Liberia Passes 73 Days of ‘Heightened Surveillance’

first_imgLiberia continues to be an Ebola-free country having officially passed day 73 of the 90-day period of heightened surveillance without any reported new Ebola cases, Madam Leela Zaizay, the National Surveillance Officer and Public Health Lead at the Ministry of Health (MOH), has said.In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer over the weekend, Madam Zaizay said after the heightened surveillance, Liberia will come under the usual or regular surveillance as other non-Ebola countries.Liberia, after 42 days without a single new case of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) that gripped three West African nations for over a year, was declared free of the transmission on May 9, but the disease re-emerged on June 29. Six additional cases were identified midway through the first 90-day period when a routine postmortem swab taken from a 17-year old male, who died on June 28 tested positive for the EVD. The end of the 90-day period of heightened (or active) surveillance of the country would mean that Liberia is truly free of the transmission of the EVD, which has killed nearly 5,000 Liberians and several foreigners.In partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), Emory University (USA) and African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), Liberia has meanwhile reactivated its Disease Outbreak Surveillance Program to intensify vigilance and rapid response to any outbreak. Two weeks ago, 30 surveillance officers graduated from the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) – the first of its kind in the country. During their surveillance activities, the 5,893 suspected cases of Ebola they were monitoring in the 15 counties tested negative. The investigation was done at 91 health districts, 718 health centers as well as swabbing of dead bodies.The report said that at the time, Grand Gedeh County had the highest suspected Ebola cases (1,676), followed by Grand Bassa County (1,015) and Lofa County (130).The report further said besides the suspected Ebola cases, there were also 2,345 suspected cases of acute watery diarrhea followed by 37 suspected cases of measles.Last week, according to Madam Zaizay, another batch of trainees began instruction in surveillance, epidemiology, response and scientific communication skills of public health workers at the district, county and national levels. The FETP basic training will last for three months and will focus on fundamental skills used in frontline surveillance and response for diseases in Liberia or elsewhere.It may be recalled that Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said disease outbreaks would not end with Ebola and surveillance officers were the frontline defense to identify early signals of any epidemic and marshal a rapid response.Meanwhile, in order to build a resilient health sector to tackle pending outbreaks, MOH has employed 736 health workers with plans to hire up to 4,132 more over seven years.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

The Early Bird Gets the Just-So Story

first_imgIf a catastrophic world event wiped out the dinosaurs, why did birds survive? They’re smaller and more delicate, it seems. National Geographic published a new hypothesis: they out-thought the doomed dinosaurs. “Birds survived the global catastrophe that wiped out their dinosaur relatives due to superior brainpower, a new study suggests.” A couple of seabird skulls alleged to be 55 million years old show a larger and more complex brain, researchers said in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. This explanation, however, is not alone. Other reasons why birds survived the extinction include the location hypothesis (that they were distant from the catastrophe), and the coastline hypothesis (that coastal habitats were not as impacted as others). These hypotheses seem to ignore the dinosaur species living in the same lucky habitats. The proponents of the bigger-brain hypothesis noticed that some birds went extinct, so “it wasn’t feathers or warm-bloodedness that gave modern birds a leg up.” It must have been the bigger brain, they said, even though, pound for pound, a T rex brain would seem much bigger than a hummingbird brain. Maybe it was the software, not the hardware – though by all accounts, dinosaurs must have had pretty good programming, because they showed a remarkable flexibility and tenacity in a variety of habitats for a long time. Why the Dodo emerged and Velociraptor perished is just one of those things that happens in evolution. National Geographic ended the article with, “As well as providing valuable new evidence for the evolution of birds… the latest study offers an intriguing new theory that will motivate paleontologists to look harder and farther to find more fossils.” They desperately need more fossils, the lead author said. “We can only get so close to understanding the brains of the earliest birds with the sample of known species currently available.”We sincerely hope you enjoyed this bedtime story. Some day, if you think real hard, you might survive an extinction, too. You might outlive the bobble-headed professors who teach Darwinist nonsense in academia, oblivious to the fact that it is imploding.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA vendors still cashing in on 2010

