In Turkey, while urban area boundaries are enlarged by making decisions on investment areas in cities, development plans are made according to government decisions, rather than scientific criteria. Even environment protection laws state that “if public interest is at stake”, areas under mandatory protection can be transformed into investment areas. This leads to destruction of valuable agricultural lands. Paper demonstrates loss of agricultural lands by superimposing plans, Suitability of the Lands for Agricultural Use and Google Earth Images in an exemplary settlement, and expresses that urban area boundaries should be included in legislation as an official boundary for all settlements.
This study involves a legal analysis of the case Earthlife Africa Johannesburg v Minister of Environmental Affairs and Others. The case considered the impact of the Thabametsi Power Project if it operated to the expected year 2060 on the global climate and ever-changing climate, in South Africa. This judgment highlights the significance, place and principles of climate change and where climate change impacts the South African environmental law which has its founding principles in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. This paper seeks to examine the advances for climate change regulation and application in terms of international law, in South Africa, through a qualitative study involving comparative national and international case law. A literature review study was conducted to compare and contrast the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands with reference to international law and interpretation. The relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act will be discussed. It then proceeds to outline the potential liability of the Minister in the interpretation and application of international law.
Kolkata, the City of Joy, is a greying metropolis not only in respect of its concrete jungle but also because of the largest population of 60-plus residents that it shelters among all other cities in India. Declining birth and death rates and a negative growth of population indicate that the city has reached the last stage of demographic transition. Thus, the obvious consequence has been the ageing of its population. With this background, the present paper attempts to study the demographic and socio-economic status of the elderly population in Kolkata. Analysis and findings have been based on secondary data obtained from Census of India of various years, Sample Registration System Reports and reports by HelpAge India. Findings show that the elderly population is increasing continuously. With respect to gender, the male elderly outnumbers the female elderly population. The percentage of households having one elderly member is more in the city due to the emergence of the nuclear families and erosion of joint family system. With respect to socio-economic status, those elderly who are the heads of the family are lower in percentages than those in the other age groups. Also, male elderly as head of the family are greater in percentage than female elderly. Elderly in the category of currently married records the highest percentage followed by widowed, never married and lastly, separated or divorced. Male elderly outnumber the female elderly as currently married, while female elderly outnumbers the male elderly in the category of widowed. In terms of living status, the percentage of elderly who are living alone is highest in Kolkata and the reason for staying alone as no support from children also happens to be highest in this city. The literacy rate and higher level of education is higher among the male than female elderly. Higher percentages of female elderly have been found to be with disability. Disability in movement and multiple disabilities have been found to be more common among the elderly population in Kolkata. Percentages of male literate pensioners are highest than other categories. Also, in terms of levels of education male elderly who are graduate and above other than technical degree are the highest receivers of pension. Also, in terms of working status, elderly as non-workers are higher in percentages with the population of elderly females outnumbering the males. The old age dependency ratio in the city is increasing continuously and the ratio is higher among females than male. Thus, it can be stated that Kolkata is witnessing continuous and rapid ageing of its population. Increasing dependency ratio is likely to create pressure on the working population, available civic, social and health amenities. This requires intervention in the form of planning, formulation and implementation of laws, policies, programs and measures to safeguard and improve the conditions of the elderly in Kolkata.
