Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: Meera Tandan

13 Factors Associated with Contraceptive Use and Nonuse, among Currently Married Young (15-24 Years) Women in Nepal

Authors: Bishnu Prasad Dulal, Sushil Chandra Baral, Radheshyam Bhattarai, Meera Tandan


Background: Non-use of contraceptives is a leading cause of unintended pregnancy. This study was done to explore the potential predictors of contraceptive used by young women, and the findings can inform policy makers to design the program to reduce unintended pregnancy for younger women who have a longer time of fecundity. Methodology: A nationally representative cross-sectional household survey was conducted by Health Research and Social Development Forum in 2012. Total 2259 currently married young women (15-24 years) were selected for the analysis out of 8578 women of reproductive age interviewed from the total 10260 households using systematic sampling. Binary logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with the use of modern contraceptive methods. Findings: The prevalence of modern contraceptive methods among young women was 25.2 %. Use of contraceptives was significantly associated with age at first marriage <15 year of age (OR:1.95) and ever delivered (OR: 1.8). Muslim women were significantly less likely to use contraceptives. Development region, wealth quintile, and awareness of abortion site were also statistically associated factors to use of contraceptives. Conclusion: The prevalence of contraceptives uses among young married women (25.2%) was lower than national prevalence (43%) of contraceptives use among married women of reproductive age. Our analysis focused on examining the association between women’s characteristics-related factors and use and nonuse of modern contraceptives. Awareness of safe abortion site is significantly associated while level of education was not. It is an interesting finding but difficult to interpret which needs further analysis on the basis of education. Maybe due to the underlying socio-religious practice of Muslim people, they had lower use of contraceptives. Programmers and policy makers could better help young women by increasing intervention activities to have a regular use of contraceptive-covering poor, Dalit and Muslim, and low aged women in order to reduce unintended pregnancy.

Keywords: unintended pregnancy, contraceptive, young women, Nepal

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12 Predicting Resistance of Commonly Used Antimicrobials in Urinary Tract Infections: A Decision Tree Analysis

Authors: Meera Tandan, Mohan Timilsina, Martin Cormican, Akke Vellinga


Background: In general practice, many infections are treated empirically without microbiological confirmation. Understanding susceptibility of antimicrobials during empirical prescribing can be helpful to reduce inappropriate prescribing. This study aims to apply a prediction model using a decision tree approach to predict the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of urinary tract infections (UTI) based on non-clinical features of patients over 65 years. Decision tree models are a novel idea to predict the outcome of AMR at an initial stage. Method: Data was extracted from the database of the microbiological laboratory of the University Hospitals Galway on all antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) of urine specimens from patients over the age of 65 from January 2011 to December 2014. The primary endpoint was resistance to common antimicrobials (Nitrofurantoin, trimethoprim, ciprofloxacin, co-amoxiclav and amoxicillin) used to treat UTI. A classification and regression tree (CART) model was generated with the outcome ‘resistant infection’. The importance of each predictor (the number of previous samples, age, gender, location (nursing home, hospital, community) and causative agent) on antimicrobial resistance was estimated. Sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive (NPV) and positive predictive (PPV) values were used to evaluate the performance of the model. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the data were used as a training set and validation of the model was performed with the remaining 25% of the dataset. Results: A total of 9805 UTI patients over 65 years had their urine sample submitted for AST at least once over the four years. E.coli, Klebsiella, Proteus species were the most commonly identified pathogens among the UTI patients without catheter whereas Sertia, Staphylococcus aureus; Enterobacter was common with the catheter. The validated CART model shows slight differences in the sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV in between the models with and without the causative organisms. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV for the model with non-clinical predictors was between 74% and 88% depending on the antimicrobial. Conclusion: The CART models developed using non-clinical predictors have good performance when predicting antimicrobial resistance. These models predict which antimicrobial may be the most appropriate based on non-clinical factors. Other CART models, prospective data collection and validation and an increasing number of non-clinical factors will improve model performance. The presented model provides an alternative approach to decision making on antimicrobial prescribing for UTIs in older patients.

