ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0188.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: sickle cell disease; knowledge assessment; practices; physicians; Democratic Republic of Congo
Online: 14 June 2020 (17:29:23 CEST)
Background: Sickle cell disease is a major public health issue in the DRC while it is still poorly understood by health professionals. The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge and practices of Congolese physicians treating sickle cell disease (SCD) in order to identify areas for improvement in clinical care. Methods: This is a descriptive observational study conducted on Congolese physicians using a questionnaire. Participants were evaluated on a pre-established answer grid. Results: A total of 460 physicians participated, including 81 women (18%) with an average age of 35 years (range 25–60 years). Most physicians were general practitioners. Although self-assessment of their level of knowledge on SCD was estimated as average to good, less than half of the participants (n= 460; 46%) reported adequate management of vaso-occlusive crisis but only 1% of them had received specific training on SCD. Most physicians reported difficulties both in terms of diagnostic (65%) and management (79%) options of SCD patients. This study showed also that 85% of them did not have access to diagnostic tools for SCD. Conclusions: Insufficient knowledge on SCD, poor diagnostic and treatment options may contribute to morbidity and mortality of patients living in the DRC. Interventions aiming at improving physician’s knowledge, patient’s follow-up and treatment access are needed. Specific training alongside existing programs (HIV, malaria), early diagnosis of the disease, and creation of patients’ advocacy groups should improve SCD patient’s care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0461.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: land use change; modeling; scenario; deforestation; DINAMICA EGO; PFBC landscapes; Democratic Republic of Congo
Online: 18 March 2021 (07:40:49 CET)
The Ituri-Epulu-Aru landscape (IEAL) is experiencing deforestation and forest degradation. This deforestation is at the root of many environmental disturbances in a region characterized by endemism in biodiversity. This article focuses on the triangulation of spatialized prospective scenarios in order to identify future trajectories based on the knowledge of historical dynamics through the diachronic analysis of three satellite images (2003-2010-2014-2016). The scenarios were de-signed in a supervised model implemented in the DINAMICA EGO platform. The three scenarios Business-As-Usual (BAU), Rapid Economic Growth (REG) and Sustainable Management of the Environment (SME), extrapolating current trends, show that by 2061 this landscape will always be dominated forests (+ 84%). Old-growth forests occupy 74.2% of the landscape area in the BAU scenario, 81.4% in the SEM scenario and 61.2% in the REG scenario. The SEM scenario gives hope that restoration and preservation of biodiversity priority habitats is still possible if policy makers become aware of it.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1768.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Maternal health care services utilization; Trends; Health inequalities; Inequality measurement; Post-conflict; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Online: 25 August 2023 (07:10:01 CEST)
This study assessed health inequality trends and the degree of maternal healthcare services utilization in the DRC, using two consecutive Demographic and Health Surveys, 2007 and 2013-2014. First, we assessed the changes in the magnitude of inequality in the utilization of MHCS using logistics and regressions. Second, we analyzed the distribution of inequality in each MHCS utilization variable using the Gini coefficient and the Lorenz curve. Third, we used the Wagstaff two groups concentration indices comparison method to assess health inequality trends. Finally, we fitted the concentration curves to estimate the inequality in the utilization of MHCS to the economic condition of women. Women were less likely to have their first ANC visit within the first trimester, less likely to receive checkups during ANC visits, and less likely to attend more ANC visits when living in eastern DRC compared to western DRC. Women in rural areas were less likely to have their last birth by C-section, and less likely to receive PNC than women in urban areas. Women with middle, richer, and richest wealth indexes were more likely to complete more ANC visits, more likely to deliver by C-section, most likely to receive PNC, and more likely to receive ANC than those with lower wealth indexes. Over time, inequality in the utilization of MHCS decreased for ANC and PNC but increased for the delivery by C-sections. These findings suggest that innovative strategies are still needed to improve the utilization of MHC services among poorer, rural, and underserved women in post-conflict DRC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0317.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: COVID-19; Public views; Attitudes; Beliefs; Unaffected area; Democratic Republic of Congo
Online: 26 June 2020 (15:44:16 CEST)
