REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0447.v1
Subject: Keywords: Sustainable development goals (SDGs); Rwanda; South Africa; Zambia; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 27 May 2020 (08:34:03 CEST)
Sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a global agenda consisting of 17 goals which are to be achieved in 2030 by all member states. SDGs are more holistic goals i.e. these goals are closely interrelated and they affect the progress of one another. Sub-Saharan Africa countries are, once more lagging behind in the implementations of SDGs despite the efforts by governments, non-government organisations and international agencies. Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia where the three Sub-Saharan Africa countries on which the study focused. The three countries in this study were chosen on the basis that they cater to the general overview of African countries performance on SDGs. To conduct this study, a desk research method was adopted and secondary data was utilised. An in-depth analysis was done on the on three subs Saharan African countries i.e. Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia. Those goals where serious attention is needed are goals 1-9, 16 and 17. Most Sub-Saharan African countries performed better on goals 11, 12 and 15. It was concluded that the achievement of Sustainable development goals remains a mere dream for Sub Saharan Africa unless serious interventions are made.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0075.v1
Online: 3 November 2021 (09:16:52 CET)
Is human capital heterogeneity a decisive factor for Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa? Based on the Outward Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI） data of Chinese enterprises in 37 African countries from 2007 to 2017, this paper using the FGLS model, is the empirical analysis of the mechanism and effect of the human capital heterogeneity of host countries on OFDI location selection. The human capital heterogeneity can be divided into four dimensions: scale, quality, cost and structure, which can be measured by health level, education level, wage level, child dependency ratio and old-age dependency ratio. The results show that: (1) the host country's human capital scale and child dependency ratio structure have a significant positive impact on decision-making for OFDI; (2) the cost of human capital and the structure of old-age dependency ratio are negatively correlated with the inflow of OFDI; (3) different from the existing conclusions, the quality of human capital will inhibit the inflow of OFDI in the sample period; (4) the extended test shows that the quality of human capital has a significant positive impact on OFDI decision-making. The results of robustness test are reliable. Finally, according to the conclusion of this paper, policy recommendations are put forward.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0507.v1
Online: 21 December 2020 (11:14:08 CET)
Background. Predisposition to HIV+ is influenced by a wide range of correlated economic, environmental, demographic, social, and behavioral factors. While evidence among a candidate handful have strong evidence, there is lack of a consensus among the vast array of variables measured in large surveys. Methods. We performed a comprehensive data-driven search for correlates of HIV positivity in >600,000 participants of the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) across 29 sub-Saharan African countries from 2003 to 2017. We associated a total of 7,251 and of 6,288 unique variables with HIV+ in females and males respectively in each of the 50 surveys. We performed a meta-analysis within countries to attain 29 country-specific associations. Results. We identified 344 (5.4% out possible) and 373 (5.1%) associations with HIV+ in males and females, respectively, with robust statistical support. The identified associations are consistent in directionality across countries and sexes. The association sizes among individual correlates and their predictive capability was low to modest, but comparable to established factors. Among the identified associations, variables identifying being head of household among females was identified in 17 countries with a mean odds ratio (OR) of 2.5 (OR range: 1.1-3.5, R2 = 0.01). Other common associations were identified with marital status, education, age, and ownership of land or livestock. Conclusions. Our continent-wide search for variables has identified under-recognized variables associated with HIV+ that are consistent across the continent and sex. Many of the association sizes are as high as established risk factors for HIV+, including male circumcision.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0317.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: COVID-19; Africa; food systems; agriculture
Online: 16 August 2021 (10:47:45 CEST)
Emerging information on the interactions between the COVID-19 pandemic and global food systems has highlighted how the pandemic is accentuating food crises across Africa. Less clear, however, are how the impacts differ between farming systems. Drawing on 50 key informant interviews with farmers, village leaders and extension officers, in South Africa and Tanzania, we identify the effects of COVID-19 and associated measures to curb the spread of the disease on farming production systems, the coping mechanisms adopted by farmers, and explore their longer-term plans for adaptation. We focus on a diverse range of production systems, from small-scale mixed farming systems in Tanzania, to large-scale corporate farms in South Africa. Our findings highlight how COVID-19 restrictions have interrupted the supply chains of agricultural inputs and commodities, increasing the storage time for produce, decreasing income and purchasing power, and reducing labour availability. Farmers’ responses were heterogeneous, with highly diverse small-scale farming systems and those less engaged with international markets least affected by the associated COVID-19 measures. Large-scale farmers were most able to access capital to buffer short-term impacts, whereas smaller-scale farms shared labour, diversified to subsistence produce and sold assets. However, compounded shocks, such as recent extreme climate events, limited the available coping options, particularly for smaller-scale and emerging farmers. The study highlights the need to understand the characteristics of farm systems to better equip and support farmers, particularly in contexts of uncertainty. We propose that policy actions should focus on (i) providing temporary relief and social support and protection to financially vulnerable stakeholders, (ii) job assurance for farmworkers, and engaging an alternative workforce in farming, (iii) investing in farming infrastructure, such as storage facilities, digital communication tools, and extension services, and iv) supporting diversified agroecological farming systems.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0152.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19 impacts; Antimicrobial resistance; Africa
Online: 7 May 2021 (16:21:37 CEST)
Objective In this study, we aim to synthesize some evidence on the impacts that COVID-19 is having on the epidemiology of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Africa since it was declared global pandemic by WHO in March 2020. Methodology A scoping review was undertaken by collecting and curating relevant resources from peer-reviewed articles and also from the gray literature. Mixed approaches of extracting data (qualitative and quantitative) were employed in synthesizing evidence, as suggested by Health Evidence Network (HEN). Findings A model constructed based on the synthesis of early evidences available on the effects of factors linked to COVID-19 in impacting the evolution of AMR in Africa predicted that, in cumulative terms, those factors favoring the evolution of AMR outpace those disfavoring it by no less than three folds. Conclusion COVID-19 is fueling the evolution of AMR almost unhindered in Africa. Due recognition of this crisis, concerted efforts for resource mobilization and global cooperation are needed to tackle it.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0260.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Algeria; Africa; Renewable Energy; Solar; PENREE
Online: 9 March 2021 (10:50:33 CET)
Energy demand has been overgrowing in developing countries. Moreover, the fluctuation of fuel prices is a primary concern faced by many countries that highly rely on conventional power generation to meet the load demand. Hence, the need to use alternative resources such as renewable energy is crucial to mitigate fossil fuel dependency alongside the reduction of Carbon Dioxide emission. Algeria’s being the largest county in Africa has rapid growth in energy demand since the past decade due to the significant increase of residential, commercial, and industry sectors. Currently, the hydrocarbon-rich nation highly dependent on fossil fuels for electricity generation, where renewable energy only has a small contribution to the country’s energy mix. However, the country has massive potential for renewable energy generations such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower. Therefore, the government aims to diversify away from fossil fuel and promoting renewable energy generations through policies and renewable energy-related programs. The country’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Development Plan focuses on large scale solar, wind generation as well as geothermal and biomass technologies. This paper provides an update on the current energy position and renewable energy status in Algeria. Moreover, this paper discusses RE policies and programs that aim to increase the country’s renewable energy generation and its implementation status.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0782.v1
Online: 31 December 2020 (09:29:01 CET)
This study employed 15 CMIP6 GCMs and evaluated their ability to simulate rainfall over Uganda during 1981-2019. The models and the ensemble mean were assessed based on the ability to reproduce the annual climatologyseasonal rainfall distribution, trend, and statistical metrics, including mean bias error, root mean square error, and pattern correlation coefficient. The Taylor diagram and Taylor skill score (TSS) were used in ranking the models. The models performance varies greatly from one season to the other. The models reproduced the observed bimodal rainfall pattern of March to May (MAM) and September to November (SON) rains occurring over the region. Some models slightly overestimated, while some slightly underestimated, the MAM rainfall. However, there was a high rainfall overestimation during SON by most models. The models showed a positive spatial correlation with observed dataset, whereas a low correlation was shown interannually. Some models could not capture the rainfall patterns around local-scale features, for example, around the Lake Victoria basin and mountainous areas. The best performing models identified in the study include GFDL-ESM4, BCC-CMC-MR, IPSL-CM6A-LR, CanESM5, GDFL-CM4-gr1, and GFDL-CM4-gr2. The models CNRM-CM6-1 and CNRM-ESM2 underestimated rainfall throughout the annual cycle and mean climatology. However, these two models better reproduced the spatial trends of rainfall during both MAM and SON. The model spread in CMIP6 over the study area calls for further investigation on the attributions and possible implementation of robust approaches of Machine learning to minimize the biases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0228.v1
Subject: Keywords: HIV, Tuberculosis, South Africa, Epidemic control
Online: 19 July 2019 (10:46:48 CEST)
South Africa is afflicted with the worst epidemic of HIV in the world a legacy of the system of oscillating migrant labour in the region and the consequent social disruption that was the legacy of Apartheid. The initial response from the national government was slow and ineffective but once the magnitude of the epidemic became apparent the government began to respond. The investment in HIV- and TB-related activities in 2013 was R22 Bn or (US$2.5; 2013 exchange rate) of which the South Africa government contributed 80% and the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) 17%. South Africa now has the more people on anti-retroviral therapy than any other country and treatment is being started much sooner after infection. Much of the best biomedical, virological, immunological, mathematical and social science around the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS and the associated epidemic of TB has been done by South African’s and their international collaborators. If the efforts to control the epidemic are maintained South Africa is on track to meet the UNAIDS 90-90-90target by 2020 and to End AIDS by 2030 in spite of the magnitude of the problem. While individual, patient level data are increasingly available, especially in the Western Cape, much greater efforts need to be made to ensure that the information collected in this way is used to give feedback and support to clinic staff, to ensure that health clinics are providing the best possible service, and to individual patients and people living with HIV to ensure that they are receiving the best possible care and support. South Africa needs to make better use of the rich and detailed data that are being collected from individual clinics and their patients to identify problems or difficulties at the clinic level and to ensure that individual patients are retained on treatment, are virally suppressed and receive the best possible care and support.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0201.v1
Online: 13 June 2018 (11:17:04 CEST)
Human genetic studies have long been vastly Eurocentric, raising a key question about the generalizability of these study findings to other populations. Because humans originated in Africa, these populations retain more genetic diversity, and yet individuals of African descent have been tremendously underrepresented in genetic studies. The diversity in Africa affords ample opportunities to improve fine-mapping resolution for associated loci, discover novel genetic associations with phenotypes, build more generalizable genetic risk prediction models, and better understand the genetic architecture of complex traits and diseases subject to varying environmental pressures. Thus, it is both ethically and scientifically imperative that geneticists globally surmount challenges that have limited progress in African genetic studies to date while meaningfully including African investigators, as greater inclusivity and enhanced research capacity affords enormous opportunities to accelerate genomic discoveries that translate more effectively to all populations. We review the advantages and challenges of studying the genetic architecture of complex traits and diseases in Africa. For example, with greater genetic diversity comes greater ancestral heterogeneity; this higher level of understudied diversity can yield novel genetic findings, but some methods that assume homogeneous population structure and work well in European populations may work less well in the presence of greater diversity and heterogeneity in African populations. Consequently, we advocate for methodological development that will accelerate studies important for all populations, especially those currently underrepresented in genetics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0228.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: smart primary healthcare; building; Construction; South Africa
Online: 15 July 2022 (06:32:30 CEST)
Smart primary healthcare building facility services capture a new level of process and operational data through advanced monitoring, enabling experts to use the building facilities to produce significant and efficient healthcare service delivery within the individual spheres of influence. This study assessed the impact of IoT services on achieving smart primary healthcare building facilities in the rural area of South Africa to enhance primary healthcare delivery. The study identified three (3) basic constructs of IoT services that comprised the application of IoT location recognition and tracking services, the application of the IoT high-speed communication network-based services, and the application of IoT-based services. The study is quantitative, and a questionnaire was used to collect data from the project managers and healthcare practitioners working with the primary healthcare agency in South Africa. The study found a variable degree of impact between the three (3) IoT constructs and the achievement of primary healthcare building facility services in South Africa. The study recommends adopting IoT essential services for achieving smart primary healthcare building facility services in the rural areas of South Africa and other developing countries facing similar primary healthcare delivery challenges.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0112.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: CMIP6; extreme precipitation; model evaluation; east Africa
Online: 6 January 2021 (11:37:37 CET)
This paper presents an analysis of precipitation extremes over the East African region. The study employs six extreme precipitation indices defined by the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI) to evaluate possible climate change. Observed datasets and CMIP6 simulations and projections are employed to assess the changes during the two main rainfall seasons of March to May (MAM) and October to December (OND). The study evaluated the capability of CMIP6 simulations in reproducing the observed extreme events during the period 1995 – 2014. Our results show that the multi-model ensemble (herein referred to as MME) of CMIP6 models can depict the observed spatial distribution of precipitation extremes for both seasons, albeit with some noticeable exceptions in some indices. Overall, MME's assessment yields considerable confidence in CMIP6 to be employed for the projection of extreme events over the study area. Analysis of extreme estimations shows an increase (decrease) in CDD (CWD) during 2081 – 2100 relative to the baseline period in both seasons. Moreover, SDII, R95p, R20mm, and PRCPTOT demonstrate significant OND estimates compared to the MAM season. The spatial variation for extreme incidences shows likely intensification over Uganda and most parts of Kenya, while reduction is observed over the Tanzania region. The increase in projected extremes during two main rainfall seasons poses a significant threat to the sustainability of societal infrastructure and ecosystem wellbeing. The results from these analyses present an opportunity to understand the emergence of extreme events and the capability of model outputs from CMIP6 in estimating the projected changes. More studies are encouraged to examine the underlying physical features modulating the occurrence of extremes incidences projected for relevant policies.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0273.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: psychological distress; household survey; adolescents; South Africa
Online: 9 November 2020 (10:19:43 CET)
Psychological distress (PD) may be common among adolescents. The study aimed to estimate population-based rates of PD among adolescents in South Africa. National cross-sectional data were analysed from 2,240 adolescents (17 years median age) that participated in a community-based population survey, the “2012 South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES-1).” Results indicated that 16.0% of the adolescents had PD, 13.1% among boys and 18.5% among girls. In adjusted logistic regression analysis, increasing age, girls, belonging to the Black African population group, having experienced two or more traumatic life events, poor self-rated health status, having activity limitations, perceived body overweight, fast food and snack consumption were associated with PD. Almost one in six adolescents in South Africa reported PD and several associated factors were identified.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: visceral leishmaniasis; Kala Azar; Tanzania; East Africa
