EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON SOME BIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS OF ALCOHOLICS IN NSUKKA, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

 

ABSTRACT

This work was aimed at finding the effects of alcohol on some biochemical parameters. A total of one hundred and eighty (180) apparently healthy, nonhypertensive male alcoholics were used for the study. Forty (40) non-consumers of alcohol were used as control. The activity of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in the control was 10.50±2.00 IU/L while it was 16.50±1.50 IU/L; 17.50±2.00 IU/L and 18.31±2.00 IU/L in alcoholics who showed preference for palmwine, beer and distilled spirit respectively. Also, the activity of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in the control was 9.51±0.35 IU/L while it was 18.44±0.40 IU/L, 19.21±0.19 IU/L, 20.32±0.64 IU/L in alcoholics who showed preference for palmwine, beer and distilled spirit respectively. The ALT and AST activities of alcoholic subjects who showed preference for distilled spirit was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those who showed preference for palmwine and beer.

The activities of alcoholics who showed preference for palmwine was the lowest. Furthermore, the serum total bilirubin concentration of the alcoholics was significantly higher (p < 0.05) compared with the control. The serum total bilirubin concentrations were 18.65±2.10 μmol/l, 19.40±1.50 μmol/l and 22.75±1.60 μmol/l for alcoholics who showed preference for palmwine, beer and distilled spirit respectively. The serum total bilirubin of the control was 8.30 ± 2.00 μmol/l. The alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of the alcoholic subjects was significantly higher (p<0.05) compared with the control. The ALP activity of the control was 61.50 ± 30.00 IU/L while the ALP activity was 174.20±2.50 IU/L, 175.10±1.50 IU/L and 177.40±1.00 IU/L in the three categories of alcoholics who showed preference for palmwine, beer and distilled spirit respectively.

Moreover, the urine total protein concentration of the alcoholics was significantly higher (p<0.05) compared with the control. Alcoholics who showed preference for distilled spirit had urine total protein of 153.96±0.43 mg/dl followed by alcoholics who showed preference for beer and palmwine who had urine total protein of 152.74±0.42 mg/dl and 151.34±0.60 mg/dl respectively. The urine total protein of the control was 56.40±0.40 mg/dl. Furthermore, the urine specific gravity, serum urea and creatinine of the alcoholics were significantly higher (p < 0.05) compared with the control. However, the plasma sodium, potassium and creatinine clearance of the alcoholics were significantly lower (p < 0.05) compared with the control. The body mass index (BMI) of the three groups of alcoholics fell within the range of 18.50 to 24.90. The blood pressure of both the alcoholic and control subjects were normal
(below 140/90 mmHg). This work therefore shows that chronic alcohol use could induce both hepatic and renal dysfunctions in the alcoholics which manifested in form of adverse variations in some biochemical parameters of prognostic and diagnostic utility.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Generally, alcohol designates a class of compounds that are hydroxyl derivatives of aliphatic hydrocarbons. However, in this study, the term alcohol used
without additional qualifications refers specifically to ethanol. A variety of alcoholic beverages have been consumed by man in the continuing search for euphoria producing stimuli. Among some people, alcohol enjoys a high status as a social lubricant that relieves tension, gives self confidence to the inadequate, blurs the appreciation of uncomfortable realities and serves as an escape from environmental and emotional stress. Alcohol has been loved and hated at different times by different people. Alcohol has been celebrated as healthful especially to the heart (red wine) and most pleasant to the taste buds; and then dismissed as “demon’s rum” and “devil in solution” depending on the prevalent view. In spite of the apparent divergent and sometimes conflicting opinions about alcohol, the consensus shared by drinkers and non drinkers alike is that excessive and chronic consumption of alcohol is a disorder.

Like any other chronic disorder, it  develops insidiously but follows a predictable course. The first or pre-alcoholic symptomatic phase begins with the use of alcohol to relieve tensions. The second (or prodromal) phase is marked by a range of behaviours including preoccupation with alcohol, surreptitious drinking and loss of memory (Hock et al., 1992). In the third (or crucial) phase, the individual loses control over his drinking. This loss of control is the beginning of the disease process of addiction. The individual starts drinking early in the morning and stays up drinking till late in the night. Impairment in biochemical
activities becomes manifest as the organs of the alcoholic begin to deteriorate. Other medical problems develop by the time the alcoholic gets into the final (chronic phase). Prolonged intoxications become the rule. Alcoholic psychosis develops, thinking is impaired, and fear and tremors become persistent (Klemin and Sherry, 1981).

A previously responsible individual may be transformed into an inebriate – stereotype alcoholic. Fear-instilling but thought- provoking terms such as the “coming epidemic”, a “miserable trap”, have been used to show concern for the potential hazard of widespread alcoholism. In its 1978 revision of the international classification of diseases, the World Health Organization defined alcoholism as “a state, psychic and usually also physical, resulting from taking alcohol, characterised by behavioural and other responses that always include a compulsion to take alcohol on a continuous or periodic basis in order
to experience its psychic effects and sometimes to avoid the discomfort of its absence; tolerance may or may not be present. This definition emphasized the compulsive nature of drinking, the psychological and physical effects, and dependence (“discomfort of its absence”) (WHO, 1978). The kidney and liver could be particularly vulnerable to the chemical assault resulting from alcohol abuse because they receive high percentage of the total cardiac output. Also, the liver is pivotal in intermediary metabolism; so ingested alcohol must come in contact with the liver and kidney. Alcohol could produce many of its damaging effects by the formation of dangerous, highly reactive intermediates such as acetaldehyde which may lead to glutathione depletion, free radical generation, oxidative stress and cell dysfunction.

Alcohol dehydrogenase in the presence of a hydrogen acceptor nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) oxidizes ethanol to acetaldehyde. This is the initial
obligatory biochemical event in alcohol induced hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic effects. Thus, it is important to find out in quantitative terms the effects of different types of alcohol drinks on some principal biochemical parameters of diagnostic utility.

1.1 Alcohol

1.1.1 Chemistry of Alcohol

The term ‘alcohol’ refers to a class of compounds that are hydroxy (-OH) derivatives of aliphatic hydrocarbons. There are many common alcohols – methanol or wood alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, the antifreeze diethylene glycol, and glycerine. In this study however, when the term alcohol is used without additional qualification, ethyl alcohol, a liquid also known as ethanol, is referred to. Alcohol can be considered as being derived from the corresponding alkanes by replacing the hydrogen atoms with hydroxyl groups. The hydroxyl group is the functional group of alcohols as it is responsible for their characteristic chemical properties. Monohydric alcohols contain only one hydroxyl group in each molecule. Monohydric alcohols form a homologues
series with the general molecular formular CnH2n+1OH. All alcoholic beverages arise from the process of fermentation. Indeed, ethanol, the alcohol in beverages, is the quantitative end product of yeast glycolysis. In the presence of water, yeasts are able to convert the sugar (glucose) of plants into
alcohol, as depicted by the following chemical reaction: C6H12O6 2C2H5OH + 2CO2 Glucose lAcohol Carbon dioxide

A wide variety of plants have proved to be useful substrates for the action of yeast, and this is reflected by the different types of beverages used throughout the world.

EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON SOME BIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS OF ALCOHOLICS IN NSUKKA, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

 

1.1.2 Alcohol Production

1.1.2.1 Beer Production

Beer is generally considered to be of two types, the ale types, brewed with Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the lager type, brewed with Saccharomyces
carlsbergensis. The main ingredients of beer are malted barley, the source of fermentable carbohydrates, proteins, polypeptides, minerals, and hops the primary purpose of which is to impart bitterness and the hop characteristic, but which also have anti-microbial properties, yeast and water. The basic processes for the brewing of beer include:

(a) Malting

Malting involves the mobilization and development of the enzymes formed during germination of the barley grain. The grain is permitted to germinate under
controlled conditions of moisture and temperature, the starch/enzyme balance then being fixed by kilning at drying temperatures as high as 104oC

(b) Mashing

During mashing, ground malt is mixed (mashed) with hot water. This serves both to extract existing soluble compounds from the malt and to reactivate malt
enzymes which complete the breakdown of starch and proteins.

