Browsing by Subject "Africa"

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  • Särkinen, Tiina; Poczai, Péter; Barboza, Gloria; van der Weerden, Gerard M.; Baden, Maria; Knapp, Sandra (2018)
    The Morelloid Glade, also known as the black nightshades or "Maurella" (Morella), is one of the 10 major Glades within Solanum L. The pantropical Glade consists of 75 currently recognised non-spiny herbaceous and suffrutescent species with simple or branched hairs with or without glandular tips, with a centre of distribution in the tropical Andes. A secondary centre of diversity is found in Africa, where a set of mainly polyploid taxa occur. A yet smaller set of species is found in Australasia and Europe, including Solanum nigrum L., the type of the genus Solanum. Due to the large number of published synonyms, combined with complex morphological variation, our understanding of species limits and diversity in the Morelloid Glade has remained poor despite detailed morphological studies carried out in conjunction with breeding experiments. Here we provide the first taxonomic overview since the 19th century of the entire group in the Old World, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and islands of the Pacific. Complete synonymy, morphological descriptions, distribution maps and common names and uses are provided for all 19 species occurring outside the Americas (i.e. Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and islands of the Pacific). We treat 12 species native to the Old World, as well as 7 taxa that are putatively introduced and/or invasive in the region. The current knowledge of the origin of the polyploid species is summarised. A key to all of the species occurring in the Old World is provided, together with line drawings and colour figures to aid identification both in herbaria and in the field. Preliminary conservation assessments arc provided for all species.
  • Pelkonen, Tuula; Urtti, Suvi; dos Anjos, Elizabete; Cardoso, Ondina; de Gouveia, Linda; Roine, Irmeli; Peltola, Heikki; von Gottberg, Anne; Kyaw, Moe H. (2020)
    Background: Despite effective antibiotics and vaccines, bacterial meningitis (BM) remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in young infants worldwide. Data from Africa on the aetiology and antibiotic susceptibility are scarce. Objective: To describe the aetiology of BM in Angolan infants Methods: A prospective, observational, single-site study was conducted from February 2016 to October 2017 in the Paediatric Hospital of Luanda. All cerebrospinal fluid samples (CSF) from infants aged Results: Of the 1287 infants, 299 (23%) had confirmed or probable BM. Of the 212 (16%) identified bacterial isolates from CSF, the most common were Klebsiella spp (30 cases), Streptococcus pneumoniae (29 cases), Streptococcus agalactiae (20 cases), Escherichia coli (17 cases), and Staphylococcus aureus (11 cases). A fifth of pneumococci (3/14; 21%) showed decreased susceptibility to penicillin, whereas methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) was encountered in 4/11 cases (36%). Of the gram-negative isolates, 6/45 (13%) were resistant to gentamicin and 20/58 (34%) were resistant to third-generation cephalosporins. Twenty-four percent (33/135) of the BM cases were fatal, but this is likely an underestimation. Conclusions: BM was common among infants
  • Caterpillar Rearing Group (CRG), LepSoc Africa; Staude, Hermann; MacLean, Marion; Mecenero, Silvia; Pretorius, Rudolph J.; Oberprieler, Rolf G.; van Noort, Simon; Sharp, Allison; Sharp, Ian; Balona, Julio; Bradley, Suncana; Brink, Magriet; Morton, Andrew S.; Bodha, Magda J.; Collins, Steve C.; Grobler, Quartus; Edge, David A.; Williams, Mark C.; Sihvonen, Pasi (2020)
    We present an overview of the known host associations of larval Lepidoptera for southern Africa, based on a database of 11 628 rearings, including all Caterpillar Rearing Group (CRG) records and other published records. Rearings per Lepidoptera family show some bias in the rearing effort towards the more conspicuous families, ectophagous groups and non-detritus-feeders but in general follow species diversity. Recorded Lepidoptera host associations per host family for southern Africa are shown. Data analyses revealed the following general trends: of the 20 most reared species 13 are polyphagous; Fabaceae are the most utilised plant family with 2 122 associations, followed by Asteraceae (600), Malvaceae (564) and Anacardiaceae (476); 98.8 % of hosts are vascular plants; and of the 19 most utilised host species 18 are common trees or shrubs. We discuss possible reasons behind these trends, particularly the high utilisation of Fabaceae and the widespread use of trees and shrubs as hosts. We compare recorded host species numbers with species diversity for the 19 most recorded host families and discuss possible reasons for the low utilisation of four plant families with an exceptionally low percentage of Lepidoptera host species / plant host species diversity. All Lepidoptera families for which more than 100 rearings have been recorded (21 families) utilise one (or two in the case of Pyralidae, Nolidae and Hesperiidae) plant family exponentially more than any of the other families, with resulting histograms forming hyperbolic curves, as are typical of distributions of taxonomic assemblages in nature. We calculate an exponential factor to quantify this phenomenon and show that for all 21 Lepidoptera families one host family is utilised 6–33 times more than the average use of other host families. In this paper, the larvae and adults of 953 African, mostly South African, Lepidoptera species reared by the CRG between January 2016 and June 2019 are illustrated together with pertinent host information. 119 Lepidoptera-parasitoid associations are reported, comprising seven hymenopteran families and one dipteran family. With the current data release, larval host association records are now available for 2 826 Lepidoptera species in the southern African subregion, covering about 25 % of the described fauna.
