ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0318.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Cattle; brucellosis; seroprevalence; Zambia
Online: 10 November 2020 (14:07:18 CET)
Brucellosis is an infectious zoonosis that has huge economic and public health implications globally. The disease is prevalent in humans, livestock and wildlife in Sub Saharan Africa. A cross-sectional study was conducted between 6th May 2017 and 31st July 2020 during which 1712 sera from 177 cattle herds in Southern, Western and Eastern provinces of Zambia was collected and screened against brucellosis. Rose Bengal Test and c-ELISA were used in serial testing for detection of antibodies against Brucella species. Results: A total of 127 animals and 37 herds tested positive, giving an overall individual and herd seroprevalence of 7.42% (CI: 0.61-0.86) and 20.9% respectively. Namwala district recorded the highest seroprevalence (12.2%) while Lundazi had the lowest (0%). A higher seropositivity was observed among female animals (8.5%), those aged between 11 and 17 years (14.1%) and pregnant cows (13.8%). Conclusions: Brucella seroprevalence among traditional cattle in Zambia remains high. It is vital that control programmes against bovine brucellosis are introduced in order to reduce its zoonotic impact on human health and increase animal production.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1703.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: herpesvirus; bat; surveillance; complete genome; Zambia
Online: 24 May 2023 (05:30:03 CEST)
Bats are of significant interest as reservoirs for various zoonotic viruses with high diversity. During the past two decades, many herpesviruses have been identified in various bats worldwide by genetic approaches, whereas there have been few reports on the isolation of infectious herpesviruses. Herein, we report the prevalence of herpesvirus infection of bats captured in Zambia and genetic characterization of novel gammaherpesviruses isolated from Macronycteris vittatus bats. By our PCR screening, herpesvirus genomes were detected in 29.2% (7/24) of Rousettus aegyptiacus, 78.1% (82/105) of Macronycteris vittatus, and 100% (1/1) of Hipposideros caffer bats in Zambia. Phylogenetic analyses of the detected herpesvirus genomes revealed that the Zambian bat herpesviruses were divided into seven betaherpesvirus groups and five gammaherpesvirus groups. Two infectious strains of a novel gammaherpesvirus, tentatively named Macronycteris gammaherpesvirus 1 (MaGHV1), were successfully isolated from Macronycteris vittatus bats, and their complete genomes were sequenced. The genome of MaGHV1 encoded 79 open reading frames, and phylogenic analyses of the DNA polymerase and glycoprotein B demonstrated that MaGHV1 formed an independent lineage sharing a common origin with other bat-derived gammaherpesviruses. Our findings provide new information regarding the genetic diversity of herpesviruses maintained in African bats.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2205.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: Rotavirus; vaccines; histo-blood groups; immunogenicity; Zambia
Online: 31 May 2023 (08:43:17 CEST)
Live-attenuated, oral rotavirus vaccines have significantly reduced rotavirus-associated diarrhoea morbidity and infant mortality. However, vaccine immunogenicity is diminished in low-income countries. We investigated whether maternal and infant intrinsic susceptibility to rotavirus infection via histo-blood group antigen (HBGA) profiles influenced rotavirus (ROTARIX®) vaccine-induced responses in Zambia. We studied 135 mother-infant pairs under a rotavirus vaccine clinical trial aged 6 to 12 weeks at pre-vaccination up to 12 months old. We determined maternal and infant ABO/H, Lewis, and secretor HBGA phenotypes, and infant FUT2 HBGA genotypes. Vaccine immunogenicity was measured as anti-rotavirus IgA antibody titres. Overall, 34 (31.3%) of children were seroconverted at 14 weeks, and no statistically significant difference in seroconversion was observed across the various HBGA profiles in early infant life. We also observed a statistically significant difference in rotavirus-IgA titres across infant HBGA profiles at 12 months though no statistically significant difference was observed between study arms. There was no association between maternal HBGA profiles and infant vaccine immunogenicity. Overall, infant HBGA was associated with RV-Vaccine immunogenicity at 12 months as opposed to early infant life. Further investigation into the low efficacy of ROTARIX® and appropriate intervention is key to unlocking full vaccine benefits for U5 children.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0237.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: Higher Education Act; Higher Education; Zambia; Universities
