Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 897

Search results for: Personal Care Robots.

27 Clinical Comparative Study Comparing Efficacy of Intrathecal Fentanyl and Magnesium as an Adjuvant to Hyperbaric Bupivacaine in Mild Pre-Eclamptic Patients Undergoing Caesarean Section

Authors: Sanchita B. Sarma, M. P. Nath

Abstract:

Adequate analgesia following caesarean section decreases morbidity, hastens ambulation, improves patient outcome and facilitates care of the newborn. Intrathecal magnesium, an NMDA antagonist, has been shown to prolong analgesia without significant side effects in healthy parturients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the onset and duration of sensory and motor block, hemodynamic effect, postoperative analgesia, and adverse effects of magnesium or fentanyl given intrathecally with hyperbaric 0.5% bupivacaine in patients with mild preeclampsia undergoing caesarean section. Sixty women with mild preeclampsia undergoing elective caesarean section were included in a prospective, double blind, controlled trial. Patients were randomly assigned to receive spinal anesthesia with 2 mL 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine with 12.5 μg fentanyl (group F) or 0.1 ml of 50% magnesium sulphate (50 mg) (group M) with 0.15ml preservative free distilled water. Onset, duration and recovery of sensory and motor block, time to maximum sensory block, duration of spinal anaesthesia and postoperative analgesic requirements were studied. Statistical comparison was carried out using the Chi-square or Fisher’s exact tests and Independent Student’s t-test where appropriate. The onset of both sensory and motor block was slower in the magnesium group. The duration of spinal anaesthesia (246 vs. 284) and motor block (186.3 vs. 210) were significantly longer in the magnesium group. Total analgesic top up requirement was less in group M. Hemodynamic parameters were similar in both the groups. Intrathecal magnesium caused minimal side effects. Since Fentanyl and other opioid congeners are not available throughout the country easily, magnesium with its easy availability and less side effect profile can be a cost effective alternative to fentanyl in managing pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) patients given along with Bupivacaine intrathecally in caesarean section.

Keywords: Analgesia, magnesium, preeclampsia, spinal anaesthesia.

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26 Service Blueprint for Improving Clinical Guideline Adherence via Mobile Health Technology

Authors: Y. O’Connor, C. Heavin, S. O’ Connor, J. Gallagher, J. Wu, J. O’Donoghue

Abstract:

Background: To improve the delivery of paediatric healthcare in low resource settings, Community Health Workers (CHW) have been provided with a paper-based set of protocols known as Community Case Management (CCM). Yet research has shown that CHW adherence to CCM guidelines is poor, ultimately impacting health service delivery. Digitising the CCM guidelines via mobile technology is argued in extant literature to improve CHW adherence. However, little research exist which outlines how (a) this process can be digitised and (b) adherence could be improved as a result. Aim: To explore how an electronic mobile version of CCM (eCCM) can overcome issues associated with the paper-based CCM protocol (inadequate adherence to guidelines) vis-à-vis service blueprinting. This service blueprint will outline how (a) the CCM process can be digitised using mobile Clinical Decision Support Systems software to support clinical decision-making and (b) adherence can be improved as a result. Method: Development of a single service blueprint for a standalone application which visually depicts the service processes (eCCM) when supporting the CHWs, using an application known as Supporting LIFE (SL eCCM app) as an exemplar. Results: A service blueprint is developed which illustrates how the SL eCCM app can be utilised by CHWs to assist with the delivery of healthcare services to children. Leveraging smartphone technologies can (a) provide CHWs with just-in-time data to assist with their decision making at the point-of-care and (b) improve CHW adherence to CCM guidelines. Conclusions: The development of the eCCM opens up opportunities for the CHWs to leverage the inherent benefit of mobile devices to assist them with health service delivery in rural settings. To ensure that benefits are achieved, it is imperative to comprehend the functionality and form of the eCCM service process. By creating such a service blueprint for an eCCM approach, CHWs are provided with a clear picture regarding the role of the eCCM solution, often resulting in buy-in from the end-users.

Keywords: Adherence, community health workers, developing countries, mobile clinical decision support systems, CDSS, service blueprint.

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25 Exploring the Perspective of Service Quality in mHealth Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Wan-I Lee, Nelio Mendoza Figueredo

Abstract:

The impact of COVID-19 has a significant effect on all sectors of society globally. Health information technology (HIT) has become an effective health strategy in this age of distancing. In this regard, Mobile Health (mHealth) plays a critical role in managing patient and provider workflows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the users' perception of service quality about mHealth services plays a significant role in shaping confidence and subsequent behaviors regarding the mHealth users' intention of use. This study's objective was to explore levels of user attributes analyzed by a qualitative method of how health practitioners and patients are satisfied or dissatisfied with using mHealth services; and analyzed the users' intention in the context of Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research explores the experienced usability of a mHealth services during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study uses qualitative methods that include in-depth and semi-structured interviews that investigate participants' perceptions and experiences and the meanings they attribute to them. The five cases consisted of health practitioners, clinic staff, and patients' experiences using mHealth services. This study encourages participants to discuss issues related to the research question by asking open-ended questions, usually in one-to-one interviews. The findings show the positive and negative attributes of mHealth service quality. Hence, the significant importance of patients' and health practitioners' issues on several dimensions of perceived service quality is system quality, information quality, and interaction quality. A concept map for perceptions regards to emergency uses' intention of mHealth services process is depicted. The findings revealed that users pay more attention to "Medical care", "ease of use" and "utilitarian benefits" and have less importance for "Admissions and Convenience" and "Social influence". To improve mHealth services, the mHealth providers and health practitioners should better manage users' experiences to enhance mHealth services. This research contributes to the understanding of service quality issues in mHealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, mobile health, mHealth, service quality, use intention.

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24 Well-Being of Lagos Urban Mini-Bus Drivers: The Influence of Age and Marital Status

Authors: Bolajoko I. Malomo, Maryam O. Yusuf

Abstract:

Lagos urban mini bus drivers play a critical role in the transportation sector. The current major mode of transportation within Lagos metropolis remains road transportation and this confirms the relevance of urban mini-bus drivers in transporting the populace to their various destinations. Other modes of transportation such as the train and waterways are currently inadequate. Various threats to the well-being of urban bus drivers include congested traffic typical of modern day lifestyles, dwindling financial returns due to long hours in traffic, fewer hours of sleep, inadequate diet, time pressure, and assaults related to fare disputes. Several healthrelated problems have been documented to be associated with urban bus driving. For instance, greater rates of hypertension, obesity and cholesterol level have been reported. Research studies are yet to identify the influence of age and marital status on the well-being of urban mini-bus drivers in Lagos metropolis. A study of this nature is necessary as it is culturally perceived in Nigeria that older and married people are especially influenced by family affiliation and would behave in ways that would project positive outcomes. The study sample consisted of 150 urban mini-bus drivers who were conveniently sampled from six (6) different terminuses where their journey begins and terminates. The well-being questionnaire was administered to participants. The criteria for inclusion in the study included the ability to read in English language and the confirmation that interested participants were on duty and suited to be driving mini-buses. Due to the nature of the job of bus driving, the researcher administered the questionnaires on participants who were free and willing to respond to the survey. All participants were males of various age groups and of different marital statuses. Results of analyses conducted revealed no significant influence of age and marital status on the well-being of urban mini-bus drivers. This indicates that the well-being of urban mini bus drivers is not influenced by age or marital status. The findings of this study have cultural implications. It negates the popularly held belief that older and married people care more about their well-being than younger and single people. It brings to fore the need to also identify and consider other factors when certifying people for the job of urban bus driving.