(c) Wort boiling

+ Yeast Wort is drained from the mash tun into a copper and boiled to inactivate malt enzymes. In traditional brewing, hops are added at this stage, the humulones (-acids) being extracted and chemically isomerized. The resulting iso-humulones have a greater solubility and contribute the characteristic bitter flavour to beer, while the ‘hop character’ is derived from essential oils. In recent years, there has been a tendency to replace hop cones with various types of hop pellets, powders or extracts including pre-isomerized hop products which may be added after fermentation. Boiling serves two other functions: reducing the potential for microbiological problems by effectively sterilizing the wort and coagulation of proteins followed by their removal as ‘trub’. Inadequate coagulation may adversely affect the subsequent fermentation due to interference with yeast:substrate exchange processes (membrane blocking) and
lead to poor quality beer.

(d) Fermentation

Fermentations are considered to be of two distinct types: the top fermentation used in production of ales, in which CO2 carries flocculated Sacch. cerevisiae to the surface of the fermenting vessel, and the bottom fermentation used in production of lagers, in which Sacch. carlsbergensis sediments to the bottom of the vessel. Differentiation on the basis of the behaviour of the yeast is, however, becoming less distinct with the increasing use of cylindro-conical fermenters and centrifuges. (e) Maturation (Conditioning; Secondary fermentation) Maturation may be considered to include all transformations between the end of primary fermentation and the final filtration of the beer. These include carbonation by fermentation of residual sugars, removal of excess yeast, adsorption of various non-volatiles onto the surface of the yeast and progressive change in aroma and flavour. During maturation, priming sugar may be added or amyloglucosidase used to hydrolyse dextrins.

 

1.1.2.2 The Production of Palm Wine

There are two main sources of palmwine namely: raphia palm particularly Raphia vinifera and Raphia hookeri; and the oil palm: Elaeis guineensis. Palmwine is an alcoholic beverage produced from the fermenting palm sap. The part tapped is the male inflorescence of a standing oil palm tree. The fermentable sugars present in palm wine are glucose, sucrose, fructose, maltose, and raffinose. The yeast species – Saccharomyces spp are responsible mainly for the conversion of the sugars in palm sap into alcohol as well as oxidative fermentation of alcohol to acetic acid. In the fermentation of natural palm wine, lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus plantarium, Leuconostoc mentseriodes and Pediococcus cerevisiae are also involved. All of them utilize meyerhof parnas pathway which results in the formation of alcohol as well as organic acids. The leuconostoc mesenteriode is a hetero-fermenter and ferments sugar to produce acetic acid., lactic acid, ethanol and carbondioxide.

Lactobacillus plantarium is a homofermenter and ferments sugars to produce mainly lactic acid and small amount of alcohol and carbondioxide. Pediococcus cerevisiae is also a homo fermenter and produces the same metabolites as Lactobacillus plantarium. Thus, the bacterial flora of palm wine contribute significantly to the fermentation of sugars to alcohol and the alcoholic constituent of palm wine varies with the species of palm tree from which the wine was tapped.

 

EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON SOME BIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS OF ALCOHOLICS IN NSUKKA, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON SOME BIOCHEMICALPARAMETERS OF ALCOHOLICS IN NSUKKA, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

 

ABSTRACT

This work was aimed at finding the effects of alcohol on some biochemical parameters. A total of one hundred and eighty (180) apparently healthy, nonhypertensive
male alcoholics were used for the study. Forty (40) non-consumers of alcohol were used as control. The activity of alanine aminotransferase
(ALT) in the control was 10.50±2.00 IU/L while it was 16.50±1.50 IU/L; 17.50±2.00 IU/L and 18.31±2.00 IU/L in alcoholics who showed preference for
palmwine, beer and distilled spirit respectively. Also, the activity of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in the control was 9.51±0.35 IU/L while it was
18.44±0.40 IU/L, 19.21±0.19 IU/L, 20.32±0.64 IU/L in alcoholics who showed preference for palmwine, beer and distilled spirit respectively. The ALT
and AST activities of alcoholic subjects who showed preference for distilled spirit was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those who showed preference
for palmwine and beer. The activities of alcoholics who showed preference for palmwine was the lowest.

Furthermore, the serum total bilirubin concentration of the alcoholics was significantly higher (p < 0.05) compared with the control. The serum total bilirubin concentrations were 18.65±2.10 μmol/l, 19.40±1.50 μmol/l and 22.75±1.60 μmol/l for alcoholics who showed preference for palmwine, beer and distilled spirit respectively. The serum total bilirubin of the control was 8.30 ± 2.00 μmol/l. The alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of the alcoholic subjects was significantly higher (p<0.05) compared with the control. The ALP activity of the control was 61.50 ± 30.00 IU/L while the ALP activity was 174.20±2.50 IU/L, 175.10±1.50 IU/L and 177.40±1.00 IU/L in the three categories of alcoholics who showed preference for palmwine, beer and distilled spirit respectively. Moreover, the urine total protein concentration of the alcoholics was significantly higher (p<0.05) compared with the control. Alcoholics who showed preference for distilled spirit had urine total protein of 153.96±0.43 mg/dl followed by alcoholics who showed preference for beer and palmwine who had urine total protein of 152.74±0.42 mg/dl and 151.34±0.60 mg/dl respectively.

The urine total protein of the control was 56.40±0.40 mg/dl. Furthermore, the urine specific gravity, serum urea and creatinine of the alcoholics were significantly higher (p < 0.05) compared with the control. However, the plasma sodium, potassium and creatinine clearance of the alcoholics were significantly lower (p < 0.05) compared with the control. The body mass index (BMI) of the three groups of alcoholics fell within the range of 18.50 to 24.90. The blood pressure of both the alcoholic and control subjects were normal (below 140/90 mmHg). This work therefore shows that chronic alcohol use could induce both hepatic and renal dysfunctions in the alcoholics which manifested in form of adverse variations in some biochemical parameters of prognostic and diagnostic utility.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Generally, alcohol designates a class of compounds that are hydroxyl derivatives of aliphatic hydrocarbons. However, in this study, the term alcohol used without additional qualifications refers specifically to ethanol. A variety of alcoholic beverages have been consumed by man in the continuing search for euphoria producing stimuli. Among some people, alcohol enjoys a high status as a social lubricant that relieves tension, gives self confidence to the inadequate, blurs the appreciation of uncomfortable realities and serves as an escape from environmental and emotional stress. Alcohol has been loved and hated at different times by different people. Alcohol has been celebrated as healthful especially to the heart (red wine) and most pleasant to the taste buds; and then dismissed as “demon’s rum” and “devil in solution” depending on the prevalent view.
In spite of the apparent divergent and sometimes conflicting opinions about alcohol, the consensus shared by drinkers and non drinkers alike is that
excessive and chronic consumption of alcohol is a disorder. Like any other chronic disorder, it develops insidiously but follows a predictable course. The
first or pre-alcoholic symptomatic phase begins with the use of alcohol to relieve tensions. The second (or prodromal) phase is marked by a range of
behaviours including preoccupation with alcohol, surreptitious drinking and loss of memory (Hock et al., 1992). In the third (or crucial) phase, the
individual loses control over his drinking. This loss of control is the beginning of the disease process of addiction. The individual starts drinking early in
the morning and stays up drinking till late in the night. Impairment in biochemical activities becomes manifest as the organs of the alcoholic begin to
deteriorate. Other medical problems develop by the time the alcoholic gets into the final (chronic phase). Prolonged intoxications become the rule.
Alcoholic psychosis develops, thinking is impaired, and fear and tremors become persistent (Klemin and Sherry, 1981). A previously responsible
individual may be transformed into an inebriate – stereotype alcoholic.
Fear-instilling but thought- provoking terms such as the “coming epidemic”, a “miserable trap”, have been used to show concern for the potential
hazard of widespread alcoholism. In its 1978 revision of the international classification of diseases, the World Health Organization defined alcoholism as “a state, psychic and usually also physical, resulting from taking alcohol, characterised by behavioural and other responses that always include a compulsion to take alcohol on a continuous or periodic basis in order to experience its psychic effects and sometimes to avoid the discomfort of its absence; tolerance may or may not be present. This definition emphasized the compulsive nature of drinking, the psychological and physical effects, and dependence (“discomfort of its absence”) (WHO, 1978).
The kidney and liver could be particularly vulnerable to the chemical assault resulting from alcohol abuse because they receive high percentage of
the total cardiac output. Also, the liver is pivotal in intermediary metabolism; so ingested alcohol must come in contact with the liver and kidney. Alcohol
could produce many of its damaging effects by the formation of dangerous, highly reactive intermediates such as acetaldehyde which may lead to
glutathione depletion, free radical generation, oxidative stress and cell dysfunction.
Alcohol dehydrogenase in the presence of a hydrogen acceptor nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) oxidizes ethanol to acetaldehyde. This is
the initial obligatory biochemical event in alcohol induced hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic effects. Thus, it is important to find out in quantitative terms the
effects of different types of alcohol drinks on some principal biochemical parameters of diagnostic utility.

