Open Access Minireview Article

Providing Healthcare to the Poor: Utilizing Operations Research as a Means to Improving People’s Lives through Quality Healthcare

Sunil J. Ramlall, Khalid M. AL-Shuaibi, Mohamed A. Yaghmour

Advances in Research, Page 53-58
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/15026

Countries across the world are constantly pursuing access to timely and appropriate primary healthcare for people living in, even those with universal healthcare systems. This paper addresses the need for transformation and a more integrative approach to delivering healthcare to the poor. We are proposing the use of multiple operations research theories and applications as a means to integrate into core healthcare processes enabling organizations to provide a more efficient and accessible healthcare system. 


Open Access Original Research Article

Perception of Constructivist Learning Environment: Gender and School Type Differences in Siaya County, Kenya

Richard O. Ongowo, Francis C. Indoshi, Mildred A. Ayere

Advances in Research, Page 15-26
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/13843

Aims: The study aimed at investigating gender and school type differences in perception of Biology constructivist learning environment.

Study Design: The study adopted a survey design.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in Siaya County in Kenya between October and November 2013 during the school term.

Methodology: The study sampled 815 grade 12 students (466 boys, 349 girls, 399 high achieving students and 416 low achieving students). Two instruments were used viz. Learners Perception Questionnaire (LPQ) and Learners Interview Guide (LIG). The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, independent sample t-tests, two-way MANOVA and two-way ANOVA. The qualitative data were used to explain quantitative data.

Results: The findings show that there existed statistically significant difference in perception between the low achieving schools and high achieving schools in favor of the low achieving schools in all the subscales of SPQ (p =.00) and statistically significant gender (Hotelling’s trace = .131, F = 21.19, p = .000) and school type (Hotelling’s trace = .269, F = 43.48, p = .000) differences with respect to the collective dimensions of the SPQ. The results also revealed that there was an interaction between gender and school type and vice versa with respect to collective dimensions of the SPQ (Hotelling’s trace = .176, F = 23.40, p = .000).

Conclusion: It is concluded that low achieving schools have higher preference for a constructivist learning environment than high achieving schools and there exists gender and school type differences in perception of constructivist learning environment in favor of girls and low achieving schools respectively. The implications of the findings are discussed.


Open Access Original Research Article

The Impact of Information and Coordination Innovation on Relationship and Firm Performance: The Case of Small and Medium Enterprises in Indonesia

Ferri Kuswantoro, Titop Dwiwinarno

Advances in Research, Page 27-35
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/13714

It has been acknowledged that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play essential for contributing economic growth. Previous findings indicated that networking among SMEs with business partners becomes a determinant factor for improving growth. The coordination capability among channel members in distribution channel for instance, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, financial institutions, as well as other relevant agencies, brings competitiveness, which in turn enhances performance. As information sharing and coordination innovation possess a significantly positive influence in improving firm performance among the channel members, a few empirical evidences have been found on the effect of information and coordination innovation in lending on the relationship performance between SMEs and financial institutions (bankings) that led to SMEs’ growth. By using structural equation model (SEM) for 103 samples of respondents,it was found that relationship performance led to the growth of SMEs in Indonesia, which in turn contributed to economic growth.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Unexpected Hanging Problem and a Trivial, but Unexpected, Solution

I. M. R. Pinheiro

Advances in Research, Page 36-44
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/12913

The Unexpected Hanging Problem is also known as the Surprise Examination Problem. We here solve it by isolating what is logical reasoning from the rest of the human psyche. In a not-so-orthodox analysis, following our tradition (The Liar, Dichotomy, The Sorites and Russell’s Paradox), we talk about the problem from a perspective that is more distant than all the known perspectives. From an observational point that is in much farther than all the observational points used until now, the reader can finally see why the problem has been perpetuated as a problem and can also see that the problem was never an actual problem: Once more, we have an allurement. The allurement this time makes us start paying attention to all the complexity of the human psyche when studying problems that involve human feelings. The main finding could be told to be that we have to understand and study more the human psyche, in all its intricacies, also when dealing with problems that seem to belong with exclusivity to Mathematics or Logic.


Open Access Original Research Article

Perinatal Morbidity and Mortality at Souissi Maternity Hospital, Rabat, Morocco

Mohamed El-mahdi Boubkraoui, Meryem Kabiri, Mustapha Mrabet, Amine El-hassani, Amina Barkat

Advances in Research, Page 45-52
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/14167

Background: Perinatal morbidity and mortality rates are indicators of the level of perinatal care.