Significant legislative changes are set to revolutionise the commercial shipping industry. Upcoming emissions restrictions will force operators to look at technologies that can improve the efficiency of their vessels -reducing fuel consumption and emissions. A device which may help in this challenge is the Ship Wind-Assisted Propulsion system (SWAP), an actively controlled aerofoil mounted vertically on the deck of a ship. The device functions in a similar manner to a sail on a yacht, whereby the aerodynamic forces generated by the sail reach an equilibrium with the hydrodynamic forces on the hull and a forward velocity results. Numerical and experimental testing of the SWAP device is presented in this study. Circulation control takes the form of a co-flow jet aerofoil, utilising both blowing from the leading edge and suction from the trailing edge. A jet at the leading edge uses the Coanda effect to energise the boundary layer in order to delay flow separation and create high lift with low drag. The SWAP concept has been originated by the research and development team at SMAR Azure Ltd. The device will be retrofitted to existing ships so that a component of the aerodynamic forces acts forward and partially reduces the reliance on existing propulsion systems. Wind tunnel tests have been carried out at the de Havilland wind tunnel at the University of Glasgow on a 1:20 scale model of this system. The tests aim to understand the airflow characteristics around the aerofoil and investigate the approximate lift and drag coefficients that an early iteration of the SWAP device may produce. The data exhibits clear trends of increasing lift as injection momentum increases, with critical flow attachment points being identified at specific combinations of jet momentum coefficient, Cµ, and angle of attack, AOA. Various combinations of flow conditions were tested, with the jet momentum coefficient ranging from 0 to 0.7 and the AOA ranging from 0° to 35°. The Reynolds number across the tested conditions ranged from 80,000 to 240,000. Comparisons between 2D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and the experimental data are presented for multiple Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence models in the form of normalised surface pressure comparisons. These show good agreement for most of the tested cases. However, certain simulation conditions exhibited a well-documented shortcoming of RANS-based turbulence models for circulation control flows and over-predicted surface pressures and lift coefficient for fully attached flow cases. Work must be continued in finding an all-encompassing modelling approach which predicts surface pressures well for all combinations of jet injection momentum and AOA.
This paper presents an overview of the foundation and evolution of environmental related problems in local governments with specific reference on air pollution in South Africa. Local government has a direct mandate in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereafter, the Constitution). This mandate to protect, fulfil, respect and promote the Bill of Rights by local governments in respect of the powers and functions creates confusion around the role of where a local government fits in, in addressing the problem of climate change in South Africa. A reflection of the evolving legislations, developments, and processes regarding climate change that shaped local government dispensation in South Africa is addressed by the notion of developmental local governments. This paper seeks to examine the advances for mitigation and adaptation regulation of air pollution and application in South Africa. This study involves a qualitative approach that will involve South African national legislation as well as an interpretation of international strategies. A literature review study was conducted to undertake the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands, as well as the relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act and the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act. It then proceeds to outline the responsibilities of local governments in South Africa to mitigate and adapt to air pollution strategies.
The synergistic impact and optimization of gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity on CO2 biofixation rate were investigated using wastewater as a medium to cultivate Chlorella vulgaris under different conditions (gas flow rate 1-8 L/min), CO2 concentration (0.03-7%), and light intensity (150-400 µmol/m2.s)). Response Surface Methodology and Box-Behnken experimental Design were applied to find optimum values for gas flow rate, CO2 concentration, and light intensity. The optimum values of the three independent variables (gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity) and desirability were 7.5 L/min, 3.5%, and 400 µmol/m2.s, and 0.904, respectively. The highest amount of biomass produced and CO2 biofixation rate at optimum conditions were 5.7 g/L, 1.23 gL-1d-1, respectively. The synergistic effect between gas flow rate and concentration of CO2, and between gas flow rate and light intensity was significant on the three responses, while the effect between CO2 concentration and light intensity was less significant on CO2 biofixation rate. The results of this study could be highly helpful when using microalgae for CO2 biofixation in wastewater treatment.
A key issue in stock investment is how to select representative features for stock selection. The objective of this paper is to firstly determine whether an automated stock investment system, using machine learning techniques, may be used to identify a portfolio of growth stocks that are highly likely to provide returns better than the stock market index. The second objective is to identify the technical features that best characterize whether a stock’s price is likely to go up and to identify the most important factors and their contribution to predicting the likelihood of the stock price going up. Unsupervised machine learning techniques, such as cluster analysis, were applied to the stock data to identify a cluster of stocks that was likely to go up in price – portfolio 1. Next, the principal component analysis technique was used to select stocks that were rated high on component one and component two – portfolio 2. Thirdly, a supervised machine learning technique, the logistic regression method, was used to select stocks with a high probability of their price going up – portfolio 3. The predictive models were validated with metrics such as, sensitivity (recall), specificity and overall accuracy for all models. All accuracy measures were above 70%. All portfolios outperformed the market by more than eight times. The top three stocks were selected for each of the three stock portfolios and traded in the market for one month. After one month the return for each stock portfolio was computed and compared with the stock market index returns. The returns for all three stock portfolios was 23.87% for the principal component analysis stock portfolio, 11.65% for the logistic regression portfolio and 8.88% for the K-means cluster portfolio while the stock market performance was 0.38%. This study confirms that an automated stock investment system using machine learning techniques can identify top performing stock portfolios that outperform the stock market.
