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  1. Community Support for Basic Education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Region Human Development Working Paper Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watt, Patrick

    Currently, Africa stands out as the world's poorest and most educationally deprived region. Where communities are empowered to identify their own needs and priorities, participate in decisions about resource allocation, and hold education providers accountable for ensuring that children receive a minimum acceptable standard of education, schooling…

  2. Regions. [Africa, Middle East].

    PubMed

    1985-03-01

    This discussion of population focuses on the regions of Africa and the Middle East. In South Africa more white women are working but fewer black women work. The overall result is that the percentage of women who work is declining. Marita de Beer, research liaison executive at the South African Advertising Research Foundation, reports that the female population grew by 31% in the past 10 years while the number of working women has grown by only 11%. Among blacks the female population rose by 36%, but the number of workers among them declined by about 1%. Married women are among the fastest growing groups of working women in South Africa. The most recent estimate of the population of Nigeria is 92 million. According to Professor Vremudia Diejomaoh, Nigeria's population will probably reach 155 million by 2000 with 33% living in urban areas. In Saudi Arabia the Pan Arab Research Center recently completed a census of retail outlets in 3 metropolitan areas: Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam. The types of outlets surveyed include large supermarkets, small supermarkets, groceries with and without deep freeze, tobacco shops, meat shop/delis, small cafeterias, large restaurants/hotels, cosmetics shops or perfumeries, camera stores, toy shops, pharmacies, watch and gift shop, newsstands, department store, and appliance outlets. Using the Census of Retail Outlets as a base, Pan Arab Research Center also has a new distribution audit system that will cover 500 outlets. By plotting Arab countries according to their population policies and their current growth rates, it is possible to project where the middle class will grow fastest in the Arab world. The countries that have declining growth rates and strong population programs designed to encourage lower fertility rates among women are Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and Lebanon. The countries most likely to have a better per capita distribution of resources within this decade are those where governments encourage reductions in

  3. Regions. [Africa, Middle East].

    PubMed

    1985-03-01

    This discussion of population focuses on the regions of Africa and the Middle East. In South Africa more white women are working but fewer black women work. The overall result is that the percentage of women who work is declining. Marita de Beer, research liaison executive at the South African Advertising Research Foundation, reports that the female population grew by 31% in the past 10 years while the number of working women has grown by only 11%. Among blacks the female population rose by 36%, but the number of workers among them declined by about 1%. Married women are among the fastest growing groups of working women in South Africa. The most recent estimate of the population of Nigeria is 92 million. According to Professor Vremudia Diejomaoh, Nigeria's population will probably reach 155 million by 2000 with 33% living in urban areas. In Saudi Arabia the Pan Arab Research Center recently completed a census of retail outlets in 3 metropolitan areas: Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam. The types of outlets surveyed include large supermarkets, small supermarkets, groceries with and without deep freeze, tobacco shops, meat shop/delis, small cafeterias, large restaurants/hotels, cosmetics shops or perfumeries, camera stores, toy shops, pharmacies, watch and gift shop, newsstands, department store, and appliance outlets. Using the Census of Retail Outlets as a base, Pan Arab Research Center also has a new distribution audit system that will cover 500 outlets. By plotting Arab countries according to their population policies and their current growth rates, it is possible to project where the middle class will grow fastest in the Arab world. The countries that have declining growth rates and strong population programs designed to encourage lower fertility rates among women are Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and Lebanon. The countries most likely to have a better per capita distribution of resources within this decade are those where governments encourage reductions in

  4. Human Constraints to Sustainable Agriculture in the Arid Regions of South Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duvel, G. H.; Botha, A. J.

    1999-01-01

    Interviews with 79 South African farmers in arid regions showed that their conservation practices were influenced by such human factors as needs, perceptions, and knowledge. Direct influence on adoption behaviors was recommended to encourage sustainable agriculture practices. (SK)

  5. Prospects and challenges in the introduction of human papillomavirus vaccines in the extended Middle East and North Africa region.

    PubMed

    Jumaan, Aisha O; Ghanem, Soha; Taher, Jalaa; Braikat, Mhammed; Al Awaidy, Salah; Dbaibo, Ghassan S

    2013-12-30

    The development of effective and safe human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines provides a great opportunity to prevent a devastating disease, cervical cancer, and a host of other related diseases. However, the introduction of these vaccines has been slow in the Extended Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) region. Only one country has introduced the vaccine and few countries plan HPV vaccine introduction in the coming 5 years. Several factors influence the slow uptake in the region, including financial constraints, weak infrastructure for adolescent vaccine delivery, competition with high priority vaccines, and lack of reliable data on the burden of HPV disease. Other barriers include cultural and religious sensitivities, as the vaccines are offered to prevent a sexually transmitted disease in young girls. Recommendations to enhance HPV vaccine introduction in EMENA countries include establishing a regional joint vaccine procurement program, enhancing the adolescent vaccination platform, documenting the burden of cervical cancer, strengthening local National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups and designing Information, Education and Communication material that address cultural concerns. This article forms part of a regional report entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases in the Extended Middle East and North Africa Region" Vaccine Volume 31, Supplement 6, 2013. Updates of the progress in the field are presented in a separate monograph entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases" Vaccine Volume 30, Supplement 5, 2012.

  6. Burden of human papillomavirus infections and related diseases in the extended Middle East and North Africa region.

    PubMed

    Vaccarella, Salvatore; Bruni, Laia; Seoud, Muhieddine

    2013-12-30

    In this chapter, we present the available information on the burden of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers (cancers of the cervix, anogenital cancers, and cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx), as well as available data on the prevalence and distribution of HPV types in women with and without cervical cancer, for the countries of the Extended Middle East and North Africa region (EMENA). The EMENA region is characterized by societies that share similar cultures and religions and that are considered to have a more conservative sexual behaviour compared to Western societies. The incidence of cervical cancer is estimated to be relatively low, although it is difficult to assess precisely because systematic and national cancer registries are lacking in many countries of the EMENA region. In these countries, nationwide programs of cervical cancer screening do not exist or are based on a limited opportunistic cytology-based screening, which often lacks quality assurance. The incidence of anogenital cancers other than cervix is very low. The incidence of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx is relatively high in some countries, particularly in Pakistan. Relatively low levels of HPV prevalence have been observed in the several surveys conducted in the EMENA region, although only few young women were included in these studies. Possible changes in lifestyle and sexual behaviour in younger generations might, however, change this scenario. Thus, improving the information on the burden of HPV-related cancers and on the HPV prevalence in the general population is essential to develop a comprehensive intervention policy for future management of cervical cancer in this area. This article forms part of a regional report entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases in the Extended Middle East and North Africa Region" Vaccine Volume 31, Supplement 6, 2013. Updates of the progress in the field are presented in a separate monograph entitled

  7. Regional case studies--Africa.

    PubMed

    Prentice, Andrew M

    2009-01-01

    Africa is the final continent to be affected by the nutrition transition and, as elsewhere, is characterized by the paradoxical coexistence of malnutrition and obesity. Several features of the obesity epidemic in Africa mirror those in other emerging nations: it penetrates the richer nations and urban areas first with a strong urban- rural gradient; initially it affects the wealthy, but later there is a demographic switch as obesity becomes a condition more associated with poverty, and it shares many of the same drivers related to the increasing affordability of highly refined oils and carbohydrates, and a move away from subsistence farm work and towards sedentary lifestyles. Africa also has some characteristics of the obesity epidemic that stand out from other regions such as: (1) excepting some areas of the Pacific, Africa is probably the only region in which obesity (especially among women) is viewed culturally as a positive and desirable trait, leading to major gender differences in obesity rates in many countries; (2) most of Africa has very low rates of obesity in children, and to date African obesity is mostly an adult syndrome; (3) Africans seem genetically prone to higher rates of diabetes and hypertension in association with obesity than Caucasians, but seem to be relatively protected from dislipidemias; (4) the case-specific deaths and disabilities from diabetes and hypertension in Africa are very high due to the paucity of health services and the strain that the 'double burden' of disease places on health systems.

  8. Engaging with Adults: The Case for Increased Support to Adult Basic Education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Region Human Development Working Paper Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lauglo, Jon

    The impacts and cost-effectiveness of adult basic education (ABE) in Sub-Saharan Africa were examined in a review of the new generation of ABE programs in the region. African experts and other international resource persons examined documentation from recent adult literacy, numeracy, and other educational programs targeted toward individuals over…

  9. The Impact of Human Activities in Africa, the North and South Pole Regions on Global Climate Change.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abubakar, B.

    2007-05-01

    a way that goals could be achieved without necessarily causing problems to the world climate. 4. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) should check and control the Ocean Pollutions caused as a result of the degreasing activities of the "QUAY APRONS" currently going on at the various African Sea Ports in order to protect the Ocean pollution with chemicals that can make the World's ice to be melting. 5. The International Meteorological Organization should open its offices within each region of the six continents in order to have a closer monitoring of human activities that can influence the world's climate. Organizing seminars, Conferences and Workshops on a regular basis by the United Nations and other related organizations can help in the areas of public enlightenment and the education of the rural populace who are also great contributors to the situation. The UN should use its capacity to discourage the importation of fairly used refrigerators, Air-conditioners and propellants to Africa and at the same time assist in the subsidy of the newer ones coming to Africa, so that the average African can afford buying them I believe that if the above listed suggestions/recommendations are adopted and implemented it will help in reducing these challenges threatening the entire world. Thanks for listening.

  10. The impact of human activities in africa,the north and south pole regions on global climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abubakar, Babagana

    a way that goals could be achieved without necessarily causing problems to the world climate. 4. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) should check and control the Ocean Pollutions caused as a result of the degreasing activities of the "QUAY APRONS" currently going on at the various African Sea Ports in order to protect the Ocean pollution with chemicals that can make the World's ice to be melting. 5. The International Meteorological Organization should open its offices within each region of the six continents in order to have a closer monitoring of human activities that can influence the world's climate. 6. Organizing seminars, Conferences and Workshops on a regular basis by the United Nations and other related organizations can help in the areas of public enlightenment and the education of the rural populace who are also great contributors to the situation. 7. The UN should use its capacity to discourage the importation of fairly used refrigerators, Air-conditioners and propellants to Africa and at the same time assist in the subsidy of the newer ones coming to Africa, so that the average African can afford buying them I believe that if the above listed suggestions/recommendations are adopted and implemented it will help in reducing these challenges threatening the entire world. Thanks for listening.

  11. Regional Projections of Extreme Apparent Temperature Days in Africa and the Related Potential Risk to Human Health

    PubMed Central

    Garland, Rebecca M.; Matooane, Mamopeli; Engelbrecht, Francois A.; Bopape, Mary-Jane M.; Landman, Willem A.; Naidoo, Mogesh; van der Merwe, Jacobus; Wright, Caradee Y.

    2015-01-01

    Regional climate modelling was used to produce high resolution climate projections for Africa, under a “business as usual scenario”, that were translated into potential health impacts utilizing a heat index that relates apparent temperature to health impacts. The continent is projected to see increases in the number of days when health may be adversely affected by increasing maximum apparent temperatures (AT) due to climate change. Additionally, climate projections indicate that the increases in AT results in a moving of days from the less severe to the more severe Symptom Bands. The analysis of the rate of increasing temperatures assisted in identifying areas, such as the East African highlands, where health may be at increasing risk due to both large increases in the absolute number of hot days, and due to the high rate of increase. The projections described here can be used by health stakeholders in Africa to assist in the development of appropriate public health interventions to mitigate the potential health impacts from climate change. PMID:26473895

  12. Regional Projections of Extreme Apparent Temperature Days in Africa and the Related Potential Risk to Human Health.

    PubMed

    Garland, Rebecca M; Matooane, Mamopeli; Engelbrecht, Francois A; Bopape, Mary-Jane M; Landman, Willem A; Naidoo, Mogesh; Merwe, Jacobus van der; Wright, Caradee Y

    2015-10-01

    Regional climate modelling was used to produce high resolution climate projections for Africa, under a "business as usual scenario", that were translated into potential health impacts utilizing a heat index that relates apparent temperature to health impacts. The continent is projected to see increases in the number of days when health may be adversely affected by increasing maximum apparent temperatures (AT) due to climate change. Additionally, climate projections indicate that the increases in AT results in a moving of days from the less severe to the more severe Symptom Bands. The analysis of the rate of increasing temperatures assisted in identifying areas, such as the East African highlands, where health may be at increasing risk due to both large increases in the absolute number of hot days, and due to the high rate of increase. The projections described here can be used by health stakeholders in Africa to assist in the development of appropriate public health interventions to mitigate the potential health impacts from climate change. PMID:26473895

  13. The Regionalization of Africa: Delineating Africa's Subregions Using Airline Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Good, Pieter R.; Derudder, Ben; Witlox, Frank J.

    2011-01-01

    Current regionalizations of Africa have limitations in that they are attribute-based and regions are delineated according to national boundaries. Taking the world city network approach as starting point, it is possible to use relational data (i.e., information about the relationships between cities) rather than attribute data, and moreover, it…

  14. What do we know about effects of desert dust on air quality and human health in West Africa compared to other regions?

    PubMed

    De Longueville, Florence; Hountondji, Yvon-Carmen; Henry, Sabine; Ozer, Pierre

    2010-12-01

    This study aims to compare, on the one hand, the geographical distribution of the desert dust source areas, their contribution to quantities emitted into the atmosphere, the trajectories and the quantities deposited, with on the other hand the areas of research interest focused on the desert dust impacts on air quality and/or human health. Based on a systematic review of the literature using the ISI Web of Knowledge database, we found 231 articles published over the last decade on the desert dust impacts on air quality. Of these, 48% concerned Asian dust and 39% Saharan dust, with the remaining 13% divided between the other dust source areas. However, only one of these studies addressed the worsening air pollution in West Africa, even though it is very close to the Sahara, the greatest contributor to the global dust budget. Moreover, there have been very few studies (41) looking at the direct links between desert dust and human health; in this context too, no interest has been shown in West Africa. Yet this region is also among the areas in which morbidity rates have been noted to be far higher than those found in other regions of the world, and where respiratory infections alone account for more than 20% of the causes of infant mortality. This survey highlights a clear imbalance between those areas most exposed to dust and the most studied areas in terms of dust impacts. Given these findings and the often alarming results published about other regions of the world, we advocate a revival of interest in research on West Africa in order to achieve a better understanding of the desert dust impacts on air quality and health among the populations of this region.

  15. The Impact of Adult Mortality on Primary School Enrollment in Northwestern Tanzania. Africa Region Human Development Working Paper Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ainsworth, Martha; Beegle, Kathleen; Koda, Godlike

    The AIDS epidemic is making orphans out of many African children and threatens to reverse hard-won gains in raising school enrollments. The average gross primary enrollment ration (GPER) the number of children enrolled as a percent of the total number of children of school age was only 77% for Sub-Saharan Africa in 1996. The countries are hard-hit…

  16. Human origins: Out of Africa

    PubMed Central

    Tattersall, Ian

    2009-01-01

    Our species, Homo sapiens, is highly autapomorphic (uniquely derived) among hominids in the structure of its skull and postcranial skeleton. It is also sharply distinguished from other organisms by its unique symbolic mode of cognition. The fossil and archaeological records combine to show fairly clearly that our physical and cognitive attributes both first appeared in Africa, but at different times. Essentially modern bony conformation was established in that continent by the 200–150 Ka range (a dating in good agreement with dates for the origin of H. sapiens derived from modern molecular diversity). The event concerned was apparently short-term because it is essentially unanticipated in the fossil record. In contrast, the first convincing stirrings of symbolic behavior are not currently detectable until (possibly well) after 100 Ka. The radical reorganization of gene expression that underwrote the distinctive physical appearance of H. sapiens was probably also responsible for the neural substrate that permits symbolic cognition. This exaptively acquired potential lay unexploited until it was “discovered” via a cultural stimulus, plausibly the invention of language. Modern humans appear to have definitively exited Africa to populate the rest of the globe only after both their physical and cognitive peculiarities had been acquired within that continent. PMID:19805256

  17. Predominant human herpesvirus 6 variant A infant infections in an HIV-1 endemic region of Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Bates, Matthew; Monze, Mwaka; Bima, Humphrey; Kapambwe, Mirriam; Clark, David; Kasolo, Francis C; Gompels, Ursula A

    2009-05-01

    Human herpesvirus 6, HHV-6, commonly infects children, causing febrile illness and can cause more severe pathology, especially in an immune compromised setting. There are virulence distinctions between variants HHV-6A and B, with evidence for increased severity and neurotropism for HHV-6A. While HHV-6B is the predominant infant infection in USA, Europe and Japan, HHV-6A appears rare. Here HHV-6 prevalence, loads and variant genotypes, in asymptomatic compared to symptomatic infants were investigated from an African region with endemic HIV-1/AIDS. DNA was extracted from blood or sera from asymptomatic infants at 6 and 18 months age in a population-based micronutrient study, and from symptomatic infants hospitalised for febrile disease. DNA was screened by qualitative and quantitative real-time PCR, then genotyped by sequencing at variable loci, U46 (gN) and U47 (gO). HIV-1 serostatus of infants and mothers were also determined. HHV-6 DNA prevalence rose from 15% to 22% (80/371) by 18 months. At 6 months, infants born to HIV-1 positive mothers had lower HHV-6 prevalence (11%, 6/53), but higher HCMV prevalence (25%, 17/67). HHV-6 positive febrile hospitalized infants had higher HIV-1, 57% (4/7), compared to asymptomatic infants, 3% (2/74). HHV-6A was detected exclusively in 86% (48/56) of asymptomatic HHV-6 positive samples genotyped. Co-infections with both strain variants were linked with higher viral loads and found in 13% (7/56) asymptomatic infants and 43% (3/7) HIV-1 positive febrile infants. Overall, the results show HHV-6A as the predominant variant significantly associated with viremic infant-infections in this African population, distinct from other global cohorts, suggesting emergent infections elsewhere. PMID:19319952

  18. Human pentastomiasis in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Vanhecke, C; Le-Gall, P; Le Breton, M; Malvy, D

    2016-09-01

    Pentastomiasis is a rare zoonotic infection but it is frequently observed in Africa and Asia. Most human infections are caused by members of the Armillifer armillatus species. They are responsible for visceral pentastomiasis in Western and Central Africa. Humans may be infected by eating infected undercooked snake meat or by direct contact with an infected reptile. An increasing number of infections are being reported in Congo, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Despite an occasionally high number of nymphs observed in human viscera, most infections are asymptomatic and often diagnosed by accident during surgery or autopsy. The clinical presentation of pentastomiasis is quite varied and depends on infected tissues. The liver, lungs, and pleura are most frequently involved. Abdominal emergencies have been reported. Diagnostic delays always occur and diagnosis focuses on the patient's lifestyle and living environment. It is mainly based on the morphological description of the parasite's calcified cuticle, the site of the lesion, and the parasite's region of origin. Most patients do not require any treatment. Personal measures such as avoidance of contact with snake droppings are recommended to prevent transmission. Imported pentastomiasis has been observed in African migrants. PMID:27004769

  19. Human immunodeficiency virus and viral hepatitis among high-risk groups: Understanding the knowledge gap in the Middle East and North Africa Region

    PubMed Central

    Melhem, Nada M; Rahhal, Nour; Charide, Rana; Kreidieh, Khalil; El-Khatib, Rolla

    2015-01-01

    AIM: To identify gaps in the existing knowledge on single, dual and triple infections of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region among men who have sex with men (MSMs), female sex workers (FSWs), injecting drug users (IDUs) and prisoners. METHODS: We performed an extensive literature search on articles published on the topic in the 25 countries of the MENA region. PubMed database was used as the main search engine. Case reports, case series, qualitative studies, editorials, commentaries, authors’ replies and animal studies were excluded. Original articles and reviews dealing with the prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV and their co-infection were included. Data on population type, sample size, age and markers of infections were extracted from the relevant studies. RESULTS: HIV, HBV and HCV are blood-borne viruses with similar modes of transmission. The categories of people at high risk of acquiring HIV-1, HBV and HCV commonly include: MSMs, FSW and IDUs. It is well established that HIV-positive individuals co-infected with HBV or HCV suffer from liver pathology associated with morbidity and mortality. Moreover, HIV-infected individuals do not respond well to treatment for HBV or HCV and hence are at increased risk of hepatic toxicity. Consequently, co-infection of HIV-positive individuals with HBV and/or HCV is a global health problem of significant magnitude. Our review reveals the paucity of epidemiological data for key populations in many countries of the region. Limited number of studies exists in the MENA region on the status of HIV, HBV and HCV and their co-infections among prisoners, MSMs and FSWs. Evidence support the continued increase of the HIV epidemic among MSMs. In addition to the lack of studies on MSMs and FSWs in the MENA region, our review highlights the lack of data on the practices, characteristics, or the status of HIV infection and viral hepatitis

  20. The Regionalization of Africa in Undergraduate Geography of Africa Textbooks, 1953 to 2004

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cole, Roy

    2008-01-01

    This study examines the regionalization of Africa through analysis of forty-two English-language geography of Africa texts written for undergraduates between 1953 and 2004. Authors identify regions with reference to one or more variables. Some authors provided no explanation for their regionalization; others labored mightily to justify their…

  1. The first modern human dispersals across Africa.

    PubMed

    Rito, Teresa; Richards, Martin B; Fernandes, Verónica; Alshamali, Farida; Cerny, Viktor; Pereira, Luísa; Soares, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    The emergence of more refined chronologies for climate change and archaeology in prehistoric Africa, and for the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), now make it feasible to test more sophisticated models of early modern human dispersals suggested by mtDNA distributions. Here we have generated 42 novel whole-mtDNA genomes belonging to haplogroup L0, the most divergent clade in the maternal line of descent, and analysed them alongside the growing database of African lineages belonging to L0's sister clade, L1'6. We propose that the last common ancestor of modern human mtDNAs (carried by "mitochondrial Eve") possibly arose in central Africa ~180 ka, at a time of low population size. By ~130 ka two distinct groups of anatomically modern humans co-existed in Africa: broadly, the ancestors of many modern-day Khoe and San populations in the south and a second central/eastern African group that includes the ancestors of most extant worldwide populations. Early modern human dispersals correlate with climate changes, particularly the tropical African "megadroughts" of MIS 5 (marine isotope stage 5, 135-75 ka) which paradoxically may have facilitated expansions in central and eastern Africa, ultimately triggering the dispersal out of Africa of people carrying haplogroup L3 ~60 ka. Two south to east migrations are discernible within haplogroup LO. One, between 120 and 75 ka, represents the first unambiguous long-range modern human dispersal detected by mtDNA and might have allowed the dispersal of several markers of modernity. A second one, within the last 20 ka signalled by L0d, may have been responsible for the spread of southern click-consonant languages to eastern Africa, contrary to the view that these eastern examples constitute relicts of an ancient, much wider distribution.

  2. The First Modern Human Dispersals across Africa

    PubMed Central

    Rito, Teresa; Richards, Martin B.; Fernandes, Verónica; Alshamali, Farida; Cerny, Viktor

    2013-01-01

    The emergence of more refined chronologies for climate change and archaeology in prehistoric Africa, and for the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), now make it feasible to test more sophisticated models of early modern human dispersals suggested by mtDNA distributions. Here we have generated 42 novel whole-mtDNA genomes belonging to haplogroup L0, the most divergent clade in the maternal line of descent, and analysed them alongside the growing database of African lineages belonging to L0’s sister clade, L1’6. We propose that the last common ancestor of modern human mtDNAs (carried by “mitochondrial Eve”) possibly arose in central Africa ~180 ka, at a time of low population size. By ~130 ka two distinct groups of anatomically modern humans co-existed in Africa: broadly, the ancestors of many modern-day Khoe and San populations in the south and a second central/eastern African group that includes the ancestors of most extant worldwide populations. Early modern human dispersals correlate with climate changes, particularly the tropical African “megadroughts” of MIS 5 (marine isotope stage 5, 135–75 ka) which paradoxically may have facilitated expansions in central and eastern Africa, ultimately triggering the dispersal out of Africa of people carrying haplogroup L3 ~60 ka. Two south to east migrations are discernible within haplogroup LO. One, between 120 and 75 ka, represents the first unambiguous long-range modern human dispersal detected by mtDNA and might have allowed the dispersal of several markers of modernity. A second one, within the last 20 ka signalled by L0d, may have been responsible for the spread of southern click-consonant languages to eastern Africa, contrary to the view that these eastern examples constitute relicts of an ancient, much wider distribution. PMID:24236171

  3. Africa's Famine: The Human Dimension.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raloff, Janet

    1985-01-01

    Human activities are believed to have had major impact on disasters which have previously been called "natural." Overcultivation, overgrazing, and deforestation are used to illustrate how many African nations have become weakened and impoverished. Programs directed toward economic development are essential for overcoming these problems. (DH)

  4. Africa Section. Regional Activities Division. Papers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Federation of Library Associations, The Hague (Netherlands).

    Papers on the role and services of African libraries and the education of African librarians, which were presented at the 1983 International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) conference, include: (1) "The Information Sector in the Economic Development of Africa: The Potential Role for Libraries," in which Benzies Y. Boadi (Nigeria)…

  5. Regional initiatives in support of surveillance in East Africa: The East Africa Integrated Disease Surveillance Network (EAIDSNet) Experience.

    PubMed

    Ope, Maurice; Sonoiya, Stanley; Kariuki, James; Mboera, Leonard E G; Gandham, Ramana N V; Schneidman, Miriam; Kimura, Mwihaki

    2013-01-01

    The East African Integrated Disease Surveillance Network (EAIDSNet) was formed in response to a growing frequency of cross-border malaria outbreaks in the 1990s and a growing recognition that fragmented disease interventions, coupled with weak laboratory capacity, were making it difficult to respond in a timely manner to the outbreaks of malaria and other infectious diseases. The East Africa Community (EAC) partner states, with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation, established EAIDSNet in 2000 to develop and strengthen the communication channels necessary for integrated cross-border disease surveillance and control efforts. The objective of this paper is to review the regional EAIDSNet initiative and highlight achievements and challenges in its implementation. Major accomplishments of EAIDSNet include influencing the establishment of a Department of Health within the EAC Secretariat to support a regional health agenda; successfully completing a regional field simulation exercise in pandemic influenza preparedness; and piloting a web-based portal for linking animal and human health disease surveillance. The strategic direction of EAIDSNet was shaped, in part, by lessons learned following a visit to the more established Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance (MBDS) regional network. Looking to the future, EAIDSNet is collaborating with the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC), EAC partner states, and the World Health Organization to implement the World Bank-funded East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project (EAPHLNP). The network has also begun lobbying East African countries for funding to support EAIDSNet activities. PMID:23362409

  6. Regional paleogeographic evolution of west Africa: Implications for hydrocarbon exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Hempton, M.R.; Rosen, M.A.; Coughlin, R.M.; Scardina, A.D.; Hagen, E.S.; Nordstrom, P.J. )

    1991-03-01

    New paleogeographic reconstructions of west African continental margins provide a regional framework to contrast differences in hydrocarbon habitat and tectonostratigraphic style. Five regional provinces are delineated: (1) Northwest Africa margin from mauritania to Sierra Leone, (2) Transform margin from Liberia to Benin, (3) Niger delta of Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea, (4) South Atlantic Salt basin margin from Cameroon to Angola, and (5) Southwest Africa margin of Namibia and South Africa. Computer-constrained paleogeographic reconstructions based on exploration data depict the separation of west Africa from South and North America during the Late Triassic to the present along three rift systems. In northwest Africa rifting began in the Late Triassic associated with the opening of the Central Atlantic. In southwest Africa rifting began between the southern tips of Africa and South America in the Early Cretaceous (Valanginian) and propagated northward to the Benue Trough, a broad zone of left-lateral shear and extensional basins that began to open in the Aptian. Between these two rift systems, the Transform margin rift system initiated in the Early Cretaceous (Barremain) as a wrench-fault dominated eastward extension of the Proto-Caribbean ocean that propagated to the Benue Trough by the middle Albian. The most important variables affecting the tectonostratigraphic and hydrocarbon evolution of the west African margins include (1) the geometry, kinematics, and duration of rifting; (2) distribution of rift basins relative to paleoclimate zones (which affects the deposition of lacustrine source rocks and evaporites while influencing the type and quantity of sediment derived from land); (3) sea-level fluctuations; and (4) distribution of deltaic and turbiditic depocenters.

  7. Human ecology and behaviour in malaria control in tropical Africa

    PubMed Central

    MacCormack, C. P.

    1984-01-01

    Since about 250 BC, human modification of African environments has created increasingly favourable breeding conditions for Anopheles gambiae. Subsequent adaptations to the increased malaria risk are briefly described and reference is made to Macdonald's mathematical model for the disease. Since values for the variables in that model are high in tropical Africa, there is little possibility that simple, inexpensive, self-help primary health care initiatives can control malaria in the region. However, in combination with more substantial public health initiatives, simple primary health care activities might be done by communities to (1) prevent mosquitos from feeding on people, (2) prevent or reduce mosquito breeding, (3) destroy adult mosquitos, and (4) eliminate malaria parasites from human hosts. Lay methods of protection and self-care are examined and some topics for further research are indicated. Culturally appropriate health education methods are also suggested. PMID:6335685

  8. Alien phytogeographic regions of southern Africa: numerical classification, possible drivers, and regional threats.

    PubMed

    Hugo, Sanet; Van Rensburg, Berndt J; Van Wyk, Abraham E; Steenkamp, Yolande

    2012-01-01

    The distributions of naturalised alien plant species that have invaded natural or semi-natural habitat are often geographically restricted by the environmental conditions in their new range, implying that alien species with similar environmental requirements and tolerances may form assemblages and characterise particular areas. The aim of this study was to use objective numerical techniques to reveal any possible alien phytogeographic regions (i.e. geographic areas with characteristic alien plant assemblages) in southern Africa. Quarter degree resolution presence records of naturalised alien plant species of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana were analysed through a divisive hierarchical classification technique, and the output was plotted on maps for further interpretation. The analyses revealed two main alien phytogeographic regions that could be subdivided into eight lower level phytogeographic regions. Along with knowledge of the environmental requirements of the characteristic species and supported by further statistical analyses, we hypothesised on the main drivers of alien phytogeographic regions, and suggest that environmental features such as climate and associated biomes were most important, followed by human activities that modify climatic and vegetation features, such as irrigation and agriculture. Most of the characteristic species are not currently well-known as invasive plant species, but many may have potential to become troublesome in the future. Considering the possibility of biotic homogenization, these findings have implications for predicting the characteristics of the plant assemblages of the future. However, the relatively low quality of the dataset necessitates further more in-depth studies with improved data before the findings could be directly beneficial for management. PMID:22574145

  9. Alien phytogeographic regions of southern Africa: numerical classification, possible drivers, and regional threats.

    PubMed

    Hugo, Sanet; Van Rensburg, Berndt J; Van Wyk, Abraham E; Steenkamp, Yolande

    2012-01-01

    The distributions of naturalised alien plant species that have invaded natural or semi-natural habitat are often geographically restricted by the environmental conditions in their new range, implying that alien species with similar environmental requirements and tolerances may form assemblages and characterise particular areas. The aim of this study was to use objective numerical techniques to reveal any possible alien phytogeographic regions (i.e. geographic areas with characteristic alien plant assemblages) in southern Africa. Quarter degree resolution presence records of naturalised alien plant species of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana were analysed through a divisive hierarchical classification technique, and the output was plotted on maps for further interpretation. The analyses revealed two main alien phytogeographic regions that could be subdivided into eight lower level phytogeographic regions. Along with knowledge of the environmental requirements of the characteristic species and supported by further statistical analyses, we hypothesised on the main drivers of alien phytogeographic regions, and suggest that environmental features such as climate and associated biomes were most important, followed by human activities that modify climatic and vegetation features, such as irrigation and agriculture. Most of the characteristic species are not currently well-known as invasive plant species, but many may have potential to become troublesome in the future. Considering the possibility of biotic homogenization, these findings have implications for predicting the characteristics of the plant assemblages of the future. However, the relatively low quality of the dataset necessitates further more in-depth studies with improved data before the findings could be directly beneficial for management.

  10. Alien Phytogeographic Regions of Southern Africa: Numerical Classification, Possible Drivers, and Regional Threats

    PubMed Central

    Hugo, Sanet; Van Rensburg, Berndt J.; Van Wyk, Abraham E.; Steenkamp, Yolande

    2012-01-01

    The distributions of naturalised alien plant species that have invaded natural or semi-natural habitat are often geographically restricted by the environmental conditions in their new range, implying that alien species with similar environmental requirements and tolerances may form assemblages and characterise particular areas. The aim of this study was to use objective numerical techniques to reveal any possible alien phytogeographic regions (i.e. geographic areas with characteristic alien plant assemblages) in southern Africa. Quarter degree resolution presence records of naturalised alien plant species of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana were analysed through a divisive hierarchical classification technique, and the output was plotted on maps for further interpretation. The analyses revealed two main alien phytogeographic regions that could be subdivided into eight lower level phytogeographic regions. Along with knowledge of the environmental requirements of the characteristic species and supported by further statistical analyses, we hypothesised on the main drivers of alien phytogeographic regions, and suggest that environmental features such as climate and associated biomes were most important, followed by human activities that modify climatic and vegetation features, such as irrigation and agriculture. Most of the characteristic species are not currently well-known as invasive plant species, but many may have potential to become troublesome in the future. Considering the possibility of biotic homogenization, these findings have implications for predicting the characteristics of the plant assemblages of the future. However, the relatively low quality of the dataset necessitates further more in-depth studies with improved data before the findings could be directly beneficial for management. PMID:22574145

  11. Regional stratigraphy and petroleum geology, North Africa-Middle East

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, J.A. )

    1991-03-01

    The North Africa-Middle East petroleum provinces are part of the broad sedimentary platform that occupied the northern and northeastern borders of the African-Arabian craton adjacent to the ancestral Hercynian (late Paleozoic) and subsequent Tethyan-Alpine oceans. Carbonate-clastic-evaporite sediments of infra-Cambrian through Holocene age were cyclically deposited in a relatively continuous belt around the eastern and northern borders of the craton, mainly on a broad, shallow-water platform adjacent to the proto-Tethys and Tethys seaway. The Paleozoic section reaches a substantial thickness in the subsurface of the Middle East and in northern Africa adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea, but all or part of it is absent because of nondeposition or erosion over much of the region. Post-Paleozoic deposition was more or less continuous across the entire craton border region in the Middle East and along the northern border of the Sahara platform in North Africa and in Somalia and eastern Ethiopia. Similar marine and associated sedimentary rock facies are present in all of these regions, although paleotectonic-stratigraphic interrelationships and continental paleolatitude positions have greatly affected petroleum generation and accumulation in the specific provinces along the craton border. A series of regional stratigraphic-sedimentary environment, and continental position, layer maps illustrates the relative influence of these factors through geologic time with respect to the relationship between petroleum reservoirs, source rocks, and confining rock facies.

  12. Climate Regionalization through Hierarchical Clustering: Options and Recommendations for Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badr, H. S.; Zaitchik, B. F.; Dezfuli, A. K.

    2014-12-01

    Climate regionalization is an important but often under-emphasized step in studies of climate variability and predictions. While most investigations of regional climate or statistical/dynamical predictions do make at least an implicit attempt to focus on a study region or sub-regions that are climatically coherent in some respect, rigorous climate regionalization--in which the study area is divided on the basis of the most relevant climate metrics and at a resolution most appropriate to the data and the scientific question--has the potential to enhance the precision and explanatory power of climate studies in many cases. This is particularly true for climatically complex regions such as the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) and Equatorial West Africa. Here we present an improved clustering method and a flexible, open-source software tool (R package "HiClimR") designed specifically for climate regionalization. As a demonstration, we apply HiClimR to regionalize the GHA on the basis of interannual precipitation variability in each calendar month and for three-month running seasons. Different clustering methods are tested to show the behavior of each method and provide recommendations for specific problems. This would underscore the applicability of our work to a wide range of climate issues, and enable researchers to easily and quickly learn how to apply our tools to their own problems. Both the proposed methodology and the R package can be easily used for a broad range of climate applications.

  13. The Evolution of Human Genetic and Phenotypic Variation in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

    Africa is the birthplace of modern humans, and is the source of the geographic expansion of ancestral populations into other regions of the world. Indigenous Africans are characterized by high levels of genetic diversity within and between populations. The pattern of genetic variation in these populations has been shaped by demographic events occurring over the last 200,000 years. The dramatic variation in climate, diet, and exposure to infectious disease across the continent has also resulted in novel genetic and phenotypic adaptations in extant Africans. This review summarizes some recent advances in our understanding of the demographic history and selective pressures that have influenced levels and patterns of diversity in African populations. PMID:20178763

  14. Africa's neglected area of human resources for health research - the way forward.

    PubMed

    Ijsselmuiden, C; Marais, D L; Becerra-Posada, F; Ghannem, H

    2012-03-07

    Building the skills for doing, managing and delivering health research is essential for every country's development. Yet, human resources for health research (HRHR) are seldom considered in Africa and elsewhere. Africa's health research capacity has grown considerably, with potential to increase this growth. However, a systemic way of defining, co-ordinating and growing the HRHR needed to support health systems development is missing. Reviewing the status of HRHR in Africa, we assert that it consists of uncoordinated, small-scale activities, primarily driven from outside Africa. We present examples of ongoing HRHR capacity building initiatives in Africa. There is no overarching framework, strategy or body for African countries to optimise research support and capacity in HRHR. A simple model is presented to help countries plan and strategise for a comprehensive approach to research capacity strengthening. Everyone engaged with global, regional and national research for health enterprises must proactively address human resource planning for health research in Africa. Unless this is made explicit in global and national agendas, Africa will remain only an interested spectator in the decisions, prioritisation, funding allocations, conduct and interpretation, and in the institutional, economic and social benefits of health research, rather than owning and driving its own health research agendas.

  15. Out of Africa: modern human origins special feature: human origins: out of Africa.

    PubMed

    Tattersall, Ian

    2009-09-22

    Our species, Homo sapiens, is highly autapomorphic (uniquely derived) among hominids in the structure of its skull and postcranial skeleton. It is also sharply distinguished from other organisms by its unique symbolic mode of cognition. The fossil and archaeological records combine to show fairly clearly that our physical and cognitive attributes both first appeared in Africa, but at different times. Essentially modern bony conformation was established in that continent by the 200-150 Ka range (a dating in good agreement with dates for the origin of H. sapiens derived from modern molecular diversity). The event concerned was apparently short-term because it is essentially unanticipated in the fossil record. In contrast, the first convincing stirrings of symbolic behavior are not currently detectable until (possibly well) after 100 Ka. The radical reorganization of gene expression that underwrote the distinctive physical appearance of H. sapiens was probably also responsible for the neural substrate that permits symbolic cognition. This exaptively acquired potential lay unexploited until it was "discovered" via a cultural stimulus, plausibly the invention of language. Modern humans appear to have definitively exited Africa to populate the rest of the globe only after both their physical and cognitive peculiarities had been acquired within that continent.

  16. Lost Horizons: The Humanities in South Africa (Part 1)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vale, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Politics chartered the development of the Humanities in South Africa. Under the apartheid system three separate traditions--English-speaking, Afrikaner and Homeland--co-existed, albeit uneasily, in separate institutional forms. As apartheid crumbled in the 1980s, the Humanities, by drawing the three traditions together, established a growing voice…

  17. The origin and dispersion of human parasitic diseases in the old world (Africa, Europe and Madagascar).

    PubMed

    Nozais, Jean-Pierre

    2003-01-01

    The ancestors of present-day man (Homo sapiens sapiens) appeared in East Africa some three and a half million years ago (Australopithecs), and then migrated to Europe, Asia, and later to the Americas, thus beginning the differentiation process. The passage from nomadic to sedentary life took place in the Middle East in around 8000 BC. Wars, spontaneous migrations and forced migrations (slave trade) led to enormous mixtures of populations in Europe and Africa and favoured the spread of numerous parasitic diseases with specific strains according to geographic area. The three human plasmodia (Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, and P. malariae) were imported from Africa into the Mediterranean region with the first human migrations, but it was the Neolithic revolution (sedentarisation, irrigation, population increase) which brought about actual foci for malaria. The reservoir for Leishmania infantum and L. donovani--the dog--has been domesticated for thousands of years. Wild rodents as reservoirs of L. major have also long been in contact with man and probably were imported from tropical Africa across the Sahara. L. tropica, by contrast, followed the migrations of man, its only reservoir. L. infantum and L. donovani spread with man and his dogs from West Africa. Likewise, for thousands of years, the dog has played an important role in the spread and the endemic character of hydatidosis through sheep (in Europe and North Africa) and dromadary (in the Sahara and North Africa). Schistosoma haematobium and S. mansoni have existed since prehistoric times in populations living in or passing through the Sahara. These populations then transported them to countries of Northern Africa where the specific, intermediary hosts were already present. Madagascar was inhabited by populations of Indonesian origin who imported lymphatic filariosis across the Indian Ocean (possibly of African origin since the Indonesian sailors had spent time on the African coast before reaching Madagascar

  18. Human-caused fires limit rainfall in tropical Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosca, M. G., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    It is well established that smoke particles modify clouds, which in turn affects climate. However, no studies have quantified the temporal dynamics of aerosol-cloud interactions with direct observations. Here, for the first time, we use temporally-offset satellite observations from northern Africa between 2006 and 2010 to quantitatively measure the effect of fire aerosols on convective cloud dynamics. We attribute a reduction in cloud fraction during periods of high aerosol optical depths to a smoke-driven inhibition of convection. We find that higher smoke burdens limit upward vertical motion, increase surface pressure, and increase low-level divergence -- meteorological indicators of convective suppression. The resulting decrease in rainfall is substantial and may increase human ignitions during the dry season. These results are corroborated by climate simulations that show a smoke-driven increase in regionally averaged shortwave tropospheric heating and decrease in convective precipitation during the fire season. Our results suggest that, in tropical regions, anthropogenic fire initiates a positive feedback loop where increased aerosol emissions limit convection, dry the surface and enable increased fire activity via human ignition.

  19. Wetlands of South Africa: Hydrology and Human Use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, J. S.; Grundling, P.; Grundling, A.

    2009-05-01

    South Africa has a relatively dry climate (average 479 mm/y), and consequently wetlands are sparse covering 10-12% of the land surface, but locally extremely important hydrologically, ecologically and as a resource for human use. Given the climate, peatlands occur only where strong and sustained groundwater discharge occurs - either from regional-scale hydrogeological formations or from more localized aquifers such as coastal dunes, etc., and comprise 8-10% of South African wetlands. Elsewhere, the seasonal variation in precipitation typically results in ephemeral wetlands (without peat). In either case the perennial or seasonal availability of fresh-water is a focus of ecological activity and often of human interaction. Human use of wetlands includes water abstraction, grazing and harvesting of materials for building and handicrafts , often done in a sustainable manner. Other activities include totally unsustainable peat extraction and partly sustainable cultivation. Activities adjacent to wetlands including mining, timber plantations and groundwater exploitation for mining, commercial agriculture and urban water needs can also profoundly affect their water supply. Disturbances upstream or within wetlands can cause severe erosion and gullying. From 30 - 50% of wetlands have been lost due to landuse changes in their drainage basins or in the wetland itself. Ecohydrological feedback to even relatively modest disturbance of these systems can elicit a cycle of destructive and ongoing degradation. Wetland management requires a good understanding of the ecohydrological and landscape factors that support wetlands, proactive measures for restoration, and sensitivity to the needs of poverty-stricken users of wetland resources.

  20. The Ebola Virus and Human Rights Concerns in Africa.

    PubMed

    Durojaye, Ebenezer T; Mirugi-Mukundi, Gladys

    2015-09-01

    In the wake of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) that is ravaging parts of Africa certain measures are being taken by governments to prevent the spread of the epidemic within their borders. Some of these measures are drastic and may likely have implications for the fundamental rights of individuals. The EVD outbreaks have brought to the fore again the tension between public health and human rights. This article discusses the origin and mode of transmission of the EVD and then considers the human rights challenges that may arise as a result of states' responses to the disease in Africa.

  1. Trichinella infections in animals and humans in sub-Saharan Africa: a review.

    PubMed

    Mukaratirwa, Samson; La Grange, Louis; Pfukenyi, Davies M

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this review is to provide information on Trichinella infection in humans, livestock and wildlife in sub-Saharan Africa mainly focusing on geographical distribution of species/genotypes, biology, host range, life cycles and to identify research gaps. Trichinella britovi, Trichinella nelsoni and Trichinella zimbabwensis and one genotype (Trichinella T8) are known to occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Distinct geographic ranges with overlapping of some taxa in some areas have been observed. Genetic variants of T. nelsoni has been reported to occur among parasites originating from Eastern and Southern Africa and sequence heterogeneity also occurs among T. zimbabwensis isolates originating from different regions of Zimbabwe and South Africa. Field observations so far indicate that sylvatic Trichinella infections in the region are common in carnivores (mammals and reptiles) and to a lesser extent in omnivores. Cannibalism, scavenging and predation appear to be the most important routes of transmission and maintenance of the sylvatic cycles of the Trichinella taxa. To date, human trichinellosis has been documented in only four sub-Saharan countries (8.7%, 4/46). Bushpigs and warthogs have been the source of human infection with T. britovi and T. nelsoni being the aetiological agents. An increase in bushmeat trade and the creation of Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) may have increased the risk of human trichinellosis in the region. With the creation of TFCAs in the region, sampling of wildlife hosts from protected areas of most sub-Sahara African countries is required to fully map the distribution of Trichinella species/genotypes in this region. More structured field surveys are still needed to determine the sylvatic host distribution of the different Trichinella taxa. Biological data of the Trichinella taxa in both wild and domestic animals of sub-Saharan Africa is very limited and further research is required.

  2. "Eve" in Africa: Human Evolution Meets Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seager, Robert D.

    1990-01-01

    Presented is a discussion of recent evidence on the evolution of human forms on earth gathered and evaluated using mitochondrial DNA techniques. Theories regarding the possibility that a common female ancestor existed in Africa about 200,000 years ago are discussed. A list of teaching aids is provided. (CW)

  3. Africa and Discovery: Human Rights, Environment, and Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hitchcock, Robert K.

    1993-01-01

    Contends that, in the past 30 years, a dramatic upsurge has taken place in activities designed to promote human rights for indigenous peoples around the world. Asserts that, in the case of Africa, attention generally has been concentrated on socioeconomic rights, such as health care, sufficient water, food, and shelter. (CFR)

  4. Regional variation in travel-related illness acquired in Africa, March 1997-May 2011.

    PubMed

    Mendelson, Marc; Han, Pauline V; Vincent, Peter; von Sonnenburg, Frank; Cramer, Jakob P; Loutan, Louis; Kain, Kevin C; Parola, Philippe; Hagmann, Stefan; Gkrania-Klotsas, Effrossyni; Sotir, Mark; Schlagenhauf, Patricia

    2014-04-01

    To understand geographic variation in travel-related illness acquired in distinct African regions, we used the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network database to analyze records for 16,893 ill travelers returning from Africa over a 14-year period. Travelers to northern Africa most commonly reported gastrointestinal illnesses and dog bites. Febrile illnesses were more common in travelers returning from sub-Saharan countries. Eleven travelers died, 9 of malaria; these deaths occurred mainly among male business travelers to sub-Saharan Africa. The profile of illness varied substantially by region: malaria predominated in travelers returning from Central and Western Africa; schistosomiasis, strongyloidiasis, and dengue from Eastern and Western Africa; and loaisis from Central Africa. There were few reports of vaccine-preventable infections, HIV infection, and tuberculosis. Geographic profiling of illness acquired during travel to Africa guides targeted pretravel advice, expedites diagnosis in ill returning travelers, and may influence destination choices in tourism.

  5. Regional Variation in Travel-related Illness acquired in Africa, March 1997–May 2011

    PubMed Central

    Han, Pauline V.; Vincent, Peter; von Sonnenburg, Frank; Cramer, Jakob P.; Loutan, Louis; Kain, Kevin C.; Parola, Philippe; Hagmann, Stefan; Gkrania-Klotsas, Effrossyni; Sotir, Mark; Schlagenhauf, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    To understand geographic variation in travel-related illness acquired in distinct African regions, we used the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network database to analyze records for 16,893 ill travelers returning from Africa over a 14-year period. Travelers to northern Africa most commonly reported gastrointestinal illnesses and dog bites. Febrile illnesses were more common in travelers returning from sub-Saharan countries. Eleven travelers died, 9 of malaria; these deaths occurred mainly among male business travelers to sub-Saharan Africa. The profile of illness varied substantially by region: malaria predominated in travelers returning from Central and Western Africa; schistosomiasis, strongyloidiasis, and dengue from Eastern and Western Africa; and loaisis from Central Africa. There were few reports of vaccine-preventable infections, HIV infection, and tuberculosis. Geographic profiling of illness acquired during travel to Africa guides targeted pretravel advice, expedites diagnosis in ill returning travelers, and may influence destination choices in tourism. PMID:24655358

  6. Regional variation in travel-related illness acquired in Africa, March 1997-May 2011.

    PubMed

    Mendelson, Marc; Han, Pauline V; Vincent, Peter; von Sonnenburg, Frank; Cramer, Jakob P; Loutan, Louis; Kain, Kevin C; Parola, Philippe; Hagmann, Stefan; Gkrania-Klotsas, Effrossyni; Sotir, Mark; Schlagenhauf, Patricia

    2014-04-01

    To understand geographic variation in travel-related illness acquired in distinct African regions, we used the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network database to analyze records for 16,893 ill travelers returning from Africa over a 14-year period. Travelers to northern Africa most commonly reported gastrointestinal illnesses and dog bites. Febrile illnesses were more common in travelers returning from sub-Saharan countries. Eleven travelers died, 9 of malaria; these deaths occurred mainly among male business travelers to sub-Saharan Africa. The profile of illness varied substantially by region: malaria predominated in travelers returning from Central and Western Africa; schistosomiasis, strongyloidiasis, and dengue from Eastern and Western Africa; and loaisis from Central Africa. There were few reports of vaccine-preventable infections, HIV infection, and tuberculosis. Geographic profiling of illness acquired during travel to Africa guides targeted pretravel advice, expedites diagnosis in ill returning travelers, and may influence destination choices in tourism. PMID:24655358

  7. Regional Model Nesting Within GFS Daily Forecasts Over West Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Druyan, Leonard M.; Fulakeza, Matthew; Lonergan, Patrick; Worrell, Ruben

    2010-01-01

    The study uses the RM3, the regional climate model at the Center for Climate Systems Research of Columbia University and the NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies (CCSR/GISS). The paper evaluates 30 48-hour RM3 weather forecasts over West Africa during September 2006 made on a 0.5 grid nested within 1 Global Forecast System (GFS) global forecasts. September 2006 was the Special Observing Period #3 of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA). Archived GFS initial conditions and lateral boundary conditions for the simulations from the US National Weather Service, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration were interpolated four times daily. Results for precipitation forecasts are validated against Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite estimates and data from the Famine Early Warning System (FEWS), which includes rain gauge measurements, and forecasts of circulation are compared to reanalysis 2. Performance statistics for the precipitation forecasts include bias, root-mean-square errors and spatial correlation coefficients. The nested regional model forecasts are compared to GFS forecasts to gauge whether nesting provides additional realistic information. They are also compared to RM3 simulations driven by reanalysis 2, representing high potential skill forecasts, to gauge the sensitivity of results to lateral boundary conditions. Nested RM3/GFS forecasts generate excessive moisture advection toward West Africa, which in turn causes prodigious amounts of model precipitation. This problem is corrected by empirical adjustments in the preparation of lateral boundary conditions and initial conditions. The resulting modified simulations improve on the GFS precipitation forecasts, achieving time-space correlations with TRMM of 0.77 on the first day and 0.63 on the second day. One realtime RM3/GFS precipitation forecast made at and posted by the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) in Niamey, Niger

  8. A Regional Model Study of Synoptic Features Over West Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Druyan, Leonard M.; Fulakeza, Matthew; Lonergan, Patrick; Saloum, Mahaman; Hansen, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Synoptic weather features over West Africa were studied in simulations by the regional simulation model (RM) at the NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies. These pioneering simulations represent the beginning of an effort to adapt regional models for weather and climate prediction over West Africa. The RM uses a cartesian grid with 50 km horizontal resolution and fifteen vertical levels. An ensemble of four simulations was forced with lateral boundary conditions from ECMWF global analyses for the period 8-22 August 1988. The simulated mid-tropospheric circulation includes the skillful development and movement of several African wave disturbances. Wavelet analysis of mid-tropospheric winds detected a dominant periodicity of about 4 days and a secondary periodicity of 5-8 days. Spatial distributions of RM precipitation and precipitation time series were validated against daily rain gauge measurements and ISCCP satellite infrared cloud imagery. The time-space distribution of simulated precipitation was made more realistic by combining the ECMWR initial conditions with a 24-hr spin-up of the moisture field and also by damping high frequency gravity waves by dynamic initialization. Model precipitation "forecasts" over the Central Sahel were correlated with observations for about three days, but reinitializing with observed data on day 5 resulted in a dramatic improvement in the precipitation validation over the remaining 9 days. Results imply that information via the lateral boundary conditions is not always sufficient to minimize departures between simulated and actual precipitation patterns for more than several days. In addition, there was some evidence that the new initialization may increase the simulations' sensitivity to the quality of lateral boundary conditions.

  9. A regional approach to water shortage problems in the Sahel region of Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Isiorho, S.A.

    1995-03-01

    The Sahel region of Africa has repeatedly experienced drought periods, such as those highlighted during the early to mid-eighties. Water, an essential of life, is a scarce commodity in the region. Lake Chad is the major source of water for approximately ten million people across four nations. For proper management of water resources in this persistently drought prone region, the regional hydrology must be understood. Remote sensing, geophysical, and geochemical techniques are currently being used in an attempt to understand the hydrology of the region. Preliminary results indicate that lineament trace analysis from remote sensing can be correlated with faults/fractures of the region, with important implications for its hydrology. Field data indicate groundwater recharge from the lake to the southwest of the Chad Basin. Because of the low annual rainfall (less than 30 cm), a high rate of evaporation (230 cm/yr) and clay-rich surface materials (topsoil) of the region, Lake Chad appears to be its main source of water, either as surface or groundwater, as indicated by preliminary isotopic data. Understanding the hydrology of the region is imperative for the proper management of water resources in this drought-prone part of Africa. The governments of the Sahel need to approach the water shortage problem from a regional point of view.

  10. Testing modern human out-of-Africa dispersal models and implications for modern human origins.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Centeno, Hugo; Hubbe, Mark; Hanihara, Tsunehiko; Stringer, Chris; Harvati, Katerina

    2015-10-01

    The modern human expansion process out of Africa has important implications for understanding the genetic and phenotypic structure of extant populations. While intensely debated, the primary hypotheses focus on either a single dispersal or multiple dispersals out of the continent. Here, we use the human fossil record from Africa and the Levant, as well as an exceptionally large dataset of Holocene human crania sampled from Asia, to model ancestor-descendant relationships along hypothetical dispersal routes. We test the spatial and temporal predictions of competing out-of-Africa models by assessing the correlation of geographical distances between populations and measures of population differentiation derived from quantitative cranial phenotype data. Our results support a model in which extant Australo-Melanesians are descendants of an initial dispersal out of Africa by early anatomically modern humans, while all other populations are descendants of a later migration wave. Our results have implications for understanding the complexity of modern human origins and diversity.

  11. Testing modern human out-of-Africa dispersal models and implications for modern human origins.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Centeno, Hugo; Hubbe, Mark; Hanihara, Tsunehiko; Stringer, Chris; Harvati, Katerina

    2015-10-01

    The modern human expansion process out of Africa has important implications for understanding the genetic and phenotypic structure of extant populations. While intensely debated, the primary hypotheses focus on either a single dispersal or multiple dispersals out of the continent. Here, we use the human fossil record from Africa and the Levant, as well as an exceptionally large dataset of Holocene human crania sampled from Asia, to model ancestor-descendant relationships along hypothetical dispersal routes. We test the spatial and temporal predictions of competing out-of-Africa models by assessing the correlation of geographical distances between populations and measures of population differentiation derived from quantitative cranial phenotype data. Our results support a model in which extant Australo-Melanesians are descendants of an initial dispersal out of Africa by early anatomically modern humans, while all other populations are descendants of a later migration wave. Our results have implications for understanding the complexity of modern human origins and diversity. PMID:26164107

  12. Regional, Continental, and Global Mobility to an Emerging Economy: The Case of South Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Jenny J.; Sehoole, Chika

    2015-01-01

    This study examined mobility within the understudied region of southern Africa and particularly, the factors that drive and shape educational migration toward South Africa as a regional, continental, and global destination. Based on a survey administered to international students across seven South African universities, the findings revealed…

  13. Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) in Africa: a neglected but important pathogen.

    PubMed

    Bates, Matthew; Brantsaeter, Arne Broch

    2016-01-01

    In Africa, human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is an important pathogen in a diverse range of patient groups. Congenital CMV infection is common, and most children undergo primary infection during the first year of life. Preliminary studies suggest that these early primary CMV infections could have population-wide effects on growth and development. In most studies of adults, CMV seroprevalence is close to 100%, but some studies have found that significant minorities of adults are seronegative. CMV is a common cause of pneumonia and meningitis in hospitalised immunosuppressed patient groups, and CMV DNAemia may be an important marker of rapid progression and poor outcomes of HIV infection, despite roll-out of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Diagnosis and treatment of CMV-related disease is broadly neglected in Africa, and no randomised clinical trials of anti-CMV drugs have been conducted to date. Autopsy is rarely performed in Africa, but identifies CMV as a frequent pathogen when it is carried out. Here we review the available literature on CMV in Africa, primarily in adult patients, and discuss this in the context of contemporary understanding of CMV as a human pathogen. PMID:27482452

  14. Prevalence and Severity of Oral Diseases in the Africa and Middle East Region.

    PubMed

    Abid, A; Maatouk, F; Berrezouga, L; Azodo, C; Uti, O; El-Shamy, H; Oginni, A

    2015-07-01

    This review aims to determine the prevalence and severity of oral health diseases in the Africa and Middle East region (AMER). The profile of oral diseases is not homogeneous across the AMER. There are large disparities between groups. Reliable data are scarce. The prevalence and severity of oral diseases appear to be increasing in the African region, as does associated morbidity. There are substantial differences in inequalities in oral health. Dental caries prevalence is less severe in most African countries than in developed countries, but the high rate of untreated caries reflects the limited resources available and difficulties of access and affordability to essential oral health care services. The prevalence of gingival inflammation is very high in all age groups in several African countries. The prevalence of maxillofacial trauma has increased in many countries, with a wide variation of the incidence and high prevalence of traumatic dental injuries in primary and permanent teeth. Orofacial clefts are among the most common birth defects. Annual incidence of oral cancer is estimated as 25 cases per 100,000 people in Africa. Noma is a major public health problem for the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. Data about human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS are limited, particularly in the MENA region. According to the World Health Organization Regional Committee for Africa report, some fundamental key basic knowledge gaps need to be underlined. They include inequalities in oral health, low priority for oral health, lack of adequate funding, inadequate dental student training, obstacles to medical and dental research, and poor databases. There are very few effective public prevention and oral health promotion programs in the AMER. Universal health coverage is not achievable without scientific research on the effectiveness of health promotion interventions.

  15. Extreme rainfall in West Africa: A regional modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panthou, G.; Vischel, T.; Lebel, T.; Blanchet, J.; Quantin, G.; Ali, A.

    2012-08-01

    In a world of increasing exposure of populations to natural hazards, the mapping of extreme rainfall remains a key subject of study. Such maps are required for both flood risk management and civil engineering structure design, the challenge being to take into account the local information provided by point rainfall series as well as the necessity of some regional coherency. Two approaches based on the extreme value theory are compared here, with an application to extreme rainfall mapping in West Africa. The first approach is a local fit and interpolation (LFI) consisting of a spatial interpolation of the generalized extreme value (GEV) distribution parameters estimated independently at each station. The second approach is a spatial maximum likelihood estimation (SMLE); it directly estimates the GEV distribution over the entire region by a single maximum likelihood fit using jointly all measurements combined with spatial covariates. Five LFI and three SMLE methods are considered, using the information provided by 126 daily rainfall series covering the period 1950-1990. The methods are first evaluated in calibration. Then the predictive skills and the robustness are assessed through a cross validation and an independent network validation process. The SMLE approach, especially when using the mean annual rainfall as covariate, appears to perform better for most of the scores computed. Using the Niamey 104 year time series, it is also shown that the SMLE approach has the capacity to deal more efficiently with the effect of local outliers by using the spatial information provided by nearby stations.

  16. Genome-Wide and Paternal Diversity Reveal a Recent Origin of Human Populations in North Africa

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Cruz, Begoña; Zalloua, Pierre; Benammar Elgaaied, Amel; Comas, David

    2013-01-01

    The geostrategic location of North Africa as a crossroad between three continents and as a stepping-stone outside Africa has evoked anthropological and genetic interest in this region. Numerous studies have described the genetic landscape of the human population in North Africa employing paternal, maternal, and biparental molecular markers. However, information from these markers which have different inheritance patterns has been mostly assessed independently, resulting in an incomplete description of the region. In this study, we analyze uniparental and genome-wide markers examining similarities or contrasts in the results and consequently provide a comprehensive description of the evolutionary history of North Africa populations. Our results show that both males and females in North Africa underwent a similar admixture history with slight differences in the proportions of admixture components. Consequently, genome-wide diversity show similar patterns with admixture tests suggesting North Africans are a mixture of ancestral populations related to current Africans and Eurasians with more affinity towards the out-of-Africa populations than to sub-Saharan Africans. We estimate from the paternal lineages that most North Africans emerged ∼15,000 years ago during the last glacial warming and that population splits started after the desiccation of the Sahara. Although most North Africans share a common admixture history, the Tunisian Berbers show long periods of genetic isolation and appear to have diverged from surrounding populations without subsequent mixture. On the other hand, continuous gene flow from the Middle East made Egyptians genetically closer to Eurasians than to other North Africans. We show that genetic diversity of today's North Africans mostly captures patterns from migrations post Last Glacial Maximum and therefore may be insufficient to inform on the initial population of the region during the Middle Paleolithic period. PMID:24312208

  17. Health Human Capital in Sub-Saharan Africa: Conflicting Evidence from Infant Mortality Rates and Adult Heights

    PubMed Central

    Akachi, Yoko; Canning, David

    2011-01-01

    We investigate trends in cohort infant mortality rates and adult heights in 39 developing countries since 1960. In most regions of the world improved nutrition, and reduced childhood exposure to disease, have lead to improvements in both infant mortality and adult stature. In Sub-Saharan Africa, however, despite declining infant mortality rates, adult heights have not increased. We argue that in Sub-Saharan Africa the decline in infant mortality may have been due to interventions that prevent infant deaths rather than improved nutrition and childhood morbidity. Despite declining infant mortality, Sub-Saharan Africa may not be experiencing increases in health human capital. PMID:20634153

  18. The WASCAL regional climate simulations for West Africa - how to add value to existing climate projections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnault, J.; Heinzeller, D.; Klein, C.; Dieng, D.; Smiatek, G.; Bliefernicht, J.; Sylla, M. B.; Kunstmann, H.

    2015-12-01

    With climate change being one of the most severe challenges to rural Africa in the 21st century, West Africa is facing an urgent need to develop effective adaptation and mitigation measures to protect its constantly growing population. WASCAL (West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is a large-scale research-focused program designed to enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change and increased variability. An integral part of its climate services is the provisioning of a new set of high resolution, ensemble-based regional climate change scenarios for the region of West Africa. In this contribution, we present the overall concept of the WASCAL regional climate projections and provide information on the dissemination of the data. We discuss the model performance over the validation period for two of the three regional climate models employed, the Weather Research & Forecasting Tool (WRF) and the Consortium for Small-scale Modeling Model COSMO in Climate Mode (COSMO-CLM), and give details about a novel precipitation database used to verify the models. Particular attention is paid to the representation of the dynamics of the West African Summer Monsoon and to the added value of our high resolution models over existing data sets. We further present results on the climate change signal obtained from the WRF model runs for the periods 2020-2050 and 2070-2100 and compare them to current state-of-the-art projections from the CORDEX project. As an example, the figure shows the different climate change signals obtained for the total annual rainfall with respect to the 1980-2010 mean (WRF-E: WASCAL 12km high-resolution run MPI-ESM + WRFV3.5.1, CORDEX-E: 50km medium-resolution run MPI-ESM + RCA4, CORDEX-G: 50km medium-resolution run GFDL-ESM + RCA4).

  19. Impacts of Climate Change/Variability and Human Activities on Contemporary Vegetation Productivity across Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ugbaje, S. U.; Odeh, I. A.; Bishop, T.

    2015-12-01

    Vegetation productivity is increasingly being impacted upon by climate change/variability and anthropogenic activities, especially in developing countries, where many livelihoods depend on the natural resource base. Despite these impacts, the individual and combined roles of climate and anthropogenic factors on vegetation dynamics have rarely been quantified in many ecosystems and regions of the world. This paper analyzes recent trend in vegetation productivity across Africa and quantified the relative roles of climate change/variability and human activities in driving this trend over 2000-2014 using net primary productivity (NPP) as an indicator. The relative roles of these factors to vegetation productivity change were quantified by comparing the trend slope (p<0.1) and total change in interannual actual NPP (NPPA), potential NPP (NPPP), and human appropriated NPP (NPPH). NPP significantly increased across Africa relative to NPP decline, though the extent of NPP decline is also quite appreciable. Whereas estimated NPP declined by 207 Tg C over 140 X 104 km of land area, vegetation productivity was estimated to improve by 1415 Tg C over 786 X 104 km of land area. NPP improvement is largely concentrated in equatorial and northern hemispheric Africa, while subequatorial Africa exhibited the most NPP decline. Generally, anthropogenic activities dominated climate change/variability in improving or degrading vegetation productivity. Of the estimated total NPP gained over the study period, 32.6, 8.8, and 58.6 % were due to individual human, climate and combined impacts respectively. The contributions of the factors to NPP decline in the same order are: 50.7, 16.0 and 33.3 %. The Central Africa region is where human activities had the greatest impact on NPP improvement; whereas the Sahel and the coastlines of west northern Africa are areas associated with the greatest influence of climate-driven NPP gain. Areas with humans dominating NPP degradation include eastern

  20. Private sector, human resources and health franchising in Africa.

    PubMed Central

    Prata, Ndola; Montagu, Dominic; Jefferys, Emma

    2005-01-01

    In much of the developing world, private health care providers and pharmacies are the most important sources of medicine and medical care and yet these providers are frequently not considered in planning for public health. This paper presents the available evidence, by socioeconomic status, on which strata of society benefit from publicly provided care and which strata use private health care. Using data from The World Bank's Health Nutrition and Population Poverty Thematic Reports on 22 countries in Africa, an assessment was made of the use of public and private health services, by asset quintile groups, for treatment of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections, proxies for publicly subsidized services. The evidence and theory on using franchise networks to supplement government programmes in the delivery of public health services was assessed. Examples from health franchises in Africa and Asia are provided to illustrate the potential for franchise systems to leverage private providers and so increase delivery-point availability for public-benefit services. We argue that based on the established demand for private medical services in Africa, these providers should be included in future planning on human resources for public health. Having explored the range of systems that have been tested for working with private providers, from contracting to vouchers to behavioural change and provider education, we conclude that franchising has the greatest potential for integration into large-scale programmes in Africa to address critical illnesses of public health importance. PMID:15868018

  1. Potential source regions of dust accumulated in northern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasowska, S.; Woronko, B.

    2012-04-01

    Iguidi and Chech-Adrar, although the most probable source area is Erg Occidental. Tunisian dusts come from vast expanses of Erg Oriental and Chott-el-Jerid. The potential source of the dusts accumulated in Alexandria could be Libyan Desert. This does not preclude also much more distant sources of sediment, as for instance ergs from North Sudan. From the other hand the presence of shell parts of diatoms of the Actinoptychus genus may indicate the dispelling of the Nile alluvium. Key words: source region, aeolian accumulation, north Africa, textural features of grains, aeolian dust, meteorological situation, Sahara, SEM analysis

  2. Archaeological shellfish size and later human evolution in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Richard G.; Steele, Teresa E.

    2013-01-01

    Approximately 50 ka, one or more subgroups of modern humans expanded from Africa to populate the rest of the world. Significant behavioral change accompanied this expansion, and archaeologists commonly seek its roots in the African Middle Stone Age (MSA; ∼200 to ∼50 ka). Easily recognizable art objects and “jewelry” become common only in sites that postdate the MSA in Africa and Eurasia, but some MSA sites contain possible precursors, especially including abstractly incised fragments of ocher and perforated shells interpreted as beads. These proposed art objects have convinced most specialists that MSA people were behaviorally (cognitively) modern, and many argue that population growth explains the appearance of art in the MSA and its post-MSA florescence. The average size of rocky intertidal gastropod species in MSA and later coastal middens allows a test of this idea, because smaller size implies more intense collection, and more intense collection is most readily attributed to growth in the number of human collectors. Here we demonstrate that economically important Cape turban shells and limpets from MSA layers along the south and west coasts of South Africa are consistently and significantly larger than turban shells and limpets in succeeding Later Stone Age (LSA) layers that formed under equivalent environmental conditions. We conclude that whatever cognitive capacity precocious MSA artifacts imply, it was not associated with human population growth. MSA populations remained consistently small by LSA standards, and a substantial increase in population size is obvious only near the MSA/LSA transition, when it is dramatically reflected in the Out-of-Africa expansion. PMID:23776248

  3. Impact of human schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Adenowo, Abiola Fatimah; Oyinloye, Babatunji Emmanuel; Ogunyinka, Bolajoko Idiat; Kappo, Abidemi Paul

    2015-01-01

    Schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease of poverty ranks second among the most widespread parasitic disease in various nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Neglected tropical diseases are causes of about 534,000 deaths annually in sub-Saharan Africa and an estimated 57 million disability-adjusted life-years are lost annually due to the neglected tropical diseases. The neglected tropical diseases exert great health, social and financial burden on economies of households and governments. Schistosomiasis has profound negative effects on child development, outcome of pregnancy, and agricultural productivity, thus a key reason why the "bottom 500 million" inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa continue to live in poverty. In 2008, 17.5 million people were treated globally for schistosomiasis, 11.7 million of those treated were from sub-Saharan Africa. This enervating disease has been successfully eradicated in Japan, as well as in Tunisia. Morocco and some Caribbean Island countries have made significant progress on control and management of this disease. Brazil, China and Egypt are taking steps towards elimination of the disease, while most sub-Saharan countries are still groaning under the burden of the disease. Various factors are responsible for the continuous and persistent transmission of schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. These include climatic changes and global warming, proximity to water bodies, irrigation and dam construction as well as socio-economic factors such as occupational activities and poverty. The morbidity and mortality caused by this disease cannot be overemphasized. This review is an exposition of human schistosomiasis as it affects the inhabitants of various communities in sub-Sahara African countries. It is hoped this will bring a re-awakening towards efforts to combat this impoverishing disease in terms of vaccines development, alternative drug design, as well as new point-of-care diagnostics. PMID:25636189

  4. Impact of human schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Adenowo, Abiola Fatimah; Oyinloye, Babatunji Emmanuel; Ogunyinka, Bolajoko Idiat; Kappo, Abidemi Paul

    2015-01-01

    Schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease of poverty ranks second among the most widespread parasitic disease in various nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Neglected tropical diseases are causes of about 534,000 deaths annually in sub-Saharan Africa and an estimated 57 million disability-adjusted life-years are lost annually due to the neglected tropical diseases. The neglected tropical diseases exert great health, social and financial burden on economies of households and governments. Schistosomiasis has profound negative effects on child development, outcome of pregnancy, and agricultural productivity, thus a key reason why the "bottom 500 million" inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa continue to live in poverty. In 2008, 17.5 million people were treated globally for schistosomiasis, 11.7 million of those treated were from sub-Saharan Africa. This enervating disease has been successfully eradicated in Japan, as well as in Tunisia. Morocco and some Caribbean Island countries have made significant progress on control and management of this disease. Brazil, China and Egypt are taking steps towards elimination of the disease, while most sub-Saharan countries are still groaning under the burden of the disease. Various factors are responsible for the continuous and persistent transmission of schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. These include climatic changes and global warming, proximity to water bodies, irrigation and dam construction as well as socio-economic factors such as occupational activities and poverty. The morbidity and mortality caused by this disease cannot be overemphasized. This review is an exposition of human schistosomiasis as it affects the inhabitants of various communities in sub-Sahara African countries. It is hoped this will bring a re-awakening towards efforts to combat this impoverishing disease in terms of vaccines development, alternative drug design, as well as new point-of-care diagnostics.

