B.Pharm. Hons ,MMed
University of Technology Sydney
PhD Student/Research Assistant
Sydney, NSW | Australia
Main Specialties: Epidemiology, Infectious Disease, Pharmacology, Public Health
I'm trained pharmacy professional, academician and health researcher with a decade experience in drug regulation, pharmacovigilance, pharmacy practice and education, drug discovery, public health and complementary and alternative medicine research and practice. I'm a team player and someone who is willing to learn and share knowledge and skills gained to promote health and well-being
Primary Affiliation: University of Technology Sydney - Sydney, NSW , Australia
68PubMed Central Citations
BMJ Global Health 2018;3(5):e000895.
BMJ Global Health
Background The WHO estimates that a considerable number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) rely on traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) to meet their primary healthcare needs, yet there remains a dearth of research evidence on the overall picture of TCAM utilisation in the region. Methods We conducted a literature search of original articles examining TCAM use in SSA between 1 January 2006 and 28 February 2017, employing Medline, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, Scopus, ProQuest, PubMed, Embase and African Journals Online databases. A critical appraisal of relevant articles reporting a quantitative or mixed-method design was undertaken. Results Despite the heterogeneity and general low quality of the identified literature, the review highlights a relatively high use of TCAM alone or in combination with orthodox medicine, in both general population and in specific health conditions in SSA. TCAM users compared with non-TCAM users are more likely to be of low socioeconomic and educational status, while there were inconsistencies in age, sex, spatial location and religious affiliation between TCAM users and non-TCAM users. Most TCAM users (55.8%–100%) in SSA fail to disclose TCAM use to their healthcare providers, with the main reasons for non-disclosure being fear of receiving improper care, healthcare providers’ negative attitude and a lack of enquiry about TCAM use from healthcare providers. Conclusion TCAM use in SSA is significant, although most studies emerge from a few countries. Factors associated with TCAM use in SSA are similar to those observed in other regions, but further research may be required to further elucidate challenges and opportunities related to TCAM use specific to SSA.
Women Birth 2018 Oct 16;31(5):e302-e309. Epub 2017 Dec 16.
Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Level 8, Building 10, 235-253 Jones Street, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia; Endeavour College of Natural Health, Level 2, 269 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia. Electronic address:
Background: The influence of complementary therapies on maternal health has attracted the attention of policy makers, health professionals and researchers globally especially in developing countries. However, there is lack of evidence on whether Sierra Leonean women use herbal medicine during pregnancy which limit the chance of providing better maternity care.
Aim: This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and pattern of herbal medicines use among pregnant women attending an antenatal clinic at a tertiary maternal hospital in Sierra Leone.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among pregnant women (n=134) who were at least 18 years of age and who have had at least one previous pregnancy, using face to face interview. Descriptive statistics, univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis were used for data analysis.
Results: The response rate was 82.7%. Nearly two-thirds of pregnant women reported using herbal medicine (62.7%). Herbal medicine users were more likely to be Muslim than Christian. Luffa acutangula (L.) Roxb was the most cited herbal medicine used and was mostly indicated for urinary tract infection and pedal oedema. Perceived effectiveness and safety over conventional medicine (70.2%) was key driver for use, and majority did not disclose their use of herbs to their maternal health professional (95.2%).
Conclusion: Herbal medicine use among pregnant women in this study was widespread. Maternal health providers should be aware of this relatively common practice and routinely discuss and educate pregnant women on the potential risks and benefits associated with the use of herbs.
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Complement Ther Clin Pract 2018 May 5;31:7-15. Epub 2018 Jan 5.
Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia. Electronic address:
Objective: This study aimed to determine the prevalence, determinants and pattern of herbal medicine use among hypertensive patients in Freetown.
