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Birzeit University Students’ Perception of Bottled Water Available in the West Bank Market
Water bottling industry has negative environmental impacts due to exploitation and possible pollution of water resources and due to solid waste problems related to the use of plastic bottles. To mitigate these impacts, it is important to study the link between consuming bottled drinking water and the perception of its quality. The objective of the study is to assess the perception of Birzeit University students’ of the bottled water marketed in the West Bank and its impact on the humans and the environment. Universities play an important role in providing awareness about environmental issues and sustainability, and university students are thought to be more environmentally conscious about these issues. A quantitative survey was used to analyze the behaviors and perceptions of Birzeit University students. The sample size was 375 students, distributed according to the college, gender, and the academic year at the university. The results show that the factors that affect the perception of the students are mainly the educational year at the university, the income, the family size, and the community type.
Individual and Community Factors Associated with Household Insecticide-Treated Bednet Usage in the Sunyani West District of Ghana Two Years after Mass Distribution
Purpose. In the year 2015, the Ghana Health Service launched a free mass insecticide-treated net (ITN) distribution campaign in the Sunyani West district of Ghana with the aim of improving household ownership to increase usage. This study determined the level of ownership and usage of ITNs and associated factors among households in the Sunyani West district two years after the mass distribution campaign. Methods. Study participants were identified using the systematic approach in all five subdistricts of the Sunyani West district and interviewed, and data were collected on household ITN ownership. Data were also collected on the source of the ITN and whether the respondent slept under an ITN the previous night. Data on individual and community factors associated with ITN ownership and usage were also collected. Pearson chi-square tests and logistic regression were performed to determine factors significantly associated with ITN ownership and usage. Results. The level of ITN ownership was 78.93% and usage was 55.93%. Most of the participants (73.62%) received their nets during the 2015 mass distribution campaign, 39 (11.96%) received their ITNs during antenatal care visits, whilst 27 (8.28%) bought the nets from the store. People who experience irritation (χ2 = 23.32; < 0.001) and respondents who did not perceive themselves as likely to be beaten by mosquitoes or get malaria (χ2 = 26.61; < 0.001) were less likely to use ITNs. Respondents who used other malaria/mosquito bite prevention methods were also less likely to use the ITNs (χ2 = 206.26; = 0.001), but individuals who received free nets were likely to use them. Conclusion. ITN ownership was high, but usage was low and far below the national target. Intense health education emphasizing the fact that everybody is susceptible to malaria may help improve usage.
The Influence of Apparent Temperature on Mortality in the Kintampo Health and Demographic Surveillance Area in the Middle Belt of Ghana: A Retrospective Time-Series Analysis
Globally, studies have shown that diurnal changes in weather conditions and extreme weather events have a profound effect on mortality. Here, we assessed the effect of apparent temperature on all-cause mortality and the modifying effect of sex on the apparent temperature-mortality relationship using mortality and weather data archived over an eleven-year period. An overdispersed Poisson regression and distributed lag nonlinear models were used for this analysis. With these models, we analysed the relative risk of mortality at different temperature values over a 10-day lag period. By and large, we observed a nonlinear association between mean daily apparent temperature and all-cause mortality. An assessment of different temperature values over a 10-day lag period showed an increased risk of death at the lowest apparent temperature (18°C) from lag 2 to 4 with the highest relative risk of mortality (RR = 1.61, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.15, value = 0.001) occurring three days after exposure. The relative risk of death also varied between males (RR = 0.31, 95% CI: 0.10, 0.94) and females (RR = 4.88, 95% CI: 1.40, 16.99) by apparent temperature and lag. On the whole, males are sensitive to both temperature extremes whilst females are more vulnerable to low temperature-related mortality. Accordingly, our findings could inform efforts at reducing temperature-related mortality in this context and other settings with similar environmental and demographic characteristics.
