02 May 2011

Sample Essay: Water Privation


Water privation entails the insufficient supply of quality water. The commonness of water depletion in many of localities has largely been common, even as this pattern shows clear signs of worsening; future water privation on a global scale is almost a certainty. At this very moment, more than ‘a billion people in developing countries,’ (Siegel, and Talantis (63-64), has access to safe drinking water this has caused economic and water poverty (Lall, Heikkila, Brown and Siegfried 1-17). This trend calls for quick and proper measures to be implemented by various governments and departments that oversee the water supply, to guarantee adequate safe water for all. The most appropriate way of mitigating hardships of water is through integrated river basin management.

Not usually a sensible foreboding. But human’s most grave problem in the 21st century may not be conflicts or famine or illness or even the disintegration of civil stability; it may be the inadequate supply of fresh water. Population increase, pollution of the environment and climate change, all enhancing, thus are expected to unite to present a swift decrease in the supply of water in the near future, according to Lall, Heikkila, Brown, and Siegfried (1-17). Actually, that supply is by now problematic for up to a 30 percent of the world’s population.

Currently, 1.1 billion persons lack access to safe water and further 2.4 billion lack proper sanitation facilities; such populations are found in the developing economies. Yet the reality that these statistics are likely to deteriorate inexorably has not been correctly handled by the world community. In spite of apparent status of the predicament, political dedication to overturn these tendencies has not been in practice (McCarthy 1). Grappling with inactivity at the management level and a globe’s population not properly abreast with the degree of the challenge, the international water privation will reach unparalleled levels in the coming years.  Acute water privation translates to hunger, ill-health and death. MacCathy (1) suggests the report released by World Water Development Report in 2003 confirms an alarming projection. By the mid-21st century, the worst scenario of water scarcity is likely to visit no less than seven billion persons in 60 states, but if the proper policies are implemented this trend may be reversed to two billion individuals in 48 states.

Even though water is an easily accessed stuff on the planet, only 2.53% of it is not salt, the rest is saline. Additionally, of the freshwaters, 65% is frozen and locked up in icecaps and lasting snow cover. What is obtainable, in lakes, aquifers, rivers, and precipitation run-off, is now coming under more and more pressure from numerous directions at simultaneously. Population increase is the prime propeller. The augmenting numbers of humans to over six billion by 2000 meant that the consumption of water nearly doubled in five decades. It is notable, between 1970 and 1990 accessible per capita supply of water decreased by 30% (MacCathy 1). Although birth rates are currently slowing, globe population is still expected to augment by 50% as much for the second time, to almost 9.3 billion persons by 2050.

Demand, actually, comes not merely from the necessity to drink, the need to clean and the demand to handle human waste, significant though comprise these issues; the really enormous calls on the supply of water which originates from industrial sector of the developed economies, and, in the increasing popularity of the agricultural world. Imperatively, watering of crops grown in hot arid lands consumes 70 per cent of the entire water used worldwide. Pollution, from manufacturing industry, farming and not least, sewers, adds another vicious pressure. Close to 2 million tons of human waste are channeled every day into water sources. According to MacCathy (1) one liter fecal material is enough to contaminate almost eight times the volume of fresh water. Currently, reports estimate indicate that all over the world there are close to 12,000 cubic kilometers of wasted water, which is far more compared with the whole amount available in the globe’s ten largest rivers at any particular moment. Nonetheless, it can be noted, if rate of water pollution and population growth increases uniformly, the world will eventually cede 18,000 cubic kilometers of the resource within the next four decades; this will be approximately nine times the volume all countries presently use for watering crops.

All that is not proper; though enhancing the pressure on the supply of water, further is climate change. The effect of climate change as projected by UN scientists is likely to account for almost 20% of the enhancement in water privation. While more precipitation is projected to pound in high latitude regions during winters, such as northern Europe, and Britain, in several drought-prone regions, with an extension to a number of tropical regions, rainfall is expected to decline further. Eventually the quality of water is likely to worsen with increasing levels of pollution and varying water temperatures Siegel, and Talantis (62-65). Additionally, the threat of the global growth of towns: currently, 48% of the Earth’s inhabitants reside in urban areas, and within the next two decades, the proportion is projected to hit a high 60%. Urban areas usually have more easily available clean water supplies compared to rural ones; nonetheless, their challenge is that such township areas concentrate wastes owing to poor sewer systems. MacCathy (1) notes: “Where good waste management is lacking, urban areas are among the world’s most life-threatening environments.”

The gravest, direct repercussions of water privation will apparently affect human health. The availability of clean water can be perceived as both trivial as well as an advantage: Water-related infections are among the most prevalent causes of human ill-health and death. In addition, water-borne diseases, for example gastric infections resulting to diarrhea, are caused by consuming polluted water; vector-borne illnesses, for instance schistosomiasis, and malaria are transmitted by the small snails and mosquitoes that use water as their breeding places. Millions suffer from such infections. In 2000, 2.2 million people were suggested to have passed on due to water and sanitation linked illnesses; about half the number died of malaria. The greater part of the victims was below five years of age. The world’s increasing need for fresh water has also been linked to soaring environmental strain; 60% of the globe’s largest rivers have witnessed their stream flows disrupted by reservoirs and, of the living things that prefer inland aquatic environments, thus affecting the existence of 24% of mammals and 12% of birds.

