Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: Eritrea

19 A User-Friendly Approach for Design and Economic Analysis of Standalone PV System for the Electrification of Rural Area of Eritrea

Authors: Tedros Asefaw Gebremeskel, Xaoyi Yang


The potential of solar energy in Eritrea is relatively high, based on this truth, there are a number of isolated and remote villages situated far away from the electrical national grid which don’t get access to electricity. The core objective of this work is to design a most favorable and cost-effective power by means of standalone PV system for the electrification of a single housing in the inaccessible area of Eritrea. The sizing of the recommended PV system is achieved, such as radiation data and electrical load for the typical household of the selected site is also well thought-out in the design steps. Finally, the life cycle cost (LCC) analysis is conducted to evaluate the economic viability of the system. The outcome of the study promote the use of PV system for a residential building and show that PV system is a reasonable option to provide electricity for household applications in the rural area of Eritrea.

Keywords: electrification, inaccessible area, life cycle cost, residential building, stand-alone PV system

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18 The Ethio-Eritrea Claims Commission on Use of Force: Issue of Self-Defense or Violation of Sovereignty

Authors: Isaias Teklia Berhe


A decision that deals with international disputes, be it arbitral or judicial, has to properly reflect objectivity and coherence with existing rules of international law. This paper shows the decision of the Ethio-Eritrea Claims Commission on the jus ad bellum case is bereft of objectivity and coherence, which contributed a disservice to international law on many aspects. The Commission’s decision that holds Eritrea in contravention to Art 2(4) of the UN Charter based on Ethiopia’s contention is flawed. It fails to consider: the illegitimacy of an actual authority established over contested territory through hostile acts, the proper determination of effectivites under international law, the sanctity of colonially determined boundaries, Ethiopia’s prior firm political recognition and undergirds to respect colonial boundary, and Ethio-Eritrea Border Commission’s decision. The paper will also argue that the Commission confused Eritrea’s right of self-defense with the rule against the non-use of force to settle territorial disputes; wherefore its decision sanitizes or sterilizes unlawful change of territory resulted through unlawful use of force to the effect of advantaging aggressions. The paper likewise argues that the decision is so sacrilegious that it disregards the ossified legal finality of colonial boundaries. Moreover, its approach toward armed attack does not reflect the peculiarity of the jus ad bellum case rather it brings about definitional uncertainties and sustains the perception that the law on self-defense is unsettled.

Keywords: armed attack, Eritrea, Ethiopia, self-defense, territorial integrity, use of force

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17 Endemic Medicinal Plants in Eritrea: Scientific Name, Botanical Description and Geographical Location

Authors: Liya Abraham


Medicinal plants are globally valuable sources of herbal products, either as lifesaving or life maintaining medicines. Studies reveal that more than 25% of modern drugs in the world are derived from plants. The Horn of Africa as a world hotspot; it has more than 1500 endemic plants. Eritrea, a country located in the Horn of Africa, is blessed with medicinal flora and fauna and marine and terrestrial biodiversity. Previous studies of flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea, incomplete species lists, indicate figures ranging between 6000 and 7000 species, with levels of endemism between 12–20%. In the past two decades, there has been growing interest in natural remedy herbal medicines owing to, but not limited to; resistance to antimicrobials, intolerance of side effects of modern drugs, and rise in chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc. Hence, owing to the rising demand for nature based health solutions, deforestation, construction purposes, grazing, and agricultural expansion; several medicinal plants in general and the endemic ones, in particular, are in the verge of extinction. Therefore, conservation strategies of endangered and endemic medicinal plants, especially those located in hot spot regions, must be promoted at global level. Thus, the author aims to share certain information regarding the endemic medicinal plants in Eritrea with the international scientific world.

Keywords: endemic, eritrea, horn of Africa, medicinal plants, species

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16 Induction and Mentorship of Junior Faculty Members: A Managerial Challenge in the Institutions of Higher Education in Eritrea

Authors: Zecarias Zemichael Woldu


Cultivation of professionalism and dispositional values in junior faculty members in institutions of higher education (IHE) is a global challenge. Junior faculty members complain of the managerial inefficiency and lack of modeling in their career development. This paper explored how Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are inducted into the system and mentored at work in the IHE in Eritrea. It assesses the institutional significance and challenges of mentoring junior faculty members in IHE. The research was conducted in 7 IHE involving 165 participants. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered through Likert scale questionnaire and in-depth interviews. A One-Way ANOVA was used to assess the GTAs’ knowledge of assigned duties and responsibilities, access to institutional information and resources, the quality of guidance and support provided and above all the mentoring state of affairs across the colleges. Results revealed that junior faculty shoulder vital responsibilities but they receive poor induction and mentoring at individual and institutional levels. A large number of junior faculty members revealed a need of serious professional molding to effectively shoulder more responsibilities in the colleges.