Online: 22 October 2020 (09:30:22 CEST)
Presentation of case: A 20 year old men from Simanjiro district in northern Tanzania presented with a 3 year history of splenomegaly, fatigue, cachexia, skin maculae and recent onset of watery diarrhea at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Northern Tanzania. Due to laboratory findings of pancytopenia, diagnostic workup included bone marrow aspiration cytology and biopsy. Although the rapid test (IT LEISH, rK39 RDT) was negative, blood smear showed amastigote forms of Leishmaniasis in macrophages. Repeat bone marrow aspiration and PCR eventually confirmed VL. The patient denied travel to known endemic areas of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Treatment was initiated with Amphotericin B, but the patient died on the fourth day of treatment from respiratory insufficiency. An autopsy revealed massive organ manifestations of VL. Case discussion: This is the first reported autochthonous case of VL in Tanzania. Clark et al. detected the vector Phlebotomous martini in Northern Tanzania in 2013, in a region boardering the district of our patient. The negative rapid test draws attention to the fact that sensitivity and specificity was found to be low in East African VL patients as displayed earlier by a Kenyan study. Therefore, tissue samples (spleen or bone marrow) remain necessary for diagnosis. The variety of symptoms in this presented case was remarkable, including the occurrence of Post Kala Azar Dermal Leishmaniasis (PKDL) and VL at the same time. This has been described in East African VL cases before as well as the occurrence of chronic diarrhea. An elongated undiagnosed period likely led to a mixed clinical picture that included: hepato-splenomegaly, PKDL, cachexia, and diarrhea.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0414.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; infectious disease; transmission; response; Africa
Online: 23 April 2020 (11:41:54 CEST)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) since its declaration as a pandemic by world health organization (WHO) has spread across the various continent with little known about the most effective public health response for containing and mitigating the transmission of the epidemic. It is important to state that some authors have published on the lessons learned from transmission and management of COVID-19 infection but only a few considered it from the Africa perspective. Despite the late arrival of the pandemic in Africa and the notion that the virus may not thrive because of the high temperature in the continent; today the narrative has changed with the number of infected patients increasing daily. Herein, the authors have shared their perspectives and opinions on the dynamics and response to COVID-19 from Africa context to create more awareness and approach in mitigating the spread of the virus should the continent becomes the epicenter of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0327.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: agriculture; Africa; productivity; rural livelihoods; staple crops
Online: 27 January 2020 (13:24:18 CET)
Over the past few decades, there have been major advances in crop productivity across the world, which has been made possible through a combination of productivity enhancing technological innovations. Beyond this achievement however, most parts of Africa are still battling with low crop productivity resulting in food shortages and food insecurity. The yields of many staple crops are still far below their agronomic potentials with output increases being attributed largely to area expansion. This paper examines the implications of the current trends of crop/plant productivity for food security and rural livelihood development in Africa using Ghana as a case study. The paper argues that crop production in Africa is becoming a less viable and unattractive livelihood activity with farmers diversifying out of agriculture into non-agricultural activities such as illegal small-scale mining, which have negative consequences on the ability of African countries to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0193.v1
Online: 17 November 2019 (00:55:26 CET)
Chan and colleagues in their paper titled “Human origins in a southern African palaeo-wetland and first migrations” (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1714-1) report 198 novel whole mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and infer that ‘anatomically modern humans’ originated in the Makgadikgadi–Okavango palaeo-wetland of southern Africa around 200 thousand years ago. This claim relies on weakly informative data. In addition to flawed logic and questionable assumptions, the authors surprisingly disregard recent evidence and debate on human origins in Africa. As a result, the emphatic and high profile conclusions of the paper are unjustified.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0254.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: Socioeconomic consequences, Immigration, Security, Somalis, South Africa
Online: 20 December 2018 (13:15:32 CET)
Nowadays one of the issues interesting for researchers of political, social, and economic sciences is to investigate immigration from different angles. Accordingly, they use a diverse range of instruments, different types of graphs, descriptive indices and complex mathematical models. Immigration has always been one of the paths helping humans in their own efforts for getting compatible with the environment and coping with difficulties. Nevertheless, if this issue has been considered as an instrument regulating resources and species automatically, in the present era, its negative aspects have been evident and socioeconomic consequences of immigration in the framework of development economy and security has attracted scholars’ attentions. One of the countries attracting for immigrants particularly in the continent of Africa is South Africa. Statistics indicates that this country is the most attractive one for refugees. Somalis are one of the most important and largest groups seeking refuge in South Africa because they are usually merchants who earn money in the poor places. However, business in the poor places endangers their lives and properties because of high rate of crimes and xenophobia. As a result, the target countries face a lot of socioeconomic and security problems. The present study tries to investigate the issue of Somali immigration using network models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0115.v1
Online: 6 August 2018 (10:59:49 CEST)
Despite numerous interventions to promote gender equality, sub-Saharan Africa has one of the highest prevalence rates of non-partner sexual assault in the world, thus constituting a major social and public health issue in the region. As social workers frequently provide services to this population, an exploratory cross-sectional study was conducted to explore rape myth acceptance among undergraduate social work students studying in Namibia. Findings revealed the positive influence of social work education in reducing rape myth acceptance as well as highlighted the influence of age, gender, country of origin, self-identification as a feminist, and religiosity on rape myth acceptance among this population.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0217.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: cervical cancer; HPV vaccination; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 12 July 2018 (14:32:40 CEST)
In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), cervical cancer is a critical public health issue; it is the second leading cause of cancer among women and the leading cause of female cancer deaths. Incidence and mortality rates are substantially higher than in high-income countries with population-based screening programs, yet implementing screening programs in SSA has so far proven to be challenging due to financial, logistical and sociocultural factors. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is an effective approach for primary prevention of cervical cancer and presents an opportunity to reduce the burden from cervical cancer in SSA. With a number of SSA countries now eligible for GAVI support for vaccine introduction, it is timely to consider the factors that impede and facilitate implementation of vaccine programs in SSA. This article reviews the epidemiological and clinical features of cervical cancer in SSA and describes the current status of HPV vaccine implementation in SSA countries. The review considers the challenges that will need to be addressed, and effective approaches to the design and implementation of HPV vaccination programs, using Rwanda as a case study. The review aims to provide suggestions and guidance to those involved in the development and implementation of HPV vaccination programs in SSA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0248.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Fruitless; genomics; An. gambiae s.l; vector control; Africa
Online: 16 September 2022 (11:33:36 CEST)
Targeting genes involved in sexual determinism for vector or pest control purpose, requires a better understanding of their polymorphism in natural populations in order to ensure a rapid spread of the construct. By using genomic data from An. gambiae s.l., we analyzed the genetic variation and the conservation score of the fru gene in 18 natural populations across Africa. A total of 34339 SNPs were identified including 3.11% non-synonymous segregating sites. Overall, the nucleotide diversity was low and the Tajima's D neutrality test was negative indicating an excess of low frequency SNPs in the fru gene. The allelic frequencies of the non-synonymous SNPs were low (freq < 0.26) except two SNPs identified at high frequencies (freq > 0.8) in the Zinc-finger A and B protein domains. The conservation score was variable throughout the fru gene with maximum values in the exonic compared to the intronic regions. These results showed a low genetic variation in overall the exonic regions especially the male sex-specific exon and the BTB-exon 1 of the fru gene. These findings are crucial for the development of a gene drive construct targeting the fru gene that can rapidly spread without encountering resistance in wild populations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0372.v1
Online: 20 November 2021 (20:09:47 CET)
Countries in West Africa are adversely affected by climate change (erratic rainfall and rising temperature) resulting in floods, desertification, drought and sea level rise. These events are anticipated to have negative impacts on agricultural development on the continent, ultimately, contributing to food insecurity and environmental degradation. This implies that the production capacity of agrarian communities is unable to meet the food demand of the growing urban population. Can sustainable and innovative urban farming technology such as aquaponics achieve food security as well as sustainable development in countries vulnerable to climate change? This study uses inferential statistic to examine the plant growth performance in micro-scale aquaponics and specific growth rate per day (SGR) for the fish growth performance vis-à-vis conventional urban farming production. A quantitative analysis use to examine the barriers to adoption based on survey of (five) urban aquaculture practitioners in Lagos, Nigeria. Literature review was use to assess the economic feasibility of a small-scale aquaponics system in developing countries based on Net-Discounted Beneﬁt-Cost Rate (DBCR). The results suggest that aquaponics can improve food security through fish and vegetable production and it is likely that urban farming practitioners will adopt the technology if support mechanism are in place. Aquaponics systems present a novel opportunity to promote environmental conservation as well as sustainable food production and consumption in urban areas in Western Africa if adequate financial credit and knowledge transfer is provided.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0111.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: CMIP5/6; Precipitation; Climate extremes; evaluation; East Africa
Online: 3 February 2021 (10:22:24 CET)
This study examines the improvement in coupled intercomparison project phase six (CMIP6) models against the predecessor CMIP5 in simulating mean and extreme precipitation over the East Africa region. The study compares the climatology of the precipitation indices simulated by the CMIP models with the CHIRPS dataset using robust statistical techniques for 1981 – 2005. The results display the varying performance of the general circulation models (GCMs) in the simulation of annual and seasonal precipitation climatology over the study domain. CMIP6-MME shows improved performance in the local annual mean cycle simulation with a better representation of two peaks, especially the MAM rainfall relative to its predecessor. Moreover, simulation of extreme indices is well captured in CMIP6 models relative to its predecessor. The CMIP6-MME performed better than the CMIP5-MME with lesser biases in simulating SDII, CDD, and R20mm over East Africa. Remarkably, most CMIP6 models are unable to simulate extremely wet days (R95p). A few CMIP6 models (e.g., NorESM2-MM and CNRM-CM6-1) depicts robust performance in reproducing the observed indices across all analyses. Conversely, OND season shows the overestimation of some indices (i.e., R95p, PRCPTOT), except for SDII, CDD, and R20mm. Consistent with other studies, the mean ensemble performance for both CMIP5/6 shows better performance due to the cancellation of some systematic errors in the individual models. Generally, the CMIP6 depicts improved performance in the simulation of MAM season akin CMIP5 models. However, the new model generation is still marred with uncertainty, thereby depicting substandard performance over the East Africa domain. This calls for further investigation of attribution studies into the sources of persistent systematic biases and a prerequisite for identifying individual models with robust features that can accurately simulate observed patterns for future usage.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0611.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Mean surface temperature; CMIP6; evaluation; projections; East Africa
Online: 29 January 2021 (11:35:29 CET)
This study evaluates the historical mean surface temperature (hereafter T2m) and examines how T2m changes over East Africa (EA) in the 21st century using CMIP6 models. An evaluation was conducted based on mean state, trends, and statistical metrics (Bias, Correlation Coefficient, Root Mean Square Difference, and Taylor skill score). For future projections over EA, five best performing CMIP6 models (based on their performance ranking in historical mean temperature simulations) under the shared socioeconomic pathways SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5 scenarios were employed. The historical simulations reveal an overestimation of the mean annual T2m cycle over the study region with fewer models depicting underestimations. Further, CMIP6 models reproduce the spatial and temporal trends within the observed range proximity. Overall, the best performing models are as follows: FGOALS-g3, HadGEM-GC31-LL, MPI-ESM2-LR, CNRM-CM6-1, and IPSL-CM6A-LR. During the three-time slice under consideration, the Multi Model Ensemble (MME) project many changes during the late period (2080 – 2100) with expected mean changes at 2.4 °C for SSP2-4.5 and 4.4 °C for the SSP5-8.5 scenario. The magnitude of change based on Sen’s slope estimator and Mann-Kendall test reveal significant increasing tendencies with projections of 0.24°C decade-1 (0.65°C decade-1) under SSP2-4.5 (SSP5-8.5) scenarios. The findings from this study illustrate higher warming in the latest model outputs of CMIP6 relative to its predecessor, despite identical instantaneous radiative forcing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0419.v1
Online: 16 November 2020 (12:51:44 CET)
To bring to the fore the aim of this research, effects of fluctuating temperature, was measured against food and nutrition security in the region using food production index, and undernourished population growth rate as proxies; controlled over share of arable land, irrigation, population and labour share for agriculture. Dynamic panel of generalized method of moments (GMM) was adopted, the period 2000 to 2016 were considered and 29 countries in sub-Sahara Africa were selected within the empirical framework of global water balance as mentioned by Rai and Singh (2012). Findings from the study reveals that the short run effect of temperature increase in degrees pose at least -3.1% negative and significant impact effects on the food production while the long run elasticity hits -7.5% and the controlled effect on arable land revealed a positive impact on the food production to the tune of 3.9%. Contrarily, arable land expansion reduces the under nourished population by -8.55%. Population increase on the other hand increases undernourished population in the region to the tune of 11.95%. The study therefore recommended expansion in the arable land and encourages population control policy in order to negate the undesired effects of temperature on food and nutritional security.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0441.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Organizational Economics & Management Keywords: Sustainability reporting; NGOs; stakeholder theory; Africa; NGO participation
Online: 19 July 2020 (20:46:29 CEST)
There is growing adoption of corporate sustainability practice in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. This proliferation is largely due to the increasing concerns for social, environmental and economic factors in which we assume shared responsibility. Despite the growing attention of researchers and practitioners, several corporations failed to meet their sustainability responsibilities. Several reasons could be associated to this phenomenon such as lack of regulatory mechanism, accountability, etc. This review, however, seeks to examine how nongovernmental organizations (henceforth, NGOs) influence corporate sustainability adoption (i.e. sustainability reporting). In the review of prior research, we leveraged the institutional-legitimacy and corporate governance theories. The findings suggest that NGOs have greater potential in sustainability discourse through two salient actions, namely (1) collaborative partnership, and (2) confrontational tactics. While the former promotes stakeholder involvement in corporate decision making through dialogue, joint-projects on CSR, sustainability reporting, the latter, however, is the last resort – involving “naming and shaming” corporations for poor social and environmental performance through public and social media. The objective of such action is to cause reputational damage to businesses. Finally, it is also observed that crucial to NGO power and influence is the collaboration with government and civil society organizations in the fight for environmental sustainability and accountability.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0279.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID19; sub-Sahara Africa; PCR testing; Capacity building
Online: 13 July 2020 (06:32:48 CEST)
