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1.  The aetiology of non-malarial febrile illness in children in the malaria-endemic Niger Delta Region of Nigeria 
Objective
Febrile illnesses are common in childhood and differentiating the causes could be challenging in areas of perennial malaria transmission. To determine the proportion of non-malarial febrile illness in children, the aetiological agents and their antimicrobial sensitivity pattern.
Methods
Blood, urine, throat swab and ear swab samples were obtained from 190 febrile children aged 6 months to 11 years. Malaria parasite was detected by microscopic examination of thick and thin Giemsa-stained films. Smears from ear and throat swabs and urine specimen were cultured on appropriate media. Bacterial isolates were identified by Gram staining, morphology and biochemical tests. Antibiotic susceptibility was tested using the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method.
Results
The prevalence of non-malarial febrile illnesses was 45.26% (95% CI: 38.21-52.31). Twenty-four patients (12.6%) had at least one sample that was bacterial culture positive. Samples from 62 patients (32.6%) were negative for both malaria parasite and bacterial culture. Urinary tract infection was responsible for 8.42%, otitis media 7.89% and pharyngitis 5.78% of the fevers. E.coli, S. aureus and S. pneumoniae were the commonest isolates from urine, ear swab and throat swab samples respectively. S. pneumoniae was responsible for all the positive throat cultures. Bacterial isolates exhibited different degrees of susceptibility to the antibiotics tested, but susceptibility of most of the isolates to oxacillin and cloxacillin was generally poor.
Conclusions
Bacterial infections are responsible for a significant proportion of non-malarial febrile illnesses, and diagnostic facilities should be strengthened to detect other causes of febrile illness outside malaria.
doi:10.1016/S2222-1808(13)60012-2
PMCID: PMC4027256
Malaria; Perennial transmission; Fever; Bacteria; Children
2.  Weight status of adolescents in secondary schools in port Harcourt using Body Mass Index (BMI) 
Background
Adolescent weight status is a cumulative effect of health and nutritional problems. Adolescent weight problems often go unnoticed as weight assessment is not considered a priority in adolescents.
Objectives
To determine the weight status of adolescents using BMI and to identify the contributing factors to adolescent weight problems.
Methods
In April 2010, 960 adolescents aged 10–19 years in secondary schools in Port Harcourt were selected for the study using a stratified multi-staged sampling method. Structured questionnaires were filled by the investigators while weight and height were measured. BMI was calculated using the formula weight/height2 (kg/m2).
Results
The prevalence of underweight, overweight, obesity and stunting were 6.4%, 6.3%, 1.8% and 5.4% respectively. Factors which were commoner in overweight adolescents were high socioeconomic class, higher maternal education, spending > 3 hours a day watching television and frequent ingestion of snacks.
Conclusion
There is a need for periodic weight assessment of adolescents and health education to promote healthy eating habits and regular physical exercise as part of the School Health Programme.
doi:10.1186/1824-7288-38-31
PMCID: PMC3412731  PMID: 22823927
Adolescents; Weight status; Body mass index
3.  Prospective evaluation of the usefulness of C-reactive protein in the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis in a sub-Saharan African region 
Background
Sepsis is one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in the newborn. Early diagnosis and treatment is vital to improve outcome. The present study was therefore carried out to determine the usefulness of C-reactive protein (CRP) for evaluation of neonatal sepsis in Port Harcourt, Nigeria in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Method
Four hundred and twenty neonates with clinical suspicion of sepsis were prospectively studied over a 6 month period. Blood was obtained from each subject recruited for the qualitative estimation of CRP. Blood culture was used as gold standard for diagnosis of NNS.
Results
Of 420 neonates studied, 196 (46.7%) had positive CRP while 181 (43.1%) had positive blood culture. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of CRP were 74.0%, 74.1%, 68.4% and 79.0% respectively.
Conclusion
The qualitative method of estimating CRP which is cheap and rapid has moderate sensitivity, specificity and negative predictive value.
doi:10.1186/2047-2994-1-22
PMCID: PMC3436619  PMID: 22958461
Neonatal sepsis; C-reactive protein; Sub-Saharan Africa
4.  Sensitivity pattern among bacterial isolates in neonatal septicaemia in port Harcourt 
Background
The organisms responsible for neonatal sepsis vary across geographical boundaries and with the time of illness thus periodic bacteriologic surveillance is a neccessity. The present study was therefore carried out to determine the common bacterial pathogens in Port Harcourt and their sensitivity pattern.
Methods
Four hundred and six neonates were prospectively screened for sepsis over a 6 month period. Sensitivity of the bacterial isolates to different antibiotics was determined using Kirby-Bauer diffusion method.
Results
Gram negative organisms predominated (75.1%) with Klebsiella pneumonia (58.2%) being the commonest. The quinolones were the most sensitive antibiotics to the commonly isolated organisms.
Conclusion
Klebsiella pneumonia is the commonest organism responsible for neonatal sepsis in Port Harcourt. There is an overall decline in the antibiotic susceptibility to the commonly isolated bacterial pathogens.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-11-7
PMCID: PMC3355022  PMID: 22449249
Neonatal sepsis; Bacteria; Antibiotics; Port Harcourt

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