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Articles by University of Port Harcourt

Prevalence of congenital heart diseases among primary school children in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, West Africa

Published on: 26th September, 2019

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8333013062

Introduction: Congenital heart diseases (CHD) are leading causes of childhood morbidity and mortality especially in developing countries. Community-based studies are important in ascertaining the burden of the disease. Objectives: The study was set out to determine the prevalence and types of CHD among primary school children in Port Harcourt Local Government Area (PHALGA) of Rivers State, Niger Delta, Nigeria. Methods: A total of 1,712 primary school pupils were selected by multistage sampling from twelve schools in PHALGA. A questionnaire was used to obtain information from pupil’s parents on their child’s biodata and symptoms suggestive of heart disease. General physical and cardiovascular system examinations were carried out on each selected pupil, following which those with symptoms and/or signs suggestive of heart disease had echocardiographic confirmation of their cardiac status. Results: The 1,712 subjects were aged 5-14 (mean 8.48 ± 2.30) years. 874 (51.1%) were females while males were 838 (48.9%). The study revealed that 31 pupils had congenital heart diseases confirmed by echocardiography, giving a prevalence of 18.1 per 1,000 pupils. The commonest cardiac defects seen were acyanotic CHD in 30 (96.8%) pupils while cyanotic CHD was seen in only one (3.2%) pupil. Among the acyanotic CHD, atrial septal defects (83.9%) followed by ventricular septal defects (9.7%) were the commonest. CHD occurred with higher frequency among females (64.5%) and among the younger age group of 5-9 years (61.3%) though these were not statistically significant (p > 0.005). Conclusion: Cardiac examination as part of compulsory health screening at primary school entry will help detect children with CHD, reduce delay in diagnosis for intervention, avert debilitating morbidity and assure a better quality of life. 
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Demographic pattern of refractive anomalies in Niger Delta presbyopes - Implications for preventive eye care practice

Published on: 29th January, 2020

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8531090530

Background/Aim: In spite of global initiatives to provide sight for all by the year 2020, many middle-aged to elderly people in the Niger Delta still have significant visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive errors. The aim of this study is to assess the types of refractive anomalies that occur among presbyopic patients in Port Harcourt and determine the demographic pattern of these anomalies based on age and gender characteristics. Methodology: This is a hospital-based descriptive cross-sectional study in which sixty consecutive adult patients for refraction were seen. Every adult patient that came to get glasses during the study period was included in the study except where ocular or systemic contraindications were present. In addition to visual acuity, all patients had a detailed ocular examination and then refraction. The collected data was subsequently analysed using SPSS version 20. Results: The mean age of the patients was 54.4 ± 9.4 years with a range of 35 to 80 years. A total of 60 patients were seen, comprising 30 males and 30 females. The commonest refractive error was presbyopia with hyperopic astigmatism and this accounted for 80% of all cases. Hyperopic presbyopia and presbyopia alone were the least common. Conclusion: There is a high level of cylindrical and spherical errors in Port Harcourt. The full optical correction should always be prescribed to presbyopic patients to fully correct the associated visual impairment and improve the patients’ well-being.
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Socio-demographic characteristics and other factors associated with depressive illness among medical students at the University of Port Harcourt

Published on: 14th May, 2020

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8691259611

Background: The burden of depression as a mental disorder has continued to increase and constituting an enormous public health concern among all age groups. A number of socio-demographic, and other factors including a stressful and rigorous academic programme or curriculum such as the one run in most medical schools could contribute to the occurrence of depression among medical students. AIM: To determine the socio-demographic and other factors associated with depression among medical students in the University of Port Harcourt. Methodology: This study was a descriptive cross-sectional study. Appropriate sample size was calculated and the stratified random sampling method was used to select the subjects. A well-structured open ended self-administered socio-demographic questionnaire was administered to the students. The Zung Self-Rated Depression Scale was used to assess the depression status of each respondent. The data were analyzed via descriptive and analytical methods. Results: The prevalence of depression among the medical students was 5.3%. Fourteen students (4.6%) were mildly depressed while only two respondents had moderate depression. Year 3 had the highest prevalence with 10.5% followed by final year with 5.3%, while the only 2 cases of moderate depression were found among students in year 2 of their medical programme. Two hundred and seventy-one respondents (88.8%) were found to have good knowledge of depression, 32 (10.5%) were found to have average knowledge of depression and 2(0.7%) had poor knowledge of depression. Conclusion: Depression does occur among medical students at the University of Port Harcourt albeit low, and was associated with a number of socio-demographic and other factors. The present medical curriculum and programme should be sustained and more efforts at making it less stressful and academically friendly, be made to further reduce the current rate of psychological stress and depression among the students.
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Risk evaluation and modeling of soils contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in parts of Bonny Island, Niger Delta, Nigeria

Published on: 27th May, 2020

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8609740211

Environmental impact of a recent oil spill incident in Bonny terminal using soil media was studied using a risk-based modeling approach. The establishment of the presence of contaminants of concern (CoC), evaluation/assessment, modeling spilled volume and ascertaining potential health risk associated with the spill incident was carried out. The Contaminant of Concern (CoC) included Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Soils and groundwater were sampled in the vicinity of the spill incident and further away into the surrounding communities. Soils were sampled into the depths (0.1 m, 0.5 m,1.0 m, 1.5 m), and the results of sieve analysis revealed that the area is predominantly silty sand in composition. This study also revealed that TPH concentration at all locations and depths exceeded DPR target value of 50 mg/kg. The TPH model revealed that a total volume of 222,500m3 of the spill area exceeded DPR intervention value of 5000 mg/kg. The results of PAH showed that only BS-1, BS-6, BS-8, BS-9 and BS-10 exceeded DPR target value of 1.0 mg/kg at some depths. All other sample depths and locations were within the target limit. The 3-D grid generated for PAH showed that 563,000m3 of the study area exceeded the DPR target value. The 3-D block models generated for TPH and PAH, along with the cross-sections and extracted time slices all showed that the concentration of the Contaminant of Concern (CoC) generally decreased with depth, and the centre of the spill located at the south-eastern part of the survey area. Based on these models, three spill zones were identified; Zone 1-highly contaminated areas (BS-8, BS-9, BS-10); Zone 2 - moderately contaminated areas (BS-1, BS-2, BS-6, BS-7); and low contaminated areas (BS-3, BS-4, BS-5). The entire soil in the area were contaminated with TPH and 47% of the area contaminated with PAH. This study has shown the effectiveness of the use of a model-based approach in quantifying hydrocarbon contamination volumes in the area. There is therefore the need for continuous monitoring of hydrocarbon spills in the area.
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