Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 26

Tunisia Related Abstracts

26 Internal Migration and Poverty Dynamic Analysis Using a Bayesian Approach: The Tunisian Case

Authors: Amal Jmaii, Damien Rousseliere, Besma Belhadj

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We explore the relationship between internal migration and poverty in Tunisia. We present a methodology combining potential outcomes approach with multiple imputation to highlight the effect of internal migration on poverty states. We find that probability of being poor decreases when leaving the poorest regions (the west areas) to the richer regions (greater Tunis and the east regions).

Keywords: internal migration, potential outcomes approach, poverty dynamics, Tunisia

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25 Bayesian Locally Approach for Spatial Modeling of Visceral Leishmaniasis Infection in Northern and Central Tunisia

Authors: Kais Ben-Ahmed, Mhamed Ali-El-Aroui

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This paper develops a Local Generalized Linear Spatial Model (LGLSM) to describe the spatial variation of Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) infection risk in northern and central Tunisia. The response from each region is a number of affected children less than five years of age recorded from 1996 through 2006 from Tunisian pediatric departments and treated as a poison county level data. The model includes climatic factors, namely averages of annual rainfall, extreme values of low temperatures in winter and high temperatures in summer to characterize the climate of each region according to each continentality index, the pluviometric quotient of Emberger (Q2) to characterize bioclimatic regions and component for residual extra-poison variation. The statistical results show the progressive increase in the number of affected children in regions with high continentality index and low mean yearly rainfull. On the other hand, an increase in pluviometric quotient of Emberger contributed to a significant increase in VL incidence rate. When compared with the original GLSM, Bayesian locally modeling is improvement and gives a better approximation of the Tunisian VL risk estimation. According to the Bayesian approach inference, we use vague priors for all parameters model and Markov Chain Monte Carlo method.

Keywords: Tunisia, generalized linear spatial model, local model, extra-poisson variation, continentality index, visceral leishmaniasis

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24 The Potential of Renewable Energy in Tunisia and Its Impact on Economic Growth

Authors: Assaad Ghazouani

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Tunisia is ranked among the countries with low energy diversification, but this configuration makes the country too dependent on fossil fuel exporting countries and therefore extremely sensitive to any oil crises, many measures to diversify electricity production must be taken in making use of other forms of renewable and nuclear energy. One of the solutions required to escape this dependence is the liberalization of the electricity industry which can lead to an improvement of supply, energy diversification, and reducing some of the negative effects of the trade balance. This paper examines the issue of renewable electricity and economic growth in Tunisia consumption. The main objective is to study and analyze the causal link between renewable energy consumption and economic growth in Tunisia over the period 1980-2010. To examine the relationship in the short and in the long terms, we used a multidimensional approach to cointegration based on recent advances in time series econometrics (test Zivot - Andrews, Test of Cointegration Johannsen, Granger causality test, error correction model (ECM)).

Keywords: Economic growth, Tunisia, cointegration, renewable electricity, VECM

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23 Organic Geochemistry of the Late Cenomanian–Early Turonian Source Rock in Central and Northern Tunisia

Authors: M. Saidi, I. Bouazizi, M. Ben Jrad, Belhaj Mohamed, M. Soussi

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The Late Cenomanian-Early Turonian laminated, black, organic-rich limestones were described in Central Tunisia and attributed to the Bahloul Formation. It covers central and northern Tunisia, and the northern part of the Gulf of Gabes. The Bahloul Formation is considered as one of the main source rocks in Tunisia and is composed of outer-shelf to slop-laminated and dark-gray to black-colored limestones and marls. This formation had been deposited in a relatively deep-marine, calm, and anoxic environment. Rock-Eval analysis and vitrinite reflectance (Ro) measurements were performed on the basis of the organic carbon content. Several samples were chosen for molecular organic geochemistry. Saturate and aromatic hydrocarbons were analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and GC–mass spectrometry. Geochemical data of the Bahloul Formation in northern and central Tunisia show this level to be a good potential source rock as indicated by the high content of type II organic matter. This formation exhibits high total organic carbon contents (as much as 14%), with an average value of 2% and a good to excellent petroleum potential, ranging between 2 and 50 kg of hydrocarbon/ton of rock. The extracts from the Bahloul Formation are characterized by Pr/Ph ratios ranging between 1.5 and 3, a moderate diasterane content, a C27 sterane approximately equal to C29 sterane, a high C28/C29 ratio, low gammacerane index, a C35/C34 homohopane ratio less than 1 and carbon isotope compositions between -24 and -26‰. The thermal maturity is relatively low, corresponding to the beginning of the oil window in the western area near the Algerian border, in the oil window in the eastern area (Sahel basin) and late mature in northern part.

Keywords: Biomarkers, Organic Geochemistry, Tunisia, source rock

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22 Investment Adjustments to Exchange Rate Fluctuations Evidence from Manufacturing Firms in Tunisia

Authors: Mourad Zmami Oussema BenSalha

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The current research aims to assess empirically the reaction of private investment to exchange rate fluctuations in Tunisia using a sample of 548 firms operating in manufacturing industries between 1997 and 2002. The micro-econometric model we estimate is based on an accelerator-profit specification investment model increased by two variables that measure the variation and the volatility of exchange rates. Estimates using the system the GMM method reveal that the effects of the exchange rate depreciation on investment are negative since it increases the cost of imported capital goods. Turning to the exchange rate volatility, as measured by the GARCH (1,1) model, our findings assign a significant role to the exchange rate uncertainty in explaining the sluggishness of private investment in Tunisia in the full sample of firms. Other estimation attempts based on various sub samples indicate that the elasticities of investment relative to the exchange rate volatility depend upon many firms’ specific characteristics such as the size and the ownership structure.