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance, urinary tract infection, prediction, decision tree

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11 A Rare Case of Acquired Benign Tracheoesophageal Fistula: Case Report and Literature Review

Authors: Sarah Bouayyad, Ajay Nigam, Meera Beena


Acquired benign tracheoesophageal fistula is a rare medical condition that usually results from trauma, foreign bodies, or granulomatous infections. This is an unusual presentation of a male patient with a history of laryngectomy who had had over a period of several years inappropriately and vigorously used valve cleaning brushes to clean tracheal secretions, which had led to the formation of a tracheoesophageal fistula. Due to the patient’s obsessive habit, we couldn’t manage him using conventional surgical methods. Instead, we opted for the placement of a salivary bypass tube, which yielded good results and recovery. To the best of our knowledge, no other case of similar etiology has been published. We would like to highlight the importance of appropriate patient selection and education prior to performing a tracheoesophageal puncture to avoid developing life-threatening complications as demonstrated in our case report.

Keywords: tracheoesophageal fistula, speech valve, endoscopic insertion of salivary bypass tube, head and neck malignancies

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10 Automated Marker Filling System

Authors: Pinisetti Swami Sairam, Meera C. S.


Marker pens are widely used all over the world, mainly in educational institutions due to their neat, accurate and easily erasable nature. But refilling the ink in these pens is a tedious and time consuming job. Besides, it requires careful handling of the pens and ink bottle. A fully automated marker filling system is a solution developed to overcome this problem. The system comprises of pneumatics and electronics modules as well as PLC control. The system design is done in such a way that the empty markers are dumped in a marker container which then sent through different modules of the system in order to refill it automatically. The filled markers are then collected in a marker container. Refilling of ink takes place in different stages inside the system. An ink detecting system detects the colour of the marker which is to be filled and then refilling is done. The processes like capping and uncapping of the cap as well as screwing and unscrewing of the tip are done with the help of robotic arm and gripper. We make use of pneumatics in this system in order to get the precision while performing the capping, screwing, and refilling operations. Thus with the help of this system we can achieve cleanliness, accuracy, effective and time saving in the process of filling a marker.

Keywords: automated system, market filling, information technology, control and automation

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9 Induction of Innovation (Districts) in (Spatial) Planning and Policy

Authors: Meera Prajapati


Technological innovation is important for economic and spatial rejuvenation. Innovation districts from the last decades around university towns offer interesting examples. Planning directs the interplay between economic and urban development in these innovation districts that appear in particular regions with economic benefits as a result of incentives to attract multinational industries in innovation centres, research parks, universities, bio incubator assets, etc. The inclination of the OECED towards developing entrepreneurship and innovation to harness a boost in growth requires sustainable living conditions. This research aims to understand ‘how innovation or knowledge centres affected development policies and helped cities to become a high-tech region?’ Therefore, the economic policies of cities are investigated as well as the location logic of centres and their intertwining with supporting services (health, education, living environment, etc.). Case studies (Eindhoven (The Netherlands) and Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam)) position Pune (India) in terms of the planning components of innovation.

Keywords: innovation districts, high-tech regions, smart cities, urban planning and policies

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8 Holistic Development of Children through Performing Classical Art Forms: A Study in Tamil Nadu, India

Authors: Meera Rajeev Kumar


An overall social, emotional, and cultural development in a child is what a parent expects. There is no point in comparing the generations of 70’s or 80’s with that of the children of today as the trends are changing drastically. Technology has enabled them to become smart as well as over smart in one way or the other. Children today are quite ignorant of today’s values or ethics and are imbibing different cultures around them and ultimately confused on what to follow. The researcher has gained experience in transmitting or imparting the traditional culture through performing arts. It is understood that the children undergo a transformation from what they knew to what the truth is, through learning and experience. Through performing arts, the child develops an emotional, quick learning, abundant creativity, and ultimately self-realisation on what is right and wrong. The child also gains good organising skills, good decision making skills, therefore summing up to a holistic development. The sample study is 50, and a random sampling technique is adopted to differentiate between a normal child and a child learning an art. The study is conducted in Tamil Nadu, in India.

