Now showing items 41-60 of 10628

    • Developing a simple risk metric for the effect of sport-related concussion and physical pain on mental health

      Walker, Daniel; Qureshi, A.W.; Marchant, D.; Balani, A.B. (2023-10-13)
      Risk factors associated with depression in athletes include biological sex, physical pain, and history of sport-related concussion (SRC). Due to the well-documented benefits of sport and physical activity on mental health, athletes and non-athletes were recruited to assess any differences. Beyond this, athletes were also grouped by sport-type (contact/non-contact sports) due to the increased prevalence of pain and SRC in contact sports. To our knowledge, there has been no research on how these factors influence the likelihood of depression. In the current study, 144 participants completed a short survey on the above factors and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Sixty-two of these reported a history of concussion. Logistic regression revealed all the above predictors to be significantly associated with the depression scale. Individuals that had previously sustained SRC, were experiencing greater physical pain and females were more likely to display poor mental health. However, we provide further evidence for the benefits of engaging in sport and physical activity as those that took part in sport were less likely to report depression. Therefore, this study provides a simple risk metric whereby sportspeople can make a better informed choice of their sporting participation, making their own cost/reward judgement.
    • Achieving Food Supply Chain Resilience during Natural Disasters through Industry 5.0 enablers - Empirical insights based on an FsQCA approach

      Mandal, S.; Kar, K.A.; Gupta, S.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar (2023)
      The purpose of this research is to establish the necessary and sufficient conditions for food safety and security during pandemic outbreaks, focusing on the case of COVID-19 to ensure resilience of the food supply chain. The study emphasises on the complexity theory of fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA), to establish a result-driven definition of Industry 5.0 (I5.0) during and post pandemics. The results of this study revealed that a combination of conditions derived from pandemic policy related reforms and I5.0 enablers will assist manufacturers and suppliers in establishing food safety and security during and post the COVID-19 era in a developing economy. Food safety and security being the goal, based on a survey of 140 food companies, this study provides insights to manufacturers and policymakers to enable selective implementation of I5.0 enabling technologies and pandemic policies.
    • Effects of perceived social isolation, fear of social isolation and gratitude during COVID-19 pandemic on anxiety in Malaysia

      Tan, C.Y.; Ng, J.Y.; Lin, M.H.; Yong, Min Hooi (2023)
      Many governments including Malaysia imposed movement restrictions as public health measure to minimize COVID-19 (coronavirus) risks. Due to prolonged isolation, poorer physical and mental health is expected in the general population. Our aims were to examine (1) the mediating role of perceived social isolation (SI) and fear of social isolation (FSI) on the relationship between gratitude and anxiety, and (2) to explore the moderating role of age, education and socioeconomic status (SES) on the mediation model. A total of 427 participants currently living in Malaysia (Mage = 37.90, SD = 16.51, 313 females) completed a survey on isolation, gratitude and anxiety during a period of national lockdown. Results showed that that those with higher gratitude reported having less SI and FSI and less anxiety (Model 1). In Model 2 with age as moderator, young adults (YA) and middle-aged adults (MA) who had higher gratitude experienced lower SI and in turn had lowered anxiety, but such mediating role of SI was not observed among older adults (OA). As for FSI, MA who had higher gratitude had lower FSI and also lower anxiety but this relationship was not observed in YA or OA. We also examined the role of education and SES as moderators in the parallel mediation analysis. Results showed that the indirect association of gratitude with anxiety via FI and FSI was moderated by both education and SES. Specifically, among those with low education levels (regardless of SES), those with higher gratitude had lower SI and FSI which in turn reduced anxiety. This relationship is similar for those with medium level of education and from low and middle level of SES as well. Our findings highlight the importance of having some coping mechanism e.g., gratitude and social connection during the pandemic to have higher wellbeing and quality of life, especially for MA sample and people from low education and SES background.
    • The impact of compliance, board committees and insider CEOs on firm survival during crisis

      Ahmad, S.; Ullah, S.; Akbar, Saeed; Kodwani, D.; Brahma, S. (ELSEVIER, 2024-01)
      This study investigates the relationship between internal corporate governance mechanisms and firm survival during a financial crisis. Using a sample of FTSE 350 listed companies for the time period 2003–2010, our results show significant differences in the corporate governance mechanisms of firms that survived and those that failed during the 2007–2009 financial crisis. The findings indicate that compliance with the UK Corporate Governance Code is negatively associated with the survival of firms when they experience exogenous shocks. However, the existence of insider CEOs and a higher number of board committees in organisations increase the chances of survival during an economic downturn. These findings have policy implications and show that non-compliance with a prescribed code of corporate governance does not necessarily lead to poor governance. Moreover, the establishment of extra board committees and CEO succession planning are shown as important dynamics in firms’ strategic decisions, as they have implications for the survival of firms during difficult economic conditions.
    • Human resource capacity for information management in selected public healthcare facilities in Meru County, Kenya.

