Mulungushi University

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    Analysis of the study skills of undergraduate pharmacy students of the University of Zambia School of Medicine.
    (Medical Journal of Zambia, 2015-09-25) Ezeala, Christian Chinyere, Creator; Nalucha, Siyanga, Creator
    It aimed to compare the study skills of two groups of undergraduate pharmacy students in the School of Medicine, University of Zambia using the Study Skills Assessment Questionnaire (SSAQ), with the goal of analysing students’ study skills and identifying factors that affect study skills. A questionnaire was distributed to 67 participants from both programs using stratified random sampling. Completed questionnaires were rated according to participants study skill. The total scores and scores within subscales were analysed and compared quantitatively. Questionnaires were distributed to 37 students in the regular program, and to 30 students in the parallel program. The response rate was 100%. Students had moderate to good study skills: 22 respondents (32.8%) showed good study skills, while 45 respondents (67.2%) were found to have moderate study skills. Students in the parallel program demonstrated significantly better study skills (mean SSAQ score, 185.4±14.5), particularly in time management and writing, than the students in the regular program (mean SSAQ score 175±25.4; P<0.05). No significant differences were found according to age, gender, residential or marital status, or level of study. The students in the parallel program had better time management and writing skills, probably due to their prior work experience. The more intensive training to students in regular program is needed in improving time management and writing skills.
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    Analysis of undergraduate students’ perception of the educational environment of a medical school in Zambia provided a framework for strategic planning
    (British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research., 2017-05) Ezeala, C.C.; Moleki, M.M.
    The aim of this study is to propose a strategy for improvement of undergraduate students’ learning environment based on analysis of their perceptions. Medical, Pharmacy, and Physiotherapy undergraduate students participated in the study. The study used a quantitative descriptive design, based on the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM) inventory. The University of South Africa and University of Zambia Ethics Committees provided ethical approval. Using stratified random sampling, participants were drawn from the Ridgeway Campus of the University. They responded to a demographic section and the 50 DREEM items. Data analysis included descriptive statistics on demographics, total and subscales DEEM scores, and mean scores on individual items. Cronbach’s alpha and confirmatory factor analysis provided reliability and validity indices of the dataset. Specific issues derived from individual items’ scores were used to propose a strategy. Results showed that total participants were 488 including 239 from Medicine, 135 from Pharmacy, and 74 from Physiotherapy. Response rate was 95.5%. Mean total score was 119.3/200. Scores within subscales of perception of learning, perception of teachers, academic self-perception, perception of atmosphere, and social self-perception were 29.87/48, 26.29/44, 20.96/32, 27.26/48, and14.86/14, respectively. Four strategic issues emerged from six items with mean scores below 2.0/4.0: lack of adequate social support for stressed students, substandard teaching and mentoring, unpleasant accommodation, and inadequate facilities. Strategic objectives were raised and strategic options recommended from literature. In conclusion,strategic planning in medical and health professions education should consider learners’ concerns by analysing their learning environments.
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    Extraction and demonstration of uterotonic activity from the root of steganotaenia araliacea hochst
    (Medical Journal of Zambia, 2017) Goma, F.M.; Ezeala, C.; Chuba, D.; Prashar, L.; Simfukwe, N.; Lengwe, C.
    The root of Steganotaenia araliacea is used for assisting labour in folk medicine. Recent reports indicate that the root could possess uterotonic substances. The study aimed to evaluate three methods for the Roots of the plant were collected from Chongwe District of Zambia. The air-dried roots were size-reduced, and the powdered material extracted with hot ethanol, hot distilled water, and cold distilled water. The solvent extracts were concentrated and dried at 110 0C. Solutions of the hot aqueous and cold aqueous extracts were prepared in distilled water and used for organ bath experiments to demonstrate uterotonic activities using strips of pregnant rat uterus. The frequencies and amplitude of contractile forces were recorded. The amplitudes were plotted against log concentration of extract with GraphPad Prism software, and the EC50 values determined. Results revealed that the percentage yields were 31.3 % for the hot aqueous extract, 8.15 % for the ethanolic extract, and 3.27 % for the cold aqueous extract. The coldaqueous extract showed higher potency (EC50 of0.54 mg/ml) compared to the hot aqueous extract (EC50 of 2.09 mg/ml). It was Concluded that root extracts of S. araliacea possess demonstrable uterotonic effects. Extraction of the roots for this purpose could benefit from preliminary defatting with organic solvents, followed by successive extraction with hot and cold water.
