Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 87

Search results for: public health

87 Microbial Assessment of Dairy Byproducts in Albania as a Basis for Consumer Safety

Authors: Klementina Puto, Ermelinda Nexhipi, Evi Llaka

Abstract:

Dairy by-products are a fairly good environment for microorganisms due to their composition for their growth. Microbial populations have a significant impact in the production of cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. in terms of their organoleptic quality and at the same time some also cause their breakdown. In this paper, the microbiological contamination of soft cheese, butter and yogurt produced in the country (domestic) and imported is assessed, as an indicator of hygiene with impact on public health. The study was extended during September 2018-June 2019 and was divided into three periods, September-December, January-March, and April-June. During this study, a total of 120 samples were analyzed, of which 60 samples of cheese and butter locally produced, and 60 samples of imported soft cheese and butter productions. The microbial indicators analyzed are Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Analyzes have been conducted at the Food Safety Laboratory (FSIV) in Tirana in accordance with EU Regulation 2073/2005. Sampling was performed according to the specific international standards for these products (ISO 6887 and ISO 8261). Sampling and transport of samples were done under sterile conditions. Also, coding of samples was done to preserve the anonymity of subjects. After the analysis, the country's soft cheese products compared to imports were more contaminated with S. aureus and E. coli. Meanwhile, the imported butter samples that were analyzed, resulted within norms compared to domestic ones. Based on the results, it was concluded that the microbial quality of samples of cheese, butter and yogurt analyzed remains a real problem for hygiene in Albania. The study will also serve business operators in Albania to improve their work to ensure good hygiene on the basis of the HACCP plan and to provide a guarantee of consumer health.

Keywords: Consumer, health, dairy, by-products, microbial.

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86 Educating the Educators: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Enhance Science Teaching

Authors: Denise Levy, Anna Lucia C. H. Villavicencio

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In a rapid-changing world, science teachers face considerable challenges. In addition to the basic curriculum, there must be included several transversal themes, which demand creative and innovative strategies to be arranged and integrated to traditional disciplines. In Brazil, nuclear science is still a controversial theme, and teachers themselves seem to be unaware of the issue, most often perpetuating prejudice, errors and misconceptions. This article presents the authors’ experience in the development of an interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal to include nuclear science in the basic curriculum, in a transversal and integrating way. The methodology applied was based on the analysis of several normative documents that define the requirements of essential learning, competences and skills of basic education for all schools in Brazil. The didactic materials and resources were developed according to the best practices to improve learning processes privileging constructivist educational techniques, with emphasis on active learning process, collaborative learning and learning through research. The material consists of an illustrated book for students, a book for teachers and a manual with activities that can articulate nuclear science to different disciplines: Portuguese, mathematics, science, art, English, history and geography. The content counts on high scientific rigor and articulate nuclear technology with topics of interest to society in the most diverse spheres, such as food supply, public health, food safety and foreign trade. Moreover, this pedagogical proposal takes advantage of the potential value of digital technologies, implementing QR codes that excite and challenge students of all ages, improving interaction and engagement. The expected results include the education of the educators for nuclear science communication in a transversal and integrating way, demystifying nuclear technology in a contextualized and significant approach. It is expected that the interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal contributes to improving attitudes towards knowledge construction, privileging reconstructive questioning, fostering a culture of systematic curiosity and encouraging critical thinking skills.

Keywords: Science education, interdisciplinary learning, nuclear science; scientific literacy.

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85 Surface Water Pollution by Open Refuse Dumpsite in North Central of Nigeria

Authors: Abimbola Motunrayo Folami, Ibironke Titilayo Enitan, Feroz Mohomed Swalaha

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Water is a vital resource that is important in ensuring the growth and development of any country. To sustain the basic human needs and the demands for agriculture, industry, conservational and ecosystem, enough quality and quantity water is needed. Contamination of water resources is now a global and public health concern. Hence, this study assessed the water quality of Ndawuse River by measuring the physicochemical parameters and heavy metals concentrations of the river using standard methods. In total, 16 surface water samples were obtained from five locations along the river, from upstream to downstream as well as samples from the dumpsite. The results obtained were compared with the standard limits set by both the World Health Organization and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for domestic purposes. The results of the measured parameters indicated that biological oxygen demand (85.88 mg/L), turbidity (44.51 NTU), Iron (0.014 - 3.511 mg /L) and chromium (0.078 - 0.14 mg /L) were all above the standard limits. The results further showed that the quality of surface water is being significantly affected by human activities around the Ndawuse River which could pose an adverse health risk to several communities that rely on this river as their primary source of water. Therefore, there is a need for strict enforcement of environmental laws to protect the aquatic ecosystem and to avoid long term cumulative exposure risk that heavy metals may pose on human health.

Keywords: Abuja, contaminants, heavy metals, Ndawuse River, Nigeria, surface water.

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84 Microclimate Variations in Rio de Janeiro Related to Massive Public Transportation

Authors: Marco E. O. Jardim, Frederico A. M. Souza, Valeria M. Bastos, Myrian C. A. Costa, Nelson F. F. Ebecken

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Urban public transportation in Rio de Janeiro is based on bus lines, powered by diesel, and four limited metro lines that support only some neighborhoods. This work presents an infrastructure built to better understand microclimate variations related to massive urban transportation in some specific areas of the city. The use of sensor nodes with small analytics capacity provides environmental information to population or public services. The analyses of data collected from a few small sensors positioned near some heavy traffic streets show the harmful impact due to poor bus route plan.

Keywords: Big data, IoT, public transportation, public health system.

