Journal Articles


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    A Comparative Analysis of Bat and Genetic Algorithms for Test Case Prioritization in Regression Testing
    (I.J. Intelligent Systems and Applications, 2023-02) Wambua, Anthony; Wambugu, Geoffrey Mariga
    Regression testing is carried out to ensure that software modifications do not introduce new potential bugs to the existing software. Existing test cases are applied in the testing, such test cases can run into thousands, and there is not much time to execute all of them. Test Case Prioritization (TCP) is a technique to order test cases so that the test cases potentially revealing more faults are performed first. With TCP being deemed an optimization problem, several metaheuristic nature-inspired algorithms such as Bat, Genetic, Ant colony, and Firefly algorithms have been proposed for TCP. These algorithms have been compared theoretically or based on a single metric. This study employed an experimental design to offer an in-depth comparison of bat and genetic algorithms for TCP. Unprioritized test cases and a brute-force approach were used for comparison. Average Percentage Fault Detection (APFD)- a popular metric, execution time and memory usage were used to evaluate the algorithms’ performance. The study underscored the importance of test case prioritization and established the superiority of the Genetic algorithm over the bat algorithm for TCP in APFD. No stark differences were recorded regarding memory usage and execution time for the two algorithms. Both algorithms seemed to scale well with the growth of test cases.
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    Security-aware Mobile Application Development Lifecycle (sMADLC)
    (I. J. Education and Management Engineering, 2023-04) Wambua, Anthony; Kamau, Gabriel Ndung’u
    With the high mobile phone penetration and subsequent significant usage of mobile phone applications, mobile users have become prime targets of hackers. Secure Software Development (SSD) advocates incorporating security aspects at the initial stages of software development. This study proposes a novel Mobile Application Development Lifecycle by reviewing SSD concepts and incorporating these concepts into MADLC- a mobile-focused software development lifecycle to create a security-aware Mobile Application Development Lifecycle (sMADLC). The proposed development lifecycle, sMADLC, can potentially help mobile application developers create secure software that can withstand hacker aggression and assure mobile application users of the confidentiality, integrity and availability of their data and systems.
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    Behavioral Factors Predisposing Children Under-Fives to Diarrhea in Developing Countries; A Case of Migori County, Kenya
    (ASIAN JOURNAL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, 2021-07-30) Kiarie, Martha; Collince, Odero O
    Background: Globally, diarrhoea disease is a major cause of morbidity among children under 5 years (under-fives). In Africa, there are 696 million cases of diarrhoea among under-fives every year. Diarrhoea accounted for about 4.7% of outpatient visits among under-fives in Kenya, a common observation in many developing countries. It appears that even with the well drummed up public health and maternal health programs among the developing countries, diarrheal infections continue to be a major challenge in the lives of children under five years. The object of this study was to examine the behavioral determinants of diarrhoea morbidity among children under 5 years. This was driven by observation of the challenges posed by diarrheal infections in the lives of young children in Migori county in Kenya. Study design involved a descriptive study where a questionnaire was used as the research instrument for data collection. A sample of 216 respondents was studied. Results: According to results, the behavioral factors associated with under five diarrhoea included hand washing with soap (p<0.001; food storage method (p<0.001); and heating stored food before feeding (p<0.001). Hand washing is important because it prevents transmission of infectious agents of diarrhoea after being in contact with excreta such as after changing babies’ nappies. In addition, leftover food can act as a breeding ground for bacteria since the food has been in contact with saliva and skin. There is a need for interventions that promote appropriate practices in food storage method and emphasize heating storage foods. In conclusion, the study emphasizes that hygiene practices should be encouraged, and intervention programmes should be implemented to create awareness on proper refuse and wastewater disposal.
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    (International Journal of Research in Education Humanities and Commerce, 2021-04-02) ODERO, COLLINCE; ROBERT, ALLEN; UCHE, GREG
    Universities faced enormous pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic to assimilate eLearning as a disruptive technology and modify their traditional learning to become more sustainable, competitive, and affordable. Governments globally took measures to control the spread of the highly transmissible COVID-19 by developing policies that led to the shutting of schools and the closing of physical learning in universities. It was therefore imperative to conduct this research to revamp eLearning as a disruptive technology in the university education sector. The study adopted a qualitative approach and data collection involved interviews where participants included the faculty and ICT personnel. Findings showed that the strategy for eLearning sustenance and implementation revolved around training, appropriate changeover mechanisms, and availability of critical resources dedicated to sustaining the disruptive technology. In conclusion, universities should continuously solicit innovations since the advantages of adopting disruptive technology are numerous including greater convenience, less complexity, increased performance, and less cost.
