Oct 4, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Public health and infectious disease experts today called on the United States to develop a “master plan” for development of pandemic influenza vaccines in order to translate scientific advances more rapidly into improved pandemic preparedness.The recommendation was one of seven pandemic policy suggestions made by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit public health advocacy group, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).”The United States must expand and accelerate research efforts and ensure we rapidly translate scientific breakthroughs into real-world practice to prepare for a possible pandemic,” Kathleen Maletic Neuzil, MD, coauthor of the report, said in a news release. She is chair of the IDSA’s Pandemic Influenza Task Force and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.The two organizations also called for streamlining the licensing process for pandemic flu vaccines, developing a nationwide system to track the use and effectiveness of seasonal flu vaccine, and relieving states of cost-sharing for the nation’s stockpile of antiviral drugs, among other measures.The recommendations are part of a 26-page report, “Pandemic Influenza: The State of the Science,” released by the two groups today. The report discusses the threat posed by H5N1 and other avian influenza viruses and outlines the status of efforts to develop vaccines, drugs, and diagnostic techniques for pandemic flu.”An effective US vaccine research and development strategic program must be much larger in scale than current funding permits, in addition to being multinational in scope,” the report states. It describes current vaccine development efforts as a “patchwork” that may not produce rapid progress.The groups called for a “Pandemic Vaccine Research and Development Master Plan to systemize and greatly enhance the current U.S. and international vaccine research and development strategies, bringing together the knowledge of government and private industry scientists.”The master plan should include an inventory of all relevant issues and all activities already under way, the report says. The plan should state which sectors are responsible for completing each activity, list funding needs, and provide benchmarks for measuring progress.The vaccine effort would require a “substantial” increase in funding, the groups say. But in a news teleconference today, TFAH Executive Director Jeffrey Levi declined to name a figure, saying the plan must be developed before its cost can be estimated.”We recognize that Congress over the last year has invested more than $5 billion toward improving pandemic preparedness,” but that is only a starting point for vaccine development and production, Levi said.In response to questions, Levi said he was uncertain if any legislation would be needed to pave the way for the suggested master plan. In working on HIV and AIDS, he said, “Government found a way to convene the academic community and patients and the private sector to talk about issues and share information without violating intellectual property rights.”Levi and Neuzil were asked if they could say which vaccines now in development are most promising. Neuzil responded that it’s difficult to assess the vaccines, because many vaccine trials have been described only in press releases so far, and even scientific journal articles don’t always give full technical data.”From my perspective it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges, because the data I have on each vaccine are in no way equivalent,” said Neuzil.But what is clear, she said, is that “with H5N1 it’s likely we’ll need more than one dose of vaccine, and we’ll need either a high concentration of antigen or we’ll need an adjuvant” (a general stimulant of immune response).The two groups endorse the US government goal of stockpiling enough doses of antiviral drugs to cover about 25% of the population (81 million treatment courses), but they take issue with the funding mechanism. The federal plan calls for buying 50 million treatment courses, but making the states responsible for buying the other 31 million courses, with a 25% federal subsidy.Levi said the federal government should pay for all 81 million courses. “We need to make sure that every state has the right amount, and not every state is going to be able to afford that,” he said. “We believe this is a federal responsibility, and therefore the federal government should purchase it and stockpile it.”The TFAH-IDSA report also makes the following recommendations:The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should implement a nationwide, real-time system to track flu vaccine efficacy, distribution and redistribution, uptake, and impact.The United States should boost surveillance for novel flu viruses by expanding working relationships with other countries, especially in Southeast Asia, through the World Health Organization.The nation should embrace policies to increase seasonal flu vaccination in order to reduce the toll of flu and to stabilize vaccine manufacturing capacity. This should include developing “standardized templates for conducting mass vaccinations and countermeasure distribution.”The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should streamline the licensing process for pandemic vaccines, using a different approach than with season flu vaccines.The FDA should adopt criteria for accepting foreign clinical trial data for registering flu vaccines in the United States.An additional recommendation, listed in a news release but not in the full report, is that Congress pass the proposed Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act to improve public health capabilities and support private-sector innovation.The report was written by Levi and Neuzil with Marlene Cimons, an adjunct journalism professor at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.In preparing the report, they drew on interviews with 14 leading experts on flu, pandemics, and infectious disease, including Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The group also included Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site.See also:TFAH-IDSA news releasehttp://healthyamericans.org/newsroom/releases/release100406.pdfFull TFAH-IDSA reporthttp://healthyamericans.org/reports/fluscience/FluScience.pdf