Methods And Materials: We conducted a cross-sectional study among hypertensive patients attending public and private health facilities in Freetown, Sierra Leone between August and October 2016. We analyzed the data using SPSS version 24. We used Chi-square, Fisher exact two-tailed test and regression analysis for data analysis. A p-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Out of 260 study participants, over half (n?=?148, 56.9%) reported using herbal medicine for the treatment of hypertension alone or together with comorbid condition(s). The most commonly used herbal medicine among users were honey (n?=?89, 33.3%), moringa (n?=?80, 30.0%) and garlic (n?=?73, 27.3%). No significant difference existed between users and non-users of herbal medicine with regards to socio-demographic and health-related factors. The majority (n?=?241, 92.7%) of respondents considered herbal medicine beneficial if it was recommended by a healthcare provider yet 85.1% (n?=?126) did not disclose their herbal medicine use to their health care provider.
Conclusion: There is a high use of herbal medicines among hypertensive patients in Freetown, Sierra Leone. It is essential for healthcare providers to take heed of the findings of this study and routinely ask their patients about their herbal medicine use status. Such practice will provide the opportunity to discuss the benefits and risks of herbal medicine use with the aim of maximizing patient desired therapeutic outcomes.
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Neurochem Res 2018 May 9;43(5):1096-1103. Epub 2018 Apr 9.
Tianjin State Key Laboratory of Modern Chinese Medicine, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Traditional Chinese Medicine Pharmacology, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, #312 Anshanxi Road, Nankai District, Tianjin, 300193, China.
Xueshuantong injection (Lyophilized, XST), extracted from the traditional Chinese medicinal herb Panax notoginseng, has neuroprotective effect on cerebral ischemia. Revascularization of ischemic tissue is good for the therapy of cerebrovascular disease. In this study, angiogenic potentiality and possible mechanism of XST for cerebral ischemia were explored. Rats were subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), and then intraperitoneally administered with XST daily for 3 or 7 consecutive days. The neurological function deficits, and endogenous antioxidant capacity were evaluated. Post-stroke angiogenesis and vascularization were assessed by ELISA and immunohistochemical staining. Transcription levels of Nrf2, HO-1, NQO1 in brain tissues were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. The results showed that XST could remarkably ameliorate neuronal functional deficit, promote angiogenesis and vascularization after MCAO. The mechanism of angiogenesis might be related to endogenous antioxidant capacity and Nrf2 pathway. In conclusion, administered XST for 7 days after stroke could significantly improve functional recovery and promote angiogenesis, that might be related to Nrf2 signaling pathway. These findings could provide scientific evidence for the use of XST in cerebral ischemic diseases and provide theoretical support for further studies.
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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2018 22;2018:9493807. Epub 2018 Apr 22.
34 Military Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
In resource-poor countries where access to infertility care is limited, women may turn to traditional medicine to achieve motherhood. It is unknown whether Sierra Leonean women with such condition use herbal medicine. This study investigates the prevalence and factors associated with herbal medicine use among women seeking care for infertility. This was a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study conducted among women seeking care for infertility at various clinics within Freetown, Sierra Leone. Data analysis included Chi-square tests and logistic regression. Out of the 167 women that participated, 36.5% used herbal medicine for infertility treatment. Women with no formal (AOR 4.03, CL: 1.38-11.76, = 0.011), primary education (AOR: 6.23, CL: 2.02-19.23, = 0.001) and those that visited a traditional medicine practitioner (AOR: 20.05, CL: 2.10-192.28, = 0.009) as well as women suffering from other reproductive health problems (AOR: 2.57, CL: 1.13-5.83, = 0.024) were more likely to use herbal medicines. Friends and family ( = 57, 96.7%) were the main influencers of herbal medicine use. Only ( = 12) 19.7% of users disclosed their status to their healthcare provider. Over half ( = 32, 52.5%) could not remember the name of the herb they used ( = 29, 100%) was the herbal medicinal plant users could recall. Herbal medicine use among women seeking care for infertility in Freetown is common. Healthcare providers should be aware of the potential dyadic use of herbal and allopathic medicines by their patients and be knowledgeable about commonly used herbal remedies as well as being proactive in communicating the potential risks and benefits associated with their use.
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Pharmacy (Basel) 2018 Jan 4;6(1). Epub 2018 Jan 4.
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Kulliyyah of Pharmacy, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuantan 25200, Malaysia.
