Bloomfield clocks world leading time

first_imgFormer outstanding local schoolboy athletes Akeem Bloomfield and Obrien Wasome started their collegiate athletic careers with impressive wins, while Olympian Clive Pullen also scored a strong win at separate indoor meets over the weekend.Bloomfield, who made his name as a student of Kingston College during a run that saw him break the national junior record in the 400m, was impressive for his new school, the University of Auburn, while competing in his pet event on Saturday at the Commodore Classics in Nashville, Tennessee. Bloomfield stopped the clock at 46.68 seconds to win the event in a world-leading time and in the process produced the eight all-time mark over the distance for Auburn.The athlete, who spoke about his first ever experience in an indoor race, was naturally pleased with his performance in his first competition at this level.”I won the event in a good time just shortly after running a good split in the 4x400m. Since it was my first ever indoor race, the goal was simply to have fun and enjoy this new experience. Now I have a race under my belt, I can really now get into the mood of competing. Indoor track and field is a new experience for me and I will need a few races to get in shape for the outdoor season,” said Bloomfield.The same meet brought mixed fortunes for two other Jamaicans. Also competing for Auburn in his first indoor competition, former leading St. Jago sprinter Raheem Chambers had a top three finish, coming in third in the mens 60m final in 6.70 seconds. His teammate Odean Skeen formerly of Wolmer’s Boys School was disqualified in the event after false starting.Former Jamaica College jumper Obrien Wasome continued from where he left off at the high school level in his first competition for Texas A&M University. Competing in front of his new home fans at the Texas A&M Invitational, he hopped, skipped and jumped to an impressive 15.58m to capture the men’s Triple Jump event.Pullen, who competed at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, produced 16.66m to win the men’s triple jump at home at the Arkansas Invitational meet. Pullen, the defending indoor champion in the event had opened up with 16.21m.last_img

Stella Maris hails swim curriculum

first_imgHead coach Cleon-Mark Stewart, who led Stella Maris Prep to this year’s Burger King-Popeyes-YMCA Prep and Primary Schools Swim Meet title, says he is proud of his team for winning the two-day event at the National Aquatics Centre on Saturday, despite not being considered favourites to do so.Stella Maris scored 410.50 points combined, in boys and girls 6-12 and under categories. They dethroned last year’s overall champion, Immaculate Conception Prep, who held on to the girls category this year with 298 points, but had to settle for fourth overall.”Winning this meet, we are very elated, as we weren’t favourites. I think my swimmers did an awesome job to win by over 100 points, and it speaks well to our swim curriculum, which tries to unearth gems,” said the coach.”It’s a work in progress, and we are very happy that the hard work paid off, “he told The Gleaner.Stella Maris’s 11-12 age group did most of the damage this year, and the coach remains confident that though they will be leaving the institution soon, his team will fight to defend their title next year.Stella Maris had to settle for two second-place finishes with 188.50 points, behind Immaculate, the girls’ champions, with 298 points, and one point behind Sts Peter and Paul Prep, boys’ champions, with 193 points.The top-five finishers, via combined team scores were Stella Maris 410.50, Sts Peter 337, Mona Prep 329, Immaculate 298, and Hillel Prep, 125 points.The top 10 were rounded out by Emmanuel Christian Academy (118), Vaz (114), Mount Alvernia (114), Hopefield (85) and Windward Road Primary (72).NEW CHAMPIONS CROWNEDOver 50 schools competed and new champions were crowned in all categories except returning Girls’ Champions Immaculate.Sts Peter and Paul won the Boys’ category in the absence of last year’s winners’ Wolmer’s Boys, who did not compete.Windward Road Primary were crowned overall primary champions for the first time, with 72 points, dethroning last year’s champions, Excelsior Primary.They finished seventh in the boys section (50) and 10th in girls competition with 22 points.Meanwhile, 10 individual records were broken. Four fell to Liberty Prep’s Nikolos Gordon-Somers in the Under-12 category, while 11-year-old Safiya Officer of Emmanuel set two new marks.last_img