Keywords: induction, mentoring, junior faculty members, Eritrea

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15 Prevalence and Correlates of Mental Disorders in Children and Adolescents in Mendefera Community, Eritrea

Authors: Estifanos H. Zeru


Introduction: Epidemiological research is important to draw need-based rational public health policy. However, research on child and adolescent mental health in low and middle income countries, where socioeconomic, political, cultural, biological and other mental health hazards are in abundance, is almost nonexistent. To the author's knowledge, there is no published research in this field in Eritrea, whose child and adolescent population constitutes 53% of its total population. Study Aims and Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and patterns of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders and identify their socio-demographic correlates among children and adolescents in Mendefera, Eritrea. The study aims to provide local information to public health policymakers to guide policy in service development. Methodology: In a cross-sectional two stage procedure, both the Parent and Child versions of the SDQ were used to screen 314 children and adolescents aged 4-17 years, recruited by a multi-stage random sampling method. All parents/adult guardians also completed a socio-demographic questionnaire. All children and adolescents who screened positive for any of the SDQ abnormality sub-classes were selected for the second stage interview, which was conducted using the K-SADS-PL 2009 Working Draft version to generate specific DSM-IV diagnoses. All data gathered was entered into CSPro version 6.2 and was then transported in to and analyzed using SPSS version 20 for windows. Results: Prevalence of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders was found to be 13.1%. Adolescents 11-17 years old and males had higher prevalence than children 4-10 years old and females, respectively. Behavioral disorders were the commonest disorders (9.9%), followed by affective disorders (3.2%) and anxiety disorders (2.5). Chronic medical illness in the child, poor academic performance, difficulties with teachers in school, psychopathology in a family member and parental conflict were found to be independently associated with these disorders. Conclusion: Prevalence of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders in Eritrea is high. Promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation for child and adolescent mental health services need to be made widely available in the country. The socio-demographic correlates identified by this study can be targeted for intervention. The need for further research is emphasized.

Keywords: adolescents, children, correlates, DSM-IV psychiatric disorders, Eritrea, K-SAD-PL 2009, prevalence and correlates, SDQ

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14 Aerosol - Cloud Interaction with Summer Precipitation over Major Cities in Eritrea

Authors: Samuel Abraham Berhane, Lingbing Bu


This paper presents the spatiotemporal variability of aerosols, clouds, and precipitation within the major cities in Eritrea and it investigates the relationship between aerosols, clouds, and precipitation concerning the presence of aerosols over the study region. In Eritrea, inadequate water supplies will have both direct and indirect adverse impacts on sustainable development in areas such as health, agriculture, energy, communication, and transport. Besides, there exists a gap in the knowledge on suitable and potential areas for cloud seeding. Further, the inadequate understanding of aerosol-cloud-precipitation (ACP) interactions limits the success of weather modification aimed at improving freshwater sources, storage, and recycling. Spatiotemporal variability of aerosols, clouds, and precipitation involve spatial and time series analysis based on trend and anomaly analysis. To find the relationship between aerosols and clouds, a correlation coefficient is used. The spatiotemporal analysis showed larger variations of aerosols within the last two decades, especially in Assab, indicating that aerosol optical depth (AOD) has increased over the surrounding Red Sea region. Rainfall was significantly low but AOD was significantly high during the 2011 monsoon season. Precipitation was high during 2007 over most parts of Eritrea. The correlation coefficient between AOD and rainfall was negative over Asmara and Nakfa. Cloud effective radius (CER) and cloud optical thickness (COT) exhibited a negative correlation with AOD over Nakfa within the June–July–August (JJA) season. The hybrid single-particle Lagrangian integrated trajectory (HYSPLIT) model that is used to find the path and origin of the air mass of the study region showed that the majority of aerosols made their way to the study region via the westerly and the southwesterly winds.