It is notable, one such agency is the Global Water Partnership (GWP), which was created by institutions like the World Bank and the United Nations (GWP). GWP can provide the technical expertise, advice, and funding sourcing that certain governments may require.

The main technical procedures in IRBM is the restoration of freshwater ecosystems, which encompass re-planting of trees in riparian areas, reconstructing stream waterways form and in-stream ecosystems, removing hindrances or implementing simulations of natural flow systems, reducing eutrophication in large water bodies, restoring water flow to reclaimed wetlands and reinventing native species. Re-establishment of innate uses of land within catchment areas is also another class of activities that is imperative to a lasting program for a deteriorated aquatic system. Some agencies and communities believe that water pollution phenomenon the most effective way to prevent water privation, rather than IRBM, which they say is not realistic and mere paper pushing.

Pollution prevention is the aim of water pollution control, instead of pollution treatment. Pollution prevention and minimization of waste encompass non-technical and technical measures aimed at the prevention of the production of pollutants and waste (Helmer and Hespanhol 1). “It is the conceptual approach to industrial production that demands all phases of the life cycle should be resolved with the aim of minimizing or preventing harm to humans and the environment. This involves the design phase of the product, the selection, fabrication and arrangement of raw materials,” the production and assembly of final products, and the management of all used products after their usability is over” (Helmer and Hespanhol 1).

Siegel, and Talantis (63) suggest that water privation in the future is almost a certainty because of the abuse that our water resources are being subjected to. Right now, more than a billion people are suffering from the gradual depletion of water resources. Despite the fact that the surface of the earth is mostly covered with water, this is not relevant because the issue is the supply of fresh water. The most sustainable and effective way to address the possibility of water privation is through river basin management. It has several stakeholders consisting of international agencies, business, and more importantly, the people themselves who share the water. Some people believe that water pollution control is more effective but this is not the case.

One feasible approach to mitigating the challenges of recognizing non-point source contaminators is to ensure all industries producing diffuse contaminats undertake the implementation of practices and technological innovations that decrease the release of polluting substances into waterways (Siegel, and Talantis 62-65). For instance, all cultivators could grow riparian buffers purposely to help in nutrient filtration or cover crops to decrease leaching. Alternatively, ranchers may opt to protect water ways using fences to restrain livestock dung from being washed to the waterways.

Conclusion

Generally, water pollution control does have its merits, but poses problems like toxicity that could potentially harm the water itself and the species subsisting in it, as well as being very costly. Water pollution control is also part of river basin management, although from a broader perspective. Because of the far reaching scope of river basin management, the perceived disadvantages of water pollution control are mitigated. In fact, water pollution control can only be effective and sustainable if used under the process of river basin management.

Works Cited

Dourojeanni, R. “Water Management at the River Basin Level: Challenges in Latin          America.“2001. Accessed 4 April 2011 from         http://www.bvsde.paho.orglbvsacd/aquaiamer.pdf.

Global Water Partnership. “Strategic Goals.” 2011. Accessed 07 April 2011 from

http://www.gwp.org/eniOur-approachiThe-Global-Context.

Helmer, R., and Hespanhol, 1. “Water Pollution Control – A Guide to the Use of Water    Quality Management Princi ples.” 1997. Accessed 4 April 2011 from

http://www.who.intlwater_sanitation_healthlresourcesquality/watpolcontrol.pdf.

Lall U, Heikkila T, Brown C, Siegfried T. Water in the 21st Century: Defining the Elements      of Global Crises and Potential Solutions. Journal of International Affairs, 61.2    (2008): 1-17.

McCarthy, Michael. Water Scarcity Could Affect Billions: Is This the Biggest Crisis of All?      (Web, March 5 2003). Retrieved from           http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0305- 05.htm

Ramakrishna, V. and Babu, B.V. “Fresh Water Depletion – A Crisis: Causes &    Remedies.”n.d. Accessed 4 April 2011 from http://discovery.bits-        pilani.ac.in/~bvbabulFrshwaterE&P98.pdf.

Siegel, Paul S., and Talantis, Billie S. Water intake as a function of privation interval when        food is withheld. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 43.1 (1950):         62-65.

University of Michigan. “Human Appropriation of the World’s Fresh Water Supply. 2000.