Keywords: Age, Lagos metropolis, marital status, well-being of urban mini bus drivers.

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23 An Introduction to the Concept of Environmental Audit: Indian Context

Authors: Pradip Kumar Das

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Phenomenal growth of population and industry exploits the environment in varied ways. Consequently, the greenhouse effect and other allied problems are threatening mankind the world over. Protection and up gradation of environment have, therefore, become the prime necessity all of mankind for the sustainable development of environment. People in humbler walks of life including the corporate citizens have become aware of the impacts of environmental pollution. Governments of various nations have entered the picture with laws and regulations to correct and cure the effects of present and past violations of environmental practices and to obstruct future violations of good environmental disciplines. In this perspective, environmental audit directs verification and validation to ensure that the various environmental laws are complied with and adequate care has been taken towards environmental protection and preservation. The discipline of environmental audit has experienced expressive development throughout the world. It examines the positive and negative effects of the activities of an enterprise on environment and provides an in-depth study of the company processes any growth in realizing long-term strategic goals. Environmental audit helps corporations assess its achievement, correct deficiencies and reduce risk to the health and improving safety. Environmental audit being a strong management tool should be administered by industry for its own self-assessment. Developed countries all over the globe have gone ahead in environment quantification; but unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness about pollution and environmental hazards among the common people in India. In the light of this situation, the conceptual analysis of this study is concerned with the rationale of environmental audit on the industry and the society as a whole and highlights the emerging dimensions in the auditing theory and practices. A modest attempt has been made to throw light on the recent development in environmental audit in developing nations like India and the problems associated with the implementation of environmental audit. The conceptual study also reflects that despite different obstacles, environmental audit is becoming an increasing aspect within the corporate sectors in India and lastly, conclusions along with suggestions have been offered to improve the current scenario.

Keywords: Environmental audit, environmental hazards, environmental laws, environmental protection, environmental preservation.

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22 Comparison of Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines and Random Forest Regression in Predicting Forced Expiratory Volume in One Second

Authors: P. V. Pramila, V. Mahesh

Abstract:

Pulmonary Function Tests are important non-invasive diagnostic tests to assess respiratory impairments and provides quantifiable measures of lung function. Spirometry is the most frequently used measure of lung function and plays an essential role in the diagnosis and management of pulmonary diseases. However, the test requires considerable patient effort and cooperation, markedly related to the age of patients resulting in incomplete data sets. This paper presents, a nonlinear model built using Multivariate adaptive regression splines and Random forest regression model to predict the missing spirometric features. Random forest based feature selection is used to enhance both the generalization capability and the model interpretability. In the present study, flow-volume data are recorded for N= 198 subjects. The ranked order of feature importance index calculated by the random forests model shows that the spirometric features FVC, FEF25, PEF, FEF25-75, FEF50 and the demographic parameter height are the important descriptors. A comparison of performance assessment of both models prove that, the prediction ability of MARS with the `top two ranked features namely the FVC and FEF25 is higher, yielding a model fit of R2= 0.96 and R2= 0.99 for normal and abnormal subjects. The Root Mean Square Error analysis of the RF model and the MARS model also shows that the latter is capable of predicting the missing values of FEV1 with a notably lower error value of 0.0191 (normal subjects) and 0.0106 (abnormal subjects) with the aforementioned input features. It is concluded that combining feature selection with a prediction model provides a minimum subset of predominant features to train the model, as well as yielding better prediction performance. This analysis can assist clinicians with a intelligence support system in the medical diagnosis and improvement of clinical care.

Keywords: FEV1, Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines Pulmonary Function Test, Random Forest.

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21 Directors’ Duties, Civil Liability, and the Business Judgment Rule under the Portuguese Legal Framework

Authors: Marisa Catarina da Conceição Dinis

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The commercial companies’ management has suffered an important material and legal transformation in the last years, mainly related to the changes in the Portuguese legal framework and because of the fact they were recently object of great expansion. In fact, next to the smaller family businesses, whose management is regularly assumed by partners, companies with social investment highly scattered, whose owners are completely out from administration, are now arising. In those particular cases, the business transactions are much more complex and require from the companies’ managers a highly technical knowledge and some specific professionals’ skills and abilities. This kind of administration carries a high-level risk that can both result in great success or in great losses. Knowing that the administration performance can result in important losses to the companies, the Portuguese legislator has created a legal structure to impute them some responsibilities and sanctions. The main goal of this study is to analyze the Portuguese law and some jurisprudence about companies’ management rules and about the conflicts between the directors and the company. In order to achieve these purposes we have to consider, on the one hand, the legal duties directly connected to the directors’ functions and on the other hand the disrespect for those same rules. The Portuguese law in this matter, influenced by the common law, determines that the directors’ attitude should be guided by loyalty and honesty. Consequently, we must reflect in which cases the administrators should respond to losses that they might cause to companies as a result of their duties’ disrespect. In this way is necessary to study the business judgment rule wich is a rule that refers to a liability exclusion rule. We intend, in the same way, to evaluate if the civil liability that results from the directors’ duties disrespect can extend itself to those who have elected them ignoring or even knowing that they don´t have the necessary skills or appropriate knowledge to the position they hold. To charge directors’, without ruining entrepreneurship, charging, in the same way, those who select them reinforces the need for more responsible and cautious attitudes which will lead consequently to more confidence in the markets.

Keywords: Duty of loyalty, duty of care, business judgment rule, civil liability of directors.

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20 Creating Smart and Healthy Cities by Exploring the Potentials of Emerging Technologies and Social Innovation for Urban Efficiency: Lessons from the Innovative City of Boston

Authors: Mohammed Agbali, Claudia Trillo, Yusuf Arayici, Terrence Fernando

Abstract:

The wide-spread adoption of the Smart City concept has introduced a new era of computing paradigm with opportunities for city administrators and stakeholders in various sectors to re-think the concept of urbanization and development of healthy cities. With the world population rapidly becoming urban-centric especially amongst the emerging economies, social innovation will assist greatly in deploying emerging technologies to address the development challenges in core sectors of the future cities. In this context, sustainable health-care delivery and improved quality of life of the people is considered at the heart of the healthy city agenda. This paper examines the Boston innovation landscape from the perspective of smart services and innovation ecosystem for sustainable development, especially in transportation and healthcare. It investigates the policy implementation process of the Healthy City agenda and eHealth economy innovation based on the experience of Massachusetts’s City of Boston initiatives. For this purpose, three emerging areas are emphasized, namely the eHealth concept, the innovation hubs, and the emerging technologies that drive innovation. This was carried out through empirical analysis on results of public sector and industry-wide interviews/survey about Boston’s current initiatives and the enabling environment. The paper highlights few potential research directions for service integration and social innovation for deploying emerging technologies in the healthy city agenda. The study therefore suggests the need to prioritize social innovation as an overarching strategy to build sustainable Smart Cities in order to avoid technology lock-in. Finally, it concludes that the Boston example of innovation economy is unique in view of the existing platforms for innovation and proper understanding of its dynamics, which is imperative in building smart and healthy cities where quality of life of the citizenry can be improved.

