engaged with the first two issues, it may have benefitted from paying greater attention to the latter two issues as well....
Laston Petro Manja
Full Text Available Most recently, citing low price elasticity of demand for inputs in theagro-based Malawian economy, economists and non-economistshave advocated for increasing prices forsubsidizedinputs. However,elasticities alone arenot enoughto make inferencessince knowledgeof whether higher prices are indeed affordableby farmers is ofspecialsignificance. This study uses the standard The results revealthat smallholder farmers are willing to pay for more inputs in theFarm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP withthe mean WTP for eachhouseholdat MK 1000beingabout ten50kgfertilizerbags and thetotal WTP at the same price being46891 bags per yearfor4742 observedhouseholds. Using datafrom the Malawi 2011/12 FarmInput Subsidy Study (FISS4, the model identifies age,sexandeducationof household head, farm size,food securityas well asradioownershipas positivedeterminants ofWTP;withcoupon receipt andfarm incomes as negative determinants.
Beltman Jogchum Jan
Full Text Available Abstract Background To identify factors contributing to the high incidence of facility-based obstetric hemorrhage in Thyolo District, Malawi, according to local health workers. Methods Three focus group discussions among 29 health workers, including nurse-midwives and non-physician clinicians (‘medical assistants’ and ‘clinical officers’. Results Factors contributing to facility-based obstetric hemorrhage mentioned by participants were categorized into four major areas: (1 limited availability of basic supplies, (2 lack of human resources, (3 inadequate clinical skills of available health workers and (4 substandard referrals by traditional birth attendants and lack of timely self-referrals of patients. Conclusion Health workers in this district mentioned important community, system and provider related factors that need to be addressed in order to reduce the impact of obstetric hemorrhage.
Kaler, Amy; Angotti, Nicole; Ramaiya, Astha
Research on the social impact of ART pivots on questions of individual adherence and community acceptability of treatment programmes. In this paper we examine unexpected and unintended consequences of the scale-up of treatment in rural Malawi, using a unique dataset of more than 150 observational journals from three sites, spanning 2010 to 2013, focusing on men's everyday conversations. Through thematic content analysis, we explore the emerging perception that the widespread availability of ART constitutes a form of social danger, as treatment makes it difficult to tell who does or does not have AIDS. This ambiguity introduced through ART is interpreted as putting individuals at risk, because it is no longer possible to tell who might be infected - indeed, the sick now look healthier and "plumper" than the well. This ambivalence over the social impact of ART co-exists with individual demand for and appreciation of the benefits of treatment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Beston Bille Maonga
Full Text Available Using cross-sectional data, this study analysed the critical and significant socioeconomic factors with high likelihood to determine smallholder farmers’ decision and willingness to adopt jatropha into cropping systems in Malawi. Employing desk study and multi-stage random sampling technique a sample of 592 households was drawn from across the country for analysis. A probit model was used for the analysis of determinants of jatropha adoption by smallholder farmers. Empirical findings show that education, access to loan, bicycle ownership and farmers’ expectation of raising socioeconomic status are major significant factors that would positively determine probability of smallholder farmers’ willingness to adopt jatropha as a biofuel crop on the farm. Furthermore, keeping of ruminant herds of livestock, long distance to market and fears of market unavailability have been revealed to have significant negative influence on farmers’ decision and willingness to adopt jatropha. Policy implications for sustainable crop diversification drive are drawn and discussed.
Gondwe, Kenneth J.; Chiotha, Sosten S.; Mkandawire, Theresa
that the projected total energy demands in 2020, 2025 and 2030 were approximately 177 810 TJ, 184 210 TJ and 194 096 TJ respectively. The highest supply potentials were found to be in the central and southern regions of Malawi, coinciding with the locations of the two clinker plants. Crop residues could meet 45......-57% of the national total energy demand. The demand from the cement industry is only 0.8% of the estimated biomass energy potential. At an annual production of 600 000 t of clinker and 20% biomass co-firing with coal, 18 562 t of coal consumption would be avoided and 46 128 t of carbon dioxide emission reduction...
Undie, Chi-Chi; Crichton, Joanna; Zulu, Eliya
This paper explores how young people in Malawi conceptualize sex and sexual relations through an analysis of their personal narratives about these phenomena. Eleven focus group discussions were conducted with 114 youth aged 14-19 years. Participants were asked to describe behaviors, attitudes, and motivations to reduce unplanned pregnancies and the spread of HIV/AIDS, with appropriate probes to illuminate their sexual world-views. The various metaphors that emanated from the discussions suggest that young people in this study take a utilitarian approach to sex, and conceive it as a natural and routine activity of which pleasure and passion are essential components. Future research and prevention efforts (around sexuality education in particular) would do well to incorporate adolescents' language in programming as this can enhance understanding of the world of young people as well as the effectiveness of interventions addressing problems related to early sexual behavior.
The need to cope with the impact of the AIDS epidemic on communities in Africa has resulted in the emergence of numerous community health and development programs. Initiated by governments, international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and local organizations, such programs target local communities with the goal of building care and support mechanisms in the local level. Based on ethnographic field research in rural Malawi, and drawing from the cross-disciplinary debate on development work, the article explores the work of an NGO offering health and care programs to orphans and vulnerable children. Through analyzing the organization's scope of work, the article demonstrates how the NGO acts to structure local social networks as instruments of care and offers a new reading of the role of NGOs in which the limitations of development work and the work of NGOs are understood within their local context and not only in the context of broad cultural critique.
Madsen, H.; Bloch, P.; Phiri, H.
At Cape Maclear on the Nankumba Peninsula, close to the southern end of Lake Malawi, Schistosoma haematobium is highly prevalent in the local people and many tourists become infected with this parasite each year. A 'Bilharzia Control Programme' was initiated in this area in August 1998......, field-collected B. nyassanus. These are remarkable observations since, although there are very few reports of diploid members of this species group being experimentally infected with S. haematobium, B. nyassanus is a diploid member (2n = 36) of the truncatus/tropicus group. Bulinus nyassanus is probably......, schistosome-infected B. nyassanus were discovered in surveys to identify transmission sites on the peninsula. Experimental infections of wild-caught B. nyassanus with S. haematobium proved successful and S. haematobium eggs were found in hamsters experimentally exposed to cercariae retrieved from schistosome-infected...
Fedor, Theresa M; Kohler, Hans-Peter; McMahon, James M
Female empowerment and positive attitudes towards women's rights in sexual relationships have been found to be key elements of successful behaviour-based HIV prevention programmes. However, HIV prevention programmes that do not specifically engage with gender issues may also affect attitudes and beliefs towards women's rights within sexual relationships. Using data from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health we compare measures of female empowerment and changing gender norms between intervention participants and non-participants. Results suggest that female intervention participants were more likely than non-participants to believe that: (1) women have more rights within sexual relationships in general and (2) women have the right to protect themselves against HIV risk (indicating possible increases in female self-efficacy in making HIV prevention decisions). Male intervention participants showed no substantial positive change in attitudes towards women's rights. These results highlight an important positive effect of HIV prevention programmes on women's attitudes towards their own rights.
Pitzer, Virginia E; Feasey, Nicholas A; Msefula, Chisomo; Mallewa, Jane; Kennedy, Neil; Dube, Queen; Denis, Brigitte; Gordon, Melita A; Heyderman, Robert S
Multiyear epidemics of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi have been reported from countries across eastern and southern Africa in recent years. In Blantyre, Malawi, a dramatic increase in typhoid fever cases has recently occurred, and may be linked to the emergence of the H58 haplotype. Strains belonging to the H58 haplotype often exhibit multidrug resistance and may have a fitness advantage relative to other Salmonella Typhi strains. To explore hypotheses for the increased number of typhoid fever cases in Blantyre, we fit a mathematical model to culture-confirmed cases of Salmonella enterica infections at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre. We explored 4 hypotheses: (1) an increase in the basic reproductive number (R0) in response to increasing population density; (2) a decrease in the incidence of cross-immunizing infection with Salmonella Enteritidis; (3) an increase in the duration of infectiousness due to failure to respond to first-line antibiotics; and (4) an increase in the transmission rate following the emergence of the H58 haplotype. Increasing population density or decreasing cross-immunity could not fully explain the observed pattern of typhoid emergence in Blantyre, whereas models allowing for an increase in the duration of infectiousness and/or the transmission rate of typhoid following the emergence of the H58 haplotype provided a good fit to the data. Our results suggest that an increase in the transmissibility of typhoid due to the emergence of drug resistance associated with the H58 haplotype may help to explain recent outbreaks of typhoid in Malawi and similar settings in Africa. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Wesevich, Austin; Mtande, Tiwonge; Saidi, Friday; Cromwell, Elizabeth; Tweya, Hannock; Hosseinipour, Mina C; Hoffman, Irving; Miller, William C; Rosenberg, Nora E
Malawi's Option B+ program provides all HIV-infected pregnant women free lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART), but challenges remain regarding retention and ART adherence, potentially due to male partner barriers. We explored relationships between male partner involvement and Option B+ retention and adherence. In 2014, a randomized controlled trial in Malawi compared male recruitment strategies for couple HIV testing and counseling (cHTC) at an antenatal clinic. This secondary analysis was conducted among the entire cohort (N = 200) of women, irrespective of randomization status. We assessed whether cHTC attendance, early disclosure of HIV-positive status, and partner ART reminders were associated with retention and adherence at one month after starting treatment. Retention was defined as attending HIV clinic follow-up within one day of running out of pills. Adherence was defined as taking ≥95% of ARTs by pill count. We used binomial regression to calculate adjusted risk ratios (aRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Median female age was 26 years. Most women (79%) were retained; of these, 68% were adherent. Receiving cHTC was associated with improved retention (aRR 1.33, 95% CI 1.12, 1.59). Receiving male partner ART reminders was weakly associated with retention (aRR 1.16, 95% CI 0.96, 1.39). Disclosure within one day was not associated with retention (aRR 1.08, 95% CI: 0.91, 1.28). Among those who were retained, these three behaviors were not associated with improved 95% adherence. CHTC could play an important role in improving Option B+ retention. Increasing cHTC participation and enhancing adherence-related messages within cHTC are important.
Kayser, Georgia L; Amjad, Urooj; Dalcanale, Fernanda; Bartram, Jamie; Bentley, Margaret E
Human health is greatly affected by inadequate access to sufficient and safe drinking water, especially in low and middle-income countries. Drinking water governance improvements may be one way to better drinking water quality. Over the past decade, many projects and international organizations have been dedicated to water governance; however, water governance in the drinking water sector is understudied and how to improve water governance remains unclear. We analyze drinking water governance challenges in three countries-Brazil, Ecuador, and Malawi-as perceived by government, service providers, and civil society organizations. A mixed methods approach was used: a clustering model was used for country selection and qualitative semi-structured interviews were used with direct observation in data collection. The clustering model integrated political, economic, social and environmental variables that impact water sector performance, to group countries. Brazil, Ecuador and Malawi were selected with the model so as to enhance the generalizability of the results. This comparative case study is important because similar challenges are identified in the drinking water sectors of each country; while, the countries represent diverse socio-economic and political contexts, and the selection process provides generalizability to our results. We find that access to safe water could be improved if certain water governance challenges were addressed: coordination and data sharing between ministries that deal with drinking water services; monitoring and enforcement of water quality laws; and sufficient technical capacity to improve administrative and technical management of water services at the local level. From an analysis of our field research, we also developed a conceptual framework that identifies policy levers that could be used to influence governance of drinking water quality on national and sub-national levels, and the relationships between these levers.