  5. Human Dispersal Out of Africa: A Lasting Debate

    PubMed Central

    López, Saioa; van Dorp, Lucy; Hellenthal, Garrett

    2015-01-01

    Unraveling the first migrations of anatomically modern humans out of Africa has invoked great interest among researchers from a wide range of disciplines. Available fossil, archeological, and climatic data offer many hypotheses, and as such genetics, with the advent of genome-wide genotyping and sequencing techniques and an increase in the availability of ancient samples, offers another important tool for testing theories relating to our own history. In this review, we report the ongoing debates regarding how and when our ancestors left Africa, how many waves of dispersal there were and what geographical routes were taken. We explore the validity of each, using current genetic literature coupled with some of the key archeological findings. PMID:27127403

  6. Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martz, Carlton

    2001-01-01

    This publication explores issues related to Africa. It examines the U.S. response to the Barbary pirate states (Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli) in the early 19th century; the current AIDS crisis in Africa; and 14th century Mali and other Islamic lands through the eyes of Ibn Battuta, who traveled throughout the Muslim world. Each article…

  7. Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Happel, Sue; Loeb, Joyce

    Although the activities in this unit are designed primarily for students in the intermediate grades, the document's text, illustrations, and bibliographic references are suitable for anyone interested in learning about Africa. Following a brief introduction and map work, the document is arranged into six sections. Section 1 traces Africa's history…

  8. A highly variable segment of human subterminal 16p reveals a history of population growth for modern humans outside Africa

    PubMed Central

    Alonso, Santos; Armour, John A. L.

    2001-01-01

    We have sequenced a highly polymorphic subterminal noncoding region from human chromosome 16p13.3, flanking the 5′ end of the hypervariable minisatellite MS205, in 100 chromosomes sampled from different African and Euroasiatic populations. Coalescence analysis indicates that the time to the most recent common ancestor (approximately 1 million years) predates the appearance of anatomically modern human forms. The root of the network describing this variability lies in Africa. African populations show a greater level of diversity and deeper branches. Most Euroasiatic variability seems to have been generated after a recent out-of-Africa range expansion. A history of population growth is the most likely scenario for the Euroasiatic populations. This pattern of nuclear variability can be reconciled with inferences based on mitochondrial DNA. PMID:11158547

  9. New Technology Tools for Human Development? Towards Policy and Practice for Knowledge Societies in Southern Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Phyllis

    2002-01-01

    Explores the interface of technology and education for human development in southern Africa. Uses the case of Mozambique to describe the challenges presented by the global marketplace and local policy. Outlines the vision of the New Partnership for Africa's Development Centre (SARDC) to reduce the digital divide for Africa. (CAJ)

  10. Human Responses to Climate Variability: The Case of South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oppenheimer, M.; Licker, R.; Mastrorillo, M.; Bohra-Mishra, P.; Estes, L. D.; Cai, R.

    2014-12-01

    Climate variability has been associated with a range of societal and individual outcomes including migration, violent conflict, changes in labor productivity, and health impacts. Some of these may be direct responses to changes in mean temperature or precipitation or extreme events, such as displacement of human populations by tropical cyclones. Others may be mediated by a variety of biological, social, or ecological factors such as migration in response to long-term changes in crops yields. Research is beginning to elucidate and distinguish the many channels through which climate variability may influence human behavior (ranging from the individual to the collective, societal level) in order to better understand how to improve resilience in the face of current variability as well as future climate change. Using a variety of data sets from South Africa, we show how climate variability has influenced internal (within country) migration in recent history. We focus on South Africa as it is a country with high levels of internal migration and dramatic temperature and precipitation changes projected for the 21st century. High poverty rates and significant levels of rain-fed, smallholder agriculture leave large portions of South Africa's population base vulnerable to future climate change. In this study, we utilize two complementary statistical models - one micro-level model, driven by individual and household level survey data, and one macro-level model, driven by national census statistics. In both models, we consider the effect of climate on migration both directly (with gridded climate reanalysis data) and indirectly (with agricultural production statistics). With our historical analyses of climate variability, we gain insights into how the migration decisions of South Africans may be influenced by future climate change. We also offer perspective on the utility of micro and macro level approaches in the study of climate change and human migration.

  11. Managing the human component of fire regimes: lessons from Africa.

    PubMed

    Archibald, Sally

    2016-06-01

    Human impacts on fire regimes accumulated slowly with the evolution of modern humans able to ignite fires and manipulate landscapes. Today, myriad voices aim to influence fire in grassy ecosystems to different ends, and this is complicated by a colonial past focused on suppressing fire and preventing human ignitions. Here, I review available evidence on the impacts of people on various fire characteristics such as the number and size of fires, fire intensity, fire frequency and seasonality of fire in African grassy ecosystems, with the intention of focusing the debate and identifying areas of uncertainty. Humans alter seasonal patterns of fire in grassy systems but tend to decrease total fire emissions: livestock have replaced fire as the dominant consumer in many parts of Africa, and fragmented landscapes reduce area burned. Humans alter the season and time of day when fires occur, with important implications for fire intensity, tree-grass dynamics and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Late season fires are more common when fire is banned or illegal: these later fires are far more intense but emit fewer GHGs. The types of fires which preserve human livelihoods and biodiversity are not always aligned with the goal of reducing GHG concentrations. Current fire management challenges therefore involve balancing the needs of a large rural population against national and global perspectives on the desirability of different types of fire, but this cannot happen unless the interests of all parties are equally represented. In the future, Africa is expected to urbanize and land use to intensify, which will imply different trajectories for the continent's fire regimes.This article is part of the themed issue 'The interaction of fire and mankind.

  12. Managing the human component of fire regimes: lessons from Africa.

    PubMed

    Archibald, Sally

    2016-06-01

    Human impacts on fire regimes accumulated slowly with the evolution of modern humans able to ignite fires and manipulate landscapes. Today, myriad voices aim to influence fire in grassy ecosystems to different ends, and this is complicated by a colonial past focused on suppressing fire and preventing human ignitions. Here, I review available evidence on the impacts of people on various fire characteristics such as the number and size of fires, fire intensity, fire frequency and seasonality of fire in African grassy ecosystems, with the intention of focusing the debate and identifying areas of uncertainty. Humans alter seasonal patterns of fire in grassy systems but tend to decrease total fire emissions: livestock have replaced fire as the dominant consumer in many parts of Africa, and fragmented landscapes reduce area burned. Humans alter the season and time of day when fires occur, with important implications for fire intensity, tree-grass dynamics and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Late season fires are more common when fire is banned or illegal: these later fires are far more intense but emit fewer GHGs. The types of fires which preserve human livelihoods and biodiversity are not always aligned with the goal of reducing GHG concentrations. Current fire management challenges therefore involve balancing the needs of a large rural population against national and global perspectives on the desirability of different types of fire, but this cannot happen unless the interests of all parties are equally represented. In the future, Africa is expected to urbanize and land use to intensify, which will imply different trajectories for the continent's fire regimes.This article is part of the themed issue 'The interaction of fire and mankind. PMID:27216516

  13. Carbon Erosion in the Great Karoo Region of South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krenz, Juliane; Greenwood, Philip; Kuhn, Brigitte; Foster, Ian; Boardman, John; Meadows, Mike; Kuhn, Nikolaus

    2015-04-01

    Work undertaken in the seasonally arid upland areas of the Great Karoo region of South Africa has established a link between land degradation and overgrazing which began in the second half of the 18th century when European farmers first settled the area. Ongoing land use change and shifting rainfall patterns resulted in the development of badlands on foot slopes of upland areas, and gully systems on valley bottoms. As a consequence of agricultural intensification and overgrazing, accompanied by a higher water demand, many small reservoirs were constructed, most of which are now in-filled with sediment. The deposited material serves as an environmental archive by which land use change over the last 100 years can be analysed, but with a particular focus on erosion and deposition of soil-associated carbon (C). It is assumed that erosion caused an initial flush of carbon rich soil which was subsequently buried and stored off-site. Despite this assumption, however the net-effect of erosion on carbon dioxide emissions is still unknown. In this project, preliminary results are presented from an investigation to determine whether land degradation in the Karoo has resulted in a shift from a net sink of C to a net source of C. Firstly, a high resolution digital elevation model was generated and erosion modelling was then employed to create an erosion risk map showing areas most prone to erosion. Information from the model output then served as the basis for ground-truthing and on-site erosion mapping. Secondly, sediment deposits from silted reservoirs were analysed for varying physicochemical parameters, in order to reconstruct spatial patterns of erosion and deposition. Analysis of total carbon (TC) content revealed a sharp decrease with decreasing depth. This provisionally suggests that land degradation during and after post-European settlement probably led to accelerated erosion of the relatively fertile surface soils. This presumably resulted in the rapid in-filling of

  14. A Spring Forward for Human Evolution in East Africa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuthbert, M. O.; Ashley, G. M.

    2014-12-01

    The current consensus is that humans evolved in Africa and then migrated in waves to other parts of the world starting as early as 2 Ma. The climate was both cooling and drying. One of the major unknowns connected with human survival in this climatically turbulent environment is the availability of resources, particularly water. A growing body of geological evidence shows an association between springs, stone tools and hominin fossils at a number of sites in the East African Rift System (EARS) during a critical period for hominin evolution (from 1.8 Ma). The springs may have been vulnerable to climate variability, thus the role that groundwater availability may have played in human evolution and migration to other continents is not known. Using palaeogeological reconstruction and groundwater modelling of the paleo-catchment of one such EARS site, Olduvai Gorge (3°S), we show how spring discharge was likely linked to climate variability of annual to Milankovitch cycle timescales. Under decadal to centennial timescales, spring flow would have been relatively invariant providing good water resource resilience through long droughts. For multi-millennial periods, modelled spring flows lag groundwater recharge by 100s to 1000 years. Our results show how groundwater would have provided 'drought proof' water supply and habitats during arid phases as potable surface water from rivers or lakes became increasingly scarce. Localized groundwater systems are likely to have been widespread within the EARS providing refugia and intense competition during dry periods. Thus, springs and associated wetlands may have been important factors in natural selection and evolution, as well as a vital resource during dispersal within and out of Africa. While further exploration is needed to test the geographical extent of groundwater use by early humans, we propose that groundwater flow systems produced in the EARS played a significant role in the evolution and dispersal of early humans.

  15. Human brucellosis in South Africa: Public health and diagnostic pitfalls.

    PubMed

    Wojno, Justyna Maria; Moodley, Clinton; Pienaar, Jaco; Beylis, Natalie; Jacobsz, Lourens; Nicol, Mark P; Rossouw, Jenny; Bamford, Colleen

    2016-09-01

    Human brucellosis in South Africa (SA) is under-diagnosed and under-reported. This is because many clinicians have little or no experience in managing affected patients, and in part because of the nonspecific and insidious nature of the disease. A case of human brucellosis caused by Brucella melitensis in a patient from the Western Cape Province of SA is described, and the resulting exposure of staff members at two medical microbiology laboratories, as well as the public health investigation that was conducted, are discussed. This article aims to highlight the need for strengthening integration between public health, medical and veterinary services and exposing deficiencies in public health, veterinary and laboratory practices. PMID:27601111

  16. Poisonous plants of veterinary and human importance in southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Botha, C J; Penrith, M-L

    2008-10-28

    Southern Africa is inherently rich in flora, where the habitat and climatic conditions range from arid environments to lush, sub-tropical greenery. Needless to say, with such diversity in plant life there are numerous indigenous poisonous plants, and when naturalised exotic species and toxic garden varieties are added the list of potential poisonous plants increases. The economically important poisonous plants affecting livestock and other plant poisonings of veterinary significance are briefly reviewed. In addition, a synopsis of the more common plant poisonings in humans is presented. Many of the plants mentioned in this review are also used ethnobotanically for treatment of disease in humans and animals and it is essential to be mindful of their toxic potential.

  17. Evidence for henipavirus spillover into human populations in Africa.

    PubMed

    Pernet, Olivier; Schneider, Bradley S; Beaty, Shannon M; LeBreton, Matthew; Yun, Tatyana E; Park, Arnold; Zachariah, Trevor T; Bowden, Thomas A; Hitchens, Peta; Ramirez, Christina M; Daszak, Peter; Mazet, Jonna; Freiberg, Alexander N; Wolfe, Nathan D; Lee, Benhur

    2014-01-01

    Zoonotic transmission of lethal henipaviruses (HNVs) from their natural fruit bat reservoirs to humans has only been reported in Australia and South/Southeast Asia. However, a recent study discovered numerous HNV clades in African bat samples. To determine the potential for HNV spillover events among humans in Africa, here we examine well-curated sets of bat (Eidolon helvum, n = 44) and human (n = 497) serum samples from Cameroon for Nipah virus (NiV) cross-neutralizing antibodies (NiV-X-Nabs). Using a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based pseudoparticle seroneutralization assay, we detect NiV-X-Nabs in 48% and 3-4% of the bat and human samples, respectively. Seropositive human samples are found almost exclusively in individuals who reported butchering bats for bushmeat. Seropositive human sera also neutralize Hendra virus and Gh-M74a (an African HNV) pseudoparticles, as well as live NiV. Butchering bat meat and living in areas undergoing deforestation are the most significant risk factors associated with seropositivity. Evidence for HNV spillover events warrants increased surveillance efforts.

  18. Evidence for henipavirus spillover into human populations in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Pernet, Olivier; Schneider, Bradley S.; Beaty, Shannon M.; LeBreton, Matthew; Yun, Tatyana E.; Park, Arnold; Zachariah, Trevor T.; Bowden, Thomas A.; Hitchens, Peta; Ramirez, Christina M.; Daszak, Peter; Mazet, Jonna; Freiberg, Alexander N.; Wolfe, Nathan D.; Lee, Benhur

    2014-01-01

    Zoonotic transmission of lethal henipaviruses (HNVs) from their natural fruit bat reservoirs to humans has only been reported in Australia and South/Southeast Asia. However, a recent study discovered numerous HNV clades in African bat samples. To determine the potential for HNV spillover events among humans in Africa, here we examine well-curated sets of bat (Eidolon helvum, n=44) and human (n=497) serum samples from Cameroon for Nipah virus (NiV) cross-neutralizing antibodies (NiV-X-Nabs). Using a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based pseudoparticle seroneutralization assay, we detect NiV-X-Nabs in 48% and 3–4% of the bat and human samples, respectively. Seropositive human samples are found almost exclusively in individuals who reported butchering bats for bushmeat. Seropositive human sera also neutralize Hendra virus and Gh-M74a (an African HNV) pseudoparticles, as well as live NiV. Butchering bat meat and living in areas undergoing deforestation are the most significant risk factors associated with seropositivity. Evidence for HNV spillover events warrants increased surveillance efforts. PMID:25405640

  19. Water, plants, and early human habitats in eastern Africa.

    PubMed

    Magill, Clayton R; Ashley, Gail M; Freeman, Katherine H

    2013-01-22

    Water and its influence on plants likely exerted strong adaptive pressures in human evolution. Understanding relationships among water, plants, and early humans is limited both by incomplete terrestrial records of environmental change and by indirect proxy data for water availability. Here we present a continuous record of stable hydrogen-isotope compositions (expressed as δD values) for lipid biomarkers preserved in lake sediments from an early Pleistocene archaeological site in eastern Africa--Olduvai Gorge. We convert sedimentary leaf- and algal-lipid δD values into estimates for ancient source-water δD values by accounting for biochemical, physiological, and environmental influences on isotopic fractionation via published water-lipid enrichment factors for living plants, algae, and recent sediments. Reconstructed precipitation and lake-water δD values, respectively, are consistent with modern isotopic hydrology and reveal that dramatic fluctuations in water availability accompanied ecosystem changes. Drier conditions, indicated by less negative δD values, occur in association with stable carbon-isotopic evidence for open, C(4)-dominated grassland ecosystems. Wetter conditions, indicated by lower δD values, are associated with expanded woody cover across the ancient landscape. Estimates for ancient precipitation amounts, based on reconstructed precipitation δD values, range between approximately 250 and 700 mm · y(-1) and are consistent with modern precipitation data for eastern Africa. We conclude that freshwater availability exerted a substantial influence on eastern African ecosystems and, by extension, was central to early human proliferation during periods of rapid climate change.

  20. Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crofts, Marylee

    1986-01-01

    Reviews myths, misconceptions, and unintentional biases about Africa in United States K-12 social studies textbooks. Summarizes common topics and recommends additions. Provides the names, addresses and phone numbers of 10 university-based African Studies centers. Concludes that improvements to textbooks must continue. (JDH)

  1. Revolution and Journalism Higher Education in the Middle East/North Africa Region

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schafer, Shaun T.

    2012-01-01

    The disruptions brought by the Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region in 2010-2011 created a series of personal and professional challenges for those involved in higher education in journalism in the region. This research uses narrative inquiry to examine the impact revolution had on a group of educators in the MENA…

  2. Learning about War and Peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bird, Lyndsay

    2007-01-01

    Two-thirds of the world's conflicts are in Africa. In particular, the Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Tanzania) continues to see conflicts that are complex, extreme and seemingly intractable. By exploring the narrative experiences of those most affected by the conflicts in the region--specifically…

  3. Human immunodeficiency virus and migrant labor in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Jochelson, K; Mothibeli, M; Leger, J P

    1991-01-01

    The authors investigate the impact of the migrant labor system on heterosexual relationships on South African mines and assess the implications for the future transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The migrant labor system has created a market for prostitution in mining towns and geographic networks of relationships within and between urban and rural communities. A section of the migrant workforce and a group of women dependent on prostitution for economic support appear especially vulnerable to contracting HIV infection since they are involved in multiple sexual encounters with different, changing partners, usually without condom protection. Furthermore, sexually transmitted disease morbidity is extensive in the general and mineworker populations. Historically, migration facilitated the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and may act similarly for HIV. Problems of combating the HIV epidemic in South Africa are discussed. PMID:2004869

  4. Human immunodeficiency virus and migrant labor in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Jochelson, K; Mothibeli, M; Leger, J P

    1991-01-01

    The authors investigate the impact of the migrant labor system on heterosexual relationships on South African mines and assess the implications for the future transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The migrant labor system has created a market for prostitution in mining towns and geographic networks of relationships within and between urban and rural communities. A section of the migrant workforce and a group of women dependent on prostitution for economic support appear especially vulnerable to contracting HIV infection since they are involved in multiple sexual encounters with different, changing partners, usually without condom protection. Furthermore, sexually transmitted disease morbidity is extensive in the general and mineworker populations. Historically, migration facilitated the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and may act similarly for HIV. Problems of combating the HIV epidemic in South Africa are discussed.

  5. Human rabies deaths in Africa: breaking the cycle of indifference.

    PubMed

    Dodet, Betty; Tejiokem, Mathurin C; Aguemon, Abdou-Rahman; Bourhy, Hervé

    2015-01-01

    The current outbreak of Ebola virus disease has mobilized the international community against this deadly disease. However, rabies, another deadly disease, is greatly affecting the African continent, with an estimated 25 000 deaths every year. And yet, the disease can be prevented by a vaccine, if necessary with immunoglobulin, even when administered after exposure to the rabies virus. Rabies victims die because of neglect and ignorance, because they are not aware of these life-saving biologicals, or because they cannot access them or do not have the money to pay for them. Breaking the cycle of indifference of rabies deaths in humans in Africa should be a priority of governments, international organizations and all stakeholders involved.

  6. Occurrence of aflatoxins in human foodstuffs in South Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Loetter, L.H.; Kroehm, H.J.

    1988-02-01

    Aflatoxins are toxic metabolites of Aspergillus spp and have been reported as contaminants in a number of foodstuffs, namely corn, rice, peanuts, and cereals. In the Republic of South Africa, aflatoxin levels in human foodstuffs are limited to a maximum of 10 ..mu..g/kg for the total and 5 ..mu..g/kg for aflatoxin B/sub 1/. During 1985 and 1986, samples of sorghum beer, sorghum cereal, peanuts, peanut butter and maize meal were purchased from supermarkets in Johannesburg and analyzed for aflatoxins. A total of 414 samples were analyzed during the survey. In 1985, roughly a third of the samples were contaminated with aflatoxins, with no levels in excess of the legal limit. In 1986 the percentage of contaminated samples rose significantly, but the levels of contamination remained low, with only one sample exceeding the legal maximum.

  7. International migration and sustainable human development in eastern and southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Oucho, J O

    1995-01-01

    International migration in eastern and southern Africa (ESA) is rarely addressed in population and development policies or regional organizations, and regional organizations must in the articulation of sustainable shared development identify the role of international migration. Poor quality data on international migration hampers analysis. Sustainable, shared, and human development within the region are subregional issues. Permanent migration is characterized among ESA countries as increasing demographic ethnic pluralism that may result in redrawing of territorial boundaries and further population movement. Portuguese and Arab settlement and integration in eastern areas resulted in coexistence, while European immigration to South Africa resulted in racial segregation. Modern colonial settlement and the aftermath of political conflict resulted in independent countries after the 1960s and outmigration of nonAfrican groups. Much of the labor migration in ESA is unskilled workers moving to South African mining regions. Labor migration to Zimbabwe and Zambia declined after the 1960s. The formation of the Common Market for ESA and the potential merger with the Preferential Trade Area and South African Development Community is a key approach to integration of migration into regional cooperation and shared development. Refugee movements create the most problems. Prior to 1992 ESA countries accounted for 83.4% of refugees, particularly in Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Some countries blame poor economic performance on the deluge of refugees. Illegal migration is currently detected because of the required work permits, but the adoption of the Common Market would obscure this phenomenon. Human development is affected most by migrations related to drought, labor migration to strong economic areas, and return migration. The Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development needs to become more active and establish better policies on nomadic and refugee movements and

  8. Regional Climate Change Impact on Agricultural Land Use in West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, K. F.; Wang, G.; You, L.

    2014-12-01

    Agriculture is a key element of the human-induced land use land cover change (LULCC) that is influenced by climate and can potentially influence regional climate. Temperature and precipitation directly impact the crop yield (by controlling photosynthesis, respiration and other physiological processes) that then affects agricultural land use pattern. In feedback, the resulting changes in land use and land cover play an important role to determine the direction and magnitude of global, regional and local climate change by altering Earth's radiative equilibrium. The assessment of future agricultural land use is, therefore, of great importance in climate change study. In this study, we develop a prototype land use projection model and, using this model, project the changes to land use pattern and future land cover map accounting for climate-induced yield changes for major crops in West Africa. Among the inputs to the land use projection model are crop yield changes simulated by the crop model DSSAT, driven with the climate forcing data from the regional climate model RegCM4.3.4-CLM4.5, which features a projected decrease of future mean crop yield and increase of inter-annual variability. Another input to the land use projection model is the projected changes of food demand in the future. In a so-called "dumb-farmer scenario" without any adaptation, the combined effect of decrease in crop yield and increase in food demand will lead to a significant increase in agricultural land use in future years accompanied by a decrease in forest and grass area. Human adaptation through land use optimization in an effort to minimize agricultural expansion is found to have little impact on the overall areas of agricultural land use. While the choice of the General Circulation Model (GCM) to derive initial and boundary conditions for the regional climate model can be a source of uncertainty in projecting the future LULCC, results from sensitivity experiments indicate that the changes

  9. Ecosystem variability and early human habitats in eastern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Magill, Clayton R.; Ashley, Gail M.; Freeman, Katherine H.

    2013-01-01

    The role of savannas during the course of early human evolution has been debated for nearly a century, in part because of difficulties in characterizing local ecosystems from fossil and sediment records. Here, we present high-resolution lipid biomarker and isotopic signatures for organic matter preserved in lake sediments at Olduvai Gorge during a key juncture in human evolution about 2.0 Ma—the emergence and dispersal of Homo erectus (sensu lato). Using published data for modern plants and soils, we construct a framework for ecological interpretations of stable carbon-isotope compositions (expressed as δ13C values) of lipid biomarkers from ancient plants. Within this framework, δ13C values for sedimentary leaf lipids and total organic carbon from Olduvai Gorge indicate recurrent ecosystem variations, where open C4 grasslands abruptly transitioned to closed C3 forests within several hundreds to thousands of years. Carbon-isotopic signatures correlate most strongly with Earth’s orbital geometry (precession), and tropical sea-surface temperatures are significant secondary predictors in partial regression analyses. The scale and pace of repeated ecosystem variations at Olduvai Gorge contrast with long-held views of directional or stepwise aridification and grassland expansion in eastern Africa during the early Pleistocene and provide a local perspective on environmental hypotheses of human evolution. PMID:23267092

  10. Ecosystem variability and early human habitats in eastern Africa.

    PubMed

    Magill, Clayton R; Ashley, Gail M; Freeman, Katherine H

    2013-01-22

    The role of savannas during the course of early human evolution has been debated for nearly a century, in part because of difficulties in characterizing local ecosystems from fossil and sediment records. Here, we present high-resolution lipid biomarker and isotopic signatures for organic matter preserved in lake sediments at Olduvai Gorge during a key juncture in human evolution about 2.0 Ma--the emergence and dispersal of Homo erectus (sensu lato). Using published data for modern plants and soils, we construct a framework for ecological interpretations of stable carbon-isotope compositions (expressed as δ(13)C values) of lipid biomarkers from ancient plants. Within this framework, δ(13)C values for sedimentary leaf lipids and total organic carbon from Olduvai Gorge indicate recurrent ecosystem variations, where open C(4) grasslands abruptly transitioned to closed C(3) forests within several hundreds to thousands of years. Carbon-isotopic signatures correlate most strongly with Earth's orbital geometry (precession), and tropical sea-surface temperatures are significant secondary predictors in partial regression analyses. The scale and pace of repeated ecosystem variations at Olduvai Gorge contrast with long-held views of directional or stepwise aridification and grassland expansion in eastern Africa during the early Pleistocene and provide a local perspective on environmental hypotheses of human evolution.

  11. Human genetics in Johannesburg, South Africa: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Kromberg, Jennifer G R; Krause, Amanda

    2013-12-01

    Genetic services were set up in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the late 1960s, but only became widespread and formalised after the first Professor of Human Genetics, Trefor Jenkins, was installed at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1974. The first services involved chromosome studies, and these developed into genetic counselling services. Prenatal diagnosis began to be offered, particularly for older women at risk for chromosome abnormalities in the fetus, and those at risk for neural tube defects. Genetic screening was then initiated for the Jewish community because of their high carrier rate for Tay-Sachs disease. Educational courses in human genetics were offered at Wits Medical School, and medical as well as other health professionals began to be trained. Research, supported by national and international bodies, was integral in the activities of the Department (now Division) of Human Genetics and focused on genetic conditions affecting the generally understudied black community. In the late 1980s the first training programme for genetic counsellors was started at MSc level, and postgraduate scientists at MSc and PhD levels studied in and qualified through the Department. At the same time molecular genetic laboratories were set up. In the late 1990s training for medical geneticists was initiated. Extensive high-quality genetic services developed over the four decades were comparable to those of most other departments in developed countries.  PMID:24300637

  12. Impact of climate change upon vector born diseases in Europe and Africa using ENSEMBLES Regional Climate Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caminade, Cyril; Morse, Andy

    2010-05-01

    Climate variability is an important component in determining the incidence of a number of diseases with significant human/animal health and socioeconomic impacts. The most important diseases affecting health are vector-borne, such as malaria, Rift Valley Fever and including those that are tick borne, with over 3 billion of the world population at risk. Malaria alone is responsible for at least one million deaths annually, with 80% of malaria deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. The climate has a large impact upon the incidence of vector-borne diseases; directly via the development rates and survival of both the pathogen and the vector, and indirectly through changes in the environmental conditions. A large ensemble of regional climate model simulations has been produced within the ENSEMBLES project framework for both the European and African continent. This work will present recent progress in human and animal disease modelling, based on high resolution climate observations and regional climate simulations. Preliminary results will be given as an illustration, including the impact of climate change upon bluetongue (disease affecting the cattle) over Europe and upon malaria and Rift Valley Fever over Africa. Malaria scenarios based on RCM ensemble simulations have been produced for West Africa. These simulations have been carried out using the Liverpool Malaria Model. Future projections highlight that the malaria incidence decreases at the northern edge of the Sahel and that the epidemic belt is shifted southward in autumn. This could lead to significant public health problems in the future as the demography is expected to dramatically rise over Africa for the 21st century.

  13. Regional-scale climate-variability synchrony of cholera epidemics in West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Constantin de Magny, Guillaume; Guégan, Jean-François; Petit, Michel; Cazelles, Bernard

    2007-01-01

    Background The relationship between cholera and climate was explored in Africa, the continent with the most reported cases, by analyzing monthly 20-year cholera time series for five coastal adjoining West African countries: Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. Methods We used wavelet analyses and derived methods because these are useful mathematical tools to provide information on the evolution of the periodic component over time and allow quantification of non-stationary associations between time series. Results The temporal variability of cholera incidence exhibits an interannual component, and a significant synchrony in cholera epidemics is highlighted at the end of the 1980's. This observed synchrony across countries, even if transient through time, is also coherent with both the local variability of rainfall and the global climate variability quantified by the Indian Oscillation Index. Conclusion Results of this study suggest that large and regional scale climate variability influence both the temporal dynamics and the spatial synchrony of cholera epidemics in human populations in the Gulf of Guinea, as has been described for two other tropical regions of the world, western South America and Bangladesh. PMID:17371602

  14. First Evaluation of the CCAM Aerosol Simulation over Africa: Implications for Regional Climate Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horowitz, H.; Garland, R. M.; Thatcher, M. J.; Naidoo, M.; van der Merwe, J.; Landman, W.; Engelbrecht, F.

    2015-12-01

    An accurate representation of African aerosols in climate models is needed to understand the regional and global radiative forcing and climate impacts of aerosols, at present and under future climate change. However, aerosol simulations in regional climate models for Africa have not been well-tested. Africa contains the largest single source of biomass-burning smoke aerosols and dust globally. Although aerosols are short-lived relative to greenhouse gases, black carbon in particular is estimated to be second only to carbon dioxide in contributing to warming on a global scale. Moreover, Saharan dust is exported great distances over the Atlantic Ocean, affecting nutrient transport to regions like the Amazon rainforest, which can further impact climate. Biomass burning aerosols are also exported from Africa, westward from Angola over the Atlantic Ocean and off the southeastern coast of South Africa to the Indian Ocean. Here, we perform the first extensive quantitative evaluation of the Conformal-Cubic Atmospheric Model (CCAM) aerosol simulation against monitored data, focusing on aerosol optical depth (AOD) observations over Africa. We analyze historical regional simulations for 1999 - 2012 from CCAM consistent with the experimental design of CORDEX at 50 km global horizontal resolution, through the dynamical downscaling of ERA-Interim data reanalysis data, with the CMIP5 emissions inventory (RCP8.5 scenario). CCAM has a prognostic aerosol scheme for organic carbon, black carbon, sulfate, and dust, and non-prognostic sea salt. The CCAM AOD at 550nm was compared to AOD (observed at 440nm, adjusted to 550nm with the Ångström exponent) from long-term AERONET stations across Africa. Sites strongly impacted by dust and biomass burning and with long continuous records were prioritized. In general, the model captures the monthly trends of the AERONET data. This presentation provides a basis for understanding how well aerosol particles are represented over Africa in

  15. Water, plants, and early human habitats in eastern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Magill, Clayton R.; Ashley, Gail M.; Freeman, Katherine H.

    2013-01-01

    Water and its influence on plants likely exerted strong adaptive pressures in human evolution. Understanding relationships among water, plants, and early humans is limited both by incomplete terrestrial records of environmental change and by indirect proxy data for water availability. Here we present a continuous record of stable hydrogen-isotope compositions (expressed as δD values) for lipid biomarkers preserved in lake sediments from an early Pleistocene archaeological site in eastern Africa—Olduvai Gorge. We convert sedimentary leaf- and algal-lipid δD values into estimates for ancient source-water δD values by accounting for biochemical, physiological, and environmental influences on isotopic fractionation via published water–lipid enrichment factors for living plants, algae, and recent sediments. Reconstructed precipitation and lake-water δD values, respectively, are consistent with modern isotopic hydrology and reveal that dramatic fluctuations in water availability accompanied ecosystem changes. Drier conditions, indicated by less negative δD values, occur in association with stable carbon-isotopic evidence for open, C4-dominated grassland ecosystems. Wetter conditions, indicated by lower δD values, are associated with expanded woody cover across the ancient landscape. Estimates for ancient precipitation amounts, based on reconstructed precipitation δD values, range between approximately 250 and 700 mm·y−1 and are consistent with modern precipitation data for eastern Africa. We conclude that freshwater availability exerted a substantial influence on eastern African ecosystems and, by extension, was central to early human proliferation during periods of rapid climate change. PMID:23267102

  16. Climatic and Human Influence on Tropical Forest Degradation in West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Z., Sr.; Wimberly, M. C.; Dwomoh, F. K.

    2015-12-01

    The Upper Guinean Forests of West Africa encompass one of most fragmented and endangered tropical forest ecosystems on earth. However, relatively little is known about the extent and causes of forest degradation in this heavily human affected region. We used the tasseled cap wetness (TCW) index to detect forest degradation using dry-season imagery from 2001 to 2015. TCW was calculated from MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) Nadir BRDF-Adjusted Reflectance (NBAR) at 500 meter resolution. The TCW index was compared with field data and high-resolution imagery and was found to have a strong relationship with different level of forest degradation, with lower TCW index values indicating higher levels of degradation. Mann-Kendall tests were used to detect the monotonic decreases in TCW index. Results indicated that about 12.9% of tropical forest in West Africa has been degraded during past 15 years, and most of these areas were located in isolated forest patches and on the periphery of intact forest. The boosted regression tree (BRT) method was then used to assess the influence of climate and human influence on forest degradation. BRT analysis indicated that climatic variations, human activities, and their interactions were important contributors to forest degradation. Major drivers of forest degradation included distance to cropland, rainfall trend, and rate of population growth.. Our results show that times series of coarse-resolution MODIS imagery can be used for broad-scale assessment of tropical forest degradation, and human activities need to be taken into account when assessing potential forest responses to climate change in this region.

  17. Human foot bones from Klasies River main site, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Rightmire, G Philip; Deacon, H J; Schwartz, Jeffrey H; Tattersall, Ian

    2006-01-01

    The caves at Klasies River contain abundant archaeological evidence relating to human evolution in the late Pleistocene of southern Africa. Along with Middle Stone Age artifacts, animal bones, and other food waste, there are hominin cranial fragments, mandibles with teeth, and a few postcranial remains. Three foot bones can now be added to this inventory. An adult first metatarsal is similar in size and discrete anatomical features to those from Holocene burials in the Cape Province. A complete and well-preserved second metatarsal is especially long and heavy at midshaft in comparison to all Holocene and more recent South African homologues. A large fifth metatarsal is highly distinctive in its morphology. In overall size, these pedal elements resemble specimens from late Pleistocene sites in western Asia, but there are some differences in proportions. The fossils support earlier suggestions concerning a relatively high level of sexual dimorphism in the African Middle Stone Age population. Squatting facets on the two lateral metatarsals appear to indicate a high frequency of kneeling among members of this group. The new postcranial material also underlines the fact that the morphology of particular skeletal elements of some of the 100,000-year-old Klasies River individuals falls outside the range of modern variation.

  18. Climate Change in Africa: Impacts and Effects on the Inhabitants of the Lake Chad Region.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abubakar, B.; Tahir, S. M.; Olisa, O.

    2009-05-01

    The Department of Energy and Climate Change defined climate as the average weather experienced over a long period. This includes temperature, wind and rainfall patterns. The climate of the Earth is not static, and has changed many times in response to a variety of natural causes. Due to human activities in emmiting green house gases has resulted the Earth to get warmed by 0.74°C over the last hundred years. Around 0.4°C of this warming has occurred since the 1970s. Climate is now one of the major phenomenon threatening lives and humanity in general since the beginning of industrial revolution. Climate exerts a profound influence on the lives of poor populations in the Lake Chad region of Africa who depend on fishing and crop cultivation for livelihood and sustenance, who are unprotected against climate-related diseases, who lacked secure access to water and food and who are vulnerable to hydro meteorological hazard. The effects of climate change on the study area are many and include diminishing resources and conflicts over the available limited water resources. The Lake Chad region is a fragile area with high climate variability and extremes of weather. As this inland water is used for domestic and agricultural purposes, salt mining, as well as transportation by Nigerians, Nigeriens, Chadian and Cameroonians, it is an area of trans-boundary water conflicts. This paper examines the part played by climate change in the decline of fishery resources and livelihood activities in the Lake Chad region. Data from field studies, structured interview and secondary sources show that fish catches and livelihood activities have declined tremendously in recent times due to several factors including overexploitation and increasing demands on the aquatic resources. Findings from the study show that droughty periods have resulted in the reduction of open lake water surface from about 25,000 km2 in 1973 to less than 2,000 km2 in the 1990s. This has led to the diminishing aquatic

  19. Towards malaria elimination in the MOSASWA (Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland) region.

    PubMed

    Moonasar, Devanand; Maharaj, Rajendra; Kunene, Simon; Candrinho, Baltazar; Saute, Francisco; Ntshalintshali, Nyasatu; Morris, Natashia

    2016-01-01

    The substantial impact of cross-border collaborative control efforts on the burden of malaria in southern Africa has previously been demonstrated through the successes of the Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative. Increases in malaria cases recorded in the three partner countries (Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland) since termination of that programme in 2011 have provided impetus for the resuscitation of cooperation in the form of the MOSASWA malaria initiative. MOSASWA, launched in 2015, seeks to renew regional efforts to accelerate progress towards malaria elimination goals already established in the region. National malaria programmes, together with developmental partners, academic institutions and the private sector seek to harmonize policy, strengthen capacity, share expertise, expand access to elimination interventions particularly amongst migrant and border population groups, mobilize resources and advocate for long-term funding to ultimately achieve and sustain malaria elimination in the MOSASWA region. PMID:27538990

  20. The Burden of Human Papillomavirus Infections and Related Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    De Vuyst, Hugo; Alemany, Laia; Lacey, Charles; Chibwesha, Carla J.; Sahasrabuddhe, Vikrant; Banura, Cecily; Denny, Lynette; Parham, Groesbeck P.

    2014-01-01

    Despite the scarcity of high quality cancer registries and lack of reliable mortality data, it is clear that human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated diseases, particularly cervical cancer, are major causes of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Cervical cancer incidence rates in SSA are the highest in the world and the disease is the most common cause of cancer death among women in the region. The high incidence of cervical cancer is a consequence of the inability of most countries to either initiate or sustain cervical cancer prevention services. In addition, it appears that the prevalence of HPV in women with normal cytology is higher than in more developed areas of the world, at an average of 24%. There is, however, significant regional variation in SSA, with the highest incidence of HPV infection and cervical cancer found in Eastern and Western Africa. It is expected that, due to aging and growth of the population, but also to lack of access to appropriate prevention services and the concomitant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates in SSA will rise over the next 20 years. HPV16 and 18 are the most common genotypes in cervical cancer in SSA, although other carcinogenic HPV types, such as HPV45 and 35, are also relatively more frequent compared with other world regions. Data on other HPV-related anogenital cancers including those of the vulva, vagina, anus, and penis, are limited. Genital warts are common and associated with HPV types 6 and 11. HIV infection increases incidence and prevalence of all HPV-associated diseases. Sociocultural determinants of HPV-related disease, as well as the impact of forces that result in social destabilization, demand further study. Strategies to reduce the excessive burden of HPV-related diseases in SSA include age-appropriate prophylactic HPV vaccination, cervical cancer prevention services for women of the reproductive

  1. The State of Humanities in Post-Apartheid South Africa--A Quantitative Story

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pillay, V.; Yu, K.

    2010-01-01

    This article depicts the state of Humanities in post-apartheid South Africa by examining HEMIS enrolment and graduation data from 1999 to 2007. It demonstrates that although the decline in student enrolment and graduation in Humanities has not been severe; read in the context of substantial growth of all other disciplines, Humanities is in a…

  2. Tracking Enrolments and Graduations in Humanities Education in South Africa: Are We in Crisis?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yu, K.; Pillay, V.

    2011-01-01

    In this article we respond to the perceived crisis in humanities education in South Africa which posits firstly that large numbers of students are leaving this field and that secondly, the value of a humanities education has declined. To do this we track the enrolments and graduation rates in humanities at both undergraduate and postgraduate…

  3. Seasonal drought forecast system for food-insecure regions of East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, Shraddhanand; McNally, Amy; Husak, Greg; Funk, Chris

    2014-05-01

    In East Africa, agriculture is mostly rainfed and hence sensitive to interannual rainfall variability, and the increasing food and water demands of a growing population place further stresses on the water resources of this region. Skillful seasonal agricultural drought forecasts for this region can inform timely water and agricultural management decisions, support the proper allocation of the region's water resources, and help mitigate socio-economic losses. Here we describe the development and implementation of a seasonal drought forecast system that is being used for providing seasonal outlooks of agricultural drought in East Africa. We present a test case of the evaluation and applicability of this system for March-April-May growing season over equatorial East Africa (latitude 20 south to 80 North and 360 E to 460E) that encompasses one of the most food insecure and climatically and socio-economically vulnerable regions in East Africa. This region experienced famine as recently as in 2011. The system described here combines advanced satellite and re-analysis as well as station-based long term and real-time observations (e.g. NASA's TRMM, Infra-red remote sensing, Climate Forecast System Reanalysis), state-of-the-art dynamical climate forecast system (NCEP's Climate Forecast System Verison-2) and large scale land surface models (e.g. Variable Infiltration Capacity, NASA's Land Information System) to provide forecasts of seasonal rainfall, soil moisture and Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI) throughout the season - with an emphasis on times when water is the most critical: start of season/planting and the mid-season/crop reproductive phase. Based on the hindcast assessment of this system, we demonstrate the value of this approach to the US Agency for International Development (USAID)'s efforts to mitigate future losses of lives and economic losses by allowing a proactive approach of drought management that includes early warning and timely action.

  4. Seismotectonic Analysis for the KZN region of South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, M.

    2012-04-01

    Recently, devastating earthquakes and tsunamis have shocked the modern world (Japan [April 7 2011, Mw 9.0, loss of life and destruction of infrastructure, 15,457 deaths 5,389 injured, US300billion loss (Japanese National Police Agency 2011)], New Zealand [21 February 2011, Mw 6.3, 148 killed], Haiti [12 January 2010, Mw 7.0, estimated 316 000 killed and 300 000 injured]. These earthquakes have caused large scale damage to the built environment not to mention the high number of fatalities. The KZN coastal region is also fast developing especially towards the north of Durban CBD (Cornubia [New development near Umhlanga, 25 Billion Rands investment], Gateway/Umhlanga Business District, Moses Mabida Stadium (cost of R3.4 billion ), King Shaka International Airport at a cost of R6.8 billion, Dube Tradeport to be developed next to the airport at a cost of R5 billion, as well as the development of the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone . The KZN is home to 10 million inhabitants with a relatively denser population distribution around the Durban and Pietermaritzburg CBDs. With the increasing amount of investment towards the north coast of Durban, the population distribution will migrate to these areas. These areas now become 'vulnerable' to rare, infrequent and potentially devastating natural disasters like earthquakes. One of the first steps to understand and plan for an earthquake occurrence is through a seismic hazard and risk assessment. The seismic hazard and risk method has well been established since 1968 (see Cornell (1968); Veneziano et al., (1984); Bender and Perkins (1993); McGuire (1993); McGuire and Toro (2008); Kijko and Graham (1998); Kijko and Sellevoll, (1989, 1992)). The components of a seismic risk assessment (SRA) include several building blocks namely: the development of the earthquake catalogue, seismotectonic model, attenuation models, seismic hazard assessment (SHA), vulnerability assessment and seismic risk computations. The seismotectonic

  5. Analysis and simulation of recent climate variability in the high-mountain regions of East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collier, Emily; Mölg, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world, and the glaciers at its summit represent regionally unique high-altitude sampling points in the troposphere. The region is influenced by, among other phenomena, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Indian Ocean Zonal Mode, and the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation. However, the impacts of these phenomena as well as interactions between them on climate conditions in the high-mountain regions of East Africa are poorly constrained. Here we analyze recent high-altitude climate variability in East Africa using a combination of atmospheric reanalysis data, convection permitting (~1 km grid spacing) numerical simulations with the regional atmospheric model WRF, and multi-year in-situ weather station data at the summits of Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro. We utilize these datasets to elucidate the impact of modes of internal climate variability, with a particular emphasis on ENSO, on both the large- and local-scale atmospheric conditions. Our analysis is compared with a ten-year record of glacier surface-height-change measurements on Kilimanjaro to elucidate the drivers of recent glacier response in East Africa.

  6. Regional nitrogen budget of the Lake Victoria Basin, East Africa: syntheses, uncertainties and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Minghua; Brandt, Patric; Pelster, David; Rufino, Mariana C.; Robinson, Timothy; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus

    2014-10-01

    Using the net anthropogenic nitrogen input (NANI) approach we estimated the N budget for the Lake Victoria Basin in East Africa. The NANI of the basin ranged from 887 to 3008 kg N km-2 yr-1 (mean: 1827 kg N km-2 yr-1) for the period 1995-2000. The net nitrogen release at basin level is due primarily to livestock and human consumption of feed and foods, contributing between 69% and 85%. Atmospheric oxidized N deposition contributed approximately 14% to the NANI of the Lake Victoria Basin, while either synthetic N fertilizer imports or biological N fixations only contributed less than 6% to the regional NANI. Due to the low N imports of feed and food products (<20 kg N km-2 yr-1), nitrogen release to the watershed must be derived from the mining of soil N stocks. The fraction of riverine N export to Lake Victoria accounted for 16%, which is much lower than for watersheds located in Europe and USA (25%). A significant reduction of the uncertainty of our N budget estimate for Lake Victoria Basin would be possible if better data on livestock systems and riverine N export were available. Our study indicates that at present soil N mining is the main source of nitrogen in the Lake Victoria Basin. Thus, sustainable N management requires increasing agricultural N inputs to guarantee food security and rehabilitation and protection of soils to minimize environmental costs. Moreover, to reduce N pollution of the lake, improving management of human and animal wastes needs to be carefully considered in future.

  7. Development of a regional food composition table for West Africa.

    PubMed

    Stadlmayr, Barbara; Charrondière, U Ruth; Burlingame, Barbara

    2013-10-01

    Knowledge of the nutrient content of foods is fundamental for virtually all nutrition-related projects, programmes and policies. Low quality compositional data may lead to inappropriate policies and funds spent unnecessarily. Existing food composition tables (FCT) for most West African countries date back to 1960 and 1970 and contain in general few foods and components without documentation. As a result of the recommendations by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Nutrition forum and other high level meetings, FAO/INFOODS, WAHO/ECOWAS and Bioversity International developed the West African FCT. It contains 472 foods and 28 components. Emphasis was given to include data on food biodiversity by incorporating cultivars/varieties and underutilized foods. The West African FCT enables users to address diet-related health problems, strengthen local development, enhance trade and promote biodiversity. In addition it contributes to poverty alleviation in both rural and urban areas. The FCT needs to be updated regularly and it is the most recent example of INFOODS for regional food composition activities.

  8. Attributing Climate Conditions for Stable Malaria Transmission to Human Activity in sub-Saharan Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheldrake, L.; Mitchell, D.; Allen, M. R.

    2015-12-01

    Temperature and precipitation limit areas of stable malaria transmission, but the effects of climate change on the disease remain controversial. Previously, studies have not separated the influence of anthropogenic climate change and natural variability, despite being an essential step in the attribution of climate change impacts. Ensembles of 2900 simulations of regional climate in sub-Saharan Africa for the year 2013, one representing realistic conditions and the other how climate might have been in the absence of human influence, were used to force a P.falciparium climate suitability model developed by the Mapping Malaria Risk in Africa project. Strongest signals were detected in areas of unstable transmission, indicating their heightened sensitivity to climatic factors. Evidently, impacts of human-induced climate change were unevenly distributed: the probability of conditions being suitable for stable malaria transmission were substantially reduced (increased) in the Sahel (Greater Horn of Africa (GHOA), particularly in the Ethiopian and Kenyan highlands). The length of the transmission season was correspondingly shortened in the Sahel and extended in the GHOA, by 1 to 2 months, including in Kericho (Kenya), where the role of climate change in driving recent malaria occurrence is hotly contested. Human-induced warming was primarily responsible for positive anomalies in the GHOA, while reduced rainfall caused negative anomalies in the Sahel. The latter was associated with anthropogenic impacts on the West African Monsoon, but uncertainty in the RCM's ability to reproduce precipitation trends in the region weakens confidence in the result. That said, outputs correspond well with broad-scale changes in observed endemicity, implying a potentially important contribution of anthropogenic climate change to the malaria burden during the past century. Results support the health-framing of climate risk and help indicate hotspots of climate vulnerability, providing

  9. [Monitoring human African trypanosomiasis in Central Africa in 2001 and cartography: results and perspectives].

    PubMed

    Lucas, P; Fanchey, G; Mouton, C; Jannin, J

    2001-01-01

    Cases of human African trypanosomiasis are distributed in changing geographical "outbreak areas" that can be visualized over time and space. Because of these variations in distribution, cartography and spatial analysis provide powerful tools for planning surveillance and control strategies. In 1996, the WHO in collaboration with the 15 most endemic countries in Central Africa undertook a program to develop a standardized inter-regional map of trypanosomiasis. This article provides a brief overview of the value of geomatic tools in public health followed by a description of the WHO program and its preliminary results. Also presented in this article is the Trypinfo site being development on the internet to increase the surveillance response-time and improve the feedback system. PMID:11803827

  10. [Monitoring human African trypanosomiasis in Central Africa in 2001 and cartography: results and perspectives].

    PubMed

    Lucas, P; Fanchey, G; Mouton, C; Jannin, J

    2001-01-01

    Cases of human African trypanosomiasis are distributed in changing geographical "outbreak areas" that can be visualized over time and space. Because of these variations in distribution, cartography and spatial analysis provide powerful tools for planning surveillance and control strategies. In 1996, the WHO in collaboration with the 15 most endemic countries in Central Africa undertook a program to develop a standardized inter-regional map of trypanosomiasis. This article provides a brief overview of the value of geomatic tools in public health followed by a description of the WHO program and its preliminary results. Also presented in this article is the Trypinfo site being development on the internet to increase the surveillance response-time and improve the feedback system.

  11. Developing High-resolution Soil Database for Regional Crop Modeling in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, E.; Ines, A. V. M.

    2014-12-01

    The most readily available soil data for regional crop modeling in Africa is the World Inventory of Soil Emission potentials (WISE) dataset, which has 1125 soil profiles for the world, but does not extensively cover countries Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in East Africa. Another dataset available is the HC27 (Harvest Choice by IFPRI) in a gridded format (10km) but composed of generic soil profiles based on only three criteria (texture, rooting depth, and organic carbon content). In this paper, we present a development and application of a high-resolution (1km), gridded soil database for regional crop modeling in East Africa. Basic soil information is extracted from Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS), which provides essential soil properties (bulk density, soil organic carbon, soil PH and percentages of sand, silt and clay) for 6 different standardized soil layers (5, 15, 30, 60, 100 and 200 cm) in 1km resolution. Soil hydraulic properties (e.g., field capacity and wilting point) are derived from the AfSIS soil dataset using well-proven pedo-transfer functions and are customized for DSSAT-CSM soil data requirements. The crop model is used to evaluate crop yield forecasts using the new high resolution soil database and compared with WISE and HC27. In this paper we will present also the results of DSSAT loosely coupled with a hydrologic model (VIC) to assimilate root-zone soil moisture. Creating a grid-based soil database, which provides a consistent soil input for two different models (DSSAT and VIC) is a critical part of this work. The created soil database is expected to contribute to future applications of DSSAT crop simulation in East Africa where food security is highly vulnerable.

  12. Projection of temperature and heat waves for Africa with an ensemble of CORDEX Regional Climate Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dosio, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    The most severe effects of global warning will be related to the frequency and severity of extreme events. We provide an analysis of projections of temperature and related extreme events for Africa based on a large ensemble of Regional Climate Models from the COordinated Regional climate Downscaling EXperiment (CORDEX). Results are presented not only by means of widely used indices but also with a recently developed Heat Wave Magnitude Index-daily (HWMId), which takes into account both heat wave duration and intensity. Results show that under RCP8.5, warming of more than 3.5 °C is projected in JFM over most of the continent, whereas in JAS temperatures over large part of Northern Africa, the Sahara and the Arabian peninsula are projected to increase up to 6 °C. Large increase in in the number of warm days (Tx90p) is found over sub equatorial Africa, with values up to more than 90 % in JAS, and more than 80 % in JFM over e.g., the gulf of Guinea, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Changes in Tn90p (warm nights) are usually larger, with some models projecting Tn90p reaching 95 % starting from around 2060 even under RCP4.5 over the Gulf of Guinea and the Sahel. Results also show that the total length of heat spells projected to occur normally (i.e. once every 2 years) under RCP8.5 may be longer than those occurring once every 30 years under the lower emission scenario. By employing the recently developed HWMId index, it is possible to investigate the relationship between heat wave length ad intensity; in particular it is shown that very intense heat waves such as that occurring over the Horn of Africa may have values of HWMId larger than that of longer, but relatively weak, heat waves over West Africa.

  13. EDCTP regional networks of excellence: initial merits for planned clinical trials in Africa

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and combating hotspots with escalating but preventable communicable diseases remain major challenges in Africa. The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) intervened to combat poverty-related diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, and to conduct multi-centre clinical trials and multi-disciplinary health research through an innovative model of regional Networks of Excellence (NoEs). Methods We participated in a quasi-formative evaluation between October and December 2011 on the 4 regional-led research networks. These included the: Central Africa Network on Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Malaria (CANTAM); East African Consortium for Clinical Research (EACCR); West African Network of Excellence for TB, AIDS and Malaria (WANETAM), and the Trials of Excellence for Southern Africa (TESA) launched between 2009 and 2010. We shared a participatory appraisal of field reports, progress reports and presentations from each network to jointly outline the initial experiences of the merits, outputs and lessons learnt. Results The self-regulating democratic networks, with 64 institutions in 21 African countries, have trained over 1, 000 African scientists, upgraded 36 sites for clinical trials, leveraged additional € 24 million and generated 38 peer-reviewed publications through networking and partnerships. Conclusions The shared initial merits and lessons learnt portray in part the strengthened capacity of these networks for improved research coordination and conduct of planned multi-center clinical trials in Africa. Increased funding by African agencies, governments and international health partners will ensure sustainability of these networks for research capacity development and demonstrate their commitment to achieving the MDGs in Africa. PMID:23517572

  14. In search of a viable IAU-OAD Regional Node: A case for Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okere, B. I.; Okoh, D. C.; Obi, I. A.; Okeke, P. N.; Opara, F. E.

    2015-03-01

    The establishment of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in Cape Town, South Africa, with the aim of using astronomy to stimulate development at all levels including primary, secondary and tertiary education, science research and the public understanding of science is a welcome development to consolidate the gains of IYA2009. To assist the IAU OAD office in achieving its goal of using astronomy as a tool for development, there is need to have OAD regional nodes. In this paper, we present the astronomy activities/programs required of such a Regional Node in Africa and how the Node can play a significant role to realise the vision of Astronomy for a better world!

  15. Improving regional health care in West Africa using current space systems and technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jemison, Mae C.; Thomas, J. S.

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the issues involved with establishing an integrated satellite health network in West Africa based on currently available technology. The system proposed makes use of a central national facility capable of transmitting and receiving voice/data and video signals from the entire country. Regional, field and local facilities provides timely epidemiologic information, sharing of medical expertise through telemedical consultations, enhances optimized resource distribution and builds a framework for telecommunications for the entire country.

  16. Improving regional health care in West Africa using current space systems and technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jemison, Mae C.; Thomas, J. Segun

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the issues involved with establishing an integrated satellite health network in West Africa based on currently available technology. The system proposed makes use of a central national facility capable of transmitting and receiving voice/data and video signals from the entire country. Regional, field and local facilities provide timely epidemiologic information, sharing of medical expertise through telemedical consultations, enhance optimized resource distribution and build a framework for telecommunications for the entire country.

  17. Multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi, Gulf of Guinea Region, Africa.

    PubMed

    Baltazar, Murielle; Ngandjio, Antoinette; Holt, Kathryn Elizabeth; Lepillet, Elodie; Pardos de la Gandara, Maria; Collard, Jean-Marc; Bercion, Raymond; Nzouankeu, Ariane; Le Hello, Simon; Dougan, Gordon; Fonkoua, Marie-Christine; Weill, François-Xavier

    2015-04-01

    We identified 3 lineages among multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi isolates in the Gulf of Guinea region in Africa during the 2000s. However, the MDR H58 haplotype, which predominates in southern Asia and Kenya, was not identified. MDR quinolone-susceptible isolates contained a 190-kb incHI1 pST2 plasmid or a 50-kb incN pST3 plasmid.

  18. Multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi, Gulf of Guinea Region, Africa.

    PubMed

    Baltazar, Murielle; Ngandjio, Antoinette; Holt, Kathryn Elizabeth; Lepillet, Elodie; Pardos de la Gandara, Maria; Collard, Jean-Marc; Bercion, Raymond; Nzouankeu, Ariane; Le Hello, Simon; Dougan, Gordon; Fonkoua, Marie-Christine; Weill, François-Xavier

    2015-04-01

    We identified 3 lineages among multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi isolates in the Gulf of Guinea region in Africa during the 2000s. However, the MDR H58 haplotype, which predominates in southern Asia and Kenya, was not identified. MDR quinolone-susceptible isolates contained a 190-kb incHI1 pST2 plasmid or a 50-kb incN pST3 plasmid. PMID:25811307

  19. Tectonics, orbital forcing, global climate change, and human evolution in Africa: introduction to the African paleoclimate special volume.

    PubMed

    Maslin, Mark A; Christensen, Beth

    2007-11-01

    The late Cenozoic climate of Africa is a critical component for understanding human evolution. African climate is controlled by major tectonic changes, global climate transitions, and local variations in orbital forcing. We introduce the special African Paleoclimate Issue of the Journal of Human Evolution by providing a background for and synthesis of the latest work relating to the environmental context for human evolution. Records presented in this special issue suggest that the regional tectonics, appearance of C(4) plants in East Africa, and late Cenozoic global cooling combined to produce a long-term drying trend in East Africa. Of particular importance is the uplift associated with the East African Rift Valley formation, which altered wind flow patterns from a more zonal to more meridinal direction. Results in this volume suggest a marked difference in the climate history of southern and eastern Africa, though both are clearly influenced by the major global climate thresholds crossed in the last 3 million years. Papers in this volume present lake, speleothem, and marine paleoclimate records showing that the East African long-term drying trend is punctuated by episodes of short, alternating periods of extreme wetness and aridity. These periods of extreme climate variability are characterized by the precession-forced appearance and disappearance of large, deep lakes in the East African Rift Valley and paralleled by low and high wind-driven dust loads reaching the adjacent ocean basins. Dating of these records show that over the last 3 million years such periods only occur at the times of major global climatic transitions, such as the intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation (2.7-2.5 Ma), intensification of the Walker Circulation (1.9-1.7 Ma), and the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution (1-0.7 Ma). Authors in this volume suggest this onset occurs as high latitude forcing in both Hemispheres compresses the Intertropical Convergence Zone so that East Africa

  20. Mitochondrial lineage M1 traces an early human backflow to Africa

    PubMed Central

    González, Ana M; Larruga, José M; Abu-Amero, Khaled K; Shi, Yufei; Pestano, José; Cabrera, Vicente M

    2007-01-01

    Background The out of Africa hypothesis has gained generalized consensus. However, many specific questions remain unsettled. To know whether the two M and N macrohaplogroups that colonized Eurasia were already present in Africa before the exit is puzzling. It has been proposed that the east African clade M1 supports a single origin of haplogroup M in Africa. To test the validity of that hypothesis, the phylogeographic analysis of 13 complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and 261 partial sequences belonging to haplogroup M1 was carried out. Results The coalescence age of the African haplogroup M1 is younger than those for other M Asiatic clades. In contradiction to the hypothesis of an eastern Africa origin for modern human expansions out of Africa, the most ancestral M1 lineages have been found in Northwest Africa and in the Near East, instead of in East Africa. The M1 geographic distribution and the relative ages of its different subclades clearly correlate with those of haplogroup U6, for which an Eurasian ancestor has been demonstrated. Conclusion This study provides evidence that M1, or its ancestor, had an Asiatic origin. The earliest M1 expansion into Africa occurred in northwestern instead of eastern areas; this early spread reached the Iberian Peninsula even affecting the Basques. The majority of the M1a lineages found outside and inside Africa had a more recent eastern Africa origin. Both western and eastern M1 lineages participated in the Neolithic colonization of the Sahara. The striking parallelism between subclade ages and geographic distribution of M1 and its North African U6 counterpart strongly reinforces this scenario. Finally, a relevant fraction of M1a lineages present today in the European Continent and nearby islands possibly had a Jewish instead of the commonly proposed Arab/Berber maternal ascendance. PMID:17620140

  1. DDT, DDE and DDD in human milk from South Africa.

    PubMed

    Okonkwo, Jonathan Okechukwu; Mutshatshi, Tshinanne N; Botha, Ben; Agyei, Nana

    2008-10-01

    Human breast milk samples (n=30) were collected from mothers within the age range of 19-40 years from Thohoyandou area, South Africa. DDT and its metabolites were extracted from the milk samples using diethyl ether. The crude extracts were subjected to column chromatography. The eluates were then evaporated on a stream of nitrogen up to 0.5 mL. One microliter of the cleaned extracts were injected into GC-ECD for selected organochlorine compounds. The sum total of DDT and its metabolites from each village ranged from not detectable for DMS, GNN and THN to 1,930 ng g(-1) fat wt for BDL while SigmaDDE ranged from 1.32 ng g(-1) fat wt for GNN to 2,570 ng g(-1) fat wt for TKD. SigmaDDD ranged from not detectable for GNN to 4,060 ng g(-1) fat wt for MNN. SigmaDDE was the most predominant followed by SigmaDDD and finally SigmaDDT. This was an indication of breakdown of the parent compound, DDT. Some villages namely, Lufule and Budeli, and Maniini and Makhuvha exhibited similar DDT occurrence of 89% in their areas. Other villages, DMS, TLM, and MND and TKD showed a similarity percentage of 82% while others showed similarities of 75% for GNN and MTT, 69% and 65% for MPG and THN respectively. A significant cluster of DDT and its metabolites between the infants' weight range of 2.5-3.9 kg/body wt was observed. Increase in lipid content was followed by a decrease in the sum DDT in the older mothers (27-30). The estimated daily intake varied from 260 to 4,696 ng/g, nd-10,551 ng/g and nd-4,237 ng/g for DDE, DDD and DDT respectively. These values are significantly (p<0.05) higher than the FAO/WHO acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 20 ng/g. The SigmaDDT was found to decrease with increasing age of the mothers. The observed high levels of DDE compared to DDT indicated chronic exposure of the mothers to DDT, which is metabolised to DDE and retained in the body.

  2. Simulating the link between ENSO and summer drought in Southern Africa using regional climate models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meque, Arlindo; Abiodun, Babatunde J.

    2015-04-01

    This study evaluates the capability of regional climate models (RCMs) in simulating the link between El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Southern African droughts. It uses the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI, computed using rainfall and temperature data) to identify 3-month drought over Southern Africa, and compares the observed and simulated correlation between ENSO and SPEI. The observation data are from the Climate Research Unit, while the simulation data are from ten RCMs (ARPEGE, CCLM, HIRHAM, RACMO, REMO, PRECIS, RegCM3, RCA, WRF, and CRCM) that participated in the regional climate downscaling experiment (CORDEX) project. The study analysed the rainy season (December-February) data for 19 years (1989-2008). The results show a strong link between ENSO and droughts (SPEI) over Southern Africa. The link is owing to the influence of ENSO on both rainfall and temperature fields, but the correlation between ENSO and temperature is stronger than the correlation between ENSO and rainfall. Hence, using only rainfall to monitor droughts in Southern Africa may underestimate the influence of ENSO on the droughts. Only few CORDEX RCMs simulate the influence of ENSO on Southern African drought as observed. In this regard, the ARPEGE model shows the best simulation, while CRCM shows the worst. The different in the performance may be due to their lateral boundary conditions. The RCA-simulated link between ENSO and Southern African droughts is sensitive to the global dataset used as the lateral boundary conditions. In some cases, using RCA to downscale global circulation models (GCM) simulations adds value to the simulated link between ENSO and the droughts, but in other cases the downscaling adds no value to the link. The added value of RCA to the simulated link decreases as the capability of the GCM to simulate the link increases. This study suggests that downscaling GCM simulations with RCMs over Southern Africa may improve or depreciate the

  3. Impact of 2c warming over the vulnerable areas of Africa region in the AFRICA-CORDEX simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell'Aquila, Alessandro; Calmanti, Sandro; Mendlik, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    We analyse the foreseen climatic changes over the vulnerable areas of African Continent for the most relevant variable, taking advantage of the new regional simulations produced in the AFRICA-CORDEX framework available in the framework of IMPACT2C EU project activities. The focus of the analysis is on the comparison of present climate condition with the period corresponding to +2°C (and +1.5°C) in the future scenario, providing information on the challenges and opportunities that the foreseen changes in hydrological cycle implied by global warming could create in vulnerable areas of African continent as Nile and Niger basins. We use simulations of the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios that typically reach the + 2°C threshold during the next century. We explore two sources of uncertainty. First, we consider the full consistency between global and regional models which is a critical source of uncertainty especially in this area where small scale processes have a direct impact on large scale circulation patterns. We find that, by looking at long term scenarios, significant differences exist between the scenarios produce with global and regional climate models. The second dimension of uncertainty, of enormous practical consequences in the field of climate change studies, is the role of climate variability compared to long term tendencies. In this case, we highlight that, although statistically significant, the tendency in climate variable that are most commonly used in impact studies (temperature, rainfall) is comparable with the range of variability observed in the present climate.

  4. Politics and Human Welfare: Retinitis Pigmentosa Patients in South Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKendrick, B. W.; Leketi, M.

    1990-01-01

    The study found that apartheid impacted the sociopsychological and physical circumstances of 12 African and 11 White people with retinitis pigmentosa in South Africa. Findings are discussed in terms of onset of condition, effects on subjects' lives, knowledge of social services, and needs unmet by existing services. (JDD)

  5. The Interaction between Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Human Papillomaviruses in Heterosexuals in Africa.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Anna-Lise

    2015-04-02

    Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer in the world, which is further aggravated by the burden of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) disease with invasive cervical cancer being an AIDS-defining cancer. The prevalence of HPV infection and associated disease is very high in HIV-infected people and continues to be a problem even after anti-retroviral therapy. In the genital tract, the interaction between HPV and HIV is complex, with infection with multiple HPV types reported to make both women and men more susceptible to HIV infection. Besides the national programmes to vaccinate girls against HPV and screen women for cervical cancer, there should be targeted cervical cancer screening, treatment and prevention programmes introduced into HIV treatment centres. There is evidence that in high HIV prevalence areas, HIV-positive women could cause increases in the prevalence of genital HPV infection in HIV-negative men and so increase the HPV circulating in the community. Condom use and circumcision reduce the acquisition of HIV-1, and also to some extent of HPV. This review will highlight what is known about the interaction of HIV and HPV, with an emphasis on research in Africa.

  6. The Interaction between Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Human Papillomaviruses in Heterosexuals in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Anna-Lise

    2015-01-01

    Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer in the world, which is further aggravated by the burden of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) disease with invasive cervical cancer being an AIDS-defining cancer. The prevalence of HPV infection and associated disease is very high in HIV-infected people and continues to be a problem even after anti-retroviral therapy. In the genital tract, the interaction between HPV and HIV is complex, with infection with multiple HPV types reported to make both women and men more susceptible to HIV infection. Besides the national programmes to vaccinate girls against HPV and screen women for cervical cancer, there should be targeted cervical cancer screening, treatment and prevention programmes introduced into HIV treatment centres. There is evidence that in high HIV prevalence areas, HIV-positive women could cause increases in the prevalence of genital HPV infection in HIV-negative men and so increase the HPV circulating in the community. Condom use and circumcision reduce the acquisition of HIV-1, and also to some extent of HPV. This review will highlight what is known about the interaction of HIV and HPV, with an emphasis on research in Africa. PMID:26239348

  7. The Interaction between Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Human Papillomaviruses in Heterosexuals in Africa.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Anna-Lise

    2015-01-01

    Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer in the world, which is further aggravated by the burden of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) disease with invasive cervical cancer being an AIDS-defining cancer. The prevalence of HPV infection and associated disease is very high in HIV-infected people and continues to be a problem even after anti-retroviral therapy. In the genital tract, the interaction between HPV and HIV is complex, with infection with multiple HPV types reported to make both women and men more susceptible to HIV infection. Besides the national programmes to vaccinate girls against HPV and screen women for cervical cancer, there should be targeted cervical cancer screening, treatment and prevention programmes introduced into HIV treatment centres. There is evidence that in high HIV prevalence areas, HIV-positive women could cause increases in the prevalence of genital HPV infection in HIV-negative men and so increase the HPV circulating in the community. Condom use and circumcision reduce the acquisition of HIV-1, and also to some extent of HPV. This review will highlight what is known about the interaction of HIV and HPV, with an emphasis on research in Africa. PMID:26239348

  8. Population Genomics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Ethiopia Contradicts the Virgin Soil Hypothesis for Human Tuberculosis in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Comas, Iñaki; Hailu, Elena; Kiros, Teklu; Bekele, Shiferaw; Mekonnen, Wondale; Gumi, Balako; Tschopp, Rea; Ameni, Gobena; Hewinson, R Glyn; Robertson, Brian D; Goig, Galo A; Stucki, David; Gagneux, Sebastien; Aseffa, Abraham; Young, Douglas; Berg, Stefan

    2015-12-21

    Colonial medical reports claimed that tuberculosis (TB) was largely unknown in Africa prior to European contact, providing a "virgin soil" for spread of TB in highly susceptible populations previously unexposed to the disease [1, 2]. This is in direct contrast to recent phylogenetic models which support an African origin for TB [3-6]. To address this apparent contradiction, we performed a broad genomic sampling of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Ethiopia. All members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC) arose from clonal expansion of a single common ancestor [7] with a proposed origin in East Africa [3, 4, 8]. Consistent with this proposal, MTBC lineage 7 is almost exclusively found in that region [9-11]. Although a detailed medical history of Ethiopia supports the view that TB was rare until the 20(th) century [12], over the last century Ethiopia has become a high-burden TB country [13]. Our results provide further support for an African origin for TB, with some genotypes already present on the continent well before European contact. Phylogenetic analyses reveal a pattern of serial introductions of multiple genotypes into Ethiopia in association with human migration and trade. In place of a "virgin soil" fostering the spread of TB in a previously naive population, we propose that increased TB mortality in Africa was driven by the introduction of European strains of M. tuberculosis alongside expansion of selected indigenous strains having biological characteristics that carry a fitness benefit in the urbanized settings of post-colonial Africa.

  9. Coal and peat in the sub-Saharan region of Africa: alternative energy options?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weaver, J.N.; Landis, E.R.

    1990-01-01

    Coal and peat are essentially unused and in some cases unknown in sub-Saharan Africa. However, they might comprise valuable alternative energy sources in some or all of the developing nations of the region. The 11 countries considered in this appraisal reportedly contain coal and peat. On the basis of regional geology, another five countries might also contain coal-bearing rocks. If the resource potential is adequate, coal and peat might be utilized in a variety of ways including substituting for fuelwood, generating electricity, supplying process heat for local industry and increasing agricultural productivity. -from Author

  10. AgMIP: New Results from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia Regional Integrated Assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenzweig, C.

    2014-12-01

    AgMIP conducted the first set of comprehensive regional integrated assessments of climate change impacts on smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia led by researchers from the regions themselves. The project developed new methods integrating climate, crop, livestock and economic models to conduct climate change impact assessments that characterize impacts on smallholder groups. AgMIP projections of climate change impacts on agriculture are more realistic than previous assessments because they take agricultural development into account. Using the best available data and models, the assessments directly evaluated yield, income, and poverty outcomes including the effects of adaptation packages and development pathways. Results show that even with agricultural development, climate change generally will exert negative pressure on yields of smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Without adaptation, climate change leads to increased poverty in some locations in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia compared to a future in which climate change does not occur. Adaptation can significantly improve smallholder farmer responses to climate change. AgMIP expert teams identified improved varieties, sowing practices, fertilizer application, and irrigation applications as prioritized adaptation strategies. These targeted adaptation packages were able to overcome a portion of detrimental impacts but could not compensate completely in many locations. Even in cases where average impact is near zero, vulnerability (i.e., those at risk of loss) can be substantial even when mean impacts are positive.

