Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

# Search results for: P. E. Dlamini

##### 14 Community Health Commodities Distribution of integrated HIV and Non-Communicable Disease Services during COVID-19 Pandemic – Eswatini Case Study

Abstract:

Accessing health services during the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated scarcity to routine medication. To ensure continuous accessibility to services, Eswatini launched Community Health Commodities Distribution (CHCD). Eligible Antiretroviral Therapy(ART) stable clients (VL<1,000) and patients on Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) medications were attended at community pick up points (PUP) based on distance between clients’ residence and the public health facility. Services provided includes ART and Pre-Exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) refills and NCD drug refills). The number of community PUP was 14% higher than health facility visits. Among all medications and commodities distributed between April and October 2020 at the PUP, 64% were HIV-related (HIV rapid test, HIVST, VL test, PrEP meds), and 36% were NCD related. The rapid roll out of CHCD during COVID-19 pandemic reduced the risk of COVID-19 transmission to clients as travel to health facilities was eliminated. It Additionally increased access to commodities during COVID-19-driven lockdown, decongested health facilities, integrated model of care, and increase service coverage. It was also noted that CHCD added different curative and HIV related services based on client specific needs and availability of the commodities. Downloads 51
##### 13 The Finite Element Method for Nonlinear Fredholm Integral Equation of the Second Kind

Authors: Melusi Khumalo, Anastacia Dlamini

Abstract:

In this paper, we consider a numerical solution for nonlinear Fredholm integral equations of the second kind. We work with uniform mesh and use the Lagrange polynomials together with the Galerkin finite element method, where the weight function is chosen in such a way that it takes the form of the approximate solution but with arbitrary coefficients. We implement the finite element method to the nonlinear Fredholm integral equations of the second kind. We consider the error analysis of the method. Furthermore, we look at a specific example to illustrate the implementation of the finite element method. Downloads 123
##### 12 Impact Assessment of Plum Research Investments in South Africa

Abstract:

Numerous studies have been conducted, and the evidence has been unambiguous showing that investing in agricultural research and development increases productivity. Continued investments in agricultural research have led to the development of over 26 successful plum cultivars since 1980 at the Agricultural Research Council’s (ARC) Infruitec/Nietvoorbij in South Africa, and more continue to be developed to meet the specific needs of both producers and consumers. Yet very little is known about the returns on any of these research initiatives. The objective of the study was determine the economic impact of plum research investments at the ARC-the main plum breeding research organization in the country. The rate of return to plum research is estimated by estimating parameters in plum production and expressing research investment as an explanatory variable. The marginal rate of return is then determined to be 14.23 per cent. The rate of return to investment being this high is indicative of an under investment in plum research. Downloads 386
##### 11 Incidence of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-To-Eat Food Sold in Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract:

Listeria monocytogenes is one of the most important foodborne pathogens associated with ready-to-eat (RTE) food. This study investigated the incidence of Listeria monocytogenes in 80 RTE food sold in the formal (dairy and processed meat) and informal markets (vegetable salads, beef stew, and rice) of Johannesburg, South Africa. High Enterobacteriaceae, S. aureus, and E. coli counts were obtained, which ranged from 1.9-7.5 log CFU/g. Listeria monocytogenes microbial counts in the food samples ranged from 3.5-6.0 log colony forming unit per gram except in cooked rice. The Listeria monocytogenes isolates were identified using biochemical tests and confirmed with the Biolog identification system and PCR analyses. The percentage incidence for Listeria monocytogenes in ready to eat food was 12.5%. When Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations were under consideration, all disinfectants were effective against Listeria monocytogenes strains. For antimicrobial work, rates of resistance amongst the antibiotics ranged from 17-100%. Therefore, more effective preventive control strategies for Listeria monocytogenes are needed to reduce the prevalence of the pathogen in RTE food that is sold in Johannesburg. Downloads 59
##### 10 Accumulation and Distribution of Soil Organic Carbon in Oxisols, Tshivhase Estate, Limpopo Province

Abstract:

Land-use change from undisturbed forest to tea plantation may lead to accumulation or loss of soil organic carbon (SOC). So far, the factors controlling the vertical distribution of SOC under the long-term establishment of tea plantation remain poorly understood, especially in oxisols. In this study, we quantified the vertical distribution of SOC under tea plantation compared to adjacent undisturbed forest Oxisols sited at different topographic positions and also determined controlling edaphic factors. SOC was greater in the 30-year-old tea plantation compared to undisturbed forest oxisols and declined with depth across all topographic positions. Most of the SOC was found in the downslope position due to erosion and deposition. In the topsoil, SOC was positively correlated with heavy metals; manganese (r=0.62-0.83; P<0.05) and copper (r=0.45-0.69), effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC) (r=0.72) and mean weight diameter (MWD) (r=0.72-0.73), while in the subsoil SOC was positively correlated with copper (r=0.89-0.92) and zinc (r=0.86), ECEC (r=0.56-0.69) and MWD (r=0.48). These relationships suggest that SOC in the tea plantation, oxisols is chemically stabilized via complexation with heavy metals, and physically stabilized by soil aggregates. Downloads 53
##### 9 Assessing Vertical Distribution of Soil Organic Carbon Stocks in Westleigh Soil under Shrub Encroached Rangeland, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Abstract:

Accurate quantification of the vertical distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) in relation to land cover transformations, associated with shrub encroachment is crucial because deeper lying horizons have been shown to have greater capacity to sequester SOC. Despite this, in-depth soil carbon dynamics remain poorly understood, especially in arid and semi-arid rangelands. The objective of this study was to quantify and compare the vertical distribution of soil organic carbon stocks (SOCs) in shrub-encroached and open grassland sites. To achieve this, soil samples were collected vertically at 10 cm depth intervals under both sites. The results showed that SOC was on average 19% and 13% greater in the topsoil and subsoil respectively, under shrub-encroached grassland compared to open grassland. In both topsoil and subsoil, lower SOCs were found under shrub-encroached (4.53 kg m⁻² and 3.90 kgm⁻²) relative to open grassland (4.39 kgm⁻² and 3.67 kgm⁻²). These results demonstrate that deeper soil horizon play a critical role in the storage of SOC in savanna grassland. Downloads 51
##### 8 Stabilization of Soil Organic Carbon within Silt+Clay Fraction in Shrub-Encroached Rangeland Shallow Soil at the University of Limpopo Syferkuil Experimental Farm

Abstract:

Shrub-encroachment leads to a gain or loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) in previously open rangelands. The stabilization mechanisms controlling the storage of soil organic carbon (SOC) within aggregates of shrub-encroached grassland soils are poorly understood, especially in shallow plinthic soils. In this study, physical fractionation of surface soils (0- 10 cm) collected from open and shrub-encroached grasslands was conducted to determine the distribution of SOC within macro-and- microaggregates. Soil aggregates were classified into four fractions by a wet-sieving procedure, namely >2000 (large macro-aggregates), 212-2000 (small macro-aggregates), 50-212 (microaggregates) and < 50µm (silt+clay). In both shrub-encroached and open grassland soils, SOC was greater in the silt+clay fraction. In this fraction, SOC was on average 133% greater in shrub-encroached compared to open grassland. The greater SOC within the silt+clay fraction is due to the greater surface area and thus more exchange sites for carbon absorption. This implies that the SOC physically protected within the silt+clay is stored long-term. Downloads 50
##### 7 Woody Plant Encroachment Effects on the Physical Properties of Vertic Soils in Bela-Bela, Limpopo Province

Abstract:

Woody plant encroachment, a land cover transformation that reduces grassland productivity may influence soil physical properties. The objective of the study was to determine the effect of woody plant encroachment on physical properties of vertic soils in a savanna grassland. In this study, we quantified and compared soil bulk density, aggregate stability and porosity in the top and subsoil of an open and woody encroached savanna grassland. The results revealed that soil bulk density increases, while porosity and mean weight diameter decreases with depth in both open and woody encroached grassland soil. Compared to open grassland, soil bulk density was 11% and 10% greater in the topsoil and subsoil, while porosity was 6% and 9% lower in the topsoil and subsoil of woody encroached grassland. Mean weight diameter, an indicator of soil aggregation increased by 38% only in the subsoil of encroached grasslands due to increasing clay content with depth. These results suggest that woody plant encroachment leads to compaction of vertic soils, which in turn reduces pore size distribution. Downloads 61
##### 6 Characterization and Evaluation of Soil Resources for Sustainable Land Use Planning of Timatjatji Community Farm, Limpopo, South Africa

