Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 45

Search results for: Tirtha Maiya Shrestha

45 Pharmacognostical, Phytochemical and Biological Studies of Leaves and Stems of Hippophae Salicifolia

Authors: Bhupendra Kumar Poudel, Sadhana Amatya, Tirtha Maiya Shrestha, Bharatmani Pokhrel, Mohan Prasad Amatya

Abstract:

Background: H. salicifolia is a dense, branched, multipurpose, deciduous, nitrogen fixing, thorny willow-like small to moderate tree, restricted to the Himalaya. Among the two species of Nepal (Hippophae salicifolia and H. tibetana), it has been traditionally used as food additive, anticancer (bark), and treating toothache, tooth inflammation (anti-inflammatory) and radiation injury; while people of Western Nepal have largely undermined its veiled treasure by using it for fuel, wood and soil stabilization only. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to explore biological properties (analgesic, antidiabetic, cytotoxic and anti-inflammatory properties of this plant. Methodology: The transverse section of leaves and stems were viewed under microscope. Extracts obtained from soxhlation subjected to tests for phytochemical and biological studies. Rats (used to study antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory properties) and mice (used to study analgesic, CNS depressant, muscle relaxant and locomotor properties) were assumed to be normally distributed; then ANOVA and post hoc tukey test was used to find significance. The data obtained were analyzed by SPSS 17 and Excel 2007. Results and Conclusion: Pharmacognostical analysis revealed the presence of long stellate trichomes, double layered vascular bundle 5-6 in number and double layered compact sclerenchyma. The preliminary phytochemical screening of the extracts was found to exhibit the positive reaction tests for glycoside, steroid, tannin, flavonoid, saponin, coumarin and reducing sugar. The brine shrimp lethality bioassay tested in 1000, 100 and 10 ppm revealed cytotoxic activity inherent in methanol, water, chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts with LC50 (μg/ml) values of 61.42, 99.77, 292.72 and 277.84 respectively. The cytotoxic activity may be due to presence of tannins in the constituents. Antimicrobial screening of the extracts by cup diffusion method using Staphylococcus aereus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa against standard antibiotics (oxacillin, gentamycin and amikacin respectively) portrayed no activity against the microorganisms tested. The methanol extract of the stems and leaves showed various pharmacological properties: and antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic [chemical writhing method], CNS depressant, muscle relaxant and locomotor activities in a dose-dependent fashion, indicating the possibility of the presence of different constituents in the stems and leaves responsible for these biological activities. All the effects when analyzed by post hoc tukey test were found to be significant at 95% confidence level. The antidiabetic activity was presumed to be due to flavonoids present in extract. Therefore, it can be concluded that this plant’s secondary metabolites possessed strong antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activity which could be isolated for further investigation.

Keywords: Hippophae salicifolia, constituents, antidiabetic, inflammatory, brine shrimp

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44 Antiulcer Activity of Aloe vera Gel against Indomethacin and Ethanol Induced Gastric Ulcers in Rats

Authors: Jyoti Manandhar Shrestha, Saurab Raj Joshi, Maya Shrestha, Prashanna Shrestha, Kshitij Chaulagain

Abstract:

Background: The widespread use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs has increased the incidence of ulcer and serious complications, such as perforation and bleeding. Although, the H2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors decrease the acid secretion and promote healing of ulcer, their value in preventing relapse, recurrence, “acid rebound” after cessation of therapy and associated long term adverse effects limit their utility. So to minimize this, the herbal plant Aloe vera having anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, mucus secreting, cyto-protective and healing property is believed to cure the peptic ulcer. Objectives: To observe whether oral treatment with Aloe vera gel can prevent peptic ulcer. Indomethacin and ethanol were used to induce gastric ulcers. Thirty six albino rats of either sex were randomly allotted to six groups of six animals each. The negative control was pretreated with normal saline, the positive controls received ranitidine (20 mg/kg) and the test group received Aloe vera gel (300 mg/kg) orally for eight days. Then, after a 24 hour fast Indomethacin (20 mg/kg) or 80% ethanol (2ml) was administered orally to induce ulceration. At the end of the study, the rats were sacrificed, their stomachs opened, the ulcer index studied and tissues sent for histopathological examination. Results: It was observed that, in indomethacin treated group, the ulcer index in control group was 8.167 ± 1.72.In the Aloe vera pretreated animals, the ulcer index was 2.83 ± 1.72 and the standard ranitidine pretreated group ulcer index was 1.67 ± 1.36. In ethanol treated group, the ulcer index in control group was 7.5 ± 2.73. In the Aloe vera pretreated animals, the ulcer index was 2.67 ± 1.75 and the standard ranitidine pretreated group ulcer index was 1.33±1.21. Both ranitidine and Aloe vera gel significantly prevented stomach from gastric ulceration induced by indomethacin and ethanol. Conclusion: The results indicated that Aloe vera gel is effective against indomethacin and ethanol mediated gastric ulcer.