Yeatman, Sara; Dovel, Kathryn; Conroy, Amy; Namadingo, Hazel
This study measures HIV treatment optimism and its predictors in a representative sample of young adults in southern Malawi. In 2010, 1275 women and 470 men between the ages of 16 and 26 were asked about their exposure to people on antiretroviral therapy (ART), sexual risk behavior, HIV status, and beliefs about ART. We used confirmatory factor analysis to develop a 4-item scale of the belief that HIV is a less serious health threat due to ART (reduced-severity optimism) and used a single measure to capture belief in the reduced infectivity of HIV due to ART (reduced-susceptibility optimism). Overall, respondents reported low levels of HIV treatment optimism. Being female and using ART were the largest predictors of both types of treatment optimism. We found a nonlinear relationship between exposure to people on ART and reduced-severity optimism. People who knew someone on ART but did not discuss it with them had lower levels of reduced-severity optimism than people who did not know anyone on ART and people who regularly discussed treatment with someone on ART. In multivariate regression models, HIV treatment optimism was positively associated with all measures of sexual risk behavior among men, but negatively associated with unprotected sex with a nonprimary partner among women. Our findings suggest that the spread of ART in Malawi has not led to widespread HIV treatment optimism. This may reflect the relatively recent spread of ART, the generalized nature of the HIV epidemic, or the fact that access to ART is complicated by structural limitations that delay treatment and limited availability of second-line medicines.
Mulwafu, Wapulumuka O.; Nkhoma, Bryson G.
This paper examines the uses and management of water for agriculture in Lake Chilwa catchment area in Zomba district of Southern Malawi. It focuses on the Likangala Rice Irrigation Scheme Complex situated along the Likangala River. The scheme is one of the largest government-run schemes. Established in the late 1960s by the government to meet the growing demand for rice, the scheme contributes greatly to the agricultural industry of the country. Besides, the scheme was established to ensure maximum utilization of Malawi's largest wetland, which, due to its hydromorphic soils and the littoral floodplains, does not favour the production of traditional upland seasonal crops such as maize. The scheme's overdependence on water from the Likangala River has attracted a considerable degree of academic interest in the use and management of the river to ensure that there is equity and efficiency for both productive and domestic users. The paper focuses on four main issues: the historical development of the scheme, the distribution of water to farmers, social relations, and the overall contribution of the scheme towards the social and economic development of the area and the country in general. The paper contends that the growing population of the basin and the increase in the number of formal and informal smallholder farmers, contributes greatly to the growth of competition and conflicts over water, which tends to undermine the economic potential of the scheme. Furthermore, the paper provides clearest indication of the need for a realistic and informed water management policy and strategy to solve the growing problem of social inequity without necessarily compromising the production of rice in the scheme.
Dickinson, Natalie; Gulliver, John; MacPherson, Gordon; Atkinson, John; Rankin, Jean; Cummings, Maria; Nisbet, Zoe; Hursthouse, Andrew; Taylor, Avril; Robertson, Chris; Burghardt, Wolfgang
Global food insecurity is associated with micronutrient deficiencies and it has been suggested that 4.5 billion people world-wide are affected by deficiencies in iron, vitamin A and iodine. Zinc has also been identified to be of increasing concern. The most vulnerable are young children and women of childbearing age. A pilot study has been carried out in Southern Malawi, to attempt to link the geochemical and agricultural basis of micronutrient supply through spatial variability to maternal health and associated cultural and social aspects of nutrition. The aim is to establish the opportunity for concerted action to deliver step change improvements in the nutrition of developing countries. Field work undertaken in August 2007 and July/August 2008 involved the collection of blood, soil and crop samples, and questionnaires from ~100 pregnant women. Complex permissions and authorisation protocols were identified and found to be as much part of the cultural and social context of the work as the complexity of the interdisciplinary project. These issues are catalogued and discussed. A preliminary spatial evaluation is presented linking soil quality and food production to nutritional health. It also considers behavioural and cultural attitudes of women and children in two regions of southern Malawi, (the Shire Valley and Shire Highlands plateau). Differences in agricultural practice and widely varying soil quality (e.g. pH organic matter, C/N and metal content) were observed for both regions and full chemical analysis of soil and food is underway. Early assessment of blood data suggests major differences in health and nutritional status between the two regions. Differences in food availability and type and observations of life style are being evaluated through questionnaire analysis. The particular emphasis of the study is on the interdisciplinary opportunities and the barriers to progress in development support in subsistence communities. Engaging at the community level
Full Text Available Background and objectives: This study explores the perceptions of a wide range of stakeholders in Malawi towards the mental health impact of intimate partner violence (IPV and the capacity of health services for addressing these. Design: In-depth interviews (IDIs and focus group discussions (FGDs were conducted in three areas of Blantyre district, and in two additional districts. A total of 10 FGDs, 1 small group, and 14 IDIs with health care providers; 18 FGDs and 1 small group with male and female, urban and rural community members; 7 IDIs with female survivors; and 26 key informant interviews and 1 small group with government ministry staff, donors, gender-based violence service providers, religious institutions, and police were conducted. A thematic framework analysis method was applied to emerging themes. Results: The significant mental health impact of IPV was mentioned by all participants and formal care seeking was thought to be impeded by social pressures to resolve conflict, and fear of judgemental attitudes. Providers felt inadequately prepared to handle the psychosocial and mental health consequences of IPV; this was complicated by staff shortages, a lack of clarity on the mandate of the health sector, as well as confusion over the definition and need for ‘counselling’. Referral options to other sectors for mental health support were perceived as limited but the restructuring of the Ministry of Health to cover violence prevention, mental health, and alcohol and drug misuse under a single unit provides an opportunity. Conclusion: Despite widespread recognition of the burden of IPV-associated mental health problems in Malawi, there is limited capacity to support affected individuals at community or health sector level. Participants highlighted potential entry points to health services as well as local and national opportunities for interventions that are culturally appropriate and are built on local structures and resilience.
Ivory, S.; Lézine, A. M.; Vincens, A.; Cohen, A. S.
African ecosystems are at great risk due to climate and land-use change. Despite the status of several of these regions as biodiversity hotspots, long-standing ideas about African ecology and biogeography have been unable to be tested until now due to lack of sufficiently long records. Here, we present the first long, continuous terrestrial record of vegetation from Lake Malawi, East Africa which goes back to the early Late Quaternary, permitting us to investigate changes in physiognomy and forest composition over many transitions. In this record, we observe eight phases of forest expansion and collapse. Although diversity is much greater during forest phases, composition varies little from phase to phase. Very high abundances of afromontane taxa suggest frequent widespread colonization of the lowlands by modern high elevation trees. Although there are clear successional stages within each forest such that turnover is great within a single phase, among forest samples between phases, there is little dissimilarity. Each forest phase is interrupted by rapid decline of arboreal taxa and expansion of semi-arid grasslands or woodlands whose composition varies greatly from phase to phase. The variable composition of the more open phases, all occurring during arid periods, is likely dynamically linked to thresholds in regional hydrology associated with lake level and moisture recycling within the watershed. This vegetation is unlike any found at Malawi today, with assemblages suggesting strong Somali-Masai affinities. Furthermore, nearly all semi-arid assemblages contain small abundances of forest taxa typically growing in areas with wetter edaphic conditions, suggesting that moist lowland gallery forests were present but restricted to waterways during exceptionally arid times. The waxing and waning of forests throughout this interval has important implications for early human biogeography across Africa as well as disturbance regimes that are crucial for the maintenance of
Roman, Elaine; Wallon, Michelle; Brieger, William; Dickerson, Aimee; Rawlins, Barbara; Agarwal, Koki
Background: Pregnant women and infants are particularly vulnerable to malaria. National malaria in pregnancy (MIP) programs in Malawi, Senegal, and Zambia were reviewed to identify promising strategies that have helped these countries achieve relatively high coverage of MIP interventions as well as ongoing challenges that have inhibited further progress. Methods: We used a systematic case study methodology to assess health system strengths and challenges in the 3 countries, including desk reviews of available reports and literature and key informant interviews with national stakeholders. Data were collected between 2009 and 2011 and analyzed across 8 MIP health systems components: (1) integration of programs and services, (2) policy, (3) commodities, (4) quality assurance, (5) capacity building, (6) community involvement, (7) monitoring and evaluation, and (8) financing. Within each program area, we ranked degree of scale up across 4 stages and synthesized the findings in a MIP table of analysis to reveal common themes related to better practices, remaining bottlenecks, and opportunities to accelerate MIP coverage, strengthen MIP programs, and improve results. Findings: Each of the 3 countries has malaria policies in place that reflect current MIP guidance from the World Health Organization. The 3 countries successfully integrated MIP interventions into a platform of antenatal care services, but coordination at the national level was disjointed. All 3 countries recognized the importance of having a MIP focal person to ensure collaboration and planning at the national level, but only Malawi had appointed one. Commodity stockouts were frequent due to problems at all levels of the logistics system, from quantification to distribution. Lack of support for quality assurance and weak monitoring and evaluation mechanisms across all 3 countries affected optimal coverage. Conclusions: MIP programs should address all 8 interconnected MIP health systems areas holistically, in
Child malnutrition remains widespread in many developing countries. Malnutrition during infancy may substantially increase vulnerability to infection and disease, and the risk of premature death. Malnutrition in children may also lead to permanent effects and to their having diminished health capital later in life as adults. These negative consequences of child malnutrition entail that the reduction of child malnutrition is vital for the social-economic development of countries. Urban children generally have better nutritional status than rural children. Malawi is no exception in this regard. The objective of this paper is to explore how much of the rural-urban nutrition gap in Malawi is explained and how much is unexplained by differences in characteristics. Using data from the 2006 multiple indicator cluster survey (MICS), the paper used the Nopo decomposition method to decompose the rural-urban malnutrition gap. This nonparametric method takes into account the fact that the supports of the distributions of characteristics between the two areas can be different. The results show that 90% and 89% of the stunting and underweight gaps respectively would be eliminated if there were no urban children with combinations of characteristics which positively influence child nutrition that remain entirely unmatched by rural children. Further to that, 4% and 6% of the stunting and underweight gaps respectively would disappear if there were no rural children with combinations of characteristics which negatively affect child nutrition that remain entirely unmatched by urban children. These findings suggest that the characteristics which negatively affect child nutrition in rural areas play a small role in the gap, and that most of the gap is largely due to the favourable characteristics such as better parental education and better household economic status among others that urban children have. The findings imply that in order to reduce the malnutrition gap policy
