Booster for child health in SA

first_imgSouth Africa’s pneumococcus vaccineprogramme is about to get underway andwill save thousands of lives.(Image: stock.xchng) The vaccine is targeted at children fiveyears old and under – the most vulnerable.(Image: World Health Organisation)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa will become the first African country to freely distribute a pneumococcal vaccine amongst its children – the main victims of deadly pneumococcal diseases such as meningitis and pneumonia.The life-saving announcement was made at the 2009 Regional Pneumococcal Symposium held in Johannesburg in early March. Deputy Minister of Health Molefi Sefularo said the new vaccine would be available from April 2009 as part of the government’s primary immunisation programme.Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. There are more than 90 subtypes in the species. When these organisms invade the lungs, they cause bacterial pneumonia; when they invade the bloodstream, they cause bacteraemia; and when they invade the membranes covering the brain, they cause meningitis.Other conditions caused by S. pneumoniae include acute sinusitis, otitis media, osteomyelitis, endocarditis, peritonitis, and pericarditis.The symposium was a joint effort of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, GAVI’s PneumoADIP at the Johns Hopkins University, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kenya Paediatric Association, South African Paediatric Association and the University of the Witwatersrand.The goal of the symposium was to review progress towards safe, effective pneumococcal vaccines and address the question of how to make sure they get to the world’s poorest children. Delegates were also brought up to date regarding the extent and burden of pneumococcal disease in Africa.Costly but effectiveWhile South Africa already spends R104-million (US$10-million) annually on vaccinating children, said Dr Shabir Madhi of the Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit at the Medical Research Council, the new vaccine was expected to cost an extra R728-million ($70 million).The vaccine Prevnar, known as pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), is designed to be effective against the seven types of the deadly pathogen that cause 70% of all invasive pneumococcal disease in South African children; it is therefore a seven-valent vaccine.Manufactured by Wyeth, Prevnar has been available in South Africa since 2005, but one of the biggest controversies surrounding the drug has been its exorbitant cost. At nearly R2 717 ($260) for four doses, it is far beyond the budget of people in developing countries.According to Professor Till Barnighausen of the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies at KwaZulu-Natal University, patients in developing countries who do not have free access to PCV may have to wait up to 15 years before the price drops to a level within their grasp.However, there is no doubting the efficacy of PCV. Clinical trials carried out between 1998 and 2000 in South Africa and Gambia, with a nine-valent formulation on nearly 40 000 infants, showed a drastic decrease in pneumococcal infections in fully vaccinated children.At six, 10 and 14 weeks of age, 19 922 children received the vaccine and 19 914 received a placebo. The vaccine reduced the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease by more than 65% in HIV-positive children and by more than 83% in HIV-negative children. It also reduced infection by antibiotic-resistant strains by between 56% and 67%. The results of the study were published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2003.“Widespread use of the vaccine will contribute to reducing the burden of childhood illness,” said Madhi in an article published in 2008 in the South African Journal of Child Health. “It will assist in achieving the Millennium Development Goal aimed at reducing under-five mortality by two-thirds by 2015 compared with 1990 rates. The launch of PCV for all children is a great step forward for child health in South Africa.”A killer disease – but preventableEvery year between 800 000 and one million children under the age of five succumb to pneumonia, meningitis, and other invasive pneumococcal diseases, according to the World Health Organisation. In South Africa pneumococcal diseases kill almost 350 out of every 100 000 infants under 12 months of age, and infection rates have risen steadily since the mid-1990s because of Aids, according to Sefularo.Pneumococcal disease is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in young children. Unfortunately S. pneumoniae has developed both intermediate and high levels of resistance to some of the most commonly used antibiotics and therefore preventive treatment is the preferred means of combating the disease.Children who are HIV-positive are especially vulnerable, and studies have shown that the rate of pneumococcal bacteraemia or invasive disease is up to 40 times greater in these youngsters. In fact, 75% of severe invasive pneumococcal disease in South African children occurs in the 5-6% of the childhood population who are HIV-positive.Despite the fact that pneumococcal conditions are preventable, millions more young survivors are permanently affected, often suffering intellectual impairment, hearing loss or seizures for the rest of their lives.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesHigh-price vaccine for all SA kidsHealthcare in South Africa Useful linksDepartment of Health4th Regional Pneumococcal SymposiumWorld Health Organisation – pneumococcal infections and vaccinesNational Vaccine information Center (US)Wyeth South AfricaRespiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit Conjugate pneumococcal vaccine – SA Journal of Child Health (pdf)last_img read more

