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A Two Year Comparative Analysis of Cyberbullying Perceptions of Canadian (Ontario) Preservice Educators
Thomas Ryan,Mumbi Kariuki
Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology , 2011,
Abstract: Canadian pre-service teachers in this two-year survey study (year one n=180 and year two n=241) agreed that cyberbullying is a problem in schools that affects students and teachers. A lack of confidence was found in both years when it came to identifying and/or managing cyberbullying yet participants claimed they would try to act. In comparison to other topics covered in the current teacher preparation program, cyberbullying was believed to be equally important. Our two-year study indicated that teachers should use an anti-cyberbullying infused curriculum which has activities and up-to-date resources. A school-wide approach, in combination with professional development and school assemblies, coupled with counselling from community supports was perceived to be essential to deal with cyberbullying. Year one and year two participants also indicated that parents and community members need to be involved and messages should be put forward via various media sources.
The Effects of Podcasting on College Student Achievement and Attitude
Jeff Francom,Tom Ryan,Mumbi Kariuki
Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology , 2011,
Abstract: This mixed methods study investigated the impact of weekly podcasts, written and recorded by course instructors to summarize college course content, on student achievement and attitudes. Weekly summative podcasts were posted on an Internet website in Windows Media format and downloaded by college students. After four weeks of podcasts, students were assessed and evaluated and results were compared to similar classes that did not use podcasts. Students completed a questionnaire and were interviewed to record their views, perceptions, and attitudes. Participating teachers were also interviewed. Although not generalizable, the results of this study indicate that weekly podcast summaries were an effective teaching tool which produced improved student achievement and caused students to view their evaluation preparation and comprehension of course content optimistically.
Transition to Certification Schemes and Implications for Market Access: GlobalGAP Perspectives in Kenya  [PDF]
Isaac Maina Kariuki
Agricultural Sciences (AS) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/as.2014.512120
Abstract: Voluntary pre-farm certification schemes especially GlobalGAP are increasingly defining market access for smallholders in developing countries. Their strict demand for financial and technical competencies and concerns for producer welfare and environmental conservation imply that transition to certified production could spell smallholders’ exit or shift to alternative markets for no-compliance. But what factors motivate successful transition to certification and does alternative market access exist for the unsuccessful transition? Multinomial logit estimates reveal training and higher farm assets base as key indicators of successful certification and organized production. However, a large cultivated land resource favours certification but disfavours transition to organized production. The results point to sensitivity of certification schemes to expertise on technical information and assets that enhance cultivation of quality, reliable and hygienic produce and economies of scale in farming. The transition to organized production seems efficient if technical knowledge and assets that enhance cultivation of quality, reliable and hygienic produce are present. The results imply that farmer expertise, farm assets and land resource are critical barriers for farmers transiting to certification schemes. This calls for concerted mitigation if smallholders in developing countries are to benefit from the lucrative premium markets in Western Europe.
Journal of Applied Technology in Environmental Sanitation , 2011,
Abstract: There is a critical need for governments in the region to realize the magnitude of the challenge in order to proactively respond to it. This means that for the region to meet its sanitation goals, these governments must prioritize sanitation in their national budgets. While the scale of sanitation challenges differs from one country to another, common bottlenecks arise from the pace of demographic growth, rapid urbanization and growth of informal settlements. All these factors are further aggravated by poverty, a critical developmental challenge that has continued to undermine the efforts of most governments. The irony however, is the fact that sanitation can considerably alleviate poverty, but due to other competing priorities such as education, health, environment, gender equality and economic growth, sanitation is least prioritized at all levels of governance. This phenomenon explains why majority of African people cannot access basic sanitation. This paper examines the challenges of financing sanitation in sub-Saharan countries, focusing on (i) what is to be financed (ii) how much will it cost (iii) policy shifts to remedy the situation. The paper concludes by suggesting pertinent recommendations.
