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1.  Resolution of hypercalcemia of malignancy following radical cystectomy in a patient with paraneoplastic syndrome associated with urothelial carcinoma of the bladder 
Urology Annals  2015;7(1):86-87.
Hypercalcemia of malignancy is a common finding associated with different types of cancers; however, its association with urothelial carcinoma of the bladder is rare. We report a case of a 69-year-old male with nonmetastatic urothelial carcinoma of the bladder who developed hypercalcemia that failed to respond to medical management, but resolved completely after undergoing resection of the tumor through radical cystectomy.
PMCID: PMC4310126  PMID: 25657552
Bladder cancer; hypercalcemia of malignancy; paraneoplastic syndrome
2.  Dynamics of Plasmodium falciparium and Plasmodium vivax in a micro-ecological setting, Southwest Ethiopia: effects of altitude and proximity to a dam 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14(1):625.
Refining the spatial and temporal data on malaria transmissions at a defined ecological setting has practical implications for targeted malaria control and enhancing efficient allocation of resources. Spatial and temporal distribution of P. falciparium and P. vivax were explored around the Gilgel Gibe Hydroelectric Dam (GGHD) in southwest Ethiopia.
A review of confirmed malaria episodes recorded over eight years at primary health services was conducted. Using individual identifiers and village names malaria records were cross-linked to location and individual records of Gilgel Gibe Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) data, which had already been geo-referenced. The study setting was categorized in to buffer zones with distance interval of one kilometer. Similarly, altitude of the area was categorized considering 100 meters height intervals. Incidence rate ratios were estimated using Poisson model for the buffer zones and for the altitudinal levels by adjusting for the underlying population density as an offset variable. Yearly temporal variations of all confirmed malaria cases were also evaluated based on the Poisson model using STATA statistical software version 12.
A considerable proportion (45.0%) of the P. falciparium episodes were registered within one kilometer radius of the GGHD. P. falciparium showed increment with distance from the GGHD up to five kilometers and with altitude above 1900 meters while P. vivax exhibited the increase with distance but, decrease with the altitude. Both species showed significantly higher infection among males than females (P <0.01). Temporally, malaria episodes manifested significant increments in the years between 2006/7 to 2009/10 while reduction of the malaria episodes was indicated during 2004/5, 2005/6 and 2010/11 compared to 2003/4 (P <0.01). On average, P. vivax was 52% less than P. falciparium over the time period considered. P. vivax was significantly higher in the years 2004/5 to 2007/8 and 2010/11 (P <0.001).
Spatial and temporal variations of malaria were observed. The spatial and temporal variations of malaria episodes were also different for the two main malaria species in the area.
PMCID: PMC4240866  PMID: 25407982
Ethiopia; Gilgel Gibe; Malaria episodes; Spatiotemporal dynamics
3.  Prevalence of “HIV/AIDS related” parental death and its association with sexual behavior of secondary school youth in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: a cross sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):1120.
Human immunodeficiency virus infection is a global crisis that represents a serious health threat, particularly among younger people. Various studies show that both orphan and non-orphan adolescents and youths experience vulnerability to HIV. Nevertheless, the findings hitherto are mixed and inconclusive. The aim of this study, therefore, was to assess the prevalence of parental death and its association with multiple sexual partners among secondary school students for evidence based interventions.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among secondary school youth in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A multistage sampling technique was used to select a representative sample of 2,169 school youths. Sexual health behavior related data were collected using self-administered questionnaire. Binary logistic regression was employed to examine the relation between parental death and multiple sexual partners.
Among the 2,169 eligible study participants 1948 (90%) completed the self-administered questionnaires. Of those 1,182(60.7%) were females. The overall prevalence of parental death was 347(17.8%.) with 95% CI (16.2%, 19.6%). The HIV/AIDS proportionate mortality ratio was 28% (97/347).
A multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that high HIV/AIDS related knowledge (AOR = 0.39; 95% CI, 0.18-0.84), positive attitude towards HIV prevention methods (AOR = 0.48; 95% CI, 0.23-0.97), being tested for HIV (AOR = 0.52; 95% CI, 0.31-0.87) and chewing Khat (AOR = 2.59; 95% CI,1.28-5.26)] were significantly associated with having multiple sexual partners among secondary school youths.
Significant proportion of secondary school youths had lost at least one parent due to various causes. High knowledge of HIV/AIDS, positive attitude towards ‘ABC’ rules for HIV prevention, being tested for HIV and chewing khat are more likely to be factors associated with multiple sexual partnership among secondary school students in Addis Ababa.