Celebrating the legacy of Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela-Mandela

first_imgJohannesburg, Tuesday 3 April 2018 – Brand South Africa mourns the passing of Mama Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela-Mandela, who succumbed to a long illness on Monday 2 April 2018, at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.Born in Bizana in the Eastern Cape in 1936‚ Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela- Mandela, fondly known as Mama Winnie, was a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician. She moved to Johannesburg from the Eastern Cape in Bizana to study social work and in 1957 she met the lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela and they were married a year later.As a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician, she held several government positions, including Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. A member of the African National Congress (ANC) political party, she served on the ANC’s National Executive Committee and headed its Women’s League.Madikizela-Mandela retained popular support within the ANC over the years and was known to her supporters as the “Mother of the Nation”.Brand South Africa’s CEO Dr Kingsley Makhubela expressed his sadness saying “It is truly with great sadness to have lost the Mother of the Nation. We are forever grateful for the role she played in securing our freedom. We indeed need to celebrate her legacy.”“Winnie Mandela was a target of massive disinformation by STRATCOM, an Apartheid smear campaign machinery, yet she remained true to the ethos of the liberation struggle. Long live the Republic”; further adds Dr Makhubela.Mandela family spokesman‚ Victor Dlamini said, “The Mandela family are deeply grateful for the gift of her life and even as our hearts break at her passing, we urge all those who loved her to celebrate this most remarkable woman”.“As the national government we have declared that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will have a national funeral on 14 April,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa while addressing mourners outside Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Soweto.For more information or to set up interviews, please contact: Ntombi NtanziTel: +27 11 712 5071Mobile: +27 81 704 1488Email: ntombin@brandsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

a month agoEx-Liverpool star Sturridge could face another betting ban

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Ex-Liverpool star Sturridge could face another betting banby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Liverpool star Daniel Sturridge is in even more trouble regarding betting offences.The Englishman, who is now in Turkey with Trabzonspor, could be facing another ban.Per The Sun, the Football Association is appealing the decision that saw Sturridge get a fine and a six-week ban for breaching betting rules.If The FA are successful, it is possible that Sturridge will get an even lengthier ban.The Association believes that Sturridge should be made an example to ensure that players do not even think about placing bets related to games or transfers that involve themselves.Sturridge told his brother Leon to bet on him signing for Sevilla in the January 2018 transfer window. last_img read more

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to revisit Air Canada retirement age issue

