US officials launch regional stockpile to fight H5N1 in Asia

first_imgMar 25, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The first of three US-funded supply stockpiles aimed at helping authorities in Asia stamp out avian influenza outbreaks opened near Bangkok today.Eric John, the US ambassador to Thailand, spoke at a ceremony to open a Regional Distribution Center (RDC) in Chachoengsao province, in eastern Thailand, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today.”The RDC will help ensure that countries in Asia will be able to take fast action to counter avian influenza without endangering the lives of rapid-response teams,” he said, according to the AFP report.The stockpile, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), initially contains 45,000 protective suits, 400 decontamination suits, 10 laboratory specimen kits, and other equipment totaling $548,300, AFP reported.USAID officials said the supplies, stored in a warehouse near Bangkok’s international airport, could be airlifted to affected areas within 24 hours, according to a report today from the Associated Press (AP).John MacArthur, USAID’s infectious disease adviser for the Asian region, said at the opening ceremony that continuing outbreaks in the region raise the risk of the H5N1 virus mutating into a form that could be transmitted among humans, the AP reported. Vietnam and China have reported several H5N1 outbreaks in poultry flocks over the past few months, and Laos recently reported a fresh outbreak near the border with China and Myanmar.On Mar 18, officials from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said they were deeply concerned that high viral loads circulating among birds in Indonesia are creating fertile grounds for H5N1 virus mutation.According to the US State Department, as of late November 2007, US assistance for international efforts to combat avian influenza had reached $98 million of the pledged amount of $434 million. At a donors conference held in New Delhi in December, the United States pledged an additional $195 million to fight H5N1 avian flu, according to a previous report.See also:Dec 7, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Donors pledge $406 million to fight avian flu”last_img read more

Ray Sarmiento named Player of the Week

first_imgFor the second time this season, USC sophomore Ray Sarmiento earned Pac-12 Player of the Week.Sarmiento, who is the third consecutive USC tennis player to earn the honor, captured two doubles victories and two straight-set singles wins for the No. 1 Trojans (21-0, 2-0) in their two-game road trip to kick off conference play.Ranked No. 23 in the nation in singles, Sarmiento chalked up a 6-4, 6-3 win over Emmett Egger in the Trojans’ 7-0 win over No. 22 Washington in their Pac-12 opener last Friday.Sarmiento topped Oregon’s Robin Cambier 6-0, 6-1 a day later for the team’s first singles win against the Ducks. His efforts helped USC garner another 7-0 sweep, which became USC coach Peter Smith’s 200th win with the Trojans. Sarmiento is now 14-3 in dual match singles and 29-8 overall, with four consecutive wins on record.In doubles, Sarmiento paired up with senior Daniel Nguyen for an 8-2 win against the Huskies and an 8-3 victory against the Ducks. Together, the No. 18 duo in doubles, improved to 15-2 in dual matches and 20-4 overall for the season.Sarmiento was the first Trojan to take Pac-12 Player of the Week honors on Jan. 30 and now has four career selections as Player of the Week. Seniors Nguyen and Steve Johnson and freshmen Roberto Quiroz and Yannick Hanfmann comprise the other USC men’s tennis players who have earned the honor this season.After their successful conference opener, the Trojans will travel again for two road games against Utah (11-7, 0-2) on Friday at 12:30 p.m. and Arizona (5-12, 0-2) at 11 a.m. Saturday.last_img read more

Achieving the Goals of Our Pro-Poor Agenda by Placing Emphasis on Development of Our…

