MOLECULAR CHARACTERISATION OF IMPORTANT VIRUSES AFFECTING MAIZE (ZEA MAYS L.) IN THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, ABUJA

Maize is an important cereal crop grown in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. It has a chromosome number of 2n = 2× = 20. There is little knowledge on the viruses affecting maize within this region. This research was carried out to identify the virus affecting maize on four commonly cultivated maize varieties at Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO), FCT, Abuja using a molecular detection tool. Four varieties of maize seeds were obtained from the National Agricultural Seed Council, Abuja and planted on a field using randomized complete block design (RCBD). There was a total of 12 plots and 15 plants per variety per plot. At the fifth week after planting, 15 plants were sampled which gave a total of 60 leaf samples. Maize streak virus (MSV) was confirmed through serological diagnosis, although severity and percentage identification varied. Only maize streak virus was targeted. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed the presence of maize streak virus and sequence revealed the strain of the virus and percentage identification. This research provides additional information on the presence of MSV as a threat to maize production in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. This information can also be utilized by virologist and breeders to improve varieties of maize that can resist maize streak virus

SURVEY OF BIOMASS (FUELWOOD AND CHARCOAL) FUEL CONSUMPTION USING SURVEYS & BENCHMARK MODEL IN THE SOUTH-SOUTH AND SOUTH-EAST ZONES OF NIGERIA

 The use of biomass resources in many Nigerian households has become indispensable owing to low electricity access, high cost of clean energy and inadequate power supply that has become endemic over the years. The study assessed the use of charcoal and fuelwood in the south-East and South-South zone of Nigeria using few semi-urban areas and some rural villages in Enugu state as a benchmark. It investigated the factors expected to influence a household’s choice of using fuelwood and charcoal and also identified the health hazards and inconveniences associated with using fuelwood in the study areas. The common factors propelling the use of charcoal and firewood in the study areas were identified as large household size, farming occupation, being married, procurement of firewood from forests, low average monthly expenditure on fuelwood and charcoal, household average monthly income level of N70,000 and below, among others. Inconveniences and health hazards associated with the use of charcoal were identified as eye problems, long trek to obtain fuelwood, respiratory problems, among others. It is essential to curtail the felling and harvesting of trees for fuelwood and charcoal production to reduce their destructive effects on the environment and health of users. The government should make clean energy affordable and boost efforts that will scale up the socio-economic status of households. These efforts will present scenarios that prevent health hazards associated with the use of wood fuel. Avoiding these health hazards involves using clean fuels like LPG or upgrading to cook stoves that burn biomass efficiently and more cleanly.

ECONOMIC STATUS OF INFERTILE COUPLES AND THE UTILIZATION OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY SERVICES IN NORTH CENTRAL ZONE OF NIGERIA

The purpose of this study was to assess economic status of infertile couples and the utilisation of assisted reproductive technology services in North Central Zone of Nigeria. To achieve this purpose, a sample size of 768 infertile couples representing 4% of the target population was randomly selected using a multi stage sampling procedure of stratified, purposive, simple and proportionate sampling techniques to get the sample size for the study. Data was collected using close ended questionnaire and 768 copies of the questionnaire were administered out of which 751 (97.4%) were duly completed and analysed using mean and standard deviation to answer research questions. The results revealed that economic status was significant determinant for the utilization of ART services among infertile couples in North Central Zone of Nigeria. Based on the results of this study, the following recommendations were made to improve on the utilization of assisted reproductive technology services among infertile couples: Since majority of respondents experiencing infertility lamented the huge cost of procuring ART treatment, there is, therefore, the need to subsidize infertility treatment by Government through bulk purchase of drugs and other consumables so as to overcome the burden of the cost of accessing and receiving treatment by infertile couples. The health policies of private and public organizations can also redesigned its policies to cater for the needs of workers experiencing infertility problems. The mandate of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) should be expanded to address the needs of persons and couples seeking infertility treatment. Also, the participating NGOs and the private sector should also be encouraged to subsidize infertility treatment in order to ease the burden of receiving infertility treatment