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83 Emotions in Health Tweets: Analysis of American Government Official Accounts

Authors: García López

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The Government Departments of Health have the task of informing and educating citizens about public health issues. For this, they use channels like Twitter, key in the search for health information and the propagation of content. The tweets, important in the virality of the content, may contain emotions that influence the contagion and exchange of knowledge. The goal of this study is to perform an analysis of the emotional projection of health information shared on Twitter by official American accounts: the disease control account CDCgov, National Institutes of Health, NIH, the government agency HHSGov, and the professional organization PublicHealth. For this, we used Tone Analyzer, an International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) tool specialized in emotion detection in text, corresponding to the categorical model of emotion representation. For 15 days, all tweets from these accounts were analyzed with the emotional analysis tool in text. The results showed that their tweets contain an important emotional load, a determining factor in the success of their communications. This exposes that official accounts also use subjective language and contain emotions. The predominance of emotion joy over sadness and the strong presence of emotions in their tweets stimulate the virality of content, a key in the work of informing that government health departments have.

Keywords: Emotions in tweets emotion detection in text, health information on Twitter, American health official accounts, emotions on Twitter, emotions and content.

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82 Antibiotic Prescribing in the Acute Care in Iraq

Authors: Ola A. Nassr, Ali M. Abd Alridha, Rua A. Naser, Rasha S. Abbas

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Background: Excessive and inappropriate use of antimicrobial agents among hospitalized patients remains an important patient safety and public health issue worldwide. Not only does this behavior incur unnecessary cost but it is also associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study is to obtain an insight into the prescribing patterns of antibiotics in surgical and medical wards, to help identify a scope for improvement in service delivery. Method: A simple point prevalence survey included a convenience sample of 200 patients admitted to medical and surgical wards in a government teaching hospital in Baghdad between October 2017 and April 2018. Data were collected by a trained pharmacy intern using a standardized form. Patient’s demographics and details of the prescribed antibiotics, including dose, frequency of dosing and route of administration, were reported. Patients were included if they had been admitted at least 24 hours before the survey. Patients under 18 years of age, having a diagnosis of cancer or shock, or being admitted to the intensive care unit, were excluded. Data were checked and entered by the authors into Excel and were subjected to frequency analysis, which was carried out on anonymized data to protect patient confidentiality. Results: Overall, 88.5% of patients (n=177) received 293 antibiotics during their hospital admission, with a small variation between wards (80%-97%). The average number of antibiotics prescribed per patient was 1.65, ranging from 1.3 for medical patients to 1.95 for surgical patients. Parenteral third-generation cephalosporins were the most commonly prescribed at a rate of 54.3% (n=159) followed by nitroimidazole 29.4% (n=86), quinolones 7.5% (n=22) and macrolides 4.4% (n=13), while carbapenems and aminoglycosides were the least prescribed together accounting for only 4.4% (n=13). The intravenous route was the most common route of administration, used for 96.6% of patients (n=171). Indications were reported in only 63.8% of cases. Culture to identify pathogenic organisms was employed in only 0.5% of cases. Conclusion: Broad-spectrum antibiotics are prescribed at an alarming rate. This practice may provoke antibiotic resistance and adversely affect the patient outcome. Implementation of an antibiotic stewardship program is warranted to enhance the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of antimicrobial agents.

Keywords: Acute care, antibiotic misuse, Iraq, prescribing.

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81 The Use of Graphic Design Elements for Design of Newspaper for Women

Authors: Pibool Waijittragum

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This paper has its objectives to reveal contents and personality suitable to women’s newspapers. The research methodology employed in this study is the questionnaire which is derived from a literature review related to newspapers, graphic elements method for print media design and 12 sample sizes of different daily newspapers. In order to acquire an in-depth understanding and comprehensible view of desirable for a women’s newspaper design, graphic elements that related to that personality as well as other preferable elements for a women’s newspaper, including seven editorial Many Thai newspapers were offer a women’s documentary and column space. With its feminine looks, most of them appeared with warm tones and friendly mood through their headlines, contents, illustrations and graphics. The study found that most desirable personalities for a women’s newspaper design in Thailand are: Modern, Chic and Natural. Each personality has significant graphic elements as follows: 1. Modern: significant elements of modern personality comprises of the composition with graduation pattern which creates attractiveness by using an anomalous alignment layout grid and outstanding structure to create focal points and dynamic movement. Dark to black color that has narrowed, limited hue coupled with bright color tones. The round shape of the Thai font style was suitable for this concept. Such Thai fonts have harmonious proportion and consistent stroke with the urban-polite look. 2. Chic: significant elements of chic personality comprises of the proper composition with distinctive scale, using rhythmic repetition and a contrast of scale to draw in reader attention. Vivid and bright color tones with extensive hues coupled with similar color tones and round shape of the Thai font style with a light stroke and consistent line. 3. Natural: significant elements of natural personality comprises of the proper composition using rhythmic repetition that creates a focal point through striking images and harmonious perspective. Warm color tones with restricted hues that appear to look natural. Duo tone color was suitable through the gradually increasing gradient. The Thai style with hand writing font was suitable through the inconsistent stroke. There are 10 types of daily content that were revealed to be the most desirable for Thai women readers, these are: Daily News, Economics News, Education News, Entertainment News, International news, Political News, Public Health News, Scientific News, Social News and Sports News. As well, there are 16 topics identified as very desirable for Thai women readers, such as: Art and Culture, Automobile, Classified, Special Scoop, Editorial, Advertisement, Entertainment, Health and Quality of Life, History, Horoscope, Lifestyle and Fashion, Literature, Nature - Environment and Tourism, Night Life, Stars and Jet Set Gossip, Women’s Issue.

Keywords: Graphic design elements, women newspaper, newspaper design.