Keywords: aerosol-cloud-precipitation, aerosol optical depth, cloud effective radius, cloud optical thickness, HYSPLIT

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13 In-Vitro Assessment of Saponin’s Level and Hemolytic Activity of Five Medicinal Plants from Eritrea

Authors: Leah Ghebreberhan, Liya Abraham, John Issac, Atul Kaushik


Medicinal plants are used for various indications in Eritrea according to traditional systems of medicine. Safety concerns, however, are dubious since some medicinal plants have toxic effects indeed. The medicinal plants under study (Commicarpus pedunculosis, Steganotaenia araliaceae, Boscia angustifolia, Solanum incanum, and Calpurnia aurea) are used in the treatment of various diseases. Thus, safety studies must be performed prior to usage since they are rich in phytoconstituents like saponins. Saponns are natural glycosides with several pharmacologic activities including hemolysis. The study was done to assess the level of saponin and toxic effects (hemolysis) of medicinal plants used in folk medicine. The plant extracts were subject to phytochemical analysis, foam test, and hemolytic assay. Regarding the Fh value, Solanam incanum consisted highest Fh value (20mm), whereas Boscia angustifolia showed the lowest Fh value (10mm). The level of hemolysis of all the plant extracts ranged between 9.0 to 20.2 %. All the plant extracts were suitable for treatment with respect to saponin level since they exhibited minimal hemolytic effect against erythrocytes.

Keywords: Boscia angustifolia, Calpurnia aurea, Commicarpus pedunculosis, hemolysis, saponin, Solanum incanum, Steganotaenia araliaceae

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12 The Social Aspects of Mental Illness among Orthodox Christians of the Tigrinya Ethnic Group in Eritrea

Authors: Erimias Firre


This study is situated within the religio-cultural milieu of Coptic Orthodox Christians of the Tigrinya ethnic group in Eritrea. With this ethnic group being conservative and traditionally bound, extended family structures dissected along various clans and expansive community networks are the distinguishing mark of its members. Notably, Coptic Tigrinya constitutes the largest percentage of all Christian denominations in Eritrea. As religious, cultural beliefs, rituals and teachings permeate in all aspects of social life, a distinct worldview and traditionalized health and illness conceptualization are common. Accordingly, this study argues that religio-culturally bound illness ideologies immensely determine the perception, help seeking behavior and healing preference of Coptic Tigrinya in Eritrea. The study bears significance in the sense that it bridges an important knowledge gap, given that it is ethno-linguistically (within the Tigrinya ethnic group), spatially (central region of Eritrea) and religiously (Coptic Christianity) specific. The conceptual framework guiding this research centered on the social determinants of mental health, and explores through the lens of critical theory how existing systems generate social vulnerability and structural inequality, providing a platform to reveal how the psychosocial model has the capacity to emancipate and empower those with mental disorders to live productive and meaningful lives. A case study approach was employed to explore the interrelationship between religio-cultural beliefs and practices and perception of common mental disorders of depression, anxiety, bipolar affective, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorders and the impact of these perceptions on people with those mental disorders. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 41 participants representing seven diverse cohorts; people with common mental disorders, family caregivers, general community members, ex-fighters , priests, staff at St. Mary’s and Biet-Mekae Community Health Center; resulting in rich data for thematic analysis. Findings highlighted current religio-cultural perceptions, causes and treatment of mental disorders among Coptic Tigrinya result in widespread labelling, stigma and discrimination, both of those with mental disorders and their families. Traditional healing sources are almost exclusively tried, sometimes for many years, before families and sufferers seek formal medical assessment and treatment, resulting difficult to treat illness chronicity. Service gaps in the formal medical system result in the inability to meet the principles enshrined in the WHO Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 to which the Eritrean Government is a signatory. However, the study found that across all participant cohorts, there was a desire for change that will create a culture whereby those with mental disorders will have restored hope, connectedness, healing and self-determination.

Keywords: Coptic Tigrinya, mental disorders, psychosocial model social integration and recovery, traditional healing

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11 Analyzing the Perception of Identity in Bilingual Communities: Case Study of Eritrean Immigrants in Switzerland

Authors: Warsa Melles


This study examines the way second-generation Eritrean immigrants living in the French-speaking part of Switzerland behave linguistically and culturally. The aim of this research is to demonstrate how the participants deal with their bilingualism (Tigrinya and French). More precisely, how does their language use correlates with their socio-cultural attitudes and how do these aspects (re)construct their identity? Data for this research was collected via, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Participants were asked to answer questions regarding their linguistic habits, their perception on being bilingual and their cultural identity. The major findings demonstrate that generation 2 relates more with the host country’s language since French is used as the main language in their daily interactions. On the other hand, due to the fact that they have never lived in Eritrea yet were raised by Eritrean born parents in a foreign country, it is more difficult for them to unanimously identify with just one culture. In that sense, intergenerational transmission plays a major role in the perception of identity. All the participants have at least a basic knowledge of Tigrinya, but the use of languages varies according to the purpose. Proficiency in the native language and sense of belonging can be correlated with the frequency of visits to Eritrea. In conclusion, the question of identity in the second-generation Eritrean community cannot be given a categorical and clear-cut answer instead, the new-self image that this social group aims to build is shaped by different factors that are essential to take into consideration.

