Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 80

Search results for: affordability

80 Affordability and Expenditure Patterns towards Sustainable Consumption in Malaysia

Authors: Affordability, Expenditure Patterns towards Sustainable Consumption in Malaysia

Abstract:

Safe drinking water is needed for survival. Households have to pay the water bill monthly. However, lower income households are sometimes unable to afford the cost. This study examines water access and affordability among households in Malaysia and the determinants of water affordability using cross-sectional data and multiple regression. The paper expects that the bill for basic water consumption is inversely related to average income. This means that policy makers need to redesign the water tariff to improve the quality of life of lower income households.

Keywords: affordability, sustainable consumption, income, water tariff

Procedia PDF Downloads 160
79 Housing Delivery in Nigeria’s Urban Areas: The Plight of the Poor in Owerri, Capital of Imo State, Nigeria

Authors: Joachim Onyike

Abstract:

The Federal Government of Nigeria in 2012 came up with a new National Housing Policy; one of its major objectives was to make housing affordable to the poor. Six years down the line, this study was carried out to find out whether the poor have fared better under the new housing policy. Owerri, the capital of Imo State, was adopted as a case study to mirror the situation nationwide. The study population was made up of low-income civil servants, i.e., grade levels 1–6 in the Imo State Civil Service. The study looked at household size, household income, rental levels, house prices, costs of major building materials, land values, land tenure, the interest rate on mortgages, inflation rate, and the status of government interventions, owing to their obvious effect on housing affordability by the low-income earners. The study made use of physical observations, questionnaires, and interviews as well as library studies to elicit relevant information. Housing affordability by the subject population did not improve. It rather dropped. The study came to the conclusion that in spite of the new National Housing Policy, housing affordability by the low-income earners has not improved. The policy as it affects the poor has not been duly implemented by both Federal and State Governments.

Keywords: house prices, housing affordability, housing policy, land values, low-income earners

Procedia PDF Downloads 46
78 Factors Influencing the Housing Price: Developers’ Perspective

Authors: Ernawati Mustafa Kamal, Hasnanywati Hassan, Atasya Osmadi

Abstract:

The housing industry is crucial for sustainable development of every country. Housing is a basic need that can enhance the quality of life. Owning a house is therefore the main aim of individuals. However, affordability has become a critical issue towards homeownership. In recent years, housing price in the main cities has increased tremendously to unaffordable level. This paper investigates factors influencing the housing price from developer’s perspective and provides recommendation on strategies to tackle this issue. Online and face-to-face survey was conducted on housing developers operating in Penang, Malaysia. The results indicate that (1) location; (2) macroeconomics factor; (3) demographic factors; (4) land/zoning and; (5) industry factors are the main factors influencing the housing price. This paper contributes towards better understanding on developers’ view on how the housing price is determined and form a basis for government to help tackle the housing affordability issue.

Keywords: factors influence, house price, housing developers, Malaysia

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77 Principles of Sustainable and Affordable Housing Policy for Afghan Refugees Returning to Afghanistan

Authors: Mohammad Saraj Sharifzai, Keisuke Kitagawa, Mohammad Kamil Halimee, Javid Habib, Daishi Sakaguchi

Abstract:

The overall goal of this paper is to examine the suitability and potential of the policies addressing the sustainability and affordability of housing for returnees, and to determine the impact of this policy on housing delivery for Afghan refugees. Housing is a central component of the settlement experience of refugees. A positive housing situation can facilitate many aspects of integration. Unaffordable, and unsafe housing, however, can cause disruptions in the entire settlement process. This paper aims to identify a suite of built forms for housing that is both affordable and environmentally sustainable for Afghan refugees. The result was the development of a framework that enables the assessment of the overall performance of various types of housing development in all zones of the country. There is very little evidence that the present approach of housing provision to the vagaries of market forces has provided affordable housing, especially for Afghan refugees. There is a need to incorporate social housing into the policy to assist people who cannot afford to have their own houses.

Keywords: Afghan refugees, housing policy, affordability, social housing, housing provision, environmental sustainability principles, resettlement

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76 An Affordability Evaluation of Computer-Based Social-Emotional Skills Interventions for School-Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Ezra N. S. Lockhart

Abstract:

The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has increased approximately 173% during the last decade making ASD the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States. This rise in prevalence rates indeed has an effect on schools. ASD is overwhelmingly the most reported primary special education eligibility category for students accessing special education, at a national average of 61.3%. ASD is regarded as an urgent public health concern at an estimated annual per capita cost of $3.2 million. Furthermore, considering that ASD is a lifelong disorder estimated lifetime per capita cost reach $35 billion. The resources available to special education programs are insufficient to meet the educational needs of the 6.4 million students receiving special educational services. This is especially true given that there has been and continues to be a chronic shortage of fully certified special education teachers for decades. Reports indicate that 81.1% of students with special needs spend 40% or more in general education classrooms. Regardless of whether support is implemented in the special education or general education classroom the resource demand is obvious. Schools are actively seeking to implement low-cost alternatives and budget saving measures in response to this demand. In public school settings, programs such as Applied Behavior Analysis are challenging to implement and fund at $40,000 per student per year. As an alternative, computer-based interventions are inexpensive, less time-consuming to implement, and require minimal teacher or paraprofessional training to administer. Affordability, pricing schemes, availability, and compatibility of computer-based interventions that support social and emotional skill development in individuals with ASD are discussed.