Keywords: Aloe vera gel, ethanol, indomethacin, peptic ulcer, ranitidine

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43 Skin Diseases in the Rural Areas in Nepal; Impact on Quality of Life

Authors: Dwarika P. Shrestha, Dipendra Gurung, Rushma Shrestha, Inger Rosdahl

Abstract:

Introduction: Skin diseases are one of the most common health problems in Nepal. The objectives of this study are to determine the prevalence of skin diseases and impact on quality of life in rural areas in Nepal. Materials and methods: A house-to-house survey was conducted, to obtain socio-demographic data and identify individuals with skin diseases, followed by health camps, where the villagers were examined. A pilot study was conducted in one village, which was then extended to 10 villages in 4 districts. To assess the impact on quality of life, the villagers were interviewed with Skin Disease Disability Index. This is a questionnaire developed and validated by the authors for use in Nepal. Results: In the pilot study, the overall prevalence of skin diseases was 20.1% (645/3207). In the additional 10 villages with 7348 (3651/3787 m/f) inhabitants, 1862 (721/1141 m/f, mean age 31.4 years) had one or more skin diseases. The overall prevalence of skin diseases was 25%. The most common skin disease categories were eczemas (13.7%, percentage among all inhabitants) pigment disorders (6.8%), fungal infections (4.9%), nevi (3.7%) and urticaria (2.9%). These five most common skin disease categories comprise 71% of all skin diseases seen in the study. The mean skin disease disability index score was 13.7, indicating very large impact on the quality of life. Conclusions: This population-based study shows that skin diseases are very common in the rural areas of Nepal and have significant impact on quality of life. Targeted intervention at the primary health care level should help to reduce the health burden due to skin diseases.

Keywords: prevalence and pattern of skin diseases, impact on quality of life, rural Nepal, interventions

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42 An Alternative Institutional Design for Efficient Management of Nepalese Irrigation Systems

Authors: Tirtha Raj Dhakal, Brian Davidson, Bob Farquharson

Abstract:

Institutional design is important if water resources are to be managed efficiently. In Nepal, the supply of water in both farmer- and agency-managed irrigation systems is inefficient because of the weak institutional frameworks. This type of inefficiency is linked with collective problems such as non-excludability of irrigation water, inadequate recognition of property rights and externalities. Irrigation scheme surveys from Nepal as well as existing literature revealed that the Nepalese irrigation sector is facing many issues such as low cost recovery, inadequate maintenance of the schemes and inefficient allocation and utilization of irrigation water. The institutional practices currently in place also fail to create/force any incentives for farmers to use water efficiently and to pay for its use. This, thus, compels the need of refined institutional framework that can address the collective problems and improve irrigation efficiency.

Keywords: agency-managed, cost recovery, farmer-managed, institutional design

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41 Payment of Carbon Offsetting: A Case Study in Dharan, Nepal

Authors: Mana Shrestha, Dhruba Khatri, Pralhad Kunwor

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The objective of the study was to explore the vehicle owners’ willingness to pay (WTP) for offsetting carbon that could eventually facilitate local governmental institutions to take further step in environmental conservation. Contingent valuation method was used to find out how much amount people were willing to pay for the carbon service they are getting from providers. Open ended questionnaire was carried out with 181 respondents randomly. The result shows different mean willingness to pay amount depending upon demographic variations like education, occupation, sex and residence but the occupation and the educational status significantly affected the WTP of respondent. Total WTP amount was calculated as 650 NRS.

Keywords: community forest, carbon offset, Kyoto, REDD WTP

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40 Participatory Approach of Flood Disaster Risk Reduction

Authors: Laxman Budhathoki, Lal Bahadur Shrestha, K. C. Laxman

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Hundreds of people are being lost their life by flood disaster in Nepal every year. Community-based disaster management committee has formed to formulate the disaster management plan including the component of EWS like EWS tower, rain gauge station, flood gauge station, culverts, boats, ropes, life jackets, a communication mechanism, emergency shelter, Spur, dykes, dam, evacuation route, emergency dry food management etc. Now EWS become a successful tool to decrease the human casualty from 13 to 0 every year in Rapti River of Chitwan District.

Keywords: disaster risk reduction, early warning system, flood, participatory approach

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39 Institutional Design for Managing Irrigation Problems: A Case Study of Farmers'- and Agency-Managed Irrigation Systems of Nepal

Authors: Tirtha Raj Dhakal, Brian Davidson, Bob Farquharson

Abstract:

Institutional design is an important aspect in efficient water resource management. In Nepal, the water supply in both farmers’- and agency-managed irrigation systems has become sub-standard because of the weak institutional framework. This study characterizes both forms of the schemes and links existing institution and governance of the schemes with its performance with reference to cost recovery, maintenance of the schemes and water distribution throughout the schemes. For this, two types of surveys were conducted. A management survey of ten farmers’-managed and five agency-managed schemes of Chitwan valley and its periphery was done. Also, a farm survey comprising 25 farmers from each of head, middle and tail regions of both schemes; Narayani Lift Irrigation Project (agency-managed) and Khageri Irrigation System (farmers’-managed) of Chitwan Valley as a case study was conducted. The results showed that cost recovery of agency-managed schemes in 2015 was less than two percent whereas service fee collection rate in farmers’-managed schemes was nearly 2/3rd that triggered poor maintenance of the schemes and unequal distribution of water throughout the schemes. Also, the institution on practice is unable to create any incentives for farmers for economical use of water as well as willingness to pay for its use. This, thus, compels the need of refined institutional framework which has been suggested in this paper aiming to improve the cost recovery and better water distribution throughout the irrigation schemes.