first_imgTORONTO – The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will be revisiting the issue of whether Air Canada was wrong to force some pilots to retire at age 60.A decision publicly released on Friday says the tribunal will hold another hearing to determine whether the airline had the right to force 45 pilots to retire at an age it deemed to be the industry standard.The decision says the case originally had 97 complainants, but 52 of them will not have their retirement age scrutinized by the tribunal.The issue of retirement age for Air Canada pilots has come up both at the tribunal and in federal court numerous times in the past decade.Two cases with different complainants, but similar arguments, were ruled upon by the tribunal, reviewed in federal court, then ultimately dismissed by the Federal Court of Appeal.The tribunal says the 52 pilots whose retirement dates were covered by the previous cases will not be included in the new hearing, but says it will hear arguments from the remaining 45 whose retirement dates fall outside of the timeline covered by the other cases.A lawyer representing the majority of the pilots expects the new tribunal hearing will get underway in early 2018.Raymond Hall said he welcomed the latest development in the highly complex case.“We’ve been at it for 12 years,” he said Friday in an interview. “It’s no small thing.”The new tribunal hearing will unfold against the complicated backdrop of both the two past cases as well as changes in federal law.In 2011, as part of an omnibus bill, the then Conservative government passed a law forbidding federally regulated companies such as Air Canada to enforce a mandatory retirement age on its employees. The law went into effect in December 2012.Prior to that legislation, the issue of retirement age at Air Canada had been hotly contested on at least two occasions at the tribunal.The first case, named the Vilven/Kelly matter after its two plaintiffs, challenged Air Canada’s imposition of a mandatory retirement age of 60 for pilots forced to stop working between 2003 and 2005.Despite an initially favourable ruling from the tribunal, the case was challenged in federal court and ultimately quashed by the Court of Appeal.The second case, dubbed Thwaites/Adamson, involved 70 plaintiffs who retired between 2005 and 2009.That, too, received contradictory rulings from the tribunal and federal courts before ultimately being dismissed by the Court of Appeal.In both cases, Hall sought leave to bring the cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, but that leave was denied.The third and most recent group of complainants, referred to as Bailie et al, had retirement dates ranging from June 2004 to February 2012.Air Canada and the Air Canada Pilots Association, which represents the thousands of people who man aircraft for the country’s largest airline, had filed a motion to dismiss the Bailey complaint.Their primary rationale, according to the decision, was the fact that the issues at hand had been rehashed before in the two previous cases.Adjudicator David Thomas wrote in the decision that this held true for the 52 pilots who had retired before 2010, but that the 45 who retired after that date had not yet had a chance to air their grievances.While describing the possibility as improbable, he conceded that there may have been changes in the industry during those years that would make the forced retirement discriminatory on the basis of age.“While I am sympathetic to the respondents’ arguments that it is ‘highly improbable’ that a meaningful change to the material facts affecting the normal age of retirement occurred during the short period after Dec. 31, 2009 until the last Bailie complainant reached the age of 60 in February of 2012, I have not been provided with satisfactory information that there were no changes in the industry,” he wrote. “…it is not the role of the tribunal to speculate whether certain evidence may or may not exist. The tribunal has no investigatory powers and has no material evidence before it for the younger complainants. It is the right and the obligation of the parties to present that evidence to the tribunal in a quasi-judicial forum.”-Follow @mich_mcq on Twitterlast_img read more

Eerie Easter

first_imgNearly a decade after the 26-year long civil war in Sri Lanka came to a long-awaited close, the people of the island nation were crudely jolted with a series of coordinated attacks on churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday. Other nationals killed in the dastardly attack include Indians, Japanese and of USA. In solidarity with Sri Lanka, other nations and world leaders extended their condolences the grieving nation. On a day of worship and cheer, memories of the civil war were wrenched back in a flash. Faraz Shauketaly, a prominent journalist, spoke about the Sri Lanka Civil War and its connection to Sunday’s attack, reiterating that in Sri Lanka, the ethnic conflict began approximately 40 years ago and finished 10 years ago. The 3-decade long war was perpetrated by mainly a group of terrorists who claimed to want independence in the northern part of Sri Lanka, is a tiny island, about 240 miles long and 140 miles wide. May 18, 2019, will mark the 10-year anniversary of the end of the nation’s civil war fought between the Sri Lanka government and its Sinhala Buddhist majority and the Tamil Tigers minority ethnic group. Warning of more attacks in Sri Lanka, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented that the United States will keep fighting “radical Islamic terror” in the wake of the Sri Lanka attacks. This comment very easily labels the mishap with a colour and a community that is otherwise vulnerable on the global stage. These attacks come in line with notorious attacks on churches, the latest being the fire that ravaged Notre Dame. The leaders of Sri Lanka, however, showed remarkable grit and insisted that the national suffering must not become a political game.last_img read more