Keywords: affordability, autism spectrum disorder, computer-based intervention, emotional skills, social skills

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75 An Analytical Method for Maintenance Cost Estimating Relationships of Helicopters Using Linear Programming

Authors: Meesun Sun, Yongmin Kim

Abstract:

Estimating maintenance cost is crucial in defense management because it affects military budgets and availability of equipment. When it comes to estimating maintenance cost of the deployed equipment, time series forecasting can be applied with the actual historical cost data. It is more difficult issue to estimate maintenance cost of new equipment for which the actual costs are not provided. In this underlying context, this study proposes an analytical method for maintenance cost estimating relationships (CERs) development of helicopters using linear programming. The CERs can be applied to a new helicopter because they use non-cost independent variables such as the number of engines, the empty weight and so on. In the Republic of Korea, the maintenance cost of new equipment has been usually estimated by reflecting maintenance cost to unit price ratio of the legacy equipment. This study confirms that the CERs perform well for the 10 types of airmobile helicopters in terms of mean absolute percentage error by applying leave-one-out cross-validation. The suggested method is very useful to estimate the maintenance cost of new equipment and can help in the affordability assessment of acquisition program portfolios for total life cycle systems management.

Keywords: affordability analysis, cost estimating relationship, helicopter, linear programming, maintenance cost

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74 Financial Planning Framework: A Perspective of Wealth Accumulation and Retirement Planning

Authors: Stanley Yap, Mahadevan Supramaniam, Chong Wei Ying, Fatemeh Kimiyaghalam

Abstract:

Purpose: The paper shows the framework of financial planning in a different paradigm. It highlights the results from a focus group on retirement planning in the aspect of financial literacy and wealth accumulation in Malaysia. Design/methodology/approach: A focus group consisted of thirty individuals and divided into six different clusters amongst 25 to 55 years old. The selection of focus group members is pertaining to retirement planning behavior and saving profile from the different level of educations. Findings: Our results show, firstly, the focus group reflects individual capacity on saving attitude, financial literacy and awareness towards financial products. Secondly, availability, accessibility and affordability which are the significant factors that influence saving attitude, financial literacy and awareness on personal retirement planning behavior. Practical implications: The participants express the concerns of retirement planning during their golden years and the current financial products in the Malaysian financial market. Originality/value: This study is a different approach that recognizes the needs of the consumers in the context of retirement planning and wealth accumulation. Therefore, customers should obtain financial services and products from financial providers to achieve financial independence.

Keywords: retirement planning, wealth accumulation, financial literacy, focus group, saving attitude, availability, accessibility, affordability

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73 Housing Delivery in Nigeria: Repackaging for Sustainable Development

Authors: Funmilayo L. Amao, Amos O. Amao

Abstract:

It has been observed that majority of the people are living in poor housing quality or totally homeless in urban center despite all governmental policies to provide housing to the public. On the supply side, various government policies in the past have been formulated towards overcoming the huge shortage through several Housing Reform Programmes. Despite these past efforts, housing continues to be a mirage to ordinary Nigerian. Currently, there are various mass housing delivery programmes such as the affordable housing scheme that utilize the Public Private Partnership effort and several Private Finance Initiative models could only provide for about 3% of the required stock. This suggests the need for a holistic solution in approaching the problem. The aim of this research is to find out the problems hindering the delivery of housing in Nigeria and its effects on housing affordability. The specific objectives are to identify the causes of housing delivery problems, to examine different housing policies over years and to suggest a way out for sustainable housing delivery. This paper also reviews the past and current housing delivery programmes in Nigeria and analyses the demand and supply side issues. It identifies the various housing delivery mechanisms in current practice. The objective of this paper, therefore, is to give you an insight into the delivery option for the sustainability of housing in Nigeria, given the existing delivery structures and the framework specified in the New National Housing Policy. The secondary data were obtained from books, journals and seminar papers. The conclusion is that we cannot copy models from other nations, but should rather evolve workable models based on our socio-cultural background to address the huge housing shortage in Nigeria. Recommendations are made in this regard.

Keywords: housing, sustainability, housing delivery, housing policy, housing affordability

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72 Food Security in the Middle East and North Africa

Authors: Sara D. Garduno-Diaz, Philippe Y. Garduno-Diaz

Abstract:

To date, one of the few comprehensive indicators for the measurement of food security is the Global Food Security Index. This index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative bench marking model, constructed from 28 unique indicators, that measures drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries. Whereas the Global Food Security Index has been calculated across a set of 109 countries, in this paper we aim to present and compare, for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 1) the Food Security Index scores achieved and 2) the data available on affordability, availability, and quality of food. The data for this work was taken from the latest (2014) report published by the creators of the GFSI, which in turn used information from national and international statistical sources. According to the 2014 Global Food Security Index, MENA countries rank from place 17/109 (Israel, although with resent political turmoil this is likely to have changed) to place 91/109 (Yemen) with household expenditure spent in food ranging from 15.5% (Israel) to 60% (Egypt). Lower spending on food as a share of household consumption in most countries and better food safety net programs in the MENA have contributed to a notable increase in food affordability. The region has also however experienced a decline in food availability, owing to more limited food supplies and higher volatility of agricultural production. In terms of food quality and safety the MENA has the top ranking country (Israel). The most frequent challenges faced by the countries of the MENA include public expenditure on agricultural research and development as well as volatility of agricultural production. Food security is a complex phenomenon that interacts with many other indicators of a country’s well-being; in the MENA it is slowly but markedly improving.