The Trump administration has designated an ultra-nationalist group in Russia as terrorists, the first time that the US has applied the label to a white supremacist group.“These designations are unprecedented,” Nathan Sales, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, said in a statement. “This is the first time the United States has ever designated white supremacist terrorists, illustrating how seriously this administration takes the threat. We are taking actions no previous administration has taken to counter this threat.”In addition to the group, the Russian Imperial Movement, the US designated Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyev, Denis Valliullovich Gariev and Nikolay Nikolayevich Trushchalov, according to Sales. The Russian Imperial Movement provides paramilitary-style training to neo-Nazis and white supremacists, and it plays a prominent role in trying to rally like-minded Europeans and Americans into a common front against their perceived enemies, according to Sales. The group has two training facilities in St. Petersburg, which the State Department said are probably being used for woodland and urban assault, tactical weapons, and hand-to-hand combat training.“These historic designations are just one part of the administration’s broader efforts to counter white supremacist terrorism abroad,” Sales said. “We’re bringing all of our counterterrorism tools to this fight – information sharing, counter-messaging, combating terrorist travel, engaging with tech companies, and building partner capacity to protect soft targets like synagogues and mosques.”Topics :
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) – Trinidad and Tobago Red Force ended an otherwise disappointing Regional four-day campaign on a high when they crushed Leeward Islands Hurricanes by an innings and 17 runs here Tuesday.Starting the final day of their 10th round game at Warner Park needing a huge effort to pull off victory, Red Force found their inspiration in leg-spinner Imran Khan who finished with match figures of 11 for 140.He failed to add to his overnight five-wicket haul as Hurricanes, resuming on 273 for six, were dismissed for 299. Seamer Roshon Primus took two of the four wickets to fall to finish with two for 62.Following on by 254 runs, Hurricanes were dismissed for 237 in their second innings with Khan proving T&T’s trump card again with six for 74.Off-spinner Bryan Charles picked up three for 110.Opener and captain Montcin Hodge resisted with an unbeaten 96 while Kacey Carty carved out his second half-century of the game with 54 and Akeem Saunders got 41.Hurricanes were 188 for three at one stage inside the first hour after tea but suffered a swift collapse to lose their last seven wickets for 49 runs, and slide to their fifth defeat of the season.In their second turn at the crease, Chesney Hughes fell cheaply for 11 with just 25 runs on the board but Hodge and Carty combined in an 83-run second-wicket stand to steady the innings.Hodge faced 222 balls in just over 4-3/4 hours and struck 13 fours while Carty, in his eighth first class game, stroked five fours and two sixes in a handsome 79-ball knock.Charles claimed Carty – mistiming a drive to mid-on – and Jamaican Nkrumah Bonner (0) – caught at the wicket – in successive deliveries but Hurricanes found solace in another half-century stand, this time between Hodge and Saunders, which yielded 76 runs.Saunders was within touching distance of his half-century when he gloved one from Khan that bounced and was caught at forward short-leg, triggering a terminal decline.RED FORCE 1st innings 553HURRICANES 1st innings (o/n 273 for six)M. Hodge c Webster b Khan 64C. Hughes lbw b Charles 71K. Carty c Webster b Khan 53N. Bonner c Cooper b Khan 16A. Saunders lbw b Primus 27J. Otto lbw b Khan 0S. Peters c and b Khan 0J. Taylor b Cottrell 23J. Louis c Cariah b Richards 16J. Campbell b Primus 0G. Tonge not out 8Extras: (b-4, lb-8, w-2, nb-7) 21Total: (all out, 107.5 overs) 299Fall of wickets: 1-137, 2-175, 3-223, 4-223, 5-227, 6-237, 7-273, 8-275, 9-275.Bowling: Cottrell 15-2-37-1, Richards 14.5-4-39-1, Primus 18-2-62-2, Webster 3-1-11-0, Imran Khan 28-7-66-5, Charles 29-10-72-1.HURRICANES 2nd innings (following on)M. Hodge not out 96C. Hughes c Primus b Khan 11K. Carty c Primus b Charles 54N. Bonner c wkp. Jangoo b Charles 0A. Saunders c Nicholson b Khan 41J. Otto c Richards b Cariah 8S. Peters c Khan b Charles 8J. Taylor c Cottrell b Khan 1J. Louis b Khan 0G. Tonge c Cariah b Khan 0J. Campbell c Primus b Khan 1Extras: (b-12, lb-4, nb-1) 17Total: (all out, 79.5 overs) 237Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-112, 3-112, 4-188, 5-207, 6-230, 7-231, 8-231, 9-231.Bowling: Richards 5-1-4-0, Primus 4-0-7-0, Webster 2-0-12-0, Charles 31-6-110-3, Imran Khan 32.5-9-74-6, Cottrell 3-0-11-0, Cariah 2-0-3-1.Points: Red Force 20.8, Hurricanes 5.