first_imgSoweto vendors are hard at work, making craft to send overseas to tourists who came for the World Cup and loved their work. (Image: Makoena Pabale) It’s been six months since the final game of the 2010 Fifa World Cup was played in South Africa and the last of the foreign tourists returned home, but small vendors in this country say they are still reaping the benefits. South African street traders say that brushing up on different languages ahead of the tournament was really worth it – and they’re still getting craft orders from overseas fans.Thulani Mabhena is a vendor outside the Hector Peterson Museum in Orlando West, Soweto – South Africa’s biggest township. He picked up some French so that he’d be able to converse with World Cup tourists who visited the museum and expressed interest in buying some of his handmade crafts.A hot spot for tourists in general, the museum on Khumalo Street commemorates the 1976 Soweto Uprising and is named after the first pupil who was killed in the protest.“My business did really well during the World Cup,” said Mabhena, who sells handmade beaded leather shoes, shirts, hats, wooden bangles, wooden wine glasses, handmade painted tablecloths, calabashes, small sculptures of elephants and rhinos, key holders and other ornaments painted in the colours of the South African flag.Mabhena said it was a happy time for both the tourists and for his business. “We got to exchange cultures. With my conversational French I was able to sit with some of the tourists and chat about life and the amazing experience of the World Cup. We talked about our favourite teams and players, and I taught them how to play the legendary vuvuzela.”He said tourists felt safe in the township and spent time before and after games enjoying the culture, food and drinks at local spots close to where he worked. “It was amazing how free everyone was. I taught some of the visitors how to sing and dance South African style, it was a lot of fun. The best part was making sales … many of the tourists thought my stuff was magnifique (magnificent, in French) and bon marché (cheap, in French).”Mabhena said he is still hard at work keeping up with a number of orders for “local treasures” – such as calabashes and animal sculptures – which foreigners want packaged and sent back to them as a reminder of their time in Africa.“The crafts painted with South African flags were also quite popular with many tourists – they also asked me to tailor-make some crafts painted with their countries’ flags too.”A recipe for successDuring the 2010 tournament Ntabiseng Molefe and Lufuno Mgomane were based a few kilometres from Soccer City, which hosted the opening and closing matches. They learned Portuguese so they could chat to fans supporting their food business. “We sold plates and plates of pap and tripe, a local delicacy,” said Molefe.“Business is a bit slow now because there isn’t the same flow of people coming to the stadium, however, we have used the money we made during that time to pay for baking and cooking classes so we can open a small shop and sell food,” said Mgomane.She said many World Cup tourists asked them to write out the recipes and ingredients of the food they sold, so the fans could make the dishes back home. “Many were willing to pay for the recipes, but we were happy to give it to them for free. A lot of them insisted so, well, we were not going to refuse money.”Breaking into new markets“I made a killing on vuvuzelas,” said Siphamandla Njilo. “ I was just travelling around fan parks and along stadium routes all over Gauteng with vuvuzelas and flags. Within two hours I would be rushing back home to get more vuvuzelas and make more orders because tourists loved them so much and snapped them up within minutes.”Njilo said he couldn’t believe how popular the loud plastic horns were. “It was crazy … everyone wanted to blow one, it was all you could hear from any part of South Africa. It may have irritated some, but it excited me because I made major money from it.”As with the other vendors, Njilo said he is still enjoying the financial benefits of the World Cup. “Ive put my money away and want to go to school to learn how to make crafts that celebrate football and African culture. I could send these overseas to be sold there. I think I’ll do well, I saw how many foreign visitors loved African craft and I want to break into that market.”last_img read more