INCIDENCES OF FLOODING AND IMPLICATIONS ON SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AMONG URBAN PUPILS OF OGUN STATE

Flooding is considered to be the most devastating natural disaster worldwide. This research sought to assess the incidence of flooding and its implications on school activities among urban pupils of Ogun state. The research employed descriptive approaches with the use of questionnaires and personal interviews. The study area considered for this survey is Akute community, a border town between Lagos and Ogun states literally in distress of flooding during rainfall. Tiptop Schools Akute and Kingsdale Schools, Akute are the two schools considered for the research. A total 45 questionnaires were distributed among school students in based on the implications of flood on pupils’ activities. The result indicates that the majority of the students (95%) always stay at home whenever there is long rainfall, also 62% of the respondents are always happy during the rainy festival as it indicates students can stay at home for 2-3 days due to flooding, hence primary school students can develop the need for occasion truancy in school even when there is no case of flooding. Hence it was concluded that flooding is a natural disaster that affects every possible human activity in the area with education not being left out, parents and guardians might not see any problem with students staying back at home due to flooding but a continual need to stay at home during academic calendar affects students’ academic performance. It was thereby recommended that electronic learning should be encouraged in both private and government schools to keep pupils up to date whenever flooding is keeping them out of school.

DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF EFFICIENT SOLAR MOBILE PHONE/BATTERY CHARGER

A vigorous study and in-depth research into alternative and sustainable renewable energy supply is become a very attractive area of research interest. The aim of this project is to explore the viability of implementing a mobile phone charging system, to be used in rural areas. The electronic device is expected to be powered by energy generated from a 9V, 2.5W solar panel. The multi-charging port charger system makes use of a basic regulating circuit for its functionality. In order to store charge during the period of availability of sunlight, a 6V, 4.5Ah lead-acid rechargeable battery that could last for about four hours is used as a backup. The charge stored is explored to take care of emergency needs that could arise during the night or days of poor solar irradiance mainly during rainy season. Due to the rating of the solar panel and the battery, not more than one mobile phone can be charged effectively. The Solar Battery Charger circuit is designed, built and tested. It acts as a control circuit to monitor and regulate the process of charging several batteries ranging from 4 volts to 12 volts, using a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel as the input source for the battery charging process. The circuit is economical and can be easily constructed from discrete electronic components. The circuit operation is based on matching the solar panel terminal load voltage to the input terminal of the charging circuit and the appropriate number of battery cell units to be charged to the output circuit through the use of a current limited voltage regulator, allowing fast charging while limiting heat build-up and gassing and a rotary switch for easy selection of the appropriate voltage depending on the solar light intensity. Experimental results indicate that there is an increase of the overall charging current when fully charging an empty: mobile phone battery and a 6v rechargeable lamp for 4 hours using direct charging between 10.00am to 4.00pm. The success of this device will bridge the gap of power failure that often occur within the hours of the day between 10.00am to 4.00pm, especially in rural communities

ASSESSMENT OF RADIONUCLIDE CONTENT AND ITS HEALTH RISKS IN GROUND WATER IN SELECTED COMMUNITIES IN BAYELSA STATE, NIGERIA

Existence of radionucleides in drinking water is a health concern especially when their values exceeded certain permissible levels, hence the study aimed at assessing the activity and health effects in a view to providing information on the quality of the drinking for effective planning, management and utilization. In this regard, the major objective was to determine empirical values of concentration and health indices in the sampled water. The method used in determining the activity was gamma spectroscopy followed by imputing the values of activities in known standard equations. Hand-held global positioning system (GPS) was used to determine the location of each borehole water source. Twenty-one water samples were collected, prepared and analyzed using Sodium iodide detector doped with Thaliun {NaI(TI)}. The activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K ranged from below detectable level (BDL) at Otuadu and Ologi to 3.81 ± 0.54 Bq L−1 at Amuruto, from BDL at Abulabiri and Epebu to 3.46 ± 0.73 Bq L−1 at Otuogori, from 1.93 ± 0.91 at Ayakoro to 9.66 ± 0.89 Bq L−1 at Ologohe, respectively. The total annual committed effective dose for infant, children, teenagers and adult ranged from 0.77-22.18 mSvy-1, 0.21-5.19 mSvy-1, 0.72-13.09 mSvy-1 and 0.19-2.35 mSvy-1 respectively. The average total committed effective dose to infant, children, and teenagers and adult are 10.21, 2.39, 6.01 and 1.08 mSvy-1 respectively. The doses for all the age groups consuming the water slightly exceeded the permissible limit but the most vulnerable group to internal radiation exposure due to the intake of the ground water are infants followed by the teenagers. The results of cancer fatality risk and hereditary consequences evaluated for the adult, mortality and morbidity rates showed significant values that are higher than their recommended values. Generally, the ground water in this studied area could be said to be slightly polluted radiologically, hence purification should be carried out before ingestion

