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1 April 30, 2024


1. Jacob Owusu Sarfo
Artificial Intelligence Use, Technostress, and Academic Productivity among Students in Sub-Saharan Africa

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 4-6.

Globally, artificial intelligence is being developed and used at a growing speed in education settings. Notwithstanding artificial intelligence’s immense opportunities for stakeholders in education, especially students, worries regarding its misuse, negative health impacts, and poor academic productivity outcomes are still emerging. Although research focusing on this subject matter is gaining attention in developed countries, little is known about it in Sub-Saharan Africa. This editorial opens a voice to the ongoing conversations to explore students’ attitudes towards artificial intelligence use, the prevalence of technostress, and the impact on academic productivity among students in Sub-Saharan African countries. It further delves into the complexities of artificial intelligence adoption in Sub-Saharan African educational settings and the need to leverage these technologies effectively, notwithstanding the actual or perceived challenges students face.

2. Esther Doe-Yo Tawiah, Prince Mordi
Enhancing Vision Care through Psychological Assessment in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Overview

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 7-14.

Accessing quality vision care in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains a significant obstacle for persons with visual impairment. Practitioners are also confronted with numerous challenges when providing eye care services. These challenges are due to inadequate infrastructure, limited access to care, and a shortage of skilled healthcare personnel, which causes unique physical hardships for practitioners and patients. The physical burdens extend beyond mere physiological discomfort to encompass various psychosocial consequences, including increased levels of stress, depression, anxiety, Stigmatisation, and overall negative impacts on their well-being. To enhance treatment adherence, promote holistic well-being, and foster resilience among patients with visual impairment, practitioners in the field incorporate individual interviews and participant observations in their clinics to provide more comprehensive care. Addressing the challenges of assessing quality vision care in SSA requires an integrated approach that considers both visual impairments’ physical and psychological consequences.

3. Emmanuel Dziwornu
Economic Loss and Mental Health Experiences among Flood Disaster Victims in Ghana

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 15-22.

Disasters have become a common threat to many societies across the globe. There is a severe impact on developing communities as disasters tend to wash away the little gains they have made. These disasters will continue to occur, and their impacts will not cease to accompany them. Meanwhile, in developing countries like Ghana, little empirical information is recorded on the impacts disaster victims endure. Concerns for victims are short-lived, whereas the concerns of victims are largely ignored. As much as there are community-level effects, disasters leave significant individual impacts that deserve attention. Different domains of disaster impact exist: economic, social, and psychological. These need to be explored, especially in poor resource settings such as Ghana. This qualitative study used 13 victims of the 3rd June 2015 flood disaster with a fire explosion in Accra, Ghana, a disaster that claimed over 150 lives. The study employed a descriptive qualitative design to explore victims’ economic and mental health experiences. It was found that victims lost their livelihoods, such as jobs, homes, and possessions. Psychological impacts such as anxiety, behavioural changes, and mood effects were also recorded. It is concluded that the struggles of disaster victims in Ghana are real and that there is a need for comprehensive investigation, intervention, and support for victims. The implications of the findings are discussed.

4. Fazeela Ibrahim, Asma Ibrahim Sulaiman, Amzath Ahmed
Harmful Cultural Traditions: An Analysis of Female Circumcision Practice in Maldives

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 23-37.

Female circumcision (FC) affects the lives of millions of girls and women worldwide. This study assessed the demographic and socio-economic factors associated with female circumcision among women aged 15-49 in Maldives. Data for this study were extracted from the 2016–2017 Maldives Demographic and Health Survey, collected from a nationally representative probability sample of 7699 households interviewing women aged 15-49 years. The statistical analysis of this study focused on women aged 15-49 years who have heard about FC, excluding those who have never heard of FC (n = 5943). Analyses of data entailed descriptive statistics (frequencies and percentages) and estimation of logistic regression models to examine the roles that demographic, economic, and social factors play in the occurrence of FC in Maldives. The primary variable of interest (dependent variable) was the occurrence of FC. The factors included women’s current age, age circumcised, highest education level, occupation, region, wealth quintile, and women’s reported attitudes towards FC. Among all respondents, 17 % of the 5943 women who have heard of female circumcision reported having undergone the procedure. The findings revealed a significant difference in female circumcision by age, education, occupation, and attitudes towards FC. Furthermore, most circumcisions occurred before age 5 and were highest in Malé (capital city) and the island atolls in Maldives’s South and North regions. The variables related to opinions were most strongly associated with female circumcision. Women who believed that their religion required FC or that the practice of FC should continue are more likely to be circumcised than women who do not hold this opinion. It was more than double. In addition, cross-tabulations of the opinion variables with age and region have found that the highest proportion of women who held these beliefs was in the age group 25-39 and lived in Malé. Therefore, we recommend further research and encouragement to enact policies and legislation that would eliminate the practice of female circumcision in Maldives.