      Kiilu, Elizabeth M.; Okero, D.C.; Muiruri, L.; Owuondo, P.A. (2015)
      Reliable health information is essential for decision making in the healthcare system. Information management in Kenya was considered the weakest area under the Health Information System pillar mainly due to inadequate health workers capacity. The study therefore aimed at assessing health workers skills and current training needs for information management in the selected healthcare facilities. Cross-section research design was adopted and both purposive sampling technique and censuses were used to establish the study participants. Analysis was done using SPSS version 20 and results were presented in tables, charts and graphs. It was established that capacity building was usually undertaken through on-job trainings i.e. 85.1% (103) health workers had on-job training on filling of data collection tools and only 10% (13) had received formal classroom training on the same. Further, only 9.1% (11) health workers had received information management training while 90.9% (110) had not received such training. Health workers demonstrated below average skills on information management i.e. only 17.4% (21) could check for data accuracy, only 16.5% (20) could compute trends from bar charts and only 16.5% (20) could transform the data they collected into meaningful information for use. The researcher recommended that healthcare facilities management teams develop a competency based framework for defining the desired skill mix for information management and have a yearly Training Needs Assessment for assessing training needs for information management among the health workers.
    • Prognostic factors influencing HIV-free survival among infants enrolled for HIV early infant diagnosis services in selected hospitals in Nairobi County, Kenya

      Kiilu, Elizabeth M.; Karanja, S.; Kikuvi, G.; Wanzala, P. (2023-10-04)
      Despite being a preventable disease, pediatric HIV infection continues to be a public health concern due to the morbidity and mortality associated with the disease. Vertical transmission of HIV occurs when a mother living with HIV passes the virus to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. Globally, the vertical transmission rate of HIV is 9% with sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 90% of these infections. In Kenya, the national vertical transmission rates of HIV stood at 11.5% by the end of 2018, with a target to reduce vertical transmission rates to below 5% and 2% in breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding infants respectively, by the end of 2021. To determine the prognostic factors influencing HIV-free survival among infants enrolled for HIV early infant diagnosis (EID) services in selected hospitals in Nairobi County, Kenya. A prospective cohort study design was adopted. HIV exposed infants were recruited at six weeks to determine HIV-free survival over 12 months follow up. Simple random sampling was used to select 166 infants and data were collected from the mothers using semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaires. Log-rank tests were used to test for associations at the bi-variable level while Cox-proportional regression was used to analyze data at the multi-variable level, with the aid of STATA 14 software. Ethical approval was obtained from Kenya Medical Research Institute, Scientific Ethics Review Unit. The overall infant HIV incidence rate over one-year follow-up was 9 cases per 100 person-years (95% CI: 5.465-16.290). The failure event was defined as an infant with a positive PCR test during the study period with total failures being 13 (9.41%) over 12 months. Prognostic factors associated with poor infant HIV-free survival were young maternal age (18-24 years) and mothers with a recent HIV diagnosis of ≤ 2 years since a positive HIV diagnosis (HR 5.97 CI: 1.20, 29.58) and (HR 6.97 CI: 1.96, 24.76), respectively. Maternal prognostic factors associated with poor infant HIV-free survival were young maternal age (18-24 years) and recent maternal HIV diagnosis of ≤ 2 years since positive HIV diagnosis. The study recommended the development of an intervention package with more rigorous adherence counseling and close monitoring for young mothers, and mothers with recent HIV diagnoses.
    • Internationalization and firm performance: Moderating role of multi-stakeholder initiatives