Keywords: biculturalism, identity, language, migration

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10 Country Experience on Regulation of Traditional Medicine in Eritrea

Authors: Liya Abraham


Eritrea is located along the Red Sea, north of the Horn of Africa, between Djibouti and Sudan and has a population of about 3.2 million as of 2010. It has six administrative regions; Anseba, Debub, Debubawi K’eyih Bahri, Gash-Barka, Ma'akel, and Semenawi K’eyih Bahri. Eritrea has got its independence in 1991 after 30 years war of liberation. The country is blessed with various medicinal flora and fauna, and marine and terrestrial biodiversity. Traditional Medicine (TM) has been an integral part of the Eritrean culture for centuries. So far, more than 19 TM modalities have been recognized, and are broadly categorized as; herbal, procedure-based and spiritual. Despite the availability of modern medicine to the majority of the population, TM is still widely practiced. The rationale behind widespread use is accessibility, affordability and cultural acceptability. Hence, TM is of great contribution to the Eritrean health care system. As a matter of fact, harnessing the potential contribution of effective and safe TM in order to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has been emphasized in the WHO TM strategy 2014-2023. The Eritrean TM, however, was operating without regulation and reliable scientific justification behind its safety and efficacy. Thus, the Ministry of Health (MoH), in recognition of the role of TM in primary healthcare and safeguard public health, established a regulatory body for TM so-called as Traditional Medicine Unit (TMU) in 2012. The mission of the unit is to ensure rational TM use through an integrated health service delivery system and contribute to the country’s economic and social development. The unit has established its national TM policy in 2017. The activities of the unit are guided by the National TM Advisory Committee (TMAC), responsible for the provision of technical assistance and advisory role. Moreover, the Legal Framework and Code of Ethics and Practice which provide a legal basis for the regulation of TM have also been drafted. In recognition of the importance of TM research and development, the unit launched a nationwide TM survey in 2017 and had surveyed two zones (Gash-Barka and Debub). The findings of the survey were subjected to a research dissemination workshop and publication in international journals. Furthermore, TM-related adverse events reporting tool (Green Form) aiming to guide regulatory interventions and researches have been established by the unit, and ever since reports are flowing. The unit has also been offering training to THPs, pharmacy students and health care professionals regarding TM and its regulatory activities. In addition, as part of the establishment of the national medicinal plants' database and herbal monograph, more than 329 and 30 medicinal plants, have been compiled respectively. In conclusion, TM is still widely accepted and practiced in Eritrea. The TMU ever since its establishment is endeavoring to ensure the safety and efficacy of the TM, and its integration in the mainstream health service delivery system.

Keywords: efficacy, regulation, safety, traditional medicine, traditional medicine unit, universal health coverage

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9 Feasibility Study of Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in Asmara, Eritrea

Authors: Hagos Gebrehiwet Bahta


Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea, is facing a sanitation challenge because the city discharges its wastewater to the environment without any kind of treatment. The aim of this research is to conduct a pre-feasibility study of using constructed wetlands in the peri-urban areas of Asmara for wastewater treatment and reuse. It was found that around 15,000 m³ of wastewater is used daily for agricultural activities, and products are sold in the city's markets, which are claimed to cause some health effects. In this study, three potential sites were investigated around Mai-Bela and an optimum location was selected on the basis of land availability, topography, and geotechnical information. Some types of local microphytes that can be used in constructed wetlands have been identified and documented for further studies. It was found that subsurface constructed wetlands can provide a sufficient pollutant removal with careful planning and design. Following the feasibility study, a preliminary design of screening, grit chamber and subsurface constructed wetland was prepared and cost estimation was done. In the cost estimation part, the filter media was found to be the most expensive part and consists of around 30% percent of the overall cost. The city wastewater drainage runs in two directions and the selected site is located in the southern sub-system, which only carries sewage (separate system). The wastewater analysis conducted particularly around this area (Sembel) indicates high heavy metal levels and organic concentrations, which reveals that there is a high level of industrial pollution in addition to the domestic sewage.