  • Strganac, Christopher; Salminen, Johanna; Jacobs, Louis L.; Polcyn, Michael J.; Ferguson, Kurt M.; Mateus, Octavio; Schulp, Anne S.; Morais, Maria Luisa; Tavares, Tatiana da Silva; Goncalves, Antonio Olimpio (2014)
  • Heim, Anita; Pyhälä, Aili (2020)
    The purpose of this study was to identify, describe and conceptualize the present drivers of food choices and preferences of the Khwe San indigenous peoples by considering influences of their historical and cultural contexts. Data were collected in Eastern Bwabwata National Park in Namibia using a range of qualitative methods: semi-structured and structured interviews and free listing. The various drivers of food choices have been clustered into four levels of the ecological conceptual framework. Key factors, found to be driving participants' food choices, were the following: taste, hunger, health, familiarity and body satisfaction at the individual level; culture and food taboos at the social level; access to food and food storage at the physical level, and; cost and seasonality at the macro level. Many of these factors are directly related to food insecurity and previous experiences of hunger. Current preferences towards traditional foods existed but were not prevailing among all the participants. Interviews with the elderly revealed the historical context of the increasing exposure to modern foods and a contested access to traditional foods and traditional knowledge transmission. Our findings exposed some substantial gaps in the nutritional knowledge of the Khwe that need consideration by future health promotion strategies along with the current perceptions of local food choices. Ensuring access and promoting sustainable management of traditional foods would not only contribute to the health of the Khwe people but also help to maintain a nutritional safety net in their current situation of extreme poverty.
  • Jallow, Isalee (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Pro gradu -tutkielmassani analysoin Dak’Art Biennaalista kirjoitettuja arvosteluja ja kritiikkejä. Dak’Art Biennale on Senegalissa, Dakarissa järjestettävä suuri ja kansainvälinen afrikkalaisen nykytaiteen näyttely. Biennaali on vuodesta 1966 esittänyt erilaista afrikkalaista taidetta aina kirjallisuudesta visuaaliseen taiteeseen. Vuodesta 1996 Dak’Art Biennaali on keskittynyt afrikkalaisen nykytaiteen esittämiseen. 2000-luvun puolella Biennaali saavutti kansainvälisen lehdistön huomion ja on sitä myötä herättänyt paljon keskustelua taidemaailmassa. Biennaali julistaa pan-afrikkalaista ideologiaa ja pyrkii luomaan yhteisöllisyyttä ja yhteisöä kaikkein afrikkalaisten välillä asuinpaikasta riippumatta. Biennaalin tärkeä tehtävä on myös herättää keskustelua afrikkalaisuudesta, kolonialismin historian vaikutuksista, ideologioista ja nykyisen Afrikan mahdollisuuksista. Tutkimukseni keskittyy siihen, millaista keskustelua Dak’Art Biennaalista käydään taidemaailmassa ja akatemiassa. Tutkimusaineistoni koostuu vuosina 1993–2016 julkaistuista akateemisista artikkeleista, taidelehtien kritiikeistä ja muutamasta kulttuurisivuston julkaisemasta arvostelusta. Biennaaleja on tutkittu paljon taiteentutkimuksen piirissä. Olen tutkielmassani kiinnostunut erityisesti siitä, mitä kritiikit ja arvostelut kertovat itse Biennaalista ja millaisen kuvan ne muodostavat siitä sekä, miten ne osaltaan vaikuttavat Biennaalin representaatioon. Tutkielmassani olen kiinnostunut Biennaalista erityisesti postkolonialistisena tuotteena ja siitä, miten tämän ymmärtäminen näkyy kritiikeissä. Dak’Art Biennaali kantaa erityistä historiaa ja merkityksiä, jonka vuoksi postkolonialistinen ote on tärkeää tutkielmani kannalta. Lisäksi hyödynnän tutkielmassani Guy Debord’n teoriaa: Spektaakkelin yhteiskunta. Debord’n teoria on kritiikki nyky kapitalismille ja esittää, miten yhteiskunnasta on tullut osa representaatiota. Toisin sanoen, miten kaikki, minkä elämme ja koemme, on tullut