Therefore, the school based interventions against the HIV/AIDS epidemic should be strengthened with particular emphasis on the effects of HIV/AIDS related knowledge, attitude towards preventive measures, mechanisms for improving HIV Counseling and Testing coverage and the associated prevailing risk factors.
PMCID: PMC4228087  PMID: 25359693
Secondary school; Youth; Orphan; Non-orphan; Multiple sexual partners; HIV/AIDS
4.  Isolation, Characterization, Crystal Structure Elucidation, and Anticancer Study of Dimethyl Cardamonin, Isolated from Syzygium campanulatum Korth 
Syzygium campanulatum Korth is an equatorial, evergreen, aboriginal shrub of Malaysia. Conventionally it has been used as a stomachic. However, in the currently conducted study dimethyl cardamonin or 2′,4′-dihydroxy-6′-methoxy-3′,5′-dimethylchalcone (DMC) was isolated from S. campanulatum Korth, leaf extract. The structural characterization of DMC was carried out by making use of various techniques including UV, IR, NMR spectral followed by LC-MS, and X-ray crystallographic techniques. For determining the purity of compound, highly effective techniques including TLC, HPLC, and melting point were used. The cytotoxicity of DMC and three different extracts of S. campanulatum was evaluated against human colon cancer cell line (HT-29) by three different assays. DMC and ethanolic extract revealed potent and dose-dependent cytotoxic activity on the cancer cell line with IC50 12.6 and 90.1 µg/mL, respectively. Quite astonishingly to our knowledge, this is the very first report on S. campanulatum as being a rich source (3.5%) of DMC, X-ray crystallography, and anticancer activity on human colon cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC4228816  PMID: 25530783
5.  Identification of congenital rubella syndrome in Sudan 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:305.
Epidemiological data about congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) are scarce and rubella vaccine is not yet included in the childhood immunization schedule in Sudan. This study aimed to identify and describe CRS cases among Sudanese infants with congenital eye or heart defects.
Between February and September 2010, paired oral fluid and dried blood spot samples were collected from 98 infants aged up to 12 months. These infants were enrolled during their visits to five hospitals in Khartoum, Sudan. Clinical samples were screened for rubella IgM and for ≥ 6 months old infants also for IgG antibodies by ELISA. The oral fluid of IgM and/or IgG positive patients was tested for rubella RNA by reverse transcriptase PCR.
Our findings revealed that two children (2.0%) were IgM positive and another five children (5.1%) were positive for IgG antibodies. None of the five infants of which enough oral fluid was available for RNA investigation was PCR positive.
This study documented the presence of CRS in Sudan and highlighted the importance of rubella vaccine introduction for preventing future CRS cases in the country.
PMCID: PMC4059485  PMID: 24898017
Congenital rubella syndrome; Eye defects; Oral fluid; Dried blood spot; Sudan
6.  Analysis of trend of malaria prevalence in south-west Ethiopia: a retrospective comparative study 
Malaria Journal  2014;13:188.
The temporal analysis of pertinent malaria data on the health care system is crucially important to measure success or failure of malaria programmes and identify remaining malaria hot spots. The objectives of this study were to analyse and compare trends of malaria prevalence around Gilgel-Gibe Hydroelectric Dam (GGHD), and a control site over an eight-year period.
A retrospective record review of health care services was conducted in southwest Ethiopia. Records of malaria cases over an eight-year period in primary health care units of two localities were reviewed. One study site was selected from villages around a man-made lake, GGHD, within a distance of 10 km, and a control site with similar geographic features was identified. Data were summarized in tables; prevalence of malaria was analysed and described by person, place and time using line graphs. Odds ratio was used to examine significant difference of malaria occurrence in the two sites.
Records of 163,918 malaria cases registered over eight years (September 2003 to August 2011) were explored. Close to one thirds (32.7%) of these cases were from GGHD site and two-thirds (67.3%) of them were from the control site. Among the confirmed cases, Plasmodium falciparum constituted 54.6%, Plasmodium vivax accounted for 41.6%, and mixed infection was 3.8%. There were three peaks of malaria prevalence in the control site whereas only one major peak was identified during the eight-year period in GGHD site; and prevalence of malaria in GGHD site was lower than control site. Children in the age range ten to 14 years were the most affected by the disease, followed by children below the age group five to nine years, which demands due consideration in the effort of malaria control.
More malaria prevalence was observed in the control site compared to GGHD site almost throughout the time period considered. The present finding did not show evidence of the excess malaria burden in the GGHD site due to the presence of the dam.