 

EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON SOME BIOCHEMICALPARAMETERS OF ALCOHOLICS IN NSUKKA, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

 

1.1 Alcohol

1.1.1 Chemistry of Alcohol

The term ‘alcohol’ refers to a class of compounds that are hydroxy (-OH) derivatives of aliphatic hydrocarbons. There are many common alcohols – methanol or wood alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, the antifreeze diethylene glycol, and glycerine. In this study however, when the term alcohol is used without additional qualification, ethyl alcohol, a liquid also known as ethanol, is referred to. Alcohol can be considered as being derived from the corresponding alkanes by replacing the hydrogen atoms with hydroxyl groups. The hydroxyl group is the functional group of alcohols as it is responsible for their characteristic chemical properties. Monohydric alcohols contain only one hydroxyl group in each molecule. Monohydric alcohols form a homologues series with the general molecular formular CnH2n+1OH.
All alcoholic beverages arise from the process of fermentation. Indeed, ethanol, the alcohol in beverages, is the quantitative end product of yeast
glycolysis. In the presence of water, yeasts are able to convert the sugar (glucose) of plants into alcohol, as depicted by the following chemical reaction:
C6H12O6 2C2H5OH + 2CO2

Glucose lAcohol Carbon dioxide

A wide variety of plants have proved to be useful substrates for the action of yeast, and this is reflected by the different types of beverages used
throughout the world.

1.1.2 Alcohol Production

1.1.2.1 Beer Production

Beer is generally considered to be of two types, the ale types, brewed with Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the lager type, brewed with Saccharomyces carlsbergensis. The main ingredients of beer are malted barley, the source of fermentable carbohydrates, proteins, polypeptides, minerals,
and hops the primary purpose of which is to impart bitterness and the hop characteristic, but which also have anti-microbial properties, yeast and water.
The basic processes for the brewing of beer include:

(a) Malting
Malting involves the mobilization and development of the enzymes formed during germination of the barley grain. The grain is permitted to germinate under controlled conditions of moisture and temperature, the starch/enzyme balance then being fixed by kilning at drying temperatures as high
as 104oC
(b) Mashing
During mashing, ground malt is mixed (mashed) with hot water. This serves both to extract existing soluble compounds from the malt and to reactivate malt enzymes which complete the breakdown of starch and proteins.
(c) Wort boiling

Wort is drained from the mash tun into a copper and boiled to inactivate malt enzymes. In traditional brewing, hops are added at this stage, the
humulones (α-acids) being extracted and chemically isomerized. The resulting iso-humulones have a greater solubility and contribute the characteristic
bitter flavour to beer, while the ‘hop character’ is derived from essential oils. In recent years, there has been a tendency to replace hop cones with various
types of hop pellets, powders or extracts including pre-isomerized hop products which may be added after fermentation. Boiling serves two other
functions: reducing the potential for microbiological problems by effectively sterilizing the wort and coagulation of proteins followed by their removal as
‘trub’. Inadequate coagulation may adversely affect the subsequent fermentation due to interference with yeast:substrate exchange processes (membrane
blocking) and lead to poor quality beer.

(d) Fermentation

Fermentations are considered to be of two distinct types: the top fermentation used in production of ales, in which CO2 carries flocculated Sacch.
cerevisiae to the surface of the fermenting vessel, and the bottom fermentation used in production of lagers, in which Sacch. carlsbergensis sediments to
the bottom of the vessel. Differentiation on the basis of the behaviour of the yeast is, however, becoming less distinct with the increasing use of cylindroconical
fermenters and centrifuges.

(e) Maturation (Conditioning; Secondary fermentation)

Maturation may be considered to include all transformations between the end of primary fermentation and the final filtration of the beer. These
include carbonation by fermentation of residual sugars, removal of excess yeast, adsorption of various non-volatiles onto the surface of the yeast and
progressive change in aroma and flavour. During maturation, priming sugar may be added or amyloglucosidase used to hydrolyse dextrins.

1.1.2.2 The Production of Palm Wine

There are two main sources of palmwine namely: raphia palm particularly Raphia vinifera and Raphia hookeri; and the oil palm: Elaeis guineensis.
Palmwine is an alcoholic beverage produced from the fermenting palm sap. The part tapped is the male inflorescence of a standing oil palm tree. The

fermentable sugars present in palm wine are glucose, sucrose, fructose, maltose, and raffinose. The yeast species – Saccharomyces spp are responsible
mainly for the conversion of the sugars in palm sap into alcohol as well as oxidative fermentation of alcohol to acetic acid. In the fermentation of natural palm wine, lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus plantarium, Leuconostoc mentseriodes and Pediococcus cerevisiae are also involved. All of them utilize meyerhof parnas pathway which results in the formation of alcohol as well as organic acids. The leuconostoc mesenteriode is a hetero-fermenter and ferments sugar to produce acetic acid., lactic acid, ethanol and carbondioxide. Lactobacillus plantarium is a homofermenter and ferments sugars to produce mainly lactic acid and small amount of alcohol and carbondioxide. Pediococcus cerevisiae is also a homo fermenter and produces the same metabolites as Lactobacillus plantarium. Thus, the bacterial flora of palm wine contribute significantly to the fermentation of sugars to alcohol and the alcoholic constituent of palm wine varies with the species of palm tree from which the wine was tapped.

1.1.2.3 Production of Distilled Spirit

Nature alone cannot produce spirits or hard liquor by the simple process of fermentation. Yeast will continue to carry out fermentation until the
alcoholic content becomes high. The process of distillation then helps to produce beverages with higher concentration of alcohol in form of distilled spirit.

1.1.3 Absorption, Distribution and Metabolism of Alcohol

After its ingestion, alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream from the stomach and small intestines. The rate of alcohol absorption can be
delayed by the presence of food or milk in the stomach. It is a common observation that when several drinks are taken on an empty stomach, a far more
rapid and profound effect is observed than when an equivalent amount of alcohol is taken when there is food in the stomach.

 

1.1.3.2 Distribution

Alcohol gains access to all the tissues and fluids of the body. The concentrations of alcohol in the brain rapidly approach those levels in the blood
because of the very rich blood supply to the brain and other organs such as the liver and the kidney. This is of obvious significance, because alcoholinduced
dysfunctions in several organs depend on the concentration and duration of exposure of the organs to alcohol.
1.1.3.3 Alcohol Metabolism
Two major pathways of alcohol metabolism have been identified namely alcohol dehydrogenase pathway and microsomal ethanol oxidizing system
(MEOS).

1.1.3.3.1 Alcohol Dehydrogenase Pathway

The primary pathway for alcohol metabolism involves alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), a cytosolic enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of alcohol
to acetaldehyde. This enzyme is located mainly in the liver but small amounts are found in other organs such as the brain and stomach.
During conversion of ethanol by ADH to acetaldehyde, hydrogen ion is transferred from alcohol to the cofactor nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide
(NAD+) to form NADH. As a net result, alcohol oxidation generates an excess of reducing equivalents in the liver, chiefly as NADH. The excess NADH
production appears to contribute to the metabolic disorders that accompany chronic alcoholism and to both the lactic acidosis and hypoglycaemia that
frequently accompany alcohol poisoning.

1.1.3.3.2 Microsomal Ethanol Oxidizing System (MEOS)

This enzyme system, also known as the mixed function oxidase system, uses NADPH as a cofactor in the metabolism of ethanol and consists
primarily of cytochrome P450 2E1, 4A2, and 3A4. At blood concentrations below 100mg/dl (22 mmol/l), the MEOS system, which has a relatively high
Km for alcohol, contributes little to the metabolism of ethanol. However when large amounts of ethanol are consumed, the alcohol dehydrogenase system
becomes saturated owing to depletion of the required cofactor, NAD+. As the concentration of ethanol increases above 100mg/dl, there is increased
contribution from the MEO system, which does not rely on NAD+ as a cofactor.