      Park, Sang-Bum (Emerald, 2023)
      Purpose – Previous scholars have assumed that multinational enterprises (MNEs) can reduce the liability of foreignness and increase profitability by investing in corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, empirical validation of this assumption has rarely been attempted. This study provides empirical evidence that the adoption of multi-stakeholder initiatives, which are globally recognized as signals of CSR, helps MNEs increase profits from internationalization. Design/methodology/approach – Fixed effect models, which address model misspecification problems, and instrumental variable estimation, which controls for the endogeneity in firms’ choice of internationalization, offer empirical evidence supporting the moderating effects of global multi-stakeholder initiatives on the relationship between internationalization and firm performance. Findings – This study examines the moderating role of multi-stakeholder initiatives in the relationship between internationalization and firm performance, drawing on signaling and stakeholder theories. The results suggest that the signaling effect of multi-stakeholder initiatives can help MNEs overcome the liability of foreignness and, therefore, profit from overseas markets. Originality/value – Although the internationalization–firm performance relationship has been a subject of debate in the field of international business, the role of firms’ stakeholder engagement in this relationship has been largely overlooked in previous studies. In this study, we explore the impact of multi-stakeholder initiatives on the internationalization–firm performance relationship. Our primary contention is that multi-stakeholder initiatives have moderating effects on this relationship by reducing the liability of foreignness experienced by MNEs in host countries. Furthermore, our findings suggest that active engagement in multi-stakeholder initiatives significantly contributes to the financial success of MNEs as they internationalize.
    • Inclusiveness of Access Policies to Maternity Care for Migrant Women Across Europe: A Policy Review

      Pařízková, A.; Clausen, J.A.; Balaam, M.C.; Haith-Cooper, Melanie; Roosalu, T.; Migliorini, L.; Kasper, A. (2023)
      Introduction Despite the interconnectedness of the European Union, there are significant variations in pregnant women’s legal status as migrants and therefore their ability to access maternity care. Limited access to maternity care can lead to higher morbidity and mortality rates in migrant women and their babies. This study aimed to investigate and compare maternal health access policies and the context in which they operate across European countries for women who have migrated and are not considered citizens of the host country. Methods The study adopted a mixed-methods research design exploring policies on migrant women’s access to maternity care across the migration regimes. Data were extracted from legal documents and research reports to construct a new typology to identify the inclusiveness of policies determining access to maternity care for migrant women. Results This study found inconsistency in the categorisation of migrants across countries and significant disparities in access to maternity care for migrant women within and between European countries. A lack of connection between access policies and migration regimes, along with a lack of fit between policies and public support for migration suggests a low level of path dependency and leaves space for policy innovation. Discussion Inequities and inconsistencies in policies across European countries affect non-citizen migrant women’s access to maternity care. These policies act to reproduce structural inequalities which compromise the health of vulnerable women and newborns in reception countries. There is an urgent need to address this inequity, which discriminates against these already marginalised women.
    • Optimal Manufacturing Controller Synthesis Using Situation Calculus

      Adalat, Omar; Scrimieri, Daniele; Konur, Savas (Springer, 2024)
      In this paper, we discuss a framework for synthesising manufacturing process controllers using situation calculus, a well-known second-order logic for reasoning about actions in AI. Using a library of high-level ConGolog programs and logical action theories for production resources, we demonstrate how to efficiently synthesise an ‘optimal’ plan, i.e. the plant that minimises the number of actions for a target high-level program of a process recipe.
    • The top 100 global water questions: Results of a scoping exercise

      Mdee, A.; Ofori, A.; Lopez-Gonzalez, G.; Stringer, L.; Martin-Ortega, J.; Ahrari, S.; Dougill, A.; Evans, B.; Holden, J.; Kay, P.; et al. (2022-05-20)
      Global water security presents a complex problem for human societies and will become more acute as the impacts of climate change escalate. Water security connects the practical water and sanitation challenges of households to the dynamics of global hydroclimates and ecosystems in the Anthropocene. To ensure the successful deployment of attention and resources, it is necessary to identify the most pressing questions for water research. Here, we present the results of a scoping exercise conducted across the global water sector. More than 400 respondents submitted an excess of 4,000 potential questions. Drawing on expert analysis, we highlight 100 indicative research questions across six thematic domains: water and sanitation for human settlements; water and sanitation safety risk management; water security and scarcity; hydroclimate-ecosystem-Anthropocene dynamics; multi-level governance; and knowledge production. These questions offer an interdisciplinary and multi-scalar framework for guiding the nature and space of water research for the coming decades.
    • Analysis of experience using human rights to accelerate WASH access in four countries