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80 The Impact of Open Defecation on Fecal-Oral Infections: A Case Study in Burat and Ngaremara Wards of Isiolo County, Kenya

Authors: Kimutai Joan Jepkorir, Moturi Wilkister Nyaora

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The practice of open defecation can be devastating for human health as well as the environment, and this practice persistence could be due to ingrained habits that individuals continue to engage in despite having a better alternative. Safe disposal of human excreta is essential for public health protection. This study sought to find if open defecation relates to fecal-oral infections in Burat and Ngaremara Wards in Isiolo County. This was achieved through conducting a cross-sectional study. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 385 households that were used in the study. Data collection was done by use of questionnaires and observation checklists. The result show that 66% of the respondents disposed-off fecal matter in a safe manner, whereas 34% disposed-off fecal matter in unsafe manner through open defecation. The prevalence proportions per 1000 of diarrhea and intestinal worms among children under-5 years of age were 142 and 21, respectively. The prevalence proportions per 1000 of diarrhea and typhoid among children over-5 years of age were 20 and 20, respectively.

Keywords: Fecal-oral infections, open defecation, prevalence proportion, sanitation.

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79 Financial Burden of Family for the Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: M. R. Bhuiyan, S. M. M. Hossain, M. Z. Islam

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing serious developmental disorder characterized by social deficits, communicative difficulties, and repetitive behaviors. ASD is an emerging public health issue globally which is associated with huge financial burden to the family, community and the nation. The aim of this study was to assess the financial burden of family for the children with Autism spectrum Disorder. This cross-sectional study was carried out from July 2015 to June 2016 among 154 children with ASD to assess the financial burden of family. Data were collected by face-to-face interview with semi-structured questionnaire following systematic random sampling technique. Majority (73.4%) children were male and mean (±SD) age was 6.66 ± 2.97 years. Most (88.8%) of the children were from urban areas with average monthly family income Tk. 41785.71±23936.45. Average monthly direct cost of the children was Tk.17656.49 ± 9984.35, while indirect cost was Tk. 13462.90 ± 9713.54 and total treatment cost was Tk. 23076.62 ± 15341.09. Special education cost (Tk. 4871.00), cost of therapy (Tk. 4124.07) and travel cost (Tk. 3988.31) were the major types of direct cost, while loss of income (Tk.14570.18) was the chief indirect cost incurred by the families. The study found that majority (59.8%) of the children attended special schools were incurred Tk.20001-78700 as total treatment cost, which were statistically significant (p<0.001). Again, families with higher monthly family income incurred higher treatment cost (r=0.526, p<0.05). Difference between mean direct and indirect cost was found significant (t=4.190, df=61, p<0.001). According to the analysis of variance, mean difference of father’s educational status among direct cost (F=10.337, p<0.001) and total treatment cost (F=7.841, p<0.001), which were statistically significant. The study revealed that maximum children with ASD were under five years, three-fourth were male. According to monthly family income, maximum family were in middle class. The study recommends cost effective interventions and financial safety-net measures to reduce the financial burden of families for the children with ASD.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, financial burden, direct cost, indirect cost, Special education.

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78 Safety Assessment of Traditional Ready-to-Eat Meat Products Vended at Retail Outlets in Kebbi and Sokoto States, Nigeria

Authors: M. I. Ribah, M. Jibir, Y. A. Bashar, S. S. Manga

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Food safety is a significant and growing public health problem in the world and Nigeria as a developing country, since food-borne diseases are important contributors to the huge burden of sickness and death of humans. In Nigeria, traditional ready-to-eat meat products (RTE-MPs) like balangu, tsire, guru and dried meat products like kilishi, dambun nama, banda, were reported to be highly appreciated because of their eating qualities. The consumption of these products was considered as safe due to the treatments that are usually involved during their production process. However, during processing and handling, the products could be contaminated by pathogens that could cause food poisoning. Therefore, a hazard identification for pathogenic bacteria on some traditional RTE-MPs was conducted in Kebbi and Sokoto States, Nigeria. A total of 116 RTE-MPs (balangu-38, kilishi-39 and tsire-39) samples were obtained from retail outlets and analyzed using standard cultural microbiological procedures in general and selective enrichment media to isolate the target pathogens. A six-fold serial dilution was prepared and using the pour plating method, colonies were counted. Serial dilutions were selected based on the prepared pre-labeled Petri dishes for each sample. A volume of 10-12 ml of molten Nutrient agar cooled to 42-45°C was poured into each Petri dish and 1 ml each from dilutions of 102, 104 and 106 for every sample was respectively poured on a pre-labeled Petri plate after which colonies were counted. The isolated pathogens were identified and confirmed after series of biochemical tests. Frequencies and percentages were used to describe the presence of pathogens. The General Linear Model was used to analyze data on pathogen presence according to RTE-MPs and means were separated using the Tukey test at 0.05 confidence level. Of the 116 RTE-MPs samples collected, 35 (30.17%) samples were found to be contaminated with some tested pathogens. Prevalence results showed that Escherichia coli, salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus were present in the samples. Mean total bacterial count was 23.82×106 cfu/g. The frequency of individual pathogens isolated was; Staphylococcus aureus 18 (15.51%), Escherichia coli 12 (10.34%) and Salmonella 5 (4.31%). Also, among the RTE-MPs tested, the total bacterial counts were found to differ significantly (P < 0.05), with 1.81, 2.41 and 2.9×104 cfu/g for tsire, kilishi, and balangu, respectively. The study concluded that the presence of pathogenic bacteria in balangu could pose grave health risks to consumers, and hence, recommended good manufacturing practices in the production of balangu to improve the products’ safety.

Keywords: Ready-to-eat meat products, retail outlets, safety assessment, public health.