Keywords: cost recovery, governance, institution, schemes' performance

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38 Analysis of Gait Characteristics Using Dynamic Foot Scanner in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Authors: C. G. Shashi Kumar, G. Arun Maiya, H. Manjunath Hande, K. V. Rajagopal

Abstract:

Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder with involvement of neurovascular and muscular system. Studies have documented that the gait parameter is altered in type 2 diabetes mellitus with peripheral neuropathy. However, there is a dearth of literature regarding the gait characteristics in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) without peripheral neuropathy. Therefore, the present study is focused on identifying gait changes in early type 2 diabetes mellitus without peripheral neuropathy. Objective: To analyze the gait characteristics in Type 2 diabetes mellitus without peripheral neuropathy. Methods: After obtaining ethical clearance from Institutional Ethical Committee (IEC), 36 T2DM without peripheral neuropathy and 32 matched healthy subjects were recruited. Gait characteristics (step duration, gait cycle length, gait cycle duration, stride duration, step length, double stance duration) of all the subjects were analyzed using Windtrack dynamic foot scanner. Data were analyzed using Independent‘t’ test to find the difference between the groups (step duration, gait cycle length, gait cycle duration) and Mann-Whitney test was used to analyze the step length and double stance duration to find difference between the groups. Level of significance was kept at P<0.05. Results: Result analysis showed significant decrease in step duration, gait cycle length, gait cycle duration, step length, double stance duration in T2DM subjects as compared to healthy subjects. We also observed a mean increase in stride duration in T2DM subjects compared to healthy subjects.

Keywords: type 2 diabetes mellitus, dynamic foot scan, gait characteristics, medical and health sciences

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37 Experimental Investigation on the Effect of Bond Thickness on the Interface Behaviour of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Sheet Bonded to Timber

Authors: Abbas Vahedian, Rijun Shrestha, Keith Crews

Abstract:

The bond mechanism between timber and fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) is relatively complex and is influenced by a number of variables including bond thickness, bond width, bond length, material properties, and geometries. This study investigates the influence of bond thickness on the behaviour of interface, failure mode, and bond strength of externally bonded FRP-to-timber interface. In the present study, 106 single shear joint specimens have been investigated. Experiment results showed that higher layers of FRP increase the ultimate load carrying capacity of interface; conversely, such increase led to decrease the slip of interface. Moreover, samples with more layers of FRPs may fail in a brittle manner without noticeable warning that collapse is imminent.

Keywords: fibre reinforced polymer, FRP, single shear test, bond thickness, bond strength

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36 Community Forest Management Practice in Nepal: Public Understanding of Forest Benefit

Authors: Chandralal Shrestha

Abstract:

In the developing countries like Nepal, the community based forest management approach has often been glorified as one of the best forest management alternatives to maximize the forest benefits. Though the approach has succeeded to construct a local level institution and conserve the forest biodiversity, how the local communities perceived about the forest benefits, the question always remains silent among the researchers and policy makers. The paper aims to explore the understanding of forest benefits from the perspective of local communities who used the forests in terms of institutional stability, equity and livelihood opportunity, and ecological stability. The paper revealed that the local communities have mixed understanding over the forest benefits. The institutional and ecological activities carried out by the local communities indicated that they have better understanding over the forest benefits. However, inequality while sharing the forest benefits, low pricing strategy and its negative consequences in valuation of forest products and limited livelihood opportunities indicated the poor understanding.

Keywords: community based forest management, forest benefits, lowland, Nepal

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35 Effectiveness of Management Transfer Programs for Managing Irrigation Resources in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Farmer- and Agency-Managed Schemes from Nepal

Authors: Tirtha Raj Dhakal, Brian Davidson, Bob Farquharson

Abstract:

Irrigation management transfer has been taken as the important policy instrument for effective irrigation resource management in many developing countries. The change in governance of the irrigation schemes for its day-to-day operation and maintenance has been centered in recent Nepalese irrigation policies also. However, both farmer- and agency-managed irrigation schemes in Nepal are performing well below than expected. This study tries to link the present concerns of poor performance of both forms of schemes with the institutions for its operation and management. Two types of surveys, management and farm surveys; were conducted as a case study in the command area of Narayani Lift Irrigation Project (agency-managed) and Khageri Irrigation System (farmer-managed) of Chitwan District. The farm survey from head, middle and tail regions of both schemes revealed that unequal water distribution exists in these regions in both schemes with greater percentage of farmers experiencing this situation in agency managed scheme. In both schemes, the cost recovery rate was very low, even below five percent in Lift System indicating poor operation and maintenance of the schemes. Also, the institution on practice in both schemes is unable to create any incentives for farmers’ willingness to pay as well as for its economical use in the farm. Thus, outcomes from the study showed that only the management transfer programs may not achieve the goal of efficient irrigation resource management. This may suggest water professionals to rethink about the irrigation policies for refining institutional framework irrespective of the governance of schemes for improved cost recovery and better water distribution throughout the irrigation schemes.

Keywords: cost recovery, governance, institution, irrigation management transfer, willingness to pay

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34 Modelling of Factors Affecting Bond Strength of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Externally Bonded to Timber and Concrete

Authors: Abbas Vahedian, Rijun Shrestha, Keith Crews

Abstract:

In recent years, fibre reinforced polymers as applications of strengthening materials have received significant attention by civil engineers and environmentalists because of their excellent characteristics. Currently, these composites have become a mainstream technology for strengthening of infrastructures such as steel, concrete and more recently, timber and masonry structures. However, debonding is identified as the main problem which limit the full utilisation of the FRP material. In this paper, a preliminary analysis of factors affecting bond strength of FRP-to-concrete and timber bonded interface has been conducted. A novel theoretical method through regression analysis has been established to evaluate these factors. Results of proposed model are then assessed with results of pull-out tests and satisfactory comparisons are achieved between measured failure loads (R2 = 0.83, P < 0.0001) and the predicted loads (R2 = 0.78, P < 0.0001).