Online: 13 January 2023 (06:33:31 CET)
The higher education act of 2013 with its amendment act of 2021 was enacted to guide and regulate the provision of higher education in Zambia. This conceptual paper sought to assess the impact of this act in the higher education sector. It was qualitative in design and data was collected using content analysis. In this regard, literature regarding the Zambia higher education act and higher education provisions were scrutinised. The findings show that the higher education act has resulted in the creation of the higher education authority (HEA) which has brought sanity to the higher education sector by compelling all higher education institutions to be registering themselves and programmes with HEA. Further, the HEA has developed a policy for the promotion of academic staff in the higher education sector. However, the higher education act (the amended act of 2021) has negatively impacted the higher education sector. The amended act outlawed the spirit of accountability in the running of universities by removing stakeholders such as unions from sitting on the university council. Further, the act has reduced the number of councillors to sit on the council to run public universities from 16 to 8, thereby limiting the diversity of membership to the council. Furthermore, the higher education act has opened higher education institutions' affiliations to even private universities with little or no capacity, thereby further compromising the quality of higher. The Act has also increased the cost of running universities by introducing additional administrative structures in universities. Based on the above findings, the paper recommends that the Act be amended to remove the retrogressive clauses highlighted in this paper.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0900.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Lymphatic Filariasis; pre-TAS; Prevalence; Antigenaemia; Microfilariae; Zambia
Online: 25 April 2023 (08:30:08 CEST)
Lymphatic filariasis (LF), also commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by filarial parasites. The disease is transmitted by a bite from infected mosquitoes. The bites of these infected mosquitoes deposit filarial parasites, Wuchereria or Brugia whose predilection site is the lymphatic system. The damage to the lymph system causes swelling in the legs, arms, and genitalia. A mapping survey conducted between 2003 and 2010 determined LF that LF was endemic in Zambia in 96 out of 116 districts. Elimination of LF is known to be possible by stopping the spread of the infection through large-scale preventive chemotherapy. Therefore, mass drug administration (MDA) with diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) (6 mg/kg) and Albendazole (400 mg) for Zambia has been conducted and implemented in all endemic districts with five effective rounds. Post-MDA pre-transmission assessment survey (pre-TAS) was conducted between 2021 and 2022 in 80 districts to determine the LF prevalence rate. We conducted a cross-sectional seroprevalence study involving 600 participants in each Evaluation Unit (EU) or each district. The study sites (sentinel and spot-check sites) were the districts that were the Implementation Unites (IUs) where MDA, preventive chemotherapy against LF was conducted. These included 80 districts from the 9 provinces. A total of 47,235 people from sentinel and spot-check locations were tested. Of these, valid tests were 47,052 of which 27,762 (59%) were females and 19,290 (41%) were males. The survey revealed in the 79/80 endemic district a prevalence of Wb anti-gens of 0.14% and 0.0% prevalence of microfilariae. All the surveyed districts had an optimum prevalence of less than 2 percent, except for Chibombo district. The majority of participants that tested positive for Wb Ag were those that had 2, 3, and 4 rounds of MDA. Surprisingly, individuals that had 1 round of MDA were not found to have circulating antigens of Wb. The study showed that all the surveyed districts except for Chibombo, passed Pre-TAS. This further implies that there is a need to conduct a TAS in these districts in order to decide whether to stop MDA or not. Keywords: Lymphatic Filariasis; pre-TAS; Prevalence; Antigenaemia; Microfilariae; Zambia
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0271.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: agricultural expansion; marketing; land-grabs; value-chains; Zambia
Online: 9 June 2021 (21:53:53 CEST)