  11. Choir singing in Subsaharan Africa: Acoustic factors of a regional style in southern Mozambique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soeiro de Carvalho, Joao

    2005-09-01

    Choir singing is a most prominent form of expressive behavior in Subsaharan Africa. A vast majority of expressive modes involves multipart singing, both within the framework of European tonal system as well as other structured ways of combining vocal sounds of different frequencies. Vocal improvisation stands as an important process for the course of performance; individual voice ranges, as well as issues of social status and musical competence, determine the ways musicians participate in performance. Aesthetic validation is often expressed by the use of a nonverbal expressive mode, ``kulungwani,'' a vocal technique involving the action of the lower maxillae and tongue in order to produce a low-frequency interruption of sound emission. Choral singing intonation processes seem to rely on harmonic results, rather than melodic. A regional choral style in southern Africa seems to have developed, where a particular distribution of formant frequencies and an emphasis on low-frequency energy play a significant role.

  12. Regional assessment of atmospheric organic and black carbon in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gideon van Zyl, Pieter; Maritz, Petra; Beukes, Johan Paul; Liousse, Cathy; Galy-Lacaux, Corinne; Castéra, Pierre; Venter, Andrew; Pienaar, Kobus

    2014-05-01

    At present limited data exists for atmospheric black carbon (BC) and organic carbon (OC) in South Africa. In this paper BC and OC concentrations were explored in terms of spatial and temporal patterns, mass fractions of BC and OC of the overall aerosol mass, as well as linked to possible sources. PM10 and PM2.5 samples were collected at five sampling sites in South Africa operated within the DEBITS IDAF network, i.e. Louis Trichardt, Skukuza, Vaal Triangle, Amersfoort and Botsalano, with MiniVol samplers. Samples were analysed with a Thermal/Optical Carbon analyser. OC were higher than BC concentrations at all sites in both size fractions. Most OC and BC were present in the PM2.5 fraction. OC/BC ratios reflected the location of the different DEBITS sites, with sites in or close to anthropogenic source regions having the lowest OC/BC ratios, while background sites had the highest OC/BC ratios. The OC mass fraction percentage varied between 1% and 24%, while the BC mass fraction ranged between 1 and 12 %. The highest OC mass fraction was found at Skukuza in the Kruger National Park, which was attributed to both natural sources and anthropogenic impacts from a dominant path of air mass movement from the anthropogenic industrial hub of South Africa. The highest mass fraction of BC was found at the Vaal Triangle situated within an region highly impacted by industry and household combustion for space heating and cooking. A relatively distinct seasonal pattern was observed, with higher OC and BC concentrations determined between May and October, which coincide with the dry season in the interior of South Africa. Positive correlations between OC and BC concentrations with the distance from back trajectories passing over veld fires were observed, indicating that veld fires contribute significantly to atmospheric OC and BC during the burning months.

  13. Biogeography and climatic change as a context to human dispersal out of Africa and within Eurasia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Made, Jan

    2011-06-01

    The dispersal of the genus Homo occurred against a background of continuous environmental change. Here, dispersals of large mammals through the Levantine Corridor and into Western Europe and Java are studied and compared to existing records of climatic change and dispersals of early humans and lithic industry. The first human dispersal (with Oldowan lithic industry) out of Africa, around or shortly before 1.8 Ma may have been triggered by biological evolution and increased social organisation, rather than environmental change. After that event, increasing aridity led to decreased faunal exchange between Africa and Eurasia and may have isolated the human populations of Africa and Africa. Southern (Java) and Eastern Asia (China) also seem to have been isolated. Human dispersal into Western Europe may have been limited by closed environments in Central Europe until about 1.2 Ma ago, when faunal dispersal into Europe suggests the cyclic spread of open environments to the west. Acheulean technology originated in Africa, some 1.6-1.5 Ma ago, but its dispersal into Eurasia may have been obstructed by an arid Southwest Asia, until broadly about 0.9 Ma ago, when faunal exchange suggests that the area became temporarily less dry. By 0.6-0.5 Ma ago it reached Europe.

  14. Out of Africa: the importance of rivers as human migration corridors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, J. A.; Coulthard, T. J.; Rogerson, M.; Barton, N.; Bruecher, T.

    2013-12-01

    The route and timing of Homo sapiens exiting Africa remains uncertain. Corridors leading out of Africa through the Sahara, the Nile Valley, and the Red Sea coast have been proposed as migration routes for anatomically modern humans 80,000-130,000 years ago. During this time climate conditions in the Sahara were wetter than present day, and monsoon rainfall fed rivers that flowed across the desert landscape. The location and timing of these rivers may have supported human migration northward from central Africa to the Mediterranean coast, and onwards to Europe or Asia. Here, we use palaeoclimate rainfall and a hydrological model to spatially simulate and quantitatively test the existence of three major rivers crossing the Sahara from south to north during the time of human migration. We provide evidence that, given realistic underlying climatology, the well-known Sahabi and Kufrah rivers very likely flowed across modern day Libya and reached the coast. More unexpectedly an additional river crossed the core of the Sahara through Algeria (Irharhar river) and flowed into the Chotts basin. The Irharhar river is unique, because it links locations in central Africa experiencing monsoon climates with temperate coastal Mediterranean environments where food and resources were likely abundant. From an ecological perspective, this little-known corridor may prove to be the most parsimonious migration route. Support for the Irharar as a viable migration corridor is provided by its geographic proximity to middle Stone Age archaeological artefacts found in North Africa. Our new, highly novel approach provides the first quantitative analysis of the likelihood that rivers occurred during the critical period of human migration out of Africa. Simulated probability of surface water in North Africa during the last interglacial and the location of tools and ornaments from the Middle Stone Age.

  15. The monetary value of human milk in Francophone west Africa: a PROFILES analysis for nutrition policy communication.

    PubMed

    Aguayo, Víctor M; Ross, Jay

    2002-06-01

    Using a simple and conservative methodology, we estimated the volume and monetary value of the human milk produced by lactating women in Francophone West Africa. In that region, children zero to 35.9 months old consume over 1.1 billion liters of human milk per year. However, suboptimal breastfeeding practices account for the loss of 175 million liters of human milk annually. If the human milk consumed by children zero to 35.9 months old were to be adequately replaced using commercial breastmilk substitutes, an annual expenditure of about 2 billion US dollars would be needed. At the household level, the annual replacement cost of human milk would amount to US$412 per infant. This is beyond the reach of most families in West Africa, where as many as 61% of families in some countries live on less than one US dollar per day. Appropriate policies to foster breastfeeding need to be developed and adequately implemented. Such policy action is more likely to occur if decision makers fully appreciate the monetary value of human milk. PMID:12094665

  16. The monetary value of human milk in Francophone west Africa: a PROFILES analysis for nutrition policy communication.

    PubMed

    Aguayo, Víctor M; Ross, Jay

    2002-06-01

    Using a simple and conservative methodology, we estimated the volume and monetary value of the human milk produced by lactating women in Francophone West Africa. In that region, children zero to 35.9 months old consume over 1.1 billion liters of human milk per year. However, suboptimal breastfeeding practices account for the loss of 175 million liters of human milk annually. If the human milk consumed by children zero to 35.9 months old were to be adequately replaced using commercial breastmilk substitutes, an annual expenditure of about 2 billion US dollars would be needed. At the household level, the annual replacement cost of human milk would amount to US$412 per infant. This is beyond the reach of most families in West Africa, where as many as 61% of families in some countries live on less than one US dollar per day. Appropriate policies to foster breastfeeding need to be developed and adequately implemented. Such policy action is more likely to occur if decision makers fully appreciate the monetary value of human milk.

  17. Periodic isolation of the southern coastal plain of South Africa and the evolution of modern humans over late Quaternary glacial to interglacial cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Compton, J. S.

    2012-04-01

    Humans evolved in Africa, but where in Africa and by what mechanisms remain unclear. The evolution of modern humans over the last million years is associated with the onset of major global climate fluctuations, glacial to interglacial cycles, related to the build up and melting of large ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere. During interglacial periods, such as today, warm and wet climates favored human expansion but during cold and dry glacial periods conditions were harsh and habitats fragmented. These large climate fluctuations periodically expanded and contracted African ecosystems and led to human migrations to more hospitable glacial refugia. Periodic isolation of relatively small numbers of humans may have allowed for their rapid evolutionary divergence from the rest of Africa. During climate transitions these divergent groups may have then dispersed and interbred with other groups (hybridization). Two areas at the opposite ends of Africa stand out as regions that were periodically isolated from the rest of Africa: North Africa (the Maghreb) and the southern coastal plain (SCP) of South Africa. The Maghreb is isolated by the Sahara Desert which periodically greens and is reconnected to the rest of Africa during the transition from glacial to interglacial periods. The SCP of South Africa is isolated from the rest of Africa by the rugged mountains of the Cape Fold Belt associated with inedible vegetation and dry climates to the north. The SCP is periodically opened when sea level falls by up to 130 m during glacial maxima to expose the present day submerged inner continental shelf. A five-fold expansion of the SCP receiving more rainfall in glacial periods may have served as a refuge to humans and large migratory herds. The expansive glacial SCP habitat abruptly contracts, by as much as one-third in 300 yr, during the rapid rise in sea level associated with glacial terminations. Rapid flooding may have increased population density and competition on the SCP to

  18. The Out of Africa hypothesis and the ancestry of recent humans: Cherchez la femme (et l'homme).

    PubMed

    Árnason, Úlfur

    2016-07-01

    The Out of Africa hypothesis (OOAH) has been a mainstay in the discussion of human evolution since its presentation in the 1980's. However, recent advances in palaeontology and molecular genetics have made it possible to examine the hypothesis in a manner that was inconceivable at the time of its proposal. The palaeontological progress relates to early Homo finds in the Caucasus, Denisova finds in the Altai Mountains and Neanderthal finds in a wide range of localities from the Altai Mountains, the Caucasus, the Levant, Asia Minor, southern and Central Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. The Eurasian location of these finds and recognition of the principle of Last common ancestor (LCA) lend no support to OOAH. The same conclusion is drawn from genomic findings, which (a) have revealed the presence of Denisovan and Neanderthal nuclear DNA, primarily in the genomes of recent Eurasians and (b) have shown genomic introgression from early modern humans into Neanderthals in the Altai Mountains. Similarly, archaeological finds in Sulawesi and the discovery of ≈100,000years old human teeth in southern China constitute strong independent challenges to OOAH. The genomic and palaeogenomic results and the new palaeontological and archaeological discoveries suggest (a) that the ancestors of modern humans had their origin in a Eurasian (largely Asian) biogeographic region which may also have extended into NE Africa, and (b) that the founders of basal African lineages became separated, geographically and genetically, in the westernmost part of this region and spread from there to different parts of the African continent.

  19. Prevalence of human cosaviruses in Tunisia, North Africa.

    PubMed

    Rezig, Dorra; Ben Farhat, Essia; Touzi, Henda; Meddeb, Zina; Ben Salah, Afif; Triki, Henda

    2015-06-01

    A new picornavirus, named human Cosavirus (HCoSV) was isolated recently from stools of children with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) and healthy children in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Since then, it was also isolated from patients from other countries. Five species are presently identified forming a new genus in the Picornaviridae family. This study reports the detection of HCoSV in stool specimens collected as part of the National Poliovirus surveillance Program in Tunisia, between 2011 and 2012, from patients with AFP and healthy individuals among their contacts. One hundred and ninety four stool samples were investigated by RT-PCR in the 5' non-coding region of the genome. A total of 64 specimens (33%) tested positive for HCoSV. HCoSV positive specimens were found in 36 cases with neurological syndromes and 28 of their healthy contacts. The highest rate of HCoSV infection (62.5%) occurred in children younger than 6 years of age. The sampling date of stool specimens suggested that HCoSV infection occurred regularly over time. Also, the sampling origin of stool specimen showed that HCoSV infection was detected in almost all the governorates of Tunisia from the North to the South of the country. This study is the first report of HCoSV prevalence in the North African region. It contributes to a better knowledge on the geographic distribution and the epidemiology of these viruses.

  20. MENA 1.1 - An Updated Geophysical Regionalization of the Middle East and North Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Walters, B.; Pasyanos, M.E.; Bhattacharyya, J.; O'Boyle, J.

    2000-03-01

    This short report provides an update to the earlier LLNL paper entitled ''Preliminary Definition of Geophysical Regions for the Middle East and North Africa'' (Sweeney and Walter, 1998). This report is designed to be used in combination with that earlier paper. The reader is referred to Sweeney and Walter (1998) for all details, including definitions, references, uses, shortcomings, etc., of the regionalization process. In this report we will discuss only those regions in which we have changed the boundaries or velocity structure from that given by the original paper. The paper by Sweeney and Walter (1998) drew on a variety of sources to estimate a preliminary, first-order regionalization of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), providing regional boundaries and velocity models within each region. The model attempts to properly account for major structural discontinuities and significant crustal thickness and velocity variations on a gross scale. The model can be used to extrapolate sparse calibration data within a distinct geophysical region. This model can also serve as a background model in the process of forming station calibration maps using intelligent interpolation techniques such as kriging, extending the calibration into aseismic areas. Such station maps can greatly improve the ability to locate and identify seismic events, which in turn improves the ability to seismically monitor for underground nuclear testing. The original model from Sweeney and Walter (1998) was digitized to a 1{sup o} resolution, for simplicity we will hereafter refer to this model as MENA 1.0. The new model described here has also been digitized to a 1{sup o} resolution and will be referred to as MENA1.1 throughout this report.

  1. Taking forward the World TB Day 2016 theme 'Unite to End Tuberculosis' for the WHO Africa Region.

    PubMed

    Ntoumi, Francine; Kaleebu, Pontiano; Macete, Eusebio; Mfinanga, Sayoki; Chakaya, Jeremiah; Yeboah-Manu, Dorothy; Bates, Matthew; Mwaba, Peter; Maeurer, Markus; Petersen, Eskild; Zumla, Alimuddin

    2016-05-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global emergency, with an estimated 9.6 million new TB cases worldwide reported in 2014. Twenty-eight percent of these cases were in the World Health Organization (WHO) Africa Region, where the annual case detection rate was 281 per 100000 population-more than double the global average of 133 per 100000. Of the 9.6 million people who developed TB, an estimated 1.2 million (12%) were HIV-positive, and the Africa Region accounted for 74% of these cases. Three million people with TB remain undiagnosed and untreated. Globally, an estimated 480000 had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Whilst of the African countries, only South Africa has reported a high prevalence of MDR-TB, it is likely that all of Sub-Saharan Africa has an unreported high load of drug-resistant TB. Tragically, in 2014, only 48% of individuals diagnosed with MDR-TB had successful treatment and an estimated 190000 people died of MDR-TB. Of the global TB funding gap of US$ 0.8 billion, the largest funding gap was in the Africa Region, amounting to US$ 0.4 billion in 2015. The MDR-TB pandemic in particular now threatens to devastate entire regions and may fundamentally alter the life-expectancy and demographic profile of many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The theme designated for this year's World TB Day, March 24, 2016, is 'Unite to End TB'. From the Africa Region, there is an urgent need to seriously address the political, economic, and social factors that influence host-Mycobacterium tuberculosis interactions and result in disease. Recent political and funder initiatives that provide renewed hope for the alleviation of Africa's TB and TB/HIV problems are discussed.

  2. Regional climate simulations over Africa using WRF Model: Sensitivity to the dynamical downscaling methods.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taima-Hernández, D.; Enríquez, A.; Pérez, J. C.; Díaz, J. P.; González, A.; Expósito, F. J.

    2012-04-01

    The main objective of the CORDEX program (COordinated Regional climate Downscaling Experiment) [1] is the production of regional climate change scenarios at a global scale, creating a contribution to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR5 (5th Assessment Report). Inside this project, Africa is the key region due to the lack of data at this moment. In this work, a sensitivity study is performed over the CORDEX-AFRICA domain with the same physical parameterizations and using five different WRF configurations: a long-term continuous run, a monthly re-initialized run, a monthly re-initialized run with soil variables fixed, a long-term continuous run with analysis nudging over the planet boundary layer (PBL) and a long-term continuous run with analysis nudging at the whole atmospheric column. These simulations, driven by ERA-Interim data [2] as initial and lateral boundary conditions and with a 50 km spatial resolution, were performed over the 5-year period between December 1990 and December 1995. In order to assess theperformance of the simulations several statistics, such as correlation coefficient (r), bias, root mean square (RMS) and a defined skill score (SS), based on the difference between areas of the probability density functions (PDFs) associated to study parameters [3], were applied using ERA-Interim, CRU-TS 3.1 and University of Delaware database as validation data for some variables, such as near-surface temperature, precipitation and moisture fluxes.

  3. Early modern human diversity suggests subdivided population structure and a complex out-of-Africa scenario

    PubMed Central

    Gunz, Philipp; Bookstein, Fred L.; Mitteroecker, Philipp; Stadlmayr, Andrea; Seidler, Horst; Weber, Gerhard W.

    2009-01-01

    The interpretation of genetic evidence regarding modern human origins depends, among other things, on assessments of the structure and the variation of ancient populations. Because we lack genetic data from the time when the first anatomically modern humans appeared, between 200,000 and 60,000 years ago, instead we exploit the phenotype of neurocranial geometry to compare the variation in early modern human fossils with that in other groups of fossil Homo and recent modern humans. Variation is assessed as the mean-squared Procrustes distance from the group average shape in a representation based on several hundred neurocranial landmarks and semilandmarks. We find that the early modern group has more shape variation than any other group in our sample, which covers 1.8 million years, and that they are morphologically similar to recent modern humans of diverse geographically dispersed populations but not to archaic groups. Of the currently competing models of modern human origins, some are inconsistent with these findings. Rather than a single out-of-Africa dispersal scenario, we suggest that early modern humans were already divided into different populations in Pleistocene Africa, after which there followed a complex migration pattern. Our conclusions bear implications for the inference of ancient human demography from genetic models and emphasize the importance of focusing research on those early modern humans, in particular, in Africa. PMID:19307568

  4. Silent Epidemic of Depression in Women in the Middle East and North Africa Region

    PubMed Central

    Eloul, Liyam; Ambusaidi, Aamal; Al-Adawi, Samir

    2009-01-01

    Background: As the world is being gripped by economic depression, international psychological epidemiologists have amassed evidence to suggest that psychological depression and its variants are becoming leading contributors to the global burden of disease with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region being no exception. Aim: The main aim of the present discourse, based on a review of the available literature, is to discuss critically whether women in the MENA region have a higher rate of psychological depression than those in other parts of the globe. Result: From the present synthesis, it emerges that the rate of depression may not be necessarily unique to the region. Conclusion: Although no society has totally overcome the marginalisation and lack of empowerment of women, in order to come to grips to this complex issue more vigorously designed epidemiological studies, using taxonomies that are standardised for cross-cultural populations, are needed to quantify the psychological functioning of women. PMID:21509269

  5. Upper Pleistocene Human Dispersals out of Africa: A Review of the Current State of the Debate

    PubMed Central

    Beyin, Amanuel

    2011-01-01

    Although there is a general consensus on African origin of early modern humans, there is disagreement about how and when they dispersed to Eurasia. This paper reviews genetic and Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic archaeological literature from northeast Africa, Arabia, and the Levant to assess the timing and geographic backgrounds of Upper Pleistocene human colonization of Eurasia. At the center of the discussion lies the question of whether eastern Africa alone was the source of Upper Pleistocene human dispersals into Eurasia or were there other loci of human expansions outside of Africa? The reviewed literature hints at two modes of early modern human colonization of Eurasia in the Upper Pleistocene: (i) from multiple Homo sapiens source populations that had entered Arabia, South Asia, and the Levant prior to and soon after the onset of the Last Interglacial (MIS-5), (ii) from a rapid dispersal out of East Africa via the Southern Route (across the Red Sea basin), dating to ~74–60 kya. PMID:21716744

  6. Decline of Birds in a Human Modified Coastal Dune Forest Landscape in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Trimble, Morgan J.; van Aarde, Rudi J.

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies demonstrate that old-growth forest remnants and vegetation regenerating after anthropogenic disturbance provide habitat for birds in a human modified coastal dune forest landscape in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. However, occurrence does not ensure persistence. Based on a 13-year monitoring database we calculated population trends for 37 bird species and general trends in overall bird density in different vegetation types. We evaluated species' characteristics as covariates of population trend and assessed changes in rainfall and proportional area and survey coverage per vegetation type. 76% of species assessed have declined, 57% significantly so at an average rate of 13.9% per year. Overall, bird density has fallen at 12.2% per year across old-growth forest and woody regenerating vegetation types. Changes in proportional area and coverage per vegetation type may partly explain trends for a few species but are unlikely to account for most. Below average rainfall may have contributed to bird declines. However, other possibilities warrant further investigation. Species with larger range extents tended to decline more sharply than did others, and these species may be responding to environmental changes on a broader geographical scale. Our results cast doubt on the future persistence of birds in this human modified landscape. More research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms driving population decline in the study area and to investigate whether the declines identified here are more widespread across the region and perhaps the continent. PMID:21249203

  7. Human-caused fires limit convection in tropical Africa: First temporal observations and attribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosca, M. G.; Diner, D. J.; Garay, M. J.; Kalashnikova, O. V.

    2015-08-01

    It is well established that smoke particles modify clouds, which in turn affects climate. However, no study has quantified the temporal dynamics of aerosol-cloud interactions with direct observations. Here for the first time, we use temporally offset satellite observations from northern Africa between 2006 and 2010 to quantitatively measure the effect of fire aerosols on convective cloud dynamics. We attribute a reduction in cloud fraction during periods of high aerosol optical depths to a smoke-driven inhibition of convection. We find that higher smoke burdens limit upward vertical motion, increase surface pressure, and increase low-level divergence—meteorological indicators of convective suppression. These results are corroborated by climate simulations that show a smoke-driven increase in regionally averaged shortwave tropospheric heating and decrease in convective precipitation during the fire season. Our results suggest that in tropical regions, anthropogenic fire initiates a positive feedback loop where increased aerosol emissions limit convection, dry the surface, and enable increased fire activity via human ignition.

  8. Were Rivers Flowing across the Sahara During the Last Interglacial? Implications for Human Migration through Africa

    PubMed Central

    Coulthard, Tom J.; Ramirez, Jorge A.; Barton, Nick; Rogerson, Mike; Brücher, Tim

    2013-01-01

    Human migration north through Africa is contentious. This paper uses a novel palaeohydrological and hydraulic modelling approach to test the hypothesis that under wetter climates c.100,000 years ago major river systems ran north across the Sahara to the Mediterranean, creating viable migration routes. We confirm that three of these now buried palaeo river systems could have been active at the key time of human migration across the Sahara. Unexpectedly, it is the most western of these three rivers, the Irharhar river, that represents the most likely route for human migration. The Irharhar river flows directly south to north, uniquely linking the mountain areas experiencing monsoon climates at these times to temperate Mediterranean environments where food and resources would have been abundant. The findings have major implications for our understanding of how humans migrated north through Africa, for the first time providing a quantitative perspective on the probabilities that these routes were viable for human habitation at these times. PMID:24040347

  9. The environmental context of human evolutionary history in Eurasia and Africa

    PubMed Central

    Elton, Sarah

    2008-01-01

    to negotiate, but their exploitation was accomplished by archaic and/or anatomically modern humans independently in Africa and south-east Asia. Complex social behaviour and material culture also allowed modern humans to reach some of the most hostile regions of the globe, above the Arctic Circle, by the late Pleistocene. This, with colonization of the Americas and Australasia, established Homo sapiens as a truly cosmopolitan species. PMID:18380862

  10. Downscaling Reanalysis over Continental Africa with a Regional Model: NCEP Versus ERA Interim Forcing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Druyan, Leonard M.; Fulakeza, Matthew B.

    2013-01-01

    Five annual climate cycles (1998-2002) are simulated for continental Africa and adjacent oceans by a regional atmospheric model (RM3). RM3 horizontal grid spacing is 0.44deg at 28 vertical levels. Each of 2 simulation ensembles is driven by lateral boundary conditions from each of 2 alternative reanalysis data sets. One simulation downs cales National Center for Environmental Prediction reanalysis 2 (NCPR2) and the other the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts Interim reanalysis (ERA-I). NCPR2 data are archived at 2.5deg grid spacing, while a recent version of ERA-I provides data at 0.75deg spacing. ERA-I-forced simulations are recomrp. ended by the Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX). Comparisons of the 2 sets of simulations with each other and with observational evidence assess the relative performance of each downscaling system. A third simulation also uses ERA-I forcing, but degraded to the same horizontal resolution as NCPR2. RM3-simulated pentad and monthly mean precipitation data are compared to Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data, gridded at 0.5deg, and RM3-simulated circulation is compared to both reanalyses. Results suggest that each downscaling system provides advantages and disadvantages relative to the other. The RM3/NCPR2 achieves a more realistic northward advance of summer monsoon rains over West Africa, but RM3/ERA-I creates the more realistic monsoon circulation. Both systems recreate some features of JulySeptember 1999 minus 2002 precipitation differences. Degrading the resolution of ERA-I driving data unrealistically slows the monsoon circulation and considerably diminishes summer rainfall rates over West Africa. The high resolution of ERA-I data, therefore, contributes to the quality of the downscaling, but NCPR2laterai boundary conditions nevertheless produce better simulations of some features.

  11. Impact of land use changes on surface feedbacks in sudanian region of West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohard, J. M.; Galle, S.; Mamadou, O.; Peugeot, C.; Seghieri, J.; Kounouhewa, B.; Awanou, N. C.

    2014-12-01

    In West Africa, surface atmosphere exchanges have been found to impact both regional and local features of the Monsoon. At local scale the spatial patterns of Evaporative Fraction can drive the trajectories of mesoscale convective systems. Under Sudanian climate a mean of ~80% of the precipitation return to atmosphere through evapotranspiration but this important amount and its dynamics may vary with the vegetation cover. In consequence, any land use or climate changes can lead to modifications on the surface feedbacks and thus on both the atmospheric and the continental water cycle. In West Africa, Sudanian regions are submitted to a ~3% demographical increase per year, which leads to regular deforestation to the benefit of cultivated areas. This study aims at quantifying the changes in evapotranspiration regime caused by such a land use change under Sudanian climate. Within the framework of The AMMA-CATCH observatory, energy and water vapor fluxes were investigated in west Africa since 2007. Herein, a pluri-annual (2007 - 2010) energy budget of a clear forest and a cultivated area located in northern Benin are analysed. Results show that evapotranspiration rates over the sudanian forest are higher than those of cultivated area, because of agricultural practice and water availability for trees. After harvest, the residual vegetation is burned to bring nutriment to soil and to clean the landscape around the villages. Thus, during the dry season, the cultivated areas are bare. At the same time, a significant evapotranspiration is measured over the forest area despite the lack of precipitations. The deep root system of such vegetation allow the trees to get access to water during the dry season. During the rainy season, a significant difference in evapotransiration rates are also observed. These differences lead to a large deficit of water vapor that returns to the atmosphere and will significantly change the continental water cycle when forests will be replaced by

  12. Trials and projects on cervical cancer and human papillomavirus prevention in sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Adefuye, Peter O; Broutet, Nathalie J; de Sanjosé, Silvia; Denny, Lynette A

    2013-12-29

    Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer morbidity and mortality in women in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), accounting for about 50,000 deaths annually. Until recently, cytology was the gold standard for screening and prevention of cervical cancer. This method of screening has not been successful in SSA due to a lack of human, financial and material resources and poor health care infrastructure. It is estimated that less than 5% of at risk women have ever being screened. In the past two decades alternative approaches to cytology for cervical cancer screening have been evaluated in low- and medium-income countries. Visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and/or Lugol's iodine (VILI) have been shown to have adequate sensitivity, although low specificity, in a number of cross-sectional research and demonstration projects. Visual inspection methods require minimal resources, are technologically accessible, and are feasible for screening for precancerous lesions. Linking screening with VIA/VILI to treatment with cryotherapy may enable screening and treatment to take place in one visit, but this is likely to result in large numbers of women being subjected to unnecessary treatment. A number of studies have shown that cryotherapy is not associated with significant side effects or complications and is well tolerated. Creating the infrastructure for screening of older women is considered desirable, despite the limitations of visual inspection methods as screening tests. Understanding the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the etiology of cervical cancer and the discovery of HPV rapid test kits, as well as the development of vaccines against the HPV oncogenic types, have created new opportunities for prevention of cervical cancer. Trials and projects have established (and are still ongoing) the feasibility of using these molecular tests for screening. The ultimate in prevention method is primary prevention, offered by the advent of prophylactic vaccines

  13. Infrastructure requirements for human papillomavirus vaccination and cervical cancer screening in sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Sankaranarayanan, Rengaswamy; Anorlu, Rose; Sangwa-Lugoma, Ghislain; Denny, Lynette A

    2013-12-29

    The availability of both human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and alternative screening tests has greatly improved the prospects of cervical cancer prevention in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. The inclusion of HPV vaccine in the portfolio of new vaccines offered by the Gobal Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) to GAVI-eligible countries has vastly improved the chances of introducing HPV vaccination. Further investments to improve vaccine storage, distribution and delivery infrastructure and human resources of the Extended Programme of Immunization will substantially contribute to the faster introduction of HPV vaccination in SSA countries through both school- and campaign-based approaches. Alternative methods to cytology for the prevention of cervical cancer through the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer precursors have been extensively evaluated in the past 15 years, in Africa as well as in other low-resource settings. Visual inspection with 3-5% dilute acetic acid (VIA) and HPV testing are the two alternative screening methods that have been most studied, in both cross-sectional and randomised clinical trials. VIA is particularly suitable to low-resource settings; however, its efficacy in reducing cervical cancer is likely to be significantly lower than HPV testing. The introduction of VIA screening programmes will help develop the infrastructure that will, in turn, facilitate the introduction of affordable HPV testing in future. Links with the existing HIV/AIDS control programmes is another strategy to improve the infrastructure and screening services in SSA. Infrastructural requirements for an integrated approach aiming to vaccinate single-year cohorts of girls in the 9-13 years age-range and to screen women over 30 years of age using VIA or affordable rapid HPV tests are outlined in this manuscript. This article forms part of a regional report entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases in the Sub

  14. Frameworks for Africa-UK Research Collaboration in the Social Sciences and Humanities: African University Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harle, Jonathan

    2007-01-01

    This report was commissioned by the British Academy's Africa Panel to examine the challenges facing African universities when undertaking collaborative research with UK and other international partners, particularly in the social sciences and humanities. It draws principally on a consultation undertaken by the Association of Commonwealth…

  15. The Nairobi Report: Frameworks for Africa-UK Research Collaboration in the Social Sciences and Humanities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harle, Jonathan

    2009-01-01

    Across Sub-Saharan Africa it is evident that humanities and social sciences research is in urgent need of support. Universities and researchers face many challenges, the results of declining funding in the face of huge increases in enrollments. Infrastructure and facilities are insufficient and incomes have fallen. Many academics have been forced…

  16. MERS-CoV Antibodies in Humans, Africa, 2013–2014

    PubMed Central

    Liljander, Anne; Meyer, Benjamin; Jores, Joerg; Müller, Marcel A.; Lattwein, Erik; Njeru, Ian; Bett, Bernard; Corman, Victor Max

    2016-01-01

    Dromedaries in Africa and elsewhere carry the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). To search for evidence of autochthonous MERS-CoV infection in humans, we tested archived serum from livestock handlers in Kenya for MERS-CoV antibodies. Serologic evidence of infection was confirmed for 2 persons sampled in 2013 and 2014. PMID:27071076

  17. 21st Century African Philosophy of Adult and Human Resource Education in Southern Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mutamba, Charlene

    2012-01-01

    This paper will attempt to define a philosophy of adult education for the purpose of workforce development in Southern Africa. The different influences such as Ubuntu and communalism, indigenous education, diversity western philosophy, globalization and technology are explored in the context of the Southern African region.

  18. Sexual minorities, human rights and public health strategies in Africa.

    PubMed

    Epprecht, Marc

    2012-01-01

    Remarkable progress has been made towards the recognition of sexual minority rights in Africa. At the same time, a marked increase in attacks, rhetorical abuse, and restrictive legislation against sexual minorities or ‘homosexuality’ makes activism for sexual rights a risky endeavour in many African countries. Campaigns for sexual rights and ‘coming out’ are frequently perceived as a form of Western cultural imperialism, leading to an exportation of Western gay identities and provoking a patriotic defensiveness. Cultures of quiet acceptance of same-sex relationships or secretive bisexuality are meanwhile also problematic given the high rate of HIV prevalence on much of the continent. This article examines specific initiatives that are using subtle, somewhat covert means to negotiate a path between rights activism and secretive bisexuality. It argues that strategies primarily focused on health concerns that simultaneously yet discreetly promote sexual rights are having some success in challenging prevalent homophobic or ‘silencing’ cultures and discourses.

  19. Has Rift Valley fever virus evolved with increasing severity in human populations in East Africa?

    PubMed

    Baba, Marycelin; Masiga, Daniel K; Sang, Rosemary; Villinger, Jandouwe

    2016-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks have occurred across eastern Africa from 1912 to 2010 approximately every 4-15 years, most of which have not been accompanied by significant epidemics in human populations. However, human epidemics during RVF outbreaks in eastern Africa have involved 478 deaths in 1998, 1107 reported cases with 350 deaths from 2006 to 2007 and 1174 cases with 241 deaths in 2008. We review the history of RVF outbreaks in eastern Africa to identify the epidemiological factors that could have influenced its increasing severity in humans. Diverse ecological factors influence outbreak frequency, whereas virus evolution has a greater impact on its virulence in hosts. Several factors could have influenced the lack of information on RVF in humans during earlier outbreaks, but the explosive nature of human RVF epidemics in recent years mirrors the evolutionary trend of the virus. Comparisons between isolates from different outbreaks have revealed an accumulation of genetic mutations and genomic reassortments that have diversified RVF virus genomes over several decades. The threat to humans posed by the diversified RVF virus strains increases the potential public health and socioeconomic impacts of future outbreaks. Understanding the shifting RVF epidemiology as determined by its evolution is key to developing new strategies for outbreak mitigation and prevention of future human RVF casualties. PMID:27329846

  20. Has Rift Valley fever virus evolved with increasing severity in human populations in East Africa?

    PubMed Central

    Baba, Marycelin; Masiga, Daniel K; Sang, Rosemary; Villinger, Jandouwe

    2016-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks have occurred across eastern Africa from 1912 to 2010 approximately every 4–15 years, most of which have not been accompanied by significant epidemics in human populations. However, human epidemics during RVF outbreaks in eastern Africa have involved 478 deaths in 1998, 1107 reported cases with 350 deaths from 2006 to 2007 and 1174 cases with 241 deaths in 2008. We review the history of RVF outbreaks in eastern Africa to identify the epidemiological factors that could have influenced its increasing severity in humans. Diverse ecological factors influence outbreak frequency, whereas virus evolution has a greater impact on its virulence in hosts. Several factors could have influenced the lack of information on RVF in humans during earlier outbreaks, but the explosive nature of human RVF epidemics in recent years mirrors the evolutionary trend of the virus. Comparisons between isolates from different outbreaks have revealed an accumulation of genetic mutations and genomic reassortments that have diversified RVF virus genomes over several decades. The threat to humans posed by the diversified RVF virus strains increases the potential public health and socioeconomic impacts of future outbreaks. Understanding the shifting RVF epidemiology as determined by its evolution is key to developing new strategies for outbreak mitigation and prevention of future human RVF casualties. PMID:27329846

  1. Eliciting policymakers' and stakeholders' opinions to help shape health system research priorities in the Middle East and North Africa region.

    PubMed

    El-Jardali, Fadi; Makhoul, Jihad; Jamal, Diana; Ranson, Michael Kent; Kronfol, Nabil M; Tchaghchagian, Victoria

    2010-01-01

    Evidence-informed decisions can strengthen health systems. Literature suggests that engaging policymakers and other stakeholders in research priority-setting exercises increases the likelihood of the utilization of research evidence by policymakers. To our knowledge, there has been no previous priority-setting exercise in health policy and systems research in countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This paper presents the results of a recent research priority-setting exercise that identified regional policy concerns and research priorities related to health financing, human resources and the non-state sector, based on stakeholders in nine low and middle income countries (LMICs) of the MENA region. The countries included in this study were Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. This multi-phased study used a combination of qualitative and quantitative research techniques. The overall approach was guided by the listening priority-setting approach, adapted slightly to accommodate the context of the nine countries. The study was conducted in four key phases: preparatory work, country-specific work, data analysis and synthesis, and validation and ranking. The study identified the top five policy-relevant health systems research priorities for each of the three thematic areas for the next 3-5 years. Study findings can help inform and direct future plans to generate, disseminate and use research evidence for LMICs in the MENA region. Our study process and results could help reduce the great chasm between the policy and research worlds in the MENA region. It is hoped that funding agencies and countries will support and align financial and human resources towards addressing the research priorities that have been identified.

  2. Human trafficking, labor brokering, and mining in southern Africa: responding to a decentralized and hidden public health disaster.

    PubMed

    Steele, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Many southern African economies are dependent on the extractive industries. These industries rely on low-cost labor, often supplied by migrants, typically acquired through labor brokers. Very little attention has so far been paid to trafficking of men into extractive industries or its connection with trafficked women in the region's mining hubs. Recent reports suggest that labor-brokering practices foster human trafficking, both by exposing migrant men to lack of pay and exploitative conditions and by creating male migratory patterns that generate demand for sex workers and associated trafficking of women and girls. While trafficking in persons violates human rights, and thus remains a priority issue globally, there is little or no evidence of an effective political response to mine-related trafficking in southern Africa. This article concludes with recommendations for legal and policy interventions, as well as an enhanced public health response, which if implemented would help reduce human trafficking toward mining sites.

  3. Comparative SWOT analysis of strategic environmental assessment systems in the Middle East and North Africa region.

    PubMed

    Rachid, G; El Fadel, M

    2013-08-15

    This paper presents a SWOT analysis of SEA systems in the Middle East North Africa region through a comparative examination of the status, application and structure of existing systems based on country-specific legal, institutional and procedural frameworks. The analysis is coupled with the multi-attribute decision making method (MADM) within an analytical framework that involves both performance analysis based on predefined evaluation criteria and countries' self-assessment of their SEA system through open-ended surveys. The results show heterogenous status with a general delayed progress characterized by varied levels of weaknesses embedded in the legal and administrative frameworks and poor integration with the decision making process. Capitalizing on available opportunities, the paper highlights measures to enhance the development and enactment of SEA in the region. PMID:23648267

  4. Comparative SWOT analysis of strategic environmental assessment systems in the Middle East and North Africa region.

    PubMed

    Rachid, G; El Fadel, M

    2013-08-15

    This paper presents a SWOT analysis of SEA systems in the Middle East North Africa region through a comparative examination of the status, application and structure of existing systems based on country-specific legal, institutional and procedural frameworks. The analysis is coupled with the multi-attribute decision making method (MADM) within an analytical framework that involves both performance analysis based on predefined evaluation criteria and countries' self-assessment of their SEA system through open-ended surveys. The results show heterogenous status with a general delayed progress characterized by varied levels of weaknesses embedded in the legal and administrative frameworks and poor integration with the decision making process. Capitalizing on available opportunities, the paper highlights measures to enhance the development and enactment of SEA in the region.

  5. Origin of Clothing Lice Indicates Early Clothing Use by Anatomically Modern Humans in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Toups, Melissa A.; Kitchen, Andrew; Light, Jessica E.; Reed, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Clothing use is an important modern behavior that contributed to the successful expansion of humans into higher latitudes and cold climates. Previous research suggests that clothing use originated anywhere between 40,000 and 3 Ma, though there is little direct archaeological, fossil, or genetic evidence to support more specific estimates. Since clothing lice evolved from head louse ancestors once humans adopted clothing, dating the emergence of clothing lice may provide more specific estimates of the origin of clothing use. Here, we use a Bayesian coalescent modeling approach to estimate that clothing lice diverged from head louse ancestors at least by 83,000 and possibly as early as 170,000 years ago. Our analysis suggests that the use of clothing likely originated with anatomically modern humans in Africa and reinforces a broad trend of modern human developments in Africa during the Middle to Late Pleistocene. PMID:20823373

  6. Internationalization "vs" Regionalization of Higher Education in East Africa and the Challenges of Quality Assurance and Knowledge Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ogachi, Oanda

    2009-01-01

    Internationalization of higher education in East Africa raises various questions related to its magnitude and intensity, its capacity to address issues of access, equity and regional research and developmental needs. Internationalization and regionalization as processes in higher education can synergize each other but can also limit the success of…

  7. IFLA General Conference 1988. Division of Regional Activities. Sections on: Asia and Oceania; Africa; Latin America and the Caribbean; Australia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Federation of Library Associations, The Hague (Netherlands).

    The eight papers in this collection focus on library activities in various geographical regions, e.g., Asia, Oceania, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Western Australia: (1) "Future Approaches and Prospects of Computerised Information Network among the Countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)" (Abdullah…

  8. Southern Africa Regional Office of Astronomy for Development: A New Hub for Astronomy for Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siseho Mutondo, Moola

    2015-08-01

    A new Astronomy for Development hub needs innovative tools and programs. SAROAD is developing exciting tools integrating Raspberry Pi® technology to bring cost-effective astronomy content to learning centres. SAROAD would also like to report achievements in realising the IAU's strategic plan. In order to manage, evaluate and coordinate regional IAU capacity building programmes, including the recruitment and mobilisation of volunteers, SAROAD has built an intranet that is accessible to regional members upon request. Using this resource, regional members can see and participate in regional activities. This resource also forms the foundation for closer collaboration between SAROAD member countries. SAROAD has commenced with projects in the three Task Force areas of Universities and Research, Children and Schools and Public Outreach. Under the three Task Force areas, a total of seven projects have commenced in Zambia. A further two projects involve the collaboration of Zambia and other regional member countries in order to foster engagement with important regional astronomy facilities (e.g. SKA). SAROAD has identified the IAU’s International Year of Light and a starting point for offering regional support for IAU-endorsed global activities. SAROAD has set up a hub dedicated to regional events and activities about the International Year of Light. SAROAD has a database of regional authorities to enable contact with the region's decision makers and experts. SAROAD will hold an annual event which brings forum for astronomy for development. The creation of the database and the SAROAD Road show is a first step towards this goal. The SAROAD website has helped to advertise upcoming events for astronomy development and education; it is used to provide advice, guidance and information for astronomers in all countries in the Southern Africa. Fundraising is the primary goal for SAROAD in 2015 towards financial self-sufficiency by 2020. We report on the methods that work best

  9. Distal tephras of the eastern Lake Victoria basin, equatorial East Africa: correlations, chronology and a context for early modern humans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blegen, Nick; Tryon, Christian A.; Faith, J. Tyler; Peppe, Daniel J.; Beverly, Emily J.; Li, Bo; Jacobs, Zenobia

    2015-08-01

    The tephrostratigraphic framework for Pliocene and Early Pleistocene paleoanthropological sites in East Africa has been well established through nearly 50 years of research, but a similarly comprehensive framework is lacking for the Middle and particularly the Late Pleistocene. We provide the first detailed regional record of Late Pleistocene tephra deposits associated with artifacts or fossils from the Lake Victoria basin of western Kenya. Correlations of Late Pleistocene distal tephra deposits from the Wasiriya beds on Rusinga Island, the Waware beds on Mfangano Island and deposits near Karungu, mainland Kenya, are based on field stratigraphy coupled with 916 electron microprobe analyses of eleven major and minor element oxides from 50 samples. At least eight distinct distal tephra deposits are distinguished, four of which are found at multiple localities spanning >60 km over an approximately north to south transect. New optically stimulated luminescence dates help to constrain the Late Pleistocene depositional ages of these deposits. Our correlation and characterization of volcaniclastic deposits expand and refine the current stratigraphy of the eastern Lake Victoria basin. This provides the basis for relating fossil- and artifact-bearing sediments and a framework for ongoing geological, archaeological and paleontological studies of Late Pleistocene East Africa, a crucial time period for human evolution and dispersal within and out of Africa.

  10. Distal tephras of the eastern Lake Victoria basin, equatorial East Africa: correlations, chronology and a context for early modern humans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blegen, Nick; Tryon, Christian A.; Faith, J. Tyler; Peppe, Daniel J.; Beverly, Emily J.; Li, Bo; Jacobs, Zenobia

    2015-08-01

    The tephrostratigraphic framework for Pliocene and Early Pleistocene paleoanthropological sites in East Africa has been well established through nearly 50 years of research, but a similarly comprehensive framework is lacking for the Middle and particularly the Late Pleistocene. We provide the first detailed regional record of Late Pleistocene tephra deposits associated with artifacts or fossils from the Lake Victoria basin of western Kenya. Correlations of Late Pleistocene distal tephra deposits from the Wasiriya beds on Rusinga Island, the Waware beds on Mfangano Island and deposits near Karungu, mainland Kenya, are based on field stratigraphy coupled with 916 electron microprobe analyses of eleven major and minor element oxides from 50 samples. At least eight distinct distal tephra deposits are distinguished, four of which are found at multiple localities spanning >60 km over an approximately north to south transect. New optically stimulated luminescence dates help to constrain the Late Pleistocene depositional ages of these deposits. Our correlation and characterization of volcaniclastic deposits expand and refine the current stratigraphy of the eastern Lake Victoria basin. This provides the basis for relating fossil- and artifact-bearing sediments and a framework for ongoing geological, archaeological and paleontological studies of Late Pleistocene East Africa, a crucial time period for human evolution and dispersal within and out of Africa.

  11. Study of Regional Volcanic Impact on the Middle East and North Africa using high-resolution global and regional models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osipov, Sergey; Dogar, Mohammad; Stenchikov, Georgiy

    2016-04-01

    High-latitude winter warming after strong equatorial volcanic eruptions caused by circulation changes associated with the anomalously positive phase of Arctic Oscillation is a subject of active research during recent decade. But severe winter cooling in the Middle East observed after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption of 1991, although recognized, was not thoroughly investigated. These severe regional climate perturbations in the Middle East cannot be explained by solely radiative volcanic cooling, which suggests that a contribution of forced circulation changes could be important and significant. To better understand the mechanisms of the Middle East climate response and evaluate the contributions of dynamic and radiative effects we conducted a comparative study using Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory global High Resolution Atmospheric Model (HiRAM) with the effectively "regional-model-resolution" of 25-km and the regional Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model focusing on the eruption of Mount Pinatubo on June 15, 1991 followed by a pronounced positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation. The WRF model has been configured over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The WRF code has been modified to interactively account for the radiative effect of volcanic aerosols. Both HiRAM and WRF capture the main features of the MENA climate response and show that in winter the dynamic effects in the Middle East prevail the direct radiative cooling from volcanic aerosols.

  12. Simulation of the annual and diurnal cycles of rainfall over South Africa by a regional climate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, Benjamin; Rouault, Mathieu; Roy, Shouraseni Sen

    2014-10-01

    The capability of a current state-of-the-art regional climate model for simulating the diurnal and annual cycles of rainfall over a complex subtropical region is documented here. Hourly rainfall is simulated over Southern Africa for 1998-2006 by the non-hydrostatic model weather research and forecasting (WRF), and compared to a network of 103 stations covering South Africa. We used five simulations, four of which consist of different parameterizations for atmospheric convection at a 0.5 × 0.5° resolution, performed to test the physic-dependency of the results. The fifth experiment uses explicit convection over tropical South Africa at a 1/30° resolution. WRF simulates realistic mean rainfall fields, albeit wet biases over tropical Africa. The model mean biases are strongly modulated by the convective scheme used for the simulations. The annual cycle of rainfall is well simulated over South Africa, mostly influenced by tropical summer rainfall except in the Western Cape region experiencing winter rainfall. The diurnal cycle shows a timing bias, with atmospheric convection occurring too early in the afternoon, and causing too abundant rainfall. This result, particularly true in summer over the northeastern part of the country, is weakly physic-dependent. Cloud-resolving simulations do not clearly reduce the diurnal cycle biases. In the end, the rainfall overestimations appear to be mostly imputable to the afternoon hours of the austral summer rainy season, i.e., the periods during which convective activity is intense over the region.

  13. Many human accelerated regions are developmental enhancers

    PubMed Central

    Capra, John A.; Erwin, Genevieve D.; McKinsey, Gabriel; Rubenstein, John L. R.; Pollard, Katherine S.

    2013-01-01

    The genetic changes underlying the dramatic differences in form and function between humans and other primates are largely unknown, although it is clear that gene regulatory changes play an important role. To identify regulatory sequences with potentially human-specific functions, we and others used comparative genomics to find non-coding regions conserved across mammals that have acquired many sequence changes in humans since divergence from chimpanzees. These regions are good candidates for performing human-specific regulatory functions. Here, we analysed the DNA sequence, evolutionary history, histone modifications, chromatin state and transcription factor (TF) binding sites of a combined set of 2649 non-coding human accelerated regions (ncHARs) and predicted that at least 30% of them function as developmental enhancers. We prioritized the predicted ncHAR enhancers using analysis of TF binding site gain and loss, along with the functional annotations and expression patterns of nearby genes. We then tested both the human and chimpanzee sequence for 29 ncHARs in transgenic mice, and found 24 novel developmental enhancers active in both species, 17 of which had very consistent patterns of activity in specific embryonic tissues. Of these ncHAR enhancers, five drove expression patterns suggestive of different activity for the human and chimpanzee sequence at embryonic day 11.5. The changes to human non-coding DNA in these ncHAR enhancers may modify the complex patterns of gene expression necessary for proper development in a human-specific manner and are thus promising candidates for understanding the genetic basis of human-specific biology. PMID:24218637

  14. An Integrated Land Use - Land Cover Change Model for the Southern Africa Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desanker, P. V.

    2001-12-01

    A land use change model covering the Miombo region of Southern Africa region is presented. The model includes a structure that recognizes the scales at which land use change decisions are made in the region, namely the traditional authority for subsistence agricultural land use, and includes social-economic and biophysical constraints to land use at multiple levels. Land cover information for the 1990's based on maps derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper data are used to initiative the model. The model, called MELT, can be used to examine impacts of land use change on carbon pools, emissions from land use change (slash and burn agriculture or as a result of soil carbon changes), and spatial patterning of land cover. MELT provides a suitable representation of the process of land use in this region, and will be essential in providing the correct context for observed fire and emissions across the region of the SAFARI 2000 initiative. MELT is implemented using an object-oriented approach, and allows easy linkage with impacts models.

  15. Africa-U.S. Higher Education Collaboration Initiative: Empowering African Higher Education for Africa's Transformation. A Discussion Paper for the Africa Region Post-Summit Workshop. Working Paper

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, 2008

    2008-01-01

    This paper examines how higher education can contribute to Africa's transformation, reviews the challenges and priorities for higher education institution building, and introduces a proposed partnership program among African and U.S. higher education institutions to strengthen African higher education. In July of 2007 the National Association of…

  16. The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development

    PubMed Central

    Ashraf, Quamrul; Galor, Oded

    2013-01-01

    This research argues that deep-rooted factors, determined tens of thousands of years ago, had a significant effect on the course of economic development from the dawn of human civilization to the contemporary era. It advances and empirically establishes the hypothesis that, in the course of the exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa, variation in migratory distance from the cradle of humankind to various settlements across the globe affected genetic diversity and has had a long-lasting effect on the pattern of comparative economic development that is not captured by geographical, institutional, and cultural factors. In particular, the level of genetic diversity within a society is found to have a hump-shaped effect on development outcomes in both the pre-colonial and the modern era, reflecting the trade-off between the beneficial and the detrimental effects of diversity on productivity. While the intermediate level of genetic diversity prevalent among Asian and European populations has been conducive for development, the high degree of diversity among African populations and the low degree of diversity among Native American populations have been a detrimental force in the development of these regions. PMID:25506083

  17. Human-Bat Interactions in Rural West Africa.

    PubMed

    Anti, Priscilla; Owusu, Michael; Agbenyega, Olivia; Annan, Augustina; Badu, Ebenezer Kofi; Nkrumah, Evans Ewald; Tschapka, Marco; Oppong, Samuel; Adu-Sarkodie, Yaw; Drosten, Christian

    2015-08-01

    Because some bats host viruses with zoonotic potential, we investigated human-bat interactions in rural Ghana during 2011-2012. Nearly half (46.6%) of respondents regularly visited bat caves; 37.4% had been bitten, scratched, or exposed to bat urine; and 45.6% ate bat meat. Human-bat interactions in rural Ghana are frequent and diverse. PMID:26177344

  18. Regional assessment of the hydropower potential of rivers in West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kling, Harald; Stanzel, Philipp; Fuchs, Martin

    2016-04-01

    The 15 countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) face a constant shortage of energy supply, which limits sustained economic growth. Currently there are about 50 operational hydropower plants and about 40 more are under construction or refurbishment. The potential for future hydropower development - especially for small-scale plants in rural areas - is assumed to be large, but exact data are missing. This study supports the energy initiatives of the "ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency" (ECREEE) by assessing the hydropower potential of all rivers in West Africa. For more than 500,000 river reaches the hydropower potential was computed from channel slope and mean annual discharge. In large areas there is a lack of discharge observations. Therefore, an annual water balance model was used to simulate discharge. The model domain covers 5 Mio km², including e.g. the Niger, Volta, and Senegal River basins. The model was calibrated with observed data of 410 gauges, using precipitation and potential evapotranspiration data as inputs. Historic variations of observed annual discharge between 1950 and 2010 are simulated well by the model. As hydropower plants are investments with a lifetime of several decades we also assessed possible changes in future discharge due to climate change. To this end the water balance model was driven with bias-corrected climate projections of 15 Regional Climate Models for two emission scenarios of the CORDEX-Africa ensemble. The simulation results for the river network were up-scaled to sub-areas and national summaries. This information gives a regional quantification of the hydropower potential, expected climate change impacts, as well as a regional classification for general suitability (or non-suitability) of hydropower plant size - from small-scale to large projects.

  19. A seasonal agricultural drought forecast system for food-insecure regions of East Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shukla, Shraddhanand; McNally, Amy; Husak, Gregory; Funk, Christopher C.

    2014-01-01

     The increasing food and water demands of East Africa's growing population are stressing the region's inconsistent water resources and rain-fed agriculture. More accurate seasonal agricultural drought forecasts for this region can inform better water and agricultural management decisions, support optimal allocation of the region's water resources, and mitigate socio-economic losses incurred by droughts and floods. Here we describe the development and implementation of a seasonal agricultural drought forecast system for East Africa (EA) that provides decision support for the Famine Early Warning Systems Network's science team. We evaluate this forecast system for a region of equatorial EA (2° S to 8° N, and 36° to 46° E) for the March-April-May growing season. This domain encompasses one of the most food insecure, climatically variable and socio-economically vulnerable regions in EA, and potentially the world: this region has experienced famine as recently as 2011. To assess the agricultural outlook for the upcoming season our forecast system simulates soil moisture (SM) scenarios using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model forced with climate scenarios for the upcoming season. First, to show that the VIC model is appropriate for this application we forced the model with high quality atmospheric observations and found that the resulting SM values were consistent with the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO's) Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI), an index used by FEWS NET to estimate crop yields. Next we tested our forecasting system with hindcast runs (1993–2012). We found that initializing SM forecasts with start-of-season (5 March) SM conditions resulted in useful SM forecast skill (> 0.5 correlation) at 1-month, and in some cases at 3 month lead times. Similarly, when the forecast was initialized with mid-season (i.e. 5 April) SM conditions the skill until the end-of-season improved. This shows that early-season rainfall

  20. A seasonal agricultural drought forecast system for food-insecure regions of East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, S.; McNally, A.; Husak, G.; Funk, C.

    2014-10-01

    The increasing food and water demands of East Africa's growing population are stressing the region's inconsistent water resources and rain-fed agriculture. More accurate seasonal agricultural drought forecasts for this region can inform better water and agropastoral management decisions, support optimal allocation of the region's water resources, and mitigate socioeconomic losses incurred by droughts and floods. Here we describe the development and implementation of a seasonal agricultural drought forecast system for East Africa (EA) that provides decision support for the Famine Early Warning Systems Network's (FEWS NET) science team. We evaluate this forecast system for a region of equatorial EA (2° S-8° N, 36-46° E) for the March-April-May (MAM) growing season. This domain encompasses one of the most food-insecure, climatically variable, and socioeconomically vulnerable regions in EA, and potentially the world; this region has experienced famine as recently as 2011. To produce an "agricultural outlook", our forecast system simulates soil moisture (SM) scenarios using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model forced with climate scenarios describing the upcoming season. First, we forced the VIC model with high-quality atmospheric observations to produce baseline soil moisture (SM) estimates (here after referred as SM a posteriori estimates). These compared favorably (correlation = 0.75) with the water requirement satisfaction index (WRSI), an index that the FEWS NET uses to estimate crop yields. Next, we evaluated the SM forecasts generated by this system on 5 March and 5 April of each year between 1993 and 2012 by comparing them with the corresponding SM a posteriori estimates. We found that initializing SM forecasts with start-of-season (SOS) (5 March) SM conditions resulted in useful SM forecast skill (> 0.5 correlation) at 1-month and, in some cases, 3-month lead times. Similarly, when the forecast was initialized with midseason (i.e., 5

  1. A seasonal agricultural drought forecast system for food-insecure regions of East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, S.; McNally, A.; Husak, G.; Funk, C.

    2014-03-01

    The increasing food and water demands of East Africa's growing population are stressing the region's inconsistent water resources and rain-fed agriculture. More accurate seasonal agricultural drought forecasts for this region can inform better water and agricultural management decisions, support optimal allocation of the region's water resources, and mitigate socio-economic losses incurred by droughts and floods. Here we describe the development and implementation of a seasonal agricultural drought forecast system for East Africa (EA) that provides decision support for the Famine Early Warning Systems Network's science team. We evaluate this forecast system for a region of equatorial EA (2° S to 8° N, and 36° to 46° E) for the March-April-May growing season. This domain encompasses one of the most food insecure, climatically variable and socio-economically vulnerable regions in EA, and potentially the world: this region has experienced famine as recently as 2011. To assess the agricultural outlook for the upcoming season our forecast system simulates soil moisture (SM) scenarios using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model forced with climate scenarios for the upcoming season. First, to show that the VIC model is appropriate for this application we forced the model with high quality atmospheric observations and found that the resulting SM values were consistent with the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO's) Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI), an index used by FEWS NET to estimate crop yields. Next we tested our forecasting system with hindcast runs (1993-2012). We found that initializing SM forecasts with start-of-season (5 March) SM conditions resulted in useful SM forecast skill (> 0.5 correlation) at 1-month, and in some cases at 3 month lead times. Similarly, when the forecast was initialized with mid-season (i.e. 5 April) SM conditions the skill until the end-of-season improved. This shows that early-season rainfall is

  2. Population Genomics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Ethiopia Contradicts the Virgin Soil Hypothesis for Human Tuberculosis in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Comas, Iñaki; Hailu, Elena; Kiros, Teklu; Bekele, Shiferaw; Mekonnen, Wondale; Gumi, Balako; Tschopp, Rea; Ameni, Gobena; Hewinson, R. Glyn; Robertson, Brian D.; Goig, Galo A.; Stucki, David; Gagneux, Sebastien; Aseffa, Abraham; Young, Douglas; Berg, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Summary Colonial medical reports claimed that tuberculosis (TB) was largely unknown in Africa prior to European contact, providing a “virgin soil” for spread of TB in highly susceptible populations previously unexposed to the disease [1, 2]. This is in direct contrast to recent phylogenetic models which support an African origin for TB [3, 4, 5, 6]. To address this apparent contradiction, we performed a broad genomic sampling of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Ethiopia. All members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC) arose from clonal expansion of a single common ancestor [7] with a proposed origin in East Africa [3, 4, 8]. Consistent with this proposal, MTBC lineage 7 is almost exclusively found in that region [9, 10, 11]. Although a detailed medical history of Ethiopia supports the view that TB was rare until the 20th century [12], over the last century Ethiopia has become a high-burden TB country [13]. Our results provide further support for an African origin for TB, with some genotypes already present on the continent well before European contact. Phylogenetic analyses reveal a pattern of serial introductions of multiple genotypes into Ethiopia in association with human migration and trade. In place of a “virgin soil” fostering the spread of TB in a previously naive population, we propose that increased TB mortality in Africa was driven by the introduction of European strains of M. tuberculosis alongside expansion of selected indigenous strains having biological characteristics that carry a fitness benefit in the urbanized settings of post-colonial Africa. PMID:26687624

  3. Ground-based Instrumentations in Africa and its Scientific and Societal Benefits to the region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yizengaw, Endawoke

    2012-07-01

    Much of what we know about equatorial physics is based on Jicamarca Incoherent Scattering Radar (ISR) observations. However, Jicamarca is in the American sector where the geomagnetic equator dips with a fairly large excursion between the geomagnetic and geodetic equator. On the other hand, in the African sector the geomagnetic equator is fairly well aligned with the geodetic equator. Satellites (e.g. ROCSAT, DMSP, C/NOFS) observations have also indicated that the equatorial ionosphere in the African sector responds differently than other sectors. However, these satellite observations have not been confirmed, validated or studied in detail by observations from the ground due to lack of suitable ground-based instrumentation in the region. Thus, the question of what causes or drives these unique density irregularities in the region is still not yet fully understood, leading the investigation of the physics behind each effect into speculative dead ends. During the past couple of years very few (compared to the land-mass that Africa covers) small instruments, like GPS receivers, magnetometers, VHF, and VLF have been either deployed in the region or in process. However, to understand the most dynamic region in terms of ionospheric irregularities, those few instruments are far from enough. Recently, significant progress has been emerging in securing more ground-based instrument into the region, and thus three ionosondes are either deployed or in process. In this paper, results from AMBER magnetometer network, ionosonde, and GPS receivers will be presented. By combining the multi instrument independent observations, this paper will show a cause and effect of space weather impact in the region for the first time. While the magnetometer network, such as those operated under the umbrella of AMBER project, estimates the fundamental electrodynamics that governs equatorial ionospheric motion, the GPS receivers will track the structure and dynamics of the ionosphere. In addition

  4. African leaders’ views on critical human resource issues for the implementation of family medicine in Africa

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The World Health Organisation has advocated for comprehensive primary care teams, which include family physicians. However, despite (or because of) severe doctor shortages in Africa, there is insufficient clarity on the role of the family physician in the primary health care team. Instead there is a trend towards task shifting without thought for teamwork, which runs the risk of dangerous oversimplification. It is not clear how African leaders understand the challenges of implementing family medicine, especially in human resource terms. This study, therefore, sought to explore the views of academic and government leaders on critical human resource issues for implementation of family medicine in Africa. Method In this qualitative study, key academic and government leaders were purposively selected from sixteen African countries. In-depth interviews were conducted using an interview guide. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. Results There were 27 interviews conducted with 16 government and 11 academic leaders in nine Sub-Saharan African countries: Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda. Respondents spoke about: educating doctors in family medicine suited to Africa, including procedural skills and holistic care, to address the difficulty of recruiting and retaining doctors in rural and underserved areas; planning for primary health care teams, including family physicians; new supervisory models in primary health care; and general human resource management issues. Conclusions Important milestones in African health care fail to specifically address the human resource issues of integrated primary health care teamwork that includes family physicians. Leaders interviewed in this study, however, proposed organising the district health system with a strong embrace of family medicine in Africa, especially with regard to providing clinical leadership in team

  5. Preliminary maps of crustal thickness and regional seismic phases for the Middle East and North Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Sweeney, J.J.

    1995-09-06

    As part of the development of regional seismic discrimination methods for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) the author is building a database of information related to seismic propagation and crustal structure as well as associated geologic-tectonic and geophysical data. He hopes to use these data to construct and test models of regional seismic propagation and evaluate various detection/discrimination scenarios. To date, the database has been developed by building on a list of references for MENA provided by the Institute for the Study of the Continents (INSTOC) at Cornell University. To this list the author has added an equal number of references resulting from his own literature search which has emphasized papers dealing with seismicity and regional and teleseismic phase data. This paper represents an initial attempt to consolidate some of the information from the database into a form useful to researchers modeling regional seismic waveforms. The information compiled in this report is supplemental to the INSTOC database and has not been compiled anywhere else. What follows is a series of maps which illustrate the spatial variation of seismic phase velocities and crustal thickness. The text identifies the sources of information used in the map preparation. Data for the compilation of these maps has come from an initial search of the database as it presently exists and is not intended to be exhaustive. The author hopes that this initial exercise will help to identify areas and types of data that are deficient and help to focus future data gathering activities.

  6. Regional fuel load for two climatically contrasting years in southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    HéLy, C.; Dowty, P. R.; Alleaume, S.; Caylor, K. K.; Korontzi, S.; Swap, R. J.; Shugart, H. H.; Justice, C. O.

    2003-07-01

    Available fuel loads for burning in savanna ecosystems in the southern African region have been estimated using a new Fuel load-Net Primary Production model based on ecophysiological processes such as respiration and Potential Evapotranspiration. The model outputs 15-day standing available fuel load layers for an entire year (a total of 24 layers). Published data from the Southern African Fire-Atmosphere Research Initiative (SAFARI-92) project and from the Southern African Regional Science Initiative (SAFARI 2000) field campaigns were generally in agreement with the estimations. Consistently with previous studies, precipitation was recognized to be the major climatic driver for fuel production. As a consequence, even though there was a regional increase in precipitation in 1999-2000 as compared to the 1991-1992 periods, the temporal and spatial variability in precipitation at fine scales (site level) was important enough to restrict generalities over the entire region for fuel load production. Four areas of interest, Etosha National Park (Namibia), Mongu (Zambia), Kasama (Zambia), and Kruger National Park (South Africa), were selected to reconstruct an aridity gradient and analyze their fuel load variability over the two years. These areas presented contrasting fuel load distributions for the two very different studied periods with arid areas producing heavier fuel loads in 1999-2000, and the more humid areas producing heavier fuel loads in 1991-1992. The consequences of such fuel load variability and the use of such results are discussed.

  7. Interannual variability in rainy season characteristics over the Limpopo region of southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reason, C. J. C.; Hachigonta, S.; Phaladi, R. F.

    2005-11-01

    This study focuses on the interannual variability of dry spell frequencies, dry and wet spell characteristics and onset dates of the austral summer rainy season over the Limpopo region (22-25 °S, 27-32 °E) of northern South Africa. These characteristics of the rainy season are of considerable interest to farmers, water resource managers and other user groups. The Limpopo region supports a large rural population dependent on rain-fed agriculture as well as significant biodiversity, particularly in the Kruger National/Limpopo Transfrontier Park. It is also a region prone to devastating floods and droughts. Evidence is presented that summer dry spell frequency and onset date are related to ENSO via changes in regional circulation. Niño 3.4 sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies appear to show a robust relationship with dry spell frequency during the 1979-2002 period analysed. Anomalies in onset date of the rainy season during 1979-2002 appear to be inversely related to Niño 3.4 SST, with the relationship strengthening after 1986. These results suggest that there may be some predictability in these parameters, particularly in dry spell frequency during austral summer, based on existing skill in predicting tropical Pacific SST. Copyright

  8. A vectorial capacity product to monitor changing malaria transmission potential in epidemic regions of Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ceccato, Pietro; Vancutsem, Christelle; Klaver, Robert; Rowland, James; Connor, Stephen J.

    2012-01-01

    Rainfall and temperature are two of the major factors triggering malaria epidemics in warm semi-arid (desert-fringe) and high altitude (highland-fringe) epidemic risk areas. The ability of the mosquitoes to transmit Plasmodium spp. is dependent upon a series of biological features generally referred to as vectorial capacity. In this study, the vectorial capacity model (VCAP) was expanded to include the influence of rainfall and temperature variables on malaria transmission potential. Data from two remote sensing products were used to monitor rainfall and temperature and were integrated into the VCAP model. The expanded model was tested in Eritrea and Madagascar to check the viability of the approach. The analysis of VCAP in relation to rainfall, temperature and malaria incidence data in these regions shows that the expanded VCAP correctly tracks the risk of malaria both in regions where rainfall is the limiting factor and in regions where temperature is the limiting factor. The VCAP maps are currently offered as an experimental resource for testing within Malaria Early Warning applications in epidemic prone regions of sub-Saharan Africa. User feedback is currently being collected in preparation for further evaluation and refinement of the VCAP model.

  9. Diet, Genetics, and Disease: A Focus on the Middle East and North Africa Region

    PubMed Central

    Fahed, Akl C.; El-Hage-Sleiman, Abdul-Karim M.; Farhat, Theresa I.; Nemer, Georges M.

    2012-01-01

    The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region suffers a drastic change from a traditional diet to an industrialized diet. This has led to an unparalleled increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases. This review discusses the role of nutritional genomics, or the dietary signature, in these dietary and disease changes in the MENA. The diet-genetics-disease relation is discussed in detail. Selected disease categories in the MENA are discussed starting with a review of their epidemiology in the different MENA countries, followed by an examination of the known genetic factors that have been reported in the disease discussed, whether inside or outside the MENA. Several diet-genetics-disease relationships in the MENA may be contributing to the increased prevalence of civilization disorders of metabolism and micronutrient deficiencies. Future research in the field of nutritional genomics in the MENA is needed to better define these relationships. PMID:22536488

  10. [Population trends in the Mediterranean region: socioeconomic problems associated with the situation in the countries of North Africa].

    PubMed

    Baldi, S

    1990-01-01

    The impact of current rates of population growth on the economies of the countries of North Africa is assessed. The author notes that the countries of the region had agreed in January 1990 to implement as soon as possible a policy of free circulation of migrants among Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, and Libya in order to reduce levels of emigration from the region and to help resolve labor-supply problems within the region.

  11. Impact of regional climate change on human health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patz, Jonathan A.; Campbell-Lendrum, Diarmid; Holloway, Tracey; Foley, Jonathan A.

    2005-11-01

    The World Health Organisation estimates that the warming and precipitation trends due to anthropogenic climate change of the past 30years already claim over 150,000 lives annually. Many prevalent human diseases are linked to climate fluctuations, from cardiovascular mortality and respiratory illnesses due to heatwaves, to altered transmission of infectious diseases and malnutrition from crop failures. Uncertainty remains in attributing the expansion or resurgence of diseases to climate change, owing to lack of long-term, high-quality data sets as well as the large influence of socio-economic factors and changes in immunity and drug resistance. Here we review the growing evidence that climate-health relationships pose increasing health risks under future projections of climate change and that the warming trend over recent decades has already contributed to increased morbidity and mortality in many regions of the world. Potentially vulnerable regions include the temperate latitudes, which are projected to warm disproportionately, the regions around the Pacific and Indian oceans that are currently subjected to large rainfall variability due to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation sub-Saharan Africa and sprawling cities where the urban heat island effect could intensify extreme climatic events.

  12. Impact of regional climate change on human health.

    PubMed

    Patz, Jonathan A; Campbell-Lendrum, Diarmid; Holloway, Tracey; Foley, Jonathan A

    2005-11-17

    The World Health Organisation estimates that the warming and precipitation trends due to anthropogenic climate change of the past 30 years already claim over 150,000 lives annually. Many prevalent human diseases are linked to climate fluctuations, from cardiovascular mortality and respiratory illnesses due to heatwaves, to altered transmission of infectious diseases and malnutrition from crop failures. Uncertainty remains in attributing the expansion or resurgence of diseases to climate change, owing to lack of long-term, high-quality data sets as well as the large influence of socio-economic factors and changes in immunity and drug resistance. Here we review the growing evidence that climate-health relationships pose increasing health risks under future projections of climate change and that the warming trend over recent decades has already contributed to increased morbidity and mortality in many regions of the world. Potentially vulnerable regions include the temperate latitudes, which are projected to warm disproportionately, the regions around the Pacific and Indian oceans that are currently subjected to large rainfall variability due to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation sub-Saharan Africa and sprawling cities where the urban heat island effect could intensify extreme climatic events.

  13. A Variable-resolution Surface Wave Dispersion Study of Eurasia, North Africa, and Surrounding Regions

    SciTech Connect

    Pasyanos, M E

    2005-03-21

    This paper presents the results of a large-scale study of surface wave dispersion performed across Eurasia and North Africa. Improvements were made to previous surface wave work by enlarging the study region, increasing path density, improving spatial resolution, and expanding the period range. This study expands the coverage area northwards and eastwards relative to a previous dispersion analysis, which covered only North Africa and the Middle East. We have significantly increased the number of seismograms examined and group velocity measurements made. We have now made good quality dispersion measurements for about 30,000 Rayleigh wave and 20,000 Love wave paths, and have incorporated measurements from several other researchers into the study. A conjugate gradient method was employed for the group velocity tomography, which improved the inversion from the previous study by adopting a variable smoothness. This technique allows us to go to higher resolution where the data allow without producing artifacts. The current results include both Love and Rayleigh wave inversions across the region for periods from 7 to 100 seconds at 1{sup o} resolution. Short period group velocities are sensitive to slow velocities associated with large sedimentary features such as the Caspian Sea, West Siberian Platform, Mediterranean Sea, Bay of Bengal, Tarim Basin, and Persian Gulf. Intermediate periods are sensitive to differences in crustal thickness, such as those between oceanic and continental crust or along orogenic zones and continental plateaus. At longer periods, fast velocities are consistently found beneath cratons while slow upper mantle velocities occur along rift systems, subduction zones, and collision zones such as the Tethys Belt. We have compared the group velocities at various periods with features such as sediment thickness, topographic height, crustal thickness, proximity to plate boundaries, lithospheric age and lithospheric thickness, and find significant

  14. Social context of human immunodeficiency virus transmission in Africa: historical and cultural bases of east and central African sexual relations.