Keywords: debonding, fibre reinforced polymers (FRP), pull-out test, stepwise regression analysis

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33 Clothes Identification Using Inception ResNet V2 and MobileNet V2

Authors: Subodh Chandra Shakya, Badal Shrestha, Suni Thapa, Ashutosh Chauhan, Saugat Adhikari

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To tackle our problem of clothes identification, we used different architectures of Convolutional Neural Networks. Among different architectures, the outcome from Inception ResNet V2 and MobileNet V2 seemed promising. On comparison of the metrices, we observed that the Inception ResNet V2 slightly outperforms MobileNet V2 for this purpose. So this paper of ours proposes the cloth identifier using Inception ResNet V2 and also contains the comparison between the outcome of ResNet V2 and MobileNet V2. The document here contains the results and findings of the research that we performed on the DeepFashion Dataset. To improve the dataset, we used different image preprocessing techniques like image shearing, image rotation, and denoising. The whole experiment was conducted with the intention of testing the efficiency of convolutional neural networks on cloth identification so that we could develop a reliable system that is good enough in identifying the clothes worn by the users. The whole system can be integrated with some kind of recommendation system.

Keywords: inception ResNet, convolutional neural net, deep learning, confusion matrix, data augmentation, data preprocessing

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32 Exploring Key Elements of Successful Distance Learning Programs: A Case Study in Palau

Authors: Maiya Smith, Tyler Thorne

Abstract:

Background: The Pacific faces multiple healthcare crises, including high rates of noncommunicable diseases, infectious disease outbreaks, and susceptibility to natural disasters. These issues are expected to worsen in the coming decades, increasing the burden on an already understaffed healthcare system. Telehealth is not new to the Pacific, but improvements in technology and accessibility have increased its utility and have already proven to reduce costs and increase access to care in remote areas. Telehealth includes distance learning; a form of education that can help alleviate many healthcare issues by providing continuing education to healthcare professionals and upskilling staff, while decreasing costs. This study examined distance learning programs at the Ministry of Health in the Pacific nation of Palau and identified key elements to their successful distance learning programs. Methods: Staff at the Belau National Hospital in Koror, Palau as well as private practitioners were interviewed to assess distance learning programs utilized. This included physicians, IT personnel, public health members, and department managers of allied health. In total, 36 people were interviewed. Standardized questions and surveys were conducted in person throughout the month of July 2019. Results: Two examples of successful distance learning programs were identified. Looking at the factors that made these programs successful, as well as consulting with staff who undertook other distance learning programs, four factors for success were determined: having a cohort, having a facilitator, dedicated study time off from work, and motivation. Discussion: In countries as geographically isolated as the Pacific, with poor access to specialists and resources, telehealth has the potential to radically change how healthcare is delivered. Palau shares similar resources and issues as other countries in the Pacific and the lessons learned from their successful programs can be adapted to help other Pacific nations develop their own distance learning programs.

Keywords: distance learning, Pacific, Palau, telehealth

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31 FPGA Implementation of Novel Triangular Systolic Array Based Architecture for Determining the Eigenvalues of Matrix

Authors: Soumitr Sanjay Dubey, Shubhajit Roy Chowdhury, Rahul Shrestha

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In this paper, we have presented a novel approach of calculating eigenvalues of any matrix for the first time on Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) using Triangular Systolic Arra (TSA) architecture. Conventionally, additional computation unit is required in the architecture which is compliant to the algorithm for determining the eigenvalues and this in return enhances the delay and power consumption. However, recently reported works are only dedicated for symmetric matrices or some specific case of matrix. This works presents an architecture to calculate eigenvalues of any matrix based on QR algorithm which is fully implementable on FPGA. For the implementation of QR algorithm we have used TSA architecture, which is further utilising CORDIC (CO-ordinate Rotation DIgital Computer) algorithm, to calculate various trigonometric and arithmetic functions involved in the procedure. The proposed architecture gives an error in the range of 10−4. Power consumption by the design is 0.598W. It can work at the frequency of 900 MHz.

Keywords: coordinate rotation digital computer, three angle complex rotation, triangular systolic array, QR algorithm

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30 Acrochordons and Diabetes Mellitus: A Case Control Study

Authors: Pratistha Shrestha

Abstract:

Background: Acrochordons (Skin tags) are common benign skin tumors usually occurring on the neck and major flexors of older people. These range in size from 1 mm to 1cm in diameter and are skin-colored or brownish. A possible association with diabetes mellitus has been suggested in previous studies, but the result is not conclusive. Objective: The aim of this study was to find out the association of diabetes mellitus with acrochordons. Material and Methods: One hundred and two patients were selected for the study. Among them, 51 (males–23 and females–28) with acrochordons were taken as cases, and 51 with other dermatologic diseases after matching age and sex were taken as controls. The patients were selected from OPD of the Department of Dermatology and Venereology in Universal College of Medical Sciences–Teaching Hospital (UCMS-TH). Blood glucose levels, including both fasting plasma glucose and 2-hour post-glucose load, were determined for both case and control and compared. Results: Patients with acrochordons had a significantly higher frequency of diabetes than the control group (p < 0.001). A total of 48.5% and 40% of patients with acrochordons having diabetes were obese and overweight, respectively. Conclusion: There is an increased risk of diabetes mellitus in patients with acrochordons. With regard to the importance of early diagnosis of diabetes, it is recommended a high level of suspicion for diabetes mellitus in patients with acrochordons.