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    Condom Use Determinants and Practices Among People Living with HIV in Kisii County, Kenya
    (Open AIDS, 2015-11-13) Wamalwa, Emmanuel; Neyole, Edward; Poipoi, Moses; Ringera, William; Otomu, Geoffrey; Bitok, Monicah; Mbaluka, Rosemary
    The male condom remains the single, most efficient and available technology to reduce sexual transmission of HIV as well as sexually transmitted infections. This study sought to establish condom use determinants and practices among people living with HIV (PLHIVs) in Kisii County, Kenya. We interviewed 340 PLHIVs and 6 health workers. Although most PLHIVs had correct knowledge and approved condoms as effective for HIV prevention, consistent use and condom use at last sex were notably low especially among PLHIVs aged 18 – 24, those who depended on remittances from kin as main source of income, as well as during sex with secondary and casual partners. This study notes that knowledge on various benefits of using condoms is associated with enhanced condom use practices. Non-disclosure of HIV status to secondary and casual partners remains a key barrier to condom use among PLHIVs Our observations highlight the need to further promote condom use among specific PLHIVs socio-demographic groups who continue to exhibit low condom use rates.
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    Community Dialogue to Shift Social Norms and Enable Family Planning: An Evaluation of the Family Planning Results Initiative in Kenya
    (Plos One, 2016-04-28) Wegs, C; Creanga, AA; Galavotti, C; Wamalwa, E
    Use of family planning (FP) is powerfully shaped by social and gender norms, including the perceived acceptability of FP and gender roles that limit women’s autonomy and restrict communication and decision-making between men and women. This study evaluated an intervention that catalyzed ongoing community dialogues about gender and FP in Siaya county, Nyanza Province, Kenya. Specifically, we explored the changes in perceived acceptability of FP, gender norms and use of FP.
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    Relationship between Infections and poverty levels in Njoro District in Kenya - Kosin Journal of Health Sciences
    (Daystar University, Kenyatta University, Kosin University, 2020-05-23) Kinuthia, Geoffrey K.; Kiarie-Makara, Martha W.; Gicheru, Michael M.; Kabiru, Ephantus W.; Lee, Dong-Kyu
    A cross-sectional study was conducted in selected rural areas of Njoro in Kenya to determine the socio-economic variables, poverty levels and disease control practices among the residents in 336 homesteads. The objective was to establish the relationship between parasitic diseases control practices, lifestyles and poverty levels among the residents in the rural areas. In addition, a retrospective study that involved recording of the frequency of parasitic and bacterial diseases diagnosed and treated in four randomly selected health centres, in the study area, from 2004 to 2009 was carried out. The results showed that the rural residents in the study area tended to have large families (68%), low education level (67%), high responsibility burden (67%) and a large number were living below poverty line (81%). The low economic status of residents coupled with certain lifestyles and practices pre-disposed the residents to infectious diseases. It was observed that ‘not boiling drinking water’ had a higher probability of occurring among the lower economic cadre of residents than in medium economic cadre [Odds Ratio (OR) = 2.36; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) of 1.38 – 4.03]. Occurrences probability of ‘not using a mosquito net’ (OR = 1.44) and ‘not using a toilet paper always’ (OR = 2.60) were higher in residents of low economic cadre. Retrospective survey showed that malaria had a higher frequency (42.75%), followed by typhoid fever (24.14%), Entamoeba histolytica (20.83%), Giardia lamblia (20.32%), intestinal worms (4.57%), Escherechia coli (3.35%) and Trichomonas hominis (1.63%). It was concluded that a combination of large family size, low education levels, high responsibility burdens, and low economic status contributed significantly to occurrence of infectious health conditions among rural residents in the study area.