5. Arturo García-Santillán
Financial Behavior and Knowledge Regarding Debt Payment and Its Relationship with Sociodemographic Variables

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 38-46.

The study aimed to determine the relationship between financial behavior and knowledge. We analysed the financial behavior of workers regarding the payment of credit card debt and its relationship with financial knowledge and sociodemographic variables. A non-probabilistic self-determination sample of workers from a corporation with nationwide coverage in Mexico was selected for the study. Three hundred fifty-seven cases were obtained, of which only 188 cases of workers who indicated having a credit card were selected. For the analysis of the data, to verify the relationship between the individual’s decision with the independent variables, as well as the probability that an individual i belongs to the category j = 1, 2..., J, was used in the Multinomial Logit Model. The sample was made up of 61 % men (n = 230) and 32.9 % women (n=124), with 6.1 % (n = 23) missing cases. The main findings showed that financial behavior was related to workers’ knowledge about the financial conditions of credit and the variables of age and monthly income. Knowing the payment dates was significant in making the necessary payment to avoid generating interest and paying the total debt amount. In addition, it is more likely that the person will make the payment needed for not generating interest if they are over 40 years old, and it is more likely that the person will pay the full amount of the debt if they receive three minimum monthly salaries.

6. Prince Addai, Michelle Afrifah, Isaac Okyere, Gloria Tachie-Donkor, Jacob Owusu Sarfo
Technostress and Determinants of Academic Success among University Students: Mediation Role of Technological Literacy

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 47-60.

Technology integration has become pervasive in the constantly evolving domain of education, presenting diverse avenues for learning and engagement among university students. However, amidst these benefits, technology’s widespread use also brings challenges, with technostress emerging as a prominent concern. This research aims to assess the impact of technostress on students’ academic motivation and psychological well-being while concurrently exploring the mediating influence of technological literacy. Using a time-lagged cross-sectional design, data on technostress, academic motivation, psychological well-being and technological literacy were gathered from 349 university students. Data analysis was conducted using JASP software with Bootstrap resampling of 5,000 replications. Findings from the study revealed a negative impact of technostress on determinants of academic success (academic motivation and psychological well-being) among students. Technological literacy was also identified as a partial mediator of the adverse effects of technostress on the determinants of academic success (academic motivation and psychological well-being). These findings have implications beyond academia, offering valuable insights for educators, policymakers, and mental health professionals. Recognising the crucial role of technological literacy in mitigating the adverse effects of technostress enables the development of effective interventions aimed at empowering students to enhance their academic motivation and psychological well-being.

7. Newton Isaac Gbordzoe
Integrating Neurocognitive Support into HIV/AIDS Management in Ghana: A Position Statement

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 61-65.

Despite significant progress in HIV/AIDS management in Ghana, some critical gaps remain in the diagnosis and treatment of HIV-related neurocognitive problems. As Ghana strives to provide comprehensive care for HIV clients, it is critical to look beyond viral suppression and address the disease’s neurological implications. This position statement aims to provide a general overview of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders, gaps in its management, and the role of integrating neurocognitive screening and neurorehabilitation in existing HIV care services in Ghana. It is imperative that integrating neurocognitive support into HIV management in Ghana is not only a matter of improving quality of life but also a critical step toward providing comprehensive HIV/AIDS care services.

8. Timothy Pritchard Debrah
Perinatal Mental Health in Africa: A Mini-Review of Screening, Prevalence, and Impact

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 66-76.