During chronic alcohol consumption MEOS activity is induced. As a result, chronic alcohol consumption results in significant increases not only in
ethanol metabolism but also in the clearance of other drugs eliminated by the cytochrome P450s that constitute the MEOS system, and in the generation of
the toxic by-products of cytochrome P450 reactions (toxins, free radicals H2O2). Metabolism occurs mainly via the zinc–containing enzyme alcohol
dehydrogenase (ADH). Other enzyme systems, such as the microsomal ethanol oxidizing system (MEOS) or catalase system are capable of metabolising
alcohol.
Oxidation of alcohol by ADH involves the transfer of hydrogen via nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which is converted to nicotinamide
adenine dinucleotide reduced (NADH). The result of this oxidation is the metabolite acetaldehyde. The subsequent oxidation of acetaldehyde by aldehyde
dehydrogenase also involves the reduction of NAD. Acetaldehyde is metabolized to acetate and this is transformed in to acetyl coenzyme A, which is then
oxidized by the citric acid cycle to carbon dioxide and water. The rate limiting step in this metabolic process is the oxidation of alcohol to acetaldehyde
since acetaldehyde is metabolized faster than it is formed.

1.1.4 Patterns of Alcohol Use and Abuse

Patterns of alcohol consumption may range from its occasional use to relieve emotional stress, to periodic “spree” drinking, to extreme cases where
the alcoholic has little or no control over the amount of alcohol consumed. Chronic and excessive consumption of alcohol is a health and psycho-social
disorder characterized by obsessive pre-occupation with alcohol and loss of control over alcohol consumption such as to lead continuously to intoxication
(Johansson et al., 2003). Chronic abuse of alcohol is typically associated with physical disability, social maladjustments, emotional and occupational
impairments.
The hallmarks of excessive and chronic alcohol abuse are:
1. Psychological dependence
2. Physical dependence
3. Tolerance (Martin et al., 2008).

1.1.4.1 Psychological Dependence

Psychological dependence is typically characterized by intense and uncontrollable craving for alcohol. The alcoholics’ desire for alcohol is intense,
obsessive and overwhelming. The alcoholics are deeply concerned about how daily activities interfere with drinking than how drinking negatively militate
against the performance of daily activities. Family, relationships, friends, profession and business are relegated to subordinate roles with full joy. Alcohol
consumption becomes the driving and motivating force (Johansson et al., 2003).

1.1.4.2 Physical Dependence

Excessive and chronic consumption of alcohol produces unequivocal physical dependence, with the intensity of the syndrome associated with
withdrawal directly proportional to the level of intoxication and its duration. Excessive consumption of alcohol on chronic basis directly or indirectly
adversely modifies the physical and mental health of the abuser. Intermediate levels of alcohol consumption produce withdrawal symptoms typified by
tremors or “shakes”, anxiety, sleeplessness and gastrointestinal upset.
Delirium tremens is one of the potentially risky withdrawal symptoms experienced by chronic abusers, when physical dependence has set in.
Alcoholics that have delirium tremens suffer from restlessness, tremors, weakness, nausea and anxiety few hours after the last drink. Generally, these
effects experienced by alcoholics on momentary withdrawal from alcohol serve as an impetus driving them to initiate another drinking bout in order to feel
‘normal’ again; thus, potentiating the physical dependence. The tremors could be so severe that the alcoholic on resuming drinking finds it difficult to
successfully navigate beer bottle or cup to his mouth yet he craves for more alcohol.
In the early stages of this withdrawing syndrome after the onset of physical dependence, the alcoholic is hyperactive and is a victim of auditory and
visual hallucinations. The alcoholics could be heard shouting that cockroaches are crawling upon them; they see red lions and they may seriously believe
that they are being attacked by dangerous animals or people. They are completely disoriented. Progressively, the alcoholic becomes weaker, agitated and confused. These syndromes coupled with exhaustion and fever are called ‘tremulusdelirium’. In physical dependence the intensity of the syndromes associated with withdrawal as typified by tremulus delirium is related to the duration andlevel of alcohol abuse. Physical dependence could develop from ethanol induced alterations in membrane components and functions (Cargiulo, 2007).

Alcoholics usually exhibit increased resistance to the intoxicating effects of alcohol and are often sober at blood alcohol concentrations that could
be deadly in naïve occasional drinkers. Indeed, chronic alcohol abusers can readily ingest quantities of alcohol that would severely intoxicate the
occasional drinker (Chiaochicy and Shijium, 2008).
Ethanol can cross the blood- brain barrier and enter the brain quickly. Blood alcohol level is almost always directly proportional to the
concentration of alcohol in brain tissue (Oscarberman and Marinkovit, 2003). However, despite increasing levels of alcohol in the blood, alcoholics usually
exhibit decreasing response to the intoxicating effect of alcohol.
This phenomenon known as tolerance could be explained in part by these mechanisms: first, tolerance could develop consequent upon alterations in
the absorption rate, distribution, metabolism and elimination of alcohol from the body (Rottenburg, 1986). The resultant effect of these alterations is a
reduction in the duration and intensity of alcohol’s effects on the body tissues most remarkably the brain.
The second mechanism involves alterations in the properties or function of tissues rendering them less vulnerable to effects of alcohol (Wilson et
al., 1984). Tolerance to alcohol could develop as a result of adaptive alterations in the central nervous system. Alcohol changes many specific membrane
dependent processes such as Na+, K+ ATPase and adenylyl cyclase process in the cell precipitating ethanol-induced alterations in neural functions. It has
been observed that after chronic exposure to alcohol, cellular membranes often develop resistance to the fluidizing effect of alcohol (Goldstein, 1986).
Ethanol-induced alterations also occur in membrane components and functions such as alterations in membrane lipids, receptors, phosphatidylinositol,
GTP binding proteins, second messengers and neuro-modulator (Reynolds et al., 1990). Alterations in ion channels and transporters are also some of the
ethanol induced changes in human cell membranes related to tolerance (Chastain, 2006). Putting these observations in a functional perspective, it is salient
to point out the fact that these adaptive changes in membrane components are exquisite phenotypic markers for genetic predisposition to alcoholism and its attendant problems (Das et al., 2008).

 

1.1.5 Aetiology/Causes of Alcohol Abuse

1.1.5.1 Biochemical basis

(a) Monoaminergic System
The enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO) is the major degradative enzyme for both catecholamines and indoleamines. It has been shown that
reduced platelet monoamine oxidase concentrations are closely associated with a remarkable predisposition to alcoholism (Patsenka, 2004) and psychiatric
vulnerability. It has also been proposed that a weak monoaminergic system causes predisposition to alcohol abuse (Raddtz and Parini, 1995).
Available evidence is becoming overwhelming in support of the view that sub class of alcoholics exists where genetic considerations are of
etiological significance. These imposing factors appear to be reflected in low platelet monoamine oxidase (MAO). Low concentrations of platelet
monoamine oxidase reflect a disturbance in the serotoninergic system (Chastain, 2006). Thus, the biochemical basis of alcoholism seems to involve
combined aberrations in some transmitter system. In essence, these aberrations have far reaching effects which are reflected in neuro-physiological,
psychosocial and personality abnormalities.
(b) Tetrahydroisoquinolines
Biologically active chemicals called tetrahydroisoquinolines are formed during alcohol metabolism (Antkiewez et al., 2000). Catecholamines could
also condense with aldehydes via a Pictet-Spengler reaction to form 1,4-Disubstituted tetrahydroisoquinoline (Raddatz and Parini, 1995).
Tetrahydroisoquinoline such as tetrahydropapaveroline changes drinking behaviour from alcohol rejection to alcohol acceptance (Nappi and Vass, 1999).
The Picket-Spengler reaction provides a useful route for the synthesis of tefrahydrolsoquinoline (TIQ). Many tetrahydroisoquinoline are formed from
dopamine and carbonyl compounds (phenylpyruvic acids, aldehydes and ketones) two catecholamine norepinephrine or epinephrines could also react
resulting in the formation of diastereomeric TIQ as shown below

 

EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON SOME BIOCHEMICALPARAMETERS OF ALCOHOLICS IN NSUKKA, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

 

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KNOWLEDGE AND USE OF CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT AMONG TEACHERS’ IN BASIC SCHOOLS ON NURSING IN SOUTHEAST ZONE, NIGERIA

 

ABSTRACT

The assessment of learning outcome provides objective evidence necessary in the decision –making process in educational system. This study  investigated the knowledge and use of continuous assessment among teachers in basic schools of Nursing in South East zone of Nigeria. Descriptive survey was adopted for the study. Four objectives and five hypotheses guided the study. The subjects studied were all the 194 teachers in the basic schools of Nursing who gave their informed consent.