Vegetation Response to Climate Change and Human Impacts in the Usambara Mountains
C. T. Mumbi,R. Marchant,P. Lane
ISRN Forestry , 2014, DOI: 10.1155/2014/240510
Abstract: East and West Usambara Mountain blocks are unique based on three characteristics. Firstly, they are connected blocks; secondly, they have an oceanic-influenced climate; and thirdly, the rain seasons are not easily discernible due to their close proximity to the Indian Ocean and Equator. Sediment cores were collected from peat bogs in Derema (DRM) and Mbomole (MBML) in East Usambara and from Madumu (DUMU) in West Usambara. The multiproxy record provides an understanding on climate and vegetation changes during the last 5000 years. DRM and MBML cores result in radiocarbon ages and age-depth curve which showed hiatus at 20?cm and 61?cm and huge inversion for DUMU core at 57?cm. Period 5000–4000 14C yr BP for DUMU core revealed increased Montane forest indicative of relatively moist conditions. Periods 3000–2000 and 2000–1000 14C yr BP, DUMU core demonstrated increased submontane and lowland forests. Period 1000–200 14C yr BP, DUMU core signified increased coprophilous fungi while DRM and MBML cores signified fluctuating herbaceous pollen spectra (wet-dry episodes). Period 200 14C yr BP to present, all cores demonstrated stable recovery of forest types especially dominance of submontane forests. Abundant coprophilous fungi indicated increased human impacts including forest fires, cultivation, and grazing. 1. Introduction The Eastern Arc Mountains comprise thirteen separate blocs with their location stretching from south-east Kenya through south-central Tanzania (Figure 1). They are situated between 3°20′ to 8°45′S latitude and 35°37′ to 38°48′E longitude covering an area of around 3300?km2 of submontane, montane, and upper montane forests, which is less than 30%, or some 1440?km2, of the estimated original forested area [1]. Their unique characteristic geological formation of isolation and connectivity played a crucial role in shaping the current distribution of species diversity within and between the mountain blocs. So to say, the Eastern Arc Mountains exhibit connectivity and isolation within blocks crucial to its existence. Connectivity is where blocs were formed as sister blocs were separated by a narrow gap without much difference in forest types. Connected mountain blocs include North and South Pare, West and East Usambara, North and South Uluguru, and the Udzungwa, all in Tanzania. The vice versa is true for the isolated mountain blocs; these include Nguu, Nguru, Ukaguru, Rubeho, Mahenge, Malundwe, and Uvidunda in Tanzania; Taita hills are an isolated bloc, the only mountain bloc in Kenya with an estimated remnant forested area of 6?km2 (Figure 1).
Detection and Characterization of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus from Toilet and Classroom Door Handles in Selected Secondary Schools in Nairobi County  [PDF]
Caroline Mbogori, Anne Muigai, Samuel Kariuki
Open Journal of Medical Microbiology (OJMM) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ojmm.2013.34037
Abstract: Background: Staphylococcus aureus is found on all surfaces especially in public areas like hospitals and schools and on frequently touched areas like toilet and classroom door handles. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a strain of Staphylococcus aureus which is resistant to methicillin. There are two types of MRSA: Community acquired methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) and hospital acquired methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HA-MRSA). MRSA in the community presents a significant reservoir that could enter into healthcare facilities and spread among patients and also a risk for immune compromised persons in the community. Methodology: The study aimed at determining the prevalence of MRSA isolated from toilet and classroom door handles as a potential source of infection to the students and the workers in selected schools in Nairobi, Kenya. The study also compared the prevalence of MRSA between boarding and non-boarding girls, boys and mixed (both girls and boys in the same school) secondary schools. Twelve secondary schools in Nairobi County were randomly selected and 306 samples from both the toilet and classroom door handles were collected using sterile swabs and transported to the laboratory. Isolation of Staphylococcus aureus was done by the use of selective media Mannitol salt agar, antibiotic susceptibility of isolates was done by disk diffusion method, and molecular detection of mecA and PVL genes were done by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results: The prevalence of S. aureus was 20% and 15% were MRSA positive by both Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test and PCR detection. 20% showed the presence of PVL genes, 8% showed the presence of both genes and 56% of isolates with mecA gene had PVL genes. Conclusion: The presence of MRSA in this study emphasizes the need to formulate hygiene measures to prevent possible spread of MRSA and other transmissible pathogens to students and workers in the schools.
Modelling Soil Erosion for Land Management in Ungauged Golole Catchment in Marsabit County, Kenya  [PDF]
Gabriel Nyagah Njiru, Patrick Kariuki, Kennedy Mwetu
Open Journal of Soil Science (OJSS) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/ojss.2018.811021
Abstract: This study modeled soil erosion between January 2016 and September 2018 for land management in Golole catchment. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) constituting the main agents of soil erosion was modeled in a Geographical Information System (GIS) environment. The objective of this study was to model soil erosion for land management in the ungauged Golole catchment. The Golole catchment soil erosion map reveals that within the catchment the soil loss was not homogeneous and erosion risk was not the same. The catchment experiences an annual mean score soil loss rate of 279 t/ha that is above the recommended maximum allowable annual soil loss rate of 4 t/ha. The catchment’s soil loss rate is described as high and severe representing 70% and 30% of landmass respectively. This study found the need to decelerate the above soil loss rates to moderate and low levels by adopting soil erosion mitigation measures such as stone contour ridges, manure, strip cropping, and terracing in the cultivated areas and controlled grazing in the lowland rangeland. The study strongly felt the need to protect the forest reserve from tree cutting and further human encroachment. This study concludes that there is the need for further research 1) in the forest reserve areas that showed the greatest rates of soil erosion menace to determine the underlying causes, and 2) to assess the temporal trends of the soil erosion hazard using high-resolution data.