South Africa, France in cultural exchange

first_imgThe Giant Match was a collaborationbetween The French Institute and theWits School of Fine Art, as part of the2010 Fifa World Cup festivities. (Image: French Institute)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sigrid Hueber Communications: Saisons, French Institute +27 82 332 3398 or +43 676 378 3125 • Guy de la Chevalerie Cultural adviser, French Embassy in SA +27 12 425 1711 RELATED ARTICLES • SA, France toast to wine exchange • Zuma in France to strengthen ties • Festival to showcase Franschhoek • SA-China trade ties to strengthenEmily van RijswijckThe long-standing relationship between France and South Africa will be further strengthened over the next two years when the Saisons croisées France-Afrique du Sud 2012/2013 formally kicks off in June this year.The exchange programme was set up at the instigation of presidents Jacob Zuma and Nicolas Sarkozy, who met in France in March 2011.It follows from successful Saisons croisées which have already taken place between France and India, Russia and Brazil.Engagements between South Africa and France will be reciprocal in nature and involve a range of cultural and artistic activities, and also touching on commerce, investment, science and technology, tourism, sport and education.Alain Juppé, the French foreign affairs minister, shared details of the programme with South Africans during his visit to the country in November 2011, when he attended the inauguration of the new premises of the French Institute of South Africa in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.After many years of renting facilities, the French Institute finally decided to acquire permanent premises, a testimony to France’s “desire to make cultural and scientific cooperation part of a long term vision”, said Juppé.Programme so farThe French Saisons croisées will run from June to November 2012 throughout South Africa, particularly in the bigger cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.Popular cultural events such as the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Johannesburg’s Art Fair and Food Wine Design Fair, and the Durban International Film Festival will benefit from the collaboration.Galleries and theatres, among them the South African National Gallery in Cape Town, the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg, the State Theatre in Pretoria, and the Soweto Theatre will work with French delegations during this time.“For France, it will be an opportunity to show the South African public the modernity, creativity and diversity of the French language and culture,” said Juppé, “and will show decision-makers and students that our country is an attractive, reliable and committed partner.”Private and public projects by institutions or individuals wishing to participate in the Saisons can contact the French Institute for more information.In turn South Africa will be given the chance to show off its cultural diversity and advancement in many different fields at the Saisons croisées Afrique du Sud from June to November 2013 in France.Major French cities like Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux and Toulouse will benefit from the exchange.Clegg and MakebaSouth African artists are no strangers to French audiences. The ever-popular Johnny Clegg and the late Miriam Makeba successfully conquered the hearts of the French with their African musical styles.Known as Le Zoulou Blanc (the White Zulu), Clegg is a regular visitor to the country – he last toured France in 2011 – while Makeba was an honorary French citizen.The late Gerard Sekoto, an artist who was much revered by French art lovers and who spent 40 years in exile in that country, was honoured by the French government on several occasions.More recently, in June 2011, South African artist Nicolaas Maritz was one of five winners chosen by French NGO Dessine l’espoir for his HIV awareness poster Love the one you’re with. The NGO’s poster competition sought artwork to use in an Aids awareness campaign.Juppé said the exchange will let South Africa prove to the French that the traditional image they have of this country is a thing of the past, and show off the new South Africa, a modern and dynamic democratic state, which plays a role in world stability.France in South AfricaIn 2012 the International Federation of Teachers of French (FIPF) meets for the first time on South African soil, and for that matter in the southern hemisphere.More than 2 000 delegates are expected to attend the 13th FIPF Congress, taking place at the International Convention Centre in Durban from 23 to 27 July.FIPF president Jean-Pierre Cuq said on the IntoFrench website that the decision to hold the congress in Durban was unanimous. The city’s enthusiastic and professional presentation showed that “they were the best candidate”.France made its first formal institutional commitment to South Africa with the opening of the French Institute a year after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994. Its mandate to promote cultural and intellectual links with South Africa remains firm, said Juppé.It’s easy to learn French in South Africa, with 14 Alliances Françaises and three French schools – the Lycée Jules Verne in Johannesburg and its Miriam Makeba satellite in Pretoria, and Ecole François le Vaillant in Cape Town.Alliance Française also operates in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, while the Campus France South Africa helps students of the French language to continue their studies in France.“French culture wants to be present wherever the vibrant South Africa is transforming and modernising,” said Juppé.last_img read more

Brand South Africa is now on Instagram

first_imgCatch all of South Africa’s picturesque moments on our new Instagram page. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa has now joined Instagram. You can experience South Africa’s natural beauty and awesome people wherever you are. So join us on our journey.We are a warm people living in a beautiful country. We are a country of 52 million stories. We want South Africans to tell their own story. It is for this reason we have launched our Instagram page today.In celebration of the launch, we’re giving you the chance to win a weekend getaway in South Africa for two.Upload an image of your South Africa and tag @BrandSouthAfrica with #IHeartMySA. The picture that best illustrates the love for South Africa will be deemed the winner.We want you to share your pride in our sports teams, your love of being together, the natural beauty of the world we live in. We will share our warmth, the good times we share with our extended families. We want you to tell the stories of your success and the better world we are creating.Using the #IHeartMySA, we will inspire each other to show off the best of us. We will build themed collages showing off South African’s national pride and the hospitality of our neighbours.The prize includes accommodation at a four-star resort with breakfast and dinner for two. It excludes any travel and extra costs incurred by the winners. For more information, have a look at the terms and conditions.So don’t hesitate to follow us by using the handle @BrandSouthAfrica.See you on Instagram.last_img read more