Keywords: Smart city, social innovation, eHealth, innovation hubs, emerging technologies, equitable healthcare, healthy cities.

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19 Impact of Positive Psychology Education and Interventions on Well-Being: A Study of Students Engaged in Pastoral Care

Authors: Inna R. Edara, Haw-Lin Wu

Abstract:

Positive psychology investigates human strengths and virtues and promotes well-being. Relying on this assumption, positive interventions have been continuously designed to build pleasure and happiness, joy and contentment, engagement and meaning, hope and optimism, satisfaction and gratitude, spirituality, and various other positive measures of well-being. In line with this model of positive psychology and interventions, this study investigated certain measures of well-being in a group of 45 students enrolled in an 18-week positive psychology course and simultaneously engaged in service-oriented interventions that they chose for themselves based on the course content and individual interests. Students’ well-being was measured at the beginning and end of the course. The well-being indicators included positive automatic thoughts, optimism and hope, satisfaction with life, and spirituality. A paired-samples t-test conducted to evaluate the impact of class content and service-oriented interventions on students’ scores of well-being indicators indicated statistically significant increase from pre-class to post-class scores. There were also significant gender differences in post-course well-being scores, with females having higher levels of well-being than males. A two-way between groups analysis of variance indicated a significant interaction effect of age by gender on the post-course well-being scores, with females in the age group of 56-65 having the highest scores of well-being in comparison to the males in the same age group. Regression analyses indicated that positive automatic thought significantly predicted hope and satisfaction with life in the pre-course analysis. In the post-course regression analysis, spiritual transcendence made a significant contribution to optimism, and positive automatic thought made a significant contribution to both hope and satisfaction with life. Finally, a significant test between pre-course and post-course regression coefficients indicated that the regression coefficients at pre-course were significantly different from post-course coefficients, suggesting that the positive psychology course and the interventions were helpful in raising the levels of well-being. The overall results suggest a substantial increase in the participants’ well-being scores after engaging in the positive-oriented interventions, implying a need for designing more positive interventions in education to promote well-being.  

Keywords: Hope, optimism, positive automatic thoughts, satisfaction with life, spirituality, well-being.

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18 Angiographic Evaluation of ETT (Treadmill) Positive Patients in a Tertiary Care Hospital of Bangladesh

Authors: Syed Dawood Md. Taimur, Saidur Rahman Khan, Farzana Islam

Abstract:

To evaluate the factors which predetermine the coronary artery disease in patients having positive Exercise Tolerance Test (ETT) that is treadmill results and coronary artery findings. This descriptive study was conducted at Department of Cardiology, Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital & Research Institute, Dhaka, Bangladesh from 1st January, 2014 to 31st August, 2014. All patients who had done ETT (treadmill) for chest pain diagnosis were studied. One hundred and four patients underwent coronary angiogram after positive treadmill result. Patients were divided into two groups depending upon the angiographic findings, i.e. true positive and false positive. Positive treadmill test patients who have coronary artery involvement these are called true positive and who have no involvement they are called false positive group. Both groups were compared with each other. Out of 104 patients, 81 (77.9%) patients had true positive ETT and 23 (22.1%) patients had false positive ETT. The mean age of patients in positive ETT was 53.46± 8.06 years and male mean age was 53.63±8.36 years and female was 52.87±7.0 years. Sixty nine (85.19%) male patients and twelve (14.81%) female patients had true positive ETT, whereas 15 (65.21%) males and 8 (34.79%) females had false positive ETT, this was statistically significant (p<0.032) in the two groups (sex) in comparison of true and false positive ETT. The risk factors of these patients like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, family history and smoking were seen among these patients. Hypertensive patients having true positive which were statistically significant (p<0.004) and diabetic, dyslipidemic patients having true positive which were statistically significant (p<0.032 & 0.030).True positive patients had family history were 68(83.95%) and smoking were 52 (64.20%), where family history patients had statistically significant (p<0.017) between two groups of patients and smokers were significant (p<0.012). 46 true positive patients achieved THR which was not statistically significant (P<0.138) and 79 true patients had abnormal resting ECG whether it was significant (p<0.036). Amongst the vessels involvement the most common was LAD 55 (67.90 %) followed by LCX 42 (51.85%), RCA 36 (44.44%), and the LMCA was 9 (11.11%). 40 patients (49.38%) had SVD, 26 (30.10%) had DVD, 15(18.52%) had TVD and 23 had normal coronary arteries. It can be concluded that among the female patients who have positive ETT with normal resting ECG, who had achieved target heart rate are likely to have a false positive test result. Conversely male patients, resting abnormal ECG who had not achieved THR, symptom limited ETT, have a hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, family history and smoking are likely to have a true positive treadmill test result.

Keywords: Exercise tolerance test, Coronary artery disease, Coronary angiography, True positive, False positive.

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17 Education and Assessment of Civil Employees in e-Government: The Case of a Moodle Based Platform

Authors: Stamatios A. Theocharis, George A. Tsihrintzis

Abstract:

One of the most important factors for the success of e-government is training and preparing the workforce of the public sector. As changes and innovation in the public sector progress at a very slow pace and more slowly than in the private sector, issues related to human resources require special care. This is because the workforce will eventually seize the opportunities of the technological solutions used in e-Government. Thus, the central administration should provide employees with continuous and focused training not only on new technologies but also on a wide range of subjects and also improve interdepartmental interaction.

To achieve all this, new methods and training tools need to be implemented in addition to assessment of the employees. In this spirit, we propose the development of an educational platform with user personalization features. We propose the development of this platform using Moodle as the basic tool. Incorporating a personalization mechanism is very important since different employees have different backgrounds, education levels, computer skills, or different capability to develop further. Key features of the proposed platform include, besides typical e-learning tools, communities organized in order to exchange experiences and knowledge, groups of users based on certain criteria, automatic evaluation of users and potential self-education and self-assessment. In its fully developed form, this platform can be part of a more comprehensive knowledge management system for the public sector.

Keywords: e-Government, civil employees education, education technologies.