representaatioksi. Kyseistä teoriaa on sovellettu Biennaali keskusteluissa siinä, miten Biennaalit edustavat spektaakkelia. Tutkielmassani pyrin soveltamaan teoriaa siinä, miten kritiikit käyttävät erilaisia strategioita, jotka osoittavat niiden edustavan Debord’n spektaakkelia. Tutkielmassani osoitan, miten kritiikit tuottavat spektaakkelin eri keinoin. Näitä keinoja tarkastelen kriittisen diskurssianalyysin avulla. Ensimmäiseksi pohdin kuinka kritiikit tuottavat spektaakkelia yleisesti ja edustavat eletyn representaatiota. Tämän jälkeen esitän, miten kritiikeistä näkyy markkinakapitalismin logiikka, ja, miten se liittyy Debord’n spektaakkeliin. Lisäksi analysoin, miten pan-afrikanistinen ja postkolonialistinen lähestymistapa näkyy kritiikeissä dominoivana ja ainoana lähestymisenä. Lopuksi tarkastelen, miten sosiopoliittiset valtasuhteet näkyvät kritiikeissä ja, miten spektaakkelin teoria voi auttaa ymmärtämään myös niiden ilmentymistä kritiikeissä. Debord’n Spektaakkelin yhteiskunta auttaa ymmärtämään Dak’Art kritiikkejä syvällisemmin ja laajemmassa kontekstissa. Tutkielmassani keskityn siis strategioihin, joita kriitikot käyttävät luodakseen Biennaalista tietynlaisen kuvan.
  • Van Steenberge, Maarten; Raeymaekers, Joost Andre Maria; Hablützel, Pascal Istvan; Vanhove, Maarten Pieterjan Maria; Koblmüller, Stephan; Snoeks, Jos (2018)
    BackgroundSpecies delineation is particularly challenging in taxa with substantial intra-specific variation. In systematic studies of fishes, meristics and linear measurements that describe shape are often used to delineate species. Yet, little is known about the taxonomic value of these two types of morphological characteristics. Here, we used Tropheus (Teleostei, Cichlidae) from the southern subbasin of Lake Tanganyika to test which of these types of characters best matched genetic lineages that could represent species in this group of stenotypic rock-dwelling cichlids. We further investigated intra-population variation in morphology. By linking this to a proxy of a population's age, we could assess the evolutionary stability of different kinds of morphological markers.ResultsMorphological data was collected from 570 specimens originating from 86 localities. An AFLP approach revealed the presence of five lineages in the southern subbasin: T. moorii, T. brichardi, T. sp. maculatus', T. sp. Mpimbwe' and T. sp. red', which we consider to represent distinct species. Although both types of morphological data supported this classification, a comparison of P-ST-values that describe inter-population morphological differentiation, revealed a better correspondence between the taxon delineation based on AFLP data and the patterns revealed by an analysis of meristics than between the AFLP-based taxon delineation and the patterns revealed by an analysis of shape. However, classifying southern populations of Tropheus was inherently difficult as they contained a large amount of clinal variation, both in genetic and in morphological data, and both within and among species. A scenario is put forward to explain the current-day distribution of the species and colour varieties and the observed clinal variation across the subbasin's shoreline. Additionally, we observed that variation in shape was larger in populations from shallow shores whereas populations from steep shores were more variable in meristics. This difference is explained in terms of the different timescales at which small and large scale lake level fluctuations affected populations of littoral cichlids at steep and shallow shores.ConclusionsOur results showed meristics to be more evolutionary stable, and of higher taxonomic value for species delimitation in Tropheus, than linear measurements that describe shape. These results should be taken into account when interpreting morphological differences between populations of highly stenotypic species, such as littoral cichlids from the Great East African Lakes.
