Indonesia confirms 2 recent avian flu deaths

first_imgJun 19, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said today that Indonesia has officially notified it of two recent fatal human cases of H5N1 avian influenza that were reported previously by the news media.The reporting to the WHO of the cases in a 16-year-girl and a 34-year-old woman comes 2 weeks after Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said Indonesia would stop announcing cases as they occur and instead list them only at longer intervals, perhaps as long as 6 months. The comments raised questions about the government’s compliance with the International Health Regulations (IHR), which call for countries to promptly report human cases of avian flu and certain other diseases to the WHO.David Heymann of the WHO drew a distinction between Indonesia’s public announcements of H5N1 cases and its reports to the WHO, according to a Reuters report published today.”The minister [Supari] has told WHO they will not continue to share publicly whenever there is a new case but they will inform the WHO in conformity with IHR,” said Heymann, who is the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security and environment.Heymann told Reuters the WHO encourages all governments to provide information freely to their populations, but it is their decision.Today’s WHO statement, citing information from the Indonesian health ministry, said the 16-year-old girl was from South Jakarta and fell ill on May 7; she was hospitalized May 12 and died 2 days later. There was evidence that she had been exposed to sick and dead poultry, the agency said.Supari had reported the girl’s case to the Associated Press (AP) 2 weeks ago but had described her as a 15-year-old.The WHO said the 34-year-old woman was from Tangerang district, west of Jakarta. She became ill May 26 and died Jun 3 after a day in a hospital. An investigation into the source of her exposure was continuing.The AP on Jun 13 had reported that a 34-year-old woman named Susi Lisnawati had died of avian flu on Jun 3. Several government officials who requested anonymity had confirmed the case, but the government had not informed the woman’s husband that she had the virus, according to the story.The two latest cases raise the WHO’s H5N1 count for Indonesia, the hardest-hit country, to 135 cases with 110 deaths. The global count has reached 385 cases, including 243 deaths.Heymann told Reuters that Indonesian authorities were trying to confirm another suspected H5N1 case that was fatal.According to Reuters, another WHO official said the agency has a good relationship with Indonesia, despite the country’s reluctance to share H5N1 virus isolates. Indonesia is seeking guarantees that it will receive a supply of any vaccines developed from the isolates it provides.”There is a strong working relationship between the WHO country office and the government,” John Rainford, a WHO spokesman in Geneva, told Reuters. “Even if there is a conflict on issues like virus-sharing, it hasn’t eroded the ability to carry out joint investigations.”A WHO official who requested anonymity told CIDRAP News this week that the agency had been aware of recent H5N1 cases in Indonesia despite the delay in receiving official notification.Speaking before the latest case confirmations, the official said, “The fact that you don’t yet have official notification of any cases doesn’t mean there isn’t unofficial awareness.” He said the two recent cases didn’t change WHO experts’ assessment of the risk posed by the virus.If the cases had signaled more of a threat, the information would have been handled differently, he suggested. “If we were dealing with something much more serious, I think there would be a very, very different approach by all involved in getting the information. If you had a cluster of something behaving in an unusual fashion, the pressure to share it would be very high.”See also: Jun 13 CIDRAP News story “Indonesian government mum as AP reports H5N1 case”Jun 5 CIDRAP News story “Indonesia quits offering prompt notice of H5N1 cases”last_img read more

Hamilton Hill home of NASA inventor for sale for first time in half a century

first_imgThe view from the back deck of the home at 29 Queens Rd, Hamilton.Mrs Reed moved into the home at 29 Queens Road in 1965 with her first husband, who was an architect.“It was a wreck when we first came here,” she recalls.“He did some beautiful, sensitive alterations to the house.“It’s a wonderful mix of the traditional colonial and the new avant-garde.”Perched high on Hamilton Hill on 890 sqm, the six-bedroom, two-bathroom colonial home is the perfect renovation project, offering spectacular river and city views. WHERE LESS THAN $500,000 BUYS A HOUSE The hallway in the home at 29 Queens Rd, Hamilton.It overlooks the backyard, which allows plenty of room for a pool or home extension. Underneath the home is a spacious studio with bedroom/lounge area and kitchenette — ideal for a guest wing or teenage retreat.Marketing agent Nick Kouparitsas of Ray White Ascot said it was rare for such properties to be offered to the open market.“We don’t come across too many of these homes that have been in the same family for so many years,” he said.“Around Hamilton they’re pretty rare.” More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours agoThe living room in the home at 29 Queens Rd, Hamilton.“It’s got an absolutely fantastic view and position,” Mrs Reed said.“What I love about it is the great expanse of sky.“It’s a very happy home.”Traditional features include a wraparound entry veranda, original timber flooring, wide hallway and VJ walls.There is a large back deck, which extends off the living and dining area that would be perfect for alfresco dinners or parties. AUCTION PACKED WEEKEND AHEAD This home at 29 Queens Rd, Hamilton, is for sale for the first time in over 50 years.THE Hamilton Hill home of a Brisbane inventor who helped put NASA into space has hit the market for the first time in more than 50 years.Norman Flournoy, 88, has 27 worldwide patents to his name, including technical inventions used in ballistics and rocketry in the United States. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE His wife, Marea Reed, worked from home as an optometrist for three decades and still has the original chair she used, which was made in 1876 from solid brass and bronze.The 79-year-old hasn’t ruled out selling the chair with the house, but stressed it would have to be a good offer. One of the bedrooms in the home at 29 Queens Rd, Hamilton.Mr Kouparitsas said he had fielded interest from local and interstate, mostly from owner-occupiers looking for something to renovate on a large block in a great location.“You’ve probably got some of the best views in Brisbane there of the river and the city,” he said.The property is scheduled for auction on-site at 4pm on May 26.last_img read more