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16 Thai Halal Products Brand Tips

Authors: Pibool Waijittragum

Abstract:

The purpose of this research is to analyze the marketing strategies of Thai Halal products which related to the way of life for Thai Muslims. The expected benefit is the marketing strategy for brand building process for Halal products in Thailand. 4 elements of marketing strategies which necessary for the brand identity creation is the research framework: consists of Attributes, Benefits, Values and Personality. The research methodology was applied using qualitative and quantitative; 19 marketing experts with dynamic roles in Thai consumer products were interviewed. In addition, a field survey of 122 Thai Muslims selected from 175 Muslim communities in Bangkok was studied. Data analysis will be according to 5 categories of Thai Halal product: 1) Meat 2) Vegetable and Fruits 3) Instant foods and Garnishing ingredient 4) Beverages, Desserts and Snacks 5) Hygienic daily products; such as soap, shampoo and body lotion. The results will explain some suitable representation in the marketing strategies of Thai Halal products as are: 1) Benefit; the characteristics of the product with its benefit. Consumers will purchase this product with the reason of; it is beneficial nutrients product, there are no toxic or chemical residues. Fresh and clean materials 2) Attribute; the exterior images that attract to consumer. Consumers will purchase this product with the reason of; there is a standard proof mark, food and drug secure proof mark and Halal products mark. Packaging and its materials should be draw attention. Use an attractive graphic. Use outstanding images of product, material or ingredients. 3) Value; the value of products that affect to consumers perception; it is healthy products. Accumulate quality of life. It is a product of expertise, manufacturing of research result. Consumers are important. It’s sincere, honest and reliable to all. 4) Personality; reflection of consumers thought. The Personality feedback to them after they were consumes this product; they are health care persons. They are the rational person, moral person, justice person and thoughtful person like a progressive thinking.

Keywords: Marketing strategies, Product identity, Branding, Thai Halal products.

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15 Military Families’ Attachment to the Royal Guards Community of Dusit District, Bangkok Metropolitan

Authors: Kaniknun Photchong, Phusit Phukamchanoad

Abstract:

The objective of this research is to study the people’s level of participation in activities of the community, their satisfaction towards the community, the attachment they have to the community, factors that influence the attachment, as well as the characteristics of the relationships of military families’ of the Royal Guards community of Dusit District. The method used was non-probability sampling by quota sampling according to people’s age. The determined age group was 18 years or older.

One set of a sample group was done per family. The questionnaires were conducted by 287 people. Snowball sampling was also used by interviewing people of the community, starting from the Royal Guards Community’s leader, then by 20 of the community’s well-respected persons. The data was analyzed by using descriptive statistics, such as arithmetic mean and standard deviation, as well as by inferential statistics, such as Independent - Samples T test (T-test), One-Way ANOVA (F-test), Chi-Square. Descriptive analysis according to the structure of the interview content was also used. The results of the research is that the participation of the population in the Royal Guards Community in various activities is at a medium level, with the average participation level during Mother’s and Father’s Days. The people’s general level of satisfaction towards the premises of the Royal Guards Community is at the highest level.

The people were most satisfied with the transportation within the community and in contacting with people from outside the premises. The access to the community is convenient and there are various entrances. The attachment of the people to the Royal Guards Community in general and by each category is at a high level. The feeling that the community is their home rated the highest average. Factors that influence the attachment of the people of the Royal Guards Community are age, status, profession, income, length of stay in the community, membership of social groups, having neighbors they feel close and familiar with, and as well as the benefits they receive from the community. In addition, it was found that people that participate in activities have a high level of positive relationship towards the attachment of the people to the Royal Guards Community. The satisfaction of the community has a very high level of positive relationship with the attachment of the people to the Royal Guards Community.

The characteristics of the attachment of military families’ is that they live in big houses that everyone has to protect and care for, starting from the leader of the family as well as all members. Therefore, they all love the community they live in. The characteristics that show the participation of activities within the community and the high level of satisfaction towards the premises of the community will enable the people to be more attached to the community. The people feel that everyone is close neighbors within the community, as if they are one big family.

Keywords: Activities, Attachment, Community, Royal Guards, Satisfaction.

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14 The Influence of Fashion Bloggers on the Pre-Purchase Decision for Online Fashion Products among Generation Y Female Malaysian Consumers

Authors: Mohd Zaimmudin Mohd Zain, Patsy Perry, Lee Quinn

Abstract:

This study explores how fashion consumers are influenced by fashion bloggers towards pre-purchase decision for online fashion products in a non-Western context. Malaysians rank among the world’s most avid online shoppers, with apparel the third most popular purchase category. However, extant research on fashion blogging focuses on the developed Western market context. Numerous international fashion retailers have entered the Malaysian market from luxury to fast fashion segments of the market; however Malaysian fashion consumers must balance religious and social norms for modesty with their dress style and adoption of fashion trends. Consumers increasingly mix and match Islamic and Western elements of dress to create new styles enabling them to follow Western fashion trends whilst paying respect to social and religious norms. Social media have revolutionised the way that consumers can search for and find information about fashion products. For online fashion brands with no physical presence, social media provide a means of discovery for consumers. By allowing the creation and exchange of user-generated content (UGC) online, they provide a public forum that gives individual consumers their own voices, as well as access to product information that facilitates their purchase decisions. Social media empower consumers and brands have important roles in facilitating conversations among consumers and themselves, to help consumers connect with them and one another. Fashion blogs have become an important fashion information sources. By sharing their personal style and inspiring their followers with what they wear on popular social media platforms such as Instagram, fashion bloggers have become fashion opinion leaders. By creating UGC to spread useful information to their followers, they influence the pre-purchase decision. Hence, successful Western fashion bloggers such as Chiara Ferragni may earn millions of US dollars every year, and some have created their own fashion ranges and beauty products, become judges in fashion reality shows, won awards, and collaborated with high street and luxury brands. As fashion blogging has become more established worldwide, increasing numbers of fashion bloggers have emerged from non-Western backgrounds to promote Islamic fashion styles, such as Hassanah El-Yacoubi and Dian Pelangi. This study adopts a qualitative approach using netnographic content analysis of consumer comments on two famous Malaysian fashion bloggers’ Instagram accounts during January-March 2016 and qualitative interviews with 16 Malaysian Generation Y fashion consumers during September-October 2016. Netnography adapts ethnographic techniques to the study of online communities or computer-mediated communications. Template analysis of the data involved coding comments according to the theoretical framework, which was developed from the literature review. Initial data analysis shows the strong influence of Malaysian fashion bloggers on their followers in terms of lifestyle and morals as well as fashion style. Followers were guided towards the mix and match trend of dress with Western and Islamic elements, for example, showing how vivid colours or accessories could be worked into an outfit whilst still respecting social and religious norms. The blogger’s Instagram account is a form of online community where followers can communicate and gain guidance and support from other followers, as well as from the blogger.

Keywords: Fashion bloggers, Malaysia, qualitative, social media.

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13 A Frame Work for the Development of a Suitable Method to Find Shoot Length at Maturity of Mustard Plant Using Soft Computing Model

Authors: Satyendra Nath Mandal, J. Pal Choudhury, Dilip De, S. R. Bhadra Chaudhuri

Abstract:

The production of a plant can be measured in terms of seeds. The generation of seeds plays a critical role in our social and daily life. The fruit production which generates seeds, depends on the various parameters of the plant, such as shoot length, leaf number, root length, root number, etc When the plant is growing, some leaves may be lost and some new leaves may appear. It is very difficult to use the number of leaves of the tree to calculate the growth of the plant.. It is also cumbersome to measure the number of roots and length of growth of root in several time instances continuously after certain initial period of time, because roots grow deeper and deeper under ground in course of time. On the contrary, the shoot length of the tree grows in course of time which can be measured in different time instances. So the growth of the plant can be measured using the data of shoot length which are measured at different time instances after plantation. The environmental parameters like temperature, rain fall, humidity and pollution are also play some role in production of yield. The soil, crop and distance management are taken care to produce maximum amount of yields of plant. The data of the growth of shoot length of some mustard plant at the initial stage (7,14,21 & 28 days after plantation) is available from the statistical survey by a group of scientists under the supervision of Prof. Dilip De. In this paper, initial shoot length of Ken( one type of mustard plant) has been used as an initial data. The statistical models, the methods of fuzzy logic and neural network have been tested on this mustard plant and based on error analysis (calculation of average error) that model with minimum error has been selected and can be used for the assessment of shoot length at maturity. Finally, all these methods have been tested with other type of mustard plants and the particular soft computing model with the minimum error of all types has been selected for calculating the predicted data of growth of shoot length. The shoot length at the stage of maturity of all types of mustard plants has been calculated using the statistical method on the predicted data of shoot length.