  • Van Steenberge, Maarten; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; Hablützel, Pascal I; Vanhove, Maarten P M; Koblmüller, Stephan; Snoeks, Jos (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background Species delineation is particularly challenging in taxa with substantial intra-specific variation. In systematic studies of fishes, meristics and linear measurements that describe shape are often used to delineate species. Yet, little is known about the taxonomic value of these two types of morphological characteristics. Here, we used Tropheus (Teleostei, Cichlidae) from the southern subbasin of Lake Tanganyika to test which of these types of characters best matched genetic lineages that could represent species in this group of stenotypic rock-dwelling cichlids. We further investigated intra-population variation in morphology. By linking this to a proxy of a population’s age, we could assess the evolutionary stability of different kinds of morphological markers. Results Morphological data was collected from 570 specimens originating from 86 localities. An AFLP approach revealed the presence of five lineages in the southern subbasin: T. moorii, T. brichardi, T. sp. ‘maculatus’, T. sp. ‘Mpimbwe’ and T. sp. ‘red’, which we consider to represent distinct species. Although both types of morphological data supported this classification, a comparison of PST-values that describe inter-population morphological differentiation, revealed a better correspondence between the taxon delineation based on AFLP data and the patterns revealed by an analysis of meristics than between the AFLP-based taxon delineation and the patterns revealed by an analysis of shape. However, classifying southern populations of Tropheus was inherently difficult as they contained a large amount of clinal variation, both in genetic and in morphological data, and both within and among species. A scenario is put forward to explain the current-day distribution of the species and colour varieties and the observed clinal variation across the subbasin’s shoreline. Additionally, we observed that variation in shape was larger in populations from shallow shores whereas populations from steep shores were more variable in meristics. This difference is explained in terms of the different timescales at which small and large scale lake level fluctuations affected populations of littoral cichlids at steep and shallow shores. Conclusions Our results showed meristics to be more evolutionary stable, and of higher taxonomic value for species delimitation in Tropheus, than linear measurements that describe shape. These results should be taken into account when interpreting morphological differences between populations of highly stenotypic species, such as littoral cichlids from the Great East African Lakes.
  • Gagliardone, Iginio; Diepeveen, Stephanie; Findlay, Kyle; Olaniran, Samuel; Pohjonen, Matti; Tallam, Edwin (2021)
    This article presents new empirical insights into what people do with conspiracy theories during crises. By suppressing the impulse to distinguish between truth and falsehood, which has characterized most scholarship on the COVID-19 "infodemic," and engaging with claims surrounding two popular COVID-19 conspiracies-on 5G and on Bill Gates-in South Africa and Nigeria, we illustrate how conspiracies morph as they interact with different socio-political contexts. Drawing on a mixed-method analysis of more than 6 million tweets, we examine how, in each country, conspiracies have uniquely intersected with longer-term discourses and political projects. In Nigeria, the two conspiracies were both seized as opportunities to extend criticism to the ruling party. In South Africa, they produced distinctive responses: while the 5G conspiracy had limited buy-in, the Gates conspiracy resonated with deep-rooted resentment toward the West, corporate interests, and what is seen as a paternalistic attitude of some external actors toward Africa. These findings stress the importance of taking conspiracy theories seriously, rather than dismissing them simply as negative externalities of digital ecosystems. Situating conspiracies in specific dynamics of trust and mistrust can make an important difference when designing responses that are not limited to broadcasting truthful information, but can also enable interventions that account for deeply rooted sentiments of suspicion toward specific issues and actors, which can vary significantly across communities.
