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News Article | November 4, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

The Opening Ceremony was held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Addressing the Opening ceremony, Peking University President Professor Lin Jianhua said, “For universities in the Chinese mainland, we have a commitment to take on the responsibility for the society, the nation and the world. Peking University has inherited and has been diligently following this tradition. On the one hand, we teach students to bear social responsibility during their studies and after graduation. On the other hand, the Universities have to bear their responsibility for the community, the region, and the nation, during their course of development and advancement.” Professor Lin added, “This is a difficult mission, and it calls for concerted efforts of higher education leaders.” Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong said, “Over the last few decades, global challenges such as economic development, environmental protection and technological innovation have driven universities worldwide to redefine their roles and responsibilities beyond traditional education and research in order to bolster their impact on society. Consequently, social responsibility has become a subject high on the agenda.” Professor Tong added, “The USR Network member universities sharing the same vision of making our world increasingly just, inclusive, peaceful and sustainable. With an emphasis on collaboration among members and with other networks and alliances, the Network has vigorously promoted USR by organizing a number of projects including this University Social Responsibility Summit.” This year, the Summit has brought together more than 50 speakers who are higher education leaders and scholars from over 10 countries and regions. They exchanged views at three Presidents’ Roundtable sessions respectively themed “Social Responsibility: A Core Mission of Universities in 21st Century?”, “USR: Translating Vision into Action and Impact”, and “USR in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities”. Plenary sessions held tomorrow (5 November) will include “Community Engagement in Higher Education: Policy and Practice”, “Nurturing Future Leaders through Service-Learning: Strategies and Learning Outcomes” and “Building Disaster Response Capacity – University Students as Community First Responders”. This is the first time that the Summit has a separate Student Forum on 4 November at Peking University campus. The Forum attracted more than 100 students, many of them are delegates from the USR Network member universities. In addition, there will be a student presentation tomorrow. Four teams of students from PolyU, PekingU, Sichuan University and Beijing Normal University conducted presentations to share the views and practical experience of USR from the students’ perspective. Their presence and contribution at the Summit are evidence of the USR Network’s commitment to engaging the university community to address world challenges and shape a better future. The second Executive Committee meeting of the USR Network was held yesterday (3 November) to discuss the strategies and work for the coming year. With two new members, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and University of Pretoria, South Africa, the USR Network now include the following 14 universities (in alphabetical order of their country): Australia | University of New South Wales Brazil | University of Sao Paulo Hong Kong, P.R.C. | The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Israel | University of Haifa Japan | Kyoto University Korea | Yonsei University P.R.C. | Peking University P.R.C. | Beijing Normal University P.R.C. | Sichuan University P.R.C. | South Africa University of Pretoria U.K. | Clare Hall, University of Cambridge U.K. | The University of Manchester U.S.A. | Tufts University U.S.A. | Washington University in St. Louis For details of the USR Network, please visit http://www.usrnetwork.org.

Peterson I.,University of Swaziland | Togun O.,Medical Research Council UK the Gambia Unit | De Silva T.,University of Swaziland | De Silva T.,University College London | And 7 more authors.
AIDS | Year: 2011

OBJECTIVES:: This study's objective was to assess outcomes in HIV-1 and HIV-2 infected antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve patients starting ART in the Gambia, West Africa. DESIGN:: A cohort design was used to estimate survival in ART patients and determine whether survival and time to virologic failure varied across patient subgroups. METHODS:: Mortality, virologic failures and CD4 cell recovery were assessed in a clinical cohort of patients from the Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinic of the MRC Laboratories in the Gambia. Kaplan-Meier estimates of survival were determined for mortality and virologic failure. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify baseline demographic, clinical, immunologic and virologic factors associated with increased risk of death. RESULTS:: The overall Kaplan-Meier estimate of survival to 36 months was 73.4% (66.5, 80.3). Survival was marginally higher in HIV-2-infected patients compared to HIV-1-infected patients; it was significantly higher in patients with a baseline CD4 lymphocyte cell count of greater than 50 cells/μl compared to those with a baseline CD4 count of less than 50 cells/μl. CD4 cell recovery was faster in HIV-1-infected individuals compared to HIV-2-infected patients up to 24 months, although this did not result higher mortality in the latter group. No differences in virologic failure were observed by HIV type. CONCLUSION:: HIV-1 and HIV-2-infected patients receiving ART in a clinical setting in the Gambia had good survival to 36 months. HIV-2-infected patients did as well as HIV-1-infected patients in terms of long-term immunological and virological responses and overall survival. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Hallfors D.D.,Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation | Cho H.,Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation | Rusakaniko S.,University of Zimbabwe | Mapfumo J.,Africa University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Adolescent Health | Year: 2015