Most low-income nations have national medicine policy that emphasized the use of generic medicines in the public health sector. However, the use of generics is often debatable as there are concerns over its efficacy, quality, and safety compared to their branded counterparts. This study was conducted to compare the knowledge and perception of generic medicines among final year undergraduate medical, pharmacy, and nursing students in Sierra Leone. We conducted a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study among these students at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences University of Sierra Leone. Out of the 62 students, only two (2/62, 3.2%) knew about the acceptable bioequivalence limit. At least half of respondents in all three groups agreed that all generics are therapeutically equivalent to their innovator brand. At least half of the medicine (21/42, 50%) and nursing (6/9, 66.6%) students, compared to pharmacy students (5/11, 45.5%), believed that higher safety standards are required for proprietary medicines than for generic medicines. Most of them agreed that they need more information on the safety, quality, and efficacy aspects of generics (59/62, 95.2%). All three groups of healthcare students, despite variations in their responses, demonstrated a deficiency in knowledge and misconception regarding generic medicines. Training on issues surrounding generic drugs in healthcare training institutions is highly needed among future healthcare providers in Sierra Leone.
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BMC Public Health 2017 09 5;17(1):692. Epub 2017 Sep 5.
School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, 45700, Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia.
Background: Vaccinating healthcare professionals against influenza is considered an effective infection control measure. However, there is a low uptake of influenza vaccine among healthcare professionals around the globe. Currently, it is unknown whether healthcare professionals in Sierra Leone are aware of, and have been vaccinated against influenza. Also, there is a paucity of research evidence on their level of knowledge and attitude toward influenza vaccination. This study assessed healthcare professionals' current influenza vaccine uptake rate, reasons for not getting vaccinated as well as their awareness, knowledge of, and attitude towards influenza vaccination in Freetown Sierra Leone.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted between February and April 2016 among healthcare providers working in four public and two private health facilities in Freetown Sierra Leone. Linear regression analysis, one-way ANOVA and independent t-test were employed for data analysis.
Results: Among 706 respondents that participated in the study more than half were females 378 (53.6%), nurses 425 (60.4%), and the majority were between the age group of 20-39 years 600 (85.3%). Only 46 (6.5%) were vaccinated against influenza. Key reasons for not vaccinated against influenza were less awareness about influenza vaccination among HCPs 580 (82.73%) with (? = 0.154; CI 0.058-0.163), the high cost of influenza vaccines and therefore not normally purchased 392 (55.92%) having (? = 0.150; CI 0.063-0.186). More than half believed that HCPs are less susceptible to influenza infections than other people. Also, majority 585 (84.3%) of HCPs thought that influenza disease could be transmitted after symptoms appear. In addition, 579 (83.2%) of HCPs felt that symptoms usually appear 8-10 days after exposure. Close to half 321 (46.0%) of HCPs were not aware of the influenza immunisation guidelines published by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and Centre for Disease Control.
Conclusion: Influenza vaccine coverage among healthcare professionals in Freetown Sierra Leone was low. High cost, inadequate knowledge about influenza and its vaccine as well as the lack of awareness of vaccine availability were key barriers. Increasing access to influenza vaccine and the use of appropriate educational interventions to increase knowledge and awareness are required to improve influenza vaccination coverage among HCPs.
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Journal of Phytomedicine and Therapeutics. 2016;15(2):65-77.
Journal of Phytomedicine andTherapeutic
Zhen Tian Wan (ZTW), decoction consisting of seven herbs including Rhizoma ligustici,Radix Angelicae sinensis, Ledebouriella sesloides, Radix Angelica pubescentis, Flos carthami, Ramulus uncariae cumuncis and Radix Angelica dahuricae, has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) , as treatment for headaches, migraine, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and in soothing the nervous systems. The objective of the study was to investigate the neuroprotective effects of the formula using the Pial-strip model and Morris water maze analysis in rats. Doses of 1600, 3200 and 6400 mg/kg body wt orally were used. Dihydroergocristine 0.4 mg/kg p.o was used as the reference standard. The contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO), and the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the hippocampus and cortex were measured using thiobarbituric acid, nitrate reductase and xanthine-xanthine oxidase spectrophotometric methods, respectively. ZTW 1600- 6400mg/kg daily doses to pial strip-lesioned rats for 36 d, from day 6-42 after pial strip significantly reduced the prolonged latency and increased the swimming time spent within the target quadrant. The increased contents of MDA and NO and the decreased activities of SOD induced by the pial strip were significantly improved. ZTW significantly reduced the level of free radicals in pial stripped rats. ZTW can improve learning and memory function and it possess anti-oxidant activity. ZTW may be beneficial in the treatment of vascular dementia.