PMCID: PMC4046071  PMID: 24886236
Ethiopia; Gilgel-Gibe; Health service; Malaria trend; Malaria prevalence
7.  Bladder necrosis secondary to internal iliac artery embolization following pelvic fracture 
Urology Annals  2014;6(2):166-168.
A 49-year-old man following a road traffic accident (RTA) had an unstable pelvic fracture with urethral injury. Internal pelvic fixation with Supra-pubic catheter (SPC) drainage of his bladder was done. This failed to stop the bleeding and a pelvic angiography with bilateral internal iliac embolization using steel coils was performed successfully controlling the bleeding. After 4 weeks, the patient developed wound infection (Clavien Grade III) and on exploration, bladder necrosis was found. A urinary diversion using ileal conduit with excision of bladder was performed. A biopsy of the excised bladder confirmed bladder necrosis with a foreign material (coil) in one arterial lumen.
PMCID: PMC4021662  PMID: 24833834
Bladder necrosis; embolization; internal iliac artery; pelvic fracture
8.  Epidemiology of Major Non-communicable Diseases in Ethiopia: A Systematic Review 
Impact of non-communicable diseases is not well-documented in Ethiopia. We aimed to document the prevalence and mortality associated with four major non-communicable diseases in Ethiopia: cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Associated risk factors: hypertension, tobacco-use, harmful use of alcohol, overweight/obesity, and khat-chewing were also studied. Systematic review of peer-reviewed and grey literature between 1960 and 2011 was done using PubMed search engines and local libraries to identify prevalence studies on the four diseases. In total, 32 studies were found, and half of these studies were from Addis Ababa. Two hospital-based studies reviewed the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and found a prevalence of 7.2% and 24%; a hospital-based study reviewed cancer prevalence and found a prevalence of 0.3%; two hospital-based studies reviewed diabetes prevalence and found a prevalence of 0.5% and 1.2%; and two hospital-based studies reviewed prevalence of asthma and found a prevalence of 1% and 3.5%. Few community-based studies were done on the prevalence of diabetes and chronic pulmonary obstructive disease among the population. Several studies reviewed the impact of these diseases on mortality: cardiovascular disease accounts for 24% of deaths in Addis Ababa, cancer causes 10% of deaths in the urban settings and 2% deaths in rural setting, and diabetes causes 5% and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease causes 3% of deaths. Several studies reviewed the impact of these diseases on hospital admissions: cardiovascular disease accounts for 3%-12.6% and found to have increased between 1970s and 2000s; cancer accounts for 1.1%-2.8%, diabetes accounts for 0.5%-1.2%, and chronic obstructive diseases account for 2.7%-4.3% of morbidity. Overall, the major non-communicable diseases and related risk factors are highly prevalent, and evidence-based interventions should be designed.
PMCID: PMC4089066  PMID: 24847587
Cancer; Cardiovascular disease; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Diabetes; Risk factors; Ethiopia
9.  Is the Epidemiology of Alkhurma Hemorrhagic Fever Changing? : A Three-Year Overview in Saudi Arabia 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e85564.
The epidemiology of Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever disease is yet to be fully understood since the virus was isolated in 1994 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Preventive Medicine department, Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Retrospective analysis of all laboratory confirmed cases of Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever disease collected through active and passive surveillance from 1st-January 2009 to December, 31, 2011.
Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever (AHFV) disease increased from 59 cases in 2009 to 93 cases in 2011. Cases are being discovered outside of the region where it was initially diagnosed in Saudi Arabia. About a third of cases had no direct contact with animals or its products. Almost all cases had gastro-intestinal symptoms. Case fatality rate was less than 1%.
Findings in this study showed the mode of transmission of AHFV virus may not be limited to direct contact with animals or its products. Gastro-intestinal symptoms were not previously documented. Observed low case fatality rate contradicted earlier reports. Close monitoring of the epidemiology of AHFV is recommended to aid appropriate diagnosis. Housewives are advised to wear gloves when handling animals and animal products as a preventive measure.
PMCID: PMC3916301  PMID: 24516520
10.  Development of Pulsating Twin Jets Mechanism for Mixing Flow Heat Transfer Analysis 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:767614.
