Rural field work

Marking 5 years of clinical research in Ilembe the team is closing for the exam period. “We have recently seen very severe cases of Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS)”, says Nurse Nombeko Mpofana (right). “Some have no choice but to use the river for laundry and personal hygiene”. She is one of the senior nurses who have come out of retirement to be a youth research nurse. Staff members may work as drivers who fetch young women in schools, or interviewers and HIV counsellors who can handle sensitive issues, there is a teen liaison officer who is a “mother” in the waiting room, and the fact verification officer and the data manager make sure that the collected data makes sense. “The research team has two major goals”, says Sister Mpofana, “namely to make sure our study participants are treated well and we provide reliable information”. The research in adolescents roughly covers 4 areas: (1) Biharzia as a risk factor for HIV. (2) Staging the disease: what is going on at different time points (3) Diagnosis at the point of care (4) Treatment. Read more... read more

The WHO Pocket Atlas used in FGS study in Nigeria

Professor Uwen Ekpo of Nigeria and his team in Ogun State have identified the first twenty adult women with FGS using the WHO Pocket Atlas for Female Genital Schistosomiasis (image). Fourteen of the 20 women had FGS (70·0%). Ten had grainy-sandy patches (image), 6 had homogenous yellow sandy patches. It is noteworthy that one patient was found to have rubbery papules as it is the first case outside Madagascar. Read here: Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) in Ogun State, Nigeria: a pilot survey on genital symptoms and clinical findings. Parasitology Open (2017), Vol. 3, e10; page 1 of 9. U. F. Ekpo, O. M. Odeyemi, S. O. Sam-Wobo, O. B. Onunkwor, H. O. Mogaji, A. S. Oluwole, H. O. Abdussalam , J. R.... read more

Automatic diagnosis of genital schistosomiasis

Dr Sigve Holmen’s PhD thesis showed an interesting, innovative non-invasive approach to the diagnosis of Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS), representing an original contribution to the knowledge in the field. BRIGHT Researcher, Sigve Homen (right), defended his PhD thesis against United Kingdom opponents Professor Gabriel Landini and Professor Albert Singer (left). The sensitivity for detection of FGS of (83%) and specificity of (73%)  might not at first appear to be as high as desirable and a mobile app must be developed further. However, the figures are very good for a first attempt to make an objective diagnostic tool for FGS. Professor Albert Singer who is an expert colposcopist emphasised that the technique holds the possibility to both train health professionals in FGS and ensure quality control of the diagnosis. We congratulate Dr Holmen with a unique and significant contribution to female health. Title: “Computer Image Analysis as a Diagnostic Tool in Female Genital Schistosomiasis” PhD registered: University of Oslo (UoO), Norway Main supervisor: Professor Eyrun F Kjetland (Oslo University Hospital/University of KwaZulu-Natal) Co-supervisors: Professor Mathias Onsrud (Gynaecology, Oslo University Hospital/UoO) and Professor Fritz Albregtsen (Informatics, UoO)... read more
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