Gov’t Renews Commitment to Eradicate Malaria

first_imgThe Government of Liberia has renewed its commitment to ensure that the devastating effects of malaria, which claims thousands of lives in the country annually, are brought under control.This will be achieved with support from global partners such as World Health Organization, and Global Fund.Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan said though government had made great strides against malaria by cutting its infection and death rate by half since 2010, the ferocious killer still remains a serious problem to the health system.“It is imperative that we renew our commitment globally and as a nation to combat this disease,” the Foreign Minister declared. “We should continue this fight until we can feel comfortable that we have significantly reduced its impacts on the world at large,” he added.Mr. Ngafuan made the remarks on Saturday at the Monrovia City Hall where he represented President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as launcher of the distribution of free LLINs (Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets) Campaign, which also coincided with the global celebration of World Malaria Day.The day was celebrated under the theme:  “Invest in the future. Defeat malaria,” which highlights the need for increased financial and human resources, commodities and infrastructural investment to control and eliminate malaria.He said that the Liberian government, with support from partners, has in the last ten years reduced malaria by over 50 percent and extended access to prompt and effective treatment by providing curative care at health facilities and pharmaceutical outlets in hard-to-reach communities.“We have reduced the percentage of malaria cases that progress into complications from ten to five percent. We have extended diagnostic coverage from 60 percent in 2010 to close to 90 percent in 2013,” Minister Ngafuan said.The government has also succeeded in suspending tariff on all anti-malaria commodities that come in the country. “We have instituted a ban on the importation of mono-therapies, amongst others,” he said.Minister Ngafuan noted that by this campaign, government intends to make a strong statement that, “If we can strive to improve the utilization of the bed nets, we will be improving our indicator for malaria. We want to encourage every Liberian to take cover under the nets. Protect yourselves   and your families against malaria and stay healthy because a healthy nation is a prosperous nation,” he added.A statement from the WHO regional head for Africa, Dr.  Matshidiso Moeti, read by her Representative to Liberia, Dr Alex Gasasira, said limited access to and under-utilization of available malaria interventions within countries are the major causes of excessively high burdens of malaria cases and deaths.For example, in 2013, she said, 33% of households in the Africa Region still did not own even a single LLIN and only 29% of households had enough LLINs.Dr. Gasasira stressed that malaria can be prevented or controlled through the use of the LLINs, indoor residual spraying (IRS), preventive therapies for pregnant women, children under five and infants, as well as quality-assured diagnostic testing and treatment.She noted that most malaria prone countries are still far from achieving universal coverage of these malaria interventions.Increased funding for malaria is needed in order to save lives and further expand access to malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment services in the region.“This is even more critical, given the urgent need to tackle malaria drug-resistance and other emerging threats such as mosquito resistance to insecticides,” she said.She called on countries and stakeholders to focus on targeting available resources at places where the burden of malaria is highest and at the people and groups who face the highest risk of malaria.WHO, Dr. Gasasira assured, will continue to provide evidence-based guidance to all countries and stakeholders to better target malaria interventions, strengthen national health systems towards universal health coverage, and accelerate progress towards a malaria-free Africa.The mosquito nets donated and brought into the country by the Global Fund to fight HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) are the single largest consignment since the start of the Global Fund Project in Liberia in 2005.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Six dead, 31 injured after bus falls into gorge in J&K’s Udhampur

first_imgSix persons were killed and 31 injured when a Srinagar-bound private bus skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Saturday.The accident happened at Chandeh village near Surinsar around midnight when the driver of the bus lost control over the vehicle that rolled down into the gorge, the officials said.They said the driver had reportedly taken the interior route to dodge traffic police in view of the restrictions on the main Jammu-Srinagar national highway which was opened for traffic from Jammu to Srinagar on Saturday after five days of closure due to landslides caused by rain and snowfall.They said a rescue operation was immediately launched.Five persons were found dead while 32 were rescued and rushed to Government Medical College hospital in Jammu for treatment, the officials said.They said one of them was declared dead by doctors on arrival.A few of the injured were stated to be “critical”, the officials said.last_img read more

10 months agoSarri declares Fabregas should leave Chelsea

first_imgSarri declares Fabregas should leave Chelseaby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has backed Cesc Fabregas’ departure from the club. The 31-year-old is on the verge of joining Monaco, managed by his former teammate Thierry Henry.Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Tottenham, Sarri said: “I can say only my opinion, I don’t know the decision of the club. [And] in my opinion he needs to go.”At this club there’s a rule, the renewal of players over 30 is for one year. I don’t want a player as important as Cesc unhappy.”I don’t know, yesterday he had a free day for the injury, so I don’t know.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

