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Hygienic Practices among Food Vendors in Educational Institutions in Ghana: The Case of Konongo
Isaac Monney,Dominic Agyei,Wellington Owusu
Foods , 2013, DOI: 10.3390/foods2030282
Abstract: With the booming street food industry in the developing world there is an urgent need to ensure food vendors adhere to hygienic practices to protect public health. This study assessed the adherence to food hygiene practices by food vendors in educational institutions in Konongo, Ghana. Structured questionnaires, extensive observation and interviews were used for the study involving 60 food vendors from 20 basic schools. Attributable to the influence of school authorities and the level of in-training of food vendors, the study points out that food vendors in educational institutions generally adhered to good food hygiene practices, namely, regular medical examination (93%), protection of food from flies and dust (55%); proper serving of food (100%); good hand hygiene (63%); and the use of personal protective clothing (52%). The training of food vendors on food hygiene, instead of the level of education had a significant association ( p < 0.05) with crucial food hygiene practices such as medical examination, hand hygiene and protection of food from flies and dust. Further, regulatory bodies legally mandated to efficiently monitor the activities of food vendors lacked the adequate capacity to do so. The study proposes that efforts should be geared towards developing training programmes for food vendors as well as capacity building of the stakeholders.
Floral diversity and carbon stocks and of protected forest ecosystem: A case of UENR’s Bat Sanctuary, Sunyani, Ghana  [PDF]
Nat Owusu-Prempeh, Osei Owusu Antobre, Thomas Agyei
Open Journal of Forestry (OJF) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2018.81003
Abstract: The study assesses the functional status of the University of Energy and Natural Resources’ (UENR) bat sanctuary by examining its floral diversity and carbon stocks. Twenty-nine sampling points (plots) were randomly generated by using the ArcGIS random sampling algorithm. Using a three-nest sampling plot of 100m2, 25m2, and 1m2 quadrat, the enumeration of trees (DBH>10cm), saplings (>2cm DBH <10cm) and seedlings (girth <2cm) was undertaken, respectively. Additionally, the diversity of each floral species was computed using the Shannon Wiener diversity index whilst the carbon stocks were estimated using allometric equations. The total carbon stock per plot was derived from the summation of the aboveground carbon (AGC), belowground carbon (BGC) and deadwood carbon (DWC). In sum, 450 floral individuals belonging to 47 species and 22 families were enumerated with Bignoniaceae (16.4%), Apocynaceae (10.0%), Caesalpiniaceae (9.2%) and Rubiaceae (8.8%) being the most common families within the protected area (PA). The average carbon sequestered per hectare of the PA was 2,789.3 tons. However, there was no significant difference (p>0.05) between the 10m buffer created and the core area with respect to species diversity and carbon stocks. The study has provided valuable information on the functional status of the bat sanctuary which will help promote its conservation for sustained provision of ecosystem services.
Household Perceptions, Treatment-Seeking Behaviors and Health Outcomes for Buruli Ulcer Disease in a Peri-Urban District in Ghana  [PDF]
Adobea Yaa Owusu, Clement Adamba
Advances in Applied Sociology (AASoci) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/aasoci.2012.23024
Abstract: Buruli ulcer (BU) has been associated with very unimaginable outcomes. It is flesh eating, disfiguring and economically dehydrating. Yet the disease is still mostly shrouded in mystery. Consequently, people have different perceptions about it and hence adopt different treatment behaviorss towards it; notwithstanding the free treatment for it. The purpose of this paper is to identify and examine respondents’ perceptions and the influence these have on their health seeking behaviorss. Eighty-six BU patients who had been treated or were being treated of BU in the Ga West District Health Center in Ghana were sampled for this study. A structured questionnaire and a qualitative in-depth interview guide were used to elicit the data. Some of the interviewees held the belief that the disease is caused by their adversaries, including witches. More than half of the respondents, however, did not have any idea about the disease and thought it is just the work of God. The first point of call for health care for most of the patients studied was herbalists or else they used herbs. Nearly a quarter of them also engaged in self medication, including the use of ‘pain killers’ and ointments, since they took the first signs for ordinary boils. Perceptions of the cause of the disease influenced health seeking behaviors, which further influenced treatment outcomes. A lot of education is needed on the symptoms of the disease, including encouraging early seeking of care at the District Health Center.