first_imgPresident Weah and Finance Minister Tweah at the University of LiberiaRemarks by Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic Of Liberia and Visitor to the University of Liberia, at the Main Campus, Capitol Hill, Monrovia, Liberia(As delivered on 24 October 2018)Dr. William E. Allen, Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Liberia and Head of the Management Team;Members of the Faculty Senate;Members of the UL Administration;Professors and Instructors of the University of Liberia;Officials of Government here present;The Leadership of the University of Liberia Students Union;The General Student Body;Special Invitees;Ladies and Gentlemen:One of my duties as President of the Republic of Liberia, by law, is to serve as Visitor to the University of Liberia.  This is an honor that I accept with deep humility.  But it is also a responsibility that I take very seriously.As Visitor, it is incumbent upon me to use my good offices as President to ensure that the Nation’s highest institution of learning is well established, adequately funded through budgetary support from the Government, and properly managed by competent administrators.It is given to me as my Presidential duty, to appoint the President and members of the Board of Trustees of the University who, in turn, are mandated to engage professors and other members of the teaching staff who have earned high standards of academic qualifications, so that students enrolled at this University will receive quality education that will enable them to become productive in their chosen fields upon graduation.Besides these official functions, I am personally concerned that the University should be run smoothly and efficiently, so that it is enabled to concentrate on its growth and development plans, and fulfill its ambition to become one of the best universities in Africa.One such example of this concern is that, over the years, we have observed that students of the University of Liberia have suffered from standing in long queues, delays in the registration processes, lack of systems to effectively and efficiently manage students` records, and to adequately manage the University’s Administration and its system in general.With a student body of close to 40,000 students, it has been extremely difficult to efficiently manage the registration and administrative processes of the University on a manual basis.As we are all aware, there have been many instances when the registration processes have ended in riots, conflicts and demonstrations on the campuses of the University.In 2017, the UL Administration made a decision to digitize the University of Liberia.  But up to the time I took Office in January of this year, the project had not yet been started.Realizing the critical importance of digitization to the smooth and efficient running of the University, I gave the project maximum priority and budgetary support at the very beginning of my Administration.It was my pleasure to visit your Fendall Campus on the 4th of this month, to dedicate the new digital system.  It is now installed and in use, providing not only ease of registration, but also vital internet access so critical for research and study.Ladies and Gentlemen:Last Monday, October 22, was the official commencement of classes for this new semester.  As your Visitor, I would like to take this occasion to welcome the Administration, faculty and staff, and especially the students, back to school.However, in my continuous dialogues and conversations with administrators as well as students, I have been made acutely aware of another major problem facing the student body.Let me tell you a story:Last Friday, I heard that students were chanting again in front of my Office.  I asked, “What is happening?”  I was told that it was the UL students, again. So, I sent for them.The students told me that the Administration had increased the tuition per credit hour.  I was not happy about that, so, I sent to the University to speak with someone.  Mr. Norris Tweah, Vice President for University Relations came and we spoke. Mr. Tweah communicated to me that the fees were not increased as mentioned by the students.  According to him, the credit per hour is still the same US4.00 but due to the fluctuation of the LD to the USD, a fixed rate of LD150 to USD1.00 was established to avoid confusion.During Mr. Norris’ explanation about the students’ condition, I was shocked when I was told that every semester about 20,000 students go through the billing process, yet only about 12,000 students attend and pay.Furthermore, about 5,000 of the 12,000 students who are in attendance are dependent on some form of financial aid or scholarship.  The rest of the students do not attend due to the lack of financial means.Based upon our discussion, I called in the Finance Minister to find a solution to the problem.Ladies and Gentlemen:The inability of our young people to continue their education is very sad and troubling and has a direct impact on them and their ability to make a positive contribution to the nation’s growth and development.By this time, it should be clear to all, that we will never be successful in achieving the goals of our Pro-Poor Agenda if we do not place more emphasis on the development of our human capital.  And in so doing, we have to invest in quality education.I believe in education.  As the late Kofi Annan once said, and I quote: “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, and in every family.”The increasing cost of education in Liberia, leading to non-enrollment, non-attendance, and frequent drop-outs, is becoming counter-productive to our development goals.  I believe, therefore, that the time has come to take bold initiatives and make direct social interventions to address this problem.There is a definite link between a well-educated citizenry and economic growth, and in recognition of that, my Government has decided to invest in our human capital in order to achieve sustained economic growth. Having a good education is important to one’s success in life.  Education is the key to success because it enables a person to think logically and communicate effectively.I therefore wish to declare tuition-free for all undergraduate students at the University of Liberia as well as all other public universities in Liberia.Now, make use of the opportunity given today to reach your full potential in your educational sojourn.The details and modalities will be arranged and finalized between the Administration of the University and the relevant sectoral Ministries of Government.But, to the students: Let me inform you that this will be a win-win partnership between you and Government, as you will still be expected to pay all other fees charged by the University.Ladies and Gentlemen:By this intervention, my Government shows its commitment not only to invest in physical capital, such as roads, but in human capital, for the over-all growth of our citizens and our economy.  We believe that no country can develop without investing in the education of its people.  This policy will continue to form an integral part of our Pro-Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity.Now there is no need for you not to enroll in school, and for you not to attend your classes. There is also no reason now for you to drop out of school because of financial constraints.According to Nelson Mandela, my hero, and I quote:“Education is the greatest weapon that you can use to change the world.”I am now giving you that weapon.Go forth, and change Liberia!!!May God bless the works of my Hands, and safe the State.I thank you.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

Peacemaker stabbed to death

first_imgA D Field, Sophia, Greater Georgetown businessman was on Sunday evening stabbed to death in front of his business place as he attempted to make peace between a man and his reputed wife.Dead is 48-year-old Godfrey Phillips, of Lot 3028 D Field Sophia. He was reportedly stabbed once to his left abdomen and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital.Based on reports received, the now dead man had already closed his business for the night when he heard an argument. As he ventured out, he saw the suspect arguing with his reputed wife and cautioned them about their behaviour.The suspect of Pike Street, Kitty, Georgetown reportedly became annoyed, whipped out a knife, and inflicted the fatal blow on Phillips.Dead: Godfrey PhillipsAfter committing the act, the suspect and his reputed wife fled the scene, but the Police confirmed that he was later arrested and was being grilled about the heinous crime.At the Turkeyen Police Station on Monday morning, Subrena Phillips, the dead man’s widow, related that she was at home on Sunday evening when she received a telephone call informing her that her husband was stabbed.Without hesitation, she contacted her eldest daughter, who confirmed that her father had been stabbed and had been rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital.She ventured out and on her way to the hospital in the company of her nephew, she received another call – this time from her youngest daughter who informed her that her father was dead.“I still turn up at the hospital and I saw he was already wrapped … I unzipped the holder and I saw his eyes and mouth open …,” she related with tear-filled eyes.She related to Guyana Times what she knew of the incident, “I heard that he went to part some fight between a man and his reputed wife, and he went and tell them to calm down, that it ain’t looking good and is then the man pull out and push the knife.”The suspect, she added, hailed from Kitty, Georgetown, and left the scene after committing the act. The distraught woman stated that she did not know the suspect, but he was known to her children.She told this publication that she and her husband had been married for the past 24 years, and had three children.At the scene, the man’s eldest daughter pointed out the spot where her father collapsed and died.She related that at the time of the stabbing incident, people were in the vicinity of the shop and saw what took place, but they were afraid to speak out. This newspaper understands that a young woman who witnessed the stabbing incident has since given a statement to the Police as they continue their investigations.Phillips’ body was taken to the Lyken Funeral Home to await a post-mortem.last_img read more