Gombachika, Belinda Chimphamba; Sundby, Johanne; Chirwa, Ellen; Malata, Address
The advent of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has allowed couples living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to live longer and healthier lives. The reduction in the mother-to-child transmission of HIV has encouraged some people living with HIV (PLWH) to have children. However, little is known about the parenting experiences of couples living with HIV (CLWH). The aim of this qualitative study was to explore and describe parenting experiences of seroconcordant couples who have a child while living with HIV in Malawi. Data were collected using in-depth interviews with 14 couples purposively sampled in matrilineal Chiradzulu and patrilineal Chikhwawa communities from July to December 2010. The research findings shows that irrespective of kinship organization, economic hardships, food insecurity, gender-specific role expectations and conflicting information from health institutions and media about sources of support underpin their parenting roles. In addition, male spouses are directly involved in household activities, childcare and child feeding decisions, challenging the existing stereotyped gender norms. In the absence of widow inheritance, widows from patrilineal communities are not receiving the expected support from the deceased husband relatives. Finally, the study has shown that CLWH are able to find solutions for the challenges they encounter. Contrary to existing belief that such who have children depend solely on public aid. Such claims without proper knowledge of local social cultural contexts, may contribute to stigmatizing CLWH who continue to have children. The study is also relevant to PLWH who, although not parents themselves, are confronted with a situation where they have to accept responsibility for raising children from their kin. We suggest the longer-term vision for ART wide access in Malawi to be broadened beyond provision of ART to incorporate social and economic interventions that support the rebuilding of CLWH social and economic lives. The
Kanyerere, Henry; Harries, Anthony D; Tayler-Smith, Katie; Jahn, Andreas; Zachariah, Rony; Chimbwandira, Frank M; Mpunga, James
Since 1985, Malawi has experienced a dual epidemic of HIV and tuberculosis (TB) which has been moderated recently by the advent of antiretroviral therapy (ART). The aim of this study was to describe the association over several decades between HIV/AIDS, the scale-up of ART and TB case notifications. Aggregate data were extracted from annual reports of the National TB Control Programme, the Ministry of Health HIV Department and the National Statistics Office. ART coverage was calculated using the total HIV population as denominator (derived from UNAIDS Spectrum software). In 1970, there were no HIV-infected persons but numbers had increased to a maximum of 1.18 million by 2014. HIV prevalence reached a maximum of 10.8% in 2000, thereafter decreasing to 7.5% by 2014. Numbers alive on ART increased from 2586 in 2003 to 536 527 (coverage 45.3%) by 2014. In 1985, there were 5286 TB cases which reached a maximum of 28 234 in 2003 and then decreased to 17 723 by 2014 (37% decline from 2003). There were increases in all types of new TB between 1998-2003 which then declined by 30% for extrapulmonary TB, by 37% for new smear-positive PTB and by 50% for smear-negative PTB. Previously treated TB cases reached a maximum of 3443 in 2003 and then declined by 42% by 2014. The rise and fall of TB in Malawi between 1985 and 2014 was strongly associated with HIV infection and ART scale-up; this has implications for ending the TB epidemic in high HIV-TB burden countries. © 2015 The Authors. Tropical Medicine & International Health Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Miriam K. Joshua
Full Text Available Climate change and variability are a threat to sustainable agricultural production in semi-arid areas of Malawi. Overdependence on subsistence rain-fed agriculture in these areas calls for the identification of sustainable adaptation strategies. A study was therefore conducted in Chikwawa, a semi-arid district in southern Malawi, to: (1 assess community’s perception of a changing climate against empirical evidence, (2 determine their local adaptive measures, (3 evaluate the potential of irrigated agriculture as an adaptive measure in household food security and (4 challenges over access to available water resources. The study employed focus group discussions and key informant interviews to assess people’s perceptions of climate change and variability and their desired interventions. To validate the people’s perceptions, rainfall and temperature data for the period 1960–2010 were analysed. A participatory complete randomised experimental design in both rain-fed and dry season–irrigated conditions was conducted to assess a maize cropping system that would improve adaptation. The study established persistent declining yields from rain-fed production in part because of perennial rainfall failure. In response, the community has shifted its focus to irrigation as an adaptation strategy, which has in turn triggered water conflicts in the community over the control of the resource. Water legislation however fails to adequately provide for rules governing sharing of water resources between various stakeholders. This article therefore recommends development of an appropriate institutional framework that forms a strong basis for equitable distribution of water for irrigation in areas most vulnerable to extreme climate events – including droughts and floods. Keywords: Food Security; Climate Change and Variability; Rainfall Variability; Irrigation; Water Resources; Governance Crisis
Frye, Margaret; Chae, Sophia
BACKGROUND Qualitative evidence from sub-Saharan Africa, where a generalized AIDS epidemic exists, suggests that attractiveness may play a role in shaping individual-level HIV risk. Attractive women, who are often blamed for the epidemic and stigmatized, are believed to pose a higher HIV risk because they are viewed as having more and riskier partners. OBJECTIVE We examine the association between perceived attractiveness and HIV infection and risk in rural Malawi in the midst of the country’s severe AIDS epidemic. METHODS We use interviewers’ ratings of respondents’ attractiveness, along with HIV test results and women’s assessments of their own likelihood of infection, to estimate the association between perceived attractiveness and HIV infection and risk for a random sample of 961 women aged 15–35. RESULTS Results show that women who are rated by interviewers as ‘much less’ or ‘less’ attractive than other women their age are 9% more likely to test positive for HIV. We also find that attractiveness is associated with women’s own assessments of their HIV risk: Among women who tested negative, those perceived as ‘much less’ or ‘less’ attractive than average report themselves to be at greater risk of HIV infection. CONCLUSIONS These results suggest that attractiveness is negatively associated with HIV risk in Malawi, countering local beliefs that hold attractive women responsible for perpetuating the epidemic. CONTRIBUTION This study highlights the need to consider perceived physical attractiveness, and sexual desirability more broadly, as an under-examined axis of inequality in HIV risk in high-prevalence settings. PMID:29242708
McLean, Estelle; Price, Alison; Chihana, Menard; Kayuni, Ndoliwe; Marston, Milly; Koole, Olivier; Zaba, Basia; Crampin, Amelia
HIV reduces fertility through biological and social pathways, and antiretroviral treatment (ART) can ameliorate these effects. In northern Malawi, ART has been available since 2007 and lifelong ART is offered to all pregnant or breastfeeding HIV-positive women. Using data from the Karonga Health and Demographic Surveillance Site in Malawi from 2005 to 2014, we used total and age-specific fertility rates and Cox regression to assess associations between HIV and ART use and fertility. We also assessed temporal trends in in utero and breastfeeding HIV and ART exposure among live births. From 2005 to 2014, there were 13,583 live births during approximately 78,000 person years of follow-up of women aged 15-49 years. The total fertility rate in HIV-negative women decreased from 6.1 [95% confidence interval (CI): 5.5 to 6.8] in 2005-2006 to 5.1 (4.8-5.5) in 2011-2014. In HIV-positive women, the total fertility rate was more stable, although lower, at 4.4 (3.2-6.1) in 2011-2014. In 2011-2014, compared with HIV-negative women, the adjusted (age, marital status, and education) hazard ratio was 0.7 (95% CI: 0.6 to 0.9) and 0.8 (95% CI: 0.6 to 1.0) for women on ART for at least 9 months and not (yet) on ART, respectively. The crude fertility rate increased with duration on ART up to 3 years before declining. The proportion of HIV-exposed infants decreased, but the proportion of ART-exposed infants increased from 2.4% in 2007-2010 to 3.5% in 2011-2014. Fertility rates in HIV-positive women are stable in the context of generally decreasing fertility. Despite a decrease in HIV-exposed infants, there has been an increase in ART-exposed infants.
Tesfaye, Kindie; Jaleta, Moti; Jena, Pradyot; Mutenje, Munyaradzi
Conservation agriculture (CA) is being promoted as an option for reducing soil degradation, conserving water, enhancing crop productivity, and maintaining yield stability. However, CA is a knowledge- and technology-intensive practice, and may not be feasible or may not perform better than conventional agriculture under all conditions and farming systems. Using high resolution (≈1 km2) biophysical and socioeconomic geospatial data, this study identified potential recommendation domains (RDs) for CA in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi. The biophysical variables used were soil texture, surface slope, and rainfall while the socioeconomic variables were market access and human and livestock population densities. Based on feasibility and comparative performance of CA over conventional agriculture, the biophysical and socioeconomic factors were first used to classify cultivated areas into three biophysical and three socioeconomic potential domains, respectively. Combinations of biophysical and socioeconomic domains were then used to develop potential RDs for CA based on adoption potential within the cultivated areas. About 39, 12, and 5 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and socioeconomic potential while 50, 39, and 21 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and medium socioeconomic potential for CA in Malawi, Kenya, and Ethiopia, respectively. The results indicate considerable acreages of land with high CA adoption potential in the mixed crop-livestock systems of the studied countries. However, there are large differences among countries depending on biophysical and socio-economic conditions. The information generated in this study could be used for targeting CA and prioritizing CA-related agricultural research and investment priorities in the three countries.
Steinhardt, Laura C; Chinkhumba, Jobiba; Wolkon, Adam; Luka, Madalitso; Luhanga, Misheck; Sande, John; Oyugi, Jessica; Ali, Doreen; Mathanga, Don; Skarbinski, Jacek
Malaria is endemic throughout Malawi, but little is known about quality of malaria case management at publicly-funded health facilities, which are the major source of care for febrile patients. In April-May 2011, we conducted a nationwide, geographically-stratified health facility survey to assess the quality of outpatient malaria diagnosis and treatment. We enrolled patients presenting for care and conducted exit interviews and re-examinations, including reference blood smears. Moreover, we assessed health worker readiness (e.g., training, supervision) and health facility capacity (e.g. availability of diagnostics and antimalarials) to provide malaria case management. All analyses accounted for clustering and unequal selection probabilities. We also used survey weights to produce estimates of national caseloads. At the 107 facilities surveyed, most of the 136 health workers interviewed (83%) had received training on malaria case management. However, only 24% of facilities had functional microscopy, 15% lacked a thermometer, and 19% did not have the first-line artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), artemether-lumefantrine, in stock. Of 2,019 participating patients, 34% had clinical malaria (measured fever or self-reported history of fever plus a positive reference blood smear). Only 67% (95% confidence interval (CI): 59%, 76%) of patients with malaria were correctly prescribed an ACT, primarily due to missed malaria diagnosis. Among patients without clinical malaria, 31% (95% CI: 24%, 39%) were prescribed an ACT. By our estimates, 1.5 million of the 4.4 million malaria patients seen in public facilities annually did not receive correct treatment, and 2.7 million patients without clinical malaria were inappropriately given an ACT. Malawi has a high burden of uncomplicated malaria but nearly one-third of all patients receive incorrect malaria treatment, including under- and over-treatment. To improve malaria case management, facilities must at minimum have
Mulwafu, W.; Chipeta, C.; Chavula, G.; Ferguson, A.; Nkhoma, B. G.; Chilima, G.
