West Pointers Attack Ebola Treatment Center

first_imgAll hell broke loose on Saturday night when several residents of the densely populated slum community of West Point in Monrovia, broke into a quarantined center for suspected Ebola patients in the community. The protestors looted every item they could lay their hands on at the center. Eyewitnesses accounts say, the protestors looted items such as clothes belonging to the nurses, patients’ mattresses, beddings, cooking utensils and as well as the medications and other essential health facilities. According to reports, at least 20 patients, who were being monitored for symptoms of the deadly Ebola disease, fled the center, and health personnel are yet to locate them up to the present. Other narrations confirmed that blood-stained beddings looted from the center posed a serious infection risk to members of the community and all those who may come in contact with such looted items.The protesters were reportedly unhappy that suspected Ebola patients were being brought in from other parts of Monrovia and its immediate environs to the center for treatment. This action by Liberia health authorities reportedly prompted the rampage by the protestors, a community member told this paper late Sunday, August 17, in the township when our reporter visited the affected area.Other reports suggested that the protesters believed the Ebola virus was a hoax (trick), and had wanted to force the quarantine center to close or be relocated out of the township of West Point.The now vandalized center was set up recently to observe suspected Ebola patients and then transfer them to a main treatment facility if they should prove positive, an official from the Ministry of Health ans Social Welfare told the Daily Observer via mobile phone late Sunday.It is not known if those at the center were infected with the virus. However, Assistant Minister for Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah, told a news conference Sunday that everyone at that center were all suspected and none had proven to positive, despite unconfirmed reports at least two had proven positive.Other residents say the Saturday night raid and looting spree by aggrieved community dwellers could spread the virus to the whole of West Point.Notably, West Point is Liberia’s most populated slum community, estimated to contain well over 50,000 inhabitants, among them, some aliens and foreign nationals that engage in business ventures. The current outbreak of the Ebola in Liberia is said to be the deadliest since the disease was discovered in 1976 in East Africa. This present epidemic began in Guinea in February this year, and has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.On Friday, the death toll rose to 1,145 after the WHO said 76 new deaths had been reported in the two days to 13 August. There have been 2,127 cases reported in total.The attack at the health facility in West Point is seen as a major setback in the government efforts to curb the outbreak. A few days ago, Representative Solomon George of Montserrado County electoral district #7, threatened to transport four corpses of people believed to be infected with the disease in the area to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the Office of the President is located. Political actors are therefore attributing Saturday’s looting of the center to something that might have been sanctioned by the lawmaker.  Meanwhile, other residents of the Township have in the strongest terms condemned the action which resulted in the facility being vandalized. In a statement issued Sunday, a copy of which is in the possession of this paper, the residents termed the protestors’ action as an act of ‘misguided individuals.’Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Poverty in South Africa ‘is declining’

first_img2 October 2008 A new report released by the Presidency has found that there has been a reduction in both absolute income poverty, which is the income of poor people, and in relative income poverty, which is the gap between the average income of poor people and the poverty line. Social assistance The report, entitled “Towards a Fifteen Year Review Synthesis Report”, reviews the government’s successes as well as shortcomings and challenges over the last 15 years, and investigates the impact of government programmes in improving the lives of South Africans. “When using the R322 per person [per month] poverty line, in 1995 about 53% of households was living below that line. In 2005, that figure has decreased to 48%.” Even if absolute conditions of people might be improving, he said that the fact that the upper income groups were experiencing a faster rate of improvement in their conditions started to create a sense of relative poverty in lower income groups. While many poor South Africans were lifting themselves from abject poverty, the rich in South Africa were getting richer, most likely due to access to economic opportunities. The Department of Public Works also has programmes which are aimed at assisting with fighting poverty and assisting in income generation. While the Expanded Public Works Programme did absorb a large number of unskilled labourers, the report found that challenges remained, in that the projects were of short duration and training was often inadequate. “The targets in 2004 were to create one million work opportunities by 2009 . that target had already been met by April 2008,” he said. “There is the challenge that these [work programmes] are of short duration and the training that is meant to take place is not taking place at the optimum level.” Netshitenzhe explained that during periods of high rates of growth it was those who were already well-off who were better positioned to take advantage of that growth. Despite the decrease in the amount of poor people in the country, Netshitenzhe noted that many studies, including the Income Expenditure Survey by Statistics South Africa found a widening inequality gap in the country. Source: BuaNews Netshitenzhe added that when using the lower poverty line measure of R174 per person a month, the number of households in 1995 stood at 3%, decreasing in 2005 to 2%. “What we have established is that income poverty has actually declined, contrary to conventional wisdom,” policy coordination and advisory services head Joel Netshitenzhe told reporters at the Union Buildings in Pretoria this week. “In terms of macro-social trends, a high level of economic growth has exposed one reality that we believe society needs to take to heart . that a higher rate of growth does not necessarily result in a reduction in inequality,” he said, adding that in recent years, inequality especially amongst racial groups, except among Africans, had not been reduced. Widening inequality gap Various studies have confirmed that social grants were well targeted and contributed considerably to poverty reduction. Of social grants, the report indicated that 62% of the total went to the poorest 40% of households, and 82% to the poorest 60%. Even if absolute conditions of people might be improving, the fact that those who are on the upper rim are experiencing a faster rate of improvement in their conditions, it starts to create a sense of relative poverty in the lower ranks, he said. “Social grants have played a very critical role in this regard . from 2.5 million beneficiaries in 1999 to just over 12 million in 2007, the social grants system is the largest form of government support for the poor,” Netshitenzhe said. “Most by far is in the form of the child support grant, which reached 7.8 million beneficiaries in 2007 compared to 34 000 in 1999.”last_img read more

