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Individual religious affiliation, religious community context and health in Mozambique

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This dissertation examines associations between religious affiliation, religious community context and health of women and their children in Mozambique focusing on the following issues: (1) attending prenatal consultations and delivering children in a health facility; (2) women's symptoms of STDs;

This dissertation examines associations between religious affiliation, religious community context and health of women and their children in Mozambique focusing on the following issues: (1) attending prenatal consultations and delivering children in a health facility; (2) women's symptoms of STDs; and (3) under-five mortality. Estimation of random intercept Poisson regression for the outcome about attending prenatal consultations demonstrated a favorable effect of affiliation to Catholic or Mainline Protestant and Apostolic religious groups. The concentration of Zionist churches in the community had a negative influence. Random intercept logistic regression was used to estimate the relationship between religion and institutional child delivery. Affiliation to Catholic or Mainline Protestant denominations as well as concentration of Catholic or Mainline Protestant churches in the community had some beneficial effect on giving birth in health clinics. The presence of Zionist churches in the community had some negative effect and that of other groups no significant influence. Random intercept logistic regression was also employed for investigating the influence of religion on women's symptoms of STDs. Belonging to the Catholic or Mainline Protestant church had some protective effect on reporting symptoms of STDs. There was no effect of religious context, except that the concentration of Other Pentecostal churches had a positive effect on reporting symptoms of SDTs. Event-history analysis was conducted for examining relationships between maternal religious affiliation with under-five mortality. Affiliation to Catholic or Mainline Protestant churches and to Apostolic denominations increased the odds of child survival, although, the influence of having a mother belonging to Catholic or Mainline Protestant churches lost statistical significance after accounting particularly for the average level of education in the community, for the period of 5 years preceding the survey date. Taken together, the results in this dissertation show some protective effect of religion that varies primarily by denominational group to which women are affiliated. They also indicate that religious community context may have some negative effect on health of women and children. The nature of the effect of religious community context varies with the type of outcome considered and the type of religious mixture in the community.

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2011

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Evaluating the viability of a DNA-based chip targeted for C. trachomatis, N. gonorrhoeae, and other pathogens of interest

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Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia, standardly treated with antibiotics, produce over 1.2 million cases annually in the emergency department (Jenkins et al., 2013). To determine a need for antibiotics, hospital labs utilize bacterial cultures to isolate and identify

Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia, standardly treated with antibiotics, produce over 1.2 million cases annually in the emergency department (Jenkins et al., 2013). To determine a need for antibiotics, hospital labs utilize bacterial cultures to isolate and identify possible pathogens. Unfortunately, this technique can take up to 72 hours, leading to several physicians presumptively treating patients based solely on history and physical presentation. With vague standards for diagnosis and a high percentage of asymptomatic carriers, several patients undergo two scenarios; over- or under-treatment. These two scenarios can lead to consequences like unnecessary exposure to antibiotics and development of secondary conditions (for example: pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, etc.). This presents a need for a laboratory technique that can provide reliable results in an efficient matter. The viability of DNA-based chip targeted for C. trachomatis, N. gonorrhoeae, and other pathogens of interest were evaluated. The DNA-based chip presented several advantages as it can be easily integrated as a routine test given the process is already well-known, is customizable and able to target multiple pathogens within a single test and has the potential to return results within a few hours as opposed to days. As such, implementation of a DNA-based chip as a diagnostic tool is a timely and potentially impactful investigation.

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2016-12