This paper discusses the status of water demand management (WDM) in Malawi. Findings from the study indicate that, while WDM is highly advocated in the urban and peri-urban areas, very few aspects of WDM are practiced in the rural areas. The water pricing structure that the supplying institutions established serves as a disincentive for water wastages in the urban areas. Both private firms and individuals use various measures to conserve water as a way of minimizing water consumption. The motives for water conservation range from profit maximization to inadequate financial resources to meet the costs of water respectively. In the rural areas where water is supplied at no cost, the people tend to pay less attention to water conservation. In cases where water providers attempted to institute factors of cost sharing, the rural inhabitants tended to be reluctant to contribute. This is so because people view water as a social good that should be supplied to them free of charge. The paper demonstrates that although some aspects of WDM are being practiced in the country, the existing conditions on the ground militate against its increased expansion as a strategy for promoting an efficient and equitable use of existing water resources. A large section of the population still lack access to potable water and the Malawi government is committed to the provision of basic water services. Yet WDM will become even more critical in future because of the growing competition for water resources, particularly due to the growing population and the increasing economic activities such as farming, industrialization and urbanization. The paper argues that despite the promising benefits that WDM has, its promotion must necessarily be infused with ideas of water supply, considering that the largest population still lacks access to potable water. Coupled with this will be the need for a proper policy framework that promotes public awareness for people to start appreciating the economic value
Hennessee, Ian; Chinkhumba, Jobiba; Briggs-Hagen, Melissa; Bauleni, Andy; Shah, Monica P; Chalira, Alfred; Moyo, Dubulao; Dodoli, Wilfred; Luhanga, Misheck; Sande, John; Ali, Doreen; Gutman, Julie; Lindblade, Kim A; Njau, Joseph; Mathanga, Don P
With 71% of Malawians living on malaria are likely a major economic burden for low income families and may constitute an important barrier to care seeking. Nevertheless, few efforts have been made to examine these costs. This paper describes household costs associated with seeking and receiving inpatient care for malaria in health facilities in Malawi. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a representative nationwide sample of 36 health facilities providing inpatient treatment for malaria from June-August, 2012. Patients admitted at least 12 h before study team visits who had been prescribed an antimalarial after admission were eligible to provide cost information for their malaria episode, including care seeking at previous health facilities. An ingredients-based approach was used to estimate direct costs. Indirect costs were estimated using a human capital approach. Key drivers of total household costs for illness episodes resulting in malaria admission were assessed by fitting a generalized linear model, accounting for clustering at the health facility level. Out of 100 patients who met the eligibility criteria, 80 (80%) provided cost information for their entire illness episode to date and were included: 39% of patients were under 5 years old and 75% had sought care for the malaria episode at other facilities prior to coming to the current facility. Total household costs averaged $17.48 per patient; direct and indirect household costs averaged $7.59 and $9.90, respectively. Facility management type, household distance from the health facility, patient age, high household wealth, and duration of hospital stay were all significant drivers of overall costs. Although malaria treatment is supposed to be free in public health facilities, households in Malawi still incur high direct and indirect costs for malaria illness episodes that result in hospital admission. Finding ways to minimize the economic burden of inpatient malaria care is crucial to protect
Full Text Available Abstract Background Stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness are strongly linked to suffering, disability and poverty. In order to protect the rights of those with mental disorders and to sensitively develop services, it is vital to gain a more accurate understanding of the frequency and nature of stigma against people with mental illness. Little research about this issue has been conducted in Sub- Saharan Africa. Our study aimed to describe levels of stigma in Malawi. Methods A cross-sectional survey of patients and carers attending mental health and non-mental health related clinics in a general hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. Participants were interviewed using an adapted version of the questionnaire developed for the “World Psychiatric Association Program to Reduce Stigma and Discrimination Because of Schizophrenia”. Results 210 participants participated in our study. Most attributed mental disorder to alcohol and illicit drug abuse (95.7%. This was closely followed by brain disease (92.8%, spirit possession (82.8% and psychological trauma (76.1%. There were some associations found between demographic variables and single question responses, however no consistent trends were observed in stigmatising beliefs. These results should be interpreted with caution and in the context of existing research. Contrary to the international literature, having direct personal experience of mental illness seemed to have no positive effect on stigmatising beliefs in our sample. Conclusions Our study contributes to an emerging picture that individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa most commonly attribute mental illness to alcohol/ illicit drug use and spirit possession. Our work adds weight to the argument that stigma towards mental illness is an important global health and human rights issue.
Nkaonja, R S.W.
The Rural Fuel-wood and Poles Research Project was initiated to provide information about afforestation in the dry silvicultural zones. Plantation forestry in Malawi has concentrated on production of timber, poles, and pulpwood. It is estimated that 90% of Malawi's population of 5.5 million live in rural communities, and that the purely domestic wood requirement is 4.05 cubic m per family (of five) annually. In addition, wood is required for agricultural purposes such as tobacco curing. The remaining indigenous forest cannot meet the demand. There is an urgent need for plantations. Rather than simply planting trees, the aim is to make local communities self-sufficient in forest products. In view of the shortage of land, great emphasis is placed on trying species which have many end-uses-- e.g., poles, fuel-wood, mulch, fodder, and shade--and those which can be grown together with farm crops, a concept known as ''agroforestry.'' Over 20 ha of trials were established at locations in the three regions of the country. Acacia albida allows maize and other farm crops to grow under it, provides good shade and fodder, and--as legume--enriches the soil with nitrogen. Eucalypts were included because most produce straight poles for construction, are drought-hardy, and are rated higher than Gmelina arborea in calorific value, durability, and strength. Another tree favored for its multiple uses is Leucaena leucocephala (Hawaiian giant), but it appears that there is considerable mixture of varieties in the seeds. With the exception of one trial at Bwanje, trials have not included farm crops, but the agroforestry element will be a very important consideration in future trials.
Masulani-Mwale, C; Mathanga, D; Silungwe, D; Kauye, F; Gladstone, M
Rates of disability are high in resource poor settings with 85% of children with disabilities living in these settings. Long-term caregiving for disabled children is associated with fatigue, financial difficulties, parenting distress and other psychological issues. While such parents of children have repeatedly highlighted their feelings of discrimination, stigma and exclusion, leading to mental health issues, there is little research from the developing world addressing these issues. This study aims to explore psychological experiences of parents caring for children with intellectual disabilities; understand their mechanisms of coping and their psychosocial needs in Malawi. This study used a qualitative phenomenological design. We purposively sampled parents who had children diagnosed with intellectual disability from two clinics in two cities in Malawi. Between January 2015 and March 2015, we conducted 10 focus group discussions and four in-depth interviews. All ethical study procedures were carefully followed. All interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and translated from vernacular to English. Thematic approach of data analysis was adopted to understand the data. Caring for intellectually disabled children comes with a number of challenges. Parents have limited access to services for their children let alone for their own psychological issues; they experience stigma and discrimination, have mental health issues resulting from the caring role, have suicidal ideas and in some cases have even been coerced by neighbours to kill their disabled child. To manage these issues, most parents cope through their spirituality. Apart from suicide and filicide, the findings of this study are similar to those performed in other countries. It is recommended that parents' psychological issues be managed concurrently when providing services for their children. There is also a need to develop psychosocial training interventions to address the needs of the parents of these
Lowe, R.; Chadza, T.; Chirombo, J.; Fonda, C.; Muyepa, A.; Nkoloma, M.; Pietrosemoli, E.; Radicella, S. M.; Tompkins, A. M.; Zennaro, M.
It is commonly accepted that climate plays a role in the transmission of many infectious diseases, particularly those transmitted by mosquitoes such as malaria, which is one of the most important causes of mortality and morbidity in developing countries. Due to time lags involved in the climate-disease transmission system, lagged observed climate variables could provide some predictive lead for forecasting disease epidemics. This lead time could be extended by using forecasts of the climate in disease prediction models. This project aims to implement a platform for the dissemination of climate-driven disease risk forecasts, using a telemedicine approach. A pilot project has been established in Malawi, where a 162 km wireless link has been installed, spanning from Blantyre City to remote health facilities in the district of Mangochi in the Southern region, bordering Lake Malawi. This long Wi-Fi technology allows rural health facilities to upload real-time disease cases as they occur to an online health information system (DHIS2); a national medical database repository administered by the Ministry of Health. This technology provides a real-time data logging system for disease incidence monitoring and facilitates the flow of information between local and national levels. This platform allows statistical and dynamical disease prediction models to be rapidly updated with real-time climate and epidemiological information. This permits health authorities to target timely interventions ahead of an imminent increase in malaria incidence. By integrating meteorological and health information systems in a statistical-dynamical prediction model, we show that a long-distance Wi-Fi link is a practical and inexpensive means to enable the rapid analysis of real-time information in order to target disease prevention and control measures and mobilise resources at the local level.
Yeatman, Sara; Trinitapoli, Jenny
Policies for rationing antiretroviral therapy (ART) have been subject to on-going ethical debates. Introduced in Malawi in 2011, Option B+ prioritized HIV-positive pregnant women for lifelong ART regardless of the underlying state of their immune system, shifting the logic of allocation away from medical eligibility. Despite the rapid expansion of this policy, we know little about how it has been understood and interpreted by the people it affects. We assessed awareness and perceived fairness of the prioritization system for ART among a population-based sample of young women (n = 1440) and their partners (n = 574) in southern Malawi. We use a card-sort technique to elicit understandings of who gets ART under Option B+ and who should be prioritized, and we compare perceptions to actual ART policy using sequence analysis and optimal matching. We then use ordered logistic regression to identify the factors associated with policy awareness. In 2015, only 30.7% of women and 21.1% of male partners understood how ART was being distributed. There was widespread confusion around whether otherwise healthy HIV-positive pregnant women could access ART under Option B + . Nonetheless, more young adults thought that the fairest policy should prioritize such women than believed the actual policy did. Women who were older, more educated or had recently engaged with the health system through antenatal care or ART had more accurate understandings of Option B + . Among men, policy awareness was lower, and was patterned only by education. Although most respondents were unaware that Option B+ afforded ART access to healthy-pregnant women, Malawians support the prioritization of pregnant women. Countries adopting Option B+ or other new ART policies such as universal test-and-treat should communicate the policies and their rationales to the public - such transparency would be more consistent with a fair and ethical process and could additionally serve to clarify confusion and
Lencucha, Raphael; Reddy, Srikanth K; Labonte, Ronald; Drope, Jeffrey; Magati, Peter; Goma, Fastone; Zulu, Richard; Makoka, Donald
Tobacco control norms have gained momentum over the past decade. To date 43 of 47 Sub-Saharan African countries are party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The near universal adoption of the FCTC illustrates the increasing strength of these norms, although the level of commitment to implement the provisions varies widely. However, tobacco control is enmeshed in a web of international norms that has bearing on how governments implement and strengthen tobacco control measures. Given that economic arguments in favor of tobacco production remain a prominent barrier to tobacco control efforts, there is a continued need to examine how economic sectors frame and mobilize their policy commitments to tobacco production. This study explores the proposition that divergence of international norms fosters policy divergence within governments. This study was conducted in three African countries: Kenya, Malawi, and Zambia. These countries represent a continuum of tobacco control policy, whereby Kenya is one of the most advanced countries in Africa in this respect, whereas Malawi is one of the few countries that is not a party to the FCTC and has implemented few measures. We conducted 55 key informant interviews (Zambia = 23; Kenya = 17; Malawi = 15). Data analysis involved deductive coding of interview transcripts and notes to identify reference to international norms (i.e. commitments, agreements, institutions), coupled with an inductive analysis that sought to interpret the meaning participants ascribe to these norms. Our analysis suggests that commitments to tobacco control have yet to penetrate non-health sectors, who perceive tobacco control as largely in conflict with international economic norms. The reasons for this perceived conflict seems to include: (1) an entrenched and narrow conceptualization of economic development norms, (2) the power of economic interests to shape policy discourses, and (3) a structural divide between sectors in
Madsen, Lizell Bustamante; Ustrup, Marte; Hansen, Karsten S.
in the national immunisation programme of a low-income country. Furthermore, the aim was to examine the relative contribution of different components to the total cost. methods Following the World Health Organization guidelines, we estimated the resource use and costs associated with rotavirus vaccine...... implementation, using Malawi as a case. The cost analysis was undertaken from a governmental perspective. All costs were calculated for a 5-years period (2012–2016) and discounted at 5%. The value of key input parameters was varied in a sensitivity analysis. results The total cost of rotavirus vaccine...... purchase, while 17% was attributed to system costs, with personnel, transportation and cold chain as the main cost components. conclusion The total cost of rotavirus vaccine implementation in Malawi is high compared with the governmental health budget of US$ 26 per capita per year. This highlights the need...