Keywords: agriculture, constructed wetland, Mai-Bela, wastewater reuse

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8 Students' Perspectives on Quality of Course Evaluation Practices and Feedbacks in Eritrea

Authors: Ermias Melake Tesfay


The importance of evaluation practice and feedback to student advancement and retention has gained importance in the literature over the past ten years. So many issues and cases have been raised about the quality and types of evaluation carried out in higher education and the quality and quantity of student feedback. The aim of this study was to explore the students’ perspectives on the quality of course evaluation practice and feedback in College of Education and College of Science. The study used both quantitative and qualitative methods to collect data. Data were collected from third-year and fourth-year students of 13 departments in the College of Education and College of Science in Eritrea. A modified Service Performance (SERVPERF) questionnaire and focus group discussions were used to collect the data. The sample population comprised of 135 third-year and fourth-year students’ from both Colleges. A questionnaire using a 5 point Likert-scale was administered to all respondents whilst two focus group discussions were conducted. Findings from survey data and focus group discussions showed that the majority of students hold a positive perception of the quality of course evaluation practice but had a negative perception of methods of awarding grades and administrators’ role in listening to the students complain about the course. Furthermore, the analysis from the questionnaire showed that there is no statistically significant difference between third-year and fourth-year students, College of Education and College of Science and male and female students on the quality of course evaluation practice and feedback. The study recommends that colleges improve the quality of fairness and feedback during course assessment.

Keywords: evaluation, feedback, quality, students' perception

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7 Human Insecurity and Migration in the Horn of Africa: Causes and Decision Processes

Authors: Belachew Gebrewold


The Horn of Africa is marred by complex and systematic internal and external political, economic and social-cultural causes of conflict that result in internal displacement and migration. This paper engages with them and shows how such a study can help us to understand migration, both in this region and more generally. The conflict has occurred within states, between states, among proxies, between armies. Human insecurities as a result of the state collapse of Somalia, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the whole region, recurrent drought affecting the livelihoods of subsistence farmers as well as nomads, exposure to hunger, environmental degradation, youth unemployment, rapid growth of slums around big cities, and political repression (especially in Eritrea) have been driving various segments of the regional population into regional and international migration. Eritrea has been going through a brutal dictatorship which pushes many Eritreans to flee their country and be exposed to human trafficking, torture, detention, and agony on their way to Europe mainly through Egypt, Libya and Israel. Similarly, Somalia has been devastated since 1991 by unending civil war, state collapse, and radical Islamists. There are some important aspects to highlight in the conflict-migration nexus in the Horn of Africa: first, the main push factor for the Somalis and Eritreans to leave their countries and risk their lives is the physical insecurity they have been facing in their countries. Secondly, as a result of the conflict the economic infrastructure is massively destroyed. Investment is rare; job opportunities are out of sight. Thirdly, in such a grim situation the politically and economically induced decision to migrate is a household decision, not only an individual decision. Based on this third point this research study took place in the Horn of Africa between 2014 and 2016 during different occasions. The main objective of the research was to understanding how the increasing migration is affecting the socio-economic and socio-political environment, and conversely how the socio-economic and socio-political environments are increasing migration decisions; and whether and how these decisions are individual or family decisions. The main finding is the higher the human insecurity, the higher the family decision; the lower the human insecurity, the higher the individual decision. These findings apply not only to the Eritrean, Somali migrants but also to Ethiopian migrants. But the general impacts of migration on sending countries’ human security is quite mixed and complex.

Keywords: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Horn of Africa, insecurity, migration, Somalia

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6 A Matched Case-Control Study to Asses the Association of Chikunguynya Severity among Blood Groups and Other Determinants in Tesseney, Gash Barka Zone, Eritrea