FORECASTING OF LIFE EXPECTANCY AT AGE SIXTY-FIVE IN NIGERIA: ARIMA AND NNAR APPROACH

This study investigates the forecasting of life expectancy for male and female populations up to the age of 65 in Nigeria using ARIMA and NNAR models. Data spanning from 1960 to 2020 sourced from the World Bank’s Nigerian data indicators are utilized. The dataset is partitioned into training and testing sets, and ARIMA models are fitted using the auto. arima package, while NNAR models are selected using the nnectar library in R. Diagnostic checks, including Ljung-Box tests, confirm the suitability of ARIMA models, with ARIMA (2,1,0) and ARIMA (1,1,1) identified as best fits for male and female life expectancy to age 65 respectively. Comparative analysis reveals the superior forecasting accuracy of ARIMA models over NNAR models. Visual representations of actual and forecasted values further corroborate these findings. The implications of these results for healthcare planning and policy decisions in Nigeria are discussed. Future research directions include incorporating additional variables, exploring advanced modeling techniques, extending the forecasting horizon, conducting validation and sensitivity analyses, comparing models across regions, and assessing policy impacts. By addressing these avenues, we can enhance our understanding of life expectancy up to age 65 forecasting and contribute to more effective healthcare planning and policy formulation in Nigeria and beyond.

DEVELOPMENT OF A MATERNAL HEALTH MONITORING DEVICE WITH OPTIMIZED BATTERY USAGE FOR VITAL SIGNS CAPTURING IN PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is a complex physiological process that can be associated with various maternal health risks. Pregnancy-related maternal health is essential to the health of the expecting mother and the unborn child. Early identification of potential risks can significantly improve maternal and foetal outcomes. This research deals with the development of optimized battery implemented maternal health monitoring device which measures simultaneously, the key health parameters: heart rate (HR), blood pressure and body temperature. The device incorporates various sensors such as MAX32664D biometric sensor hub and MAX32102 for vital signs measurement. The acquired data is processed using ESP32 and uploaded to ThingSpeak for future viewing and analysis.  However, one of the key challenges faced by e-health devices is limited battery life. Optimizing battery usage is crucial to ensure uninterrupted monitoring and enhance the usability of e-health devices. This write-up provides an improved e-health monitoring device for vital signs measurement using users’ engagement and behaviour modification techniques

EFFECT OF GERMINATION PERIOD ON THE NUTRIENT AND ANTINUTRIENT CONTENTS OF FLOURS FROM RED AND BROWN VARIETIES OF PIGEON PEA (CAJANUS CAJAN) SEEDS