Ewout S Schut
Full Text Available We have previously developed and validated a prognostic model to predict the risk for unfavorable outcome in Dutch adults with bacterial meningitis. The aim of the current study was to validate this model in adults with bacterial meningitis from two developing countries, Vietnam and Malawi. Demographic and clinical characteristics of Vietnamese (n = 426, Malawian patients (n = 465 differed substantially from those of Dutch patients (n = 696. The Dutch model underestimated the risk of poor outcome in both Malawi and Vietnam. The discrimination of the original model (c-statistic [c] 0.84; 95% confidence interval 0.81 to 0.86 fell considerably when re-estimated in the Vietnam cohort (c = 0.70 or in the Malawian cohort (c = 0.68. Our validation study shows that new prognostic models have to be developed for these countries in a sufficiently large series of unselected patients.
This textbook is a comprehensive treatment of ordinary differential equations, concisely presenting basic and essential results in a rigorous manner. Including various examples from physics, mechanics, natural sciences, engineering and automatic theory, Differential Equations is a bridge between the abstract theory of differential equations and applied systems theory. Particular attention is given to the existence and uniqueness of the Cauchy problem, linear differential systems, stability theory and applications to first-order partial differential equations. Upper undergraduate students and researchers in applied mathematics and systems theory with a background in advanced calculus will find this book particularly useful. Supplementary topics are covered in an appendix enabling the book to be completely self-contained.
Tione, S. E.; Katengeza, Samson P.; Mangisoni, Julius H.
Developing countries have been promoting initiatives that aim at reducing information asymmetry among market players especially smallholder farmers. Using co-integration error correction models, the study assessed effectiveness of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) based market interventions in improving maize market efficiency in Malawi. Considering that efficient markets are integrated markets when price difference is only a factor of transaction costs, Threshold Autore...
Muula, A S; Siziya, S; Rudatsikira, E
The majority of adults who smoke cigarettes initiated the habit when they were adolescents or young adults. While rates of smoking and associated factors are known among 13-15 year olds in Malawi, correlates of cigarette smoking among adolescents in a national representative sample in Malawi have not been studied. We, therefore, carried out this study to estimate the prevalence of current smoking and determine its correlates in a nationally representative sample of in-school adolescents in Malawi. An analysis of the Malawi Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2005 was conducted. Using logistic regression analysis, we estimated the association between current cigarette smoking and potential explanatory variables. Overall, 2.5% of adolescents (3.2% among males, and 1.8% among females) were current cigarette smokers. Smoking among parents was 9.6% with no significant difference between males and females (10.3% versus 10.1%). Stronger associations with smoking were observed for friends smoking status (AOR=3.07, 95%CI 2.99, 3.16), receiving pocket money (AOR=3.06, 95%CI 2.98, 3.14), and perception that smoking increases body weight (AOR=2.98, 95%CI 2.81, 3.16). Students who thought that cigarette smoking is harmful to health were 56% (AOR=0.44, 95%CI 0.43, 0.45) less likely to smoke than students who thought otherwise. Despite being the world's second leading grower of tobacco, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adolescent is lower than has been reported elsewhere.
Blaauw, Duane; Ditlopo, Prudence; Maseko, Fresier; Chirwa, Maureen; Mwisongo, Aziza; Bidwell, Posy; Thomas, Steve; Normand, Charles
Job satisfaction is an important determinant of health worker motivation, retention, and performance, all of which are critical to improving the functioning of health systems in low- and middle-income countries. A number of small-scale surveys have measured the job satisfaction and intention to leave of individual health worker cadres in different settings, but there are few multi-country and multi-cadre comparative studies. The objective of this study was to compare the job satisfaction and intention to leave of different categories of health workers in Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa. We undertook a cross-sectional survey of a stratified cluster sample of 2,220 health workers, 564 from Tanzania, 939 from Malawi, and 717 from South Africa. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire, which included demographic information, a 10-item job satisfaction scale, and one question on intention to leave. Multiple regression was used to identify significant predictors of job satisfaction and intention to leave. There were statistically significant differences in job satisfaction and intention to leave between the three countries. Approximately 52.1% of health workers in South Africa were satisfied with their jobs compared to 71% from Malawi and 82.6% from Tanzania (χ2=140.3, pjob satisfaction is statistically related to intention to leave. We have shown differences in the levels of job satisfaction and intention to leave between different groups of health workers from Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa. Our results caution against generalising about the effectiveness of interventions in different contexts and highlight the need for less standardised and more targeted HRH strategies than has been practised to date.
Sims Sanyahumbi, Amy; Sable, Craig A; Beaton, Andrea; Chimalizeni, Yamikani; Guffey, Danielle; Hosseinipour, Mina; Karlsten, Melissa; Kazembe, Peter N; Kennedy, Neil; Minard, Charles G; Penny, Daniel J
Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is the largest cardiac cause of morbidity and mortality in the world's youth. Early detection of RHD through echocardiographic screening in asymptomatic children may identify an early stage of disease, when secondary prophylaxis has the greatest chance of stopping disease progression. Latent RHD signifies echocardiographic evidence of RHD with no known history of acute rheumatic fever and no clinical symptoms. Determine the prevalence of latent RHD among children ages 5-16 in Lilongwe, Malawi. This is a cross-sectional study in which children ages 5 through 16 were screened for RHD using echocardiography. Screening was conducted in 3 schools and surrounding communities in the Lilongwe district of Malawi between February and April 2014. Children were diagnosed as having no, borderline, or definite RHD as defined by World Heart Federation criteria. The primary reader completed offline reads of all studies. A second reader reviewed all of the studies diagnosed as RHD, plus a selection of normal studies. A third reader served as tiebreaker for discordant diagnoses. The distribution of results was compared between gender, location, and age categories using Fisher's exact test. The prevalence of latent RHD was 3.4% (95% CI = 2.45, 4.31), with 0.7% definite RHD and 2.7% borderline RHD. There was no significant differences in prevalence between gender (P = .44), site (P = .6), urban vs. peri-urban (P = .75), or age (P = .79). Of those with definite RHD, all were diagnosed because of pathologic mitral regurgitation (MR) and 2 morphologic features of the mitral valve. Of those with borderline RHD, most met the criteria by having pathological MR (92.3%). Malawi has a high rate of latent RHD, which is consistent with other results from sub-Saharan Africa. This study strongly supports the need for a RHD prevention and control program in Malawi. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Zgovu, Evious K.
This paper analyses the relative importance of trade policy and ‘natural’ trade barriers in the demand for imports for Malawi, a geographically landlocked sub-Saharan African economy, using an augmented dynamic import demand model. Incidence analysis of protection shows that pre-liberalisation trade policy barriers were greater than ‘natural’ barriers but in post-liberalisation ‘natural’ barriers were greater. Econometric analysis of the import demand model shows that ‘true’ protection of imp...
Sodhi, Sumeet; Banda, Hastings; Kathyola, Damson; Burciul, Barry; Thompson, Sandy; Joshua, Martias; Bateman, Eric; Fairall, Lara; Martiniuk, Alexandra; Cornick, Ruth; Faris, Gill; Draper, Beverley; Mondiwa, Martha; Katengeza, Egnat; Sanudi, Lifah
Abstract Background Nearly 3 million people in resource-poor countries receive antiretrovirals for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, yet millions more require treatment. Key barriers to treatment scale up are shortages of trained health care workers, and challenges integrating HIV/AIDS care with primary care. The research PALM PLUS (Practical Approach to Lung Health and HIV/AIDS in Malawi) is an intervention designed to simplify and integrate existing Malawian national guidelines into a single, simp...
Blaauw, Duane; Ditlopo, Prudence; Maseko, Fresier; Chirwa, Maureen; Mwisongo, Aziza; Bidwell, Posy; Thomas, Steve; Normand, Charles
Background Job satisfaction is an important determinant of health worker motivation, retention, and performance, all of which are critical to improving the functioning of health systems in low- and middle-income countries. A number of small-scale surveys have measured the job satisfaction and intention to leave of individual health worker cadres in different settings, but there are few multi-country and multi-cadre comparative studies. Objective The objective of this study was to compare the job satisfaction and intention to leave of different categories of health workers in Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa. Methods We undertook a cross-sectional survey of a stratified cluster sample of 2,220 health workers, 564 from Tanzania, 939 from Malawi, and 717 from South Africa. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire, which included demographic information, a 10-item job satisfaction scale, and one question on intention to leave. Multiple regression was used to identify significant predictors of job satisfaction and intention to leave. Results There were statistically significant differences in job satisfaction and intention to leave between the three countries. Approximately 52.1% of health workers in South Africa were satisfied with their jobs compared to 71% from Malawi and 82.6% from Tanzania (χ2=140.3, pjob satisfaction is statistically related to intention to leave. Conclusions We have shown differences in the levels of job satisfaction and intention to leave between different groups of health workers from Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa. Our results caution against generalising about the effectiveness of interventions in different contexts and highlight the need for less standardised and more targeted HRH strategies than has been practised to date. PMID:23364090
Teplitz Sembitzky, W.
Land clearing and forest sector residues, notably the wastewood generated on large timber plantations, can provide a sizeable and hitherto neglected source of woodfuel. This article highlights experience in Malawi where wastewood from pine plantations is converted into charcoal that is sold to residential, industrial and agro-industrial users. Similar initiatives proposed in other countries of sub-Saharan Africa indicate that comprehensive utilization of wastewood resources could help to reduce regional and local imbalances. (author). 19 refs
McLean, Estelle; Dube, Albert; Saul, Jacky; Branson, Keith; Luhanga, Mabvuto; Mwiba, Oddie; Kalobekamo, Fredrick; Geis, Steffen; Crampin, Amelia C
ABSTRACT This article aims to assess multiple issues of resources, staffing, local opinion, data quality, cost, and security while transitioning to electronic data collection (EDC) at a long-running community research site in northern Malawi. Levels of missing and error fields, delay from data collection to availability, and average number of interviews per day were compared between EDC and paper in a complex, repeated annual household survey. Three focus groups with field and data staff with...
