• Being at the Bottom Rung of the Ladder in an Unequal Society: A Qualitative Analysis of Stories of People without a Home

      Mabhala, Mzwandile A.; Yohannes, Asmait; Asmait Skin Care (MDPI, 2019-11-21)
      Background: Homelessness is rising in the United Kingdom, despite investment in measures to eradicate it made by the government and charity organisations. Aim: The aim is to examine the stories of homeless people in order to document their perceptions of their social status, the reasons that led to their homelessness, and propose a conceptual explanation. Method: We conducted 26 semi-structured interviews in three centres for homeless people in Cheshire, North West of England. Results: Three categories—education, employment, and health—emerged from the data and provided a theoretical explanation for the reasons that led to their homelessness. These are vital not only for the successful negotiation of one’s way out of homelessness, but also for achieving other social goods, including social connections, social mobility, and engaging in positive social relationships. Conclusion: Participants catalogued the adverse childhood experiences, which they believe limited their capacity to meaningfully engage with the social institution for social goods, such as education, social services, and institutions of employment. Since not all people who have misfortunes of poor education, poor health, and loss of job end up being homeless, we contend that a combination of these with multiple adverse childhood experiences may have weakened their resilience to traumatic life changes, such as loss of job and poor health.
    • Being at the Bottom Rung of the Ladder in an Unequal Society: A Qualitative Analysis of Stories of People without a Home

      Mabhala, Mzwandile; Yohannes, Asmait; University of Chester; Asmait Skin Care
      Background: Homelessness is rising in the United Kingdom, despite investment in measures to eradicate it made by the government and charity organisations. Aim: The aim is to examine the stories of homeless people in order to document their perceptions of their social status, the reasons that led to their homelessness, and propose a conceptual explanation. Method: We conducted 26 semi-structured interviews in three centres for homeless people in Cheshire, North West of England. Results: Three categories—education, employment, and health—emerged from the data and provided a theoretical explanation for the reasons that led to their homelessness. These are vital not only for the successful negotiation of one’s way out of homelessness, but also for achieving other social goods, including social connections, social mobility, and engaging in positive social relationships. Conclusion: Participants catalogued the adverse childhood experiences, which they believe limited their capacity to meaningfully engage with the social institution for social goods, such as education, social services, and institutions of employment. Since not all people who have misfortunes of poor education, poor health, and loss of job end up being homeless, we contend that a combination of these with multiple adverse childhood experiences may have weakened their resilience to traumatic life changes, such as loss of job and poor health.
    • Evaluating the Use of Vitamin D Supplementation to Improve Glycaemic Outcome in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients: A Systematic Review of Evidence

      Mabhala, Mzwandile A.; Babanumi, Adetoyosi; Olagunju, Anthony; Akata, Eloho; Yohannes, Asmait; Universty of Chester; Mount Sinai Hospital, Ambulatory Surgery Centre (Scientific Research Publishing, 2017-09-22)
      Background: The evidence indicates that vitamin D [25(OH)D] improves glycaemic outcomes in type 2 Diabetes mellitus patients. The outcome measures used to determine the accuracy of this hypothesis are: glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis which included all previous randomised controlled trial (RCT) studies that assessed the effects of vitamin D on glucose metabolism. We carried out an extensive electronic database search of published and unpublished RCTs, evaluating the association between vitamin D and glycaemic outcomes in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. We searched Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, MEDLINE, BioMed Central, Turning Research Into Practice (TRIP), Health Technology Assessment (HTA), and Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences (LILIACS) between the years 2005 and 2016. The full texts of relevant studies were retrieved and a snowballing technique was used to discover further studies missed from the initial database search. This was done by hand-searching for references within the retrieved articles. Results: A total of 17 studies were included in the review. The pooled effect of 15 studies that measured HbA1c showed an insignificant effect of vitamin D on HbA1c (Mean difference (MD) = −0.06 mmol/l; 95% CI = −0.26 to 0.14; I2 = 76%). A pooled analysis of seven studies that measured the effect of vitamin D on blood glucose also found no significant effect of vitamin D on T2DM (MD = −0.03 mmol/l; 95% CI = −0.69 to 0.63; I2 = 76%). Three studies that analysed the effect of vitamin D on insulin sensitivity also observed no significant effect (MD = −1.51 mmol/l; 95% CI = −3.61 to 0.60; I2 = 67%). Conclusion: In conclusion, although vitamin D has been extensively studied in relation to some glycaemic outcomes and some indications that increased plasma vitamin D concentrations might be linked to prevention of T2DM, firm universal conclusions about its benefits cannot be drawn. Further studies with better designed trials and larger sample sizes are needed to draw firmer conclusions
    • Homelessness Is Socially Created: Cluster Analysis of Social Determinants of Homelessness (SODH) in North West England in 2020

      Mabhala, Mzwandile; Esealuka, Winifred Adaobi; Nwufo, Amanda Nkolika; Enyinna, Chinwe; Mabhala, Chelsea Nonkosi; Udechukwu, Treasure; Reid, John; Yohannes, Asmait; University of Chester; University of East Anglia; École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique; Asmait Skincare and Design
      Abstract: Poverty creates social conditions that increase the likelihood of homelessness. These include exposure to traumatic life experiences; social disadvantages such as poor educational experiences; being raised in a broken family, care homes or foster care; physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; and neglect at an early age. These conditions reduce people’s ability to negotiate through life challenges. This cross-sectional study documents the clustering and frequency of adverse social conditions among 152 homeless people from four cities in North West England between January and August 2020. Two-step cluster analysis showed that having parents with a criminal record, care history, and child neglect/abuse history was predictive of homelessness. The cluster of indicator variables among homeless people included sexual abuse (χ2 (N = 152) = 220.684, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.7), inappropriate sexual behaviour (χ2 (N = 152) = 207.737, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.7), emotional neglect (χ2 (N = 152) = 181.671, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.7), physical abuse by step-parent (χ2 (N = 152) = 195.882, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.8), and physical neglect (χ2 (N = 152) = 205.632, p < 0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.8). Poverty and homelessness are intertwined because of the high prevalence of poverty among the homeless. Poverty sets up a chain of interactions between social conditions that increase the likelihood of unfavourable outcomes: homelessness is at the end of the interaction chain. Interventions supporting families to rise out of poverty may also reduce entry into homelessness.
    • Mind your Language: Discursive Practices Produce Unequal Power and Control Over Infectious Disease: A Critical Discourse Analysis

      Mabhala, Mzwandile; Yohannes, Asmait; Massey, Alan; Reid, John; University of Chester
      Abstract Background: Power, socioeconomic inequalities, and poverty are recognized as some of the fundamental determinants of differences in vulnerability of societies to infectious disease threats. The economic south is carrying a higher burden than those in the economic north. This raises questions about whether social preventions and biomedical preventions for infectious disease are given equal consideration, and about social institutions and structures that frame the debate about infectious disease. This article examines how institutionalized ways of talking about infectious disease reinforces, creates, and sustains health inequalities. Methodology: Critical discourse analysis was considered to be epistemologically and ontologically consistent with the aims and context of this study. Results: The study examined three types of infectious disease: • Emerging infectious diseases/pathogens • Neglected tropical diseases • Vector-borne infections. Examination revealed that poverty is the most common determinant of all three. Conclusion: A sustainable reduction in infectious disease in the southern countries is most likely to be achieved through tackling socioeconomic determinants. There is a need for a change in the discourse on infectious disease, and adopt a discourse that promotes self-determination, rather than one that reinforces the hero-victim scenario and power inequalities. Keyword: Critical discourse, inequalities, infectious disease, poverty, power