Africa celebrates one year without polio: UN

first_imgHealthInternationalLifestylePrint Africa celebrates one year without polio: UN by: Associated Free Press – August 12, 2015 Tweet Share Share Sharing is caring!center_img 49 Views   no discussions Share In this Tuesday, May 28, 2013 photo, Somali vaccination workers give an anti-polio drop to a child. (AP Photo).MOGADISHU, Somalia (AFP) – Africa has marked one year since the last case of recorded polio, with the United Nations celebrating Wednesday a key step towards eradicating the disease.The last recorded case on the continent was in Somalia on August 11, 2014, although health officials must wait two more years before declaring the continent free from the highly infectious, crippling virus.The UN children’s agency UNICEF, which plays a key role in polio vaccinations, called it an “extraordinary achievement” but warned it was “not an end point”.Success depends on the continuation of vaccination campaigns and close monitoring of possible cases, it said.“We have had no new cases for a year despite all the challenges in the country,” UNICEF’s chief for Somalia Steven Lauwerier told AFP on Wednesday.“We never want to see another Somali child being paralysed by this preventable virus. That means we need to continue to support the vaccination campaigns to ensure polio is completely eradicated.”Nigeria marked one year since its last recorded case of polio in July. It is one of only three countries — along with Pakistan and Afghanistan — where the virus remains endemic.Nigerian health ministry spokesman Dan Nwomen said Wednesday said the anniversary was “welcome” but stressed the “momentum should be sustained” through improved immunisation campaigns.“Globally, we are on the verge of totally eradicating a disease for only the second time in history,” UNICEF polio chief Peter Crowley said, referring to the elimination of smallpox.– ‘Africa now on track’ –The rollback of polio is “a powerful symbol of the progress that has been made on the African continent over the past generation,” Crowley said.A polio-free Africa would leave only Pakistan and Afghanistan where the disease had not been wiped out, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which said the one-year mark was a key signal of the “important progress toward eradication”.However, it has also warned there may have been cases that had gone unrecorded in Africa.Polio is easily prevented through a vaccine, but there is no cure. Transmitted from person-to-person, often through faeces, it mainly affects children under five.Initial symptoms can include fever and pains in the limbs, and can lead to permanent paralysis.“With Africa now on track, we are left with only two countries where polio transmission has never been interrupted: Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Crowley added.“Here too, despite enormous challenges, communities, governments and partners are working with courage and determination to end polio once and for all.”last_img read more

Federal-state collaboration to let Iowa meat lockers sell meat in other states

first_imgSTORY CITY — A meat locker in Story City is the first in Iowa to be allowed to sell its products to customers in other states.A new federal program lets state-inspected lockers get a U-S-D-A stamp on processed meat, so it can be sold across state lines. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig told Radio Iowa this opens up new markets for Iowa meat lockers as well as livestock and poultry producers.“Iowa’s got a great brand for agriculture, as we know, and specially for meat production and so we think that’s something that we think can perform very well really all across the country,” Naig said.This could broaden the range of Iowa beef, pork and poultry sold to restaurants in cities like Chicago and beyond that promote the farm-to-table concept. It also means Iowa-branded meat could be sold in regional grocery stores.“Over the last couple of months we’ve had a lot of focus on the food and agriculture supply chain and meat in particular and so I think there’s a lot of interest on the part of consumers and restaurants and really all across the board in more options when it comes to sourcing meat,” Naig said, “and we’ve seen that in the fact that our meat lockers are very, very busy and we like that we think that there’s an upside for them to stay busy.”Naig and his staff worked for nearly a year to ensure all state regulations and inspections met the federal program requirements. It meant buying some new equipment and additional training for the state’s meat and poultry inspectors.“It does also require USDA to come into those lockers from time to time,” Naig said, “but the day-to-day, ongoing operational inspections will be conducted by our team.”Meat processing businesses that have fewer than 25 full-time employees can sign up for the federal program. Al’s Country Meat Locker in Calmar and Ohrt’s Smokehouse in Ionia have also qualified for the program. Naig indicated a dozen other meat lockers that are eligible have applied.“This is where I think there’s an opportunity: one for those existing meat lockers to expand, maybe hire some additional staff, make some equipment investments and some facility investments,” Naig said. “And we are hearing, too, of some real interest in some new facilities and folks getting into the business, so that’s an exciting thing for us to look at — expanding this market opportunity and the economic development that goes along with it.”There are a couple of hundred meat lockers in the state and 68 of them are eligible for this federal program.last_img read more

