Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Search results for: Fulbert Alec R. Gillego

6 Lactational Amenorrhea Method for Family Planning: An Evaluation of Compliance in the Philippines

Authors: Ellen Bautista, Rebecca M. Flueckiger, Easter Dasmarinas, Rajeev Colaco, Fulbert Alec R. Gillego, Alma M. Lozada, Cristina Bisson

Abstract:

Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) for family planning is at least 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when all criteria are met; (1) the mother is exclusively or nearly exclusively breastfeeding, (2) the mother is amenorrheic (not menstruating), and (3) the baby is six months old or younger. LAM is particularly suited for women interested in family planning accepted by religious authorities. As a majority catholic nation, LAM is a common and accepted form of family planning in the Philippines. The USAID funded, LuzonHealth project conducted a prospective evaluation in Legazpi City to inform the enhancement of guidelines aimed at increasing LAM compliance and encouraging a second form of contraceptive once LAM protection expires. LAM compliance, reasons for non-compliance, family planning referral and uptake of secondary modern family planning methods were tracked over a nine-month period among 521 postpartum women. The evaluation found that at three months postpartum, 97% of women either met LAM criteria or had shifted to a non-LAM modern family planning method. In month six 87% of women no longer met LAM criteria and of these only 35% had shifted to an alternative modern family planning method. This means that at six-months postpartum 65% of the women in this evaluation were not protected against pregnancy through modern family planning methods. By postpartum month nine, 70% of the women had been referred to family planning counseling, yet of those referred only 34% reported using modern family planning methods. This evaluation clearly indicates scale-up of non-LAM modern family planning does not sufficiently complement the scale-down of LAM compliance. There is a need to increase client knowledge and understanding of LAM as a temporary family planning method with a strong focus on preparing to shift to another form of modern family planning once LAM protection expires. Additionally, there is great need to restructure the referral mechanism to ensure efficacy and quality of care.

Keywords: Philippines, family planning, lactational amenorrhea method, contraceptives

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5 Complimentary Allusions: Shawl Scenes in Rossellini, Lean, Fellini, Kubrick, and Bertolucci Films

Authors: Misha Nedeljkovich

Abstract:

In the film’s famous scene (Roma città aperta-1945), Pina (Anna Magnani) collapses in the street when machined-gunned by a German soldier. Her son Marcello (Vito Annchiarico) tries to revive her. Her death is signaling not closure, but the cycle of life; Marcello saves Francesco with the shawl taken from his mother’s corpse. One pivotal scene in Brief Encounter (1945) occurs in the apartment of Alec’s (Trevor Howard) friend Stephen (Valentine Dyall), when Stephen returns to catch Alec and Laura (Celia Johnson) together alone. David Lean directs this scene using her shawl as a sign of in flagrante delicto. In La Strada (1954), Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina) was waving good bye when her mother sensing impending doom changed her mind and desperately tried to stop her waving back with her shawl: Don’t go my daughter! Your shawl! Your shawl! Gelsomina refuses to return, waving back: It’s time to go! Stanley Kubrick’s tale of a boxer who crosses a mobster to win the heart of a lady, Killer’s Kiss (1955), reminds us that Times Square used to contain sweaty boxing gyms and dance halls. The film’s longest Times Square interlude is its oddest: the boxer Davie Gordon played by Jamie Smith has his shawl stolen by two playful men in Shriners’ hats who are silent except for one who blows a harmonica, faintly heard over honking cabs and overheard conversations. This long sequence appears to be joining in on directors’ shawl conversations with Kubrick’s own twist. Principle characters will never know why all this happened to them that evening. Love, death, happiness and everlasting misery all of that is caused by Dave’s shawl. Finally, the decade of cinematic shawl conversations conclude in Betolucci’s Before the Revolution (Prima della rivoluzione–1964). One of his character’s lifts up a shawl asking if this was a Rossellini’s shawl. I argue that exploring complimentary allusions in a film where directors are acknowledging their own great debt to another film or filmmaker will further our knowledge of film history adding both depth and resonance to the great works in cinema.

Keywords: allusions, Bertolucci, Fellini, homage, Kubrick, lean, Rossellini

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4 Trusting Smart Speakers: Analysing the Different Levels of Trust between Technologies

Authors: Alec Wells, Aminu Bello Usman, Justin McKeown

Abstract:

The growing usage of smart speakers raises many privacy and trust concerns compared to other technologies such as smart phones and computers. In this study, a proxy measure of trust is used to gauge users’ opinions on three different technologies based on an empirical study, and to understand which technology most people are most likely to trust. The collected data were analysed using the Kruskal-Wallis H test to determine the statistical differences between the users’ trust level of the three technologies: smart speaker, computer and smart phone. The findings of the study revealed that despite the wide acceptance, ease of use and reputation of smart speakers, people find it difficult to trust smart speakers with their sensitive information via the Direct Voice Input (DVI) and would prefer to use a keyboard or touchscreen offered by computers and smart phones. Findings from this study can inform future work on users’ trust in technology based on perceived ease of use, reputation, perceived credibility and risk of using technologies via DVI.

