Crucial component

first_imgIt is well known that tuberculosis (TB) is one of the world’s top health challenges with nine million new cases and nearly 1.5 million deaths each year. Over 95 per cent of TB deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, poor communities and vulnerable groups.According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), while there has been significant progress in the fight against TB, with more than 43 million lives saved since 2000, the battle is only half-won as over 4000 people lose their lives each day to this leading infectious disease.At a recent international forum, which was organised to help complement the functioning of, and assist in capacity building among, national TB laboratories, Minister within the Public Health Ministry, Dr Karen Cummings boasted that Guyana was currently winning the war against TB. She said that in spite of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causing a spike in the number of TB cases dealt with last year, the National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP) and the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) were working round the clock to heighten the Isoniazid Preventative Therapy in citizens living with the deadly disease.Even though Guyana still has a far way to go, this country can boast of tremendous progress made in its fight against TB; and all efforts must be made to ensure these gains are not reversed. It could be recalled that the actual number of new TB cases diagnosed by the National TB Programme (NTBP) rose steadily throughout the 90s. However, with some key interventions by the previous Administration, such as the implementation of the Directly Observed Treatment Short (DOTS) programme (2002-2007), annual cases declined from 2008 and stabilised for four years thereafter due to further DOTS expansion.Based on official statistics, the case notification rate over the past five years decreased from 92 per 100,000 in 2012 to 70 per 100,000 in 2017. This is quite an achievement and kudos must be given to all the stakeholders that are working to further reduce TB cases in Guyana.Some years ago, the DOTS system was successfully implemented in all the regions of the country and has been essential to ensuring case detection, standardised treatment, with supervision and patient support. That said, the national rate is still below the target for the WHO’s END TB Strategy 2025 of 90 per cent.According to recent analysis by the WHO of the TB epidemic, “momentum is growing at country and community levels – including in the 30 countries with the highest TB burden (over 85 per cent of the global burden). A number of countries are strengthening the strategic agendas of their TB programmes, by adopting newer tools, extending access to care and linking with other parts of Government to reduce the financial costs borne by patients. Other countries are partnering with researchers to speed development of diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines, and to improve delivery”.However, despite these advances, formidable challenges remain including fragile health systems, human resource and financial constraints, and the serious co-epidemics with HIV, diabetes, and tobacco use.Ending TB will only be achieved with greater collaboration within and across governments and with partners from civil society, communities, researchers, the Private Sector and development agencies. This means taking a whole-of-society and multidisciplinary approach, in the context of universal health coverage.Funding also remains a crucial component. All partners can help take forward innovative approaches to ensure that everyone suffering from the disease has access to TB diagnosis, treatment and cure. Governments and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) may have the best ideas to tackle TB, but it makes very little sense if there are inadequate financial resources to ensure their effective implementation.The authorities here must continue to build on the gains made over the years regarding efforts to reduce TB cases in keeping with the WHO targets.last_img read more

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Job dissatisfaction

first_imgAt this rate, the Board of Supervisors might have to start looking at candidates from other countries – ones where they never heard about the King-Drew Medical Center or the overcrowding of county jails or the state of the foster care system or … SANDRA Vargas was surely being diplomatic when she told Los Angeles County supervisors earlier this month that she didn’t want the county administrator job because she preferred not to move. From Minneapolis. To Los Angeles. Even if there weren’t the long cold winter factor to figure, why would she apply for a job in another state if she preferred not to leave Minnesota? Vargas was the second of five top candidates for the county administrator’s position to say no once offered this $200,000-plus salary and seemingly prestigious job. But Vargas was smart enough to let the Board of Supes down gently and not say what she really thought about the job. As a county administrator, it’s easy enough to imagine she took one hard look at the state of L.A. County’s operations and the job’s role as a handmaiden to the five county supervisors and decided six months of winter wasn’t so bad after all. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Slayer bring 2017 tour to Dawson Creek