Purpose We examine effects of school support as a structural HIV prevention intervention for adolescent female orphans in Zimbabwe after 5 years.Methods Three hundred twenty-eight orphan adolescent girls were followed in a clustered randomized controlled trial from 2007 to 2010. The experimental group received school fees, uniforms, and school supplies and were assigned a school-based "helper." In 2011-2012, the control group received delayed partial treatment of school fees only. At the final data point in 2012, survey, HIV, and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) biomarker data were collected from approximately 88% of the sample. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted on end point outcomes, controlling for age, religious affiliation, and baseline socioeconomic status.Results The two groups did not differ on HIV or HSV-2 biomarkers. The comprehensive 5-year intervention continued to reduce the likelihood of marriage, improve school retention, improve socioeconomic status (food security), and marginally maintain gains in quality of life, even after providing school fees to the control group.Conclusions Paying school fees and expenses resulted in significant improvements in life outcomes for orphan adolescent girls. Biological evidence of HIV infection prevention, however, was not observed. Our study adds to the growing body of research on school support as HIV prevention for girls in sub-Saharan Africa, but as yet, no clear picture of effectiveness has emerged. © 2015 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.

Hallfors D.,Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation | Cho H.,Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation | Rusakaniko S.,University of Zimbabwe | Iritani B.,Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2011

Objectives: Using a randomized controlled trial in rural eastern Zimbabwe, we tested whether comprehensive support to keep orphan adolescent girls in school could reduce HIV risk. Methods: All orphan girls in grade 6 in 25 primary schools were invited to participate in the study in fall 2007 (n=329). Primary schools were randomized to condition. All primary schools received a universal daily feeding program; intervention participants received fees, uniforms, and a school-based helper to monitor attendance and resolve problems. We conducted annual surveys and collected additional information on school dropout, marriage, and pregnancy rates. We analyzed data using generalized estimating equations over 3 time points, controlling for school and age at baseline. Results: The intervention reduced school dropout by 82% and marriage by 63% after 2 years. Compared with control participants, the intervention group reported greater school bonding, better future expectations, more equitable gender attitudes, and more concerns about the consequences of sex. Conclusions: We found promising evidence that comprehensive school support may reduce HIV risk for orphan girls. Further study, including assessment of dose response, cost benefit, and HIV and herpes simplex virus 2 biomarker measurement, is warranted.

Hallfors D.D.,Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation | Cho H.,Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation | Iritani B.J.,Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation | Mapfumo J.,Africa University | And 3 more authors.
Ethnicity and Health | Year: 2013