S Afr Med J 2016 Jun 17;106(7):709-14. Epub 2016 Jun 17.
School of International Economics and Trade, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, China; Department of Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.
Background: Malaria remains a public health challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. In response to this, many countries are working towards achieving the World Health Assembly and Roll Back Malaria Partnership target of a 75% decline in malaria incidence.
Objective: To assess trends in malaria morbidity and mortality in the three islands of the Comoros Archipelago from 2010 to 2014.
Methods: This was a retrospective study in which all confirmed malaria cases and deaths recorded between 2010 and 2014 were accessed from the national malaria control database. Trends and comparisons in malaria incidence and case fatality rates for all age groups, including under-5 children and pregnant women, were analysed using Microsoft Excel and SPSS version 16.
Results: A substantial decline in malaria incidence was observed for each island between 2010 and 2014; from 75.98 cases per 1 000 population in 2010 to 0.14 in 2014 in Moheli, 60.60 to 0.02 in Anjouan and 235.36 to 5.47 in Grand Comoro. Additionally, a general reduction in malaria case fatalities was observed. In Moheli, there were no case fatalities between 2010 and 2014, while there was a decline in the case fatality rate in Anjouan (from 1.20 fatalities per 1 000 cases to 0) and Grand Comoros (0.51 to 0). There were also significant differences (p<0.05) in malaria incidence and case fatalities between the three islands. A similar trend was observed for pregnant women and under-5 children.
Conclusions: Our study indicates a significant decline in malaria morbidity and mortality in the islands of Moheli, Anjouan and Grand Comoro from 2010 to 2014. This considerable reduction is attributed to a combination of malaria prevention and control interventions implemented during the study period.
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Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease
BMC Complement Altern Med 2016 Apr 27;16:121. Epub 2016 Apr 27.
Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone, Freetown First Floor Administrative Building Connaught Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Background: CAM inclusion into the curricula of health training institutions, a strategy for its integration into the main stream healthcare delivery system is growing globally. Future healthcare professionals knowledge and perception of CAM are key determinants to its successful integration. Thus, the main objective of this study was to compare the use, attitude and interest to study CAM among final year undergraduate medical, pharmacy and nursing students at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences University of Sierra Leone (COMAHS-USL).
Methods: A questionnaire based cross-sectional survey was carried out among final year medical, pharmacy and nursing students enrolled at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences University of Sierra Leone (COMAHS-USL). Chi square, fisher exact two tailed test and Kruskal-wallis test were used to analyze data collected.
Results: Close to two-thirds (61 %) of all the three groups of final year students used one form of CAM or the other with pharmacy (72.7 %) and nursing (55.6 %) students being the highest and least users respectively. No significant difference was observed among the three groups. In general, final year students in all three cadres demonstrated a positive attitude toward CAM (33.80 ± 3. 2) with medical students showing more positive attitude than pharmacy (p = 0.022) and nursing student (p = 0.008). No significant difference in attitude was observed between students in pharmacy and nursing programs (p = 0.354). More than three quarter (76.6 %) of the students in all the three groups indicated their interest in studying CAM, with preference for the subject to be taught as an elective module (81.6 %).
Conclusion: An appreciable number of final year medical, pharmacy and nursing students at COMAHS-USL have used at least one CAM modality and demonstrated an overall positive attitude towards CAM. Interest to study CAM was also observed among most of them even though they preferred it to be taught as an elective module.