Pulsating twin jets mechanism (PTJM) was developed in the present work to study the effect of pulsating twin jets mixing region on the enhancement of heat transfer. Controllable characteristics twin pulsed jets were the main objective of our design. The variable nozzle-nozzle distance was considered to study the effect of two jets interaction at the mixing region. Also, the phase change between the frequencies of twin jets was taken into account to develop PTJM. All of these factors in addition to the ability of producing high velocity pulsed jet led to more appropriate design for a comprehensive study of multijet impingement heat transfer problems. The performance of PTJM was verified by measuring the pulse profile at frequency of 20 Hz, where equal velocity peak of around 64 m/s for both jets was obtained. Moreover, the jet velocity profile at different pulsation frequencies was tested to verify system performance, so the results revealed reasonable velocity profile configuration. Furthermore, the effect of pulsation frequency on surface temperature of flat hot plate in the midpoint between twin jets was studied experimentally. Noticeable enhancement in heat transfer was obtained with the increasing of pulsation frequency.
PMCID: PMC3929578  PMID: 24672370
11.  Ownership and use of long-lasting insecticidal nets for malaria prevention in Butajira area, south-central Ethiopia: complex samples data analysis 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:99.
Despite the encroaching of endemic malaria to highland-fringe areas above 2000 meters above sea level in Ethiopia, there is limited information on ownership and use of mosquito nets for malaria prevention. Thus, this study was designed to assess long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) possession and use for malaria prevention in highland-fringe of south-central Ethiopia.
A multi-stage sampling technique was employed to obtain household data from randomly selected households using household head interview in October and November 2008. Household LLIN possession and use was assessed using adjusted Odds Ratio obtained from complex samples logistic regression analysis.
Only less than a quarter (23.1%) of 739 households interviewed owned LLINs with more differences between low (54.2%) high (3.5%) altitudes (Χ2 =253, P < 0.001). Higher LLIN ownership was observed in illiterate (adj.OR 35.1 [10.6-116.2]), male-headed (adj.OR 1.7 [1.051-2.89]), owning two or more beds (adj.OR 2.7 [1.6-4.6]), not doing draining/refilling of mosquito breeding sites (adj.OR 3.4 [2.1-5.5]) and absence of rivers or streams (adj.OR 6.4 [3.5-11.8]) of household variables. The presence of ≥2 LLINs hanging (adj.OR 21.0 [5.2-85.1]), owning two or more LLINs (adj.OR 4.8 [1.3-17.5]), not doing draining/refilling of mosquito breeding sites (adj.OR 4.2 [1.3-13.6]), low wealth status (adj.OR 3.55 [1.04-12.14]), and < 1 km distance from absence of rivers or streams (adj.OR 3.9 [1.2-12.1]) of households was associated with more likely use of LLIN. The LLIN ownership was low in the highlands, and most of the highland users bought the bed nets themselves.
This study found a low household LLIN ownership and use in the highland-fringe rural area. Therefore, improving the availability and teaching effective use of LLIN combined with removal of temporary mosquito breeding places should be prioritized in highland-fringe areas.
PMCID: PMC3914706  PMID: 24479770
Long-lasting insecticidal nets; Ownership; Use; Highland-fringe; Ethiopia
12.  Pelvic lipomatosis: Bladder sparing extirpation of pelvic mass to relieve bladder storage dysfunction symptoms and pelvic pain 
Pelvic lipomatosis is a rare benign disease, associated with overgrowth of fat in the perivesical and perirectal area. It is of unknown etiology. We describe a 45–year–old male with pelvic lipomatosis causing bladder storage dysfunction symptoms and pelvic pain that affected his quality of life. Surgical excision of the pelvic mass with bladder preservation was performed. After surgery, the patient had a marked improvement in his quality of life, with resolution of bladder storage dysfunction symptoms and pelvic pain.
PMCID: PMC4165674  PMID: 25247089
pelvic lipomatosis; bladder
13.  A rare approach to entero-atmospheric fistula 
Patient: Female, 60
Final Diagnosis: Recurrent incisional hernia
Symptoms: —
Medication: —
Clinical Procedure: Limited ileo-cecal resection
Specialty: Surgery
Diagnostic/therapeutic accidents
Iatrogenic entero-atmospheric fistula is devastating and its management is extremely difficult because it is often associated with fluid and electrolyte disturbances, nutritional problems, and life-threatening sepsis.
Case Report:
A 60-year-old woman underwent laparoscopic repair of a recurrent incisional hernia that was complicated by iatrogenic cecal injury necessitating a limited ileocecal resection and onlay prosthetic mesh repair of the hernia. Postoperatively, sloughing of the overlying skin led to mesh exposure. An attempted rotational flap coverage was complicated by small bowel injury, which was recognized and repaired. However, an entero-atmospheric fistula developed after the removal of contaminated mesh. The fistula was initially treated by vacuum-assisted closure dressing and later was converted to a ‘stoma’. Six months later, the small bowel segment bearing the fistula was excised and bowel continuity was restored.