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    Monitoring Exposure to Heavy Metals through Maize Consumption Using Human Hair among Male Adults in Eldoret Municipality, Kenya
    (Laikipia University College, Moi University, Daystar University, 2011-09-01) Ngure, Veronica; Simiyu, Gelas; Sitati, Noah; Kinuthia, Geoffrey; Shisia, Silvanus
    This paper reports on findings using hair as biomonitor marker for heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Cr and Cu) from geological source and exposure through regular maize consumption among selected male adults in Eldoret Municipality who had resided for five continous years. Concentration of Pb and Cu in anthropogenic pathways, while Cd and Cr reflected accumulation from the human activities. Usually higher concentration of heavy metals hair samples suggest longer term exposure. The estimated intake of Cd and Cr from maize in one zone associated with high concentration of the metals from geological source was appreciably above the respective recommended daily allowance (RDA), signifying possible health risks to humans. Significant correlations between Pb, Cd and Cu in hair and heavy metals from maize consumed suggested maize consumption as possible pathways of exposure of heavy metals in humans. Possible health risks from heavy metals were likely due to consumption of higher quantities of maize contaminated from geological and human activities
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    Lifestyles and Practices that Enhance Malaria and Typhoid Fever in Njoro District, Kenya
    (Community Health, 2011-07) Kinuthia, Geoffrey; Gicheru, Michael Muita; Ngure, Peter; Kabiru, Ephantus W.
    Abstract Unhygienic practices have been associated with the spread of parasitic and bacterial infections in rural areas. This study was designed to verify the link between the frequencies of malaria and typhoid fever with selected rural practices in Njoro District, Kenya. A cross-sectional study involving observations, questionnaires and interviews was conducted to determine the socio-economic variables and practices/lifestyles in 336 randomly selected homesteads. Frequencies of malaria and typhoid fever in two randomly selected health centers were determined through a retrospective study for the period from 2004 to 2009. The respondents had large families (68%), low education level (67%) and high responsibility burden (67%). Individuals who did not boil drinking water constituted 61%. Boiling drinking water was less common among the poor, Odds Ratio (OR) of 2.36, v2 = 9.88, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) of 1.38–4.03. Respondents who washed their hands in a basin after using the latrines comprised 79.8% while 4.8% did not. 18.5% of the respondents did not use a soap to wash their hands after using the latrine. One third (33.6%) of the homesteads had dirty and inappropriate pit latrines while 2.7% of the homesteads lacked latrines. Failure to use mosquito bed nets was more likely to occur among the poor respondents, OR of 1.44, v2 = 1.74, 95% CI of 0.84–2.48. The frequencies of malaria and typhoid fever were an average of 29 and 24% respectively. Malaria and typhoid fever cases were relatively frequent due to adoption of inappropriate lifestyles and practices that predisposed the residents to infectious agents. Poverty seemed to play a significant role in the spread of malaria and typhoid fever.
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    Selected Practices among Rural Residents versus the Prevalence of Amoebiasis and Giardiasis in Njoro Distrct, Kenya.
    (African Journal of Health Sciences, 2012-01) Kinuthia, Geoffrey; Afolayan, FID; Ngure, V; Anjili, CO
    The study was designed to investigate on selected practices among rural population, and their likely contribution to the spread of amoebiasis (E. histolytica) and giardiasis (G. lamblia). A cross sectional study was carried out in three villages, namely Kikapu, Piave and Belbar in Njoro District, Kenya. Questionnaire, interviews and personal observations were used to obtain data from 336 randomly selected consenting individuals in homesteads in the three villages. A retrospective study was further carried out to establish the prevalence of E. histolytica and G. lamblia among outpatients attending two randomly selected health centers in the study area. Majority of the respondents' highest education level was basic primary school education (61%), unemployment (98%) and with a monthly expenditure of less than 2200 Kenya Shillings or 28 US Dollars (81%). Eighty percent of the respondents were classified under low economic status. Eighty two percent reported lack of piped water and boiling of drinking water was less likely to occur among the low economic status respondents (Odds ratio (OR) = 0.423, 2 = 9.88; 95% CI of-5.74 to 6.58). However, washing of hands with soap after using a latrine seemingly was not influenced by economic status of the respondents (OR = 1; 2 = 0; 95% CI = 0). The level of education seemed to influence on the adoption of risky practices, such as, failure to boil drinking water was more likely to occur among respondents who had a low academic level (OR = 0.84, 2 = 0.04, 95% CI of-2.27 to 3.95). The stool tests records at Njoro PCEA health center showed that the prevalence of E. histolytica (20.83%) and G. lamblia (20.32%) were higher than the corresponding prevalence at Njoro County Council health center which were 1.34% and 0.00% respectively. Concurrent infections of E. histolytica and G. lamblia were absent in the two health centers. The trend of E. histolytica and G. lamblia followed an alternating pattern, in which an increase in one directly corresponded to a decrease in the other and vice versa in the two health centers. It was concluded that poverty and low education levels were significant factors that influenced on the adoption of risky lifestyles that were likely to enhance parasitic infections. There is a need for reliable diagnostic methods other than direct microscopy for E. histolytica and G. lamblia stool tests in order to minimize the wide variation of the results in the two health centers. Public health education should also be enhanced to discourage the adoption of risky practices.