The novel COVID-19 pandemic prompted an unprecedented Institutional reaction to aggregate existing capacity from silos of research laboratories to establish a multidisciplinary research laboratory for COVID19 testing. In less than two weeks, resources were mobilized from the community to strengthen public health response and epidemic control. Such strengthening of institutional research capacity to support public health response contributes to a natural knowledge transfer, facilitates collaboration, and generates new frontiers for knowledge production that should ultimately lead to professional development and retention of skilled human resources. This report describes the pre-established mechanisms and involvement of the authors that made it possible to set-up a multidisciplinary laboratory in a remarkably short period of time. We also discuss the opportunities and sustainability of multidisciplinary laboratory research post-COVID19. Existing institutional capacity can be repurposed to establish multidisciplinary research laboratories to support the strengthening of basic and clinical translational research capacity in resource limited settings and impact on public health and scientific knowledge for socioeconomic development.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0395.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: coronavirus disease 2019; chloroquine; drug repurposing; HIV; Africa
Online: 22 April 2020 (08:33:34 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a pandemic. Unfortunately, finding a vaccine or developing drugs from the scratch is a time-consuming luxury given the widespread and high fatality rates of the virus. In the short term, repurposing of drugs already in use seem to be the most rational step to quickly and effectively curb the virus. Several antiviral agents had been proposed as possible remedies, but the 4-aminoquinolines, Chloroquine (CHQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCHQ) appear to be generating more interest. They are generic, cheaply available and have proven efficacy against malaria parasites in Africa. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), on the other hand, targets the immune system thereby reducing the patient’s ability to fight infections. Sadly, 68% of the global HIV burden occur in Africa. It is therefore anticipated that incidence of severe forms of COVID-19 could occur in Africa because of associated endemic conditions that compromise the immune system. With CHQ and HCHQ being considered for clinical use against COVID-19, there is a need to highlight their potential merits and confounding variables in the subgroup of patients with or without HIV.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0195.v1
Online: 12 April 2020 (14:39:03 CEST)
The study sought to gauge the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in unleashing digital transformation in the education sector in South Africa. In order to gauge the impact, the study tracked the rate at which the 4IR tools were used by various institutions during the COVID-19 lockdown. Data were obtained from secondary sources, mainly newspaper articles, magazines and peer-reviewed journals. The findings are that, in South Africa, during the lockdown, a variety of 4IR tools were unleashed from primary education to higher and tertiary education where educational activities switched to remote learning (online learning). These observations point to the fact that South Africa generally has, some pockets of excellence to drive the education sector into the 4IR, which has the potential to increase access. Access to education, particularly at a higher education level, has always been a challenge due to a limited number of spaces available. Much as this pandemic has brought with it massive human suffering across the globe, there is an opportunity to assess successes and failures of deployed technologies, costs associated with them, and scaling these technologies to improve access.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0064.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: advocacy coalition; policy; antiretroviral therapy; emergence; South Africa
Online: 4 March 2020 (10:59:44 CET)
South Africa possesses the largest anti-retroviral therapy (ART) program in the world but the path to this record was dramatic. There is scarce literature employing a comprehensive framework to explain this ART policy change and inform current policy making processes. This paper applies the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) to analyse the interactions among diverse actors, institutions and networks that were associated with the ART policy change in South Africa. Post-apartheid, HIV/AIDS and AIDS-related mortality were serious public health problems. At the time, the discernible coalitions in the AIDS policy subsystem were the prescience coalition and AIDS dissidents. In view of the availability of compelling scientific evidence on the pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS, the clinical usefulness of ART, the availability of funding for national ART roll-out, strong global advocacy to reduce the cost of ART, all of these in an era when access to adequate HIV care was increasingly considered a human right, the environment to establish an appropriate ART policy for the country was conducive. However, AIDS dissidents dominated the policy agenda via their control over key institutions, the use of various dimensions of power, biasing evidence to inform policy, and promoting the activities of strong interest groups that were not in support of ART. National ART roll-out ultimately emerged as a political priority as a result of external shocks (on the ART policy subsystem) which disfavoured the dominant coalition. Failure to supplement this application of the ACF with key pubic policy concepts such as power dimensions, evidence use in policy, governance and emergence of global health networks would have led to suboptimal appraisal of the ART policy change and misinformation of current policy making processes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0222.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: hearing impairment; novel murine genes; gene enrichment; africa
Online: 19 September 2019 (11:27:27 CEST)
The prevalence of congenital hearing impairment (HI) is highest in Africa. Estimates evaluated genetic causes to account for 31% of HI cases in Africa, but the identification of associated causative genes mutations have been challenging. In this study, we reviewed the potential roles, in humans, of 38 novel genes identified in a murine study. We gathered information from various genomic annotation databases and performed functional enrichment analysis using online resources i.e. genemania and g.proflier. Results revealed that 27/38 genes are express mostly in the brain, suggesting additional cognitive roles. Indeed, HERC1- R3250X had been associated with intellectual disability in a Moroccan family. A homozygous 216-bp deletion in KLC2 was found in two siblings of Egyptian descent with spastic paraplegia. Up to 27/38 murine genes have link to at least a disease, and the commonest mode of inheritance is autosomal recessive (n=8). Network analysis indicates that 20 other genes have intermediate and biological links to the novel genes, suggesting their possible roles in HI. This study will contribute to advance our knowledge in unravelling the biological roles of novel murine HI genes in humans and could enhance the understanding of the genetic causes of HI in Africans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0042.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Africa; rainfall; variability; prediction; multimodel; superensemble; synthetic; skill
Online: 5 August 2019 (04:48:15 CEST)
Improvements that can be attained in seasonal climate predictions in various parts of Africa using the multimodel supersensemble scheme are presented in this study. The synthetic superensemble (SSE) used follows the approach originally developed at Florida State University (FSU). The technique takes more advantage of the skill in the climate forecast data sets from atmosphere-ocean general circulation models running at many centres worldwide including the WMO global producing centers (GPCs). The module used in this work drew data sets from the Four versions of FSU coupled model system, seven models from the DEMETER project which is the forerun to the current European Ensembles Forecast System, the NCAR Model, and the Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA), all making a set of 13 individual models. An archive consisting of monthly simulations of precipitation was available over all the 5 regions of Africa, namely Eastern, Central, Northern, Southern, and Western Africa. The results showed that the SSE forecast for precipitation carries a higher skill compared to each of the member models and the ensemble mean. Relative to the ensemble mean (EM), the SSE provides an improvement of 18% in simulation of season cycle of precipitation climatology. In Eastern Africa, during December-February season, a north-south gradient of precipitation prevails between Tropical East Africa and the sector of the region towards Southern Africa. This regional scale climate pattern is a direct influence of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITZC) across the African continent during this time of the year. The SSE emerges with superior skill scores such as lowest root mean square error above the EM and the member models, for example in the prediction of spatial location and precipitation magnitudes that characterize the see-saw precipitation pattern in Eastern Africa. In all parts of Africa, and especially Eastern Africa where seasonal precipitation variability is a frequent cause huge human suffering in due to droughts and famine, the multimodel superensemble and its subsequent improvements will always provide a forecast that out weighs the best Atmosphere-Ocean Climate Model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0547.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Tornadoes; CAPE; Overview; Case Study; Klerksdorp; South Africa
Online: 26 November 2018 (10:02:42 CET)
This paper contributes to the understating of tornadoes in South Africa using case study analysis. In South Africa tornadoes are the recurring phenomenon (the climatology) but so far they have received less attention. Damages from storms itself (tornadoes inclusive) are significant in South Africa relative to other weather-related disasters for example floods, heat waves, and droughts. For their understanding, a case study approach was adopted in the current study. Data were in courtesy of the following, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Centers for Environmental Predictions (NCEP), Eumetsat Germany, and South African Weather Service (SAWS). The aim of the study was to provide an overview of the occurrence of tornadoes in South Africa using a Klerksdorp tornado, which occurred on March 4, 2007, Northwest Province in South Africa. From the case study analysis, the tornado was associated with the cold front and cut-off low (both are extratropical circulation) which were the dominant weather systems of the day. Therefore we conclude that, a case study approach may be the best way to study events of these nature for a more informed decision, for example, issuing an early warning system. In future, case studies, for example, involving interaction between extratropical and tropical circulation will also be an interesting study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0353.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology Keywords: Africa; Maternal mortality rate; Joinpoint regression analysis; mortality; trends
Online: 23 September 2022 (03:06:07 CEST)
Background: United Nations Sustainable Development Goals state that by 2030, the Global maternal mortality rate (MMR) should be lower than 70 per 100,000 live births. MMR is still one of Africa's leading causes of death among women. This research aims to study regional trends in maternal mortality in Africa. Methods: We extracted data for Maternal mortality rates per 100,000 births from the World Bank database from 1990-2015. Joinpoint regression was used to study the trends and estimate the annual percent change (APC). Results: Maternal mortality has decreased in Africa over the study period by an average APC of -2.6%. All regions showed significant downward trends, with the sharpest decreases in East Africa. Only the North African region is close to the United Nations' sustainable development goals for Maternal mortality. The remaining sub-Saharan African regions are still far from achieving the goals. Conclusions: maternal mortality has decreased in Africa, especially in East Africa. The only region closed to the United Nations target is North Africa. The remaining sub-Saharan African regions are still far from achieving the goals. These results could be used for the development of Regional Policies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0260.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Childhood cancer; financial costs; Africa; systematic review; meta-analysis
Online: 15 August 2022 (11:53:44 CEST)
The high costs of cancer treatment and lack of investment in health care are significant obstacles to public health on the African continent. The objective of this study was to estimate the financial cost of treating children suffering from cancer in Africa. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of expert opinions between March 2000 and March 2020. The key search terms included ‘cost’, ‘cancer’ and ‘child’; we selected articles that specifically addressed the financial costs of childhood cancer in African countries. Of the 103 articles found, 18 met the inclusion criteria. Cancer care was a heavy financial burden in most of the countries studied, although costs varied from country to country; the average expenditure on healthcare was US$1017.39 ± US$319.1 per year. In countries without a health insurance system, the highest proportion of cancer care costs, 46.6%, was indirect, whereas in countries with a cancer financing system, the direct cost of treatment was low, 53.4%. The cost of treating childhood cancer is high in Africa in relation to the standard of living of individuals residing in this region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0123.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Influenza vaccines; Vaccine hesitancy; Healthcare workers (HCWs); South Africa
Online: 8 June 2022 (10:03:21 CEST)
Vaccination attitudes among healthcare workers (HCWs) is a vital factor for measuring their level of vaccination uptake and intention to recommend vaccinations to their patients. To our knowledge, no study has been conducted in South Africa to assess hesitancy to influenza vaccines among HCWs. We used questionnaire adapted from Betsch and colleagues to conduct an online and face-to-face cross-sectional study among HCWs at the start of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out prior to the flu season. Main outcome was influenza vaccine hesitancy. We used multivariate logistic regression to assess predictors of influenza vaccine hesitancy. Of 401 participants, 64.5% were women, 49.2% nurses, and 12.5% physicians. A total of 54.9% were willing to accept vaccination, 20.4% were undecided, and 24.7% intended to refuse. Older participants above 17-25 years and physicians were likely to receive the vaccine. Key predictors of vaccine acceptance were confidence in the effectiveness, consideration of benefits and risks, and willingness to be vaccinated to protect others. Influenza vaccine hesitancy was highest in those who did not trust that influenza vaccines are safe. For future flu seasons, tailored education programs targeting younger HCWs and more information about the composition of flu vaccines would be vital to improve vaccine uptake.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0295.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Urinary schistosomiasis; Schistosoma haematobium; sub-Saharan Africa; Genetic Diversity
Online: 22 March 2022 (04:25:24 CET)
: Urinary schistosomiasis caused by the parasite Schistosoma haematobium is the most common form of schistosomiasis. This parasite has a high potential for genetic exchange within parasite populations giving rise to the genetic diversity that is important for its survival. Genetic differ-ences may lead to some parasite strains being more immunogenic which may have a negative impact on management and control of schistosomiasis. Therefore, understanding these genetic differences in the parasite may lead to better management of the disease. A literature search was done on PubMed, African Journals online and Google scholar using predefined search terms such as urinary schistosomiasis, S. haematobium, genetic diversity in sub-Saharan Africa in com-bination with Boolean operators (AND, OR). The search included studies published from 2000-2020 that emphasised on genetic diversity of Schistosoma haematobium in sub-Saharan Africa. Sixteen studies from 18 sub-Saharan African countries that met the inclusion criteria were se-lected. Most studies conducted in these countries showed a high genetic diversity of Schistosoma haematobium studies with microsatellite markers being the most commonly used method for ge-netic diversity determination. Fisher’s exact test showed that the distribution of genetic diversity in sub-Saharan African regions was not statistically significant (p=0.768). The highest number of studies on genetic diversity of Schistosoma haematobium were conducted in West Africa with Ni-geria and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa conducting the most studies, 4/36 (11%) each. Results obtained show the need for continued monitoring of genetic variations in Schistosoma haemato-bium in sub- Saharan Africa. This will aid in understanding the epidemiology of disease, ad-vancing novel treatment and vaccine strategies.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0345.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Africa Phage Forum; Phages; Research; Collaboration; Network; Capacity development
Online: 24 January 2022 (11:14:10 CET)
The problem of antimicrobial resistance has created a new need for alternative/ complementary treatments. To this end, bacteriophages offer an exciting prospect, as they can infect and kill specific bacteria without harming the host. This survey aimed to evaluate the state of applied phage research in Africa, among the members of the Africa phage Forum (APF). This was a cross-sectional survey whereby a google form was created for the members of the Africa Phage forum to fill so as to access the stage of phage research in Africa. Data was collected between June and July 2021 using a structured questionnaire form. A total of 65 out of a total of 101 forum members completed the questionnaire. The survey indicated that a majority 68% of phage researchers in Africa were at the training stages of their career. Some available participants were limited (8%). Most of the members identified funding, lack of skill set, near absence of adequate laboratory infrastructure as major hurdles for phage research. Despite these challenges, 73.3% of APF members work with the ESKAPE group with the majority of its members carrying out research in Phage in Biocontrol (80%), whereas others perform research related to human phage therapy (60%). However, it appeared this research has not yet reached the stage of commercialization. Overall, Phage research is in its infancy in Africa. Key challenges included poor laboratory infrastructure, lack of capacity building in the phage field, and lack of local awareness on the significance of phages for policymakers and governments. APF could, therefore, play a role in creating phage awareness in Africa; mobilizing resources; enhancing networks and collaborations amongst APF members and beyond, especially with more experienced phage mentors in the Western countries, to greatly reduce the gap in knowledge and enhance phage research in Africa.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0031.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: forestry; forest management; forest products; land-use; West Africa.