Keywords: diet, food insecurity, global food security index, nutrition, sustainability

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71 Assessment of Low Income Housing Delivery, Accessibility and Affordability Problem in Nigeria

Authors: Asimiyu Mohammed Jinadu

Abstract:

Housing is a basic necessity of life. Housing plays a central role in the life of living organisms as it provides the basic platform for the life support systems in human settlements. It is considered a social service and a basic right. Despite the importance of housing, Nigeria as a nation is faced with the problem of quantitative and qualitative shortfall in the number of housing units required to accommodate the citizens. This study examined the accessibility and affordability problems of low-income housing in Nigeria. It relied on secondary data obtained for the records of government ministries and agencies. Descriptive statistics were used in the analysis, and the information was presented in simple tables and charts. The findings show that over the years the government has provided serviced plots of land, owner occupier houses and mortgage loans for the people. As at 2016, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has completed a total of 23,038 housing units while another 14, 488 units were on-going under the Public Private Partnership scheme across the country. The study revealed that a total of 910, 671 housing units were proposed by the Government under the various low-income housing programmes between 1960 and 2017, but only 156, 336 units were delivered within the period, representing 17.17% success rate. Amongst others, the low-income group faced the problems of low access to and unaffordability of the few low-income housing delivered in Nigeria. The study recommended that all abandoned housing projects should be reviewed, rationalized, completed and made available to the targeted low-income people. Investment in micro housing finance, design and implementation of pro-poor housing programme and massive investment in innovative slum upgrading programmes by both the government and private sector are also recommended to ameliorate the housing problems of the low-income group in Nigeria.

Keywords: housing, low income group, problem, programme

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70 Displacement and Cultural Capital in East Harlem: Use of Community Space in Affordable Artist Housing

Authors: Jun Ha Whang

Abstract:

As New York City weathers a swelling 'affordability crisis' marked by rapid transformation in land development and urban culture, much of the associated scholarly debate has turned to questions of the underlying mechanisms of gentrification. Though classically approached from the point of view of urban planning, increasingly these questions have been addressed with an eye to understanding the role of cultural capital in neighborhood valuation. This paper will examine the construction of an artist-specific affordable housing development in the Spanish Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan in order to identify and discuss several cultural parameters of gentrification. This study’s goal is not to argue that the development in question, named Art space PS 109, straightforwardly increases or decreases the rate of gentrification in Spanish Harlem, but rather to study dynamics present in the construction of Art space PS 109 as a case study considered against the broader landscape of gentrification in New York, particularly with respect to the impact of artist communities on housing supply. In the end, what Art space PS 109 most valuably offers us is a reference point for a comparative analysis of affordable housing strategies currently being pursued within municipal government. Our study of Art space PS 109 has allowed us to examine a microcosm of the city’s response and evaluate its overall strategy accordingly. As a base line, the city must aggressively pursue an affordability strategy specifically suited to the needs of each of its neighborhoods. It must also conduct this in such a way so as not to undermine its own efforts by rendering them susceptible to the exploitative involvement of real estate developers seeking to identify successive waves of trendy neighborhoods. Though Art space PS 109 offers an invaluable resource for the city’s legitimate aim of preserving its artist communities, with such a high inclusion rate of artists from outside of the community the project risks additional displacement, strongly suggesting the need for further study of the implications of sites of cultural capital for neighborhood planning.

Keywords: artist housing, displacement, east Harlem, urban planning

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69 Improving the Logistic System to Secure Effective Food Fish Supply Chain in Indonesia

Authors: Atikah Nurhayati, Asep A. Handaka

Abstract:

Indonesia is a world’s major fish producer which can feed not only its citizens but also the people of the world. Currently, the total annual production is 11 tons and expected to double by the year of 2050. Given the potential, fishery has been an important part of the national food security system in Indonesia. Despite such a potential, a big challenge is facing the Indonesians in making fish the reliable source for their food, more specifically source of protein intake. The long geographic distance between the fish production centers and the consumer concentrations has prevented effective supply chain from producers to consumers and therefore demands a good logistic system. This paper is based on our research, which aimed at analyzing the fish supply chain and is to suggest relevant improvement to the chain. The research was conducted in the Year of 2016 in selected locations of Java Island, where intensive transaction on fishery commodities occur. Data used in this research comprises secondary data of time series reports on production and distribution and primary data regarding distribution aspects which were collected through interviews with purposively selected 100 respondents representing fishers, traders and processors. The data were analyzed following the supply chain management framework and processed following logistic regression and validity tests. The main findings of the research are as follows. Firstly, it was found that improperly managed connectivity and logistic chain is the main cause for insecurity of availability and affordability for the consumers. Secondly, lack of quality of most local processed products is a major obstacle for improving affordability and connectivity. The paper concluded with a number of recommended strategies to tackle the problem. These include rationalization of the length of the existing supply chain, intensification of processing activities, and improvement of distribution infrastructure and facilities.