Libyan deputy industry minister shot dead

first_imgTripoli – Assailants gunned down a Libyan deputy minister overnight, officials said on Sunday, in the first killing of a government member since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Moamer Kadhafi.Deputy industry minister Hassan al-Droui was shot dead during a to his hometown of Sirte, east of Tripoli, which was also Kadhafi’s hometown, security and hospital officials said.And in another sign of the instability plaguing the country, the toll from tribal clashes in the southern town of Sebha rose to 27 dead, with another 72 people wounded in the unrest. “Hassan al-Droui, the deputy minister for industry, was killed by unknown attackers overnight, during a visit to his native city of Sirte,” a security official told AFP.“Unidentified gunmen sprayed bullets on Mr. Droui in central Sirte,” the official said on condition of anonymity.A medical official at the city’s Ibn Sina hospital said Droui had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.The Libyan government denounced a “cowardly criminal act” and said in a statement it would “spare no effort to track down the perpetrators and prosecute them.”Droui was a former member of the National Transitional Council, the political arm of the rebellion that brought an end to Kadhafi’s 42-year rule.He was appointed deputy minister for industry by the transitional government’s first premier, Abdelrahim al-Kib, and kept his job when Prime Minister Ali Zeidan took office.Sirte, which lies on the Mediterranean coast about 250 miles (400 kilometres) east of Tripoli, was the last regime bastion to fall into rebel hands in the 2011 uprising during which Kadhafi was killed.Since the collapse of Kadhafi’s autocratic regime, Libya has been plagued by sporadic violence, including a string of assassinations targeting top army and security officials and the brief abduction of Zeidan.Deadly tribal clashesThe number of casualties from clashes between rival tribes in the southern town of Sebha and nearby Murzuq and Al-Shati rose to 27 dead and 72 wounded, a government statement said on Sunday.Fighting broke out in the area on Saturday pitting gunmen from the Arab Awled Sleiman tribe against tribesmen from the Toubou minority.Local sources said the clashes were sparked by the death on Thursday of a militia chief linked to Awled Sleiman, adding that the tribe accused the Toubou of murdering him.The Toubou are black oasis farmers by tradition who also live in southern Libya, northern Chad and Niger, who have repeatedly said they were being marginalised.A previous toll from the town’s local council had said that 19 died in the fighting and another 27 wounded.Fresh fighting broke out in Sebha on Sunday morning, witnesses reported.But in the afternoon the streets appeared to be calm, they said, adding that troops and policemen reinforcements were deployed in the town.The government said in a statement it sent reinforcements to secure residential areas and strategic installations in Sebha and that a “committee of elders” was trying to end the unrest.The fighting was the worst between the rival tribes since they struck a ceasefire agreement in March 2012 following deadly battles that killed at least 150 people and wounded 400 others.The Toubous have long complained of marginalisation by Libyan society, while Arab tribes have accused the minority of employing foreign fighters, particularly from Chad.The tribal clashes in Sebha could have a knock-on effect on production at several nearby oilfields in the mostly-desert south.Libya is currently struggling with a months-long oil crisis, which erupted when security guards at key oil terminals in the east shut them down, accusing the authorities of corruption and demanding a more equitable distribution of oil revenues.Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said last month that lost production from the blockades had cost Libya about $9.0 billion (6.6 billion euros) in revenues.last_img read more