In selected cases, the conversion of entero-atmospheric fistula to a ‘stoma’ allows the patient to be discharged home early and maintain good nutritional status while awaiting the definitive surgical intervention.
PMCID: PMC3835275  PMID: 24265846
laparoscopy; incisional hernia repair; colon injury; entero-atmospheric fistula; stoma
14.  Predictors of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net ownership and utilization: evidence from community-based cross-sectional comparative study, Southwest Ethiopia 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:406.
Malaria is the notorious impediment of public health and economic development. Long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets/insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs/ITNs) are among major intervention strategies to avert the impact the disease. However, effectiveness of LLINs/ITNs depends on, inter alia, possessing sufficient number, proper utilization and timely replacement of nets. Thus, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends surveys to evaluate possession and proper use of LLINs/ITNs by households.
A cross-sectional comparative household survey was conducted during peak malaria transmission season using interviewer-introduced questionnaires in southwest Ethiopia. A study site was selected from villages around a man-made lake, Gilgel-Gibe (GG) and a control site, with similar geographic and socio-economic features but far away from the lake, was identified. A total of 2,373 households from randomly selected cluster of households were included into the study and heads/spouses of the households responded to interviews. Binary and multinomial logistic regressions were used to identify predictors of LLIN ownership and utilization.
LLIN/ITN ownership among the study populations was 56.6%, while 43.4% of households did not own a net. A higher proportion of households in GG reported owning at least one LLITN/ITN compared to control village (OR =2. 2, P <0.001) and more households in GG reported having only one LLITN/ITN in contrast to households in the control village (OR = 2.1, P <0.001). The mean number of LLINs/ITNs owned was 1.6 for GG residents and 1.8 for control village with a mean difference of -0.26 (95% CI = - 0.34, -0.19). The age of household heads, household relative wealth index (RWI), distance to nearest health service and accessibility to transportation showed a significant association with ownership of LLINs/ITNs. The probability of owning two or more LLINs/ITNs was positively associated with age of household head. Marital status of household heads, RWI, distance to nearest health service, accessibility to transport, residence and household size showed a significant association with utilization of LLINs/ITNs.
Attention needs to be given to the poor, distant and inaccessible households in the efforts of malaria intervention programmes, such as free distribution of LLINs/ITNs. Well-tailored information, education and communication is needed to address the problem of non-users.
PMCID: PMC3827849  PMID: 24206749
Gilgel-gibe; Long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets/insecticide-treated bed nets; Malaria; Ownership; Possession; Utilization
15.  Malaria risk factors in Butajira area, south-central Ethiopia: a multilevel analysis 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:273.
The highlands of Ethiopia, situated between 1,500 and 2,500 m above sea level, experienced severe malaria epidemics. Despite the intensive control attempts, underway since 2005 and followed by an initial decline, the disease remained a major public health concern. The aim of this study was to identify malaria risk factors in highland-fringe south-central Ethiopia.
This study was conducted in six rural kebeles of Butajira area located 130 km south of Addis Ababa, which are part of demographic surveillance site in Meskan and Mareko Districts, Ethiopia. Using a multistage sampling technique 750 households was sampled to obtain the 3,398 people, the estimated sample size for this study. Six repeated cross-sectional surveys were conducted from October 2008 to June 2010. Multilevel, mixed-effects logistic regression models fitted to Plasmodium infection status (positive or negative) and six variables. Both fixed- and random-effects differences in malaria infection were estimated using median odds ratio and interval odds ratio 80%. The odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were used to estimate the strength of association.
Overall, 19,207 individuals were sampled in six surveys (median and inter-quartile range value three). Six of the five variables had about two-fold to eight-fold increase in prevalence of malaria. Furthermore, among these variables, October-November survey seasons of both during 2008 and 2009 were strongly associated with increased prevalence of malaria infection. Children aged below five years (adjusted OR= 3.62) and children aged five to nine years (adj. OR= 3.39), low altitude (adj. OR= 5.22), mid-level altitude (adj. OR= 3.80), houses with holes (adj. OR= 1.59), survey seasons such as October-November 2008 (adj. OR= 7.84), January-February 2009 (adj. OR= 2.33), June-July 2009 (adj. OR=3.83), October-November 2009 (adj. OR= 7.71), and January-February 2010 (adj. OR= 3.05) were associated with increased malaria infection.