Keywords: creativity, cultural, emotional, empower

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7 A Comparative Study of Murayya Koenigii Varieties for the Removal of Cr (VI) from Aqueous Solutions

Authors: Mesfin Tsegaw, Sivakumar C. V., Chandrakal Gunturu, Meera Indracanti


Chromium (VI), a toxic metal ion, is widely used in electroplating, stainless steel production, leather tanning, paint, and textile manufacturing. Cr (VI) is mobile in the environment, acutely toxic and carcinogenic. In the present study, the ability to remove Cr (VI) from aqueous solutions has been compared using leaves of dwarf and gamthi varieties of Murayya koerigii abundantly available in Selaqui region of Dehradun as an adsorbent. Effects of temperature, pH, initial concentration of adsorbate and adsorbent dosage have been studied for effective removal of Cr (VI). The biosorptive ability of biosorbent was reliant on the pH of the biosorbate, with pH 2 being most favorable for both the varieties. The obtained results were analyzed by the Freundlich and Langmuir equation at different temperature and related parameters were determined for each adsorption isotherm. The study also includes results on the kinetic dimensions of adsorption of the Cr (VI) on the derived adsorbent. Gamthi variety has a promising absorption rate of 80% over the dwarf variety. FTIR studies confirmed that carboxyl and hydroxyl groups were the main groups involved in the metal uptake.

Keywords: adsorption, cromium, kinetics, variety

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6 Effect Of Tephrosia purpurea (Family: Fabaceae) Formulations On Oviposition By The Pulse Beetle Callosobruchus chinensis Linn.

Authors: Priyanka Jain, Meera Srivastava


Among important insect pests of stored grains, the pulse beetle Callosobruchus chinensis Linn. (Coleoptera: Bruchidae) is one such pest causing considerable damage to stored pulses. An effort was made to screen plant Tephrosia purpurea (Family: Fabaceae) for its efficacy against the said pest. The pulse beetle C. chinensis was raised on green gram Vigna radiata in incubators maintained at 28 ± 2°C and 70% RH. Different formulations using plant parts (root, stem, leaf and fruit) were employed in the form of aqueous suspension, aqueous extract and ether extract and the treatments were made using different dose concentrations, namely 1%, 2.5%, 5% and 10%, besides normal and control. Specific number of adult insects were released in muslin cloth covered beakers containing weighed green gram grains and treated with different dose concentrations (w/v). Observations for the number of eggs laid by the pest insect C. chinensis was recorded after three days of treatment and it was observed that in general all the treatments of the plant resulted in significant decrease in the eggs laid (no/pair) by the insect, suggesting that the selected plant has a potential to be used against C. chinensis.

Keywords: Callosobruchus chinensis, egg laying, Tephrosia purpurea, Fabaceae, plant formulations

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5 Free Vibration Analysis of Timoshenko Beams at Higher Modes with Central Concentrated Mass Using Coupled Displacement Field Method

Authors: K. Meera Saheb, K. Krishna Bhaskar


Complex structures used in many fields of engineering are made up of simple structural elements like beams, plates etc. These structural elements, sometimes carry concentrated masses at discrete points, and when subjected to severe dynamic environment tend to vibrate with large amplitudes. The frequency amplitude relationship is very much essential in determining the response of these structural elements subjected to the dynamic loads. For Timoshenko beams, the effects of shear deformation and rotary inertia are to be considered to evaluate the fundamental linear and nonlinear frequencies. A commonly used method for solving vibration problem is energy method, or a finite element analogue of the same. In the present Coupled Displacement Field method the number of undetermined coefficients is reduced to half when compared to the famous Rayleigh Ritz method, which significantly simplifies the procedure to solve the vibration problem. This is accomplished by using a coupling equation derived from the static equilibrium of the shear flexible structural element. The prime objective of the present paper here is to study, in detail, the effect of a central concentrated mass on the large amplitude free vibrations of uniform shear flexible beams. Accurate closed form expressions for linear frequency parameter for uniform shear flexible beams with a central concentrated mass was developed and the results are presented in digital form.