13 days agoMan Utd defender Maguire fears dodgy club form hurting England

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd defender Maguire fears dodgy club form hurting Englandby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United defender Harry Maguire fears club issues are having a negative effect on England’s beleaguered defenders.Maguire concedes that club struggles may be hurting international form.He said: “Maybe it is a confidence thing because we bring our club football to the international level.“It was a difficult game. We started sloppy and we took the lead in the game when we probably didn’t deserve to.“In the second half, we controlled the game a lot more but we gave them a sloppy goal to win the game.“So we do need to improve on that. It’s hard to lose any football game, but we were not at our best and got punished.” last_img read more

Rep Marino introduces bill to combat alcohol and opioid abuse

first_img State Rep. Steve Marino of Harrison Township today introduced legislation to help local agencies fight substance abuse in Michigan.Marino’s bill would dedicate a portion of the money raised through liquor taxes to Michigan’s local community mental health agencies. Each local board would provide grants for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, primarily targeting alcohol and opioids.“Substance abuse is a major problem in Michigan,” Marino said. “Our local community mental health agencies are in the best position to identify and develop programs to fight the abuse of alcohol, opioids and other drugs. This bill will deliver more resources to agencies on the front lines of this fight.”Marino’s bill would require a portion of the revenue collected by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission be distributed to community mental health agencies.  It could provide more than $17 million a year to combat alcohol-related disorders, opiate addiction and other conditions.Recent statistics indicate the alarming abuse problems are worsening. Opioid deaths in Michigan rose from 622 in 2011 to 1,689 in 2016, according to legislative committee testimony from the state Department of Health and Human Services. Opioid prescriptions in the state now top 11 million per year. The number of people in treatment for substance use disorders also is growing and exceeds 32,000.### Categories: Marino News,News 11Oct Rep. Marino introduces bill to combat alcohol and opioid abuselast_img read more

Simon Lowth BT has appointed the former CFO of BG

first_imgSimon LowthBT has appointed the former CFO of BG Group, AstraZeneca and ScottishPower, Simon Lowth, as group finance director.Lowth, who also becomes an executive board director at BT, is due to join the company on July 4 and will take over from current finance director Tony Chanmugam following a handover period.Chanmugam will then move to focus on integrating EE into BT “for a period of time”, following the completion of BT’s £12.5 billion takeover of the mobile operator in January.Lowth was most recently CFO and executive director of oil and gas giant BG Group, stepping down last month following its £35 billion takeover by Royal Dutch Shell.Prior to this he was CFO of AstraZeneca and served for a short period in 2012 as the pharmaceutical company’s interim CEO. Before that he worked for four years at Scottish power, latterly as finance director.“I’m delighted to be joining BT at such an exciting time,” said Lowth. “Having acquired one of the UK’s leading mobile operators and with superfast fibre broadband available to well over 24 million homes, BT is well-placed for growth in consumer, business and wholesale markets. I look forward to working with Gavin Patterson and the rest of BT’s strong team to build upon the solid strategic and financial foundations already in place.”BT Group CEO Gavin Patterson praised Lowth and paid tribute to Chanmugam for his “tremendous hard work, commitment and the strong results that he has delivered during his career at BT… I wish him all the best in his future enterprises.”last_img read more

missing personPolicePolice say missing Derry teen

first_img missing personPolicePolice say missing Derry teen Sinead Murphy is in ParisPSNI FOYLE ShareTweet Missing Derry teen Sinead MurphyPOLICE now believe missing Derry teenager Sinead Murphy is now in Paris.Earlier, PSNI Foyle said they believe she had gone to Friday. Police say: “Sinead Murphy, 19 years, is still missing. “We believe Sinead is in Paris at this time but if anyone out there has any information as to exactly where she is or has been in contact with her please please get in touch.“Sinead: if you are reading this please get in touch with us or your family. “You are not in any trouble. “You are loved, treasured and missed dearly and all those who care for you want to know you are safe. “Reference number 1335 of 21/09/18 – call us on 101.”Police say missing Derry teen Sinead Murphy is in Paris was last modified: September 25th, 2018 by John2John2 Tags:last_img read more

