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Seburanga J.L.,National University of Rwanda | Zhang Q.,Beijing Forestry University
Journal of Forestry Research | Year: 2013

Trees play a key role in neighborhood landscapes, a belief that has been widely held for millennia in areas beyond Sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, awareness of modern landscape architecture was almost absent in Rwanda until the late 20th century. Today, houses with surrounding decorative and amenity plants are a common feature in Rwanda's neighborhood landscapes and, as the villagization of settlements progresses, new kinds of landscapes are emerging. This paper explores neighborhood tree planting around human settlements in the country. Remote sensing, photogrammetry, photo interpretation, and plant surveys were the core methods used. The average tree cover fraction ranged between 10%-35%. As the result of what is hereafter referred to as the "luxury effect," a discrete gradient was detected along which the diversity of ornamental and amenity trees increases with the socio-economic status of neighborhoods: from rural settlements to urban residences via a series of intermediate designs, in which different levels of human-built vegetated areas alternate with non-landscaped spaces. Showy, non-productive amenity trees tend to occur more in wealthy quarters of the inner core of cities while edible ornamentals and other productive neighborhood trees prevail in rural and spontaneous settlements. In general, the practice of landscape plant design, in spite of its constant improvement, is still striving to get established as a profession in the country. © 2013 Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Bizoza A.R.,National University of Rwanda | de Graaff J.,Wageningen University
Land Degradation and Development | Year: 2012

Bench terracing has received considerable attention from soil and water conservation (SWC) programmes involved in soil erosion control in Rwanda. It is questioned, however, whether enough attention is paid to the suitability of the soils and to the eventual financial profitability. Terraces may reduce soil erosion and increase production but they should also provide sufficient financial gains at farm level. A plot level financial cost-benefit analysis was undertaken to examine under which social and economic conditions bench terraces are financially viable in Northern and Southern Rwanda. Farmers' estimates of respective costs and potato yields from plots with subsidized and un-subsidized bench terraces, progressive terraces and plots with no terraces at all were obtained for the analysis. Costs of labour and manure were found to be the most influential for the profitability of bench and progressive terraces. While the cost-benefit analysis, using market prices, showed that bench terraces would be hardly profitable, an analysis with opportunity costs for labour and manure indicated that bench terraces and even more progressive terraces can be financially profitable. Extra measures and incentives may be required to facilitate use of labour and access to manure, as now achieved with the one cow per family policy. This paper suggests that further studies should be undertaken to determine costs and benefits of bench terraces beyond private perspective in Rwanda. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Soreide K.,University of Stavanger | Soreide K.,University of Bergen | Alderson D.,University of Birmingham | Bergenfelz A.,Skane University Hospital | And 9 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2013

More than 235 million patients undergo surgery every year worldwide, but less than 1% are enrolled in surgical clinical trials-few of which are international collaborations. Several levels of action are needed to improve this situation. International research collaborations in surgery between developed and developing countries could encourage capacity building and quality improvement, and mutually enhance care for patients with surgical disorders. Low-income and middle-income countries increasingly report much the same range of surgical diseases as do high-income countries (eg, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and the surgical sequelae of metabolic syndrome); collaboration is therefore of mutual interest. Large multinational trials that cross cultures and levels of socioeconomic development might have faster results and wider applicability than do single-country trials. Surgeons educated in research methods, and aided by research networks and trial centres, are needed to foster these international collaborations. Barriers to collaboration could be overcome by adoption of global strategies for regulation, health insurance, ethical approval, and indemnity coverage for doctors.

Miller M.,National University of Rwanda | Miller M.,University of Colorado at Denver | Phillips B.,University of York
Medical Teacher | Year: 2013

Background: A social-network site is a dedicated website or application which enables users to communicate with each other and share information, comments, messages, videos and images. Aims: This review aimed to ascertain if "social-networking sites have been used successfully in medical education to deliver educational material", and whether "healthcare professionals, and students, are engaging with social-networking sites for educational purposes". Method: A systematic-review was undertaken using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Eight databases were searched with pre-defined search terms, limits and inclusion criteria. Data was extracted into a piloted data-table prior to the narrative-synthesis of the Quality, Utility, Extent, Strength, Target and Setting of the evidence. Results: 1047 articles were identified. Nine articles were reviewed with the majority assessing learner satisfaction. Higher outcome measures were rarely investigated. Educators used Facebook, Twitter, and a custom-made website, MedicineAfrica to achieve their objectives. Conclusions: Social-networking sites have been employed without problems of professionalism, and received positive feedback from learners. However, there is no solid evidence base within the literature that social-networking is equally or more effective than other media available for educational purposes. © 2013 Informa UK Ltd.

Gahutu J.B.,National University of Rwanda
American Journal of Physiology - Advances in Physiology Education | Year: 2010

In the present article, I report on my experience in teaching and learning physiology in the first year of a new modular curriculum at the Faculty of Medicine of the National University of Rwanda. With self-reported questionnaires, I collected learning experience perceptions from 112 students who attended the module of physiology in 2008. The results showed satisfaction with active learning methods but complaints about the limited contact hours allocated to classroom lectures and practical classes. Student-centered learning was handicapped by the limited computer and internet access for students and by the limited number of textbooks in the library. In conclusion, the new teaching and learning style was appreciated by the students, but problems related to limited human and material resources need to be solved. Copyright © 2010 The American Physiological Society.

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