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Slayer will bring their 2017 Tour to Dawson Creek and the Encana Events Centre.There are many perilous ways one can spend time off – Volcano-boarding down Cerro Negro, Nicaragua’s active volcano, or maybe bungee jumping from a helicopter over the bubbling crater of Chile’s Villarrica volcano.  How about a visit to Sao Paulo’s Snake Island, home of some 4000 golden lancehead vipers whose venom can melt human flesh, or shark diving without a cage in South Africa.  But nothing is quite as hazardous or risky as a night in the pit at a Slayer concert.  Add to that the ferociousness of Lamb of God and Behemoth, and you’ve got a Satan-approved triple bill of Biblical proportions.The six-week expedition will rage across North America beginning July 12 in Bemidji, MN, winding up in Phoenix, AZ on August 20.  Slayer and Lamb of God will also play Wisconsin’s Rock Fest 2017 (7/13) and Rock USA 2017 (7/15), and then meet up with Behemoth at the Chicago Open Air Festival on July 16.  They will stop in Dawson Creek, BC on Monday, August 14 at the Encana Events Centre. Tickets go on sale this Friday, March 3; log on to www.slayer.net/tour for all purchasing details.- Advertisement -Tickets will be available for purchase on Friday, March 3 at 10 a.m. MST.  Tickets are priced at $89.00 and $79.00 plus applicable fees.  Tickets may be purchased online at www.tigerboxofficeplus.ca by phone at 1-877-339-8499, and in person at the Tiger Box Office Plus locations at the Encana Events Centre.last_img read more

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Malaysian PM Promises RM 10 Million for Indian Muslim NGOs in the Country

first_imgIn a pre-election announcement, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that RM 10 million (about $2.5 million) will be given to Indian Muslim NGOs over the next two years if he is re-elected during the 14th general election on May 9. He also promised financial assistance to the community to build halls or complexes.Razak, who has been trying to woo the Indian Muslim community for the election, had earlier said that they should be given the Bumiputera privileges as well, especially in education. Bumiputera are the Malays and other indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia who have certain privileges that were implemented in the 1970s.Razak, however, faced backlash for suggesting Bumiputera status for Indian Muslims. Critics have said that if the community can be given the status because they have lived in Malaysia for generations then anybody can be given the privileges.Razak announced the initiatives for the 600,000 Indian Muslims on May 3, but said that the Bumiputera status would be a problem.“First of all, on the Bumiputera status for admission into public universities. This may be difficult to resolve due to some constraints. However, I will talk to the minister and officials of the relevant ministry after GE14 to address the problems being faced by the Indian Muslim community to enter public universities,” he said after a meeting with more than 250 leaders of Indian NGOs and the Indian Muslim community, according to Free Malaysia Today.Razak added that a new model was required to ensure that businesses did not face shortage of workers and also make sure that locals were preferred over foreign workers, especially for restaurants.“There must be a way to increase ‘localization’ of jobs so that we do not entirely become dependent on foreign workers. We need to look at the issue in the long run and achieve a win-win situation,” Razak said.He called on the Indian community to vote for the Barisan Nasional, of which he is the chairman, in the upcoming election so that no Indian is left behind. He said that the government needed time to develop the country and benefit all communities, including the Indians and Indian Muslims, who felt that they had been sidelined due to the lack of dedicated program to change their socio-economic status.Razak had also announced a 10-year plan to alleviate the situation of the Malaysian Indian Blueprint. The blueprint was announced in April 2017 and intends to focus on education, improving livelihoods and better social inclusion for Malaysian Indians.The government intends to raise Indian participation in the civil service by 7 per cent in all ranks by 2026. It also announced plans to increase the enrollment of Indian students in local higher learning institutions to at least 7 per cent. Indians have also been promised allocation of RM500 million under the Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) specifically for the Bottom 40 per cent or the B40 group within the community, and a special clearance system to grant citizenship to Indians who resided in or were born in Malaya before 1957, to be executed by the home ministry.About 25,000 Indians could receive citizenship in Malaysia, according to the Star. Related ItemsDiasporaMalaysiaNajib Razaklast_img read more

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Man Found 40yrold Wedding Photos in a Camera then Sought out the