Keywords: Fuzzy time series, neural network, forecasting error, average error.

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12 A Concept Study to Assist Non-Profit Organizations to Better Target Developing Countries

Authors: Malek Makki

Abstract:

The main purpose of this research study is to assist non-profit organizations (NPOs) to better segment a group of least developing countries and to optimally target the most needier areas, so that the provided aids make positive and lasting differences. We applied international marketing and strategy approaches to segment a sub-group of candidates among a group of 151 countries identified by the UN-G77 list, and furthermore, we point out the areas of priorities. We use reliable and well known criteria on the basis of economics, geography, demography and behavioral. These criteria can be objectively estimated and updated so that a follow-up can be performed to measure the outcomes of any program. We selected 12 socio-economic criteria that complement each other: GDP per capita, GDP growth, industry value added, export per capita, fragile state index, corruption perceived index, environment protection index, ease of doing business index, global competitiveness index, Internet use, public spending on education, and employment rate. A weight was attributed to each variable to highlight the relative importance of each criterion within the country. Care was taken to collect the most recent available data from trusted well-known international organizations (IMF, WB, WEF, and WTO). Construct of equivalence was carried out to compare the same variables across countries. The combination of all these weighted estimated criteria provides us with a global index that represents the level of development per country. An absolute index that combines wars and risks was introduced to exclude or include a country on the basis of conflicts and a collapsing state. The final step applied to the included countries consists of a benchmarking method to select the segment of countries and the percentile of each criterion. The results of this study allowed us to exclude 16 countries for risks and security. We also excluded four countries because they lack reliable and complete data. The other countries were classified per percentile thru their global index, and we identified the needier and the areas where aids are highly required to help any NPO to prioritize the area of implementation. This new concept is based on defined, actionable, accessible and accurate variables by which NPO can implement their program and it can be extended to profit companies to perform their corporate social responsibility acts.

Keywords: Developing countries, International marketing, non-profit organization, segmentation.

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11 Ongoing Gender-Based Challenges in Post-2015 Development Agenda: A Comparative Study between Qatar and Arab States

Authors: Abdel-Samad M. Ali, Ali A. Hadi Al-Shawi

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Discrimination against women and girls impairs progress in all domains of development articulated either in the framework of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Paper aspires to create greater awareness among researchers and policy makers of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them within the Arab region. The study reveals how Arab countries are closing in on gender-oriented targets of the third and fifth MDGs. While some countries can claim remarkable achievements particularly in girls’ equality in education, there is still a long way to go to keep Arab’s commitments to current and future generations in other countries and subregions especially in the economic participation or in the political empowerment of women. No country has closed or even expected to close the economic participation gap or the political empowerment gap. This should provide the incentive to keep moving forward in the Post-2015 Agenda. Findings of the study prove that while Arab states have uneven achievements in reducing maternal mortality, Arab women remain at a disadvantage in the labour market. For Arab region especially LDCs, improving maternal health is part of the unmet agenda for the post-2015 period and still calls for intensified efforts and procedures. While antenatal care coverage is improving across the Arab region, progress is marginal in LDCs. To achieve proper realization of gender equality and empowerment of women in the Arab region in the post-2015 agenda, the study presents critical key challenges to be addressed. These challenges include: Negative cultural norms and stereotypes; violence against women and girls; early marriage and child labour; women’s limited control over their own bodies; limited ability of women to generate their own income and control assets and property; gender-based discrimination in law and in practice; women’s unequal participation in private and public decision making autonomy; and limitations in data. However, in all Arab states, gender equality must be integrated as a goal across all issues, particularly those that affect the future of a country.

Keywords: Gender, equity, millennium development goals, post-2015 development agenda.

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10 Nutrition Program Planning Based on Local Resources in Urban Fringe Areas of a Developing Country

Authors: Oktia Woro Kasmini Handayani, Bambang Budi Raharjo, Efa Nugroho, Bertakalswa Hermawati

Abstract:

Obesity prevalence and severe malnutrition in Indonesia has increased from 2007 to 2013. The utilization of local resources in nutritional program planning can be used to program efficiency and to reach the goal. The aim of this research is to plan a nutrition program based on local resources for urban fringe areas in a developing country. This research used a qualitative approach, with a focus on local resources including social capital, social system, cultural system. The study was conducted in Mijen, Central Java, as one of the urban fringe areas in Indonesia. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques are used to determine participants. A total of 16 participants took part in the study. Observation, interviews, focus group discussion, SWOT analysis, brainstorming and Miles and Huberman models were used to analyze the data. We have identified several local resources, such as the contributions from nutrition cadres, social organizations, social financial resources, as well as the cultural system and social system. The outstanding contribution of nutrition cadres is the participation and creativity to improve nutritional status. In addition, social organizations, like the role of the integrated health center for children (Pos Pelayanan Terpadu), can be engaged in the nutrition program planning. This center is supported by House of Nutrition to assist in nutrition program planning, and provide social support to families, neighbors and communities as social capitals. The study also reported that cultural systems that show appreciation for well-nourished children are a better way to improve the problem of balanced nutrition. Social systems such as teamwork and mutual cooperation can also be a potential resource to support nutritional programs and overcome associated problems. The impact of development in urban areas such as the introduction of more green areas which improve the perceived status of local people, as well as new health services facilitated by people and companies, can also be resources to support nutrition programs. Local resources in urban fringe areas can be used in the planning of nutrition programs. The expansion of partnership with all stakeholders, empowering the community through optimizing the roles of nutrition care centers for children as our recommendation with regard to nutrition program planning.

Keywords: Developing country, local resources, nutrition program, urban fringe.