      Gosling, L.; Rai, T.; Obani, Pedi; Traore, M.A.; Ouangre, L.; Aliu, F.; Shah, S.K. (2022-06)
      Human rights to water and sanitation have been widely recognised in legal instruments at the international, regional, and national levels of governance. More awareness of states’ obligations has provided additional impetus to promote human rights in policy advocacy. The international non-governmental organisation WaterAid, as a non-state actor specialising in the water, sanitation, and hygiene services (WASH) sector, adopts a human rights-based approach (HRBA) to WASH programming. This paper draws on the experiences from WaterAid WASH projects in four countries – Nepal, Ghana, Mali, and Burkina Faso, to evaluate the practical impacts of the HRBA to ensure that governments fulfil their responsibility to realise universal access to water and sanitation services in different contexts. The outcomes highlight that three important contributions of the HRBA: (1) generates greater awareness among rightsholders and duty bearers about responsibilities and entitlements over safe drinking water and sanitation; (2) promotes constructive engagement between the government and rightsholders; and (3) equips people with the motivation, skills, and agency which are critical dimensions to work on sustainable WASH. The WASH sector should, therefore, embrace the power of human rights and invest in the specific activities and frameworks to integrate human rights into systems strengthening the WASH sector, while continuing to analyse and learn how to adapt and improve the approach in different contexts.
    • Dissolving and Swelling Hydrogel-Based Microneedles: An Overview of Their Materials, Fabrication, Characterization Methods, and Challenges

      Shriky, Banah; Babenko, Maksims; Whiteside, Benjamin R. (MDPI, 2023-10)
      Polymeric hydrogels are a complex class of materials with one common feature—the ability to form three-dimensional networks capable of imbibing large amounts of water or biological fluids without being dissolved, acting as self-sustained containers for various purposes, including pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. Transdermal pharmaceutical microneedles are a pain-free drug delivery system that continues on the path to widespread adoption—regulatory guidelines are on the horizon, and investments in the field continue to grow annually. Recently, hydrogels have generated interest in the field of transdermal microneedles due to their tunable properties, allowing them to be exploited as delivery systems and extraction tools. As hydrogel microneedles are a new emerging technology, their fabrication faces various challenges that must be resolved for them to redeem themselves as a viable pharmaceutical option. This article discusses hydrogel microneedles from a material perspective, regardless of their mechanism of action. It cites the recent advances in their formulation, presents relevant fabrication and characterization methods, and discusses manufacturing and regulatory challenges facing these emerging technologies before their approval.
    • Structural performance of construction and demolition waste-based geopolymer concrete columns under combined axial and lateral cyclic loading

      Akduman, S.; Aktepe, R.; Aldemir, A.; Ozcelikci, E.; Yildirim, Gurkan; Sahmaran, M.; Ashour, Ashraf (2023-12-15)
      Construction and demolition waste (CDW) has reached severe environmental and economic dimensions due to its large volume among all solid waste, highlighting the importance of local actions to manage, recycle, and reuse CDW. Ductile demountable connections are necessary to disassemble and reuse the concrete structural members and fast assembly of precast structures in seismic regions without generating waste. In this study, the seismic performance of CDW-based reinforced geopolymer concrete columns has been investigated. Six ½ scaled columns (half of which were demountable and the other half monolithic) were experimentally tested under reversed cyclic lateral displacement excursions, considering three different levels of constant axial loading to determine failure mechanisms, load–displacement responses, ductilities, energy dissipation capacities, stiffness degradation relations, and curvature distributions. The obtained test results were used to determine the performance of CDWbased geopolymer concrete columns and compare the performances of the demountable connection with the monolithic connection. The test results showed that the novel demountable connection for precast concrete frames exhibited better seismic performance in terms of maximum lateral load capacity, initial stiffness, energy dissipation capacity, and maximum curvature than their monolithic counterparts. Besides, increasing the axial compression ratio on the columns caused an increase in lateral load capacity, energy dissipation capacity, energy dissipation ratio, and initial curvature stiffness; however, it decreased the ductility. Finally, the capacity predictions of current codes, i.e., TS500 and ACI318, were conservative when compared with experimental results.
    • Leadership for Levelling Up: Addressing social and economic policy issues?

      Liddle, J.; Shutt, J.; Addidle, Gareth (Special Edition of Local Economy, 2022)
    • Reframing ‘Place Leadership’: An analysis of Leadership in responding to the wicked issue of county lines and criminality within a context of post pandemic public health policing

      Liddle, J.; Addidle, Gareth (Edward Elgar, 2022-06-22)
      The chapter explores a practical approach to place leadership within what is increasingly acknowledged as a wicked problem. County lines and drug trafficking take place within complicated landscapes as multi-agency leaders, including police leaders, develop innovative solutions based on dialogue and relational approaches to this crucial wicked issue. Recent evidence on the scale of vulnerable individuals and groups inhabiting so called ‘left behind’ places provides testament to this 21st Century social policy problem (Addidle and Liddle, 2020). The many competing and contradictory conceptualisations of the phenomena of vulnerability leave place leaders with dilemmas on how to prioritise, operationalise and respond to such placed-based problems (Addidle and Liddle, 2020). Extant literature on place leadership remains largely at the economic level of analysis and based on growth models, but public leadership literature is more extensive and recent work has added to our understanding of the social contexts of place leadership within the public realm. Our key aim in this chapter is to add theoretical, empirical and policy insights to existing understandings, with a specific focus on crime and county lines.
    • The human rights to water and sanitation