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    Health Implications of Heavy Metals in Soil, Scalp Hair and Selected Food Crops within Eldoret Municipality, Kenya
    (IOSR Journal Of Environmental Science, Toxicology And Food Technology, 2013-12) Ngure, Veronica; Sitati, Noah; Shisia, Silvanus; Simiyu, Gelas; Kinuthia, Geoffrey; Kelonye, Festus
    Heavy metals were analyzed in soils, food crops and male scalp hair samples collected from two age group subjects; adults (18 - 45 years) and old age (46 - 55 years) males from polluted and relatively less polluted areas in Eldoret Municipality environs, Kenya. The samples used were collected from same sites as the individuals who had stayed in the sampled regions for more than five years. The samples were digested using acids and analyzed using Atomic Absorbtion Spectrometry (AAS). The results revealed that the consumption of food crops grown on contaminated soils have significantly increased the concentrations of selected metals in the human hair. Pd and Cd concentrations in soils and food crops showed elevated levels above the WHO recommended limits. Pb, Cd, Cr, Cu, and Zn concentrations were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in male scalp hair samples collected from polluted area as compared to control area. In conclusion, consumers in the study area are exposed to high health risks associated with bioaccumulation of heavy metals through ingestion of heavy metals resulting from contamination of food crops grown in the study area and should be sensitized on the dangers of heavy metals on their health
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    In vitro activity of aqueous and methanol extracts of Callistemon citrinus (Family Myrtaceae) against Leishmania major
    (Health Sciences, 2014-04) Kinuthia, Geoffrey K.; Kabiru, Ephantus W.; Gikonyo, NK; Ingonga, JM; Kigondu, EM; Anjili, CO
    Leishmania major is a protozoan parasite that causes cutaneous leishmaniasis and the standard drugs are expensive and toxic. Cheaper and safer natural drugs are therefore needed. In this study, the in vitro efficacy of crude extracts of Callistemon citrinus were tested against L. major. Controls were anti leishmanial drugs pentostam and liposomal amphotericin B. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of C. citrinus crude aqueous and methanolic extracts were 5mg/ml and 1mg/ml respectively compared to 12.5µg/ml and 6.25µg/ml for pentostam and liposomal amphotericin B respectively. The IC 50 for C. citrinus extracts against promastigotes ranged from 297.75 to 572.69µg/ml compared to 0.26 and 0.82µg/ml for pentostam and liposomal amphotericin B. The IC 50 for C. citrinus extracts against vero cells ranged from 467µg/ml to 1314.65µg/ml. The promastigotes' viability after treatment with aqueous and methanolic extracts was 69.58% and 75.74% respectively. At 125µg/ml, the aqueous and methanolic C. citrinus extracts had in vitro amastigotes' infection rates (IRs) of 77.0±2.50 % and 77.5±3.50% respectively. The multiplication indices (MIs) and IRs of amastigotes treated with C. citrinus crude aqueous extracts and those treated with crude methanolic extracts differed insignificantly (P > 0.05). C. citrinus methanolic extracts stimulated production of about 20µM nitric oxide in BALB/c mice peritoneal macrophages suggesting immuno-modulatory role of the extracts. The crude aqueous and methanolic extracts of C. citrinus were therefore concluded to be relatively less toxic and possessed in vitro anti-leishmanial activity against L. major promastigotes and amastigotes.