Keywords: Investment, Manufacturing Firms, Tunisia, exchange rate volatility, system GMM

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21 Thermal and Radon-222 Appraisal in Geothermal Aquifer System, Southeastern Tunisia

Authors: Agoubi Belgacem, Adel Kharroubi

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Geothermal groundwater is the main water source to supply various sectors in El Hamma city, southeastern Tunisia. This region was long the destination of thousands of people from Tunisia and neighboring countries for care and bathing. The main objective of this study is to understand the groundwater mineralization origins and factors that control. The second goal is the appraisal of radon in geothermal groundwater in the study area. For this aim, geothermal groundwater was sampled and collected from different locations (thermal baths and deep wells). Physical parameters were measured and major ions were analyzed. Results reveal three water types. The water first type has Na-Mg-Ca-SO4-Cl facies and T>55°C. The second water type dominated by Na-Ca-Cl-SO4 facies with a temperature < 45 °C. However the third water type is dominated by Ca-SO4-Na-Cl-Mg. The three water types may be controlled by depth and geology. The first represent groundwater from deep aquifer (lower cretaceous), the second type was the shallow aquifer and the first is mixed water from deep and shallow water with a temperature ranging from 45 to 55°C. Measured Radon shows that shallow aquifer has a higher 222Rn concentration (677 to 2903 Bq.m-3) than deep water (203 to 1100 Bq.m-3). R-222 in El Hamma thermal aquifer was controlled by structures, porosity and permeability of aquifers. Geostatistical analyses of hydrogeological data and radon activities confirm the vertical flow and communication between deep and shallow aquifers through vertical faults system.

Keywords: Water, Environment, Geothermal, Tunisia, Radon-222

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20 Algal Mat Shift to Marsh Domain in Sandy and Muddy Tidal Flat: Examples the Gulf of Gabes, SE Tunisia

Authors: Maher Gzam, Noureddine Elmejdoub, Younes Jedoui

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Physical parameters involved in the depositional process on stromatolites, which grow in salt marsh domain, are elucidated in this study. Stromatolites start to grow where surface altimetry of the intertidal flat is high enough to reduce water cover (above mean high tide) and to guarantee a lamellar stream flow. Stromatolite aggrades as a thick laminated layer (stromatolite package) allowing pioneer vascular plants (Salicornia Arabica) to colonize this elevated area (6 cm a.m.s.l). In turn halophytic plant, regularly flooded on spring tide, reduce hydrodynamics velocities causing deposition of sediment, as a result, intertidal zone shift on the flat surface with an expanded marsh domain. This positive feedback invokes self organization between stromatolite growth, vegetation proliferation and deposition of sediment and may be applicable to ancient progradational sequence.

Keywords: Tunisia, stromatolites, marsh, deposition of sediment, aggradation, progradation, gulf of Gabes

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19 Evaluating Robustness of Conceptual Rainfall-runoff Models under Climate Variability in Northern Tunisia

Authors: H. Dakhlaoui, D. Ruelland, Y. Tramblay, Z. Bargaoui

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To evaluate the impact of climate change on water resources at the catchment scale, not only future projections of climate are necessary but also robust rainfall-runoff models that are able to be fairly reliable under changing climate conditions. This study aims at assessing the robustness of three conceptual rainfall-runoff models (GR4j, HBV and IHACRES) on five basins in Northern Tunisia under long-term climate variability. Their robustness was evaluated according to a differential split sample test based on a climate classification of the observation period regarding simultaneously precipitation and temperature conditions. The studied catchments are situated in a region where climate change is likely to have significant impacts on runoff and they already suffer from scarcity of water resources. They cover the main hydrographical basins of Northern Tunisia (High Medjerda, Zouaraâ, Ichkeul and Cap bon), which produce the majority of surface water resources in Tunisia. The streamflow regime of the basins can be considered as natural since these basins are located upstream from storage-dams and in areas where withdrawals are negligible. A 30-year common period (1970‒2000) was considered to capture a large spread of hydro-climatic conditions. The calibration was based on the Kling-Gupta Efficiency (KGE) criterion, while the evaluation of model transferability is performed according to the Nash-Suttfliff efficiency criterion and volume error. The three hydrological models were shown to have similar behaviour under climate variability. Models prove a better ability to simulate the runoff pattern when transferred toward wetter periods compared to the case when transferred to drier periods. The limits of transferability are beyond -20% of precipitation and +1.5 °C of temperature in comparison with the calibration period. The deterioration of model robustness could in part be explained by the climate dependency of some parameters.

