Special Issue "Occupational and Work-Related Diseases in Developing/Tropical Countries"

A special issue of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease (ISSN 2414-6366). This special issue belongs to the section "One Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2022) | Viewed by 7957

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ngatu Roger Nlandu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine, Kagawa University, 1750 - 1 Ikenobe, Miki Town 761-0793, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan
Interests: environmental and occupational health; communicable infectious diseases; global health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The growing industrialization and urbanization in the developing world, as well as the increased global need for communication and health services, generate a wide variety of health hazards. These exposomes put workers at risk of developing communicable (CDs) and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), depending on the nature of the hazards. Occupational exposome also includes biological and chemical agents in both the living and working environments. For instance, researchers in the health sector, on the one hand, are constantly in contact with biological hazards; one the other hand, healthcare workers who are in contact daily with patients are reported to be at high risk of occupational infectious disease, sometimes with a potential outbreak occurrence. Moreover, pollutants and physical factors present in the working environment may lead to the development of a wide array of occupational diseases. This Special Issue will cover original and review articles related to epidemiological, experimental, diagnostic, and interventional studies, as well as clinical trials, on diseases caused by health risks in occupational settings as well as other types of health issues that occur at the workplace.

Dr. Ngatu Roger Nlandu
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Occupational safety and health
  • Work-related disease
  • Work environment

