SciCombinator

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Concept: Zimbabwe

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The research objective was to test the hypothesis that corporate health and wellness contributed positively to South African companies' financial results.

Concepts: Human, Africa, Black people, South Africa, Overseas Chinese, African Union, Zimbabwe, 2003 Cricket World Cup

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To determine the frequency and content of food-related television (TV) advertisements shown on South African TV.

Concepts: Africa, Black people, South Africa, Overseas Chinese, Radio, African Union, Zimbabwe, 2003 Cricket World Cup

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Epidemiological data from Zimbabwe suggests that genital infection with Schistosoma haematobium may increase the risk of HIV infection in young women. Therefore, the treatment of Schistosoma haematobium with praziquantel could be a potential strategy for reducing HIV infection. Here we assess the potential cost-effectiveness of praziquantel as a novel intervention strategy against HIV infection.

Concepts: HIV, AIDS, Infectious disease, Africa, Schistosomiasis, South Africa, Schistosoma haematobium, Zimbabwe

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Vultures in the Gyps genus are declining globally. Multiple threats related to human activity have caused widespread declines of vulture populations in Africa, especially outside protected areas. Addressing such threats requires the estimation of foraging ranges yet such estimates are lacking, even for widespread (but declining) species such as the African white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus). We tracked six immature African white-backed vultures in South Africa using GPS-GSM units to study their movement patterns, their use of protected areas and the time they spent in the vicinity of supplementary feeding sites. All individuals foraged widely; their combined foraging ranges extended into six countries in southern Africa (mean (± SE) minimum convex polygon area  = 269,103±197,187 km(2)) and three of the vultures travelled more than 900 km from the capture site. All six vultures spent the majority of their tracking periods outside protected areas. South African protected areas were very rarely visited whereas protected areas in northern Botswana and Zimbabwe were used more frequently. Two of the vultures visited supplementary feeding sites regularly, with consequent reduced ranging behaviour, suggesting that individuals could alter their foraging behaviour in response to such sites. We show that immature African white-backed vultures are capable of travelling throughout southern Africa, yet use protected areas to only a limited extent, making them susceptible to the full range of threats in the region. The standard approach of designating protected areas to conserve species is unlikely to ensure the protection of such wide-ranging species against threats in the wider landscape.

Concepts: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, Madagascar, African Union, Botswana, Zimbabwe, White-backed Vulture

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Gigantism and dwarfism evolve in vertebrates restricted to islands. We describe four new species in the Rhinolophus hildebrandtii species-complex of horseshoe bats, whose evolution has entailed adaptive shifts in body size. We postulate that vicissitudes of palaeoenvironments resulted in gigantism and dwarfism in habitat islands fragmented across eastern and southern Africa. Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences recovered two clades of R. hildebrandtii senso lato which are paraphyletic with respect to a third lineage (R. eloquens). Lineages differ by 7.7 to 9.0% in cytochrome b sequences. Clade 1 includes R. hildebrandtii sensu stricto from the east African highlands and three additional vicariants that speciated across an Afromontane archipelago through the Plio-Pleistocene, extending from the Kenyan Highlands through the Eastern Arc, northern Mozambique and the Zambezi Escarpment to the eastern Great Escarpment of South Africa. Clade 2 comprises one species confined to lowland savanna habitats (Mozambique and Zimbabwe). A third clade comprises R. eloquens from East Africa. Speciation within Clade 1 is associated with fixed differences in echolocation call frequency, and cranial shape and size in populations isolated since the late Pliocene (ca 3.74 Mya). Relative to the intermediate-sized savanna population (Clade 2), these island-populations within Clade 1 are characterised by either gigantism (South African eastern Great Escarpment and Mts Mabu and Inago in Mozambique) or dwarfism (Lutope-Ngolangola Gorge, Zimbabwe and Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa). Sympatry between divergent clades (Clade 1 and Clade 2) at Lutope-Ngolangola Gorge (NW Zimbabwe) is attributed to recent range expansions. We propose an “Allometric Speciation Hypothesis”, which attributes the evolution of this species complex of bats to divergence in constant frequency (CF) sonar calls. The origin of species-specific peak frequencies (overall range = 32 to 46 kHz) represents the allometric effect of adaptive divergence in skull size, represented in the evolution of gigantism and dwarfism in habitat islands.

Concepts: Africa, Species, South Africa, Lion, Madagascar, East Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique

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The full eventual effects of current smoking patterns cannot yet be seen in Africa. In South Africa, however, men and women in the coloured (mixed black and white ancestry) population have smoked for many decades. We assess mortality from smoking in the coloured, white, and black (African) population groups.

Concepts: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Demography, Black people, South Africa, White people, African Union, Zimbabwe

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Primary health services in Cape Town, South Africa where the introduction of Xpert® MTB/RIF (Xpert) enabled simultaneous screening for tuberculosis (TB) and drug susceptibility in all presumptive cases.

Concepts: AIDS, Illness, Tuberculosis, Medical tests, South Africa, Barack Obama, Massachusetts, Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe is the largest tobacco producer in Africa. Despite expressing opposition in the past, Zimbabwe recently acceded to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). We explored why Zimbabwe acceded to the FCTC and the potential implications for tobacco control within Zimbabwe and globally.

Concepts: Malaria, Africa, South Africa, World, World Health Organization, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Mozambique

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BACKGROUND: This paper describes the task-shifting taking place in health centres and district hospitals in Mozambique and Zambia. The objectives of this study were to identify the perceived causes and factors facilitating or impeding task-shifting, and to determine both the positive and negative consequences of task-shifting for the service users, for the services and for health workers. METHODS: Data collection involved individual and group interviews and focus group discussions with health workers from the civil service. RESULTS: In both the Republic of Mozambique and the Republic of Zambia, health workers have to practice beyond the traditional scope of their professional practice to cope with their daily tasks. They do so to ensure that their patients receive the level of care that they, the health workers, deem due to them, even in the absence of written instructions. The out of professional scope|| activities consume a significant amount of working time. On occasions, health workers are given on-the-job training to assume new roles, but job titles and rewards do not change, and career progression is unheard of. Ancillary staff and nurses are the two cadres assuming a greater diversity of functions as a result of improvised taskshifting. CONCLUSIONS: Our observations show that the consequences of staff deficits and poor conditions of work include heavier workloads for those on duty, the closure of some services, the inability to release staff for continuing education, loss of quality, conflicts with patients, risks for patients, unsatisfied staff (with the exception of ancillary staff) and hazards for health workers and managers. Task-shifting is openly acknowledged and widespread, informal and carries risks for patients, staff and management.

Concepts: Health care provider, Focus group, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Rhodesia

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