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77 Emergence of Fluoroquinolone Resistance in Pigs, Nigeria

Authors: Igbakura I. Luga, Alex A. Adikwu

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A comparison of resistance to quinolones was carried out on isolates of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coliO157:H7 from cattle and mecA and nuc genes harbouring Staphylococcus aureus from pigs. The isolates were separately tested in the first and current decades of the 21st century. The objective was to demonstrate the dissemination of resistance to this frontline class of antibiotic by bacteria from food animals and bring to the limelight the spread of antibiotic resistance in Nigeria. A total of 10 isolates of the E. coli O157:H7 and 9 of mecA and nuc genes harbouring S. aureus were obtained following isolation, biochemical testing, and serological identification using the Remel Wellcolex E. coli O157:H7 test. Shiga toxin-production screening in the E. coli O157:H7 using the verotoxin E. coli reverse passive latex agglutination (VTEC-RPLA) test; and molecular identification of the mecA and nuc genes in S. aureus. Detection of the mecA and nuc genes were carried out using the protocol by the Danish Technical University (DTU) using the following primers mecA-1:5'-GGGATCATAGCGTCATTATTC-3', mecA-2: 5'-AACGATTGTGACACGATAGCC-3', nuc-1: 5'-TCAGCAAATGCATCACAAACAG-3', nuc-2: 5'-CGTAAATGCACTTGCTTCAGG-3' for the mecA and nuc genes, respectively. The nuc genes confirm the S. aureus isolates and the mecA genes as being methicillin-resistant and so pathogenic to man. The fluoroquinolones used in the antibiotic resistance testing were norfloxacin (10 µg) and ciprofloxacin (5 µg) in the E. coli O157:H7 isolates and ciprofloxacin (5 µg) in the S. aureus isolates. Susceptibility was tested using the disk diffusion method on Muller-Hinton agar. Fluoroquinolone resistance was not detected from isolates of E. coli O157:H7 from cattle. However, 44% (4/9) of the S. aureus were resistant to ciprofloxacin. Resistance of up to 44% in isolates of mecA and nuc genes harbouring S. aureus is a compelling evidence for the rapid spread of antibiotic resistance from bacteria in food animals from Nigeria. Ciprofloxacin is the drug of choice for the treatment of Typhoid fever, therefore widespread resistance to it in pathogenic bacteria is of great public health significance. The study concludes that antibiotic resistance in bacteria from food animals is on the increase in Nigeria. The National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) agency in Nigeria should implement the World Health Organization (WHO) global action plan on antimicrobial resistance. A good starting point can be coordinating the WHO, Office of International Epizootics (OIE), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) tripartite draft antimicrobial resistance monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework in Nigeria.

Keywords: Fluoroquinolone, Nigeria, resistance, Staphylococcus aureus.

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76 Cercarial Diversity in Freshwater Snails from Selected Freshwater Bodies and Its Implication for Veterinary and Public Health in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Authors: Fatima Muhammad Abdulkadir, D. B. Maikaje, Y. A. Umar

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A study conducted to determine cercariae diversity and prevalence of trematode infection in freshwater snails from six freshwater bodies selected by systematic random sampling in Kaduna State was carried from January 2013 to December 2013. Freshwater snails and cercariae harvested from the study sites were morphologically identified. A total of 23,823 freshwater snails were collected from the six freshwater bodies: Bagoma dam, Gimbawa dam, Kangimi dam, Kubacha dam, Manchok water intake and Saminaka water intake. The observed freshwater snail species were: Melanoides tuberculata, Biomphalaria pfeifferi, Bulinus globosus, Lymnaea natalensis, Physa sp., Cleopatra bulimoides, Bellamya unicolor and Lanistes varicus. The freshwater snails were exposed to artificial bright light from a 100 Watt electric bulb in the laboratory to induce cercarial shedding. Of the total freshwater snails collected, 10.55% released one or more types of cercariae. Seven morphological types of cercariae were shed by six freshwater snail species namely: Brevifurcate-apharyngeate distome, Amphistome, Gymnocephalus, Longifurcate-pharyngeate monostome, Longifurcate-pharyngeate distome, Echinostome and Xiphidio cercariae. Infection was monotype in most of the freshwater snails collected; however, Physa species presented a mixed infection with Gymnocephalus and Longifurcate-pharyngeate distome cercariae. B. globosus and B. pfeifferi were the most preferred intermediate hosts with the prevalence of 13.48% and 13.46%, respectively. The diversity and prevalence of cercariae varied among the six freshwater bodies with Manchok water intake having the highest infestation (14.3%) and the least recorded in Kangimi dam (3.9%). There was a correlation trend between the number of freshwater snails and trematode infection with Manchok exhibiting the highest and Bagoma none. The highest cercarial diversity was observed in B. pfeifferi and B. globosus with four morphotypes each, and the lowest was in M. tuberculata with one morphotype. The general distribution of freshwater snails and the trematode cercariae they shed suggests the risk of human and animals to trematodiasis in Manchok community. Public health education to raise awareness on individual and communal action that may control snail breeding sites, prevent transmission and provide access to treatment should be intensified.

Keywords: Cercariae, diversity, freshwater snails, prevalence, trematodiasis.

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75 Assessment of Noise Pollution in the City of Biskra, Algeria

Authors: Tallal Abdel Karim Bouzir, Nourdinne Zemmouri, Djihed Berkouk

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In this research, a quantitative assessment of the urban sound environment of the city of Biskra, Algeria, was conducted. To determine the quality of the soundscape based on in-situ measurement, using a Landtek SL5868P sound level meter in 47 points, which have been identified to represent the whole city. The result shows that the urban noise level varies from 55.3 dB to 75.8 dB during the weekdays and from 51.7 dB to 74.3 dB during the weekend. On the other hand, we can also note that 70.20% of the results of the weekday measurements and 55.30% of the results of the weekend measurements have levels of sound intensity that exceed the levels allowed by Algerian law and the recommendations of the World Health Organization. These very high urban noise levels affect the quality of life, the acoustic comfort and may even pose multiple risks to people's health.

Keywords: Noise pollution, road traffic, sound intensity, public health, noise monitoring.