Keywords: coupled displacement field, coupling equation, large amplitude vibrations, moderately thick plates

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4 Impact of Stress on Physical-Mental Wellbeing of Working Women in India: Awareness and Acceptability

Authors: Meera Shanker


Excellent education and financial need have encouraged Indian women to go out and work in well-paid and high-status occupations. In the era of cutthroat competition, women are expected to work hard to produce the desired result; hence, workload and expectations haveincreased. At home, they are anticipated to take care of family members, children, and household work. Women are stretching themselves mechanically to remain in the job competition and try to give their best at home. Consequentially, they are under tremendous pressure, stressed, and having issues related to physical-mental wellness. Mental healthcare is often ignored and not accepted due to a lack of awareness and cultural barriers. These further compounds the problem, resulting in decreased productivity in economic terms and an increase in stress-related physical-mental ailments. The main objective of the study was to find out the impact of stress on the physical-mental wellbeing of working women in India, along with their awareness and acceptability related to mental health. Six hundred and one woman working at various levels took part in this study, responding to the items related to stress and physical-mental illness. Finally, 21 items were retained under four meaningful factors measuring stress dimensions along with 17 items with three factors measuring physical-mental wellbeing. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), path analysis, in Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), was used to get a relationship, validity of the instruments. The psychometric properties of items and Cronbach’s Alpha reliabilities calculated for the subscales were relatively acceptable. The subscale correlations, regression, and path analysis of stress dimensions with physical-mental illness were found to be positive, indicating the growing stress among working women in India, which is impacting their physical-mental health. Single item analysis revealed that 77 percent of women have never visited psychologists. However, 70 percent of working women were not ready to seek the help of a psychologist.

Keywords: working women, stress, physical-mental well-being, confirmatory factor analysis

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3 Study of Electro-Chemical Properties of ZnO Nanowires for Various Application

Authors: Meera A. Albloushi, Adel B. Gougam


The development in the field of piezoelectrics has led to a renewed interest in ZnO nanowires (NWs) as a promising material in the nanogenerator devices category. It can be used as a power source for self-powered electronic systems with higher density, higher efficiency, longer lifetime, as well as lower cost of fabrication. Highly aligned ZnO nanowires seem to exhibit a higher performance compared with nonaligned ones. The purpose of this study was to develop ZnO nanowires and to investigate their electrical and chemical properties for various applications. They were grown on silicon (100) and glass substrates. We have used a low temperature and non-hazardous method: aqueous chemical growth (ACG). ZnO (non-doped) and AZO (Aluminum doped) seed layers were deposited using RF magnetron sputteringunder Argon pressure of 3 mTorr and deposition power of 180 W, the times of growth were selected to obtain thicknesses in the range of 30 to 125 nm. Some of the films were subsequently annealed. The substrates were immersed tilted in an equimolar solution composed of zinc nitrate and hexamine (HMTA) of 0.02 M and 0.05 M in the temperature range of 80 to 90 ᵒC for 1.5 to 2 hours. The X-ray diffractometer shows strong peaks at 2Ө = 34.2ᵒ of ZnO films which indicates that the films have a preferred c-axis wurtzite hexagonal (002) orientation. The surface morphology of the films is investigated by atomic force microscope (AFM) which proved the uniformity of the film since the roughness is within 5 nm range. The scanning electron microscopes(SEM) (Quanta FEG 250, Quanta 3D FEG, Nova NanoSEM 650) are used to characterize both ZnO film and NWs. SEM images show forest of ZnO NWs grown vertically and have a range of length up to 2000 nm and diameter of 20-300 nm. The SEM images prove that the role of the seed layer is to enhance the vertical alignment of ZnO NWs at the pH solution of 5-6. Also electrical and optical properties of the NWs are carried out using Electrical Force Microscopy (EFM). After growing the ZnO NWs, developing the nano-generator is the second step of this study in order to determine the energy conversion efficiency and the power output.

Keywords: ZnO nanowires(NWs), aqueous chemical growth (ACG), piezoelectric NWs, harvesting enery

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2 Assessing Students’ Readiness for an Open and Distance Learning Higher Education Environment