Authors: Ghirmay Teklemicheal, Samsom Mehari, Sara Tesfay


Objectives: A total of 1074 suspected chikungunya cases were reported in Tesseney Province, Gash Barka region, Eritrea, during an outbreak. This study was aimed to assess the possible association of chikungunya severity among ABO blood groups and other potential determinants. Methods: A sex-matched and age-matched case-control study was conducted during the outbreak. For each case, one control subject had been selected from the mild Chikungunya cases. Along the same line of argument, a second control subject had also been designated through which neighborhood of cases were analyzed, scrutinized, and appeared to the scheme of comparison. Time is always the most sacrosanct element in pursuance of any study. According to the temporal calculation, this study was pursued from October 15, 2018, to November 15, 2018. Coming to the methodological dependability, calculating odds ratios (ORs) and conditional (fixed-effect) logistic regression methods were being applied. As a consequence of this, the data was analyzed and construed on the basis of the aforementioned methodological systems. Results: In this outbreak, 137 severe suspected chikungunya cases and 137 mild chikungunya suspected patients, and 137 controls free of chikungunya from the neighborhood of cases were analyzed. Non-O individuals compared to those with O blood group indicated as significant with a p-value of 0.002. Separate blood group comparison among A and O blood groups reflected as significant with a p-value of 0.002. However, there was no significant difference in the severity of chikungunya among B, AB, and O blood groups with a p-value of 0.113 and 0.708, respectively, and a strong association of chikungunya severity was found with hypertension and diabetes (p-value of < 0.0001); whereas, there was no association between chikungunya severity and asthma with a p-value of 0.695 and also no association with pregnancy (p-value =0.881), ventilator (p-value =0.181), air conditioner (p-value = 0.247), and didn’t use latrine and pit latrine (p-value = 0.318), among individuals using septic and pit latrine (p-value = 0.567) and also among individuals using flush and pit latrine (p-value = 0.194). Conclusions: Non- O blood groups were found to be at risk more than their counterpart O blood group individuals with severe form of chikungunya disease. By the same token, individuals with chronic disease were more prone to severe forms of the disease in comparison with individuals without chronic disease. Prioritization is recommended for patients with chronic diseases and non-O blood group since they are found to be susceptible to severe chikungunya disease. Identification of human cell surface receptor(s) for CHIKV is quite necessary for further understanding of its pathophysiology in humans. Therefore, molecular and functional studies will necessarily be helpful in disclosing the association of blood group antigens and CHIKV infections.

Keywords: Chikungunya, Chikungunya virus, disease outbreaks, case-control studies, Eritrea

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5 Effectiveness of Peer Reproductive Health Education Program in Improving Knowledge, Attitude, and Use Health Service of High School Adolescent Girls in Eritrea in 2014

Authors: Ghidey Ghebreyohanes, Eltahir Awad Gasim Khalil, Zemenfes Tsighe, Faiza Ali


Background: reproductive health (RH) is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in all matters relating to the reproductive system at all stages of life. In East Africa including Eritrea, adolescents comprise more than a quarter of the population. The region holds the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion with its complications. Young girls carry the highest burden of reproductive health problems due to their risk taking behavior, lack of knowledge, peer pressure, physiologic immaturity and low socioeconomic status. Design: this was a Community-based, randomized, case-controlled and pre-test-post-test intervention study. Setting: Zoba Debub was randomly selected out of the six zobas in Eritrea. The four high schools out of the 26 in Zoba Debub were randomly selected as study target schools. Over three quarter of the people live on farming. The target population was female students attending grade nine with majority of these girls live in the distant villages and walk to school. The study participants were randomly selected (n=165) from each school. Furthermore, the 1 intervention and 3 controls for the study arms were assigned randomly. Objectives: this study aimed to assess the effectiveness of peer reproductive health education in improving knowledge, attitude, and health service use of high school adolescent girls in Eritrea Methods: the protocol was reviewed and approved by the Scientific and Ethics Committees of Faculty of Nursing Sciences, University of Khartoum. Data was collected using pre-designed and pretested questionnaire emphasizing on reproductive health knowledge, attitude and practice. Sample size was calculated using proportion formula (α 0.01; power of 95%). Measures used were scores and proportions. Descriptive and inferential statistics, t-test and chi square at (α .01), 99% confidence interval were used to compare changes of pre and post-intervention scores using SPSS soft ware. Seventeen students were selected for peer educators by the school principals and other teachers based on inclusion criteria that include: good academic performance and acceptable behavior. One peer educator educated one group composed of 8-10 students for two months. One faculty member was selected to supervise peer educators. The principal investigator conducted the training of trainers and provided supervision and discussion to peer educators every two weeks until the end of intervention. Results: following informed consent, 627 students [164 in intervention and 463 in the control group] with a ratio of 1 to 3, were enrolled in the study. The mean age for the total study population was 15.4±1.0 years. The intervention group mean age was 15.3±1.0 year; while the control group had a mean age of 15.4±1.0. The mean ages for the study arms were similar (p= 0.4). The majority (96 %) of the study participants are from Tigrigna ethnic group. Reproductive knowledge scores which was calculated out of a total 61 grade points: intervention group (pretest 6.7 %, post-test 33.6 %; p= 0.0001); control group (pretest 7.3 %, posttest 7.3 %, p= 0.92). Proportion difference in attitude calculated out of 100%: intervention group (pretest 42.3 % post test 54.7% p= 0.001); controls group (pretest 45%, post test 44.8 p= 0.7). Proportion difference in Practice calculated out of 100 %: intervention group (pretest 15.4%, post test 80.4 % p= 0.0001); control group (pretest 16.8%, posttest 16.9 % p= 0.8). Mothers were quoted as major (> 90 %) source of reproductive health information. All focus group discussants and most of survey participants agreed on the urgent need of reproductive health information and services for adolescent girls. Conclusion: reproductive health knowledge and use of facilities is poor among adolescent girls in sub-urban Eretria. School-based peer reproductive health education is effective and is the best strategy to improve reproductive health knowledge and attitudes.