Keywords: Uncertainty, Tunisia, rainfall-runoff modelling, hydro-climate variability, model robustness

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18 People Management, Knowledge Sharing and Intermediary Variables

Authors: Nizar Mansour, Chiha Gaha, Emna Gara

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The present research investigates the relationship among HRM practices, knowledge sharing behavior and a certain number of intermediary variables in the context of Tunisian knowledge-intensive firms. Results suggest that five HR practices influence either directly or indirectly the knowledge sharing behavior through enhancing the value of human capital and fostering a learning-oriented organizational climate. Results have strong theoretical implications for both the fields of knowledge management and strategic human resource management. Managerial implications are also derived.

Keywords: Knowledge sharing, Organizational Climate, Human Capital, Tunisia, knowledge intensive firms

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17 Networked Media, Citizen Journalism and Political Participation in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia: Insight from a European Research Project

Authors: Andrea Miconi

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The research will focus on the results of the Tempus European Project eMEDia dedicated to Cross-Media Journalism. The project is founded by the European Commission as it involves four European partners - IULM University, Tampere University, University of Barcelona, and the Mediterranean network Unimed - and three Tunisian Universities – IPSI La Manouba, Sfax and Sousse – along with the Tunisian Ministry for Higher Education and the National Syndicate of Journalists. The focus on Tunisian condition is basically due to the role played by digital activists in its recent history. The research is dedicated to the relationship between political participation, news-making practices and the spread of social media, as it is affecting Tunisian society. As we know, Tunisia during the Arab Spring had been widely considered as a laboratory for the analysis the use of new technologies for political participation. Nonetheless, the literature about the Arab Spring actually fell short in explaining the genesis of the phenomenon, on the one hand by isolating technologies as a casual factor in the spread of demonstrations, and on the other by analyzing North-African condition through a biased perspective. Nowadays, it is interesting to focus on the consolidation of the information environment three years after the uprisings. And what is relevant, only a close, in-depth analysis of Tunisian society is able to provide an explanation of its history, and namely of the part of digital media in the overall evolution of political system. That is why the research is based on different methodologies: desk stage, interviews, and in-depth analysis of communication practices. Networked journalism is the condition determined by the technological innovation on news-making activities: a condition upon which professional journalist can no longer be considered the only player in the information arena, and a new skill must be developed. Along with democratization, nonetheless, the so-called citizen journalism is also likely to produce some ambiguous effects, such as the lack of professional standards and the spread of information cascades, which may prove to be particularly dangerous in an evolving media market as the Tunisian one. This is why, according to the project, a new profile must be defined, which is able to manage this new condition, and which can be hardly reduced to the parameters of traditional journalistic work. Rather than simply using new devices for news visualization, communication professionals must also be able to dialogue with all new players and to accept the decentralized nature of digital environments. This networked nature of news-making seemed to emerge during the Tunisian revolution, when bloggers, journalists, and activists used to retweet each other. Nonetheless, this intensification of communication exchange was inspired by the political climax of the uprising, while all media, by definition, are also supposed to bring some effects on people’s state of mind, culture and daily life routines. That is why it is worth analyzing the consolidation of these practices in a normal, post-revolutionary situation.

Keywords: Education, Social Media, Tunisia, cross-media, Mediterranean, networked journalism

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16 Distribution, Seasonal Phenology and Infestation Dispersal of the Chickpea Leafminer Liriomyza cicerina (Diptera: Agromizidae) on Two Winter and Spring Chickpea Varieties

Authors: Abir Soltani, Moez Amri, Jouda Mediouni Ben Jemâa

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In North Africa, the chickpea leafminer Liriomyza cicerina (Rondani) (Diptera: Agromizidae) is one of the major damaging pests affecting both spring and winter-planted chickpea. Damage is caused by the larvae which feed in the leaf mesophyll tissue, resulting in desiccation and premature leaf fall that can cause severe yield losses. In the present work, the distribution and the seasonal phenology of L. cicerina were studied on two chickpea varieties; a winter variety Beja 1 which is the most cultivated variety in Tunisia and a spring-sown variety Amdoun 1. The experiment was conducted during the cropping season 2015-2016. In the experimental research station Oued Beja, in the Beja region (36°44’N; 9°13’E). To determine the distribution and seasonal phenology of L. cicerina in both studied varieties Beja 1 and Amdoun 1, respectively 100 leave samples (50 from the top and 50 from the base) were collected from 10 chickpea plants randomly chosen from each field. The sampling was done during three development stages (i) 20-25 days before flowering (BFL), (ii) at flowering (FL) and (ii) at pod setting stage (PS). For each plant, leaves were checked from the base till the upper ones for the insect infestation progress into the plant in correlation with chickpea growth Stages. Fly adult populations were monitored using 8 yellow sticky traps together with weekly leaves sampling in each field. The traps were placed 70 cm above ground. Trap catches were collected once a week over the cropping season period. Results showed that L. cicerina distribution varied among both studied chickpea varieties and crop development stage all with seasonal phenology. For the winter chickpea variety Beja 1, infestation levels of 2%, 10.3% and 20.3% were recorded on the bases plant part for BFL, FL and PS stages respectively against 0%, 8.1% and 45.8% recorded for the upper plant part leaves for the same stages respectively. For the spring-sown variety Amdoun 1 the infestation level reached 71.5% during flowering stage. Population dynamic study revealed that for Beja 1 variety, L. cicerina accomplished three annual generations over the cropping season period with the third one being the most important with a capture level of 85 adult/trap by mid-May against a capture level of 139 adult/trap at the end May recorded for cv. Amdoun 1. Also, results showed that L. cicerina field infestation dispersal depends on the field part and on the crop growth stage. The border areas plants were more infested than the plants placed inside the plots. For cv. Beja 1, border areas infestations were 11%, 28% and 91.2% for BFL, FL and PS stages respectively, against 2%, 10.73% and 69.2% recorded on the on the inside plot plants during the for the same growth stages respectively. For the cv. Amdoun1 infestation level of 90% was observed on the border plants at FL and PS stages against an infestation level less than 65% recorded inside the plot.