Keywords: acrochordons, diabetes mellitus, obesity, skin tags

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29 Ethnomedicinal Uses of Plants in Bridim Village Development Committee in Langtang National Park, Nepal

Authors: Ila Shrestha

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Bridim Village Development Committee (VDC) is one of the medicinal plants hot spots of Nepal. It is located on a ridge above the lower Langtang Khola, steep and narrow spot in between 1944 m to 4833 m altitude. The study area is homogeneously inhabited by Tamang communities. An investigation on folk herbal medicine on the basis of traditional uses of medicinal plants was done in 2014. The local traditional healers, elder men and women, traders and teachers, were consulted as key informants for documentation of indigenous knowledge on the medicinal plants. It was found that altogether seventy-one medicinal plant species belonging to sixty genera and thirty-three families were used by local people for twenty-seven diseases. Roots of thirty-four species were the most frequently used plant parts and bigger numbers of species were found to be used in fever of ten species. Most medicines were prepared in the form of juice of forty species. The attempt of the study was to document ethno medicinal practices to treat different diseases in the study area for conservation of indigenous knowledge.

Keywords: Bridim village, ethnomedicine, national park, plants

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28 Generation and Diagnostics of Atmospheric Pressure Dielectric Barrier Discharge in Argon/Air

Authors: R. Shrestha, D. P. Subedi, R. B. Tyata, C. S. Wong,

Abstract:

In this paper, a technique for the determination of electron temperatures and electron densities in atmospheric pressure Argon/air discharge by the analysis of optical emission spectra (OES) is reported. The discharge was produced using a high voltage (0-20) kV power supply operating at a frequency of 27 kHz in parallel electrode system, with glass as dielectric. The dielectric layers covering the electrodes act as current limiters and prevent the transition to an arc discharge. Optical emission spectra in the range of (300nm-850nm) were recorded for the discharge with different inter electrode gap keeping electric field constant. Electron temperature (Te) and electron density (ne) are estimated from electrical and optical methods. Electron density was calculated using power balance method. The optical methods are related with line intensity ratio from the relative intensities of Ar-I and Ar-II lines in Argon plasma. The electron density calculated by using line intensity ratio method was compared with the electron density calculated by stark broadening method. The effect of dielectric thickness on plasma parameters (Te and ne) have also been studied and found that Te and ne increases as thickness of dielectric decrease for same inter electrode distance and applied voltage.

Keywords: electron density, electron temperature, optical emission spectra,

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27 Household Size and Poverty Rate: Evidence from Nepal

Authors: Basan Shrestha

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The relationship between the household size and the poverty is not well understood. Malthus followers advocate that the increasing population add pressure to the dwindling resource base due to increasing demand that would lead to poverty. Others claim that bigger households are richer due to availability of household labour for income generation activities. Facts from Nepal were analyzed to examine the relationship between the household size and poverty rate. The analysis of data from 3,968 Village Development Committee (VDC)/ municipality (MP) located in 75 districts of all five development regions revealed that the average household size had moderate positive correlation with the poverty rate (Karl Pearson's correlation coefficient=0.44). In a regression analysis, the household size determined 20% of the variation in the poverty rate. Higher positive correlation was observed in eastern Nepal (Karl Pearson's correlation coefficient=0.66). The regression analysis showed that the household size determined 43% of the variation in the poverty rate in east. The relation was poor in far-west. It could be because higher incidence of poverty was there irrespective of household size. Overall, the facts revealed that the bigger households were relatively poorer. With the increasing level of awareness and interventions for family planning, it is anticipated that the household size will decrease leading to the decreased poverty rate. In addition, the government needs to devise a mechanism to create employment opportunities for the household labour force to reduce poverty.

Keywords: household size, poverty rate, nepal, regional development

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26 Knowledge regarding Sexual and Reproductive Health among Adolescents in Higher Secondary School

Authors: Kopila Shrestha

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Adolescent sexual reproductive health is one of the most important issues in the world. Reproductive ability is taking place at an earlier age and adolescents are indulging in risk taking behaviors day by day. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in Kathmandu valley to assess the knowledge regarding sexual and reproductive health among adolescent. Total of 200 respondents were selected through non-probability convenient sampling technique. Self-administered written questionnaires using semi-structured questions were used. The collected data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation and inferential statistics such as Chi-square test. The findings revealed that most of the respondents had adequate knowledge regarding transmission and protection of HIV/AIDs and STIs but still some respondents had a misconception regarding it. Few respondents had knowledge regarding legal age for marriage and the minimum age for first child bearing. The statistical analysis revealed that the total mean knowledge score with standard deviation was 45.02±8.674. Nearly half of the respondents (49.5%) had a moderate level of knowledge, followed by an inadequate level of knowledge 29.5% and adequate level of knowledge 21.0% regarding sexual and reproductive health. There was significant association of level of knowledge with area of residence (p-value .002) but no association with age (p-value .067), sex (p-value .999), religion (p-value .082) and ethnicity (p-value .114). Nearly half of the participants possess some knowledge about sexual and reproductive health but still effective educational intervention is required in higher secondary school to encourage more sensible and healthy behaviour.