The estimates of cluster variances revealed differences in malaria infection. The village-level intercept variance for the individual-level predictor (0.71 [95% CI: 0.28-1.82]; SE=0.34) and final (0.034, [95% CI: 0.002-0.615]; SE=0.05) were lower than that of empty (0.80, [95% CI: 0.32-2.01]; SE=0.21).
Malaria control efforts in highland fringes must prioritize children below ten years in designing transmission reduction of malaria elimination strategy.
PMCID: PMC3750841  PMID: 23914971
Malaria risk; Multilevel analysis; Highland-fringe; Butajira area; Ethiopia
16.  Evaluation of CareStart™ malaria Pf/Pv combo test for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria diagnosis in Butajira area, south-central Ethiopia 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:218.
Malaria is a major public health problem in Ethiopia. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax co-exist and malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDTs) is vital in rendering parasite-confirmed treatment especially in areas where microscopy from 2008 to 2010 is not available. CareStartTM Malaria Pf/Pv combo test was evaluated compared to microscopy in Butajira area, south-central Ethiopia. This RDT detects histidine-rich protein-2 (HRP2) found in P. falciparum, and Plasmodium enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) for diagnosis of P. vivax. The standard for the reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies was complied. Among 2,394 participants enrolled, 10.9% (n=87) were Plasmodium infected (household survey) and 24.5% (n=392) health facility-based using microscopy. In the household surveys, the highest positivity was caused by P. vivax (83.9%, n=73), P. falciparum (15.0%, n=13), and the rest due to mixed infections of both (1.1%, n=1). In health facility, P. vivax caused 78.6% (n=308), P. falciparum caused 20.4% (n=80), and the rest caused by mixed infections 1.0% (n=4). RDT missed 9.1% (n=8) in household and 4.3% (n=17) in health facility-based surveys among Plasmodium positive confirmed by microscopy while 3.3% (n=24) in household and 17.2% (n=208) in health facility-based surveys were detected false positive. RDT showed agreement with microscopy in detecting 79 positives in household surveys (n=796) and 375 positives in health centre survey (n=1,598).
RDT performance varied in both survey settings, lowest PPV (64.3%) for Plasmodium and P. falciparum (77.2%) in health centres; and Plasmodium (76.7%) and P. falciparum (87.5%) in household surveys. NPV was low in P. vivax in health centres (77.2%) and household (87.5%) surveys. Seasonally varying RDT precision of as low as 14.3% PPV (Dec. 2009), and 38.5% NPV (Nov. 2008) in health centre surveys; and 40-63.6% PPV was observed in household surveys. But the influence of age and parasite density on RDT performance was not ascertained. Establishing quality control of malaria RDT in the health system in areas with low endemic and where P. falciparum and P. vivax co-exist is recommendable. CareStartTM RDT might be employed for epidemiological studies that require interpreting the results cautiously. Future RDT field evaluation against microscopy should be PCR corrected.
PMCID: PMC3700775  PMID: 23805822
CareStartTM RDT; Microscopy; Precision; Season; Highland; Butajira; Ethiopia
17.  Establishing a national influenza sentinel surveillance system in a limited resource setting, experience of Sierra Leone 
Acute respiratory infections remain a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Sierra Leone; however, similar to other African countries, little is known regarding the contribution of influenza. Routine influenza surveillance is thus a key element to improve understanding of the burden of acute respiratory infections in Africa. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) funded the Strengthening Influenza Sentinel Surveillance in Africa (SISA) project with the goal of developing and strengthening influenza surveillance in eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Sierra Leone. This paper describes the process of establishing a functional Influenza Sentinel Surveillance (ISS) system in Sierra Leone, a post-conflict resource-poor country previously lacking an influenza monitoring system.
Sierra Leone utilized a systematic approach, including situational assessment, selection of sentinel sites, preparation of implementation plan, adaptation of the standard operating procedures, supervision and training of staff, and monitoring of influenza surveillance activities. The methods used in Sierra Leone were adapted to its specific context, using the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strategy as a platform for establishing ISS.
The ISS system started functioning in August 2011 with subsequent capacity to contribute surveillance activity data to global influenza databases, FluID and FluNet, demonstrating a functional influenza surveillance system in Sierra Leone within the period of the WHO SISA project support. Several factors were necessary for successful implementation, including a systematic approach, national ownership, appropriate timing and external support.
The WHO SISA project demonstrated the feasibility of building a functional influenza surveillance system in Sierra Leone, integrated into existing national IDSR system. The ISS system, if sustained long-term, would provide valuable data to determine epidemiological and virological patterns and seasonal trends to assess the influenza disease burden that will ultimately guide national control strategies.