Keywords: Distribution, chickpea, Tunisia, leaf miner, liriomyza cicerina, seasonal phenology

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15 Measurement of Radionuclide Concentrations and Study on Transfer from Soil to Plant in Sfax-Tunisia

Authors: Salam Labidi, Sonia Machraoui, Karunakara Naregundi

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Environmental radiation measurements are useful to identify areas of potential natural radiation hazard particularly in areas of phosphate industries where enhanced radiation levels are expected to be present. Measurements of primordial radionuclides concentrations have been carried out in samples collected from Sfax City around the SIAPE phosphate industry of Tunis. The samples analysed include fish, beef meat, egg, and vegetables as well as in soil and grass. Measurements were performed by gamma spectrometry method using a 42% relative efficiency N-type HPGe detector. The activity concentrations of radionuclides were measured by gamma ray spectrometry. As expected, the concentrations of radionuclides belonging to uranium and thorium series were low in food materials. In all the samples analysed, the 137Cs concentration was below detection level, except meat samples which showed the activity concentration of 2.4 Bq kg-1 (dry wt.) The soil to grass transfer factor was found to be similar to those reported in literature. The effective dose to the population due to intake of food products were also estimated and are presented in this paper.

Keywords: Tunisia, effective doses, phosphate industry, transfer coefficients

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14 Basin Geometry and Salt Structures in the Knana/Ragoubet Mahjbia Ranges, North of Tunisia

Authors: Mohamed Ghanmi, Mohamed Montassar Ben Slama, Mohamed Fadel Ladeb, Mohamed Ben Youssef, Fouad Zargouni

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The salt province Basin in Northern Tunisia is a complex of late Triassic to Early Cretaceous rift and sag basins which was inverted during the Tertiary folding. The deposition of evaporitic sediments during the Late Triassic times played a major role in the subsequent tectonic evolution of the basin. Within southern tethyan passive marge, the ductile salt mass shown early mobilization, vertical transport and withdrawal of the evaporites. These movements influenced the sedimentation during the late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. The evaporites also influenced deformation during the inversion of the basin and the development of the Tertiary and Quaternary folding. In the studied area, the biostratigraphic and tectonic map analysis of the region of Jebel el Asoued / Ragoubet el Mahjbia can resolve between the hypotheses of the diapiric intrusion of the Triassic salt and the lateral spreading of the Triassic salt as salt ‘glacier’. Also the variation in thickness and facies of the Aptian sediments demonstrates the existence of continental rise architecture at the Aptian time. The observation in a mappable outcrop of the extension segment of the graben fault of Bou Arada on the one hand confirms the existence of a Cretaceous extensive architecture and the tectonic inversion during the Tertiary time has not filled the main game distension. The extent of our observations of Triassic/Aptian and Triassic/Early Campanian contacts, we propose a composite salt ‘glacier’ model as the structures recorded in the Gulf of Mexico in the subsurface and in the Ouenza east Algeria and in Tunisia within Fedj el Adoum, Touiref-Nebeur and Jebel Ech Cheid in the outcrops.

Keywords: Tunisia, Cretaceous rift, salt ‘glassier’, tertiary folding

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13 Impact Assessment of Phosphogypsum on the Groundwater of Sfax-Agareb Aquifer, in Southeast of Tunisia

Authors: Moncef Gueddari, Samira Melki

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In Tunisia, solid wastes storage continue to be uncontrolled. It is eliminated by land raising without any protection measurement against water table and soil contamination. Several industries are located in Sfax area, especially those of the Tunisian Chemical Group (TCG) for the enrichment and transformation of phosphate. The activity of the TCG focuses primarily on the production of chemical fertilizers and phosphoric acid, by transforming natural phosphates. This production generates gaseous emissions, liquid discharges and huge amounts of phosphogypsum (PG) stored directly on the soil surface. Groundwater samples were collected from Tunisian Chemical Group (TCG) site, to assess the effects of phosphogypsum leatchate on groundwater quality. The measurements of various physicochemical parameters including heavy metals (Al, Fe, Zn and F) and stable isotopes of the water molecule (¹⁸O, ²H) were determined in groundwater samples and are reported. The moderately high concentrations of SO₄⁼, Ortho-P, NH₄⁺ Al and F⁻ in groundwater particularly near to the phosphogypsum storage site, likely indicate that groundwater quality is being significantly affected by leachate percolation. The effect of distance of the piezometers from the pollution source was also investigated. The isotopic data of water molecule, showed that the waters of the Sfax-Agreb aquifer amount to recent-evaporation induced rainfall.