Repairing Liberia’s Broken Healthcare Delivery System

first_imgThis article presents a practical approach to fixing Liberia’s broken healthcare delivery system. It offers realistic approaches to deal with the meltdown of the system during the Ebola crisis by offering alternatives to rebuild the system. Since the advent of Ebola, the attention of Liberians and the world has dramatically increase regarding the harrowing and appalling state of Liberia’s healthcare delivery system. So, let’s cut right to the chase: The ensuing debate over how weak our healthcare delivery system is isn’t going to go away anytime soon. It may sound daunting, but the reality is that these challenges are surmountable – if, that is, our leaders totally commit themselves to tackling these challenges sincerely and with the right people leading the charge to properly manage the change. Liberia already has the needed people, know-how, experience, and financing to make its healthcare delivery system one of the best on the continent. However, with strong political will from the President, sustained encouragement from the legislature, pressure from an informed public, and a ‘can do’ attitude from policymakers to make real change happen, Liberia’s healthcare delivery system can be fixed.  We too can make our voices heard by offering alternatives in a constructive manner and presenting structural reform measures, which can realistically fix our healthcare delivery system.  It has already been well established that Liberia’s healthcare delivery system is totally broken and desperately in need of urgent repair. Every Liberian knows that our healthcare delivery system is awfully dysfunctional, and doesn’t deliver effective and adequate care to the vast majority of our people. And, because of its horrific condition, it impacts families miserably and impoverishes the vast majority of our people unnecessarily. Our healthcare delivery system is unevenly weighted toward the privileged and urban centers and contributes to poverty and inequity. Despite considerable increase in spending over the past decade, our healthcare system continues to undermine socioeconomic development by not ensuring equity or adequately addressing the substantial increase in our disease burden. This author believes that this is the primary reason why Liberians who are in poor health less often move up and more frequently move down the social ladder than those who are privileged, connected and in good health.Because equitable and sustainable access to healthcare delivery has not been attained in Liberia, the biggest causes of morbidity remain malaria, respiratory infections, diarrhea, typhoid, intestinal worms, anemia and malnutrition. In addition, life expectancy is lower, infant deaths are higher, and there are fewer doctors and hospital beds available on average to Liberians. In addition, it is near impossible for a woman to give birth in Liberia without complications due in part to treatment, medication, location of facilities and transportation to facilities. As a result, there is high child and maternal mortality, recurrent epidemics and health crisis, which chronically aggravates the system, according to WHO, the World Health Organization.  As such, over 37% of children who are less than five years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition with 7% of them suffering from acute malnutrition, causing stunting in nearly one-third, and leaving 2 in 5 underweight, this is according to UNICEF, the UN Children agency. Furthermore, many Liberians, particularly those in peri-urban and rural areas, often have to travel long distances to receive basic healthcare. And, once they reach a hospital or a clinic, they can only receive care when they pay the exorbitant cost for treatment and medication. Inevitably, many ends up foregoing treatment, while those who can afford to pay, find cost ruinous and quality of service limited. Worst of all, medicines are loosely and cavalierly sold on the street by peddlers hawking counterfeit drugs because the country’s healthcare system does not have regulatory enforcement powers and systems for dispensing drugs safely across the board.Liberia is not a healthy country by any stretch of one’s imagination, and it has not been healthy for the past decade when numerous opportunities and massive goodwill existed to make a real difference in the lives of the vast majority of our people after years of terrible wars and socioeconomic dislocation. During this period, our healthcare delivery system was neglected and underserved, consistently relying on bilateral organizations and international institutions to upgrade and provide the most basic of resources, treatment, medication, supplies, equipment and technical assistance. Today, the state of our healthcare delivery system is one of poor population, subjected to abject poverty and burden by diseases that have been eradicated or brought under control in most of the world. The challenge for our country is to implement basic sanitation, read more