  • Walsh, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Introduction Kenya has recently acquired lower-middle income country status and is facing the triple burden of malnutrition. There is a shortage of data on food intake habits of children and adolescents especially in the rapidly changing urban environments. To be able to reliably measure food intake, one must be able to accurately estimate food portion sizes. Children’s ability to recall portion sizes consumed can vary widely. When a photographic food atlas designed for children with applicable portions is used, it can improve children’s estimation of food portions. Objectives The aim of this study was to develop a photographic food atlas to be used in assessing portion sizes among Kenyan adolescents aged 9-14 years living in urban areas, to support a quantitative 7-day food frequency questionnaire. The second aim was to assess the usability of the atlas amongst 9-14-year-olds and professionals working in the field of nutrition. Methodology A steering group of Finnish and Kenyan nutritionists was formed to oversee the development of the atlas. Literature and other official documents were reviewed to identify the most commonly consumed foods among 9-14-year-old Kenyans. To obtain weighed portion size data, participants were recruited in Nairobi sub-counties Embakasi Central and Langata to represent low- and middle-socioeconomic status respectively. Twenty-one participants aged 9-14 years participated in the weighing of portion sizes, food portions from street markets were also weighed. Three portion sizes (A, B, C) were calculated for most of the 88 food items in the photographic food atlas. Portion B was the average of all weighed portion sizes, portion A was half of B, and portion C was one and half times B. Cooking demonstrations were arranged with the families of participants and the food portions were weighed out and photographed. A photographic food atlas was compiled, and its usability was tested amongst eight adolescents and four nutrition professionals. The usability survey consisted of Likert scale and open-end questions to ascertain acceptability of the atlas. Verbal feedback and observations were also recorded. Results Based on the usability survey, the photographic food atlas received the Usability Score of “OK” and “Good” from adolescents and nutrition professionals respectively. All eight adolescents agreed that the atlas helped them recall portion sizes, but half disagreed and one was unsure whether they could use the atlas on their own. All four professionals agreed they would use the atlas in their work, but all found the quality of photographs poor. Two adolescents disagreed when asked if the portion sizes were small enough and one disagreed when asked if the portion sizes were large enough. However, all professionals agreed that portion sizes were reasonable for the age group. Professionals gave verbal suggestions on improvements, for example, which foods were missing, how to adjust layout as well as the shapes of portion sizes. Conclusion An atlas consisting of 88 most commonly consumed Kenyan foods was developed based on weighed portion sizes of 9-14-year-old Kenyans. The shapes of portion sizes as well as range of portion sizes were crucial for its usability. Poor picture quality hampered recognition of pictures. Clear instructions and explanation of the purpose of the atlas were crucial. A second version of the atlas was developed based on the feedback. The updated atlas, including 173 food items, was used in a cross-sectional study in Nairobi. Further research is recommended to validate the photographic food atlas in order to identify the possible bias it may introduce to portion size estimation.
  • Kallinen, Timo (Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2016)
    Studia Fennica Anthropologica
  • Ingutia, Rose Anyiko (2020)
    The Sustainable Development Goals target of leaving no one behind has stalled because out-of-school children (OOSC) in Africa are generally poor, disabled, orphaned, minority, working, overaged, child-brides and are remote. Descriptive statistical analysis of quantitative secondary data was applied to investigate education issues. Comparisons across gender, residence and regions indicate marginalisation in education systems characterised by low preschool education, inefficient primary schools evidenced by insufficient inputs, untrained, poorly paid teachers and biased public expenditure. OOSC face a range of circumstances: to meet Sustainable Development Goals targets requires solutions to specific cases; one size will not fit all, since OOSC are trapped in a web of multiple problems.
  • Malkamäki, Katariina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Chinese infrastructural investments in Africa have increased significantly. In mainstream development studies, such investments are strongly encouraged due to their potential to create economic growth and modernisation. Because of controversies around such projects, regarding their impacts on the economy and locals, they require continuing political-economic analysis. Using Lamu Port in Kenya as a case study, this thesis provides a critical analysis of the justification, planning, implementation and construction processes of the project are examined especially from the point of view of local artisanal fishermen. Framed around the theory of social costs developed by K.W.Kapp, as a critique of neoliberal modernisation, fieldwork was carried out in Lamu to systematically analyse both the official justification of the project and the perceptions of local fishers and other locals on the impacts of the port construction on their lives. Data collected from one-on-one interviews have been systematised using Attride-Stirling’s thematic networks analysis. Along with a textual analysis of original official documents by the Government of Kenya and the LAPSSET authority, the thesis avoids earlier problems of methodological nationalism and, instead, develops a holistic analysis of social costs. The results show that, while some local jobs have been created, they are