External Influence of Early Childhood Establishment of Gut Microbiota and Subsequent Health Implications
Peris Mumbi Munyaka,Ehsan Khafipour,Jean-Eric Ghia
Frontiers in Pediatrics , 2014, DOI: 10.3389/fped.2014.00109
Abstract: Postnatal maturation of immune regulation is largely driven by exposure to microbes. The gastrointestinal tract is the largest source of microbial exposure, as the human gut microbiome contains up to 1014 bacteria, which is 10 times the number of cells in the human body. Several studies in recent years have shown differences in the composition of the gut microbiota in children who are exposed to different conditions before, during, and early after birth. A number of maternal factors are responsible for the establishment and colonization of gut microbiota in infants, such as the conditions surrounding the prenatal period, time and mode of delivery, diet, mother’s age, BMI, smoking status, household milieu, socioeconomic status, breastfeeding and antibiotic use, as well as other environmental factors that have profound effects on the microbiota and on immunoregulation during early life. Early exposures impacting the intestinal microbiota are associated with the development of childhood diseases that may persist to adulthood such as asthma, allergic disorders (atopic dermatitis, rhinitis), chronic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, type 1 diabetes, obesity, and eczema. This overview highlights some of the exposures during the pre- and postnatal time periods that are key in the colonization and development of the gastrointestinal microbiota of infants as well as some of the diseases or disorders that occur due to the pattern of initial gut colonization.
Prevalence of Panton Valentine Leukocidin in Carriage and Infective Strains of Staphylococcus aureus at a Referral Hospital in Kenya  [PDF]
Geoffrey Omuse, Patricia Shivachi, Samuel Kariuki, Gunturu Revathi
Open Journal of Medical Microbiology (OJMM) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ojmm.2013.31002
Abstract: Panton valentine leukocidin (PVL) is a pore forming exotoxin that is expressed by some Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) strains and is thought to add to its virulence. The prevalence of PVL in carriage and disease causing strains varies considerably from region to region. This study compared the prevalence of the PVL gene in S. aureus isolates obtained from healthcare workers and from patients seen at the Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi (AKUHN). S. aureus isolates obtained from healthcare workers and patients attended to at AKUHN between July 2010 and March 2011 were used for this study. Forty five S. aureus isolates from healthcare workers and 63 from clinical specimens obtained from 59 patients were analysed for the PVL gene. The prevalence of PVL in isolates from healthcare workers was 24.4% compared to 39.7% in the isolates causing infection (P = 0.098). PVL prevalence was 58.8% in S. aureus isolates obtained from skin and soft tissue infections (SSIs) compared to 25.0% in carriage isolates (P = 0.002, OR 4.29). Prevalence in isolates from invasive infections was 11.1%. Patients with PVL positive S. aureus were younger than those with PVL negative isolates (P
Studies on Vitamin D Levels in Serum of HIV Infected Patients: Their Effect on Progression towards AIDS  [PDF]
Catherine Wanjiru Gichuhi, Daniel Kariuki, Andrew Nyerere, Malkit Riyat
World Journal of AIDS (WJA) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/wja.2014.44050
Abstract: Vitamin D deficiency may be more prevalent among HIV-positive patients than in the general population due to HIV disease-related factors. This study examined the effects of HIV infection and use of antiretroviral drugs in serum vitamin D levels in HIV patients visiting Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi Kenya from October 2013 to April 2014. The effect of vitamin D status on CD4 cell count and HIV viral load was evaluated to determine the status of disease progression to AIDS. HIV viral load in blood samples was determined using COBAS Ampliprep/TaqMan HIV-1 test kit while CD4 cell counts were done using the fluorescence-activated cell sorter system. The levels of vitamin D in serum were determined using electrochemiluminescence binding assay in Cobas E601 mass analyzers. In addition, selected plasma enzymes were used to evaluate liver function. Higher percentage (49.12%) of deficient vitamin D cases were observed among HIV patients not on ART. Deficient levels of Vitamin D were associated with abnormal selected liver enzymes. High viral load was observed among patients not on ART with deficient and insufficient vitamin D. The CD4 cell count was higher in patients on ART with sufficient vitamin D levels compared to those with deficient vitamin D. These observations suggest a need to supplement ART with vitamin D in order to ameliorate Vitamin D deficiency as a strategy to improve HIV management.
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