Head scab risk for wheat generally low

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The last few wheat fields — mostly later maturing fields and fields in northern Ohio — are finishing up flowering this week. According to the forecasting system, the risk for head scab is low for these last fields that were flowering. Although it has rained through several crucial periods of risk for the disease, conditions have been relatively cool, which likely reduced the risk of the scab fungus infecting the wheat spikes.During most of the flowering window for the 2015 season when the crop is most susceptible to infection, conditions have generally not been favorable for scab — either too dry or too cold. Scab develops best under moderate to warm temperatures and humid conditions.last_img


first_imgAll draws, results, ladders and statistics can also be viewed at the TFA Sporting Pulse website which can be accessed using this link: TFA SPORTING PULSE WEBSITEDAY TWO SUMMARYMENS 20’s:The Sharks started their day by recording their first win, a 7-2 result over the Hornets who were on top of the ladder after day one.The Northern Eagles look to be picking up the pace, their 8-3 win over the Barbarians was good for them but not so good for the Barbarians.They followed it up with a 4-2 win over the defending champions, the Southern Suns and cemented their position, second on the ladder at the end of day two.The Sydney Mets are sitting on top after day two, but with a bye still to come the Northern Eagles and Brisbane City Cobras should overtake them before the finals begin.The Cobras spent day two in cruise mode, a 10-2 win over the Barbarians and a 9-2 win over the ACT gave them the chance to relax before the competition heats up again tomorrow.For the ACT and Barbarians the tournament has not been as successful as they would have hoped, winless after 6 rounds the competition will certainly be on to record a win in tomorrow’s final round matches. WOMENS 20’s:The ACT are looking as though they will be tough to be, an impressive 7-1 win over the Sydney Mets (who were undefeated prior to this) sending them to the top of their pool after day two, followed closely by the Mets and the Cobras.The Southern Suns and Hunter Western Hornets both continued on their winning ways, with the Suns winning comfortably 8-2 over the Rebels and the Hornets finding it a little tougher to score, beating the Cyclones 3-1. The Hornets have followed up their good form from the Under 18 Championships last September and are currently sitting on top of pool one, courtesy of their earlier win over the Sharks. They will be tested tomorrow by the Southern Suns in their final round match. The Sharks may have stumbled in their quest for a seventh title in eight years yesterday, but they recovered from their shock loss to inflict maximum pain on a struggling Sydney Scorpions side, 18-0. They then ground out a tough 5-2 win over the Suns to move them to third in their pool.Credit must go to the Scorpions girls, who are still out there and enjoying themselves despite some heavy losses.MIXED OPEN:The first round of the Mixed went as expected, with all the favourites coming out on top. The Mets beat the Cyclones 8-2, the Suns beat the Rustlers 6-3, the Scorpions hurt the Barbarians 12-4 and the Cobras finished with a 10-5 win over the Rebels. The Sharks sat out the first round with a bye, no doubt watching the four teams likely to challenge for the title. The Barbarians and North Queensland Cyclones are the only two Mixed Open teams yet to record a win, although both teams will take positives from the event as they have displayed plenty of good Touch.With three rounds to be played before the finals, it would take a massive effort from the Southern Suns or Queensland Rustlers (sitting two wins behind the Scorpions in fourth place) to knock any of the top four teams off their perch.It looks as though the Mets, Sharks, Cobras and Scorpions are all safely through in the Mixed Open division for 2006.WOMENS OPEN:The Womens Open has been the steadiest of all divisions, with results falling generally as expected. The Rustlers, Sharks and Hornets all cruised through their first day two matches in pool two, but it was the afternoon match between the Cobras and Sharks that grabbed the most attention.In a close and exciting match, featuring some brilliant defense from both sides, the Sharks held off rivals the Cobras 3-1 in a win that lifted them to second on the ladder.The Hunter Western Hornets are sitting third in pool two, but with matches against the Cobras and Sharks tomorrow, they may find the going a little tougher.Despite sitting on top of the ladder in pool two, the Queensland Rustlers were subjected to their first loss of the tournament, a tense 3-2 win to the Cobras sealing the deal that the fight in pool two should be between the leading Queenslanders.MENS OPEN:In pool one of the Mens Open the day began as a one sided affair, the Cobras held no mercy for the ACT, a 12-0 win was one the ACT would like to forget. The Mets and Sharks recorded similar results, 12-4 for the Mets over the Cyclones, while the Sharks left no stone unturned with a 13-2 win over the Rebels.Pool two began in a similar fashion, the Southern Suns destroying the Crusaders 15-1. From all reports it looks as though the Suns have hit their stride and may be more than just a contender come finals time.The Rustlers also came out firing, a 13-2 win over the Eagles making it an all around miserable start for the bottom half of each pool in the Mens Open competition.The one exception to the trend of the morning was the match between the Hornets and Barbarians, with the Hornets emerging narrow 6-4 winners. It was a much improved Barbarians side, with their up and coming young guns providing promise for future events. At the end of day three it is the Suns and Scorpions clearly ahead in pool two, while the Mets, Cobras and Sharks battle it out in pool one.Stay tuned tomorrow for the final round matches and quarter finals at the 2006 NTL!last_img read more