    PubMed

    Larson, A

    1989-01-01

    The literature relating to the social context of sexual relations in East and Central Africa has several implications for the heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Colonially created cities in the region still discriminate economically and socially against women. Rapid urbanization is occurring, but migrants maintain strong ties with rural areas. Traditional attitudes towards marriage and sexuality affect urban behavior in the extent of marital stability, the frequency of polygyny, and the emotional bond between spouses. Ethnic groups in Kampala and Nairobi exemplify the cultural foundations of two forms of sexual relations found in the region, one characterized by prostitution and the other by small circles of interchanging lovers. The first results in a more rapid spread of HIV through the urban population and outwards into rural areas. Each pattern exerts unique constraints on behavioral change and requires different prevention campaigns. PMID:2682946

  15. Ancient Human Migration after Out-of-Africa

    PubMed Central

    Shriner, Daniel; Tekola-Ayele, Fasil; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Rotimi, Charles N.

    2016-01-01

    The serial founder model of modern human origins predicts that the phylogeny of ancestries exhibits bifurcating, tree-like behavior. Here, we tested this prediction using three methods designed to investigate gene flow in autosome-wide genotype data from 3,528 unrelated individuals from 163 global samples. Specifically, we investigated whether Cushitic ancestry has an East African or Middle Eastern origin. We found evidence for non-tree-like behavior in the form of four migration events. First, we found that Cushitic ancestry is a mixture of ancestries closely related to Arabian ancestry and Nilo-Saharan or Omotic ancestry. We found evidence for additional migration events in the histories of: 1) Indian and Arabian ancestries, 2) Kalash ancestry, and 3) Native American and Northern European ancestries. These findings, based on analysis of ancestry of present-day humans, reveal migration in the distant past and provide new insights into human history. PMID:27212471

  16. Ancient Human Migration after Out-of-Africa.

    PubMed

    Shriner, Daniel; Tekola-Ayele, Fasil; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Rotimi, Charles N

    2016-01-01

    The serial founder model of modern human origins predicts that the phylogeny of ancestries exhibits bifurcating, tree-like behavior. Here, we tested this prediction using three methods designed to investigate gene flow in autosome-wide genotype data from 3,528 unrelated individuals from 163 global samples. Specifically, we investigated whether Cushitic ancestry has an East African or Middle Eastern origin. We found evidence for non-tree-like behavior in the form of four migration events. First, we found that Cushitic ancestry is a mixture of ancestries closely related to Arabian ancestry and Nilo-Saharan or Omotic ancestry. We found evidence for additional migration events in the histories of: 1) Indian and Arabian ancestries, 2) Kalash ancestry, and 3) Native American and Northern European ancestries. These findings, based on analysis of ancestry of present-day humans, reveal migration in the distant past and provide new insights into human history. PMID:27212471

  17. Human rights advances in women's reproductive health in Africa.

    PubMed

    Ngwena, Charles G; Brookman-Amissah, Eunice; Skuster, Patty

    2015-05-01

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights recently adopted General Comment No 2 to interpret provisions of Article 14 of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights Women. The provisions relate to women's rights to fertility control, contraception, family planning, information and education, and abortion. The present article highlights the General Comment's potential to promote women's sexual and reproductive rights in multiple ways. The General Comment's human rights value goes beyond providing states with guidance for framing their domestic laws, practices, and policies to comply with treaty obligations. General Comment No 2 is invaluable in educating all stakeholders-including healthcare providers, lawyers, policymakers, and judicial officers at the domestic level-about pertinent jurisprudence. Civil society and human rights advocates can use the General Comment to render the state accountable for failure to implement its treaty obligations.

  18. A new look at human immunodeficiency virus infection and stroke in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Luchuo, Engelbert Bain; Nkoke, Clovis

    2016-06-01

    Stroke and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are major causes of morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with disease burdens being amongst the highest worldwide. HIV infection has emerged as an important risk factor for stroke. The remarkable development in the treatment of HIV infection which occurred in recent decades has allowed the survival of a large number of patients. This therapeutic success which allows patients to live longer has facilitated the emergence of a new population of adults with increased risk for cardiovascular disease including stroke due to aging, the direct effects of HIV infection and combined anti-retroviral therapy (cART). Preventive strategies to decrease the burden of stroke amongst this specific patient population remain understudied in this region of the world. Lack of early diagnosis (CT scans) and poor record keeping make appreciation of the burden difficult. There is indisputable evidence that early diagnosis and early placement on cART therapy reduce HIV associated morbidity and mortality in this region of the world. However, the emergence of a new population of patients at risk for developing stroke (HIV patients) who fortunately live longer deserves a keener attention. Long term effects of cART regimens on cardiovascular and metabolic profiles remain uncertain, and specific cohort studies to properly ascertain its consequences are needed. The evidence and specific guidelines with regards to anti-platelet therapies and statin use, though potentially beneficial, in this patient sub group remains scarce. African specific cohort studies including HIV positive patients in our opinion should constitute a top research priority, to properly ascertain the potential roles of anti-platelet therapies and statins with regards to primary and secondary prevention of stroke, as well as long term effects of cART on their cardiovascular and metabolic profiles. PMID:27429969

  19. A new look at human immunodeficiency virus infection and stroke in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Luchuo, Engelbert Bain

    2016-01-01

    Stroke and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are major causes of morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with disease burdens being amongst the highest worldwide. HIV infection has emerged as an important risk factor for stroke. The remarkable development in the treatment of HIV infection which occurred in recent decades has allowed the survival of a large number of patients. This therapeutic success which allows patients to live longer has facilitated the emergence of a new population of adults with increased risk for cardiovascular disease including stroke due to aging, the direct effects of HIV infection and combined anti-retroviral therapy (cART). Preventive strategies to decrease the burden of stroke amongst this specific patient population remain understudied in this region of the world. Lack of early diagnosis (CT scans) and poor record keeping make appreciation of the burden difficult. There is indisputable evidence that early diagnosis and early placement on cART therapy reduce HIV associated morbidity and mortality in this region of the world. However, the emergence of a new population of patients at risk for developing stroke (HIV patients) who fortunately live longer deserves a keener attention. Long term effects of cART regimens on cardiovascular and metabolic profiles remain uncertain, and specific cohort studies to properly ascertain its consequences are needed. The evidence and specific guidelines with regards to anti-platelet therapies and statin use, though potentially beneficial, in this patient sub group remains scarce. African specific cohort studies including HIV positive patients in our opinion should constitute a top research priority, to properly ascertain the potential roles of anti-platelet therapies and statins with regards to primary and secondary prevention of stroke, as well as long term effects of cART on their cardiovascular and metabolic profiles. PMID:27429969

  20. The Out of Africa hypothesis and the ancestry of recent humans: Cherchez la femme (et l'homme).

    PubMed

    Árnason, Úlfur

    2016-07-01

    The Out of Africa hypothesis (OOAH) has been a mainstay in the discussion of human evolution since its presentation in the 1980's. However, recent advances in palaeontology and molecular genetics have made it possible to examine the hypothesis in a manner that was inconceivable at the time of its proposal. The palaeontological progress relates to early Homo finds in the Caucasus, Denisova finds in the Altai Mountains and Neanderthal finds in a wide range of localities from the Altai Mountains, the Caucasus, the Levant, Asia Minor, southern and Central Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. The Eurasian location of these finds and recognition of the principle of Last common ancestor (LCA) lend no support to OOAH. The same conclusion is drawn from genomic findings, which (a) have revealed the presence of Denisovan and Neanderthal nuclear DNA, primarily in the genomes of recent Eurasians and (b) have shown genomic introgression from early modern humans into Neanderthals in the Altai Mountains. Similarly, archaeological finds in Sulawesi and the discovery of ≈100,000years old human teeth in southern China constitute strong independent challenges to OOAH. The genomic and palaeogenomic results and the new palaeontological and archaeological discoveries suggest (a) that the ancestors of modern humans had their origin in a Eurasian (largely Asian) biogeographic region which may also have extended into NE Africa, and (b) that the founders of basal African lineages became separated, geographically and genetically, in the westernmost part of this region and spread from there to different parts of the African continent. PMID:26995655

  1. Development of a regional GPS-based ionospheric TEC model for South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Opperman, Ben D. L.; Cilliers, Pierre J.; McKinnell, Lee-Anne; Haggard, Ray

    Advances in South African space physics research and related disciplines require better spatial and time resolution ionospheric information than was previously possible with the existing ionosonde network. A GPS-based, variable degree adjusted spherical harmonic (ASHA) model was developed for near real-time regional ionospheric total electron content (TEC) mapping over South Africa. Slant TEC values along oblique GPS signal paths are quantified from a network of GPS receivers and converted to vertical TEC by means of the single layer mapping function. The ASHA model coefficients and GPS differential biases are estimated from vertical TEC at the ionospheric pierce points and used to interpolate TEC at any location within the region of interest. Diurnal TEC variations with one minute time resolution and time-varying 2D regional TEC maps are constructed. In order to validate the ASHA method, simulations with an IRI ionosphere were performed, while the ASHA results from actual data were compared with two independent GPS-based methodologies and measured ionosonde data.

  2. Population genetic structure of Plasmodium falciparum across a region of diverse endemicity in West Africa

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Malaria parasite population genetic structure varies among areas of differing endemicity, but this has not been systematically studied across Plasmodium falciparum populations in Africa where most infections occur. Methods Ten polymorphic P. falciparum microsatellite loci were genotyped in 268 infections from eight locations in four West African countries (Republic of Guinea, Guinea Bissau, The Gambia and Senegal), spanning a highly endemic forested region in the south to a low endemic Sahelian region in the north. Analysis was performed on proportions of mixed genotype infections, genotypic diversity among isolates, multilocus standardized index of association, and inter-population differentiation. Results Each location had similar levels of pairwise genotypic diversity among isolates, although there were many more mixed parasite genotype infections in the south. Apart from a few isolates that were virtually identical, the multilocus index of association was not significant in any population. Genetic differentiation between populations was low (most pairwise FST values < 0.03), and an overall test for isolation by distance was not significant. Conclusions Although proportions of mixed genotype infections varied with endemicity as expected, population genetic structure was similar across the diverse sites. Very substantial reduction in transmission would be needed to cause fragmented or epidemic sub-structure in this region. PMID:22759447

  3. The Impact of Human Conflict on the Genetics of Mastomys natalensis and Lassa Virus in West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Denys, Christiane; ter Meulen, Jan; Wirth, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Environmental changes have been shown to play an important role in the emergence of new human diseases of zoonotic origin. The contribution of social factors to their spread, especially conflicts followed by mass movement of populations, has not been extensively investigated. Here we reveal the effects of civil war on the phylogeography of a zoonotic emerging infectious disease by concomitantly studying the population structure, evolution and demography of Lassa virus and its natural reservoir, the rodent Mastomys natalensis, in Guinea, West Africa. Analysis of nucleoprotein gene sequences enabled us to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Lassa virus, which appeared 750 to 900 years ago in Nigeria and only recently spread across western Africa (170 years ago). Bayesian demographic inferences revealed that both the host and the virus populations have gone recently through severe genetic bottlenecks. The timing of these events matches civil war-related mass movements of refugees and accompanying environmental degradation. Forest and habitat destruction and human predation of the natural reservoir are likely explanations for the sharp decline observed in the rodent populations, the consequent virus population decline, and the coincident increased incidence of Lassa fever in these regions. Interestingly, we were also able to detect a similar pattern in Nigeria coinciding with the Biafra war. Our findings show that anthropogenic factors may profoundly impact the population genetics of a virus and its reservoir within the context of an emerging infectious disease. PMID:22615894

  4. The impact of human conflict on the genetics of Mastomys natalensis and Lassa virus in West Africa.

    PubMed

    Lalis, Aude; Leblois, Raphaël; Lecompte, Emilie; Denys, Christiane; Ter Meulen, Jan; Wirth, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Environmental changes have been shown to play an important role in the emergence of new human diseases of zoonotic origin. The contribution of social factors to their spread, especially conflicts followed by mass movement of populations, has not been extensively investigated. Here we reveal the effects of civil war on the phylogeography of a zoonotic emerging infectious disease by concomitantly studying the population structure, evolution and demography of Lassa virus and its natural reservoir, the rodent Mastomys natalensis, in Guinea, West Africa. Analysis of nucleoprotein gene sequences enabled us to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Lassa virus, which appeared 750 to 900 years ago in Nigeria and only recently spread across western Africa (170 years ago). Bayesian demographic inferences revealed that both the host and the virus populations have gone recently through severe genetic bottlenecks. The timing of these events matches civil war-related mass movements of refugees and accompanying environmental degradation. Forest and habitat destruction and human predation of the natural reservoir are likely explanations for the sharp decline observed in the rodent populations, the consequent virus population decline, and the coincident increased incidence of Lassa fever in these regions. Interestingly, we were also able to detect a similar pattern in Nigeria coinciding with the Biafra war. Our findings show that anthropogenic factors may profoundly impact the population genetics of a virus and its reservoir within the context of an emerging infectious disease.

  5. Analysis of human infectious avian influenza virus: hemagglutinin genetic characteristics in Asia and Africa from 2004 to 2009.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jirong; Lei, Fumin

    2010-09-01

    In the present study, we used nucleotide and protein sequences of avian influenza virus H5N1, which were obtained in Asia and Africa, analyzed HA proteins using ClustalX1.83 and MEGA4.0, and built a genetic evolutionary tree of HA nucleotides. The analysis revealed that the receptor specificity amino acid of A/HK/213/2003, A/Turkey/65596/2006 and etc mutated into QNG, which could bind with á-2, 3 galactose and á-2, 6 galactose. A mutation might thus take place and lead to an outbreak of human infections of avian influenza virus. The mutations of HA protein amino acids from 2004 to 2009 coincided with human infections provided by the World Health Organization, indicating a "low-high-highest-high-low" pattern. We also found out that virus strains in Asia are from different origins: strains from Southeast Asia and East Asia are of the same origin, whereas those from West Asia, South Asia and Africa descend from one ancestor. The composition of the phylogenetic tree and mutations of key site amino acids in HA proteins reflected the fact that the majority of strains are regional and long term, and virus diffusions exist between China, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iraq. We would advise that pertinent vaccines be developed and due attention be paid to the spread of viruses between neighboring countries and the dangers of virus mutation and evolution. PMID:21392344

  6. The impact of human conflict on the genetics of Mastomys natalensis and Lassa virus in West Africa.

    PubMed

    Lalis, Aude; Leblois, Raphaël; Lecompte, Emilie; Denys, Christiane; Ter Meulen, Jan; Wirth, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Environmental changes have been shown to play an important role in the emergence of new human diseases of zoonotic origin. The contribution of social factors to their spread, especially conflicts followed by mass movement of populations, has not been extensively investigated. Here we reveal the effects of civil war on the phylogeography of a zoonotic emerging infectious disease by concomitantly studying the population structure, evolution and demography of Lassa virus and its natural reservoir, the rodent Mastomys natalensis, in Guinea, West Africa. Analysis of nucleoprotein gene sequences enabled us to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Lassa virus, which appeared 750 to 900 years ago in Nigeria and only recently spread across western Africa (170 years ago). Bayesian demographic inferences revealed that both the host and the virus populations have gone recently through severe genetic bottlenecks. The timing of these events matches civil war-related mass movements of refugees and accompanying environmental degradation. Forest and habitat destruction and human predation of the natural reservoir are likely explanations for the sharp decline observed in the rodent populations, the consequent virus population decline, and the coincident increased incidence of Lassa fever in these regions. Interestingly, we were also able to detect a similar pattern in Nigeria coinciding with the Biafra war. Our findings show that anthropogenic factors may profoundly impact the population genetics of a virus and its reservoir within the context of an emerging infectious disease. PMID:22615894

  7. IFLA General Conference, 1986. Regional Activities Division. Session on Africa, Asia and Oceania, and Latin America. Papers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, The Hague (Netherlands).

    Papers on regional activities in Africa, Asia and Oceania, and Latin America which were presented at the 1986 IFLA general conference include: (1) "Appropriate Technology for Libraries in Developing Countries" (Peter N. Chateh, Cameroon); (2) "The Impact of Information Technology on Libraries in Thailand--Present and Future Scene" (Nonglak…

  8. Early human use of marine resources and pigment in South Africa during the Middle Pleistocene.

    PubMed

    Marean, Curtis W; Bar-Matthews, Miryam; Bernatchez, Jocelyn; Fisher, Erich; Goldberg, Paul; Herries, Andy I R; Jacobs, Zenobia; Jerardino, Antonieta; Karkanas, Panagiotis; Minichillo, Tom; Nilssen, Peter J; Thompson, Erin; Watts, Ian; Williams, Hope M

    2007-10-18

    Genetic and anatomical evidence suggests that Homo sapiens arose in Africa between 200 and 100 thousand years (kyr) ago, and recent evidence indicates symbolic behaviour may have appeared approximately 135-75 kyr ago. From 195-130 kyr ago, the world was in a fluctuating but predominantly glacial stage (marine isotope stage MIS6); much of Africa was cooler and drier, and dated archaeological sites are rare. Here we show that by approximately 164 kyr ago (+/-12 kyr) at Pinnacle Point (on the south coast of South Africa) humans expanded their diet to include marine resources, perhaps as a response to these harsh environmental conditions. The earliest previous evidence for human use of marine resources and coastal habitats was dated to approximately 125 kyr ago. Coincident with this diet and habitat expansion is an early use and modification of pigment, probably for symbolic behaviour, as well as the production of bladelet stone tool technology, previously dated to post-70 kyr ago. Shellfish may have been crucial to the survival of these early humans as they expanded their home ranges to include coastlines and followed the shifting position of the coast when sea level fluctuated over the length of MIS6. PMID:17943129

  9. A Revised Root for the Human Y Chromosomal Phylogenetic Tree: The Origin of Patrilineal Diversity in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Cruciani, Fulvio; Trombetta, Beniamino; Massaia, Andrea; Destro-Bisol, Giovanni; Sellitto, Daniele; Scozzari, Rosaria

    2011-01-01

    To shed light on the structure of the basal backbone of the human Y chromosome phylogeny, we sequenced about 200 kb of the male-specific region of the human Y chromosome (MSY) from each of seven Y chromosomes belonging to clades A1, A2, A3, and BT. We detected 146 biallelic variant sites through this analysis. We used these variants to construct a patrilineal tree, without taking into account any previously reported information regarding the phylogenetic relationships among the seven Y chromosomes here analyzed. There are several key changes at the basal nodes as compared with the most recent reference Y chromosome tree. A different position of the root was determined, with important implications for the origin of human Y chromosome diversity. An estimate of 142 KY was obtained for the coalescence time of the revised MSY tree, which is earlier than that obtained in previous studies and easier to reconcile with plausible scenarios of modern human origin. The number of deep branchings leading to African-specific clades has doubled, further strengthening the MSY-based evidence for a modern human origin in the African continent. An analysis of 2204 African DNA samples showed that the deepest clades of the revised MSY phylogeny are currently found in central and northwest Africa, opening new perspectives on early human presence in the continent. PMID:21601174

  10. Scientists Spot 15 Regions of Human DNA Linked to Depression

    MedlinePlus

    ... 160189.html Scientists Spot 15 Regions of Human DNA Linked to Depression Many are located near genes ... say they've identified 15 regions of human DNA associated with depression. These regions may contain genes ...

  11. Human amplification of drought-driven fire in tropical regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosca, Michael

    2015-04-01

    The change in globally-measured radiative forcing from the pre-industrial to the present due to interactions between aerosol particles and cloud cover has the largest uncertainty of all anthropogenic factors. Uncertainties are largest in the tropics, where total cloud amount and incoming solar radiation are highest, and where 50% of all aerosol emissions originate from anthropogenic fire. It is well understood that interactions between smoke particles and cloud droplets modify cloud cover , which in turn affects climate, however, few studies have observed the temporal nature of aerosol-cloud interactions without the use of a model. Here we apply a novel approach to measure the effect of fire aerosols on convective clouds in tropical regions (Brazil, Africa and Indonesia) through a combination of remote sensing and meteorological data. We attribute a reduction in cloud fraction during periods of high aerosol optical depths to a smoke-driven inhibition of convection. We find that higher smoke burdens limit vertical updrafts, increase surface pressure, and increase low- level divergence-meteorological indicators of convective suppression. These results are corroborated by climate model simulations that show a smoke-driven increase in regionally averaged shortwave tropospheric heating and boundary layer stratification, and a decrease in vertical velocity and precipitation during the fire season (December-February). We then quantify the human response to decreased cloud cover using a combination of socioeconomic and climate data Our results suggest that, in tropical regions, anthropogenic fire initiates a positive feedback loop where increased aerosol emissions limit convection, dry the surface and enable increased fire activity via human ignition. This result has far-reaching implications for fire management and climate policy in emerging countries along the equator that utilize fire.

  12. Human Heredity and Health (H3) in Africa Kidney Disease Research Network: A Focus on Methods in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Osafo, Charlotte; Raji, Yemi Raheem; Burke, David; Tayo, Bamidele O; Tiffin, Nicki; Moxey-Mims, Marva M; Rasooly, Rebekah S; Kimmel, Paul L; Ojo, Akinlolu; Adu, Dwomoa; Parekh, Rulan S

    2015-12-01

    CKD affects an estimated 14% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa, but very little research has been done on the cause, progression, and prevention of CKD there. As part of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Consortium, the H3Africa Kidney Disease Research Network was established to study prevalent forms of kidney disease in sub-Saharan Africa and increase the capacity for genetics and genomics research. The study is performing comprehensive phenotypic characterization and analyzing environmental and genetic factors from nine clinical centers in four African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Kenya) over a 5-year period. Approximately 4000 participants with specified kidney disease diagnoses and 4000 control participants will be enrolled in the four African countries. In addition, approximately 50 families with hereditary glomerular disease will be enrolled. The study includes both pediatric and adult participants age <1 to 74 years across a broad spectrum of kidney diseases secondary to hypertension-attributed nephropathy, diabetes, HIV infection, sickle cell disease, biopsy-proven glomerular disease, and CKD of unknown origin. Clinical and demographic data with biospecimens are collected to assess clinical, biochemical, and genetic markers of kidney disease. As of March 2015, a total of 3499 patients and controls have been recruited and 1897 had complete entry data for analysis. Slightly more than half (50.2%) of the cohort is female. Initial quality control of clinical data collection and of biosample and DNA analysis is satisfactory, demonstrating that a clinical research infrastructure can be successfully established in Africa. This study will provide clinical, biochemical, and genotypic data that will greatly increase the understanding of CKD in sub-Saharan Africa.

  13. Evaluating Spatial Interaction Models for Regional Mobility in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Wesolowski, Amy; O’Meara, Wendy Prudhomme; Eagle, Nathan; Tatem, Andrew J.; Buckee, Caroline O.

    2015-01-01

    Simple spatial interaction models of human mobility based on physical laws have been used extensively in the social, biological, and physical sciences, and in the study of the human dynamics underlying the spread of disease. Recent analyses of commuting patterns and travel behavior in high-income countries have led to the suggestion that these models are highly generalizable, and as a result, gravity and radiation models have become standard tools for describing population mobility dynamics for infectious disease epidemiology. Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa may not conform to these models, however; physical accessibility, availability of transport, and cost of travel between locations may be variable and severely constrained compared to high-income settings, informal labor movements rather than regular commuting patterns are often the norm, and the rise of mega-cities across the continent has important implications for travel between rural and urban areas. Here, we first review how infectious disease frameworks incorporate human mobility on different spatial scales and use anonymous mobile phone data from nearly 15 million individuals to analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of the Kenyan population. We find that gravity and radiation models fail in systematic ways to capture human mobility measured by mobile phones; both severely overestimate the spatial spread of travel and perform poorly in rural areas, but each exhibits different characteristic patterns of failure with respect to routes and volumes of travel. Thus, infectious disease frameworks that rely on spatial interaction models are likely to misrepresent population dynamics important for the spread of disease in many African populations. PMID:26158274

  14. Evaluating Spatial Interaction Models for Regional Mobility in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Wesolowski, Amy; O'Meara, Wendy Prudhomme; Eagle, Nathan; Tatem, Andrew J; Buckee, Caroline O

    2015-07-01

    Simple spatial interaction models of human mobility based on physical laws have been used extensively in the social, biological, and physical sciences, and in the study of the human dynamics underlying the spread of disease. Recent analyses of commuting patterns and travel behavior in high-income countries have led to the suggestion that these models are highly generalizable, and as a result, gravity and radiation models have become standard tools for describing population mobility dynamics for infectious disease epidemiology. Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa may not conform to these models, however; physical accessibility, availability of transport, and cost of travel between locations may be variable and severely constrained compared to high-income settings, informal labor movements rather than regular commuting patterns are often the norm, and the rise of mega-cities across the continent has important implications for travel between rural and urban areas. Here, we first review how infectious disease frameworks incorporate human mobility on different spatial scales and use anonymous mobile phone data from nearly 15 million individuals to analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of the Kenyan population. We find that gravity and radiation models fail in systematic ways to capture human mobility measured by mobile phones; both severely overestimate the spatial spread of travel and perform poorly in rural areas, but each exhibits different characteristic patterns of failure with respect to routes and volumes of travel. Thus, infectious disease frameworks that rely on spatial interaction models are likely to misrepresent population dynamics important for the spread of disease in many African populations. PMID:26158274

  15. High-temperature environments of human evolution in East Africa based on bond ordering in paleosol carbonates

    PubMed Central

    Passey, Benjamin H.; Levin, Naomi E.; Cerling, Thure E.; Brown, Francis H.; Eiler, John M.

    2010-01-01

    Many important hominid-bearing fossil localities in East Africa are in regions that are extremely hot and dry. Although humans are well adapted to such conditions, it has been inferred that East African environments were cooler or more wooded during the Pliocene and Pleistocene when this region was a central stage of human evolution. Here we show that the Turkana Basin, Kenya—today one of the hottest places on Earth—has been continually hot during the past 4 million years. The distribution of 13C-18O bonds in paleosol carbonates indicates that soil temperatures during periods of carbonate formation were typically above 30 °C and often in excess of 35 °C. Similar soil temperatures are observed today in the Turkana Basin and reflect high air temperatures combined with solar heating of the soil surface. These results are specific to periods of soil carbonate formation, and we suggest that such periods composed a large fraction of integrated time in the Turkana Basin. If correct, this interpretation has implications for human thermophysiology and implies a long-standing human association with marginal environments. PMID:20534500

  16. Hepatitis A virus in the Middle East and North Africa region: a new challenge.

    PubMed

    Melhem, N M; Talhouk, R; Rachidi, H; Ramia, S

    2014-01-01

    During the past three decades, a gradual shift in the age of infection with hepatitis A virus (HAV) from early childhood to adulthood has been observed. There is a general lack of updated data on HAV burden of disease, incidence and age-specific seroprevalence in countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The aim of this article is to review the published data on anti-HAV seroprevalence, an important tool to monitor infections rates, in countries of the MENA region and associated risk factors including water and socioeconomic data when available. Data on anti-HAV seroprevalence were found for 12 of 25 MENA countries. We show that MENA countries, similar to other areas in the world, have a clear shift in HAV incidence with a decline among young age groups and an increase among adults and older individuals. This would likely be associated with increased morbidity and increased risks of outbreaks among younger age groups. Consequently, the continuous surveillance of hepatitis A cases and the inclusion of hepatitis A vaccine in the expanded immunization programmes are needed in countries of the MENA.

  17. Lightning fatalities in the Transkei sub-region of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Meel, B L

    2007-04-01

    Lightning is a particularly unsettling product of bad weather. It kills more people than other natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes, but, because lightning usually kills people one at a time, it tends to be an underrated hazard. High risk groups are uneducated, unsheltered and rural people. This study was carried out to determine the incidence of lightning fatalities in the Transkei sub-region. It is a review of records between 1993 and 2004 from the medico-legal autopsies at Umtata General Hospital (UGH). During the study period there were 10,860 autopsies performed on those who died of trauma and other unnatural circumstances which included 151 (1.4%) lightning fatalities. This represents 0.31 deaths per million per year. The highest (0.5/million) was in 1999, and the lowest (0.13/million) in 1997. The age of the victims ranged from 1 to 82 years, with a mean of 22 years. Males and females were almost equally represented (50%). The highest number of deaths (26.5%) was in the age group of 11 to 20 years, and the lowest number (2.7%) in the age group of 70+ years. There is a high incidence of lightning fatalities in the Transkei sub-region of South Africa. People need to be educated to disregard the myths of lightning strike.

  18. Geopotential field anomalies and regional tectonic features - two case studies: southern Africa and Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korte, Monika; Mandea, Mioara

    2016-05-01

    Maps of magnetic and gravity field anomalies provide information about physical properties of the Earth's crust and upper mantle, helpful in understanding geological conditions and tectonic structures. Depending on data availability, whether from the ground, airborne, or from satellites, potential field anomaly maps contain information on different ranges of spatial wavelengths, roughly corresponding to sources at different depths. Focussing on magnetic data, we compare amplitudes and characteristics of anomalies from maps based on various available data and as measured at geomagnetic repeat stations. Two cases are investigated: southern Africa, characterized by geologically old cratons and strong magnetic anomalies, and the smaller region of Germany with much younger crust and weaker anomalies. Estimating lithospheric magnetic anomaly values from the ground stations' time series (repeat station crustal biases) reveals magnetospheric field contributions causing time-varying offsets of several nT in the results. Similar influences might be one source of discrepancy when merging anomaly maps from different epochs. Moreover, we take advantage of recently developed satellite potential field models and compare magnetic and gravity gradient anomalies of ˜ 200 km resolution. Density and magnetization represent independent rock properties and thus provide complementary information on compositional and structural changes. Comparing short- and long-wavelength anomalies and the correlation of rather large-scale magnetic and gravity anomalies, and relating them to known lithospheric structures, we generally find a better agreement in the southern African region than the German region. This probably indicates stronger concordance between near-surface (down to at most a few km) and deeper (several kilometres down to Curie depth) structures in the former area, which can be seen to agree with a thicker lithosphere and a lower heat flux reported in the literature for the southern

  19. Impact of land cover characterization on regional climate modeling over West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sylla, Mouhamadou Bamba; Pal, Jeremy S.; Wang, Guiling L.; Lawrence, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    The impact of high resolution modern vegetation cover on the West African climate is examined using the International Centre for Theoretical Physics Regional Climate Model implementing the NCAR Community Land Model. Two high resolution 25 km long-term simulations driven by the output from a coarser 50-km resolution simulation are performed for the period 1998-2010. One high resolution simulation uses an earlier and coarser-resolution version of plant functional type distribution and leaf area index, while the other uses a more recent, higher-quality, and finer-resolution version of the data. The results indicate that the new land cover distribution substantially alters the distribution of temperature with warming in Central Nigeria, northern Gulf of Guinea and part of the Sahel due to the replacement of C4 grass with corn; and cooling along the coastlines of the Gulf of Guinea and in Central Africa due to the replacement of C4 grass with tropical broadleaf evergreen trees. Changes in latent heat flux appear to be largely responsible for these temperature changes with a net decrease (increase) in regions of warming (cooling). The improved land cover distribution also results in a wetter monsoon season. The presence of corn tends to favor larger precipitation amounts via more intense events, while the presence of tropical broadleaf evergreen trees tends to favor the occurrence of both more intense and more frequent events. The wetter conditions appear to be sustained via (1) an enhanced soil moisture feedback; and (2) elevated moisture transport due to increased low-level convergence in regions south of 10N where the most substantial land cover differences are present. Overall the changes induced by the improved vegetation cover improve, to some extent, the performance of the high resolution regional climate model in simulating the main West African summer monsoon features.

  20. Capacity Building for Disaster Management in Vulnerable Regions of Africa: Implementing an Operational Flood Warming System in Lake Victoria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Y.; Li, L.; Adler, R.; Policelli, F.

    2008-12-01

    NASA Applied Science program has partnered with USAID and The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Africa to implement an operational flood warning system for East Africa, SERVIR-Africa project. The project seeks to take advantage of remote sensing information as an alternative and supplemental to ground-based observation in order to preserve the spatial extent of flood hazards. The recently available and virtually uninterrupted supply of satellite-based rainfall estimates is increasingly becoming a cost-effective data source for flood prediction in many under-gauged regions around the world. Our initial focus aims to provide an operational flood warning system for Lake Victoria, a flood-prone region home to 30 million people. The key datasets enabling the development of a distributed hydrological model in Africa include TRMM-based Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA), digital elevation data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) mission, HydroSHEDS hydrological products, MODIS Land cover, and soil parameters provided by FAO. This research focuses on evaluation and integration the TMPA Real- Time product into an online operational flood prediction system. We will also identify the optimal calibration strategy for satellite rainfall data into real-time hydrological modeling, one current knowledge gap that has remained relatively unexplored. Early results demonstrate this flood modeling system is useful decision- support tool for governmental officials and international aid organizations to better quantify flood impacts and extent of hazard risk, as well as more expediently respond to flood emergencies.

  1. Towards an automated monitoring of human settlements in South Africa using high resolution SPOT satellite imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemper, T.; Mudau, N.; Mangara, P.; Pesaresi, M.

    2015-04-01

    Urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa are growing at an unprecedented pace. Much of this growth is taking place in informal settlements. In South Africa more than 10% of the population live in urban informal settlements. South Africa has established a National Informal Settlement Development Programme (NUSP) to respond to these challenges. This programme is designed to support the National Department of Human Settlement (NDHS) in its implementation of the Upgrading Informal Settlements Programme (UISP) with the objective of eventually upgrading all informal settlements in the country. Currently, the NDHS does not have access to an updated national dataset captured at the same scale using source data that can be used to understand the status of informal settlements in the country. This pilot study is developing a fully automated workflow for the wall-to-wall processing of SPOT-5 satellite imagery of South Africa. The workflow includes an automatic image information extraction based on multiscale textural and morphological image features extraction. The advanced image feature compression and optimization together with innovative learning and classification techniques allow a processing of the SPOT-5 images using the Landsat-based National Land Cover (NLC) of South Africa from the year 2000 as low-resolution thematic reference layers as. The workflow was tested on 42 SPOT scenes based on a stratified sampling. The derived building information was validated against a visually interpreted building point data set and produced an accuracy of 97 per cent. Given this positive result, is planned to process the most recent wall-to-wall coverage as well as the archived imagery available since 2007 in the near future.

  2. Distance from sub-Saharan Africa predicts mutational load in diverse human genomes.

    PubMed

    Henn, Brenna M; Botigué, Laura R; Peischl, Stephan; Dupanloup, Isabelle; Lipatov, Mikhail; Maples, Brian K; Martin, Alicia R; Musharoff, Shaila; Cann, Howard; Snyder, Michael P; Excoffier, Laurent; Kidd, Jeffrey M; Bustamante, Carlos D

    2016-01-26

    The Out-of-Africa (OOA) dispersal ∼ 50,000 y ago is characterized by a series of founder events as modern humans expanded into multiple continents. Population genetics theory predicts an increase of mutational load in populations undergoing serial founder effects during range expansions. To test this hypothesis, we have sequenced full genomes and high-coverage exomes from seven geographically divergent human populations from Namibia, Congo, Algeria, Pakistan, Cambodia, Siberia, and Mexico. We find that individual genomes vary modestly in the overall number of predicted deleterious alleles. We show via spatially explicit simulations that the observed distribution of deleterious allele frequencies is consistent with the OOA dispersal, particularly under a model where deleterious mutations are recessive. We conclude that there is a strong signal of purifying selection at conserved genomic positions within Africa, but that many predicted deleterious mutations have evolved as if they were neutral during the expansion out of Africa. Under a model where selection is inversely related to dominance, we show that OOA populations are likely to have a higher mutation load due to increased allele frequencies of nearly neutral variants that are recessive or partially recessive. PMID:26712023

  3. Distance from sub-Saharan Africa predicts mutational load in diverse human genomes

    PubMed Central

    Henn, Brenna M.; Botigué, Laura R.; Peischl, Stephan; Dupanloup, Isabelle; Lipatov, Mikhail; Maples, Brian K.; Martin, Alicia R.; Musharoff, Shaila; Cann, Howard; Snyder, Michael P.; Excoffier, Laurent; Kidd, Jeffrey M.; Bustamante, Carlos D.

    2016-01-01

    The Out-of-Africa (OOA) dispersal ∼50,000 y ago is characterized by a series of founder events as modern humans expanded into multiple continents. Population genetics theory predicts an increase of mutational load in populations undergoing serial founder effects during range expansions. To test this hypothesis, we have sequenced full genomes and high-coverage exomes from seven geographically divergent human populations from Namibia, Congo, Algeria, Pakistan, Cambodia, Siberia, and Mexico. We find that individual genomes vary modestly in the overall number of predicted deleterious alleles. We show via spatially explicit simulations that the observed distribution of deleterious allele frequencies is consistent with the OOA dispersal, particularly under a model where deleterious mutations are recessive. We conclude that there is a strong signal of purifying selection at conserved genomic positions within Africa, but that many predicted deleterious mutations have evolved as if they were neutral during the expansion out of Africa. Under a model where selection is inversely related to dominance, we show that OOA populations are likely to have a higher mutation load due to increased allele frequencies of nearly neutral variants that are recessive or partially recessive. PMID:26712023

  4. Distance from sub-Saharan Africa predicts mutational load in diverse human genomes.

    PubMed

    Henn, Brenna M; Botigué, Laura R; Peischl, Stephan; Dupanloup, Isabelle; Lipatov, Mikhail; Maples, Brian K; Martin, Alicia R; Musharoff, Shaila; Cann, Howard; Snyder, Michael P; Excoffier, Laurent; Kidd, Jeffrey M; Bustamante, Carlos D

    2016-01-26

    The Out-of-Africa (OOA) dispersal ∼ 50,000 y ago is characterized by a series of founder events as modern humans expanded into multiple continents. Population genetics theory predicts an increase of mutational load in populations undergoing serial founder effects during range expansions. To test this hypothesis, we have sequenced full genomes and high-coverage exomes from seven geographically divergent human populations from Namibia, Congo, Algeria, Pakistan, Cambodia, Siberia, and Mexico. We find that individual genomes vary modestly in the overall number of predicted deleterious alleles. We show via spatially explicit simulations that the observed distribution of deleterious allele frequencies is consistent with the OOA dispersal, particularly under a model where deleterious mutations are recessive. We conclude that there is a strong signal of purifying selection at conserved genomic positions within Africa, but that many predicted deleterious mutations have evolved as if they were neutral during the expansion out of Africa. Under a model where selection is inversely related to dominance, we show that OOA populations are likely to have a higher mutation load due to increased allele frequencies of nearly neutral variants that are recessive or partially recessive.

  5. Pleistocene sea-level fluctuations and human evolution on the southern coastal plain of South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Compton, John S.

    2011-03-01

    Humans evolved in Africa, but where and how remain unclear. Here it is proposed that the southern coastal plain (SCP) of South Africa may have served as a geographical point of origin through periodic expansion and contraction (isolation) in response to glacial/interglacial changes in sea level and climate. During Pleistocene interglacial highstands when sea level was above -75 m human populations were isolated for periods of 360-3400 25-yr generations on the SCP by the rugged mountains of the Cape Fold Belt, climate and vegetation barriers. The SCP expands five-fold as sea level falls from -75 to -120 m during glacial maxima to form a continuous, unobstructed coastal plain accessible to the interior. An expanded and wet glacial SCP may have served as a refuge to humans and large migratory herds and resulted in the mixing of previously isolated groups. The expansive glacial SCP habitat abruptly contracts, by as much as one-third in 300 yr, during the rapid rise in sea level associated with glacial terminations. Rapid flooding may have increased population density and competition on the SCP to select for humans who expanded their diet to include marine resources or hunted large animals. Successful adaptations developed on an isolated SCP are predicted to widely disperse during glacial terminations when the SCP rapidly contracts or during the initial opening of the SCP in the transition to glacial maxima. The hypothesis that periodic expansion and contraction of the SCP, as well as the coastal plain of North Africa, contributed to the stepwise origin of our species over the last 800 thousand years (kyr) is evaluated by comparing the archeological, DNA and sea-level records. These records generally support the hypothesis, but more complete and well dated records are required to resolve the extent to which sea-level fluctuations influenced the complex history of human evolution.

  6. Climatic controls on ecosystem resilience: Postfire regeneration in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Adam M; Latimer, Andrew M; Silander, John A

    2015-07-21

    Conservation of biodiversity and natural resources in a changing climate requires understanding what controls ecosystem resilience to disturbance. This understanding is especially important in the fire-prone Mediterranean systems of the world. The fire frequency in these systems is sensitive to climate, and recent climate change has resulted in more frequent fires over the last few decades. However, the sensitivity of postfire recovery and biomass/fuel load accumulation to climate is less well understood than fire frequency despite its importance in driving the fire regime. In this study, we develop a hierarchical statistical framework to model postfire ecosystem recovery using satellite-derived observations of vegetation as a function of stand age, topography, and climate. In the Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa, a fire-prone biodiversity hotspot, we found strong postfire recovery gradients associated with climate resulting in faster recovery in regions with higher soil fertility, minimum July (winter) temperature, and mean January (summer) precipitation. Projections using an ensemble of 11 downscaled Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) general circulation models (GCMs) suggest that warmer winter temperatures in 2080-2100 will encourage faster postfire recovery across the region, which could further increase fire frequency due to faster fuel accumulation. However, some models project decreasing precipitation in the western CFR, which would slow recovery rates there, likely reducing fire frequency through lack of fuel and potentially driving local biome shifts from fynbos shrubland to nonburning semidesert vegetation. This simple yet powerful approach to making inferences from large, remotely sensed datasets has potential for wide application to modeling ecosystem resilience in disturbance-prone ecosystems globally.

  7. The transatlantic dust transport from North Africa to the Americas—Its characteristics and source regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gläser, Gregor; Wernli, Heini; Kerkweg, Astrid; Teubler, Franziska

    2015-11-01

    Transport of Saharan dust over the Atlantic to the Americas is a relevant process since dust is a nutrient for marine and terrestrial ecosystems. It is therefore important to better quantify the frequency and amount of transatlantic dust transport, its preferred altitude and duration, and the regions of dust origin. This study uses a novel combination of Eulerian and Lagrangian diagnostics, applied to a previously validated 5 year simulation of the fifth generation European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast-Hamburg-model (ECHAM5)/Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy) Atmospheric Chemistry model, to quantify these dust transport characteristics and their seasonal variations. Results confirm the previously found preferred transatlantic dust pathways: in boreal winter and spring, African dust is mainly transported below 800 hPa toward South America, whereas in summer and autumn the preferred pathway is to the Caribbean and occurs in a layer up to 500 hPa. The averaged transport duration from dust emission to deposition is 10 days in winter for deposition in the Amazon region and almost 12 days in summer for deposition in the Caribbean. These estimates were obtained by combining correlation analyses of Eulerian dust fluxes and trajectory calculations. The latter were also essential to identify the main source regions of transatlantic dust transport, which were found in all seasons in northwestern Africa (Algeria, Mali, and Mauritania) but not farther east, e.g., in the Bodélé Depression. A specific Lagrangian analysis for this dust emission hot spot suggests that wet deposition associated with the Intertropical Convergence Zone in winter and the African monsoon in summer inhibits Bodélé dust to leave the African continent.

  8. Climatic controls on ecosystem resilience: Postfire regeneration in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Adam M.; Latimer, Andrew M.; Silander, John A.

    2015-01-01

    Conservation of biodiversity and natural resources in a changing climate requires understanding what controls ecosystem resilience to disturbance. This understanding is especially important in the fire-prone Mediterranean systems of the world. The fire frequency in these systems is sensitive to climate, and recent climate change has resulted in more frequent fires over the last few decades. However, the sensitivity of postfire recovery and biomass/fuel load accumulation to climate is less well understood than fire frequency despite its importance in driving the fire regime. In this study, we develop a hierarchical statistical framework to model postfire ecosystem recovery using satellite-derived observations of vegetation as a function of stand age, topography, and climate. In the Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa, a fire-prone biodiversity hotspot, we found strong postfire recovery gradients associated with climate resulting in faster recovery in regions with higher soil fertility, minimum July (winter) temperature, and mean January (summer) precipitation. Projections using an ensemble of 11 downscaled Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) general circulation models (GCMs) suggest that warmer winter temperatures in 2080–2100 will encourage faster postfire recovery across the region, which could further increase fire frequency due to faster fuel accumulation. However, some models project decreasing precipitation in the western CFR, which would slow recovery rates there, likely reducing fire frequency through lack of fuel and potentially driving local biome shifts from fynbos shrubland to nonburning semidesert vegetation. This simple yet powerful approach to making inferences from large, remotely sensed datasets has potential for wide application to modeling ecosystem resilience in disturbance-prone ecosystems globally. PMID:26150521

  9. Climatic controls on ecosystem resilience: Postfire regeneration in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Adam M; Latimer, Andrew M; Silander, John A

    2015-07-21

    Conservation of biodiversity and natural resources in a changing climate requires understanding what controls ecosystem resilience to disturbance. This understanding is especially important in the fire-prone Mediterranean systems of the world. The fire frequency in these systems is sensitive to climate, and recent climate change has resulted in more frequent fires over the last few decades. However, the sensitivity of postfire recovery and biomass/fuel load accumulation to climate is less well understood than fire frequency despite its importance in driving the fire regime. In this study, we develop a hierarchical statistical framework to model postfire ecosystem recovery using satellite-derived observations of vegetation as a function of stand age, topography, and climate. In the Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa, a fire-prone biodiversity hotspot, we found strong postfire recovery gradients associated with climate resulting in faster recovery in regions with higher soil fertility, minimum July (winter) temperature, and mean January (summer) precipitation. Projections using an ensemble of 11 downscaled Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) general circulation models (GCMs) suggest that warmer winter temperatures in 2080-2100 will encourage faster postfire recovery across the region, which could further increase fire frequency due to faster fuel accumulation. However, some models project decreasing precipitation in the western CFR, which would slow recovery rates there, likely reducing fire frequency through lack of fuel and potentially driving local biome shifts from fynbos shrubland to nonburning semidesert vegetation. This simple yet powerful approach to making inferences from large, remotely sensed datasets has potential for wide application to modeling ecosystem resilience in disturbance-prone ecosystems globally. PMID:26150521

  10. The 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa highlights no evidence of rapid evolution or adaptation to humans

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xingguang; Zai, Junjie; Liu, Haizhou; Feng, Yi; Li, Fan; Wei, Jing; Zou, Sen; Yuan, Zhiming; Shao, Yiming

    2016-01-01

    Following its immergence in December 2013, the recent Zaire Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak in West Africa has spread and persisted for more than two years, making it the largest EBOV epidemic in both scale and geographical region to date. In this study, a total of 726 glycoprotein (GP) gene sequences of the EBOV full-length genome obtained from West Africa from the 2014 outbreak, combined with 30 from earlier outbreaks between 1976 and 2008 were used to investigate the genetic divergence, evolutionary history, population dynamics, and selection pressure of EBOV among distinct epidemic waves. Results from our dataset showed that no non-synonymous substitutions occurred on the GP gene coding sequences of EBOV that were likely to have affected protein structure or function in any way. Furthermore, the significantly different dN/dS ratios observed between the 2014 West African outbreak and earlier outbreaks were more likely due to the confounding presence of segregating polymorphisms. Our results highlight no robust evidence that the 2014 EBOV outbreak is fast-evolving and adapting to humans. Therefore, the unprecedented nature of the 2014 EBOV outbreak might be more likely related to non-virological elements, such as environmental and sociological factors. PMID:27767073

  11. A human economy: A ``third way'' for the future of young people in the Middle East and North Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaalouk, Malak

    2014-06-01

    This paper looks at the vulnerability of today's youth worldwide, with a particular focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), where the proportion of citizens aged 12-24 is particularly high at one-third of the total population. Cursed with poor education and few work opportunities, the youth unemployment rate has risen to 50 per cent in this region. There is a consequent lack of participation at all levels, and a large number of youth are showing symptoms of low self-esteem, frustration, anger and unrest. After discussing the outcomes of years of an inhuman economic system on a global level, this article points to a more humane and empowering path. The author argues that, instead of continuing with profit-oriented capitalism or relying on the informal sector, the co-operative way represents a third alternative to existing economic sectors within the dominant contemporary economic system. The article analyses the many benefits of this path for the realisation of a humane economy. In so doing, it touches on issues of equity and social protection. Finally, the article outlines what needs to be done if this is to be a viable solution for a human economy. While giving many examples of successful co-operative enterprises worldwide, the author singles out the MENA region as one which could also benefit from the new trends outlined.

  12. Out-of-Africa migration and Neolithic co-expansion of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Comas, Iñaki; Coscolla, Mireia; Luo, Tao; Borrell, Sonia; Holt, Kathryn E.; Kato-Maeda, Midori; Parkhill, Julian; Malla, Bijaya; Berg, Stefan; Thwaites, Guy; Yeboah-Manu, Dorothy; Bothamley, Graham; Mei, Jian; Wei, Lanhai; Bentley, Stephen; Harris, Simon R.; Niemann, Stefan; Diel, Roland; Aseffa, Abraham; Gao, Qian; Young, Douglas; Gagneux, Sebastien

    2013-01-01

    Tuberculosis caused 20% of all human deaths in the Western world between the 17th and 19th centuries, and remains a cause of high mortality in developing countries. In analogy to other crowd diseases, the origin of human tuberculosis has been associated with the Neolithic Demographic Transition, but recent studies point to a much earlier origin. Here we used 259 whole-genome sequences to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). Coalescent analyses indicate that MTBC emerged about 70 thousand years ago, accompanied migrations of anatomically modern humans out of Africa, and expanded as a consequence of increases in human population density during the Neolithic. This long co-evolutionary history is consistent with MTBC displaying characteristics indicative of adaptation to both low- and high host densities. PMID:23995134

  13. Epidemiologic Investigations into Outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever in Humans, South Africa, 2008–2011

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Juno; Weyer, Jacqueline; Cengimbo, Ayanda; Landoh, Dadja E.; Jacobs, Charlene; Ntuli, Sindile; Modise, Motshabi; Mathonsi, Moshe; Mashishi, Morton S.; Leman, Patricia A.; le Roux, Chantel; Jansen van Vuren, Petrus; Kemp, Alan; Paweska, Janusz T.; Blumberg, Lucille

    2013-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an emerging zoonosis posing a public health threat to humans in Africa. During sporadic RVF outbreaks in 2008–2009 and widespread epidemics in 2010–2011, 302 laboratory-confirmed human infections, including 25 deaths (case-fatality rate, 8%) were identified. Incidence peaked in late summer to early autumn each year, which coincided with incidence rate patterns in livestock. Most case-patients were adults (median age 43 years), men (262; 87%), who worked in farming, animal health or meat-related industries (83%). Most case-patients reported direct contact with animal tissues, blood, or other body fluids before onset of illness (89%); mosquitoes likely played a limited role in transmission of disease to humans. Close partnership with animal health and agriculture sectors allowed early recognition of human cases and appropriate preventive health messaging.

  14. Genetic Variation and Adaptation in Africa: Implications for Human Evolution and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Felicia; Hirbo, Jibril; Tishkoff, Sarah A.

    2014-01-01

    Because modern humans originated in Africa and have adapted to diverse environments, African populations have high levels of genetic and phenotypic diversity. Thus, genomic studies of diverse African ethnic groups are essential for understanding human evolutionary history and how this leads to differential disease risk in all humans. Comparative studies of genetic diversity within and between African ethnic groups creates an opportunity to reconstruct some of the earliest events in human population history and are useful for identifying patterns of genetic variation that have been influenced by recent natural selection. Here we describe what is currently known about genetic variation and evolutionary history of diverse African ethnic groups. We also describe examples of recent natural selection in African genomes and how these data are informative for understanding the frequency of many genetic traits, including those that cause disease susceptibility in African populations and populations of recent African descent. PMID:24984772

  15. MtDNA profile of West Africa Guineans: towards a better understanding of the Senegambia region.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Alexandra; Brehm, António; Kivisild, Toomas; Metspalu, Ene; Villems, Richard

    2004-07-01

    The matrilineal genetic composition of 372 samples from the Republic of Guiné-Bissau (West African coast) was studied using RFLPs and partial sequencing of the mtDNA control and coding region. The majority of the mtDNA lineages of Guineans (94%) belong to West African specific sub-clusters of L0-L3 haplogroups. A new L3 sub-cluster (L3h) that is found in both eastern and western Africa is present at moderately low frequencies in Guinean populations. A non-random distribution of haplogroups U5 in the Fula group, the U6 among the "Brame" linguistic family and M1 in the Balanta-Djola group, suggests a correlation between the genetic and linguistic affiliation of Guinean populations. The presence of M1 in Balanta populations supports the earlier suggestion of their Sudanese origin. Haplogroups U5 and U6, on the other hand, were found to be restricted to populations that are thought to represent the descendants of a southern expansion of Berbers. Particular haplotypes, found almost exclusively in East-African populations, were found in some ethnic groups with an oral tradition claiming Sudanese origin. PMID:15225159

  16. IASI-derived Surface Temperature Under Dusty Conditions: Application to the West Africa Region.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mechri, Rihab; Capelle, Virginie; Chedin, Alain

    2016-04-01

    Giving access to energy and water budgets, Surface Temperature (ST) is considered as a key variable for a wide range of applications in particular for meteorology and climatology. An accurate knowledge of this variable should significantly improve the monitoring of numerous atmospheric and surface processes as well as their interactions. Even-though satellite sensors bring ST global fields at different spatial and temporal scales, the accuracy of these products is still questionable especially over land or for complex atmospheric conditions (presence of clouds, of aerosols, etc.). At LMD, the ST is determined through the simultaneous "Look-up-Table" inversion of satellite METOP/IASI radiances in terms of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD), dust layer mean altitude and surface temperature . The main aim of this work is to validate IASI ST product and to analyze its spatial and temporal variability, in particular in the presence of dust aerosols. This approach has been first applied to the West Africa region. The accuracy of this ST product will be assessed in terms of bias and standard deviation against ST products from ECMWF forecast, from other satellite products (MODIS AQUA/TERRA, AATSR,…) and from in-situ measurements for different periods ranging from July 2007 to today according to the availability of these validation data.

  17. H3ABioNet, a sustainable pan-African bioinformatics network for human heredity and health in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mulder, Nicola J.; Adebiyi, Ezekiel; Alami, Raouf; Benkahla, Alia; Brandful, James; Doumbia, Seydou; Everett, Dean; Fadlelmola, Faisal M.; Gaboun, Fatima; Gaseitsiwe, Simani; Ghazal, Hassan; Hazelhurst, Scott; Hide, Winston; Ibrahimi, Azeddine; Jaufeerally Fakim, Yasmina; Jongeneel, C. Victor; Joubert, Fourie; Kassim, Samar; Kayondo, Jonathan; Kumuthini, Judit; Lyantagaye, Sylvester; Makani, Julie; Mansour Alzohairy, Ahmed; Masiga, Daniel; Moussa, Ahmed; Nash, Oyekanmi; Ouwe Missi Oukem-Boyer, Odile; Owusu-Dabo, Ellis; Panji, Sumir; Patterton, Hugh; Radouani, Fouzia; Sadki, Khalid; Seghrouchni, Fouad; Tastan Bishop, Özlem; Tiffin, Nicki; Ulenga, Nzovu

    2016-01-01

    The application of genomics technologies to medicine and biomedical research is increasing in popularity, made possible by new high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technologies and improved data analysis capabilities. Some of the greatest genetic diversity among humans, animals, plants, and microbiota occurs in Africa, yet genomic research outputs from the continent are limited. The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative was established to drive the development of genomic research for human health in Africa, and through recognition of the critical role of bioinformatics in this process, spurred the establishment of H3ABioNet, a pan-African bioinformatics network for H3Africa. The limitations in bioinformatics capacity on the continent have been a major contributory factor to the lack of notable outputs in high-throughput biology research. Although pockets of high-quality bioinformatics teams have existed previously, the majority of research institutions lack experienced faculty who can train and supervise bioinformatics students. H3ABioNet aims to address this dire need, specifically in the area of human genetics and genomics, but knock-on effects are ensuring this extends to other areas of bioinformatics. Here, we describe the emergence of genomics research and the development of bioinformatics in Africa through H3ABioNet. PMID:26627985

  18. H3ABioNet, a sustainable pan-African bioinformatics network for human heredity and health in Africa.

    PubMed

    Mulder, Nicola J; Adebiyi, Ezekiel; Alami, Raouf; Benkahla, Alia; Brandful, James; Doumbia, Seydou; Everett, Dean; Fadlelmola, Faisal M; Gaboun, Fatima; Gaseitsiwe, Simani; Ghazal, Hassan; Hazelhurst, Scott; Hide, Winston; Ibrahimi, Azeddine; Jaufeerally Fakim, Yasmina; Jongeneel, C Victor; Joubert, Fourie; Kassim, Samar; Kayondo, Jonathan; Kumuthini, Judit; Lyantagaye, Sylvester; Makani, Julie; Mansour Alzohairy, Ahmed; Masiga, Daniel; Moussa, Ahmed; Nash, Oyekanmi; Ouwe Missi Oukem-Boyer, Odile; Owusu-Dabo, Ellis; Panji, Sumir; Patterton, Hugh; Radouani, Fouzia; Sadki, Khalid; Seghrouchni, Fouad; Tastan Bishop, Özlem; Tiffin, Nicki; Ulenga, Nzovu

    2016-02-01

    The application of genomics technologies to medicine and biomedical research is increasing in popularity, made possible by new high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technologies and improved data analysis capabilities. Some of the greatest genetic diversity among humans, animals, plants, and microbiota occurs in Africa, yet genomic research outputs from the continent are limited. The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative was established to drive the development of genomic research for human health in Africa, and through recognition of the critical role of bioinformatics in this process, spurred the establishment of H3ABioNet, a pan-African bioinformatics network for H3Africa. The limitations in bioinformatics capacity on the continent have been a major contributory factor to the lack of notable outputs in high-throughput biology research. Although pockets of high-quality bioinformatics teams have existed previously, the majority of research institutions lack experienced faculty who can train and supervise bioinformatics students. H3ABioNet aims to address this dire need, specifically in the area of human genetics and genomics, but knock-on effects are ensuring this extends to other areas of bioinformatics. Here, we describe the emergence of genomics research and the development of bioinformatics in Africa through H3ABioNet. PMID:26627985

  19. H3ABioNet, a sustainable pan-African bioinformatics network for human heredity and health in Africa.

    PubMed

    Mulder, Nicola J; Adebiyi, Ezekiel; Alami, Raouf; Benkahla, Alia; Brandful, James; Doumbia, Seydou; Everett, Dean; Fadlelmola, Faisal M; Gaboun, Fatima; Gaseitsiwe, Simani; Ghazal, Hassan; Hazelhurst, Scott; Hide, Winston; Ibrahimi, Azeddine; Jaufeerally Fakim, Yasmina; Jongeneel, C Victor; Joubert, Fourie; Kassim, Samar; Kayondo, Jonathan; Kumuthini, Judit; Lyantagaye, Sylvester; Makani, Julie; Mansour Alzohairy, Ahmed; Masiga, Daniel; Moussa, Ahmed; Nash, Oyekanmi; Ouwe Missi Oukem-Boyer, Odile; Owusu-Dabo, Ellis; Panji, Sumir; Patterton, Hugh; Radouani, Fouzia; Sadki, Khalid; Seghrouchni, Fouad; Tastan Bishop, Özlem; Tiffin, Nicki; Ulenga, Nzovu

    2016-02-01

    The application of genomics technologies to medicine and biomedical research is increasing in popularity, made possible by new high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technologies and improved data analysis capabilities. Some of the greatest genetic diversity among humans, animals, plants, and microbiota occurs in Africa, yet genomic research outputs from the continent are limited. The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative was established to drive the development of genomic research for human health in Africa, and through recognition of the critical role of bioinformatics in this process, spurred the establishment of H3ABioNet, a pan-African bioinformatics network for H3Africa. The limitations in bioinformatics capacity on the continent have been a major contributory factor to the lack of notable outputs in high-throughput biology research. Although pockets of high-quality bioinformatics teams have existed previously, the majority of research institutions lack experienced faculty who can train and supervise bioinformatics students. H3ABioNet aims to address this dire need, specifically in the area of human genetics and genomics, but knock-on effects are ensuring this extends to other areas of bioinformatics. Here, we describe the emergence of genomics research and the development of bioinformatics in Africa through H3ABioNet.

  20. Education and language: A human right for sustainable development in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babaci-Wilhite, Zehlia; Geo-JaJa, Macleans A.; Lou, Shizhou

    2012-10-01

    Pre-colonial Africa was neither an educationally nor a technologically unsophisticated continent. While education was an integral part of the culture, issues of language identification and standardisation which are subject to contentious debate today were insignificant. Children learned community knowledge and history by asking questions instead of being taught in a hegemonic alien language. This article argues that education and development should take place in a broader context of human rights, and explores the links between three areas often dealt with separately, namely: language, education and development. The authors of this paper demonstrate that changing the face of the multi-dimensionalities of poverty within societies is possible only when education is constructed in a rights perspective over the favoured colonial languages, which are not an integral part of the culture and resources of a community. The authors make a distinction between the right to education and rights in education, the latter of which are found to be more significant for the challenges Africa faces. It is argued here that the elements of Amartya Sen's "threshold" conditions for inclusion in human rights and self-development in education are essential, and that a more promising architecture of education would include what the authors term meta-narrative frameworks, i.e. interrelated policies. The authors contend that the neoliberal commodification of the knowledge sector has only exacerbated human rights and capabilities deprivation - which encompasses both human and income poverty.

  1. Hantaviruses in Africa.

    PubMed

    Witkowski, Peter T; Klempa, Boris; Ithete, Ndapewa L; Auste, Brita; Mfune, John K E; Hoveka, Julia; Matthee, Sonja; Preiser, Wolfgang; Kruger, Detlev H

    2014-07-17

    This paper summarizes the progress in the search for hantaviruses and hantavirus infections in Africa. After having collected molecular evidence of an indigenous African hantavirus in 2006, an intensive investigation for new hantaviruses has been started in small mammals. Various novel hantaviruses have been molecularly identified not only in rodents but also in shrews and bats. In addition, the first African hantavirus, Sangassou virus, has been isolated and functionally characterized in cell culture. Less is known about the ability of these hantaviruses to infect humans and to cause diseases. To date, no hantavirus genetic material could be amplified from patients' specimens collected in Africa. Serological studies in West Africa, based on a battery of screening and confirmatory assays, led to the detection of hantavirus antibodies in the human population and in patients with putative hantavirus disease. In addition to this overview, we present original data from seroepidemiological and field studies conducted in the Southern part of Africa. A human seroprevalence rate of 1.0% (n=1442) was detected in the South African Cape Region whereas no molecular evidence for the presence of hantavirus was found in 2500 small animals trapped in South Africa and Namibia.

  2. Hantaviruses in Africa.

    PubMed

    Witkowski, Peter T; Klempa, Boris; Ithete, Ndapewa L; Auste, Brita; Mfune, John K E; Hoveka, Julia; Matthee, Sonja; Preiser, Wolfgang; Kruger, Detlev H

    2014-07-17

    This paper summarizes the progress in the search for hantaviruses and hantavirus infections in Africa. After having collected molecular evidence of an indigenous African hantavirus in 2006, an intensive investigation for new hantaviruses has been started in small mammals. Various novel hantaviruses have been molecularly identified not only in rodents but also in shrews and bats. In addition, the first African hantavirus, Sangassou virus, has been isolated and functionally characterized in cell culture. Less is known about the ability of these hantaviruses to infect humans and to cause diseases. To date, no hantavirus genetic material could be amplified from patients' specimens collected in Africa. Serological studies in West Africa, based on a battery of screening and confirmatory assays, led to the detection of hantavirus antibodies in the human population and in patients with putative hantavirus disease. In addition to this overview, we present original data from seroepidemiological and field studies conducted in the Southern part of Africa. A human seroprevalence rate of 1.0% (n=1442) was detected in the South African Cape Region whereas no molecular evidence for the presence of hantavirus was found in 2500 small animals trapped in South Africa and Namibia. PMID:24406800

  3. Spatial distribution of precipitation annual cycles over South Africa in 10 CORDEX regional climate model present-day simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favre, Alice; Philippon, Nathalie; Pohl, Benjamin; Kalognomou, Evangelia-Anna; Lennard, Christopher; Hewitson, Bruce; Nikulin, Grigori; Dosio, Alessandro; Panitz, Hans-Juergen; Cerezo-Mota, Ruth

    2016-03-01

    This study presents an evaluation of the ability of 10 regional climate models (RCMs) participating in the COordinated Regional climate Downscaling Experiment-Africa to reproduce the present-day spatial distribution of annual cycles of precipitation over the South African region and its borders. As found in previous studies, annual mean precipitation is quasi-systematically overestimated by the RCMs over a large part of southern Africa south of about 20°S and more strongly over South Africa. The spatial analysis of precipitation over the studied region shows that in most models the distribution of biases appears to be linked to orography. Wet biases are quasi-systematic in regions with higher elevation with inversely neutral to dry biases particularly in the coastal fringes. This spatial pattern of biases is particularly obvious during summer and specifically at the beginning of the rainy season (November and December) when the wet biases are found to be the strongest across all models. Applying a k-means algorithm, a classification of annual cycles is performed using observed precipitation data, and is compared with those derived from modeled data. It is found that the in-homogeneity of the spatial and temporal distribution of biases tends to impact the modeled seasonality of precipitation. Generally, the pattern of rainfall seasonality in the ensemble mean of the 10 RCMs tends to be shifted to the southwest. This spatial shift is mainly linked to a strong overestimation of convective precipitation at the beginning of the rainy season over the plateau inducing an early annual peak and to an underestimation of stratiform rainfall in winter and spring over southwestern South Africa.

  4. High level of HIV-2 false positivity in KwaZulu-Natal province: a region of South Africa with a very high HIV-1 subtype C prevalence.

    PubMed

    Singh, Lavanya; Parboosing, Raveen; Manasa, Justen; Moodley, Pravi; de Oliveira, Tulio

    2013-12-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus 2 (HIV-2) is found predominantly in West Africa. It is not unlikely, however, that HIV-2 may also be found in South Africa, due to the influx of immigrants into this country. It is important to distinguish between HIV-1 and HIV-2 since the clinical courses and treatment responses of these viruses are different. Routine serological methods for diagnosing HIV do not differentiate between HIV-1 and -2 infections, while rapid tests, viral load quantification and PCR are HIV-type--specific. The objective of this study was to describe the seroprevalence and molecular epidemiology of HIV-2 in KwaZulu-Natal, one of the regions with the highest HIV prevalence in the world and home of the two largest harbors in South Africa. HIV-1 positive samples were screened for antibodies against HIV-2, using a rapid test. The confirmation of HIV-2 positive samples was done by PCR. Of the 2,123 samples screened, 319 (15%) were identified as positive by the rapid test. None of these samples were confirmed positive by PCR. To explore this discrepancy in the results, a subset (n = 52) of the rapid HIV-2 positive samples was subjected to Western blotting. Thirty-seven (71%) of these were positive, yielding an overall HIV-2 seroprevalence of 10.6%. Three out of 28 (10.7%) Western blot positive samples were positive by a Pepti-LAV assay. This discrepancy between serological and molecular confirmation may be attributed to non-specific or cross-reacting antibodies. The use of rapid tests and Western blots for HIV-2 diagnosis in South Africa should be interpreted with caution.

  5. Mapping human dispersals into the Horn of Africa from Arabian Ice Age refugia using mitogenomes.

    PubMed

    Gandini, Francesca; Achilli, Alessandro; Pala, Maria; Bodner, Martin; Brandini, Stefania; Huber, Gabriela; Egyed, Balazs; Ferretti, Luca; Gómez-Carballa, Alberto; Salas, Antonio; Scozzari, Rosaria; Cruciani, Fulvio; Coppa, Alfredo; Parson, Walther; Semino, Ornella; Soares, Pedro; Torroni, Antonio; Richards, Martin B; Olivieri, Anna

    2016-05-05

    Rare mitochondrial lineages with relict distributions can sometimes be disproportionately informative about deep events in human prehistory. We have studied one such lineage, haplogroup R0a, which uniquely is most frequent in Arabia and the Horn of Africa, but is distributed much more widely, from Europe to India. We conclude that: (1) the lineage ancestral to R0a is more ancient than previously thought, with a relict distribution across the Mediterranean/Southwest Asia; (2) R0a has a much deeper presence in Arabia than previously thought, highlighting the role of at least one Pleistocene glacial refugium, perhaps on the Red Sea plains; (3) the main episode of dispersal into Eastern Africa, at least concerning maternal lineages, was at the end of the Late Glacial, due to major expansions from one or more refugia in Arabia; (4) there was likely a minor Late Glacial/early postglacial dispersal from Arabia through the Levant and into Europe, possibly alongside other lineages from a Levantine refugium; and (5) the presence of R0a in Southwest Arabia in the Holocene at the nexus of a trading network that developed after ~3 ka between Africa and the Indian Ocean led to some gene flow even further afield, into Iran, Pakistan and India.

  6. Mapping human dispersals into the Horn of Africa from Arabian Ice Age refugia using mitogenomes

    PubMed Central

    Gandini, Francesca; Achilli, Alessandro; Pala, Maria; Bodner, Martin; Brandini, Stefania; Huber, Gabriela; Egyed, Balazs; Ferretti, Luca; Gómez-Carballa, Alberto; Salas, Antonio; Scozzari, Rosaria; Cruciani, Fulvio; Coppa, Alfredo; Parson, Walther; Semino, Ornella; Soares, Pedro; Torroni, Antonio; Richards, Martin B.; Olivieri, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Rare mitochondrial lineages with relict distributions can sometimes be disproportionately informative about deep events in human prehistory. We have studied one such lineage, haplogroup R0a, which uniquely is most frequent in Arabia and the Horn of Africa, but is distributed much more widely, from Europe to India. We conclude that: (1) the lineage ancestral to R0a is more ancient than previously thought, with a relict distribution across the Mediterranean/Southwest Asia; (2) R0a has a much deeper presence in Arabia than previously thought, highlighting the role of at least one Pleistocene glacial refugium, perhaps on the Red Sea plains; (3) the main episode of dispersal into Eastern Africa, at least concerning maternal lineages, was at the end of the Late Glacial, due to major expansions from one or more refugia in Arabia; (4) there was likely a minor Late Glacial/early postglacial dispersal from Arabia through the Levant and into Europe, possibly alongside other lineages from a Levantine refugium; and (5) the presence of R0a in Southwest Arabia in the Holocene at the nexus of a trading network that developed after ~3 ka between Africa and the Indian Ocean led to some gene flow even further afield, into Iran, Pakistan and India. PMID:27146119

  7. Mapping human dispersals into the Horn of Africa from Arabian Ice Age refugia using mitogenomes.

    PubMed

    Gandini, Francesca; Achilli, Alessandro; Pala, Maria; Bodner, Martin; Brandini, Stefania; Huber, Gabriela; Egyed, Balazs; Ferretti, Luca; Gómez-Carballa, Alberto; Salas, Antonio; Scozzari, Rosaria; Cruciani, Fulvio; Coppa, Alfredo; Parson, Walther; Semino, Ornella; Soares, Pedro; Torroni, Antonio; Richards, Martin B; Olivieri, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Rare mitochondrial lineages with relict distributions can sometimes be disproportionately informative about deep events in human prehistory. We have studied one such lineage, haplogroup R0a, which uniquely is most frequent in Arabia and the Horn of Africa, but is distributed much more widely, from Europe to India. We conclude that: (1) the lineage ancestral to R0a is more ancient than previously thought, with a relict distribution across the Mediterranean/Southwest Asia; (2) R0a has a much deeper presence in Arabia than previously thought, highlighting the role of at least one Pleistocene glacial refugium, perhaps on the Red Sea plains; (3) the main episode of dispersal into Eastern Africa, at least concerning maternal lineages, was at the end of the Late Glacial, due to major expansions from one or more refugia in Arabia; (4) there was likely a minor Late Glacial/early postglacial dispersal from Arabia through the Levant and into Europe, possibly alongside other lineages from a Levantine refugium; and (5) the presence of R0a in Southwest Arabia in the Holocene at the nexus of a trading network that developed after ~3 ka between Africa and the Indian Ocean led to some gene flow even further afield, into Iran, Pakistan and India. PMID:27146119

  8. The East Africa Oligocene intertrappean beds: Regional distribution, depositional environments and Afro/Arabian mammal dispersals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbate, Ernesto; Bruni, Piero; Ferretti, Marco Peter; Delmer, Cyrille; Laurenzi, Marinella Ada; Hagos, Miruts; Bedri, Omar; Rook, Lorenzo; Sagri, Mario; Libsekal, Yosief

    2014-11-01

    exceed thousands of square kilometers in only a single case (Mendefera), but were quite restricted in most cases. Their most likely endorheic and local character, together with a regional ill-defined fluvial network, was the effect of a water-course rerouting caused by the progressive rising of the eastern African and Arabian plateaux. Chronological constraints for the intertrappean beds can be inferred from the age of the hosting Trap succession and by the stratigraphical position that they occupy. Intervolcanic sedimentary episodes are typically found in the basaltic and subordinately rhyolitic successions that followed the 31-29 Ma old basaltic widespread paroxysm. With due caveats deriving from the discontinuous availability of datings specifically dedicated to this issue, we regard the age of the intertrappean beds as mostly encompassed in the interval from 29 to 27 Ma at the transition between the Early and Late Oligocene in the Ethiopia/Yemen Trap core. In marginal areas, such as SW Arabia, Eritrea and Kenya, the volcanic activity above the intertrappean beds resumed later, and its quiescence allowed a more prolonged period of sedimentation. The intertrappean beds fall in the second cooling event of the Oligocene climatic deterioration. During the contemporaneous apparent drop in the global sea-level and closure of the Tethyan Ocean between Arabia and southwestern Asia, connections were established between the African and the Eurasian continents. At that time, southwestern Asia was experiencing severe aridity with faunal exchanges toward the luxuriously vegetated eastern Africa.