Accessed 4 Apri12011 from http://www.globalchange.umich.

edu! globalchange2/ current/Iectures/freshwater _supply/freshwater.html.Web

World Wildlife Fund. “A Holistic Approach.” 2011. Accessed 7 April 2011 from

http://wwf.panda.org/about_ our_earth/about_freshwater/rivers/irbm/

15 Oct 2009

Sample Essay: Radio Frequency Identification Technology in Healthcare

Introduction

Radio frequency identification is a system of technology that includes the use of electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the radio frequency segment of the electromagnetic spectrum to distinctively identify an object, animal, or person. Radio frequency identification is increasingly becoming useful in health institutions as an alternative to the bar code. A Radio frequency identification system consists of three components which are the antennae, the transceiver often combined into one reader and the transponder which is the tag. The antenna emits radio frequency waves that transmit a signal which activates the transponder. When activated, the tag transmits information back to the antenna. The information is used to alert a programmable logic controller that an action should occur. The action could be as simple as raising an access gate or as complicated as providing an interface with a database to carry out a money transfer. Low frequency Radio frequency identification systems range from 30 KHz to 500 KHz and have short transmission range of generally less than six feet. High frequency Radio frequency identification systems on the other hand have a range from 850 MHz to 950 MHz and 2.4 GHz to 2.5 GHz and offer longer transmission ranges of more than 90 feet. In general, the higher the frequency, the more expensive the system.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) utilizes an automatic identification method, relying on storing and retrieving data using transponder. The technology requires some extent the support of an RFID reader and an RFID tag.  An RFID tag is an object that can be applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. Some tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader. Most RFID tags contain at least two parts. One is a circuit used to store and process information and other specialized functions. The second is an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal.

There are generally two types of RFID tags, the active RFID tags, which contain a battery and passive RFID tags, which have no battery. The tags communicate by responding to instructions and generating signals that must not create interference with the readers, as arriving signals can be very weak and must be distinguished. The backscattering and load modulation techniques can also be used to manipulate the reader’s field. Typically, backscattering is used in the far field, whereas load modulation applies in the near field within a few wavelengths from the reader. (Simon garfinkel and Henry Holtzman. 2005)

Passive RFID tags have no internal power supply. The tiny electrical current induced in the antenna by the incoming radio frequency signal provides just enough power for the CMOS integrated circuit in the tag to power up and transmit a response. Most passive tags signal by backscattering the carrier wave from the reader. Therefore the antenna has to be designed both to collect power from the incoming signal and also to transmit the outbound backscatter signal. The response of a passive RFID tag is not necessarily an ID number but can be a chip that contains non volatile data. (Sohraby. M (2007) Wireless Sensor Networks)

Passive tags have practical read distances ranging from about 11 cm (4 in) with near-field up to approximately 10 meters (33 feet) with far-field and can reach up to 183 meters (600 feet) when combined with a phased array. Basically, the reading and writing depend on the chosen radio frequency and the antenna design/size. Due to their simplicity in design they are also suitable for manufacture with a printing process for the antennas. The lack of an on board power supply means that the device can be quite small. Commercially available products exist that can be embedded in a sticker, or under the skin in the case of low frequency RFID tags.

Unlike passive RFID tags, active RFID tags have their own internal power source, which is used to power the integrated circuits and to broadcast the response signal to the reader. Communications from active tags to readers is typically much more reliable than those from passive tags due to the ability for active tags to conduct a session with a reader.

Due to their on board power supply, active tags may also transmit at higher power levels than passive tags, allowing them to be more useful in environments with humidity and spray or with RF-dampening targets which contain mostly water.  In turn, active tags can be larger due to battery size and more expensive to manufacture due to price of the battery. However, the potential shelf life of an active tag can be many years.

Many active tags today have operational ranges of hundreds of meters, and a battery life from several months to 10 years. Active tags may include larger memories than passive tags, and may include the ability to store additional information received from the reader.

Special active RFID tags may include specialized sensors. For example, a temperature sensor can be used to record the temperature profile during the transportation and storage of perishable goods and radioactive materials.

Semi-passive tags are similar to active tags in that they have their own power source, but the battery only powers the microchip and does not power the broadcasting of a signal. The response is usually powered by means of backscattering the RF energy from the reader, where energy is reflected back to the reader as with passive tags. An additional application for the battery is to power data storage. If energy from the reader is collected and stored to emit a response in the future, the tag is operating active.

Whereas in passive tags the power level to power up the circuitry must be 100 times stronger than with active or semi-active tags, also the time consumption for collecting the energy is omitted and the response comes with shorter latency time.

The enhanced sensitivity of semi-passive tags places higher demands on the reader concerning separation in denser population of tags. Because an already weak signal is backscattered to the reader from a larger number of tags and from longer distances, the separation requires more sophisticated anti-collision concepts, better signal processing and some more intelligent assessment of which tag might be where. For passive tags, the reader-to-tag link usually fails first. For semi-passive tags, the reverse (tag-to-reader) link usually collides first. Semi-passive tags have three main advantages: greater sensitivity than passive tags; longer battery powered life cycle than active tags; they can perform active functions such as temperature logging under their own power, even when no reader is present for powering the circuitry. Most semi-passive tags use the 2.4 GHz frequency which has shown to be less reliable in RF challenged environments where frozen items, dense metal, and other elements that are hostile to RF are found. This is far less common with fully active tags that broadcast at the 433 MHz frequency. (Chemical & Engineering News magazine. August 04 2008)

Radio frequency identification in Health care

Health care providers are recognizing the benefits of adopting (RFID) technology into their operations, in order to enhance health care service delivery. The availability and use of inventive new RFID-enabled information technology applications are helping providers to track medical equipment and supplies more efficiently, verify the authenticity and administration of drugs, and improve patient safety and security, such as by using RFID-enabled identification bracelets for newborns and patients.