Online: 5 January 2022 (10:43:27 CET)
According to this study, approximately half of Africa's forests are utilized primarily or partially for the production of wood and non-wood commodities. Aims to evaluate Africa's forestry and forest products, namely Wood Forest Products (WFPs) and Non-wood Forest Products (NWFPs) in the sixteen (16) West African countries. While adhering to the following guidelines: wood extraction and preparation, analyzing wood primarily used as an energy source in Africa, identifying non-wood forest products in Africa, the state of export, trade, and customs procedures in West Africa, and examining the role of forests and forest stakeholders in Africa's low-carbon economy transition. An exploratory literature review of selected wood forest products and non-wood forest products (plants and animals) in West Africa identifying the country, the natural land area with the natural habitat issues of the forest, the species most harvested and traded in the West African sub-region. The study reemphasized some government legislation, policies, and market trade failures and limitations while also stating that trees may help in the low-carbon revolution through interventions aimed at maintaining, improving, and restoring natural capital have demonstrated that high environmental requirements of sustainable forest management (SFM) may be met in both natural and planted forests. The study identified a systematic assessment of the most common forest products (wood and non-wood forest products) considering the available data on the national forest reserves of the selected countries in West Africa. The study also revealed the need for biodiversity conservation of the available forest reserves to help mitigate the impact of global warming targeting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 13- Climate Action. Which is focused on integrating climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning signs into the national policies, improving forest planning and management education, awareness-raising, and institutional capacity within the sub-region.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0261.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Africa; Biodiversity; Groundwater Resources; Integrated Watershed Management; River Basin
Online: 16 December 2021 (08:10:06 CET)
Human activities mostly impact the trend and direction of surface water, groundwater, and other river basin resources in the watershed in Africa. Human activities influence river flows and the water quality at both highlands and lowlands. A watershed is indeed a conserved area of land that collects rain and snow and empties or penetrates into ground water sources. The act of managing the activities around the watershed is the Integrated Watershed Management while considering the social, economic, and environmental issues, as well as community interests to manage water resources sustainably. These watersheds, river basins, and groundwater resources provide important services for communities and biodiversity. This paper reveals that the best way to protect groundwater resources is on a watershed basis using IWM. This technique enables us to handle a variety of concerns and objectives while also allowing us to plan in a complicated and uncertain environment. IWM involves cooperation and participation from a wide range of community interests and water users, including municipalities, companies, people, agencies, and landowners, for stakeholders' input to be successful. All of the strategies and plans are produced concerning one another, as well as the overall conditions of the watershed, local land uses, and specific issues.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0137.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Droughts; Gridded data; SPEI; Triangulation; Semi-Arid; Eastern Africa
Online: 8 November 2021 (13:07:40 CET)
Abstract: Droughts are complex and gradually evolving conditions of extreme water deficits which can compromise livelihoods and ecological integrity, especially in fragile arid and semi-arid regions that depend on rainfed farming, such as Kitui West in south-eastern Kenya. Against the background of low ground-station density, 10 gridded rainfall products and four gridded temperature products were used to generate an ensemble of 40 calculations of the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) to assess uncertainties in the onset, duration and magnitude of past droughts. These uncertainties were driven more by variations between the rainfall products than variations between the temperature products. Remaining ambiguities in drought occurrence could be resolved by complementing the quantitative analysis with ground-based information from key informants engaged in disaster relief, effectively formulating an ensemble approach to SPEI-based drought identification to aid decision making. The reported trend towards drier conditions in Eastern Africa was confirmed for Kitui West by the majority of data products, whereas the rainfall effect on the increasingly dry conditions was more subtle than annual and seasonal declines and greater annual variation, which warrants further investigation. Nevertheless, the effects of increasing droughts are already felt on the ground and warrant decisive action.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0584.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: CMIP6; HighResMIP; ScenarioMIP; Lake Victoria; Climate change; East Africa
Online: 26 July 2021 (14:39:44 CEST)
In late/early 2019/2020, unprecedented high-water-levels were observed in Lake Victoria causing massive flooding in the low-lying lake-adjacent areas and disrupting human and natural systems in the Lake Victoria Basin (LVB). The high lake water-level coincided with unusually heavy and prolonged 2019 June to December precipitation in the LVB. The current study estimates future precipitation patterns over the LVB using HighResMIP and ScenarioMIP general circulation model (GCM) simulations from the 6th phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). Results show that HighResMIP and ScenarioMIP simulations can adequately reproduce LVB’s precipitation patterns – albeit with location-specific biases. Generally, the GCM simulations tend to over-estimate precipitation patterns over Lake Victoria while under-estimating precipitation patterns over the lake-adjacent areas. Projections show significant future precipitation changes over the LVB relative to the 1970-1999 baseline, with more pronounced changes over the lake than in lake-adjacent areas. Overall, mean annual precipitation is projected to increase by about 18% and 31% by the end of the century, under SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5 scenarios, respectively. Additionally, mean daily precipitation intensity (SDII) is projected to increase by up-to 14% while the maximum 5-day precipitation values (RX5Day) increase by up-to 71% under the SSP5-8.5 scenario. Heavy precipitation events, represented by the width of the right tail distribution of precipitation (99p-90p), are projected to increase by 50% and 94% under SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5, respectively. Given that direct precipitation accounts for about 80% of Lake Victoria’s water budget, the lake’s future water-level fluctuations are likely to be more rampant and unpredictable under the changing climate. Hence, enhanced production and use of climate services is recommended to minimize the risk posed by potentially high water-level fluctuations in Lake Victoria and, ultimately, enhance the socio-economic safety of communities in the LVB.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0373.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: mHealth devices; diagnosis; accuracy; sensitivity; specificity; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 14 April 2021 (12:27:39 CEST)
Mobile health devices are emerging applications that could help deliver point-of-care (POC) diagnosis, particularly in settings with limited laboratory infrastructure, such as sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The advent of coronavirus has resulted in an increased deployment and use of mHealth-linked POC diagnostics in SSA. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the accuracy of mobile-linked point-of-care diagnostics in SSA. Our systematic review and meta-analysis were guided by the Preferred Reporting Items requirements for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA). We exhaustively searched PubMed, Science Direct, Google Scholar, MEDLINE, and CINAHL with full-text via EBSCOhost databases from mHealth inception to March 2021. The statistical analyses were conducted using OpenMeta-Analyst software. All 11 included studies were considered for the meta-analysis. The included studies focused on malaria infections, Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma mansoni, soil-transmitted helminths, and trichuris trichiura. The pooled summary of sensitivity and specificity estimates were moderate compared to the gold reference standard. The overall pooled estimates of sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio and diagnostic odds ratio of mobile-linked POC diagnostic devices were as follows: 0.499 (95% CI: 0.458-0.541); 0.535 (95% CI: 0.401-0.663); 0.952 (95% CI: 0.60-1.324); 1.381 (95% CI: 0.391-4.879); and 0.944 (95% CI: 0.579-1.538), respectively. Evidence shows that mobile-linked POC diagnostics' diagnostic accuracy is presently moderate in detecting infections in sub-Saharan Africa. Future research is recommended to evaluate mHealth devices' diagnostics with excellent sensitivities and specificities in diagnosing diseases in this setting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0151.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Applied Mathematics Keywords: Growth model; Epidemic latency period; Reproduction number; West Africa
Online: 19 March 2021 (11:22:38 CET)
The widely used logistic model for epidemic case reporting data may be either restrictive or unrealistic in presence of containment measures when implemented after an epidemic outbreak. For flexibility in epidemic case reporting data modelling, we combined an exponential growth curve for the early epidemic phase with a flexible growth curve to account for the potential change in growth pattern after implementation of containment measures. We also fitted logistic regression models to recoveries and deaths from the confirmed positive cases. In addition, the growth curves were integrated into a SIQR (Susceptible, Infective, Quarantined, Recovered) model framework to provide an overview on the modelled epidemic wave. We focused on the estimation of: (1) the delay between the appearance of the first infectious case in the population and the outbreak (“epidemic latency period"); (2) the duration of the exponential growth phase; (3) the basic and the time-varying reproduction numbers; and (4) the peaks (time and size) in confirmed positive cases, active cases and new infections. The application of this approach to COVID-19 data from West Africa allowed to discuss the effectiveness of some containment measures implemented across the region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0029.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: electric mobility; paratransit; informality; Sustainability transitions; East-Africa; transport
Online: 4 January 2021 (12:23:46 CET)
Electric mobility begins to enter East-African markets. This paper aims to investigate what policy level solutions and stakeholder constellations are established in the context of e-mobility in Dar es Salaam, Kigali, Kisumu and Nairobi and in which ways they attempt to tackle implementation of electric mobility solutions. The study employs two key methods including content analysis of policy and programmatic documents as well as interviews based on purposive sampling ap-proach with stakeholders involved in mobility transitions. The study findings point out that transport operators and their representative associations are less recognized as major players in the transition, far behind new e-mobility players (start-ups) and public authorities. The study further indicates that a set of financial and technical barriers persist such as high upfront invest-ment costs in vehicles and infrastructure, or anxieties regarding competitiveness with fossil fuel vehicles, that constrain the uptake of such private e-mobility initiatives. This study concludes by identifying current gaps that need to be tackled by policy makers and stakeholders in order to implement inclusive electric mobility in East-African cities, considering modalities that include transport providers and address their financial constraints.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0209.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Plasmodium vivax; Duffy Negatives; Africa; Molecular epidemiology; Genetic relatedness
Online: 8 December 2020 (20:30:36 CET)
Recent studies indicated that Plasmodium vivax can infect Duffy-negative individuals, but the varied diagnostic and methodological approaches have limited our ability to characterize P. vivax across Africa. Here, we utilized a standardized approach to compare epidemiological and genetic attributes of P. vivax from Botswana, Ethiopia, and Sudan, where Duffy-positive and Duffy-negative individuals coexist. Among 1,215 febrile patients, the proportions of Duffy negativity range from 20-36% in East Africa to 84% in Southern Africa. Considerable differences were observed in P. vivax prevalence among Duffy-negative populations ranging from averaged 9.2% in Sudan to 86% in Botswana. P. vivax parasite density in Duffy-negative infections is significantly lower than in Duffy-positive infections. Phylogenetic analyses of 229 PvDBP sequences indicated that Duffy-negative P. vivax were not monophyletic but occurred in multiple well-supported clades, suggesting independent origins. Duffy-negative Africans are clearly not resistant to P. vivax and the public health significance should no longer be neglected.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0205.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: public-private partnership; infrastructure; infrastructure funds; Nigeria; South Africa
Online: 10 July 2020 (03:56:50 CEST)
Budget deficits, economic crisis and competing demands for lean state resources are clear reasons why governments, especially in sub-Saharan Africa are now inclined towards the public-private partnership model of infrastructure finance. This paper comparatively examines the regulation of public-private partnership in Nigeria and South Africa. The aim is to highlight areas where both countries can learn from their experiences. The paper finds that beyond the problem of overlapping laws, weak institutional mechanisms and the need to check the arbitrariness of public officials as some of the problems that need to be addressed to build strong public-private partnership regimes in sub-Saharan Africa. The paper recommends among others, holistic strategies for strengthening the framework and practice in both countries and the need to make the public-private partnership process less cumbersome.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0027.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, General Humanities Keywords: COVID-19; Deadly disease; Education; Resolution; Africa; Sub-Sahara
Online: 3 July 2020 (08:57:38 CEST)
The eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every sphere of life and may forever change how we have always lived and conducted our businesses, and no one can resist the wind of change that is blowing. Of all the sectors of governance, the educational sector, particularly at the tertiary level, appears to have been most greatly affected and therefore requires a more pragmatic approach to resolution. As of 29th June, Sub-Sahara Africa has reported 382,190 cases of COVID-19. In rejoinder to the virus epidemic, several Sub Sahara African governments implement the resolution to slam learning institutions to enclose the infection. Consequently, advanced schooling institutions obliged to reorganize their loom, becoming more digitally become forward, and changing to online platforms.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0369.v1
Online: 23 May 2020 (10:21:50 CEST)
Governments all over the world are currently grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. While some countries were very hard hit, others were only mildly hit but all are still taking measures to mitigate the consequences. The virus emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan, China and spread to most continents by the beginning of March 2020, which led to the World Health Organization declaring it as a pandemic on the 11th of March 2020. Since it was a novel disease, there was limited information on the virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) belongs to the same family as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Researchers all over the world started working simultaneously to understand the virus to provide the necessary treatment regime or vaccine in order to reduce the impact of the virus on its victims. Africa and other developing countries with limited resources and poor planning and management are expected to be among the worst hit in the long run. The implications of the COVID-19 on food, water, hygiene, sanitation, and the environment in Africa have been reviewed in this paper, as well as possible implications they may pose to the population, based on the existing common practices and their immediate impacts. This information can assist policymakers in Africa to adequately plan the management of the COVID-19 in order to lessen its impact on the population.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0234.v1
Online: 18 December 2019 (03:41:18 CET)
Abstract: Many countries around the world suffer from the lack of a sea port directly linked to the rest of the world. Such countries are called "landlocked countries". This leads to Weak competitiveness of their products in the global market, as well as to the high cost of the imports. Africa has the largest share of these countries, with 16 of the 43 landlocked countries around the world. The aim of this paper is to propose a general framework for criteria that can be used to choose between ports in transit countries that can be used for import or export. These criteria are related to the assessment of the sea ports in terms of infrastructure and tariffs. It is also related to transport infrastructure from the transit country to the landlocked country and the level of safety. The study identified nine criteria that could be used to compare between ports in transit countries. Using Full Consistency Method (FUCOM) to evaluate those criteria showed that the number of navigation lines is the most important criteria followed by the port service level.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0286.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: diversity; conservation; animal genetic resources; indigenous pigs; southern Africa
Online: 24 November 2019 (14:47:39 CET)
Pig genetic resources in Africa originate from different regions. Genetic analysis has shown a strong phylogeographic pattern with the pigs on the eastern parts showing a high frequency of alleles from the Far East while the ones on the western parts show a strong European influence. This highlights the influence of trade routes on the genetic legacy of African pigs. They have, however, since adapted to the local environments to produce unique populations with unique attributes. Most of the pigs are now reared in resource-constrained smallholdings under free-range conditions. They are largely owned by women who spread ownership of the resource through kinship networks. Very little work has been done to characterize, conserve and sustainably utilize pig genetic resources in Southern Africa. The risk status of the breeds together with population numbers, distribution and other attributes are largely unknown. This paper proposes several strategies for the sustainable utilization of the pig genetic resources: a market-driven in situ conservation program and two complementary ex situ strategies. In addition, the possibility of community-based breed improvement programs is discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0721.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Clinical Psychology Keywords: perinatal; mental health; perinatal mental health program; South Africa
Online: 30 October 2018 (09:28:12 CET)
Background. Perinatal depression is one of the leading causes of disability in perinatal women and is highly prevalent in disadvantaged communities in LMICs. However, care capacity remains low in most LMICs. As such, we decided to find and assess a screening program that addresses perinatal mental health problems in a resource-efficient manner. This leads us to a critically appraisal of the Perinatal Mental Health Project (PMHP), a screening program based in peri-urban Western Cape Town that stresses task sharing and stepped care intervention. Method. PubMed, Ovid Medline (1946 to 2018), and Google Scholar were searched for publications until March 2018, with data or evaluation of the PMHP. PMHP website publications were used for data and interpretation. The program’s viability was evaluated based on criteria published by UK National Screening Council. The program’s impact was analyzed using published patient outcome data. Access to care was evaluated at three barriers to accessing care proposed by Gjerdingen et al. (2007). The financial model was evaluated using the “four-pillars” of sustainable organization financial management proposed by León (2001). Findings. The PMHP’s screening program viability satisfies most criteria of the UK National Screening Council, and the program’s benefits outweigh its harms. Patient self-reports indicate successful impact with several highlights in accessibility. The program also demonstrates financial sustainability and potential for scaling-up. Interpretations. The operation model of the PMHP shows satisfactory viability and sustainability. With modifications fitting local context and government cooperation, this model offers promising potential in bringing public health and economic benefits.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0121.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: economic growth; public expenditure; panel cointegration; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 8 May 2018 (05:20:33 CEST)