The post-2007 crisis-induced an agricultural expansion across Africa, but local level production and marketing experiences remain understudied. This study assesses the dynamics of agricultural expansion and small-scale farmers’ experiences in rural Zambia. Using a mixed research design, data were drawn from surveys, multi-level interviews, group discussions policy reviews and observations. Results show an agriculture expansion among small-scale farmers is underway due to favourable climatic conditions, land, and water availability, enabled by state subsidies, and an emerging market in commercial and supermarket outlets. However, farmers encounter production and marketing challenges related to poor tenure security, late delivery of inputs, and low financing. They face low and fluctuating prices, poor infrastructure, including low levels of mechanisation necessary to expand the production. Overall, despite an agricultural and land-use expansion taking shape, actual benefits for real transformation are largely missing – and currently over their heads. An argument is made that whilst policy actors continue to impress farmers to organise themselves to maximise benefits of an agricultural expansion, actual processes on how farmers can achieve this are missing in policy and practice. This necessitates a focus on multi-level processes aimed at addressing production, storage and marketing dynamics within a progressive coordination arrangement that centralizes small producers. Until that is addressed, the prospects for local development and poverty reduction for small-scale farmers under an agricultural expansion will be slender but continue to centrally reside in the state efforts to create enabling local and community environment that addresses real challenges. Overall, this study helps to extend the debate on diverse processes shaping rural transformation in Zambia and across sub-Saharan Africa, including the role and importance of agricultural expansion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0161.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Total factor productivity; growth accounting; economic growth; Zambia.
Online: 20 March 2017 (16:03:06 CET)
Most empirical work on sources of economic growth for different countries lack country-specific empirical evidence to guide policy choices in individual developing countries and previous studies of factor productivity tend to focus on the entire economy or a single sector. In this study, we use the recently developed growth accounting tools to explicitly determine the sources of economic growth at both national and sectoral levels in Zambia between 1970 and 2013. We use data from World Development Indicators and Zambia’s Central Statistical Office. On average, total factor productivity (TFP) contributes about 5.7% to economic growth. Sectoral analysis shows that agriculture contributes the least to GDP and that within each sector; factors that contribute to growth differ. Structural transformation has been slow and contributed to the observed inefficiency. We outline the implications of the observed growth and provide recommendations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1137.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Rotavirus A; Reassortment; Interspecies transmission; Genomic characterization; Porcine; Zambia
Online: 16 August 2023 (04:19:03 CEST)
Rotavirus is a major cause of diarrhea globally in animals and young children under 5 years. Here, molecular detection and genetic characterization of porcine rotavirus in smallholder and commercial pig farms in the Lusaka Province of Zambia were con-ducted. Screening of 148 stool samples by RT-PCR targeting the VP6 gene revealed a prevalence of 22.9 % (34/148). Further testing of VP6-positive samples with VP7-specific primers produced 12 positives, which were then Sanger-sequenced. BLASTn of the VP7 positives showed sequence similarity to porcine and human rota-virus strains with identities ranging from 87.5% to 97.1%. By next-generation se-quencing, the full-length genetic constellation of the representative strains RVA/pig-wt/ZMB/LSK0137 and RVA/pig-wt/ZMB/LSK0147 were determined. Geno-typing of these strains revealed a known Wa-like genetic backbone and their genetic constellations were G4-P-I5-R1-C1-M1-A8-N1-T1-E1-H1 and G9-P-I5-R1-C1-M1-A8-N1-T1-E1-H1, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these two viruses might have their ancestral origin from pigs, though some of their gene segments were related to human strains. The study shows evidence of reas-sortment and possible interspecies transmission between pigs and humans in Zambia. Therefore, the “One Health” surveillance approach for rotavirus A in animals and humans is recommended to inform the design of effective control measures.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0447.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology 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.