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9 Interactive Garments: Flexible Technologies for Textile Integration

Authors: Anupam Bhatia

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Upon reviewing the literature and the pragmatic work done in the field of E- textiles, it is observed that the applications of wearable technologies have found a steady growth in the field of military, medical, industrial, sports; whereas fashion is at a loss to know how to treat this technology and bring it to market. The purpose of this paper is to understand the practical issues of integration of electronics in garments; cutting patterns for mass production, maintaining the basic properties of textiles and daily maintenance of garments that hinder the wide adoption of interactive fabric technology within Fashion and leisure wear. To understand the practical hindrances an experimental and laboratory approach is taken. “Techno Meets Fashion” has been an interactive fashion project where sensor technologies have been embedded with textiles that result in set of ensembles that are light emitting garments, sound sensing garments, proximity garments, shape memory garments etc. Smart textiles, especially in the form of textile interfaces, are drastically underused in fashion and other lifestyle product design. Clothing and some other textile products must be washable, which subjects to the interactive elements to water and chemical immersion, physical stress, and extreme temperature. The current state of the art tends to be too fragile for this treatment. The process for mass producing traditional textiles becomes difficult in interactive textiles. As cutting patterns from larger rolls of cloth and sewing them together to make garments breaks and reforms electronic connections in an uncontrolled manner. Because of this, interactive fabric elements are integrated by hand into textiles produced by standard methods. The Arduino has surely made embedding electronics into textiles much easier than before; even then electronics are not integral to the daily wear garments. Soft and flexible interfaces of MEMS (micro sensors and Micro actuators) can be an option to make this possible by blending electronics within E-textiles in a way that’s seamless and still retains functions of the circuits as well as the garment. Smart clothes, which offer simultaneously a challenging design and utility value, can be only mass produced if the demands of the body are taken care of i.e. protection, anthropometry, ergonomics of human movement, thermo- physiological regulation.

Keywords: Ambient Intelligence, Proximity Sensors, Shape Memory Materials, Sound sensing garments, Wearable Technology.

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8 Social and Cultural Capital in Patthana Soi Ranongklang Community, Dusit District, Bangkok

Authors: Phusit Phukamchanoad, Bua Srikos

Abstract:

This research aimed to study the characteristics of a community in the social, economic and cultural context. This research used interviews and surveys of the members in the Patthana Soi Ranongklang community, Dusit District, Bangkok. The results are as follows: In terms of overall conditions and characteristics, the Patthana Soi Ranongklang community is located on the property of the Treasury Department. 50 years ago, the location of this community consisted of paddy fields with limited convenience in terms of transportation. Rama V Road was only a small narrow road accessed only by three-wheelers there were no buses. The majority of community members moved in from Mak Khawan Rangsan Bridge. Thus, most community members were either workers or government officials as they were routers not the owners of the land. Therefore, there were no primary occupations within the 7 acres of this community. The development of the community started in 1981. At present, the community is continuously being developed and modernization is rapidly flowing in. One of the reasons was because the main roads were widened, especially Rama V Road that allows more convenient transportation, leading to heightened citizens’ convenience. In terms of the economy and society, Rama V Road causes the research to find out the development and expansion of change in the conditions of the area and buildings. Some buildings were improved and changed along the time, as well as the development of new facilities that caused the community members to continually become more materialistic. In the community, it has well organized and managed jobs to each part of community members, and areas were improved to allow the new buildings and apartments. The trend of jobs became more varied, in terms of both jobs at home, such as workers, merchandizing and small own businesses, and the community jobs outside, which became much more convenient to car drivers as they got used to the narrow roads inside the community. The location of the community next to Rama V Road also allows assistance from government agencies to reach the community with ease. Moreover, the welfare of the community was well taken care of by the community committee. In terms of education, the research found that there are two schools: Wat Pracharabuedham School and Wat Noi Noppakun School that are providing education within the community. The majority in the community have received Bachelor degrees. In areas of culture, the research found that the culture, traditions and beliefs of people in the community were mainly transferred from the old community: the majorities are Buddhists, so especially beliefs in Buddhism; the main reason for this is because the old community was situated near Wat Makut Kasattriyaram. Therefore, the community members have always had Buddhist temples as the centre of the community. Later years, more citizens moved along culture in and bring traditions and beliefs with them. The community members also took part in building a Dharma hall named Wat Duang Jai which is 72 year old.

Keywords: Social Capital, Patthana Soi Ranongklang community, Way of Life.

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7 Italians- Social and Emotional Loneliness: The Results of Five Studies

Authors: Vanda Lucia Zammuner

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Subjective loneliness describes people who feel a disagreeable or unacceptable lack of meaningful social relationships, both at the quantitative and qualitative level. The studies to be presented tested an Italian 18-items self-report loneliness measure, that included items adapted from scales previously developed, namely a short version of the UCLA (Russell, Peplau and Cutrona, 1980), and the 11-items Loneliness scale by De Jong-Gierveld & Kamphuis (JGLS; 1985). The studies aimed at testing the developed scale and at verifying whether loneliness is better conceptualized as a unidimensional (so-called 'general loneliness') or a bidimensional construct, namely comprising the distinct facets of social and emotional loneliness. The loneliness questionnaire included 2 singleitem criterion measures of sad mood, and social contact, and asked participants to supply information on a number of socio-demographic variables. Factorial analyses of responses obtained in two preliminary studies, with 59 and 143 Italian participants respectively, showed good factor loadings and subscale reliability and confirmed that perceived loneliness has clearly two components, a social and an emotional one, the latter measured by two subscales, a 7-item 'general' loneliness subscale derived from UCLA, and a 6–item 'emotional' scale included in the JGLS. Results further showed that type and amount of loneliness are related, negatively, to frequency of social contacts, and, positively, to sad mood. In a third study data were obtained from a nation-wide sample of 9.097 Italian subjects, 12 to about 70 year-olds, who filled the test on-line, on the Italian web site of a large-audience magazine, Focus. The results again confirmed the reliability of the component subscales, namely social, emotional, and 'general' loneliness, and showed that they were highly correlated with each other, especially the latter two. Loneliness scores were significantly predicted by sex, age, education level, sad mood and social contact, and, less so, by other variables – e.g., geographical area and profession. The scale validity was confirmed by the results of a fourth study, with elderly men and women (N 105) living at home or in residential care units. The three subscales were significantly related, among others, to depression, and to various measures of the extension of, and satisfaction with, social contacts with relatives and friends. Finally, a fifth study with 315 career-starters showed that social and emotional loneliness correlate with life satisfaction, and with measures of emotional intelligence. Altogether the results showed a good validity and reliability in the tested samples of the entire scale, and of its components.

Keywords: Emotional loneliness, social loneliness, scale development and testing, life span and cultural differences.

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6 Exploring Communities of Practice through Public Health Walks for Nurse Education

Authors: Jacqueline P. Davies

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Introduction: Student nurses must develop skills in observation, communication and reflection as well as public health knowledge from their first year of training. This paper will explain a method developed for students to collect their own findings about public health in urban areas. These areas are both rich in the history of old public health that informs the content of many traditional public health walks, but are also locations where new public health concerns about chronic disease are concentrated. The learning method explained in this paper enables students to collect their own data and write original work as first year students. Examples of their findings will be given. Methodology: In small groups, health care students are instructed to walk in neighbourhoods near to the hospitals they will soon attend as apprentice nurses. On their walks, they wander slowly, engage in conversations, and enter places open to the public. As they drift, they observe with all five senses in the real three dimensional world to collect data for their reflective accounts of old and new public health. They are encouraged to stop for refreshments and taste, as well as look, hear, smell, and touch while on their walk. They reflect as a group and later develop an individual reflective account in which they write up their deep reflections about what they observed on their walk. In preparation for their walk, they are encouraged to look at studies of quality of Life and other neighbourhood statistics as well as undertaking a risk assessment for their walk. Findings: Reflecting on their walks, students apply theoretical concepts around social determinants of health and health inequalities to develop their understanding of communities in the neighbourhoods visited. They write about the treasured historical architecture made of stone, bronze and marble which have outlived those who built them; but also how the streets are used now. The students develop their observations into thematic analyses such as: what we drink as illustrated by the empty coke can tossed into a now disused drinking fountain; the shift in home-life balance illustrated by streets where families once lived over the shop which are now walked by commuters weaving around each other as they talk on their mobile phones; and security on the street, with CCTV cameras placed at regular intervals, signs warning trespasses and barbed wire; but little evidence of local people watching the street. Conclusion: In evaluations of their first year, students have reported the health walk as one of their best experiences. The innovative approach was commended by the UK governing body of nurse education and it received a quality award from the nurse education funding body. This approach to education allows students to develop skills in the real world and write original work.