RFID becomes useful in health care for instance where both patients and staff are constantly on the move, hospitals face significant challenges in managing the cautious and attentive process of patient care. Also, with patients often scheduled for several, consecutive procedures, knowledge of their location helps greatly improve the patient-care process and helps manage schedules. Locating medical staff is also important. And it is both ways: in case of emergencies in which a particular physician is required immediately and also to locate and help the staff in case they need assistance themselves.

Tracking of medical devices and other assets also make us of RFID. These equipments include medical devices like infusion pumps, portable x-ray machines, and patient monitoring devices, as well as other movable assets such as wheelchairs, gurneys, and stretchers. Inability to quickly search for missing equipment results in the loss of productive hours: instead of attending to patients, nurses spend their time seeking the devices. The capability to locate goods immediately saves much time cuts the money spent on replacing lost equipment.

RFID tags are also being attached to people, such as newborns whose security in the hospital can be better ensured with an RFID wristband. Additionally, radio frequency IDs can track clinicians within the hospital so they can be reached quickly in an emergency; emergency departments can use it to follow patient charts and improve efficiency; the operating room can use RFID to reduce wrong-site surgery or other patient identification errors. Other various uses is the ability to positively identify patients, prescribe and check drug interactions at the point of care, quickly checking a patient’s blood type, matching newborn infants with their parents, and triggering a lock-down after the unauthorized removal of an infant from a secured area. (Radiology in Hospitals. 2003)

RFID is also used for quality assurance applications. This may include improved instrument tracking for infection control purposes. Some vendors supply RFID-enabled trays that can be tracked through central sterilizing departments.

RFID technology can be used for inventory to monitor access to facilities or secure areas, or to monitor patterns of activity. RFID systems can also be designed to enhance security and safety.

A tag may contain information about products or people, their physical location in real time, and other information such as lot number and expiration date for medical supplies and drugs, patient allergies or blood type, and more. When transmitted to a reader within the facility, the information can be stored in a database or used by staff.

In the past, most health care facilities have kept track of their various resources and patients manually, or through the use of bar coding. RFID is a tool that can further enhance and supplement these efforts. Supply chain applications which include high-cost items like pacemakers, defibrillator, and artificial joints. The supply chain for these items is complex, and they are often supplied on consignment. They also require a high degree of traceability from the supplier to the patient. (Fisher, Jill A. 2006).

Quality assurance applications may include improved instrument tracking for infection control purposes. Some vendors supply RFID-enabled trays that can be tracked through central sterilizing departments.  Although there are potential long-term benefits of RFID, it appears that widespread adoption of the technology for supply chain applications is still a long way off. This may even be true in the retail industry, where large companies, such as WalMart have already invested considerable capital in RFID projects.

Health-care providers around the world have been using or testing RFID technology in a variety of contexts for several years. For example, RFID technology has successfully been used to tag pharmaceutical products to reduce the risk of counterfeit medications use in the United Kingdom. (Radiology in Hospitals. 2003)

RFID is also proving to be very useful in identifying patients, increasing safety and reducing incidents of mistaken identity during critical surgery. It is being successfully used to locate patients needing extra care, such as the elderly, or patients suffering from Alzheimer or memory loss. Medical equipment is being more rapidly located and tracked within health-care facilities, leading to more effective use of resources. Waste management has also been improved through the use of RFID by being able to track toxic wastes by tagging them.

In February 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognized the potential of RFID information technologies to combat counterfeit pharmaceuticals and to provide more effective fulfillment of U.S.-mandated drug pedigree requirements. In the same year FDA issued a report recommending that drug makers use RFID to track bottles of the most commonly counterfeited drugs, with eventual extension to more drugs over time. (Science Direct journal. 2006).

Hand-washing compliance to reduce the spread of infections has seen the advent of an automatic hand sanitizing system which uses RFID to monitor how well health-care workers wash their hands. The wash cycle automatically starts when the caregiver’s hands are placed into the machine’s cylindrical cavity. Infection due to health care affect nearly 2 million people yearly in the U.S., and are responsible for approximately 80,000 deaths each year, according to a guide published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and the Society of Health care Epidemiology of America (SHEA). The transmission of disease causing organisms often occurs via the contaminated hands of health-care workers. When washing hands, a caregiver wearing an RFID badge is identified by the machine’s RFID interrogator. The device records the date and time, as well as the beginning and end of the wash cycle, and then communicates that information to the database. If a caregiver removes the hands before the 10-second cycle finishes, the interrogator transmits this information to the back-end database. (Fisher, Jill A. and Monahan, Torin. 2006).