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Climate change; crop production; maize; beans; Just and Pope model; Zambia
Online: 21 November 2019 (10:39:38 CET)
Farming systems prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa are exposed and vulnerable to climate change due to their high dependence on rainfall. However, most studies have only estimated the impacts of climate change on agricultural productivity at a regional or national level. We add to this literature by focussing on the sub-national impacts. This study uses 30 years (1981–2011) of yield and weather data in Zambia and applies the Just and Pope model to determine how rainfall and temperature affect yield and yield variability of maize and beans at the national and subnational levels. Results show a negative impact of temperature rise on yield and a positive impact of rainfall rise on yield, above the current mean levels. These results differ by agro-ecological region. Worst-case-scenario predicted impacts using HadGEM-ES2 global circulation model show that major yield decreases (25% for maize and 34% for beans) by 2050 will be in region II and will be driven mainly by temperature increase offsetting the positive gains from rainfall increase. The model mainly under-predicts yield for maize and overpredicts yield for beans. These findings call for agro-ecological region-specific adaptation strategies and well-planned policy interventions to make agriculture more resilient to climate change.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0302.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: tobacco smoking; intention to quit smoking; Hamiltonian Monte Carlo; Bayesian analysis; Zambia
Online: 21 February 2020 (03:14:01 CET)
The tobacco epidemic is one of the leading public health threats the world has ever faced and public health policy that seeks to limit the problem may not only have to target the price of tobacco but also the initiation stage in a smoker’s life – the adolescent stage. This research contributes to the health economics literature by using a Bayesian hierarchical logistic model, estimated using Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (HMC) methods to empirically identify what drives the intentions to quit smoking among adolescent smokers in Zambia. Results suggest that among the junior secondary school-going adolescent smokers in Zambia, about 63% have plans to quit smoking. We find socio-demographic characteristics and several tobacco-smoking-related factors as the main drivers of adolescent smokers’ plans to quit smoking. Most importantly, we provide insights that could be useful to help adolescent smokers realize their quitting plans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0114.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Urban Studies And Planning Keywords: International development, urban planning culture, social maladies, local authority, Chipata District, Zambia
Online: 9 April 2019 (12:53:50 CEST)
Since the public inauguration of the URP (Urban and Regional Planning) Bill in 2009, which is now law (The Urban and Regional Planning Act No. 3 of 2015), urban planning in Zambia has undergone changes. In partnership with the Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) Federation, the Zambian parliament put into effect pilot urban planning assistance programs to assist districts around the country, including Chipata District in 2011, transition to a more decentralized, integrated and locally-defined approach to urban planning. However, the presence of discrimination, corruption, and negative attitudes towards urban planning engagement, social maladies prominently displayed in Zambian society, pose challenges to implementing the ideal goals of the 2009 URP Bill. The extreme, widespread poverty in Zambia merely exacerbates the propensity towards corrupt and discriminatory behavior, and influences poor attitudes toward urban planning engagement. This paper describes the projects undertaken by the VSO volunteer from the USA between 2011 and 2012 in the light of the specific urban problems facing Chipata District, and discusses the ways the social maladies play out in Zambian society to pose challenges to implementing the recommended changes to the planning system scribed in the 2009 URP Bill.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0047.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: Zambia’s Higher Education Policy; Policies in Higher Education; Education and Policies in Zambia
Online: 4 January 2023 (02:46:40 CET)
Policies are adopted and implemented to achieve specific goals. In this regard, the Government of Zambia in 2019 adopted the higher education policy with many objectives which include, the expansion of access to higher education; reduction of gender and other forms of inequity in accessing higher education; the improvement of quality of higher education by increasing funding to higher education institutions, construction, and repair of infrastructure in higher and improvement in the provision of learning materials in higher education institutions (HEIs).This paper, therefore, sought to evaluate the higher education policy of 2019. The four criteria were used namely; effectiveness, equity, policy sustainability, and consistency. Other principles such as political and social acceptability of a policy were not used because the policy is already adopted and being implemented. Further, the principle of efficiency was not used because it would have been problematic to gauge the expenditure against the outcomes.The findings have revealed that the policy to some extent has been