Funding of Agricultural Research and Development in Ghana: The Case of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)  [PDF]
Roland Asare, George Owusu Essegbey
Technology and Investment (TI) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/ti.2016.72006
Abstract: Agricultural Research and Development (R&D) investments contribute greatly to economic growth, agricultural development and poverty reduction in developing countries. This paper examines the financial investment and expenditure trends in agricultural R&D in Ghana with emphasis on the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the implication for the policies driving agricultural research in Ghana. Data from Agricultural Science & Technology Indicator (ASTI) and in-depth studies on agricultural R&D in Ghana were used. Purposive sampling was used to gather data in thirteen agricultural research institutes and five public universities in Ghana. Through questionnaire administration, data were collected and analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study revealed that, total public agricultural R&D expenditure had increased by 59 per cent from 42.5 million (2005 PPP) dollars in 2000 to 67.7 million (2005 PPP) dollars in 2011 and with an average expenditure of 54.1 million (2005 PPP) dollars per year. The total expenditure by CSIR constitutes about 50 per cent of the total agricultural research expenditure in Ghana. The study however, showed a drastic decline in capital investments from 6.7 per cent in 2000 to 0.1 per cent in 2011 of the total government funding with operational cost following similar declining pattern. Still, when considering the totality of funding including salaries and wages, government support is the main source of funding for agricultural R&D in Ghana (85 per cent) with donors (7.3 per cent), sale of goods and services (6.7 per cent) and others serving as complementary sources. Though there have been considerable government investments in agricultural R&D in CSIR over the period, impact on operational and research activities has been minimal as the chunk of it went into payment of salaries and wages. The fundamental challenge is funding the very important operational and research activities which lead to technology development and innovation. Increasing commercialization of research technologies and government investment in agricultural R&D in Ghana, are recommended to address this investment challenge.
Ecotourism as a Conservation Tool - A Case of Afadjato–Agumatsa Conservation Area, Ghana
EH Owusu
Journal of Science and Technology (Ghana) , 2008,
Abstract: Nature tourism is being increasingly promoted as a means to combat the inequality and dependency in rural areas. Furthermore, ecotourism as a subset of nature tourism has emerged as a potential mechanism for involving rural communities in the management of their natural resources, and thus benefit from their conservation efforts. This paper presents the results of a study undertaken within three traditional areas around the Mt. Afadjato and Agumatsa Range in Ghana. I examined local peoples\' perceptions on whether the costs of conservation can be offset with the potential benefits of the biodiversity of the area. Local people in all traditional areas see ecotourism as an opportunity to develop the area than as a conservation tool. However, the status of biodiversity, and the range of potential opportunities and costs, suggest that local people could benefit more from conservation and ecotourism, if they are prepared to the bear the costs. Equally, this will only be possible with the adoption of a holistic strategy that embraces the conservation of the whole of the Mt. Afadjato and Agumatsa Range, rather than the piecemeal approach currently being promoted by different traditional areas. Furthermore, since poverty in diverse forms is considered as one of the major threats to sustaining biodiversity, benefits from ecotourism must be appropriately targeted so that local people benefit and understand that these benefits are linked to the conservation of natural resources of the Afadjato-Agumasta Conservation Area.
A GIS-Based Estimation of Soil Loss in the Densu Basin in Ghana
G Owusu
West African Journal of Applied Ecology , 2012,
Abstract: Distributed erosion simulation models are useful in evaluation of different strategies for land-use and soil management improvement in watersheds. The increased soil erosion in Densu basin of Ghana has led to siltation of the river channel that is causing flooding in some parts of Accra, Ghana. The most urbanized basin in Ghana, Densu, supplies water to 600,000 people, with agriculture employing about 40% of the active population. A PCRaster GIS soil loss risk maps have been developed for Densu basin using models of Universal Soil Equation (USLE) and Revised Universal Soil Equation (RUSLE). Soil loss factors such as rainfall erosivity, soil erodibilty, slope and slope length were also mapped for the basin. The model predicted average, minimum and maximum annual soil loss rates of 2.2, 0, and 63 t ha–1y–1 , respectively, indicating that some areas in the basin are above tolerance level of 5.0 t ha–1yr–1. The total soil loss was 756,507 tonnes per hectare per year. Among the soil types Lixisols experienced the highest soil loss of 402,080 t ha–1 yr–1 with Plinthosols experiencing the lowest soil loss of 64 t ha–1 yr–1. Among the administrative districts in the basin Suhum, Kraboa and Coaltar experienced the highest absolute soil loss of 216,957 t ha–1 yr–1 while Fanteakwa experienced the highest average soil loss of 4.5 t ha–1 yr–1. The results can serve as data and information to water resources managers and soil conservationists.