Keywords: Pollution, Groundwater Quality, Stable Isotopes, Tunisia, phosphogypsum leatchate, Sfax-Agareb

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12 Age Estimation and Sex Determination by CT-Scan Analysis of the Hyoid Bone: Application on a Tunisian Population

Authors: M. Belhadj, S. Saadi, N. Haj Salem, S. Ben Jomâa, R. Dhouieb, A. Chadly, M. A. Mesrati

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Introduction: The hyoid bone is considered as one of many bones used to identify a missed person. There is a specificity of each population group in human identifications. Objective: To analyze the relationship between age, sex and metric parameters of hyoid bone in Tunisian population sample, using CT-scan. Materials and Methods: A prospective study was conducted in the Department of Forensic Medicine of FattoumaBourguiba Hospital of Monastir-Tunisia during 4 years. A total of 240 samples of hyoid bone were studied. The age of cases ranged from 18 days to 81 years. The specimens were collected only from the deceased of known age. Once dried, each hyoid bone was scanned using CT scan. For each specimen, 10 measurements were taken using a computer program. The measurements consisted of 6 lengths and 4 widths. A regression analysis was used to estimate the relationship between age, sex, and different measurements. For age estimation, a multiple logistic regression was carried out for samples ≤ 35 years. For sex determination, ROC curve was performed. Discriminant value finally retained was based on the best specificity with the best sensitivity. Results: The correlation between real age and estimated age was good (r²=0.72) for samples aged 35 years or less. The unstandardised canonical function equation was estimated using three variables: maximum length of the right greater cornua, length from the middle of the left joint space to the middle of the right joint space and perpendicular length from the centre point of a line between the distal ends of the right and left greater cornua to the centre point of the anterior view of the body of the hyoid bone. For sex determination, the ROC curve analysis reveals that the area under curve was at 81.8%. Discriminant value was 0.451 with a specificity of 73% and sensibility of 79%. The equation function was estimated based on two variables: maximum length of the greater cornua and maximum length of the hyoid bone. Conclusion: The findings of the current study suggest that metric analysis of the hyoid bone may predict the age ≤ 35 years. Sex estimation seems to be more reliable. Further studies dealing with the fusion of the hyoid bone and the current study could help to achieve more accurate age estimation rates.

Keywords: Anthropology, age estimation, CT scan, Tunisia, sex determination

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11 Rainfall Estimation over Northern Tunisia by Combining Meteosat Second Generation Cloud Top Temperature and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Microwave Imager Rain Rates

Authors: Saoussen Dhib, Chris M. Mannaerts, Zoubeida Bargaoui, Ben H. P. Maathuis, Petra Budde

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In this study, a new method to delineate rain areas in northern Tunisia is presented. The proposed approach is based on the blending of the geostationary Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) infrared channel (IR) with the low-earth orbiting passive Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI). To blend this two products, we need to apply two main steps. Firstly, we have to identify the rainy pixels. This step is achieved based on a classification using MSG channel IR 10.8 and the water vapor WV 0.62, applying a threshold on the temperature difference of less than 11 Kelvin which is an approximation of the clouds that have a high likelihood of precipitation. The second step consists on fitting the relation between IR cloud top temperature with the TMI rain rates. The correlation coefficient of these two variables has a negative tendency, meaning that with decreasing temperature there is an increase in rainfall intensity. The fitting equation will be applied for the whole day of MSG 15 minutes interval images which will be summed. To validate this combined product, daily extreme rainfall events occurred during the period 2007-2009 were selected, using a threshold criterion for large rainfall depth (> 50 mm/day) occurring at least at one rainfall station. Inverse distance interpolation method was applied to generate rainfall maps for the drier summer season (from May to October) and the wet winter season (from November to April). The evaluation results of the estimated rainfall combining MSG and TMI was very encouraging where all the events were detected rainy and the correlation coefficients were much better than previous evaluated products over the study area such as MSGMPE and PERSIANN products. The combined product showed a better performance during wet season. We notice also an overestimation of the maximal estimated rain for many events.

Keywords: Extreme, Rainfall, Tunisia, combination, TMI-MSG

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10 International Classification of Primary Care as a Reference for Coding the Demand for Care in Primary Health Care

Authors: Souhir Chelly, Chahida Harizi, Aicha Hechaichi, Sihem Aissaoui, Leila Ben Ayed, Maha Bergaoui, Mohamed Kouni Chahed

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Introduction: The International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC) is part of the morbidity classification system. It had 17 chapters, and each is coded by an alphanumeric code: the letter corresponds to the chapter, the number to a paragraph in the chapter. The objective of this study is to show the utility of this classification in the coding of the reasons for demand for care in Primary health care (PHC), its advantages and limits. Methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study conducted in 4 PHC in Ariana district. Data on the demand for care during 2 days in the same week were collected. The coding of the information was done according to the CISP. The data was entered and analyzed by the EPI Info 7 software. Results: A total of 523 demands for care were investigated. The patients who came for the consultation are predominantly female (62.72%). Most of the consultants are young with an average age of 35 ± 26 years. In the ICPC, there are 7 rubrics: 'infections' is the most common reason with 49.9%, 'other diagnoses' with 40.2%, 'symptoms and complaints' with 5.5%, 'trauma' with 2.1%, 'procedures' with 2.1% and 'neoplasm' with 0.3%. The main advantage of the ICPC is the fact of being a standardized tool. It is very suitable for classification of the reasons for demand for care in PHC according to their specificity, capacity to be used in a computerized medical file of the PHC. Its current limitations are related to the difficulty of classification of some reasons for demand for care. Conclusion: The ICPC has been developed to provide healthcare with a coding reference that takes into account their specificity. The CIM is in its 10th revision; it would gain from revision to revision to be more efficient to be generalized and used by the teams of PHC.