Keywords: fishery, food security, logistic, supply chain

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68 Effectiveness of the Community Health Assist Scheme in Reducing Market Failure in Singapore’s Healthcare Sector

Authors: Matthew Scott Lau

Abstract:

This study addresses the research question: How effective has the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) been in reducing market failure in Singapore’s healthcare sector? The CHAS policy, introduced in 2012 in Singapore, aims to improve accessibility and affordability of healthcare by offering subsidies to low and middle-income groups and elderly individuals for general practice consultations and healthcare. The investigation was undertaken by acquiring and analysing primary and secondary research data from 3 main sources, including handwritten survey responses of 334 individuals who were valid CHAS subsidy recipients (CHAS cardholders) from 5 different locations in Singapore, interview responses from two established general practitioner doctors with working knowledge of the scheme, and information from literature available online. Survey responses were analysed to determine how CHAS has affected the affordability and consumption of healthcare, and other benefits or drawbacks for CHAS users. The interview responses were used to explain the benefits of healthcare consumption and provide different perspectives on the impacts of CHAS on the various parties involved. Online sources provided useful information on changes in healthcare consumerism and Singapore’s government policies. The study revealed that CHAS has been largely effective in reducing market failure as the subsidies granted to consumers have improved the consumption of healthcare. This has allowed for the external benefits of healthcare consumption to be realized, thus reducing market failure. However, the study also revealed that CHAS cannot be fully effective in reducing market failure as the scope of CHAS prevents healthcare consumption from fully reaching the socially optimal level. Hence, the study concluded that CHAS has been effective to a large extent in reducing market failure in Singapore’s healthcare sector, albeit with some benefits to third parties yet to be realised. There are certain elements of the investigation, which may limit the validity of the conclusion, such as the means used to determine the socially optimal level of healthcare consumption, and the survey sample size.

Keywords: healthcare consumption, health economics, market failure, subsidies

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67 Braille Lab: A New Design Approach for Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Assistive Tools for the Visually Impaired

Authors: Claudio Loconsole, Daniele Leonardis, Antonio Brunetti, Gianpaolo Francesco Trotta, Nicholas Caporusso, Vitoantonio Bevilacqua

Abstract:

Unfortunately, many people still do not have access to communication, with specific regard to reading and writing. Among them, people who are blind or visually impaired, have several difficulties in getting access to the world, compared to the sighted. Indeed, despite technology advancement and cost reduction, nowadays assistive devices are still expensive such as Braille-based input/output systems which enable reading and writing texts (e.g., personal notes, documents). As a consequence, assistive technology affordability is fundamental in supporting the visually impaired in communication, learning, and social inclusion. This, in turn, has serious consequences in terms of equal access to opportunities, freedom of expression, and actual and independent participation to a society designed for the sighted. Moreover, the visually impaired experience difficulties in recognizing objects and interacting with devices in any activities of daily living. It is not a case that Braille indications are commonly reported only on medicine boxes and elevator keypads. Several software applications for the automatic translation of written text into speech (e.g., Text-To-Speech - TTS) enable reading pieces of documents. However, apart from simple tasks, in many circumstances TTS software is not suitable for understanding very complicated pieces of text requiring to dwell more on specific portions (e.g., mathematical formulas or Greek text). In addition, the experience of reading\writing text is completely different both in terms of engagement, and from an educational perspective. Statistics on the employment rate of blind people show that learning to read and write provides the visually impaired with up to 80% more opportunities of finding a job. Especially in higher educational levels, where the ability to digest very complex text is key, accessibility and availability of Braille plays a fundamental role in reducing drop-out rate of the visually impaired, thus affecting the effectiveness of the constitutional right to get access to education. In this context, the Braille Lab project aims at overcoming these social needs by including affordability in designing and developing assistive tools for visually impaired people. In detail, our awarded project focuses on a technology innovation of the operation principle of existing assistive tools for the visually impaired leaving the Human-Machine Interface unchanged. This can result in a significant reduction of the production costs and consequently of tool selling prices, thus representing an important opportunity for social entrepreneurship. The first two assistive tools designed within the Braille Lab project following the proposed approach aims to provide the possibility to personally print documents and handouts and to read texts written in Braille using refreshable Braille display, respectively. The former, named ‘Braille Cartridge’, represents an alternative solution for printing in Braille and consists in the realization of an electronic-controlled dispenser printing (cartridge) which can be integrated within traditional ink-jet printers, in order to leverage the efficiency and cost of the device mechanical structure which are already being used. The latter, named ‘Braille Cursor’, is an innovative Braille display featuring a substantial technology innovation by means of a unique cursor virtualizing Braille cells, thus limiting the number of active pins needed for Braille characters.

Keywords: Human rights, social challenges and technology innovations, visually impaired, affordability, assistive tools

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66 The Major Challenge of the Health System Health Management Services in Kosovo and Impact on Satisfaction

Authors: Nevruz Zogu, Shpetim Rezniqi

Abstract:

In the framework of transformational economic development social pluralism and the free, market health systems operating in the countries of our region are naturally involved in a process of profound change and reform. Health systems actually represent complex ensembles centers and public and private institutions (domestic and foreign), who administer substantial amounts of human, technological, material, financial, information and scientific facts • The goal of health systems is much more than medical care. It includes the promotion, protection, treatment and rehabilitation of health of the population. • Meeting the needs of increasingly diverse broader health services efficient, secure the quality and affordability of their increasing cost of unstoppable, requires the necessary reform of health systems and implementing policies and new management methods, to ensure effectiveness and health benefits as higher population.

