Ethnic comparisons, microbiomes and more: relevant research for better health


This issue of the journal contains seventeen interesting articles comprising three reviews and fourteen original research papers. They cover various topics on communicable and non-communicable disorders. The latter are of particular interest because of changing disease patterns attributable to adoption of western lifestyles with dietary changes. We have increased the number of papers published per issue as a result of high patronage.

The dearth of radiotherapy facilities for managing cancers was highlighted in one of the review articles which serves to remind everyone about the increasing challenges of cancer management in resource-poor settings. Cross-cultural studies are important for teasing out environmental factors in disease phenotypes. Odusan and colleagues compared the patterns of diabetes mellitus in Nigerians and Basotho. They showed that anthropometric measurements correlated with age, blood pressure measurements and glycated haemoglobin levels irrespective of ethnicity. It would be necessary to follow up with genetic studies. Genomic comparison of the major Nigerian tribes by Adetona and Shokunbi is an interesting and challenging paper particularly with the finding that only 2% molecular variance was present between the ethnic groups, although the use of microsatellites could differentiate the ethnic groups. A retrospective-prospective analysis of data on muscular dystrophy by Oyinlade and colleagues confirmed the preponderance of Duchene muscular dystrophy. The challenges with diagnosis and management were highlighted. Jaiyeoba_Ojigho reported on the bilateral symmetry of the mandibular ramus in Nigerians which was not the experience in some populations. It may thus have forensic value. The pathogenesis and mechanics as well as the surgical management of acetabular protrusion was elegantly reviewed by Ayekoloye and colleagues.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a disease associated with considerable stigma and this was dealt with in some details by Lawal et al; while Onifade and Salako presented a preliminary report on A-Zam - a herbal remedy used for treating 9 HIV cases with significant reduction in viral load. Recent literature on neurodegenerative diseases has firmly placed gut microbiomes in the pathogenetic mechanisms of many, and a first of its kind in our environment is the paper by Nwaokorie and others comparing microbiomes in rural vs. urban populations. This should lead to more exploration of microbiota in various diseases.

With regards to ethnopharmacy, one manuscript highlighted the use of mango derivatives in the management of diabetic wounds in experimental animals while the second reported on the therapeutic benefits of Drymaria cordata in reversing glutamate-induced lesions. Okunlola and colleagues in their open-labelled, randomized prospective study reported that the use of oral bicarbonate could be cost-effective in retarding the progression of end-stage kidney disease. The rightful place of improved education in averting various disorders or complications was the theme of some of the articles including Adeyera and others warning against the use of skin lightening creams by pregnant women because of the deleterious effects on both the mothers and their
babies while Oke and Balogun emphasized its importance for educating young female graduates on preconception care; Olajide and colleagues focused on its importance on warning about safe sex; and for educating patent medicine vendors on reporting adverse drug reactions. Lastly, Michael and colleagues noted a high frequency of rodenticide use without conformity with safe practices that could result in environmental and clinical toxicity.

This issue of the journal will wet readers’ appetite on genomic and ethnic comparisons, microbiomes, traditional/alternative medicine, appropriate and cost-effective treatment modalities and the importance of education in improving health. These little steps in health care should translate to giant strides in making life better for all.

A. Ogunniyi