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74 Assessment of the Situation and the Cause of Junk Food Consumption in Iranians: A Qualitative Study

Authors: A. Rezazadeh, B Damari, S. Riazi-Esfahani, M. Hajian

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The consumption of junk food in Iran is alarmingly increasing. This study aimed to investigate the influencing factors of junk food consumption and amendable interventions that are criticized and approved by stakeholders, in order to presented to health policy makers. The articles and documents related to the content of study were collected by using the appropriate key words such as junk food, carbonated beverage, chocolate, candy, sweets, industrial fruit juices, potato chips, French fries, puffed corn, cakes, biscuits, sandwiches, prepared foods and popsicles, ice cream, bar, chewing gum, pastilles and snack, in scholar.google.com, pubmed.com, eric.ed.gov, cochrane.org, magiran.com, medlib.ir, irandoc.ac.ir, who.int, iranmedex.com, sid.ir, pubmed.org and sciencedirect.com databases. The main key points were extracted and included in a checklist and qualitatively analyzed. Then a summarized abstract was prepared in a format of a questionnaire to be presented to stakeholders. The design of this was qualitative (Delphi). According to this method, a questionnaire was prepared based on reviewing the articles and documents and it was emailed to stakeholders, who were asked to prioritize and choose the main problems and effective interventions. After three rounds, consensus was obtained.            Studies revealed high consumption of junk foods in the Iranian population, especially in children and adolescents. The most important affecting factors include availability, low price, media advertisements, preference of fast foods taste, the variety of the packages and their attractiveness, low awareness and changing in lifestyle. Main interventions recommended by stakeholders include developing a protective environment, educational interventions, increasing healthy food access and controlling media advertisements and putting pressure from the Industry and Mining Ministry on producers to produce healthy snacks. According to the findings, the results of this study may be proposed to public health policymakers as an advocacy paper and to be integrated in the interventional programs of Health and Education ministries and the media. Also, implementation of supportive meetings with the producers of alternative healthy products is suggested.

Keywords: Junk foods, situation, qualitative study, Iran.

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73 Non-Burn Treatment of Health Care Risk Waste

Authors: Jefrey Pilusa, Tumisang Seodigeng

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This research discusses a South African case study for the potential of utilizing refuse-derived fuel (RDF) obtained from non-burn treatment of health care risk waste (HCRW) as potential feedstock for green energy production. This specific waste stream can be destroyed via non-burn treatment technology involving high-speed mechanical shredding followed by steam or chemical injection to disinfect the final product. The RDF obtained from this process is characterised by a low moisture, low ash, and high calorific value which means it can be potentially used as high-value solid fuel. Due to the raw feed of this RDF being classified as hazardous, the final RDF has been reported to be non-infectious and can blend with other combustible wastes such as rubber and plastic for waste to energy applications. This study evaluated non-burn treatment technology as a possible solution for on-site destruction of HCRW in South African private and public health care centres. Waste generation quantities were estimated based on the number of registered patient beds, theoretical bed occupancy. Time and motion study was conducted to evaluate the logistics viability of on-site treatment. Non-burn treatment technology for HCRW is a promising option for South Africa, and successful implementation of this method depends upon the initial capital investment, operational cost and environmental permitting of such technology; there are other influencing factors such as the size of the waste stream, product off-take price as well as product demand.

Keywords: Autoclave, disposal, fuel, incineration, medical waste.

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72 The Need for Including Hepatitis a Vaccine in Routine Childhood Immunization Programs in Europe as a Response to the Influx of Refugees from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regions

Authors: S. Ramia, N. Melhem, K. Kreidieh

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The world is facing an unprecedented displacement crisis. Recently, over 1.1 million asylum seekers have been granted protection status in the European Union (EU). The majority of these asylum seekers were from countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.This influx carries with it a potential introduction of infectious diseases that have been eliminated in the EU, which poses a challenge for EU health authorities. Compared to MENA region countries where Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) endemicity is high to intermediate, member states of the EU show very low (Western Europe) to low (Eastern Europe) levels of HAV endemicity. Because of this situation, there is an ongoing public health concern in high-income countries, like members of the EU, that many adults remain susceptible to HAV outbreaks. The overwhelming majority of the EU members’ states do not include HAV vaccine in their immunization calendars. Hence, this paper urgently calls for the implementation of new policies regarding HAV in EU members’ states.

Keywords: European Union, Hepatitis A, MENA Region Refugees, Vaccine preventable diseases.

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71 A Retrospective Cohort Study on an Outbreak of Gastroenteritis Linked to a Buffet Lunch Served during a Conference in Accra

Authors: Benjamin Osei Tutu, Sharon Annison

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On 21st November, 2016, an outbreak of foodborne illness occurred after a buffet lunch served during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Accra. An investigation was conducted to characterise the affected people, determine the etiologic food, the source of contamination and the etiologic agent and to implement appropriate public health measures to prevent future occurrences. A retrospective cohort study was conducted via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire developed from the buffet menu. A case was defined as any person suffering from symptoms of foodborne illness e.g. diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps after eating food served during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra on 21st November, 2016. The exposure status of all the members of the cohort was assessed by taking the food history of each respondent during the telephone interview. The data obtained was analysed using Epi Info 7. An environmental risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the source of the food contamination. Risks of foodborne infection from the foods eaten were determined using attack rates and odds ratios. Data was obtained from 54 people who consumed food served during the stakeholders’ meeting. Out of this population, 44 people reported with symptoms of food poisoning representing 81.45% (overall attack rate). The peak incubation period was seven hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of four and 17 hours, respectively. The commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (97.73%, 43/44), vomiting (84.09%, 37/44) and abdominal cramps (75.00%, 33/44). From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, toxin-mediated food poisoning was suspected. The environmental risk assessment of the implicated catering facility indicated a lack of time/temperature control, inadequate knowledge on food safety among workers and sanitation issues. Limited number of food samples was received for microbiological analysis. Multivariate analysis indicated that illness was significantly associated with the consumption of the snacks served (OR 14.78, P < 0.001). No stool and blood or samples of etiologic food were available for organism isolation; however, the suspected etiologic agent was Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of unwholesome snack (tuna sandwich or chicken. The contamination and/or growth of the etiologic agent in the snack may be due to the breakdown in cleanliness, time/temperature control and good food handling practices. Training of food handlers in basic food hygiene and safety is recommended.

