• Exploring the health status of older persons in Sub Saharan Africa

      Audain, Keiron A.; Carr, Michelle; Dikmen, Derya; Zotor, Francis B.; Ellahi, Basma; University of Zambia; University of Chester; Hacettepe University; University of Health and Allied Science; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2017-05-10)
      Sub-Saharan Africa has traditionally had a low life expectancy due to the onslaught of the HIV epidemic, high levels of chronic diseases, injuries, conflict and undernutrition. Therefore, research into public health concerns of older persons has largely been overlooked. With a growing population, the roll-out of antiretroviral treatment, and the effects of globalisation; Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing an increase in the number of people over 50 years of age as well as an increase in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases. The aim of this review is to highlight available research on the health status of older persons in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to identify the current gaps that warrant further investigation. A literature search was conducted across multiple databases to identify studies in Sub-Saharan Africa on older persons (aged 50 years and older) related to health indicators including nutritional status, non-communicable diseases and HIV burden. Whilst it was concluded that older persons are at an increased risk of poor health, it was also determined that significant gaps exist in this particular area of research; namely nutrient deficiency prevalence. Resources should be directed towards identifying the health concerns of older persons and developing appropriate interventions.
    • Food supplementation among HIV-infected adults in Sub-Saharan Africa: Impact on treatment adherence and weight gain

      Audain, Keiron A.; Zotor, Francis B.; Amuna, Paul; Ellahi, Basma; University of KwaZulu Natal ; University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana ; University of Greenwich ; University of Chester (The Nutrition Society, 2015-03-12)
      Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest proportion of undernourished people in the world, along with the highest number of people living with HIV and AIDS. Thus, as a result of high levels of food insecurity many HIV patients are also undernourished. The synergism between HIV and undernutrition leads to poor treatment adherence and high mortality rates. Undernutrition has a debilitating effect on the immune system due to key nutrient deficiencies and the overproduction of reactive species (oxidative stress), which causes rapid HIV progression and the onset of AIDS. Therapeutic food supplementation used in the treatment of severe acute malnutrition is being applied to HIV palliative care; however, little biochemical data exist to highlight its impact on oxidative stress and immune recovery.
    • Sugar sweetened beverage consumption in the early years and implications for type 2 diabetes: A sub-Saharan Africa context

      Audain, Keiron A.; Levy, Louis; Ellahi, Basma; University of Zambia; Public Health England; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2019-02-28)
      This review aims to explore trends of early consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), within the context of growing child and adolescent obesity and escalating type-2 diabetes prevalence. We explore efforts to mitigate these, drawing on examples from Africa and elsewhere. SSBs including carbonated drinks and fruit juices, play a contributory role in the development of obesity and associated non-communicable diseases. SSA is an attractive market for beverage companies owing to its rapid economic growth, growing middle class and youthful populations. SSBs already contribute significantly to total sugar and energy consumption in SSA where a plethora of marketing techniques targeted at younger people are utilised to ensure brand recognition and influence purchasing and brand loyalty. Coupled with a general lack of nutrition knowledge or engagement with preventative health, this can lead to frequent consumption of sugary drinks at a young age. Many high and some middle income countries public health efforts address increasing prevalence of obesity and type-2 diabetes by focussing on strategies to encourage reduction in sugar consumption via health policy and public education campaigns. However, similar efforts are not as developed or forthcoming in low-income countries. Health care systems across SSA are ill-prepared to cope with epidemic proportions of non-communicable diseases, particularly when contextualized with the ongoing battle with infectious diseases. We conclude that greater efforts by governments and the nutrition community to educate the public on the health effects of increased and excessive consumption of SSBs are necessary to help address this issue.