Keywords: health, management, economy, finance

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65 A Greener Approach towards the Synthesis of an Antimalarial Drug Lumefantrine

Authors: Luphumlo Ncanywa, Paul Watts

Abstract:

Malaria is a disease that kills approximately one million people annually. Children and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa lost their lives due to malaria. Malaria continues to be one of the major causes of death, especially in poor countries in Africa. Decrease the burden of malaria and save lives is very essential. There is a major concern about malaria parasites being able to develop resistance towards antimalarial drugs. People are still dying due to lack of medicine affordability in less well-off countries in the world. If more people could receive treatment by reducing the cost of drugs, the number of deaths in Africa could be massively reduced. There is a shortage of pharmaceutical manufacturing capability within many of the countries in Africa. However one has to question how Africa would actually manufacture drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients or medicines developed within these research programs. It is quite likely that such manufacturing would be outsourced overseas, hence increasing the cost of production and potentially limiting the full benefit of the original research. As a result the last few years has seen major interest in developing more effective and cheaper technology for manufacturing generic pharmaceutical products. Micro-reactor technology (MRT) is an emerging technique that enables those working in research and development to rapidly screen reactions utilizing continuous flow, leading to the identification of reaction conditions that are suitable for usage at a production level. This emerging technique will be used to develop antimalarial drugs. It is this system flexibility that has the potential to reduce both the time was taken and risk associated with transferring reaction methodology from research to production. Using an approach referred to as scale-out or numbering up, a reaction is first optimized within the laboratory using a single micro-reactor, and in order to increase production volume, the number of reactors employed is simply increased. The overall aim of this research project is to develop and optimize synthetic process of antimalarial drugs in the continuous processing. This will provide a step change in pharmaceutical manufacturing technology that will increase the availability and affordability of antimalarial drugs on a worldwide scale, with a particular emphasis on Africa in the first instance. The research will determine the best chemistry and technology to define the lowest cost manufacturing route to pharmaceutical products. We are currently developing a method to synthesize Lumefantrine in continuous flow using batch process as bench mark. Lumefantrine is a dichlorobenzylidine derivative effective for the treatment of various types of malaria. Lumefantrine is an antimalarial drug used with artemether for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria. The results obtained when synthesizing Lumefantrine in a batch process are transferred into a continuous flow process in order to develop an even better and reproducible process. Therefore, development of an appropriate synthetic route for Lumefantrine is significant in pharmaceutical industry. Consequently, if better (and cheaper) manufacturing routes to antimalarial drugs could be developed and implemented where needed, it is far more likely to enable antimalarial drugs to be available to those in need.

Keywords: antimalarial, flow, lumefantrine, synthesis

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64 Rising Individual Responsibility in Healthcare: A Case Study of China

Authors: Ziyu Liu, Martin Buijsen

Abstract:

Although great achievements have been made since the beginning of the Chinese healthcare system reform in 1978, there still remain unresolved problems. Currently, the two leading social issues are accessibility and affordability of healthcare. Facing those challenges, Chinese government initiated the third round of healthcare system reform, accompanied by an array of measures. The newly launched strategies show a tendency to deliver healthcare as welfare goods, achieving equality through an ex-post perspective instead of an ex-ante view. However, if the reform efforts rely solely on the notion of “welfare”, the wrong idea of the government as the only duty-bearer in healthcare will arise. Several major threats, such as high costs as a result of inefficiencies and free riding then become imminent. Therefore, on the basis of Dworkin’s theory, this paper argues that individual responsibility should be introduced when constructing a sustainable healthcare system. And it should be equally highlighted as the duties of government. Furthermore, the notion of individual responsibility is believed to be necessary for promoting the justice of a healthcare system.

Keywords: Chinese healthcare system reform, individual responsibility, right to healthcare, social justice

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63 Thermalytix: An Advanced Artificial Intelligence Based Solution for Non-Contact Breast Screening

Authors: S. Sudhakar, Geetha Manjunath, Siva Teja Kakileti, Himanshu Madhu

Abstract:

Diagnosis of breast cancer at early stages has seen better clinical and survival outcomes. Survival rates in developing countries like India are very low due to accessibility and affordability issues of screening tests such as Mammography. In addition, Mammography is not much effective in younger women with dense breasts. This leaves a gap in current screening methods. Thermalytix is a new technique for detecting breast abnormality in a non-contact, non-invasive way. It is an AI-enabled computer-aided diagnosis solution that automates interpretation of high resolution thermal images and identifies potential malignant lesions. The solution is low cost, easy to use, portable and is effective in all age groups. This paper presents the results of a retrospective comparative analysis of Thermalytix over Mammography and Clinical Breast Examination for breast cancer screening. Thermalytix was found to have better sensitivity than both the tests, with good specificity as well. In addition, Thermalytix identified all malignant patients without palpable lumps.

Keywords: breast cancer screening, radiology, thermalytix, artificial intelligence, thermography

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62 Analysis of Urban Housing Quality and Conditions within Kano Metropolis

Authors: Abdurraheem A. Yakub

Abstract:

Housing is one of the needs of mankind and is one of the best indicators of a person’s standard of living. This research was set out to analyze the housing qualities and conditions in Kano. Primary data was collected through both Personal observations where the researcher carried out an inspection of the study area prior to interview/implementation of questionnaires and took into consideration the type of housing units, construction materials and services available as well as the environmental condition of the study area. This was followed by an interview which was done through personal contact with the various people related to the study. In the course of doing that, questions were asked orally and notes were taken to record the responses. Thereafter, the Questionnaire was implemented which was earlier designed to elicit information from households in the study area using well-structured questions related to the type of facilities provided in the housing unit, types of houses and response with regard to quality of their houses and neighborhoods, tenure of house. The research work looked at the prevailing housing qualities and conditions and the state of the existing facilities and amenities within the environment and offered recommendations on policies and measures that could help improve the situation.