Saroj K Young
Full Text Available Inadequate understanding of the transmission of Mycobacterium leprae makes it difficult to predict the impact of leprosy control interventions. Genotypic tests that allow tracking of individual bacterial strains would strengthen epidemiological studies and contribute to our understanding of the disease.Genotyping assays based on variation in the copy number of short tandem repeat sequences were applied to biopsies collected in population-based epidemiological studies of leprosy in northern Malawi, and from members of multi-case households in Hyderabad, India. In the Malawi series, considerable genotypic variability was observed between patients, and also within patients, when isolates were collected at different times or from different tissues. Less within-patient variability was observed when isolates were collected from similar tissues at the same time. Less genotypic variability was noted amongst the closely related Indian patients than in the Malawi series.Lineages of M. leprae undergo changes in their pattern of short tandem repeat sequences over time. Genetic divergence is particularly likely between bacilli inhabiting different (e.g., skin and nerve tissues. Such variability makes short tandem repeat sequences unsuitable as a general tool for population-based strain typing of M. leprae, or for distinguishing relapse from reinfection. Careful use of these markers may provide insights into the development of disease within individuals and for tracking of short transmission chains.
Liotta, Giuseppe; Chimbwandira, Frank; Wouters, Kristien; Nielsen-Saines, Karin; Jere, Haswell; Mancinelli, Sandro; Ceffa, Susanna; Erba, Fulvio; Palombi, Leonardo; Marazzi, Maria Cristina
Combination antiretroviral therapy has been shown to reduce HIV transmission and incident infections. In recent years, Malawi has significantly increased the number of individuals on combination antiretroviral drugs through more inclusive treatment policies. Using a retrospective observational cohort design, records with HIV test results were reviewed for pregnant women attending a referral hospital in Malawi over a 5-year period, with viral load measurements recorded. HIV prevalence over time was determined, and results correlated with population viral load. A total of 11 052 women were included in this analysis, with 440 (4.1%) HIV infections identified. HIV prevalence rates in pregnant women in Malawi halved from 6.4% to 3.0% over 5 years. Mean viral loads of adult patients decreased from 120 000 copies/mL to less than 20 000 copies/mL. Results suggest that community viral load has an effect on HIV incidence rates in the population, which in turn correlates with reduced HIV prevalence rates in pregnant women. © The Author(s) 2015.
This volume lays the mathematical foundations for the theory of differential games, developing a rigorous mathematical framework with existence theorems. It begins with a precise definition of a differential game and advances to considerations of games of fixed duration, games of pursuit and evasion, the computation of saddle points, games of survival, and games with restricted phase coordinates. Final chapters cover selected topics (including capturability and games with delayed information) and N-person games.Geared toward graduate students, Differential Games will be of particular interest
Nov 11, 2002 ... tomatic cases, which disproportionately occur in wom- en withSTIs. .... Of the available data, those concerning pregnant wom- en and male ..... cation [e ve/. Source — National antenatal surveillance 2003. Access to adequate d'agnosrls and treatment. Several studies (all in STI clinics) have shown that be—.
in Lake Malombe, which experienced a catastrophic decline in fish stocks. Results support ... of water quality (e.g. acidification, eutrophication, salinisation) in the developed world, the ... ronmental response in lakes could be affected by various forc- .... Atlantic Oceans (Nicholson and Yin, 2001) and the Congo Air. Boundary ...
Stoker, J J
This classic work is now available in an unabridged paperback edition. Stoker makes this fertile branch of mathematics accessible to the nonspecialist by the use of three different notations: vector algebra and calculus, tensor calculus, and the notation devised by Cartan, which employs invariant differential forms as elements in an algebra due to Grassman, combined with an operation called exterior differentiation. Assumed are a passing acquaintance with linear algebra and the basic elements of analysis.
Msyamboza, Kelias Phiri; M'bang'ombe, Maurice; Hausi, Hannah; Chijuwa, Alexander; Nkukumila, Veronica; Kubwalo, Hudson Wenji; Desai, Sachin; Pezzoli, Lorenzo; Legros, Dominique
Despite some improvement in provision of safe drinking water, proper sanitation and hygiene promotion, cholera still remains a major public health problem in Malawi with outbreaks occurring almost every year since 1998. In response to 2014/2015 cholera outbreak, ministry of health and partners made a decision to assess the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a mass oral cholera vaccine (OCV) as an additional public health measure. This paper highlights the burden of the 2014/15 cholera outbreak, successes and challenges of OCV campaign conducted in March and April 2015. This was a documentation of the first OCV campaign conducted in Malawi. The campaign targeted over 160,000 people aged one year or more living in 19 camps of people internally displaced by floods and their surrounding communities in Nsanje district. It was a reactive campaign as additional measure to improved water, sanitation and hygiene in response to the laboratory confirmed cholera outbreak. During the first round of the OCV campaign conducted from 30 March to 4 April 2015, a total of 156,592 (97.6%) people out of 160,482 target population received OCV. During the second round (20 to 25 April 2015), a total of 137,629 (85.8%) people received OCV. Of these, 108,247 (67.6%) people received their second dose while 29,382 (18.3%) were their first dose. Of the 134,836 people with known gender and sex who received 1 or 2 doses, 54.4% were females and over half (55.4%) were children under the age of 15 years. Among 108,237 people who received 2 doses (fully immunized), 54.4% were females and 51.9% were children under 15 years of age. No severe adverse event following immunization was reported. The main reason for non-vaccination or failure to take the 2 doses was absence during the period of the campaign. This documentation has demonstrated that it was feasible, acceptable by the community to conduct a large-scale mass OCV campaign in Malawi within five weeks. Of 320,000 OCV doses received
Chinyama, Mathews Junior; MacLachlan, Malcolm; McVeigh, Joanne; Huss, Tessy; Gawamadzi, Sylvester
Equity and social inclusion for vulnerable groups in policy development processes and resulting documents remain a challenge globally. Most often, the marginalization of vulnerable groups is overlooked in both the planning and practice of health service delivery. Such marginalization may occur because authorities deem the targeting of those who already have better access to healthcare a cheaper and easier way to achieve short-term health gains. The Government of Malawi wishes to achieve an equitable and inclusive HIV and AIDS Policy. The aim of this study is to assess the extent to which the Malawi Policy review process addressed regional and international health priorities of equity and social inclusion for vulnerable groups in the policy content and policy revision process. This research design comprised two phases. First, the content of the Malawi HIV and AIDS Policy was assessed using EquiFrame regarding its coverage of 21 Core Concepts of human rights and inclusion of 12 Vulnerable Groups. Second, the engagement of vulnerable groups in the policy process was assessed using the EquIPP matrix. For the latter, 10 interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of representatives of public sector, civil society organizations and development partners who participated in the policy revision process. Data was also collected from documented information of the policy processes. Our analyses indicated that the Malawi HIV and AIDS Policy had a relatively high coverage of Core Concepts of human rights and Vulnerable Groups; although with some notable omissions. The analyses also found that reasonable steps were taken to engage and promote participation of vulnerable groups in the planning, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes of the HIV and AIDS Policy, although again, with some notable exceptions. This is the first study to use both EquiFrame and EquIPP as complimentary tools to assess the content and process of policy. While the findings
Full Text Available Background: Job satisfaction is an important determinant of health worker motivation, retention, and performance, all of which are critical to improving the functioning of health systems in low- and middle-income countries. A number of small-scale surveys have measured the job satisfaction and intention to leave of individual health worker cadres in different settings, but there are few multi-country and multi-cadre comparative studies. Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the job satisfaction and intention to leave of different categories of health workers in Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa. Methods: We undertook a cross-sectional survey of a stratified cluster sample of 2,220 health workers, 564 from Tanzania, 939 from Malawi, and 717 from South Africa. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire, which included demographic information, a 10-item job satisfaction scale, and one question on intention to leave. Multiple regression was used to identify significant predictors of job satisfaction and intention to leave. Results: There were statistically significant differences in job satisfaction and intention to leave between the three countries. Approximately 52.1% of health workers in South Africa were satisfied with their jobs compared to 71% from Malawi and 82.6% from Tanzania (χ2=140.3, p<0.001. 18.8% of health workers in Tanzania and 26.5% in Malawi indicated that they were actively seeking employment elsewhere, compared to 41.4% in South Africa (χ2=83.5, p<0.001. The country differences were confirmed by multiple regression. The study also confirmed that job satisfaction is statistically related to intention to leave. Conclusions: We have shown differences in the levels of job satisfaction and intention to leave between different groups of health workers from Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa. Our results caution against generalising about the effectiveness of interventions in different contexts and
Chasukwa Mwalwenje, Yvonne; Chasukwa, Fidel
Malawi secondary school curriculum has been offering Geo sciences Education since the dawn of independence from the British rule in 1964. Qualified primary and secondary school teachers are responsible for the teaching of Geo sciences. The assumption is that trained teachers are more likely to produce successful students thus making geoscience a successful subject. To make the subject more relevant and captivating to stakeholders, the government revised Geo science curriculum and incorporated other topics. Among additional topic was the solar system that was covered in great detail in secondary school. The solar system is a Geo science concept taught in Geography curriculum from primary school for 8 years and in secondary school for 4 years. Despite the solar system being one of the traditional topics in Malawi school curriculum and Government's effort to revise the curriculum in the interest of learners and improving the pass rate, number of students conversant with the topic has been failing sharply over the years. The disparity between the input in terms of effort to improve familiarity with solar system among learners and the outcomes is of great concern and worth hard investigation to inform education policy and curriculum revision decisions. Based on empirical data collected through qualitative research design, the paper establishes that regardless of imploring such interventions, there are still indicators that students continue to fail in solar system related subjects. Malawi National Examination report (2015) reveals that Geography at Malawi School Certificate Examinations pass rate has been going down ranging from 69.49 to 60.78 per cent from 2009 to 2014. The report advances that lack of instruction materials across the schools have contributed to deteriorating knowledge in solar system education. For instance, the school may have no simple models such as globes that clarify the shape of the earth better. As such, the teacher may improvise by getting an
Msyamboza, Kelias Phiri; Phale, Enock; Namalika, Jessie Mlotha; Mwase, Younam; Samonte, Gian Carlo; Kajirime, Doubt; Sumani, Sewedi; Chalila, Pax D; Potani, Rennie; Mwale, George Chithope-; Kathyola, Damson; Mukiwa, Weston