Docs urge expansion of pediatric medicine recall

first_imgHowever the petitioners, including Baltimore city health officials, argue that the medicines not only don’t work in children up to age 6 but that they can be dangerous as well. “Are there safe and effective therapies for the common cold?” asked panelist Dr. Ruth Parker, an Emory University School of Medicine professor. “Love. Liquids. That’s what I recommend,” said petitioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Baltimore’s health commissioner and a pediatrician. While the medicines have been marketed for use in children for decades – ad spending now is roughly $50 million a year – it has long been acknowledged there is negligible or no data from studies in the very young to show they are safe and work. Worse, some studies suggest the medicines are no better than dummy pills in treating cold and cough symptoms in young children, the petitioners said. “When a treatment is ineffective, its risks – if not zero – always will exceed its benefits,” said Dr. Michael Shannon, a Children’s Hospital Boston pediatrician and Harvard Medical School professor who was another of the petitioners. The drugs – they include some Dimetapp, Pediacare, Robitussin and Triaminic products – have never been tested in children, which a previous FDA panel noted as long ago as 1972. Drug makers instead have used extrapolated data from studies in adults to come up with dosing recommendations based on a child’s age or size. While the focus of the petition and the FDA is on children under 6, the joint panel of experts will be asked if there’s evidence that these drugs work in children up to age 12. The medicines are widely used, with an estimated 95 million packages sold for infant and toddler use each year. “If these medicines are allegedly not effective or materially unsafe, how is the purchase of millions – hundreds of millions – of doses by parents explained?” asked Dr. George Goldstein, the panel’s nonvoting industry representative. Dr. Dan Levy, president of the Maryland chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said parents buy the medicines for their children because they want quick results. Earlier, Levy also said parents buy the medications for emotional reasons – out of fear, vulnerability and caring. The recently pulled medicines had recommended parents “ask a doctor” before giving them to children under 2. “We all have a lot of friends who call up their pediatricians and the pediatricians tell them to take the drugs,” said panelist Ralph D’Agostino, a Boston University public health and statistics expert.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Cold and cough medicines recently pulled from sale for infants and toddlers shouldn’t be given to children as old as 5, either, pediatricians told government health advisers Thursday. The expert advisers to the Food and Drug Administration began a two-day meeting to consider a petition from the pediatricians that seeks in part a government statement saying the over-the-counter medicines shouldn’t be used in children under 6 because they don’t help them and aren’t safe. The FDA has yet to act on the petition, in part pending a recommendation expected late Friday from the joint panel of outside experts in pediatrics and nonprescription drugs, said the agency’s Dr. Joel Schiffenbauer. The meeting opens a week after drug makers pulled from sale oral cough and cold medicines for children under 2. The drug industry maintains the widely used medicines are safe and work but can lead to overdoses when misused in infants. last_img


first_imgPatsy in Moscow with gold medal winner Rob HeffernanHE spent last week mentoring Ireland’s best athletes at the World Championships in Moscow.He even had a chat with Usain Bolt about his forthcoming trip to County Donegal.But Finn Valley’s Patsy McGonagle admitted he couldn’t wait to get home….to see a 40-year dream of a swimming pool in the Twin Towns realised. The facility is an extension of what had currently been developed over some 30 years on the site in Stranorlar and now boosts a 25m pool, a training pool, Cryotheraphy area, Fitness suite, Multi purpose area and extensive changing including dedicated family and disabled areas.Prior to this and current on site were 4 Astro pitches,Hall,400m track with soccer infield, rugby pitch, Bar area, Kitchen facilities, Office accommodation and a 1k grass jogging trail.Within the last month two additional projects have begun which include development of another playing field and an extension to include enhanced kitchen and dining, conference room and Board room with both projects due for completion November.Said the Club Chairman Patsy: “Thoughts of getting home to see the pool opened were running through my head all week. I couldn’t wait to get back even though I knew what it looked like. “I must pay tribute to our club members who had worked with me on the project both recently and previously people such as Sean Carlin Conor Mc Gonagle, Neil Martin, Ann Marie Mc Geehin ,Bridgeen Doherty and in the early days Patsy Mc Ginley and Peader Mc Granaghan without whom this exciting development could not have been delivered.“I also want to thank the county council’s Paul Kilcoyne who led from that side and worked extremely capably on a daily basis to conclusion.”For current paid up members of Finn Valley ac that are interested in gym/swim 3 month,6 month or 1 year membership a discount exists.A full and comprehensive roll out of swim related and general fitness programmes kicks off next week and with the return of children to school the opportunity to include swimming on their physical education programme.Stunning: The new pool at Finn Valley Sports Centre  McGONAGLE RETURNS FROM MOSCOW TO SEE 40-YEAR SWIMMING POOL DREAM was last modified: August 20th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:finn valley poolpatsy mcgonaglelast_img