A face and content validated structured questionnaire in point likert scale format with a reliability of 0.96 was used for data collection. Data were analysed descriptively using frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation. Major findings revealed that  majority of the teachers have knowledge of Continuous Assessment (means score = 3.0), most teachers do not use various continuous assessment techniques in carrying out continuous assessment (means score = 2.3), continuous assessment data is not adequately used in decision making in most schools (mean score = 2.4), there is a significant positive relationship between knowledge and practice of continuous assessment (P < 0.05), and there is a significant difference in the practice of continuous assessment between teachers with diploma and teachers with university degree (P < 0.05). Furthermore, there is no significant difference in the practice of continuous assessment between male and female teachers (p > 0.05), there is a significant difference in the practice of continuous  assessment as regards years of work experience (p < 0.05) but there is no significant difference in the use of continuous assessment as regards years of work experience (p > 0.05). Based on the findings above, the researcher recommended among other things that more emphasis be placed on the knowledge of the teachers on the use of continuous assessment.

The main limitation of the study is great dearth of knowledge and literature in this area. Suggestions for further research were also highlighted.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Academic assessment is vital in teaching and learning process and it provides the necessary feedback required in order to evaluate effectively the outcome of educational efforts and objectives. The assessment of learning outcomes provides objective evidences necessary in the decisionmaking process in education. As correctly pointed out in Bassavanthappa (2009), good measurement resulting in accurate data is the foundation of sound decision making. There is little doubt among educational practitioners about the special value of educational assessment as a basic condition for effective learning and decision making. In the classroom, assessment aims at determining the extent of students’ mastery or competence over a body of knowledge and skills in a subject (Airasian, 2006).

Assessment can be defined as the process of gathering data and fashioning them into interpretable form for decision – making. It involves collecting data with a view to making value judgement about the quality of a person, object, group or event. (Ajuonuma, 2007). Educational assessment may generally be used for formative or summative purposes. Formative assessment (continuous assessment) is designed to help the teacher make effective teaching and learning decisions throughout the period of teaching. It provides continuous information or feedback to the teacher as well as to the student about their relative performance in teaching and learning. The information is then used for improving the quality of instruction (Clarance, 2009). The summative type of
assessment involves an overall assessment of learning outcomes for certification, placement, promotion or decision concerning the worth of an educational programme.

The concept of continuous assessment is not new in education in developed countries where continuous assessment is in-built into the teaching and learning as posited by Izard (2007). Moreover, previous studies on the subject have revealed that in the international scenarios, formative assessment had already been practised in schools including Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland and Scotland (Adebowale & Alao, 2008).  The continuous assessment grading system requires the assessment of the change in behaviors, in terms of cognitive, effective and psycho-motor domains. The students are evaluated from one stage to the other through tests, assignments, projects and other school activities. At the end of the term or year these tests are used for determining the performance or achievement of the students in a particular course of study or subject. Race (2007) equally stressed that continuous assessment is more useful to the students, since it provides them with on-going feedback on their performance, helps them to become more selfcritical, and encourages them to attempt to master material as they actually work through a course or course unit rather than leaving the real learning process to the very end.

It is also much fairer, in that it allows students to demonstrate their ability and development on an on-going basis, so that the student who works steadily and consistently well but is not very good at sitting for examinations is not placed at a disadvantage compared with the lazy student who does the minimum amount of work needed to pass such examinations, or the student who is skillful at the “examination game” but otherwise not particularly competent.
However, for several years, the educational systems of many African nations were dominated by the one-short summative type of assessment, (Alausa, 2005). The examination system, up to the time of the introduction of continuous assessment was also based purely on the single summative assessment (Fafunwa, 2004). Students, teachers, parents and even textbooks were focused more on the single examination. Students were coached to pass
examinations so as to move up the education ladder. It was to counter the problems of the single summative examination that suggestions for a broader approach to assessment, which would be flexible and also provide valid and reliable results, were made.

According to Ball (2004), an understanding of intentions embedded in policy is a factor for its effective implementation. The extent to which teachers  assess and deal with strength and weaknesses manifested by learners when responding to assessment tasks reveal their understanding of what continuous assessment is all about. Reineke (2007) asserts that the aim of continuous assessment is no longer to improve test scores, but to find ways in which assessment impacts on the way teaching occured and learners learnt, so as to contribute to improvement in the education system. According to Cochran-Smith (2004), this cannot happen without teachers’ knowledge of continuous assessment. It is when people know about innovation they are to adopt that they are motivated to embrace its practices. Through the National Policy on Education (NPE), the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN, 2004)
stated that educational assessment at all levels of education would be liberalized by basing them in whole or part on continuous assessment.

This recommendation was based on some deficiencies identified in the nation’s way of assessing students. The traditional system of assessment
concentrated only on the cognitive domain, with little or no attempt made to assess the affective and psychomotor domains. This system encourages students to study only during the period of examination. This is done by the memorization of facts, which are forgotten after the examination (FGN, 2004 and Obe, 2005). It was based on these reasons and more that the committee set for National Policy on Education in 1971, recommended the use of continuous assessment in NigeriaEducational System. In pursuance of this policy statement, National University Commission (NUC) allotted 30% and 70% of the total score of the university students to continuous assessment and end of semester examination respectively. The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria also approved the practice of Continuous Assessment as one of the general method of evaluation of student nurses (Okafor and Iweze, 2012). The continuous assessment shall constitute 30% of the total marks obtained by the student during the programme while the final examination shall constitute 70%.

Comments have been made on continuous assessment since its introduction in Nigerian schools in 1977, (Adebowale & Alao, 2008). Ekwuonye and Ezeoke (2005), observed that problems exist in the practice of continuous assessment in all subject areas in Nigeria. Ekwonye (2005) specifically mentioned that teachers do not possess the required competencies for implementation of continuous assessment. Obe (2005), concurred that teachers’ general lack of skill in objective test construction and incompetencies in observational techniques for assessing behaviour contributes to the poor practice of continuous assessment in Nigerian schools. Kanno (2006), reported that teachers focused their greatest attention on measuring cognitive attainment rather than effective and psychomotor behaviours.  Therefore, since the overall achievement and placement of the student depends on how well teachers carry out continuous assessment, the researcher of this paper is prompted to investigate the knowledge and use of continuous assessment among teachers in basic nursing schools in southeast zone Nigeria.

 

KNOWLEDGE AND USE OF CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT AMONG TEACHERS’ IN BASIC SCHOOLS ON NURSING IN SOUTHEAST ZONE, NIGERIA

Statement of the Problem

Kanno (2006) stated that many teachers appeared to be lacking in knowledge and understanding of continuous assessment. What is practiced in many schools in Nigeria is “continuous testing” where teachers administer tests on students on a fortnightly or monthly basis. Some schools set-aside
specific days in the month for what is referred to as “continuous assessment”. Test scores are computed as Continuous assessment scores for the term or semester of school year. This approach does not differ from the old system of assessment. The mode of interpretation does not take into account other factors that may affect the students and the learning process. Some schools also give a test in the middle or toward end of a course and use the scores as continuous assessment. The researcher being a nurse educator observed that some schools of nursing visited for hospital final qualifying examinations did not have a continuous assessment records, which would have been used to rectify problems identified when evaluating some students who had academic problems, thus making decisions at that particular point difficult.

This observation prompted the researcher to examine whether teachers in schools of nursing in southeast zone know, practice and use continuous assessment data of the students and also to identify the challenges teachers encounter while doing so. Evidence from literature review shows that there is a dearth of literature on this topic in Nigeria and even abroad to the best of the researcher’s knowledge, hence the desire to carry out the study to fill
the gap in knowledge and also to provide a baseline study upon which other studies may be anchored.

KNOWLEDGE AND USE OF CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT AMONG TEACHERS’ IN BASIC SCHOOLS ON NURSING IN SOUTHEAST ZONE, NIGERIA

AVAILABILITY AND USE OF GREY LITERATURE FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN SOUTH EAST,NIGERIA

 

ABSTRACT

This study was undertaken to find out the availability and use of grey literature for scientific and technological research in university libraries in south eastern Nigeria. The design of the study was a descriptive survey. Six research questions bothering on extent of availability; use made of available grey literature; problems affecting the availability; problems affecting the use; strategies for overcoming the problems of availability; and strategies for  enhancing the use of grey literature were formulated to guide the study. The sample consisted of seven (7) university librarians and two hundred and forty (240) postgraduate researchers in science and technology drawn from seven (7) universities in south eastern Nigeria.