In this paper, the validity of the Wagner’s law is investigated in tenth selected Sub- Saharan African countries, namely Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, and DR Congo. Five variants of the Wagner’s law were tested for the period 2005-2014, using panel econometric approaches encompassing cointegration and causality. The study found a long run relationship between the public expenditure and the various explanatory variables used as proxies of income. The long-run causality tests indicate that there is bidirectional causality between expenditure and income in all models with the exemption of the Gupta model. It is concluded that for Sub-Saharan Africa, both the Wagner’s law the Keynesian hypothesis tend to be valid under the period of investigation. The explanation is that there has been the tendency for public expenditure to grow relative to national income (Wagner’s law) and that public expenditure is a policy instrument (an exogenous factor) for improving national income (Keynesian hypothesis) during the 10-year period.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0151.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: climate change; GR2M; hydrologic modeling; transboundary river; West Africa
Online: 17 January 2018 (11:09:07 CET)
In the context of climate change in West Africa characterized by a reduction of precipitation, this study was conducted to evaluate the impact of climate change on water resources from now to the end of the 21st century in the transboundary watershed of the Sassandra River shared by Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. Historical and future climate (Representative Concentration Pathways or RCPs 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios) data were projected with the model. The Abdus Salam ICTP RegCM4 was used. The hydrological modeling of the river basin was carried out with the conceptual hydrological model, GR2M. This model is a monthly time steps model that allows the assessment of the discharge of the Sassandra River for each climate scenario according to the 2030 (2021–2040), 2050 (2041–2060), 2070 (2061–2080), and 2090 (2081–2100) horizons. The results showed a reduction of the annual discharge when compared to the baseline (1961–1980). For the RCP 4.5, the observed values went from –1.2% in 2030 to –2.3% in 2070 and rose to –2.1% in 2090. Concerning the RCP 8.5, we saw a variation from –4.2% to –7.9% in the 2030 and 2090 horizons, respectively. With the general decrease of rainfall in West Africa, it is appropriate to assess the impact on water resources on the largest rivers (Niger, Gambia, and Senegal) that irrigate the Sahelo-Saharian zone.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0058.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: ambient air pollution; epidemiology; narrative review; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 8 January 2018 (09:52:02 CET)
An important aspect of the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) is a greater emphasis on reducing the health impacts of urban ambient air pollution (AAP) in developing countries. Meanwhile, the burden of disease attributable to AAP in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is growing, yet estimates of its impact in the region are likely underestimated due to a lack of air quality monitoring, the paucity of epidemiological studies, and important population vulnerabilities in the region. The lack of studies in the SSA region also represents an important global health disparity and environmental justice issue because thousands of air pollution health effects studies have been conducted in Europe and North America rather than in some of the most polluted regions of the world, such as SSA. In this review, we synthesize all of the ambient air pollution epidemiological studies that have been conducted in SSA to date. We highlight the gaps in AAP epidemiological studies conducted in different sub-regions of SSA and provide methodological recommendations for future environmental epidemiology studies addressing AAP in the SSA region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0009.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: south africa; COVID-19; vaccine acceptancy; vaccine hesitancy; vaccine denial
Online: 1 August 2022 (06:02:11 CEST)
Unprecedented in scale, immense COVID-19 immunization programmes have been rolled out globally. This article explores aspects of hypothetical vaccine acceptability in Soweto, South Africa, shortly before such vaccines became available. Whereas hypothetical acceptance was normative, this has not translated into uptake today, which remains concerningly low in South Africa, especially in Soweto. For that reason, we mobilise anthropological concepts to analyse acceptance, hesitancy, and denial, respectively, to gauge and understand public proclivity to inoculate. We find that COVID-19’s haphazard mediatization generated a ‘field of suspicion’ towards authorities and vaccination, which, amplified by dis- and misinformation, fostered othering, hesitancy, and denial considerably. It remains paramount during vaccination rollouts to unveil and address aspects detrimental to vaccine confidence and selectivity, especially in lower-income groups for underlying, context-specific cultural, spiritual, historical, and socioeconomic reasons. Appropriate mediazation alongside a debunking of counterfactual claims is crucial in driving forward immunization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0265.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: COVID-19 prevention; vulnerability index; inequality; concentration index; South Africa
Online: 20 June 2022 (09:56:12 CEST)
To contain and mitigate the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, African governments have implemented non-pharmacological interventions (NPIs), such as imposing travel bans, confining people to their homes and closing schools, shops and workplaces. These NPIs are likely to be less effective in circumstances where people need to leave their homes to work, collect food, water and cooking fuel or where people cannot maintain distancing due to overcrowded living environments. Using data from the nationally representative South African General Household Survey 2019, we examined individuals’ vulnerability to the risk of COVID-19 infection due to their health, socioeconomic and living circumstances. We explored socioeconomic-related inequalities in COVID-19 using concentration curve and concentration index methods. Our results showed that vulnerability to COVID-19 was disproportionately concentrated among those with low socioeconomic status. Using the Recentered Influence Function decomposition approach, we found that higher income and education had a significant and positive impact on reducing socioeconomic-related COVID-19 vulnerability. Conversely, people with lower socioeconomic status were more likely to live in circumstances that made compliance with NPI requirements almost impossible, and they were also more likely to have pre-existing health conditions that made them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0150.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: aerosol; CALIPSO; desert dust; Eastern Mediterranean; North Africa; Middle East
Online: 10 March 2022 (13:57:26 CET)
Turkey is located in the heart of complex transition geography between Eurasia and the Middle East. In the grand scheme, the so-called Eastern Mediterranean Basin is almost amidst the dusty belt and a hot spot of climate change. The downstream location of dust carrying winds from the closer desert sources reveals Turkey as an open plane to particulate matter exposure throughout the year. In order to clarify this phenomenon, it is aimed to find out the desert dust climatology of Turkey via CALIPSO onboard Lidar. This prominent instrument enables us to understand clouds, aerosols and their types and relatedly climatic systems with its valuable products. In this study, 9-year CALIPSO derived pure dust product is formed to explain horizontal and vertical distributions, transport heights and case incidences. Results indicated mass and conditional abundancy are higher with the location shifts from west to east. In the same direction, dominant spring months change to summer and autumn. Mountain range systems surrounding Anatolia are the main obstacles against lofted and buoyant dust particles travelling to northern latitudes. Even if high ridges accumulate mass load on the southern slopes, it also enables elevated particles to reach the ground level of the inner cities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0249.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology Keywords: cervical cancer screening; HPV self-sampling; sub-Saharan Africa; preference
Online: 15 November 2021 (10:55:02 CET)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling (Self-HPV) is a promising strategy to improve cervical cancer screening coverage in low-income countries. However, issues associated with women who prefer conventional HPV clinical-sampling over HPV self-sampling may affect screening participation. To address this issue, our study assessed factors associated with women’s preferences related to Self-HPV. This study was embedded in a large clinical trial recruiting women aged 30–49 years in a primary HPV-based study termed “3T-Approach” (for Test-Triage-Treatment), launched in 2018 at Dschang District Hospital, West Cameroon. Participants were invited to perform a Self-HPV. After the sampling and before receiving the results, participants completed a questionnaire about cervical cancer screening and their preferences and perceptions around Self-HPV. The median age of the 2201 participants was 40.6 (IQR 35–45) years. Most (1693 (76.9%)) preferred HPV self-sampling or had no preference for either method and 508 (23.1%) preferred clinician-sampling. Factors associated with an increased likelihood of reporting a clinician-sampling preference were tertiary educational level (14.4% CI: 12.8–16.1 vs 29.5% CI: 25.6–33.6) and being an employee with higher grade professional or managerial occupations (5.5% CI: 3.8–7.9 vs 2.6% CI: 2.3–2.8). The main reported reason for women preferring clinician-sampling was a lack of “self-expertise”. Most women (>99%) would agree to repeat HPV self-sampling and would recommend it to their relatives. HPV self-sampling in the cultural context of central Africa was well accepted by participants, but some participants would prefer to undergo clinician sampling. Health systems should support well-educated women to increase self-confidence in using HPV self-sampling.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0058.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: participatory approach, WECC nexus, South Africa, integrated water resource management
Online: 2 July 2021 (14:14:46 CEST)
This paper discusses the use of a participatory approach to assess the level of understanding of the Water-Energy-Climate Change nexus in South Africa. The aim is to facilitate the development of well-coordinated, systematic, and holistic strategies for efficient management of the nexus and its implications in the country. The assessment was guided by the broader Integrated Water Resource Management framework, which promotes a participatory approach in the administration of water resources. The paper argues that despite the reasonable level of understanding of WECC, there is still a lack of integrated policy development and planning among key stakeholders. This is exacerbated by limited coordination and consultation among these stakeholders, particularly policymakers. This necessitates the urgent adoption of holistic and systems thinking approaches, and the promotion of collaboration among different stakeholders mandated to manage WECC sectors. Until such approaches are adopted, the WECC nexus will continue to impede the country’s socio-economic development and environmental wellbeing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0262.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: COVID-19; SEIR model; spatial; excess deaths; South Africa; hospitalisations
Online: 9 June 2021 (11:40:11 CEST)
The virus SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in numerous modelling approaches arising rapidly to understand the spread of the disease COVID-19 and to plan for future interventions. Herein, we present an SEIR model with a spatial spread component as well as four infectious compartments to account for the variety of symptom levels and transmission rate. The model takes into account the pattern of spatial vulnerability in South Africa through a vulnerability index that is based on socioeconomic and health susceptibility characteristics. Another spatially relevant factor in this context is level of mobility throughout. The thesis of this study is that without the contextual spatial spread modelling, the heterogeneity in COVID-19 prevalence in the South African setting would not be captured. The model is illustrated on South African COVID-19 case counts and hospitalisations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0689.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Plasmodium vivax; Erythrocyte Invasion Mechanisms; Duffy Negative; Africa; Immunology; Epidemiology
Online: 27 November 2020 (13:08:59 CET)
Plasmodium vivax malaria is a neglected tropical disease, despite being more geographically widespread than any other form of malaria. The documentation of P. vivax infections in different parts of Africa where Duffy-negative individuals are predominant suggested that there are alternative pathways for P. vivax to invade human erythrocytes. Duffy-negative individuals may be just as fit as Duffy-positive individuals and are no longer resistant to P. vivax malaria. In this review, we describe the complexity of P. vivax malaria, characterize pathogenesis and candidate invasion genes of P. vivax, and host immune responses to P. vivax infections. We provide a comprehensive review on parasite ligands in several Plasmodium species that further justify candidate genes in P. vivax. We also summarize previous genomic and transcriptomic studies related to the identification of ligand and receptor proteins in P. vivax erythrocyte invasion. Finally, we identify topics that remain unclear and propose future studies that will greatly contribute to our knowledge of P. vivax.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0431.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: alcohol use; drug use; adolescents; adults; health variables; South Africa
Online: 16 November 2020 (15:36:53 CET)
The study aimed to assess the prevalence and correlates of hazardous, harmful or dependent alcohol use (HHDA) and drug use among persons 15 years and older in South Africa. In a national cross-sectional 2017 survey, 39,210 persons 15 years and older (Median=34 years) responded to a questionnaire on substance and health variables. Logistic regression was used to assess the determinants of HHDA and any drug use. Results indicate that (10.3%) engaged HHDA, 16.5% among males and 4.6% among females, and past 3-month drug use was 8.6%, 13.3% among males and 4.1% among females. In adjusted logistic regression analysis, among men, middle age (25-34 year olds), higher education, urban residence, drug use, and psychological distress were positively and Indian or Asian and White population groups were negatively associated with HHDA. Among women, middle age (25-34 year olds), Coloureds, residing on rural farms and urban areas, drug use and psychological distress were positively and older age (55 years and older), and Indians or Asians were negatively associated with HHDA. In adjusted logistic regression analysis, among men, having Grade 8-11 education, Coloureds, being unemployed, and HHDA were positively and middle and older age (25 years and older) and being a student or learner were negatively associated with past 3-month any drug use. Among women, Coloureds, Indians or Asians, and HHDA were positively and older age (45 years and older) was negatively associated with past 3-month and drug use. About one in ten participants engaged HHDA and any drug use, and several sociodemographic and health indicators were identified associated with HHDA and any drug use.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0092.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Clinical Psychology Keywords: intellectual disability; children; South Africa; access to services; poverty; inequality
Online: 4 September 2020 (08:15:25 CEST)
1) Background: Intellectual disability is more common in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. Stigma and discrimination have contributed to barriers to people with intellectual disability accessing healthcare. As part of a larger study on caregiving of children with intellectual disability in urban Cape Town, South Africa, we interviewed a sub-group of families who had never used the intellectual disability services available to them, or who had stopped using them; 2) Methods: We employed a qualitative research design and conducted semi-structured interviews to explore the views and perspectives of parents and caregivers of children with intellectual disability who are not using specialised hospital services. We developed an interview guide to help explore caregivers’ and parents’ views; 3) Results: Results revealed that caregivers and parents of children with intellectual disability did not use the service due to financial difficulties, fragile care networks and opportunity costs, community stigma and lack of safety, lack of faith in services and powerlessness at effecting changes, and self-stigmatisation; 4) Conclusion: Current findings highlight a need for increased intervention at community level and collaboration with community-based projects to facilitate access to services, and engagement with broader issues of social exclusion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0442.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-Co-V-2, Environment, Africa, Pandemic,Pollution
Online: 20 August 2020 (07:42:57 CEST)
Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic has tremendously affected the African continent and the rest of the world. Most businesses have closed and a lot of people have lost their jobs. The aviation industry has been shaken to the core with airlines losing millions of dollars and flights being cancelled. The tourism industry has consequently been affected due to restricted travel of tourists, impacting wildlife conservation and livelihoods. Schools, colleges and universities have been closed. The virus has infected millions of people and hundreds of thousands of people have died globally putting strain on health systems especially those of hard hit countries. Various countries all over the world have put measures to control the spread of the virus through lockdowns and social distancing policies. The reduced economic activities and mobility of people has resulted in improved air quality, cleaner water and beaches in some countries. However there are also negative impacts such as challenges in waste management, increased pharmaceutical and household waste and discovery of the corona virus in wastewater, a potential threat to public health. A considerable amount of research has been done on the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in Africa but there is still limited research on its impact on the environment. This paper serves to highlight the observed and potential environmental impacts of COVID-19 in Africa.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0314.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: antiretroviral therapy; differentiated service delivery; retention; suppression; Africa; systematic review
Online: 19 May 2020 (09:53:46 CEST)
Introduction: Differentiated service delivery (DSD) models for antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV are being scaled up in the expectation that they will improve the quality and efficiency of treatment delivery and reduce costs while maintaining at least equivalent clinical outcomes. Even this minimum requirement of equivalent clinical outcomes is poorly documented for most models and settings, however. We reviewed the recent literature on DSD models to describe what is known about clinical outcomes. Methods: We conducted a rapid systematic review of peer-reviewed publications in PubMed, Embase, and the Web of Science and major international conference abstracts that reported outcomes of DSD models for the provision of ART in sub-Saharan Africa from January 1, 2016 to September 12, 2019. Sources reporting standard clinical HIV treatment metrics, primarily retention in care and viral load suppression, were reviewed and categorized by DSD model and source quality assessed. Results and Discussion: Twenty-nine papers and abstracts describing 37 DSD models and reporting 52 discrete outcomes met search inclusion criteria. Of the 37 models, 7 (19%) were facility-based individual models, 12 (32%) out-of-facility based individual models, 5 (14%) client-led groups, and 13 (35%) healthcare worker-led groups. Retention was reported for 73% of the models and viral suppression for 57%. Where a comparison with conventional care was provided, retention in most DSD models was within 5% of that for conventional care; where no comparison was provided, retention generally exceeded 80%. For viral suppression, all those with a comparison to conventional care reported a small increase in suppression in the DSD model; reported suppression exceeded 90% in 11/21 models. Analysis was limited by the extensive heterogeneity of study designs, outcomes, models, and populations. Most sources did not provide comparisons with conventional care, and metrics for assessing outcomes varied widely and were in many cases poorly defined. Conclusion: Existing evidence on the clinical outcomes of DSD models for HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa is limited in both quantity and quality but suggests that retention in care and viral suppression are roughly equivalent to those in conventional models of care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0442.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Finance Keywords: asymmetry; exchange rate pass-through; NARDL; inflation; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 19 October 2018 (08:03:04 CEST)