Americas big drugmakers and pharmacy chains are s

first_imgAmerica’s big drugmakers and pharmacy chains are scrambling to respond to hundreds of lawsuits tied to the deadly opioid epidemic. Billions of dollars are at stake if the companies are found liable for fueling the crisis.Even before judgments are rendered, companies like Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and CVS are already suffering damage to their reputations as evidence in civil suits reveals more about their internal workings.”The narrative is clearly shifting on this story,” said David Armstrong, a senior reporter with ProPublica, who has covered the drug industry for years. “People want some sort of reckoning, some sort of accounting.”One reason for the shift is that cities and states filing these suits are moving more aggressively to pull back the curtain on the drug industry’s practices, urging courts to make internal memos, marketing strategies and reams of other documents public.”Our next battle is to get the depositions and the documents that are being produced made available to the public, instead of everything being filed under confidentiality agreements,” said Joe Rice, one of the lead attorneys bringing lawsuits against drug companies on behalf of local governments in Ohio.A growing number of documents have already been released or leaked to the press, and many of the revelations they contain have been troubling. In internal memos, Purdue executives acknowledged that their prescription opioids are far more addictive and dangerous than the company was telling doctors. At the same time, company directives pushed sales representatives to get even more opioids into the hands of vulnerable people, including seniors and veterans.Memos also show that Purdue executives developed a secret plan, never implemented, called Project Tango in which they acknowledged the escalating risk of the opioid epidemic. The program was allegedly designed to help Purdue profit from the growing wave of opioid dependency by selling the company’s addiction treatment services to people hooked on products like its own OxyContin.This increased transparency represents a big shift in the way opioid lawsuits are being handled. “We’ve done something that hasn’t been done before,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who appeared in February on NPR and WBUR’s program On Point.Massachusetts is suing Purdue, like dozens of other states, and Healey fought successfully to make all the documents her office had uncovered public, without redactions. “What Purdue’s own documents show is the extent of deception and deceit. What’s important to me is that the facts come to light, and we get justice and accountability,” Healey said.Purdue Pharma declined to speak with NPR, but the drug industry has fought these disclosures at every turn. They describe the information in these documents as proprietary, asserting that it should be viewed by the courts as corporate property. For years, governments pursuing these cases mostly went along with those arguments.In past opioid settlements, companies paid fines but insisted on gag orders. “The way it usually works is the language in the settlement requires either that the records be destroyed very quickly after the settlement or that they physically actually return the records to the drug company,” said ProPublica’s Armstrong.That happened in 2007 when the Justice Department ended a criminal case against Purdue Pharma. It happened again a few years ago when the state of Kentucky settled a civil case with the company and that state’s attorney general destroyed thousands of pages of documents. As a result, few people in the wider public knew how serious the allegations were.As more information has been revealed, it’s sparking fury. At a February hearing on Capitol Hill, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., blasted industry executives. “Companies like Janssen and Purdue Pharma fueled this epidemic, employing deceptive and truly unconscionable marketing tactics despite the known risk, so you could sell more drugs to maximize your profits,” she said.Jennifer Taubert heads the Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit of Johnson & Johnson, which makes and sells opioids. The company faces escalating lawsuits over its products, but Taubert denied any wrongdoing at the hearing. “Everything that we have done with our products when we’ve promoted opioid products, which we stopped marketing a long time ago, was appropriate and responsible,” she told lawmakers.Yet according to the drug companies’ internal documents, firms including Johnson & Johnson pushed unscientific theories about drug addiction. They allegedly did so as part of an effort to persuade doctors to prescribe even more opioids after patients showed signs of dependency.This kind of industry backlash has happened before, such as when tobacco companies faced lawsuits in the 1990s. As those trials unfolded, the public learned for the first time about widespread corporate wrongdoing.The difference here is that drug companies and their researchers have been seen by many in the public as healers and innovators, part of a trusted health care system.There could be more revelations. With another big opioid trial set to begin in May in Oklahoma state court, attorneys are still fighting over millions of pages of documents, most of which the public has still never seen.One possibility is that companies could agree to what is known as a global settlement of these opioid cases, paying billions of dollars in compensation in hopes of winning new secrecy agreements.If that happens, says ProPublica’s Armstrong, documents that help tell the full story of this drug epidemic could be destroyed or locked away for years. “I worry that we’re going to lose all this valuable information about how we got to this point with this crisis, who knew what when,” he said. Copyright 2019 NCPR. To see more, visit NCPR.last_img read more