Data was collected using a combination of questionnaire and observation checklist. The data collected were analysed using percentages, mean and standard deviation. The findings of the study showed that grey literature was marginally available for science and technology research in the libraries; the available grey literature was used to a high extent; the availability of grey literature in the libraries was hindered by such factors as inadequate funds, and absence of library acquisition policies; while the use of grey literature for science and technology research was hindered by difficulty in finding needed materials among others. The findings had implications drawn for the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in designing appropriate policy for the capture, storage, dissemination and use of grey literature; the administrators of the university libraries in Nigeria; the users of scientific and technological literature in the libraries; as well as the staff of the university libraries. Based on these implications, some major recommendations were made.

These included the revision of the national policy on scientific and technological information to include measures on grey literature acquisition and use; allocation of adequate funds to university libraries to ensure grey literature availability and the digitization of available grey literature to enhance access to them.

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The term, grey literature, came into the professional vocabulary of librarianship about three and half decades ago. Despite this relatively long history, some librarians and information professionals are yet to be aware of its existence. Others who at all know about it appear confused over its exact meaning. (Auger,1998). This state of confusion, it seems, has given way to several varied definitions of grey literature. In some attempts to define it, authors have
often used equally obscure terms such as semi-published, non-conventional, and elusive (Schmidmaier, 1986; Keenan, 1996). Others have become rather simplistic in approach and defined it as that material which is not available through normal book selling channels (Wood, 1982; Auger, 1998). The British library (1994) also viewed it as any document, which is not a book or a journal, or any document (other than a journal), which will not stand up on the shelves on its own.

Further efforts have been made at overcoming the definitional problem of grey literature by listing the materials that fall under it. This usually included a long list of such items as technical reports, theses and dissertations conference proceedings, preprints, official publications, fact sheets, standards, patents, working papers, business documents, newsletters, symposia, bulletins. Aside from being endless, the list can be equally confusing because, according to the Science and Technology Section (STS), Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee (2003:1), “virtually everything we read outside of journals and books can be considered grey literature”. However, the list is often broken down into four component categories. The first category is made up of  publications issued by pressure groups and similar bodies with special interest. From time to time, such organizations have the need to publish quickly, their funds are limited, and there is no time for the niceties of sales or return and trade discounts. In consequence, sales are achieved by direct mail or through
specialist outlets. The second category is made up of privately published materials ranging from small volumes of poetry through carefully researched family and local histories to topical stories presented with a particular point of view.

The third category, sometimes referred to as alternative literature, consists of materials on topics or perspectives unknown or marginalized in the mainstream of publishing and usually absent from library collections. The fourth category, often called ephemera, consists of materials that carry verbal messages and are produced by printing or illustrative processes but not in a standard book, periodical or pamphlet formats. Most items of ephemera are produced for short-term purposes, e.g. bus tickets, timetables, and posters. What appears to be an international consensus at defining grey literature emerged at the third International Conference on Grey Literature held in Luxembourg in 1997. The conference defined grey literature as that (information resource) which is produced by government, academics, business and industries, both in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishing interests and where publishing is not the primary activity of the organization. (Aina, 2000: 25).

Debachere (1995:94-95) has further distinguished between two major groups of grey literature based on content. The first group consists of publications with scientific content: reports of studies, research, meetings, proceedings of conferences and seminars not published by a publishing house, and doctoral dissertations. The second group is made up of unconventional documentary material: in house publications by companies, publications by chambers of commerce and industry, associations, political parties and trade unions, non-administrative statistics; economic letters and correspondence, plans and expertise for development, leaflets, tracts, etc For the purpose of this study, grey literature is taken to mean the overall body of human knowledge having
scientific and technical content but are produced by organizations without commercial publishing interests and without publishing as their primary activity. This includes technical reports, theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, patents newsletters and fact sheets.

There are many and varied reasons why authors do not use commercial circuits in publishing. Sometimes, as the urgency of the demand for the content requires, authors are deterred by the times taken between the writing of an article and its appearance in a periodical or for a book. At other times, authors think that their report is targeted to a narrow group of specialists and hence may be too long or too short to be treated as a commercial publication. Another important reason is derived from the need to publish inexpensively by utilizing the in-house automation faculties. In spite of these benefits, grey literature appears to receive lackluster treatment by librarians and information professionals. The major reasons for this are apparent difficulties in identifying, procuring and processing it. Generally, due to its diverse origins and unconventionally published nature, grey literature can be difficult to find.

It is often found by searching for the agency or institution that is most likely to produce the literature. Such search may require looking at a large number of sources, some of whom may not have a list of what they produce in the first place. As Wood (1982:278) noted : As well as being the subject of haphazard or specialized distribution arrangements it also has a number of other distinguishing characteristics –small print runs, variable standards of editing and  production, poor publicity, poor bibliographic control, unacceptable format… and poor availability in libraries. Availability can be seen in four perspectives – physical, bibliographic, intellectual and online. Physical availability, which is the thrust of this work, refers to the existence of the grey literature document in a library.

This means that users have the opportunity to undertake detailed consultation of the contents. Bibliographic availability implies the presence of references made to the documents or their content without necessarily having the document itself in the library collection. Efforts at bibliographic control of grey  literature have been made in some countries. In Europe, for instance, a grey literature policy has resulted in the creation of the European Association for Grey Literature Exploitation (EAGLE).  International conferences have also been held on grey literature since 1993 and these have awakened national interest in grey literature in such countries as Sierra Leone, Sudan, Benin, Lesotho, Senegal, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Tanzania (Debachere, 1995; Muswazi, 2001).

Intellectual availability means the existence of critical or interpretative works on the host grey literature documents. Intellectual access in most cases may
satisfy the users’ information need without the extra need to see the document. Online availability on the other hand, refers to the existence of the grey literature in computer systems that are accessible through computer-to-computer interactions. In this case, the content can still be rendered physically available (by downloading) even though the documents containing them are not physically available in the library. Availability remains, perhaps, the greatest problem affecting the appreciation of the value as well as consequent use of grey literature in libraries. Even though items may be available in libraries without being accessible (due, perhaps, to poor organisation), they may not be accessible without being available in some form.

This seems to imply that the use of grey literature is dependent upon its availability in libraries. When items of information are available in libraries, use studies become strong indicators of the value attached to such materials by the users. However, this may not always be entirely true because sometimes people use what they see not because it is what they desire but because it is what is immediately available. In any case, data emanating from use studies are major ingredients of library collection development policies. Such data are, however, often difficult to generate as a result of confusion arising from how to determine what amounts to real use of library materials. To some, use is best measured by collecting data directly from the users themselves and relying solely upon their responses , whereas to others, evidence of use become more realistic when it is built up from references made by the users to what they have used.

The measurement of use by inference from citations to used items by the users has been criticized as being unreliable because people are often constrained to use what is available. With particular reference to grey literature, which suffers from availability problems, a more reliable data on use can only emanate from a direct interaction with the users themselves. The problems associated with the use of grey literature have made people, librarians and end-users alike; lose sight of its benefits. As observed by Wood (1982), it contains information likely to be of use to a considerable number of people. The advantages of grey literature over other means of information dissemination are quick access, greater flexibility and the opportunity to go into considerable detail when necessary (Auger, 1989).

As a primary source of information, grey literature is even more current than the journal because most journal articles have existed in one grey form or the other prior to publication. For instance, papers presented at conferences are often later published as articles in journals, sometimes years after they were presented. There is no doubt that grey literature is going to be far more important in the future given the development of information communication technologies that seem to enhance its access. As Weintraub (2000:3) observed, “In a world in which free trade and instantaneous communication have eliminated many of the barriers to information flow, grey literature is gaining greater importance as a source of information for much of the world’s population.” Grey literature is invaluable in all areas of science and technology, but its usefulness has been more particularly documented in agriculture (Omeje, 2003:1); geology (Bitchteler, 1991:40) and energy (Cutler, 1999: 2).

Deriving from its tendency to be original and recent, grey literature is more particularly valuable in sciences and technology. As a result of its currency, grey literature is useful in establishing the exact realms of contemporary scientific and technological knowledge thereby delineating gaps in knowledge that needed to be filled by further research. Its quick and rapid means of generation helps to obviate the rapid obsolescence of scientific and technological literature, which usually stifles research in science and technology. Bunge (2002:120) has defined science as the study of nature and natural phenomena.