Keywords: reproductive health, adolescent girls, eretria, health education

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4 Estimating Soil Erosion Using Universal Soil Loss Equation and Gis in Algash Basin

Authors: Issamaldin Mohammed, Ahmed Abdalla, Hatim Elobied


Soil erosion is globally known for adverse effects on social, environmental and economical aspects which directly or indirectly influence the human life. The area under study suffers from problems like water quality, river and agricultural canals bed rise due to high sediment load brought by Algash River from upstream (Eritrea high land), the current study utilized from remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) to estimate the annual soil loss using Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). The USLE is widely used over the world which basically relies on rainfall erosivity factor (R), soil erodibility factor (K), topographic factor (LS), cover management factor (C) and support practice factor (P). The result of the study showed high soil loss in the study area, this result was illustrated in a form of map presenting the spatial distribution of soil loss amounts which classified into seven zones ranging from very slight zone (less than 2 ton/ha.year) to very severe (100-500 ton/ha.year), also the total soil loss from the whole study area was found to be 32,916,840.87 ton/ha.year. These kinds of results will help the experts of land management to give a priority for the severely affected zones to be tackled in an appropriate way.

Keywords: Geographical Information System, remote sensing, sedimentation, soil loss

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3 Intelligence Failures and Infiltration: The Case of the Ethiopian Army 1977-1991

Authors: Fantahun Ibrahim


The Ethiopian army was one of the largest and most heavily armed ground forces in Africa between 1974 and 1991. It scored a decisive victory over Somalia’s armed forces in March 1978. It, however, failed to withstand the combined onslaught of the northern insurgents from Tigray and Eritrea and finally collapsed in 1991. At the heart of the problem was the army’s huge intelligence failure. The northern insurgents, on the other hand, had a cutting edge in intelligence gathering. Among other things they infiltrated the army high command and managed to get top secrets about the army. Commanders who had fallen into the hands of the insurgents in several battles were told to send letters to their colleagues in the command structure and persuade them to work secretly for the insurgents. Some commanders did work for the insurgents and played a great role in the undoing of military operations. Insurgent commanders were able to warn their fighters about air strikes before jet fighters took off from airfields in the northern theatre. It was not uncommon for leaders of insurgents to get the full details of military operations days before their implementation. Such intelligence failures led to major military disasters like the fall of Afabet (March, 1988), Enda Sellase (February, 1989), Massawa and Debre Tabor (February, 1990), Karra Mishig, Meragna and Alem Ketema (June, 1990). This paper, therefore, seeks to investigate the army’s intelligence failures using untapped archival documents kept at the Ministry of National Defence in Addis Ababa and interviewing key former commanders of the army and ex-leaders of the insurgents.

Keywords: Ethiopian army, intelligence, infiltration, insurgents

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2 Insulin Receptor Substrate-1 (IRS1) and Transcription Factor 7-Like 2 (TCF7L2) Gene Polymorphisms Associated with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Eritreans