  9. Orphans and Vulnerable Children Affected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Bryant, Malcolm; Beard, Jennifer

    2016-02-01

    In Sub-Saharan Africa, 15.1 million children have been orphaned because of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). They face significant vulnerabilities, including stigma and discrimination, trauma and stress, illness, food insecurity, poverty, and difficulty accessing education. Millions of additional children who have living parents are vulnerable because their parents or other relatives are infected. This article reviews the current situation of orphans and vulnerable children, explores the underlying determinants of vulnerability and resilience, describes the response by the global community, and highlights the challenges as the HIV pandemic progresses through its fourth decade.

  10. Orphans and Vulnerable Children Affected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Bryant, Malcolm; Beard, Jennifer

    2016-02-01

    In Sub-Saharan Africa, 15.1 million children have been orphaned because of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). They face significant vulnerabilities, including stigma and discrimination, trauma and stress, illness, food insecurity, poverty, and difficulty accessing education. Millions of additional children who have living parents are vulnerable because their parents or other relatives are infected. This article reviews the current situation of orphans and vulnerable children, explores the underlying determinants of vulnerability and resilience, describes the response by the global community, and highlights the challenges as the HIV pandemic progresses through its fourth decade. PMID:26613693

  11. Africa as a regional and global source of atmospheric gases and particulates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mtetwa, Lawrence

    The role of the continent of Africa as a source of gaseous and particulate emissions to the atmosphere is investigated in this study. Sources of gases and particulates from Africa include fossil fuel combustion, biomass burning, and biogenic soil emissions of nitric oxide. This study represents the first comprehensive database of gaseous and particulate emissions developed for the continent of Africa on a country by country basis and establishes the framework for country-by-country, assessment of greenhouse gases emissions as required by the Kyoto Conference on Global Warming, which was attended by representatives from more than 100 countries. Calculations of gases and particulates resulting from fossil fuel combustion were based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines. Calculations of gases and particulates resulting from biomass burning were based on fire counts obtained from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). Block 5 satellites and emission ratios for various gaseous and particulate fire products obtained during the recent Southern African Fire- Atmosphere Research Initiative (SAFARI), an activity of the international Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project, part of the international Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP). The calculations of biogenic soil emissions of nitric oxide were obtained with the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Biogenic Soil NOx Model. Africa was found to be a significant global source of the following gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), methyl chloride (CH3Cl), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and carbon particulates. The results indicate that Africa is the world's single largest continental source of emissions due to biomass burning and that these emissions are likely to increase with time. The study established that on a global scale, Africa was the largest source of soil biogenic NOx. The importance of Africa as a key global source of trace gases and aerosols has

  12. The Hydroclimate of East Africa: Seasonal cycle, Decadal Variability, and Human-induced Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Wenchang

    cold east SST bias over the Indian Ocean contributes to the wet OND rainfall bias in East Africa. Finally, to understand the East African regional climate in the context of the broader tropical climate and circulation, zonal momentum balance of the tropical atmospheric circulation during the global monsoon mature months (January and July) are analyzed in three dimensions based on the ERA-Interim Re-Analysis. It is found that the dominant terms in the balance of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) in both months are the pressure gradient force, the Coriolis force and friction. The nonlinear advection term plays a significant role only in the Asian summer monsoon regions including off East Africa. In the upper troposphere, the pressure gradient force, the Coriolis force and nonlinear advection are the dominant terms. The transient eddy force and the residual force (which can be explained as convective momentum transfer over open oceans) are secondary yet can not be neglected near the equator. Zonal mean equatorial upper troposphere easterlies are maintained by the absolute angular momentum advection associated with the cross-equatorial Hadley circulation. Equatorial upper troposphere easterlies over the Asian monsoon regions are also controllled by the absolute angular momentum advection but are mainly maintained by the pressure gradient force in January. The equivalent linear Rayleigh friction, which is widely applied in simple tropical models, is calculated and the corresponding spatial distribution of local coefficient and damping time scale are estimated from the linear regression. It is found that the linear momentum model is in general capable of crudely describing the tropical atmospheric circulation dynamics yet the caveat should be kept in mind that the friction coefficient is not uniformly distributed and is even negative in some regions.

  13. Precipitation recycling in West Africa - regional modeling, evaporation tagging and atmospheric water budget analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnault, Joel; Kunstmann, Harald; Knoche, Hans-Richard

    2015-04-01

    Many numerical studies have shown that the West African monsoon is highly sensitive to the state of the land surface. It is however questionable to which extend a local change of land surface properties would affect the local climate, especially with respect to precipitation. This issue is traditionally addressed with the concept of precipitation recycling, defined as the contribution of local surface evaporation to local precipitation. For this study the West African monsoon has been simulated with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model using explicit convection, for the domain (1°S-21°N, 18°W-14°E) at a spatial resolution of 10 km, for the period January-October 2013, and using ERA-Interim reanalyses as driving data. This WRF configuration has been selected for its ability to simulate monthly precipitation amounts and daily histograms close to TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) data. In order to investigate precipitation recycling in this WRF simulation, surface evaporation tagging has been implemented in the WRF source code as well as the budget of total and tagged atmospheric water. Surface evaporation tagging consists in duplicating all water species and the respective prognostic equations in the source code. Then, tagged water species are set to zero at the lateral boundaries of the simulated domain (no inflow of tagged water vapor), and tagged surface evaporation is considered only in a specified region. All the source terms of the prognostic equations of total and tagged water species are finally saved in the outputs for the budget analysis. This allows quantifying the respective contribution of total and tagged atmospheric water to atmospheric precipitation processes. The WRF simulation with surface evaporation tagging and budgets has been conducted two times, first with a 100 km2 tagged region (11-12°N, 1-2°W), and second with a 1000 km2 tagged region (7-16°N, 6°W -3°E). In this presentation we will investigate hydro

  14. Learning from our apartheid past: human rights challenges for health professionals in contemporary South Africa.

    PubMed

    Baldwin-Ragaven, L; London, L; De Gruchy, J

    2000-01-01

    Central to South Africa's democratic transformation have been attempts to understand how and why human rights abuses were common under apartheid. In testimony to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission evidence has emerged of a wide range of past complicity in human rights abuses by health professionals and their organisations. This has presented a major challenge to the health sector to develop ways to operationalize a commitment to human rights in the future. This paper argues that only after a process of self-reflection, both personal and institutional, which enables a thorough and accurate analysis of why things went so wrong, can the health sector effectively move forward. The authors' perspective draws on the submission to the TRC Health Sector Hearings by the Health and Human Rights Project in 1997, which provides a systemic and case-based analysis of the health sector's role in human rights abuses under apartheid. However, human rights responses have to take account of a changing national and global terrain in which human rights issues are no longer as morally absolute as previously encountered, and in which seemingly insuperable resource constraints, inimical economic policies, and the demobilization of civil society, are serious obstacles. Moreover, the politics of transformation has generated expediencies that threaten to rewrite history in ways that fundamentally cheapen human rights. To address this contradiction, the authors propose a set of objectives that places accountability of health professionals in a human rights framework. These objectives are intended to give substance to the main tasks facing the health sector--to develop and infuse the capacity to recognise and integrate both the 'new' and traditional human rights dilemmas, and to effect personal and institutional transformation. A matrix is presented, linking these objectives to key role players in the health sector and identifying activities specific for each role player. As the health

  15. Validation of the regional climate model MAR over the CORDEX Africa domain and comparison with other regional models using unpublished data set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prignon, Maxime; Agosta, Cécile; Kittel, Christoph; Fettweis, Xavier; Michel, Erpicum

    2016-04-01

    In the framework of the CORDEX project, we have applied the regional model MAR over the Africa domain at a resolution of 50 km. ERA-Interim and NCEP-NCAR reanalysis have been used as 6 hourly forcing at the MAR boundaries over 1950-2015. While MAR was already been validated over the West Africa, it is the first time that MAR simulations are carried out at the scale of the whole continent. Unpublished daily measurements, covering the Sahel and more areas up South, with a large set of variables, are used as validation of MAR, other CORDEX-Africa RCMs and both reanalyses. Comparisons with the CRU and the ECA&D databases are also performed. The unpublished daily data set covers the period 1884-2006 and comes from 1460 stations. The measured variables are wind, evapotranspiration, relative humidity, insolation, rain, surface pressure, temperature, vapour pressure and visibility. It covers 23 countries: Algeria, Benin, Burkina, Canary Islands, Cap Verde, Central Africa, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Togo.

  16. WMO SDS-WAS NAMEE Regional Center: Towards continuous evaluation of dust models in Northern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basart, Sara; García-Castillo, Gerardo; Cuevas, Emilio; Terradellas, Enric

    2016-04-01

    One of the most important activities of the Regional Center for Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe of the World Meteorological Organization's Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (WMO SDS-WAS, http://sds-was.aemet.es) is the dust model intercomparison and forecast evaluation, which is deemed an indispensable service to the users and an invaluable tool to assess model skills. Currently, the Regional Center collects daily dust forecasts from models run by nine partners (BSC, ECMWF, NASA, NCEP, SEEVCCC, EMA, CNR-ISAC, NOA and UK Met Office). A multi-model ensemble has also been set up in an effort to provide added-value products to the users. The first problem to address the dust model evaluation is the scarcity of suitable routine observations near the Sahara, the world's largest source of mineral dust. The present contribution presents preliminary results of dust model evaluation using new observational datasets. The current routine evaluation of dust predictions is focused on total-column dust optical depth (DOD) and uses remote-sensing retrievals from sun-photometric (AERONET) and satellite (MODIS) measurements. However, most users of dust forecasts are interested in the concentration near the surface (in the air we breathe) rather than in the total column content. Therefore, evaluation of the predicted surface concentration is also necessary. In this context, the initiative of the African Monsoon Interdisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) International Program to establish permanent measuring stations in the Sahel is extremely important. Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance (TEOM) monitors continuously record PM10 in M'Bour (Senegal); Cinzana (Mali) and Banizoumbou (Niger). This surface model evaluation is complemented with the PM10 observation from the Air Quality Control and Monitoring Network (AQCMN) of the Canary Islands (Spain). The region, located in the sub-tropical Eastern Atlantic (roughly 100 km west of the Moroccan coast), is

  17. Implications of Nubian-Like Core Reduction Systems in Southern Africa for the Identification of Early Modern Human Dispersals.

    PubMed

    Will, Manuel; Mackay, Alex; Phillips, Natasha

    2015-01-01

    Lithic technologies have been used to trace dispersals of early human populations within and beyond Africa. Convergence in lithic systems has the potential to confound such interpretations, implying connections between unrelated groups. Due to their reductive nature, stone artefacts are unusually prone to this chance appearance of similar forms in unrelated populations. Here we present data from the South African Middle Stone Age sites Uitpanskraal 7 and Mertenhof suggesting that Nubian core reduction systems associated with Late Pleistocene populations in North Africa and potentially with early human migrations out of Africa in MIS 5 also occur in southern Africa during early MIS 3 and with no clear connection to the North African occurrence. The timing and spatial distribution of their appearance in southern and northern Africa implies technological convergence, rather than diffusion or dispersal. While lithic technologies can be a critical guide to human population flux, their utility in tracing early human dispersals at large spatial and temporal scales with stone artefact types remains questionable. PMID:26125972

  18. Implications of Nubian-Like Core Reduction Systems in Southern Africa for the Identification of Early Modern Human Dispersals

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Natasha

    2015-01-01

    Lithic technologies have been used to trace dispersals of early human populations within and beyond Africa. Convergence in lithic systems has the potential to confound such interpretations, implying connections between unrelated groups. Due to their reductive nature, stone artefacts are unusually prone to this chance appearance of similar forms in unrelated populations. Here we present data from the South African Middle Stone Age sites Uitpanskraal 7 and Mertenhof suggesting that Nubian core reduction systems associated with Late Pleistocene populations in North Africa and potentially with early human migrations out of Africa in MIS 5 also occur in southern Africa during early MIS 3 and with no clear connection to the North African occurrence. The timing and spatial distribution of their appearance in southern and northern Africa implies technological convergence, rather than diffusion or dispersal. While lithic technologies can be a critical guide to human population flux, their utility in tracing early human dispersals at large spatial and temporal scales with stone artefact types remains questionable. PMID:26125972

  19. Pathogen-Host Associations and Predicted Range Shifts of Human Monkeypox in Response to Climate Change in Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Thomassen, Henri A.; Fuller, Trevon; Asefi-Najafabady, Salvi; Shiplacoff, Julia A. G.; Mulembakani, Prime M.; Blumberg, Seth; Johnston, Sara C.; Kisalu, Neville K.; Kinkela, Timothée L.; Fair, Joseph N.; Wolfe, Nathan D.; Shongo, Robert L.; LeBreton, Matthew; Meyer, Hermann; Wright, Linda L.; Muyembe, Jean-Jacques; Buermann, Wolfgang; Okitolonda, Emile; Hensley, Lisa E.; Lloyd-Smith, James O.; Smith, Thomas B.; Rimoin, Anne W.

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is predicted to result in changes in the geographic ranges and local prevalence of infectious diseases, either through direct effects on the pathogen, or indirectly through range shifts in vector and reservoir species. To better understand the occurrence of monkeypox virus (MPXV), an emerging Orthopoxvirus in humans, under contemporary and future climate conditions, we used ecological niche modeling techniques in conjunction with climate and remote-sensing variables. We first created spatially explicit probability distributions of its candidate reservoir species in Africa's Congo Basin. Reservoir species distributions were subsequently used to model current and projected future distributions of human monkeypox (MPX). Results indicate that forest clearing and climate are significant driving factors of the transmission of MPX from wildlife to humans under current climate conditions. Models under contemporary climate conditions performed well, as indicated by high values for the area under the receiver operator curve (AUC), and tests on spatially randomly and non-randomly omitted test data. Future projections were made on IPCC 4th Assessment climate change scenarios for 2050 and 2080, ranging from more conservative to more aggressive, and representing the potential variation within which range shifts can be expected to occur. Future projections showed range shifts into regions where MPX has not been recorded previously. Increased suitability for MPX was predicted in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Models developed here are useful for identifying areas where environmental conditions may become more suitable for human MPX; targeting candidate reservoir species for future screening efforts; and prioritizing regions for future MPX surveillance efforts. PMID:23935820

  20. Analysis of adequacy levels for human resources improvement within primary health care framework in Africa.

    PubMed

    Parent, Florence; Fromageot, Audrey; Coppieters, Yves; Lejeune, Colette; Lemenu, Dominique; Garant, Michèle; Piette, Danielle; Levêque, Alain; De Ketele, Jean-Marie

    2005-12-02

    Human resources in health care system in sub-Saharan Africa are generally picturing a lack of adequacy between expected skills from the professionals and health care needs expressed by the populations. It is, however, possible to analyse these various lacks of adequacy related to human resource management and their determinants to enhance the effectiveness of the health care system. From two projects focused on nurse professionals within the health care system in Central Africa, we present an analytic grid for adequacy levels looking into the following aspects:- adequacy between skills-based profiles for health system professionals, quality of care and service delivery (health care system /medical standards), needs and expectations from the populations,- adequacy between allocation of health system professionals, quality of care and services delivered (health care system /medical standards), needs and expectations from the populations,- adequacy between human resource management within health care system and medical standards,- adequacy between human resource management within education/teaching/training and needs from health care system and education sectors,- adequacy between basic and on-going education and realities of tasks expected and implemented by different categories of professionals within the health care system body,- adequacy between intentions for initial and on-going trainings and teaching programs in health sciences for trainers (teachers/supervisors/health care system professionals/ directors (teaching managers) of schools...). This tool is necessary for decision-makers as well as for health care system professionals who share common objectives for changes at each level of intervention within the health system. Setting this adequacy implies interdisciplinary and participative approaches for concerned actors in order to provide an overall vision of a more broaden system than health district, small island with self-rationality, and in which they

  1. Late Stone Age human remains from Ishango (Democratic Republic of Congo): New insights on Late Pleistocene modern human diversity in Africa.

    PubMed

    Crevecoeur, I; Brooks, A; Ribot, I; Cornelissen, E; Semal, P

    2016-07-01

    Although questions of modern human origins and dispersal are subject to intense research within and outside Africa, the processes of modern human diversification during the Late Pleistocene are most often discussed within the context of recent human genetic data. This situation is due largely to the dearth of human fossil remains dating to the final Pleistocene in Africa and their almost total absence from West and Central Africa, thus limiting our perception of modern human diversification within Africa before the Holocene. Here, we present a morphometric comparative analysis of the earliest Late Pleistocene modern human remains from the Central African site of Ishango in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The early Late Stone Age layer (eLSA) of this site, dated to the Last Glacial Maximum (25-20 Ky), contains more than one hundred fragmentary human remains. The exceptional associated archaeological context suggests these remains derived from a community of hunter-fisher-gatherers exhibiting complex social and cognitive behaviors including substantial reliance on aquatic resources, development of fishing technology, possible mathematical notations and repetitive use of space, likely on a seasonal basis. Comparisons with large samples of Late Pleistocene and early Holocene modern human fossils from Africa and Eurasia show that the Ishango human remains exhibit distinctive characteristics and a higher phenotypic diversity in contrast to recent African populations. In many aspects, as is true for the inner ear conformation, these eLSA human remains have more affinities with Middle to early Late Pleistocene fossils worldwide than with extant local African populations. In addition, cross-sectional geometric properties of the long bones are consistent with archaeological evidence suggesting reduced terrestrial mobility resulting from greater investment in and use of aquatic resources. Our results on the Ishango human remains provide insights into past African modern

  2. Human Monkeypox in the Kivus, a Conflict Region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    PubMed Central

    McCollum, Andrea M.; Nakazawa, Yoshinori; Ndongala, Guy Mutombo; Pukuta, Elisabeth; Karhemere, Stomy; Lushima, Robert Shongo; Ilunga, Benoit Kebela; Kabamba, Joelle; Wilkins, Kimberly; Gao, Jinxin; Li, Yu; Emerson, Ginny; Damon, Inger K.; Carroll, Darin S.; Reynolds, Mary G.; Malekani, Jean; Tamfum, Jean-Jacques Muyembe

    2015-01-01

    Monkeypox (MPX) is a zoonotic Orthopoxvirus infection endemic in central and western Africa. Human MPX cases occur in the central and northern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and this is the first report of confirmed MPX cases in the forested areas of North and South Kivu Provinces, with a detailed epidemiological investigation for one case. The location of each case is within areas predicted to be suitable for MPX virus transmission based on an ecological niche model. Phylogenetic analysis places these viruses in the Congo Basin clade. PMID:26283752

  3. The Great Karoo region of South Africa: A carbon source or sink?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus; Greenwood, Philip; Kuhn, Brigitte; Boardman, John; Foster, Ian; Meadows, Mike

    2014-05-01

    Work undertaken in the seasonally arid upland areas of the Great Karoo region of South Africa has established a link between land degradation and overgrazing that began approximately 200 years ago when European farmers first settled the area. In response to changing land use, coupled with shifting rainfall patterns, parts of the landscape are now characterised by badlands on footslopes of valley-sides and complex gully systems on valley floors. Limited precipitation and agricultural intensification, particularly from around the 1920s onwards, resulted in a growing demand for water, and led to the construction of many small reservoirs, most of which are now in-filled with sediment. Whilst the deposited material has provided a means of linking catchment-scale responses to land use changes over the last ca. 100 years, the influence of land degradation on erosion and deposition of soil-associated carbon (C) has received only limited attention. Despite a reversion to extensive agriculture and reduced livestock densities in certain areas, limited vegetation regrowth suggests that soil rehabilitation will be a long-term process. This communication presents preliminary results from an investigation to determine whether land degradation in the Karoo has resulted in a shift from a net sink of C to a net source of C. Sediment deposits from a silted-up reservoir in a small dry valley system was analysed for varying physicochemical parameters. Total Carbon (TC) content was recorded and the sharp decrease in total C content with decreasing depth suggests that land degradation during and after post-European settlement probably led to accelerated erosion of the relatively fertile surface soils, and this presumably resulted in the rapid in-filling of reservoirs with carbon-rich surface material. Overall, the results indicate a sharp decline in soil organic matter (SOM) of eroded material, presumably as a consequence of land degradation. This suggests that in landscapes such as the

  4. Disentangling the relative effects of bushmeat availability on human nutrition in central Africa.

    PubMed

    Fa, John E; Olivero, Jesús; Real, Raimundo; Farfán, Miguel A; Márquez, Ana L; Vargas, J Mario; Ziegler, Stefan; Wegmann, Martin; Brown, David; Margetts, Barrie; Nasi, Robert

    2015-02-02

    We studied links between human malnutrition and wild meat availability within the Rainforest Biotic Zone in central Africa. We distinguished two distinct hunted mammalian diversity distributions, one in the rainforest areas (Deep Rainforest Diversity, DRD) containing taxa of lower hunting sustainability, the other in the northern rainforest-savanna mosaic, with species of greater hunting potential (Marginal Rainforest Diversity, MRD). Wild meat availability, assessed by standing crop mammalian biomass, was greater in MRD than in DRD areas. Predicted bushmeat extraction was also higher in MRD areas. Despite this, stunting of children, a measure of human malnutrition, was greater in MRD areas. Structural equation modeling identified that, in MRD areas, mammal diversity fell away from urban areas, but proximity to these positively influenced higher stunting incidence. In DRD areas, remoteness and distance from dense human settlements and infrastructures explained lower stunting levels. Moreover, stunting was higher away from protected areas. Our results suggest that in MRD areas, forest wildlife rational use for better human nutrition is possible. By contrast, the relatively low human populations in DRD areas currently offer abundant opportunities for the continued protection of more vulnerable mammals and allow dietary needs of local populations to be met.

  5. Disentangling the relative effects of bushmeat availability on human nutrition in central Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fa, John E.; Olivero, Jesús; Real, Raimundo; Farfán, Miguel A.; Márquez, Ana L.; Vargas, J. Mario; Ziegler, Stefan; Wegmann, Martin; Brown, David; Margetts, Barrie; Nasi, Robert

    2015-02-01

    We studied links between human malnutrition and wild meat availability within the Rainforest Biotic Zone in central Africa. We distinguished two distinct hunted mammalian diversity distributions, one in the rainforest areas (Deep Rainforest Diversity, DRD) containing taxa of lower hunting sustainability, the other in the northern rainforest-savanna mosaic, with species of greater hunting potential (Marginal Rainforest Diversity, MRD). Wild meat availability, assessed by standing crop mammalian biomass, was greater in MRD than in DRD areas. Predicted bushmeat extraction was also higher in MRD areas. Despite this, stunting of children, a measure of human malnutrition, was greater in MRD areas. Structural equation modeling identified that, in MRD areas, mammal diversity fell away from urban areas, but proximity to these positively influenced higher stunting incidence. In DRD areas, remoteness and distance from dense human settlements and infrastructures explained lower stunting levels. Moreover, stunting was higher away from protected areas. Our results suggest that in MRD areas, forest wildlife rational use for better human nutrition is possible. By contrast, the relatively low human populations in DRD areas currently offer abundant opportunities for the continued protection of more vulnerable mammals and allow dietary needs of local populations to be met.

  6. Disentangling the relative effects of bushmeat availability on human nutrition in central Africa.

    PubMed

    Fa, John E; Olivero, Jesús; Real, Raimundo; Farfán, Miguel A; Márquez, Ana L; Vargas, J Mario; Ziegler, Stefan; Wegmann, Martin; Brown, David; Margetts, Barrie; Nasi, Robert

    2015-01-01

    We studied links between human malnutrition and wild meat availability within the Rainforest Biotic Zone in central Africa. We distinguished two distinct hunted mammalian diversity distributions, one in the rainforest areas (Deep Rainforest Diversity, DRD) containing taxa of lower hunting sustainability, the other in the northern rainforest-savanna mosaic, with species of greater hunting potential (Marginal Rainforest Diversity, MRD). Wild meat availability, assessed by standing crop mammalian biomass, was greater in MRD than in DRD areas. Predicted bushmeat extraction was also higher in MRD areas. Despite this, stunting of children, a measure of human malnutrition, was greater in MRD areas. Structural equation modeling identified that, in MRD areas, mammal diversity fell away from urban areas, but proximity to these positively influenced higher stunting incidence. In DRD areas, remoteness and distance from dense human settlements and infrastructures explained lower stunting levels. Moreover, stunting was higher away from protected areas. Our results suggest that in MRD areas, forest wildlife rational use for better human nutrition is possible. By contrast, the relatively low human populations in DRD areas currently offer abundant opportunities for the continued protection of more vulnerable mammals and allow dietary needs of local populations to be met. PMID:25639588

  7. Disentangling the relative effects of bushmeat availability on human nutrition in central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Fa, John E.; Olivero, Jesús; Real, Raimundo; Farfán, Miguel A.; Márquez, Ana L.; Vargas, J. Mario; Ziegler, Stefan; Wegmann, Martin; Brown, David; Margetts, Barrie; Nasi, Robert

    2015-01-01

    We studied links between human malnutrition and wild meat availability within the Rainforest Biotic Zone in central Africa. We distinguished two distinct hunted mammalian diversity distributions, one in the rainforest areas (Deep Rainforest Diversity, DRD) containing taxa of lower hunting sustainability, the other in the northern rainforest-savanna mosaic, with species of greater hunting potential (Marginal Rainforest Diversity, MRD). Wild meat availability, assessed by standing crop mammalian biomass, was greater in MRD than in DRD areas. Predicted bushmeat extraction was also higher in MRD areas. Despite this, stunting of children, a measure of human malnutrition, was greater in MRD areas. Structural equation modeling identified that, in MRD areas, mammal diversity fell away from urban areas, but proximity to these positively influenced higher stunting incidence. In DRD areas, remoteness and distance from dense human settlements and infrastructures explained lower stunting levels. Moreover, stunting was higher away from protected areas. Our results suggest that in MRD areas, forest wildlife rational use for better human nutrition is possible. By contrast, the relatively low human populations in DRD areas currently offer abundant opportunities for the continued protection of more vulnerable mammals and allow dietary needs of local populations to be met. PMID:25639588

  8. Explaining the Ordinary Magic of Stable African Multilingualism in the Vaal Triangle Region in South Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coetzee-Van Rooy, Susan

    2014-01-01

    The academic and public debates about language maintenance and language shift in the post-1994 South Africa distract attention from the more productive and important endeavour of explaining the nature of the multilingualism observed among users of African languages in urban contexts. An explanation for this phenomenon is offered here, based on…

  9. Tracing the route of modern humans out of Africa by using 225 human genome sequences from Ethiopians and Egyptians.

    PubMed

    Pagani, Luca; Schiffels, Stephan; Gurdasani, Deepti; Danecek, Petr; Scally, Aylwyn; Chen, Yuan; Xue, Yali; Haber, Marc; Ekong, Rosemary; Oljira, Tamiru; Mekonnen, Ephrem; Luiselli, Donata; Bradman, Neil; Bekele, Endashaw; Zalloua, Pierre; Durbin, Richard; Kivisild, Toomas; Tyler-Smith, Chris

    2015-06-01

    The predominantly African origin of all modern human populations is well established, but the route taken out of Africa is still unclear. Two alternative routes, via Egypt and Sinai or across the Bab el Mandeb strait into Arabia, have traditionally been proposed as feasible gateways in light of geographic, paleoclimatic, archaeological, and genetic evidence. Distinguishing among these alternatives has been difficult. We generated 225 whole-genome sequences (225 at 8× depth, of which 8 were increased to 30×; Illumina HiSeq 2000) from six modern Northeast African populations (100 Egyptians and five Ethiopian populations each represented by 25 individuals). West Eurasian components were masked out, and the remaining African haplotypes were compared with a panel of sub-Saharan African and non-African genomes. We showed that masked Northeast African haplotypes overall were more similar to non-African haplotypes and more frequently present outside Africa than were any sets of haplotypes derived from a West African population. Furthermore, the masked Egyptian haplotypes showed these properties more markedly than the masked Ethiopian haplotypes, pointing to Egypt as the more likely gateway in the exodus to the rest of the world. Using five Ethiopian and three Egyptian high-coverage masked genomes and the multiple sequentially Markovian coalescent (MSMC) approach, we estimated the genetic split times of Egyptians and Ethiopians from non-African populations at 55,000 and 65,000 years ago, respectively, whereas that of West Africans was estimated to be 75,000 years ago. Both the haplotype and MSMC analyses thus suggest a predominant northern route out of Africa via Egypt.

  10. Tracing the route of modern humans out of Africa by using 225 human genome sequences from Ethiopians and Egyptians.

    PubMed

    Pagani, Luca; Schiffels, Stephan; Gurdasani, Deepti; Danecek, Petr; Scally, Aylwyn; Chen, Yuan; Xue, Yali; Haber, Marc; Ekong, Rosemary; Oljira, Tamiru; Mekonnen, Ephrem; Luiselli, Donata; Bradman, Neil; Bekele, Endashaw; Zalloua, Pierre; Durbin, Richard; Kivisild, Toomas; Tyler-Smith, Chris

    2015-06-01

    The predominantly African origin of all modern human populations is well established, but the route taken out of Africa is still unclear. Two alternative routes, via Egypt and Sinai or across the Bab el Mandeb strait into Arabia, have traditionally been proposed as feasible gateways in light of geographic, paleoclimatic, archaeological, and genetic evidence. Distinguishing among these alternatives has been difficult. We generated 225 whole-genome sequences (225 at 8× depth, of which 8 were increased to 30×; Illumina HiSeq 2000) from six modern Northeast African populations (100 Egyptians and five Ethiopian populations each represented by 25 individuals). West Eurasian components were masked out, and the remaining African haplotypes were compared with a panel of sub-Saharan African and non-African genomes. We showed that masked Northeast African haplotypes overall were more similar to non-African haplotypes and more frequently present outside Africa than were any sets of haplotypes derived from a West African population. Furthermore, the masked Egyptian haplotypes showed these properties more markedly than the masked Ethiopian haplotypes, pointing to Egypt as the more likely gateway in the exodus to the rest of the world. Using five Ethiopian and three Egyptian high-coverage masked genomes and the multiple sequentially Markovian coalescent (MSMC) approach, we estimated the genetic split times of Egyptians and Ethiopians from non-African populations at 55,000 and 65,000 years ago, respectively, whereas that of West Africans was estimated to be 75,000 years ago. Both the haplotype and MSMC analyses thus suggest a predominant northern route out of Africa via Egypt. PMID:26027499

  11. Tracing the Route of Modern Humans out of Africa by Using 225 Human Genome Sequences from Ethiopians and Egyptians

    PubMed Central

    Pagani, Luca; Schiffels, Stephan; Gurdasani, Deepti; Danecek, Petr; Scally, Aylwyn; Chen, Yuan; Xue, Yali; Haber, Marc; Ekong, Rosemary; Oljira, Tamiru; Mekonnen, Ephrem; Luiselli, Donata; Bradman, Neil; Bekele, Endashaw; Zalloua, Pierre; Durbin, Richard; Kivisild, Toomas; Tyler-Smith, Chris

    2015-01-01

    The predominantly African origin of all modern human populations is well established, but the route taken out of Africa is still unclear. Two alternative routes, via Egypt and Sinai or across the Bab el Mandeb strait into Arabia, have traditionally been proposed as feasible gateways in light of geographic, paleoclimatic, archaeological, and genetic evidence. Distinguishing among these alternatives has been difficult. We generated 225 whole-genome sequences (225 at 8× depth, of which 8 were increased to 30×; Illumina HiSeq 2000) from six modern Northeast African populations (100 Egyptians and five Ethiopian populations each represented by 25 individuals). West Eurasian components were masked out, and the remaining African haplotypes were compared with a panel of sub-Saharan African and non-African genomes. We showed that masked Northeast African haplotypes overall were more similar to non-African haplotypes and more frequently present outside Africa than were any sets of haplotypes derived from a West African population. Furthermore, the masked Egyptian haplotypes showed these properties more markedly than the masked Ethiopian haplotypes, pointing to Egypt as the more likely gateway in the exodus to the rest of the world. Using five Ethiopian and three Egyptian high-coverage masked genomes and the multiple sequentially Markovian coalescent (MSMC) approach, we estimated the genetic split times of Egyptians and Ethiopians from non-African populations at 55,000 and 65,000 years ago, respectively, whereas that of West Africans was estimated to be 75,000 years ago. Both the haplotype and MSMC analyses thus suggest a predominant northern route out of Africa via Egypt. PMID:26027499

  12. Future changes in African temperature and precipitation in an ensemble of Africa-CORDEX regional climate model simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kjellström, Erik; Nikulin, Grigory; Gbobaniyi, Emiola; Jones, Colin

    2013-04-01

    In this study we investigate possible changes in temperature and precipitation on a regional scale over Africa from 1961 to 2100. We use data from two ensembles of climate simulations, one global and one regional, over the Africa-CORDEX domain. The global ensemble includes eight coupled atmosphere ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) from the CMIP5 project with horizontal resolution varying from about 1° to 3°, namely CanESM2, CNRM-CM5, HadGEM2-ES, NorESM1-M, EC-EARTH, MIROC5, GFDL-ESM2M and MPI-ESM-LR. In the regional ensemble all 8 AOGCMs are downscaled at the Rossby Centre (SMHI) by a regional climate model - RCA4 at 0.44° resolution. Two forcing scenarios are considered, RCP 4.5 and 8.5. The experimental setup allows us to illustrate how uncertainties in future climate change are related to forcing scenario and to forcing AOGCM at different time periods. Further, we investigate the benefit of the higher horizontal resolution in RCA4 by comparing the results to the coarser driving AOGCM data. The significance of the results is investigated by comparing to i) the model simulated natural variability, and, ii) the biases in the control period. Results dealing with changes in the seasonal cycle of temperature and precipitation are presented. We also address higher-order variability by showing results for changes in temperature extremes and for changes in intensity and frequency of extreme precipitation.

  13. Psychology and modern life challenges: the 2nd Middle East and North Africa Regional Conference of Psychology, Amman, Jordan, 2007.

    PubMed

    Knowles, Michael; Sabourin, Michel

    2008-04-01

    The Second Middle East and North Africa Regional Conference of Psychology was held in Amman from 27 April - 1 May 2007 under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah and the auspices of the International Union of Psychological Science, the International Association of Applied Psychology, and the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology. It was hosted by the Jordanian Psychological Association whose President was Dr. Asaad Zuby. The President of the Conference and the Local Organizing Committee was Dr. Adnan Farah, the Chair of the Scientific Program Committee was Dr. Mohammad Rimawi, and the Chair of the Regional Advisory Committee was Dr. Marwan Dwairy. The Conference succeeded in attracting participants from 28 countries, including 15 from the Middle East and North Africa region. The Scientific Program explored ways and means to promote the role of psychology in meeting life challenges at regional and international levels. The Conference concluded with the signing of a formal Declaration which called upon governments, academic and professional institutions and organizations, non-governmental organization and other civil society groups, and the United Nations, to work together and to make every possible effort individually and collectively to achieve these goals.

  14. From the Cover: Feature Article: Water, plants, and early human habitats in eastern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magill, Clayton R.; Ashley, Gail M.; Freeman, Katherine H.

    2013-01-01

    Water and its influence on plants likely exerted strong adaptive pressures in human evolution. Understanding relationships among water, plants, and early humans is limited both by incomplete terrestrial records of environmental change and by indirect proxy data for water availability. Here we present a continuous record of stable hydrogen-isotope compositions (expressed as δD values) for lipid biomarkers preserved in lake sediments from an early Pleistocene archaeological site in eastern Africa-Olduvai Gorge. We convert sedimentary leaf- and algal-lipid δD values into estimates for ancient source-water δD values by accounting for biochemical, physiological, and environmental influences on isotopic fractionation via published water-lipid enrichment factors for living plants, algae, and recent sediments. Reconstructed precipitation and lake-water δD values, respectively, are consistent with modern isotopic hydrology and reveal that dramatic fluctuations in water availability accompanied ecosystem changes. Drier conditions, indicated by less negative δD values, occur in association with stable carbon-isotopic evidence for open, C4-dominated grassland ecosystems. Wetter conditions, indicated by lower δD values, are associated with expanded woody cover across the ancient landscape. Estimates for ancient precipitation amounts, based on reconstructed precipitation δD values, range between approximately 250 and 700 mm.y-1 and are consistent with modern precipitation data for eastern Africa. We conclude that freshwater availability exerted a substantial influence on eastern African ecosystems and, by extension, was central to early human proliferation during periods of rapid climate change.

  15. Molecular Epidemiology of Human Rhinoviruses and Enteroviruses Highlights Their Diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    L'Huillier, Arnaud G; Kaiser, Laurent; Petty, Tom J; Kilowoko, Mary; Kyungu, Esther; Hongoa, Philipina; Vieille, Gaël; Turin, Lara; Genton, Blaise; D'Acremont, Valérie; Tapparel, Caroline

    2015-12-08

    Human rhinoviruses (HRVs) and enteroviruses (HEVs) belong to the Enterovirus genus and are the most frequent cause of infection worldwide, but data on their molecular epidemiology in Africa are scarce. To understand HRV and HEV molecular epidemiology in this setting, we enrolled febrile pediatric patients participating in a large prospective cohort assessing the causes of fever in Tanzanian children. Naso/oropharyngeal swabs were systematically collected and tested by real-time RT-PCR for HRV and HEV. Viruses from positive samples were sequenced and phylogenetic analyses were then applied to highlight the HRV and HEV types as well as recombinant or divergent strains. Thirty-eight percent (378/1005) of the enrolled children harboured an HRV or HEV infection. Although some types were predominant, many distinct types were co-circulating, including a vaccinal poliovirus, HEV-A71 and HEV-D68. Three HRV-A recombinants were identified: HRV-A36/HRV-A67, HRV-A12/HRV-A67 and HRV-A96/HRV-A61. Four divergent HRV strains were also identified: one HRV-B strain and three HRV-C strains. This is the first prospective study focused on HRV and HEV molecular epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa. This systematic and thorough large screening with careful clinical data management confirms the wide genomic diversity of these viruses, brings new insights about their evolution and provides data about associated symptoms.

  16. Intracontinental spread of human invasive Salmonella Typhimurium pathovariants in sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Okoro, Chinyere K; Kingsley, Robert A; Connor, Thomas R; Harris, Simon R; Parry, Christopher M; Al-Mashhadani, Manar N; Kariuki, Samuel; Msefula, Chisomo L; Gordon, Melita A; de Pinna, Elizabeth; Wain, John; Heyderman, Robert S; Obaro, Stephen; Alonso, Pedro L; Mandomando, Inacio; MacLennan, Calman A; Tapia, Milagritos D; Levine, Myron M; Tennant, Sharon M; Parkhill, Julian; Dougan, Gordon

    2012-11-01

    A highly invasive form of non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease has recently been documented in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The most common Salmonella enterica serovar causing this disease is Typhimurium (Salmonella Typhimurium). We applied whole-genome sequence-based phylogenetic methods to define the population structure of sub-Saharan African invasive Salmonella Typhimurium isolates and compared these to global Salmonella Typhimurium populations. Notably, the vast majority of sub-Saharan invasive Salmonella Typhimurium isolates fell within two closely related, highly clustered phylogenetic lineages that we estimate emerged independently ∼52 and ∼35 years ago in close temporal association with the current HIV pandemic. Clonal replacement of isolates from lineage I by those from lineage II was potentially influenced by the use of chloramphenicol for the treatment of iNTS disease. Our analysis suggests that iNTS disease is in part an epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa caused by highly related Salmonella Typhimurium lineages that may have occupied new niches associated with a compromised human population and antibiotic treatment.

  17. Fine-Scale Human Population Structure in Southern Africa Reflects Ecogeographic Boundaries.

    PubMed

    Uren, Caitlin; Kim, Minju; Martin, Alicia R; Bobo, Dean; Gignoux, Christopher R; van Helden, Paul D; Möller, Marlo; Hoal, Eileen G; Henn, Brenna M

    2016-09-01

    Recent genetic studies have established that the KhoeSan populations of southern Africa are distinct from all other African populations and have remained largely isolated during human prehistory until ∼2000 years ago. Dozens of different KhoeSan groups exist, belonging to three different language families, but very little is known about their population history. We examine new genome-wide polymorphism data and whole mitochondrial genomes for >100 South Africans from the ≠Khomani San and Nama populations of the Northern Cape, analyzed in conjunction with 19 additional southern African populations. Our analyses reveal fine-scale population structure in and around the Kalahari Desert. Surprisingly, this structure does not always correspond to linguistic or subsistence categories as previously suggested, but rather reflects the role of geographic barriers and the ecology of the greater Kalahari Basin. Regardless of subsistence strategy, the indigenous Khoe-speaking Nama pastoralists and the N|u-speaking ≠Khomani (formerly hunter-gatherers) share ancestry with other Khoe-speaking forager populations that form a rim around the Kalahari Desert. We reconstruct earlier migration patterns and estimate that the southern Kalahari populations were among the last to experience gene flow from Bantu speakers, ∼14 generations ago. We conclude that local adoption of pastoralism, at least by the Nama, appears to have been primarily a cultural process with limited genetic impact from eastern Africa. PMID:27474727

  18. Molecular Epidemiology of Human Rhinoviruses and Enteroviruses Highlights Their Diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    L’Huillier, Arnaud G.; Kaiser, Laurent; Petty, Tom J.; Kilowoko, Mary; Kyungu, Esther; Hongoa, Philipina; Vieille, Gaël; Turin, Lara; Genton, Blaise; D’Acremont, Valérie; Tapparel, Caroline

    2015-01-01

    Human rhinoviruses (HRVs) and enteroviruses (HEVs) belong to the Enterovirus genus and are the most frequent cause of infection worldwide, but data on their molecular epidemiology in Africa are scarce. To understand HRV and HEV molecular epidemiology in this setting, we enrolled febrile pediatric patients participating in a large prospective cohort assessing the causes of fever in Tanzanian children. Naso/oropharyngeal swabs were systematically collected and tested by real-time RT-PCR for HRV and HEV. Viruses from positive samples were sequenced and phylogenetic analyses were then applied to highlight the HRV and HEV types as well as recombinant or divergent strains. Thirty-eight percent (378/1005) of the enrolled children harboured an HRV or HEV infection. Although some types were predominant, many distinct types were co-circulating, including a vaccinal poliovirus, HEV-A71 and HEV-D68. Three HRV-A recombinants were identified: HRV-A36/HRV-A67, HRV-A12/HRV-A67 and HRV-A96/HRV-A61. Four divergent HRV strains were also identified: one HRV-B strain and three HRV-C strains. This is the first prospective study focused on HRV and HEV molecular epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa. This systematic and thorough large screening with careful clinical data management confirms the wide genomic diversity of these viruses, brings new insights about their evolution and provides data about associated symptoms. PMID:26670243

  19. Evidence that the Human Pathogenic Fungus Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii May Have Evolved in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Litvintseva, Anastasia P.; Carbone, Ignazio; Rossouw, Jenny; Thakur, Rameshwari; Govender, Nelesh P.; Mitchell, Thomas G.

    2011-01-01

    Most of the species of fungi that cause disease in mammals, including Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii (serotype A), are exogenous and non-contagious. Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii is associated worldwide with avian and arboreal habitats. This airborne, opportunistic pathogen is profoundly neurotropic and the leading cause of fungal meningitis. Patients with HIV/AIDS have been ravaged by cryptococcosis – an estimated one million new cases occur each year, and mortality approaches 50%. Using phylogenetic and population genetic analyses, we present evidence that C. neoformans var. grubii may have evolved from a diverse population in southern Africa. Our ecological studies support the hypothesis that a few of these strains acquired a new environmental reservoir, the excreta of feral pigeons (Columba livia), and were globally dispersed by the migration of birds and humans. This investigation also discovered a novel arboreal reservoir for highly diverse strains of C. neoformans var. grubii that are restricted to southern Africa, the mopane tree (Colophospermum mopane). This finding may have significant public health implications because these primal strains have optimal potential for evolution and because mopane trees contribute to the local economy as a source of timber, folkloric remedies and the edible mopane worm. PMID:21589919

  20. Molecular Epidemiology of Human Rhinoviruses and Enteroviruses Highlights Their Diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    L'Huillier, Arnaud G; Kaiser, Laurent; Petty, Tom J; Kilowoko, Mary; Kyungu, Esther; Hongoa, Philipina; Vieille, Gaël; Turin, Lara; Genton, Blaise; D'Acremont, Valérie; Tapparel, Caroline

    2015-12-01

    Human rhinoviruses (HRVs) and enteroviruses (HEVs) belong to the Enterovirus genus and are the most frequent cause of infection worldwide, but data on their molecular epidemiology in Africa are scarce. To understand HRV and HEV molecular epidemiology in this setting, we enrolled febrile pediatric patients participating in a large prospective cohort assessing the causes of fever in Tanzanian children. Naso/oropharyngeal swabs were systematically collected and tested by real-time RT-PCR for HRV and HEV. Viruses from positive samples were sequenced and phylogenetic analyses were then applied to highlight the HRV and HEV types as well as recombinant or divergent strains. Thirty-eight percent (378/1005) of the enrolled children harboured an HRV or HEV infection. Although some types were predominant, many distinct types were co-circulating, including a vaccinal poliovirus, HEV-A71 and HEV-D68. Three HRV-A recombinants were identified: HRV-A36/HRV-A67, HRV-A12/HRV-A67 and HRV-A96/HRV-A61. Four divergent HRV strains were also identified: one HRV-B strain and three HRV-C strains. This is the first prospective study focused on HRV and HEV molecular epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa. This systematic and thorough large screening with careful clinical data management confirms the wide genomic diversity of these viruses, brings new insights about their evolution and provides data about associated symptoms. PMID:26670243

  1. Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs in West Africa as a model for sustainable partnerships in animal and human health.

    PubMed

    Becker, Karen M; Ohuabunwo, Chima; Ndjakani, Yassa; Nguku, Patrick; Nsubuga, Peter; Mukanga, David; Wurapa, Frederick

    2012-09-01

    The concept of animal and human health experts working together toward a healthier world has been endorsed, but challenges remain in identifying concrete actions to move this one health concept from vision to action. In 2008, as a result of avian influenza outbreaks in West Africa, international donor support led to a unique opportunity to invest in Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programs (FELTPs) in the region that engaged the animal and human health sectors to strengthen the capacity for prevention and control of zoonotic diseases. The FELTPs mixed 25% to 35% classroom and 65% to 75% field-based training and service for cohorts of physicians, veterinarians, and laboratory scientists. They typically consisted of a 2-year course leading to a master's degree in field epidemiology and public health laboratory management for midlevel public health leaders and competency-based short courses for frontline public health surveillance workers. Trainees and graduates work in multidisciplinary teams to conduct surveillance, outbreak investigations, and epidemiological studies for disease control locally and across borders. Critical outcomes of these programs include development of a cadre of public health leaders with core skills in integrated disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, vaccination campaigns, laboratory diagnostic testing, and epidemiological studies that address priority public health problems. A key challenge exists in identifying ways to successfully scale up and transform this innovative donor-driven program into a sustainable multisectoral one health workforce capacity development model. PMID:22916854

  2. Variability and trends of local/regional scale surface climate in northern Africa during the twentieth century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Djomou, Zéphirin Yepdo; Monkam, David; Woafo, Paul

    2014-08-01

    Four regions are detected in northern Africa (20° W-40° E, 0-30° N) by applying the cluster analysis method on the annual rainfall anomalies of the period 1901-2000. The first region (R1), an arid land, covers essentially the north of 17.75° N from west to east of the study zone. The second region (R2), a semiarid land with a Sahelian climate, less warm than the dry climate of R1, is centred on Chad, with almost regular extension to the west towards Mauritania, and to the east, including the north of the Central African Republic and the Sudan. The region 3 (R3), a wet land, is centred on the Ivory Coast and covers totally Liberia, the south part of Ghana, Togo, Benin and the southwest of Nigeria. The fourth region (R4), corresponding to the wet equatorial forest, covers a part of Senegal, the Central Africa, the south of Sudan and a part of Ethiopia. An analysis of observed temperature and precipitation variability and trends throughout the twentieth century over these regions is presented. Summer, winter and annual data are examined using a range of variability measures. Statistically, significant warming trends are found over the majority of regions. The trends have a magnitude of up to 1.5 K per century. Only a few precipitation trends are statistically significant. Regional temperature and precipitation show pronounced variability at scales from interannual to multi-decadal. The interannual variability shows significant variations and trends throughout the century, the latter being mostly negative for precipitation and both positive and negative for temperature. Temperature and precipitation anomalies show a chaotic-type behaviour in which the regional conditions oscillate around the long-term mean trend and occasionally fall into long-lasting (up to 10 years or more) anomaly regimes. A generally modest temporal correlation is found between anomalies of different regions and between temperature and precipitation anomalies for the same region. This

  3. Human-associated Staphylococcus aureus strains within great ape populations in Central Africa (Gabon).

    PubMed

    Nagel, M; Dischinger, J; Türck, M; Verrier, D; Oedenkoven, M; Ngoubangoye, B; Le Flohic, G; Drexler, J F; Bierbaum, G; Gonzalez, J-P

    2013-11-01

    The risk of serious infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus is well-known. However, most studies regarding the distribution of (clinically relevant) S. aureus among humans and animals took place in the western hemisphere and only limited data are available from (Central) Africa. In this context, recent studies focused on S. aureus strains in humans and primates, but the question of whether humans and monkeys share related S. aureus strains or may interchange strains remained largely unsolved. In this study we aimed to evaluate the distribution and spread of human-like S. aureus strains among great apes living in captivity. Therefore, a primate facility at the International Centre for Medical Research of Franceville (Gabon) was screened. We detected among the primates a common human S. aureus strain, belonging to the spa-type t148. It was isolated from three different individuals of the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), of which one individual showed a large necrotizing wound. This animal died, most probably of a staphylococcal sepsis. Additionally, we discovered the t148 type among chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) that were settled in the immediate neighbourhood of the infected gorillas. A detailed analysis by pulsed field gel electrophoresis showed that the gorilla and chimpanzee isolates represented two closely related strains. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a human-associated S. aureus strain causing disease in great apes. The simultaneous detection in gorillas and chimpanzees indicated an interspecies transmission of this S. aureus strain. Our results recommend that protection of wild animals must not only be based on habitat conservation, but also on the assessment of the risk of contact with human pathogens.

  4. The relationship between human security, demand for arms and disarmament in the horn of Africa.

    PubMed

    Gebrewold, Kiflemariam

    2002-01-01

    The drive to find security through possession of weapons is linked to the history and culture of a social group. Amongst pastoralists in the Horn of Africa there is a failure of security through state systems such as police and the recent replacement of less-lethal traditional weapons by small arms and other light weapons. A warrior or vendetta culture with these arms leads to violent inter-clan clashes with many casualties, although traditional methods of weapons control still seem operational within clans. Understanding the drive to seek weapons is essential in finding ways to control their use. Improving the capacities of the police must come hand in hand with human rights training and an end to corruption. Further work is required on how traditional methods of arms control can be co-operatively linked with state controls. PMID:12498403

  5. Human rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix): focus on effectiveness and impact 6 years after first introduction in Africa.

    PubMed

    O'Ryan, Miguel; Giaquinto, Carlo; Benninghoff, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    A decade after licensure of the human rotavirus vaccine (HRV), a wealth of evidence supports a reduction of rotavirus (RV) gastroenteritis-associated mortality and hospitalizations following HRV inclusion in national immunization programs. Nevertheless, the majority of real-world data has been generated in high- or middle-income settings. Clinical efficacy trials previously indicated RV vaccine performance may be lower in less-developed countries compared with wealthier counterparts. Using recently published data from Africa, we examine the effectiveness and impact of HRV in resource-deprived areas, exploring whether vaccine performance differs by socioeconomic setting and the potential underlying factors. HRV vaccine effectiveness in early adopting African countries has proven to be similar or even superior to the efficacy results observed in pre-licensure studies. PMID:26098566

  6. The relationship between human security, demand for arms and disarmament in the horn of Africa.

    PubMed

    Gebrewold, Kiflemariam

    2002-01-01

    The drive to find security through possession of weapons is linked to the history and culture of a social group. Amongst pastoralists in the Horn of Africa there is a failure of security through state systems such as police and the recent replacement of less-lethal traditional weapons by small arms and other light weapons. A warrior or vendetta culture with these arms leads to violent inter-clan clashes with many casualties, although traditional methods of weapons control still seem operational within clans. Understanding the drive to seek weapons is essential in finding ways to control their use. Improving the capacities of the police must come hand in hand with human rights training and an end to corruption. Further work is required on how traditional methods of arms control can be co-operatively linked with state controls.

  7. Human rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix): focus on effectiveness and impact 6 years after first introduction in Africa.

    PubMed

    O'Ryan, Miguel; Giaquinto, Carlo; Benninghoff, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    A decade after licensure of the human rotavirus vaccine (HRV), a wealth of evidence supports a reduction of rotavirus (RV) gastroenteritis-associated mortality and hospitalizations following HRV inclusion in national immunization programs. Nevertheless, the majority of real-world data has been generated in high- or middle-income settings. Clinical efficacy trials previously indicated RV vaccine performance may be lower in less-developed countries compared with wealthier counterparts. Using recently published data from Africa, we examine the effectiveness and impact of HRV in resource-deprived areas, exploring whether vaccine performance differs by socioeconomic setting and the potential underlying factors. HRV vaccine effectiveness in early adopting African countries has proven to be similar or even superior to the efficacy results observed in pre-licensure studies.

  8. Seasonal availability of edible underground and aboveground carbohydrate resources to human foragers on the Cape south coast, South Africa.

    PubMed

    De Vynck, Jan C; Cowling, Richard M; Potts, Alastair J; Marean, Curtis W

    2016-01-01

    The coastal environments of South Africa's Cape Floristic Region (CFR) provide some of the earliest and most abundant evidence for the emergence of cognitively modern humans. In particular, the south coast of the CFR provided a uniquely diverse resource base for hunter-gatherers, which included marine shellfish, game, and carbohydrate-bearing plants, especially those with Underground Storage Organs (USOs). It has been hypothesized that these resources underpinned the continuity of human occupation in the region since the Middle Pleistocene. Very little research has been conducted on the foraging potential of carbohydrate resources in the CFR. This study focuses on the seasonal availability of plants with edible carbohydrates at six-weekly intervals over a two-year period in four vegetation types on South Africa's Cape south coast. Different plant species were considered available to foragers if the edible carbohydrate was directly (i.e. above-ground edible portions) or indirectly (above-ground indications to below-ground edible portions) visible to an expert botanist familiar with this landscape. A total of 52 edible plant species were recorded across all vegetation types. Of these, 33 species were geophytes with edible USOs and 21 species had aboveground edible carbohydrates. Limestone Fynbos had the richest flora, followed by Strandveld, Renosterveld and lastly, Sand Fynbos. The availability of plant species differed across vegetation types and between survey years. The number of available USO species was highest for a six-month period from winter to early summer (Jul-Dec) across all vegetation types. Months of lowest species' availability were in mid-summer to early autumn (Jan-Apr); the early winter (May-Jun) values were variable, being highest in Limestone Fynbos. However, even during the late summer carbohydrate "crunch," 25 carbohydrate bearing species were visible across the four vegetation types. To establish a robust resource landscape will require

  9. Seasonal availability of edible underground and aboveground carbohydrate resources to human foragers on the Cape south coast, South Africa.

    PubMed

    De Vynck, Jan C; Cowling, Richard M; Potts, Alastair J; Marean, Curtis W

    2016-01-01

    The coastal environments of South Africa's Cape Floristic Region (CFR) provide some of the earliest and most abundant evidence for the emergence of cognitively modern humans. In particular, the south coast of the CFR provided a uniquely diverse resource base for hunter-gatherers, which included marine shellfish, game, and carbohydrate-bearing plants, especially those with Underground Storage Organs (USOs). It has been hypothesized that these resources underpinned the continuity of human occupation in the region since the Middle Pleistocene. Very little research has been conducted on the foraging potential of carbohydrate resources in the CFR. This study focuses on the seasonal availability of plants with edible carbohydrates at six-weekly intervals over a two-year period in four vegetation types on South Africa's Cape south coast. Different plant species were considered available to foragers if the edible carbohydrate was directly (i.e. above-ground edible portions) or indirectly (above-ground indications to below-ground edible portions) visible to an expert botanist familiar with this landscape. A total of 52 edible plant species were recorded across all vegetation types. Of these, 33 species were geophytes with edible USOs and 21 species had aboveground edible carbohydrates. Limestone Fynbos had the richest flora, followed by Strandveld, Renosterveld and lastly, Sand Fynbos. The availability of plant species differed across vegetation types and between survey years. The number of available USO species was highest for a six-month period from winter to early summer (Jul-Dec) across all vegetation types. Months of lowest species' availability were in mid-summer to early autumn (Jan-Apr); the early winter (May-Jun) values were variable, being highest in Limestone Fynbos. However, even during the late summer carbohydrate "crunch," 25 carbohydrate bearing species were visible across the four vegetation types. To establish a robust resource landscape will require

  10. Recruitment and Selection Strategies in Optometric Education towards Addressing Human Resource Disparities in Sub-Saharan Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moodley, V. R.; Loughman, James; Naidoo, K. S.

    2015-01-01

    The dire need for eye care services and a dearth of human resources (HR) in sub-Saharan Africa motivated the setting up of new optometry programmes. However, to make a meaningful impact, geographical, gender, economic and educational disparities must additionally be addressed. A qualitative study utilizing purposive sampling to select academic…

  11. Genome Sequences for a Cluster of Human Isolates of Listeria monocytogenes Identified in South Africa in 2015

    PubMed Central

    Naicker, Preneshni; Bamford, Colleen; Shuping, Liliwe; McCarthy, Kerrigan M.; Sooka, Arvinda; Smouse, Shannon L.; Tau, Nomsa; Keddy, Karen H.

    2016-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive bacterium with a ubiquitous presence in the environment. There is growing concern about the increasing prevalence of L. monocytogenes associated with food-borne outbreaks. Here we report genome sequences for a cluster of human isolates of L. monocytogenes identified in South Africa in 2015. PMID:27056221

  12. Repellent effects on Anopheles arabiensis biting humans in Kruger Park, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Govere, J; Braack, L E; Durrheim, D N; Hunt, R H; Coetzee, M

    2001-09-01

    Distribution of biting sites on the human body by the malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis Patton (Diptera: Culicidae) was investigated near a source of mosquitoes in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Eight adult male volunteers (2 teams x 2 pairs of subjects) conducted human bait collections while seated on camp chairs in the open-air, wearing only short trousers (no shirt, socks or shoes). Mosquito collections during 18.30-22.30 hours on five consecutive nights in April 1998 yielded a total of 679 An. arabiensis females biting subjects with or without their ankles and feet treated with deet insect repellent (15% diethyl-3-methylbenzamide, Tabard lotion). On subjects whose feet and ankles were smeared with repellent, 160 An. arabiensis females were captured biting in 60 manhours: 88.1% on the legs, 1.4% on the arms and 1.2% on other parts of the body, but none on the repellent-treated feet or ankles. On subjects without repellent treatment, 519 An. arabiensis were caught biting in 60 man-hours: 81.1% on feet and ankles, 16.4% on legs, 1.4% on arms and 1.2% on the rest of the body. For individual subjects, the reduction of An. arabiensis bites ranged from 36.4 to 78.2% (mean protection 69.2%). Results of this study confirm previous findings that, in this part of South Africa - inhabited only by wildlife - when people sit outside during the evening An. arabiensis prefers to bite their lower limbs: 97.5% below the knees. Overall, the number of bites by the malaria vector An. arabiensis was reduced more than three-fold (from 26 to 8/person/evening), simply by treating ankles and feet with a consumer brand of deet repellent. Whether or not this provides a satisfactory degree of protection against malaria risk would depend on the malaria sporozoite rate in the malaria vector population.

  13. The dominant Anopheles vectors of human malaria in Africa, Europe and the Middle East: occurrence data, distribution maps and bionomic précis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background This is the second in a series of three articles documenting the geographical distribution of 41 dominant vector species (DVS) of human malaria. The first paper addressed the DVS of the Americas and the third will consider those of the Asian Pacific Region. Here, the DVS of Africa, Europe and the Middle East are discussed. The continent of Africa experiences the bulk of the global malaria burden due in part to the presence of the An. gambiae complex. Anopheles gambiae is one of four DVS within the An. gambiae complex, the others being An. arabiensis and the coastal An. merus and An. melas. There are a further three, highly anthropophilic DVS in Africa, An. funestus, An. moucheti and An. nili. Conversely, across Europe and the Middle East, malaria transmission is low and frequently absent, despite the presence of six DVS. To help control malaria in Africa and the Middle East, or to identify the risk of its re-emergence in Europe, the contemporary distribution and bionomics of the relevant DVS are needed. Results A contemporary database of occurrence data, compiled from the formal literature and other relevant resources, resulted in the collation of information for seven DVS from 44 countries in Africa containing 4234 geo-referenced, independent sites. In Europe and the Middle East, six DVS were identified from 2784 geo-referenced sites across 49 countries. These occurrence data were combined with expert opinion ranges and a suite of environmental and climatic variables of relevance to anopheline ecology to produce predictive distribution maps using the Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) method. Conclusions The predicted geographic extent for the following DVS (or species/suspected species complex*) is provided for Africa: Anopheles (Cellia) arabiensis, An. (Cel.) funestus*, An. (Cel.) gambiae, An. (Cel.) melas, An. (Cel.) merus, An. (Cel.) moucheti and An. (Cel.) nili*, and in the European and Middle Eastern Region: An. (Anopheles) atroparvus, An. (Ano

  14. From the Cover: Feature Article: Ecosystem variability and early human habitats in eastern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magill, Clayton R.; Ashley, Gail M.; Freeman, Katherine H.

    2013-01-01

    The role of savannas during the course of early human evolution has been debated for nearly a century, in part because of difficulties in characterizing local ecosystems from fossil and sediment records. Here, we present high-resolution lipid biomarker and isotopic signatures for organic matter preserved in lake sediments at Olduvai Gorge during a key juncture in human evolution about 2.0 Ma-the emergence and dispersal of Homo erectus (sensu lato). Using published data for modern plants and soils, we construct a framework for ecological interpretations of stable carbon-isotope compositions (expressed as δ13C values) of lipid biomarkers from ancient plants. Within this framework, δ13C values for sedimentary leaf lipids and total organic carbon from Olduvai Gorge indicate recurrent ecosystem variations, where open C4 grasslands abruptly transitioned to closed C3 forests within several hundreds to thousands of years. Carbon-isotopic signatures correlate most strongly with Earth's orbital geometry (precession), and tropical sea-surface temperatures are significant secondary predictors in partial regression analyses. The scale and pace of repeated ecosystem variations at Olduvai Gorge contrast with long-held views of directional or stepwise aridification and grassland expansion in eastern Africa during the early Pleistocene and provide a local perspective on environmental hypotheses of human evolution.

  15. The Ysterfontein 1 Middle Stone Age site, South Africa, and early human exploitation of coastal resources

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Richard G.; Avery, Graham; Cruz-Uribe, Kathryn; Halkett, David; Parkington, John E.; Steele, Teresa; Volman, Thomas P.; Yates, Royden

    2004-01-01

    Human fossils and the genetics of extant human populations indicate that living people derive primarily from an African population that lived within the last 200,000 years. Yet it was only ≈50,000 years ago that the descendants of this population spread to Eurasia, where they swamped or replaced the Neanderthals and other nonmodern Eurasians. Based on archaeological observations, the most plausible hypothesis for the delay is that Africans and Eurasians were behaviorally similar until 50,000 years ago, and it was only at this time that Africans developed a behavioral advantage. The archaeological findings come primarily from South Africa, where they suggest that the advantage involved much more effective use of coastal resources. Until now, the evidence has come mostly from deeply stratified caves on the south (Indian Ocean) coast. Here, we summarize results from recent excavations at Ysterfontein 1, a deeply stratified shelter in a contrasting environment on the west (Atlantic) coast. The Ysterfontein 1 samples of human food debris must be enlarged for a full comparison to samples from other relevant sites, but they already corroborate two inferences drawn from south coast sites: (i) coastal foragers before 50,000 years ago did not fish routinely, probably for lack of appropriate technology, and (ii) they collected tortoises and shellfish less intensively than later people, probably because their populations were smaller. PMID:15007171

  16. The Ysterfontein 1 Middle Stone Age site, South Africa, and early human exploitation of coastal resources.

    PubMed

    Klein, Richard G; Avery, Graham; Cruz-Uribe, Kathryn; Halkett, David; Parkington, John E; Steele, Teresa; Volman, Thomas P; Yates, Royden

    2004-04-20

    Human fossils and the genetics of extant human populations indicate that living people derive primarily from an African population that lived within the last 200,000 years. Yet it was only approximately 50,000 years ago that the descendants of this population spread to Eurasia, where they swamped or replaced the Neanderthals and other nonmodern Eurasians. Based on archaeological observations, the most plausible hypothesis for the delay is that Africans and Eurasians were behaviorally similar until 50,000 years ago, and it was only at this time that Africans developed a behavioral advantage. The archaeological findings come primarily from South Africa, where they suggest that the advantage involved much more effective use of coastal resources. Until now, the evidence has come mostly from deeply stratified caves on the south (Indian Ocean) coast. Here, we summarize results from recent excavations at Ysterfontein 1, a deeply stratified shelter in a contrasting environment on the west (Atlantic) coast. The Ysterfontein 1 samples of human food debris must be enlarged for a full comparison to samples from other relevant sites, but they already corroborate two inferences drawn from south coast sites: (i) coastal foragers before 50,000 years ago did not fish routinely, probably for lack of appropriate technology, and (ii) they collected tortoises and shellfish less intensively than later people, probably because their populations were smaller.

  17. Legal rights, human rights and AIDS: the first decade. Report from South Africa 2.

    PubMed

    Cameron, E

    1993-01-01

    A broad range of coercive measures has been considered internationally and applied in some countries in the interest of controlling the spread of HIV. Although a couple such measures are on the books in South Africa, they have never been invoked and will soon be officially repealed. There is, however, a problem in South Africa with the violation by health care workers, employers, and others of individuals' rights to dignity, privacy, and autonomy. The exaggerated and undue fear that doctors and other health workers have of being infected by patients with HIV has led to widespread and gross human rights abuses in clinical management and treatment. Abuses include the refusal of treatment, testing patients for HIV without their informed or any consent, insisting upon HIV testing devoid of diagnostic or therapeutic justification, and widespread breaches of confidentiality. Persons with AIDS and HIV are also denied access to their fair share of national resources. This latter phenomenon is likely to become the principal form of human rights abuse, with racism and class differences exacerbating the problem. The practice is proliferating and takes many forms including pre-employment HIV testing; exclusionary discrimination in insurance; discrimination between HIV and other life-threatening conditions in corporate medical, pension, and provident funds; and the discriminatory denial of fair and adequate health care to people with HIV or AIDS. Discrimination of all kinds, however, retards preventive efforts. Public health therefore demands the recognition and enforcement of individual human rights and that structures of discrimination be eliminated. Human rights protection may, by limiting the effect of discrimination, play a significant part in fighting the epidemic. Protective measures could include enacting legislation to prohibit pre-employment testing, legislation to regulate the provision of insurance and to prohibit or regulate pre-insurance HIV testing and the

  18. The history and composition of the Raymond A. Dart Collection of Human Skeletons at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dayal, Manisha R; Kegley, Anthony D T; Strkalj, Goran; Bidmos, Mubarak A; Kuykendall, Kevin L

    2009-10-01

    The Raymond A. Dart Collection of Human Skeletons (Dart Collection) is housed in the School of Anatomical Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and comprises one of the largest documented cadaver-derived human skeletal assemblages in the world. This collection originated in the early 1920s as a result of the efforts of Raymond Dart and continues to grow. The skeletons included represent varied indigenous and immigrant populations from southern Africa, Europe and Asia. This contribution documents the history of the collection and provides an updated inventory and demographic assessment of this valuable research collection. According to a recent inventory the Dart Collection currently comprises 2,605 skeletons representing individuals from regional SA African (76%), White (15%), Coloured (4%) and Indian (0.3%) populations. A large proportion of the skeletons (71%) represent males. The recorded ages at death range from the first year to over 100 years of age, but the majority of individuals died between the ages of 20 and 70. The Dart Collection has been affected by collection procedures based on availability. All of the cadavers collected before 1958, and large proportions subsequently, were derived from unclaimed bodies in regional South African hospitals. Some details of documentation (age at death, population group) are estimates and some aspects of the collection demographics (sex ratios) do not closely reflect any living South African population. Our inventory and analysis of the Dart Collection is aimed to assist researchers planning research on the materials from this collection.

  19. Vegetation-climate feedback causes reduced precipitation in CMIP5 regional Earth system model simulation over Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Minchao; Smith, Benjamin; Schurgers, Guy; Lindström, Joe; Rummukainen, Markku; Samuelsson, Patrick

    2013-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems have been demonstrated to play a significant role within the climate system, amplifying or dampening climate change via biogeophysical and biogeochemical exchange with the atmosphere and vice versa (Cox et al. 2000; Betts et al. 2004). Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change and studies of vegetation-climate feedback mechanisms on Africa are still limited. Our study is the first application of A coupled Earth system model at regional scale and resolution over Africa. We applied a coupled regional climate-vegetation model, RCA-GUESS (Smith et al. 2011), over the CORDEX Africa domain, forced by boundary conditions from a CanESM2 CMIP5 simulation under the RCP8.5 future climate scenario. The simulations were from 1961 to 2100 and covered the African continent at a horizontal grid spacing of 0.44°. RCA-GUESS simulates changes in the phenology, productivity, relative cover and population structure of up to eight plant function types (PFTs) in response to forcing from the climate part of the model. These vegetation changes feedback to simulated climate through dynamic adjustments in surface energy fluxes and surface properties. Changes in the net ecosystem-atmosphere carbon flux and its components net primary production (NPP), heterotrophic respiration and emissions from biomass burning were also simulated but do not feedback to climate in our model. Constant land cover was assumed. We compared simulations with and without vegetation feedback switched "on" to assess the influence of vegetation-climate feedback on simulated climate, vegetation and ecosystem carbon cycling. Both positive and negative warming feedbacks were identified in different parts of Africa. In the Sahel savannah zone near 15°N, reduced vegetation cover and productivity, and mortality caused by a deterioration of soil water conditions led to a positive warming feedback mediated by decreased evapotranspiration and increased sensible heat flux between vegetation and

  20. Regional generalisations about the relationships between the environment and foraminifera along the SW Cape coast, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Toefy, R; Gibbons, M J

    2014-03-15

    Factors influencing the composition of shallow water benthic foraminifera along the SW coast of South Africa at two locations (Table Bay, TB; St Helena Bay, SHB) ∼200km from each other were examined. Small taxa dominated in both locations; living assemblages from SHB (28 species, Ammonia parkinsoniana dominant) differed from TB (34 species, Elphidium articulatum dominant). Environmental parameters were similar in both areas. Patchiness in assemblage structure was pronounced, differences between pipeline and non-pipeline sites within locations were evident in environmental parameters. Diversity was significantly correlated with grain size, the nitrogen and heavy metal content (especially Cd). These data represent the first for extant benthic Foraminifera from the southern Benguela upwelling area and is the first attempt at using foraminifera as indicators of pollution in this region. The data stressed the need for more than one sampling location to better understand the factors influencing foraminiferal assemblages in any regional context. PMID:24393379

  1. Mapping human resources for eye health in 21 countries of sub-Saharan Africa: current progress towards VISION 2020

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Development of human resources for eye health (HReH) is a major focus of the Global Action Plan 2014 to 2019 to reduce the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by 25% by the year 2019. The eye health workforce is thought to be much smaller in sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions of the world but data to support this for policy-making is scarce. We collected HReH and cataract surgeries data from 21 countries in sub-Sahara to estimate progress towards key suggested population-based VISION 2020 HReH indicators and cataract surgery rates (CSR) in 2011. Methods Routinely collected data on practitioner and surgery numbers in 2011 was requested from national eye care coordinators via electronic questionnaires. Telephone and e-mail discussions were used to determine data collection strategies that fit the national context and to verify reported data quality. Information was collected on six practitioner cadres: ophthalmologists, cataract surgeons, ophthalmic clinical officers, ophthalmic nurses, optometrists and ‘mid-level refractionists’ and combined with publicly available population data to calculate practitioner to population ratios and CSRs. Associations with development characteristics were conducted using Wilcoxon rank sum tests and Spearman rank correlations. Results HReH data was not easily available. A minority of countries had achieved the suggested VISION 2020 targets in 2011; five countries for ophthalmologists/cataract surgeons, four for ophthalmic nurses/clinical officers and two for CSR. All countries were below target for optometrists, even when other cadres who perform refractions as a primary duty were considered. The regional (sample) ratio for surgeons (ophthalmologists and cataract surgeons) was 2.9 per million population, 5.5 for ophthalmic clinical officers and nurses, 3.7 for optometrists and other refractionists, and 515 for CSR. A positive correlation between GDP and CSR as well as many practitioner ratios was observed

  2. The hydrological cycle of the Niger River basin simulated by the CORDEX-Africa regional climate models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mascaro, G.; White, D. D.; Westerhoff, P.; Bliss, N.