Keywords: housing provision, housing quality, housing standard, housing condition, housing affordability and housing facilities

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61 Menstrual Hygiene Management among Young Unmarried Women in India

Authors: Enu Anand, Jayakant Singh

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Menstruation among women is an integral part and a natural process that starts with menarche and stops at menopause. Women use sanitary pad, clothes and other methods to prevent blood stain from becoming evident. This paper examines the prevalence and discrepancies in use of hygienic method during menstruation among unmarried women in India using nationally representative District Level Household and facility Survey data (2007-08). The findings suggest that only one-third of the study population used hygienic method during menstruation. Rural-urban and poor-non poor disparity persists across all background characteristics in use of hygienic method. Women with high school and above education (OR=8.8, p<0.001), from richest wealth quintile (OR=5.2, p<0.001) and women following Christian religion (OR=3.6, p<0.001) are more likely to use hygienic method as compared to women with no education, poor household and Hindu women respectively. Locally prepared, low-cost sanitary pads can be promoted across the country for easy accessibility and affordability. Efforts should be made to produce locally prepared low-cost sanitary napkins in bulk and supply it through female health workers such as ANM and Anganwadi worker across the country.

Keywords: menstrual hygiene, sanitary pad, unmarried women, India

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60 Virtual Reality Based 3D Video Games and Speech-Lip Synchronization Superseding Algebraic Code Excited Linear Prediction

Authors: P. S. Jagadeesh Kumar, S. Meenakshi Sundaram, Wenli Hu, Yang Yung

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In 3D video games, the dominance of production is unceasingly growing with a protruding level of affordability in terms of budget. Afterward, the automation of speech-lip synchronization technique is customarily onerous and has advanced a critical research subject in virtual reality based 3D video games. This paper presents one of these automatic tools, precisely riveted on the synchronization of the speech and the lip movement of the game characters. A robust and precise speech recognition segment that systematized with Algebraic Code Excited Linear Prediction method is developed which unconventionally delivers lip sync results. The Algebraic Code Excited Linear Prediction algorithm is constructed on that used in code-excited linear prediction, but Algebraic Code Excited Linear Prediction codebooks have an explicit algebraic structure levied upon them. This affords a quicker substitute to the software enactments of lip sync algorithms and thus advances the superiority of service factors abridged production cost.

Keywords: algebraic code excited linear prediction, speech-lip synchronization, video games, virtual reality

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59 Renewable Energy and Energy Security in Malaysia: A Quantitative Analysis

Authors: Endang Jati Mat Sahid, Hussain Ali Bekhet

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Robust economic growth, increasing population, and personal consumption are the main drivers for the rapid increase of energy demand in Malaysia. Increasing demand has compounded the issue of national energy security due to over-dependence on fossil fuel, depleting indigenous domestic conventional energy resources which in turns has increased the country’s energy import dependence. In order to improve its energy security, Malaysia has seriously embarked on a renewable energy journey. Many initiatives on renewable energy have been introduced in the past decade. These strategies have resulted in the exploding growth of renewable energy deployment in Malaysia. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of renewable energy deployment on energy security. Secondary data was used to calculate the energy security indicators. The study also compared the results of applying different energy security indicators namely availability, applicability, affordability and acceptability dimension of energy resources. The evaluation shows that Malaysia will experience slight improvement in availability and acceptability dimension of energy security. This study suggests that energy security level could be further enhanced by efficient utilization of energy, reducing carbon content of energy and facilitating low-carbon industries.

Keywords: energy policy, energy security, Malaysia, renewable energy

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58 Technical Efficiency and Challenges of Smallholder Horticultural Farmers in Ghana: A Wake-Up Call for Policy Implementers

Authors: Freda E. Asem, R. D. Osei, D. B. Sarpong, J. K. Kuwornu

Abstract:

While market access remains important, Ghana’s major handicap is her inability to sustain export growth on the open market. The causes of these could be attributed to inefficiency, lack of competitiveness and supply-side constraints. This study examined the challenges faced by smallholder horticultural farmers and how it relates to their technical efficiency. The study employed mixed methods to address the problem. Using the Millennium Development Account (MiDA) Farmer Based Organization survey data on farm households in 23 districts in Ghana, the study assessed the technical efficiency of smallholder horticultural farmers (taking into account production risks). Focus group discussions (FGDs) and in-depth interviews were also conducted on smallholder mango, pineapple, and chilli pepper farmers selected districts in Ghana. Results revealed the constraints faced by smallholder horticultural farmers to be marketing, training, funding, accessibility, and affordability of inputs, land, access to credit, and the disconnect between themselves and policy makers and implementers.

Keywords: productivity, gender, policy, efficiency, constraints

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57 Reimagining the Potential of Street Lighting Infrastructure in Nairobi City

Authors: Clifford Otieno Ochieng, Nsenda Lukumwena

Abstract:

Cities worldwide and most notably those in the global south, including Nairobi City are experiencing accelerated population growth and urban sprawl, accompanied with multiple socioeconomic challenges’ which in turn increase the pressure on already limited infrastructure such as public lighting and on limited financial resources. Based on this premise, through reimaging the value of street lighting infrastructure, the study attempts to highlight the affordance and affordability of streetlights and suggests them as a tool to optimally address limited financial resources that characterize cities in the global south. As a methodology, the paper reviews and analyzes literature available online including Nairobi city budgets; reports from Kenya Power, World Health Organization and United Nations; and articles on enterprise level Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. In conclusion, this study illustrates that streetlights can go well beyond their traditional roles of illuminating cities at night. They can be as suggested in this paper charging stations, communication network terminals and disease prevention nodes.