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly spreading across the world. In Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 11 out of 26 provinces have been affected on 19 June 2020. The purpose of this study was to assess the public views, attitudes and beliefs related to the COVID-19 pandemic among the population of an unaffected city.Methods: This is a descriptive observational study conducted in an unaffected city using a questionnaire. Findings: A total of 769 people participated. The average age was 36 ±14 years. The sex ratio (male: female) was 1.6. The majority of respondents (97%) is aware of the existence of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is well informed about the signs of the disease, its severity and barrier measures, however few of them have adopted the change in habit and behavior in respect of the barrier measures. Lack of water for handwashing is the most common difficulty in complying with barrier measures (71%). The COVID-19 is considered as an artificial virus designed to reduce the world population by 26%, God’s punishment (22%). Only 36% of the participants are in favor of vaccination against COVID-19. Vaccine is, a western conspiracy to spread COVID-19 in Africa (38%), testing it on Africans (35%), sterilize Africans’ people (12%).Conclusions: Cities not yet affected by COVID-19 in DRC are aware of the existence of the disease, but insufficiently prepared to deal with it. It is important to increase awareness on barrier measures, combating false information, and improving regular water supply for regular handwashing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0411.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: community participatory asset mapping; asset-based approaches to health; health inequalities; basic healthcare services; community-based healthcare; democratic republic of congo
Online: 6 September 2023 (10:32:40 CEST)
Populations with healthcare needs often reside in post-conflict settings where basic services needed to maintain good health may be non-existent or hard to access. Therefore, there is a need for better identification and reallocation of resources as part of the post-conflict health rehabilitation effort. This study applies an asset-based approach to explore the more optimal design of health services and to identify the resource constraints for basic health service delivery to the most vulnerable communities in eastern Congo. We implemented the asset mapping in two phases. Firstly, we combined a qualitative survey with community walks to identify the assets already present in the communities. Secondly, we conducted group discussions to map out assets that are the core of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) practice. We finally documented all assets in a Community Asset Spreadsheet. Overall, 209 assets were identified as available and potentially valuable resources for the communities in eastern Congo. Among them, 60 were local associations, 24 were land and physical environment, 43 were local institutions, 46 were individuals, 32 to economy and exchange, and only 6 were related to culture, history, and stories. Drawing upon the findings from the qualitative survey, community walks, and group discussions, we conclude that an important number of resources were in place for basic health service delivery. By activating the existing and potential resources, the most vulnerable populations in eastern Congo might have the required resources for basic health service delivery. Our findings support the use of an asset-mapping research method as appropriate to identify existing and potential resources for basic health services in a post-conflict setting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0092.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: SDGs; Democratic Index; democratic institutions; partnership; accountability; participatory democracy; economic growth
Online: 11 April 2022 (10:37:51 CEST)
This article aims to create the nexus between sustainable development and the quality of the political regime. The current social and political context is characterized by a series of crises generated by COVID-19 pandemic, economic imbalances and regional conflicts. In this context, sustainable development is affected by the economic dynamics and the “democratic recession”. The study aims to respond to the following research questions: “how could influence the quality of the democracy the dynamics of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 17)?” and “what are the premises for sustainable development in the new political context, characterized by democratic recession?” The purpose of the study is to underline the fact that democratic regimes are inclined to create both participative and deliberative frames for achieving the SDGs in accordance with UN 2030 Agenda. The research methodology used in this study is based on descriptive and inferential statistics. The research data are collected from secondary sources in the years between 2015 and 2021, from 193 countries covering all the geographical areas. The empirical results suggest two models of development: the Asian model of sustainable development characterized by economic growth and the Western democratic model based on democratic institutions, fair justice and mechanisms for preserving peace. We noticed that the key-variables for explaining the dynamics of sustainability in correlation with democratic index are represented by the functioning of the governments and the political participation. Through civic engagement and political ac-countability, democracy could be seen as a pre-requisite for achieving an optimal level of the SDGs. All these empirical results could prove valuable for the scholars interested in the relation between democracy and sustainability and for the political decision makers involved in shaping strategies for social, economic and environmental development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0305.v3
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: sickle cell disease; feasibility; regular follow-up; remote area; Democratic Republic of Congo
Online: 12 October 2020 (15:14:46 CEST)
Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a public health problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While reference sickle cell centers have been implemented in capital cities of African countries and have proven to be beneficial for SCD patients, they have never been set up in rural areas for families with very low sources of income. Method: A cohort of 143 children with SCD aged 10 years old (IQR (interquartile range): 6–15 years) (sex ratio male/female = 1.3) were clinically followed for 12 months without any specific intervention aside from the management of acute events, and then for 12 months with a monthly medical visit, biological follow-up, and regular prophylaxis. Results: The median age of patients at the diagnosis of SCD was 2 years (IQR: 1–5). The implementation of standardized and regular follow-ups in a new sickle cell referral center in a remote city showed an increase in the annual mean hemoglobin level from 50 to 70 g/L (p = 0.001), and a decrease in the lymphocyte count and spleen size (p < 0.001). A significant decrease (p < 0.001) in the average annual number of hospitalizations and episodes of vaso-occlusive crises, blood transfusions, infections, and acute chest syndromes were also observed. Conclusions: Creation of a sickle cell referral center and the regular follow-up of children with SCD are possible and applicable in the context of a remote city of an African country and represent simple and accessible measures that can reduce the morbimortality of children with sickle cell disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0335.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Company performance; Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo; environmental dynamism; inno-vativeness; manufacturing companies
Online: 20 February 2023 (09:18:21 CET)
Research has shown that innovativeness is a key factor leading to company performance. However, the business environment can play a detrimental effect on company performance by undermining the company’s internal strategic efforts in terms of innovativeness. To test this, 344 questionnaires were sent to manufacturing companies owners and managers. 178 of them were returned and usable to test the study hypotheses. Though a hierarchical regression analysis, it was found that innovativeness has positive and significant effect on company performance, but business environmental dynamism has a negative and significant effect in innovativeness-company performance relationship. Recommendations and other research perspectives are suggested
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0301.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: students’ awareness; climate change; climate information; mitigation activities; Democratic Re-public of Congo
Online: 16 November 2022 (08:58:25 CET)
Students are often portrayed as future leaders. Their participation in climate change mitigation would improve when they access climate information and gain a high level of climate change awareness. This study was initiated to assess the Congolese students’ awareness of climate change by focusing on their sources of information on climate change, knowledge about the causes and impacts of climate change and activities that can raise awareness on climate change. Using a convenience sampling technique, we collected data through individual interviews conducted among 1,278 students from 13 universities across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The interview results showed that all students irrespective of their disciplines were concerned about climate change, a phenomenon strongly driven by human activities, such as deforestation (78%), urbanisation (30%), agriculture activities (30%) and transport services (26%). The students’ perceptions of climate change impacts included increase in temperature (82%), decrease in the number of rainy days (66%), proliferation of pests (60%) and increase in the number of malaria patients (39%). The primary sources of information that significantly affected students’ awareness of climate change included environment-related university courses and television broadcasts. The awareness-raising and mitigation actions related to climate change recommended by the students included educating people about good waste management (56%), planting trees (65%) and using the taxes paid by mining companies for the restoration of degraded ecosystems. The students believed that in DRC, all layers of the society (educational institutions, civil society organisations, community members and businesses) are important in building resilience to climate change. This study can guide teachers to focus their educational efforts on shaping pro-environmental behaviour in students.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0108.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: academic meetings; video conferencing; Zoom; private Facebook group; narrative research; COVID-19; self-directed learning; team mindfulness; democratic meetings
Online: 21 October 2021 (12:10:57 CEST)
The online learning necessitated by COVID-19 social distancing limitations has resulted in the utilization of hybrid online formats focused on maintaining visual contact among learners and teachers. The preferred option of video conferencing for academic meetings has become that of Zoom. The needs of one voluntary, democratic, self-reflective university research group—grounded in responses to writing prompts—differed in learning focus. Demanding a safe space to encourage and record both self-reflection and creative questioning of other participants, the private Facebook group was chosen over video conferencing to maintain the concentration on group members’ written responses rather than how they saw themselves (and thought others saw them) on screen. A narrative research model initiated in 2015, the 2020/21 interaction of the group in the year’s worth of Facebook entries, and the yearend feedback received from group participants, will be compared with previous years when the weekly group met in-person. The results in relation to COVID-19 limitations indicate that an important aspect of self-directed learning related to trust that comes from team mindfulness is lost when face-to-face interaction is eliminated regarding the democratic nature of these meetings. With online meetings the new standard, maintaining trust requires improvements to online virtual meeting spaces.