The Seahawks Dont Stand A Chance Unless Russell Wilson Can Keep Up

The most anticipated matchup of the divisional round of the NFL playoffs might be the Atlanta Falcons’ No. 1 scoring offense against the Seattle Seahawks’ No. 3 scoring defense. But the game between the two teams may be decided when the ball is in Russell Wilson’s hand.When the two met in Week 6, the Seahawks edged the Falcons in Seattle, 26-24. But both teams have played a lot of football since then, and though Wilson has already led the Seahawks to eight playoff wins in his young career, he might not have enough talent around him to go into the Georgia Dome on Saturday and end the Falcons’ season.The most obvious change to either team has been the Seahawks’ loss of safety Earl Thomas; his five-year Pro Bowl streak ended when he missed five of the Seahawks’ last six regular-season games with injuries. With him patrolling the backfield, the Seahawks allowed just 16.4 points per game. In the Seahawks’ five regular-season games without him, opponents averaged 22.4 points, including 34 points in a home capitulation to the already-eliminated Arizona Cardinals.But as much as the Seahawks have missed Thomas, it is their offense that has struggled with explosiveness and consistency all season. The 26-6 final score of last week’s wild card game against the Detroit Lions might make it look as though the Seahawks are back to business as usual. But going into the fourth quarter the score was just 10-6.While the Seahawks’ offensive line earned praise for its dominant run-blocking performance against Detroit, it also allowed slumping Lions pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah to register two sacks, as many as he tallied throughout the regular season. The Seahawks will have a much tougher task on Saturday when they face the Falcons’ Vic Beasley, who had 15.5 sacks in the regular season.Tailback Thomas Rawls set a franchise playoff rushing record against the Lions, but going into the rematch with the Falcons there’s little depth behind him. Christine Michael, the Seahawks’ top rusher in the first Atlanta game, now plays for the Green Bay Packers. Head coach Pete Carroll told reporters that C.J. Procise, who has been out since Week 11 with a shoulder injury, will be a game-time decision; fifth-round rookie Alex Collins would be the only option behind Rawls if Procise can’t go.Between Michael, tailback C.J. Spiller and receiver/returner Tyler Lockett, 43 percent of the Seahawks’ 333 total yards in Week 6 were produced by players no longer on the Seahawks active roster, and the Falcons still outgained them 362-333 in that game. Wilson targeted wideouts on just 43.2 percent of his attempts; according to Pro Football Reference’s charting, he attempted only two passes deeper than 14 yards all day. He threw no touchdowns.The lack of deep passing that day was partly by design, to keep opposing pass-rushers off the banged-up Wilson.“We’ve been careful in how we would expose Russ,” head coach Pete Carroll later told the team’s official site. “He was begging us to do more and all that, but we were trying to do the right thing by him, and he was doing phenomenal things just to play for the last two months.” But Wilson’s adjusted yards-per-attempt didn’t increase meaningfully after that interview.Though three rushing touchdowns got Seattle the points they needed to win in Week 6, they might not have happened if the Falcons hadn’t set them up: Ryan’s sack-fumble on his own nine-yard line led to the game’s first score; his interception near midfield set up the last one.Even then, it almost wasn’t enough. The Seahawks’ final go-ahead field goal still left Ryan and company with a 1:57 to drive for a game-winning score; a controversial fourth-down no-call sent them packing:Since that play, however, the Falcons spent the season improving — and proving themselves the better team.In Football Outsiders’ Weighted DVOA, which prioritizes recent performance, the Falcons are the No. 4-ranked overall team at 19.8 percent; the Seahawks are ranked 14th at 4.7 percent. While the Seahawks’ offense ranked 17th in both season-long (-2.7 percent) and weighted (-2.1 percent) DVOA, the Falcons’ defense rises from 27th (8.1 percent) to 22nd (5.6 percent) when recent games are more heavily weighted.Now Wilson will have go on the road and score more points against the improved Falcons than Ryan can score against the Seahawks’ struggling defense.Check out our latest NFL playoff predictions. read more