This paper examines the asymmetrical relationship between exchange rate and consumer prices in 40 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries from 1990q1 to 2017q4. The exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) to consumer prices is estimated for each country by using the nonlinear autoregressive distributed lags (NARDL) framework and dynamic panel estimators robust to cross-sectionally correlated errors. Firstly, our findings suggest an asymmetrical ERPT in the SSA region during the short-term, whereas there are mixed results across sub-regions in the long-term. Next, we find incomplete and significant ERPT to consumer prices in the entire SSA region which is higher during the depreciation of the local currency than after appreciations. Third, we find nonlinear ERPT with respect to the size of the exchange rate. The pass-through is higher during large exchange rate changes than after small changes. Finally, we find that the pass-through is greater in the countries with fixed exchange rate regime (CFA franc zone) having low inflationary environment than in the other SSA countries with flexible exchange rate regime and high inflation levels. As a result, policymakers should take into account these asymmetries and non-linearities to improve the credibility of monetary policy, strengthen trade liberalization and establish competitive market structures in the Sub-Saharan region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0546.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; Transition Management; WASH; informal settlements; sustainability transitions
Online: 31 August 2018 (11:22:13 CEST)
The unsustainability of the services related to water, sanitation and hygiene in informal settlements in Sub-Saharan Africa services is deeply embedded in current societal and governance structures, cultures and practices; it is context-dependent and involves numerous actors with different interests. The field of sustainability transitions research addresses such persistent and large scale societal challenges, with transition management being one of its widely applied governance approach. By drawing on an analysis of the root causes of unsustainability and unreliability of WASH services in three case studies in Sub-Saharan Africa (Arusha-Tanzania, Dodowa-Ghana, Kampala-Uganda), we explore how a transition management approach can be designed to support a transition towards sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Sub-Saharan Africa. We distinguish the following contextual dimensions related to the unsustainability of WASH services: a) Multiplicity of WASH practices, structures and arrangements, b) Governance capacities for WASH services and maintenance, c) Landownership for sustainable access to WASH, d) Public participation in decision-making related to WASH, e) socio-economic structures governing access to WASH. These dimensions prompt the identification of conceptual and application challenges for transition management. Based on these challenges, recommendations were formulated for the design of a prescriptive transition management process that is not only functional but also emancipatory of character.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0141.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: REDD+; climate change; forests; Ghana; Nigeria; West Africa; political ecology
Online: 14 December 2016 (08:08:28 CET)
This paper analyses the design and implementation of REDD+ in the West African region, an important global biodiversity area. Drawing on in-depth interviews, analysis of policy documents and observation of everyday activities, we sought to understand how REDD+ has been designed and implemented in Nigeria and Ghana. We draw on tools from political ecology to examine how, and why REDD+ takes the form it does in these countries. We focus on three key dimensions that emerged as strong areas of common emphasis in our case studies -- capacity building, carbon visibility, and property rights. First, we show that, while REDD+ design generally foregrounds an ostensible inclusionary politics, its implementation is driven through various forms of exclusion. This contradictory inclusion-exclusion politics, which is partly emblematic of the neoliberal provenance of the REDD+ policy, is also a contingent reality and a strategy for navigating complexities and pursuing certain interests. Second, we show that though the emergent foci of REDD+ implementation in our case studies align with global REDD+ expectations, they yet manifest as historically and geographically contingent processes that reflect negotiated and contested relations among actors that constitute the specific national circumstance of each country. We conclude by reflecting on the wider implications of these findings for understanding REDD+ implementation more broadly.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0059.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: water footprint; bottled water; groundwater; Africa; water resource management; urban
Online: 10 December 2016 (08:41:51 CET)
Packaged water consumption has grown rapidly in urban areas of many low and middle income countries, but particularly in Ghana. However, the sources of water used by this growing packaged water industry and its implications for water resource management and transport-related environmental impacts have not been described. This study aimed to assess the spatial distribution of regulated packaged water production in Ghana, both in relation to demand and for natural mineral water, to hydrogeological characteristics. 764 addresses for premises licenced to produce packaged water from 2009-2015 were mapped and compared to regional sachet water consumption and beverage import/export data examined. We find evidence to suggest packaged water is transported shorter distances in Ghana than in developed countries. For natural mineral waters, producers should be able to address the most widespread water quality hazards (including high salinity, iron and nitrates) in aquifers used for production through reverse osmosis treatment. The study suggests there is scope to integrate beverage product and groundwater regulatory databases to support groundwater management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0019.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: satellite; rainfall; estimates; rain gauge; uncertainties; topography; seasonality; East Africa
Online: 2 November 2016 (09:25:04 CET)
Accurate and consistent rainfall observations are vital for climatological studies in support of better planning and decision making. However, estimation of accurate spatial rainfall is limited by sparse rain gauge distributions. Satellite rainfall products can thus potentially play a role in spatial rainfall estimation but their skill and uncertainties need to be under-stood across spatial-time scales. This study aimed at assessing the temporal and spatial performance of seven satellite products (TARCAT (Tropical Applications of Meteorology using SATellite and ground-based observations (TAMSAT) African Rainfall Climatology And Time series), Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS), Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM-3B43), Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Morphing (CMORPH), the Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks- Climate Data Record (PERSIANN-CDR), CPC Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP) and Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) using gridded (0.05o) rainfall data over East Africa for 15 years(1998-2012). The products’ error distributions were qualitatively compared with large scale horizontal winds (850 mb) and elevation patterns with respect to corresponding rain gauge data for each month during the ‘long’ (March-May) and ‘short’ (October-December) rainfall seasons. For validation only rainfall means extracted from 284 rain gauge stations were used, from which qualitative analysis using continuous statistics of Root Mean Squared Difference, Standard deviations, Correlations, coefficient of determinations (from scatter plots) were used to evaluate the products’ performance. Results revealed rainfall variability dependence on wind flows and modulated by topographic influences. The products’ errors showed seasonality and dependent on rainfall intensity and topography. Single sensor and coarse resolution products showed lowest performance on high ground areas. All the products showed low skills in retrieving rainfall during ‘short’ rainfall season when orographic processes were dominant. CHIRPS, CMORPH and TRMM performed well, with TRMM showing the best performance in both seasons. There is need to reduce products’ errors before applications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0097.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: vulnerability; resilience; rice value chains; climate change; Sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 9 August 2016 (12:09:07 CEST)
Abstract: Rice is one of the most important food crops in sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change, variability, and economic globalization threaten to disrupt rice value chains across the subcontinent, undermining their important role in economic development, food security, and poverty reduction. This paper maps existing research on the vulnerability of rice value chains, synthesizes the evidence and the risks posed by climate change and economic globalization, and discusses agriculture and rural development policies and their relevance for the vulnerability of rice value chains in sub-Saharan Africa. Important avenues for future research are identified. These include the impacts of multiple, simultaneous pressures on rice value chains, the effects of climate change and variability on parts of the value chain other than production, and the forms and extent to which different development policies hinder or enhance the resilience of rice value chains in the face of climatic and other pressures.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0272.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: agroecology; physical reproduction; social reproduction; agency; sub-Saharan Africa; smallholder agriculture
Online: 16 August 2022 (03:31:35 CEST)
This paper investigates how agroecology in Africa is researched for two purposes. First, we present evidence of links between agroecology and food and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa. Second, we investigate which pathways of influence are dominant in the existing research and which pathways are under-represented. To achieve these objectives we anchor our analysis within feminist economics, thereby making use of the concepts of social reproduction and agency in our analysis of the literature. By employing a systematic literature review of empirical studies from African countries, starting from 1996 to 2020, we consolidate evidence that agroecology has contributed to food and nutrition security by acting toward sustainability at the farm level. However, our review shows in a second step that social and household dimensions of agroecology at the level of households and territories are not well documented in research linking agroecology to food security and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. Given that sustainable production practices such as agroecological practices are not mutually exclusive from the social activities of farmers and cultural contexts in which farmers are embedded, it is important to consider social and ecological processes concomitantly when assessing the value of Agroecology programs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0099.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: diabetes; survey; sub-Saharan Africa; coronavirus; vaccine; hesitancy; refusal; qualitative; lockdown
Online: 15 June 2022 (05:56:25 CEST)
Abstract: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with severe COVID-19 infection and complications. This study assessed COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and hesitancy in diabetes and explored reasons for nonvaccinating. This was a web-based cross-sectional survey using a mixed-method approach conducted between March-May 2021 corresponding to most SSA countries' early vaccine rollout period. Participants were those aged ≥18 years with self-reported DM in 11 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Responses to comments on reasons for vaccine hesitancy and facilitators for vaccine uptake were analyzed. Of the 73 participants with DM, 65.8% were males older than 35 years (86.3%), had post-secondary education (90%), and a significant proportion was from South Africa (39.7%), Nigeria (28.8%) and Ghana (13.7%). 64.4% had COVID-19 symptoms, 46.6% were tested for COVID-19, of which 19.2% tested positive. Few participants (6.8%) had taken the COVID-19 vaccination, 65.8% were willing to take the vaccine, while 26.0% either refused or hesitated to take the vaccine. The main reasons identified for not taking the vaccine were: advice from religious leaders, concerns about the vaccine safety, its effects, and efficacy, mistrust of the pharmaceutical companies, the conspiracy theories around the vaccines, the process of production, and the personal belief of the participants. However, participants stated they would take the vaccine if given more education about it, receive positive feedback from those vaccinated, are rewarded for taking the vaccine or if vaccination becomes a condition for travel and employment. The findings of this study showed that uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine was very low in this high-risk group. It is imperative that efforts to increase the uptake of vaccines, such as the provision of education and relevant information, are made.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0288.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Nutrient patterns; Obesity; Sex differences; Total and regional adiposity; South Africa
Online: 20 October 2021 (10:17:40 CEST)
The study evaluated the association between nutrient patterns and body fat and regional adiposity in middle-aged black South African (SA) men and women and determined if this differed by sex. Body fat and regional adiposity (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), and dietary intake (7-day quantified food frequency questionnaire) were measured in black SA men (n=414) and women (n=346). Using principal component analysis, nutrient patterns were computed from 25 nutrients in the combined sample. Four nutrient patterns were extracted, explaining 67% of the variance in nutrient intake. Animal and fat, as well as the vitamin C, sugar and potassium driven patterns, were positively associated with total adiposity. In contrast, the retinol and vitamin B12 pattern was associated with the centralisation of fat. Notably, the strength of the association between the animal-driven nutrient pattern and BMI was greater in men (1.14 kg/m2, 95%CI (0.63-1.66)) than women (0.81 kg/m2, 95%CI (0.25-1.36)) (Pint=0.017). In contrast, the plant driven pattern was associated with higher abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) in women (44 cm2, 95%CI (22-67)) but not men (Pint =1.54 x 10-4). These interactions suggest that although men and women have similar nutrient patterns, the associations with the whole body and regional body fat are different.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0199.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: informal settlements; population; displacement; GHS; WSF; HRSL; GRID3; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 8 July 2021 (11:48:58 CEST)
Satellite-based broad-scale (i.e., global and continental) human settlement data offer foundational information for diverse applications spanning climate hazard mitigation, sustainable development monitoring, spatial epidemiology, and demographic modeling. While many human settlement products report exceptional detection accuracies above 85%, there is a substantial blind spot in that product validation is typically centered on large urban areas rather than rural, small-scale settlements that are home to 3.4 billion people. In this study, we make use of a data-rich collection of 30 refugee settlements in Uganda to produce a targeted assessment of small-scale settlement detection by four broad-scale human settlement products: Global Human Settlements Built-Up Sentinel-2 (GHS-BUILT-S2), World Settlement Footprint (WSF), High Resolution Settlement Layer (HRSL), and Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3). We measured each product’s areal coverage within refugee settlements, assessed product detection accuracies in comparison to an independent dataset of 317,416 refugee settlement building footprints, and examined agreement between products. For refugee settlements established before 2016, the human settlement products had a low median F1-Score (F1) of 0.24, a high median false alarm rate of 0.59, and tended to only agree at locations of highest building density. Individually, WSF entirely overlooked 8 of the 30 study refugee settlements (median F1=0.17); GHS-BUILT-S2 underestimated the building footprint area by a median 50% (F1=0.15); GRID3 overestimated the building footprint area by a median 280% (F1=0.38); and HRSL underestimated the median area by 7% (F1=0.34). All products suffer from low detection accuracy and high false alarm rates, but GRID3 and HRSL, based on 0.5 meter resolution imagery, offer better detection accuracy than GHS-BUILT S2 and WSF, which are based on 10-30 meter resolution imagery. These results show that human settlement products have far to go in providing an accurate depiction of small-scale refugee settlements and would benefit from incorporating refugee settlements in training and validation of broad-scale human settlement detection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0713.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Road crashes; fatalities; casualties; persons killed in road accidents; South Africa
Online: 29 March 2021 (22:28:04 CEST)
Globally, there are 1.35 million road fatalities every year, which are estimated to cost governments approximately US$ 518 billion, making road fatalities the 8th leading cause of death across all age groups and the leading cause of death of children and young adults. In South Africa, despite tremendous governmental efforts to curb the soaring trajectory of road accidents, the annual number of road fatalities has increased by 26% in recent years. By fitting a structural equation model (SEM) and a GARCH Model (Generalized Auto-Regressive Conditional Heteroskedastic-ity) to analyze and predict future trend of road accidents (number of road accidents, number of casualties, number of fatal crashes and number of persons killed) in South Africa, we propose and test a complex metamodel that integrates multiple causality relationships. We show an increasing trend of road accidents over time, a trend that is predictable by number of vehicles in the country, the population of the country and the total distance travelled by vehicles. We further show that death rate linked to road accidents is on average 23.14 deaths per 100,000 persons and is pre-dictable following the equation: y = -0.0114x2+1.2378x-2.2627 (R2=0.76) with y = death rate and x = year. Finally, in the next decade, the number of road accidents is predicted to be roughly constant at 617,253 accidents but can reach 1 896 667 accidents in the worst-case scenario. The number of casualties was also predicted to be roughly constant at 93 531 over time, although this number may reach 661 531 in the worst-case scenario. However, although the number of fatal crashes may decrease in the next decade, it is forecasted to reach 11 241 within the next 10 years with the worse scenario estimated at 19 034 within the same period. At the same time, the number of persons killed in fatal crashes is also predicted to be roughly constant at 14 739 but may also reach 172 784 in the worse scenario. Overall, the present study reveals perhaps the positive effects of government initiatives to curb road accidents and their consequences; we call for more stronger actions for a drastic reduction in road accident events in South Africa.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0357.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: GRACE; GRACE-FO; TWS; hydroclimatic; drought; flooding; Nile River Basin; Africa
Online: 18 January 2021 (15:14:32 CET)
This research assesses the changes in the total water storage (TWS) during the twentieth century and their future projections in the Nile River Basin (NRB) via TWSA (TWS anomalies) records from GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), GRACE-FO (Follow-On), data-driven-reanalysis TWSA and land surface model (LSM), in association with precipitation, temperature records, and standard drought indicators. The analytical approach incorporates the development of 100+ yearlong TWSA records using a probabilistic conditional distribution fitting approach by the GAMLSS (Generalized Additive Model for Location, Scale, and Shape) model. The drought and flooding severity, duration, magnitude, frequencies, and recurrence were assessed during the studied period. The results showed, 1- The NRB between 2002 to 2020 has transited to substantial wetter conditions. 2- The TWSA reanalysis records between 1901 to 2002 revealed that the NRB had experienced a positive increase in TWS during the wet and dry seasons. 3- The projected TWSA between 2021 to 2050 indicated slight positive changes in TWSA during the rainy seasons. The analysis of drought and flooding frequencies between 1901 to 2050 indicated the NRB has ~64 dry-years compared to ~86 wet-years. The 100+ yearlong TWSA records assured that the NRB transited to wetter conditions relative to few dry spells. These TWSA trajectories call for further water resources planning in the region especially during flood seasons. This research contributes to the ongoing efforts to improve the TWSA assessment and its associated dynamics for transboundary river basins. It also demonstrates how an extended TWSA record provides unique insights for water resources management in the NRB and similar regions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0144.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; blaCTX-M-15; genetic environment; mobile genetic elements; Africa