Abstract:

The decline of yields as a consequence of miss-informed land-use decisions poses a threat to sustainable agriculture in South Africa. The non-uniform growth pattern of wheat crop and the yields below expectations has been one of the main concerns for Timatjatji community farmers. This study was then conducted to characterize, classify, and evaluate soils of the farm for sustainable land use planning. A detailed free survey guided by surface features was conducted on a 25 ha farm to check soil variation. It was revealed that Sepane (25%), Bonheim (21%), Rensburg (18%), Katspruit (15%), Arcadia (12%) and Dundee (9%) were the dominant soil forms found across the farm. Field soil description was done to determine morphological characteristics of the soils which were matched with slope percentage and climate to assess the potential of the soils. The land capability results showed that soils were generally shallow due to high clay content in the B horizon. When the climate of the area was factored in (i.e. land potential), it further revealed that the area has low cropping potential due to heat, moisture stress and shallow soils. This implies that the farm is not suitable for annual cropping but can be highly suitable for planted pastures. Downloads 62
##### 5 The Role of Continuing Professional Education in Interpretive Guiding in South Africa

Abstract:

The demands and expectations of twenty-first century tourists have changed, and they continue to have an impact on tour guiding in cultural and natural tourist attractions. The traditional communicative role of the tour guide as a mere presenter is not sufficient anymore; instead, there are expectations from the tourists of guides who provide effective interpretive guiding. It is always questionable if tour guides in South Africa are equipped with the skills for effective interpretation, yet limited research has been conducted to investigate the continuing professional education of tour guides in South Africa. Instead, much attention has been given to aspects of registration and certification of tour guides in South Africa. Concerns have been raised about tour guiding and have led to the development of a strategy by the Department of Tourism to professionalise tourists guiding that includes training. However, the necessity for tourism training in tour guiding in South Africa was raised as early as in the 1980s, the paper argues that there is a further need to emphasise continuing professional education in interpretive guiding in South Africa. In this study, continuing education and training are considered to involve the upgrading of the skills and knowledge of interpretation of those who are already working as tour guides at the cultural and natural attractions. The study is guided by the empowerment theory. The aim of this paper is to present issues of effective interpretive guiding and continuing professional education in interpretive guiding in South Africa. This study is based on the literature survey of secondary sources such as academic journal articles, government documents, and reports and books. The conclusions indicate that there is a need for training in interpretive delivery techniques in South Africa. The need for interpretive training in interpretive delivery techniques is attributed by the call to allow people to use indigenous knowledge, rather than formal education as a basis for becoming a field guide as well as affording the previously disadvantaged individuals to access training opportunities as tourist guides. Downloads 57
##### 4 Phenotype Prediction of DNA Sequence Data: A Machine and Statistical Learning Approach

Abstract:

Great advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies have resulted in availability of huge amounts of sequencing data in public and private repositories, enabling a holistic understanding of complex biological phenomena. Sequence data are used for a wide range of applications such as gene annotations, expression studies, personalized treatment and precision medicine. However, this rapid growth in sequence data poses a great challenge which calls for novel data processing and analytic methods, as well as huge computing resources. In this work, a machine and statistical learning approach for DNA sequence classification based on \$k\$-mer representation of sequence data is proposed. The approach is tested using whole genome sequences of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) isolates to (i) reduce the size of genomic sequence data, (ii) identify an optimum size of k-mers and utilize it to build classification models, (iii) predict the phenotype from whole genome sequence data of a given bacterial isolate, and (iv) demonstrate computing challenges associated with the analysis of whole genome sequence data in producing interpretable and explainable insights. The classification models were trained on 104 whole genome sequences of MTB isoloates. Cluster analysis showed that k-mers maybe used to discriminate phenotypes and the discrimination becomes more concise as the size of k-mers increase. The best performing classification model had a k-mer size of 10 (longest k-mer) an accuracy, recall, precision, specificity, and Matthews Correlation coeffient of 72.0%, 80.5%, 80.5%, 63.6%, and 0.4 respectively. This study provides a comprehensive approach for resampling whole genome sequencing data, objectively selecting a k-mer size, and performing classification for phenotype prediction. The analysis also highlights the importance of increasing the k-mer size to produce more biological explainable results, which brings to the fore the interplay that exists amongst accuracy, computing resources and explainability of classification results. However, the analysis provides a new way to elucidate genetic information from genomic data, and identify phenotype relationships which are important especially in explaining complex biological mechanisms. Downloads 62
##### 3 Phenotype Prediction of DNA Sequence Data: A Machine and Statistical Learning Approach