This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of germination period on the nutrient and anti-nutrient contents of red and brown pigeon pea flours. The red and brown pigeon pea seeds were cleaned, steeped for 6, 8 and 10 h and germinated for 48 h, 72 h and 96 h, respectively and processed into flours, while the flours produced from the ungerminated red and brown pigeon pea seeds were used as control samples. The flours obtained were analyzed for proximate, mineral, vitamin and anti-nutrient contents using standard methods. The proximate composition of the samples showed that the flours produced from the red pigeon pea seeds had a range of 6.24 – 9.34% moisture, 10.37 – 20.95% crude protein, 1.21 – 1.12% fat, 2.32 – 3.32% ash, 3.14 – 4.23% crude fibre, 76.75-61.07% carbohydrate, and 329.29 – 338.10KJ/100g energy, whereas that of the brown pigeon pea flours had a range of 6.44-9.77% moisture, 10.47-23.69% crude protein, 1.23-1.13% fat, 2.42-3.13% ash, 3.18-4.31% crude fibre, 76.26-57.99% carbohydrate and 358.18-336.83KJ/100g energy respectively. The mineral composition of the flours produced from the red pigeon pea seeds had a range of 103.85-118.76 mg/100g calcium, 213.10-236.75mg/100g potassium, 140.30-165.40mg/100g phosphorus, 114.04-132.79mg/100g magnesium, 7.97-10.94 mg/100g sodium, and 5.08-6.49 mg/100g zinc, while that of the brown pigeon pea flours were 107.95-121.22 mg/100g calcium, 2.57-293.21 mg/100g potassium, 140.30-199.08mg/100g phosphorus, 118.12-152.67 mg/100g magnesium, 8.33-11.64 mg/100g sodium and 5.19-7.99 mg/100g zinc respectively. The vitamin composition of the red pigeon pea flours showed that the ascorbic acid, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid and vitamin A ranged from 3.53-4.63mg/100g, 1.17-1.46 mg/100g, 2.16-3.20 mg/100g, 1.02-1.36 mg/100g, 1.08-1.28 mg/100g and 2.13-2.57 mg/100g, whereas that of the brown pigeon pea flours ranged from 3.97-4.96 mg/100g, 1.36-1.71 mg/100g, 2.46-33 mg/100g, 1.18-1.48 mg/100g, 1.10-1.35 mg/100g and 2.19-2.94 mg/100g, respectively. The anti-nutrient composition of the flours from the red pigeon pea seeds showed that the levels of trypsin inhibitor, tannin, phytate, oxalate, saponin and haemaglutinin were 7.66-1.03 Tiu/g, 1.34-0.78 mg/kg, 4.78-1.15 mg/kg, 3.03-0.45 mg/kg, 2.78-1.21 mg/kg and 7.44-0.30Hui/g, whereas that of the brown pigeon pea flour ranged from 6.33-1.15Tiu/100g, 1.14-0.41mg/kg, 3.98-0.26mg/kg, 2.99-0.17mg/kg, 2.60-1.11 mg/kg and 6.23-0.33 Hui/g, respectively. The result generally showed that the nutrient contents of both the red and brown pigeon pea flours increased significantly (p˂0.05) with increase in steeping and germination time, while their antinutrient contents decreased drastically compared to the raw (control) samples in both varieties of pigeon pea flours. However, the brown pigeon pea flours relatively had high nutrient contents than the red pigeon pea flours, hence, they could be widely utilized in the preparation of a variety of good quality and nutrient-dense food products than the flours derived from red pigeon pea seeds

SIMULATIVE ANALYSIS OF A HIGH-SPEED POINT-TO-POINT MICROWAVE LINK

This paper details the simulative analysis of a high-speed microwave point-to-point link boasting a data rate of 474.62 Mbit/s over a distance of 47 km. The paper considers University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) as Site A and Rivers State University (UST) as Site B. The aim was to devise a robust communication system to facilitate seamless communication network between these two university campuses. The design process involved meticulous consideration of factors such as antenna selection, modulation scheme, and link budget analysis. These considerations were tailored to suit the geographical and environmental characteristics of the chosen sites. Radio link planner simulation tool played a pivotal role in evaluating the system’s performance across various scenarios, taking into account terrain obstacles and weather conditions. The results conclusively demonstrate the feasibility of establishing a reliable microwave point-to-point link between UNIPORT and Rivers State University. The study includes calculations of Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) of 1.09 × 10-4dB, percentage reliability of 99.9999964% and an assessment of the Bit Error Rate (BER) graph to gauge signal quality effectively. These findings underscore the system’s capability for high-speed data transmission, thereby fostering improved connectivity and collaboration between both of the academic institutions.