first_imgWhen photographer Alex Galmeanu bought an old camera on eBay, he certainly didn’t expect to find anything special. However, he was shocked to discover that the camera still held a roll of film, which had stayed inside, undeveloped, for 40 years. The 50-year old camera, a Balda Baldix, was bought from an online seller in Birmingham, according to My Modern Met. Photo Courtesy Alex GalmeanuHowever, the owner had never opened it and had no idea as to where the film might have come from. Galmeanu, an avid photographer, immediately attempted to develop the exposed film, curious to discover what it might show.Writing on his blog, Galmeanu reported that the majority of the pictures were unsalvageable. However, he managed to recover 10 images, which were of particular interest.Photo Courtesy Alex GalmeanuTo his surprise, the photos appeared to have been taken at a wedding, and evidently dated from the 1970s. They show a happy, newlywed couple and their guests, enjoying festivities at a large rural location, probably a hotel.The family is seen posing on the steps of a large garden, smiling for the camera. Another image shows the newlyweds walking from the hotel, being scattered with confetti by exited guests.Photo Courtesy Alex GalmeanuAlthough there were no obvious clues as to the identity of the newly married couple, one of the photos contained the image of a car.Using the registration, Galmeanu was able to determine that it had been registered in Edinburgh, after August 1973. Nevertheless, he was not able to track down its owners, and feared that the provenance of the car might be a red herring.Photo Courtesy Alex GalmeanuAccording to the BBC, the mystery of the 50-year-old wedding photos provoked a widespread search online. They were seen by the general manager of Burleigh Court Hotel, near Stroud, who came forward to explain that this hotel was where the images were taken. However, Galmeanu was still unable to discover who the people were in the images.Incredibly, and with the help of the BBC, Galmeanu was eventually contacted by relatives of the people who were featured in the photograph. A man named Alistair Bremner explained that the blushing bride featured in the photographs was actually his sister, Kathy.Photo Courtesy Alex GalmeanuThe guests at the wedding were members of his family and friends, and the mystery car had actually been owned by his father. His parents were in fact Scottish, but at the time of the wedding, the family had been living in Gloucestershire for some years.Unfortunately the marriage was short-lived, and shortly afterwards the groom, named Pete Maloney, emigrated to Australia. Kathy now lives in Cheltenham.Photo Courtesy Alex GalmeanuGalmeanu was thrilled at the prospect of having tracked down the people in the photographs, but one missing detail still remained. According to the BBC, no one seemed to have any idea of the identity of the photographer.Two of the photographs developed by Galmeanu were not taken at the wedding, and it is hoped that these may provide additional clues as to the mystery photographer’s identity.Photo Courtesy Alex GalmeanuThese two additional photographs featured a house and garden, and a woman with three small children. Speaking to the BBC, Bremner explained that he did not recognize the individuals in the photographs that were not taken at the wedding.He speculated that they were images of the photographer’s family, and perhaps even grandchildren, but he could not shed any light on their identity.Galmeanu continues to wait for another lead that may provide clues about who this camera originally belonged to.Read another story from us: Man Finds Rare 100-Year-Old Negatives – Uses Photoshop to “Develop” ThemIn a video posted on his blog, he stated that he is waiting for the day that he can meet the photographer, and hand them the pile of photographs that they took 40 years ago.last_img read more

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An Eye on Affordability

first_img Duty to Serve plan Fannie Mae Home Sales Manuafactured Homes Mortgages 2019-01-15 Seth Welborn An Eye on Affordability Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img January 15, 2019 1,231 Views Fannie Mae’s Duty to Serve Plan has had a stellar year, according to Jeffrey Hayward, EVP, Multifamily Business, Fannie Mae who outlined the GSE’s 2018 achievements under this plan. In its Perspectives blog, Hayward wrote that the Duty to Serve plan was“a three-year roadmap that lays out how [Fannie Mae] will study, engage, and innovate to find new affordable housing solutions in some of the most challenging underserved markets across America.”“As our first year on this journey, 2018 was a year of learning and relationship-building, of seeking transformative solutions, and of demonstrating a commitment to action,” said Hayward. “Our team fanned out across the country to support home finance in rural markets, preserve affordable housing nationwide, and advance manufactured housing options. We attended dozens of conferences, conducted hundreds of customer and partner conversations, introduced new and enhanced products, and gained insights that we can use to keep getting better.”Fannie Mae’s snapshot of the year by numbers in single-family housing includes over 59,000 loans purchased (preliminary), over 500 stakeholder agreements, eight policy updates, eight test-and-learn variances, over 20 research initiatives, and over 15 marketing and education campaigns.Hayward noted that Fannie Mae is making improvements to the rural housing market through easier home appraisals and agreements with Native American tribes to allow conventional financing on their lands.Additionally, Fannie Mae states that it made its HomeStyle Energy and HomeStyle Renovation single-family mortgage products “more flexible” and raised awareness of financing options for distressed properties. Fannie Mae has also launched MH Advantage, a program aimed at improving the lending experience and affordability for factory-built home buyers.“When the Duty to Serve rule was tasked to us by the Federal Housing Finance Agency two years ago, we understood the enormity of the mission,” said Hayward. “We also knew that we were well-positioned to deliver: The intersection of affordable housing and underserved markets is our sweet spot.”“A year into implementing our Plan, I can confidently say we’re all-in and making great strides owing to the passion and commitment that so many of us feel toward our affordable housing mission,” Hayward added.Find Hayward’s complete commentary here.last_img read more

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