PMCID: PMC3694480  PMID: 23800108
18.  Ultrasonography of the liver and kidneys of healthy camels (Camelus dromedarius) 
The Canadian Veterinary Journal  2012;53(12):1273-1278.
This study describes the ultrasonography of the liver and kidneys of healthy camels (Camelus dromedarius). Images of the liver were obtained from the 11th to 5th intercostal spaces (ICSs). The distance between the dorsal liver margin and the midline of the back was shortest (39.1 ± 7.4 cm) at the 11th ICS and increased cranially to 5th ICS. The size of the liver was largest at the 9th ICS and smallest at the 5th ICS. In 6 camels the right kidney was visualized from the 10th and 11th ICSs and upper right flank and in the 10th and 11th ICSs in the remaining 16 camels. In all camels, the left kidney was imaged from the caudal left flank. In 21 camels, the differentiation between the renal cortex and medulla was clearly visible in the ultrasonograms. Ultrasonographic description of the liver and kidneys provides a basic reference for diagnosing hepatic and renal disorders in camels.
PMCID: PMC3500117  PMID: 23729824
19.  Determinants of Mortality among HIV Positives after Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy in Western Ethiopia: A Hospital-Based Retrospective Cohort Study 
ISRN AIDS  2013;2013:491601.
Studies revealed that there are various determinants of mortality among HIV positives after ART initiation. These determinants are so variable with context and dynamic across time with the advancement of cares and treatments. In this study we tried to identify determinants of mortality among HIV positives after initiating ART. A retrospective cohort study was conducted among 416 ART attendees enrolled between July 2005 to January 2012 in Nekemte Referral Hospital, Western Ethiopia. Actuarial table was used to estimate survival of patients after ART initiation and log rank test was used to compare the survival curves. Cox proportional-hazard regression was applied to determine the independent determinants of time to death. The estimated mortality was 4%, 5%, 6%, 7%, and 7% at 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 months respectively with mortality incidence density of 1.89 deaths per 100 person years (95% CI 1.74, 3.62). Forty years and above AHR = 3.055 (95% CI 1.292, 7.223), low baseline hemoglobin level (AHR = 0.523 (95% CI .335, 0.816)), and poor ART adherence (AHR 27.848 (95% CI 8.928, 86.8)) were found to be an independent determinants of mortality. These determinants of mortality have to be taken into account to enhance better clinical outcomes of ART attendees.
PMCID: PMC3767240  PMID: 24052890
21.  Preliminary study for non – invasive optical detection of squamous and basal cell carcinomas 
The early detection of skin cancer may highly increase the chances of its healing. One of the non-invasive methods of such detection based on the Oblique- Incidence Diffuse Reflectance (OIDR) measurements of the reflected diode laser light from the skin. In this research we designed and implemented the OIDR reflectometry measuring system with a 650 nm diode laser source to aid physicians in diagnosing both squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and basal cell carcinomas(BCC).
The laser is delivered obliquely to the skin surface by an optical fiber fitted through a tube holder of CCD camera. The diffused reflected laser light from the skin is captured by the CCD camera and sent to a computer, which is supplied by a specially prepared Matlab program to analyze these images in order to decide in a time whether the lesion is malignant or benign. Fifty cases were diagnosed under supervision of the consultant section of The Governmental Specialized Marjan Teaching Hospital – MOH – Iraq.
The fifty diagnosed cases by this technique, the results were 90% accurate.
The method of laser oblique-incidence diffuse reflectance (OIDR) combined with using the developed algorithms that have high classification rates may prove useful in the clinic as the process is fast, noninvasive and accurate.
PMCID: PMC3564706  PMID: 23181344
Skin cancer detection; Diffusion theory; Oblique incidence diffuse reflectance; Reflectometry
22.  Clinical, ultrasonographic, and pathologic findings in 70 camels (Camelus dromedarius) with Johne’s disease 
The Canadian Veterinary Journal  2012;53(5):543-548.