a month agoBurnley’s two goal striker Chris Wood: We were at our best

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Burnley’s two goal striker Chris Wood: We were at our bestby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley’s two goal striker Chris Wood praised the manner of their win over Norwich City.Norwich – fresh from beating champions Manchester City a week ago – never really threatened the lead as Sean Dyche’s men wrapped up a first win since the opening day with an accomplished display from back to front.“That’s what comes of it if we are at our best – we get the three points,” said Wood.“That’s what we try and strive to do every week and it’s nice to put in a great performance and get the three points out of it.“We thrive on home games and try and work hard to get those wins. Thankfully we got another one today and now we can build on that and go forward.“We knew we had a good four games (between international breaks) to hopefully get some points on the board and we’ve started pretty well.“You can look it very happily, knowing that we can build on it and move forward and hopefully get some more results.” last_img read more

Ohio State womens basketball wraps up home schedule vs Nebraska and Illinois

OSU sophomore guard Asia Doss (20) defends during a game against Northwestern on Jan. 28 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorAfter playing on the road for the past two contests, the No. 7 Ohio State women’s basketball team (21-4, 13-1) gets to play on its home court for the next week.Occupying the Big Ten’s top spot, the Buckeyes are set to face off against Nebraska (17-8, 8-6) Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. After a win over Michigan State on Sunday, the Huskers come to Columbus looking to keep their energy alive and pull off an upset in the mid-February matchup.The Buckeyes, however, are more focused than ever, keeping their eyes focused on the mission while understanding that every team that steps onto the hardwood against them is looking to take away their crown. “Everybody wants to take the person that’s on top out,” said junior forward Shayla Cooper. “Every night we need to come prepared.”OSU coach Kevin McGuff has harped on the mental toughness his team must have coming down the stretch of the regular season and heading into the conference tournament, especially because of its high ranking. But for now, the Scarlet and Gray are determined to take care of business one game at a time.In the all-time series history between the two programs, Nebraska holds a 7-5 lead. Nonetheless, OSU was the team that came out on top last time, a 78-60 victory in March to finish the 2014-15 regular season.Precise post playWhen it comes to Nebraska’s scoring attack, the Huskers turn to their freshman forward Jessica Shepard. Her scoring average of 20.6 points per game ranks fifth in the Big Ten. OSU sophomore forward Alexa Hart (22) during a game against Northwestern on Jan. 28 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorShepard understands the game well for a freshman and knows when to kick the ball out to her teammates when the defense begins to collapse. Being one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the Big Ten, the 6-foot-4 Shepard keeps her head on a swivel to find the open woman and get high-quality shots. With the Buckeyes having a guard-heavy roster, their main focus will be to protect the paint and prevent Shepard from being an offensive threat.“(The Cornhuskers) have a really nice post player,” Cooper said of Shepard. “And they have really nice shooters that spot up. We just have to defend the post and get out to the 3-point shooters.”Shepard’s effectiveness doesn’t end with the scoring column, though. She dominates the boards as well, averaging 8.9 rebounds per game, including 3.2 offensive rebounds per contest. With these statistics in mind, OSU will need to go back to the fundamentals and make sure it boxes out on all defensive possessions to prohibit second-chance opportunities. The Buckeyes are in second-to-last place in defensive rebound percentage. Conversely, the Cornhuskers — powered by Shepard’s prowess on the glass — are third in the conference in that category. Rebounding, it seems, will be a major factor in declaring a winner. Senior SundayThe Buckeyes are slated to play their last home game of the season Sunday against Illinois. It will be the second meeting between these two teams this year. The first matchup came on Feb. 1 in Champaign, Illinois, when OSU won 80-70. The OSU women’s basketball program will honor its two senior guards, Ameryst Alston and Cait Craft, on Sunday in a pregame ceremony, as it scheduled to be their last moments in scarlet and gray at the Schott in the regular season.The two have been fixtures of McGuff’s team since he arrived in Columbus, starting each game they played in during the last three seasons. Alston in particular has been one of the standouts of the program’s history, as she was on the All-Big Ten first team during her sophomore and junior seasons and recently eclipsed the 2,000-point mark for her career.This season, Alston has started all 25 games, averaging 18.8 points and a team-high 3.8 assists per contest. Craft has started the 24 games she appeared in, averaging just 4.9 points per game but ranking third on the team with 23 3-pointers made and regularly receiving the opposition’s top defensive assignments.Tipoff for the matchup against the Fighting Illini is set for 2 p.m. read more