Shenzhen is a modern city of China's reform and opening-up policy, the development of urban morphology has been established on the administration of the Chinese government. This city`s planning paradigm is primarily affected by the spatial structure and human behavior. The subjective urban agglomeration center is divided into several groups and centers. In comparisons of this effect, the city development law has better to be neglected. With the continuous development of the internet, extensive data technology has been introduced in China. Data mining and data analysis has become important tools in municipal research. Data mining has been utilized to improve data cleaning such as receiving business data, traffic data and population data. Prior to data mining, government data were collected by traditional means, then were analyzed using city-relationship research, delaying the timeliness of urban development, especially for the contemporary city. Data update speed is very fast and based on the Internet. The city's point of interest (POI) in the excavation serves as data source affecting the city design, while satellite remote sensing is used as a reference object, city analysis is conducted in both directions, the administrative paradigm of government is broken and urban research is restored. Therefore, the use of data mining in urban analysis is very important. The satellite remote sensing data of the Shenzhen city in July 2018 were measured by the satellite Modis sensor and can be utilized to perform land surface temperature inversion, and analyze city heat island distribution of Shenzhen. This article acquired and classified the data from Shenzhen by using Data crawler technology. Data of Shenzhen heat island and interest points were simulated and analyzed in the GIS platform to discover the main features of functional equivalent distribution influence. Shenzhen is located in the east-west area of China. The city’s main streets are also determined according to the direction of city development. Therefore, it is determined that the functional area of the city is also distributed in the east-west direction. The urban heat island can express the heat map according to the functional urban area. Regional POI has correspondence. The research result clearly explains that the distribution of the urban heat island and the distribution of urban POIs are one-to-one correspondence. Urban heat island is primarily influenced by the properties of the underlying surface, avoiding the impact of urban climate. Using urban POIs as analysis object, the distribution of municipal POIs and population aggregation are closely connected, so that the distribution of the population corresponded with the distribution of the urban heat island.
This study was designed to examine mass participation and elite football performance in Nigeria with reference to advance international football management practices. Over 200 sources of literature on sport delivery systems were analyzed to construct a globally applicable model of elite football integrated with mass participation, comprising of the following three levels: macro- (socio-economic, cultural, legislative, and organizational), meso- (infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs) and micro-level (operations, processes, and methodologies for development of individual athletes). The model has received scholarly validation and showed to be a framework for program analysis that is not culturally bound. The Smolianov and Zakus model has been employed for further understanding of sport systems such as US soccer, US Rugby, swimming, tennis, and volleyball as well as Russian and Dutch swimming. A questionnaire was developed using the above-mentioned model. Survey questions were validated by 12 experts including academicians, executives from sport governing bodies, football coaches, and administrators. To identify best practices and determine areas for improvement of football in Nigeria, 120 coaches completed the questionnaire. Useful exemplars and possible improvements were further identified through semi-structured discussions with 10 Nigerian football administrators and experts. Finally, content analysis of Nigeria Football Federation’s website and organizational documentation was conducted. This paper focuses on the meso-level of Nigerian football delivery, particularly infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs. This includes training centers, competition systems, and intellectual services. Results identified remarkable achievements coupled with great potential to further develop football in different types of public and private organizations in Nigeria. These include: assimilating football competitions with other cultural and educational activities, providing favorable conditions for employees of all possible organizations to partake and help in managing football programs and events, providing football coaching integrated with counseling for prevention of antisocial conduct, and improving cooperation between football programs and organizations for peace-making and advancement of international relations, tourism, and socio-economic development. Accurate reporting of the sports programs from the media should be encouraged through staff training for better awareness of various events. The systematic integration of these meso-level practices into the balanced development of mass and high-performance football will contribute to international sport success as well as national health, education, and social harmony.
This paper presents a Machine Learning (ML) approach to support Meningitis diagnosis in patients at a children’s hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The aim is to use ML techniques to reduce the use of invasive procedures, such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection, as much as possible. In this study, we focus on predicting the probability of Meningitis given the results of a blood and urine laboratory tests, together with the analysis of pain or other complaints from the patient. We tested a number of different ML algorithms, including: Adaptative Boosting (AdaBoost), Decision Tree, Gradient Boosting, K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN), Logistic Regression, Random Forest and Support Vector Machines (SVM). Decision Tree algorithm performed best, with 94.56% and 96.18% accuracy for training and testing data, respectively. These results represent a significant aid to doctors in diagnosing Meningitis as early as possible and in preventing expensive and painful procedures on some children.