Welcome to parenthood For many of us parenthood

first_imgWelcome to parenthood! For many of us, parenthood is like being air-dropped into a foreign land, where protohumans rule and communication is performed through cryptic screams and colorful fluids. And to top it off, in this new world, sleep is like gold: precious and rare. (Oh, so precious.)Throughout human history, children were typically raised in large, extended families filled with aunts, uncles, grannies, grandpas and siblings. Adding another baby to the mix didn’t really make a big dent. Nowadays, though, many moms and dads are going about it alone. As a result, taking care of a newborn can be relentless. There are too few arms for rocking, too few chests for sleeping and too few hours in the day to stream The Great British Bake Off. At some point, many parents need the baby to sleep — alone and quietly — for a few hours. And so, out of self-preservation, many of us turn to the common, albeit controversial, practice of sleep training, in hopes of coaxing the baby to sleep by herself. Some parents swear by it. They say it’s the only way they and their babies got any sleep. Others parents say letting a baby cry is harmful. What does the science say? Here we try to separate fiction from fact and offer a few reassuring tips for wary parents. Let’s start with the basics. Myth: Sleep training is synonymous with the “cry-it-out” method.Fact: Researchers today are investigating a wide range of gentler sleep training approaches that can help.The mommy blogs and parenting books often mix up sleep training with “cry it out,” says Jodi Mindell, a psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who has helped thousands of babies and parents get more sleep over the past 20 years. In fact, most of the time, it’s not that. “I think unfortunately sleep training has gotten a really bad rap because it’s been equated with this moniker called ‘cry it out,’ ” Mindell says.Indeed, the cry-it-out approach does sound cruel to many parents. “You put your baby into their crib or their room, you close the door and you don’t come back till the next day,” Mindell says. “But that’s not the reality of what we recommend or what parents typically do.”And it’s not what scientists have been studying over the past 20 years. Cry-it-out is an old way of thinking, says Mindell, author of one of the most frequently cited studies on sleep training (and the popular book Sleeping Through The Night). In today’s scientific literature, the term “sleep training” is an umbrella term that refers to a spectrum of approaches to help babies learn to fall asleep by themselves. It includes much gentler methods than cry-it-out or the so-called Ferber method. For example, some sleep training starts off by having the parent sleep next to the baby’s crib (a method called camping out) or simply involves educating parents about baby sleep.”All these methods are lumped together in the scientific literature as ‘sleep training,’ ” Mindell says. In several studies, parents are taught a very gentle approach to sleep training. They are told to place the baby in the crib and then soothe him — by patting or rubbing his back — until he stops crying. The parent then leaves the room. If the baby begins crying, the parent is supposed to check in after waiting some amount of time. In one study, these types of gentle interventions reduced the percentage of parents reporting sleep problems five months later by about 30%. Myth: There’s a “right” amount of time to let your baby cry when you’re trying to sleep train.Fact: There’s not a strict formula that works for every parent (or baby). There isn’t a magic number of minutes that works best for checking on a baby after you’ve put her down, Mindell says. It really depends on what parents feel comfortable with. “Doesn’t matter if you come back and check on the baby every 30 seconds or whether you come back every five minutes,” she says. “If it’s your first child you’re going in every 20 seconds.” But by the third, she jokes, 10 minutes of crying may not seem like a lot. There is no scientific data showing that checking every three minutes or every 10 minutes is going to work faster or better than checking more often. There are about a dozen or so high-quality studies on sleep training. Each study tests a slightly different approach. And none really compares different methods. In many studies, multiple methods are combined. For example, parents are taught both how to sleep train and how to set up a good bedtime routine. So it’s impossible to say one approach works better than the other, especially for every baby, Mindell says. Instead of looking for a strict formula — such as checking every five minutes — parents should focus on finding what Mindell calls “the magic moment” — that is, the moment when the child can fall asleep independently without the parent in the room. For some children, more soothing or more check-ins may help bring forth the magic, and for other babies, less soothing, fewer check-ins may work better. With my daughter, I finally figured out that one type of crying meant she needed some TLC, but another meant she wanted to be left alone. Even having a good bedtime routine can make a difference. “I think education is key,” Mindell says. “One study I just reviewed found that when new parents learn about how babies sleep, their newborns are more likely to be better sleepers at 3 and 6 months.””So you just have figure out what works best for you, your family and the baby’s temperament,” she says.Myth: It’s not real sleep training if you don’t hear tons of crying.Fact: Gentler approaches work, too. And sometimes nothing works.You don’t have to