Keywords: affordance, Nairobi, developing economies, IoT, smart street lights, smart cities

Procedia PDF Downloads 82
56 The Development, Use and Imapct of an Open Source, Web-Based, Video-Annoation Tool to Provide Job-Embedded Professional Development for Educators: The Coaching Companion

Authors: Gail Joseph

Abstract:

In the United States, to advance the quality and education requirements of PreK teachers, there are concerns regarding barriers for existing early childhood educators to access formal degrees and ongoing professional development. Barriers exist related to affordability and access. Affordability is a key factor that impacts teachers access to degree programs. The lack of financial resources makes it difficult for many qualified candidates to begin, and complete, degree programs. Even if funding was not an issue, accessibility remains a pressing issue in higher education. Some common barriers include geography, long work hours, lack of professional community, childcare, and clear articulation agreements. Greater flexibility is needed to allow all early childhood professionals to pursue college coursework that takes into consideration the many competing demands on their schedules. For these busy professionals, it is particularly important that professional development opportunities are available “on demand” and are seen as relevant to their work. Courses that are available during non-traditional hours make attendance more accessible, and professional development that is relevant to what they need to know and be able to do to be effective in their current positions increase access to and the impact of ongoing professional education. EarlyEdU at the University of Washington provides institutes of higher education and state professional development systems with free comprehensive, competency based college courses based on the latest science of how to optimize child learning and outcomes across developmental domains. The coursework embeds an intentional teaching framework which requires teachers to know what to do in the moment, see effective teaching in themselves and others, enact these practices in the classroom, reflect on what works and what does not, and improve with thoughtful practices. Reinforcing the Intentional Teaching Framework in EarlyEdU courses is the Coaching Companion, an open source, web-based video annotation learning tool that supports coaching in higher education by enabling students to view and refine their teaching practices. The tool is integrated throughout EarlyEdU courses. With the Coaching Companion, students see upload teaching interactions on video and then reflect on the degree to which they incorporate evidence-based practices. Coaching Companion eliminates the traditional separation of theory and practice in college-based teacher preparation. Together, the Intentional Teaching Framework and the Coaching Companion transform the course instructor into a job-embedded coach. The instructor watches student interactions with children on video using the Coaching Companion and looks specifically for interactions defined in course assignments, readings, and lectures. Based on these observations, the instructor offers feedback and proposes next steps. Developed on federal and philanthropic funds, all EarlyEdU courses and the Coaching Companion are available for free to 2= and 4-year colleges and universities with early childhood degrees, as well as to state early learning and education departments to increase access to high quality professional development. We studied the impact of the Coaching Companion in two courses and demonstrated a significant increase in the quality of teacher-child interactions as measured by the PreK CLASS quality teaching assessment. Implications are discussed related to policy and practice.

Keywords: education technology, distance education, early childhood education, professional development

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55 A Quantitative Case Study Analysis of Store Format Contributors to U.S. County Obesity Prevalence in Virginia

Authors: Bailey Houghtaling, Sarah Misyak

Abstract:

Food access; the availability, affordability, convenience, and desirability of food and beverage products within communities, is influential on consumers’ purchasing and consumption decisions. These variables may contribute to lower dietary quality scores and a higher obesity prevalence documented among rural and disadvantaged populations in the United States (U.S.). Current research assessing linkages between food access and obesity outcomes has primarily focused on distance to a traditional grocery/supermarket store as a measure of optimality. However, low-income consumers especially, including U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, seem to utilize non-traditional food store formats with greater frequency for household dietary needs. Non-traditional formats have been associated with less nutritious food and beverage options and consumer purchases that are high in saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium. Authors’ formative research indicated differences by U.S. region and rurality in the distribution of traditional and non-traditional SNAP-authorized food store formats. Therefore, using Virginia as a case study, the purpose of this research was to determine if a relationship between store format, rurality, and obesity exists. This research applied SNAP-authorized food store data (food access points for SNAP as well as non-SNAP consumers) and obesity prevalence data by Virginia county using publicly available databases: (1) SNAP Retailer Locator, and; (2) U.S. County Health Rankings. The alpha level was set a priori at 0.05. All Virginia SNAP-authorized stores (n=6,461) were coded by format – grocery, drug, mass merchandiser, club, convenience, dollar, supercenter, specialty, farmers market, independent grocer, and non-food store. Simple linear regression was applied primarily to assess the relationship between store format and obesity. Thereafter, multiple variables were added to the regression to account for potential moderating relationships (e.g., county income, rurality). Convenience, dollar, non-food or restaurant, mass merchandiser, farmers market, and independent grocer formats were significantly, positively related to obesity prevalence. Upon controlling for urban-rural status and income, results indicated the following formats to be significantly related to county obesity prevalence with a small, positive effect: convenience (p=0.010), accounting for 0.3% of the variance in obesity prevalence; dollar (p=0.005; 0.5% of the variance), and; non-food (p=0.030; 1.3% of the variance) formats. These results align with current literature on consumer behavior at non-traditional formats. For example, consumers’ food and beverage purchases at convenience and dollar stores are documented to be high in saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium. Further, non-food stores (i.e., quick-serve restaurants) often contribute to a large portion of U.S. consumers’ dietary intake and thus poor dietary quality scores. Current food access research investigates grocery/supermarket access and obesity outcomes. These results suggest more research is needed that focuses on non-traditional food store formats. Nutrition interventions within convenience, dollar, and non-food stores, for example, that aim to enhance not only healthy food access but the affordability, convenience, and desirability of nutritious food and beverage options may impact obesity rates in Virginia. More research is warranted utilizing the presented investigative framework in other U.S. and global regions to explore the role and the potential of non-traditional food store formats to prevent and reduce obesity.