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    Effects of Metarhizium anisopliae on sand fly populations in their natural habitats in Marigat sub- County, Baringo County, Kenya
    (Health Sciences, 2015-12) Ngure, Peter; Kasili, S; Anjili, CO; Karanja, RM; Kaburi, J; Mwangi, M; Kinuthia, Geoffrey; Kiarie, Martha; Nzau, A; Kepha, S; Maniania, NK; Ndegwa, PN; Irungu, L; Ngumbi, MP
    Leishmaniasis is one of the neglected tropical diseases that pose a threat to people in the endemic regions. In Africa, transmission is through the bite of an infected female phlebotomine sand fly. Disease control with chemotherapy is logistically difficult, toxic and expensive. Entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) hold great potential as alternative agent for the control of sandflies as demonstrated by their efficacy in recent laboratory experiments. The impressive results have merited testing of the effect of EPF on sand fly populations in their natural habitats. The aim of this study was to test the effect of EPF on sand fly populations on a small scale in a leishmania-endemic area in Kenya. Entomopathogenic fungi isolates were cultured on sabourand dextrose agar (SDA) in petri dishes and incubated at 22-280C. Conidia were produced on long white rice substrate and harvested by sifting the substrate through a 295 μm mesh size sieve and stored at 4-6 0C before being used in the experiments. Metarhizium anisopliae isolates were selected for use in the field after showing 76.8 and 100% mortality in laboratory bred target insects. 2.0 x 1014 of dry conidia of the fungus were introduced into ten termite mounds through the shafts using a modified foot pump in Rabai, Marigat area of Baringo County, Kenya. The site harbours both Phlebotomus martini and P. duboscqi leishmaniasis vectors. Sand fly densities, mycoses and survival after capture from the mounds were observed from week one post-treatment to week thirteen. Results indicate that the fungi in termite mounds caused three to ten-fold mortalities in the population of sand flies nine weeks after application. Longevity of sand flies collected from treated termite mounds was reduced to less than nine days after collection, whereas 90% of those from control mounds lived well over the nine days. Sand flies collected from the treated termite mounds during week nine had 100% mortality compared to 10.7% of those from the control mounds. Metarhizium anisopliae infection was observed in 42% of the sand fly cadavers collected from the treated termite mounds and 0% in the control group. From the findings of this study sand flies have shown to be susceptible to Metarhizium anipilae and can be controlled by the same. Further studies to determine the best methods for delivery and application in the diverse ecological settings of various leishmaniasis vectors are recommended.
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    Laplace Transform Solution of Hydromagnetic Steady Flow of Viscous Incompressible Fluid Between Two Infinite Parallel Plates.
    (2010-07) Ireri, Jane Wanja
    Hydromagnetics involves the effect of externally impressed magnetic field on the onset of thermal instability in electrically conducting fluids. In broad terms, the subject of hydromagnetics is concerned with the ways in which magnetic fields can affect fluid behavior. These fluids include liquid metals and highly ionized gas-like substances called plasmas. When we consider a fluid which has the property of electrical conduction; and suppose also that magnetic fields are prevalent. The electrical conductivity of the fluid and the prevalence of magnetic fields contribute to effects of two kind: first, by motion of the electrically conducting fluid across the magnetic lines of force, electric currents are generated and the associated magnetic fields contribute to changes in the existing fields; and second, the fact that the fluid elements carrying currents transverse magnetic lines of force contributes to additional forces acting on the fluid elements. It is in this two fold interaction between the motions and the fields that is responsible for patterns of behavior which are often unexpected and striking.