Oral health problems are significant cause of morbidity particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In Malawi, routine health management information system data over the years showed that oral health problems were one of the top ten reasons for outpatient attendance. However, to date, no national oral survey has been carried out to determine the prevalence of oral health problems. A national population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2013. A total of 130 enumeration areas (EAs) were randomly selected and from each EA, 40 participants were randomly selected as per WHO STEPS survey protocol. Eligible participants were 12, 15, 35-44 and 65-74 year old. A multi-stage sampling design was used to obtain a national representative sample of these age groups. Oral examination was based on WHO diagnostic criteria (2010). A total of 5400 participants were enrolled in the survey. Of these: 3304 (61.3 %) were females, 2090 (38.7 %) were males; 327 (6.9 %) were from urban and 4386 (93.1 %) from rural areas; 1115 (20.6 %), 993 (17.3 %), 2306 (42.7 %) and 683 (12.6 %) were aged 12, 15, 35-44, 65-74 years respectively. Among 12 year-old, 15 year-old, 35-44 and 65-74 year age groups, prevalence of dental caries was 19.1, 21.9, 49.0 and 49.2 % respectively, overall 37.4 %. Prevalence of missing teeth was 2.7, 5.2, 47.7 and 79.9 %, overall 35.2 %. Prevalence of filled teeth was 0.2 %, 1.3 %, 8.7 %, 12.7 %, overall 6.5 %. Prevalence of bleeding gums was 13.0, 11.8, 30.8 and 36.1 %, overall 23.5 %. Toothache, dental caries and missing teeth were more common in females than males; 46.5 % vs 37.9 %, 40.5 % vs 32.4 %, 37.7 % vs 30.1 % respectively, all p dental caries and missing teeth in urban areas were as high as in the rural areas; 33.3 % vs 37.4 % and 30.9 % vs 33.7 % respectively, all p > 0.05. The mean number of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) in 12, 15, 35-44, 65-74 year old was 0.67, 0.71, 3.11 and 6.87 respectively. Self- reported brushing of teeth was poor with
Food security has deteriorated for many people in developing regions facing high and volatile food prices. Without effective and equitable responses, the situation is likely to worsen due to diminishing access to land and water, competition from non-food uses of agricultural products, and the effects of climate change and variability. Understanding how this will affect the burden and distribution of major diseases such as HIV is critical. This study makes use of the near-experimental conditions created by the Malawi famine to shed new light on this issue. Multilevel, random intercept models were used to relate the change in HIV prevalence at antenatal surveillance sites over the course of the famine to the proportion of rural households requiring food aid in the surrounding district at the famine's peak. Similar models were used to relate this indicator of rural hunger to changes in the composition of the antenatal population. The extent and direction of migration were estimated from a household survey conducted 1-2 years after the famine. At rural sites, the change in HIV prevalence was positively and non-linearly related to the extent of rural hunger (P = 0.016), consistent with contemporary accounts of increased transactional sex and with hunger compromising immune function. At non-rural sites, prevalence declined as rural hunger increased (P = 0.006), concentrated in women who self-identified as farmers (P = 0.010). This finding is consistent with contemporary accounts of migration in search of food and work from villages where HIV risk was lower to towns and cities where it was higher. Corroborating this interpretation, the proportion of farmers in the antenatal population was found to rise at non-rural sites as rural hunger increased in the surrounding district (P = 0.015) whereas the proportion fell with increasing rural hunger at rural sites (P<0.001). The models suggest migrants were predominantly farming women under 25 years (P = 0.010). The household
Full Text Available Food security has deteriorated for many people in developing regions facing high and volatile food prices. Without effective and equitable responses, the situation is likely to worsen due to diminishing access to land and water, competition from non-food uses of agricultural products, and the effects of climate change and variability. Understanding how this will affect the burden and distribution of major diseases such as HIV is critical. This study makes use of the near-experimental conditions created by the Malawi famine to shed new light on this issue.Multilevel, random intercept models were used to relate the change in HIV prevalence at antenatal surveillance sites over the course of the famine to the proportion of rural households requiring food aid in the surrounding district at the famine's peak. Similar models were used to relate this indicator of rural hunger to changes in the composition of the antenatal population. The extent and direction of migration were estimated from a household survey conducted 1-2 years after the famine.At rural sites, the change in HIV prevalence was positively and non-linearly related to the extent of rural hunger (P = 0.016, consistent with contemporary accounts of increased transactional sex and with hunger compromising immune function. At non-rural sites, prevalence declined as rural hunger increased (P = 0.006, concentrated in women who self-identified as farmers (P = 0.010. This finding is consistent with contemporary accounts of migration in search of food and work from villages where HIV risk was lower to towns and cities where it was higher. Corroborating this interpretation, the proportion of farmers in the antenatal population was found to rise at non-rural sites as rural hunger increased in the surrounding district (P = 0.015 whereas the proportion fell with increasing rural hunger at rural sites (P<0.001. The models suggest migrants were predominantly farming women under 25 years (P = 0.010. The
Dixon, Jimmy-Gama; Gibson, Sarah; McPake, Barbara; Maleta, Ken
The World Health Organization (WHO) staging is a commonly used rationing mechanism for highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) among various HIV infected populations including youths in most developing countries. Rationing is defined as any policy or practice that restricts consumption of or access to certain goods due to its limited supply. However, as HIV prevalence is rapidly increasing among youth, understanding the capacity of the staging approach to achieve HAART uptake in youth is of considerable importance. This study aimed to explore how HAART rationing and access mechanisms impact on youth's utilization of HAART in Malawi. The study used mixed methods with quantitative analysis of existing Ministry of Health Clinical HIV Unit data used to determine existing levels of youth HAART use. Qualitative methods employed in-depth interviews that interviewed nine ART providers, nine HIV positive youth on HAART and nine HIV positive youth not on HAART; and field observations to nine ART clinics were used to understand HAART rationing and access mechanisms and how such mechanisms impact youth uptake of HAART. The findings revealed that ART providers use both explicit rationing mechanisms like WHO clinical staging and implicit rationing mechanisms like use of waiting lists, queues and referral in ART provision. However, the WHO staging approach had some challenges in its implementation. It was also observed that factors like non-comprehensive approach to HAART provision, costs incurred to access HAART, negative beliefs and misconceptions about HAART and HIV were among the key factors that limit youth access to HAART. The study recommends that while WHO staging is successful as a rationing mechanism in Malawi, measures should be put in place to improve access to CD4 assessment for clients who may need it. ART providers also need to be made aware of the implicit rationing mechanisms that may affect HAART access. There is also need to improve monitoring of those HIV
Full Text Available Abstract Background Global food insecurity is associated with micronutrient deficiencies and it has been suggested that 4.5 billion people world-wide are affected by deficiencies in iron, vitamin A and iodine. Zinc has also been identified to be of increasing concern. The most vulnerable are young children and women of childbearing age. A pilot study has been carried out in Southern Malawi, to attempt to link the geochemical and agricultural basis of micronutrient supply through spatial variability to maternal health and associated cultural and social aspects of nutrition. The aim is to establish the opportunity for concerted action to deliver step change improvements in the nutrition of developing countries. Results Field work undertaken in August 2007 and July/August 2008 involved the collection of blood, soil and crop samples, and questionnaires from ~100 pregnant women. Complex permissions and authorisation protocols were identified and found to be as much part of the cultural and social context of the work as the complexity of the interdisciplinary project. These issues are catalogued and discussed. A preliminary spatial evaluation is presented linking soil quality and food production to nutritional health. It also considers behavioural and cultural attitudes of women and children in two regions of southern Malawi, (the Shire Valley and Shire Highlands plateau. Differences in agricultural practice and widely varying soil quality (e.g. pH organic matter, C/N and metal content were observed for both regions and full chemical analysis of soil and food is underway. Early assessment of blood data suggests major differences in health and nutritional status between the two regions. Differences in food availability and type and observations of life style are being evaluated through questionnaire analysis. Conclusion The particular emphasis of the study is on the interdisciplinary opportunities and the barriers to progress in development support in
ABSTRACT The bacterial community found in the vagina is an important determinant of a woman's health and disease status. A healthy vaginal microbiota is associated with low species richness and a high proportion of one of a number of different Lactobacillus spp. When disrupted, the resulting abnormal vaginal microbiota is associated with a number of disease states and poor pregnancy outcomes. Studies up until now have concentrated on relatively small numbers of American and European populations that may not capture the full complexity of the community or adequately predict what constitutes a healthy microbiota in all populations. In this study, we sampled and characterized the vaginal microbiota found on vaginal swabs taken postpartum from a cohort of 1,107 women in rural Malawi. We found a population dominated by Gardnerella vaginalis and devoid of the most common vaginal Lactobacillus species, even if the vagina was sampled over a year postpartum. This Lactobacillus-deficient anaerobic community, commonly labeled community state type (CST) 4, could be subdivided into four further communities. A Lactobacillus iners-dominated vaginal microbiota became more common the longer after delivery the vagina was sampled, but G. vaginalis remained the dominant organism. These results outline the difficulty in all-encompassing definitions of what a healthy or abnormal postpartum vaginal microbiota is. Previous identification of community state types and associations among bacterial species, bacterial vaginosis, and adverse birth outcomes may not represent the complex heterogeneity of the microbiota present. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT01239693.) IMPORTANCE A bacterial community in the vaginal tract is dominated by a small number of Lactobacillus species, and when not present there is an increased incidence of inflammatory conditions and adverse birth outcomes. A switch to a vaginal bacterial community lacking in Lactobacillus species is common
Doyle, Ronan; Gondwe, Austridia; Fan, Yue-Mei; Maleta, Kenneth; Ashorn, Per; Klein, Nigel; Harris, Kathryn
The bacterial community found in the vagina is an important determinant of a woman's health and disease. A healthy vaginal microbiota is associated with a lower species richness and high proportions of one of a number of different Lactobacillus spp.. When disrupted the resulting abnormal vaginal microbiota is associated with a number of disease states and poor pregnancy outcomes. Studies up until now have concentrated on relatively small numbers of American and European populations which may not capture the full complexity of the community, nor adequately predict what constitutes a healthy microbiota in all populations. In this study we sampled and characterised the vaginal microbiota from a cohort of 1107 women in rural Malawi found on vaginal swabs taken post-partum. We found a population dominated by Gardnerella vaginalis and devoid of the most common vaginal Lactobacillus species, even if the vagina was sampled over a year post-partum. The Lactobacillus -deficient anaerobic community commonly labelled community state type (CST) 4 could be sub-divided into four further communities. A Lactobacillus iners dominated vaginal microbiota became more common the longer after delivery the vagina was sampled, but G. vaginalis remained the dominant organism. These results outline the difficulty in all-encompassing definitions of what a healthy or abnormal vaginal microbiota is post-partum. Previous identification of community state types and associations between bacterial species, bacterial vaginosis and adverse birth outcomes may not represent the complex heterogeneity of the microbiota present. Importance A bacterial community in the vaginal tract that is dominated by small number of bacterial Lactobacillus species and when they are not present, there is a greater incidence of inflammatory conditions and adverse birth outcomes. A switch to a vaginal bacterial community lacking in Lactobacillus species is common after pregnancy. In this study we characterised the vaginal
Mkwate, Raphael C.; Chidya, Russel C. G.; Wanda, Elijah M. M.