Keywords: direct voice input, risk, security, technology, trust

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3 Effects of Voltage Pulse Characteristics on Some Performance Parameters of LiₓCoO₂-based Resistive Switching Memory Devices

Authors: Van Son Nguyen, Van Huy Mai, Alec Moradpour, Pascale Auban Senzier, Claude Pasquier, Kang Wang, Pierre-Antoine Albouy, Marcelo J. Rozenberg, John Giapintzakis, Christian N. Mihailescu, Charis M. Orfanidou, Thomas Maroutian, Philippe Lecoeur, Guillaume Agnus, Pascal Aubert, Sylvain Franger, Raphaël Salot, Nathalie Brun, Katia March, David Alamarguy, Pascal ChréTien, Olivier Schneegans

Abstract:

In the field of Nanoelectronics, a major research activity is being developed towards non-volatile memories. To face the limitations of existing Flash memory cells (endurance, downscaling, rapidity…), new approaches are emerging, among them resistive switching memories (Re-RAM). In this work, we analysed the behaviour of LixCoO2 oxide thin films in electrode/film/electrode devices. Preliminary results have been obtained concerning the influence of bias pulses characteristics (duration, value) on some performance parameters, such as endurance and resistance ratio (ROFF/RON). Besides, Conducting Probe Atomic Force Microscopy (CP-AFM) characterizations of the devices have been carried out to better understand some causes of performance failure, and thus help optimizing the switching performance of such devices.

Keywords: non volatile resistive memories, resistive switching, thin films, endurance

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2 Filtration Efficacy of Reusable Full-Face Snorkel Masks for Personal Protective Equipment

Authors: Adrian Kong, William Chang, Rolando Valdes, Alec Rodriguez, Roberto Miki

Abstract:

The Pneumask consists of a custom snorkel-specific adapter that attaches a snorkel-port of the mask to a 3D-printed filter. This full-face snorkel mask was designed for use as personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a widespread shortage of PPE for medical personnel. Various clinical validation tests have been conducted, including the sealing capability of the mask, filter performance, CO2 buildup, and clinical usability. However, data regarding the filter efficiencies of Pneumask and multiple filter types have not been determined. Using an experimental system, we evaluated the filtration efficiency across various masks and filters during inhalation. Eighteen combinations of respirator models (5 P100 FFRs, 4 Dolfino Masks) and filters (2091, 7093, 7093CN, BB50T) were evaluated for their exposure to airborne particles sized 0.3 - 10.0 microns using an electronic airborne particle counter. All respirator model combinations provided similar performance levels for 1.0-micron, 3.0-micron, 5.0-micron, 10.0-microns, with the greatest differences in the 0.3-micron and 0.5-micron range. All models provided expected performances against all particle sizes, with Class P100 respirators providing the highest performance levels across all particle size ranges. In conclusion, the modified snorkel mask has the potential to protect providers who care for patients with COVID-19 from increased airborne particle exposure.

Keywords: COVID-19, PPE, mask, filtration, efficiency

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1 Antimicrobial Activities of Lactic Acid Bacteria from Fermented Foods and Probiotic Products

Authors: Alec Chabwinja, Cannan Tawonezvi, Jerneja Vidmar, Constance Chingwaru, Walter Chingwaru

Abstract:

Objective: To evaluate the potential of commercial fermented / probiotic products available in Zimbabwe or internationally, and strains of Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) as prophylaxis and therapy against diarrhoeal and sexually transmitted infections. Methods: The antimicrobial potential of cultures of lactobacilli enriched from 4 Zimbabwean commercial food/beverage products, namely Dairibord Lacto sour milk (DLSM), Probrand sour milk (PSM), Kefalos Vuka cheese (KVC) and Chibuku opaque beer (COB); three probiotic products obtainable in Europe and internationally; and four strains of L. plantarum obtained from Balkan traditional cheeses and Zimbabwean foods against clinical strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and non-clinical strains of Candida albicans and Rhodotorula spp. was assayed using the well diffusion method. Three commercial Agar diffusion assay and a competitive exclusion assay were carried out on Mueller-Hinton agar. Results: Crude cultures of putative lactobacillus strains obtained from Zimbabwean dairy products (Probrand sour milk, Kefalos Vuka vuka cheese and Chibuku opaque beer) exhibited significantly greater antimicrobial activities against clinical strains of E. coli than strains of L. plantarum isolated from Balkan cheeses (CLP1, CLP2 or CLP3) or crude microbial cultures from commercial paediatric probiotic products (BG, PJ and PL) of a culture of Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the following has high antifungal activities against the two yeasts: supernatant-free microbial pellet (SFMP) from an extract of M. azedarach leaves (27mm ± 2.5) > cell-free culture supernatants (CFCS) from Maaz Dairy sour milk and Mnandi sour milk (approximately 26mm ± 1.8) > CFCS and SFMP from Amansi hodzeko (25mm ± 1.5) > CFCS from Parinari curatellifolia fruit (24mm ± 1.5), SFMP from P. curatellifolia fruit (24mm ± 1.4) and SFMP from mahewu (20mm ± 1.5). These cultures also showed high tolerance to acidic conditions (~pH4). Conclusions: The putative lactobacilli from four commercial Zimbabwean dairy products (Probrand sour milk, Kefalos Vuka vuka cheese and Chibuku opaque beer), and three strains of L. plantarum from Balkan cheeses (CLP1, CLP2 or CLP3) exhibited high antibacterial activities, while Maaz Dairy sour-, Mnandi sour- and Amansi hodzeko milk products had high antifungal activities. Our selection of Zimbabwean probiotic products has potential for further development into probiotic products for use in the control diarrhea caused by pathogenic strains of E. coli or yeast infections. Studies to characterise the probiotic potential of the live cultures in the products are underway.

Keywords: lactic acid bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus spp, yeast, inhibition, acid tolerance

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