Perinatal mental health challenges are prevalent in Africa, with estimates exceeding those observed in high-income countries. Significant obstacles in screening and care provision complicate interventions to address these challenges. This mini-review synthesises findings from relevant literature on perinatal mental health screening interventions in Africa. The review included studies on the prevalence of perinatal mental disorders, associated risk factors, existing care models, screening tool effectiveness, and the roles of healthcare providers and policymakers. As part of the methodology, academic databases such as EBSCOhost, Pubmed, PsycINFO, and CINAHL were searched using specific keywords and MeSH terms related to perinatal mental health, screening, and interventions in Africa. Boolean operators were employed to refine search results. Studies published in English within the past 15 years were included, focusing on African populations. The studies were critically appraised for methodological quality and relevance. Key findings were extracted and synthesised to provide a comprehensive overview of perinatal mental health screening in Africa. Results showed that the challenges to effective screening and care include a high burden of mental health issues, limited screening resources, and a shortage of mental health specialists and medications. Additionally, the lack of training for health workers, poorly coordinated referral systems, and stigma surrounding mental health further hinder effective screening. One in four pregnant women and one in five postpartum women in Africa experience mental health problems. To address these challenges, increasing awareness of perinatal mental health issues, training healthcare staff, developing context-specific solutions, and utilising telehealth and mobile health services are essential. These strategies could provide timely support and reduce the incidence of perinatal mental health challenges in Africa.

9. Ruth Otelahu Adah, Gabriel Ujah Adah
Perceived Discrimination and Other Factors Influencing Self-Esteem in Persons with Albinism in North Central Nigeria

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 77-86.

The deficiency of the photoprotective pigment in the skin of persons with albinism exposes them to various skin and eye disorders. Myths about persons with albinism have arisen from ignorance of their unique looks, which has also led to stigmatisation and discrimination of persons affected by the condition. These can affect individuals’ self-esteem and may have long-term psychological and general well-being implications. A cross-sectional design was used to document the perceived discrimination against persons with albinism in the Plateau State of North Central Nigeria and examine the relationship with self-esteem levels. Participants (N = 42) completed the interviewer-based questionnaire centred on sources of support, avoidance, and abusive behaviour by others towards them. The Rosenberg self-esteem scale was used to estimate self-esteem, and information was analysed using SPSS version 26.0. The result showed more subjects were uncertain of fathers’ acceptance than mothers (11.9 % vs 0.4 %), while 16 (38.1 %) were discriminated against by someone in a position of authority, 27 (64.3 %) had been verbally abused and 5 (9.5 %) physically abused on account of albinism. Challenges causing dissatisfaction were mainly financial, exposure to lack of protection from the sun and stigma. Self-esteem level was associated with the level of education, place of residence, the uncertainty of acceptance by the father, avoidance by peers, and being verbally abused. These findings serve as a baseline in advocating for policies to address stigma and discrimination against persons with albinism within communities while developing programs that aid in building their self-esteem.

10. Valda Deide Commey
Beyond Teacher Competencies: A Position Statement on Meeting the Needs of Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Inclusive Classrooms in Ghana

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 87-91.

Inclusive education stands as a beacon of progress in ensuring the holistic development of children with neurodevelopmental Disorders. Ghana has made significant strides in promoting inclusive education through the inclusive education policy developed in 2015. Central to the successful implementation of inclusive education is the attitude and competence of teachers in managing children with special needs. Notable progress has been observed among teachers, reflecting a growing recognition of the importance of inclusive practices and a willingness to embrace diversity within the classroom. Yet, the journey toward successful policy implementation is fraught with substantial institutional challenges, such as inadequate resources and curriculum rigidity. This paper contends that addressing the complexities of inclusive education demands a comprehensive strategy that extends beyond the realm of teacher attributes alone. Recognising that the barriers to inclusive education in Ghana are multifaceted and encompass various systemic, environmental, and attitudinal factors is imperative. This paper emphasises the imperative for a multidimensional approach that extends beyond the teacher.

11. Alexander Fedorov
Western Cinema on the Pages of the Soviet Screen Magazine (1969–1985): Ideologized Articles Emphasizing Criticism of Bourgeois Cinema and Its Harmful Influence on the Audience

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 92-121.

The abstract analyzes the content of the Soviet Screen magazine from 1969 to 1985, focusing on its portrayal of Western cinema during the Soviet Union's "stagnation" period. The study finds that articles on Western cinema were heavily ideologized, emphasizing criticism of bourgeois cinema and its negative influence on audiences. This trend was less prominent than in the late 1960s due to significant political shifts, particularly after the 1968 events in Czechoslovakia. A crucial decree issued on January 7, 1969, by the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party mandated a more stringent opposition to bourgeois ideology and a vigorous promotion of communist ideals. This decree criticized media personnel for deviating from class criteria and sometimes promoting views contrary to socialist ideology. Additional resolutions in 1972 reinforced these directives, stressing the harmfulness of bourgeois ideology and the necessity for a rigorous ideological struggle against non-Marxist views and revisionist trends in literature and art. Consequently, Soviet Screen's management aligned closely with these resolutions, resulting in a marked decrease in content about Western cinema and an increase in critical coverage. Unlike during the 1960s Thaw, featuring Western movie stars on the magazine's cover became unthinkable. This period reflects the Soviet Union's broader efforts to control cultural narratives and suppress influences contrary to socialist values.