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JAMES, Peter Bai; COLE, Christine Princess. Intern pharmacists' perceived preparedness for practice, their extent of involvement in pharmacy related activities and future career choices in Sierra Leone: A baseline descriptive survey. Pharmacy Education, [S.l.], v. 16, Feb. 2016. ISSN 1477-2701. Avai
Abstract Objective: To assess intern pharmacists’ perceived preparedness for practice, document the extent of their involvement. in selected pharmacy related activities during the internship period, as well as determine their future career path. Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among intern pharmacists using an eight item questionnaire. Simple descriptive statistics were used to calculate frequency counts and percentages with regard to respondent demographics and Likert scale responses. Results: Eighty-five percent of the 20 respondents perceived that they are prepared to perform dispensing and retail, and patient care activities with only half of them in multidisciplinary team care but not pharmaceutical business management (13, 65%). Close to two-thirds of respondents were often involved in patient care (13, 65%). Only six (30%) were often part of a multidisciplinary health care team. Nearly all (18, 90%) want to work in an environment with more patient contact. Conclusion: This study suggests that intern pharmacists in Sierra Leone perceived to a large extent they are prepared for and were involved in most pharmacy related activities considered in this study except for multidisciplinary team care which seems to be limited; although they would prefer to work in a clinical setting in the future.
J Basic Clin Pharm 2015 Sep;6(4):109-14
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, University of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone.
Purpose: There is limited information on pediatric prescribing in Sierra Leone. This study evaluated prescribing patterns for under-five patients at Ola During Children's Hospital (ODCH) and assessed the extent of rational prescribing.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional, retrospective study of 294 prescriptions, selected by systematic random sampling was conducted at the outpatient department of ODCH. The World Health Organisation prescribing indicators were analyzed using the SPSS package 16.0. The index of rational drug prescribing (IRDP) was calculated to assess rational prescribing.
Results: The average number of medicines per prescription was 3.77. The percentage of medicines prescribed by generic names was 71.0%, while 74.8% and 21.1% of prescriptions had an antibiotic and injection, respectively. The percentage of medicines prescribed from the national essential medicines list was 70.6%. The most commonly prescribed pharmacological groups of medicines were vitamins (85.37%) and antibiotics (82.99%). The IRDP was 2.71, instead of the ideal value of 5.
Conclusion: Pediatric prescribing patterns at the outpatient department of ODCH cannot be said to be entirely rational, especially with regards to antibiotic and injection prescribing.
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BMC Complement Altern Med 2014 Nov 8;14:438. Epub 2014 Nov 8.
Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Background: The widespread use of CAM around the world requires health professionals including pharmacists to have the required knowledge to better advise their patients. This has lead to an increased need for the inclusion of CAM instruction into the mainstream undergraduate Pharmacy education. This study was designed to describe pharmacy students awareness, use, attitude and perceived need for CAM education at COMAHS-USL and at the same time, determine how these descriptive outcomes are influenced by the socio-demographic variables considered in this study.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted among undergraduate pharmacy students (n?=?90) at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone using a structured questionnaire. Chi square, fisher exact test, and general linear model univariate analysis were used to compare data between independent cohorts.
Results: All 90 (100%) of the students were aware and have used (except Ayurveda) at least one of the listed CAM modalities. Herbal/Botanical/Supplements followed by Spirituality/Prayer were the most commonly known and used CAM modalities. Almost two thirds of students considered the CAM modalities they have used to be effective and not harmful. Overall, pharmacy students had a positive attitude towards CAM (Mean attitudinal score = 34.9 ± 4. 5 (range 19-43)) with fourth and fifth year students showing a significantly less positive attitude as compared to the first, second and third year (B = -3.203 p = 0.001, 95% confidence interval -5.093 to -1.314). The media [53 (58.9%)] was the most frequent source of information about CAM. Nearly all students [89 (98.9%)] agreed that CAM knowledge is important to them as future pharmacist and that CAM should be included into the Pharmacy curriculum at COMAHS-USL [81 (90.0%)].
Conclusion: Pharmacy students in Sierra Leone are aware of and have used at least one of the CAM modalities and do show a positive attitude towards CAM. This was demonstrated by their overwhelming endorsement for CAM course to be part of the undergraduate pharmacy training at COMAHS-USL. This study among others will inform and guide the development and implementation of CAM instruction at COMAHS-USL.
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