This study evaluated the use of ultrasonography for the diagnosis of Johne’s disease in camels (Camelus dromedarius). Seventy camels with confirmed Johne’s disease were examined by ultrasonography and subsequent necropsy; 15 healthy camels were included as controls. The most outstanding findings were visible enlargement of the mesenteric lymph nodes in 52 (74%) camels. Lesions had either echogenic (26%; n = 18) or anechoic (69%; n = 48) capsule and the contents were either anechoic (21%; n = 15), echogenic (27%; n = 19), or heterogeneous (46%; n = 32). Clumps of echogenic tissue interspersed with fluid pockets were imaged between the intestinal loops in 9 (13%) camels. There was mild, moderate, or severe thickening and corrugation of the intestinal wall, excessive anechoic fluid in the abdominal cavity in 18 (26%) camels, increased hepatic brightness in 30 (43%) camels, and pericardial and pleural effusions in 22 (31%) camels. Sensitivity values for detecting intestinal lesions and enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes were 95% and 84%, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3327595  PMID: 23115369
23.  The burden of neglected tropical diseases in Ethiopia, and opportunities for integrated control and elimination 
Parasites & Vectors  2012;5:240.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of chronic parasitic diseases and related conditions that are the most common diseases among the 2·7 billion people globally living on less than US$2 per day. In response to the growing challenge of NTDs, Ethiopia is preparing to launch a NTD Master Plan. The purpose of this review is to underscore the burden of NTDs in Ethiopia, highlight the state of current interventions, and suggest ways forward.
This review indicates that NTDs are significant public health problems in Ethiopia. From the analysis reported here, Ethiopia stands out for having the largest number of NTD cases following Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ethiopia is estimated to have the highest burden of trachoma, podoconiosis and cutaneous leishmaniasis in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the second highest burden in terms of ascariasis, leprosy and visceral leishmaniasis, and the third highest burden of hookworm. Infections such as schistosomiasis, trichuriasis, lymphatic filariasis and rabies are also common. A third of Ethiopians are infected with ascariasis, one quarter is infected with trichuriasis and one in eight Ethiopians lives with hookworm or is infected with trachoma. However, despite these high burdens of infection, the control of most NTDs in Ethiopia is in its infancy. In terms of NTD control achievements, Ethiopia reached the leprosy elimination target of 1 case/10,000 population in 1999. No cases of human African trypanosomiasis have been reported since 1984. Guinea worm eradication is in its final phase. The Onchocerciasis Control Program has been making steady progress since 2001. A national blindness survey was conducted in 2006 and the trachoma program has kicked off in some regions. Lymphatic Filariasis, podoconiosis and rabies mapping are underway.
Ethiopia bears a significant burden of NTDs compared to other SSA countries. To achieve success in integrated control of NTDs, integrated mapping, rapid scale up of interventions and operational research into co implementation of intervention packages will be crucial.
PMCID: PMC3551690  PMID: 23095679
Names of WHO listed neglected tropical disease; Integration; Elimination; Ethiopia
24.  First Report on Ambisome-Associated Allergic Reaction in Two Sudanese Leishmaniasis Patients 
Post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) and mucosal leishmaniasis (ML) are serious clinical forms of leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania donovani parasites in Sudan. Although pentavalent antimonys are used as the first line of treatment of all clinical forms of leishmaniasis, persistent PKDL and ML patients are treated with liposomal amphotericin B (Ambisome) as a second-line drug. In this work, we report the development of allergic reactions by a PKDL and a ML Sudanese patient to Ambisome. The findings warrant future close supervision of patients to be treated with the drug.
PMCID: PMC3183770  PMID: 21976565
25.  Echocardiography of the normal camel (Camelus dromedaries) heart: technique and cardiac dimensions 
Echocardiography and intra-cardiac dimensions have not previously been reported in adult camels despite its potential application for medical purpose. The aim of this study was to describe the results of a prospective study, aiming to report normal cardiac appearance and normal chamber dimensions in adult camels (Camelus dromedarius).
On the right side, when the probe was placed in the 5th or 4th intercostal space (ICS), the caudal long-axis four-chamber view of the ventricles, atria, and the interventricular septum was obtained. Placing the probe slightly more cranially in the 4th ICS, the caudal long-axis four-chamber view and the caudal long-axis view of the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) were imaged. In 7 camels, a hybrid view between a “four-chamber” and “LVOT view” was imaged from the same position. The short-axis view of the ventricles was obtained in the 4th ICS where the transducer was rotated between 0° and 25°. Placement of the transducer in the 3rd ICS allowed visualisation of the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT). On the left side, when the probe was placed in the 5th or 4th ICS, a four-chamber view was obtained. The LVOT is imaged in the 4th ICS and the RVOT was seen from the 3rd ICS.
This study showed that it is possible to obtain good-quality echocardiograms in adult camels and provide normal cardiac dimensions. This study could be used as a reference for further studies concerning camels with cardiac diseases.
PMCID: PMC3430584  PMID: 22862855

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