temporary and marginal and are nowhere near significant enough to make up for the undermining of local livelihoods through the reduction of fish stocks. A wider question of food security and long-term job security needs to be raised. The local economy before the construction of the port was stagnant, but it was stable. New jobs related to port construction proved not to be available. Widespread discrimination against locals further complicates the social costs of public-private enterprise. These results show a lack of congruence between the statements by the Government of Kenya, the optimism by international development agencies, and modernisation theorists on the one hand and the lived realities of fishers on the other. The transnational corporations constructing the port in this case the China Communications Construction company have, in the meanwhile, continued to make more profit and increased the price of their share on the world market. This disconnect indicates one way in which development projects are socially constructed and justified, while the dominance of a profit-oriented capitalistic system shifts costs of production to third parties and the environment in order to continue to extract profit from the Global South. As these social costs are systemic, their remedy would require restructuring the institutional foundations of the local, national, and global political economy of development and change
  • Ingutia, Rose Anyiko (2007)
    The aim of this study is to find causes that have led to economic growth decline in SSA, and differences in growth rates across countries in SSA and overtime. At independence (early 60s) SSA was characterised by young political institutions that turned out to be of authoritarian rule, an acute shortage of skilled labour, a predominance of peasantry, widespread poverty and resurgent ethnic rivalries. These kinds of background on several occasions led to conflicts and has not been conducive for economic growth. The economic as well as the political crisis carried on into the early 90s. Most countries pressed for multiparty system in early 90s and by mid 90s SSA saw the birth of democracy. Stability was restored and over 70 per cent of SSA experienced positive growth rates. It is hypothesised that democracy (freedom) is the bedrock behind economic growth in SSA. This is empirically tested on 34 countries of SSA, between 1965-2000, with the use of panel data method. Freedom index is measured in ascending order from 1 to 7. In the ordinary least squares estimations, I have found that one-unit increase in freedom index, increases growth rate by a third (.33) of a percentage points. A country that moves 3 levels of freedom from lower to higher levels, increases growth rate by 1 %. The freedom variable has been found to be statistically significant and of practical importance in most cases. There are numerous channels through which freedom variable affects economic growth, under the present study the most important are- the budget balance, government consumption, public expenditure, public investment, for these variables are under the direct dominion of government and are subject to scrutiny, transparency and accountability. The efficiency and effectiveness of these variables are an incentive to domestic investment, better terms of trade, and low illiteracy rates, in their respective roles. All the above variables have turned out to be of both statistical significance and of practical importance. The point that this study highlights is that for any of these variables to become effective in their respective roles, they need to be under an enabling environment of democratic institutions. Democracy (freedom index) is a key determinant of growth in as far as it is associated with improved governance. In cases where this association is absent, freedom index loses it’s key importance to growth. However, any conclusions should be based on both empirical findings as well as on theory. Freedom of political rights and civil liberties is the engine behind government effectiveness, regulatory quality, political stability, law and order and low corruption.
  • Lääveri, Tinja; Vlot, Jessica A.; van Dam, Alje P.; Häkkinen, Hanni K.; Sonder, Gerard J. B.; Visser, Leo G.; Kantele, Anu (2018)
    Background: One third of travellers to low- and middle-income regions of the tropics and subtropics become colonized by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE). The risk varies by destination and, for each traveller, may be substantially further increased by travellers' diarrhoea (TD) and antibiotic use. Despite the risk of TD in Africa, ESBL-PE acquisition rates in all studies are lower there than in Asia. Africa has become increasingly popular as a destination for international travellers, yet minimal data are available from the continent's subregions and countries. Methods: We analysed subregion- and country-specific data on carriage and risk factors for ESBL-PE colonization pooled from three prospective studies conducted between 2009 and 2013 among Finnish and Dutch travellers. The data were subjected to multivariable analysis of risk factors. In addition, we compared our data to two recent large investigations reporting data by subregion and country. Results: Our joint analysis comprised data on 396 travellers. The ESBL-PE colonization rate was highest in Northern Africa, followed by Middle and Eastern Africa, and lowest in Southern and Western Africa. Of individual countries with more than 15 visitors, the highest rates were seen for Egypt (12/17; 70.6%), Ghana (6/23; 26.1%), and Tanzania (14/81; 17.3%); the rates among travellers to Egypt were comparable to those reported in South and Southeast Asia. In a pooled multivariable analysis, travel destination, age, overnight hospitalisation abroad, TD, and use of fluoroquinolones were independently associated with increased ESBL-PE colonization rates. Conlusions: Even in areas with relatively low risk of colonization, antimicrobials clearly predispose to colonization with ESBL-PE. Travellers to Africa should be cautioned against unnecessary use of antibiotics.