Big meet for scientists in South Africa

first_imgThe Academy of Science of South Africais co-hosting the event – pictured is theorganisation’s board.(Image: Rhodes University)MEDIA CONTACTS • Dorothy NgilaASSAf secretariat+27 12 349 6607Cadine PillayOne of the most prominent science events to occur in Africa will see hundreds of scientists from all over the world convene in Johannesburg, Gauteng at the end of May as South Africa hosts the Global Young Academy (GYA) General Assembly.The event will take place from 20 to 23 May at the Gordon Institute of Business Science’s Johannesburg campus, and will attract a number of prominent people in varying fields of science.The joint hosts are the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) and the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).Hosting the assembly offers South Africa and Africa a unique opportunity and will serve as a motivating factor for young scientists to fully participate in national and global scientific issues, SAYAS said in a statement.Science and technology minister Naledi Pandor will give the keynote address, speaking to the theme Sustainability: Lessons on the road from Rio to Rio+20. The meeting will focus on producing a statement from these combined views to highlight at the Rio+20 meeting.Rio+20 is the UN Conference on Sustainable Development to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012. The highly-anticipated event is a follow-up to the UN Conference on Environment and Development that was held 20 years ago in the same city.Promoting science for young mindsThrough the work of SAYAS, young South African scientists are drawn from all backgrounds and recognise that the solution of local and global challenges requires deep understanding across disciplines and cultures. Since its inception in 2011, the organisation has worked hard to recognise the need for young scientists to contribute towards these challenges.On this foundation, it will link up with the GYA to provide opportunities for local scientists to interact with their international counterparts and give them a platform to influence policy decisions in their field of work.From the perspective of SAYAS, the main objective for the assembly is to contribute to the career development of young and emerging scientists. Equally important is the ability to promote science as a subject among pupils and society in general.The organisation also wishes to foster solid links between scientists and the business community by showcasing workshops and presentations by the senior scientists.“We are excited about the workshop on national young academies that will bring together voices from established academies and those that are just starting,” said SAYAS founding member Prof Bernard Slippers.“The intention is to stimulate and support the establishment of more such academies around the world, and to link the existing ones even stronger.”Bridging the international gapThe assembly will showcase the GYA’s various projects which are aimed at bridging the gap between scientists in Africa and the rest of the world. It will serve as a motivating factor for young South African scientists to fully participate in national and global scientific events.Given the support by the Department of Science and Technology and ASSAf, as well as the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute at the University of Pretoria, the event will raise the profile of SAYAS within the science fraternity in South Africa.Furthermore, delegates will also engage in outreach activities in collaboration with South African higher learning institutions. Members of the GYA are expected to visit various universities and other research organisations, schools in Soweto, Alexandra and Pretoria, and science centres such as Sci-Bono Discovery Centre and SciEnza, to promote science as a career and speak to pupils.‘The voice of young scientists around the world’The GYA was founded in 2010 and established itself as “the voice of scientists around the world”. The academy’s main objective is to unlock the potential of the world’s young scientists and to mobilise them in their creative prime.The academy currently has 172 active members who include leading young scientists – with an average age of 35 years – from 54 countries. Members were selected for their excellence and commitment to service from nominations submitted by the academies in their different countries.The GYA’s diverse range of member scientists includes Onoja Matthew Akpa, a bio-medical statistics specialist from Nigeria; Fernando Febres Cordero, a theoretical physicist from Venezuela whose research interest lies in particle physics phenomenology; and Ranjini Bandyopadhyay, from the Raman Research Institute in India.The organisation’s membership is expected to grow over the next two years to 200 members, each serving a four-year term with them. The vibrancy of the GYA, according to a statement from the organisation, results from the energy of its members who are passionate about the role of science in creating a better world.Slippers said although this will be an important event on the calendar of GYA, and will boost its outputs and impacts worldwide, it will be equally important for SAYAS, increasing its momentum as an organisation that will impact science in South Africa and its international connectedness.“It is also likely to touch various aspects of science and science development beyond these two organisations, as senior and young scientists from around the world interact with scientists and society around the country,” he said.last_img read more