Keywords: Education, innovation. nursing, urban.

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5 Determinants of Never Users of Contraception – Results from Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2012-13

Authors: Arsalan Jabbar, Wajiha Javed, Nelofer Mehboob, Zahid Memon

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Introduction: There are multiple social, individual and cultural factors that influence an individual’s decision to adopt family planning methods especially among non-users in patriarchal societies like Pakistan. Non-users, if targeted efficiently, can contribute significantly to country’s CPR. A research study showed that nonusers if convinced to adopt lactational amenorrhea method can shift to long term methods in future. Research shows that if non users are targeted efficiently a 59% reduction in unintended pregnancies in Saharan Africa and South-Central and South-East Asia is anticipated. Methods: We did secondary data analysis on Pakistan Demographic Heath Survey (2012-13) dataset. Use of contraception (never-use/ever-use) was the outcome variable. At univariate level Chi-square/Fisher Exact test was used to assess relationship of baseline covariates with contraception use. Then variables to be incorporated in the model were checked for multicollinearity, confounding and interaction. Then binary logistic regression (with an urban-rural stratification) was done to find relationship between contraception use and baseline demographic and social variables. Results: The multivariate analyses of the study showed that younger women (≤ 29 years)were more prone to be never users as compared to those who were >30 years and this trend was seen in urban areas (AOR 1.92, CI 1.453-2.536) as well as rural areas (AOR 1.809, CI 1.421-2.303). While looking at regional variation, women from urban Sindh (AOR 1.548, CI 1.142-2.099) and urban Balochistan (AOR 2.403, CI 1.504-3.839) had more never users as compared to other urban regions. Women in the rich wealth quintile were more never users and this was seen both in urban and rural localities (urban (AOR 1.106 CI .753-1.624); rural areas (AOR 1.162, CI .887-1.524)) even though these were not statistically significant. Women idealizing more children (>4) are more never users as compared to those idealizing less children in both urban (AOR 1.854, CI 1.275-2.697) and rural areas (AOR 2.101, CI 1.514-2.916). Women who never lost a pregnancy were more inclined to be nonusers in rural areas (AOR 1.394, CI 1.127-1.723) .Women familiar with only traditional or no method had more never users in rural areas (AOR 1.717, CI 1.127-1.723) but in urban areas it wasn’t significant. Women unaware of Lady Health Worker’s presence in their area were more never users especially in rural areas (AOR 1.276, CI 1.014-1.607). Women who did not visit any care provider were more never users (urban (AOR 11.738, CI 9.112-15.121) rural areas (AOR 7.832, CI 6.243-9.826)). Discussion/Conclusion: This study concluded that government, policy makers and private sector family planning programs should focus on the untapped pool of never users (younger women from underserved provinces, in higher wealth quintiles, who desire more children.). We need to make sure to cover catchment areas where there are less LHWs and less providers as ignorance to modern methods and never been visited by an LHW are important determinants of never use. This all is in sync with previous literate from similar developing countries.

Keywords: Contraception, Demographic and Health Survey, Family Planning, Never users.

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4 Adverse Drug Reactions Monitoring in the Northern Region of Zambia

Authors: Ponshano Kaselekela, Simooya O. Oscar, Lunshano Boyd

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The Copperbelt University Health Services (CBUHS) was designated by the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), formally the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (PRA) as a regional pharmacovigilance centre to carryout activities of drug safety monitoring in four provinces in Zambia. CBUHS’s mandate included stimulating the reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), as well as collecting and collating ADR reports from health institutions in the four provinces. This report covers the researchers’ experiences from May 2008 to September, 2016. The main objectives are 1) to monitor ADRs in the Zambian population, 2) to disseminate information to all health professionals in the region advising that the CBU health was a centre for reporting ADRs in the region, 3) to monitor polypharmacy as well as the benefit-risk profile of medicines, 4) to generate independent, evidence based recommendations on the safety of medicines, 5) to support ZAMRA in formulating safety related regulatory decisions for medicines, and 6) to communicate findings with all key stakeholders. The methodology involved monthly visits, beginning in early May 2008 to September, 2016, by the CBUHS to health institutions in the programme areas. Activities included holding discussions with health workers, distribution of ADR forms and collection of ADRs reports. These reports, once collected, were documented and assessed at the CBUHS. A report was then prepared for ZAMRA on quarterly basis. At ZAMRA, serious ADRs were noted and recommendations made to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Zambia. The results show that 2,600 ADRs reports were received at the pharmacovigilance regional centre. Most of the ADRs reports that received were due to antiretroviral drugs, as well as a few from anti-malarial drugs like Artemether/Lumefantrine – Coartem®. Three hundred and twelve ADRs were entered in the Uppsala Monitoring Centre WHO Vigiflow for further analysis. It was concluded that in general, 2008-16 were exciting years for the pharmacovigilance group at CBUHS. From a very tentative beginning, a lot of strides were made and contacts established with healthcare facilities in the region. The researchers were encouraged by the support received from the Copperbelt University management, the motivation provided by ZAMRA and most importantly the enthusiasm of health workers in all the health care facilities visited. As a centre for drug safety in Zambia, the results show it achieves its objectives for monitoring ADRs, Pharmacovigilance (drug safety monitoring), and activities of monitoring ADRs as well as preventing them. However, the centre faces critical challenges caused by erratic funding that prevents the smooth running of the programme.

Keywords: Assessments, evaluation, monitoring, pharmacovigilance.

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3 Transforming Ganges to be a Living River through Waste Water Management