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    Evaluation of the educational environments of undergraduate medicine and pharmacy programmes at the University of Zambia.
    (Research and Development Medical Education. 7 (1), 2018) Ezeala, C.C.; Moleki, M.M.
    Situational factors influence learners’ approaches to learning and determine learning outcomes. The study determined issues in the learning environments of medical and pharmacy students at the University of Zambia with a view to providing information for improvement. A quantitative observational design based on the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measurement (DREEM) inventory was used to survey undergraduate students’perceptions of their learning environments. A total of 270 students – 135 in years 3 to 7 of medical school and 135 in years 3 to 5 of pharmacy school – at the University of Zambia participated. Total, subscale, and single item DREEM scores were analysed and compared. Results showed that Mean total DREEM score for all participants was 119/200 (±20.4). Scores for the subscales varied from 15/28 (±3.6) for social self-perception to 21/32 (±3.9) for academic selfperception. The total and subscale scores were not significantly different between Medicine and Pharmacy at P > 0.05. Six areas of concern were observed in both programmes: lack of a social support system for stressed students, dictatorial staff, overemphasis on factual learning, tense teaching atmosphere, curriculum issues, and unpleasant accommodations. Medical students were particularly about tense classrooms and lack of feedback; pharmacy students were more likely to be concerned about curriculum issues. In Conclusion,the study showed that although the educational climates of healthcare programmes in medical schools may be comparable, specific programme concerns can be significantly different. Strategic planning to improve schools should consider both general perceptions and specific issues in individual programmes.
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    Issues in the learning context of undergraduate physiotherapy programme at a premier medical school in Zambia.
    (Journal of Medical Education Summer, 2017) Ezeala, C.C.; Moleki, M.M.; Shula, H.; Goma, F.M.
    Students’ perceptions of their learning environments influence their approaches to learning and the learning outcomes, and reflect a programme’s effectiveness. In Africa, literature on the learning environments of medical and health sciences education is scanty, and the issues impinging on effective education are not well documented. The objective of this study was to determine learners’ perceptions of the issues in the learning environment of undergraduate physiotherapy education at the University of Zambia.Undergraduate physiotherapy students in years 2 to 5 were stratified according to level of study and randomly sampled. They were provided written information about the study, and consenting students were allowed to complete the DREEM questionnaire unassisted. Completed questionnaires were rated using a recommended guideline and their responses analysed quantitatively. Global, subscale, and item mean scores were calculated, and Cronbach’s alpha was determined as a measure of data reliability and internal consistency. The study was approved by ethics committees of two universities.Results revealed that ninety-three students participated in the study. The response rate was 88.4 %. All classes rated the learning environment as ‘more positive than negative,’ with a mean global score of 123.2/200 (61.6 %). Scores within subscales (55.7–70.4 %) were comparable across the classes. Nine items scored below 2.0/4.0 indicating dissatisfaction. These included inadequate social support, teacher authoritarianism, and factual overload. Cronbach’s alpha for global scores was 0.896, and between 0.616 and 0.820 for subscale scores. It was concluded that although total DREEM scores showed overall positive perception of the learning environment by the students, item analysis showed students’ dissatisfaction with several aspects. This analysis of undergraduate students’ perceptions of the Physiotherapy learning environment provided insight into the phenomena in the programme and adds to the literature on learning environments of Physiotherapy education in Africa.