Keywords: Accra, buffet, C. perfringens, cohort study, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, office workers, Staphylococcus aureus.

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70 On Improving Breast Cancer Prediction Using GRNN-CP

Authors: Kefaya Qaddoum

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to predict breast cancer and to construct a supportive model that will stimulate a more reliable prediction as a factor that is fundamental for public health. In this study, we utilize general regression neural networks (GRNN) to replace the normal predictions with prediction periods to achieve a reasonable percentage of confidence. The mechanism employed here utilises a machine learning system called conformal prediction (CP), in order to assign consistent confidence measures to predictions, which are combined with GRNN. We apply the resulting algorithm to the problem of breast cancer diagnosis. The results show that the prediction constructed by this method is reasonable and could be useful in practice.

Keywords: Neural network, conformal prediction, cancer classification, regression.

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69 An Approach Based on Statistics and Multi-Resolution Representation to Classify Mammograms

Authors: Nebi Gedik

Abstract:

One of the significant and continual public health problems in the world is breast cancer. Early detection is very important to fight the disease, and mammography has been one of the most common and reliable methods to detect the disease in the early stages. However, it is a difficult task, and computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) systems are needed to assist radiologists in providing both accurate and uniform evaluation for mass in mammograms. In this study, a multiresolution statistical method to classify mammograms as normal and abnormal in digitized mammograms is used to construct a CAD system. The mammogram images are represented by wave atom transform, and this representation is made by certain groups of coefficients, independently. The CAD system is designed by calculating some statistical features using each group of coefficients. The classification is performed by using support vector machine (SVM).

Keywords: Wave atom transform, statistical features, multi-resolution representation, mammogram.

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68 Achievements of Healthcare Services Vis-À-Vis the Millennium Development Goals Targets: Evidence from Pakistan

Authors: Saeeda Batool, Ather Maqsood Ahmed

Abstract:

This study investigates the impact of public healthcare facilities and socio-economic circumstances on the status of child health in Pakistan. The complete analysis is carried out in correspondence with fourth and sixth millennium development goals. Further, the health variables chosen are also inherited from targeted indicators of the mentioned goals (MDGs). Trends in the Human Opportunity Index (HOI) for both health inequalities and coverage are analyzed using the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PLSM) data set for 2001-02 to 2012-13 at the national and provincial level. To reveal the relative importance of each circumstance in achieving the targeted values for child health, Shorrocks decomposition is applied on HOI. The annual point average growth rate of HOI is used to simulate the time period for the achievement of target set by MDGs and universal access also. The results indicate an improvement in HOI for a reduction in child mortality rates from 52.1% in 2001-02 to 67.3% in 2012-13, which confirms the availability of healthcare opportunities to a larger segment of society. Similarly, immunization against measles and other diseases such as Diphtheria, Polio, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), and Hepatitis has also registered an improvement from 51.6% to 69.9% during the period of study at the national level. On a positive note, no gender disparity has been found for child health indicators and that health outcome is mostly affected by the parental and geographical features and availability of health infrastructure. However, the study finds that this achievement has been uneven across provinces. Pakistan is not only lagging behind in achieving its health goals, disappointingly with the current rate of health care provision, but it will take many additional years to achieve its targets.

Keywords: Socio-economic circumstances, unmet MDGs, public healthcare services, child and infant mortality.

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67 Exploring Elder Care in Different Settings in West Bengal: A Psycho-Social Study of Private Homes, Hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities

Authors: Tulika Bhattacharyya, Suhita C. Chatterjee

Abstract:

West Bengal, one of the most rapidly ageing states in India, has inadequate structure for elder care. Therefore, there is an urgent need to improve elder care which involves focusing on different care settings where the elderly exists, like - Homes, Hospitals and Long-Term Care facilities (e.g. - Old Age Homes, Hospices). The study explores various elder care settings, with the intention to develop an understanding about them, and thereby generate comprehensive information about the entire spectrum of elder care in Kolkata. Empirical data are collected from the elderly and their caregivers in different settings. The tools for data collection are narratives, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, along with field observations. Mixed method design is adopted to analyze the complexities of elder care in different set ups. The major challenges of elder care in private Homes are: architecturally inadequate housing conditions, paucity of financial support and scarcity of skilled caregivers. While the key factors preventing the Hospital and Long-Term Care Facilities from providing elder care services are inadequate policies and set governmental standards for elder care for the hospitalized elderly in various departments of the Hospital and the elderly residing in different kinds of Long Term Care Facilities. The limitations in each care setting results in considerable neglect and abuse of the elderly. The major challenges in elder care in West Bengal are lack of continuum between different care settings/ peripheral location of private Homes within public health framework and inadequate state Palliative policy- including narcotic regulations. The study suggests remedial measures to improve the capacity to deliver elder care in different settings.

Keywords: Elder care settings, family caregiver, home care, geriatric hospital care, long term care facility.

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66 Resilience in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease in Hemodialysis

Authors: Gomes C. C. Izabel, Lanzotti B. Rafaela, Orlandi S. Fabiana

Abstract:

Chronic Kidney Disease is considered a serious public health problem. The exploitation of resilience has been guided by studies conducted in various contexts, especially in hemodialysis, since the impact of diagnosis and restrictions produced during the treatment process because, despite advances in treatment, remains the stigma of the disease and the feeling of pain, hopelessness, low self-esteem and disability. The objective was to evaluate the level of resilience of patients in chronic renal dialysis. This is a descriptive, correlational, cross and quantitative research. The sample consisted of 100 patients from a Renal Replacement Therapy Unit in the countryside of São Paulo. For data collection were used the characterization instrument of Participants and the Resilience Scale. There was a predominance of males (70.0%) were Caucasian (45.0%) and had completed elementary education (34.0%). The average score obtained through the Resilience Scale was 131.3 (± 20.06) points. The resiliency level submitted may be considered satisfactory. It is expected that this study will assist in the preparation of programs and actions in order to avoid possible situations of crises faced by chronic renal patients.