effective; some of the objectives such as increased access to higher education and reduction of inequality have been partially achieved. It has been established that the number of students pursuing higher education has been increased to 114,049 in 2020 from 91,969 in 2017. Further, in 2021, 48.5% of scholarships in public universities were awarded to female students while 51.5% were awarded to female students. Further, more students are encouraged to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); and more women are pursuing studies in STEM-related fields. However, the policy has not helped to achieve the quality of higher education as funding in public HEIs has not improved. Further, infrastructure remains very poor and inadequate; and access to update and relevant learning materials also remains a challenge in HEIs. However, the policy seems to be duplicated by the recent re-launched Technical Education Vocation Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) national policy.Given the above findings, it has been recommended that the government among other things improve funding and build infrastructure in public HEIs. There is also a need to harmonise the TEVET national policy with the higher education policy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0104.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: land use planning; agriculture; crop damage; Game Management Areas; human-wildlife conflict; wildlife; Zambia
Online: 6 August 2018 (09:34:56 CEST)
Damage to crops from wildlife interference is a common threat to food security among rural communities in or near Game Management Areas (GMAs) in Zambia. This study uses a two-stage econometric model and cross-sectional data from a survey of 2,769 households to determine the impact of land use planning on the probability and extent of wildlife-inflicted crop damage. The results show that crop damage is higher in GMAs as compared to non-GMAs, and that land use planning could be an effective tool to significantly reduce the likelihood of such damage. These findings suggest that there is merit in the current drive to develop and implement land use plans as means to minimize human-wildlife conflict such as crop damage. This is especially critical as Zambian conservation policies do not have an explicit provision for compensation in the event of damage from wildlife.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0049.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Zambia; Higher Education and Quality Assurance; Zambia’s Higher Education
Online: 4 January 2023 (02:58:38 CET)
This paper discussed the concept of quality assurance (QA) in higher education and its implications to higher education institutions (HEIs) and the possible challenges. The study evaluated literature concerning QA in Zambia and elsewhere. The findings of the study show that QA is implemented through external and internal mechanisms such as accreditation, registration, institutional auditing, and the use of external examiners, self-evaluation, and peer reviews. The QA implications to HEIs in Zambia are that there is a need for accreditation of academic programmes with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) by HEIs. Further, HEIs should establish QA units to spearhead quality issues, reactive, and introduce the use of external examiners to ensure quality. The challenges identified in the implementation of QA in HEIs include inadequate funding, infrastructure, shortage of qualified academic staff, and lack of standalone QA units in some HEIs. In this regard, it has been recommended among other things, government improve funding in public HEIs, construct infrastructure, HEIs establish QA units, and recruit and retain qualified academic staff to ensure the quality of education.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0017.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: childhood malnutrition; community-based management of acute malnutrition–CMAM; moderate acute malnutrition–MAM; supplementary feeding programs–SFP; Zambia
Online: 1 June 2018 (12:04:50 CEST)
Background: Evaluation of nutrition programs is essential to guarantee the effectiveness of community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM). Methods: The Rainbow Project Supplementary Feeding Programs (SFPs) in Zambia were evaluated between years 2015-17, following implementation of new recommendations based on previous evaluations (years 2012-14). Outcomes of the program were compared with International Standards and with those of 2012-14. Cox proportional risk regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of mortality and defaulting. Results: Data for 900 under age 5 years malnourished children (48.8% male; mean age 19.7months ±9.9) were analyzed. Rainbow 2015-17 program outcomes met International Standards, for general malnutrition or stratified moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM). When comparing with 2012-14 outcomes, better performance was noted: mortality rates were reduced by half (5.6% vs 3.1%, p = 0.01; for SAM: 12.4% vs 6.7%, p = 0.006), with significant improvement in average weight gain and mean length of stay (p<0.001), and increased awareness of HIV status (+30%; p < 0.001). HIV infection (5.5; 1.9–15.9), WAZ < −3 at baseline (4.6; 1.3–16.1) and kwashiorkor (3.5; 1.2–9.5) remained the major predictors of mortality. Conclusion: The effectiveness of the Rainbow SFPs for child malnutrition treatment and prevention in Zambia has significantly improved after evaluation and implementation activities, with impressive outcomes which resulted in a 50% reduction in mortality.