Krugersdorp’s Leratong Hospital will soonbe able to offer a much improved service. Not just the equipment and facilities,but also the patient environment isundergoing a revamp. Currently run down and neglected, theLeratong Hospital serves residents of thesurrounding communities and informalsettlements.(Images: Romaana Naidoo) MEDIA CONTACTS • Phumelele Kaunda Media liaison, Gauteng health dept + 27 11 355 3862 or +27 82 334 9851 RELATED ARTICLES • R13.8m surgical skills centre for SA • Smile Week to transform children’s lives • New centres to fight HIV in KZN • Soweto to get second state hospitalRomaana NaidooThe derelict Leratong Hospital outside Krugersdorp, east of Johannesburg, has been earmarked for major renovations which will transform it into a top-class public health facility.Located in the industrial area of Chamdor, the hospital, which already has a new reception area and trauma unit, will undergo further phased renovations in March at a cost of approximately R8-million (US$1.06-million).Through partnerships with corporates and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Leratong Hospital will be revamped from top to bottom, ensuring patients have healthy, clean surroundings and ample facilities.The upcoming renovation phase will form part of the hospital’s P3 Walk-in Casualty area.Better care for patientsThe renovations will be done with the help of the South African Medical and Education (SAME) Foundation, whose main function is to assist provincial health departments with medical equipment and infrastructure especially in relation to tuberculosis, HIV and trauma.Dianne Pols, director of the SAME Foundation, says technology at Leratong is so behind, it’s unbelievable. “We work in crises situations when people can’t afford to better their conditions.” In July 2011, SAME Foundation renovated and re-equipped Leratong Hospital with top-of-the-range Welch Allyn diagnostic equipment from Germany. Currently it is the only hospital in the country, public or private, to use such equipment.More beds, modern equipmentThis revamp forms part of a three-phase project. On 16 May 2011 a ceremony was held for the renovations and equipping of the Leratong Hospital. Three months later, Gauteng MEC for Health and Social Development Ntombi Mekgwe officially opened the Emergency and Accident Unit.Renovations of the unit included increasing the number of beds from 15 to 32.All beds have diagnostic and monitoring equipment and, owing to the size of the resuscitation area, a central monitoring station has been installed to alert staff if any patient is in distress.The reception area has also been restructured and refurbished. Because of the large volumes of people and patients using the hospital, it was vital to rearrange this section so that patients can be attended to efficiently, and sit in a comfortable environment while they wait for care.Leratong Hospital mainly serves previously disadvantaged communities and has a bed capacity of 800. However, a lack of equipment means that not all beds are utilised. Currently 755 beds are in use.The hospital serves mainly poor to middle-class communities in the surrounding area, which is densely populated with informal settlements.Its key health challenges are HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and trauma, with violence off all kinds being a major contributing factor to the latter situation.Leratong Hospital is known amongst emergency services personnel for its lack of sufficient equipment.