In Texas University Medical Center researchers have recently began using RFID to manage the supply of chemicals and other materials used in biological research. The Center is using two storage cabinets fixed with RFID interrogators. Items stored inside the cabinets have RFID tags attached to them. Every authorized researcher at the university has been issued an RFID key card carrying a unique six-digit ID number that is used to open the lock. The interrogator reads the key card’s ID number and the item tags in the cabinet before and after it has been opened, enabling the software application to calculate what has been removed, and to update the on line inventory data. This information is accessible via the Web by university administrators, researchers and suppliers, and generates e-mail messages to the school’s accounts payable department and to the person who removed the items. Besides recording each transaction, the system helps suppliers know immediately what supplies have been used, what needs to be paid for and what needs replacing. (Texas university magazine. 2007)

A well-known medical practice with diagnosis and treatment facilities scattered across the U.S. piloted an RFID system to allow medical practitioners to better manage specimens of patient tissue. Deployed at endoscopy facilities, the tissue samples are tagged and tracked from the moment they are collected until they are delivered to the pathology laboratory for analysis, a series of steps characterized as crucial. The pilot lasted five months, and the demonstrable benefits included accurate data communication and verification, as well as improved efficiencies in specimen management.

In Malaysia, the government and three medical institutions are testing an RFID system for tracking blood bags, with the ultimate goal of eventually equipping more than 300 other government and private hospitals and clinics. The system combines blood bag tagging with smart cabinets to enable automated, efficient track-and-trace visibility. Eventually the system, if successful, will be used to manage Malaysia’s entire blood bank, which includes 500,000 transfusions annually. The expected benefits include improved blood bag identification, inventorying, and logistics. Cross-matching, in which a recipient’s blood type is matched to available donated blood, will be streamlined. Internal blood management processes will also be made more efficient.

A Southeast Asian RFID systems provider has introduced RFID-enabled products designed to help health-care providers track pharmaceuticals and monitor drug administration, to make sure that correct doses are given. The company’s intelligent medicine-dispensing system combines RFID tags and readers, work flow software, electronic medical records (EMRs) and a central database in an integrated solution. This enables nurses and doctors to view patient records, update them in real-time, and double-check prescription dosages at the moment they administer them. The systems can also automatically send prescriptions to pharmacists.

An acute-care and teaching hospital in New Jersey is implementing an RFID-enabled patient record management solution. Seeking increased efficiency and compliance with Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which places heightened importance on patient information management, the hospital has targeted its Sleep Centers, which provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for patients experiencing sleep-related problems. The Centers manage 5,000 patient files. Each file is tagged with an RFID tag, allowing it to be tracked from the moment it is created for a new patient until the file is retained in storage. RFID readers are positioned in key locations around the center to enable automatic tracking and encoding of the tags as they are moved from one place to another. Reads and writes to the tags are dynamically updated in the central database, ensuring real-time, accurate location data. (Science Direct journal. 2006).

Doctors at the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, working with engineers from the University of Texas, Arlington, have developed innovative RFID-based medical technology to detect gastro-esophageal reflux disease, caused by stomach contents moving up the esophagus. The condition, commonly referred to as esophageal reflux or GERD, is estimated to affect as many as 19 million people. The new solution combines RFID with sensor technology to measure and transmit data from within a patient’s body. A dime-sized RFID chip is inserted into the esophagus, where it remains pinned until a physician removes it. Equipped with an electrical impulse sensor, the chip measures particular impulses that indicate the presence of acidic or non-acidic liquids in the esophagus. These collected measurements are transferred from the RFID chip to a wireless receptor hanging around the patient’s neck. (Bureau. B. S Prabau and Gadh.2008)

Critics of Radio Frequency Identification System

Few topics have elicited such strong views among the privacy community, medical practitioners, ethicists, consumer and civil rights groups, technologists, and public policy and lawmakers than proposals for using any type of technology to automatically and remotely identify and track human beings without their consent.  These fears include: furtive identification of individuals by known and unknown parties, without their prior knowledge or consent.

Systemic tracking and surveillance of individuals by known and unknown parties, without prior knowledge or consent; The construction of histories and profiles about individuals and their interactions, without  the individual’s prior knowledge or consent; Correlation of acquired data with contextual and other information obtained elsewhere; Unwanted or incorrect inferences about the individual derived from the data; Unauthorized revelation of personal and private facts and disclosure to others; The inherent imbalance of power and potential for undesirable social engineering, control and discrimination on the basis of RFID-generated data.(David. M. 2007)

Although the National Stroke Association has recognized that RFIF implants play a critical role in  assisting medical professionals in responding to stroke patients controversy remains when it comes to the same implants on children.

Apart from the theological disquiet, many critics find it hard to believe whether insertion of chips would actually protect lost or kidnapped children because implantable tags don’t have any GPS capability, so they only would work when chipped kids are brought into an emergency room. If readers are widely adopted at hospitals, then there is some logic to thinking that missing children could be recovered if they are brought in for medical care. But even so, the odds that chipped yet missing children would be brought into such hospitals are very slim.