Keywords: food access, food store format, non-traditional food stores, obesity prevalence

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54 Effect of Urban Informal Settlements and Outdoor Advertisement on the Quality of Built Environment and Urban Upgrading in Nigeria

Authors: Amao Funmilayo Lanrewaju, T. Ogunlade

Abstract:

The paper examines the causes and characteristics of informal settlements and outdoor advertisement in the evaluation of quality of environment. The paper identifies the problems that have aided informal settlements to: Urbanization, poverty, growth of informal sector, non-affordability of land and housing shortage. The paper asserts that the informal settlements have serious adverse effects on the people’s health, their built environment and quality of life. The secondary data was obtained from books, journals and seminar papers. The paper argues that, although the urban upgrading possesses great potential for improving quality of built environment in informal settlements, there is a need to repackage the upgrading exercise so that majority can benefit from it. It is necessary to incorporate community participation into the urban upgrading in order to assist the very poor that cannot take care of their housing consumption needs. Therefore, government is encouraged to see informal settlements as a solution to new city planning rather than problem to the urban areas. This paper suggests the implementation of policies and planning, physical infrastructural development, social economic improvement, environment and health improvement. Government, private and communities interventions on informal settlements are required in order to prevent further decay for sustainable development.

Keywords: quality of environment, informal settlements, urban upgrading, outdoor advertisement

Procedia PDF Downloads 336
53 Experimental Investigation of Cementitious Materials in Low Strength Range for Sustainability and Affordability

Authors: Mulubrhan Berihu, Supratic Gupta, Adisu Demmewoz

Abstract:

Due to the design versatility, availability, and cost-efficiency, concrete is continuing to be the most used construction material on earth. However, the production of Portland cement, the primary component of concrete mix, is causing to have a serious effect on environmental and economic impacts. This shows there is a need to study using of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs). The most commonly used supplementary cementitious materials are wastes and the use of these industrial waste products has technical, economic and environmental benefits besides the reduction of CO2 emission from cement production. This paper aims to document the effect on the strength property of concrete due to the use of low cement by maximizing supplementary cementitious materials like fly ash. The amount of cement content was below 250 kg/m3 and in all the mixes, the quantity powder (cement + fly ash) is almost kept at about 500 kg. According to this seven different cement content (250 kg/m3, 195 kg/m3, 150 kg/m3, 125 kg/m3, 100 kg/m3, 85 kg/m3, 70 kg/m3) with different amount of replacement of SCMs was conducted. The mix proportion was prepared by keeping the water content constant and varying the cement content, SCMs and water to binder ratio. Based on the different mix proportions of pozzolana (Fly ash), a range of mix designs was formulated. The test results showed that using up to 85 kg/m3 of cement is possible for plain concrete works like hollow block concrete to achieve 9.8 Mpa and the experimental results indicate that strength is a function of w/b.

Keywords: efficiency factor, cement content, compressive strength, mix proportion, w/c ratio, water permeability, SCMs

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52 Hollowfiber Poly Lactid Co-Glycolic Acid (PLGA)-Collagen Coated by Chitosan as a Candidate of Small Diameter Vascular Graft

Authors: Dita Mayasari, Zahrina Mardina, Riki Siswanto, Agresta Ifada, Ova Oktavina, Prihartini Widiyanti

Abstract:

Heart failure is a serious major health problem with high number of mortality per year. Bypass is one of the solutions that has often been taken. Natural vascular graft (xenograft) as the substitute in bypass is inconvenient due to ethic problems and the risk of infection transmission caused by the usage of another species transgenic vascular. Nowadays, synthetic materials have been fabricated from polymers. The aim of this research is to make a synthetic vascular graft with great physical strength, high biocompatibility, and good affordability. The method of this research was mixing PLGA and collagen by magnetic stirrer. This composite were shaped by spinneret with water as coagulant. Then it was coated by chitosan with 3 variations of weight (1 gram, 2 grams, and 3 grams) to increase hemo and cytocompatibility, proliferation, and cell attachment in order for the vascular graft candidates to be more biocompatible. Mechanical strength for each variation was 5,306 MPa (chitosan 1 gram), 3,433 MPa (chitosan 2 grams) and 3,745 MPa (chitosan 3 grams). All the tensile values were higher than human vascular tensile strength. Toxicity test showed that the living cells in all variations were more than 60% in number, thus the vascular graft is not toxic.

Keywords: chitosan, collagen, PLGA, spinneret

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51 Comprehensive Approach to Enhance Green Buildings in Urban Areas

Authors: M. Pena, J. Shin, H. Park

Abstract:

The main objective of any engineering activity is the development of a system that fulfills the specific economic, social or environmental needs. Green growth policies, as a system, targets to satisfy two main needs: economic and environmental growth. Cities are complex systems composed of varied characteristics such as differences in socio-environmental conditions and local affordability, among others. Thus, commissioned policies are required to address these differences and to ensure green development. A more maintainable and justifiable, resource-efficient green growth can be obtained in urban areas if multi-criteria framework of policies relevant to green buildings is designed. Reason is that, this approach fits to target the differences and unique conditions of urban areas. By following the principles of axiomatic design, this paper urges to derive a framework for the application of green buildings policies in urban areas with distinctive socio-economic and environmental characteristics. Functional requirements defined as principles to ensure green growth and design parameters are identified in each set of conditions. Design matrices are constructed for each group of urban areas. Thus, the understanding of the needs and differences for each group of urban areas and the methodology to ensure green buildings is achieved.

Keywords: axiomatic design, green growth, sustainable development, urban planning

Procedia PDF Downloads 222