    2015-12-01

    The Niger River Basin (NRB) is a large transnational watershed of ~1.5 million km2, whose water resources sustain more than 100 million people of nine countries in West Africa. Evaluating the reliability of climate simulations in the region is essential to support water sustainability and food security under possible future climatic changes and population growth. Here, we assess the ability of a set of state-of-the-art regional climate models (RCMs) of the COordinated Regional climate Downscaling EXperiment (CORDEX)-Africa to reproduce the hydrologic cycle of the NRB. For this aim, we adopt a verification framework based on the mass conservation principle that assumes that the mean annual difference between precipitation and evaporation equals the long-term mean discharge. We focus on four nested sub-basins encompassing different climatic zones with available discharge observations. We found that most RCMs overestimate the mean annual runoff (from +10% to +400%), because of a positive bias in the simulation of precipitation and a weak hydrologic cycle in the evaporation channel. Some exceptions are found in the more humid sub-basin upstream where a few climate simulations are not able to capture the intensity of the West African monsoon. Analyses of the water balance components also revealed that the signature of the RCMs is more significant than that of the driving General Circulation Model, likely due to the specific schemes adopted in the RCMs to parameterize the land-surface processes. This work is useful to increase the utility of regional climate simulations in impact studies supporting the development of water management polices and
planning of hydraulic infrastructures in the basin.

  3. Ground Truth, Magnitude Calibration and Regional Phase Propagation and Detection in the Middle East and Horn of Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Nyblade, A; Brazier, R; Adams, A; Park, Y; Rodgers, A; Al-Amri, A

    2007-07-08

    In this project, we are exploiting several seismic data sets to improve U.S. operational capabilities to monitor for low yield nuclear tests across the Middle East (including the Iranian Plateau, Zagros Mountains, Arabian Peninsula, Turkish Plateau, Gulf of Aqaba, Dead Sea Rift) and the Horn of Africa (including the northern part of the East African Rift, Afar Depression, southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden). The data sets are being used to perform three related tasks. (1) We are determining moment tensors, moment magnitudes and source depths for regional events in the magnitude 3.0 to 6.0 range. (2) These events are being used to characterize high-frequency (0.5-16 Hz) regional phase attenuation and detection thresholds, especially from events in Iran recorded at stations across the Arabian Peninsula. (3) We are collecting location ground truth at GT5 (local) and GT20 (regional) levels for seismic events with M > 2.5, including source geometry information and source depths. Towards meeting these objectives, seismograms from earthquakes in the Zagros Mountains recorded at regional distances have been inverted for moment tensors, which have then been used to create synthetic seismograms to determine the source depths of the earthquakes via waveform matching. The source depths have been confirmed by modeling teleseismic depth phases recorded on GSN and IMS stations. Early studies of the distribution of seismicity in the Zagros region found evidence for earthquakes in the upper mantle. But subsequent relocations of teleseismic earthquakes suggest that source depths are generally much shallower, lying mainly within the upper crust. All of the regional events studied so far nucleated within the upper crust, and most of the events have thrust mechanisms. The source mechanisms for these events are being used to characterize high-frequency (0.5-16 Hz) regional phase attenuation and detection thresholds for broadband seismic stations in the Arabian Peninsula, including IMS

  4. Alu Insertion Polymorphisms and Human Evolution: Evidence for a Larger Population Size in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Stoneking, Mark; Fontius, Jennifer J.; Clifford, Stephanie L.; Soodyall, Himla; Arcot, Santosh S.; Saha, Nilmani; Jenkins, Trefor; Tahir, Mohammad A.; Deininger, Prescott L.; Batzer, Mark A.

    1997-01-01

    Alu insertion polymorphisms (polymorphisms consisting of the presence/absence of an Alu element at a particular chromosomal location) offer several advantages over other nuclear DNA polymorphisms for human evolution studies. First, they are typed by rapid, simple, PCR-based assays; second, they are stable polymorphisms—newly inserted Alu elements rarely undergo deletion; third, the presence of an Alu element represents identity by descent—the probability that different Alu elements would independently insert into the exact same chromosomal location is negligible; and fourth, the ancestral state is known with certainty to be the absence of an Alu element. We report here a study of 8 loci in 1500 individuals from 34 worldwide populations. African populations exhibit the most between-population differentiation, and the population tree is rooted in Africa; moreover, the estimated effective time of separation of African versus non-African populations is 137,000 ± 15,000 years ago, in accordance with other genetic data. However, a principal coordinates analysis indicates that populations from Sahul (Australia and New Guinea) are nearly as close to the hypothetical ancestor as are African populations, suggesting that there was an early expansion of tropical populations of our species. An analysis of heterozygosity versus genetic distance suggests that African populations have had a larger effective population size than non-African populations. Overall, these results support the African origin of modern humans in that an earlier expansion of the ancestors of African populations is indicated. PMID:9371742

  5. Analysis of two Saharan dust events of North Africa in the Mediterranean region by Using SKIRON/Eta model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benaouda, D.; Kallos, G.; Azzi, A.; Louka, P.; Benlefki, A.

    2009-04-01

    aerosol is involved in many important processes in Earth's climate system, with important implications for air quality, climate, atmospheric chemistry, and the biosphere, and different impacts on human health. The relative importance of mineral dust in particulate matter depends on location, season and particle size, mainly concentrated in the coarse fraction. Its impacts on climate and environment have increased years after years and needs to be more understood. In the present work, the relationships between the meteorological conditions and dust transport phenomena from the Saharan regions of north Africa and their transport, deposition in both modes, dry and wet deposition in the Mediterranean region, and the Atlantic Ocean, during two dust events namely: case I (01/03/04 - 06/03/04), case II (29/05/05 - 03/06/05), that have been analysed and their major characteristics have been discussed. This analysis has been performed with the aid of the SKIRON modelling system of the University of Athens. The dust module of SKIRON/Eta model incorporates the state of the art parameterization of all the major phases of the desert dust cycle such as production, diffusion, advection and removal. Model results have been compared with TOMS-AI (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrophotometer Aerosol Index) data for a qualitative comparison of the model. The work has been conducted at the framework of TEMPUS project MADEPODIM.

  6. The Impact of Human Activities on Microbial Quality of Rivers in the Vhembe District, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Traoré, Afsatou N.; Mulaudzi, Khodani; Chari, Gamuchirai J.E.; Foord, Stefan H.; Mudau, Lutendo S.; Barnard, Tobias G.; Potgieter, Natasha

    2016-01-01

    Background: Water quality testing is dictated by microbial agents found at the time of sampling in reference to their acceptable risk levels. Human activities might contaminate valuable water resources and add to the microbial load present in water bodies. Therefore, the effects of human activities on the microbial quality of rivers collected from twelve catchments in the Vhembe District in South Africa were investigated, with samples analyzed for total coliform (TC) and Eschericha coli (E. coli) contents. Methods: Physical parameters and various human activities were recorded for each sampling site. The Quanti-Tray® method was adopted for the assessment of TC and E. coli contents in the rivers over a two-year period. A multiplex polymerase chain (PCR) method was used to characterize the strains of E. coli found. Results: The microbial quality of the rivers was poor with both TC and E. coli contents found to be over acceptable limits set by the South African Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). No significant difference (p > 0.05) was detected between TC and E. coli risks in dry and wet seasons. All six pathogenic E. coli strains were identified and Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), atypical Enteropathogenic E. coli (a-EPEC) and Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) were the most prevalent E. coli strains detected (respectively, 87%, 86% and 83%). Conclusions: The study indicated that contamination in the majority of sampling sites, due to human activities such as car wash, animal grazing and farming, poses health risks to communities using the rivers for various domestic chores. It is therefore recommended that more education by the respective departments is done to avert pollution of rivers and prevent health risks to the communities in the Vhembe District. PMID:27529265

  7. Land Cover Mapping for the Development of Green House Gas (GHG) Inventories in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakhayanga, J. A.; Oduor, P.; Korme, T.; Farah, H.; Limaye, A. S.; Irwin, D.; Artis, G.

    2014-12-01

    Anthropogenic activities are responsible for the largest share of green house gas (GHG) emissions. Research has shown that greenhouse gases cause radioactive forcing in the stratosphere, leading to ozone depletion. Different land cover types act as sources or sinks of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most dominant GHG.Under the oversight of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region countries are developing Sustainable National GHG Inventory Management Systems. While the countries in the ESA region are making substantial progress in setting up GHG inventories, there remains significant constraints in the development of quality and sustainable National GHG Inventory Systems. For instance, there are fundamental challenges in capacity building and technology transfer, which can affect timely and consistent reporting on the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) component of the GHG inventory development. SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa is a partnership project between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), an intergovernmental organization in Africa, with 21 member states in the ESA region. With support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), SERVIR ESA is implementing the GHG Project in 9 countries. The main deliverables of the project are land cover maps for the years 2000 and 2010 (also 1990 for Malawi and Rwanda), and related technical reports, as well as technical training in land cover mapping using replicable methodologies. Landsat imagery which is freely available forms the main component of earth observation input data, in addition to ancillary data collected from each country. Supervised classification using maximum likelihood algorithm is applied to the Landsat images. The work is completed for the initial 6 countries (Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Botswana, and

  8. The relationship between African easterly waves and daily rainfall over West Africa: observations and regional climate simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crétat, Julien; Vizy, Edward K.; Cook, Kerry H.

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between summer African easterly waves (AEWs) and daily rainfall is assessed in West Africa for 1998-2008 using various reanalyses, satellite-derived rainfall products, and a regional climate model (RCM) run at 90- and 30-km resolutions. 3-5 and 6-9 day AEWs are extracted by filtering daily 700 hPa meridional wind time series at 1°W and 11.5°N, and 1°W and 17.5°N, respectively. Both observed and simulated rainfall anomalies are of larger magnitude over West Africa during 3-5-d than 6-9-d AEWs. The RCM simulates larger rainfall rates in phase with the 3-5-d wave trough instead of ahead, unlike the observations, and overestimates the intensity and spatial coverage of rainfall associated with 6-9-d AEWs. The observed and simulated co-variability between 3-5-d (6-9-d) AEW activity and daily rainfall is strong (weak) and mostly located south (north) of 15°N. However, the RCM overestimates the spatial coverage of the AEW-rainfall relationship in the longitudinal (latitudinal) direction in the case of 3-5-d (6-9-d) AEWs. Observed and simulated daily intense rainfall events, extracted using a percentile threshold approach, are mostly located south of 15°N during summer. The observed relationship between their frequency of occurrence and active 3-5-d AEWs is maximal west of 8°E, while extends up to southern Chad in both RCM simulations. Their magnitude is also largely overestimated by the RCM, indicating an exaggerated coupling between the wave activity and the convection. Finally, observed and simulated 3-5-d AEWs establish the most favorable synoptic conditions for the development of intense rainfall events over West Africa.

  9. LIMA U-Pb ages link lithospheric mantle metasomatism to Karoo magmatism beneath the Kimberley region, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giuliani, Andrea; Phillips, David; Maas, Roland; Woodhead, Jon D.; Kendrick, Mark A.; Greig, Alan; Armstrong, Richard A.; Chew, David; Kamenetsky, Vadim S.; Fiorentini, Marco L.

    2014-09-01

    The Karoo igneous rocks (174-185 Ma) of southern Africa represent one of the largest continental flood basalt provinces on Earth. Available evidence indicates that Karoo magmas either originated in the asthenosphere and were extensively modified by interaction with the lithospheric mantle prior to emplacement in the upper crust; or were produced by partial melting of enriched mantle lithosphere. However, no direct evidence of interaction by Karoo melts (or their precursors) with lithospheric mantle rocks has yet been identified in the suites of mantle xenoliths sampled by post-Karoo kimberlites in southern Africa. Here we report U-Pb ages for lindsleyite-mathiasite (LIMA) titanate minerals (crichtonite series) from three metasomatised, phlogopite and clinopyroxene-rich peridotite xenoliths from the ∼84 Ma Bultfontein kimberlite (Kimberley, South Africa), located in the southern part of the Karoo magmatic province. The LIMA minerals appear to have formed during metasomatism of the lithospheric mantle by fluids enriched in HFSE (Ti, Zr, Hf, Nb), LILE (K, Ba, Ca, Sr) and LREE. LIMA U-Pb elemental and isotopic compositions were measured in situ by LA-ICP-MS methods, and potential matrix effects were evaluated by solution-mode analysis of mineral separates. LIMA minerals from the three samples yielded apparent U-Pb ages of 177±12 Ma, 178±29 Ma and 190±24 Ma (±2σ). A single zircon grain extracted from the ∼190 Ma LIMA-bearing sample produced a similar U-Pb age of 184±6 Ma, within uncertainty of the LIMA ages. These data provide the first robust evidence of fluid enrichment in the lithospheric mantle beneath the Kimberley region at ∼180-190 Ma, and suggest causation of mantle metasomatism by Karoo melts or their precursor(s). The results further indicate that U-Pb dating of LIMA minerals provides a new, accurate tool for dating metasomatic events in the lithospheric mantle.

  10. Identification of local selective sweeps in human populations since the exodus from Africa.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Asa; Gyllensten, Ulf

    2008-06-01

    Selection on the human genome has been studied using comparative genomics and SNP architecture in the lineage leading to modern humans. In connection with the African exodus and colonization of other continents, human populations have adapted to a range of different environmental conditions. Using a new method that jointly analyses haplotype block length and allele frequency variation (F(ST)) within and between populations, we have identified chromosomal regions that are candidates for having been affected by local selection. Based on 1.6 million SNPs typed in 71 individuals of African American, European American and Han Chinese descent, we have identified a number of genes and non-coding regions that are candidates for having been subjected to local positive selection during the last 100 000 years. Among these genes are those involved in skin pigmentation (SLC24A5) and diet adaptation (LCT). The list of genes implicated in these local selective sweeps overlap partly with those implicated in other studies of human populations using other methods, but show little overlap with those postulated to have been under selection in the 5-7 myr since the divergence of the ancestors of human and chimpanzee. Our analysis provides focal points in the genome for detailed studies of evolutionary events that have shaped human populations as they explored different regions of the world.

  11. Out of Africa: modern human origins special feature: the spread of modern humans in Europe.

    PubMed

    Hoffecker, John F

    2009-09-22

    The earliest credible evidence of Homo sapiens in Europe is an archaeological proxy in the form of several artifact assemblages (Bohunician) found in South-Central and possibly Eastern Europe, dating to < or =48,000 calibrated radiocarbon years before present (cal BP). They are similar to assemblages probably made by modern humans in the Levant (Emiran) at an earlier date and apparently represent a population movement into the Balkans during a warm climate interval [Greenland Interstadial 12 (GI 12)]. A second population movement may be represented by a diverse set of artifact assemblages (sometimes termed Proto-Aurignacian) found in the Balkans, parts of Southwest Europe, and probably in Eastern Europe, and dating to several brief interstadials (GI 11-GI 9) that preceded the beginning of cold Heinrich Event 4 (HE4) (approximately 40,000 cal BP). They are similar to contemporaneous assemblages made by modern humans in the Levant (Ahmarian). The earliest known human skeletal remains in Europe that may be unequivocally assigned to H. sapiens (Peçstera cu Oase, Romania) date to this time period (approximately 42,000 cal BP) but are not associated with artifacts. After the Campanian Ignimbrite volcanic eruption (40,000 cal BP) and the beginning of HE4, artifact assemblages assigned to the classic Aurignacian, an industry associated with modern human skeletal remains that seems to have developed in Europe, spread throughout the continent. PMID:19571003

  12. Out of Africa: modern human origins special feature: the spread of modern humans in Europe.

    PubMed

    Hoffecker, John F

    2009-09-22

    The earliest credible evidence of Homo sapiens in Europe is an archaeological proxy in the form of several artifact assemblages (Bohunician) found in South-Central and possibly Eastern Europe, dating to < or =48,000 calibrated radiocarbon years before present (cal BP). They are similar to assemblages probably made by modern humans in the Levant (Emiran) at an earlier date and apparently represent a population movement into the Balkans during a warm climate interval [Greenland Interstadial 12 (GI 12)]. A second population movement may be represented by a diverse set of artifact assemblages (sometimes termed Proto-Aurignacian) found in the Balkans, parts of Southwest Europe, and probably in Eastern Europe, and dating to several brief interstadials (GI 11-GI 9) that preceded the beginning of cold Heinrich Event 4 (HE4) (approximately 40,000 cal BP). They are similar to contemporaneous assemblages made by modern humans in the Levant (Ahmarian). The earliest known human skeletal remains in Europe that may be unequivocally assigned to H. sapiens (Peçstera cu Oase, Romania) date to this time period (approximately 42,000 cal BP) but are not associated with artifacts. After the Campanian Ignimbrite volcanic eruption (40,000 cal BP) and the beginning of HE4, artifact assemblages assigned to the classic Aurignacian, an industry associated with modern human skeletal remains that seems to have developed in Europe, spread throughout the continent.

  13. Sensitivity of Boreal-Summer Circulation and Precipitation to Atmospheric Aerosols in Selected Regions: Part I Africa and India

    SciTech Connect

    Sud, Yogesh C.; Wilcox, Eric; Lau, William K.; Walker, Greg K.; Liu, Xiaohong; Nenes, Athanasios; Lee , Dongmin; Kim, K. - M.; Zhou, Yaping; Bhattacharjee, P. S.

    2009-10-23

    Version-4 of the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS-4) General Circulation Model (GCM) was employed to assess the influence of potential changes in aerosols on the regional circulation, ambient temperatures, and precipitation in four selected regions: India and Africa (current paper), as well as North and South America (companion paper). Ensemble-simulations were carried out with the GCM to assess the aerosol direct and indirect effects, hereafter ADE and AIE. Each simulation was started from the NCEP-analyzed initial conditions for May 1 and was integrated through May-June-July-August of each year: 1982-1987 to provide an ensemble set of six simulations. In the first set, called the baseline experiment (#1), climatological aerosols were prescribed. The next two experiments (#2 and #3) had two sets of simulations each: one with 2X and another with 1/2X the climatological aerosols over each of the four selected regions. In experiment#2, the anomaly regions were advectively restricted (AR), i.e., the large-scale prognostic fields outside the aerosol anomaly regions were prescribed while in experiment#3, the anomaly regions were advectively Interactive (AI) as is the case in a normal GCM integrations, but with the same aerosols anomalies as in experiment #2. Intercomparisons of circulation, diabatic heating, and precipitation difference fields showed large disparities among the AR and AI simulations, which raised serious questions about the AR assumption, commonly invoked in regional climate simulation studies. Consequently AI simulation mode was chosen for the subsequent studies. Two more experiments (#4 and #5) were performed in the AI mode in which ADE and AIE were activated one at a time. The results showed that ADE and AIE work in concert to make the joint influences larger than sum of each acting alone. Moreover, the ADE and AIE influences were vastly different for the Indian and Africa regions, which suggest an imperative need to include them rationally in

  14. Assessment of simulated rainfall and temperature from the regional climate model REMO and future changes over Central Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fotso-Nguemo, Thierry C.; Vondou, Derbetini A.; Tchawoua, Clément; Haensler, Andreas

    2016-07-01

    This work investigates spatial and temporal changes in rainfall and temperature over Central Africa, using historical and representative concentration pathways (RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) of the regional climate model REMO forced by two general climate models: the Europe-wide Consortium Earth System Model (EC-Earth) and the Max Planck Institute-Earth System Model (MPI-ESM). We found that in the present period (1980-2005), the spatial distribution of rainfall is simulated with an annual spatial pattern correlation coefficient (PCC) of 0.76 for REMO driven by EC-Earth and 0.74 for REMO driven by MPI-ESM respectively when compared to CRU data. In terms of temperature, the annual PCC is 0.93 for the two REMO outputs. According to the climatology of Central Africa, we subdivided the study area into five sub-regions, we also noticed that the annual and seasonal PCC depend on the considered sub-region. For the future period (2070-2095), temperature is projected to increase following all the three scenarios. The rainfall amount is projected to decrease by up to 5 mm/day towards the end of the twenty first century under RCP8.5 scenario, and by 1-2 mm/day under RCP4.5 and RCP2.6 scenarios over Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, north-western Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Lake Victoria. Significant decrease is predicted to occur mostly in the northern part of the domain under RCP8.5 scenario. However, future rainfall over High Lands of Cameroon, Adamawa Plateau, north-eastern DRC and Atlantic Ocean is projected to increase.

  15. Assessment of Regional Climate Models over Côte d'Ivoire and Analysis of Future Projections over West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kouadio, K.; Konare, A.; Diawara, A.; Dje, B. K.; Ajayi, V. O.; Diedhiou, A.

    2015-12-01

    The ability of six Regional Climate Models (RCMs) used in AMMA-ENSEMBLES project is assessed over six meteorological stations in Côte d'Ivoire. The ensemble mean of the models is also used for the prediction of climate change over West Africa. The study focused on two periods: the period 1995-2005, the present-day simulations, is used to evaluate the skills of the models over the country and the years 2010-2013, for assessment of the future climate change scenario used. The results show that the skills of the models vary from one station to another and from one season to another. None of the models considered, presents an excellent performance over the entire country and in all the seasons. Generally, the ensemble mean of all the models presents better results when compared with the observation. These results suggest that the choice of any model for study over the country may depend on the focus of interest: intensity or variability of the rain and also on area of interest. The projection for 2020-2040, future climate change over West Africa shows that the Sahel exhibits a tendency to be drier while wetter Guinean coast is observed

  16. Regional Land Surface Hydrology Impacts from Fire-Induced Surface Albedo Darkening in Northern Sub-Saharan Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolten, J. D.; Gupta, M.; Gatebe, C. K.; Ichoku, C. M.

    2015-12-01

    Land surface hydrology models serve as an effective approach to simulate hydrological processes, especially in areas which lack in situ observational datasets. A key component to constraining the water, energy, and carbon dynamics within these models is land surface albedo because it links these cycles by driving evapotranspiration and also helps characterize soil infiltration behavior. However, most hydrological models estimate the land surface albedo based on generalized climatologic information, which can introduce uncertainty into the surface energy balance processes and water storage availability in the root-zone if done improperly. In particular, changes in surface albedo can have significant effects where dynamic and spatially heterogeneous land surface changes occur due to abrupt land cover changes, such as wildfire. Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most fire-prone regions of the world. Thus, the current study employs the new parameterization approach based on estimated change of surface albedo due to fires over different land cover types using long term MODIS time series in the catchment-based land surface model to investigate the potential for improving soil moisture and evapotranspiration simulations in fire-prone Northern Sub-Saharan Africa. We also compare the estimated soil moisture based on new and pre-existing baseline parameterization scheme to remotely-sensed observations obtained from satellite-based soil moisture observations from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E), the Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS), and the recently launched satellite, Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) instruments.

  17. Modelling the spread of farming in the Bantu-speaking regions of Africa: an archaeology-based phylogeography.

    PubMed

    Russell, Thembi; Silva, Fabio; Steele, James

    2014-01-01

    We use archaeological data and spatial methods to reconstruct the dispersal of farming into areas of sub-Saharan Africa now occupied by Bantu language speakers, and introduce a new large-scale radiocarbon database and a new suite of spatial modelling techniques. We also introduce a method of estimating phylogeographic relationships from archaeologically-modelled dispersal maps, with results produced in a format that enables comparison with linguistic and genetic phylogenies. Several hypotheses are explored. The 'deep split' hypothesis suggests that an early-branching eastern Bantu stream spread around the northern boundary of the equatorial rainforest, but recent linguistic and genetic work tends not to support this. An alternative riverine/littoral hypothesis suggests that rivers and coastlines facilitated the migration of the first farmers/horticulturalists, with some extending this to include rivers through the rainforest as conduits to East Africa. More recently, research has shown that a grassland corridor opened through the rainforest at around 3000-2500 BP, and the possible effect of this on migrating populations is also explored. Our results indicate that rivers and coasts were important dispersal corridors, but do not resolve the debate about a 'Deep Split'. Future work should focus on improving the size, quality and geographical coverage of the archaeological (14)C database; on augmenting the information base to establish descent relationships between archaeological sites and regions based on shared material cultural traits; and on refining the associated physical geographical reconstructions of changing land cover.

  18. Modelling the Spread of Farming in the Bantu-Speaking Regions of Africa: An Archaeology-Based Phylogeography

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Thembi; Silva, Fabio; Steele, James

    2014-01-01

    We use archaeological data and spatial methods to reconstruct the dispersal of farming into areas of sub-Saharan Africa now occupied by Bantu language speakers, and introduce a new large-scale radiocarbon database and a new suite of spatial modelling techniques. We also introduce a method of estimating phylogeographic relationships from archaeologically-modelled dispersal maps, with results produced in a format that enables comparison with linguistic and genetic phylogenies. Several hypotheses are explored. The ‘deep split’ hypothesis suggests that an early-branching eastern Bantu stream spread around the northern boundary of the equatorial rainforest, but recent linguistic and genetic work tends not to support this. An alternative riverine/littoral hypothesis suggests that rivers and coastlines facilitated the migration of the first farmers/horticulturalists, with some extending this to include rivers through the rainforest as conduits to East Africa. More recently, research has shown that a grassland corridor opened through the rainforest at around 3000–2500 BP, and the possible effect of this on migrating populations is also explored. Our results indicate that rivers and coasts were important dispersal corridors, but do not resolve the debate about a ‘Deep Split’. Future work should focus on improving the size, quality and geographical coverage of the archaeological 14C database; on augmenting the information base to establish descent relationships between archaeological sites and regions based on shared material cultural traits; and on refining the associated physical geographical reconstructions of changing land cover. PMID:24498213

  19. Africa: Prosperous times

    SciTech Connect

    1996-08-01

    Political instability and corruption is the rule, rather than the exception, in Africa`s main producing regions, but exploration and production prospects there are bright and attractive to foreign operators. The paper discusses exploration, drilling, resource development, and production in Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Angola, Congo, Gabon, and Tunisia. The other countries of Africa are briefly mentioned, i.e., Cameroon, Cote D`Ivoire, South Africa, Sudan, Namibia, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Zaire, Mozambique, Ghana, Niger, and Seychelles.

  20. The East Africa Oligocene intertrappean beds: Regional distribution, depositional environments and Afro/Arabian mammal dispersals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbate, Ernesto; Bruni, Piero; Ferretti, Marco Peter; Delmer, Cyrille; Laurenzi, Marinella Ada; Hagos, Miruts; Bedri, Omar; Rook, Lorenzo; Sagri, Mario; Libsekal, Yosief

    2014-11-01

    The extensive outpouring of the Oligocene Trap basalts over eastern Africa and western Arabia was interrupted by a period of quiescence marked by the deposition of terrestrial sediments. These so-called intertrappean beds are often lignitiferous and yield recurrent floras and faunas, sometimes represented by endemic mammals. We intended to highlight the peculiar features of these sedimentary intercalations using a large-scale approach including eastern Africa and the western Arabian peninsula. Starting from a new mapping in the Eritrean highland, the intertrappean beds resulted a continuous level that was a few tens of meters thick and traceable for some tens of kilometers. They consist of fluvial red, green and gray mudstones and siltstones with subordinate channelized pebbly sandstones, and lignite seams. Two new 40Ar-39Ar datings constraint the age of the intertrappean beds between 29.0 Ma and 23.6 Ma. The outcrops near Mendefera have yielded the remains of two proboscidean families, the Deinotheriidae and the Gomphoteriidae. The morphological grade of the two Mendefera proboscideans would suggest a more derived stage than that of representatives of the same families from other Oligocene African sites (e.g., Chilga, Ethiopia). An Oligocene age could be inferred for them. The occurrence of the genus Prodeinotherium at Mai Gobro possibly represents the first occurrence of this taxon, while the Gomphotheirum sp. might represent the oldest occurrence of this taxon in Africa before its dispersal towards Asia and Europe. Proboscideans have also been found in the lowland intertrappean beds of Dogali near Massawa. These sediments were contiguous with the Eritrean highland intertrappean beds during the Oligocene, but are now tectonically displaced from them by two thousand meters of vertical topographical distance. Dogali is also known for the occurrence of possible Deinotheriidae remains and the primitive elephantoid Eritreum. Entering the Ethiopian highland, an

  1. Insights from Earth Sciences into Human Evolution studies: The example of prehistoric landscape use in Africa and the Levant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devès, Maud H.; Reynolds, Sally; King, Geoffrey C. P.; Kuebler, Simon; Sturdy, Derek; Godet, Nan

    2015-07-01

    Fossil remains are embedded in a continually evolving landscape. Earth scientists have the methods and approaches to study the processes that shape the landscape at various temporal and spatial scales. Some of these methods can generate insights that are of potential use for researchers in other fields, such as archaeology and palaeoanthropology. Here we present two case studies to illustrate how a broader landscape perspective can provide new insights into the land use by Pliocene hominins in southern Africa, and more recently, by Palaeolithic hominins in the southern Levant. Key landscape attributes can help explain why humans, hominins and the wider animal community exploit certain types of landscapes in predictable ways. Our first case study examines how active tectonics or volcanism appears to be important in creating fertile regions with reliable water sources and complex topography. While relatively easy for agile primates such as hominins to negotiate, zones of complex topography are harder for certain predators and prey animals to traverse. In the second case study, we consider that differences in soil edaphics can exert a major control on animals by supplying or failing to supply necessary trace elements, such as selenium, copper, phosphate and potassium (Henkin et al., 1995). We show that the pattern of trace element distribution can accurately map animal movements between areas of suitable grazing. This predictability could have enabled Levantine humans to ambush megafauna during these seasonal migrations. By studying the landscape attributes around fossil site locations, Earth scientists can offer new insights and perspectives into the past, particularly on the ways in which the inhabitants would have used their landscapes.

  2. Ancestral links of Chesapeake Bay region African Americans to specific Bight of Bonny (West Africa) microethnic groups and increased frequency of aggressive breast cancer in both regions.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Fatimah L C

    2008-01-01

    The high frequency of aggressive, early onset, and highly fatal breast cancer among Chesapeake Bay region African Americans suggests that there may be a contributing ancestral component. This study identifies the region's founding African, European, and Native American Indian populations using ethnogenetic layering and identifies the microethnic substructure of each founding continental aggregate. The largest component (38%) of the enslaved Africans brought to the Chesapeake Bay originally came from the coastal and hinterlands of the Bight of Bonny, a region with very high rates of aggressive, early onset breast cancer. Ethnogenetic layering is applied a second time to reveal the microethnic groups of the Bight of Bonny hinterlands with historical links to the Chesapeake Bay region. These analyses identify the specific microethnic groups within this region of Africa that may be the sources of relevant polymorphisms contributing to the etiology of aggressive breast cancer in the Chesapeake Bay. This report suggests a historical link between specific African microethnic groups and a US health disparity.

  3. A humid corridor across the Sahara for the migration "Out of Africa" of early modern humans 120,000 years ago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborne, A. H.; Vance, D.; Rohling, E. J.; Barton, N.; Rogerson, M.; Fello, N.

    2008-12-01

    a currently hyperarid region of the Sahara at a key time for early modern human migrations to the north and out of Africa. 1Scrivner, A.E. et al. (2004) Geology 32, 565-568.

  4. Regional aerosol deposition in human upper airways

    SciTech Connect

    Swift, D.L.

    1990-11-01

    During the current reporting period experimental studies of aerosol deposition in replicate NOPL airways have carried out. A replicate model of a 4 week old infant nasal passage was constructed from MR scans. The model completes the age range from newborn'' to 4 years, there now being one child model for 4 different ages. Deposition studies have been performed with unattached radon progeny aerosols in collaboration with ITRI, Albuquerque, NM and NRPB, Chilton, UK. Overall measurements have been performed in adult and child nasal airways indicating that the child nasal passage was slightly more efficient than the adult in removing 1 nm particles at corresponding flow rates. A similar weak dependence on flow rate was observed. Local deposition studies in an adult nasal model indicated predominant deposition in the anterior region during inspiratory flow, but measurable deposition was found throughout the model. The deposition pattern during expiration was reverse, greater deposition being observed in the posterior region. Local deposition studies of attached progeny aerosol size (100--200 nm) were performed in adult and child nasal models using technigas'' and a gamma scintillation camera. Similar to the unattached size, deposition occurred throughout the models, but was greater in the anterior region.

  5. First detection of human sapoviruses in river water in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Murray, T Y; Mans, J; Taylor, M B

    2013-01-01

    Over a 2-year period, from January 2009 to December 2010, water samples were collected from three rivers (Klip, Rietspruit and Suikerbosrand) in the Vaal River System, South Africa. Enteric viruses were recovered by a glass wool adsorption-elution method and concentrated using polyethylene glycol/sodium chloride precipitation. Sapoviruses (SaVs) were detected using published sapovirus (SaV)-specific primers and Taqman probes in a two-step real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay. Based on sequence analysis of the 5'-end of the capsid gene, SaVs were genotyped. In 2009, SaVs were detected in 39% (15/38) of samples from the Klip river, 83% (5/6) from the Rietspruit and 14% (1/7) of samples from the Suikerbosrand river. In 2010, SaVs were detected in 54% (14/26) of Klip river samples, 92% (11/12) from the Rietspruit and 20% (2/10) of samples from the Suikerbosrand river. SaV strains identified in the water samples were characterised into several GI and GII genotypes. The presence of SaVs in these rivers indicates human faecal contamination which may pose a potential health risk to persons exposed to these water sources during domestic or recreational activities.

  6. Human Carnivore Coexistence on Communal Land Bordering the Greater Kruger Area, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagendijk, D. D. Georgette; Gusset, Markus

    2008-12-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the potential for coexistence between rural people (living adjacent to a protected area) and predators (from the same area) ranging onto communal land. Ninety members of local communities bordering Manyeleti Game Reserve, which is contiguous with Kruger National Park, South Africa were interviewed. Respondents expressed diverging attitudes toward predators, which were more favorable among participants with higher education. Negative views were particularly due to fear of human and livestock losses, especially to lions, Panthera leo. Lions were thought to be the most abundant predator both within and outside the reserve. Lions were also the best known predator and were most often held responsible for killing livestock. Despite these livestock losses and a lack of conservation education, most participants voiced favorable opinions about large carnivore conservation, as predators were considered an integral part of the respondents’ natural heritage. Thanks to this cultural tolerance and also because of a largely accepted management policy regarding predator control, large carnivores and people can coexist in the vicinity of Kruger National Park.

  7. Human-carnivore coexistence on communal land bordering the greater Kruger area, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Lagendijk, D D Georgette; Gusset, Markus

    2008-12-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the potential for coexistence between rural people (living adjacent to a protected area) and predators (from the same area) ranging onto communal land. Ninety members of local communities bordering Manyeleti Game Reserve, which is contiguous with Kruger National Park, South Africa were interviewed. Respondents expressed diverging attitudes toward predators, which were more favorable among participants with higher education. Negative views were particularly due to fear of human and livestock losses, especially to lions, Panthera leo. Lions were thought to be the most abundant predator both within and outside the reserve. Lions were also the best known predator and were most often held responsible for killing livestock. Despite these livestock losses and a lack of conservation education, most participants voiced favorable opinions about large carnivore conservation, as predators were considered an integral part of the respondents' natural heritage. Thanks to this cultural tolerance and also because of a largely accepted management policy regarding predator control, large carnivores and people can coexist in the vicinity of Kruger National Park.

  8. An Exploration of Public Attitudes Toward LGBTI Rights in the Gauteng City-Region of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Mahomed, Faraaz; Trangoš, Guy

    2016-10-01

    South Africa's legal framework on the rights of sexual minorities is one of the most progressive in the world. Despite this, discrimination and violence against gay and lesbian people continues to be a challenge. Using large-scale survey data gathered in the Gauteng City-Region, this study examines public attitudes related to homosexuality. Most respondents to the survey felt that sexual minorities should have equal rights. However, a considerable proportion of respondents also held negative views toward gay and lesbian individuals, with close to two fifths of respondents believing that homosexuality is against the values of their community, and over 12% of participants holding the view that it is acceptable to be violent toward gays and lesbians. Further analysis also consists of an examination of responses cross-tabulated with the variables of race, gender, age, and education, revealing that younger, well-educated South Africans tend to be the most tolerant, but also exhibiting large variances in attitudes within groups.

  9. A review of mercury in Lake Victoria, East Africa: implications for human and ecosystem health.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Linda; Dixon, D G; Hecky, R E

    2003-01-01

    Lake Victoria, East Africa, has been the site of many recent studies measuring mercury (Hg) concentrations in water, fish, sediment, soil, and humans. Most of these studies were motivated by concerns about Hg contamination from processing of gold ore on the southern shores. Total Hg (THg) concentrations in fish were usually below permissible World Health Organization (WHO) concentrations and international marketing limits and do not threaten the lucrative export industry. Nile perch 3-10 kg and most >10 kg had THg concentrations above the WHO threshold concentrations for at-risk groups (200 ng/g). Elevated THg concentrations in large Nile perch are not of major concern because Nile perch are rarely consumed by the people living on Lake Victoria and very large Nile perch are becoming increasingly rare in catches. Water THg concentrations were below Canadian drinking water guidelines but were elevated relative to those in the northern Great Lakes. Sediment and soil THg concentrations were within inter-national guidelines and are comparable to those in northern latitudes but are lower than those in the Amazon basin. Biomass burning and soil erosion are estimated to be the major sources of THg for the lake and probably constitute a larger source of THg than gold mining in Tanzania.THg concentrations in urine and hair from human volunteers indicate that while gold miners and frequent skin-bleaching cream users are at risk of inorganic mercury poisoning, the rest of the population, including fishermen, is not. Human exposure assessments demonstrated that fish consumption and soil geophagy constitute major sources of THg for humans, but the total estimated daily intake of THg was below the Health Canada tolerable daily intake (TDI) limits. The use of beauty creams containing high inorganic Hg concentrations, however, caused the estimated THg exposure to exceed the TDI. The high THg content in the hair of regular cream users supports this assessment. The nutritional

  10. Predicting human age using regional morphometry and inter-regional morphological similarity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xun-Heng; Li, Lihua

    2016-03-01

    The goal of this study is predicting human age using neuro-metrics derived from structural MRI, as well as investigating the relationships between age and predictive neuro-metrics. To this end, a cohort of healthy subjects were recruited from 1000 Functional Connectomes Project. The ages of the participations were ranging from 7 to 83 (36.17+/-20.46). The structural MRI for each subject was preprocessed using FreeSurfer, resulting in regional cortical thickness, mean curvature, regional volume and regional surface area for 148 anatomical parcellations. The individual age was predicted from the combination of regional and inter-regional neuro-metrics. The prediction accuracy is r = 0.835, p < 0.00001, evaluated by Pearson correlation coefficient between predicted ages and actual ages. Moreover, the LASSO linear regression also found certain predictive features, most of which were inter-regional features. The turning-point of the developmental trajectories in human brain was around 40 years old based on regional cortical thickness. In conclusion, structural MRI could be potential biomarkers for the aging in human brain. The human age could be successfully predicted from the combination of regional morphometry and inter-regional morphological similarity. The inter-regional measures could be beneficial to investigating human brain connectome.

  11. Regional aerosol deposition in human upper airways

    SciTech Connect

    Swift, D.L.

    1991-11-01

    During the current report experimental studies of upper respiratory deposition of radon progeny aerosols and stimulant aerosols were carried out in replicate casts of nasal and oral passages of adults and children. Additionally, preliminary studies of nasal passage deposition of unattached Po{sup 218} particles was carried out in four human subjects. Data on nasal inspiratory deposition in replicate models of adults and infants from three collaborating laboratories were compared and a best-fit curve of deposition efficiency for both attached and unattached particles was obtained, showing excellent inter-laboratory agreement. This curve demonstrates that nasal inspiratory deposition of radon progeny is weakly dependent upon flow rate over physiologically realistic ranges of flow, does not show a significant age effect, and is relatively independent of nasal passage dimensions for a given age range. Improved replicate models of the human adult oral passage extending to the mid-trachea were constructed for medium and higher flow mouth breathing states; these models were used to assess the deposition of unattached Po{sup 218} particles during oronasal breathing in the oral passage and demonstrated lower deposition efficiency than the nasal passage. Measurements of both Po{sup 218} particle and attached fraction particle size deposition were performed in replicate nasal passage of a four week old infant. 5 refs., 1 fig.

  12. Tropospheric Ozone Increases over the Southern Africa Region: Bellwether for Rapid Growth in Southern Hemisphere Pollution?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, Anne M.; Balashov, Nikolay V.; Witte, J. C.; Coetzee, J. G. R.; Thouret, V.; Posny, F.

    2014-01-01

    Increases in free-tropospheric (FT) ozone based on ozonesonde records from the early 1990s through 2008 over two subtropical stations, Irene (near Pretoria, South Africa) and Réunion (21 deg. S, 55 deg. E; approx. 2800 km NE of Irene in the Indian Ocean), have been reported. Over Irene a large increase in the urban-influenced boundary layer (BL, 1.5-4 km) was also observed during the 18-year period, equivalent to 30%decade-1. Here we show that the Irene BL trend is at least partly due to a gradual change in the sonde launch times from early morning to the midday period. The FT ozone profiles over Irene in 1990-2007 are re-examined, filling in a 1995-1999 gap with ozone profiles taken during the Measurements of Ozone by Airbus In-service Aircraft (MOZAIC) project over nearby Johannesburg. A multivariate regression model that accounts for the annual ozone cycle, El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and possible tropopause changes was applied to monthly averaged Irene data from 4 to 11 km and to 1992-2011 Réunion sonde data from 4 to 15 km. Statistically significant trends appear predominantly in the middle and upper troposphere (UT; 4-11 km over Irene, 4-15 km over Réunion) in winter (June-August), with increases 1 ppbv yr(exp. -1) over Irene and approx. 2 ppbv yr(exp. -1) over Réunion. These changes are equivalent to approx. 25 and 35-45%decade( exp. -1), respectively. Both stations also display smaller positive trends in summer, with a 45%decade(exp. -1) ozone increase near the tropopause over Réunion in December. To explain the ozone increases, we investigated a time series of dynamical markers, e.g., potential vorticity (PV) at 330-350 K. PV affects UT ozone over Irene in November-December but displays little relationship with ozone over Réunion. A more likely reason for wintertime FT ozone increases over Irene and Réunion appears to be long-range transport of growing pollution in the Southern Hemisphere. The ozone increases are consistent with trajectory

  13. Estuarine microbial community characteristics as indicators of human-induced changes (Senegal River, West Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouvy, M.; Arfi, R.; Bernard, C.; Carré, C.; Got, P.; Pagano, M.; Troussellier, M.

    2010-05-01

    Understanding how human-induced management interacts with and affects the structure and functioning of large estuarine ecosystems is a major research challenge. In West Africa, human intervention on the Senegal River Estuary was intended to reduce the impact of major flooding by opening a new mouth in October 2003, 25 km to the north of the existing mouth. This study describes the effects of the new environmental conditions on the physical and biochemical characteristics of the water column and on microbial communities (bacteria, phytoplankton by size class and heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF)) in comparison with the situation in 2002. In 2006, seventeen stations were sampled, during both neap and spring tides, at a depth of 0.5 m along a salinity gradient from freshwater to marine conditions. Inorganic nutrient levels were often low but there were high levels of chlorophyll a in the estuarine area (mean of 13.7-20.7 μg L -1 in spring and neap tide conditions, respectively) producing a eutrophic status in this estuary. Average HNF abundances were lower (mean of 108 and 174 cells l -1 during neap and spring tides, respectively) compared to the situation in 2002 (mean between 2.5 and 6.7 × 10 4 cells l -1). Three biological indicators for assessing environmental changes are discussed: ratio of bacteria to heterotrophic flagellate abundances, ratio of picophytoplankton to nanophytoplankton, and the density of thermo-tolerant coliforms (TTC) and faecal streptococci. It is demonstrated that man-made alteration of the hydrologic regime can modify the microbial community structure and cause the health status of the estuary to deteriorate.

  14. Human health improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa through integrated management of arthropod transmitted diseases and natural resources.

    PubMed

    Baumgärtner, J; Bieri, M; Buffoni, G; Gilioli, G; Gopalan, H; Greiling, J; Tikubet, G; Van Schayk, I

    2001-01-01

    A concept of an ecosystem approach to human health improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa is presented here. Three factors mainly affect the physical condition of the human body: the abiotic environment, vector-transmitted diseases, and natural resources. Our concept relies on ecological principles embedded in a social context and identifies three sets of subsystems for study and management: human disease subsystems, natural resource subsystems, and decision-support subsystems. To control human diseases and to secure food from resource subsystems including livestock or crops, integrated preventive approaches are preferred over exclusively curative and sectorial approaches. Environmental sustainability - the basis for managing matter and water flows - contributes to a healthy human environment and constitutes the basis for social sustainability. For planning and implementation of the human health improvement scheme, participatory decision-support subsystems adapted to the local conditions need to be designed through institutional arrangements. The applicability of this scheme is demonstrated in urban and rural Ethiopia.

  15. Water Use and Management in Semiarid Regions - A Distributed Modelling Approach in the Verlorenvlei Catchment, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleischer, Melanie; Kralisch, Sven; Fink, Manfred; Pfennig, Björn; Butchart-Kuhlmann, Daniel; Meinhardt, Markus; de Clercq, Willem

    2016-04-01

    Hydrological modelling is a useful method to predict water availability and environmental impacts in a range of climate and land use change scenarios. One of the major challenges to accurate predictions using hydrological modelling in semi-arid areas is the high temporal and spatial variability of rainfall events and the associated uncertainty of related process parameters. Limited and often unreliable climate observations can cause additional problems. These particular circumstances are well documented for many catchments in the world, including semi-arid parts of South Africa. An accurate assessment of water quality and quantity is however crucial for sustainable water resource management, which is often difficult under changing environmental conditions such as climate and land use change. This situation can be found in the Verlorenvlei catchment, a part of the Sandveld area located in the Western Cape region of South Africa. Extensive dry periods in combination with an increasing domestic water demand, expanding irrigation agriculture and expected reducing rainfall due to climate change present a challenging setup for water management in this region. The catchment is a highly sensitive area with one of the most important estuary systems in the Western Cape region, containing significant natural wetlands with high biodiversity and numerous endemic species. With very limited surface water resources, most settlements and irrigation systems in the region are mainly dependent on groundwater. As a result of the particular conditions, the use of improved management techniques, such as centre pivot irrigation and contour-bank farming, are necessary. The distributed, process-oriented hydrological modelling system JAMS/J2000 is used and evaluated to assess water availability within the catchment under different climate and land-use change scenarios. The first phase has involved configuring the model to accurately represent the specific natural conditions of the

  16. A GCM investigation of dust aerosol impact on the regional climate of North Africa and South/East Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Y.; Xue, Y.; De Sales, F.; Liou, K. N.

    2016-04-01

    The climatic effects of dust aerosols in North Africa and South/East Asia have been investigated using an atmospheric general circulation model, NCEP/GCM/SSiB (Simplified Simple Biosphere Model) and the three-dimensional aerosol data simulated by the Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) model. GCM simulations show that due to the scattering and absorption of solar radiation by dust particles, surface temperature decreases over both regions, accompanied by a reduced sensible heat flux. However, precipitation responses are different in these two regions. Due to differences in dust location and the associated heating with respect to the rainfall band and circulation, the effect of dust could either enhance or suppress precipitation. Over the North Africa region where dust particles are mainly located to the north of rainfall band, heating of the air column by dust particles forces a stronger ascent motion over dust layers, which induces an anomalous subsidence (or a weakened upward motion) and suppressed cyclonic circulation to its south where precipitation reduces. Furthermore, both humidity and cloud decrease due to the heating in the middle troposphere (semi-direct effect). In South/East Asia, dust particles are located in the upper troposphere over the major rainfall band during the monsoon season, especially Southwest India and the coastal area of Bay of Bengal. Heating of the air column increases upward motion and strengthens cyclonic circulation. Humidity also increases due to the draw-in of the low level moist air. Therefore, cloud and precipitation increase over South/East Asia associated with dust effect. During the pre-monsoon season, when dust particles are located to the north of the monsoon rainfall band, the heating effect results in shifting precipitation northward. The heating of air column due to dust particles, not surface cooling, plays the major role in precipitation changes. The anomalous upward motion over dust regions will

  17. A GCM Investigation of Dust Aerosol Impact on the Regional Climate of North Africa and South/East Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Y.; Xue, Y.; De Sales, F.; Liou, K. N.

    2015-12-01

    The interactions between dust and other physical processes have been found to play an important role in the dust-induced climate change. However, there are large uncertainties regarding whether, where, and how the dust enhances or suppresses precipitation. The climatic effects of dust aerosols in North Africa and South/East Asia have been investigated using an atmospheric general circulation model, NCEP/GCM/SSiB (Simplified Simple Biosphere Model) and the three-dimensional aerosol data simulated by the Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) model. GCM simulations show that due to the scattering and absorption of solar radiation by dust particles, surface temperature decreases over both regions, accompanied by a reduced sensible heat flux. However, precipitation responses are different in these two regions. Due to differences in dust location and the associated heating with respect to the rainfall band and circulation, the effect of dust could either enhance or suppress precipitation. Over the North Africa region where dust particles are mainly located to the north of rainfall band, heating of the air column by dust particles forces a stronger ascent motion over dust layers, which induces an anomalous subsidence (or a weakened upward motion) and suppressed cyclonic circulation to its south where precipitation reduces. In South/East Asia, dust particles are located in the upper troposphere over the major rainfall band during the monsoon season, especially Southwest India and the coastal area of Bay of Bengal. Heating of the air column increases upward motion and strengthens cyclonic circulation. Therefore, cloud and precipitation increase over South/East Asia associated with dust effect. During the pre-monsoon season, when dust particles are located to the north of the monsoon rainfall band, the heating effect results in shifting precipitation northward. The anomalous upward motion over dust regions will induce a subsidence to its south and

  18. New and interesting species of the genus Muelleria (Bacillariophyta) from the Antarctic region and South Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van De Vijver, B.; Mataloni, G.; Stanish, L.; Spaulding, S.A.

    2010-01-01

    During a survey of the terrestrial diatom flora of some sub-Antarctic islands in the southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans and of the Antarctic continent, more than 15 taxa belonging to the genus Muelleria were observed. Nine of these taxa are described as new species using light and scanning electron microscopy. Comments are made on their systematic position and how they are distinguished from other species in the genus. Additionally, two previously unrecognized taxa within the genus were discovered in samples from South Africa. One of these, Muelleria taylorii Van de Vijver & Cocquyt sp. nov., is new to science; the other, Muelleria vandermerwei (Cholnoky) Van de Vijver & Cocquyt nov. comb., had been included in the genus Diploneis. The large number of new Muelleria taxa on the (sub)-Antarctic locations is not surprising. Species in Muelleria occur rarely in collections; in many habitats, it is unusual to find more than 1-2 valves in any slide preparation. As a result, records are scarce. The practice of "force-fitting" (shoehorning) specimens into descriptions from common taxonomic keys (and species drift) results in European species, such as M. gibbula and M. linearis, being applied to Antarctic forms in ecological studies. Finally, the typical terrestrial habitats of soils, mosses and ephemeral water bodies of most of these taxa have been poorly studied in the past.

  19. Epidemiology of Syphilis in regional blood transfusion centres in Burkina Faso, West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Bisseye, Cyrille; Sanou, Mahamoudou; Nagalo, Bolni Marius; Kiba, Alice; Compaoré, Tegwindé Rebeca; Tao, Issoufou; Simpore, Jacques

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Syphilis remains a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa, including Burkina Faso. However, few published data are available on the prevalence of syphilis in the general population. This study had two main objectives: to determine the seroprevalence of syphilis in a cohort of 37,210 first time blood donors and to study socio-demographic factors associated with the risk of infection by Treponema pallidum. Methods Antibodies to Treponema pallidum were screened for, by using Reagin Rapid Test (RPR) and their presence was confirmed by treponema pallidum haemagglutination test (TPHA). Results The overall seroprevalence of syphilis was 1.5% among first time blood donors and was significantly different between centers (p <0.001). The infection was significantly higher in men than women among blood donors in Ouagadougou and Fada N′gourma (P = 0.001 and P = 0.034). The overall seroprevalence of syphilis among blood donors was not associated with either age group or HIV status. In contrast, a significantly high seroprevalence of syphilis was observed in blood donors with HBsAg (P = 0.014) and anti-HCV (P = 0.007) positive. Conclusion Our report shows a low seroprevalence of syphilis in the representative sample of the population of Burkina Faso. The seroprevalence of syphilis remains unequally distributed between urban and rural areas and was not associated with HIV infection. PMID:24711869

  20. Regional Higher Education Reform Initiatives in Africa: A Comparative Analysis with the Bologna Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woldegiorgis, Emnet Tadesse; Jonck, Petronella; Goujon, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Europe's Bologna Process has been identified as a pioneering approach in regional cooperation with respect to the area of higher education. To address the challenges of African higher education, policymakers are recommending regional cooperation that uses the Bologna Process as a model. Based on these recommendations, the African Union Commission…

  1. Two Distinct Yersinia pestis Populations Causing Plague among Humans in the West Nile Region of Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Respicio-Kingry, Laurel B.; Yockey, Brook M.; Acayo, Sarah; Kaggwa, John; Apangu, Titus; Kugeler, Kiersten J.; Eisen, Rebecca J.; Griffith, Kevin S.; Mead, Paul S.; Schriefer, Martin E.; Petersen, Jeannine M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Plague is a life-threatening disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Since the 1990s, Africa has accounted for the majority of reported human cases. In Uganda, plague cases occur in the West Nile region, near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the ongoing risk of contracting plague in this region, little is known about Y. pestis genotypes causing human disease. Methodology/Principal Findings During January 2004–December 2012, 1,092 suspect human plague cases were recorded in the West Nile region of Uganda. Sixty-one cases were culture-confirmed. Recovered Y. pestis isolates were analyzed using three typing methods, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and multiple variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) and subpopulations analyzed in the context of associated geographic, temporal, and clinical data for source patients. All three methods separated the 61 isolates into two distinct 1.ANT lineages, which persisted throughout the 9 year period and were associated with differences in elevation and geographic distribution. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrate that human cases of plague in the West Nile region of Uganda are caused by two distinct 1.ANT genetic subpopulations. Notably, all three typing methods used, SNPs, PFGE, and MLVA, identified the two genetic subpopulations, despite recognizing different mutation types in the Y. pestis genome. The geographic and elevation differences between the two subpopulations is suggestive of their maintenance in highly localized enzootic cycles, potentially with differing vector-host community composition. This improved understanding of Y. pestis subpopulations in the West Nile region will be useful for identifying ecologic and environmental factors associated with elevated plague risk. PMID:26866815

  2. IFLA General Conference, 1992. Division of Regional Activities: Section on Africa; Section on Asia/Oceania; Section on Latin America and the Caribbean. Papers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, London (England).

    Seven papers delivered at the 1992 International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions annual meeting relating to regional activities are presented. These papers deal with library issues in Africa, Asia and Oceania, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The papers are: (1) "Designing National Information Policies in African: Process and…

  3. Effect of cropping system on composition of the Rhizoctonia populations recovered from canola and lupin in a winter rainfall region of South Africa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rhizoctonia spp. are important pathogens of a broad range of crop plants that are economically important to the farm economy of the Western Cape region of South Africa. However, there is little information concerning the identity and relative importance of these fungal pathogens, and the effect of ...

  4. Implementation of Information Communication Technology in the Teaching/Learning Process for Sustainable Development of Adults in West Africa Sub Sahara Region

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nwobi, Anthonia; Ngozi, Ugwuoke; Rufina, Nwachukwu; Ogbonnaya, Kingsley A.

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the implementation of information technology in the teaching/learning process for sustainable development of adults in West Africa Sub Sahara Region (WASSR). Three research questions and two hypotheses guided the study. The population for the study was 3071 participants and instructors drawn from 10 education centres that were…

  5. WASCAL - West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use Regional Climate Simulations and Land-Atmosphere Simulations for West Africa at DKRZ and elsewhere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamann, Ilse; Arnault, Joel; Bliefernicht, Jan; Klein, Cornelia; Heinzeller, Dominikus; Kunstmann, Harald

    2014-05-01

    Changing climate and hydro-meteorological boundary conditions are among the most severe challenges to Africa in the 21st century. In particular West Africa faces an urgent need to develop effective adaptation and mitigation strategies to cope with negative impacts on humans and environment due to climate change, increased hydro-meteorological variability and land use changes. To help meet these challenges, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) started an initiative with institutions in Germany and West African countries to establish together a West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL). This activity is accompanied by an establishment of trans-boundary observation networks, an interdisciplinary core research program and graduate research programs on climate change and related issues for strengthening the analytical capabilities of the Science Service Center. A key research activity of the WASCAL Competence Center is the provision of regional climate simulations in a fine spatio-temporal resolution for the core research sites of WASCAL for the present and the near future. The climate information is needed for subsequent local climate impact studies in agriculture, water resources and further socio-economic sectors. The simulation experiments are performed using regional climate models such as COSMO-CLM, RegCM and WRF and statistical techniques for a further refinement of the projections. The core research sites of WASCAL are located in the Sudanian Savannah belt in Northern Ghana, Southern Burkina Faso and Northern Benin. The climate in this region is semi-arid with six rainy months. Due to the strong population growth in West Africa, many areas of the Sudanian Savannah have been already converted to farmland since the majority of the people are living directly or indirectly from the income produced in agriculture. The simulation experiments of the Competence Center and the Core Research Program are

  6. [Sudden infant death and sickle cell anemia in the Sahel region of Africa].

    PubMed

    Vix, J; Buguet, A; Straboni, S; Beidari, H

    1987-01-01

    The authors investigated the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (S.I.D.S.) in families of government employees who benefited of free health care. Out of approximately 400 families with around 2000 children, 29 reported at least one infant death meeting the chosen criteria for S.I.D.S. A total of 41 children, mostly males, died between 1 day and 30 months of age, amongst the 149 children born in these families; most of them died during the first 3 months of life. The mothers were generally house wives, aged 26.2 +/- 1.0 years. Sickle cell trait was found in at least one parent of 21 families. In the other 8 families, 11 out of 38 children died, giving a prevalence rate of 6.9/1000 live births for S.I.D.S. in the healthy population. In the sickle cell trait population, the prevalence rate for S.I.D.S. reached 75.0/1000 live births, the prevalence of sickle cell anemia being about 20% in Niger. When very strict criteria were used for diagnosing S.I.D.S., the prevalence rate was 2.5/1000 and 40/1000 live births in the healthy and the sickle trait populations respectively. This study is the first attempt to determine the place of S.I.D.S. in the infant mortality rate in Sahelian Africa. In families with sickle cell disease, the risk of S.I.D.S. was 11.5 times greater than in healthy families. The role of sleep apnea as a cause of S.I.D.S. is discussed. It may represent a common cause of death in both healthy families at risk and sickle cell trait families.

  7. Human Factor Management in a Region Under Industrialization - A Concept.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muszynski, Marek; Kowalewski, Andrzej

    Numerous studies conducted by the Committee for Studies on Regions under Industrialization of the Polish Academy of Sciences provide the basis for historical analysis and regional comparison relative to concept formation, program guidelines, and program implementation procedures for rational human factor management. The exhaustion of Poland's…

  8. Earthquake Hazard and Risk in Sub-Saharan Africa: current status of the Global Earthquake model (GEM) initiative in the region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayele, Atalay; Midzi, Vunganai; Ateba, Bekoa; Mulabisana, Thifhelimbilu; Marimira, Kwangwari; Hlatywayo, Dumisani J.; Akpan, Ofonime; Amponsah, Paulina; Georges, Tuluka M.; Durrheim, Ray

    2013-04-01

    Large magnitude earthquakes have been observed in Sub-Saharan Africa in the recent past, such as the Machaze event of 2006 (Mw, 7.0) in Mozambique and the 2009 Karonga earthquake (Mw 6.2) in Malawi. The December 13, 1910 earthquake (Ms = 7.3) in the Rukwa rift (Tanzania) is the largest of all instrumentally recorded events known to have occurred in East Africa. The overall earthquake hazard in the region is on the lower side compared to other earthquake prone areas in the globe. However, the risk level is high enough for it to receive attention of the African governments and the donor community. The latest earthquake hazard map for the sub-Saharan Africa was done in 1999 and updating is long overdue as several development activities in the construction industry is booming allover sub-Saharan Africa. To this effect, regional seismologists are working together under the GEM (Global Earthquake Model) framework to improve incomplete, inhomogeneous and uncertain catalogues. The working group is also contributing to the UNESCO-IGCP (SIDA) 601 project and assessing all possible sources of data for the catalogue as well as for the seismotectonic characteristics that will help to develop a reasonable hazard model in the region. In the current progress, it is noted that the region is more seismically active than we thought. This demands the coordinated effort of the regional experts to systematically compile all available information for a better output so as to mitigate earthquake risk in the sub-Saharan Africa.

  9. Regional Climate Simulations with COSMO-CLM for West Africa using different soil-vegetation-atmosphere-transfer module's (SVAT's)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breil, Marcus; Panitz, Hans-Jürgen

    2013-04-01

    Climate predictions on decadal timescales constitute a new field of research, closing the gap between short-term and seasonal weather predictions and long-term climate projections. Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany (BMBF) has recently funded the research program MiKlip (Mittelfristige Klimaprognosen), which aims to create a model system that can provide reliable decadal climate forecasts. Recent studies have suggested that one region with high potential decadal predictability is West Africa. Therefore, the DEPARTURE project (DEcadal Prediction of African Rainfall and ATlantic HURricanE Activity) was established within the MiKlip program to assess the feasibility and the potential added value of regional decadal climate predictions for West Africa. To quantify the potential decadal climate predictability, a multi-model approach with the three different regional climate models REMO, WRF and COSMO-CLM (CCLM) will be realized. The presented research will contribute to DEPARTURE by performing hindcast ensemble simulations with CCLM, based on SST-driven global MPI-ESM-LR simulations. Thereby, one focus is on the dynamic soil-vegetation-climate interaction on decadal timescales. Recent studies indicate that there are significant feedbacks between the land-surface and the atmosphere, which might influence the decadal climate variability substantially. To investigate this connection, three different SVAT's (TERRA_ML, Community Land Model (CLM), and VEG3D) will be coupled with the CCLM. Thus, sensitive model parameters shall be identified, whereby the understanding of important processes might be improved. As a first step, the influence of the model domain on the CCLM results was examined. For this purpose, recent CCLM results from simulations for the official CORDEX domain were compared with CCLM results achieved by using an extended DEPARTURE model domain to about 60°W. This sensitivity analysis was performed with a horizontal resolution

  10. Regional Climate Simulations with COSMO-CLM for West Africa using three different soil-vegetation-atmosphere-transfer (SVAT) module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breil, Marcus; Panitz, Hans-Jürgen

    2014-05-01

    Climate predictions on decadal timescales constitute a new field of research, closing the gap between short-term and seasonal weather predictions and long-term climate projections. Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany (BMBF) has recently funded the research program MiKlip (Mittelfristige Klimaprognosen), which aims to create a model system that can provide reliable decadal climate forecasts. Recent studies have suggested that one region with high potential decadal predictability is West Africa. Therefore, the project DEPARTURE (DEcadal Prediction of African Rainfall and ATlantic HURricanE Activity) was established within the MiKlip program to assess the feasibility and the potential added value of regional decadal climate predictions for West Africa. To quantify the potential decadal climate predictability, a multi-model approach with the three different regional climate models REMO, WRF and COSMO-CLM (CCLM) will be realized. The presented research will contribute to DEPARTURE by performing hindcast ensemble simulations with CCLM, driven by global decadal MPI-ESM-LR simulations. Thereby, one focus is on the dynamic soil-vegetation-climate interaction on decadal timescales. Recent studies indicate that there are significant feedbacks between the land-surface and the atmosphere, which might influence the decadal climate variability substantially. To investigate this connection, two different SVATs (Community Land Model (CLM), and VEG3D) will be coupled with the CCLM, replacing TERRA_ML, the standard SVAT implemented in CCLM. Thus, sensitive model parameters shall be identified, whereby the understanding of important processes might be improved. As a first step, TERRA_ML is substituted by VEG3D, a SVAT developed at the IMK-TRO, Karlsruhe, Germany. Compared to TERRA_ML, VEG3D includes an explicit vegetation layer by using a big leaf approach, inducing higher correlations with observations as it has been shown in previous studies. The

  11. A survey of the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa for the presence of cyst nematodes (Nematoda: Heteroderidae).

    PubMed

    Knoetze, Rinus; Swart, Antoinette

    2014-12-09

    A survey was performed to detect the presence of cyst nematodes in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa. Soil was collected in the rhizosphere of the dominant plant species within blocks of indigenous vegetation and cysts were extracted from them. A total of 81 blocks of indigenous vegetation were sampled as described. Cysts were detected in 7 of these samples, representing 6 different vegetation types. One set of primers was used to amplify the ITS regions from these cysts, including the 5.8S ribosomal gene, as well as short parts of the 18S and 28S ribosomal genes. ITS-rDNA sequences from the indigenous isolates were aligned with selected sequences of other species from the Heteroderidae. Phylogenetic analyses to resolve the relationships between indigenous isolates and selected representatives of the Heteroderidae were conducted using the Maximum Parsimony method. The consensus tree resulting from alignment of the circumfenestrate cysts revealed that isolates SK18, WK1 and WK26 are included in a clade of Globodera species that parasitise non-solanaceous plants, forming a monophyletic group with G. millefolii, G. artemisiae, and an unidentified Globodera sp. from Portugal. In a tree resulting from the alignment of the Heterodera spp., isolates OK14 and WK2 are included in the Afenestrata group, forming a monophyletic group with H. orientalis.This survey unearthed at least four potentially new species of cyst nematodes, which may prove invaluable for the study of the evolution and biogeography of the group.

  12. Evaluation of a regional mineral dust model over Northern Africa, Southern Europe and Middle East with AERONET data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basart, S.; Pérez, C.; Cuevas, E.; Baldasano, J. M.

    2009-04-01

    A variety of regional and global models of the dust aerosol cycle have been developed since early 1990s. Dust models are essential to complement dust-related observations, understand the dust processes and predict the impact of dust on surface level PM concentrations. Dust generation and the parameterization of its deposition processes shows a high variability on spatial and temporal scales. It responds, in a non-linear way, to a variety of environmental factors, such as soil moisture content, the type of surface cover or surface atmospheric turbulence. Thus the modelling of this very complex process is a challenge. DREAM (Dust Regional Atmospheric Model; Nickovic et al., 2001) provides operational dust forecasts for Northern Africa, Europe and Middle East, as well as for the East-Asia regions. DREAM is operated and further developed in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. DREAM is fully inserted as one of the governing equations in the NCEP/Eta atmospheric model and simulates all major processes of the atmospheric dust cycle. In order to implement new model versions for operational applications there is a need for extensive checking and validation against real observations. The present study focuses on the evaluation of forecasting capacity of the new version of DREAM by means of a model-to-observation comparison of the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) over Northern Africa, Southern Europe and Middle East for one year. The model provides 72h forecasts initialized at 12UTC of each day with outputs every 1 hour at horizontal resolution of about 1/3° and 24 z-vertical layers in the troposphere. Comparisons against 47 selected AERONET sites are used. Eight size bins between 0.1 and 10 µm are considered, and dust-radiation interactions are included (Pérez et al., 2006). Wet deposition scheme has been also improved. The simulation has been performed over one year (2004); statistics and time series for the model outputs and AERONET data are used to evaluate the ability of

  13. Staphylococcus aureus complex from animals and humans in three remote African regions.

    PubMed

    Schaumburg, Frieder; Pauly, Maude; Anoh, Etile; Mossoun, Arsene; Wiersma, Lidewij; Schubert, Grit; Flammen, Arnaud; Alabi, Abraham S; Muyembe-Tamfum, Jean-Jacques; Grobusch, Martin P; Karhemere, Stomy; Akoua-Koffi, Chantal; Couacy-Hymann, Emmanuel; Kremsner, Peter G; Mellmann, Alexander; Becker, Karsten; Leendertz, Fabian H; Peters, Georg

    2015-04-01

    Staphylococcus schweitzeri has been recently considered to be a highly divergent Staphylococcus aureus clade and usually colonises nonhuman primates and bats in sub-Saharan Africa. Its transmissibility to humans remains unclear. We therefore investigated the transmission of S. aureus and S. schweitzeri among humans, domestic animals, and wildlife in three remote African regions. A cross-sectional study on nasal and pharyngeal colonisation in humans (n = 1288) and animals (n = 698) was performed in Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). Isolates were subjected to spa typing and multilocus sequence typing. Antimicrobial susceptibility and selected virulence factors were tested. S. schweitzeri was found in monkeys from all study sites but no transmission to humans was evident, despite frequent contact of humans with wildlife. In contrast, human-associated S. aureus sequence types (ST1, ST6, ST15) were detected in domestic animals and nonhuman primates, pointing toward a human-to-monkey transmission in the wild. The proportion of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) among all S. aureus was 0% (Gabon), 1.7% (DR Congo), and 5.3% (Côte d'Ivoire). The majority of MRSA isolates belonged to the African clone ST88. In conclusion, we did not find any evidence for a transmission of S. schweitzeri from animals to humans. However, such a transmission might remain possible due to the close phylogenetic relation of humans and nonhuman primates. The ST88-MRSA clone was widespread in Côte d'Ivoire but not in Gabon and DR Congo.

  14. Toward a Sustainable Society in the Mena (Middle East and North Africa) Region: Roadmap and Priorities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    El-Bassiouny, Noha

    2012-01-01

    The Business and Society Research Cluster (BSRC) at the German University in Cairo, the El-Khazindar Business Research and Case Center at the American University in Cairo and Misr El-Kheir (MEK) Foundation, Egypt, hosted the region's first sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) case studies conference, entitled "Toward a…

  15. Preliminary definition of geophysical regions for the Middle East and North Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Sweeney, J J; Walter, B

    1998-12-01

    The ability to calibrate seismic stations to improve the monitoring of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is partially limited by the availability of seismic events with known locations and source properties. To confidently extrapolate from these events to aseismic regions, and to properly account for discontinuities in seismic properties requires accurate geophysical models. This paper lays out a preliminary, first-order, regionalization of the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. The model specifies boundaries and velocity structures based on the geology and tectonics of the region, previously published studies, and empirical data observations by the LLNL group. This model is a starting point and is expected to be improved and refined by comparisons with ongoing tomography efforts and the collection of new data. We anticipate that this model and its successors will prove useful as a background model in the process of forming station calibration maps based on intelligent interpolation techniques such as kriging. We also hope the model, as it improves and demonstrates some predictive power, will provide a reference model for broader CTBT research efforts in detection, location and discrimination as well as other aspects of earth science.

  16. The exodus of health professionals from sub-Saharan Africa: balancing human rights and societal needs in the twenty-first century.