Aims: To study perinatal morbidity and mortality at Souissi maternity hospital, Rabat, Morocco.

Material and Methods: Prospective study of all cases of perinatal morbidity and mortality during the months of January and February 2014.

Results: A total of 3297 births were included in the study. Sex-ratio was 0.96. Birth weight ranged from 600 to 5400 g with an average of 3202 g. The total of perinatal morbidity and mortality cases was 792. Perinatal morbidity rate was 233 per 1000 births and perinatal mortality rate was 7 per 1000 births. Perinatal morbidity consisted of: suspected perinatal sepsis (5.62%), prenatal exposure to maternal infections (0.21%), macrosomia at term (1.64%), low birth weight without prematurity (2.49%), post-term delivery (1.00%), prematurity (1.36%), perinatal asphyxia (3.97%), respiratory morbidity (2.12%), congenital malformation (0.64%) and birth trauma (0.12%). The perinatal mortality was 23, consisting of 20 stillbirths (8 macerated and 12 fresh stillbirths) and 3 cases of early neonatal mortality related to perinatal anoxia in 2 cases and to an anencephaly in 1 case. Higher risk of perinatal morbidity was associated with maternal age ≤40 years (P=0.002), primiparous mother (P<0.001), multiple pregnancy (P<0.001), malpresentation (P<0.001) and emergency cesarean delivery (P<0.001).

Conclusion: Perinatal morbidity and mortality remains a public health concern in Morocco and identification of risk factors enables optimal targeting of prevention efforts. Given the high number of morbidities and mortalities observed during the period of the study, the permanent presence of a pediatrician at the labor ward of Souissi maternity hospital for immediate and optimal management of the newborns is crucial.


Open Access Original Research Article

Research as Stories: A Subjective Academic Narrative

Josie Arnold

Advances in Research, Page 59-66
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/13050

The subject of this paper addresses how the academic world depends upon peer reviews of scholarly narratives. The goals of this paper are to present a challenge to how such narratives are usually performed subject to a strict set of rules and regulations that have become formulaic since the Enlightenment processes of scientific methodology dominated the academy). Over the later part of the 20th century and this early 21st century, there has been much debate about the relationship of social science methodologies and those of the natural sciences. This debate reveals that the various natural sciences themselves have formulated different methodologies and that the social sciences have moved from aping the natural science methodologies to an array of qualitative ones. At the same time, the refereed peer reviewed journals almost all ask for Enlightenment style articles to disperse social science knowledge within a continuing paradigm that bows still to the Enlightenment values of Adam Smith and David Hume. The method of this paper is to practise and to survey the telling of a research story as a narrative that discusses documenting case studies through recording and analysing interviews; the case study and/as narrativity and the methodologies emerging through ethnography and auto ethnography. The theoretical perspectives engaged with include postmodernist deconstruction and the rhizomatic text as well as narrativity and the anecdotal within scholarship.


Open Access Review Article

Potentials for Biosurfactant Enhanced Bioremediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soil and Water–A Review

Okoro Samson Eruke, Akpabio Julius Udoh

Advances in Research, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/11933

Bioavailability of Hydrophobic Organic Compounds (HOCs) to microorganisms could be a limiting factor during the biodegradation process. Application of surfactants to contaminated soil and water, at concentrations above their Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC) values, can potentially reduce the interfacial tension, increase the solubility and bioavailability of HOCs and thus, facilitate their biodegradation. Studies with respect to enhanced bioremediation by surfactant addition have greatly focused on chemically synthetic surfactants. This paper reviews the potentials of biosurfactants in remedying contaminated soils and water. Biosurfactants are surface-active substances produced by microorganisms that can degrade or transform the components of petroleum products. They are non-toxic, non-hazardous, biodegradable and environmentally friendly compounds which may be cost effectively produced under ex-situ conditions; in-situ production may be stimulated at the site of contamination and can be recovered and recycled. Their application in bioremediation processes may be more acceptable from a social point of view due to their naturally occurring property. Potential advantages of biosurfactants include their unusual structural diversity that may lead to unique properties, the possibility of cost effective production and their biodegradability. These properties make biosurfactants a promising choice for applications in enhancing hydrocarbon bioremediation. Biosurfactants have many other applications in various industries such as agriculture, medicine, petroleum, pharmaceutical and cosmetics.