Get real Ramjattan!

first_imgDear Editor,The experienced and erudite lawyer, statesman and politician Mr Ralph Ramkarran in his Blog –The Conversation Tree – gave sound advice when he said that, “The AFC is at a fork in the road. Logic would suggest that it should take the bend leading to independence. Necessity for survival, as the AFC would perceive it, would force it to take the bend leading to further subservience to APNU.” This was on December 1, 2018. The choice was ‘independence’ or ‘subservience’.However, what the Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said in his 2019 Budget speech clearly dispelled any remnants of doubt whatsoever that the AFC has chosen the latter ‘fork in the road’ proposed by Ramkarran, instead they have chosen the road to ‘further subservience to APNU’, more specifically the PNC.It is amusing to see the AFC Leaders, Ramjattan, Trotman and Moses vying for the top spot!When I read the headline in the media that, “Ramjattan sees parallel between PPP’s stance on sugar workers and PNCR Chairman’s position on jobs for supporters” I was totally dumbfounded!But it serves to confirm that the Chairman of the Alliance for Change (AFC) is totally myopic and has allowed his hate not only for the PPP but for the sugar workers who refused to vote for his party to take precedence over the survival of the AFC as an independent political force.The bashing the AFC received was simply too much so he threw caution to the wind and spewed his venom at random towards the sugar workers. He incorrectly drew this comparison: “Volda made a statement recently that she’ll get some employment for her people. You want to say that that is wrong but when you state all the time that you got to employ sugar workers, you got to employ sugar workers that is not wrong. That is not jobs for the boys? Oh! That is not jobs for the boys. If it is anything it is also jobs for the boys. You want us to employ your people because you are very strong in the sugar estate areas and we must pump more, we must pump more. No! We will certainly have to bring it to an end”.It is quite unfortunate that the Vice President of this country can see a sugar worker’s job as ‘jobs for the boys’! More so, Ramjattan so consumed in his hate for the sugar workers, failed to realise that Volda Lawrence subsequently made this statement, ‘I have learned that as a leader I must be cognisant of what I say and do, and must not allow emotions or political fervour to get in the way. So to all those whom I have offended in one way or another, I humbly apologise’. Something is definitely wrong with the way Ramjattan looks at issues!This man who was born, bred and raised among sugar workers and farmers forgot that thousands of sugar workers voted for the AFC in 2011 and in 2015. He forgot that the same sugar workers would have comprised members and supporters of the APNU as well.But Ramkarran hit the nail plumb on the head when he succinctly and conclusively stated that, “The PPP supporters which the AFC had encouraged to cross over have now moved away because the AFC now appears not as a moderating influence on APNU (PNCR), but as a facilitator”. May I add a willing ‘facilitator’ for a brewing dictatorship reign. This was the final nail in the coffin. Ramjattan knows fully well that the AFC has not a glimmer of hope in deceiving the sugar workers once again so it is time him to ‘nail’ them to the proverbial cross!He seemed to suffer convenient amnesia that in order to get votes in 2015, it was the AFC and not the APNU which went into the sugar workers communities with leaflets promising ’20 per cent wage increase across the board’. I confronted an AFC member from Fyrish with the leaflet in my village and he was adamant that the AFC would give that increase.Moreover, the AFC was on television in Berbice promising the same, one of them who now works with the Public Security Ministry had even said that “cane cutters will not get the black thing on their skin anymore”! It was a rosy picture for sugar.Then in January this year Ranjattan claimed that God wanted sugar to fail because oil was found! He again conveniently removed the blame from the coalition. Subservient indeed! This was scoring ‘political points’ Ramjattan!Let me remind Mr Ramjattan that it is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that the dismissed sugar workers are being taken care of even before being severed.It has an obligation to provide support for the livelihoods of those affected by the sugar sector reform it wants to implement (EU’s National Adaptation Strategy stipulation). Since the coalition has miserably failed to do so, then it is the responsibility of the Opposition to remind and agitate them on the dismissed workers’ behalf and it has nothing to do with political affiliation! Get real Ramjattan!Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufRegion 6 RDCCouncillorlast_img read more