Objective. The paper examines the influence of religion on attitudes, behaviors, and HIV infection among rural adolescent women in Zimbabwe. Design. We analyzed data from a 2007 to 2010 randomized controlled trial in rural eastern Zimbabwe testing whether school support can prevent HIV risk behaviors and related attitudes among rural adolescent orphan girls; supplementary data from the 2006 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) were also analyzed. The present study design is largely cross-sectional, using the most recent available survey data from the clinical trial to examine the association between religious affiliation and religiosity on school dropout, marriage, and related attitudes, controlling for intervention condition, age and orphan type. The ZDHS data examined the effect of religious denomination on marriage and HIV status among young rural women, controlling for age. Results. Apostolic Church affiliation greatly increased the likelihood of early marriage compared to reference Methodist Church affiliation (odds ratio = 4.5). Greater religiosity independently reduced the likelihood of school dropout, increased gender equity attitudes and disagreement with early sex, and marginally reduced early marriage. Young rural Apostolic women in the ZDHS were nearly four times as likely to marry as teenagers compared to Protestants, and marriage doubled the likelihood of HIV infection. Conclusions. Findings contradict an earlier seminal study that Apostolics are relatively protected from HIV compared to other Christian denominations. Young Apostolic women are at increased risk of HIV infection through early marriage. The Apostolic Church is a large and growing denomination in sub-Saharan Africa and many Apostolic sects discourage medical testing and treatment in favor of faith healing. Since this can increase the risk of undiagnosed HIV infection for young married women and their infants in high prevalence areas, further study is urgently needed to confirm this emerging public health problem, particularly among orphan girls. Although empirical evidence suggests that keeping orphan girls in school can reduce HIV risk factors, further study of the religious context and the implications for prevention are needed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Zhou M.M.,South African Sugarcane Research Institute | Shoko M.D.,Africa University
South African Journal of Plant and Soil | Year: 2011

Tillers carry leaves, determine leaf area index and indirectly influence the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) intercepted by the sugarcane canopy. Tillers develop into stalks, the sink for the products of photosynthesis. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of seasons and varieties on tiller population development trends and parameters using different varieties (ZN6, ZN7, N14 and NCo376). Three replicated experiments were established in early (March), mid (July) and late (October) seasons at Zimbabwe Sugar Association Experiment Station. The tiller population development parameters were determined in each plot and the data were analysed for seasonal and varietal effects using the mixed procedure of SAS. The tiller development parameters investigated were: peak tiller population (PTP), final tiller population (FTP), thermal time to peak tiller population (TTTP), thermal time per tiller (TTPT) and tiller survival rate (TSR). The order of importance of the parameters was season > variety > variety x season. The study suggested the presence of genotype by environment (GxE) interaction for PTP. The cane yield of the varieties significantly (P<0.05) decreased from early > mid > late season.

Frehywot S.,George Washington University | Vovides Y.,Georgetown University | Talib Z.,George Washington University | Mikhail N.,George Washington University | And 6 more authors.
Human Resources for Health | Year: 2013

Background: In the face of severe faculty shortages in resource-constrained countries, medical schools look to e-learning for improved access to medical education. This paper summarizes the literature on e-learning in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), and presents the spectrum of tools and strategies used.Methods: Researchers reviewed literature using terms related to e-learning and pre-service education of health professionals in LMIC. Search terms were connected using the Boolean Operators " AND" and " OR" to capture all relevant article suggestions. Using standard decision criteria, reviewers narrowed the article suggestions to a final 124 relevant articles.Results: Of the relevant articles found, most referred to e-learning in Brazil (14 articles), India (14), Egypt (10) and South Africa (10). While e-learning has been used by a variety of health workers in LMICs, the majority (58%) reported on physician training, while 24% focused on nursing, pharmacy and dentistry training. Although reasons for investing in e-learning varied, expanded access to education was at the core of e-learning implementation which included providing supplementary tools to support faculty in their teaching, expanding the pool of faculty by connecting to partner and/or community teaching sites, and sharing of digital resources for use by students. E-learning in medical education takes many forms. Blended learning approaches were the most common methodology presented (49 articles) of which computer-assisted learning (CAL) comprised the majority (45 articles). Other approaches included simulations and the use of multimedia software (20 articles), web-based learning (14 articles), and eTutor/eMentor programs (3 articles). Of the 69 articles that evaluated the effectiveness of e-learning tools, 35 studies compared outcomes between e-learning and other approaches, while 34 studies qualitatively analyzed student and faculty attitudes toward e-learning modalities.Conclusions: E-learning in medical education is a means to an end, rather than the end in itself. Utilizing e-learning can result in greater educational opportunities for students while simultaneously enhancing faculty effectiveness and efficiency. However, this potential of e-learning assumes a certain level of institutional readiness in human and infrastructural resources that is not always present in LMICs. Institutional readiness for e-learning adoption ensures the alignment of new tools to the educational and economic context. © 2013 Frehywot et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Mukora-Mutseyekwa F.N.N.,Africa University | Chadambuka E.M.,Africa University
Patient Preference and Adherence | Year: 2013