There have also been scattered claims of RFID being a potential mutagen due the radioactive rays emitted. (Gilbert A. 2003)

Conclusion

In health care, RFID has the potential to achieve improvements in both supply chain productivity and patient safety applications. However, the technology is more likely to be successful if evaluated for closed-system applications first, where deployment and subsequent changes are within the control of the individual organization. The introduction of a new technology like RFID often causes a stir of interest and excitement about its capabilities. However, RFID will likely go through a stage where initial enthusiasm is tempered by practical cost-benefit considerations. The outcome of these will be appropriate deployment of the technology. Well-developed standards already exist at different technology levels, including the protocol, communication, and data levels. Using the existing ISO specifications, data can be encoded to RFID tags to guarantee continuity worldwide. This approach also ensures that RFID will be able to co-exist with current barcode standards, which will likely be required for the foreseeable future. The ISO-based RFID standard is also independent of technology, so the data structure can be coded to any of the accepted frequencies and protocols under ISO18000. (Patricia. Toni.2008)

References

– Frequency Identification (RFID) in Europe. (March 2007).steps towards a policy framework

http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/com/2007/com2007_0096en01.pdf.

-Gilbert A. (2003). Privacy calls for RFID regulations. Health care journal. Pp-24

-New scripts, chemical & engineering news magazine.  (August 04 2008) vol. 86 no. 31,

-Fisher, Jill A. (2006). Emerging Surveillance Regimes in Hospitals.  (pp. 77-88).

-Fisher, Jill A. and Monahan, Torin. (2006).Tracking the Social Dimensions of RFID Systems in Hospitals.  176-183

-Simon Garfinkel, “Adapting Fair Information Practices to Low-Cost RFID System,” in Simon Garfinkel and Beth Rosenberg.  RFID: Applications, Security, and Privacy, New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2005, p. 522.

-Bearing point (2007). RFID in Health care: Poised for Growth Publication. p. 32-35

-Prabau and Gadh (2008) Radio frequency Identification: Beyond Bearing point. p. 12

-David. M (2007). Implantable may be easy but does it mean it is Ethical. Editorial Electronic Design 17-18

– Patricia. Toni (2008) Handbook of Informatics for Nurses & Healthcare Professionals: Hebda. Prentice hall. New York.   p. 27

– Sohraby. M (2007) Wireless Sensor Networks: Technology, Protocols, and Applications. John Wiley. New York. p. 12-18

14 Oct 2009

Sample Essay: Problem Of Contemporary Social Order In Kenya

Sociological theories are complex theoretical settings that sociologists use to explain and analyze how various social structures in a given society or setting work. Sociological theories are based on certain basic core assumptions, or basic Metaphysical, epistemological and moral premises, about the nature of the social world. Basic assumptions include positivism and antipositivism, materialism and idealism and freewill and individualism.

A  development and the current state of development of a given society. Distinctions used about contemporary societies in sociological theory in most developing countries include broad historical trends such as industrialization, urbanization, underdevelopment and the network society.

Social orders are relatively stable systems of institutions, patterns of interactions and customs, capable of continually reproducing at least those conditions essential for its own existence. The concept refers to all those facts of society which remain relatively constant over time. These conditions could include property, exchange and power relations, and also cultural forms, communication relations and ideological systems of values.

According to the United Nations Kenya falls under the list of developing countries, with a GDP of US$43.9 and a population growth rate of 2.6 (Courtesy of the kenyaGazzette). Due to the disparity existing between the population growth and increase in GDP, 75% of Kenya’s population live below the poverty line where social amenities like good housing, water and electricity which are supposed to be basic needs are not easily accessible to everyone.

The land issue

Land is increasingly becoming a source of conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa, where land access had traditionally been characterized as relatively egalitarian.The land issue in Kenya has become an important factor in the structuring of social orders in Kenya. Some underlying factors, such as population pressure agricultural commercialization, and urbanization, have contributed to the increasing number of land conflicts, and the current land tenure systems in Kenya inherited from the British colonialists may not be well-equipped to resolve such conflicts . In many African Countries, formal institutions for land administration were often simply superimposed on traditional structures without a clear delineation of responsibilities and Competencies, implying that they lack both outreach and social legitimacy (Deininger, 2003)

In Kenya sampled households are worried about future land conflicts on 9.3 percent of all parcels and have pending conflicts on 4.3 percent of their parcels. They have resolved conflicts on 8.1 percent of the parcels in the past. There are some differences in land conflicts across provinces. In Nyanza, land conflicts do not appear to be a prevailing problem, while in a nearby province, Western Province, households have more pending conflicts than in any other provinces. This difference seems to be driven partly by the small land size, which is just 1.1 hectare per household, in Western province.

Unlike Western Province, the average land size in Rift Valley Province is large at 2.6 hectare per household, the largest across the provinces. Yet, households are still worried about future conflicts and have pending conflicts. This could be partly due to the high land productivity and partly to the mix of ethnic groups in Rift Valley Province. In Rift Valley Province, people from different ethnic groups have purchased land from white farmers since independence.