This paper aims at bringing a scientific contribution to the cardiac arrhythmia biomedical diagnosis systems; more precisely to the study of the amelioration of cardiac arrhythmia classification performance using artificial neural network, adaptive neuro-fuzzy and fuzzy inference systems classifiers. The purpose of this amelioration is to enable cardiologists to make reliable diagnosis through automatic cardiac arrhythmia analyzes and classifications based on high confidence classifiers. In this study, six classes of the most commonly encountered arrhythmias are considered: the Right Bundle Branch Block, the Left Bundle Branch Block, the Ventricular Extrasystole, the Auricular Extrasystole, the Atrial Fibrillation and the Normal Cardiac rate beat. From the electrocardiogram (ECG) extracted parameters, we constructed a matrix (360x360) serving as an input data sample for the classifiers based on neural networks and a matrix (1x6) for the classifier based on fuzzy logic. By varying three parameters (the quality of the neural network learning, the data size and the quality of the input parameters) the automatic classification permitted us to obtain the following performances: in terms of correct classification rate, 83.6% was obtained using the fuzzy logic based classifier, 99.7% using the neural network based classifier and 99.8% for the adaptive neuro-fuzzy based classifier. These results are based on signals containing at least 360 cardiac cycles. Based on the comparative analysis of the aforementioned three arrhythmia classifiers, the classifiers based on neural networks exhibit a better performance.
A major problem that affects the quality control of polymer in the industrial polymerization is the lack of suitable on-line measurement tools to evaluate the properties of the polymer such as melt and density indices. Controlling the polymerization in ordinary method is performed manually by taking samples, measuring the quality of polymer in the lab and registry of results. This method is highly time consuming and leads to producing large number of incompatible products. An online application for estimating melt index and density proposed in this study is a neural network based on the input-output data of the polyethylene production plant. Temperature, the level of reactors' bed, the intensity of ethylene mass flow, hydrogen and butene-1, the molar concentration of ethylene, hydrogen and butene-1 are used for the process to establish the neural model. The neural network is taught based on the actual operational data and back-propagation and Levenberg-Marquart techniques. The simulated results indicate that the neural network process model established with three layers (one hidden layer) for forecasting the density and the four layers for the melt index is able to successfully predict those quality properties.
Seizure is the main factor that affects the quality of life of epileptic patients. The diagnosis of epilepsy, and hence the identification of epileptogenic zone, is commonly made by using continuous Electroencephalogram (EEG) signal monitoring. Seizure identification on EEG signals is made manually by epileptologists and this process is usually very long and error prone. The aim of this paper is to describe an automated method able to detect seizures in EEG signals, using knowledge discovery in database process and data mining methods and algorithms, which can support physicians during the seizure detection process. Our detection method is based on Artificial Neural Network classifier, trained by applying the multilayer perceptron algorithm, and by using a software application, called Training Builder that has been developed for the massive extraction of features from EEG signals. This tool is able to cover all the data preparation steps ranging from signal processing to data analysis techniques, including the sliding window paradigm, the dimensionality reduction algorithms, information theory, and feature selection measures. The final model shows excellent performances, reaching an accuracy of over 99% during tests on data of a single patient retrieved from a publicly available EEG dataset.
In Chile, there is a lack of evidence about the impact of polyvictimization on the emergence of suicidal thoughts among children and young people. Thus, this study aims to explore the association between the episodes of polyvictimization suffered by Chilean children and young people and the manifestation of signs related to suicidal tendencies. To achieve this purpose, secondary data from the First Polyvictimization Survey on Children and Adolescents of 2017 were analyzed, and a binomial logistic regression model was applied to establish the probability that young people are experiencing suicidal ideation episodes. The main findings show that women between the ages of 13 and 15 years, who are in seventh grade and second in subsidized schools, are more likely to express suicidal ideas, which increases if they have suffered different types of victimization, particularly physical violence, psychological aggression, and sexual abuse.