Abstract:

Great advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies have resulted in availability of huge amounts of sequencing data in public and private repositories, enabling a holistic understanding of complex biological phenomena. Sequence data are used for a wide range of applications such as gene annotations, expression studies, personalized treatment and precision medicine. However, this rapid growth in sequence data poses a great challenge which calls for novel data processing and analytic methods, as well as huge computing resources. In this work, a machine and statistical learning approach for DNA sequence classification based on k-mer representation of sequence data is proposed. The approach is tested using whole genome sequences of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) isolates to (i) reduce the size of genomic sequence data, (ii) identify an optimum size of k-mers and utilize it to build classification models, (iii) predict the phenotype from whole genome sequence data of a given bacterial isolate, and (iv) demonstrate computing challenges associated with the analysis of whole genome sequence data in producing interpretable and explainable insights. The classification models were trained on 104 whole genome sequences of MTB isoloates. Cluster analysis showed that k-mers maybe used to discriminate phenotypes and the discrimination becomes more concise as the size of k-mers increase. The best performing classification model had a k-mer size of 10 (longest k-mer) an accuracy, recall, precision, specificity, and Matthews Correlation coeffient of 72.0 %, 80.5 %, 80.5 %, 63.6 %, and 0.4 respectively. This study provides a comprehensive approach for resampling whole genome sequencing data, objectively selecting a k-mer size, and performing classification for phenotype prediction. The analysis also highlights the importance of increasing the k-mer size to produce more biological explainable results, which brings to the fore the interplay that exists amongst accuracy, computing resources and explainability of classification results. However, the analysis provides a new way to elucidate genetic information from genomic data, and identify phenotype relationships which are important especially in explaining complex biological mechanisms Downloads 58
##### 2 Probiotics as an Alternative to Antibiotic Use in Pig Production

Abstract:

The indiscriminate usage of antibiotics in swine production have consequential outcomes; such as development of bacterial resistance to prophylactic antibiotics and possibility of antibiotic residues in animal products. The use of probiotics appears to be the most effective procedure with positive metabolic nutritional implications. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus reuteri ZJ625, Lactobacillus reuteri VB4, Lactobacillus salivarius ZJ614 and Streptococcus salivarius NBRC13956) administered as direct-fed microorganisms in weaned piglets. 45 weaned piglets blocked by weight were dived into 5 treatments groups: diet with antibiotic, diet with no-antibiotic and no probiotic, and diet with probiotic and diet with combination of probiotics. Piglets performance was monitored during the trials. Faecal and Ileum samples were collected for microbial count analysis. Blood samples were collected from pigs at the end of the trial, for analysis of haematological, biochemical and IgG stimulation. The data was analysed by Split-Plot ANOVA using SAS statistically software (SAS 9.3) (2003). The difference was observed between treatments for daily weight and feed conversion ratio. No difference was observed in analysis of faecal samples in regards with bacterial counts, difference was observed in ileums samples with enteric bacteria colony forming unit being lower in P2 treatment group as compared with lactic acid and total bacteria. With exception of globulin and albumin, biochemistry blood parameters were not affected, likewise for haematology, only basophils and segmented neutrophils were differed by having higher concentration in NC treatment group as compared with other treatment groups. Moreover, in IgG stimulation analysis, difference was also observed, with P2 treatment group having high concentration of IgG in P2 treatment group as compared to other groups. The results of this study suggest that probiotics have a beneficial effect on growth performances, blood parameters and IgG stimulation of pigs, most effective when they are administered in synergy form. This means that it is most likely that these probiotics will offer a significant benefit in pig farming by reducing risk of morbidity and mortality and produce quality meat that is more affordable to poorer communities, and thereby enhance South African pig industry’s economy. In addition, these results indicate that there is still more research need to be done on probiotics in regards with, i.e. dosage, shelf life and mechanism of action. Downloads 149

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