    PubMed

    Ogilvie, Linda; Mill, Judy E; Astle, Barbara; Fanning, Anne; Opare, Mary

    2007-06-01

    Increased international migration of health professionals is weakening healthcare systems in low-income countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa. The migration of nurses, physicians and other health professionals from countries in sub-Saharan Africa poses a major threat to the achievement of health equity in this region. As nurses form the backbone of healthcare systems in many of the affected countries, it is the accelerating migration of nurses that will be most critical over the next few years. In this paper we present a comprehensive analysis of the literature and argue that, from a human rights perspective, there are competing rights in the international migration of health professionals: the right to leave one's country to seek a better life; the right to health of populations in the source and destination countries; labour rights; the right to education; and the right to non-discrimination and equality. Creative policy approaches are required to balance these rights and to ensure that the individual rights of health professionals do not compromise the societal right to health.

  17. Surface Wave Analysis of Regional Earthquakes in the Eastern Rift System (Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliva, S. J. C.; Guidarelli, M.; Ebinger, C. J.; Roecker, S. W.; Tiberi, C.

    2015-12-01

    The Northern Tanzania Divergence (NTD), the youngest part of the East African Rift System, presents the opportunity to obtain insights about the birth and early stages of rifting before it progresses to mature rifting and seafloor spreading. This region is particularly interesting because the Eastern rift splits into three arms in this area and develops in a region of thick and cold lithosphere, amid the Archaean Tanzanian craton and the Proterozoic orogenic belt (the Masai block). We analyzed about two thousand seismic events recorded by the 39 broadband stations of the CRAFTI network during its two-year deployment in the NTD area in 2013 to 2014. We present the results of surface wave tomographic inversion obtained from fundamental-mode Rayleigh waves for short periods (between 4 to 14 seconds). Group velocity dispersion curves obtained via multiple filter analysis are path-averaged and inverted to produce 0.1º x 0.1º nodal grid tomographic maps for discrete periods using a 2D generalization of the Backus and Gilbert method. To quantify our results in terms of S-wave velocity structure the average group velocity dispersion curves are then inverted, using a linearized least-squares inversion scheme, in order to obtain the shear wave velocity structure for the upper 20 km of the crust. Low velocity anomalies are observed in the region 50 km south of Lake Natron, as well as in the area of the Ngorongoro crater. The implications of our results for the local tectonics and the development of the rifting system will be discussed in light of the growing geophysical database from this region.

  18. Performance of the CORDEX-Africa regional climate simulations in representing the hydrological cycle of the Niger River basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mascaro, Giuseppe; White, Dave D.; Westerhoff, Paul; Bliss, Nadya

    2015-12-01

    The water resources of the Niger River basin (NRB) in West Africa are crucial to support the socioeconomic development of nine countries. In this study, we compared and evaluated performances of simulations at 0.44° resolution of several regional climate models (RCMs) of the Coordinated Regional climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) in reproducing the statistical properties of the hydrological cycle of the NRB in the current climate. To capture the large range of climatic zones in the region, analyses were conducted by spatially averaging the water balance components in four nested subbasins. Most RCMs overestimate (order of +10% to +400%, depending on model and subbasin) the mean annual difference between precipitation (P) and evaporation (E), whose observed value was assumed equal to the long-term discharge based on the mass conservation principle. This is due to a tendency to simulate larger mean annual P and a weak hydrological cycle in the E channel. Some exceptions appear in the humid most-upstream subbasin, where a few RCMs underestimate P. Overall, the representation of the water balance is mostly sensitive to the parameterized land surface and atmospheric processes of the nested RCMs, with less influence of the driving general circulation model. This finding is supported by further analyses on seasonal cycle and spatial variability of the water balance components and on model performances in reproducing observed climatology. Results of this work should be considered when RCMs are used directly or in impact studies to develop policies and plan investments aimed at ensuring water sustainability in the NRB.

  19. Delineating Geographical Regions with Networks of Human Interactions in an Extensive Set of Countries

    PubMed Central

    Sobolevsky, Stanislav; Szell, Michael; Campari, Riccardo; Couronné, Thomas; Smoreda, Zbigniew; Ratti, Carlo

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale networks of human interaction, in particular country-wide telephone call networks, can be used to redraw geographical maps by applying algorithms of topological community detection. The geographic projections of the emerging areas in a few recent studies on single regions have been suggested to share two distinct properties: first, they are cohesive, and second, they tend to closely follow socio-economic boundaries and are similar to existing political regions in size and number. Here we use an extended set of countries and clustering indices to quantify overlaps, providing ample additional evidence for these observations using phone data from countries of various scales across Europe, Asia, and Africa: France, the UK, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Ivory Coast. In our analysis we use the known approach of partitioning country-wide networks, and an additional iterative partitioning of each of the first level communities into sub-communities, revealing that cohesiveness and matching of official regions can also be observed on a second level if spatial resolution of the data is high enough. The method has possible policy implications on the definition of the borderlines and sizes of administrative regions. PMID:24367490

  20. Genotyping and Molecular Characterization of Hepatitis B Virus from Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Individuals in Southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Makondo, Euphodia; Bell, Trevor G.; Kramvis, Anna

    2012-01-01

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are hyperendemic in sub-Saharan Africa. The HBV genotypes prevailing in HIV-infected Africans are unknown. Our aim was to determine the HBV genotypes in HIV-infected participants and to identify clinically significant HBV mutations. From 71 HBV DNA+ve HIV-infected participants, 49 basic core promoter/precore (BCP/PC) and 29 complete S regions were successfully sequenced. Following phylogenetic analysis of 29 specimens in the complete S region, 28 belonged to subgenotype A1 and one to D3. Mutations affecting HBeAg expression at the transcriptional (1762T1764A), translational (Kozak 1809–1812, initiation 1814–1816, G1896A with C1858T), or post translational levels (G1862T), were responsible for the high HBeAg-negativity observed. The G1862T mutation occurred only in subgenotype A1 isolates, which were found in one third (7/21) of HBsAg−ve participants, but in none of the 18 HBsAg+ve participants (p<0.05). Pre-S deletion mutants were detected in four HBsAg+ve and one HBsAg−ve participant/s. The following mutations occurred significantly more frequently in HBV isolated in this study than in strains of the same cluster of the phylogenetic tree: ps1F25L, ps1V88L/A; ps2Q10R, ps2 R48K/T, ps2A53V and sQ129R/H, sQ164A/V/G/D, sV168A and sS174N (p<0.05). ps1I48V/T occurred more frequently in females than males (p<0.05). Isolates with sV168A occurred more frequently in participants with viral loads >200 IU per ml (p<0.05) and only sS174N occurred more frequently in HBsAg−ve than in HBsAg+ve individuals (p<0.05). Prior to initiation of ART, ten percent, 3 of 29 isolates sequenced, had drug resistance mutations rtV173L, rtL180M+rtM204V and rtV214A, respectively. This study has provided important information on the molecular characteristics of HBV in HIV-infected southern Africans prior to ART initiation, which has important clinical relevance in the management of HBV/HIV co-infection in our unique setting

  1. GROUND TRUTH, MAGNITUDE CALIBRATION AND REGIONAL PHASE PROPAGATION AND DETECTION IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND HORN OF AFRICA

    SciTech Connect

    Nyblade, A; Adams, A; Brazier, R; Park, Y; Rodgers, A

    2006-07-10

    In this project, we are exploiting unique and open source seismic data sets to improve seismic monitoring across the Middle East (including the Iranian Plateau, Zagros Mountains, Arabian Peninsula, Turkish Plateau, Gulf of Aqaba, Dead Sea Rift) and the Horn of Africa (including the northern part of the East African Rift, Afar Depression, southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden). The data sets are being used to perform three related tasks. (1) We are determining moment tensors, moment magnitudes and source depths for regional events in the magnitude 3.0 to 6.0 range. (2) These events are being used to characterize high-frequency (0.5-16 Hz) regional phase attenuation and detection thresholds, especially from events in Iran recorded at stations across the Arabian Peninsula. (3) We are collecting location ground truth at GT5 (local) and GT20 (regional) levels for seismic events with M > 2.5, including source geometry information and source depths. In the first phase of this project, seismograms from earthquakes in the Zagros Mountains recorded at regional distances have been inverted for moment tensors, and source depths for the earthquakes have been determined via waveform matching. Early studies of the distribution of seismicity in the Zagros region found evidence for earthquakes in the upper mantle. But subsequent relocations of teleseismic earthquakes suggest that source depths are generally much shallower, lying mainly within the upper crust. Nine events with magnitudes between 5 and 6 have been studied so far. Source depths for six of the events are within the upper crust, and three are located within the lower crust. The uncertainty in the source depths of the lower crustal events allows for the possibility that some of them may have even nucleated within the upper mantle. Eight events have thrust mechanisms and one has a strike-slip mechanism. We also report estimates of three-dimensional P- and S-wave velocity structure of the upper mantle beneath the Arabian

  2. Roles of Spatial Scale and Rarity on the Relationship between Butterfly Species Richness and Human Density in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Mecenero, Silvia; Altwegg, Res; Colville, Jonathan F; Beale, Colin M

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife and humans tend to prefer the same productive environments, yet high human densities often lead to reduced biodiversity. Species richness is often positively correlated with human population density at broad scales, but this correlation could also be caused by unequal sampling effort leading to higher species tallies in areas of dense human activity. We examined the relationships between butterfly species richness and human population density at five spatial resolutions ranging from 2' to 60' across South Africa. We used atlas-type data and spatial interpolation techniques aimed at reducing the effect of unequal spatial sampling. Our results confirm the general positive correlation between total species richness and human population density. Contrary to our expectations, the strength of this positive correlation did not weaken at finer spatial resolutions. The patterns observed using total species richness were driven mostly by common species. The richness of threatened and restricted range species was not correlated to human population density. None of the correlations we examined were particularly strong, with much unexplained variance remaining, suggesting that the overlap between butterflies and humans is not strong compared to other factors not accounted for in our analyses. Special consideration needs to be made regarding conservation goals and variables used when investigating the overlap between species and humans for biodiversity conservation.

  3. South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This true-color image of South Africa was acquired on May 14, 2000, by NASA's Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS. The image was produced using a combination of the sensor's 250-m and 500-m resolution visible wavelength bands. As part of the opening ceremony to begin the joint U.S.-South Africa SAFARI Field Experiment, NASA presented print copies of this image as GIFts to Dr. Ben Ngubane, Minister of Arts, Science and Technology, and Honorable Advocate Ngoaka Ramathlodi, Premier of the Northern Province, South Africa. The area shown in this image encompasses seven capital cities and a number of the region's distinctive geological features can be seen clearly. Toward the northern (top) central part of the image, the browns and tans comprise the Kalahari Desert of southern Botswana. The Tropic of Capricorn runs right through the heart of the Kalahari and the Botswanan capital city of Gaborone sits on the Limpopo River, southeast of the Kalahari. Along the western coastline of the continent is the country of Namibia, where the Namib Desert is framed against the sea by the Kaokoveld Mountains. The Namibian capital of Windhoek is obscured by clouds. Looking closely in the center of the image, the Orange River can be seen running from east to west, demarcating the boundary between Namibia and South Africa. On the southwestern corner of the continent is the hook-like Cape of Good Hope peninsula and Cape Town, the parliamentary capital of South Africa. Running west to east away from Cape Town are the Great Karroo Mountains. The shadow in this image conveys a sense of the very steep grade of the cliffs along the southern coast of South Africa. Port Elizabeth sits on the southeasternmost point of South Africa, and a large phytoplankton bloom can be seen in the water about 100 miles east of there. Moving northward along the east coast, the Drakensberg Mountains are visible. The two small nations of Lesotho and Swaziland are in this region, completely

  4. What contribution have human rights approaches made to reducing AIDS-related vulnerability in sub-Saharan Africa? Exploring the case study of access to antiretrovirals.

    PubMed

    Forman, Lisa

    2013-03-01

    Human rights approaches may offer powerful tools to deal with HIV and AIDS-related vulnerabilities experienced throughout the subcontinent's endemic regions. This paper examines how such approaches have contributed to remediating health and dignity violations posed by the inaccessibility of antiretrovirals in the region. Increases in regional access and key changes in the causal chain of drug access are explored. Rights-based social campaigns that produced domestic as well as global shifts in related law and policy are described in the key low- and middle-income countries of South Africa, Brazil and Thailand. Finally, I consider the implications of these shifts in relation to the strengths and weaknesses of rights-based approaches to reducing AIDS-related vulnerability in the region, arguing that these experiences indicate the need for structural fixes that codify the right to health at domestic and international levels, so as to entrench the right to medicines and enable social actors and policy-makers alike to better meet essential health needs. PMID:23549704

  5. Human rights violations and smoking status among South African adults enrolled in the South Africa Stress and Health (SASH) study.

    PubMed

    Dutra, Lauren M; Williams, David R; Gupta, Jhumka; Kawachi, Ichiro; Okechukwu, Cassandra A

    2014-03-01

    Despite South Africa's history of violent political conflict, and the link between stressful experiences and smoking in the literature, no public health study has examined South Africans' experiences of human rights violations and smoking. Using data from participants in the nationally representative cross-sectional South Africa Stress and Health study (SASH), this analysis examined the association between respondent smoking status and both human rights violations experienced by the respondent and violations experienced by the respondents' close friends and family members. SAS-Callable SUDAAN was used to construct separate log-binomial models by political affiliation during apartheid (government or liberation supporters). In comparison to those who reported no violations, in adjusted analyses, government supporters who reported violations of themselves but not others (RR = 1.76, 95% CI: 1.25-2.46) had a significantly higher smoking prevalence. In comparison to liberation supporters who reported no violations, those who reported violations of self only (RR = 1.56, 95%CI: 1.07-2.29), close others only (RR = 1.97, 95%CI: 1.12-3.47), or violations of self and close others due to close others' political beliefs and the respondent's political beliefs (RR = 2.86, 95%CI: 1.70-4.82) had a significantly higher prevalence of smoking. The results of this analysis suggest that a relationship may exist between human rights violations and smoking among South Africa adults. Future research should use longitudinal data to assess causality, test the generalizability of these findings, and consider how to apply these findings to smoking cessation interventions. PMID:24509050

  6. Human rights violations and smoking status among South African adults enrolled in the South Africa Stress and Health (SASH) study.

    PubMed

    Dutra, Lauren M; Williams, David R; Gupta, Jhumka; Kawachi, Ichiro; Okechukwu, Cassandra A

    2014-03-01

    Despite South Africa's history of violent political conflict, and the link between stressful experiences and smoking in the literature, no public health study has examined South Africans' experiences of human rights violations and smoking. Using data from participants in the nationally representative cross-sectional South Africa Stress and Health study (SASH), this analysis examined the association between respondent smoking status and both human rights violations experienced by the respondent and violations experienced by the respondents' close friends and family members. SAS-Callable SUDAAN was used to construct separate log-binomial models by political affiliation during apartheid (government or liberation supporters). In comparison to those who reported no violations, in adjusted analyses, government supporters who reported violations of themselves but not others (RR = 1.76, 95% CI: 1.25-2.46) had a significantly higher smoking prevalence. In comparison to liberation supporters who reported no violations, those who reported violations of self only (RR = 1.56, 95%CI: 1.07-2.29), close others only (RR = 1.97, 95%CI: 1.12-3.47), or violations of self and close others due to close others' political beliefs and the respondent's political beliefs (RR = 2.86, 95%CI: 1.70-4.82) had a significantly higher prevalence of smoking. The results of this analysis suggest that a relationship may exist between human rights violations and smoking among South Africa adults. Future research should use longitudinal data to assess causality, test the generalizability of these findings, and consider how to apply these findings to smoking cessation interventions.

  7. Cholera outbreaks in Africa.

    PubMed

    Mengel, Martin A; Delrieu, Isabelle; Heyerdahl, Leonard; Gessner, Bradford D

    2014-01-01

    During the current seventh cholera pandemic, Africa bore the major brunt of global disease burden. More than 40 years after its resurgence in Africa in 1970, cholera remains a grave public health problem, characterized by large disease burden, frequent outbreaks, persistent endemicity, and high CFRs, particularly in the region of the central African Great Lakes which might act as reservoirs for cholera. There, cases occur year round with a rise in incidence during the rainy season. Elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, cholera occurs mostly in outbreaks of varying size with a constant threat of widespread epidemics. Between 1970 and 2011, African countries reported 3,221,050 suspected cholera cases to the World Health Organization, representing 46 % of all cases reported globally. Excluding the Haitian epidemic, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 86 % of reported cases and 99 % of deaths worldwide in 2011. The number of cholera cases is possibly much higher than what is reported to the WHO due to the variation in modalities, completeness, and case definition of national cholera data. One source on country specific incidence rates for Africa, adjusting for underreporting, estimates 1,341,080 cases and 160,930 deaths (52.6 % of 2,548,227 estimated cases and 79.6 % of 209,216 estimated deaths worldwide). Another estimates 1,411,453 cases and 53,632 deaths per year, respectively (50 % of 2,836,669 estimated cases and 58.6 % of 91,490 estimated deaths worldwide). Within Africa, half of all cases between 1970 and 2011 were notified from only seven countries: Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Tanzania, and South Africa. In contrast to a global trend of decreasing case fatality ratios (CFRs), CFRs have remained stable in Africa at approximately 2 %. Early propagation of cholera outbreaks depends largely on the extent of individual bacterial shedding, host and organism characteristics, the likelihood of people coming into contact with

  8. Simian foamy virus in non-human primates and cross-species transmission to humans in Gabon: an emerging zoonotic disease in central Africa?

    PubMed

    Mouinga-Ondémé, Augustin; Kazanji, Mirdad

    2013-06-19

    It is now known that all human retroviruses have a non-human primate counterpart. It has been reported that the presence of these retroviruses in humans is the result of interspecies transmission. Several authors have described the passage of a simian retrovirus, simian foamy virus (SFV), from primates to humans. To better understand this retroviral "zoonosis" in natural settings, we evaluated the presence of SFV in both captive and wild non-human primates and in humans at high risk, such as hunters and people bitten by a non-human primate, in Gabon, central Africa. A high prevalence of SFV was found in blood samples from non-human primates and in bush meat collected across the country. Mandrills were found to be highly infected with two distinct strains of SFV, depending on their geographical location. Furthermore, samples collected from hunters and non-human primate laboratory workers showed clear, extensive cross-species transmission of SFV. People who had been bitten by mandrills, gorillas and chimpanzees had persistent SFV infection with low genetic drift. Thus, SFV is presumed to be transmitted from non-human primates mainly through severe bites, involving contact between infected saliva and blood. In this review, we summarize and discuss our five-year observations on the prevalence and dissemination of SFV in humans and non-human primates in Gabon.

  9. Functional Traits in Parallel Evolutionary Radiations and Trait-Environment Associations in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Nora; Moore, Timothy E; Mollmann, Hayley Kilroy; Carlson, Jane E; Mocko, Kerri; Martinez-Cabrera, Hugo; Adams, Christopher; Silander, John A; Jones, Cynthia S; Schlichting, Carl D; Holsinger, Kent E

    2015-04-01

    Evolutionary radiations with extreme levels of diversity present a unique opportunity to study the role of the environment in plant evolution. If environmental adaptation played an important role in such radiations, we expect to find associations between functional traits and key climatic variables. Similar trait-environment associations across clades may reflect common responses, while contradictory associations may suggest lineage-specific adaptations. Here, we explore trait-environment relationships in two evolutionary radiations in the fynbos biome of the highly biodiverse Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa. Protea and Pelargonium are morphologically and evolutionarily diverse genera that typify the CFR yet are substantially different in growth form and morphology. Our analytical approach employs a Bayesian multiple-response generalized linear mixed-effects model, taking into account covariation among traits and controlling for phylogenetic relationships. Of the pairwise trait-environment associations tested, 6 out of 24 were in the same direction and 2 out of 24 were in opposite directions, with the latter apparently reflecting alternative life-history strategies. These findings demonstrate that trait diversity within two plant lineages may reflect both parallel and idiosyncratic responses to the environment, rather than all taxa conforming to a global-scale pattern. Such insights are essential for understanding how trait-environment associations arise and how they influence species diversification.

  10. Functional Traits in Parallel Evolutionary Radiations and Trait-Environment Associations in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Nora; Moore, Timothy E; Mollmann, Hayley Kilroy; Carlson, Jane E; Mocko, Kerri; Martinez-Cabrera, Hugo; Adams, Christopher; Silander, John A; Jones, Cynthia S; Schlichting, Carl D; Holsinger, Kent E

    2015-04-01

    Evolutionary radiations with extreme levels of diversity present a unique opportunity to study the role of the environment in plant evolution. If environmental adaptation played an important role in such radiations, we expect to find associations between functional traits and key climatic variables. Similar trait-environment associations across clades may reflect common responses, while contradictory associations may suggest lineage-specific adaptations. Here, we explore trait-environment relationships in two evolutionary radiations in the fynbos biome of the highly biodiverse Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa. Protea and Pelargonium are morphologically and evolutionarily diverse genera that typify the CFR yet are substantially different in growth form and morphology. Our analytical approach employs a Bayesian multiple-response generalized linear mixed-effects model, taking into account covariation among traits and controlling for phylogenetic relationships. Of the pairwise trait-environment associations tested, 6 out of 24 were in the same direction and 2 out of 24 were in opposite directions, with the latter apparently reflecting alternative life-history strategies. These findings demonstrate that trait diversity within two plant lineages may reflect both parallel and idiosyncratic responses to the environment, rather than all taxa conforming to a global-scale pattern. Such insights are essential for understanding how trait-environment associations arise and how they influence species diversification. PMID:25811086

  11. An Exploration of Public Attitudes Toward LGBTI Rights in the Gauteng City-Region of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Mahomed, Faraaz; Trangoš, Guy

    2016-10-01

    South Africa's legal framework on the rights of sexual minorities is one of the most progressive in the world. Despite this, discrimination and violence against gay and lesbian people continues to be a challenge. Using large-scale survey data gathered in the Gauteng City-Region, this study examines public attitudes related to homosexuality. Most respondents to the survey felt that sexual minorities should have equal rights. However, a considerable proportion of respondents also held negative views toward gay and lesbian individuals, with close to two fifths of respondents believing that homosexuality is against the values of their community, and over 12% of participants holding the view that it is acceptable to be violent toward gays and lesbians. Further analysis also consists of an examination of responses cross-tabulated with the variables of race, gender, age, and education, revealing that younger, well-educated South Africans tend to be the most tolerant, but also exhibiting large variances in attitudes within groups. PMID:26914610

  12. The Adriatic region: An independent microplate within the Africa-Eurasia collision zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battaglia, Maurizio; Murray, Mark H.; Serpelloni, Enrico; Bürgmann, Roland

    2004-05-01

    We use GPS measurements and block modeling to investigate the present-day deformation of the Adriatic region, whose kinematics within the Nubia-Eurasia plate boundary zone is not well constrained and remains controversial. Block modeling allows us to compute rigid-plate angular velocities while accounting for elastic strain accumulation along block-bounding faults. Results suggest that the Adriatic is a microplate (Adria) and that the southern boundary with the Nubia plate and the Aegean domain may be located along the Apulia Escarpment and the Kefallinia fault. Geodetic data alone cannot discriminate between a single block (AP) or a two blocks (GDAP) description of Adria, but the GDAP model predicts boundary slip rates that are in better agreement with observations from previous studies.

  13. NMMB/BSC-DUST: model validation at regional scale in Northern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haustein, Karsten; Pérez, Carlos; Jorba, Oriol; María Baldasano, José; Janjic, Zavisa; Black, Tom; Slobodan, Nickovic; Prigent, Catherine; Laurent, Benoit

    2010-05-01

    While mineral dust distribution and effects are important at global scales, they strongly depend on dust emissions that are controlled on small spatial and temporal scales. Indeed, the accuracy of surface wind speed used in dust models is crucial. Due to the cubic higher-order power dependency on wind friction velocity and the threshold behaviour of dust emissions, small errors on surface wind speed lead to large dust emission errors. Most global dust models use prescribed wind fields provided by meteorological centres (e.g., NCEP and ECMWF) and their spatial resolution is currently never better than about 1°×1°. Such wind speeds tend to be strongly underestimated over large arid and semi-arid areas and do not account for reflect mesoscale character of systems responsible for a significant fraction of dust emissions regionally and globally. Other Another strong uncertainties in dust emissions from such approaches are related to the missrepresentation originates from of coarse representation of high subgrid-scale spatial heterogeneity in soil and vegetation boundary conditions, mainly in semi-arid areas. With the development of the new model NMMB-BSC/DUST [Pérez et al., 2008], we are now focusing on the evalution of the model sensitivity to several processes related to dust emissions. The results presented here are an intermediate step to provide global dust forecasts up to 7 days at sub-synoptic resolutions in the near future. NMMB-BSC/DUST is coupled online with the NOAA/NCEP/EMC global/regional NMMB atmospheric model [Janjic, 2005] extending from meso to global scales an being fully embedded into the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF). We performed regional simulations for the Northern African domain, including the Arabian peninsula and southern/central Europe (0 to 65°N and 25°W to 55°E) at 1/3°x1/3° and 1/6x1/6° horizontal resolution with 64 vertical layers. The model is initialized with 6-hourly updated NCEP 1x1° analysis data with a dust spin

  14. Ebola Virus RNA Stability in Human Blood and Urine in West Africa's Environmental Conditions.

    PubMed

    Janvier, Frédéric; Delaune, Deborah; Poyot, Thomas; Valade, Eric; Mérens, Audrey; Rollin, Pierre E; Foissaud, Vincent

    2016-02-01

    We evaluated RNA stability of Ebola virus in EDTA blood and urine samples collected from infected patients and stored in West Africa's environmental conditions. In blood, RNA was stable for at least 18 days when initial cycle threshold values were <30, but in urine, RNA degradation occurred more quickly.

  15. Education and Language: A Human Right for Sustainable Development in Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Babaci-Wilhite, Zehlia; Geo-JaJa, Macleans A.; Lou, Shizhou

    2012-01-01

    Pre-colonial Africa was neither an educationally nor a technologically unsophisticated continent. While education was an integral part of the culture, issues of language identification and standardisation which are subject to contentious debate today were insignificant. Children learned community knowledge and history by asking questions instead…

  16. Analysis of Human Accelerated DNA Regions Using Archaic Hominin Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Burbano, Hernán A.; Green, Richard E.; Maricic, Tomislav; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; de la Rasilla, Marco; Rosas, Antonio; Kelso, Janet; Pollard, Katherine S.; Lachmann, Michael; Pääbo, Svante

    2012-01-01

    Several previous comparisons of the human genome with other primate and vertebrate genomes identified genomic regions that are highly conserved in vertebrate evolution but fast-evolving on the human lineage. These human accelerated regions (HARs) may be regions of past adaptive evolution in humans. Alternatively, they may be the result of non-adaptive processes, such as biased gene conversion. We captured and sequenced DNA from a collection of previously published HARs using DNA from an Iberian Neandertal. Combining these new data with shotgun sequence from the Neandertal and Denisova draft genomes, we determine at least one archaic hominin allele for 84% of all positions within HARs. We find that 8% of HAR substitutions are not observed in the archaic hominins and are thus recent in the sense that the derived allele had not come to fixation in the common ancestor of modern humans and archaic hominins. Further, we find that recent substitutions in HARs tend to have come to fixation faster than substitutions elsewhere in the genome and that substitutions in HARs tend to cluster in time, consistent with an episodic rather than a clock-like process underlying HAR evolution. Our catalog of sequence changes in HARs will help prioritize them for functional studies of genomic elements potentially responsible for modern human adaptations. PMID:22412940

  17. Structural analysis of the 5 prime flanking region of the. beta. -globin gene in African sickle cell anemia patients: Further evidence for three origins of the sickle cell mutation in Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Chebloune, Y.; Pagnier, J.; Trabuchet, G.; Faure, C.; Verdier, G.; Labie, D.; Nigon, V. )

    1988-06-01

    Haplotype analysis of the {beta}-globin gene cluster shows two regions of DNA characterized by nonrandom association of restriction site polymorphisms. These regions are separated by a variable segment containing the repeated sequences (ATTTT){sub n} and (AT){sub x}T{sub y}, which might be involved in recombinational events. Studies of haplotypes linked to the sickle cell gene in Africa provide strong argument for three origins of the mutation: Benin, Senegal, and the Central African Republic. The structure of the variable segment in the three African populations was studied by S1 nuclease mapping of genomic DNA, which allows a comparison of several samples. A 1080-base-pair DNA segment was sequenced for one sample from each population. S1 nuclease mapping confirmed the homogeneity of each population with regard to both (ATTTT){sub n} and (AT){sub x}T{sub y} repeats. The authors found three additional structures for (AT){sub x}T{sub y} correlating with the geographic origin of the patients. Ten other nucleotide positions, 5{prime} and 3{prime} to the (AT){sub x}T{sub y} copies, were found to be variable when compared to homologous sequences from human and monkey DNAs. These results allow us to propose an evolutionary scheme for the polymorphisms in the 5{prime} flanking region of the {beta}-globin gene. The results strongly support the hypothesis of three origins for the sickle mutation in Africa.

  18. Habitat type and nursery function for coastal marine fish species, with emphasis on the Eastern Cape region, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitfield, Alan K.; Pattrick, Paula

    2015-07-01

    A considerable amount of research has been undertaken to document and assess the nursery function of a variety of coastal habitats for marine fish species around the world. Most of these studies have focused on particular habitats and have generally been confined to a limited range of fish species associated with specific nursery areas. In this review we conduct a general assessment of the state of knowledge of coastal habitats in fulfilling the nursery-role concept for marine fishes, with particular emphasis on biotic and abiotic factors that influence nursery value. A primary aim was to synthesize information that can be used to drive sound conservation planning and provide a conceptual framework so that new marine protected areas (MPAs) incorporate the full range of nursery areas that are present within the coastal zone. We also use published data from a coastal section in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, to highlight the differential use of shallow aquatic habitats by a range of juvenile marine fish species within this region. Although the Eastern Cape case study does not assess the relative growth, food availability or predation in nursery and non-nursery areas within the coastal zone, it does document which habitats are important to the juveniles of dominant marine species within each area. These habitats, which range from intertidal pools, subtidal gulleys and surf zones to estuaries, do appear to perform a key role in the biological success of species assemblages, with the juveniles of particular marine fishes tending to favour specific nursery areas. According to a multivariate analysis of nursery habitat use within this region, marine species using estuaries tend to differ considerably from those using nearshore coastal waters, with a similar pattern likely to occur elsewhere in the world.

  19. On Expression Patterns and Developmental Origin of Human Brain Regions

    PubMed Central

    Kirsch, Lior; Chechik, Gal

    2016-01-01

    Anatomical substructures of the human brain have characteristic cell-types, connectivity and local circuitry, which are reflected in area-specific transcriptome signatures, but the principles governing area-specific transcription and their relation to brain development are still being studied. In adult rodents, areal transcriptome patterns agree with the embryonic origin of brain regions, but the processes and genes that preserve an embryonic signature in regional expression profiles were not quantified. Furthermore, it is not clear how embryonic-origin signatures of adult-brain expression interplay with changes in expression patterns during development. Here we first quantify which genes have regional expression-patterns related to the developmental origin of brain regions, using genome-wide mRNA expression from post-mortem adult human brains. We find that almost all human genes (92%) exhibit an expression pattern that agrees with developmental brain-region ontology, but that this agreement changes at multiple phases during development. Agreement is particularly strong in neuron-specific genes, but also in genes that are not spatially correlated with neuron-specific or glia-specific markers. Surprisingly, agreement is also stronger in early-evolved genes. We further find that pairs of similar genes having high agreement to developmental region ontology tend to be more strongly correlated or anti-correlated, and that the strength of spatial correlation changes more strongly in gene pairs with stronger embryonic signatures. These results suggest that transcription regulation of most genes in the adult human brain is spatially tuned in a way that changes through life, but in agreement with development-determined brain regions. PMID:27564987

  20. Climate, Environment and Early Human Innovation: Stable Isotope and Faunal Proxy Evidence from Archaeological Sites (98-59ka) in the Southern Cape, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Patrick; Henshilwood, Christopher S; van Niekerk, Karen L; Keene, Petro; Gledhill, Andrew; Reynard, Jerome; Badenhorst, Shaw; Lee-Thorp, Julia

    2016-01-01

    The Middle Stone Age (MSA) of southern Africa, and in particular its Still Bay and Howiesons Poort lithic traditions, represents a period of dramatic subsistence, cultural, and technological innovation by our species, Homo sapiens. Climate change has frequently been postulated as a primary driver of the appearance of these innovative behaviours, with researchers invoking either climate instability as a reason for the development of buffering mechanisms, or environmentally stable refugia as providing a stable setting for experimentation. Testing these alternative models has proved intractable, however, as existing regional palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental records remain spatially, stratigraphically, and chronologically disconnected from the archaeological record. Here we report high-resolution records of environmental shifts based on stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in ostrich eggshell (OES) fragments, faunal remains, and shellfish assemblages excavated from two key MSA archaeological sequences, Blombos Cave and Klipdrift Shelter. We compare these records with archaeological material remains in the same strata. The results from both sites, spanning the periods 98-73 ka and 72-59 ka, respectively, show significant changes in vegetation, aridity, rainfall seasonality, and sea temperature in the vicinity of the sites during periods of human occupation. While these changes clearly influenced human subsistence strategies, we find that the remarkable cultural and technological innovations seen in the sites cannot be linked directly to climate shifts. Our results demonstrate the need for scale-appropriate, on-site testing of behavioural-environmental links, rather than broader, regional comparisons.

  1. Climate, Environment and Early Human Innovation: Stable Isotope and Faunal Proxy Evidence from Archaeological Sites (98-59ka) in the Southern Cape, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Patrick; Henshilwood, Christopher S; van Niekerk, Karen L; Keene, Petro; Gledhill, Andrew; Reynard, Jerome; Badenhorst, Shaw; Lee-Thorp, Julia

    2016-01-01

    The Middle Stone Age (MSA) of southern Africa, and in particular its Still Bay and Howiesons Poort lithic traditions, represents a period of dramatic subsistence, cultural, and technological innovation by our species, Homo sapiens. Climate change has frequently been postulated as a primary driver of the appearance of these innovative behaviours, with researchers invoking either climate instability as a reason for the development of buffering mechanisms, or environmentally stable refugia as providing a stable setting for experimentation. Testing these alternative models has proved intractable, however, as existing regional palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental records remain spatially, stratigraphically, and chronologically disconnected from the archaeological record. Here we report high-resolution records of environmental shifts based on stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in ostrich eggshell (OES) fragments, faunal remains, and shellfish assemblages excavated from two key MSA archaeological sequences, Blombos Cave and Klipdrift Shelter. We compare these records with archaeological material remains in the same strata. The results from both sites, spanning the periods 98-73 ka and 72-59 ka, respectively, show significant changes in vegetation, aridity, rainfall seasonality, and sea temperature in the vicinity of the sites during periods of human occupation. While these changes clearly influenced human subsistence strategies, we find that the remarkable cultural and technological innovations seen in the sites cannot be linked directly to climate shifts. Our results demonstrate the need for scale-appropriate, on-site testing of behavioural-environmental links, rather than broader, regional comparisons. PMID:27383620

  2. Climate, Environment and Early Human Innovation: Stable Isotope and Faunal Proxy Evidence from Archaeological Sites (98-59ka) in the Southern Cape, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Keene, Petro; Gledhill, Andrew; Reynard, Jerome; Badenhorst, Shaw

    2016-01-01

    The Middle Stone Age (MSA) of southern Africa, and in particular its Still Bay and Howiesons Poort lithic traditions, represents a period of dramatic subsistence, cultural, and technological innovation by our species, Homo sapiens. Climate change has frequently been postulated as a primary driver of the appearance of these innovative behaviours, with researchers invoking either climate instability as a reason for the development of buffering mechanisms, or environmentally stable refugia as providing a stable setting for experimentation. Testing these alternative models has proved intractable, however, as existing regional palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental records remain spatially, stratigraphically, and chronologically disconnected from the archaeological record. Here we report high-resolution records of environmental shifts based on stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in ostrich eggshell (OES) fragments, faunal remains, and shellfish assemblages excavated from two key MSA archaeological sequences, Blombos Cave and Klipdrift Shelter. We compare these records with archaeological material remains in the same strata. The results from both sites, spanning the periods 98–73 ka and 72–59 ka, respectively, show significant changes in vegetation, aridity, rainfall seasonality, and sea temperature in the vicinity of the sites during periods of human occupation. While these changes clearly influenced human subsistence strategies, we find that the remarkable cultural and technological innovations seen in the sites cannot be linked directly to climate shifts. Our results demonstrate the need for scale-appropriate, on-site testing of behavioural-environmental links, rather than broader, regional comparisons. PMID:27383620

  3. Rhizobia Indigenous to the Okavango Region in Sub-Saharan Africa: Diversity, Adaptations, and Host Specificity.

    PubMed

    Grönemeyer, Jann L; Kulkarni, Ajinkya; Berkelmann, Dirk; Hurek, Thomas; Reinhold-Hurek, Barbara

    2014-12-01

    The rhizobial community indigenous to the Okavango region has not yet been characterized. The isolation of indigenous rhizobia can provide a basis for the formulation of a rhizobial inoculant. Moreover, their identification and characterization contribute to the general understanding of species distribution and ecology. Isolates were obtained from nodules of local varieties of the pulses cowpea, Bambara groundnut, peanut, hyacinth bean, and common bean. Ninety-one of them were identified by BOX repetitive element PCR (BOX-PCR) and sequence analyses of the 16S-23S rRNA internally transcribed spacer (ITS) and the recA, glnII, rpoB, and nifH genes. A striking geographical distribution was observed. Bradyrhizobium pachyrhizi dominated at sampling sites in Angola which were characterized by acid soils and a semihumid climate. Isolates from the semiarid sampling sites in Namibia were more diverse, with most of them being related to Bradyrhizobium yuanmingense and Bradyrhizobium daqingense. Host plant specificity was observed only for hyacinth bean, which was nodulated by rhizobia presumably representing yet-undescribed species. Furthermore, the isolates were characterized with respect to their adaptation to high temperatures, drought, and local host plants. The adaptation experiments revealed that the Namibian isolates shared an exceptionally high temperature tolerance, but none of the isolates showed considerable adaptation to drought. Moreover, the isolates' performance on different local hosts showed variable results, with most Namibian isolates inducing better nodulation on peanut and hyacinth bean than the Angolan strains. The local predominance of distinct genotypes implies that indigenous strains may exhibit a better performance in inoculant formulations. PMID:25239908

  4. The Hidden Costs of a Free Caesarean Section Policy in West Africa (Kayes Region, Mali).

    PubMed

    Ravit, Marion; Philibert, Aline; Tourigny, Caroline; Traore, Mamadou; Coulibaly, Aliou; Dumont, Alexandre; Fournier, Pierre

    2015-08-01

    The fee exemption policy for EmONC in Mali aims to lower the financial barrier to care. The objective of the study was to evaluate the direct and indirect expenses associated with caesarean interventions performed in EmONC and the factors associated with these expenses. Data sampling followed the case control approach used in the large project (deceased and near-miss women). Our sample consisted of a total of 190 women who underwent caesarean interventions. Data were collected from the health workers and with a social approach by administering questionnaires to the persons who accompanied the woman. Household socioeconomic status was assessed using a wealth index constructed with a principal component analysis. The factors significantly associated with expenses were determined using multivariate linear regression analyses. Women in the Kayes region spent on average 77,017 FCFA (163 USD) for a caesarean episode in EmONC, of which 70 % was for treatment. Despite the caesarean fee exemption, 91 % of the women still paid for their treatment. The largest treatment-related direct expenses were for prescriptions, transfusion, antibiotics, and antihypertensive medication. Near-misses, women who presented a hemorrhage or an infection, and/or women living in rural areas spent significantly more than the others. Although abolishing fees of EmONC in Mali plays an important role in reducing maternal death by increasing access to caesarean sections, this paper shows that the fee policy did not benefit to all women. There are still barriers to EmONC access for women of the lowest socio-economic group. These included direct expenses for drugs prescription, treatment and indirect expenses for transport and food. PMID:25874875

  5. The Hidden Costs of a Free Caesarean Section Policy in West Africa (Kayes Region, Mali).

    PubMed

    Ravit, Marion; Philibert, Aline; Tourigny, Caroline; Traore, Mamadou; Coulibaly, Aliou; Dumont, Alexandre; Fournier, Pierre

    2015-08-01

    The fee exemption policy for EmONC in Mali aims to lower the financial barrier to care. The objective of the study was to evaluate the direct and indirect expenses associated with caesarean interventions performed in EmONC and the factors associated with these expenses. Data sampling followed the case control approach used in the large project (deceased and near-miss women). Our sample consisted of a total of 190 women who underwent caesarean interventions. Data were collected from the health workers and with a social approach by administering questionnaires to the persons who accompanied the woman. Household socioeconomic status was assessed using a wealth index constructed with a principal component analysis. The factors significantly associated with expenses were determined using multivariate linear regression analyses. Women in the Kayes region spent on average 77,017 FCFA (163 USD) for a caesarean episode in EmONC, of which 70 % was for treatment. Despite the caesarean fee exemption, 91 % of the women still paid for their treatment. The largest treatment-related direct expenses were for prescriptions, transfusion, antibiotics, and antihypertensive medication. Near-misses, women who presented a hemorrhage or an infection, and/or women living in rural areas spent significantly more than the others. Although abolishing fees of EmONC in Mali plays an important role in reducing maternal death by increasing access to caesarean sections, this paper shows that the fee policy did not benefit to all women. There are still barriers to EmONC access for women of the lowest socio-economic group. These included direct expenses for drugs prescription, treatment and indirect expenses for transport and food.

  6. Rhizobia Indigenous to the Okavango Region in Sub-Saharan Africa: Diversity, Adaptations, and Host Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Grönemeyer, Jann L.; Kulkarni, Ajinkya; Berkelmann, Dirk; Hurek, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    The rhizobial community indigenous to the Okavango region has not yet been characterized. The isolation of indigenous rhizobia can provide a basis for the formulation of a rhizobial inoculant. Moreover, their identification and characterization contribute to the general understanding of species distribution and ecology. Isolates were obtained from nodules of local varieties of the pulses cowpea, Bambara groundnut, peanut, hyacinth bean, and common bean. Ninety-one of them were identified by BOX repetitive element PCR (BOX-PCR) and sequence analyses of the 16S-23S rRNA internally transcribed spacer (ITS) and the recA, glnII, rpoB, and nifH genes. A striking geographical distribution was observed. Bradyrhizobium pachyrhizi dominated at sampling sites in Angola which were characterized by acid soils and a semihumid climate. Isolates from the semiarid sampling sites in Namibia were more diverse, with most of them being related to Bradyrhizobium yuanmingense and Bradyrhizobium daqingense. Host plant specificity was observed only for hyacinth bean, which was nodulated by rhizobia presumably representing yet-undescribed species. Furthermore, the isolates were characterized with respect to their adaptation to high temperatures, drought, and local host plants. The adaptation experiments revealed that the Namibian isolates shared an exceptionally high temperature tolerance, but none of the isolates showed considerable adaptation to drought. Moreover, the isolates' performance on different local hosts showed variable results, with most Namibian isolates inducing better nodulation on peanut and hyacinth bean than the Angolan strains. The local predominance of distinct genotypes implies that indigenous strains may exhibit a better performance in inoculant formulations. PMID:25239908

  7. Fire and Emission Characterization in the Northern Sub-Saharan Africa (NSSA) Region and their Potential Effects on the Regional Climate System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellison, L.; Ichoku, C. M.

    2013-12-01

    Northern Sub-Saharan Africa (NSSA) is known for its consistent vast amounts of seasonal biomass burning each year. These mostly anthropogenic slash-and-burn fires typically used for farming and grazing purposes contributes to a significant proportion of the total global emissions of particulate matter (PM). The consequences of such severe burning could potentially have a noticeable influence on local climate patterns, such as the frequent severe droughts over the past century or the drying of Lake Chad, through both direct and indirect causes. This research therefore focuses on: 1) characterizing the burning patterns and extent within NSSA, 2) accurately quantifying PM emissions that have a direct impact on climate, and 3) exploring potential indirect impacts of burning on climate through evaluation of correlations with various environmental and meteorological parameters. In this study, the NSSA region was first split into nine distinct sub-regions to better analyze the burning patters and climatological changes. The diurnal cycle of fire radiative power (FRP, a quantifiable way of measuring fire radiant heat output) within these different regions differ in amplitude and shape, though the basic shape is the same with months of maximum FRP being between November and January and with practically no fires during the rainy season. Corresponding changes in other climatological variables were studied against changes seen in FRP on a monthly scale, including precipitation, soil moisture, surface evaporation, evapotranspiration (ET), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and aerosol optical depth (AOD). This study includes an analysis of the distinct change in FRP signal that occurred in 2006 for the middle of the NSSA region, which is the area with the highest concentration of fires. A decrease in maximum monthly FRP has been observed since 2006 in this region. Regional changes in PM emissions have also been observed since then, including a large region of

  8. Implications of Special Regions to Conducting Human Activities on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rummel, J. D.; Barlow, N. G.; Beaty, D. W.; Jones, M. A.; Hipkin, V.

    2014-12-01

    A MEPAG Science Analysis Group (SAG) has undertaken an analysis of Special Regions (SR) on Mars—regions where indigenous martian life could exist or where Earth microbes, if introduced, could survive and reproduce. The SR-SAG has considered the impact of SR on future human activities on the martian surface. Human exploration requires access to in-situ resources, some of which may be found in SR. Water and oxygen for ISRU are found in the atmosphere, surface/near-surface ice, hydrated minerals, and perchlorates. Water ice is most abundant at latitudes poleward of ~60 degrees, but polar darkness, cold temperatures, and CO2 degassing present hazards to human operations in these regions. Accessible water is more limited toward the equator, though temperature and solar energy conditions become more favorable. The possible presence of liquid water in Recurring Slope Lineae and active gullies leads to their treatment as SR. Fuel for surface operations and propellants for crew ascent could be manufactured from the martian atmosphere and surface materials, but dust in the atmosphere may clog ISRU equipment and perchlorate is toxic to humans. Power may be produced from solar or nuclear energy. Reliance on solar energy limits operations to the equatorial zone where easily accessible ice resources are limited. Nuclear power allows surface operations at a range of latitudes, but waste heat could convert some non-SR into SR. Radiation shielding is necessary for long-term human operations on Mars and could be obtained by deposition of regolith or by water storage in tanks or as ice around habitats, or the use of underground habitats. SR-SAG recognizes that it will be impossible for all human-associated processes and operations to be conducted within entirely closed systems. Protocols need to be established so (1) human missions to Mars will not contaminate SR nor be contaminated by materials from them, and (2) human activities on Mars will avoid converting areas into SR.

  9. Demographic Inference Using Spectral Methods on SNP Data, with an Analysis of the Human Out-of-Africa Expansion

    PubMed Central

    Lukić, Sergio; Hey, Jody

    2012-01-01

    We present an implementation of a recently introduced method for estimating the allele-frequency spectrum under the diffusion approximation. For single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequency data from multiple populations, the method computes numerical solutions to the allele-frequency spectrum (AFS) under a complex model that includes population splitting events, migration, population expansion, and admixture. The solution to the diffusion partial differential equation (PDE) that mimics the evolutionary process is found by means of truncated polynomial expansions. In the absence of gene flow, our computation of frequency spectra yields exact results. The results are compared to those that use a finite-difference method and to forward diffusion simulations. In general, all the methods yield comparable results, although the polynomial-based approach is the most accurate in the weak-migration limit. Also, the economical use of memory attained by the polynomial expansions makes the study of models with four populations possible for the first time. The method was applied to a four-population model of the human expansion out of Africa and the peopling of the Americas, using the Environmental Genome Project (EGP) SNP database. Although our confidence intervals largely overlapped previous analyses of these data, some were significantly different. In particular, estimates of migration among African, European, and Asian populations were considerably lower than those in a previous study and the estimated time of migration out of Africa was earlier. The estimated time of founding of a human population outside of Africa was 52,000 years (95% confidence interval: 36,000–80,800 years). PMID:22865734

  10. Regional Differences in Prevalence of HIV-1 Discordance in Africa and Enrollment of HIV-1 Discordant Couples into an HIV-1 Prevention Trial

    PubMed Central

    Lingappa, Jairam R.; Lambdin, Barrot; Bukusi, Elizabeth Ann; Ngure, Kenneth; Kavuma, Linda; Inambao, Mubiana; Kanweka, William; Allen, Susan; Kiarie, James N.; Makhema, Joseph; Were, Edwin; Manongi, Rachel; Coetzee, David; de Bruyn, Guy; Delany-Moretlwe, Sinead; Magaret, Amalia; Mugo, Nelly; Mujugira, Andrew; Ndase, Patrick; Celum, Connie

    2008-01-01

    Background Most HIV-1 transmission in Africa occurs among HIV-1-discordant couples (one partner HIV-1 infected and one uninfected) who are unaware of their discordant HIV-1 serostatus. Given the high HIV-1 incidence among HIV-1 discordant couples and to assess efficacy of interventions for reducing HIV-1 transmission, HIV-1 discordant couples represent a critical target population for HIV-1 prevention interventions and prevention trials. Substantial regional differences exist in HIV-1 prevalence in Africa, but regional differences in HIV-1 discordance among African couples, has not previously been reported. Methodology/Principal Findings The Partners in Prevention HSV-2/HIV-1 Transmission Trial (“Partners HSV-2 Study”), the first large HIV-1 prevention trial in Africa involving HIV-1 discordant couples, completed enrollment in May 2007. Partners HSV-2 Study recruitment data from 12 sites from East and Southern Africa were used to assess HIV-1 discordance among couples accessing couples HIV-1 counseling and testing, and to correlate with enrollment of HIV-1 discordant couples. HIV-1 discordance at Partners HSV-2 Study sites ranged from 8–31% of couples tested from the community. Across all study sites and, among all couples with one HIV-1 infected partner, almost half (49%) of couples were HIV-1 discordant. Site-specific monthly enrollment of HIV-1 discordant couples into the clinical trial was not directly associated with prevalence of HIV-1 discordance, but was modestly correlated with national HIV-1 counseling and testing rates and access to palliative care/basic health care (r = 0.74, p = 0.09). Conclusions/Significance HIV-1 discordant couples are a critical target for HIV-1 prevention in Africa. In addition to community prevalence of HIV-1 discordance, national infrastructure for HIV-1 testing and healthcare delivery and effective community outreach strategies impact recruitment of HIV-1 discordant couples into HIV-1 prevention trials. PMID

  11. Using remote sensing to create indicators of ecosystem variability for a semi-arid savanna watershed in the Kavango-Zambezi region of Southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pricope, Narcisa Gabriela

    This dissertation addresses changes in land and resource availability occurring as a result of climate, water variability and changes in fire regimes in a semi-arid savanna region in Southern Africa. The research combines geospatial analyses of climatological and hydrologic data and various remotely-sensed datasets to create measures of ecosystem variability and adaptability to natural and anthropogenic changes in sensitive ecosystems. The study area is the Chobe River Basin (CRB), a watershed shared between Botswana and Namibia situated at the heart of one of the world.s largest transfrontier conservation areas, where different land-use management strategies and economic policies affect both the ecosystem and the livelihoods support system differentially. The southern African savanna is a highly variable environment and people have adapted to its harshness through the generations. However, in light of past and ongoing environmental changes, their ability to adapt may become threatened. By mapping and then analyzing the spatial and temporal variability of two important factors, namely flooding and fires, in conjunction with indices of vegetation health and productivity, the findings of this research can ultimately contribute to enhancing our understanding of local adaptation mechanisms to future environmental change. This is the first reconstruction of the spatial and temporal patterns of inundation for the last 25 years in the CRB, a transboundary basin with an unusual hydrologic regime and an important water resource for both human and wildlife populations. In the context of increasing temperatures, decreasing precipitation trends and increasing frequencies and intensities of El Nino episodes in southern Africa (Boko et al., 2007), I also investigated changes in fire incidences and marked shifts in fire seasonality both within and outside of protected areas of central Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA). These changes are likely to have a

  12. The shared genomic architecture of human nucleolar organizer regions

    PubMed Central

    Floutsakou, Ioanna; Agrawal, Saumya; Nguyen, Thong T.; Seoighe, Cathal; Ganley, Austen R.D.; McStay, Brian

    2013-01-01

    The short arms of the five acrocentric human chromosomes harbor sequences that direct the assembly and function of the nucleolus, one of the key functional domains of the nucleus, yet they are absent from the current human genome assembly. Here we describe the genomic architecture of these human nucleolar organizers. Sequences distal and proximal to ribosomal gene arrays are conserved among the acrocentric chromosomes, suggesting they are sites of frequent recombination. Although previously believed to be heterochromatic, characterization of these two flanking regions reveals that they share a complex genomic architecture similar to other euchromatic regions of the genome, but they have distinct genomic characteristics. Proximal sequences are almost entirely segmentally duplicated, similar to the regions bordering centromeres. In contrast, the distal sequence is predominantly unique to the acrocentric short arms and is dominated by a very large inverted repeat. We show that the distal element is localized to the periphery of the nucleolus, where it appears to anchor the ribosomal gene repeats. This, combined with its complex chromatin structure and transcriptional activity, suggests that this region is involved in nucleolar organization. Our results provide a platform for investigating the role of NORs in nucleolar formation and function, and open the door for determining the role of these regions in the well-known empirical association of nucleoli with pathology. PMID:23990606

  13. Canine and Human Dirofilariosis in the Rostov Region (Southern Russia)

    PubMed Central

    Kartashev, Vladimir; Batashova, Irina; Kartashov, Sergey; Ermakov, Alexey; Mironova, Anna; Kuleshova, Yulia; Ilyasov, Boris; Kolodiy, Irina; Klyuchnikov, Alexander; Ryabikina, Elena; Babicheva, Marina; Levchenko, Yulia; Pavlova, Raisa; Pantchev, Nicola; Morchón, Rodrigo; Simón, Fernando

    2011-01-01

    Epidemiological data on canine and human dirofilariosis in the Rostov Region (Southern Russia) are presented. Prevalence of Dirofilaria spp. infections in 795 autochthonous dogs, assessed by the Knott test, was 20.25%. The highest prevalence was found in Novocherkassk (38.3%) and Rostov-on-Don (18.5%), while prevalences were lower in other points of the region. Prevalence of D. repens was 44.7%, prevalence of D. immitis was 30.3%, and coinfections were observed in 25.0% of the dog population. A case finding study carried out during 9 years (2000–2009) revealed 131 cases of human dirofilariosis in the Rostov Region, 129 of subcutaneous dirofilariosis and 2 of pulmonary dirofilariosis. Seroprevalence among 317 healthy blood donors from the Rostov Region was 10.4%, while seroprevalence in policemen living in Rostov city and working in training dogs was 19%. These data show high infection rates of Dirofilaria spp. in both human and dog populations of Rostov, probably because of the existence of favorable conditions for the transmission in this region. PMID:21253482

  14. Towards a Comprehensive Seismic Velocity Model for the Broader Africa-Eurasia Collision Region, to Improve Nuclear Explosion Monitoring

    SciTech Connect

    der Lee, S v; Flanagan, M P; Rodgers, A J; Pasyanos, M E; Marone, F; Romanowicz, B

    2005-07-13

    We report on progress towards a new, comprehensive three-dimensional model of seismic velocity in a broad region encompassing the Middle East, northern Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, the Turkish-Iranian Plateau, Indus Valley, and the Hindu Kush. Our model will be based on regional waveform fits, surface wave group velocity measurements, teleseismic arrival times of S and P waves, receiver functions, and published results from active source experiments. We are in the process of assembling each of these data sets and testing the joint inversion for subsets of the data. Seismograms come from a variety of permanent and temporary seismic stations in the region. Some of the data is easily accessible through, for example, IRIS, while collection of other data is more involved. This work builds on ongoing work by Schmid et al. (GJI, 2004, and manuscript in preparation). In these proceedings we highlight our data sets and their inferences, demonstrate the proposed new data-inversion modeling methodology, discuss results from preliminary inversions of subsets of the data, and demonstrate the prediction of arrival times with three-dimensional velocity models. We compare our preliminary inversion results to the results of Schmid et al., and the predicted arrival times to ground-truth data from the NNSA Knowledge Base. Our data sets are simultaneously redundant and highly complementary. The combined data coverage will ensure that our three-dimensional model comprises the crust, the upper mantle, including the transition zone, and the top of the lower mantle, with spatially varying, but useful resolution. The region of interest is one of the most structurally heterogeneous in the world. Continental collision, rifting and sea-floor spreading, back-arc spreading, oceanic subduction, rotating micro plates, continental shelf, and stable platforms, are just some of the region's characteristics. Seismicity and the distribution of seismic stations are

  15. Paleoenvironmental and Human Behavioral Implications of the Boegoeberg 1 Late Pleistocene Hyena Den, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Richard G.; Cruz-Uribe, Kathryn; Halkett, David; Hart, Tim; Parkington, John E.

    1999-11-01

    Boegoeberg 1 (BOG1) is located on the Atlantic coast of South Africa, 850 km north of Cape Town. The site is a shallow rock shelter in the side of a sand-choked gully that was emptied by diamond miners. Abundant coprolites, chewed bones, and partially digested bones implicate hyenas as the bone accumulators. The location of the site, quantity of bones, and composition of the fauna imply it was a brown hyena nursery den. The abundance of Cape fur seal bones shows that the hyenas had ready access to the coast. Radiocarbon dates place the site before 37,000 14C yr ago, while the large average size of the black-backed jackals and the presence of extralimital ungulates imply cool, moist conditions, probably during the early part of the last glaciation (isotope stage 4 or stage 3 before 37,000 14C yr ago) or perhaps during one of the cooler phases (isotope substages 5d or 5b) within the last interglaciation. Comparisons of the BOG1 seal bones to those from regional Middle Stone Age (MSA) and Later Stone Age (LSA) archeological sites suggest (1) that hyena and human seal accumulations can be distinguished by a tendency for vertebrae to be much more common in a hyena accumulation and (2) that hyena and LSA accumulations can be distinguished by a tendency for hyena-accumulated seals to represent a much wider range of individual seal ages. Differences in the way hyenas and people dismember, transport, and consume seal carcasses probably explain the contrast in skeletal part representation, while differences in season of occupation explain the contrast in seal age representation. Like modern brown hyenas, the BOG1 hyenas probably occupied the coast year-round, while the LSA people focused their coastal visits on the August-October interval when nine-to-eleven-month-old seals were abundant. The MSA sample from Klasies River Mouth Cave 1 resembles BOG1 in seal age composition, suggesting that unlike LSA people, MSA people obtained seals more or less throughout the year.

  16. Epidemiology and interactions of Human Immunodeficiency Virus – 1 and Schistosoma mansoni in sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1/AIDS and Schistosoma mansoni are widespread in sub-Saharan Africa and co-infection occurs commonly. Since the early 1990s, it has been suggested that the two infections may interact and potentiate the effects of each other within co-infected human hosts. Indeed, S. mansoni infection has been suggested to be a risk factor for HIV transmission and progression in Africa. If so, it would follow that mass deworming could have beneficial effects on HIV-1 transmission dynamics. The epidemiology of HIV in African countries is changing, shifting from urban to rural areas where the prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni is high and public health services are deficient. On the other side, the consequent pathogenesis of HIV-1/S. mansoni co-infection remains unknown. Here we give an account of the epidemiology of HIV-1 and S. mansoni, discuss co-infection and possible biological causal relationships between the two infections, and the potential impact of praziquantel treatment on HIV-1 viral loads, CD4+ counts and CD4+/CD8+ ratio. Our review of the available literature indicates that there is evidence to support the hypothesis that S. mansoni infections can influence the replication of the HIV-1, cell-to-cell transmission, as well as increase HIV progression as measured by reduced CD4+ T lymphocytes counts. If so, then deworming of HIV positive individuals living in endemic areas may impact on HIV-1 viral loads and CD4+ T lymphocyte counts. PMID:23849678

  17. Atmospheric chemistry over southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gatebe, Charles K.; Levy, Robert C.; Thompson, Anne M.

    2012-03-01

    Changing Chemistry in a Changing Climate: Human and Natural Impacts Over Southern Africa (C4-SAR); Midrand, South Africa, 31 May to 3 June 2011 During the southern African dry season, regional haze from mixed industrial pollution, biomass burning aerosol and gases from domestic and grassland fires, and biogenic sources from plants and soils is worsened by a semipermanent atmospheric gyre over the subcontinent. These factors were a driver of several major international field campaigns in the 1990s and early 2000s and attracted many scientists to the region. Some researchers were interested in understanding fundamental processes governing chemistry of the atmosphere and interaction with climate change. Others found favorable conditions for evaluating satellite- derived measurements of atmospheric properties and a changing land surface. With that background in mind a workshop on atmospheric chemistry was held in South Africa. Sponsored by the International Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (ICACGP; http://www.icacgp.org/), the workshop received generous support from Eskom, the South African power utility; and the Climatology Research Group of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

  18. Smoking prevention and cessation in the Africa and Middle East region: a consensus draft guideline for healthcare providers--executive summary.

    PubMed

    Ali, Ahmed Yousif M; Safwat, Tarek; Onyemelukwe, Geoffrey; Otaibi, Moh'd Amin Al; Amir, Ashraf A; Nawas, Yousef N; Aouina, Hichem; Afif, Moulay Hicham; Bolliger, Chris T

    2012-01-01

    Despite the abundance of scientific evidence confirming the health consequences of smoking and other forms of tobacco use, the tobacco epidemic remains an important public health problem and by 2030 it is predicted that more than 80% of tobacco deaths will be in developing countries. In Africa and the Middle East, many local factors contribute to the initiation and maintenance of tobacco use. Although efforts to reduce the mortality and morbidity associated with smoking and tobacco dependence are underway, there is a need for guidance on how to utilize appropriate tobacco control policies and psychology- and pharmacology-based therapies to counter tobacco dependence as recommended by the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). A group of tobacco cessation experts from public health services and/or academic institutions in Africa and the Middle East participated in a series of four meetings held in Cairo, Cape Town, and Dubai between May 2008 and February 2011 to develop a draft guideline tailored to their region. This article provides the background to the development of this draft smoking cessation guideline and discusses how the recommendations can be implemented and progress monitored to promote both primary prevention and cessation of tobacco use within our countries. The draft guideline for Africa and the Middle East provides an important resource in combating the devastating effects of tobacco use in these regions which can be further localized through engagement with local stakeholders in the countries of the region. PMID:22487605

  19. Smoking prevention and cessation in the Africa and Middle East region: a consensus draft guideline for healthcare providers--executive summary.

    PubMed

    Ali, Ahmed Yousif M; Safwat, Tarek; Onyemelukwe, Geoffrey; Otaibi, Moh'd Amin Al; Amir, Ashraf A; Nawas, Yousef N; Aouina, Hichem; Afif, Moulay Hicham; Bolliger, Chris T

    2012-01-01

    Despite the abundance of scientific evidence confirming the health consequences of smoking and other forms of tobacco use, the tobacco epidemic remains an important public health problem and by 2030 it is predicted that more than 80% of tobacco deaths will be in developing countries. In Africa and the Middle East, many local factors contribute to the initiation and maintenance of tobacco use. Although efforts to reduce the mortality and morbidity associated with smoking and tobacco dependence are underway, there is a need for guidance on how to utilize appropriate tobacco control policies and psychology- and pharmacology-based therapies to counter tobacco dependence as recommended by the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). A group of tobacco cessation experts from public health services and/or academic institutions in Africa and the Middle East participated in a series of four meetings held in Cairo, Cape Town, and Dubai between May 2008 and February 2011 to develop a draft guideline tailored to their region. This article provides the background to the development of this draft smoking cessation guideline and discusses how the recommendations can be implemented and progress monitored to promote both primary prevention and cessation of tobacco use within our countries. The draft guideline for Africa and the Middle East provides an important resource in combating the devastating effects of tobacco use in these regions which can be further localized through engagement with local stakeholders in the countries of the region.

  20. Chromosome region-specific libraries for human genome analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Kao, Fa-Ten.

    1992-08-01

    During the grant period progress has been made in the successful demonstration of regional mapping of microclones derived from microdissection libraries; successful demonstration of the feasibility of converting microclones with short inserts into yeast artificial chromosome clones with very large inserts for high resolution physical mapping of the dissected region; Successful demonstration of the usefulness of region-specific microclones to isolate region-specific cDNA clones as candidate genes to facilitate search for the crucial genes underlying genetic diseases assigned to the dissected region; and the successful construction of four region-specific microdissection libraries for human chromosome 2, including 2q35-q37, 2q33-q35, 2p23-p25 and 2p2l-p23. The 2q35-q37 library has been characterized in detail. The characterization of the other three libraries is in progress. These region-specific microdissection libraries and the unique sequence microclones derived from the libraries will be valuable resources for investigators engaged in high resolution physical mapping and isolation of disease-related genes residing in these chromosomal regions.

  1. Current levels of heavy metal pollution in Africa.

    PubMed

    Yabe, John; Ishizuka, Mayuni; Umemura, Takashi

    2010-10-01

    Studies of environmental pollution in Africa indicate that toxic metal pollution has reached unprecedented levels over the past decade. Human exposure to toxic metals has become a major health risk on the continent and is the subject of increasing attention from national and international environmentalists. This paper reviews data from the past decade on environmental pollution in Africa and highlights countries where most heavy metal pollutions have been reported. Characteristics of heavy metal pollution in North, West, East and Southern regions of Africa have been described, as have major sources of pollution in the different regions. This review summarizes the sites where most of the heavy metal pollution has been reported in Africa and, where applicable, presents reported levels of pollution in different environmental compartments in the context of internationally acceptable limits. Contaminations in fish and food animals as well as impacts of heavy metal pollution on humans are also described.

  2. Regional specialization within the human striatum for diverse psychological functions

    PubMed Central

    Pauli, Wolfgang M.; O’Reilly, Randall C.; Wager, Tor D.

    2016-01-01

    Decades of animal and human neuroimaging research have identified distinct, but overlapping, striatal zones, which are interconnected with separable corticostriatal circuits, and are crucial for the organization of functional systems. Despite continuous efforts to subdivide the human striatum based on anatomical and resting-state functional connectivity, characterizing the different psychological processes related to each zone remains a work in progress. Using an unbiased, data-driven approach, we analyzed large-scale coactivation data from 5,809 human imaging studies. We (i) identified five distinct striatal zones that exhibited discrete patterns of coactivation with cortical brain regions across distinct psychological processes and (ii) identified the different psychological processes associated with each zone. We found that the reported pattern of cortical activation reliably predicted which striatal zone was most strongly activated. Critically, activation in each functional zone could be associated with distinct psychological processes directly, rather than inferred indirectly from psychological functions attributed to associated cortices. Consistent with well-established findings, we found an association of the ventral striatum (VS) with reward processing. Confirming less well-established findings, the VS and adjacent anterior caudate were associated with evaluating the value of rewards and actions, respectively. Furthermore, our results confirmed a sometimes overlooked specialization of the posterior caudate nucleus for executive functions, often considered the exclusive domain of frontoparietal cortical circuits. Our findings provide a precise functional map of regional specialization within the human striatum, both in terms of the differential cortical regions and psychological functions associated with each striatal zone. PMID:26831091

  3. Regional specialization within the human striatum for diverse psychological functions.

    PubMed

    Pauli, Wolfgang M; O'Reilly, Randall C; Yarkoni, Tal; Wager, Tor D

    2016-02-16

    Decades of animal and human neuroimaging research have identified distinct, but overlapping, striatal zones, which are interconnected with separable corticostriatal circuits, and are crucial for the organization of functional systems. Despite continuous efforts to subdivide the human striatum based on anatomical and resting-state functional connectivity, characterizing the different psychological processes related to each zone remains a work in progress. Using an unbiased, data-driven approach, we analyzed large-scale coactivation data from 5,809 human imaging studies. We (i) identified five distinct striatal zones that exhibited discrete patterns of coactivation with cortical brain regions across distinct psychological processes and (ii) identified the different psychological processes associated with each zone. We found that the reported pattern of cortical activation reliably predicted which striatal zone was most strongly activated. Critically, activation in each functional zone could be associated with distinct psychological processes directly, rather than inferred indirectly from psychological functions attributed to associated cortices. Consistent with well-established findings, we found an association of the ventral striatum (VS) with reward processing. Confirming less well-established findings, the VS and adjacent anterior caudate were associated with evaluating the value of rewards and actions, respectively. Furthermore, our results confirmed a sometimes overlooked specialization of the posterior caudate nucleus for executive functions, often considered the exclusive domain of frontoparietal cortical circuits. Our findings provide a precise functional map of regional specialization within the human striatum, both in terms of the differential cortical regions and psychological functions associated with each striatal zone.

  4. Phylogenetic characterisation of Taenia tapeworms in spotted hyenas and reconsideration of the "Out of Africa" hypothesis of Taenia in humans.

    PubMed

    Terefe, Yitagele; Hailemariam, Zerihun; Menkir, Sissay; Nakao, Minoru; Lavikainen, Antti; Haukisalmi, Voitto; Iwaki, Takashi; Okamoto, Munehiro; Ito, Akira

    2014-07-01

    The African origin of hominins suggests that Taenia spp. in African carnivores are evolutionarily related to the human-infecting tapeworms Taenia solium, Taenia saginata and Taenia asiatica. Nevertheless, the hypothesis has not been verified through molecular phylogenetics of Taenia. This study aimed to perform phylogenetic comparisons between Taenia spp. from African hyenas and the congeneric human parasites. During 2010-2013, 233 adult specimens of Taenia spp. were collected from 11 spotted hyenas in Ethiopia. A screening based on short DNA sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene classified the samples into four mitochondrial lineages designated as I-IV. DNA profiles of nuclear genes for DNA polymerase delta (pold) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (pepck) showed that lineages II and III can be assigned as two independent species. Common haplotypes of pold and pepck were frequently found in lineages I and IV, suggesting that they constitute a single species. Morphological observations suggested that lineage II is Taenia crocutae, but the other lineages were morphologically inconsistent with known species, suggesting the involvement of two new species. A phylogenetic tree of Taenia spp. was reconstructed by the maximum likelihood method using all protein-coding genes of their mitochondrial genomes. The tree clearly demonstrated that T. crocutae is sister to T. saginata and T. asiatica, whereas T. solium was confirmed to be sister to the brown bear tapeworm, Taenia arctos. The tree also suggested that T. solium and T. arctos are related to two species of Taenia in hyenas, corresponding to lineages I+IV and III. These results may partially support the African origin of human-infecting Taenia spp., but there remains a possibility that host switching of Taenia to hominins was not confined to Africa. Additional taxa from African carnivores are needed for further testing of the "Out of Africa" hypothesis of Taenia in humans. PMID:24815426

  5. Phylogenetic characterisation of Taenia tapeworms in spotted hyenas and reconsideration of the "Out of Africa" hypothesis of Taenia in humans.

    PubMed

    Terefe, Yitagele; Hailemariam, Zerihun; Menkir, Sissay; Nakao, Minoru; Lavikainen, Antti; Haukisalmi, Voitto; Iwaki, Takashi; Okamoto, Munehiro; Ito, Akira

    2014-07-01

    The African origin of hominins suggests that Taenia spp. in African carnivores are evolutionarily related to the human-infecting tapeworms Taenia solium, Taenia saginata and Taenia asiatica. Nevertheless, the hypothesis has not been verified through molecular phylogenetics of Taenia. This study aimed to perform phylogenetic comparisons between Taenia spp. from African hyenas and the congeneric human parasites. During 2010-2013, 233 adult specimens of Taenia spp. were collected from 11 spotted hyenas in Ethiopia. A screening based on short DNA sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene classified the samples into four mitochondrial lineages designated as I-IV. DNA profiles of nuclear genes for DNA polymerase delta (pold) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (pepck) showed that lineages II and III can be assigned as two independent species. Common haplotypes of pold and pepck were frequently found in lineages I and IV, suggesting that they constitute a single species. Morphological observations suggested that lineage II is Taenia crocutae, but the other lineages were morphologically inconsistent with known species, suggesting the involvement of two new species. A phylogenetic tree of Taenia spp. was reconstructed by the maximum likelihood method using all protein-coding genes of their mitochondrial genomes. The tree clearly demonstrated that T. crocutae is sister to T. saginata and T. asiatica, whereas T. solium was confirmed to be sister to the brown bear tapeworm, Taenia arctos. The tree also suggested that T. solium and T. arctos are related to two species of Taenia in hyenas, corresponding to lineages I+IV and III. These results may partially support the African origin of human-infecting Taenia spp., but there remains a possibility that host switching of Taenia to hominins was not confined to Africa. Additional taxa from African carnivores are needed for further testing of the "Out of Africa" hypothesis of Taenia in humans.

