The routine daily consultation in the health post of 1 of 10 project villages for pregnant women and children under age 5 is interrupted by a call to an emergency delivery which ends up with the birth of a baby girl weighing 2100 g who is named after the author. Under the project funded by SIDA, Stockholm, a local village committee was elected to open a dispensary which became well-attended. Due to visits to another nearby village, the number of children checked increased to 263 instead of the previous number of 147 per month. The weight status of children was worsening despite vaccination and nutritional advice, because women worked in the fields without taking a meal break for their children. After advising that several meals a day were needed, the children gained weight in the following months. A lecture by the project doctor to representatives of surrounding villages about the safety of delivery in the dispensary or the hospital elicited a positive response to send pregnant women there for delivery. The number of institutional deliveries had already increased from 249 in 1986 to 433 in 1989. Working in a developing country required preliminary preparations, French and English language study, a 4-week cultural orientation course organized by the International Child Health Unit, and reading professional books on obstetrics and gynecology in such countries.
In early February 2014, an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease caused by Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) occurred in Guinea; cases were also recorded in other West African countries with a combined population of approximately 25 million. A rapid, sensitive and inexpensive method for detecting EBOV is needed to effectively control such outbreak. Here, we report a real-time reverse-transcription PCR assay for Z. ebolavirus detection used by the Specialized Anti-epidemic Team of the Russian Federation during the Ebola virus disease prevention mission in the Republic of Guinea. The analytical sensitivity of the assay is 5 × 10(2) viral particles per ml, and high specificity is demonstrated using representative sampling of viral, bacterial and human nucleic acids. This assay can be applied successfully for detecting the West African strains of Z. ebolavirus as well as on strains isolated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2014.
Some areas have experienced recent dramatic warming due to climate change, while others have shown no change at all, or even recent cooling. We predicted that patterns of selection on life history would differ between southern and northern European populations of a long-distance migratory bird, the barn swallow Hirundo rustica, because global patterns of weather as reflected by large-scale weather phenomena such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) have different effects on environmental conditions in different parts of the world frequented during the annual cycle. We investigated relationships between mean arrival date, dispersal rate and yearling survival rate among years, using two long-term population studies in Spain and Denmark. We found evidence of a difference in the effects of normalized difference vegetation index in North and West Africa on mean arrival date of male barn swallows, with the effect differing significantly between populations. Second, there was a significant interaction between ENSO and population on dispersal rate, showing that conditions in Africa during winter differentially affected dispersal in the two populations. Finally, the NAO index in winter had an effect on yearling survival that differed between populations. These findings highlight the divergent patterns of response to climate change among populations, and they suggest that climate change can differentially affect important life history traits with potential implications for maintenance of viable populations and gene flow among populations.
The majority of patients with HIV-2 infection come from West Africa or have had sexual contact with a person from there, as HIV-2 is prevalent in this area. HIV-2 is phylogenetically closer related to SIVsm and SIVmac than to HIV-1. HIV-2 is mainly transmitted by heterosexual contact, whereas the risk of mother-to-child infection is very low. Nine cases of HIV-2 infection have been diagnosed in Denmark. Out of these, seven are from West Africa and two have been infected in Denmark by individuals from West Africa.
The Sahara Desert is one of the largest land-based barriers on the Earth, crossed twice each year by billions of birds on migration. Here we investigate how common swifts migrating between breeding sites in Sweden and wintering areas in sub-Saharan Africa perform the desert crossing with respect to route choice, winds, timing and speed of migration by analysing 72 geolocator tracks recording migration. The swifts cross western Sahara on a broad front in autumn, while in spring they seem to use three alternative routes across the Sahara, a western, a central and an eastern route across the Arabian Peninsula, with most birds using the western route. The swifts show slower migration and travel speeds, and make longer detours with more stops in autumn compared with spring. In spring, the stopover period in West Africa coincided with mostly favourable winds, but birds remained in the area, suggesting fuelling. The western route provided more tailwind assistance compared with the central route for our tracked swifts in spring, but not in autumn. The ultimate explanation for the evolution of a preferred western route is presumably a combination of matching rich foraging conditions (swarming insects) and favourable winds enabling fast spring migration.This article is part of the themed issue 'Moving in a moving medium: new perspectives on flight'.
Cites: Proc Biol Sci. 2009 Feb 7;276(1656):447-5718974033
Recent developments in the tobacco industry in several countries are described: 1) in the USSR the policy is not to encourage smoking but to produce pleasant cigarettes which are as harmless as possible; 2) in the US, a survey shows that in 1975 not more than 12.4% of men over age 21 smoked a pipe; 3) in Britain a new cigarette tax structure will cripple the cigarette industry's coupon scheme of which manufacturers make great use to secure brand loyalty; 4) in the Philippines a proposal to print a health warning on cigarette packets and in advertisements might affect cigarette and tobacco taxes, which contribute 47% of government income; 5) in the Netherlands health warnings will be printed on cigarette packs, 6) in Austria there has been an increase of 4.2% in cigarette smoking since late 1975; 7) in Poland anti-smoking officials have proposed that the name of the popular "Sport" cigarette be changed; 8) in Indonesia there has been a recovery in kretek sales; 9) in Denmark cigarette consumption increased 6% from 1974; and 10) in western Europe it has been shown that up to 99% of grocery stores in Ireland sell tobacco products, 91% in Britain, 30% in Austria, 17% in Spain, and 7% in Italy.
A case of P. falciparum malaria in a 22 year old West African primigravida with no possible exposure to malaria seven months before detection and six months before the infection became symptomatic is presented. We connect the altered immunity against malaria induced by the pregnancy with the presence of subclinical low-level persistent parasitaemia in semi-immune individuals from areas with intense malaria transmission.