Cops Rescue Kidnapped Woman from Van Converted into a Cage

first_imgA Los Angeles man is behind bars after police said he kidnapped a woman and kept her in the back of his van which he had converted into a cage.The frightening rescue took place in Alabama and was captured on police body-cam Sunday.The victim suffered more than 30 blows to the head with a tire iron, police said. She is recovering at home.The suspect was identified as Sean Sanders, a homeless man from L.A. with an extensive and violent criminal record, according to police.Police said Sanders had tried to drag the victim into the woods when a witness heard her screams. Sanders then forced the woman into the van and fled. Thankfully, the good Samaritan followed behind and called police.“I didn’t have all the facts. The only thing I did know was that I wasn’t going to let him leave without the police checking it out,” said witness Jay Bostic.Authorities cornered Sanders, but he refused to give up, holding the victim at knife-point in the back of the van. Police eventually Tased Sanders as they pulled the woman to safety.Police report that the back of the vehicle was converted into a cage with wire and blankets covering the windows, and the doors were chained shut.Sanders is behind bars and facing a list of felony charges.last_img read more

Sports Minister to face Parliament over Ghana’s failed AFCON campaign

first_imgYouth and Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah, is expected to be hauled to Parliament, to answer why Ghana performed poorly at the 2019 AFCON tournament.The MPs expressed concerns over the Black Stars’ disappointing performance which saw them exit the tournament after Monday’s defeat to Tunisia at Ismailia in Egypt.Black Stars lost 5-4 on penalties to the Carthage Eagles following a 1-1 in 120 minutes of action. Read also: AFCON 2019: It’s journey over! Tunisia wins 5 – 4 on penaltiesIt is the first time the team is exiting the tournament without reaching the semifinal stage since they were eliminated at the group stage in the 2006 tournament also staged in Egypt. The team is expected to arrive at the Kotoka Airport in Accra, by Wednesday.On Tuesday, members on the two sides of the House indicated that they have begun the process to get Mr. Asiamah to appear before them to respond to questions.An urgent question has been filed by the Minority for the Minister to appear, Ranking member on the Sports Committee, Kwabena Woyome, has indicated.Mr. Woyome says there are lots of questions requiring answers, hence the urgent question. “We’d want the Minister to tell the country something through Parliament,” Mr. Woyome told JoyNews correspondent, Joseph Opoku Gakpo. Mr. Woyome also wants to know what lessons have been learnt from the country’s abysmal performance while trying to juxtapose that with the ongoing process to normalise football in the country.Chairman of the Youth and Sports Committee, Kofi Agyekum, disagrees with his colleague on the minority side for attempting to summon the minister to the floor to answer questions. He says the committee will rather invite him to come to brief them on the AFCON at a committee sitting.“…As representatives of the people, he has the duty to appear before us to answer those questions,” Mr. Agyekum stated.He believes the current development “presents the country with an opportunity to tackle issues relating to football systematically and have them addressed.”last_img read more