Budget 2014: Increases in old age, child support grants

first_imgSouth Africa’s monthly old age and disability grants will increase from R1 270 to R1 350 from April, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told Parliament on Wednesday.(Image: South Africa Social Security Agency)Child support grants will increase from R300 to R310 a month from April and to R320 a month from October, while foster care grants will increase to R830 a month. The increases are in line with inflation forecasts of 6.2% for the 2014/15 financial year.Delivering his Budget speech in Cape Town, Gordhan said the number of South Africans who were eligible for grants would increase to 16.5-million over the next three years.The good news for the fiscus is that the recent re-registration of grant recipients, along with the introduction of a modernised payment system has lowered the cost of administering the system, while removing hundreds of thousands of invalid beneficiaries from the database.South Africa’s social assistance system, one of the largest in Africa, is the government’s most direct means of combating poverty. Spending on social grants accounts for 3% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and is projected to rise from R118-billion in 2013/14 to R145-billion by 2016.The child support and old age grants are the two largest grant programmes, constituting about 75% of total grant spending.Over the past decade, the number of social grant beneficiaries has doubled, from 7.9-million in 2003 to 15.8-million this year, largely due to an expansion of the child support grant.Source: SAnews.gov.zaWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

London Olympics: USA wins gold in beach volleyball

first_imgDefending champions Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor won Olympic gold in women’s beach volleyball on Wednesday, beating fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross in the final. It was an unprecedented third-straight Olympic beach volleyball gold for Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor, who danced on the sand in celebration at Horse Guard’s Parade after winning match point.Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor made up for their slower serves with a calmer defence and a more pointed attack than their rivals, who took silver on their Olympic debut.The final score was 21-16, 21-16.Earlier in the day, Brazil’s duo of Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva won Olympic bronze, beating China’s Xue Chen and Zhang Xi in a three-set thriller.Franca and Silva, the reigning Olympic champions, battled back from a first-set thrashing to scrape a 2-1 win.last_img read more

SBP eyeing favorable draw to reach world cup knockout stage–and maybe Olympics

first_imgPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Japan, Jordan, South Korea and New Zealand are the other Asian countries taking part and will be shooting to bag the second slot for the region in the 2020 Games in Tokyo where the Japanese earned automatic entry being the hosts.Team USA, the top-ranked team in the world, is favored to rule the China event, which will be held in eight cities in the Mainland until Sept. 15.And SBP and Gilas coach Yeng Guiao made it no secret that they would want to avoid being bracketed with the Americans in the first round.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed View comments And then there’s another objective which the draw could also determine for the Philippines.“Remember, the top Asian team [will] qualify for the Tokyo Olympics [next year],” Panlilio added. “I believe this is a far objective, too.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesFor the second straight edition since being out of the global stage for more than four decades, the Philippines will be playing against the best in the world, and will this time shoot to win more than just one game and possibly make it to the next round.In Spain in 2014, Gilas Pilipinas, which also had Andray Blatche as a naturalized player, squeezed out an 81-79 overtime victory over Senegal, a non-bearing game that was played late in its group schedule but one which reverberated back in the country since it was the Filipinos’ first group win in more than 40 years. Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefcenter_img Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy The Philippines will be trying to hit two birds with one stone when it campaigns for the second straight time in the Fiba World Cup starting Aug. 31.“We wish to get to a grouping where we [will] have a great chance to advance [to the second round],” Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio told the Inquirer in an overseas call from Shenzhen, China, where the draw for the 32-team spectacle will be held Saturday afternoon.ADVERTISEMENT Croatia and Greece, which were both ranked in the top 10 in Spain, were the first two foes of the Philippines in Seville and survived a scare from Gilas Pilipinas.When the Filipinos set out this time, they will be shooting to win at least two games, thus the powers-that-be in the national cage scene are hoping and praying that Gilas lands in a favorable group that would make those two wins realizable.“We might need to win two games [to advance],” Panlilio said.As of the end of February, the Philippines is ranked 31st in the world, with Australia the top-ranked Asian team that will be playing in China.Of the eight Asian teams playing in the Worlds, Iran and China are the only other teams ranked higher than the Filipinos in the region.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Mendoza, Lee lead MercedesTrophy golf champions Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Nelle, Kwekuteye spark Lions victory