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Blood Lead Levels and Subsequence Risk of Malaria in the African Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030149 - 08 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1922
Abstract
Previous epidemiological studies showed that blood lead level (BLL) was associated with malaria infection and severity. Therefore, the present study aimed to qualitatively and quantitatively synthesize the evidence on the association between BLL and risk of malaria infection and severity using the systematic [...] Read more.
Previous epidemiological studies showed that blood lead level (BLL) was associated with malaria infection and severity. Therefore, the present study aimed to qualitatively and quantitatively synthesize the evidence on the association between BLL and risk of malaria infection and severity using the systematic review and meta-analysis approach. Potentially relevant studies were identified from three databases using a combination of search terms. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the checklist for the cross-sectional studies developed by the Joanna Briggs Institute. The qualitative synthesis of the risk or odds of malaria infection in patients with BLL was performed as the outcome of each included study could not be pooled. The pooled mean BLL and prevalence of malaria infection of the included studies was estimated using a random-effect model. The heterogeneity of the outcomes among the included studies was assessed using the Cochran Q test and I2 statistics. The subgroup analysis of the study sites and participants was performed to explore the source(s) of heterogeneity of the outcomes. Publication bias was assessed in the case of more than 10 studies used for pooling of the same outcome. Among 114 potentially relevant studies identified from the databases, 6 eligible studies were included for qualitative and quantitative syntheses. The results showed that the pooled mean BLLs were 7.33 μg/dL in children (95% confidence interval (95%CI), 4.08–10.58; I2, 98.2%), 7.94 μg/dL in children with BLL > 45 mg/dL before chelation (95%CI, 7.87–8.01), 7.41 μg/dL in infants (95%CI, 7.34–7.48 μg/dL), 9.20 μg/dL in children with malaria (95%CI, 9.16–9.24 μg/ dL), and 36.37 μg/dL in pregnant women (95%CI, 34.43–38.31 μg/dL). The prevalence rates of malaria among participants (2381 participants, 803 malaria-positive patients) were 53% in children (95%CI, 50–57%; I2, 99.8%), 24% in children with BLL > 45 mg/dL before chelation (95%CI, 21–27%), 12% in infants (95%CI, 8–18%), and 21% in pregnant women (95%CI, 18–26%). The subgroup analysis of countries demonstrated that the prevalence rates of malaria among participants was 17% in Benin (95%CI, 13–21%; I2, 98.8%) and 36% in Nigeria (95%CI, 10–63%; I2, 99.4%). BLL associated with decreased risk of malaria was demonstrated by two studies conducted in Benin and Nigeria, while BLL associated with increased risk of malaria was demonstrated by a study conducted in Nigeria. BLL was associated with the risk of severe malaria, involving severe neurological features and severe anemia. In conclusion, the present systematic review and meta-analysis determined the current status of the studies on BLL and risk of malaria in African countries. Further studies are needed to investigate the impact of BLL on patients with malaria to help the clinician determine the risk of severity, such as the development of neurological features or severe anemia, among patients exposed to lead. Full article
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Article
Occupational COVID-19 Prevention among Congolese Healthcare Workers: Knowledge, Practices, PPE Compliance, and Safety Imperatives
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6010006 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3519
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the functionality of health systems and world affairs. We assessed knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAPs) of healthcare workers (HCWs) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This was a cross-sectional study conducted [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the functionality of health systems and world affairs. We assessed knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAPs) of healthcare workers (HCWs) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This was a cross-sectional study conducted in 23 referral hospitals located in three towns of the DRC (Lubumbashi, Kamina, Mbuji-Mayi). In total, 613 HCWs were surveyed using the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) “Exposure Risk Assessment in the Context of COVID-19” questionnaire. Participants included medical doctors (27.2%) and other categories of HCWs (72.8%). The mean age was 40.3 ± 11.7 years. Over 80% (range: 83–96%) of respondents had sufficient knowledge on each of the three domains: COVID-19 symptoms, disease transmission, and patient care approach. However, attitudes and practices scores were relatively low. Only 27.7% of HCWs were willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available, whereas 55% of HCWs complied with good practices; 49.4% wore masks consistently and, surprisingly, only 54.9% used personal protective equipment (PPE) consistently at work and during contact with patients. Knowledge level was positively associated with the use of social media as a primary source of COVID-19-related information and the category of residence, with HCWs from towns already affected by the COVID-19 epidemic being more likely to have positive attitudes (adjusted OR, 1.64; 95%CI, 1.32–2.20) and comply with good practices (aOR, 2.79; 95%CI, 1.93-4.06). This study showed that most Congolese HCWs had sufficient knowledge on COVID-19, whereas the majority did not comply with consistent PPE use. The government of the DRC should urgently take major steps in capacity building for HCWs in outbreak preparedness and supplying hospitals with PPE. Full article
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Article
Air Quality in the Working Environment and Respiratory Health of Female Congolese Stone Quarry Workers
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(4), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5040171 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1095
Abstract
Background and Aim. Environmental and occupational exposure to high dust levels are known to be associated with lung function impairment. We assessed the ambient air quality in the working environment and the respiratory health of female stone quarry workers in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic [...] Read more.
Background and Aim. Environmental and occupational exposure to high dust levels are known to be associated with lung function impairment. We assessed the ambient air quality in the working environment and the respiratory health of female stone quarry workers in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a context of severe economic, security, and health crises. Methods. This was a case-control study conducted in three stone quarry sites. Participants were 256 dust-exposed female stone quarry workers matched to 256 unexposed female office workers and market tax collectors (N = 512). They each answered a structured respiratory health questionnaire and underwent physical examination and a lung function test with the use of a spirometer and peak flow meter. Quality of ambient air in the working environment was assessed by means of a BRAMC air quality monitor (BR-AIR-329). Results. Results showed that exposed women did not use any personal protective equipment (PPE); in quarry sites, abnormally high levels of PM2.5 (205 ± 13.2 μg/m3 vs. 31.3 ± 10.3 μg/m3 in control sites; p < 0.001) and volatile organic compounds (VOC, 2.2 ± 0.2 μg/m3 vs. 0.5 ± 0.3 μg/m3, respectively; p < 0.01) were found. Furthermore, respiratory complaints were more common among exposed women (32.4% vs. 3.5% in controls; p < 0.01), who had abnormal chest auscultation and reduced lung capacity than controls (mean PEFR: 344.8 ± 2.26 and 405 ± 67.7 L/s, respectively; p < 0.001 Conclusion. Findings from this study show that in the midst of severe crises in the DRC, women stone quarry workers are exposed to abnormally high levels of respiratory hazards, which contribute to impaired lung function. There is a need to regulate quarry work and improve the working conditions in quarry sites in the DRC. Full article
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