  • Lääveri, Tinja; Vlot, Jessica A; van Dam, Alje P; Häkkinen, Hanni K; Sonder, Gerard J B; Visser, Leo G; Kantele, Anu (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background One third of travellers to low- and middle-income regions of the tropics and subtropics become colonized by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE). The risk varies by destination and, for each traveller, may be substantially further increased by travellers’ diarrhoea (TD) and antibiotic use. Despite the risk of TD in Africa, ESBL-PE acquisition rates in all studies are lower there than in Asia. Africa has become increasingly popular as a destination for international travellers, yet minimal data are available from the continent’s subregions and countries. Methods We analysed subregion- and country-specific data on carriage and risk factors for ESBL-PE colonization pooled from three prospective studies conducted between 2009 and 2013 among Finnish and Dutch travellers. The data were subjected to multivariable analysis of risk factors. In addition, we compared our data to two recent large investigations reporting data by subregion and country. Results Our joint analysis comprised data on 396 travellers. The ESBL-PE colonization rate was highest in Northern Africa, followed by Middle and Eastern Africa, and lowest in Southern and Western Africa. Of individual countries with more than 15 visitors, the highest rates were seen for Egypt (12/17; 70.6%), Ghana (6/23; 26.1%), and Tanzania (14/81; 17.3%); the rates among travellers to Egypt were comparable to those reported in South and Southeast Asia. In a pooled multivariable analysis, travel destination, age, overnight hospitalisation abroad, TD, and use of fluoroquinolones were independently associated with increased ESBL-PE colonization rates. Conlusions Even in areas with relatively low risk of colonization, antimicrobials clearly predispose to colonization with ESBL-PE. Travellers to Africa should be cautioned against unnecessary use of antibiotics.
  • Pilla, Rachel M.; Mette, Elizabeth M.; Williamson, Craig E.; Adamovich, Boris V.; Adrian, Rita; Anneville, Orlane; Balseiro, Esteban; Ban, Syuhei; Chandra, Sudeep; Colom-Montero, William; Devlin, Shawn P.; Dix, Margaret A.; Dokulil, Martin T.; Feldsine, Natalie A.; Feuchtmayr, Heidrun; Fogarty, Natalie K.; Gaiser, Evelyn E.; Girdner, Scott F.; González, María J.; Hambright, K. David; Hamilton, David P.; Havens, Karl; Hessen, Dag O.; Hetzenauer, Harald; Higgins, Scott N.; Huttula, Timo H.; Huuskonen, Hannu; Isles, Peter D. F.; Joehnk, Klaus D.; Keller, Wendel Bill; Klug, Jen; Knoll, Lesley B.; Korhonen, Johanna; Korovchinsky, Nikolai M.; Köster, Oliver; Kraemer, Benjamin M.; Leavitt, Peter R.; Leoni, Barbara; Lepori, Fabio; Lepskaya, Ekaterina V.; Lottig, Noah R.; Luger, Martin S.; Maberly, Stephen C.; MacIntyre, Sally; McBride, Chris; McIntyre, Peter; Melles, Stephanie J.; Modenutti, Beatriz; Müller-Navarra, Dörthe C.; Pacholski, Laura; Paterson, Andrew M.; Pierson, Don C.; Pislegina, Helen V.; Plisnier, Pierre-Denis; Richardson, David C.; Rimmer, Alon; Rogora, Michela; Rogozin, Denis Y.; Rusak, James A.; Rusanovskaya, Olga O.; Sadro, Steve; Salmaso, Nico; Saros, Jasmine E.; Sarvala, Jouko; Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie; Schindler, Daniel E.; Shimaraeva, Svetlana V.; Silow, Eugene A.; Sitoki, Lewis M.; Sommaruga, Ruben; Straile, Dietmar; Strock, Kristin E.; Swain, Hilary; Tallant, Jason M.; Thiery, Wim; Timofeyev, Maxim A.; Tolomeev, Alexander P.; Tominaga, Koji; Vanni, Michael J.; Verburg, Piet; Vinebrooke, Rolf D.; Wanzenböck, Josef; Weathers, Kathleen; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A.; Zadereev, Egor S.; Zhukova, Tatyana V. (Nature, 2021)
    Scientific Data 8 (2021), 200
    Climate change and other anthropogenic stressors have led to long-term changes in the thermal structure, including surface temperatures, deepwater temperatures, and vertical thermal gradients, in many lakes around the world. Though many studies highlight warming of surface water temperatures in lakes worldwide, less is known about long-term trends in full vertical thermal structure and deepwater temperatures, which have been changing less consistently in both direction and magnitude. Here, we present a globally-expansive data set of summertime in-situ vertical temperature profiles from 153 lakes, with one time series beginning as early as 1894. We also compiled lake geographic, morphometric, and water quality variables that can influence vertical thermal structure through a variety of potential mechanisms in these lakes. These long-term time series of vertical temperature profiles and corresponding lake characteristics serve as valuable data to help understand changes and drivers of lake thermal structure in a time of rapid global and ecological change.