Keywords: Hemodialysis units, hospital, renal dialysis, renal insufficiency chronic, resilience psychological.

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65 Patient Support Program in Pharmacovigilance: Foster Patient Confidence and Compliance

Authors: Atul Khurana, Rajul Rastogi, Hans-Joachim Gamperl

Abstract:

The pharmaceutical companies are getting more inclined towards patient support programs (PSPs) which assist patients and/or healthcare professionals (HCPs) in more desirable disease management and cost-effective treatment. The utmost objective of these programs is patient care. The PSPs may include financial assistance to patients, medicine compliance programs, access to HCPs via phone or online chat centers, etc. The PSP has a crucial role in terms of customer acquisition and retention strategies. During the conduct of these programs, Marketing Authorisation Holder (MAH) may receive information related to concerned medicinal products, which is usually reported by patients or involved HCPs. This information may include suspected adverse reaction(s) during/after administration of medicinal products. Hence, the MAH should design PSP to comply with regulatory reporting requirements and avoid non-compliance during PV inspection. The emergence of wireless health devices is lowering the burden on patients to manually incorporate safety data, and building a significant option for patients to observe major swings in reference to drug safety. Therefore, to enhance the adoption of these programs, MAH not only needs to aware patients about advantages of the program, but also recognizes the importance of time of patients and commitments made in a constructive manner. It is indispensable that strengthening the public health is considered as the topmost priority in such programs, and the MAH is compliant to Pharmacovigilance (PV) requirements along with regulatory obligations.

Keywords: Drug safety, good pharmacovigilance practice, patient support program, pharmacovigilance.

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64 The Contribution of the PCR-Enzymatic Digestion in the Positive Diagnosis of Proximal Spinal Muscular Atrophy in the Moroccan Population

Authors: H. Merhni, A. Sbiti, I. Ratbi, A. Sefiani

Abstract:

The proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a group of neuromuscular disorders characterized by progressive muscle weakness due to the degeneration and loss of anterior motor neurons of the spinal cord. Depending on the age of onset of symptoms and their evolution, four types of SMA, varying in severity, result in a mutations of the SMN gene (survival of Motor neuron). We have analyzed the DNA of 295 patients referred to our genetic counseling; since January 1996 until October 2014; for suspected SMA. The homozygous deletion of exon 7 of the SMN gene was found in 133 patients; of which, 40.6% were born to consanguineous parents. In countries like Morocco, where the frequency of heterozygotes for SMA is high, genetic testing should be offered as first-line and, after careful clinical assessment, especially in newborns and infants with congenital hypotonia unexplained and prognosis compromise. The molecular diagnosis of SMA allows a quick and certainly diagnosis, provide adequate genetic counseling for families at risk and suggest, for couples who want prenatal diagnosis. The analysis of the SMN gene is a perfect example of genetic testing with an excellent cost/benefit ratio that can be of great interest in public health, especially in low-income countries. We emphasize in this work for the benefit of the generalization of molecular diagnosis of SMA by the technique of PCR-enzymatic digestion in other centers in Morocco.

Keywords: Exon7, PCR-digestion, SMA, SMN gene.

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63 Hypertension and Its Association with Oral Health Status in Adults: A Pilot Study in Padusunan Adults Community

Authors: Murniwati, Nurul Khairiyah, Putri Ovieza Maizar

Abstract:

The association between general and oral health is clearly important, particularly in adults with medical conditions. Many of the medical systemic conditions are either caused or aggravated by poor oral hygiene and vice versa. Hypertension is one of common medical systemic problem which has been a public health concern worldwide due to its known consequences. Those consequences must be related to oral health status as well, whether it may cause or worsen the oral health conditions. The objective of this study was to find out the association between hypertension and oral health status in adults. This study was an analytical observational study by using cross-sectional method. A total of 42 adults both male and female in Padusunan Village, Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia were selected as subjects by using purposive sampling. Manual sphygmomanometer was used to measure blood pressure and dental examination was performed to calculate the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) scores in order to represent oral health status. The data obtained was analyzed statistically using One Way ANOVA to determine the association between hypertensive adults and their oral health status. The result showed that majority age of the subjects was ranging from 51-70 years (40.5%). Based on blood pressure examination, 57.1% of subjects were classified to prehypertension. Overall, the mean of DMFT score calculated in normal, prehypertension and hypertension group was not considered statistically significant. There was no significant association (p>0.05) between hypertension and oral health status in adults.

Keywords: Blood pressure, hypertension, DMFT, oral health status.

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62 Application of Various Methods for Evaluation of Heavy Metal Pollution in Soils around Agarak Copper-Molybdenum Mine Complex, Armenia

Authors: K. A. Ghazaryan, H. S. Movsesyan, N. P. Ghazaryan

Abstract:

The present study was aimed in assessing the heavy metal pollution of the soils around Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex and related environmental risks. This mine complex is located in the south-east part of Armenia, and the present study was conducted in 2013. The soils of the five riskiest sites of this region were studied: surroundings of the open mine, the sites adjacent to processing plant of Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex, surroundings of Darazam active tailing dump, the recultivated tailing dump of “ravine - 2”, and the recultivated tailing dump of “ravine - 3”. The mountain cambisol was the main soil type in the study sites. The level of soil contamination by heavy metals was assessed by Contamination factors (Cf), Degree of contamination (Cd), Geoaccumulation index (I-geo) and Enrichment factor (EF). The distribution pattern of trace metals in the soil profile according to Cf, Cd, I-geo and EF values shows that the soil is much polluted. Almost in all studied sites, Cu, Mo, Pb, and Cd were the main polluting heavy metals, and this was conditioned by Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex activity. It is necessary to state that the pollution problem becomes pressing as some parts of these highly polluted region are inhabited by population, and agriculture is highly developed there; therefore, heavy metals can be transferred into human bodies through food chains and have direct influence on public health. Since the induced pollution can pose serious threats to public health, further investigations on soil and vegetation pollution are recommended. Finally, Cf calculating based on distance from the pollution source and the wind direction can provide more reasonable results.