Keywords: Tunisia, primary health care, international classification of primary care, medical file

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9 Demand for Care in Primary Health Care in the Governorate of Ariana: Results of a Survey in Ariana Primary Health Care and Comparison with the Last 30 Years

Authors: Chelly Souhir, Harizi Chahida, Hachaichi Aicha, Aissaoui Sihem, Chahed Mohamed Kouni

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Introduction: In Tunisia, few studies have attempted to describe the demand for primary care in a standardized and systematic way. The purpose of this study is to describe the main reasons for demand for care in primary health care, through a survey of the Ariana Governorate PHC and to identify their evolutionary trend compared to last 30 years, reported by studies of the same type. Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study which concerns the study of consultants in the first line of the governorate of Ariana and their use of care recorded during 2 days in the same week during the month of May 2016, in each of these PHC. The same data collection sheet was used in all CSBs. The coding of the information was done according to the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC). The data was entered and analyzed by the EPI Info 7 software. Results: Our study found that the most common ICPC chapters are respiratory (42%) and digestive (13.2%). In 1996 were the respiratory (43.5%) and circulatory (7.8%). In 2000, we found also the respiratory (39,6%) and circulatory (10,9%). In 2002, respiratory (43%) and digestive (10.1%) motives were the most frequent. According to the ICPC, the pathologies in our study were acute angina (19%), acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis (8%). In 1996, it was tonsillitis ( 21.6%) and acute bronchitis (7.2%). For Ben Abdelaziz in 2000, tonsillitis (14.5%) follow by acute bronchitis (8.3%). In 2002, acute angina (15.7%), acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis (11.2%) were the most common. Conclusion: Acute angina and tonsillitis are the most common in all studies conducted in Tunisia.

Keywords: Tunisia, primary health care, acute angina, classification of primary care, tonsillitis

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8 Tunisian Dung Beetles Fauna: Composition and Biogeographic Affinities

Authors: Imen Labidi, Said Nouira

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Dung beetles Scarabaeides of Tunisia constitute a major component of soil fauna, especially in the Mediterranean region. In the first phase of the present study, an intensive investigation of this group following the gathering of all the bibliographic, museological data and based on a recent collection of 17020 specimens in 106 localities in Tunisia, allowed to confirm with certainty the presence of 94 species distributed in 43 genera, 4 families and 3 sub-families. Only 81 species distributed in 38 genres, 4 families, and 3 sub-families, have been found during our prospections. The population of dung beetles Scarabaeides is composed of 58% of Aphodiidae, 39.51% of Scarabaeidae, and 8.64% of Geotrupidae. Biogeographic affinities of the species were determined and showed that 42% of the identified species have a wide Palaearctic distribution, the endemism is very low, only 3 species are endemic to Tunisia Mecynodes demoflysi, Neobodilus marani, and Thorectes demoflysi, 29 species have a wide distribution, 35 are northern and 17 are southern species. Moreover, others are dependent on very specific Biotopes like Sisyphus schaefferi linked to the northwest of Tunisia and Scarabaeus semipunctatus related to the coastal area north of Tunisia.

Keywords: Composition, Biogeography, Tunisia, dung beetles

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7 The Language of Hip-Hop and Rap in Tunisia: Symbol of Cultural Change in Post-Arab Spring Tunisia

Authors: Zouhir Gabsi

Abstract:

The Arab Spring has had noticeable effects on Tunisia in socio-economic, political, and cultural terms. Few have predicted that the music of hip-hop and rap could engage with the socio-political situation in Tunisia, especially after the downfall of Ben Ali’s regime. Having survived as underground music since the year 2000, the genre of hip-hop and rap remains an aberration from the folkloric tradition. By adhering to the socio-economic reality of the Tunisian street, rappers attempt to claim authenticity mainly in both thematic and language uses, and by usurping the power of ‘space’ from the regime’s control. With the songs’ fast-paced rhythms, catchy phrases, puns, vulgarisms, and linguistic innovations using metaphors, hip-hop, and rap have struck a chord with Tunisia’s youth. Tunisia’s new social reality has allowed Tunisian rappers to express dissent and voice people’s despair over the socio-economic and political situation. This paper argues that rap artists use language as a vehicle to claim the authenticity of their message. It also explores how the performative nature of the language of hip-hop and rap interacts with the Tunisian culture and argues the power of music in the context of political and socio-economic grievances in post-Arab Spring Tunisia.