      Misiedjan, D.; Obani, Pedi (Edward Elgar, 2021-10)
      The human right to water offers a strong legal tool for empowering millions of people living without safe drinking water around the world by creating legal obligations and standards for universal access to safe drinking water. The human right to sanitation creates legal obligations and standards for progressive improvement of access for the bil lions of people living without a basic level of sanitation services and the millions depending on open defecation. Both rights have evolved through closely linked processes at the international level, with implications for water and sanitation governance processes at the national level. This chapter analyses the co-evolution of the human rights to water and sanitation and the legal foundations of the rights at the international level, while highlighting the relationship between the rights and discussing the unique developments which each right has experienced. The chapter also considers the implementation chal- lenges and justiciability issues that will shape the future development of both rights at the international and national levels.
    • ‘Judging’ Lesbians: Prospects for Advancing Lesbian Rights Protection through Courts in Nigeria

      Obani, Pedi (Routledge, 2021)
      Nigeria is one of many countries in Africa that criminalize same-sex relations, and this has been reinforced by law enforcement agencies and the courts. As part of efforts to protect LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) persons from various forms of discrimination and violence, the growing LGBTQ movement sometimes approaches the court for rights enforcement. There is a dearth of cases specifically focused on lesbian rights except for a 2018 case, Pamela Adie v. Corporate Affairs Commission. This limits empirical evidence for assessing the role of the courts but also strengthens the case for an enquiry into how the courts can protect lesbians in Nigeria against discrimination on the grounds of their sexual identity. This chapter analyzes how intersecting categories of gender, sexual orientation, class, and location affect lesbians’ experiences of discrimination. It also explores impediments in laws and the formal justice system that result in discrimination, thereby affecting access to justice. The analysis reveals opportunities for the courts to adopt a proactive approach to interpreting fundamental rights guarantees in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. Pragmatic recommendations are made for a multi-stakeholder approach and cross-jurisdictional learning.
    • COVID-19 and the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation

      Obani, Pedi (Routledge, 2021-06-30)
      The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic coincides with the tenth anniversary of the recognition of the rights to water and sanitation within the United Nations system. Although water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) remain critical for COVID-19 infection prevention and control, billions of people around the world lack access to basic WASH services in different spheres of life. Mostly affected are people living in vulnerable situations. While the pandemic has significantly impacted regulatory practices and access, key actors in the WASH sector continue to adopt diverse approaches to ensure safety, continuity, and reliability of supply. This chapter explores how COVID-19 influences WASH services and how the rights to water and sanitation can ultimately strengthen resilience to health pandemics? It makes recommendations from the perspective of inclusive development theory, for strengthening WASH sector governance towards ensuring the progressive realization of the rights to water and sanitation during and post the COVID-19 pandemic. Experiences with the coronavirus pandemic illustrate the crucial importance of access to water and sanitation as basic human rights and as necessities for the realization of health, education, food, gender equality, and other human rights (United Nations 2020). Emergent issues, particularly include the high public health risks associated with lack of water and sanitation and the disproportionate burden borne by women and girls, transgendered people, people living in informal settlements, people living with disabilities, the urban poor, migrant workers, workers in the informal sector, people who are sick or living with underlying health conditions, the elderly, school-aged children, and other groups living in vulnerable situations (Banerji 2020; Tan 2020; UNESCO n.d.). These highlight intersecting layers of inequalities in different situations of vulnerability and the interconnectedness of human rights. The pandemic has also demonstrated the imperative of leaving no one behind and ensuring universal access to water and sanitation to achieve sustainable development. From Africa to the Pan-European region, it is a similar picture: there are remarkable inequities in access to water and sanitation based on whether people live in urban or rural areas, whether people are rich or poor, and whether they have any special circumstances which render them vulnerable (Local Burden of Disease WaSH Collaborators 2020; Wang et al. 2019; World Health Organization & UN-Water 2019; United Nations 2020). Furthermore, because of the pandemic, several assumptions and modes of service delivery need to be reexamined to ensure continued suitability for promoting universal access to water and sanitation. It is in light of these realizations that this chapter examines the question: How has COVID-19 influenced water, sanitation and hygiene services and how can the rights to water and sanitation strengthen resilience in health pandemics? This question is addressed from the perspective of inclusive development theory which emphasizes the need to address the social, relational, and ecological aspects of human development (Gupta, Pouw, & Ros-Tonen 2015).