Road traffic was disrupted, schools remained shut in some cities, while Internet services were suspended in Pune district during the state-wide bandh called on Thursday by Maratha outfits in support of their demand for reservation. Despite coordinators of the Maratha Kranti Morcha exhorting demonstrators to adhere to a ‘code of conduct’, there were reports of violence in parts of Pune and in the Marathwada region.A mob vandalised a section of the Pune District Collectorate while traffic along the Mumbai-Pune expressway was held up for several hours during the day as protesters staged demonstrations at the Urse toll plaza.The police also resorted to lathi-charge and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse a mob of nearly 1,000 in the city’s Chandni Chowk area, after they had blocked the Katraj-Dehu Road bypass for several hours, leading to snarls along the Pune-Bengaluru highway.“An aggressive mob of youngsters, aged 18-25 years, stormed the Collectorate premises demanding immediate reservation. Till then, the sit-in agitation [held by the Sakal Maratha Samaj] outside the building had ended without incident,” said Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram.The mob reportedly attempted to prevent television media personnel trying to cover the incident.Shantaram Kunjir, one of the Morcha coordinators in Pune, said those who vandalised the security cabin of the Collectorate were not part of their demonstration.In Aurangabad’s Waluj MIDC area, mobs torched a couple of private vehicles and a police van, compelling security personnel to resort to lathi-charge and lob tear-gas shells in the air. In Latur, stones were pelted on the car of Congress legislator Trimbak Bhise. He was also, jeered at and shoved about till he was compelled to beat a hasty retreat.Buses damaged Incidents of stone pelting on State Transport buses were reported from Nashik. According to authorities, the windows of some private vehicles were smashed after a sit-in agitation at Nashik’s Dongre Vasti Gruh Maidan suddenly turned violent. An irate mob heckled and shoved former legislator Manikrao Kokate when heattempted to join the agitation.In Hingoli district, there were reports of a mob torching a mini-school bus, while agitators, along with their livestock, staged roadblocks in some areas in Parbhani district.Schools, colleges shut Along with Pune and Ahmednagar districts, schools, colleges, varsities remained shut in a number of districts in the Marathwada region including Aurangabad, Jalna, Nanded and Beed.As a prudential measure, district authorities suspended internet services in seven taluks in Pune including Baramati, Shirur, Junnar and Daund for the better part of the day. Likewise, there was a clampdown on internet services in Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur districts in western Maharashtra as well.In Chakan MIDC, which witnessed a bout of violence last week, drones were deployed to as a precautionary measure. Most IT companies in the Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park in Pune’s Hinjewadi area remained closed.Pro-quota agitators staged a sit-in outside the Baramati residence of Maratha strongman and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief, Sharad Pawar. NCP leader Ajit Pawar later joined the demonstration and raised pro-reservation slogans.The Mumbai-Pune expressway witnessed markedly reduced vehicular movement while the traffic all but came to a standstill along the Pune-Ahmednagar road.Roadblocks were also erected at a number of points in Malegaon in Nashik district.
Four Indian cricketers, including batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, were on Monday named in the Greatest All Time Test XI chosen in an online poll.The other two – Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag – beat a host of legendary cricketers to be named in the two openers’ slot. They beat competition from the likes of Geoffrey Boycott, Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Hanif Mohammad and Herbert Sutcliffe.Four Australians, two West Indians and one Pakistani also made it to Peoples’ Dream XI as more than a quarter of million people voted on ICC’s official website as part of the build-up to the England-India Test match at Lord’s to celebrate the 2000th cricket Test.Tendulkar occupied the number four batting spot, one slot down Australian legend Don Bradman and one above West Indian Brian Lara, who was chosen at number five. The trio beat the likes of Greg Chappell, Wally Hammond, George Headley, Javed Miandad, Graeme Pollock, Ricky Ponting and Vivian Richards.Kapil was chosen as the lone all-rounder ahead of the likes of Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee, Jacques Kallis, Imran Khan, Gary Sobers and Frank Worrell.Australian Adam Gilchrist won the poll for wicket-keeper by beating the likes of Mark Boucher, Jeff Dujon and Rod Marsh while Shane Warne got the nod of online voters ahead of the likes of India’s Bishan Singh Bedi and Anil Kumble and Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan.Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose and Glenn McGrath were named in the three fast bowlers’ slots. The likes of Michael Holding, Dennis Lillee, Malcolm Marshall and Courtney Walsh missed out.advertisementICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said the enthusiasm shown by the fans by taking part in the online poll in huge numbers showed Test cricket’s popularity.”The huge interest generated during the past month was amazing as media and supporters worldwide speculated and then selected the fan’s Greatest Test team of all time. It supports our view of the everlasting popularity of Test match cricket,” he said.”It would have been quite special to see this team take the field of play given the array of batting and bowling talent contained within the playing eleven.”Selecting from such greats is no easy job, and not surprisingly, the selection mainly reflects modern players seen by present day supporters. There are many greats from the past who would have easily merited selection in this team, but it is nevertheless interesting to see the fans view on their greatest eleven of all time,” he said.Greatest All Time XI: Virender Sehwag, Sunil Gavaskar, Donald Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Kapil Dev, Adam Gilchrist (wk), Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath.- With inputs from PTI
The South African Touch Association has launched their brand new web-site in the lead-up to the Federation of International Touch World Cup to be played in Stellenbosch South Africa 17-21 January 2007.Stories and information centreing on the World Cup, as well as all the news and views from the state of play of Touch Football in South Africa will be updated regularly.Check the site out for yourself by going to: www.sata.co.za
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Leicester boss Puel: My players deserved this winby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveJamie Vardy produced the winner for Leicester City at Everton on Tuesday.Vardy raced away and finished expertly just before the hour mark after a defensive mistake from Michael Keane presented him with some room to run in behind the Everton back line.Afterwards, Foxes boss Claude Puel said: “I think we had a disappointment after the game against Cardiff. “It was important to have the right reaction in this situation. I am happy, of course, about my players and about their work and togetherness today.“They gave their best, it was the same thing against Cardiff. I think against Cardiff, we lacked a little more freshness to have the efficiency and precision in their play – good pass, good touches, good control and good moves, all these things.“It was difficult also for Everton to find a solution against us because we defended very well, deep, with togetherness and quality.“After, I think it was difficult after our recovery to have good moves and it was important in the second half to try and use some good opportunities when we recovered the ball.“We tried to score. With the ball recovery and a good assist from Ricky (Ricardo Pereira), he gave a good ball with good timing and space for Jamie [Vardy]. We know the quality of Jamie in this situation.”
About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Burnley winger Gudmunsson ruled out of Leicester clashby Ansser Sadiq7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson is set to miss their clash against Leicester City.The Clarets will have to do without the Icelandic star as he was injured on international duty.Gudmundsson did not complete his country’s 1-0 defeat against France last week.The attacking midfielder has one goal in four Premier League appearances this season.Speaking at a press conference, Burnley boss Sean Dyche said: “Johann Gudmundsson won’t be figuring.”Unfortunately he got injured on international duty, a reasonably serious hamstring injury, so it certainly won’t be days, it will be more like weeks and I don’t know how many yet, but it’s serious enough to speak in that way.”
Sydney: Australia continued a string of “hottest ever” months in March, the government said Monday, as global warming emerges as the hot button issue in national elections just weeks away. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said the country had experienced the warmest March on record, with mean maximum and minimum temperatures above average for nearly all of the vast continent nation. BOM said the national mean temperature was 2.13 degrees centigrade (3.83 degrees Fahrenheit) above the long-term average for the month of March. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIt was the fourth month in a row of record heat in the country, and January was Australia’s hottest month ever, with mean temperatures across the continent exceeding 30 degrees Celsius for the first time. There was some relief for regions suffering from prolonged drought, however, as two tropical cyclones that struck northern and western Australia in March bought badly needed rains. “Unfortunately, the rain needed to reduce significant rainfall deficiencies in drought-affected areas is substantial and will require above average rainfall over a prolonged period to completely remove deficits at longer timescales,” BOM said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsMeteorologists say weather patterns over the Indian and Pacific oceans have contributed to the higher temperatures, but that long-term climate change trends were also involved. The problem of climate change has emerged as a key issue in national elections due to be held by mid-May. The conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been reluctant to back steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions blamed for contributing to global warming for fear this would hurt the country’s huge coal industry and undermine economic growth.