Authors: Upasana G. Singh, Meera Gungea


Learning is no more confined to the traditional classroom, teacher, and student interaction. Many universities offer courses through the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode, attracting a diversity of learners in terms of age, gender, and profession to name a few. The ODL mode has surfaced as one of the famous sought-after modes of learning, allowing learners to invest in their educational growth without hampering their personal and professional commitments. This mode of learning, however, requires that those who ultimately choose to adopt it must be prepared to undertake studies through such medium. The purpose of this research is to assess whether students who join universities offering courses through the ODL mode are ready to embark and study within such a framework. This study will be helpful to unveil the challenges students face in such an environment and thus contribute to developing a framework to ease adoption and integration into the ODL environment. Prior to the implementation of e-learning, a readiness assessment is essential for any institution that wants to adopt any form of e-learning. Various e-learning readiness assessment models have been developed over the years. However, this study is based on a conceptual model for e-Learning Readiness Assessment which is a ‘hybrid model’. This hybrid model consists of 4 main parameters: 1) Technological readiness, 2) Culture readiness, 3) Content readiness, and 4) Demographics factors, with 4 sub-areas, namely, technology, innovation, people and self-development. The model also includes the attitudes of users towards the adoption of e-learning as an important aspect of assessing e-learning readiness. For this study, some factors and sub-factors of the hybrid model have been considered and adapted, together with the ‘Attitude’ component. A questionnaire was designed based on the models and students where the target population were students enrolled at the Open University of Mauritius, in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Preliminary findings indicate that most (68%) learners have an average knowledge about ODL form of learning, despite not many (72%) having previous experience with ODL. Despite learning through ODL 74% of learners preferred hard copy learning material and 48% found difficulty in reading learning material on electronic devices.

Keywords: open learning, distance learning, student readiness, a hybrid model

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1 Patterns of Self-Reported Overweight, Obesity, and Other Chronic Diseases Among University Students in the United Arab Emirates: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Maryam M. Bashir, Luai A. Ahmed, Meera R. Alshamsi, Sara Almahrooqi, Taif Alyammahi, Shooq A. Alshehhi, Waad I. Alhammadi, Fatima H. Alhammadi, Hind A. Alhosani, Rami H. Al-Rifai, Fatma Al-Maskari


Obesity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has exponentially increased over the past five decades due to rapid urbanization and unhealthy lifestyle changes. It has been well established that overweight and obesity increase the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and are the leading cause of mortality and economic burden locally, and globally. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there is a growing epidemic of obesity and other chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in UAE range up to 70% depending on the group being studied. Hence, there is a need to explore their patterns in the country for more targeted and responsive interventions. Our study aimed to explore the patterns of overweight and obesity and some self-reported chronic diseases among university students in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of UAE. A validated online self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from UAE University (UAEU) students, 18years and above, from August to September 2021. Students’ characteristics were summarized using appropriate descriptive statistics. Overweight, obesity and self-reported chronic diseases were described and compared between male and female students using chi-square and t tests. Other associated factors were also explored in relation to overweight and obesity. All analyses were conducted using STATA statistical software version 16.1 (StataCorp LLC, College Station, TX, USA). 902 students participated in the study. 79.8% were females and mean age was 21.90 ± 5.19 years. Majority of the respondents were undergraduate students (80.71%). The prevalence of self-reported chronic diseases was 22.95%. Obesity (BMI≥30kg/m2), Diabetes Mellitus, and Asthma/Allergies were the commonest diseases (12.48%, 4.21% & 3.22%, respectively). Approximately 5% of the students reported more than one chronic disease. Out of the 833 participating students who had complete weight and height data, prevalence of overweight and obesity was 34.81% (22.33% and 12.48%, respectively). More than half of the male students (54.36%) were overweight or obese. This is significantly higher than in female students (30.56%, p=0.001). Overweight/obesity when compared to normal weight is associated with increasing mean age [23.40 vs 21.01, respectively (p=0.001)]. In addition to gender and age, being married [57.63% vs 31.05% (p=0.001)], being a postgraduate student [51.59% vs 30.92% (p=0.001)] and having two or more chronic diseases [65.85% vs 33.21% (p=0.001)] were also significantly associated with overweight/obesity. Our study showed that almost a quarter of the participating university students reported at least one chronic disease. Obesity was the commonest and more than 1 in 3 students were either overweight or obese. This shows the need for intensive health promotion and screening programs on obesity and other chronic diseases to meet the health needs of these students. This study is also a basis for further research, especially qualitative, to explore the relevant risk factors and risk groups for more targeted interventions.

Keywords: chronic disease, obesity, overweight, students, United Arab Emirates

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