Authors: Mengistu G. Woldu, Hani Y. Zaki, Areeg Faggad, Badreldin E. Abdalla


Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a complex, degenerative, and multi-factorial disease, which is culpable for huge mortality and morbidity worldwide. Even though relatively significant numbers of studies are conducted on the genetics domain of this disease in the developed world, there is huge information gap in the sub-Saharan Africa region in general and in Eritrea in particular. Objective: The principal aim of this study was to investigate the association of common variants of the Insulin Receptor Substrate 1 (IRS1) and Transcription Factor 7-Like 2 (TCF7L2) genes with T2DM in the Eritrean population. Method: In this cross-sectional case control study 200 T2DM patients and 112 non-diabetes subjects were participated and genotyping of the IRS1 (rs13431179, rs16822615, 16822644rs, rs1801123) and TCF7L2 (rs7092484) tag SNPs were carries out using PCR-RFLP method of analysis. Haplotype analyses were carried out using Plink version 1.07, and Haploview 4.2 software. Linkage disequilibrium (LD), and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) analyses were performed using the Plink software. All descriptive statistical data analyses were carried out using SPSS (Version-20) software. Throughout the analysis p-value ≤0.05 was considered statistically significant. Result: Significant association was found between rs13431179 SNP of the IRS1 gene and T2DM under the recessive model of inheritance (OR=9.00, 95%CI=1.17-69.07, p=0.035), and marginally significant association found in the genotypic model (OR=7.50, 95%CI=0.94-60.06, p=0.058). The rs7092484 SNP of the TCF7L2 gene also showed markedly significant association with T2DM in the recessive (OR=3.61, 95%CI=1.70-7.67, p=0.001); and allelic (OR=1.80, 95%CI=1.23-2.62, p=0.002) models. Moreover, eight haplotypes of the IRS1 gene found to have significant association withT2DM (p=0.013 to 0.049). Assessments made on the interactions of genotypes of the rs13431179 and rs7092484 SNPs with various parameters demonstrated that high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), waist circumference (WC), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) are the best T2DM onset predicting models. Furthermore, genotypes of the rs7092484 SNP showed significant association with various atherogenic indexes (Atherogenic index of plasma, LDL/HDL, and CHLO/HDL); and Eritreans carrying the GG or GA genotypes were predicted to be more susceptible to cardiovascular diseases onset. Conclusions: Results of this study suggest that IRS1 (rs13431179) and TCF7L2 (rs7092484) gene polymorphisms are associated with increased risk of T2DM in Eritreans.

Keywords: IRS1, SNP, TCF7L2, type 2 diabetes

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1 Forced Migrants in Israel and Their Impact on the Urban Structure of Southern Neighborhoods of Tel Aviv

Authors: Arnon Medzini, Lilach Lev Ari


Migration, the driving force behind increased urbanization, has made cities much more diverse places to live in. Nearly one-fifth of all migrants live in the world’s 20 largest cities. In many of these global cities, migrants constitute over a third of the population. Many of contemporary migrants are in fact ‘forced migrants,’ pushed from their countries of origin due to political or ethnic violence and persecution or natural disasters. During the past decade, massive numbers of labor migrants and asylum seekers have migrated from African countries to Israel via Egypt. Their motives for leaving their countries of origin include ongoing and bloody wars in the African continent as well as corruption, severe conditions of poverty and hunger, and economic and political disintegration. Most of the African migrants came to Israel from Eritrea and Sudan as they saw Israel the closest natural geographic asylum to Africa; soon they found their way to the metropolitan Tel-Aviv area. There they concentrated in poor neighborhoods located in the southern part of the city, where they live under conditions of crowding, poverty, and poor sanitation. Today around 45,000 African migrants reside in these neighborhoods, and yet there is no legal option for expelling them due to dangers they might face upon returning to their native lands. Migration of such magnitude to the weakened neighborhoods of south Tel-Aviv can lead to the destruction of physical, social and human infrastructures. The character of the neighborhoods is changing, and the local population is the main victim. These local residents must bear the brunt of the failure of both authorities and the government to handle the illegal inhabitants. The extremely crowded living conditions place a heavy burden on the dilapidated infrastructures in the weakened areas where the refugees live and increase the distress of the veteran residents of the neighborhoods. Some problems are economic and some stem from damage to the services the residents are entitled to, others from a drastic decline in their standard of living. Even the public parks no longer serve the purpose for which they were originally established—the well-being of the public and the neighborhood residents; they have become the main gathering place for the infiltrators and a center of crime and violence. Based on secondary data analysis (for example: The Israel’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority, the hotline for refugees and migrants), the objective of this presentation is to discuss the effects of forced migration to Tel Aviv on the following tensions: between the local population and the immigrants; between the local population and the state authorities, and between human rights groups vis-a-vis nationalist local organizations. We will also describe the changes which have taken place in the urban infrastructure of the city of Tel Aviv, and discuss the efficacy of various Israeli strategic trajectories when handling human problems arising in the marginal urban regions where the forced migrant population is concentrated.

Keywords: African asylum seekers, forced migrants, marginal urban regions, urban infrastructure

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