Authors: P. M. Natarajan, Shambhu Kallolikar, S. Ganesh

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By size and volume of water, Ganges River basin is the biggest among the fourteen major river basins in India. By Hindu’s faith, it is the main ‘holy river’ in this nation. But, of late, the pollution load, both domestic and industrial sources are deteriorating the surface and groundwater as well as land resources and hence the environment of the Ganges River basin is under threat. Seeing this scenario, the Indian government began to reclaim this river by two Ganges Action Plans I and II since 1986 by spending Rs. 2,747.52 crores ($457.92 million). But the result was no improvement in the water quality of the river and groundwater and environment even after almost three decades of reclamation, and hence now the New Indian Government is taking extra care to rejuvenate this river and allotted Rs. 2,037 cores ($339.50 million) in 2014 and Rs. 20,000 crores ($3,333.33 million) in 2015. The reasons for the poor water quality and stinking environment even after three decades of reclamation of the river are either no treatment/partial treatment of the sewage. Hence, now the authors are suggesting a tertiary level treatment standard of sewages of all sources and origins of the Ganges River basin and recycling the entire treated water for nondomestic uses. At 20million litres per day (MLD) capacity of each sewage treatment plant (STP), this basin needs about 2020 plants to treat the entire sewage load. Cost of the STPs is Rs. 3,43,400 million ($5,723.33 million) and the annual maintenance cost is Rs. 15,352 million ($255.87 million). The advantages of the proposed exercise are: we can produce a volume of 1,769.52 million m3 of biogas. Since biogas is energy, can be used as a fuel, for any heating purpose, such as cooking. It can also be used in a gas engine to convert the energy in the gas into electricity and heat. It is possible to generate about 3,539.04 million kilowatt electricity per annum from the biogas generated in the process of wastewater treatment in Ganges basin. The income generation from electricity works out to Rs 10,617.12million ($176.95million). This power can be used to bridge the supply and demand gap of energy in the power hungry villages where 300million people are without electricity in India even today, and to run these STPs as well. The 664.18 million tonnes of sludge generated by the treatment plants per annum can be used in agriculture as manure with suitable amendments. By arresting the pollution load the 187.42 cubic kilometer (km3) of groundwater potential of the Ganges River basin could be protected from deterioration. Since we can recycle the sewage for non-domestic purposes, about 14.75km3 of fresh water per annum can be conserved for future use. The total value of the water saving per annum is Rs.22,11,916million ($36,865.27million) and each citizen of Ganges River basin can save Rs. 4,423.83/ ($73.73) per annum and Rs. 12.12 ($0.202) per day by recycling the treated water for nondomestic uses. Further the environment of this basin could be kept clean by arresting the foul smell as well as the 3% of greenhouse gages emission from the stinking waterways and land. These are the ways to reclaim the waterways of Ganges River basin from deterioration.

Keywords: Holy Ganges River, lifeline of India, wastewater treatment and management, making Ganges permanently holy.

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2 Accessible Facilities in Home Environment for Elderly Family Members in Sri Lanka

Authors: M. A. N. Rasanjalee Perera

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The world is facing several problems due to increasing elderly population. In Sri Lanka, along with the complexity of the modern society and structural and functional changes of the family, “caring for elders” seems as an emerging social problem. This situation may intensify as the county is moving into a middle income society. Seeking higher education and related career opportunities, and urban living in modern housing are new trends, through which several problems are generated. Among many issues related with elders, “lack of accessible and appropriate facilities in their houses as well as public buildings” can be identified as a major problem. This study argues that welfare facilities provided for the elderly people, particularly in the home environment, in the country are not adequate. Modern housing features such as bathrooms, pantries, lobbies, and leisure areas etc. are questionable as to whether they match with elders’ physical and mental needs. Consequently, elders have to face domestic accidents and many other difficulties within their living environments. Records of hospitals in the country also proved this fact. Therefore, this study tries to identify how far modern houses are suited with elders’ needs. The study further questioned whether “aging” is a considerable matter when people are buying, planning and renovating houses. A randomly selected sample of 50 houses were observed and 50 persons were interviewed around the Maharagama urban area in Colombo district to obtain primary data, while relevant secondary data and information were used to have a depth analysis. The study clearly found that none of the houses included to the sample are considering elders’ needs in planning, renovating, or arranging the home. Instead, most of the families were giving priority to the rich and elegant appearance and modern facilities of the houses. Particularly, to the bathrooms, pantry, large setting areas, balcony, parking slots for two vehicles, ad parapet walls with roller-gates are the main concerns. A significant factor found here is that even though, many children of the aged are in middle age and reaching their older years at present, they do not plan their future living within a safe and comfortable home, despite that they are hoping to spent the latter part of their lives in the their current homes. This fact highlights that not only the other responsible parts of the society, but also those who are reaching their older ages are ignoring the problems of the aged. At the same time, it was found that more than 80% of old parents do not like to stay at their children’s homes as the living environments in such modern homes are not familiar or convenient for them. Due to this context, the aged in Sri Lanka may have to be alone in their own homes due to current trend of society of migrating to urban living in modern houses. At the same time, current urban families who live in modern houses may have to face adding accessible facilities in their home environment, as current modern housing facilities may not be appropriate them for a better life in their latter part of life.

Keywords: Aging population, elderly care, home environment, housing facilities.

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1 Antimicrobial and Aroma Finishing of Organic Cotton Knits Using Vetiver Oil Microcapsules for Health Care Textiles

Authors: K. J. Sannapapamma, H. Malligawad Lokanath, Sakeena Naikwadi

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Eco-friendly textiles are gaining importance among the consumers and textile manufacturers in the healthcare sector due to increased environmental pollution which leads to several health and environmental hazards. Hence, the research was designed to cultivate and develop the organic cotton knit, to prepare and characterize the Vetiver oil microcapsules for textile finishing and to access the wash durability of finished knits. The cotton SAHANA variety grown under organic production systems was processed and spun into 30 single yarn dyed with four natural colorants (Arecanut slurry, Eucalyptus leaves, Pomegranate rind and Indigo) and eco dyed yarn was further used for development of single jersy knitted fabric. Vetiveria zizanioides is an aromatic grass which is being traditionally used in medicine and perfumery. Vetiver essential oil was used for preparation of microcapsules by interfacial polymerization technique subjected to Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Thermo Gravimetric Analyzer (TGA) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) for characterization of microcapsules. The knitted fabric was finished with vetiver oil microcapsules by exhaust and pad dry cure methods. The finished organic knit was assessed for laundering on antimicrobial efficiency and aroma intensity. GCMS spectral analysis showed that, diethyl phthalate (28%) was the major compound found in vetiver oil followed by isoaromadendrene epoxide (7.72%), beta-vetivenene (6.92%), solavetivone (5.58%), aromadenderene, azulene and khusimol. Bioassay explained that, the vetiver oil and diluted vetiver oil possessed greater zone of inhibition against S. aureus and E. coli than the coconut oil. FTRI spectra of vetiver oil and microcapsules possessed similar peaks viz., C-H, C=C & C꞊O stretching and additionally oil microcapsules possessed the peak of 3331.24 cm-1 at 91.14 transmittance was attributed to N-H stretches. TGA of oil microcapsules revealed that, there was a minimum weight loss (5.835%) recorded at 467.09°C compared to vetiver oil i.e., -3.026% at the temperature of 396.24°C. The shape of the microcapsules was regular and round, some were spherical in shape and few were rounded by small aggregates. Irrespective of methods of application, organic cotton knits finished with microcapsules by pad dry cure method showed maximum zone of inhibition compared to knits finished by exhaust method against S. aureus and E. coli. The antimicrobial activity of the finished samples was subjected to multiple washing which indicated that knits finished with pad dry cure method showed a zone of inhibition even after 20th wash and better aroma retention compared to knits finished with the exhaust method of application. Further, the group of respondents rated that the 5th washed samples had the greater aroma intensity in both the methods than the other samples. Thus, the vetiver microencapsulated organic cotton knits are free from hazardous chemicals and have multi-functional properties that can be suitable for medical and healthcare textiles.

Keywords: Exhaust and pad dry cure finishing, interfacial polymerization, organic cotton knits, vetiver oil microcapsules.

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