132 research outputs found

    Urban Planning Approach and Production of Counter Architecture: A Case Study of New Market, Khulna

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    Informal spatial practices in cities of the Global South are often regarded as activities taking place outside the realm of regulatory oversight. The prevailing urban governance and planning paradigms, which are largely derived from developed countries, struggle to adapt to the dynamic nature of these practices and the inherent conflicts they entail. Furthermore, the influence of disorderly political systems further complicates matters at the local level. In response to planned development, informal spatial practices persist as a critical yet overlooked/integral aspect of ever-evolving urban realities. This paper provides new insights into the current dynamics surrounding the creation of informal urban spaces in Global South cities and their interaction with the formal planning framework. Our study focused on the city of Khulna in Bangladesh, a compelling case study with a history of failed industrial planning dating back to the 1960s, when it was designed by a group of British consultants. Following its initial failure and the city’s subsequent decline in population, Khulna has witnessed an unforeseen surge in ‘counter spatial’ development driven by the imperative to meet socio-economic and cultural needs. This paper underscores the significance of such type of informal spatial production and introduces/highlights the concept of ‘counter architecture’ as a pivotal element of society that demands recognition and inclusion in the broader urban development framework. It suggests that the ‘counter architecture’ lens provides a foundation for challenging the rigidity of master planning and understanding the interconnectedness between formal and informal urban spaces. This perspective emphasizes the need to consider the lived experiences and tactical attributes of spatial formation, ultimately highlighting the resistance of ‘inhabitants’ and ‘users’ against the static codes of modern master planning in cities of Global South like Khulna

    Community-based participatory research in diabetes prevention programs

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    Background: The purpose of this study was to determine how community-based diabetes prevention programs utilized the concept and contents of the Community Based Participatory Research approach.   Methods: Keyword search in PubMed and Scopus electronic databases from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2019, was conducted to search and extract peer-reviewed articles that included words “Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR)” and “diabetes mellitus” in the title, abstract or in the main article. The initial search yielded 1122 articles. After the final screening, a total of 67 articles were extracted for review.   Results: Findings suggested that an advisory board was used by most diabetes studies, especially for planning and reviewing the study protocol. However, they were not included in the data analysis and study result dissemination process. Furthermore, the majority of the studies that used CBPR were conducted in North America.   Conclusion: Partnership approach to research on community-based diabetes programs that equitably involves community members and researchers can benefit communities. This approach should also be widely adopted globally

    Mixed Method Approach Towards the Life of University Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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    Background The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the higher education system. This mixed-methods study aimed to assess COVID-19 fear, anxiety, and stress among Shenandoah Valley college students. Methods An online survey was fielded and completed by n=680 students. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 students. Results The mean participant age was 22.14±5.48 years, and primarily White (81.9%), women (80.4%), and undergraduate (78.0%) students. Approximately 41% were enrolled in health-related majors (41.4%). Women students had significantly higher anxiety, depression, and fear of contracting COVID-19 than men. Undergraduate students had significantly higher depression than graduate students. Qualitative analysis revealed several major themes: psychological stress during the pandemic, disruption in academic life, family support, support from the university, and recommendations for the university. Discussion Students’ perceptions of university support were related to anxiety, depression, and fear of COVID-19. Students reported a lot of stress in their lives, mitigated by support from their families. Although the university attempted to provide support, students noted that the efforts were inadequate. Conclusion While the acute impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has receded, higher education system leaders and policymakers should work together to identify areas to improve student support and develop better communication strategies. These efforts will help manage future disasters

    Perceptions of diversity, equity, and inclusion within undergraduate curriculum and university: A qualitative study

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    Objective Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts are important at university campuses, especially preparing students for the workforce. This study aimed to identify perceptions of DEI among seniors related to their major curriculum and at the university. Participants In Spring 2021, 101 graduating seniors, who are future health professionals, completed an online survey. Methods Open-ended and multiple-choice survey items were analyzed. Thematic coding for open-ended questions and SPSS was used for the quantitative analysis. Results Analyses revealed the university kept students informed of DEI activities; however, more could be done. In the department, participants reported that classes focused on DEI activities; however, some faculty entered classrooms without evaluating their own implicit biases. Future suggestions include creating a DEI-focused course and increasing faculty and student representation from underrepresented backgrounds. Conclusions Findings from this study can be used to inform DEI-related courses as well as faculty hiring and student recruitment guidelines