12. Daniel Adjei, Alexander Tetteh Kwasi Nuer, Selorm Omega, Benjamin Chris Ampimah
Perceived Effectiveness of Ghana’s School Feeding Programme in Improving the Livelihood of Beneficiaries in Assin South District

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 122-137.

Ghana’s SFP has played an essential role in combating malnutrition among school-age children and advancing the Universal Primary Education goal. This study investigates the overall impact of the school feeding Programme, with a focus on its effectiveness in improving the livelihoods of beneficiary communities in the Assin South District. The study followed a mixed methods approach, with 95 headteachers and 26 local food farmers as respondents. The study focuses on the perceived effectiveness of the Ghana School Feeding Programme in increasing employment opportunities within the district, as perceived by headteachers. The findings show that the Additional Employment Scheme component positively impacts the livelihoods of local food farmers, resulting in larger farm sizes and the adoption of improved farming practices. However, the challenges identified do not ensure a consistent market for local food farmers’ produce, including cooks and caterers in beneficiary schools not frequently purchasing their produce. It has been revealed that caterers facing pre-financing challenges rely on suppliers willing to pay once government funds are released. Recommendations for improving the Programme’s impact include expanding the programme to benefit more communities, thereby creating job opportunities. Furthermore, a registration system for local food producers as sole suppliers is proposed to ensure a market for their products. Other suggestions include allocating a percentage of the district’s internally generated funds to caterers and collaborating with financial institutions to provide flexible loans to registered farmers.

13. Nguyen Thanh Luan
Harsh Reality of Low-Income Individuals in Acquiring Social Houses in Vietnam: Outlining Contradictions and Illogicalities of Ongoing Laws and Proposing Practical Amendments

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 138-147.

The Vietnamese Government’s law on the construction and distribution of social housing has made strides in addressing the housing needs of low-income individuals since its implementation in 2004. However, it has also faced challenges, such as a scarcity of social housing supply, high costs for low-income people, and social housing speculation by the rich. This study aims to identify these inconsistencies and propose significant recommendations for legislators to promptly amend and supplement relevant laws, thereby promoting the development of social housing, effectively resolving the housing demand of low-income classes, and enhancing social security in Vietnam. The study provides lawmakers with recommendations on how to revise and supplement the relevant laws.

14. Akosua Asante-Offei, Abdul Gafaru Mohammed, Issah Sumaila, William Ghunney, Abdul Gafaru Mohammed, Dwomoh Duah, Irene A. Kretchy, Andrew Adjei Druye, Edeghonghon Olayemi, Harriet Affran Bonful
Changes in Haematological and Clinical Parameters in Sickle Cell Disease Patients on Hydroxyurea: A Before and After Non-Experimental Retrospective Study

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education. 2024. 11(1): 148-156.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) poses a significant health burden globally, particularly in Africa, where prevalence rates are notably high. Hydroxyurea has emerged as a promising therapeutic agent for managing SCD, yet its effects on clinical outcomes in the Ghanaian context remain understudied. This retrospective study aimed to investigate changes in clinical and haematological parameters associated with hydroxyurea use in adolescents and adult patients living with sickle cell disease. A three-level retrospective review was conducted among 105 patients with sickle cell disease at the Ghana Institute of Clinical Genetics, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. Clinical and haematological information was retrieved six months before treatment, six months and 12 months after hydroxyurea therapy. A paired t-test was used to determine changes in haematological parameters before and after hydroxyurea therapy. The findings showed a significant increase in haemoglobin (Hb) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) at six months. Only Hb increased significantly at 12 months. A significant reduction was observed in white cell count (WBC), platelet and retic count in the 6th month, but the changes from the 6th month to the 12th month were insignificant. An increase in foetal haemoglobin was observed in one patient at six months. Hydroxyurea significantly reduced the frequency of vaso-occlusive crises and hospitalisation. Clinicians should educate and recommend hydroxyurea to patients due to its positive clinical outcome.

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