  6. Tracing past human male movements in northern/eastern Africa and western Eurasia: new clues from Y-chromosomal haplogroups E-M78 and J-M12.

    PubMed

    Cruciani, Fulvio; La Fratta, Roberta; Trombetta, Beniamino; Santolamazza, Piero; Sellitto, Daniele; Colomb, Eliane Beraud; Dugoujon, Jean-Michel; Crivellaro, Federica; Benincasa, Tamara; Pascone, Roberto; Moral, Pedro; Watson, Elizabeth; Melegh, Bela; Barbujani, Guido; Fuselli, Silvia; Vona, Giuseppe; Zagradisnik, Boris; Assum, Guenter; Brdicka, Radim; Kozlov, Andrey I; Efremov, Georgi D; Coppa, Alfredo; Novelletto, Andrea; Scozzari, Rosaria

    2007-06-01

    Detailed population data were obtained on the distribution of novel biallelic markers that finely dissect the human Y-chromosome haplogroup E-M78. Among 6,501 Y chromosomes sampled in 81 human populations worldwide, we found 517 E-M78 chromosomes and assigned them to 10 subhaplogroups. Eleven microsatellite loci were used to further evaluate subhaplogroup internal diversification. The geographic and quantitative analyses of haplogroup and microsatellite diversity is strongly suggestive of a northeastern African origin of E-M78, with a corridor for bidirectional migrations between northeastern and eastern Africa (at least 2 episodes between 23.9-17.3 ky and 18.0-5.9 ky ago), trans-Mediterranean migrations directly from northern Africa to Europe (mainly in the last 13.0 ky), and flow from northeastern Africa to western Asia between 20.0 and 6.8 ky ago. A single clade within E-M78 (E-V13) highlights a range expansion in the Bronze Age of southeastern Europe, which is also detected by haplogroup J-M12. Phylogeography pattern of molecular radiation and coalescence estimates for both haplogroups are similar and reveal that the genetic landscape of this region is, to a large extent, the consequence of a recent population growth in situ rather than the result of a mere flow of western Asian migrants in the early Neolithic. Our results not only provide a refinement of previous evolutionary hypotheses but also well-defined time frames for past human movements both in northern/eastern Africa and western Eurasia.

  7. Regional Collaborative Approach for Biotechnological Human Resource Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwahara, Masayoshi

    Since more than 20 years ago, we had been discussed and researched between regional collaboration how to use the biomass generated by food industries (and how to promote the reuse) and the value addition of food recyclable resources. Accordingly, we collaborated mainly with Biotechnological Research Development Association and promoted the project for biotechnological human resource development. In order to realize such project, the followings were proposed : the human resource development programs, skill standards, curricula, practices, and estimations. As a result, it is recognized that our trials and practices brought educational effects for not only graduate school students but also working engineers, and that these programs must be conducted for continuing development.

  8. Social networks and mental health among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Odek, Willis Omondi

    2014-01-01

    People living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) in developing countries can live longer due to improved treatment access, and a deeper understanding of determinants of their quality of life is critical. This study assessed the link between social capital, operationally defined in terms of social networks (group-based and personal social networks) and access to network resources (access to material and non-material resources and social support) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among 554 (55% female) adults on HIV treatment through South Africa's public health system. Female study participants were involved with more group-based social networks but had fewer personal social networks in comparison to males. Access to network resources was higher among females and those from larger households but lower among older study participants. Experience of social support significantly increased with household economic status and duration at current residence. Social capital indicators were unrelated to HIV disease status indicators, including duration since diagnosis, CD4 count and viral load. Only a minority (13%) of study participants took part in groups formed by and for predominantly PLHIV (HIV support groups), and participation in such groups was unrelated to their mental or physical health. Personal rather than group-linked social networks and access to network resources were significantly associated with mental but not physical health, after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. The findings of limited participation in HIV support groups and that the participation in such groups was not significantly associated with physical or mental health may suggest efforts among PLHIV in South Africa to normalise HIV as a chronic illness through broad-based rather than HIV-status bounded social participation, as a strategy for deflecting stigma. Further research is required to examine the effects of HIV treatment on social networking and participation

  9. Mobile Gis: a Tool for Informal Settlement Occupancy Audit to Improve Integrated Human Settlement Implementation in Ekurhuleni, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mokoena, B. T.; Musakwa, W.

    2016-06-01

    Upgrading and relocating people in informal settlements requires consistent commitment, good strategies and systems so as to improve the lives of those who live in them. In South Africa, in order to allocate subsidised housing to beneficiaries of an informal settlement, beneficiary administration needs to be completed to determine the number of people who qualify for a subsidised house. Conventional methods of occupancy audits are often unreliable, cumbersome and non-spatial. Accordingly, this study proposes the use of mobile GIS to conduct these audits to provide up-to-date, accurate, comprehensive and real-time data so as to facilitate the development of integrated human settlements. An occupancy audit was subsequently completed for one of the communities in the Ekurhuleni municipality, Gauteng province, using web-based mobile GIS as a solution to providing smart information through evidence based decision making. Fieldworkers accessed the off-line capturing module on a mobile device recording GPS coordinates, socio-economic information and photographs. The results of this audit indicated that only 56.86% of the households residing within the community could potentially benefit from receiving a subsidised house. Integrated residential development, which includes fully and partially subsidised housing, serviced stands and some fully bonded housing opportunities, would then be key to adequately providing access to suitable housing options within a project in a post-colonial South Africa, creating new post-1994 neighbourhoods, in line with policy. The use of mobile GIS therefore needs to be extended to other informal settlement upgrading projects in South Africa.

  10. Social networks and mental health among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Odek, Willis Omondi

    2014-01-01

    People living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) in developing countries can live longer due to improved treatment access, and a deeper understanding of determinants of their quality of life is critical. This study assessed the link between social capital, operationally defined in terms of social networks (group-based and personal social networks) and access to network resources (access to material and non-material resources and social support) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among 554 (55% female) adults on HIV treatment through South Africa's public health system. Female study participants were involved with more group-based social networks but had fewer personal social networks in comparison to males. Access to network resources was higher among females and those from larger households but lower among older study participants. Experience of social support significantly increased with household economic status and duration at current residence. Social capital indicators were unrelated to HIV disease status indicators, including duration since diagnosis, CD4 count and viral load. Only a minority (13%) of study participants took part in groups formed by and for predominantly PLHIV (HIV support groups), and participation in such groups was unrelated to their mental or physical health. Personal rather than group-linked social networks and access to network resources were significantly associated with mental but not physical health, after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. The findings of limited participation in HIV support groups and that the participation in such groups was not significantly associated with physical or mental health may suggest efforts among PLHIV in South Africa to normalise HIV as a chronic illness through broad-based rather than HIV-status bounded social participation, as a strategy for deflecting stigma. Further research is required to examine the effects of HIV treatment on social networking and participation

  11. The human capital characteristics and household living standards of returning international migrants in Eastern and Southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Kevin J A

    2014-01-01

    Africa’s experience with return migration is not new. However, few empirical studies have examined the social and economic characteristics of returning migrants within the continent. In this study, the human capital endowments and household living standards of returning migrants in Uganda and South Africa are examined using recently available data. The study compares returnees in both countries with immigrants as well as the native-born population with no international migration experience. It also investigates how factors such as previous country of residence, year of arrival, and other demographic factors predict levels of education and living standards among returning migrants. In Uganda, the results show that recently arrived returning migrants had better educational endowments than both immigrants and non-migrants. Migrants who returned to Uganda following the fall of Idi Amin’s regime had the lowest educational levels and lowest living standards compared to other returnees. Furthermore, the results indicate that previous residence in countries in the West was associated with four additional years of schooling while returning migrants arriving from other African countries had the lowest levels of schooling among returning migrants. In South Africa, the study finds that returnees arriving almost immediately following the end of Apartheid had the highest levels of education compared to either immigrants or non-migrants. Returnees on average also had the highest household living standards in South Africa. Among South African immigrants, the results indicate that those arriving towards the end of the century had lower educational endowments compared to immigrants who arrived in the country two to four years after the end of Apartheid. PMID:24970950

  12. Psychometric evaluation of the COPD assessment test: data from the BREATHE study in the Middle East and North Africa region.

    PubMed

    Jones, Paul W; Shahrour, Naem; Nejjari, Chakib; Lahlou, Aicha; Doble, Adam; Rashid, Nauman; El Hasnaoui, Abdelkader

    2012-12-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the validity and performance of the Arabic and Turkish versions of the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) for evaluating the severity and impact of COPD symptoms. The data were obtained from the BREATHE study in the Middle East and North Africa region, a large general population survey of COPD conducted in ten countries of the region (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates), using a standardised methodology. A total of 62,086 subjects were screened, of whom a random sample of 5,681 subjects were administered the CAT by telephone. 5,639 evaluable questionnaires were recovered, representing a completion rate of 99%. In addition, the CAT was administered to an additional 833 subjects fulfilling the epidemiological diagnostic criteria for COPD. Mean scores in the general population were 6.99 ± 6.91 for the Arabic version and 9.88 ± 9.04 for the Turkish version. In patients with COPD, mean scores were 16.2 ± 9.1 and 20.9 ± 10.2 respectively. Scores were consistently higher in smokers than in non-smokers. In the general population, the proportion of respondents fulfilling criteria for COPD rose with higher CAT scores, and particularly above the 80th percentile, where 63% of COPD cases were to be found. This suggests that the CAT may be useful as a case-finding tool in the general population. In the COPD population, healthcare resource consumption rose linearly with CAT score above a threshold score of twenty, arguing in favour of the good criterion validity of the CAT. The internal consistency of the CAT was high (Cronbach's α 0.85 for the Arabic and 0.86 for the Turkish versions) and the factorial structure was unidimensional. In conclusion, this study performed in Arabic and Turkish speaking populations confirms the utility and validity of the CAT as a simple tool to collect data on the severity and impact of COPD symptoms, and suggests that it may potentially be

  13. History and origin of the HIV-1 subtype C epidemic in South Africa and the greater southern African region

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Eduan; Engelbrecht, Susan; de Oliveira, Tulio

    2015-01-01

    HIV has spread at an alarming rate in South Africa, making it the country with the highest number of HIV infections. Several studies have investigated the histories of HIV-1 subtype C epidemics but none have done so in the context of social and political transformation in southern Africa. There is a need to understand how these processes affects epidemics, as socio-political transformation is a common and on-going process in Africa. Here, we genotyped strains from the start of the epidemic and applied phylodynamic techniques to determine the history of the southern Africa and South African epidemic from longitudinal sampled data. The southern African epidemic’s estimated dates of origin was placed around 1960 (95% HPD 1956–64), while dynamic reconstruction revealed strong growth during the 1970s and 80s. The South African epidemic has a similar origin, caused by multiple introductions from neighbouring countries, and grew exponentially during the 1980s and 90s, coinciding with socio-political changes in South Africa. These findings provide an indication as to when the epidemic started and how it has grown, while the inclusion of sequence data from the start of the epidemic provided better estimates. The epidemic have stabilized in recent years with the expansion of antiretroviral therapy. PMID:26574165

  14. History and origin of the HIV-1 subtype C epidemic in South Africa and the greater southern African region.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Eduan; Engelbrecht, Susan; de Oliveira, Tulio

    2015-11-17

    HIV has spread at an alarming rate in South Africa, making it the country with the highest number of HIV infections. Several studies have investigated the histories of HIV-1 subtype C epidemics but none have done so in the context of social and political transformation in southern Africa. There is a need to understand how these processes affects epidemics, as socio-political transformation is a common and on-going process in Africa. Here, we genotyped strains from the start of the epidemic and applied phylodynamic techniques to determine the history of the southern Africa and South African epidemic from longitudinal sampled data. The southern African epidemic's estimated dates of origin was placed around 1960 (95% HPD 1956-64), while dynamic reconstruction revealed strong growth during the 1970s and 80s. The South African epidemic has a similar origin, caused by multiple introductions from neighbouring countries, and grew exponentially during the 1980s and 90s, coinciding with socio-political changes in South Africa. These findings provide an indication as to when the epidemic started and how it has grown, while the inclusion of sequence data from the start of the epidemic provided better estimates. The epidemic have stabilized in recent years with the expansion of antiretroviral therapy.

  15. Regional boreal biodiversity peaks at intermediate human disturbance.

    PubMed

    Mayor, S J; Cahill, J F; He, F; Sólymos, P; Boutin, S

    2012-01-01

    The worldwide biodiversity crisis has intensified the need to better understand how biodiversity and human disturbance are related. The 'intermediate disturbance hypothesis' suggests that disturbance regimes generate predictable non-linear patterns in species richness. Evidence often contradicts intermediate disturbance hypothesis at small scales, and is generally lacking at large regional scales. Here, we present the largest extent study of human impacts on boreal plant biodiversity to date. Disturbance extent ranged from 0 to 100% disturbed in vascular plant communities, varying from intact forest to agricultural fields, forestry cut blocks and oil sands. We show for the first time that across a broad region species richness peaked in communities with intermediate anthropogenic disturbance, as predicted by intermediate disturbance hypothesis, even when accounting for many environmental covariates. Intermediate disturbance hypothesis was consistently supported across trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses, with temporary and perpetual disturbances. However, only native species fit this pattern; exotic species richness increased linearly with disturbance.

  16. Environmental pollutants and diseases of sexual development in humans and wildlife in South Africa: harbingers of impact on overall health?

    PubMed

    Riana Bornman, M S; Bouwman, Hindrik

    2012-08-01

    This study deals with disorders of sexual development in humans, wildlife and animals in an urban nature reserve (RNR) and a currently DDT-sprayed malarial area. High levels of oestrogenic chemical residues in water, sediment and tissue; skewed sex ratios; reduced biodiversity; gonadal malformations in sharptooth catfish and freshwater snails; intersex in catfish; and impaired spermatogenesis in catfish and striped mouse are of serious concern in the RNR. Persistent eggshell thinning in African darter eggs, intersex in male Mozambican tilapia, follicular atresia in females and impaired spermatogenesis in males following laboratory exposure of parent fish to environmentally relevant DDT and DDE concentrations, and abnormalities in freshwater snails were found in the DDT-sprayed area. Human studies related to DDT exposure indicated impaired semen quality, a weak association with sperm chromatin defects and higher risks for external urogenital birth defects in those who were born to mothers whose houses were sprayed and those who were homemakers (stay at home mother) instead of being employed. These findings indicate that diseases of sexual development occurred in both human and wildlife populations exposed to environmental endocrine disruptor chemicals in South Africa. The chemical mixtures, possibly related to disorders of sexual differentiation (DSD), were very different between the two. However, DSD occurred concurrently in the malarial area, possibly indicating that humans and wildlife shared exposures. Moreover, it emphasizes the importance of suspecting disease in the other when disease is found in either human or wildlife populations.

  17. Environmental pollutants and diseases of sexual development in humans and wildlife in South Africa: harbingers of impact on overall health?

    PubMed

    Riana Bornman, M S; Bouwman, Hindrik

    2012-08-01

    This study deals with disorders of sexual development in humans, wildlife and animals in an urban nature reserve (RNR) and a currently DDT-sprayed malarial area. High levels of oestrogenic chemical residues in water, sediment and tissue; skewed sex ratios; reduced biodiversity; gonadal malformations in sharptooth catfish and freshwater snails; intersex in catfish; and impaired spermatogenesis in catfish and striped mouse are of serious concern in the RNR. Persistent eggshell thinning in African darter eggs, intersex in male Mozambican tilapia, follicular atresia in females and impaired spermatogenesis in males following laboratory exposure of parent fish to environmentally relevant DDT and DDE concentrations, and abnormalities in freshwater snails were found in the DDT-sprayed area. Human studies related to DDT exposure indicated impaired semen quality, a weak association with sperm chromatin defects and higher risks for external urogenital birth defects in those who were born to mothers whose houses were sprayed and those who were homemakers (stay at home mother) instead of being employed. These findings indicate that diseases of sexual development occurred in both human and wildlife populations exposed to environmental endocrine disruptor chemicals in South Africa. The chemical mixtures, possibly related to disorders of sexual differentiation (DSD), were very different between the two. However, DSD occurred concurrently in the malarial area, possibly indicating that humans and wildlife shared exposures. Moreover, it emphasizes the importance of suspecting disease in the other when disease is found in either human or wildlife populations. PMID:22827388

  18. HIV/AIDS situation in Africa.

    PubMed

    Ogunbodede, Eyitope O

    2004-12-01

    The HIV/AIDS pandemic marks a severe development crisis in Africa, which remains by far the worst affected region in the world. Forty-two million people now live with HIV/AIDS of which 29.4 million (70.0%) are from sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately 5 million new infections occurred in 2002 and 3.5 million (70.0%) of these were also from sub-Saharan Africa. The estimated number of children orphaned by AIDS living in the region is 11 million. In 2002, the epidemic claimed about 2.4 million lives in Africa, more than 70% of the 3.1 million deaths worldwide. Average life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa is now 47 years, when it would have been 62 years without AIDS. HIV/AIDS stigma is still a major problem despite the extensive spread of the epidemic. A complex interaction of material, social, cultural and behavioural factors shape the nature, process and outcome of the epidemic in Africa. However, too many partners and unprotected sex appear to be at the core of the problem, Even if exceptionally effective prevention, treatment and care programmes take hold immediately, the scale of the crisis means that the human and socio-economic toll will remain significant for many generations. Although 70% of people living with HIV/AIDS are in Africa, only 6,569 (4.7%) of the 140,736 scientific publications on HIV/AIDS, from 1981 to 2000, are directly related to Africa. Effective responses to the epidemic require a multisectoral approach, including governments, the business sector and civil society. PMID:15631096

  19. Human papillomavirus infection in women in four regions of Senegal.

    PubMed

    Mbaye, El Hadji Seydou; Gheit, Tarik; Dem, Ahmadou; McKay-Chopin, Sandrine; Toure-Kane, Ndeye Coumba; Mboup, Souleymane; Tommasino, Massimo; Sylla, Bakary S; Boye, Cheikh Saad Bouh

    2014-02-01

    Cervical cancer is the most frequent cancer among women in Senegal. However, there are few data concerning the human papillomavirus (HPV) types inducing neoplasia and cervical cancers and their prevalence in the general population of Senegal. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of HPV infection in Senegalese women aged 18 years and older in Dakar Region and three other regions. Cervical samples were collected from 498 women aged 18-80 years (mean, 42.1 years) in Dakar Region. Also, 438 samples were collected from three other regions: Thiès, Saint-Louis, and Louga. The samples were screened for 21 HPV genotypes using an HPV type-specific E7 PCR bead-based multiplex genotyping assay (TS-MPG). The prevalence of high risk (HR)-HPV in Dakar Region was 17.4%. HPV 52 (3.2%) was the most prevalent HPV type, followed by HPV 31 (3.0%) and HPV 16, 45, and 53 (all 2.8%). In the Thiès, Saint-Louis, and Louga Regions, the prevalence of HR-HPV was 23.2%, 13.1%, and 19.4%, respectively. The study revealed the specificity of HPV prevalence in Dakar Region and other regions of Senegal. The observed patterns show some differences compared with other regions of the world. These findings raise the possibility that, in addition to HPV 16 and HPV 18, other HPV types should be considered for a vaccination program in Senegal. However, additional studies to determine the HPV type distribution in cervical cancer specimens in Senegal are required to further corroborate this hypothesis.

  20. Human rights violations and smoking status among South African adults enrolled in the South Africa Stress and Health (SASH) study

    PubMed Central

    Dutra, Lauren M; Williams, David R; Gupta, Jhumka; Kawachi, Ichiro; Okechukwu, Cassandra A

    2014-01-01

    Despite South Africa’s history of violent political conflict, and the link between stressful experiences and smoking in the literature, no public health study has examined South Africans’ experiences of human rights violations and smoking. Using data from participants in the nationally representative cross-sectional South Africa Stress and Health study (SASH), this analysis examined the association between respondent smoking status and both human rights violations experienced by the respondent and violations experienced by the respondents’ close friends and family members. SAS-Callable SUDAAN was used to construct separate log-binomial models by political affiliation during apartheid (government or liberation supporters). In comparison to those who reported no violations, in adjusted analyses, government supporters who reported violations of themselves but not others (RR=1.76, 95%CI: 1.25–2.46) had a significantly higher smoking prevalence. In comparison to liberation supporters who reported no violations, those who reported violations of self only (RR=1.56, 95%CI: 1.07–2.29), close others only (RR=1.97, 95%CI: 1.12–3.47), or violations of self and close others due to close others’ political beliefs and the respondent’s political beliefs (RR=2.86, 95%CI: 1.70–4.82) had a significantly higher prevalence of smoking. The results of this analysis suggest that a relationship may exist between human rights violations and smoking among South Africa adults. Future research should use longitudinal data to assess causality, test the generalizability of these findings, and consider how to apply these findings to smoking cessation interventions. PMID:24509050

  1. Out of Africa and into an ice age: on the role of global climate change in the late Pleistocene migration of early modern humans out of Africa.

    PubMed

    Carto, Shannon L; Weaver, Andrew J; Hetherington, Renée; Lam, Yin; Wiebe, Edward C

    2009-02-01

    The results from two climate model simulations are used to explore the relationship between North Atlantic sea surface temperatures and the development of African aridity around 100,000 years ago. Through the use of illustrative simulations with an Earth System Climate Model, it is shown that freshwater fluxes associated with ice sheet surges into the North Atlantic, known as Heinrich events, lead to the southward shift of the intertropical convergence zone over Africa. This, combined with the overall increased aridity in the cooler mean climate, leads to substantial changes in simulated African vegetation cover, particularly in the Sahel. We suggest that Heinrich events, which occurred episodically throughout the last glacial cycle, led to abrupt changes in climate that may have rendered large parts of North, East, and West Africa unsuitable for hominin occupation, thus compelling early Homo sapiens to migrate out of Africa.

  2. Out of Africa and into an ice age: on the role of global climate change in the late Pleistocene migration of early modern humans out of Africa.

    PubMed

    Carto, Shannon L; Weaver, Andrew J; Hetherington, Renée; Lam, Yin; Wiebe, Edward C

    2009-02-01

    The results from two climate model simulations are used to explore the relationship between North Atlantic sea surface temperatures and the development of African aridity around 100,000 years ago. Through the use of illustrative simulations with an Earth System Climate Model, it is shown that freshwater fluxes associated with ice sheet surges into the North Atlantic, known as Heinrich events, lead to the southward shift of the intertropical convergence zone over Africa. This, combined with the overall increased aridity in the cooler mean climate, leads to substantial changes in simulated African vegetation cover, particularly in the Sahel. We suggest that Heinrich events, which occurred episodically throughout the last glacial cycle, led to abrupt changes in climate that may have rendered large parts of North, East, and West Africa unsuitable for hominin occupation, thus compelling early Homo sapiens to migrate out of Africa. PMID:19019409

  3. Vegetation-climate feedback causes reduced precipitation and tropical rainforest cover in CMIP5 regional Earth system model simulation over Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, M.; Smith, B.; Samuelsson, P.; Rummukainen, M.; Schurgers, G.

    2012-12-01

    We applied a coupled regional climate-vegetation model, RCA-GUESS (Smith et al. 2011), over the CORDEX Africa domain, forced by boundary conditions from a CanESM2 CMIP5 simulation under the RCP8.5 future climate scenario. The simulations were from 1961 to 2100 and covered the African continent at a horizontal grid spacing of 0.44°. RCA-GUESS simulates changes in the phenology, productivity, relative cover and population structure of up to eight plant function types (PFTs) in response to forcing from the climate part of the model. These vegetation changes feed back to simulated climate through dynamic adjustments in surface energy fluxes and surface properties. Changes in the net ecosystem-atmosphere carbon flux and its components net primary production (NPP), heterotrophic respiration and emissions from biomass burning were also simulated but do not feed back to climate in our model. Constant land cover was assumed. We compared simulations with and without vegetation feedback switched "on" to assess the influence of vegetation-climate feedback on simulated climate, vegetation and ecosystem carbon cycling. Both positive and negative warming feedbacks were identified in different parts of Africa. In the Sahel savannah zone near 15°N, reduced vegetation cover and productivity, and mortality caused by a deterioration of soil water conditions led to a positive warming feedback mediated by decreased evapotranspiration and increased sensible heat flux between vegetation and the atmosphere. In the equatorial rainforest stronghold region of central Africa, a feedback syndrome characterised by reduced plant production and LAI, a dominance shift from tropical trees to grasses, reduced soil water and reduced rainfall was identified. The likely underlying mechanism was a decline in evaporative water recycling associated with sparser vegetation cover, reminiscent of Earth system model studies in which a similar feedback mechanism was simulated to force dieback of tropical

  4. Mutations in Human Accelerated Regions Disrupt Cognition and Social Behavior.

    PubMed

    Doan, Ryan N; Bae, Byoung-Il; Cubelos, Beatriz; Chang, Cindy; Hossain, Amer A; Al-Saad, Samira; Mukaddes, Nahit M; Oner, Ozgur; Al-Saffar, Muna; Balkhy, Soher; Gascon, Generoso G; Nieto, Marta; Walsh, Christopher A

    2016-10-01

    Comparative analyses have identified genomic regions potentially involved in human evolution but do not directly assess function. Human accelerated regions (HARs) represent conserved genomic loci with elevated divergence in humans. If some HARs regulate human-specific social and behavioral traits, then mutations would likely impact cognitive and social disorders. Strikingly, rare biallelic point mutations-identified by whole-genome and targeted "HAR-ome" sequencing-showed a significant excess in individuals with ASD whose parents share common ancestry compared to familial controls, suggesting a contribution in 5% of consanguineous ASD cases. Using chromatin interaction sequencing, massively parallel reporter assays (MPRA), and transgenic mice, we identified disease-linked, biallelic HAR mutations in active enhancers for CUX1, PTBP2, GPC4, CDKL5, and other genes implicated in neural function, ASD, or both. Our data provide genetic evidence that specific HARs are essential for normal development, consistent with suggestions that their evolutionary changes may have altered social and/or cognitive behavior. PAPERCLIP.

  5. Potential for human immunodeficiency virus parenteral transmission in the Middle East and North Africa: an analysis using hepatitis C virus as a proxy biomarker.

    PubMed

    Mohamoud, Yousra A; Miller, F DeWolfe; Abu-Raddad, Laith J

    2014-09-28

    The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has endured several major events of infection parenteral transmission. Recent work has established the utility of using hepatitis C virus (HCV) as a proxy biomarker for assessing the epidemic potential for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) parenteral transmission. In this review, we use data on the prevalence of HCV infection antibody (seroprevalence) among general population and high risk population groups to assess the potential for HIV parenteral transmission in MENA. Relatively low prevalence of HCV infection in the general population groups was reported in most MENA countries indicating that parenteral HIV transmission at endemic levels does not appear to be a cause for concern. Nonetheless, there could be opportunities for localized HIV outbreaks and transmission of other blood-borne infections in some settings such as healthcare facilities. Though there have been steady improvements in safety measures related to parenteral modes of transmission in the region, these improvements have not been uniform across all countries. More precautions, including infection control training programs, surveillance systems for nosocomial infections and wider coverage and evaluation of hepatitis B virus immunization programs need to be implemented to avoid the unnecessary spread of HIV, HCV, and other blood-borne pathogens along the parenteral modes of transmission.

  6. Potential for human immunodeficiency virus parenteral transmission in the Middle East and North Africa: An analysis using hepatitis C virus as a proxy biomarker

    PubMed Central

    Mohamoud, Yousra A; Miller, F DeWolfe; Abu-Raddad, Laith J

    2014-01-01

    The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has endured several major events of infection parenteral transmission. Recent work has established the utility of using hepatitis C virus (HCV) as a proxy biomarker for assessing the epidemic potential for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) parenteral transmission. In this review, we use data on the prevalence of HCV infection antibody (seroprevalence) among general population and high risk population groups to assess the potential for HIV parenteral transmission in MENA. Relatively low prevalence of HCV infection in the general population groups was reported in most MENA countries indicating that parenteral HIV transmission at endemic levels does not appear to be a cause for concern. Nonetheless, there could be opportunities for localized HIV outbreaks and transmission of other blood-borne infections in some settings such as healthcare facilities. Though there have been steady improvements in safety measures related to parenteral modes of transmission in the region, these improvements have not been uniform across all countries. More precautions, including infection control training programs, surveillance systems for nosocomial infections and wider coverage and evaluation of hepatitis B virus immunization programs need to be implemented to avoid the unnecessary spread of HIV, HCV, and other blood-borne pathogens along the parenteral modes of transmission. PMID:25278675

  7. Human Factors Predicting Failure and Success in Hospital Information System Implementations in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Verbeke, Frank; Karara, Gustave; Nyssen, Marc

    2015-01-01

    From 2007 through 2014, the authors participated in the implementation of open source hospital information systems (HIS) in 19 hospitals in Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, and Mali. Most of these implementations were successful, but some failed. At the end of a seven-year implementation effort, a number of risk factors, facilitators, and pragmatic approaches related to the deployment of HIS in Sub-Saharan health facilities have been identified. Many of the problems encountered during the HIS implementation process were not related to technical issues but human, cultural, and environmental factors. This study retrospectively evaluates the predictive value of 14 project failure factors and 15 success factors in HIS implementation in the Sub-Saharan region. Nine of the failure factors were strongly correlated with project failure, three were moderately correlated, and one weakly correlated. Regression analysis also confirms that eight factors were strongly correlated with project success, four moderately correlated, and two weakly correlated. The study results may help estimate the expedience of future HIS projects. PMID:26262097

  8. Zoonotic Transmission of Two New Strains of Human T-lymphotropic Virus Type 4 in Hunters Bitten by a Gorilla in Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Richard, Léa; Mouinga-Ondémé, Augustin; Betsem, Edouard; Filippone, Claudia; Nerrienet, Eric; Kazanji, Mirdad; Gessain, Antoine

    2016-09-15

    Molecular screening of 300 at-risk people from Central Africa identified 2 human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV)-4-infected individuals. A zoonotic origin of infection was suggested, as both individuals reported being severely bitten by a gorilla during hunting activities. One strain was highly divergent and was designated as the HTLV-4 subtype-b prototype. PMID:27325689

  9. Zoonotic Transmission of Two New Strains of Human T-lymphotropic Virus Type 4 in Hunters Bitten by a Gorilla in Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Richard, Léa; Mouinga-Ondémé, Augustin; Betsem, Edouard; Filippone, Claudia; Nerrienet, Eric; Kazanji, Mirdad; Gessain, Antoine

    2016-09-15

    Molecular screening of 300 at-risk people from Central Africa identified 2 human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV)-4-infected individuals. A zoonotic origin of infection was suggested, as both individuals reported being severely bitten by a gorilla during hunting activities. One strain was highly divergent and was designated as the HTLV-4 subtype-b prototype.

  10. Endemic Foci of the Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever Spirochete Borrelia crocidurae in Mali, West Africa, and the Potential for Human Infection

    PubMed Central

    Schwan, Tom G.; Anderson, Jennifer M.; Lopez, Job E.; Fischer, Robert J.; Raffel, Sandra J.; McCoy, Brandi N.; Safronetz, David; Sogoba, Nafomon; Maïga, Ousmane; Traoré, Sékou F.

    2012-01-01

    Background Tick-borne relapsing fever spirochetes are maintained in endemic foci that involve a diversity of small mammals and argasid ticks in the genus Ornithodoros. Most epidemiological studies of tick-borne relapsing fever in West Africa caused by Borrelia crocidurae have been conducted in Senegal. The risk for humans to acquire relapsing fever in Mali is uncertain, as only a few human cases have been identified. Given the high incidence of malaria in Mali, and the potential to confuse the clinical diagnosis of these two diseases, we initiated studies to determine if there were endemic foci of relapsing fever spirochetes that could pose a risk for human infection. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated 20 villages across southern Mali for the presence of relapsing fever spirochetes. Small mammals were captured, thin blood smears were examined microscopically for spirochetes, and serum samples were tested for antibodies to relapsing fever spirochetes. Ornithodoros sonrai ticks were collected and examined for spirochetal infection. In total, 11.0% of the 663 rodents and 14.3% of the 63 shrews tested were seropositive and 2.2% of the animals had active spirochete infections when captured. In the Bandiagara region, the prevalence of infection was higher with 35% of the animals seropositive and 10% infected. Here also Ornithodoros sonrai were abundant and 17.3% of 278 individual ticks tested were infected with Borrelia crocidurae. Fifteen isolates of B. crocidurae were established and characterized by multi-locus sequence typing. Conclusions/Significance The potential for human tick-borne relapsing fever exists in many areas of southern Mali. PMID:23209863

  11. Human variation in short regions predisposed to deep evolutionary conservation.

    PubMed

    Loots, Gabriela G; Ovcharenko, Ivan

    2010-06-01

    The landscape of the human genome consists of millions of short islands of conservation that are 100% conserved across multiple vertebrate genomes (termed "bricks"), the majority of which are located in noncoding regions. Several hundred thousand bricks are deeply conserved reaching the genomes of amphibians and fish. Deep phylogenetic conservation of noncoding DNA has been reported to be strongly associated with the presence of gene regulatory elements, introducing bricks as a proxy to the functional noncoding landscape of the human genome. Here, we report a significant overrepresentation of bricks in the promoters of transcription factors and developmental genes, where the high level of phylogenetic conservation correlates with an increase in brick overrepresentation. We also found that the presence of a brick dictates a predisposition to evolutionary constraint, with only 0.7% of the amniota brick central nucleotides being diverged within the primate lineage--an 11-fold reduction in the divergence rate compared with random expectation. Human single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data explains only 3% of primate-specific variation in amniota bricks, thus arguing for a widespread fixation of brick mutations within the primate lineage and prior to human radiation. This variation, in turn, might have been utilized as a driving force for primate- and hominoid-specific adaptation. We also discovered a pronounced deviation from the evolutionary predisposition in the human lineage, with over 20-fold increase in the substitution rate at brick SNP sites over expected values. In addition, contrary to typical brick mutations, brick variation commonly encountered in the human population displays limited, if any, signatures of negative selection as measured by the minor allele frequency and population differentiation (F-statistical measure) measures. These observations argue for the plasticity of gene regulatory mechanisms in vertebrates--with evidence of strong purifying

  12. Chromosome region-specific libraries for human genome analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Kao, Fa-Ten.

    1991-01-01

    We have made important progress since the beginning of the current grant year. We have further developed the microdissection and PCR- assisted microcloning techniques using the linker-adaptor method. We have critically evaluated the microdissection libraries constructed by this microtechnology and proved that they are of high quality. We further demonstrated that these microdissection clones are useful in identifying corresponding YAC clones for a thousand-fold expansion of the genomic coverage and for contig construction. We are also improving the technique of cloning the dissected fragments in test tube by the TDT method. We are applying both of these PCR cloning technique to human chromosomes 2 and 5 to construct region-specific libraries for physical mapping purposes of LLNL and LANL. Finally, we are exploring efficient procedures to use unique sequence microclones to isolate cDNA clones from defined chromosomal regions as valuable resources for identifying expressed gene sequences in the human genome. We believe that we are making important progress under the auspices of this DOE human genome program grant and we will continue to make significant contributions in the coming year. 4 refs., 4 figs.

  13. Genetic Effects on Fine-Grained Human Cortical Regionalization.

    PubMed

    Cui, Yue; Liu, Bing; Zhou, Yuan; Fan, Lingzhong; Li, Jin; Zhang, Yun; Wu, Huawang; Hou, Bing; Wang, Chao; Zheng, Fanfan; Qiu, Chengxiang; Rao, Li-Lin; Ning, Yuping; Li, Shu; Jiang, Tianzi

    2016-09-01

    Various brain structural and functional features such as cytoarchitecture, topographic mapping, gyral/sulcal anatomy, and anatomical and functional connectivity have been used in human brain parcellation. However, the fine-grained intrinsic genetic architecture of the cortex remains unknown. In the present study, we parcellated specific regions of the cortex into subregions based on genetic correlations (i.e., shared genetic influences) between the surface area of each pair of cortical locations within the seed region. The genetic correlations were estimated by comparing the correlations of the surface area between monozygotic and dizygotic twins using bivariate twin models. Our genetic subdivisions of diverse brain regions were reproducible across 2 independent datasets and corresponded closely to fine-grained functional specializations. Furthermore, subregional genetic correlation profiles were generally consistent with functional connectivity patterns. Our findings indicate that the magnitude of the genetic covariance in brain anatomy could be used to delineate the boundaries of functional subregions of the brain and may be of value in the next generation human brain atlas.

  14. West Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    With its vast expanses of sand, framed by mountain ranges and exposed rock, northwestern Africa makes a pretty picture when viewed from above. This image was acquired by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. The Canary Islands can be seen on the left side of the image just off Africa's Atlantic shore. The light brown expanse running through the northern two thirds of the image is the Sahara Desert. The desert runs up against the dark brown Haut Atlas mountain range of Morocco in the northwest, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the semi-arid (light brown pixels) Sahelian region in the South. The Sahara, however, isn't staying put. Since the 1960s, the desert has been expanding into the Sahelian region at a rate of up to 6 kilometers per year. In the 1980s this desert expansion, combined with over cultivation of the Sahel, caused a major famine across west Africa. Over the summer months, strong winds pick up sands from the Sahara and blow them across the Atlantic as far west as North America, causing air pollution in Miami and damaging coral reefs in the Bahamas and the Florida Keys. The white outlines on the map represent country borders. Starting at the top-most portion of the map and working clockwise, the countries shown are Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Fasso, Nigeria, Mali (again), and Algeria. Image by Reto Stockli, Robert Simmon, and Brian Montgomery, NASA Earth Observatory, based on data from MODIS

  15. Advancing human rights through constitutional protection for gays and lesbians in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Louw, Ronald

    2005-01-01

    As a consequence of the 1994 adoption of a justiciable Bill of Rights in South Africa, with an equality provision prohibiting discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation, a coalition of gay and lesbian organisations set about implementing a progressive agenda of gay and lesbian rights litigation. In striking down the offence of sodomy, the Constitutional Court established a jurisprudence of gay and lesbian rights to equality, dignity and privacy that proved to be the foundation for significant litigation around family law issues. Subsequent to the sodomy judgement, the Court has ruled that same-sex couples who are in permanent life partnerships should be entitled to the same rights as married couples to immigration, employment benefits, custody and adoption of children. Despite the extensive equality jurisprudence of the Court, it is still uncertain whether it will rule in the future in favour of same-sex marriage or in favour of a civil union/domestic partnership model.

  16. Human rights, environmental justice, and the health of farm workers in South Africa.

    PubMed

    London, Leslie

    2003-01-01

    Despite the democratization of South Africa in 1994, which brought the agricultural sector within the ambit of legal protection, farm workers remain vulnerable to an undue burden of social and health problems. Alcohol abuse due to the DOP system, pesticide poisonings, and other occupational hazards illustrate that the likely success of efforts at redress depends on a greater awareness of the rights and justice dimensions of the health problems facing these workers. International trade policies may exacerbate inequalities that deprive them of opportunities to realize their rights at national level. A public health agenda must integrate into programs and policies to address the health of farm workers the recognition that violations of their rights underlie much of their burden of ill health.

  17. Abrupt shifts in Horn of Africa hydroclimate since the Last Glacial Maximum.

    PubMed

    Tierney, Jessica E; deMenocal, Peter B

    2013-11-15

    The timing and abruptness of the initiation and termination of the Early Holocene African Humid Period are subjects of ongoing debate, with direct consequences for our understanding of abrupt climate change, paleoenvironments, and early human cultural development. Here, we provide proxy evidence from the Horn of Africa region that documents abrupt transitions into and out of the African Humid Period in northeast Africa. Similar and generally synchronous abrupt transitions at other East African sites suggest that rapid shifts in hydroclimate are a regionally coherent feature. Our analysis suggests that the termination of the African Humid Period in the Horn of Africa occurred within centuries, underscoring the nonlinearity of the region's hydroclimate. PMID:24114782

  18. Leptospira Serovars for Diagnosis of Leptospirosis in Humans and Animals in Africa: Common Leptospira Isolates and Reservoir Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Mgode, Georgies F.; Machang’u, Robert S.; Mhamphi, Ginethon G.; Katakweba, Abdul; Mulungu, Loth S.; Durnez, Lies; Leirs, Herwig; Hartskeerl, Rudy A.; Belmain, Steven R.

    2015-01-01

    The burden of leptospirosis in humans and animals in Africa is higher than that reported from other parts of the world. However, the disease is not routinely diagnosed in the continent. One of major factors limiting diagnosis is the poor availability of live isolates of locally circulating Leptospira serovars for inclusion in the antigen panel of the gold standard microscopic agglutination test (MAT) for detecting antibodies against leptospirosis. To gain insight in Leptospira serovars and their natural hosts occurring in Tanzania, concomitantly enabling the improvement of the MAT by inclusion of fresh local isolates, a total of 52 Leptospira isolates were obtained from fresh urine and kidney homogenates, collected between 1996 and 2006 from small mammals, cattle and pigs. Isolates were identified by serogrouping, cross agglutination absorption test (CAAT), and molecular typing. Common Leptospira serovars with their respective animal hosts were: Sokoine (cattle and rodents); Kenya (rodents and shrews); Mwogolo (rodents); Lora (rodents); Qunjian (rodent); serogroup Grippotyphosa (cattle); and an unknown serogroup from pigs. Inclusion of local serovars particularly serovar Sokoine in MAT revealed a 10-fold increase in leptospirosis prevalence in Tanzania from 1.9% to 16.9% in rodents and 0.26% to 10.75% in humans. This indicates that local serovars are useful for diagnosis of human and animal leptospirosis in Tanzania and other African countries. PMID:26624890

  19. Region-specific mechanical properties of the human patella tendon.

    PubMed

    Haraldsson, B T; Aagaard, P; Krogsgaard, M; Alkjaer, T; Kjaer, M; Magnusson, S P

    2005-03-01

    The present study investigated the mechanical properties of tendon fascicles from the anterior and posterior human patellar tendon. Collagen fascicles from the anterior and posterior human patellar tendon in healthy young men (mean +/- SD, 29.0 +/- 4.6 yr, n = 6) were tested in a mechanical rig. A stereoscopic microscope equipped with a digital camera recorded elongation. The fascicles were preconditioned five cycles before the failure test based on pilot data on rat tendon fascicle. Human fascicle length increased with repeated cycles (P < 0.05); cycle 5 differed from cycle 1 (P < 0.05), but not cycles 2-4. Peak stress and yield stress were greater for anterior (76.0 +/- 9.5 and 56.6 +/- 10.4 MPa, respectively) than posterior fascicles (38.5 +/- 3.9 and 31.6 +/- 2.9 MPa, respectively), P < 0.05, while yield strain was similar (anterior 6.8 +/- 1.0%, posterior 8.7 +/- 1.4%). Tangent modulus was greater for the anterior (1,231 +/- 188 MPa) than the posterior (583 +/- 122 MPa) fascicles, P < 0.05. In conclusion, tendon fascicles from the anterior portion of the human patellar tendon in young men displayed considerably greater peak and yield stress and tangent modulus compared with the posterior portion of the tendon, indicating region-specific material properties.

  20. Report of the International Society of Hypertension Teaching Seminar organized by the International Society of Hypertension Africa Regional Advisory Group: Maputo, Mozambique, 2016.

    PubMed

    Onwubere, Basden; Coca, Antonio; Damasceno, Albertino; Kadiri, Solomon; Kruger, Ruan; Lemogoum, Daniel; M'Buyamba-Kabangu, Jene-Rene; Okpechi, Ikechi; Poulter, Neil; Rayner, Brian; Seedat, Yakoob K; Schutte, Aletta E; Touyz, Rhian M

    2016-10-01

    The International Society of Hypertension (ISH), in fulfilment of its mission of promoting hypertension control and prevention and also of advancing knowledge globally, organizes hypertension teaching seminars or 'summer schools' worldwide through the ISH Regional Advisory Groups. In Africa, seven of such seminars have been organized. This is a report of the eighth seminar held in Maputo, Mozambique, April, 2016. The seminar was attended by over 65 participants from 11 African countries. The Faculty consisted of 11 international hypertension experts. The eighth African hypertension seminar was a great success as confirmed by a pre- and post-test questionnaire. PMID:27467769

  1. How Bioethics is Complementing Human Rights in Realizing Health Access for Clinical Trial Participants: The Case of Formative PrEP Access in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Singh, Jerome

    2015-06-11

    Following the demise of apartheid, human rights in South Africa are now constitutionally enshrined.The right to health in South Africa's Constitution has been credited with transforming the lives of millions of people by triggering programmatic reforms in HIV treatment and the prevention of mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV.However, a constitutionally enshrined right to health offers no guarantee that clinical trial participants will enjoy post-trial access to beneficial interventions. Using access to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in South Africa as an example, this paper argues that adherence to bioethics norms could realize the right to health for trial participants following the end of a clinical trial.

  2. Human mucin gene MUC5AC: organization of its 5'-region and central repetitive region.

    PubMed Central

    Escande, F; Aubert, J P; Porchet, N; Buisine, M P

    2001-01-01

    Human mucin gene MUC5AC is clustered with MUC2, MUC5B and MUC6 on chromosome 11p15.5. We report here the full length cDNA sequence upstream of the repetitive region of human MUC5AC. We have also determined the sequence of its large central tandem repeat array. The 5'-region reveals high degree of sequence similarity with MUC2 and MUC5B and codes for 1336 amino acids organized into a signal peptide, four pro-von Willebrand factor-like D domains (D1, D2, D' and D3) and a short domain which connects to the central repetitive region. In the central region, 17 major domains have been identified. Nine code for cysteine-rich domains (Cys-domains 1-9) and exhibit high sequence similarity to the cysteine-rich domains described in the central region of MUC2 and MUC5B. Cys-domains 1-5 are interspersed by domains enriched with serine, threonine, and proline residues. Cys-domains 1-9 are interspersed by four domains (TR1-TR4) composed of various numbers of MUC5AC-type repeats. Southern-blot analyses reveal allelic variations both in length and nucleotide sequence. The length polymorphism which is due to variable numbers of tandem repeats is located in TR1 and TR4, whereas a mutation polymorphism detected with TaqI is located in Cys-domain 6. In this study, the organization of MUC5AC has been entirely elucidated showing extensive similarity to the other chromosome 11p15 MUC genes, particularly MUC5B, and providing additional arguments for common evolution from a single ancestral gene. PMID:11535137

  3. Pilot social feasibility study for the establishment of a public human umbilical cord blood stem cell bank in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Meissner-Roloff, Madelein; Young, Wendy; Rangaka, Isabella; Lombaard, Hennie; Dhai, Ames; Tsotsi, Norma; Pepper, Michael S

    2012-12-01

    There is a large unmet need in South Africa for bone marrow transplantation. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is an important source of stem cells for the treatment of haematological and non-haematological diseases. Access to the two existing private umbilical cord blood stem cell banks (UCB SCBs) in South Africa is limited to individuals that can afford it, which further aggravates the ever increasing divide between families from different socio-economic classes. The problem is compounded by a severe global shortage of genetically compatible samples, representative of the South African demographics. Establishing a public human UCB SCB in South Africa would provide more South Africans with access to previously unavailable treatment in the form of affordable, genetically compatible stem cells for bone marrow transplantation. A public UCB SCB has many facets to consider, one of which is public preparedness and support for the bank. This was assessed in a social feasibility pilot study which is reported here. In addition to the findings of this social feasibility study, other important considerations for establishing a public human UCB SCB in SA include; (a) testing the samples for HIV and other infectious diseases (required for compliance with international regulatory standards); (b) flow cytometric analysis for enumeration of CD34+ UCB stem cells; (c) mapping of HLA genotypes/alleles; and (d) a study of the economic feasibility of this endeavour.The social feasibility study was conducted to gauge public preparedness and support for a public SCB through patient interviews and questionnaires. The process was dynamic due to its novel nature for interviewers and interviewees alike. Many obstacles were met and dealt with which lead to the compilation of results discussed here in the form of a pilot social feasibility study.In the South African context, we are faced with unique and rich challenges relating to cultural and religious differences that are further augmented by

  4. Secondary Education in Africa: Strategies for Renewal. World Bank Presentations at the UNESCO/BREDA-World Bank Regional Workshop on the Renewal of Secondary Education in Africa (Mauritius, Africa, December 2001). Africa Region Human Development Working Paper Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mastri, Lawrence, Ed.

    During the last 3 decades secondary education has become universal in most industrialized countries. Sub-Saharan African countries face special challenges to benefit from this international trend. The gap between these countries and the rest of the world in coverage, quality, and relevance of secondary education is widening. To address these…

  5. Structural analysis of the 5' flanking region of the beta-globin gene in African sickle cell anemia patients: further evidence for three origins of the sickle cell mutation in Africa.

    PubMed

    Chebloune, Y; Pagnier, J; Trabuchet, G; Faure, C; Verdier, G; Labie, D; Nigon, V

    1988-06-01

    Haplotype analysis of the beta-globin gene cluster shows two regions of DNA characterized by nonrandom association of restriction site polymorphisms. These regions are separated by a variable segment containing the repeated sequences (ATTTT)n and (AT)xTy, which might be involved in recombinational events. Studies of haplotypes linked to the sickle cell gene in Africa provide strong argument for three origins of the mutation: Benin, Senegal, and the Central African Republic. Nevertheless, the haplotype determination does not give any information about the variable segment and does not totally exclude the possibility of recombination leading to different haplotypes linked to the mutation. The structure of the variable segment in the three African populations was studied by S1 nuclease mapping of genomic DNA, which allows a comparison of several samples. A 1080-base-pair DNA segment was sequenced for one sample from each population. S1 nuclease mapping confirmed the homogeneity of each population with regard to both (ATTTT)n and (AT)xTy repeats. We found three additional structures for (AT)xTy correlating with the geographic origin of the patients. Ten other nucleotide positions, 5' and 3' to the (AT)xTy copies, were found to be variable when compared to homologous sequences from human and monkey DNAs. These results allow us to propose an evolutionary scheme for the polymorphisms in the 5' flanking region of the beta-globin gene. The results strongly support the hypothesis of three origins for the sickle mutation in Africa.

  6. [Human intestinal parasites in Subsaharan Africa. II. Sao Tomé and Principe].

    PubMed

    Pampiglione, S; Visconti, S; Pezzino, G

    1987-04-01

    In 1983 the authors carried out a survey in the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Principe, analysing 1050 specimens of stools collected among the population from apparently healthy subjects chosen at random and in a number proportional to the distribution of the population in the regions of the country (about 1% of the population was examined). The examined subjects were divided into 3 age groups (0-3, 4-12, more than 12 years old), to have homogeneous groups in relation principally to modalities of life and nutritional patterns. There were 488 male subjects and 562 females. The survey was preceded by a sensitization of the people to the problem of intestinal parasites and by two preliminary surveys about the number of existing latrines and about people's believes and attitudes in relation to helmintiasis. The tests were made according to the modified Ritchie technique on fecal specimens preserved with 10% formol solution. The following results were found: a) Protozoa: Entamoeba coli, 43.0%; Iodamoeba buetschlii, 9.0%; Giardia intestinalis, 8.8%; Endolimax nana, 7.0%; E. histolytica, 5.5%; E. hartmanni, 2.5%; Chilomastix mesnili, 2.3%; Trichomonas intestinalis, 0.2%; Balantidium coli, 0.1%. b) Helminths: Trichuris trichiura, 87.7%; Ascaris lumbricoides, 64.3%; Ancylostomatidae, 40.5%; Strongyloides stercoralis, 6.8%; Hymenolepis diminuta, 0.3%; H. nana, 0.2%; Schistosoma haematobium, 0.2%. In 28.2% of the specimens (with more than 50% of subjects in some villages) eggs of Heterophyidae were found, very similar to Metagonimus yokogawai, but not yet identified by us, with the following characteristics: elliptical shape, average size 25 mu (22.2-27.7) X 18.5 mu (17-21), thick wall, operculum difficult to see, not sticking out from the outline but visible by focusing being in a different refractiveness, presence of a small polar knob, colour slightly brownish, asymmetric miracidium. Further investigations are necessary to identify the species of this trematode and

  7. Nodule Worm Infection in Humans and Wild Primates in Uganda: Cryptic Species in a Newly Identified Region of Human Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Ghai, Ria R.; Chapman, Colin A.; Omeja, Patrick A.; Davies, T. Jonathan; Goldberg, Tony L.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) are a major health concern in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Oesophagostomum infection is considered endemic to West Africa but has also been identified in Uganda, East Africa, among primates (including humans). However, the taxonomy and ecology of Oesophagostomum in Uganda have not been studied, except for in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), which are infected by both O. bifurcum and O. stephanostomum. Methods and Findings We studied Oesophagostomum in Uganda in a community of non-human primates that live in close proximity to humans. Prevalence estimates based on microscopy were lower than those based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR), indicating greater sensitivity of PCR. Prevalence varied among host species, with humans and red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus) infected at lowest prevalence (25% and 41% by PCR, respectively), and chimpanzees, olive baboons (Papio anubis), and l'hoest monkeys (Cercopithecus lhoesti) infected at highest prevalence (100% by PCR in all three species). Phylogenetic regression showed that primates travelling further and in smaller groups are at greatest risk of infection. Molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed three cryptic clades of Oesophagostomum that were not distinguishable based on morphological characteristics of their eggs. Of these, the clade with the greatest host range had not previously been described genetically. This novel clade infects humans, as well as five other species of primates. Conclusions Multiple cryptic forms of Oesophagostomum circulate in the people and primates of western Uganda, and parasite clades differ in host range and cross-species transmission potential. Our results expand knowledge about human Oesophagostomum infection beyond the West African countries of Togo and Ghana, where the parasite is a known public health concern. Oesophagostomum infection in humans may be common throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, and the transmission of this neglected

  8. Identification of fibrillogenic regions in human triosephosphate isomerase

    PubMed Central

    Carcamo-Noriega, Edson N.

    2016-01-01

    Background. Amyloid secondary structure relies on the intermolecular assembly of polypeptide chains through main-chain interaction. According to this, all proteins have the potential to form amyloid structure, nevertheless, in nature only few proteins aggregate into toxic or functional amyloids. Structural characteristics differ greatly among amyloid proteins reported, so it has been difficult to link the fibrillogenic propensity with structural topology. However, there are ubiquitous topologies not represented in the amyloidome that could be considered as amyloid-resistant attributable to structural features, such is the case of TIM barrel topology. Methods. This work was aimed to study the fibrillogenic propensity of human triosephosphate isomerase (HsTPI) as a model of TIM barrels. In order to do so, aggregation of HsTPI was evaluated under native-like and destabilizing conditions. Fibrillogenic regions were identified by bioinformatics approaches, protein fragmentation and peptide aggregation. Results. We identified four fibrillogenic regions in the HsTPI corresponding to the β3, β6, β7 y α8 of the TIM barrel. From these, the β3-strand region (residues 59–66) was highly fibrillogenic. In aggregation assays, HsTPI under native-like conditions led to amorphous assemblies while under partially denaturing conditions (urea 3.2 M) formed more structured aggregates. This slightly structured aggregates exhibited residual cross-β structure, as demonstrated by the recognition of the WO1 antibody and ATR-FTIR analysis. Discussion. Despite the fibrillogenic regions present in HsTPI, the enzyme maintained under native-favoring conditions displayed low fibrillogenic propensity. This amyloid-resistance can be attributed to the three-dimensional arrangement of the protein, where β-strands, susceptible to aggregation, are protected in the core of the molecule. Destabilization of the protein structure may expose inner regions promoting β-aggregation, as well as the

  9. Regional atmospheric aerosol composition and sources in the eastern Transvaal, South Africa, and impact of biomass burning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maenhaut, Willy; Salma, Imre; Cafmeyer, Jan; Annegarn, Harold J.; Andreae, Meinrat O.

    1996-10-01

    As part of the Southern Africa Fire-Atmosphere Research Initiative (SAFARI-92), size-fractionated aerosol samples were collected during September-October 1992 at three fixed ground-based sites in the eastern Transvaal, i.e., at two sites within the Kruger National Park (KNP) and at a third site on the Transvaal highveld (about 150 km WSW of the KNP sites), and near a number of prescribed fires in the KNP. The collection devices consisted of stacked filter units, which separate the aerosol into a coarse (2-10 μm equivalent aerodynamic diameter (EAD)) and a fine (<2 μm EAD) size fraction, and of eight-stage cascade impactors, which provide more detailed size fractionation. The samples were analyzed for particulate mass (PM), black carbon (BC), and up to 47 elements. The prescribed fires gave rise to high levels of airborne soil dust, but several species (elements) were particularly enriched in the pyrogenic emissions. This was the case for BC, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, Sr, and I in the coarse fraction, and for BC, the halogens (Cl, Br, I), K, Cu, Zn, Rb, Sb, Cs, and Pb (and in the flaming phase also Na and S) in the fine fraction. The aerosol concentrations, compositions, and time trends at the two KNP sites were quite similar, suggesting that regionally representative samples were collected. Receptor modeling calculations, using both absolute principal component analysis and chemical mass balance, indicated that the KNP coarse PM was essentially attributable to mineral dust and sea salt, with average relative apportionments of 75% and 25%, respectively. At the highveld site, mineral dust and sea salt contributed in a 99-to-1 ratio to the coarse PM. In the fine size fraction at all three fixed sites, four components were identified, i.e., mineral dust, sea salt, biomass burning products, and sulfate. The pyrogenic component was the dominant contributor to the atmospheric concentrations of BC, K, Zn, and I, a major source for PM, Cl, Cu, Br, and Cs, but only a minor source

  10. Regional Intestinal Permeability of Three Model Drugs in Human.

    PubMed

    Dahlgren, David; Roos, Carl; Lundqvist, Anders; Abrahamsson, Bertil; Tannergren, Christer; Hellström, Per M; Sjögren, Erik; Lennernäs, Hans

    2016-09-01

    Currently there are only a limited number of determinations of human Peff in the distal small intestine and none in the large intestine. This has hindered the validation of preclinical models with regard to absorption in the distal parts of the intestinal tract, which can be substantial for BCS class II-IV drugs, and drugs formulated into modified-release (MR) dosage forms. To meet this demand, three model drugs (atenolol, metoprolol, and ketoprofen) were dosed in solution intravenously, and into the jejunum, ileum, and colon of 14 healthy volunteers. The Peff of each model drug was then calculated using a validated deconvolution method. The median Peff of atenolol in the jejunum, ileum, and colon was 0.45, 0.15, and 0.013 × 10(-4) cm/s, respectively. The corresponding values for metoprolol were 1.72, 0.72, and 1.30 × 10(-4) cm/s, and for ketoprofen 8.85, 6.53, and 3.37 × 10(-4) cm/s, respectively. This is the first study where the human Peff of model drugs has been determined in all parts of the human intestinal tract in the same subjects. The jejunal values were similar to directly determined values using intestinal single-pass perfusion, indicating that the deconvolution method is a valid approach for determining regional Peff. The values from this study will be highly useful in the validation of preclinical regional absorption models and in silico tools. PMID:27504798

  11. Human Rights Violations among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Southern Africa: Comparisons between Legal Contexts

    PubMed Central

    Zahn, Ryan; Grosso, Ashley; Scheibe, Andrew; Bekker, Linda-Gail; Ketende, Sosthenes; Dausab, Friedel; Iipinge, Scholastica; Beyrer, Chris; Trapance, Gift; Baral, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    In 1994, South Africa approved a constitution providing freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Other Southern African countries, including Botswana, Malawi, and Namibia, criminalize same-sex behavior. Men who have sex with men (MSM) have been shown to experience high levels of stigma and discrimination, increasing their vulnerability to negative health and other outcomes. This paper examines the relationship between criminalization of same-sex behavior and experiences of human rights abuses by MSM. It compares the extent to which MSM in peri-urban Cape Town experience human rights abuses with that of MSM in Gaborone, Botswana; Blantyre and Lilongwe, Malawi; and Windhoek, Namibia. In 2008, 737 MSM participated in a cross-sectional study using a structured survey collecting data regarding demographics, human rights, HIV status, and risk behavior. Participants accrued in each site were compared using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression. Encouragingly, the results indicate MSM in Cape Town were more likely to disclose their sexual orientation to family or healthcare workers and less likely to be blackmailed or feel afraid in their communities than MSM in Botswana, Malawi, or Namibia. However, South African MSM were not statistically significantly less likely experience a human rights abuse than their peers in cities in other study countries, showing that while legal protections may reduce experiences of certain abuses, legislative changes alone are insufficient for protecting MSM. A comprehensive approach with interventions at multiple levels in multiple sectors is needed to create the legal and social change necessary to address attitudes, discrimination, and violence affecting MSM. PMID:26764467

  12. Human Rights Violations among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Southern Africa: Comparisons between Legal Contexts.

    PubMed

    Zahn, Ryan; Grosso, Ashley; Scheibe, Andrew; Bekker, Linda-Gail; Ketende, Sosthenes; Dausab, Friedel; Iipinge, Scholastica; Beyrer, Chris; Trapance, Gift; Baral, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    In 1994, South Africa approved a constitution providing freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Other Southern African countries, including Botswana, Malawi, and Namibia, criminalize same-sex behavior. Men who have sex with men (MSM) have been shown to experience high levels of stigma and discrimination, increasing their vulnerability to negative health and other outcomes. This paper examines the relationship between criminalization of same-sex behavior and experiences of human rights abuses by MSM. It compares the extent to which MSM in peri-urban Cape Town experience human rights abuses with that of MSM in Gaborone, Botswana; Blantyre and Lilongwe, Malawi; and Windhoek, Namibia. In 2008, 737 MSM participated in a cross-sectional study using a structured survey collecting data regarding demographics, human rights, HIV status, and risk behavior. Participants accrued in each site were compared using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression. Encouragingly, the results indicate MSM in Cape Town were more likely to disclose their sexual orientation to family or healthcare workers and less likely to be blackmailed or feel afraid in their communities than MSM in Botswana, Malawi, or Namibia. However, South African MSM were not statistically significantly less likely experience a human rights abuse than their peers in cities in other study countries, showing that while legal protections may reduce experiences of certain abuses, legislative changes alone are insufficient for protecting MSM. A comprehensive approach with interventions at multiple levels in multiple sectors is needed to create the legal and social change necessary to address attitudes, discrimination, and violence affecting MSM. PMID:26764467

  13. Distribution of a community of mammals in relation to roads and other human disturbances in Gabon, central Africa.

    PubMed

    Vanthomme, Hadrien; Kolowski, Joseph; Korte, Lisa; Alonso, Alfonso

    2013-04-01

    We present the first community-level study of the associations of both roads and other human disturbances with the distribution of mammals in Gabon (central Africa). Our study site was in an oil concession within a littoral mosaic landscape. We conducted surveys along 199 line transects and installed camera traps on 99 of these transects to document mammal presence and abundance. We used generalized linear mixed-effect models to document associations between variables related to the ecosystem (land cover, topography, and hydrology), roads (coating, width of rights of way, condition, type of vehicle used on the road, traffic level, affiliation of users, and general type of road), and other human disturbances (urbanization, agriculture, hunting, logging, gathering, and industrial activities) and the abundance or presence of 17 species or groups of mammals including elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), buffalo (Syncerus caffer), sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekei), red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus), smaller ungulates, gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), side-striped jackal (Canis adustus), carnivores, monkeys, and large rodents. Some types of roads and other human disturbances were negatively associated with the abundance or presence of elephants, buffalos, gorillas, sitatungas, some monkeys, and duikers. The pattern of associations of mammals with roads and other human disturbances was diverse and included positive associations with road presence (red river hog, some monkeys, and duikers), agriculture (sitatunga, small carnivores, and large rodents) and industrial activities (sitatunga, red river hog, red duikers, and side-striped jackal). Our results suggest that the community of mammals we studied was mostly affected by hunting, agriculture, and urbanization, which are facilitated by road presence. We recommend increased regulation of agriculture, hunting, and road building in the area.

  14. Distribution of a community of mammals in relation to roads and other human disturbances in Gabon, central Africa.

    PubMed

    Vanthomme, Hadrien; Kolowski, Joseph; Korte, Lisa; Alonso, Alfonso

    2013-04-01

    We present the first community-level study of the associations of both roads and other human disturbances with the distribution of mammals in Gabon (central Africa). Our study site was in an oil concession within a littoral mosaic landscape. We conducted surveys along 199 line transects and installed camera traps on 99 of these transects to document mammal presence and abundance. We used generalized linear mixed-effect models to document associations between variables related to the ecosystem (land cover, topography, and hydrology), roads (coating, width of rights of way, condition, type of vehicle used on the road, traffic level, affiliation of users, and general type of road), and other human disturbances (urbanization, agriculture, hunting, logging, gathering, and industrial activities) and the abundance or presence of 17 species or groups of mammals including elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), buffalo (Syncerus caffer), sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekei), red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus), smaller ungulates, gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), side-striped jackal (Canis adustus), carnivores, monkeys, and large rodents. Some types of roads and other human disturbances were negatively associated with the abundance or presence of elephants, buffalos, gorillas, sitatungas, some monkeys, and duikers. The pattern of associations of mammals with roads and other human disturbances was diverse and included positive associations with road presence (red river hog, some monkeys, and duikers), agriculture (sitatunga, small carnivores, and large rodents) and industrial activities (sitatunga, red river hog, red duikers, and side-striped jackal). Our results suggest that the community of mammals we studied was mostly affected by hunting, agriculture, and urbanization, which are facilitated by road presence. We recommend increased regulation of agriculture, hunting, and road building in the area. PMID:23410077

  15. Human Rights Violations among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Southern Africa: Comparisons between Legal Contexts.

    PubMed

    Zahn, Ryan; Grosso, Ashley; Scheibe, Andrew; Bekker, Linda-Gail; Ketende, Sosthenes; Dausab, Friedel; Iipinge, Scholastica; Beyrer, Chris; Trapance, Gift; Baral, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    In 1994, South Africa approved a constitution providing freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Other Southern African countries, including Botswana, Malawi, and Namibia, criminalize same-sex behavior. Men who have sex with men (MSM) have been shown to experience high levels of stigma and discrimination, increasing their vulnerability to negative health and other outcomes. This paper examines the relationship between criminalization of same-sex behavior and experiences of human rights abuses by MSM. It compares the extent to which MSM in peri-urban Cape Town experience human rights abuses with that of MSM in Gaborone, Botswana; Blantyre and Lilongwe, Malawi; and Windhoek, Namibia. In 2008, 737 MSM participated in a cross-sectional study using a structured survey collecting data regarding demographics, human rights, HIV status, and risk behavior. Participants accrued in each site were compared using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression. Encouragingly, the results indicate MSM in Cape Town were more likely to disclose their sexual orientation to family or healthcare workers and less likely to be blackmailed or feel afraid in their communities than MSM in Botswana, Malawi, or Namibia. However, South African MSM were not statistically significantly less likely experience a human rights abuse than their peers in cities in other study countries, showing that while legal protections may reduce experiences of certain abuses, legislative changes alone are insufficient for protecting MSM. A comprehensive approach with interventions at multiple levels in multiple sectors is needed to create the legal and social change necessary to address attitudes, discrimination, and violence affecting MSM.

  16. Climatic, socio-economic, and health factors affecting human vulnerability to cholera in the Lake Victoria basin, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Olago, Daniel; Marshall, Michael; Wandiga, Shem O; Opondo, Maggie; Yanda, Pius Z; Kanalawe, Richard; Githeko, Andrew K; Downs, Tim; Opere, Alfred; Kavumvuli, Robert; Kirumira, Edward; Ogallo, Laban; Mugambi, Paul; Apindi, Eugene; Githui, Faith; Kathuri, James; Olaka, Lydia; Sigalla, Rehema; Nanyunja, Robinah; Baguma, Timothy; Achola, Pius

    2007-06-01

    Cholera epidemics have a recorded history in the eastern Africa region dating to 1836. Cholera is now endemic in the Lake Victoria basin, a region with one of the poorest and fastest growing populations in the world. Analyses of precipitation, temperatures, and hydrological characteristics of selected stations in the Lake Victoria basin show that cholera epidemics are closely associated with El Niño years. Similarly, sustained temperatures high above normal (T(max)) in two consecutive seasons, followed by a slight cooling in the second season, trigger an outbreak of a cholera epidemic. The health and socioeconomic systems that the lake basin communities rely upon are not robust enough to cope with cholera outbreaks, thus rendering them vulnerable to the impact of climate variability and change. Collectively, this report argues that communities living around the Lake Victoria basin are vulnerable to climate-induced cholera that is aggravated by the low socioeconomic status and lack of an adequate health care system. In assessing the communities' adaptive capacity, the report concludes that persistent levels of poverty have made these communities vulnerable to cholera epidemics. PMID:17626474

  17. Mapping SLCO1B1 Genetic Variation for Global Precision Medicine in Understudied Regions in Africa: A Focus on Zulu and Cape Admixed Populations.

    PubMed

    Hoosain, Nisreen; Pearce, Brendon; Jacobs, Clifford; Benjeddou, Mongi

    2016-09-01

    The U.S. President Barack Obama has announced, in his State of the Union address on January 20, 2015, the Precision Medicine Initiative, a US$215-million program. For global precision medicine to become a reality, however, biological and environmental "variome" in previously understudied populations ought to be mapped and catalogued. Chief among the molecular targets that warrant global mapping is the organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1), encoded by solute carrier organic anion transporter family member 1B1 (SLCO1B1), a hepatic uptake transporter predominantly expressed in the basolateral side of hepatocytes. Human OATP1B1 plays a crucial role in the transport of a wide variety of substrates. This includes endogenous compounds such as bile salts as well as medicines, including benzylpenicillin, methotrexate, pravastatin, and rifampicin, and natural toxins microcystin and phalloidin. Genetic variations observed in the SLCO1B1 gene have been associated with altered in vitro and in vivo OATP1B1 transport activity, and consequently influencing patients' response to medicines, toxins, and susceptibility to common complex diseases. Well-characterized haplotypes, *5 (RS4149056C) and *15 (RS4149056T), have been associated with a strikingly reduced uptake of multiple OATP1B1 substrates, including estrone-3-sulfate, estradiol-17β-d-glucuronide, atorvastatin, cerivastatin, pravastatin, and rifampicin. In particular, RS4149056C is observed in 60% of the Cape admixed (CA) population and is associated with increased plasma concentrations of many statins as well as fexofenadine and repaglinide. We designed and optimized a SNaPshot minisequencing panel to characterize the variants of relevance for precision medicine in the clinic. We report here the first study on allele and genotype frequencies for 10 nonsynonymous, 4 synonymous, and 6 intronic single-nucleotide polymorphisms of SLCO1B1 in the Zulu and CA populations of South Africa. These variants are further

  18. Functional annotation of HOT regions in the human genome: implications for human disease and cancer.

    PubMed

    Li, Hao; Chen, Hebing; Liu, Feng; Ren, Chao; Wang, Shengqi; Bo, Xiaochen; Shu, Wenjie

    2015-06-26

    Advances in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and large-scale sequencing studies have resulted in an impressive and growing list of disease- and trait-associated genetic variants. Most studies have emphasised the discovery of genetic variation in coding sequences, however, the noncoding regulatory effects responsible for human disease and cancer biology have been substantially understudied. To better characterise the cis-regulatory effects of noncoding variation, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the genetic variants in HOT (high-occupancy target) regions, which are considered to be one of the most intriguing findings of recent large-scale sequencing studies. We observed that GWAS variants that map to HOT regions undergo a substantial net decrease and illustrate development-specific localisation during haematopoiesis. Additionally, genetic risk variants are disproportionally enriched in HOT regions compared with LOT (low-occupancy target) regions in both disease-relevant and cancer cells. Importantly, this enrichment is biased toward disease- or cancer-specific cell types. Furthermore, we observed that cancer cells generally acquire cancer-specific HOT regions at oncogenes through diverse mechanisms of cancer pathogenesis. Collectively, our findings demonstrate the key roles of HOT regions in human disease and cancer and represent a critical step toward further understanding disease biology, diagnosis, and therapy.

  19. High prevalence of Rickettsia africae variants in Amblyomma variegatum ticks from domestic mammals in rural western Kenya: implications for human health.

    PubMed

    Maina, Alice N; Jiang, Ju; Omulo, Sylvia A; Cutler, Sally J; Ade, Fredrick; Ogola, Eric; Feikin, Daniel R; Njenga, M Kariuki; Cleaveland, Sarah; Mpoke, Solomon; Ng'ang'a, Zipporah; Breiman, Robert F; Knobel, Darryn L; Richards, Allen L

    2014-10-01

    Tick-borne spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsioses are emerging human diseases caused by obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacteria of the genus Rickettsia. Despite being important causes of systemic febrile illnesses in travelers returning from sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about the reservoir hosts of these pathogens. We conducted surveys for rickettsiae in domestic animals and ticks in a rural setting in western Kenya. Of the 100 serum specimens tested from each species of domestic ruminant 43% of goats, 23% of sheep, and 1% of ca