Rise of vigilante groups

These land conflicts have led to the rise of Militia groups based on ethnic origin like the Sabaot Land Defense Force in the Mount Elgon region that was formed with the assumption of ensuring that all the land owners from other communities should return back the land they own in that area. This social order of the Militia arose as a result of conflict between the rich land owners from other communities and the poor locals who felt short change. This cases of militias being formed presumably because of land issues are duplicated in other regions of Kenya like the Kuria region in Nyanza province where there is a militia group called the “SunguSungu”

The proportion conflicts are very high at 8.7 percent if the land titles belong to the deceased husbands. This suggests that widows are experiencing pending conflicts with the deceased husbands’ relatives. The prevailing practice after the death of a husband in Kenya is for the wife of the deceased husband to hold land in trust for her male children because customary laws rarely allow widows to legally inherit land . In some cases, widows are often threatened to leave their land, which belongs to their husbands’ ancestral land, especially when they have no children or refuse to marry one of their husbands’ brothers . This shows how issues of land conflicts can lead to feminism where the widow is not allowed to inherit the land of her deceased husband.

Order does not necessarily need to be controlled by government as Individuals pursuing self-interest can make  systems which are predictable .These systems, being planned by more than one person, may actually be preferable to those planned by a single person. This means that predictability may be easily to achieved without central government’s control. These  expectations do not necessarily lead to individuals behaving in ways that are considered beneficial to group welfare. When all individuals pursue their own preferences, the outcome is segregation rather than integration,” as stated in “Theories of Social Order,” edited by Michael Hechter and Christine Horne. The unregulated interaction of rational selfishness leads to  unwanted outcome. Developing out of indigenous organization like and Saboat Land Defense Force and “sungusungu” Kenya arose initially to provide a means of controlling theft, particularly cattle raiding. Operating with the sanction of the district administration, local norms of crime, trial and punishment were developed, distinct from those embodied in the national penal code. Guarding their independence, groups have kept their distance from the police and judiciary to avoid the systemic corruption of those institutions. In distancing themselves from the more corrupt aspects of the state, and acting against it within their areas of operation, these groups have had far-reaching effects on local security, to the extent that their success holds out possibilities for them to extend their activities into other spheres like tax collections to pay for the security services they offer and severe punishment for those who refuse to pay. This groups command a lot of power and respect and having no set up regulatory body to control their actions they have been recently linked with human abuses such as rape and use of excessive and force and even sometimes illegal executions. Recently the Kenyan government outlawed this groups a step that has not gone well with the groups who have heightened their activities and made them even more secretive.

A total collapse in the Kenyan social order was witnessed after the disputed 2007 general election where the  police were forced to seal Nairobi and break up protests with water cannons and baton charges barring supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga from holding a planned rally in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park. Odinga made his own accusations of “genocide” against supporters of President Mwai Kibaki. The Kenya Attorney General Amos Wako called for an independent investigation into the contested vote. (Metro Nairobi Jan. 3) Three people were reported dead, a church and two petrol stations set ablaze, and five cars torched. (Metro Nairobi, Jan. 3) Reuters reports from the metropolitan, impoverished Nairobi district of Mathare which residents have renamed “Kosovo”-violently contested by Kikuyu gangs such as the Mungiki and a Luo militia calling itself the “Taliban.”

Police also violently dispersed a planned protest in Kisumu, hurling tear gas and firing shots in the air. Among those arrested were two MPs-elect.  In an editorial entitled “Save Our Beloved Country,” Nairobi’s The Standard which is a local newspaper issued a call for immediate unconditional talks between Odinga and Kibaki.

The principle of dependence which has an important role on social order as a whole. States that the more dependent a person is on a group, the more likely they are to conform to group. This means that if a group means a lot to a person, they will be more likely to do what it is that the group wants them to.

This was clearly evident when supporters of both Raila and Kibaki went on rampage in support of their political party. These political parties were very important to their supporters, and they were likely to conform to the group’s norms, such as looting, confronting the police and committing crime as a way of airing out their grievances in order to gain the groups trust and respect. In this case, the status that the group gives a person is more important.

Conclusion

There are currently two different theories that explain and attempt to account for social order. The first theory is “order results from a large number of independent decisions to transfer individual rights and liberties to a coercive state in return for its guarantee of security for persons and their property, as well as its establishment of mechanisms to resolve disputes.” as stated in Theories of Social Order by Hechter and Horne. The next theory is that “the ultimate source of social order as residing not in external controls but in a concordance of specific values and norms that individuals somehow have managed to internalize.” also stated in Theories of Social Order by Hechter and Horne. Both the arguments for how social order is attained are very different. One argues that it is achieved through outside influence and control and the other argues that it can only be attained when the individual willingly follows norms and values that they have grown accustomed to and internalized.

References

Cotula, Toulmin, and Hesse, 2004 Land conflicts in Kenya. Boston:Mcgraw publishers.

Hechter, M. and Horne, C. 2003. Theories of Social Order.Newyork:Routlege.

04 Oct 2009

Simple Essay: Classroom Management

Rogoff et al., (1996) believes that children can develop their thinking as they participate in cultural activity with the guidance and challenge of their teachers, parents and friends. Children could benefit through learning as an apprenticeship; a social activity that is mediated by parents and peers who support and challenge their child’s understanding and skills. She argues that cognitive development involves much more than the accumulation of skills and knowledge. Cognitive development is better characterized as the growing sophistication with which a child employs cognitive processes such as thinking, remembering, and perceiving in his or her collaborations with the other children and teachers who share in the learning process at school. In other words, learning can be a process of ‘guided participation’ shared between the child and others in contexts of participation. Guided participation helps bridge the varying perspectives and thought process among the more and less experienced participants, and helps in involving every student in class activities (Rogoff et al., 1996).