    California bearing ratio tests of enzyme-treated sedimentary residual soil show no improvement

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    Environmental concerns have significantly influenced the construction industry regarding the identification and use of environmentally sustainable construction materials. In this context, enzymes (organic materials) have been introduced recently for ground improvement projects such as pavements and embankments. The present experimental study was carried out in order to evaluate the compressive strength of a sedimentary residual soil treated with three different types of enzymes, as assessed through a California bearing ratio (CBR) test. Controlled untreated and treated soil samples containing four dosages (the recommended dose and two, five and 10 times the recommended dose) were prepared, sealed and cured for four months. Following the curing period, samples were soaked in water for four days before the CBR tests were administered. These tests showed no improvement in the soil is compressive strength; in other words, samples prepared even at higher dosages did not exhibit any improvement. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy tests were carried out on three enzymes in order to study the functional groups present in them. Furthermore, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) tests were executed for untreated and treated soil samples to determine if any chemical reaction took place between the soil and the enzymes. Neither of the tests (XRD nor FESEM) revealed any change. In fact, the XRD patterns and FESEM images for untreated and treated soil samples were indistinguishable

    Addressing Diabetes Distress in Self-Management Programs: Results of a Randomized Feasibility Study

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    Background: West Virginia ranks 1st nationally in the prevalence of hypertension (HTN; 43.8%) and diabetes (16.2%). Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are distressed over physical and psychological burden of disease self-management. Methods: This study investigated the effectiveness of an intervention to reduce diabetes distress and outcomes [glycemic control, blood pressure (BP)] among T2DM adults with comorbid HTN. Participants were randomized to a 12-week diabetes and hypertension self-management program versus a 3-month wait-listed control group. Trained health coaches and experts implemented the lifestyle program in a faith-based setting using an adapted evidence-based curriculum. Twenty adults with T2DM and HTN (n=10 per group) completed baseline and 12-week assessments. Diabetes distress was measured by using a validated Diabetes Distress Survey (17-item Likert scale; four sub-scales of emotional burden, physician related burden, regimen related burden, and interpersonal distress). Baseline and post-intervention changes in diabetes distress were compared for both groups; reduction in distress in the intervention groups are depicted using waterfall plots. The mean age, HbA1c and BMI were 55 ± 9.6 years, 7.8 ± 2.24 and 36.4 ± 8.8, respectively. Diabetes distress (total; mean) was 1.84±0.71. Results: Participants reported higher diabetes distress related to emotional burden (2.1±0.94) and regimen-related distress (2.0 ± 0.74); physician-related distress was the lowest (1.18±0.64). In general, diabetes distress reduced among intervention participants and was especially significant among those with HbA1c ≀ 8% (r=0.28, p=0.4), and systolic/diastolic BP ≀140/80 mm Hg (r=0.045, P=0.18). Implications: Findings suggest that lifestyle self-management programs have the potential to reduce diabetes distress

    Exotic fish and decreasing habitats vis-Ă -vis conservation of freshwater fish biodiversity of Bangladesh

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    Multiple stressors including biological invasion have long been recognised in conservation of freshwater fish biodiversity. Works in this line have, however, been still scanty in Asia and South America – the continents known for rich biodiversity. In this study, the first of its type in Bangladesh, impacts of exotic fish and declining habitats on native fishes have been investigated. Regression and correlation analyses of 16 years production data of ponds, practically the only habitat where exotic fish are cultured commonly with indigenous ones, reveals that a maximum of 25% of the abundance decrease of native fish could be due to the effects of five commonly cultured exotic fish. Rest of the decline might largely be due to shrinkage, degradation, and destruction of habitats. Inland habitats other than ponds shrink, commonly, by about 80 % during the dry season, and most rivers are heavily polluted except for the brief mid rainy season. Decline in native fish populations may result in reduced genetic diversity. Another potential danger is the probable genetic introgression from the less fit hatchery-originated fish with the wild ones. The study concludes that the native freshwater fishes are endangered by declining habitats, exotic fishes, genetic consequences of hatchery supplementatio