first_imgEthel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess View comments Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transportcenter_img ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP MOST READ La Salle dropped to 4-2.Kwekuteye led San Beda with 20 points, 13 coming in the final quarter—including three triples. Nelle added 12 while Arnaud Noah chipped in 11.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsDown four at the start of the final period, San Beda’s Clint Doliguez opened with a triple that kicked the Lions offense into high gear.Andrei Caracut had a triple that had the Archers within two, 80-78, before Nelle drained the pivotal triple that cemented the win. Caracut led La Salle with 14 points while Justine Baltazar added 13. Evan Nelle hit a key triple that capped a strong finish sparked by James Kwekuteye as San Beda held off La Salle, 83-78, in Friday’s Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup action at Filoil Flying V Centre.Nelle’s triple with 16.2 seconds remaining cemented the Red Lions’ fourth win in as many matches but Kwekuteye also proved instrumental as he bunched five straight points to give San Beda a 78-73 cushion going into the stretch.ADVERTISEMENT In other matches, University of the Philippines demolished University of Santo Tomas, 89-72, while Far Eastern U booted out St. Benilde, 70-57.The Maroons controlled the Tigers from the get-go, before Bright Akhuetie and Kobe Paras conspired late in the fourth to put the outcome beyond reach, 83-69, 2:11 to play.“We talked about it before the game, at practice last night actually,” said UP assistant coach Ricky Dandan, who subbed for coach Bo Perasol, who was on his way back from a trip to Japan.ADVERTISEMENT Huge field vies in PPS Olivarez tennis LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles04:26Deaf personalities everyone should know05:01What the Deaf want the hearing to know02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausslast_img read more

Point Foundation Announces 2018 Point Honors Gala

first_imgPoint Foundation will honor Tig Notaro and Ronan Farrow at the annual Point Honors gala in the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza hotel April 9, 2018.Notaro, whom Rolling Stone named as one of the 50 best stand-up comics of all time, will receive the Point Impact Award, which is presented to an individual making a significant impact on improving the LGBTQ community. Farrow, a contributing writer for The New Yorker whose reporting on the transgender community has received a Stonewall Foundation Vision Award and been nominated for a GLAAD Media Award, will receive the Point Courage Award. The award recognizes those who have advocated for the future of the LGBTQ community and believe in the vision that investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow.Additional celebrity participation to be announced soon. Past honorees have included Robin Roberts, Lena Dunham, Jonathan Groff, Wanda Sykes, and Andy Cohen.“Granting scholarships to LGBTQ students of merit like Point Foundation does, makes me hopeful that future generations will feel empowered to go out into the world and have their voices heard, whichever way that manifests itself,” said Notaro. “I am humbled to be recognized by an inspiring organization doing such truly important work.”“Empowering the next generation of LGBTQ students is both life changing for the scholarship recipients and important for the future of our country at a time when we desperately need their voices and, eventually, their leadership,” said Farrow. “I’m grateful for the Point Foundation’s work, and honored to be a part of this event.”“As individuals committed to inquiry and informed discourse, Tig Notaro and Ronan Farrow demonstrate the kind of engaged citizenship that inspires our Point scholarship recipients,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “They each have earned acclaim for confronting challenges with courage, intelligence, and wit. We are fortunate to be able to recognize their accomplishments at Point Honors.”Point Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit. Some of Point’s 98 current scholarship recipients and 270 alumni will be present at the event to share their inspiring stories about how they have overcome challenges to get their higher education degrees.For more information and tickets, please visit www.pointfoundation.org/HonorsNY18.last_img read more