New Health Minister Faces Colossal Challenges

first_imgThe new Health Minister comes into office facing more serious, even colossal challenges than any of his predecessors.Not even Dr. Joseph N. Togba, who first took over this awesome portfolio right out of medical school in 1945, faced so stupendous a set of challenges as today’s incoming Health Minister, whoever that may be.True, when Dr. Togba returned home he faced all the childhood and other diseases.  Among these were chickenpox, diarrhea, whooping cough, measles, mumps, sleeping sickness, smallpox, tuberculosis, worms, yaws and yellow fever.Yet every one of those diseases was unlike the deadly Ebola virus. None of them had people dying in the thousands.  None of them was so vicious as to shatter our lives, our way of life, our economy, our cultural and social traditions and our good neighborliness. Ebola has separated us from our next door neighbors of Guinea, Sierra Leone and La Cote d’Ivoire, to the extent that we can no longer trade with one another.  When the Ivorians had their political crisis a few years ago, they streamed across the border into Liberia in the hundreds of thousands and were wholeheartedly welcomed by their Liberian brothers and sisters.  For after all, the same languages, Gio, Mano, Grebo and Krahn are spoken across the borders. There are relatives on both sides of the border, divided by France when it seized huge portions of Liberian territory that became parts of Guinea and La Cote d’Ivoire.Yet in this Ebola season, the Ivorians effectively closed their air, land and sea borders with Liberia and the two other grievously affected countries, Guinea and Sierra Leone. But the Ebola virus went further to   devastate our international relations.  So many other countries stigmatized our three countries, causing our citizens great embarrassment and humiliation.No, even though Dr. Togba faced the task of building from scratch the National Public Health Service (NPHS) that later became the MOH, it was far from what the incoming Minister of Health faces today.For starts, even though we face an awesome health and medical crisis, our Minister-designate, Mr. George T. Werner, has spent not a day in medical school.  But that need not be to his disadvantage.  Several others served though they were not doctors.  The first was Madam Mai Padmore, for many years President Tubman’s Special Assistant, whom President W.R. Tolbert appointed his first Health Minister.  She was succeeded by Counselor Oliver Bright, and after him another lawyer, Cllr. Estrada Bernard.  Then came Dr. Abeodu Jones, a historian, and after her Dr. Kate Bryant, MD, a pediatrician. Given this historical background, the Senate should not be too quick to reject Mr. Warner as the new Health Minister.  What he will need is all the help he can get from those who know about the business—medical practitioners and related persons who can help him put together a program to finish the fight against the Ebola virus.This hopefully last stage in the anti-Ebola crusade is critical; for the new Minister will have to work closely with the Chief Medical Officer the Incident Management System that handles the Ebola crisis, the World Health Organization and all the partners, including the Americans, Chinese, Europeans, Africans, Asians, etc.  He will need all the help he can get in taking the fight to the finish, which he does not have much time to achieve, since President Sirleaf and the Liberian people are hoping that Liberia can be Ebola free before Christmas.The new Minister’s next challenge is to develop a Master Plan for the rebuilding of Liberia’s entire Healthcare Delivery System.  This must ensure that modern hospitals are built in places where they do not yet exist, including Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru, River Cess and Sinoe Counties.  And where they do exist, the hospitals must be seriously revamped and modern equipment installed, including specialized equipment for radiology, dialyses, heart, dental surgery and ophthalmology procedures,  to list a few.The Master Plan should also include healthcare centers throughout the country, especially in remote villages, making lack of access to healthcare a thing of the past.The new Minister will have to work closely with the Dean and Faculty of the A.M. Dioglotti College of Medicine, the West African Post Graduate College of Physicians and Surgeons and all the other partners to develop a comprehensive plan to train medical doctors, nurses and paramedics to man the new health system. Well-conceived and sustainable terms of service and remuneration structures are necessary components of medical personnel development planning so that the focus will remain where it is critically needed – on saving and enhancing lives, instead of constant fights over pay, benefits and the horrendous conditions in most medical facilities around the country.Not to be ignored is the need for a healthcare delivery system to be trusted and embraced by the people.  That trust must be earned by good customer service delivered by doctors, nurses and other medical staff from janitors to CMO who are inculcated (instilled) with the culture of empathy and unconditional, non-judgmental acceptance of those needing and seeking their care. There is rampant egregious (extremely bad) treatment of patients by many hospital staff and this must be thoroughly and uncompromisingly reversed.Furthermore, the people’s trust must be earned by a healthcare delivery system that makes informed decisions and acts expeditiously in the people’s interest.  That kind of system ensures that those hired are indeed qualified to serve in their posts, that medications on the local market are rigorously inspected for safety and authenticity.  That kind of system is also seen to be enforcing without prejudice all the rules, laws and regulations to prevent medical crises and move quickly to control crises as it is now doing to prevent further spread of the Ebola virus.To win the people’s confidence and trust, the well-conceived healthcare delivery system will allocate funding to teach, monitor and engage the communities it serves across the country.  Messages targeting prevention such as pre and post natal care, good hygiene, healthy eating, fitness, vaccination, environmental cleanliness must be seriously and relentlessly promoted by every effective means possible until disease and death rates in the country are far lower than they are today.It is a tall order and we wish the new Minister well.   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more