The Perceptions of Local Communities towards the Conservation of Birds in an Important Bird Area in Ghana
EH Owusu
West African Journal of Applied Ecology , 2008,
Abstract: The important bird areas (IBA) concept provides a practical index of the diversity and condition of an ecosystem on a site-by-site basis using birds as indicators. It is believed that protecting and managing such sites will result in the conservation of some of the most sensitive, fragile and ecologically rich habitats in the world. However, acceptance of the IBA concept and, thus, site conservation action, by local communities is dependent on their perception of the importance of birds with regard to some aspects of their livelihood. The study was undertaken to examine the importance local communities around an IBA, the Afadjato and Agumatsa Conservation Area in Ghana, attach to conservation of birds, and their relevance as an indicator of environmental quality. Results obtained from a questionnaire survey, combined with group interviews, suggest that the importance local communities attached to bird conservation in the area was, to a large extent, dependent on the village or locality where people lived. West African Journal of Applied Ecology Vol. 13 2008: pp. 111-116
Natural Resources of Okyeman- an Overview
EH Owusu
West African Journal of Applied Ecology , 2012,
Abstract: Biodiversity in all its forms sustains tremendous socio-economic and cultural interests of millions of people all over the world. Increasing human population has resulted in proportional increase in the demand for natural resources for the sustenance of human development needs. Unsustainable pattern of utilization of biodiversity in most parts of the world has necessitated the need for new thinking in the management of biodiversity. One key approach to managing these resources is through community-based approaches as opposed the classic approach to managing natural resources. The Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area (Okyeman) in the Eastern Region of Ghana offers some lessons on community approaches in managing natural resources. Okyeman is one of the ecologically endowed areas in Ghana. The Traditional Area boasts of rich biodiversity including endemic, rare and globally threatened fauna and flora as well as diverse landscape of aesthetic value. Atewa Range Forest Reserve, one of the ecologically unique sites in Ghana is a prominent feature in the traditional area which is a home to many of the fauna and flora resources of the traditional area. However, these have in recent times come under intense pressure from illegal and unsustainable exploitation. This situation has compromised the ecological and biological integrity of Okyeman. Recognizing the need to reverse the situation, the traditional council has in recent times taken the initiative to use the existing traditional structures to enhance natural resource governance in the area. This chapter gives an overview of the current status of natural resource of the traditional area, highlighting on their importance to local people and the need for sustainable exploitation of these resources.
Gender, land tenure dynamics and livelihood: A Comparison of the Central and Volta Regions of Ghana Using Logistic Regression Analysis
GA Owusu
Studies in Gender and Development in Africa , 2008,
Abstract: Binary Logistic Regression Analysis of secondary data were undertaken to compare the Volta and Central Regions of Ghana using gender as the key independent variable. The main hypothesis was that differences in the dynamics of land access, control and use in the study regions would be explained by gender inequities, manifested, in part, through the different systems of inheritance (matrilineal and patrilineal) which would further produce differences in livelihood, particularly income. Gender did not produce statistically significant effects, while region of residence was barely significant, only for control over land. All factors kept constant, the odds that respondents in the Volta Region had control over land were less likely than the odds for their Central Regional counterparts. Having access to land turned out to be the main determining variable for livelihood. The results could be explained by the finding that respondents used lineage land the least for their primary occupation. It points to the increasing alternative land tenure arrangements, which are not necessarily gender-dependent. This increasing overlapping land rights have implications for security of land ownership, use and control, and consequent repercussions for development, including food and income security.
Differential Role of Two-Component Regulatory Systems (phoPQ and pmrAB) in Polymyxin B Susceptibility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa  [PDF]
Daniel Owusu-Anim, Dong H. Kwon
Advances in Microbiology (AiM) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/aim.2012.21005
Abstract: Polymyxins are often considered as a last resort to treat multidrug resistant P. aeruginosa but polymyxin resistance has been increasingly reported worldwide in clinical isolates. Polymyxin resistance in P. aeruginosa is known to be associated with alterations in either PhoQ or PmrB. In this study, mutant strains of P. aeruginosa carrying amino acid substitution, a single and/or dual inactivation of PhoQ and PmrB were constructed to further understand the roles of PhoQ and PmrB in polymyxin susceptibility. Polymyxin B resistance was caused by both inactivation and/or amino acid substitutions in PhoQ but by only amino acid substitutions of PmrB. Alterations of both PhoQ and PmrB resulted in higher levels of polymyxin B resistance than alteration of either PhoQ or PmrB alone. These results were confirmed by time-killing assays suggesting that high-level polymyxin resistance in P. aeruginosa is caused by alterations of both PhoQ and PmrB.
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