Access to drinking water from unsafe sources is widespread amongst communities in rural areas such as Balaka District in Malawi. This situation puts many individuals and communities at risk of waterborne diseases despite some households adopting household water treatment to improve the quality of the water. However, there still remains data gaps regarding the quality of drinking water from such sources and the household water treatment methods used to improve public health. This study was, therefore, conducted to help bridge the knowledge gap by evaluating drinking water quality and adoption rate of household water treatment and storage (HWTS) practices in Nkaya, Balaka District. Water samples were collected from eleven systematically selected sites and analyzed for physico-chemical and microbiological parameters: pH, TDS, electrical conductivity (EC), turbidity, F-, Cl-, NO3-, Na, K, Fe, Faecal Coliform (FC) and Faecal Streptococcus (FS) bacteria using standard methods. The mean results were compared to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) (MS 733:2005) to ascertain the water quality for drinking purposes. A total of 204 randomly selected households were interviewed to determine their access to drinking water, water quality perception and HWTS among others. The majority of households (72%, n = 83) in Njerenje accessed water from shallow wells and rivers whilst in Phimbi boreholes were commonly used. Several households (>95%, n = 204) were observed to be practicing HWST techniques by boiling or chlorination and water storage in closed containers. The levels of pH (7.10-7.64), F- (0.89-1.46 mg/L), Cl- (5.45-89.84 mg/L), NO3- (0-0.16 mg/L), Na (20-490 mg/L), K (2.40-14 mg/L) and Fe (0.10-0.40 mg/L) for most sites were within the standard limits. The EC (358-2220 μS/cm), turbidity (0.54-14.60 NTU), FC (0-56 cfu/100 mL) and FS (0-120 cfu/100 mL) - mainly in shallow wells, were found to be above the WHO and MBS water quality
Background Child malnutrition remains widespread in many developing countries. Malnutrition during infancy may substantially increase vulnerability to infection and disease, and the risk of premature death. Malnutrition in children may also lead to permanent effects and to their having diminished health capital later in life as adults. These negative consequences of child malnutrition entail that the reduction of child malnutrition is vital for the social-economic development of countries. Urban children generally have better nutritional status than rural children. Malawi is no exception in this regard. The objective of this paper is to explore how much of the rural-urban nutrition gap in Malawi is explained and how much is unexplained by differences in characteristics. Method Using data from the 2006 multiple indicator cluster survey (MICS), the paper used the Nopo decomposition method to decompose the rural-urban malnutrition gap. This nonparametric method takes into account the fact that the supports of the distributions of characteristics between the two areas can be different. Results The results show that 90% and 89% of the stunting and underweight gaps respectively would be eliminated if there were no urban children with combinations of characteristics which positively influence child nutrition that remain entirely unmatched by rural children. Further to that, 4% and 6% of the stunting and underweight gaps respectively would disappear if there were no rural children with combinations of characteristics which negatively affect child nutrition that remain entirely unmatched by urban children. Conclusions These findings suggest that the characteristics which negatively affect child nutrition in rural areas play a small role in the gap, and that most of the gap is largely due to the favourable characteristics such as better parental education and better household economic status among others that urban children have. The findings imply that in order to reduce
Johnson, S.; Mendez, K.; Beresh, S. C. M.; Mynatt, W. G.; Elifritz, E. A.; Laó-Dávila, D. A.; Atekwana, E. A.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Chisenga, C.; Gondwe, S.; Mkumbura, M.; Kalaguluka, D.; Kalindekafe, L.; Salima, J.
The objective of our research is to explore the evolution of synthetic fault systems in continental rifts. It has been suggested that during the rifting process border faults may become locked and strain is then accommodated within the hanging wall. The Malawi Rift provides an opportunity to study the evolution of these faults within a young (8 Ma), active and magma-poor continental rift. Two faults in central Malawi may show the transference of strain into the hanging wall. These faults are the older Chirobwe-Ntcheu with a length of 115 km and a scarp height of 300-1000 m and the younger Bilila-Mtakataka with a length of 130 km and a scarp height of 4-320 m. We used high-resolution aeromagnetic data and 30m resolution Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation models (DEM) to provide a 3D spatial characterization of the fault system. Additionally 10cm resolution DEMs were created using unmanned aerial system (UAS) derived aerial photography and Structure from Motion to document the regional Precambrian foliation and joint patterns. Moreover, displacement profiles where extracted from the SRTM-DEM data to compare the segmentation and linkage of the outer and inner faults. Our preliminary results show that the strike of each fault is approximately NW-SE which follows the strike of the Precambrian fabric. The magnetic fabric has a strike of NW-SE in the south changing to NE-SW in the north suggesting that the faults are controlled in part by an inherited Precambrian fabric. The displacement profile of the inner Bilila-Mtakataka fault is asymmetric and displays five fault segments supporting the interpretation that this is a relatively young fault. The expected results of this study are information about segmentation and displacement of each fault and their relationship to one another. The results from the aeromagnetic data utilizing Source Parameter Imaging to produce an approximate depth to basement which will support the displacement profiles derived
Msyamboza Kelias P
Full Text Available Abstract Background Although leprosy was eliminated globally in 2000, the disease continues to be the significant cause of peripheral neuropathy, disability and disfigurement in some developing countries. However, recent population-based prevalence data are lacking to inform evidence-based renewed commitment for the final push for leprosy elimination at national and sub-national levels. Methods Community camp-based cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in four selected districts. World Health Organisation guidelines and tools for leprosy elimination monitoring were used to evaluate the Malawi National Leprosy Programme. Results A total of 6,338 people (60% females, 35% children aged less than 15 years were examined for leprosy and other skin diseases. Prevalence of skin diseases was 18%, the commonest being fungal (9%, eczema/dermatitis (3% and leprosy (1%. Of the fungal skin conditions, pityriasis versicolor and Tinea capatis were the commonest (22% and 21% respectively then Tinea corporis (9%, Tinea cruris (6% and Tinea pedis (2%. A total of 66 leprosy cases were detected out of 6,338 people screened giving a prevalence of 104.1 per 10,000 population (range by district 67.1 to 194.1. Of the leprosy cases, 37 were new, 6 were defaulters and 23 were on treatment, 30 were females and 9 were children aged less than 15 years old. Of the 37 new leprosy cases, 9 (24.3% were children, 25 (67.6% had 1–5 leprosy lesions and 8 (21.6% had grade 2 disability. The most frequent location of leprosy lesions was the head and neck (24.1%, arms (24.1%, chest (17.2%, legs (13.8%, back (13.8% and abdomen (7.0%. Between 2006 and 2011, trends of leprosy prevalence and detection increased, prevalence/detection ratios were over 1 and cure rates by cohort analysis of 2009 multibacillary and 2010 paucibacillary cases were 33% and 63% respectively far below the expected 80% although the national prevalence remained at less than 1 case per 10
de Paoli Marina
Full Text Available Abstract Background When and how to wean breastfed infants exposed to HIV infection has provoked extensive debate, particularly in low-income countries where safe alternatives to breastfeeding are rarely available. Although there is global consensus on optimal infant-feeding practices in the form of guidelines, practices are sub-optimal in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Policy-makers and health workers face many challenges in adapting and implementing these guidelines. Methods This paper is based on in-depth interviews with five policy-makers and 11 providers of interventions to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT of HIV, participant observations during clinic sessions and site visits. Results The difficulties with adapting the global infant-feeding guidelines in Malawi have affected the provision of services. There was a lack of consensus on HIV and infant-feeding at all levels and general confusion about the 2006 guidelines, particularly those recommending continued breastfeeding after six months if replacement feeding is not acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe. Health workers found it particularly difficult to advise women to continue breastfeeding after six months. They worried that they would lose the trust of the PMTCT clients and the population at large, and they feared that continued breastfeeding was unsafe. Optimal support for HIV-infected women was noted in programmes where health workers were multi-skilled; coordinated their efforts and had functional, multidisciplinary task forces and engaged communities. The recent 2009 recommendations are the first to support antiretroviral (ARV use by mothers or children during breastfeeding. Besides promoting maternal health and providing protection against HIV infection in children, the new Rapid Advice has the potential to resolve the difficulties and confusion experienced by health workers in Malawi. Conclusions The process of integrating new evidence into
Behrman, Julia Andrea
This paper explores the causal relationship between primary schooling and adult HIV status in Malawi and Uganda, two East African countries with some of the highest HIV infection rates in the world. Using data from the 2010 Malawi Demographic Health Survey and the 2011 Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey, the paper takes advantage of a natural experiment, the implementation of Universal Primary Education policies in the mid 1990s. An instrumented regression discontinuity approach is used to model the relationship between increased primary schooling and adult women's HIV status. Results indicate that a one-year increase in schooling decreases the probability of an adult woman testing positive for HIV by 0.06 (p primary schooling positively affects women's literacy and spousal schooling attainment in Malawi and age of marriage and current household wealth in Uganda. However primary schooling has no effect on recent (adult) sexual behavior. Copyright © 2014 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available In the United States, tests are held to high standards of quality. In developing countries such as Malawi, psychometricians must deal with these same high standards as well as several additional pressures such as widespread cheating, test administration difficulties due to challenging landscapes and poor resources, difficulties in reliably scoring performance assessments, and extreme scrutiny from political parties and the popular press. The purposes of this paper are to (a familiarize the measurement community in the US about Malawi’s assessment programs, (b discuss some of the unique challenges inherent in such a program, (c compare testing conditions and test administration formats between Malawi and the US, and (d provide suggestions for improving large-scale testing in countries such as the US and Malawi. By learning how a small country instituted and supports its current testing programs, a broader perspective on resolving current measurement problems throughout the world will emerge.
Blum, Lauren S; Dentz, Holly; Chingoli, Felix; Chilima, Benson; Warne, Thomas; Lee, Carla; Hyde, Terri; Gindler, Jacqueline; Sejvar, James; Mintz, Eric D
Typhoid fever affects an estimated 22 million people annually and causes 216,000 deaths worldwide. We conducted an investigation in August and September 2010 to examine the acceptability of typhoid vaccine in Neno District, Malawi where a typhoid outbreak was ongoing. We used qualitative methods, including freelisting exercises, key informant and in-depth interviews, and group discussions. Respondents associated illness with exposure to "bad wind," and transmission was believed to be airborne. Typhoid was considered extremely dangerous because of its rapid spread, the debilitating conditions it produced, the number of related fatalities, and the perception that it was highly contagious. Respondents were skeptical about the effectiveness of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) interventions. The perceived severity of typhoid and fear of exposure, uncertainty about the effectiveness of WaSH measures, and widespread belief in the efficacy of vaccines in preventing disease resulted in an overwhelming interest in receiving typhoid vaccine during an outbreak. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Muula, A S
Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as ischaemic heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive airways disease and several cancers. There is little data about the prevalence and determinants of smoking among adolescents in southern Africa. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and determinants of cigarette smoking among adolescents in Blantyre City, Malawi. Cross-sectional data were obtained from school-going adolescents in Blantyre in 2001 using the Global Youth Tobacco Survey data collection instrument. Data were analysed to determine prevalence of current and ever cigarette smoking, and predictors of smoking. The prevalence of current smoking and ever smoking were 3.0% and 15.6%, respectively. Predictors of current tobacco smoking included male gender, having friends or parents who smoked, having been exposed to advertisements about tobacco brands on television and having seen a lot of advertisements in newspapers and magazines. School programmes that included being taught about smoking in class and a class discussion on the dangers of tobacco were not associated with reduced current smoking. Intervention programmes aiming to curb tobacco smoking among adolescents should focus on dealing also with parental smoking, peer influence and pay special attention toward male gender. School-based programmes to prevent smoking should be evaluated as some may have little impact in influencing current smoking status.