Keywords: Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex, heavy metals, soil contamination, enrichment factor, Armenia.

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61 Snails and Fish as Pollution Biomarkers in Lake Manzala and Laboratory B: Lake Manzala Fish

Authors: Hanaa M. M. El-Khayat, Hanan S. Gaber, Hoda Abdel-Hamid, Kadria M. A. Mahmoud, Hoda M. A. Abu Taleb

Abstract:

This work aimed to examine Oreochromis niloticus fish from Lake Manzala in Port Said, Dakahlya and Damietta governorates, Egypt, as a bio-indicator for the lake water pollution through recording alterations in their hematological, physiological, and histopathological parameters. All fish samples showed a significant increase in levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), creatinine and glutathione-S-transferase (GST); only Dakahlya samples showed a significant increase (p<0.01) in aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level and most Dakahlya and Damietta samples showed reversed albumin and globulin ratio and a significant increase in γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) level. Port-Said and Damietta samples showed a significant decrease of hemoglobin (Hb) while Dakahlya samples showed a significant decrease in white blood cell (WBC) count. Histopathological investigation for different fish organs showed that Port-Said and Dakahlya samples were more altered than Damietta. The muscle and gill followed by intestine were the most affected organs. The muscle sections showed severe edema, neoplasia, necrotic change, fat vacuoles and splitting of muscle fiber. The gill sections showed dilated blood vessels of the filaments, curling of gill lamellae, severe hyperplasia, edema and blood vessels congestion of filaments. The intestine sections revealed degeneration, atrophy, dilation in blood vessels and necrotic changes in sub-mucosa and mucosa with edema in between. The recorded significant alterations, in most of the physiological and histological parameters in O. niloticus samples from Lake Manzala, were alarming for water pollution impacts on lake fish community, which constitutes the main diet and the main source of income for the people inhabiting these areas, and were threatening their public health and economy. Also, results evaluate the use of O. niloticus fish as important bio-indicator for their habitat stressors.

Keywords: Lake Manzala, Oreochromis niloticus fish, water pollution, physiological, hematological and histopathological parameters.

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60 Automatic Threshold Search for Heat Map Based Feature Selection: A Cancer Dataset Analysis

Authors: Carlos Huertas, Reyes Juarez-Ramirez

Abstract:

Public health is one of the most critical issues today; therefore, there is great interest to improve technologies in the area of diseases detection. With machine learning and feature selection, it has been possible to aid the diagnosis of several diseases such as cancer. In this work, we present an extension to the Heat Map Based Feature Selection algorithm, this modification allows automatic threshold parameter selection that helps to improve the generalization performance of high dimensional data such as mass spectrometry. We have performed a comparison analysis using multiple cancer datasets and compare against the well known Recursive Feature Elimination algorithm and our original proposal, the results show improved classification performance that is very competitive against current techniques.

Keywords: Feature selection, mass spectrometry, biomarker discovery, cancer.

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59 Community‐Based Participatory Research in Elderly Health Care of Paisanee Ramintra 65 Community, Bangkok, Thailand

Authors: A. Kulprasutidilok

Abstract:

In order to address the social factors of elderly health care, researcher and community members have turned to more inclusive and participatory approaches to research and interventions. One such approach, community-based participatory research (CBPR) in public health, has received increased attention as the academic and public health communities struggle to address the persistent problems of disparities in the use of health care and health outcomes for several over the past decade. As Thailand becomes an ageing society, health services and proper care systems specifically for the elderly group need to be prepared and well established. The purpose of this assignment was to study the health problems and was to explore the process of community participation in elderly health care. Participants in this study were member of elderly group of Paisanee Ramintra 65 community in Bangkok, Thailand. The results indicated two important components of community participation process in elderly health care: 1) a process to develop community participation in elderly health care, and 2) outcomes resulting from such process. The development of community participation consisted of four processes. As for the outcomes of the community participation development process, they consisted of elderly in the community got jointly and formulated a group, which strengthened the project because of collaborative supervision among themselves. Moreover, inactive health care services have changed to being energetic and focus on health promotion rather than medical achievement and elderly association of community can perform health care activities for chronically illness through the achievement of this development; consequently, they increasingly gained access to physical, cognitive, and social activity.

Keywords: Community-based participatory research, elderly health care, Thailand.

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58 Assessment of Heavy Metal Concentrations in Tunas Caught from Lakshweep Islands, India

Authors: Mahesh Kumar Farejiya, Anil Kumar Dikshit

Abstract:

The toxic metal contamination and their biomagnification in marine fishes is a serious public health concern specially, in the coastal areas and the small islands. In the present study, concentration of toxic heavy metals like zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr) and mercury (Hg) were determined in the tissues of tunas (T. albacores) caught from the area near to Lakshdweep Islands. The heavy metals are one of the indicators for the marine water pollution. Geochemical weathering, industrialization, agriculture run off, fishing, shipping and oil spills are the major pollutants. The presence of heavy toxic metals in the near coastal water fishes at both western coast and eastern coast of India has been well established. The present study was conducted assuming that the distant island will not have the metals presence in a way it is at the near main land coast. However, our study shows that there is a significant amount of the toxic metals present in the tissues of tuna samples. The gill, lever and flash samples were collected in waters around Lakshdweep Islands. They were analyzed using ICP–AES for the toxic metals after microwave digestion. The concentrations of the toxic metals were found in all fish samples and the general trend of presence was in decreasing order as Zn > Al > Cd > Pb > Cr > Ni > Hg. The amount of metals was found to higher in fish having more weight.

Keywords: Biomagnifications, marine environment, toxic heavy metals, Tuna fish.

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