Keywords: arab spring, Tunisia, hip-hop, eevolution, Tunisian Arabic

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6 Flash Flood in Gabes City (Tunisia): Hazard Mapping and Vulnerability Assessment

Authors: Habib Abida, Noura Dahri

Abstract:

Flash floods are among the most serious natural hazards that have disastrous environmental and human impacts. They are associated with exceptional rain events, characterized by short durations, very high intensities, rapid flows and small spatial extent. Flash floods happen very suddenly and are difficult to forecast. They generally cause damage to agricultural crops and property, infrastructures, and may even result in the loss of human lives. The city of Gabes (South-eastern Tunisia) has been exposed to numerous damaging floods because of its mild topography, clay soil, high urbanization rate and erratic rainfall distribution. The risks associated with this situation are expected to increase further in the future because of climate change, deemed responsible for the increase of the frequency and the severity of this natural hazard. Recently, exceptional events hit Gabes City causing death and major property losses. A major flooding event hit the region on June 2nd, 2014, causing human deaths and major material losses. It resulted in the stagnation of storm water in the numerous low zones of the study area, endangering thereby human health and causing disastrous environmental impacts. The characterization of flood risk in Gabes Watershed (South-eastern Tunisia) is considered an important step for flood management. Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) method coupled with Monte Carlo simulation and geographic information system were applied to delineate and characterize flood areas. A spatial database was developed based on geological map, digital elevation model, land use, and rainfall data in order to evaluate the different factors susceptible to affect flood analysis. Results obtained were validated by remote sensing data for the zones that showed very high flood hazard during the extreme rainfall event of June 2014 that hit the study basin. Moreover, a survey was conducted from different areas of the city in order to understand and explore the different causes of this disaster, its extent and its consequences.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, analytical hierarchy process, Tunisia, flash floods, Gabes

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5 Oligarchic Transitions within the Tunisian Autocratic Authoritarian System and the Struggle for Democratic Transformation: Before and beyond the 2010 Jasmine Revolution

Authors: M. Moncef Khaddar

Abstract:

This paper focuses mainly on a contextualized understanding of ‘autocratic authoritarianism’ in Tunisia without approaching its peculiarities in reference to the ideal type of capitalist-liberal democracy but rather analysing it as a Tunisian ‘civilian dictatorship’. This is reminiscent, to some extent, of the French ‘colonial authoritarianism’ in parallel with the legacy of the traditional formal monarchic absolutism. The Tunisian autocratic political system is here construed as a state manufactured nationalist-populist authoritarianism associated with a de facto presidential single party, two successive autocratic presidents and their subservient autocratic elites who ruled with an iron fist the de-colonialized ‘liberated nation’ that came to be subjected to a large scale oppression and domination under the new Tunisian Republic. The diachronic survey of Tunisia’s autocratic authoritarian system covers the early years of autocracy, under the first autocratic president Bourguiba, 1957-1987, as well as the different stages of its consolidation into a police-security state under the second autocratic president, Ben Ali, 1987-2011. Comparing the policies of authoritarian regimes, within what is identified synchronically as a bi-cephalous autocratic system, entails an in-depth study of the two autocrats, who ruled Tunisia for more than half a century, as modern adaptable autocrats. This is further supported by an exploration of the ruling authoritarian autocratic elites who played a decisive role in shaping the undemocratic state-society relations, under the 1st and 2nd President, and left an indelible mark, structurally and ideologically, on Tunisian polity. Emphasis is also put on the members of the governmental and state-party institutions and apparatuses that kept circulating and recycling from one authoritarian regime to another, and from the first ‘founding’ autocrat to his putschist successor who consolidated authoritarian stability, political continuity and autocratic governance. The reconfiguration of Tunisian political life, in the post-autocratic era, since 2011 will be analysed. This will be scrutinized, especially in light of the unexpected return of many high-profile figures and old guards of the autocratic authoritarian apparatchiks. How and why were, these public figures, from an autocratic era, able to return in a supposedly post-revolutionary moment? Finally, while some continue to celebrate the putative exceptional success of ‘democratic transition’ in Tunisia, within a context of ‘unfinished revolution’, others remain perplexed in the face of a creeping ‘oligarchic transition’ to a ‘hybrid regime’, characterized rather by elites’ reformist tradition than a bottom-up genuine democratic ‘change’. This latter is far from answering the 2010 ordinary people’s ‘uprisings’ and ‘aspirations, for ‘Dignity, Liberty and Social Justice’.

Keywords: Democracy, Democratization, Transition, Authoritarianism, Autocracy, Populism, Tunisia

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4 Epidemiological, Clinical and Bacteriological Profile of Human Brucellosis in the District of Tunis

Authors: Jihene Bettaieb, Ghassen kharroubi, Rym mallekh, Ines Cherif, Taoufik Atawa, Kaouther Harrabech

Abstract:

Brucellosis is a major worldwide zoonosis. It is a reportable condition in Tunisia where the disease remains endemic, especially in rural areas. The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiological, clinical, and bacteriological profile of human brucellosis cases notified in the district of Tunis. It was a retrospective descriptive study of cases reported in the district of Tunis through the national surveillance system between the 1st January and 31th December 2017. During the study period, 133 brucellosis confirmed cases were notified. The mean age was 37.5 ± 18.0 years, and 54.9% of cases were males. More than four-fifths (82.7%) of cases were reported in spring and summer with a peak in the month of May (36 cases). Fever and sweats were the most common symptoms; they occurred in 95% and 72% of cases, respectively. Osteoarticular complications occurred in 10 cases, meningitis in one case and endocarditis in one other case. Wright agglutination test and Rose Bengale test were positive in 100% and 91% of cases, respectively. While blood culture was positive in 9 cases and PCR in 2 cases. Brucella melitensis was the only identified specie (9 cases). Almost all cases (99.2%) reported the habit of consuming raw dairy products. Only 5 cases had a suspect contact with animals; among them, 3 persons were livestock breeders. The transmission was essentially due to raw dairy product consumption. It is important to enhance preventive measures to control animal Brucellosis and to educate the population regarding the risk factors of the disease.