Online: 7 December 2020 (12:49:16 CET)
The most widely distributed blaCTX-M gene on a global scale is blaCTX-M-15. The dissemination has been associated with clonal spread and different types of mobile genetic elements. This study aimed to review and describe the genetic environments of blaCTX-M-15 gene detected from Enterobacteriaceae in published literature from Africa. A literature search for relevant articles was done through PubMed, and Google Scholars electronic databases, 43 articles from 17 African countries were included in the review based on the eligibility criteria. Insertion sequences were reported as part of the genetic environment of blaCTX-M-15 gene in 32 studies, integrons in 13 studies, and plasmids in 23 studies. In this review, five insertion sequences including ISEcp1, IS26, orf447, IS903, and IS3 have been detected associated with the genetic environment of blaCTX-M-15 in Africa. Seven different genetic patterns were seen in blaCTX-M-15 genetic environment. Insertion sequence ISEcp1 was commonly located upstream of the end of the blaCTX-M-15 gene while insertion sequence orf477 was located downstream. In some studies, ISEcp1 was truncated upstream of blaCTX-M-15 by insertion sequences IS26 and IS3. Class 1 integron (Intl1) was most reported to be associated with blaCTX-M-15 (13 studies), with Intl1/dfrA17–aadA5 being the most common gene cassette array. IncFIA-FIB-FII multi-replicons and IncHI2 replicon types were the most common plasmid replicon types that horizontally transfer blaCTX-M-15 gene. Aminoglycoside modifying enzymes, and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes were commonly collocated with blaCTX-M-15 gene on plasmids. This review revealed the predominant role of ISEcp1, Intl1and IncF plasmid in the mobilization and continental dissemination of the blaCTX-M-15 gene in Africa.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0119.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Lead poisoning; environmental health; toxic metals; sub-Saharan Africa; environmental exposure
Online: 6 October 2020 (10:55:42 CEST)
Lead exposure is associated with poor cognitive development in children. Very few studies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have studied blood lead levels (BLLs) and non-gasoline sources of exposure in children. Data from a birth cohort in Benin (2011-2013) suggested that 58% of one-year-old children had BLLs > 50 ug/L. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of elevated BLLs (>50 µg/L and >100 µg /L) among 425 of these children at six-years-of-age in 2016-18 and to compare BLLs between age one-year and six-years and study sources of lead at six years. BLLs were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Multiple linear regression and quantile regressions were used to study potential sources of lead. The prevalence of BLLs >50 µg/L in children was 59.5% [Geometric Mean (GM) 56.4 µg/L, 95% CI: 54.1 - 58.7] at six years of age compared to 54.8% [GM 56.5 µg/L, 95% CI: 53.4-59.6] at one year of age. The prevalence of children with BLLs >100 µg/L decreased from 14.4% at one year of age to 8.2% at six years of age. After adjustment for all other covariates, consumption of peanut more than once per month was significantly associated with a 22.0% (95% CI: 4.6, 42.5) increment in BLLs at six years compared with no consumption. Consumption of bushmeat killed by lead bullets at six years was associated with an increase in the higher percentiles of BLLs (P75) compared with the absence of this source. Other potential sources of lead associated with BLLs with marginal significance were consumption of rice, paternal occupational exposure, and the presence of activity with the potential use of lead. This prospective cohort confirms the persistently high prevalence of elevated BLLs in children residing in a rural region in the south of Benin as well as the presence of multiple and continuous sources of lead. These results highlight the need for prevention programs to reduce and eliminate lead exposure in children.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0621.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; mortality; epidemiology; risk factors; Nigeria; Africa
Online: 25 July 2020 (18:20:23 CEST)
Nigeria is the most populous country in the African continent. The aim of this study was to analyze risk factors for COVID-19 prevalence and deaths in all 6 geopolitical regions and 37 states in Nigeria. We analyzed the data retrieved from various sources, including Nigeria CDC, Nigeria National Bureau of Statistics, Unicef-Nigeria multiple indicator cluster survey and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington. We examined 4 clinical risk factors (prevalence of TB, HIV, smoking and BCG vaccination coverage) and 5 sociodemographic factors (age ≥65, population density, literacy rate, unemployment and GDP per capita). Multivariate modeling was conducted using generalized linear model. Our analysis showed that the incidence of confirmed COVID-19 cases differed widely across the 37 states, from 0.09 per 100,000 in Kogi to 83.7 in Lagos. However, more than 70% of confirmed cases were concentrated in just 7 states: Lagos, Abuja, Oyo, Kano, Edo, Rivers and Delta. Case mortality rate (CMR) per million population also varied considerably, with Lagos, Abuja and Edo having CMR above 9. On bivariate analysis, higher CMR correlated positively with GDP and to a lesser extent with TB and population density. On multivariate analysis, which is more definitive, states with higher HIV prevalence and BCG coverage had lower CMR, while high GDP states had a greater CMR. This study indicates that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected certain states in Nigeria. Population susceptibility factors include higher economic development but not literacy or unemployment. Death rates were mildly lower in states with higher HIV prevalence and BCG vaccination coverage.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0208.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: children; young people; COVID-19; Eastern and Southern Africa; health systems
Online: 17 June 2020 (07:58:53 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has created extraordinary challenges and prompted remarkable social changes around the world. The implications of the novel coronavirus and the public health control measures that have been implemented to mitigate its impact are likely to be accompanied by a unique set of consequences for specific populations living in low income-countries that have fragile health systems and pervasive social-structural vulnerabilities. This paper discusses the implications of COVID-19 and related public health interventions for children and young people living in Eastern and Southern Africa. Actionable prevention, care, and health promotion initiatives are proposed to attenuate the negative effects of the pandemic and government-enforced movement restrictions on children and young people.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0158.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: land use regression; low-cost sensors; machine learning; particulate matter; Africa
Online: 14 June 2020 (03:11:17 CEST)
Background: There are major air pollution monitoring gaps in sub-Saharan Africa. Developing capacity in the region to conduct air monitoring in the region can help estimate exposure to air pollution for epidemiology research. The purpose of our study is to develop a land use regression (LUR) model using low-cost air quality sensors developed by a research group in Uganda (AirQo). Methods: Using these low-cost sensors, we collected continuous measurements of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) between May 1, 2019 and February 29, 2020 at 22 monitoring sites across urban municipalities of Uganda. We compared average monthly PM2.5 concentrations from the AirQo sensors with measurements from a BAM-1020 reference monitor operated at the US Embassy in Kampala. Monthly PM2.5 concentrations were used for LUR modeling. We used eight Machine Learning (ML) algorithms and ensemble modeling; using 10-fold cross validation and root mean squared error (RMSE) to evaluate model performance. Results: Monthly PM2.5 concentration was 60.2 µg/m3 (IQR: 45.4-73.0 µg/m3; median= 57.5 µg/m3). For the ML LUR models, RMSE values ranged between 5.43 µg/m3 - 15.43 µg/m3 and explained between 28% and 92% of monthly PM2.5 variability. Generalized additive models explained the largest amount of PM2.5 variability (R2=0.92) and produced the lowest RMSE (5.43 µg/m3) in the held-out test set. The most important predictors of monthly PM2.5 concentrations included monthly precipitation, major roadway density, population density, latitude, greenness, and percentage of households using solid fuels. Conclusion: To our knowledge, ours is the first study to model the spatial distribution of urban air pollution in sub-Saharan Africa using air monitors developed from the region itself. Non-parametric ML for LUR modeling performed with high accuracy for prediction of monthly PM2.5 levels. Our analysis suggests that locally produced low-cost air quality sensors can help build capacity to conduct air pollution epidemiology research in the region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0163.v1
Subject: Keywords: information source; smallholder farmers; ICTs; adoption; conceptual framework; sub-Sahara Africa
Online: 10 March 2020 (10:29:14 CET)
The importance of ICTs for dissemination of information to farmers has been verified by extension practitioners, information and communication scholars, policy makers and development agencies. Information related to new seed varieties, production technologies, livestock breeds, vaccines, including weed and pest control, as well as relevant market information is constantly required by smallholder farmers. The identification of specific attributes among smallholder farmers which contributes to their adoption of a proposed ICT-based information source provides an important tool for developing interventions which address the information needs of farmers. Using a literature survey methodology, pertinent studies related to adoption of ICTs, farmers’ information source usage and relevant frameworks were identified, including applicable theories and models in technology adoption and information behaviour. In the proposed framework, the socio-economic characteristics of smallholder farmers were posited as key variables influencing smallholder farmers, within a farming system, to adopt ICT-based information sources. The framework contributes to discern the prospects of adopting ICT-based information sources by individual farmers within a farming system, and may also envisage other related welfare outcomes and market participation pathways among smallholder farmers. The review also addresses the paucity of conceptual discourse, while contributing to a growing pool of research on ICT in African agriculture.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0222.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: West Africa; rainfall; annual cycle; CMIP5 models; onset; cessation; extremes; uncertainties
Online: 17 December 2019 (07:50:02 CET)
This study analyses uncertainties associated with the main features of the annual cycle of West African rainfall (amplitude, timing, duration) in 15 CMIP5 simulations over the Sahelian and Guinean regions with satellite daily precipitation estimates. The annual cycle of indices based on daily rainfall such as the frequency and the intensity of wet days, the consecutive dry (CDD) and wet days (CWD), the 95th percentile of daily rainfall (R95) have been assessed. Over both regions, satellite datasets provide more consistent results on the annual cycle of monthly precipitation than on higher-frequency rainfall indices, especially over the Guinean region. CMIP5 simulations display much higher uncertainties in both the mean precipitation climatology and higher-frequency indices. Over both regions, most of them overestimate the frequency of wet days. Over the Guinean region, the difficulty of models to represent the bimodality of the annual cycle of precipitation involves systematic biases the frequency of wet days. Likewise, we found strong uncertainties in the simulation of the CWD and the CDD over both areas. Finally, models generally provide too early (late) onset dates over the Sahel (the Guinean region) and overestimate rainfall during the early and late monsoon phases. These errors are strongly coupled errors in the latitudinal position of the ITCZ and do not compensate at the annual scale nor when considering West Africa as a whole. wet days. We found strong uncertainties in the simulation of the CWD and he CDD over both areas. Conversely for R95p and R95PTOT, the ncertainties in CMIP5 models appear somewhat weaker, but the magnitude f R95 is largely underestimated in most models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0007.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: West Africa; rainfall; annual cycle; CMIP5 models; onset; cessation; extremes; uncertainties
Online: 3 July 2019 (09:44:32 CEST)
This study analyses uncertainties associated with the annual cycle of West African rainfall characteristics in 15 simulations of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) over the Sahel and Guinean regions. Indices based on daily rainfall such as the frequency and the ntensity of wet days, the consecutive dry days (CDD) and wet days (CWD), the 95th percentile of daily rainfall (R95) and its contribution to the umulative monsoon rainfall (R95PTOT) have been assessed. Over both regions, TRMM, GPCP and CHIRPS observational datasets provide very consistent results on the annual cycle of precipitation but less so on the frequency of wet days. Conversely, higher uncertainties are noted on the intensity of wet days over both study areas, particularly over the Guinean region. Overall, CMIP5 simulations present much higher uncertainties in the representation of the mean precipitation climatology, often provide too early (late) onset dates over the Sahel (the Guinean region) and overestimate rainfall during the early and late monsoon phases. These errors do not compensate at the annual scale nor when considering West Africa as a hole. Results also reveal that over the Guinean region, the difficulty of models to represent the annual structure of the mean precipitation strongly involves biases in the representation of the annual cycle of the frequency of wet days. We found strong uncertainties in the simulation of the CWD and he CDD over both areas. Conversely for R95 and R95PTOT, the ncertainties in CMIP5 models appear somewhat weaker, but the magnitude of R95 is largely underestimated in most models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0225.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Bayesian bias correction; satellite rainfall; rain gauge; climate studies; East Africa
Online: 17 April 2018 (11:29:28 CEST)
Advances in remote sensing have led to use of satellite-derived rainfall products to complement the sparse rain gauge data. Although globally derived and some regional bias corrected, these products often show large discrepancies with ground measurements attributed to local and external factors that require systematic consideration. Decreasing rain gauge network however inhibits continuous validation of these products. We propose to deal with this problem by the use of Bayesian approach to merge the existing historical rain gauge information to create a consistent satellite rainfall data that can be used for climate studies. Monthly Bayesian bias correction is applied to the Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS v2) data to reduce systematic errors using a corresponding gridded (0.05°) rain gauge data over East Africa for a period of 33 (1981–2013) years of which 22 years are utilized to derive error fields which are then applied to an independent CHIRPS data for 11 years for validation. The bias correction is spatially and temporally assessed during the rainfall wet months of March-May (MAM), June-August (JJA) and October–December (OND) in East Africa. Results show significant reduction of systematic errors at both monthly and yearly scales and harmonization of their cumulative distributions. Monthly statistics showed a reduction of RMSD (29–56)% and MAE (28–60)% and an increase of correlations (2–32) %, while yearly ones showed reductions of RMSD (9-23)%, and MAE (7–27)% and increase of correlations (4–77)% for MAM months, reduction of RMSD (15–35)% and MAE (16–41)% and increase in correlations (5–16)% for JJA months, and reduction of RMSD (3–35)% and MAE (9–32)% and increase of correlations (3–65)% for OND months. Systematic errors of corrected data were influenced by local processes especially over Lake Victoria and high elevated areas. Large-scale circulations induced errors were mainly during JJA and OND rainfall seasons and were reduced by the separation of anomalous years during training. The proposed approach is recommended for generating long-term data for climate studies where consistencies of errors can be assumed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0091.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geology Keywords: mine tailings; ethics; legislations; corporate social responsibility; policy research; South Africa
Online: 27 August 2017 (10:38:56 CEST)
It is well recognised that the mining industry in South Africa is highly rated for its substantial contribution to the country’s economic growth, including employment and infrastructural development. It is also known that mining and ore processing activities potentially pose a severe threat to public health and environmental well-being, in the way operations are carried out, mine wastes are disposed of (in dumps), local communities are relocated, mine management and the mining community in general, perceive established environmental standards and etiquette. This paper examines ethical practices and norms in the South African mining industry, with particular reference to the management of tailings dams. We analyse the modes of articulation of the country’s regulatory instruments for tailings management, and review the corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach of leading mining companies. Despite decades of research and resulting recommendations on tailings management, it is concluded that current legislations are largely ineffective, level of adherence by mine management and the mining community, low, and mechanisms for compliance monitoring, weak. New perspectives on legislative issues for unsolved problems in tailings handling are put forward, and directions for future research, indicated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0154.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: carbon stock assessment; protected areas; savannas; degradation; woody vegetation; West Africa
Online: 15 August 2016 (12:06:29 CEST)
Savannas and adjacent vegetation types like gallery forests are highly valuable ecosystems contributing to several ecosystem services including carbon budgeting. Financial mechanisms such as REDD+ have provided an opportunity for developing countries to alleviate poverty through conservation of its forestry resources. For availing this opportunity carbon stock assessments are essential. Therefore, a research study at two protected areas i.e. Nazinga Game Ranch and Bontioli Nature Reserve, in Burkina Faso was conducted with the objective of assessing carbon Mg C ha-1 in aboveground biomass (AGB)dry of trees in different formations of the south-sudanian savanna in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Similarly analysis of various vegetation parameters was also conducted to understand the overall vegetation structure of these two protected areas. For estimating AGBdry, existing allometric equation for dry tropical woody vegetation types was used. The Importance Value Index (IVI) and Family Importance Value (FIV) were estimated through standard procedures. Various linear and non-linear regression analyses were conducted to test the relationships between carbon and other parameters such as DBH, height and basal area (BA). The results showed that both sites collectively contain mean carbon of 3.41 ± 4.98 Mg C ha-1. Amongst different vegetation types, gallery forests recorded the highest mean carbon of 9.38 ± 6.90 Mg C ha-1. The highest IVI of 115.56 at Nazinga Game Ranch was recorded for Anogeissus leiocarpa. Similarly, highest IVI of 98.59 was recorded for Mitragyna inermis at Bontioli Nature Reserve. The highest FIV was recorded for Combretaceae for both of the sites. To our knowledge, this was the first study conducted to assess the carbon stocks at the two protected areas in southern Burkina Faso. The study therefore was an attempt for addressing the knowledge gap particularly on carbon stocks of protected savannas. It could serve as a baseline for carbon stocks for future initiatives such as payment for environmental services and REDD+ at these areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201607.0082.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, General Humanities Keywords: Africa, African women, Christianity, Igbo society, patriarchy, post-colonialism, feminism, womanism
Online: 27 July 2016 (04:18:57 CEST)
