Undergraduate Research Projects - 2013
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ODHIAMBO NELSON MANDELA

PHARMACOLOGICAL AND PHYTOCHEMICAL INVESTIGATION OF SOME HERBAL PREPARATIONS SOLD IN NAIROBI

SUPERVISOR: DR K A SINEI

YEAR: 2013

Abstract

The term herbal medicine denotes the use of plants’ seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark or flowers for medical purposes. The use of herbal medicine is a population health care approach and there are signs pointing to the continuing increase in the use of such products. Patients and the public in general use herbal medicine for health maintenance, for the treatment or prevention of minor ailments, and also for serious, chronic illnesses. The idea that just because herbal medicine products come from natural sources, they are completely safe is dangerously false; herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of their mechanisms of actions and this gives them the same potential to cause harmful side effects. There is a growing body of evidence from randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews to support the efficacy of certain herbal preparations in particular conditions, especially in the developed countries, however, most of the preparations still remain untested. It is therefore critical to screen herbal medicines for safety and efficacy.

This study involves investigation into consideration of evidence for the abilities to elicit biological/ pharmacological effects by some known herbal medicines used in Nairobi. This paper also involves investigation into the determination of the chemical groups responsible for the claimed biological effects of the herbal preparation

 This will be a laboratory based analytical study for phytochemical investigation and screening for biological effects, both useful and harmful, on tissues and whole animals to validate some of the claims by the practitioners on the safety and effectiveness of the herbal preparations.

 

MAKOMERE LUBALE JOSEPH

PHARMACOLOGICAL AND PHYTOCHEMICAL INVESTIGATION OF SOME HERBAL PREPARATIONS USED IN NAIROBI

SUPERVISOR:DR.K.A.SINEI

YEAR: 2013

Abstract

Using medicines derived from plants is a practice probably as old as humankind itself. Prehistoric peoples likely noted when consuming a particular plant part provided relief, such as willow bark "tea" lowering a fever. Sumatran clay tablets engraved forty centuries ago list plant-based remedies for common ills, as do ancient writings from Egypt and China. In nineteenth-century United States, St. John's wort and Echinacea were just two of many commonly used herbal remedies.

Many modern medicines are synthetic versions of plant-derived "natural products.” For instance, poppies provide alkaloids such as morphine that are potent painkillers.

This investigation entails pharmacological and phytochemical research on some of the herbal medicines used and marketed locally in Nairobi. It is aimed at determining whether the herbal product has pharmacological activity consistent with that marketed by the herbalist. Chemical components responsible for activity will be investigated and recorded.

This will be a laboratory based analytical study for phytochemical investigation and tests on whole animals and isolated animal tissues to screen for the biological effects of the herbal preparations’ constituents.

 

DAVJI ATELLAH

A RETROSPECTIVE DESCRIPTIVE STUDY ON THE IN-PATIENT MANAGEMENT OF SEVERE AND COMPLICATED MALARIA IN ADULTS AND CHILDREN AT KENYATTA NATIONAL HOSPITAL

SUPERVISOR:  DR. ERIC M. GUANTAI

YEAR:  2013

Introduction and Background: Severe and complicated malaria occurs as a result of severe infection by Plasmodium falciparum.

In Kenya, it has been estimated by the Ministry of Public Health (Kenya) that 25 million out of a population of 40 million Kenyans are at risk of malaria. It accounts for 30-50% of all outpatient attendance and 20% of all admissions to health facilities. An estimated 170 million working days are lost to the disease each year (MOH2001). Malaria is also estimated to cause 20% of all deaths in children under five (MOH 2006). The most vulnerable group to malaria infections are pregnant women and children under 5 years of age. Thus, each year averagely 26,000 children and high percentage of pregnant women die as a result of severe malaria infection and complicated conditions (KEMRI).

Therefore, the proper management of complicated malaria is a matter of great concern. In this regard, this study will focus on the assessment of in-patient management of the severe and complicated malaria at Kenyatta National Hospital, with a particular emphasis on the pharmacological management of these patients.

Objective: To determine the occurrence, number and demographic characteristics of patients admitted to KNH with severe complicated malaria during the period June – December 2012.

To review and compare the pharmacological management of these patients with the recommendations provided by national and international treatment guidelines, and to determine overall mortality and time to discharge as indicators of treatment outcomes for these patients.

Methodology: This study will be a retrospective descriptive study. Patient files will be the primary source of data for this study.  This study will be carried out at Kenyatta National Hospital, the largest referral, teaching and research hospital in Kenya. The patient files shall be retrieved from the KNH Medical Records Department. The study subjects will be patients admitted to KNH with severe complicated malaria during the study period (July – December 2012).  Patient files will be reviewed to extract precise information about the patient biodata, admission details, pharmacological management and therapeutic outcomes of each patient included in the study.

 

KENNETH O. ODIDA MBEGO

OCCURRENCE, MANAGEMENT AND THERAPEUTIC OUTCOMES OF OF SELECTED ONCOLOGICAL COMPLICATIONS IN HIV/AIDS IN KNH

SUPERVISOR:  DR. ERIC M. GUANTAI

YEAR:  2013

Introduction: Cancer disease is associated with uncontrolled proliferation of body cells to the extent that they destroy neighboring cells and spread to other parts of the body. It basically starts from a single cell whose genetic material has been compromised by the interaction between genetic and environmental factors.

In HIV patients, virus related cancers like Kaposi’s sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and anogenital tumors pose a serious threat (Shahul et al, 2004).

In spite of the tremendous advances made in the treatment of opportunistic infections, oncologic complications remain a great challenge. It goes without mentioning that some of these oncologic complications have significant clinical importance for HIV patients.

It should be noted that it is not only these cancer diseases that burden the patients, but also their treatment as well. For instance, chemotherapy for these cancer diseases often results to cytopaenia that can worsen the situation of HIV patients, especially if they do not have access to hematopoietic growth factors.

This study will investigate the occurrence, management and therapeutic outcomes of specific oncologic complications in persons infected with HIV.

Objectives: The general objective of the project is to determine the occurrence, management and therapeutic outcomes of AIDS-related cancers at KNH.

Methodology: It will be a hospital-based retrospective study of AIDS patients who presented with cancer and were admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital during the period from January to December 2012. 

 

 

KAMANDE MOSES KINUTHIA

OCCURENCE, MANAGEMENT AND THERAPEUTIC OUTCOMES OF SEVERE ACUTE ASTHMA AND STATUS ASTHMATICUS IN ADULTS AT KENYATTA NATIONAL HOSPITAL

SUPERVISOR:  DR. ERIC M. GUANTAI

YEAR:  2013

Asthma is an old and common disorder of respiratory function whose prevalence is increasing everywhere particularly in urban centres. This situation, coupled with the problem of suboptimal management has led to an increase in the morbidity of the disease and enormous economic losses through lost productivity and absenteeism from work and schools. There is therefore a need to review the evolution of the management of this disease with a view to drawing attention to currently recommended management guidelines.

The objective of the study is to investigate the number and demographic distribution of patients admitted at Kenyatta national hospital, compare their management plan to the national guidelines, determine the outcomes of the treatment and hopefully improve the outlook for the asthma patient and reduce the morbidity and mortality of this rampant disease

The method of investigation is a retrospective descriptive study which will use patient files as source of data.

The study will involve patients who are over 15 years of age and were admitted at the facility with asthma between July and December 2012.