first_imgEQUIPMENT used by the Coast Guard at Malin Head to coordinate rescues could fail at any time – whilst millions of euros worth of new gear lies unused in boxes two years after it was bought, a Senator has claimed. Fianna Fail senator Mark Daly made the astonishing claims yesterday, claims dened by the Department of Transport.He said last night: “This five million euro worth of equipment which was purchased by the Coast Guard Service less than two years ago is sitting in boxes at the coast guard facility in Blanchardstown.“This communication equipment is used to coordinate the rescue of people in need of coast guard assistance on land and sea and should have been installed in Malin and Valencia marine rescue coordination centres two years ago.”And in an astonishing claim Senator Daly went on: “I can’t understand it because the coastguard service are well aware that the existing equipment in Malin and Valencia in Co Kerry is dangerously obsolete.“In 2007 the manufacturers of the equipment Motorola issued what is in the termed known in the industry as a death certificate which stated that the equipment is liable to catastrophic failure at any moment.”The department of transport which has ultimate responsibility for this issues says the situation isn’t effecting the ability of the coast guard to do its job.However Senator Daly disagreed.He went on: “That would be fine as long as the equipment keeps going but they are aware the existing equipment could fail at any moment.“Now they are saying people shouldn’t be afraid but the fact that our marine rescue coordination centres has perfectly good equipment but it is sitting in boxes is the reason that they should be afraid.“And the fact that our existing equipment in Malin and Valencia is obsolete and has a death certificate on it, is a matter for concern for anybody who relies on the coastguard service to keep them safe at sea.”Department of Transport say that plans are well ahead and in fact they say that they are currently underway to upgrade and enhance the station houses in Malin and Valencia and that is the reason for this delay that the two sets of work will have to go hand in hand.Senator Daly argued however: “They have been instructed by 5 different ministers for transport since 2002 that Malin and Valencia have to be upgraded and retained as marine resuce coordination centres for the coastguard service yet they have failed to do that.“They were instructed by the minister of transport Noel Dempsey at the time in 2009 to buy the equipment, they did carry out that instruction, but the equipment is still sitting in boxes and they are now paying thousands of euro every month just to keep a warranty on it. This is necessary equipment, this is vital equipment and the fact that the existing equipment can fail at any moment.”He added: “They have been talking about upgrading those two buildings since they purchased that equipment over two years ago now they have been telling various ministers for transport over the last 9 years that they will carry out their instructions in terms of Malin and Valencia Coastguard service and yet they have failed to do.“I am asking the minister with responsibility for the coastguard service to ensure that the equipment is installed as a matter of life or death. I will also be asking the head of the coastguard service to come before the Oireacthas  Committee to explain why the equipment is sitting in Blanchardstown and why the taxpayer is currently paying a warranty on it just for it to sit in Blanchardstown and why is he allowing it to sit in storage when it is vitally needed?”COAST GUARD AT MALIN HAS ‘DODGY’ EQUIPMENT – AS NEW GEAR LIES IN BOXES was last modified: June 8th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:malin coast guardsenator mark dalylast_img


first_imgA Donegal man has made legal history by becoming the first case to be heard under the new insolvency regime.The man was granted protection from his creditors for 70 days when his case was heard today at Monaghan Circuit Court.Over the coming weeks his personal insolvency practitioner is expected to agree a deal with his borrowers. The case concerning a six figure debt was brought by New Beginning lobby group.Ross Maguire SC of New Beginning said that experience of similar cases in Britain suggested that up to 70% of debts could be written off in such deals.However, it would require the borrower to meet an agreed schedule of repayments over five years.At the end of that period the remaining debt would be written off. Insolvency Service of Ireland CEO Lorcan O’Connor said that he welcomed today’s development.It is expected that there will be further cases in the coming weeks these will include Personal Insolvency Arrangements for mortgage borrowers.DONEGAL MAN MAKES LEGAL HISTORY WITH DEBT COURT CASE was last modified: October 22nd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:court casedonegalINSOLVENCY REGIMElast_img


first_imgHeavy rain has been accompanying the downpours.The picture of the latest storms was issued by Irish weather Online.There have already been power cuts in the centre of the county outside Ballybofey.  TROPICAL HEAT SPARKS THUNDER STORMS was last modified: July 24th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalheatthunder stormslast_img

Donegal’s ‘Survivors Choir’ looking for new members

first_imgIt’s the choir that sings with a smile on its face and doesn’t even demand its members to have a note in their head. And it’s looking for new members.The Survivors Choir has been a familiar sight and sound at every Relay for Life event in recent years – the purple tops and that mischievous sense of humour standing them out from their peers.This Wednesday evening, the choir, made up of men and women who have come through the cancer journey, will meet up in the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny as the countdown continues to this year’s Donegal Relay for Life event which is being staged on the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd. Choir director, Donal Kavanagh, is appealing for new members to join up with this unique singing group.“The ability to laugh at yourself is essential and in point of fact you’d have to go way down the criteria list to number seven or eight before locating the singing ability element.“And even if you can’t sing a note, you’re still welcome to join up,” laughs Donal.That’s not to say that this choir isn’t blessed with talent – anyone who has heard them perform will testify that they are indeed well versed in musical ability. The choir meets up at 7.30.p.m. in the Mount Errigal Hotel on Wednesday (11th).If you fit the criteria, go along and join up – no singing experience necessary but a touch of wit will go a long way…!Donegal’s ‘Survivors Choir’ looking for new members was last modified: April 10th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal Survivors ChoirmembersRelay for Lifelast_img