Petroleum refining is a chemical process in which the raw material (crude oil) is converted to finished commercial products for end users. The fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit is a key asset in refineries, requiring optimised processes in the context of engineering design. Following the first stage of separation of crude oil in a distillation tower, an additional 40 per cent quantity is attainable in the gasoline pool with further conversion of the downgraded product of crude oil (residue from the distillation tower) using a catalyst in the FCC process. Effective removal of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon and heavy metals from FCC gasoline requires greater separation efficiency and involves an enormous environmental significance. The FCC unit is primarily a reactor and regeneration system which employs cyclone systems for separation. Catalyst losses in FCC cyclones lead to high particulate matter emission on the regenerator side and fines carryover into the product on the reactor side. This paper aims at demonstrating the importance of FCC unit design criteria in terms of technical performance and compliance with environmental legislation. A systematic review of state-of-the-art FCC technology was carried out, identifying its key technical challenges and sources of emissions. Case studies of petroleum refineries in Nigeria were assessed against selected global case studies. The review highlights the need for further modelling investigations to help improve FCC design to more effectively meet product specification requirements while complying with stricter environmental legislation.
The human factor plays a major role in boosting the competitive capacity of logistic enterprises. This is of particular importance when it comes to logistic companies. On the one hand they should be strictly compliant with legislation; on the other hand, they should be competitive in terms of pricing and of delivery timelines. Moreover, their policies should allow them to be as flexible as possible. All these circumstances are reason for very serious challenges for the qualification, motivation and experience of the human resources, working in logistic companies or in logistic departments of trade and industrial enterprises. The geographic place of Bulgaria puts it in position of a country with some specific competitive advantages in the goods transport from Europe to Asia and back. Along with it, there is a number of logistic companies, that operate in this sphere in Bulgaria. In the current paper, the authors aim to establish the condition of the administrative capacity and human resources in the logistic companies and logistic departments of trade and industrial companies in Bulgaria in order to propose some guidelines for improving of their effectiveness. Due to independent empirical research, conducted in Bulgarian logistic, trade and industrial enterprises, the authors investigate both the impact degree and the interdependence of various factors that characterize the administrative capacity. The study is conducted with a prepared questionnaire, in format of direct interview with the respondents. The volume of the poll is 50 respondents, representatives of: general managers of industrial or trade enterprises; logistic managers of industrial or trade enterprises; general managers of forwarding companies – either with own or with hired transport; experts from Bulgarian association of logistics; logistic lobbyist and scientists of the relevant area. The data are gathered for 3 months, then arranged by a specialized software program and analyzed by preset criteria. Based on the results of this methodological toolbox, it can be claimed that there is a correlation between the individual criteria. Also, a commitment between the administrative capacity and other factors that determine the competitiveness of the studied companies is established. In this paper, the authors present results of the empirical research that concerns the number and the workload in the logistic departments of the enterprises. Also, what is commented is the experience, related to logistic processes management and human resources competence. Moreover, the overload level of the logistic specialists is analyzed as one of the main threats for making mistakes and losing clients. The paper stands behind the thesis that there is indispensability of forming an effective and efficient administrative capacity, based on the number, qualification, experience and motivation of the staff in the logistic companies. The paper ends with recommendations about the qualification and experience of the specialists in logistic departments; providing effective and efficient administrative capacity in the logistic departments; interdependence of the human factor and the other factors that influence the enterprise competitiveness.
Attitudes toward treatment manuals serve as a meaningful predictor of general attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Despite demonstrating high effectiveness in treating many mental disorders, manualized treatments have been underutilized by practitioners. Thus, one can assess the state of the field regarding the adoption of evidence-based practices by surveying practitioner attitudes towards manualized treatments. This study is an adapted replication that assesses psychology graduate student attitudes towards manualized treatments, as a general marker for attitudes towards evidence-based practice. Training programs provide future clinicians with the foundation for critical skills in clinical practice. Research demonstrates that post-graduate continuing education has little to no effect on clinical practice; thus, graduate programs serve as the primary, and often final platform for all future practice. However, there are little empirical data identifying the attitudes and training of graduate students in utilizing manualized treatments. The empirical analysis of this study indicates an increase in positive attitudes among graduate student attitudes towards manualized treatments (within the United States), when compared to past surveys of professional psychologists. Findings from this study may inform graduate programs of barriers for students in developing positive attitudes toward manualized treatments and evidence-based practice. This study also serves as a preliminary predictor of the state-of-the field, in regards to professional psychologists attitudes towards evidence-based practice, if attitudes remain stable. This study indicates that the attitudes toward utilizing evidence-based practices, such as treatment manuals, has become more positive since year 2000.