The African society is one of the societies with rich culture and traditions. Apart from the indigenous religion of Africa, Christianity and Islam are worshiped as the major religions of the African society. Literature reflects a great amount of influence of religions on the existing societies, people and cultures. African literature often mirrors the clash of indigenous religion with Christianity. In the writings of African authors one can find the elements of Christian beliefs and practices. The present paper, however, is focused on the African woman novelist Buchi Emecheta’s selected four novels: Second-Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1976), The Slave-Girl (1977) and The Joys of Motherhood (1979). The paper attempts to discuss the impact of Christianity on the social and cultural aspects of the African society with special focus on African women. The findings reveal the positive as well as negative impacts of the new religion on African people and on the position of African women through the characters present in the selected novels. With the medium of writing and through Christianity, Emecheta seek to educate her society and improve upon the position of the African women.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0033.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Africa; biodiversity infrastructure; Clupeidae; Clupeiformes; Dactylogyridea; flatworm; historical collection; Monogenea; Pellonulini; sardine
Online: 2 November 2021 (10:28:05 CET)
Unlike their marine counterparts, tropical freshwater clupeids receive little scientific attention. However, they sustain important fisheries that may be of (inter)national commercial interest. Africa harbours over 20 freshwater clupeid species within Pellonulini. Recent research suggests their most abundant parasites are gill-infecting monogenean flatworms within Kapentagyrus. After inspecting specimens of 12 freshwater clupeids from West and Central Africa, mainly sourced in biodiversity collections, we propose 11 new species of Kapentagyrus which we describe using their haptoral and genital morphology. Because of their high morphological similarity, species delineation relies mostly on morphometrics of anchors and hooks. Specifically, earlier, molecular taxonomic work indicated that the proportion between the length of the anchor roots, and between hook and anchor length, are diagnostic. On average, about one species of Kapentagyrus exists per pellonuline species, although Pellonula leonensis harbours four species and Microthrissa congica two, while Microthrissa moeruensis and Potamothrissa acutirostris share a gill monogenean species. This study more than quadruples the number of known species of Kapentagyrus, also almost quadrupling the number of pellonuline species of which monogeneans are known. Since members of Kapentagyrus are informative about their hosts’ ecology, evolutionary history, and introduction routes, this enables a parasitological perspective on several data-poor African fisheries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0630.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Africa; Ethiopia; Landsat; Land Use Land Cover Change; Remote Sensing; SWAT model
Online: 28 July 2021 (12:20:13 CEST)
Land use land cover (LULC) changes are highly pronounced in African countries, as they are characterized by an agriculture-based economy and a rapidly growing population. Understanding how land use/cover change (LULCC) influence watershed hydrology will enable local governments and policymakers to formulate and implement effective and appropriate response strategies to minimize the undesirable effects of future land use/cover change or modification and sustain the local socio-economic situation. The hydrological response of the Ethiopia Fincha’a watershed to LULCC happened during the last 30 years was investigated comparing the situation in three reference years: 1994, 2004 and 2018. The information was derived from Landsat sensors, respectively Landsat 5 TM, Landsat 7 ETM and Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS. The various LULC classes were derived via ArcGIS using a supervised classification system, and the accuracy assessment was done using confusion matrixes. For all the years investigated the overall accuracies and the kappa coefficients were higher than 80%, with 2018 as the more accurate year. The analysis of LULCC revealed that forest decreased by 19.99% between the years 1994-2004, and it decreased by 11.85% in the following period 2004-2018. Such decline in areas covered by forest is correlated to an expansion of cultivated land by 16.4% and 10.81%, respectively. After having evaluated the LULCC at the basin scale, the watershed was divided into 18 sub-watersheds, which contained 176 Hydrologic Response Units (HRUs), having a specific LULC. Accounting for such a detailed subdivision of the Fincha’a watershed, the SWAT model was firstly calibrated and validated on past data, and then applied to infer information on the hydrological response of each HRU on LULCC. The modelling results pointed out a general increase of average water flow, both during dry and wet periods, as a consequence of a shift of land coverage from forest and grass towards settlements and build-up areas. The present analysis pointed out the need of accounting for past and future LULCC in modelling the hydrological responses of rivers at the watershed scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0508.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: Africa, armed conflict, business, corporations, environment, human rights, minerals, European Union, regulations
Online: 21 May 2021 (09:31:02 CEST)
Competition over environmental and natural resources characteristically lies at the heart of armed conflicts in Africa. It is also common knowledge that some companies dealing in products such as laptops, smart phones and jewellery; import minerals from conflict-affected areas, thereby indirectly fuelling conflicts in these areas or undermining human rights. For a continent endowed with natural resources including minerals, Africa has suffered the brunt of this predicament. This state of affairs has lent impetus to the adoption of several regulations geared towards curbing irresponsible business practices by companies relying on such minerals, the goal being, amongst others, to guarantee the protection of human rights. In May 2017, the European Union adopted Regulations intended to stop the importation of conflict minerals in Europe, debatably making giant strides in the direction of protection of human rights. These Regulations are to come into force in 2021. However, can these regulations advance the much-desired goal of protection of human rights in Africa on issues pertaining to conflict minerals? By analyzing the 2017 EU Regulations in light of previous regulations of a similar nature, the paper concludes that the said regulations constitute a weak normative framework and could in fact have unintended consequences on the fundamental rights of civilians in natural resource-rich conflict areas of Africa.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0559.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: porcine astroviruses; linear antigenic epitopes; recombination; glycosylation; whole genome sequences; East Africa
Online: 24 September 2020 (03:26:44 CEST)
Astroviruses (AstVs) are occurs globally and are common causes of gastroenteritis in human and animals. The genetic diversity and epidemiology of AstVs in Africa is not well known, hence, we aimed to genetically characterize astroviruses in asymptomatic smallholder piglets in East Africa. Twenty-four samples randomly selected from 446 piglets (<6 months old), initially collected for rotavirus study, was sequenced for metagenomic analysis. Thirteen (13/24) samples had contigs with high identity to genus Mamastrovirus. Analysis of 7 strains with complete (or near complete) genome revealed variable nucleotide and amino acid sequence identities with known PoAstV strains. The U083 and K321 strains had nucleotide sequence similarities ranging from 66.4 to 75.4 % to the known PoAstV2 strains, nucleotide sequence similarity of U460 strain with known PoAstV3 ranged 57.0 to 65.1 % to the, while K062, K366, K451, and K456 strains showed nucleotide sequence similarities of 63.5 to 80 % to the known PoAstV4 strains. The low sequence identities (<90 %) indicate that novel genotypes of PoAstVs are circulating in the study area. Multiple recombination events were detected in our PoAstV4 strains, indicating that the genetic diversity observed in these strains may be due to recombination. Importantly, we identified potential candidate epitopes with conserved peptides in our PoAstV strains that could aid in the design of immune diagnosis tools and subunit vaccines. Our data provide new intuitions into the genetic structure of porcine astroviruses in East African.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0442.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: schistosomiasis; soil-transmitted-helminthiasis; mapping; preventive chemotherapy; transmission control; Gabon; Central Africa
Online: 27 August 2018 (07:49:51 CEST)
In order to follow the Preventive Chemotherapy for the transmission control as recommended by WHO, Gabon initiated in 2014 the mapping of Schistosomiasis and Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis (STH). Here we report the results of the Northern and Eastern health regions, representing a third of the land area and 12% of its total population. All the 9 departments of the two regions were surveyed and from each, 5 schools were examined with 50 schoolchildren per school. The parasitological examinations were realized using the filtration method for urine and the Kato-Katz technique for stool samples. Overall 2245 schoolchildren (1116 girls and 1129 boys), mean aged 11.28 ± 0.04 years, were examined. Combined schistosomiasis and STH affected 1270 (56.6%) with variation between regions, departments and schools. For schistosomiasis, prevalence were 1.7% across the two regions, with no significant difference (p>0.05) between the Northern (1.5%) and the Eastern (1.9%). Schistosomiasis is mainly caused by Schistosoma haematobium with a prevalence of 1.5%, 1.9% and 1.7%, respectively in the North, East and globally. STH are more common than schistosomiasis, with an overall prevalence of 56.1% significantly different between the Northern (58.1%) and Eastern (53.6%) regions (p = 0.034). Trichuris trichiura is the most abundant infection with a prevalence of 43.7% followed by Ascaris lumbricoides 35.6% and hookworms 1.4%. According to these results, an appropriate mass drug administration strategy is given for the control of each neglected tropical disease group surveyed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0419.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Corporate board characteristics; environmental disclosure; Traditional and integrated frameworks; South Africa; Nigeria
Online: 23 August 2018 (15:51:10 CEST)
Abstract: The aim of this study was to compare the influence of corporate board characteristics on the extent of environmental disclosure quantity of listed firms in two leading emerging economies in Africa, South Africa (integrated reporting framework) and Nigeria (traditional reporting framework). Methods: The sample was comprised of 303 firms including environmentally sensitive companies purposively selected for content analysis study in South Africa (213) and Nigeria (90). We used both descriptive, multivariate and regression models to comparatively analyze the differences about corporate board characteristics as determinants of the extent of their environmental disclosure quantity. Results: The results reveal a more significant positive association between board characteristics and environmental disclosure in South Africa and less relevant association in Nigeria. Also, the results support that board independence arrangement may serve as bonding mechanisms in weak reporting environments, suggesting a substitutive relationship between board independence and the regulatory framework. Quiet revealing a board with environmental committee show a higher tendency to be ecologic transparent in both countries. However, in a traditional reporting framework, the environmental committee is not enough; its effect was insignificant and highly significant in the integrated reporting framework. Further revealed is the significant positive effect of industry membership influence on environmental disclosure. In all estimated models of South Africa sample show that 45% of environmentally sensitive industries significantly influence environmental disclosure, while 51% is environmentally polluting industries in Nigeria show less concern on environmental disclosure. Interestingly, Audit firm size (Big4) positively and statistically significantly associated with overall environmental reporting in both countries. The results are consistent with stakeholder theory, agency theory, institutional and legitimacy theory suggesting that a strong board size, independent members of the board with auditing experience, the active environmental committee in conjunction with solid audit reputation may reduce information asymmetry. Our findings will be helpful for policymakers and other regulators who are interested in environmental impact reporting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0165.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: Urban resilience, flood resilience programme, robust evaluation, subjective resilience, Senegal, Africa, BACI
Online: 11 June 2018 (16:52:35 CEST)
In the last decade, sub-Saharan African countries have taken various measures to plan for and adapt to floods in order to reduce exposure and its impacts on human health, livelihoods and infrastructure. Measuring the effects of such initiatives on social resilience is challenging as it requires to combine multiple variables and indicators that embrace thematic, spatial and temporal dimensions inherent to the resilience thinking and concept. In this research, we apply a before-after-control-intervention (BACI) evaluation to empirically measure the impacts of the “Live with Water” (LWW) project on suburban households in Dakar, Senegal. We developed a resilience index that combines anticipatory, adaptive and absorptive capacity – considered as structural dimensions – with the concept of transformative capacity – considered as a temporal reconfiguration of the first three dimensions. Our finding let us estimate that the project increased the absorptive and the anticipatory capacities by 10.61% and 4.61%, respectively. However, adaptive capacity remained unchanged. This may be explained by the fact that the programme was more successful in building drainage and physical infrastructures, rather than improving multi-level organisations and strategies to cope with existing flood events. Further flood resilience program should better combine engineering approaches with institutional change and livelihood support to poor urban dwellers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0156.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: west Africa cities; urban transport; traffic flows; fuel consumption; emissions inventories; Yopougon
Online: 11 June 2018 (11:51:28 CEST)
Traffic source emissions inventories for the rapidly growing West African urban cities are necessary for better local characterization of vehicle emissions released into these cities atmosphere. This study based on local field campaign in a representative site of anthropogenic activities over West African cities such as Yopougon (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire) during 2016, provided useful information on vehicle type and age, traveling time, fuel type and amount for fuel consumption estimation. Also, high traffic flow of personal car were recorded on highway, boulevard and backstreet whereas high flows of intra-communal sedan taxi are recorded on main and secondary roads. In addition, the highest daily fuel consumption value of 56 L.day-1 was recorded in heavy vehicle while the lowest value of 15 L.day-1 is recorded for personal car using gasoline. This study will be useful for the improvement of uncertainties related to the different databases used to estimate inventories emissions either national or international reports. This work provides useful information for future studies on urban air quality, climate and health impacts assessment in African cities. It may also be useful for policy makers to support implementation of emission reduction policy in West African cities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0194.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: Africa; Terminalia brownii; antifungal extracts; Aspergillus, Nattrassia, Fusarium; triterpenoids; flavonoids; ellagitannins; stilbenes
Online: 31 October 2017 (09:54:35 CET)
Decoctions, macerations and fumigations of the stem bark and wood of Terminalia brownii Fresen. are used in traditional medicine for fungal infections and as pesticides on field crops and in traditional granaries in Sudan. In addition, T. brownii is commonly used for protecting wooden houses and furniture. Therefore, using agar disc diffusion and macrodilution methods, eight extracts of various polarities from the stem wood and bark were screened for their growth inhibitory effects against filamentous fungi commonly causing fruit, vegetable and grain decay, as well as infections in the immunocompromised host. Ethyl acetate extracts of the stem wood and bark gave the best antifungal activities, with MIC values of 250 µg/ml against Nattrassia mangiferae and Fusarium verticillioides, and 500 µg/ml against Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus. Aqueous extracts gave almost as potent effects as the ethyl acetate extracts against the Aspergillus and Fusarium strains, and were slightly more active than the ethyl acetate extracts against Nattrassia mangiferae. Thin layer chromatography, RP-HPLC-DAD and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), were employed to identify the chemical constituents in the ethyl acetate fractions of the stem bark and wood. The stem bark and wood were found to have a similar qualitative composition of polyphenols and triterpenoids, but differed quantitatively from each other. The stilbene derivatives, cis- (3) and trans- (4) resveratrol-3-O-β-galloylglucoside, were identified for the first time in T. brownii. Moreover, methyl-(S)-flavogallonate (5), quercetin-7-β-O-di-glucoside (8), quercetin-7-O-galloyl-glucoside (10), naringenin-4`-methoxy-7-pyranoside (7), 5,6-dihydroxy-3`,4`,7-tri-methoxy flavone (12), gallagic acid dilactone (terminalin) (6), a corilagin derivative (9) and two oleanane type triterpenoids (1) and (2) were characterized. Our results justify the traditional uses of macerations and decoctions of T. brownii stem wood and bark for crop and wood protection and demonstrate that standardized extracts could have uses for the eco-friendly control of plant pathogenic fungi in African agroforestry systems. Likewise, our results justify the traditional uses of these preparations for the treatment of skin infections caused by filamentous fungi.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0613.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: PM2.5 monitor; Ambient Air pollution; Measurement sensor; Low-cost; Feasibility; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 25 September 2020 (12:04:05 CEST)
Urban cities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are faced with ambient air pollution. This is an important public health problem with models and limited monitoring data indicating high concentrations of pollutants such as fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Going through most global air quality index maps, however, information about ambient pollution from SSA is scarce. We evaluated the feasibility and practicality of longitudinal measurements of ambient PM2.5 using low-cost air quality sensors (Purple Air-II-SD) across thirteen locations in seven countries in SSA. Devices were used to gather data over a 30-day period with the aim of assessing the efficiency of its data recovery rate and identifying challenges experienced by users in each location. The median data recovery rate was 94% (range: 72% to 100%). The mean 24-hour concentration measured across all sites was 38 µg/m3 with the highest PM2.5 period average concentration of 91 µg/m3 measured in Kampala, Uganda and lowest concentrations of 15 µg/m3 measured in Faraja, The Gambia. Kampala-Uganda and Nnewi-Nigeria recorded the longest periods with concentrations>250µg/m3. Power outages, SD memory card issues, internet connectivity problems and device safety concerns were important challenges experienced when using Purple Air-II-SD sensors. Despite some operational challenges, this study demonstrated that it is reasonably practicable and feasible to establish a network of low-cost devices to provide data on local PM2.5 concentrations in SSA countries. Such data are crucially needed to raise public-, societal and policymaker awareness about air pollution across SSA.
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: photovoltaics; solar energy; Father Verspieren; solar energy in Africa; rainwater harvesting; solar pump
Online: 3 April 2020 (03:38:43 CEST)
Almost fifty years after the first installations, I identify the main lessons learned from fighting drought and poverty in Africa with direct solar-powered pumps thanks to Father Bernard Verspieren and Mali Aqua Viva. Six main findings and three main recommendations emerge from the present analysis. They are of direct relevance to all Africa’s countries whose population has gone from 438 million in 1977 to 1,308 million in 2019, with about 600 million still having no access to electricity. In place of “awareness campaigns” and extraordinary courses held by international organizations, I recommend to establish national solar energy institutes whose task will include the education of solar energy professionals giving practice-oriented workshops on solar-powered drip irrigation and rainwater harvesting throughout each Africa’s country. Said education will critically include the economic and social aspects of distributed “generation” of energy and water from sunlight and rainfall.