A Qualitative Study of Barriers to Personal Protective Equipment Use among Laundry Workers in Government Hospitals, Hawassa, Ethiopia
Background. The need to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases makes the use of personal protective equipment and safety medical devices compulsory among hospital laundry staff. The practice, however, remains to be low among hospital laundry staff members. Globally, not many studies seem to have been carried out to sufficiently tell us about the barriers to personal protective equipment use among hospital laundry workers. Related studies in Ethiopia are even fewer. This study assessed the barriers to personal protective equipment use among laundry staff of government hospitals in Hawassa City, Southern Ethiopia, 2019. Methods. Two qualitative data-gathering methods—focus group discussions and key informant interviews—were used to collect data for this study. Eight focus group discussions were conducted with hospital laundry workers. Similarly, six key informant interviews were held with Infection Prevention and Patient Safety Officers. Thematic analysis was performed using Open Code 4.02. Result. Organizational- and individual-level barriers such as unavailability of essential personal protective equipment, a disharmonious work environment, low perception of susceptibility, and belief about personal protective equipment interference with work performance were identified as the major barriers to personal protective equipment use in the present study. Conclusion. Organizational- and individual-level barriers have been identified as causes for the low level of personal protective equipment use among hospital laundry workers. Therefore, improving institutional supplies in quantity and quality may have a positive implication for the improvement of infection prevention practices in the study area. Also, designing sustainable strategies and raising laundry workers’ awareness of a safe work environment may lead to the improvement of infection prevention practices.
Antibiotic Resistance Profile of Bacteria Isolated from Wastewater Systems in Eastern Ethiopia
World Health Organizations launched a global action plan on antimicrobial resistance since 2015. Along with other objectives, the plan was aimed to strengthen knowledge of the spread of antimicrobial resistance through surveillance and research. Given their high bacterial densities and that they receive antibiotics, metals, and other selective agents, wastewater systems are a logical hotspot for antibiotic resistance surveillance. The current study reports on the result of antibiotic resistance surveillance conducted in selected wastewater systems of Eastern Ethiopia from Feb. 2018 to Oct. 2019. We monitored three wastewater systems in Eastern Ethiopia, such as the activated sludge system of Dire Dawa University, waste stabilization pond of Haramaya University, and a septic tank of Hiwot Fana Specialized University Hospital for 18 months period. We collected 66 wastewater samples from 11 sampling locations and isolated 722 bacteria using selective culture media and biochemical tests. We tested their antibiotic susceptibility using the standard Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method on the surface of the Mueller-Hinton agar and interpreted the result according to EUCAST guidelines. The result shows the highest percentage of resistance for ampicillin among isolates of hospital wastewater effluent which is 36 (94.7%), 33 (91.7%), and 32 (88.9%) for E. coli, E. faecalis, and E. faecium, respectively. A lower rate of resistance was seen for gentamicin among isolates of activated sludge wastewater treatment system which is 10 (16.4%), 8 (13.3%), 11 (18.9%), and 12 (20.3%) for E. coli, E. faecalis, E. faecium, and P. aeruginosa, respectively. Hospital wastewater exhibited higher resistance than the other two wastewater systems. The Multiple Antibiotic Resistance Index (MARI) has significantly increased in the wastewater’s course treatment process, showing the proliferation of resistance in the wastewater treatment system.
Sources and Toxicity of Mercury in the San Francisco Bay Area, Spanning California and Beyond
This report synthesizes and evaluates published scientific literature on the environmental occurrence and biomagnification of mercury with emphasis on the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA), California. Mercury forms various compounds, well known for their toxicity in humans and environmental ecosystems. Elemental mercury is transported and distributed by air, water, and sediments. Through the metabolic processes of algae and bacteria, mercury is converted into organic compounds, such as methylmercury (MeHg), which then bioaccumulates up through trophic levels. In fish, it is found primarily in skeletal muscle, while in humans, the primary target organs are the brain and kidneys. Health concerns exist regarding bioaccumulation of mercury in humans. This paper reviews the known anthropogenic sources of mercury contamination, including atmospheric deposition through aerial transport from coal burning power plants, cement production, and residual contaminants of mercury from gold mining, as well as mercury-containing waste from silver amalgams emitted from dental offices into waterways. Although tools exist for measuring mercury levels in hair, breast milk, urine, blood, and feces in humans, current diagnostic tools are inadequate in measuring total mercury load, including deposited mercury in tissues. Additionally, insufficient attention is being paid to potential synergistic impacts of mercury interaction with multipliers such as lead, cadmium, and aluminum. We provide specific data on methylmercury concentrations at different trophic levels, followed by recommendations for reducing the level of mercury in the SFBA in order to protect the health of humans and other species.