The bodies of knowledge that fall within this definition are dynamic both in nature and size. One major way of classifying them is to look at the class of  objects or phenomena they deal with. Using this parameter, the following broad categories can be identified:- agricultural sciences, biological sciences, earth sciences,environmental sciences, medical sciences, physical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, and veterinary sciences. However, in institutions of higher learning, distinction is normally made between the pure and applied sciences and other sciences, thereby excluding such disciplines as library and information sciences and the social sciences. Thus, science is used in this work to refer to all the disciplines of study and research in institutions of higher learning which are concerned with the real world-the inherent properties of space, matter, energy and their interactions.

This definition is adapted from Akaneme (2001:2) and Sherwood and Maynard (2002: 185). Science generally is characterized by the possibility of making
precise statements that are susceptible to check and proof. Once proved,such statements become laws or theories that govern scientific behaviour under particular conditions. If disproved, even when previously held as law(s), such statements are rejected and replaced by new knowledge. The resultant knowledge is applied under particular conditions to address particular human issues or remedy particular human problems. It is this application of scientific knowledge in designing solutions to human problems that is referred to as technology. Sherwood and Maynard (2002:185) have defined technology as  “systematic knowledge and action, usually of industrial processes but applicable to any recurrent activity”.

The basic goal of technology is to utilize available scientific knowledge in the design of tools and procedures for dealing with man’s numerous problems.
Science and technology have been a part of human history (Awachie, 2001:26). Man has always sought proper understanding of the real world around him. Such knowledge has often been utilized in fashioning tools and techniques, no matter how crude, for dealing with the challenges of man’s environment.
Science and technology are the driving forces for much of the transformation of human society. Through the application of science and technology, the resources of nature have been transformed into goods and services for better quality of life.

Thus, in spite of the tremendous growth of world population, science and technology have been applied to agriculture to sustain the world population (Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, 1986:3). Science and technology have been responsible for human progress in such areas as communication, energy, health, leisure, transport and even war. According to Mernier (1980:91), “Scientific and technological progress opens up unprecedented opportunities for the transformation of nature, the creation of tremendous material wealth and the multiplication of the creative abilities of man.The adoption of science and technology in national life is the yardstick for measuring development or underdevelopment. Even though national development indices are primarily a function of economic status, they invariably reflect the state of scientific and technological development. Accordingly, the world is divided into two — the developed and the developing nations.

The developed world has attained technological sophistication by exploiting science and technology to create wealth, enhance standard of living, save human energy, and provide technical services. The developing nations, on the other hand, are yet to adequately utilize science and technology to exploit their natural resources and are hence largely dependent on goods and services from the developed nations. The benefits of science and technology and the adverse effects of dependence are the reasons behind the quest for scientific and technological development by all nations of the world. The quest became so intense in the 20th century that it was christened the century of science. (Bunge, 2002). Even the 21st century, which is called the ‘information
age’, derives its name from tremendous advancements in information and communications technology, a product of science and technology.

Advancements in science and technology are possible only through research. Research has been identified as the springboard for science and technology (Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, 1986:5). Best and Kahn, as cited in Aina (2002:1) defined research as “the systematic and objective analysis and recording of controlled observations that may lead to the development of generalizations, principles and theories resulting in prediction and ultimate control of many events that may be consequences or causes of specific activities”. In this work, scientific and technological research refers to a systematic and guided inquiry into nature and natural phenomena and the various possible applications of the resultant knowledge to the design of  measures for dealing with the challenges of man’s environment.

Even though research is an activity undertaken by all individuals and organizations, it is a major attribute of academic institutions. With particular reference to universities, research is pursued at three basic levels-the undergraduate; postgraduate and faculty levels. However, the postgraduate and faculty levels have stronger research components, and are therefore more research oriented than the undergraduate programme. Generally, universities institutions play a pivotal role in scientific ad technological research, particularly in Africa (Okeke, 2004:75). Through theses and dissertations submitted in partial fulfillment of the various degrees as well as other research works, universities contribute baseline data for the nation’s scientific and technical research. In view of the high rate of obsolescence of knowledge in science and technology, scientists and technologists depend largely on primary sources of information for their research.

The primary sources include the  periodicals (newspapers, magazines, journals) and grey literature. While journals were initially recognized as the traditional source of primary literature in science and technology, the difficulties in its publication have led to a shift in focus on grey literature as a reliable complement or sometimes outright alternative to journal literature. This implies that universities libraries should be in position to provide adequate quantity and quality of primary information resources and services in science and technology, especially grey literature.

 

AVAILABILITY AND USE OF GREY LITERATURE FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN SOUTH EAST,NIGERIA

 

Statement of the Problem

 

Nigeria, one of the non-industrialized or developing countries, is still grappling with efforts at scientific and technological development. It has, for instance, set up thirty-one (31) research institutes, out of which thirty (30) are science and technology-based. Various levels of science and technical research are also undertaken in thirty-one (31) universities and twenty-five polytechnics (The World of Learning, 2005:1260-1281). The World Bank (2001:311) also reports that nine (9) out of every 1 million Nigerians are scientists and technologists engaged in research and development for the period 1987-1997. For the same period, up to 42% of total tertiary students were in sciences and engineering. Furthermore, 0.09% (approximately 1%) of the nation’s GNI was spent on research and development

However these efforts at scientific and technological development are only realizable given adequate availability and use of scientific and technological literature much of which exists in grey forms. This class of literature has been seen as presenting remarkable advantages over other means of information dissemination in science and technology in terms of quick access, greater flexibility, and the opportunity to go into considerable detail when necessary. Unfortunately, it has been observed that grey literature presents some inherent problems that have in the past affected its availability, access and use in libraries. The result is that this valuable resource may be under-utilized to the detriment of science and technological research in Nigerian universities.

One major hindrance to breaking this barrier is that  not much is studied about grey literature in the country in terms of its availability in the libraries as well as use by the scientific and  technological researchers. If nothing is done in this direction, a huge portion of the nation’s scientific and technological information existing in grey literature may not be discovered and used. In addition to losing much of the local ingredients of scientific and technological research, Nigerian scientists and engineers may be excommunicated scholarly in this era of globalization where all are expected to be common producers and users of information. This will, obviously, not be in the interest of scientific and technological developments in the country. A study like this is therefore necessary to establish the status of availability and use of grey literature for science and technological research.

 

AVAILABILITY AND USE OF GREY LITERATURE FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN SOUTH EAST,NIGERIA

RESOURCE PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY OF
SMALL-SCALE GROUNDNUT FARMERS IN TARABA
STATE, NIGERIA

 

ABSTRACT

The study investigated resource productivity and efficiency of small scale groundnut farmers in Taraba State, Nigeria. The focus was on socio-economic attributes of the small scale groundnut farmers and the effects on their efficiency, determination of technical, allocative and economic efficiency of the respondents, profitability of groundnut production, and factors that influence production costs and problems of
groundnut production. A total of 270 small-scale groundnut farmers were selected in 9 local government areas of the State. Structured questionnaire and interview schedule were used as instruments for data collection.

Types of data collected were those on socio-economic characteristics, production, costs of production, yield and sales and problems of groundnut farmers within the local government areas. Data analysis was achieved by the use of descriptive and inferential statistics; Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA), Stochastic Frontier Cost Function, profit (⌅) function and gross margin analysis. The mean scores for literacy level, household size, farming experience and farm size were 9 years, 5 persons, 9 years and 1.60ha, respectively. The Maximum Likelihood Estimates (MLE) result of the stochastic frontier production function (SFPF) for groundnut farmers indicated the presence of inefficiency.

Farm size and other agrochemical were significant at 1% Level of Probability (LOP), seed was significant at 5% LOP and family labour was significant at 10% LOP. In the efficiency effects, farming experience and household size were both significant at 1% LOP; extension contact and literacy level were significant at 5% LOP. The mean Technical Efficiency (TE) was 77%. The MLE of stochastic cost function for groundnut production also indicated the presence of inefficiency.

The cost of seeds, fertilizer, family labour and ploughing were statistically significant at varying degrees of probability implying they
were important determinants of the total cost associated with the production of groundnut. Farming experience, literacy level and household size were significant and positively related to costs efficiency among the sampled farmers. The mean allocative efficiency was 0.695 (70%) indicating that the respondents were not allocatively efficient. Mean economic efficiency was 0.54 (54%) implied that, the sampled groundnut farmers were not economically efficient in the use of productive resources.

