Ahmed Dahiru Balami is a medical doctor with a passion for health research. He holds a Master of Public Health, majoring in Epidemiology and Bio-statistics and is currently a PhD student of Epidemiology and Bio-statistics at the Universiti Putra Malaysia. He has research experience in both infectious and non-infectious diseases with special interest in Malaria, pre-hypertension /hypertension and psychological medicine. He has authored several articles in local and international journals.
Statement of the Problem: There are a large number of Nigerians studying and aspiring to study in India and Malaysia. Due to the great time differences between Nigeria and these countries, there exists the possibility of experiencing adjustment problems. This study aims to determine the burden of jetlag phenomenon and adaptation strategies among Nigerians studying in these countries. Methodology: Online surveys using Google forms were disseminated to Nigerians studying in Indian and Malaysian Universities and the data were analyzed. Findings: A hundred and three (103) eligible persons responded to the survey, and their socio-demographic characteristics are presented in Table 1. Many of them did not know what jetlag was (52.4%). Most of them (78.6%) also reported falling asleep less easily on their first night of arrival, of whom 44.4% continued to experience same for months and even up to a year. Many also reported having more wakeful episodes during the night (41.7%); later waking time (56.3%); feeling less alert 30 minutes after waking from sleep (58.3%) and generally feeling more tired since arrival (57.3%), with many of them haven experienced same for prolonged durations. Those studying in Malaysia reported sleeping later (χ2=16.68; df=6; p=0.011); waking up later (χ2=25.78; df=4; p<0.001) and feeling more tiredness (χ2=21.74; df=6; p=0.001) compared to those studying in India, but there were no such differences for the other symptoms. As an adjustment/coping technique, most of them had attempted maintaining daytime alertness (72.8%) and maintaining a dark room at night (55.3%), of whom 21.0% and 31.6% respectively found these measures very effective, while 57.3% and 50.8% respectively found them slightly effective. Conclusion and Significance: This study reveals the great enormity of this problem. It is recommended that prospective students be enlightened on the possibility of experiencing this problem and adjustment techniques even before departure from Nigeria. School clinics in these countries should also include jetlag management in their treatment programs to help affected international students.
Bukonda is full professor of Public Health Sciences at Wichita State University. He received his PhD at the University of Minnesota (1994). He has lectured at various academic institutions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe and USA (ISTM-Kinshasa, University of Mbujimayi, Africa University, Southern and Northern Illinois Universities). He is member of and has assumed leadership roles in many scientific, professional and community organizations. He is author and co-author of more than 100 scientific presentations and about 3 dozens of articles/abstracts and his research interests include primary health care, policies of essential drugs, teamwork, hospital accreditation, quality improvement and safety of medical care, private health care entrepreneurship and management of community pharmacy.
While members of the African Diaspora have been abundantly lauded as significant contributors to the economy of their countries of origin, notably through their financial remittances, little is known about their collective efforts and challenges to mobilize and establish health care facilities in Africa. Yet there are many primary health care infrastructure development initiatives undertaken successfully or not by various individuals or organizations in the African Diaspora with the aim of bringing basic health care services to the under-served African communities. These initiatives have not yet been sufficiently documented. This lack of documentation prevents optimal involvement of the African Diaspora, causes many actors to repeat mistakes they could have otherwise avoided, and blocks theory formulation and testing in this domain. This case study is aimed at addressing some of these shortcomings, notably by describing, from an insider’s perspectives, the efforts deployed and the challenges faced by Leja Bulela Inc, a United States of America-based Congolese Diaspora organization, to establish and operate a health center in favor of a community of internally displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We explore the political and sociological forces at play in both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the USA to prompt first the creation of Leja Bulela and then the establishment of the Kalala Muzeu health center in Mbujimayi, capital of the Eastern Kasai province (DRC). After critically analyzing the structural and functional features of these two entities, we uncover and identify their inherent challenges. Finally, we propose key best practices that African Diaspora organizations can, with some adjustments based on their respective parameters such as country of residence and country or origin, follow to grow into highly performing organizations and, eventually, to more expeditiously and more efficaciously create and operate quality primary health care facilities in Africa.