Classroom management and managing students are skills which teachers acquire and hone over time. There are no short-cuts and teachers must learn to master this art through years of experience. The topic of classroom management has been researched by many and quite a few methods and ideas have been solicited. However, unless a teacher develops the ideal teaching skills in managing the myriad of tasks and situations that occur in the classroom each day, they will find teaching difficult and monotonous. Effective classroom management is central to teaching and it requires patience, common sense, consistency, a sense of fairness, dedication and courage. Since this practice mandates imparting training, teachers need to understand the psychological and developmental levels of their students. Now this may sound simple, but the fact remains that not all students have the same level of intelligence, and so teachers have to dedicate and teach their students in a manner that reaches out to them. In a classroom, teachers come face to face with varying challenges, be it intellectual or behavioral, and to manage such a situation requires them to portray a sense of amusement, understanding, caring and belonging. It is here that the qualities of consistent practice, patience, and willingness to learn from mistakes, bring effective classroom management into play. Sadly, this is often easier said than done. The problem lies not in the methodology, but in the unpredictability. No two classes are similar, and not two students are alike, and therefore there can be no standards to impart learning strategies. This presents a Herculean task for teachers as they have to adjust and implement programs that change with each situation. As mentioned above, personal experience and research has illustrated the magnanimity associated with teaching under testing times. Teachers, especially those who begin their career, have difficulty in managing their classrooms. While there are no fool-proof solutions to problems or classroom setting, the following principles may be helpful in bringing about a more controllable situation to classroom management:

Room Arrangement

Setting Expectations for Behavior

Managing Student Academic Work

Managing Inappropriate Behavior

Promoting Appropriate us of Consequences (Kizlik, 2008).

Teachers need to understand the difference between teaching and learning. Teaching is just about what all teachers do in their class, but learning is the process through which students get to know what is being taught. This is where motivation comes into play. Unless teachers can motivate their students to learn, the whole exercise in class is lost. Students need to be educated and for that, they need to develop the art of learning with pleasure and fun. Teachers can observe the students in class and recognize what actually motivates these kids to studying and behaving properly. Classroom management is not just about teaching and learning, but also about conducting oneself with dignity. When it comes to teaching, children learn best:

When they take responsibility of learning on their own

When they become actively involved in what they are learning

When learning becomes interesting and is interactive

When they see themselves as successful learners (Watkins et al., 2007, p.4)

This is why teachers must ensure that their topic is stimulating and enduring, and has enough substance to make it worth the effort. What must be understood is that teachers need to continuously evaluate their amendments, shift their strategy often, and pay more attention to a few children who are weak, or redefine their teaching procedure to make it worthwhile. But this does not mean that a teacher can abruptly terminate a subject or topic without careful consideration, the teacher must be able to create an interest in whatever he/she does to impress the students to follow. In hindsight, the move should elicit a positive response from their wards and make learning an interesting art. The following points show what may be necessary to instigate participation from students in classrooms:

creativity

contextualization

realism

flexibility

rigor

illumination

Creativity allows teachers to choose a topic which is intriguing and challenging and has scope to allow students to participate in it actively.

Contextualization allows the teacher the freedom to plan their modus operandi; allowing teachers to identify the possible plan of action wherein they are at liberty to identify the student (s) who are to be targeted, and the classroom setting to draw more interaction. This way, the classroom session becomes interactive and the teacher will have full control of the class.

Realism allows the teacher to gauge the needs of the class and plan a program accordingly to avoid pressure to perform.

Flexibility as the word says, is allowing the teacher the power to respond to unforeseen circumstances; for all said and done, there is always the possibility of a plan going haywire, which could lead to the disruption of classes. If by chance some teachers find their students tired or restless, they should see this as a sign of lack of attention or interest and push on with other activities that will generate interest.

Rigor refers to the scrutiny of the plan. Whatever the motive or result of one’s action, a teacher will have to measure his/her initiative against its reliability and validity at all stages of its implementation before making recommendations.

Illumination of the practice will allow the teacher to judge his/her theory and make changes if necessary, to make the exercise most productive (Macintyre, 2000).

References

Rogoff, Barbara, Matusov, Eugene and White, Cynthia, 1996, Models of Teaching and Learning:

Participation in a Community of Learners, Oxford, Blackwell, UK, http://java.cs.vt.edu/public/classes/communities/readings/Rogoff,Matusov-1996.pdf

Kizlik, Robert Dr., 2008, ADPRIMA: Classroom Management, Management of Student Conduct, Effective Praise Guidelines, and a Few Things to Know About ESOL Thrown in for Good Measure, http://www.adprima.com/managing.htm

Macintyre, Christine, 2000, The Art of Action Research in the Classroom, David Fulton Publishers Ltd, London

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