The gross margin was N47, 265.16 per hectare and return on investment was N0.29. Cost of seeds, transport, labour (family and hired) and storage significantly (P<0.01) affected profit margin. Major constraints identified included pests and diseases infestation (19.10%), lack of storage facilities (13.57%), inadequate research and extension services (10.86%), low price (10.77%), and inadequate credit facilities (9.50%). Remedial measures such as: loans and other credit facilities be given to farmers at reduced interest rate, farmers be encouraged to form cooperative groups, revitalization and prioritizing funding of

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea Linnaeus) commonly called poor man’s nut (Amiruzzanman and Shahjahan, 2003; Beghin, Diop, Matthey and Sewadah, 2003) is a member of the genus Arachis in the family leguminosae (fabacaea). Other members of this family include (cowpea), (soybean), (pigeon pea) and (melon). Groundnut originated from Latin America and the Portuguese were responsible for its introduction into West Africa from Brazil in the 16th century (Abalu & Etuk, 1986; Hamidu, Kudi & Mohammed, 2006).

The crop is now widely cultivated throughout the tropical, sub-tropical and warm temperate areas (Hamidu et al., 2006). According to Ntare, Waliyar, Ramouch, Masters & Ndejunga, (2005), the production of groundnut in Nigeria started around 1912. This was in response to the high world prices, hence, made Nigeria to be prominent among the exporter of groundnut and took the lead as the largest producer and exporter of groundnut in the sixties.

Nigeria reached a peak production of 1.6 million metric tons in 1973, but production fell by almost half of the 1973 figures in less than a decade due to a combination of two important factors (Ntare et al., 2005). First the drought of 1974/75 growing season accompanied by aphid infestation which wiped out more than 750,000 hectares of groundnut fields. Secondly, the coincidence of oil boom in Nigeria about the same time (Ntare et al., 2005).
Groundnut is grown in nearly 100 countries in the world. Major groundnut producers are China, India, Nigeria, USA, Indonesia and Sudan. Developing countries account for 96% (26 million ha) of the global groundnut area with 92% global production (Food and Agricultural Organisation [FAO], 2004). Ashley (1993) revealed that Nigeria unshelled nut is estimated about 2.6 metric tons annually. Rainfall of 500mm-1000mm with temperature range of 250C to 300C will allow for commercial productivity (Weiss, 2000; Department of Agriculture [DOA], 2008). The productivity of groundnut is higher in well drained soils with pH between 6.0 – 6.5 particularly sandy loam soil, as it is light, thus, helps for easy penetration of pegs and their development, hence, their harvesting (Gibbon & Pains, 1985; Simonds, 1976;
Yayock, 1984; Ambrose et al., 1986; Larinde, 1999).

Groundnut is indeed one of the commercial crops in Nigeria which accounted for 70 percent of the total Nigeria’s export earning between 1956 and 1967, but declined between 1968 and 1980’s (National Planning Commission/Raw Material Research Development Council) (NPC/RMRDC, 2002). Despite the availability of abundant land and human resources in Nigeria, yield per hectare from groundnut production has been declining over the years and there is a shortfall of over 90 percent of groundnut requirement by the companies involved in processing as revealed by (RMRDC, 2004). The trend could be as result of either the small-scale groundnut farmers are resource poor or are inefficient in resource (inputs) allocation and utilization, since the output of groundnut in the study area did not commiserate with total hecterages put under cultivation as can be seen in Table 1.1 (Trend in groundnut output in Taraba State, Nigeria between 2002-2012) Taraba Agricultural Development Programme (TADP, 2013).
Table 1.1: Trend in Groundnut Output in Taraba State, Nigeria (2002 – 2012)
Year Area cultivated by small holder farmers in (’000HA) Production in Mt
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
31.92
102.00
107,01
114.80
117.80
115.60
117.70
114.80
117.80
117.70
53.76
178.00
161.50
181.50
182.06
181.80
182.20
181.70
183.20
182.20
Source: Project Monitoring and Evaluation Unit. TADP Jalingo, 2013 Nigeria agriculture is dominated by the small-scale farmers who are low income earners and provide 2/3 (two-thirds) of the total food production in the country (Usman, 2006) but productivity of food crops output remained low (Nweze, 2002). As a result the rural income is lower today than it was two decades ago and agricultural exports are
almost non-existent, also production efficiency techniques have remained rudimentary for the main cropping system despite years of works on technology generation (Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development [FMARD], 2001).

This wide food deficit has been attributed to resource productivity and efficiency (Onyenwaku, 1987; Okuneye, 1988). The aftermath of this trend has always been gross inability to attain self sufficiency in food production as the sector becomes dormant and neglected (Argbokan, 2001). Ntare (2005) stated that  small-scale farmers’ access to new crop varieties has long been recognized as a critical step for increasing agricultural productivity in subsaharan Africa. He opined that, adoption of improved varieties that resist pests, diseases and drought can often vary in yield even when farmers are unable to adopt more costly inputs such as agrochemicals. Freeman et al., (1999) asserted that small-holders groundnut farmers are faced with lack of resources or access to currently available technology, as a result, the authors observed that, low producers’ prices and limited modeling opportunities reduced incentives for small-scale groundnut farmers to invest in productivity enhancing technologies such as improved seeds, fertilizer and pesticides.
Awoke (2003) identified lack of improved capital inputs, collateral and high interest rates as some of the major obstacles to groundnut production efficiency. Effective planning should aim at imparting into farmers certain knowledge to match the technical aspect of production, so that they would minimize the input of scare and expensive resources consistent with obtaining the level of output beyond which no further profit is possible, this would involve the efficient management of productive resources aside from the target crop (Awoke, 2003). The predominant reliance in traditional methods of farming by Nigeria small-scale farmers for substantial part of our agricultural production activities has been partly responsible for present low level production as against our increasing population (Ohikere, 2010). The author said that the need for improved food production stemmed from the fact that, it is, the first way to match conspicuous consumption with conspicuous production in view of the ever increasing population with rising food demand.
Food crops production efficiency is vital to improvement of the agricultural sector productivity if resources available are judiciously used. Many resources are employed by the small-scale farmers at the farm-level with attendant low output. Since increased productivity is directly related to production efficiency. It is therefore important to know how productivity of the small-scale groundnut farmers will be raised
in order to help them reduce inefficiency. Efficiency measurement is very important for monitoring productivity growth. Thus, it ascertains the extent to which if possible to increase productivity using present resource base and available technology and this can help in policy formulation on the reduction of inefficiencies visa-vis groundnut production efficiency.

 

RESOURCE PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY OF
SMALL-SCALE GROUNDNUT FARMERS IN TARABA
STATE, NIGERIA

1.2 Statement of Problem

Groundnut is the 13th most important food crop, 4th in oil seed crop and also 3rd most important of the world source of vegetable protein after soybean, rapeseed and cotton seed (FAO, 2006; Foreign Agricultural Service [FAS], 2010). The seed (kernel) contains 40-50% fats, 20-50% protein and 10-20% carbohydrates (FAO, 2006). About 80% of edible groundnuts are roasted for further processing into snacks food, and peanut butter (GSP NEWS, 2004).

It can be crushed for oil and groundnut cake (animals feeds) (Beghin et al., 2003). Groundnut is also good source of minerals such as phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K), as well as vitamins E, K and B (RMRDC, 2004). Production in Africa has been estimated at about 2.6 metric tons annually from a land area of approximately 2.5 million hectares with Nigeria inclusive. It is estimated also, that, 78 percent of land area sown to groundnut is in various crop association (Okigbo & Greenland, 1976; Nnadi & Haque, 2003). Although food security remains a major concern due to the subsistence nature of the country’s agriculture as asserted by Nwafor (2008), the sector employs more than 70 percent of the labour force, accounts for over 70 percent of the non-oil export and most importantly provides 80 percent of the food needs of the country (Faburso and Agbonlahor, 2007; CNB, 2009).
Nigeria population which grows at about 3.2 percent per annum with food production at about 2.0 percent is not keeping pace with its population (FAO, 2005; NBS, 2011). Food production process requires resources which when used judiciously could lead to high productivity and profitability. These resources could be natural or manmade: man-made resources include: labour, capital or entrepreneurship, which are
supplied and influenced by man (Olayide & Heady, 1982; Oyekele, Bolaji and Olowa, 2009).In order to ameliorate the dwindling and not too impressive performance of agricultural sector in terms of the gap between food supply and demand owing to

RESOURCE PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY OF
SMALL-SCALE GROUNDNUT FARMERS IN TARABA
STATE, NIGERIA