hear tons of crying if you don’t want, Mindell says. The scientific literature suggests all the gentler approaches — such as camping out and parental education — can help most babies and parents get more sleep, at least for a few months. In 2006, Mindell reviewed 52 studies on various sleep training methods. And in 49 of the studies, sleep training decreased resistance to sleep at bedtime and night wakings, as reported by the parents. There’s a popular belief that “cry it out” is the fastest way to teach babies to sleep independently. But there’s no evidence that’s true, Mindell says.”Parents are looking for like what’s the most effective method,” Mindell says. “But what that is depends on the parents and the baby. It’s a personalized formula. There’s no question about it.”And if nothing seems to work, don’t push too hard. For about 20% of babies, sleep training just doesn’t work, Mindell says. “Your child may not be ready for sleep training, for whatever reason,” she says. “Maybe they’re too young, or they’re going through separation anxiety, or there may be an underlying medical issue, such as reflux.” Myth: Once I sleep train my baby, I can expect her to sleep through the night, every night.Fact: Most sleep training techniques help some parents, for some time, but they don’t always stick.Don’t expect a miracle from any sleep training method, especially when it comes to long-term results. None of the sleep training studies are large enough — or quantitative enough — to tell parents how much better a baby will sleep or how much less often that baby will wake up after trying a method, or how long the changes will last. “I think that idea is a made-up fantasy,” Mindell says. “It would be great if we could say exactly how much improvement you’re going to see in your child, but any improvement is good. “Even the old studies on cry-it-out warned readers that breakthrough crying sometimes occurred at night and that retraining was likely needed after a few months. The vast majority of sleep training studies don’t actually measure how much a baby sleeps or wakes up. But instead, they rely on parent reports to measure sleep improvements, which can be biased. For example, one of the high-quality studies found that a gentle sleep training method reduced the probability of parents reporting sleep problems by about 30% in their 1-year-old. But by the time those kids were 2 years old, the effect disappeared. Another recent study found two kinds of sleep training helped babies sleep better — for a few months. It tried to compare two sleep training approaches: one where the parent gradually allows the baby to cry for longer periods of time and one where the parent shifts the baby’s bedtime to a later time (the time he naturally falls asleep), and then the parent slowly moves the time up to the desired bedtime. The data suggest that both methods reduced the time it takes for a baby to fall asleep at night and the number of times the baby wakes up at night. But the study was quite small, just 43 infants. And the size of the effects varied greatly among the babies. So it’s hard to say how much improvement is expected. After both methods, babies were still waking up, on average, one to two times a night, three months later. Bottom line, don’t expect a miracle, especially when it comes to long-term results. Even if the training has worked for your baby, the effect will likely wear off, you might be back to square one, and some parents choose to redo the training.Myth: Sleep training (or NOT sleep training) my children could harm them in the long term. Fact: There’s no data to show either choice hurts your child in the long-run. Some parents worry sleep training could be harmful long-term. Or that not doing it could set up their kids for problems later on.The science doesn’t support either of these fears, says Dr. Harriet Hiscock, a pediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, who has authored some of the best studies on the topic.In particular, Hiscock led one of the few long-term studies on the topic. It’s a randomized controlled trial — the gold standard in medical science — with more than 200 families. Blogs and parenting books often cite the study as “proof” that the cry-it-out method doesn’t harm children. But if you look closely, you quickly see that the study doesn’t actually test “cry it out.” Instead, it tests two other gentler methods, including the camping out method. “It’s not shut the door on the child and leave,” Hiscock says.In the study, families were either taught a gentle sleep training method or given regular pediatric care. Then Hiscock and colleagues checked up on the families five years later to see if the sleep training had any detrimental effects on the children’s emotional health or their relationship with their parents. The researchers also measured the children’s stress levels and accessed their sleep habits. In the end, Hiscock and her colleagues couldn’t find any long-term difference between the children who had been sleep trained as babies and those who hadn’t. “We concluded that there were no harmful effects on children’s behavior, sleep, or the parent-child relationship,” Hiscock says.In other words, the gentle sleep training didn’t make a lick of difference — bad or good — by the time kids reached about age 6. For this reason, Hiscock says parents shouldn’t feel pressure to sleep train, or not to sleep train a baby.”I just think it’s really important to not make parents feel guilty about their choice [on sleep training],” Hiscock says. “We need to show them scientific evidence, and then let them make up their own minds.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more