Cycads to be saved by DNA

first_imgCycads growing wild in the forest of theRain Queen Modjadji.(Image: South Africa Tourism)  South Africa’s rare and sought-after cycads are to be protected by a new DNA barcoding initiative that will help clamp down on illicit trade in the endangered plants.Botany masters student Philip Rousseau, under the guidance of Professor Michelle van der Bank of the Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), initiated the project in January 2010. His aim is to preserve the ancient plants, which are often sold illegally to eager collectors in the US and Far East.The database will focus specifically on plants from the Encephalartos genus, as these are native to Africa, with 39 species occurring in South Africa alone. The country also is home to one species from the genus Stangeria, S. eriopus.The name Encephalartos comes from the Greek words en (within), kephali (head), and artos (bread). This refers to the traditional use of the pith of the stem as a starchy food, a practice reflected in the Afrikaans name broodboom (“bread tree”).“This project forms part of a global initiative, known as TreeBOL, to DNA barcode all the trees of the world within the next five years,” said Van der Bank. “UJ will generate a library of reference barcoding sequences for all cycad species, which will enable researchers and custom officials to identify specimens.”UJ is driving the African section of TreeBOL.According to the regulations South Africans need a permit to own a cycad, with one permit issued for every plant. Although the country’s laws are among the tightest in the world where cycads are concerned, officials have a difficult time with smugglers transporting valuable plants under the name of a less endangered species.In great demandNow modern technology is set to stop thieves in their tracks. The barcode library will deter illegal trade in cycads by preventing unscrupulous dealers and buyers from presenting rare plants as more common species. As visual identification is almost impossible once the leaves have been stripped for transport purposes, DNA will provide conservation officials with a foolproof way of identifying seized cycads.Plants are regularly stolen from protected areas and botanical gardens or simply dug out of their natural areas. In one such case, in January 2008, 103 extremely rare specimens with a value of US$1.3-million (R10-million), were plucked from the Lillie floral reserve in Limpopo province.Ruthless buyers, who are willing to pay $13 500 (R100 000) or more for cycads, ignore the fact that the plants take up to 800 years to grow tall stems, and that they are endangered in their native habitats because of excessive demand.Encephalartos cerinus, for example, was only described in 1989, but subsequent demand and poaching of the plant led to it tottering on the brink of extinction mere months after its discovery. Other species may have been wiped out before they were even discovered.Several cycad species are now extinct in the wild, while the numbers of others have dwindled alarmingly. In South Africa three of the 38 indigenous species are extinct in the wild – they are Encephalartos woodii, E. brevifoliolatus and E. nubimontanus. The cycad specialist group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified 12 more as critically endangered, and a further 13 as threatened.According to Dr John Donaldson of the IUCN cycad specialist group, South Africa has a disproportionately high number of critically endangered cycads. “We certainly are on the cusp of extinctions. We have a lot of rare plants that are down to less than 100 individuals in the wild,” he said.In recent years botanists have implanted microchips, which can only be read with a scanner, into rare cycads. This enables authorities to identify stolen plants and trace their rightful owners. The technology has proved effective on a number of occasions, although some canny thieves try to extract and get rid of the transponders. The DNA technology will overcome this hurdle.Plants of myth and legendThe palm-like cycads are the oldest seed plants on earth, with fossils dating back to the Early Permian period, about 280-million years ago. This puts the leafy specimens on the scene even before the Jurassic period when dinosaurs flourished.Just over 300 species have been described to date, falling into 10–12 genera and two or three families (the number of genera and families varies according to the taxonomic viewpoint).Cycads are found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, America and Australasia. They have given rise to many myths and intriguing stories, and whole cultures have developed around them.One of the most famous is that of Ga-Modjadji, a rural community of over 150 villages near Tzaneen in Limpopo province, ruled by the Rain Queen Modjadji of the Lobedu people.The Modjadji dynasty is some 400 years old, but since the sixth Rain Queen, Makobo, read more