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Richard Paul Ray

Abstract

Geotechnical and structural engineers are faced with a difficult task when their designs interact with each other. For complex projects, this is more the norm than the exception. In order to help bridge that gap, a method for modeling the behavior of a foundation using a simple elasto-plastic subgrade reaction was developed. The method uses an optimization technique to position 4-6 springs along a pile foundation to produce similar load deflection characteristics that were modeled by more sophisticated geotechnical finite element software. The methodology uses an Excel spreadsheet for accepting user input and delivering an optimized subgrade spring stiffness, yield, and position along the pile. In this way, the behavior developed from the geotechnical software can be transferred to the structural analysis software. The optimization is achieved through the solver add-in within Excel. Additionally, a beam on a nonlinear elastic foundation model is used to compute deflections of the optimized subgrade reaction configuration.

Open access

Borris Rosnay Tietcheu Galani, Richard Njouom and Paul Fewou Moundipa

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C is a major public health problem in sub-Saharan countries and particularly in Cameroon where the prevalence rate is around 7.6% in the age group of 55–59 years. Recent investigations into this infection allowed defining a national seroprevalence, characterizing virological and biological profiles of infected patients and identifying medicinal plants of potential interest in hepatitis C therapy. However, in Cameroon, no existing report currently presents a good overview of hepatitis C research in relation to these parameters. This review seeks to discuss major findings published since 2001 that have significantly advanced our understanding of the epidemiology and treatment of hepatitis C in Cameroonian patients and highlight the major challenges that remain to overcome. We performed a systematic search in Pubmed and Google Scholar. Studies evaluating prevalence, treatment, coinfection, and genetic diversity of HCV infection in Cameroon were included. Studies suggest that HCV prevalence in Cameroon would be low (around 1.1%) with a lot of disparities according to regions and age of participants. Elders, pregnant women, blood donors, health care workers, patients on hemodialysis, and homozygous sickle cell patients have been identified as risk groups. Moreover, HCV/HBV coinfection was found more prevalent than HCV/HIV coinfection. Phylogenic studies reported circulation of three main genotypes such genotypes 1, 2, and 4 but little is known about antiviral candidates from the Cameroonian pharmacopeia. In conclusion, some epidemiological data prove that hepatitis C in Cameroon is well known but efforts are still necessary to prevent or control this infection.

Open access

Richard Ajayi Jimoh, Luqman Oyekunle Oyewobi, Amina Nna Adamu and Paul Abayomi Bajere

Abstract

The construction industry is a male-dominated industry globally, with poor women representation in every facet of the construction profession and the involved jobs. In this context, this study investigated the current level of women participation, challenges faced by professional women, factors that influence them in the course of developing careers in construction and the criteria that can be used to encourage women participation in the Nigerian construction industry. This was done through self-administration of 145 structured questionnaires to 93 women professionals in the built environment and 52 employers of built environment labour in Abuja, Nigeria. The analyses showed that the construction industry is largely dominated by men, with women having a lot of challenges ranging from lack of self-confidence to compete with their male counterparts to insecurity in the midst of men to execute their work as professionals. Therefore, the study recommends that making young women aware of construction industry opportunities is needed to encourage them to build their careers in construction from the school stage in order to increase the number of professional women participating in the future. In addition to this, professional women should be given equal job opportunities as their male counterparts to ensure better representation of women so that the impact of women professionals in the construction industry can be extended.

Open access

Ingfar Soontarawirat, Mallika Imwong, Charles J. Woodrow, Chalisa Louicharoen Cheepsunthorn, Nicholas P.J. Day, Richard Paul and Pratap Singhasivanon

Abstract

Background

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency poses problems for the treatment of Plasmodium vivax malaria, as the 8-aminoquinolines, used to eliminate liver hypnozoites, cause hemolysis in G6PD-deficient individuals.G6PD deficiency is an X-linked disorder that can be linked to other conditions determined by genes located nearby on the Xq28 band of the X chromosome, including red–green color blindness. A Karen population has undergone recent positive selection for G6PD deficiency with extended long-range haplotypes around G6PD.

Objectives

To determine the association between G6PD deficiency and color blindness in a Karen population that lives in an area endemic for P. vivax and that is already known to display long-range haplotypes around G6PD because of the recent positive selection of the Mahidol G6PD deficiency allele.

Method

We examined the phenotypic association between G6PD deficiency and color blindness.

Results

Of 186 male participants successfully assessed for color blindness using the Ishihara 38 plates test, 10 (5.4%) were red–green color blind, while 1 individual was totally color blind. There was a nonsignificant trend toward negative association (repulsion) between G6PD deficiency and red–green color blindness; 34/35 individuals with the Mahidol variant of G6PD deficiency had normal vision, while 9 of the 10 red–green color blind individuals were G6PD normal. A single individual had both conditions.

Conclusions

Despite the long-range haplotype associated with G6PD deficiency in this population, color blindness is not informative in terms of predicting G6PD deficiency in this population. The most likely explanation is that there are multiple genetic causes of red–green color blindness.