Games-based learning (GBL) has become increasingly important in teaching and learning. This paper explains the first two phases (analysis and design) of a GBL development project, ending up with a prototype design based on students’ and teachers’ perceptions. The two phases are part of a full cycle GBL project aiming to help secondary school students in Thailand in their study of Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE). In the course of the study, we invited 1,152 students to complete questionnaires and interviewed 12 secondary school teachers in focus groups. This paper found that GBL can serve students in their learning about CSE, enabling them to gain understanding of their sexuality, develop skills, including critical thinking skills and interact with others (peers, teachers, etc.) in a safe environment. The objectives of this paper are to outline the development of GBL variables from the research question(s) into the developers’ flow chart, to be responsive to the GBL beneficiaries’ preferences and expectations, and to help in answering the research questions. This paper details the steps applied to generate GBL variables that can feed into a game flow chart to develop a GBL prototype. In our approach, we detailed two models: (1) Game Elements Model (GEM) and (2) Game Object Model (GOM). There are three outcomes of this research – first, to achieve the objectives and benefits of GBL in learning, game design has to start with the research question(s) and the challenges to be resolved as research outcomes. Second, aligning the educational aims with engaging GBL end users (students) within the data collection phase to inform the game prototype with the game variables is essential to address the answer/solution to the research question(s). Third, for efficient GBL to bridge the gap between pedagogy and technology and in order to answer the research questions via technology (i.e. GBL) and to minimise the isolation between the pedagogists “P” and technologist “T”, several meetings and discussions need to take place within the team.
Clothing recycling bin is a traditional way to collect textile waste in many areas. In the clothing recycling business, the transportation cost normally takes over 50% of total costs. This case gives a good way to reduce transportation cost by reverse logistics system. In this reverse logistics system, there are offline strategic alliance partners, such as transport firms, convenience stores, laundries, and post office which are integrated onto the mobile APP. Offline strategic alliance partners provide the service of textile waste collection, and transportation by their vacant vehicles return journey from convenience stores, laundries and post offices to sorting centers. The results of the case study provide the strategic alliance with a valuable and light - asset business model by using the logistics of offline memberships. The company in this case just focuses on textile waste sorting, reuse, recycling etc. The research method of this paper is a case study of a clothing recycling company in Chengdu by field research and interview; the analysis is based on the theory of the reverse logistics system.
The objective of this paper is to investigate the relationship between the increase of accessibility brought by high speed rail (HSR) systems and the tourism market in Italy. The impacts of HSR projects on tourism can be quantified in different ways. In this manuscript, an empirical analysis has been carried out with the aid of a dataset containing information both on tourism and transport for 99 Italian provinces during the 2006-2016 period. Panel data regression models have been considered, since they allow modelling a wide variety of correlation patterns. Results show that HSR has an impact on the choice of a given destination for Italian tourists while the presence of a second level hub mainly affects foreign tourists. Attraction variables are also significant for both categories and the variables concerning security, such as number of crimes registered in a given destination, have a negative impact on the choice of a destination.
Peri-urban agriculture in Jos Nigeria serves as a major means of livelihood for both urban and peri-urban poor, and constitutes huge commercial inclination with a target market that has spanned beyond Plateau State. Yet, the sustainability of this sector is threatened by intensive application of urban refuse ash contaminated with heavy metals, as a result of the highly heterogeneous materials used in ash production. Hence, this research aimed to understand the current fertilizer employed by farmers, their perception and acceptability in utilization of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes and their capacity in mitigating risks associated with such practice. Mixed methods approach was adopted, and data collection tools used include survey questionnaire, focus group discussion with farmers, participants and field observation. The study identified that farmers maintain a complex mixture of organic and chemical fertilizers, with mixture composition that is dependent on fertilizer availability and affordability. Also, farmers have decreased the rate of utilization of urban refuse ash due to labor and increased logistic cost and are keen to utilize household sewage sludge for soil fertility improvement but are mainly constrained by accessibility of this waste product. Nevertheless, farmers near to sewage disposal points have commenced utilization of household sewage sludge for improving soil fertility. Farmers were knowledgeable on composting but find their strategic method of dewatering and sun drying more convenient. Irrigation farmers were not enthusiastic for treatment, as they desired both water and sludge. Secondly, household sewage sludge observed in the field is heterogeneous due to nearness between its disposal point and that of urban refuse, which raises concern for possible cross-contamination of pollutants and also portrays lack of extension guidance as regards to treatment and management of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes. Hence, farmers concerns need to be addressed, particularly in providing extension advice and establishment of decentralized household sewage sludge collection centers, for continuous availability of liquid and concentrated sludge. Urgent need is also required for the Federal Government of Nigeria to increase commitment towards empowering her subsidiaries for efficient discharge of corporate responsibilities.
