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[en] To investigate the knowledge and attitudes of patients towards lumbar puncture (LP), its complications, and indications. In a questionnaire survey, patients who were referred to the general neurology outpatient clinic at Nemazee Hospital in Shiraz, Iran, from January 2007 to January 2008 were invited to complete a questionnaire consisting of items on demographic and socioeconomic variables, experiences with LP and complications, and knowledge of and attitudes regarding LP. A total of 410 patients were recruited (58% women, mean age 33.2 + - 2.7 years). Poor knowledge of LP was highly prevalent (92.6%), and negative attitudes toward LP were also common (63%) among our patients. Skepticism regarding LP was directly related to lack of information (p=0.00007). Lower socioeconomic status, lower educational level, and residence in rural areas were associated with being less well informed about LP, but interestingly those who had experience with LP before were better informed and had more positive attitudes. It is possible to overcome reluctance to undergo LP through education of its indications, contraindications, and complications. (author)
[en] Aim of the study: To identify the priority strategy for the strengthening of the chestnut supply chain through a participatory approach. Area of study: Mugello-Val di Sieve inTuscany region (Italy). Material and methods: The data were collected by administering a questionnaire to a sample of 126 chestnut growers (83 chestnut growers enrolled and 43 not enrolled in the Consortium of “Marronedel Mugello Protected Geographical Indication”) to identify the priority objectives and activities to develop the chestnut supply chain. Main results: It is necessary to develop a diversified strategy to stimulate the chestnut production and simultaneously enhance the marketing of the product in order to revive the chestnut cultivation inTuscany region. The main activities to be pursued are the implementation of silvicultural treatments of chestnut orchards and the integrated fight against chestnut gall wasp to increase the productivity and strengthen the “Marronedel Mugello Protected Geographical Indication” brand. Research highlights: Participatory approach is a fundamental instrument to define a common strategy to strengthen chestnut supply chain at local level.
[en] The background of any developmental process where a country or community is concerned is energy, and rural development is no exception. Common to all developing countries are the problems with reticulation mainly because of population distribution and distance from the source. (Author)
[en] Old world camelids (Dromedary and Bactrian camels) are important source of milk in rural areas of many arid countries. However, extensive production system cannot guarantee constant quality and quantity raw milk for the market. Development of the world first large scale-camel milking farm in Dubai draws attention to camels as potential source for high quality milk and meat in developing countries. This presentation summarizes the development and results of the project. Animals: Intensive management and production require concentration of camels. Camels arrived to the farm from different countries of the region with variable age, condition and lactation stage resulting in great range in individual milk production. In practice, history of the purchased animals (health status, previous production) is not available. Despite the negative preconception, camels can be trained successfully to adopt the machine milking technology. Training takes 1-4 weeks depending on the background of the animal. So far we have trained more than 1400 camels for machine milking. Infectious disease control, general and udder health: Due to lack of history, it is extremely important to establish and maintain strict quarantine. Infectious diseases (Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, Surra, FMD etc.) are monitored with serological tests. The main problem is that most of the tests are not validated for camels and kits from different manufacturers may give controversial results. The prevalence of Brucellosis exceeded 30% in purchased animals from certain regions. Udder health is also monitored carefully. In previously hand milked, multiparous camels, teats are frequently enlarged/deformed or the udder is infected with pathogen bacteria (Str. agalactiae, Str. bovis, Corynebacterium amycolatum, Staph. aureus, etc.). In a recent survey, 21.8% (54 camels) of 248 new lactating animals were infected. These camels should be either rejected or treated before starting machine milking. Adaptation of milking technology, milk production, husbandry and management: first, milking parlour had to be designed that is comfortable and suitable for different sizes of camels. We have developed a 2 x 24 herringbone parlour. Commercially available, standard milking equipments is used but adapted to the physiology of dromedaries. Milking liners and claw were selected carefully or developed because of the anatomical features of camel udder. There is a great variation in size of teats between individuals (length: 7.1 ± 2.22 cm, mean ± SD, 2.93-16.0 cm). In addition, teats undergo significant increase in size (length by 50%) and volume (by 170%) during milk letdown. Camels have limited cistern volume so initiation of milk letdown reflex is crucial. Traditionally it is induced by the suckling effect of the calf, but this is impossible to do in the parlour. This fact highlights the importance of well-trained milkers who can carry out efficient manual udder and teat stimulation for a long time (mean ± SD: 123.2 ± 84.4 sec) and fast and also precise milking (mean ± SD: 126.9 ± 41.1 sec). At present, the average daily milk production per camel is 7.2 ± 0.14 kg (± SEM), mean length of lactation is 340 ± 7.9 d (± SEM) and mean total production per lactation is 2,467 ± 79.4 kg (± SEM). So far, the highest and lowest production were: lactation average 14.8 kg and 2.9 kg milk/d; total production 8002 kg and 919 kg; length of lactation 541 and 312 d, respectively. Dams and calves are kept in adjacent paddocks throughout lactation and are allowed together after each milking. Every day they go for a one-hour walk. Staff is trained to take care of the animals in a gentle way to provide low-stress environment. In return, camels are tame, easy to handle and cooperate well during all procedures (milking, nail cutting, rectal examination, blood collection, etc.). Food safety management system and quality of raw camel milk: In the UAE, all food producing establishment must implement minimum the HACCP system. We aimed to develop ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management System, which is in the final stage of certification. There is no camel milk standard and many studies are required to establish the normal range and acceptable limits for chemical and microbiological content, SCC, etc. in raw camel milk. The total viable count (TVC) of our bulk tank milk is 4,340 ± 86 cfu/ml (mean ± SEM) and the somatic cell count (SCC) is 388,826 ± 5255 cells/ml (mean ±SEM). (author)
[en] The field marketing practices of Superior Propane in rural Ontario are illustrated. In the Smithville area, Superior's customer base consists of agricultural, industrial, commercial, and residential customers, plus a large market for auto propane. A 6,900 ft2 showroom presents a representative selection of the wide range of appliances using propane. Superior's Smithville branch is one of the top five in Canada, in terms of volume. To expand business beyond its traditional branch structures, Superior has an Independent Partners Program which is aimed at all phases of business including independent sales agents, conversions, propane fuel stops, appliance installations, and building contractors. In Keswick, located in the summer resort region on the south shore of Lake Simcoe, Superior's base load is 40% commercial and 20% each agricultural, residential, and automotive. A new 4,100 ft2 showroom was recently constructed with separate display units for each appliance. The new building has brought increases in auto propane and appliance sales. The different branches of Superior Propane are able to tailor their marketing programs according to local needs by choosing the appropriate programs from those available at head office. 5 figs