Keywords: adolescents, higher secondary school, knowledge, sexual and reproductive health

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25 Methodological Aspect of Emergy Accounting in Co-Production Branching Systems

Authors: Keshab Shrestha, Hung-Suck Park

Abstract:

Emergy accounting of the systems networks is guided by a definite rule called ‘emergy algebra’. The systems networks consist of two types of branching. These are the co-product branching and split branching. The emergy accounting procedure for both the branching types is different. According to the emergy algebra, each branch in the co-product branching has different transformity values whereas the split branching has the same transformity value. After the transformity value of each branch is determined, the emergy is calculated by multiplying this with the energy. The aim of this research is to solve the problems in determining the transformity values in the co-product branching through the introduction of a new methodology, the modified physical quantity method. Initially, the existing methodologies for emergy accounting in the co-product branching is discussed and later, the modified physical quantity method is introduced with a case study of the Eucalyptus pulp production. The existing emergy accounting methodologies in the co-product branching has wrong interpretations with incorrect emergy calculations. The modified physical quantity method solves those problems of emergy accounting in the co-product branching systems. The transformity value calculated for each branch is different and also applicable in the emergy calculations. The methodology also strictly follows the emergy algebra rules. This new modified physical quantity methodology is a valid approach in emergy accounting particularly in the multi-production systems networks.

Keywords: co-product branching, emergy accounting, emergy algebra, modified physical quantity method, transformity value

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24 Particulate Pollution and Its Effect on Respiratory Symptoms of Exposed Personnel's in Three Heavy Traffic Cities (Roads), Kathmandu, Nepal

Authors: Sujen Man Shrestha, Kanchan Thapa, Tista Prasai Joshi

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Background: The present study was carried out to determine suspended particles and respirable particles of diameter less than 1 micrometers (PM1) on road side and some distance of outside from road; and to compare the respiratory symptoms between traffic police men and shop keepers directly 'exposed' to traffic fumes and office worker stay in 'protected' enclosed environment. Methods: Semi structured questionnaire was used to collect the data among case and control after getting verbal informed consent among the convenience sample of traffic police, shopkeepers and officials in three different locations in Kathmandu. Secondary data analysis of hospital data of three hospitals of Kathmandu was also performed. The data on air Particulate Matter was taken by Haz Dust. Results: The result showed air quality of road side traffic is unhealthy and there was increasing trends of respiratory illness in hospital outpatient department (OPD). The people who were exposed found to have more risk of developing respiratory diseases symptoms. Conclusions: The study concluded that air pollution level is strong contributing factor for respiratory diseases and further recommended strong, epidemiological studies with larger sample size, less bias, and also measuring other significant physical and chemicals parameters of air pollution.

Keywords: heavy traffic cities, Kathmandu, particulate pollution, respiratory symptoms

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23 Upconversion Nanoparticles for Imaging and Controlled Photothermal Release of Anticancer Drug in Breast Cancer

Authors: Rishav Shrestha, Yong Zhang

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The Anti-Stoke upconversion process has been used extensively for bioimaging and is recently being used for photoactivated therapy in cancer utilizing upconversion nanoparticles (UCNs). The UCNs have an excitation band at 980nm; 980nm laser excitation used to produce UV/Visible emissions also produce a heating effect. Light-to-heat conversion has been observed in nanoparticles(NPs) doped with neodymium(Nd) or ytterbium(Yb)/erbium(Er) ions. Despite laser-induced heating in Rare-earth doped NPs being proven to be a relatively efficient process, only few attempts to use them as photothermal agents in biosystems have been made up to now. Gold nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes are the most researched and developed for photothermal applications. Both have large heating efficiency and outstanding biocompatibility. However, they show weak fluorescence which makes them harder to track in vivo. In that regard, UCNs are attractive due to their excellent optical features in addition to their light-to-heat conversion and excitation by NIR, for imaging and spatiotemporally releasing drugs. In this work, we have utilized a simple method to coat Nd doped UCNs with thermoresponsive polymer PNIPAM on which 4-Hydroxytamoxifen (4-OH-T) is loaded. Such UCNs demonstrate a high loading efficiency and low leakage of 4-OH-T. Encouragingly, the release of 4-OH-T can be modulated by varying the power and duration of the NIR. Such UCNs were then used to demonstrate imaging and controlled photothermal release of 4-OH-T in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

Keywords: cancer therapy, controlled release, photothermal release, upconversion nanoparticles

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22 Efficacy of Carvacrol as an Antimicrobial Wash Treatment for Reducing Both Campylobacter jejuni and Aerobic Bacterial Counts on Chicken Skin

Authors: Sandip Shrestha, Ann M. Donoghue, Komala Arsi, Basanta R. Wagle, Abhinav Upadhyay, Dan J. Donoghue

Abstract:

Campylobacter, one of the major cause of foodborne illness worldwide, is commonly present in the intestinal tract of poultry. Many strategies are currently being investigated to reduce Campylobacter counts on commercial poultry during processing with limited success. This study investigated the efficacy of the generally recognized as safe compound, carvacrol (CR), a component of wild oregano oil as a wash treatment for reducing C. jejuni and aerobic bacteria on chicken skin. A total of two trials were conducted, and in each trial, a total of 75 skin samples (4cm × 4cm each) were randomly allocated into 5 treatment groups (0%, 0.25%, 0.5%, 1% and 2% CR). Skin samples were inoculated with a cocktail of four wild strains of C. jejuni (~ 8 log10 CFU/skin). After 30 min of attachment, inoculated skin samples were dipped in the respective treatment solution for 1 min, allowed to drip dry for 2 min and processed at 0, 8, 24 h post treatment for enumeration of C. jejuni and aerobic bacterial counts (n=5/treatment/time point). The data were analyzed by ANOVA using PROC GLM procedure of SAS 9.3. All the tested doses of CR suspension consistently reduced C. jejuni counts across all time points. The 2% CR wash was the most effective treatment and reduced C. jejuni counts by ~4 log₁₀ CFU/sample (P < 0.05). Aerobic counts were reduced for the 0.5% CR dose at 0 and 24h in Trial 1 and at 0, 8 and 24h in Trial 2. The 1 and 2% CR doses consistently reduced aerobic counts in both trials up to 2 log₁₀ CFU/skin.

Keywords: Campylobacter jejuni, carvcrol, chicken skin, postharvest

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21 Impact of Climate Change on Flow Regime in Himalayan Basins, Nepal

Authors: Tirtha Raj Adhikari, Lochan Prasad Devkota

Abstract:

This research studied the hydrological regime of three glacierized river basins in Khumbu, Langtang and Annapurna regions of Nepal using the Hydraologiska Byrans Vattenbalansavde (HBV), HVB-light 3.0 model. Future scenario of discharge is also studied using downscaled climate data derived from statistical downscaling method. General Circulation Models (GCMs) successfully simulate future climate variability and climate change on a global scale; however, poor spatial resolution constrains their application for impact studies at a regional or a local level. The dynamically downscaled precipitation and temperature data from Coupled Global Circulation Model 3 (CGCM3) was used for the climate projection, under A2 and A1B SRES scenarios. In addition, the observed historical temperature, precipitation and discharge data were collected from 14 different hydro-metrological locations for the implementation of this study, which include watershed and hydro-meteorological characteristics, trends analysis and water balance computation. The simulated precipitation and temperature were corrected for bias before implementing in the HVB-light 3.0 conceptual rainfall-runoff model to predict the flow regime, in which Groups Algorithms Programming (GAP) optimization approach and then calibration were used to obtain several parameter sets which were finally reproduced as observed stream flow. Except in summer, the analysis showed that the increasing trends in annual as well as seasonal precipitations during the period 2001 - 2060 for both A2 and A1B scenarios over three basins under investigation. In these river basins, the model projected warmer days in every seasons of entire period from 2001 to 2060 for both A1B and A2 scenarios. These warming trends are higher in maximum than in minimum temperatures throughout the year, indicating increasing trend of daily temperature range due to recent global warming phenomenon. Furthermore, there are decreasing trends in summer discharge in Langtang Khola (Langtang region) which is increasing in Modi Khola (Annapurna region) as well as Dudh Koshi (Khumbu region) river basin. The flow regime is more pronounced during later parts of the future decades than during earlier parts in all basins. The annual water surplus of 1419 mm, 177 mm and 49 mm are observed in Annapurna, Langtang and Khumbu region, respectively.

Keywords: temperature, precipitation, water discharge, water balance, global warming

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20 Role of Collaborative Cultural Model to Step on Cleaner Energy: A Case of Kathmandu City Core

Authors: Bindu Shrestha, Sudarshan R. Tiwari, Sushil B. Bajracharya

Abstract:

Urban household cooking fuel choice is highly influenced by human behavior and energy culture parameters such as cognitive norms, material culture and practices. Although these parameters have a leading role in Kathmandu for cleaner households, they are not incorporated in the city’s energy policy. This paper aims to identify trade-offs to transform resident behavior in cooking pattern towards cleaner technology from the questionnaire survey, observation, mapping, interview, and quantitative analysis. The analysis recommends implementing a Collaborative Cultural Model (CCM) for changing impact on the neighborhood from the policy level. The results showed that each household produces 439.56 kg of carbon emission each year and 20 percent used unclean technology due to low-income level. Residents who used liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as their cooking fuel suffered from an energy crisis every year that has created fuel hoarding, which ultimately creates more energy demand and carbon exposure. In conclusion, the carbon emission can be reduced by improving the residents’ energy consumption culture. It recommended the city to use holistic action of changing habits as soft power of collaboration in two-way participation approach within residents, private sectors, and government to change their energy culture and behavior in policy level.

Keywords: energy consumption pattern, collaborative cultural model, energy culture, fuel stacking

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19 Perception of Faculties Towards Online Teaching-Learning Activities during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study at a Tertiary Care Center in Eastern Nepal

Authors: Deependra Prasad Sarraf, Gajendra Prasad Rauniar, Robin Maskey, Rajiv Maharjan, Ashish Shrestha, Ramayan Prasad Kushwaha

Abstract:

Objectives: To assess the perception of faculties towards online teaching-learning activities conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic and to identify barriers and facilitators to conducting online teaching-learning activities in our context. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among faculties at B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences using a 26-item semi-structured questionnaire. A Google Form was prepared, and its link was sent to the faculties via email. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and findings were presented as tables and graphs. Results: Out of 158 faculties, the majority were male (66.46%), medical faculties (85.44%), and assistant professors (46.84%). Only 16 (10.13%) faculties had received formal training regarding preparing and/or delivering online teaching learning activities. Out of 158, 133 (84.18%) faculties faced technical and internet issues. The most common advantage and disadvantage of online teaching learning activities perceived by the faculties were ‘not limited to time or place’ (94.30%) and ‘lack of interaction with the students’ (82.28%), respectively. Majority (94.3%) of them had a positive perception towards online teaching-learning activities conducted during COVID-19 pandemic. Slow internet connection (91.77%) and frequent electricity interruption (82.91%) were the most common perceived barriers to online teaching-learning. Conclusions: Most of the faculties had a positive perception towards online teaching-learning activities. Academic leaders and stakeholders should provide uninterrupted internet and electricity connectivity, training on online teaching-learning platform, and timely technical support.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, faculties, medical education, perception

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18 Hydrological Response of the Glacierised Catchment: Himalayan Perspective

Authors: Sonu Khanal, Mandira Shrestha

Abstract:

Snow and Glaciers are the largest dependable reserved sources of water for the river system originating from the Himalayas so an accurate estimate of the volume of water contained in the snowpack and the rate of release of water from snow and glaciers are, therefore, needed for efficient management of the water resources. This research assess the fusion of energy exchanges between the snowpack, air above and soil below according to mass and energy balance which makes it apposite than the models using simple temperature index for the snow and glacier melt computation. UEBGrid a Distributed energy based model is used to calculate the melt which is then routed by Geo-SFM. The model robustness is maintained by incorporating the albedo generated from the Landsat-7 ETM images on a seasonal basis for the year 2002-2003 and substrate map derived from TM. The Substrate file includes predominantly the 4 major thematic layers viz Snow, clean ice, Glaciers and Barren land. This approach makes use of CPC RFE-2 and MERRA gridded data sets as the source of precipitation and climatic variables. The subsequent model run for the year between 2002-2008 shows a total annual melt of 17.15 meter is generate from the Marshyangdi Basin of which 71% is contributed by the glaciers , 18% by the rain and rest being from the snow melt. The albedo file is decisive in governing the melt dynamics as 30% increase in the generated surface albedo results in the 10% decrease in the simulated discharge. The melt routed with the land cover and soil variables using Geo-SFM shows Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency of 0.60 with observed discharge for the study period.

Keywords: Glacier, Glacier melt, Snowmelt, Energy balance

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17 Integrated Modeling of Transformation of Electricity and Transportation Sectors: A Case Study of Australia

Authors: T. Aboumahboub, R. Brecha, H. B. Shrestha, U. F. Hutfilter, A. Geiges, W. Hare, M. Schaeffer, L. Welder, M. Gidden

Abstract:

The proposed stringent mitigation targets require an immediate start for a drastic transformation of the whole energy system. The current Australian energy system is mainly centralized and fossil fuel-based in most states with coal and gas-fired plants dominating the total produced electricity over the recent past. On the other hand, the country is characterized by a huge, untapped renewable potential, where wind and solar energy could play a key role in the decarbonization of the Australia’s future energy system. However, integrating high shares of such variable renewable energy sources (VRES) challenges the power system considerably due to their temporal fluctuations and geographical dispersion. This raises the concerns about flexibility gap in the system to ensure the security of supply with increasing shares of such intermittent sources. One main flexibility dimension to facilitate system integration of high shares of VRES is to increase the cross-sectoral integration through coupling of electricity to other energy sectors alongside the decarbonization of the power sector and reinforcement of the transmission grid. This paper applies a multi-sectoral energy system optimization model for Australia. We investigate the cost-optimal configuration of a renewable-based Australian energy system and its transformation pathway in line with the ambitious range of proposed climate change mitigation targets. We particularly analyse the implications of linking the electricity and transport sectors in a prospective, highly renewable Australian energy system.

Keywords: decarbonization, energy system modelling, renewable energy, sector coupling

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16 Coagulase Negative Staphylococci: Phenotypic Characterization and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Pattern

Authors: Lok Bahadur Shrestha, Narayan Raj Bhattarai, Basudha Khanal

Abstract:

Introduction: Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) are the normal commensal of human skin and mucous membranes. The study was carried out to study the prevalence of CoNS among clinical isolates, to characterize them up to species level and to compare the three conventional methods for detection of biofilm formation. Objectives: to characterize the clinically significant coagulase-negative staphylococci up to species level, to compare the three phenotypic methods for the detection of biofilm formation and to study the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of the isolates. Methods: CoNS isolates were obtained from various clinical samples during the period of 1 year. Characterization up to species level was done using biochemical test and study of biofilm formation was done by tube adherence, congo red agar, and tissue culture plate method. Results: Among 71 CoNS isolates, seven species were identified. S. epidermidis was the most common species followed by S. saprophyticus, S. haemolyticus. Antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of CoNS documented resistance of 90% to ampicillin. Resistance to cefoxitin and ceftriaxone was observed in 55% of the isolates. We detected biofilm formation in 71.8% of isolates. The sensitivity of tube adherence method was 82% while that of congo red agar method was 78%. Conclusion: Among 71 CoNS isolated, S. epidermidis was the most common isolates followed by S. saprophyticus and S. haemolyticus. Biofilm formation was detected in 71.8% of the isolates. All of the methods were effective at detecting biofilm-producing CoNS strains. Biofilm former strains are more resistant to antibiotics as compared to biofilm non-formers.

Keywords: CoNS, congo red agar, bloodstream infections, foreign body-related infections, tissue culture plate

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