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    A Decision Support Model for Predicting Avoidable Re-Hospitalization of Breast Cancer Patients in Kenyatta National Hospital
    (Journal of Software Engineering and Applications, 2022) Otieno, Christopher Oyuech; Oboko, Robert Obwocha; Kahonge, Andrew Mwaura
    This study aimed to develop a clinical Decision Support Model (DSM) which is software that provides physicians and other healthcare stakeholders with patient-specific assessments and recommendation in aiding clinical decision- making while discharging Breast cancer patient since the diagnostics and discharge problem is often overwhelming for a clinician to process at the point of care or in urgent situations. The model incorporates Breast cancer patient-specific data that are well-structured having been attained from a prestudy’s administered questionnaires and current evidence-based guidelines. Obtained dataset of the prestudy’s questionnaires is processed via data mining techniques to generate an optimal clinical decision tree classifier model which serves physicians in enhancing their decision-making process while discharging a breast cancer patient on basic cognitive processes involved in medical thinking hence new, better-formed, and superior outcomes. The model also improves the quality of assessments by constructing predictive discharging models from code attributes enabling timely detection of deterioration in the quality of health of a breast cancer patient upon discharge. The outcome of implementing this study is a decision support model that bridges the gap occasioned by less informed clinical Breast cancer discharge that is based merely on experts’ opinions which is insufficiently reinforced for better treatment outcomes. The reinforced discharge decision for better treatment outcomes is through timely deployment of the decision support model to work hand in hand with the expertise in deriving an integrative discharge decision and has been an agreed strategy to eliminate the foreseeable deteriorating quality of health for a discharged breast cancer patients and surging rates of mortality blamed on mistrusted discharge decisions. In this paper, we will discuss breast cancer clinical knowledge, data mining techniques, the classifying model accuracy, and the Python web-based decision support mod-el that predicts avoidable re-hospitalization of a breast cancer patient through an informed clinical discharging support model.
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    Characterization and comparison of leishmania-like isolates from rodents, lizards and sand flies caught at Masinga location in Machakos district, Kenya
    (African Journal of Health Sciences, 2011-06) Kinuthia, Geoffrey K.; Lugalia, Reuben; Mwanyumba, Panuel J.; Ngeiywa, , Moses M.; Anjili, Christopher O.; Tonui, Willy K.
    A laboratory based study was designed to characterize 43 cryo-preserved Leishmania-like flagellates. These Leishmania-like flagellates were originally obtained from non-human hosts that included spiny mice (Acomys subspinosus), plated lizards (Gerrosaurus major) and sand flies of the Genus Sergentomyia caught at Masinga location, Machakos District in Kenya. Morphological features and isoenzyme banding patterns of the flagellates were studied. The isoenzyme markers which were used for isoenzyme electrophoresis included Malate dehydrogenase (MDH), Phosphoglucomutase (PGM), Glucose phosphate isomerase (GPI), Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), Malic enzyme (ME), 6 phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6PGD) and Mannose phosphate isomerase (MPI). The isoenzyme banding patterns of the flagellates’ lysates were compared with those of six WHO Leishmania reference strains and those of seven well characterized reference strains of Trypanosoma, Crithidia, Herpetomonas and Leptomonas species. The results showed that the morphological changes of the Leishmania-like flagellates in the growth medium were indistinguishable from those of Leishmania WHO reference strains used. The isoenzyme profiles of the flagellates were all distinguishable from the reference strains used except for isolate NLB-1236 from G. major which had an enzyme profile identical to that of L. tropica (NLB-305) in 6 enzymes (MDH, GPI, MPI, ME, PGM, and G6PD). The banding pattern of isolate NLB-1261 from A. subspinosus was indistinguishable from that of L. major (NLB-326) in 3 enzymes only (MDH, GPI and ME) while isolate NLB-1231 from A. subspinosus had an enzyme profile identical to those of L. tropica (NLB-305) and L. arabica (NLB-664) in six enzymes (MDH, GPI, ME, PGM, MPI, and 6PGD). More than 80% of the Leishmania-like flagellates had enzyme profiles indistinguishable from each other, in all the isoenzyme markers. The morphological traits of the flagellates suggested that they were Leishmania or strains closely related to Leishmania. Isoenzyme analysis suggested that Sergentomyia sand flies most likely feed on both lizards (reptiles) and rodents (mammals). There is need to carry further investigations on NLB-1236 (from plated lizards), NLB-1261 (from wild spiny mice) and NLB-1231 (from wild spiny mice).
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    Adopting Course Completion Tracking and Conditional Activities to Enhance Engagement in eLearning for University Students
    (IST-Africa Institute and IIMC, 2021-05) Wambua, Anthony; Maake, Benard
    Student engagement is an overarching problem in the learning context that instructors continue to grapple with. Several attempts that utilize features within the Learning Management Systems (LMSs) have been made to increase student engagement and motivation for online courses. This paper presents the findings of the adoption of completion tracking and conditional activities to enhance engagement in Moodle, a leading LMS. To investigate the effectiveness and the potential of completion tracking and conditional activities in enhancing engagement, data was collected from 90 students across four courses, further Moodle logs were examined. The research findings indicate completion tracking and conditional activities significantly increase learner engagement in online classes. These findings have significant implications on instructors conducting online classes and the development of student engagement for online courses. The present research fulfills the need to study how completion tracking and conditional activities features can be used to enhance learner engagement in Moodle LMS.
