This study investigated understanding of and attitudes toward abstaining alcoholics as well as factors affecting such attitudes. A questionnaire was mailed to each participant (N=596). Participants were over 20 years of age. Two hundred and sixty-one respondents completed and returned the questionnaire. The results indicated that approximately half of the participants understood that alcohol dependency was a “disease.” However, their knowledge of alcohol dependency is inconsistent. Furthermore, the closer a participant was to an abstaining alcoholic, the more negative was his or her attitude. The following beliefs also had a positive influence on such attitudes : the possibility of involvement in problems related to alcoholics, cognitions related to whether alcohol dependent people could continue abstaining, and awareness that people around alcoholics might also become dependent on alcohol. Results suggested that future intervention programs designed to change attitudes should consider incorporating education to increase awareness regarding the aforementioned beliefs.
We examined the natural course and clinical characteristics of 138 HCV carriers according to HCV genotypes. Stored serum samples obtained from patients were examined for HCV core antigen levels and HCV genotypes. Genotype 1b was found in 79 (57.2%), genotype 2a in 8 (5.8%), genotype 2b in 46 (33.3%) and genotype 1b+2b in 5 (3.6%) patients. 119 patients followed 20 years or more after infection excluding genotype 1b+2b were classified into two groups : genotype 1b and non-genotype 1b (2a and 2b : 2a/2b). The numbers of patients were 70 and 49 in the genotype 1b and genotype 2a/2b groups, respectively. Patients with genotype 2a/2b had significantly higher HCV core antigen levels 20 years after infection than those with genotype 1b. However, patients with genotype 1b had significantly higher ZTT and type IV collagen than those with genotype 2a/2b. HCV core antigen levels in cases with genotype 1b did not increase 10 years or more after infection ; on the other hand, those with genotype 2a/2b increased significantly.
This research aims to elucidate the meaning of elephantiasis of the breast for women in rural Niger. A narrative interview with a woman suffering from elephantiasis of the breast, and participant observation in a village in rural Niger, were conducted using micro-ethnography. The woman experienced “repeated pain during every pregnancy” as well as “the death of her children caused by the denaturation of her breast milk” under “the absence of proper treatment”. In addition, she suffered from the constant “fear of life without a child” in a village that values children as a fortuitous gift from God. She chose pregnancy voluntarily shortly after her child's death despite her anticipation of pain and the death of another child ; “her torment which no-one else can understand” has never ended. Elephantiasis due to lymphatic filariasis manifests in different part of body such as legs, scrotum and breast, etc. The meaning of the suffering caused by disability due to elephantiasis varies according to the part afflicted. In the case of elephantiasis of the breast, cultural, social and economic systems and their interactions, which are related to breastfeeding, influence the meaning because elephantiasis of the breast affects breastfeeding. It is important to provide services at the community level and to develop a health education program taking account of patient's multi-faceted disability and pain. Efficient and holistic care will enable a thorough integration of a filariasis program into maternal and child health services.