Carrick believes Mourinho nurtures young players

first_imgThe Manchester United long-standing tradition of bringing through young players has continued with the Portuguese managerEnglish Premier League giants Manchester United have always been seen as one of the best clubs for a young player to develop.And former Red Devils midfielder Michael Carrick believes one of the positive sides of Mourinho’s tenure at United is his development of young talent.“He does get the history,” said Carrick to Sky Sports.“For the manager to put him [Rashford] in and play him… and Scott [McTominay] last year… and give them games, big games as well.”Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“The manager has to take a lot of credit for that. That’s the constant challenge though, isn’t it? That’s what everyone wants to see, that next one,” he added.“They say it’s getting harder. But that’s a challenge for us as a club and for English football – you might not get tens and twenties, you might get five or six players – but it’s got to keep happening.”“At the end of the day, the academies are there to produce players and to give kids a chance of getting in first teams. Especially at United; you can’t ignore the history and traditions,” he continued.“When people ask me: ‘What’s my role now [at the club]?’ That’s a big part of the club. You can’t just neglect the history of the club and what it stands for. And bringing players through is a huge part of that. It’s always been that one, two, three, four – more players in some eras.”last_img read more

Jamaicans Urged To Follow Guidelines In Voting Process

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, Feb. 18 (JIS): With the General Election slated for February 25, Jamaicans are being encouraged to follow the necessary guidelines, to ensure that the voting process proceed as smoothly as possible.In an interview with JIS News, Public Education Officer at the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, Daynia Harper, said before the Election Day, persons should find out where they are to vote.“We encourage you to visit our website at ecj.com.jm and click on query voters’ list. It will ask you for your name and date of birth and after that we will prompt you about where you are to vote,” Ms. Harper said.She is also reminding voters to take along their voter identification card to the polling stations.“The voter’s ID card is the only identification card that is accepted on that day. However, if you do not have that card, you may still vote, but it will take a longer time for you to be able to cast your ballot,” she added.On arrival at the polling station, Jamaicans are being encouraged to join the line and wait until it is their turn to vote.Importantly, the use or display of cameras, cellular phones or any other image-capturing device is banned inside the polling station, and persons are being urged to turn off their cellular phones inside the polling stations.“Another thing you need to do when you get to the polling station, is to turn off and put away your cell phones. Do not attempt to use or display your cell phones or cameras or any kind of video recorders in the polling station,” Ms. Harper warned.If individuals attempt to use their cell phone or any smart device to do a recording, he or she will be asked to leave the polling station and will lose their chance to vote. In addition, voters must follow the instructions of the Presiding Officer in order for their ballot to be successfully marked and cast.“The Presiding Officer will show you how to fold your ballot and you will go behind the screen. You will mark your ballot with an ‘X’ for the candidate you wish to vote for and then you will refold your ballot in the exact way that the Presiding Officer has shown you. You will return with the ballot and you will dip your finger in the ink and watch as the Presiding Officer puts your ballot into the ballot box,” Ms. Harper said.Meanwhile, voters are encouraged not to try and influence any other voter to vote for a particular candidate. “If you show anyone your ballot, it will be taken from you by the Presiding Officer and marked as spoilt. You will, however, be given another chance to vote. But we encourage you – do not show anyone your ballot,” the Public Education Officer emphasised. Workers desirous of casting their ballots on Election Day are allotted time off from work to do so under the Representation of the People (Leave and Symbols) Regulations, 1944.They are allowed three hours, in addition to the normal meal hour, for voting purposes on a national and local election day.For more information about the voting process, persons may contact the Electoral Commission by calling toll free: 1-888-991-8683 or visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @ecjamaica. Recommended for you Related Items:Daynia Harper, general elections, voting process Changes to come for two General Election laws TCI Elections may be in 2017; Premier flaunts prerogative Haiti Presidential Elections delayed due to Review of Voting process Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

PM Minnis Presented National Athletic Gear from the BAAAs

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, September 29, 2017 – Nassau – The BAAAs presented Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis with a complete set of national athletic gear at the Office of the Prime Minister in a courtesy call on September 27, 2017.The Prime Minister is pictured chatting at the presentation with BAAA President Rosamunde Carey, centre, and Bahamian sprint Olympian Pauline Davis-Thompson.(Photo/Yontalay Bowe, OPM Media Services) Related Items:last_img