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    A Hidden Markov Model of Risk Classification among the Low Income Earners
    (Journal of Finance and Economics, 2018-12-18) Ntwiga, Davis Bundi; Ogutu, Carolyne; Kirumbu, Michael Kiura; Weke, Patrick
    Low income earners have volatile incomes and most financial providers shun this group of borrowers even though they are motivated in managing the limited resources they have through savings and investments as a means to lower the fluctuations of their income. Peer groupings of the low income earners can assist in pooling the resources they have and improve the group risk mitigation process as group members act like social collateral in credit lending. The study used Kenya Kenya Financial Diaries data of 2013 from 280 households to analyze and understand the credit quality levels and credit scores of peer groups versus individuals among men and women. Hidden Markov model classified the low income earners into credit risk profiles wih a view of understanding the role of groups in low income group lending. Peer groups diversify risk inherent in individual borrowers with women only groups having higher credit quality levels as compared to men only groups. Women and their respective peer groups are more stable with less variability as compared to men. Financial technology providers can incorporate the wide array of soft information to lend to low income earners through mobile based peer groups.
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    11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-1 deficiency alters the gut microbiome response to Western diet
    (Journal of Endocrinology, 2017) Johnson, Jethro S; Opiyo, Monica N; Thomson, Marian; Gharbi, Karim; Seckl, Jonathan R; Heger, Andreas; Chapman, Karen E
    The enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD) interconverts active glucocorticoids and their intrinsically inert 11-keto forms. The type 1 isozyme, 11β-HSD1, predominantly reactivates glucocorticoids in vivo and can also metabolise bile acids. 11β-HSD1-deficient mice show altered inflammatory responses and are protected against the adverse metabolic effects of a high-fat diet. However, the impact of 11β-HSD1 on the composition of the gut microbiome has not previously been investigated. We used high-throughput 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing to characterise the gut microbiome of 11β-HSD1-deficient and C57Bl/6 control mice, fed either a standard chow diet or a cholesterol- and fat-enriched ‘Western’ diet. 11β-HSD1 deficiency significantly altered the composition of the gut microbiome, and did so in a diet-specific manner. On a Western diet, 11β-HSD1 deficiency increased the relative abundance of the family Bacteroidaceae, and on a chow diet, it altered relative abundance of the family Prevotellaceae. Our results demonstrate that (i) genetic effects on host–microbiome interactions can depend upon diet and (ii) that alterations in the composition of the gut microbiome may contribute to the aspects of the metabolic and/or inflammatory phenotype observed with 11β-HSD1 deficiency.
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    Assessment of Heavy Metals Pollution in Urban Soils and the Implications to Consumers Health
    (Journal of Natural Sciences Research, 2015-01) Ngure, Veronica; Sitati, Noah; Shisia, Silvanus; Kinuthia, Geoffrey
    Elevated levels of metals due to anthropogenic activities are a cause of environmental concern because of their effects on human health. Eldoret Municipality, in Kenya, is one of the fastest growing municipalities with both industrial and agricultural developments. The study aimed at determining the concentration of five elements namely zinc (Zn), lead (Pd), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr) and cadmium (Cd) in five sample sites within the municipality and established the possible health risks in the residents. Measured concentrations of Zn, Pb, Cr, Cu and Cd in surface horizon soils were used to estimate the geochemical load indices and their spatial distribution. Four soil samples were collected monthly from each sample site on the same farms totaling 200 soil samples. The samples were dried, ground and sieved for metal digestion using varied acids in the laboratory and analysis was done against metal standards using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS). Only Cd concentration (0.0286mg/kg) in all sites was above the recommended unpolluted soils. Epidemiological data were obtained from the residents and hospitals to establish associated health risks. Determination of metals’ combined effects using multivariate Principal Component Analysis showed that varying concentrations of Zn and Pb tended to increase incidences of cancer, hypertension and stroke. Metals Zn, Pb and Cu concentrations correlated with development of cardiovascular diseases. Awareness rising to residents of Eldoret Municipality on high Cd concentration in the soil and use of alternative forms of fertilizers and related chemicals with low Cd content is recommended.