Keywords: Brucellosis, Risk Factors, Surveillance System, Tunisia

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3 Influenza Vaccination Acceptance and Refusal Reasons among Tunisian Elderly

Authors: Ghassen Kharroubi, Ines Cherif, Leila Bouabid, Adel Gharbi, Aicha Boukthir, Margaret McCarron, Nissaf Ben Alaya, Afif Ben Salah, Jihene Bettaieb

Abstract:

Influenza vaccination (IV) is recommended for elderly persons, especially those with underlying conditions. In countries where IV rates in the elderly remain unsatisfactory, exploring attitudes of older persons toward the flu vaccine could be useful to identify barriers and facilitators to IV. The aim of this study was to determine the reasons for IV acceptance or decline in the Tunisian elderly. A national cross-sectional study was conducted in 2019, among persons aged 60 years and over with chronic disease. Data were collected using a standard administered questionnaire. Of the 1191 older persons included, 19.4% received the influenza vaccine in the 2018-2019 flu season. The two main reasons that may lead to refusal of vaccination were concerns that the vaccine could cause side effects (71.5%) and a belief that the vaccine was ineffective (33.9%). The main reason that may lead to accepting vaccination was a doctor’s recommendation (41.1%). Doctors were by far the most trusted source for information regarding influenza vaccine (91.5%) followed by pharmacists (17.6%). Our results highlighted the important role that doctors could play in promoting IV among the Tunisian elderly. Physicians should correct misconceptions about adverse events and the efficiency of the vaccine. In fact, influenza vaccines are generally effective and safe among older persons.

Keywords: attitudes, Older Persons, Tunisia, influenza vaccination

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2 Seroprevalence of Hepatitis a Virus Infection among General Population in Central-West Tunisia

Authors: Ghassen Kharroubi, Afif Ben Salah, Jihene Bettaieb, Kaouther Ayouni, Rym Mallekh, Walid Hammemi, Henda Triki

Abstract:

In Tunisia, the hepatitis A virus (HAV) represents a public health concern. Due to the progress in sanitation and socio-economic conditions, the epidemiology of HAV has shown dynamic changes over the past years. This study aimed to investigate the current seroprevalence of HAV antibodies (anti-HAV) among the residents of Thala, a rural setting in central-west Tunisia, to determine the age-specific seroprevalence for HAV infection and co-infection with hepatitis C and B virus. A total of 1379 subjects (mean age: 25.0 ± 17.3 years, 555 males/ 824 females) were recruited between January and June 2014. The study population included 95 individuals previously known as hepatitis C positive. Serum samples were collected and screened for the detection of IgG anti-HAV, HBsAg, and HBcAb by the Elisa Test. The overall anti- HAV seroprevalence was about 84.7%. There was no statistically significant difference between males and females. On the 1379 tested individual, 219 were positive for HBcAb, and 67 were positive for HBsAg. IgG anti- HAV were positive in 80.6% of HBsAg-positive patients (54 out of 67), 81.3% of HBcAb-positive patients (178 out of 219), and in 95.8% of HCV-positive patients (91 out of 95). HBV infection and HCV infection were statistically associated with a greater risk of positive anti-HAV antibody (p < 0.001). Our study revealed that Thala represents an intermediate endemicity level and that the introduction of vaccination against HAV in this region is recommended, especially for the hepatitis B or C infected person seronegative for HAV.

Keywords: Tunisia, seroprevalence, hepatitis A, coinfection

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1 Infection of Phlebotomus Sergenti with Leishmania Tropica in a Classical Focus of Leishmania Major in Tunisia

Authors: Jihene Bettaieb, Ghassen kharroubi, Kaouther Jaouadi, Amira Bennour, Sadok Salem, Afif Ben Salah

Abstract:

In Tunisia, chronic cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania (L) tropica is an important health problem. Its spreading has not been fully elucidated. Information on sandfly vectors, as well as their associated Leishmania species, is of paramount importance since vector dispersion is one of the major factors responsible for pathogen dissemination. In total, 650 sandflies were captured between June and August 2015 using sticky paper traps in the governorate of Sidi Bouzid, a classical focus of L. major in the Central-West of Tunisia. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the internal transcribed spacer 1 and sequencing were used for Leishmania detection and identification. Ninety-seven unfed females were tested for the presence of Leishmania parasite DNA. Six Phlebotomus sergenti were found positive for L. tropica. This finding enhances the understanding of the cycle extension of L. tropica outside its original focus of Tataouine in the South-East of the country.

Keywords: Cutaneous leishmaniasis, Tunisia, Leishmania tropica, sandflies

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