Environmental impacts are the changes in the physical, chemical or biological properties of natural areas that are most often caused by human actions on the environment and which have consequences for human health, society and the elements of nature. The identification of the environmental impacts is important so that they are mitigated, and above all that the mitigating measures are applied in the area. This work aims to identify the environmental impacts generated in the Praia do Caju area in the city of Palmas/Brazil and show that the lack of structure on the beach intensifies the environmental impacts. The present work was carried out having as parameter, the typologies of exploratory and descriptive and quantitative research through a matrix of environmental impacts through direct observation and registration. The study took place during the holidays from August to December 2016 and photographic record of impacts. From the collected data it was possible to verify that Caju beach suffers constant degradation due to irregular deposition.
The increasing costs of healthcare on one hand, and the rise in aging population and associated chronic disease, on the other hand, are putting increasing burden on the current health care system in many Western countries. For instance, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common disease and in Europe, the cost of renal replacement therapy (RRT) is very significant to the total health care cost. However, the recent advancement in healthcare technology, provide the opportunity to treat patients at home in their own comfort. It is evident that home healthcare offers numerous advantages apparently, low costs and high patients’ quality of life. Despite these advantages, the intake of home hemodialysis (HHD) therapy is still low in particular in Germany. Many factors are accounted for the low number of HHD intake. However, this paper is focusing on patients’ safety-related factors of current HHD practices in Germany. The aim of this paper is to analyze the current HHD practices in Germany and to identify risks related factors if any exist. A case study has been conducted in a dialysis center which consists of four dialysis centers in the south of Germany. In total, these dialysis centers have 350 chronic dialysis patients, of which, four patients are on HHD. The centers have 126 staff which includes six nephrologists and 120 other staff i.e. nurses and administration. The results of the study revealed several risk-related factors. Most importantly, these centers do not offer allied health services at the pre-dialysis stage, the HHD training did not have an established curriculum; however, they have just recently developed the first version. Only a soft copy of the machine manual is offered to patients. Surprisingly, the management was not aware of any standard available for home assessment and installation. The home assessment is done by a third party (i.e. the machines and equipment provider) and they may not consider the hygienic quality of the patient’s home. The type of machine provided to patients at home is similar to the one in the center. The model may not be suitable at home because of its size and complexity. Even though portable hemodialysis machines, which are specially designed for home use, are available in the market such as the NxStage series. Besides the type of machine, no assistance is offered for space management at home in particular for placing the machine. Moreover, the centers do not offer remote assistance to patients and their carer at home. However, telephonic assistance is available. Furthermore, no alternative is offered if a carer is not available. In addition, the centers are lacking medical staff including nephrologists and renal nurses.
This study aims to determine if audiologists' experience characteristics in ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) reading is associated with their performance in interpreting ABR results. Fifteen ABR traces with varying degrees of hearing level were presented twice, making a total of 30. Audiologists were asked to determine the hearing threshold for each of the cases after completing a brief survey regarding their experience and training in ABR administration. Sixty-one audiologists completed all tasks. Correlations between audiologists’ performance measures and experience variables suggested significant associations (p < 0.05) between training period in ABR testing and audiologists’ performance in terms of both sensitivity and accuracy. In addition, the number of years conducting ABR testing correlated with specificity. No other correlations approached significance. While there are relatively few significant correlations between ABR performance and experience, accuracy in ABR reading is associated with audiologists’ length of experience and period of training. To improve audiologists’ performance in reading ABR results, an emphasis on the importance of training should be raised and standardized levels and period for audiologists training in ABR testing should also be set.