  • Ojanen, Emma; Ronimus, Miia; Ahonen, Timo; Chansa-Kabali, Tamara; February, Pamela; Jere-Folotiya, Jacqueline; Kauppinen, Karri-Pekka; Ketonen, Ritva; Ngorosho, Damaris; Pitkanen, Mikko; Puhakka, Suzanne; Sampa, Francis; Walubita, Gabriel; Yalukanda, Christopher; Pugh, Ken; Richardson, Ulla; Serpell, Robert; Lyytinen, Heikki (2015)
    GraphoGame (GG) is originally a technology-based intervention method for supporting children with reading difficulties. It is now known that children who face problems in reading acquisition have difficulties in learning to differentiate and manipulate speech sounds and consequently, in connecting these sounds to corresponding letters. GG was developed to provide intensive training in matching speech sounds and larger units of speech to their written counterparts. GG has been shown to benefit children with reading difficulties and the game is now available for all Finnish school children for literacy support. Presently millions of children in Africa fail to learn to read despite years of primary school education. As many African languages have transparent writing systems similar in structure to Finnish, it was hypothesized that GG-based training of letter-sound correspondences could also be effective in supporting children's learning in African countries. In this article we will describe how GG has been developed from a Finnish dyslexia prevention game to an intervention method that can be used not only to improve children's reading performance but also to raise teachers' and parents' awareness of the development of reading skill and effective reading instruction methods. We will also provide an overview of the GG activities in Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Namibia, and the potential to promote education for all with a combination of scientific research and mobile learning.
  • Garcia, Leandro; Johnson, Rob; Johnson, Alex; Abbas, Ali; Goel, Rahul; Tatah, Lambed; Damsere-Derry, James; Kyere-Gyeabour, Elvis; Tainio, Marko; de Sá, Thiago H.; Woodcock, James (Pergamon, 2021)
    Environment International 155, 106680
    Background: Health impact assessments of alternative travel patterns are urgently needed to inform transport and urban planning in African cities, but none exists so far. Objective: To quantify the health impacts of changes in travel patterns in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana. Methods: We estimated changes to population exposures to physical activity, air pollution, and road traffic fatality risk and consequent health burden (deaths and years of life lost prematurely – YLL) in response to changes in transportation patterns. Five scenarios were defined in collaboration with international and local partners and stakeholders to reflect potential local policy actions. Results: Swapping bus and walking trips for car trips can lead to more than 400 extra deaths and 20,500 YLL per year than travel patterns observed in 2009. If part of the rise in motorisation is from motorcycles, we estimated an additional nearly 370 deaths and over 18,500 YLL per year. Mitigating the rise in motorisation by swapping long trips by car or taxi to bus trips is the most beneficial for health, averting more than 600 premature deaths and over 31,500 YLL per year. Without significant improvements in road safety, reduction of short motorised trips in favour of cycling and walking had no significant net health benefits as non-communicable diseases deaths and YLL benefits were offset by increases in road traffic deaths. In all scenarios, road traffic fatalities were the largest contributor to changes in deaths and YLL. Conclusions: Rising motorisation, particularly from motorcycles, can cause significant increase in health burden in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area. Mitigating rising motorisation by improving public transport would benefit population health. Tackling road injury risk to ensure safe walking and cycling is a top priority. In the short term, this will save lives from injury. Longer term it will help halt the likely fall in physical activity.
  • Korhonen, Otso (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The aim of this study was to identify the socio-economic and agro-ecological factors, reflecting the impact of agricultural mitigation actions for food security in Ethiopia and opportunities to develop on the basis of these factors indicators to assess the food security impact of Clean Development Mechanism projects. The study analyzed interviews conducted in three different locations in Ethiopia. The interviews were coded and the encodings were combined in to themes. Different categories of food security impacts were created on the basis of the themes. The CDM projects were analyzed using the themes and categories to form indicators so that the food security impact of the projects could be evaluated. The analyzed mitigation measures were composting, construction of terraces, limited use of areas and the use of agroforestry. Mitigation actions were found to have a positive impact on food security and climate change mitigation. Farmers felt that the mitigation measures were effective and decided to continue their use although the workload of the measures was described great. When developing of mitigation measures attention should be paid to the technical difficulties and feasibility of the action. Based on this analysis it was possible to form indicators for food security impacts of CDM projects. All the evaluated projects were found to have positive effects on food security on the basis of the indicators. Using the indicators directional assessment of food security impacts of CDM project can be made. The projects do not explicitly consider the food safety implications.