Objectives: This study investigated the level of drug adherence among hypertensive outpatients at a tertiary hospital in Zimbabwe. Specific objectives included measurement of blood pressure (BP) control achievement, estimating prevalence of drug adherence behavior, and establishing the association between drug adherence behavior and achievement of BP control. Methods and materials: An analytic cross sectional design was applied on a convenience sample of 102 participants using an interviewer administered questionnaire. Self-reported adherence was assessed using the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale. Findings: The median age of participants was 68.5 years (Q1 61; Q3 76). The majority were female (n = 71; 69.6%). BP control (<140/90 mmHg) was achieved in 52% (n = 53). Self-reported drug adherence was 40.2% (n = 42). After multivariate logistic regression analysis, participants with normal BP measurements were more than three times as likely to report maximal adherence to prescribed drug schedules (odds ratio 3.37; 95% confidence interval: 1.38-8.24). Conclusion: Poor drug adherence behavior prevails among hypertensive outpatients. This contributes to poor achievement of BP control. The hospital is recommended to set up a specialized hypertension clinic in the Out-patients' Department where an intensified health education package can be introduced as well as community awareness programs on the importance of medication adherence. © 2013 Mukora-Mutseyekwa and Chadambuka, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

Branching out from recent perspectives on divination in Africa, this study explores a fresh approach that engages in a constructive dialogue between local knowledge practices and Western-derived human sciences. A first section positions this essay within an emerging debate over the perspectival ontological turn in anthropology - in line with Viveiros de Castro (2004) - which holds that people's culture-specific ontology - such as, envisaging some propensity in the fabric between the human, things, fauna, flora and inter-worldly force-fields - is most explicitly voiced in the divinatory oracle and expressed in the ensuing healing and societal redress. The study then outlines the post-Lacanian matrixial model, defined by Ettinger (2006), that re-examines the originary processes unlocking, and inter-connecting in, the matrixial borderzone between body and psyche of mother and foetus or infans. A second section then focuses on the oracular scrutiny typically employed by the mediumistic Yaka diviner in southwestern DR Congo. Such practice, it is contended, induces the diviner to sense out in the consulting kin group the bewitching force-effects and the unspeakable in the inter-generational realm. The oracle unconceals some unguessed fate in the client's inter-generational line, in particular the inter-corporeal embeddedness of latent memory traces and forces of ill-bearing. Third, the study will conclude by evaluating - along the terms of the local culture's genius - the perspectivist stance and matrixial model. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

Sarr F.,Africa University
East African journal of public health | Year: 2010

The literature demonstrates that conducting a stakeholder analysis to better understand the immunisation context and to involve the stakeholders in the assessment improves the quality and relevance of the assessment and increases the use of results by policy makers thereby ensuring that the programme provides efficient services. This stakeholder analysis is part of a study to assess the sustainability of the expansion of the expanded programme of immunisation in The Gambia. This paper reports and discusses the results of the study on the dimension of attaining high levels of technical efficiency of immunization programmes. Methods: The study, was conducted on the Immunisation service of the Gambia in West Africa. The method used was a series of in-dept interviews with sixteen key stakeholders at the central, divisional and facility levels. A stakeholder analysis tool that incorporates key indicators of financial sustainability of the EPI was used in the interviews. Results show that overall the majority of stakeholders strongly support the use of additional resources for implementing several actions (indicators) that can foster the financial sustainability of the EPI, including those that fall under the dimension of efficient immunisation services. Results further demonstrate that wastage is a very serious problem in the immunization system, which stakeholders generally felt is unacceptable. The causes could be grouped into four groups of factors: staff factors, resource factors, client factors and management/policy factors. Inefficiencies in the immunisation system, leading to, amomg other things, wastage of resources make expenditures in the EPI system unsustainable for a country that is experiencing slow economic growth and decreasing donor support. More intensified efforts to minimise the inefficiencies are needed to bring about more significant changes for the better

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