Improved labs for Tanzania

first_imgThe modernisation of HIV laboratories in Tanzania will allow more people to learn their status and begin treatment if needed. Tamara O’ReillyMore than 2-million people in Tanzania are infected with HIV/Aids. Like many countries in Africa, diagnosis and treatment of the disease is hampered by poor infrastructure and access to medication, but a project by the Abbott Fund to modernise the country’s laboratories is helping to lessen this burdenSince 2001, Abbott Fund, the philanthropic arm of pharmaceutical and research giant Abbot, has invested nearly $40-million (R310-million) in Tanzania’s health care system. Their presence in the country has helped thousands of people with HIV/Aids access better medical care and the implementation of the Regional Laboratory Modernisation Project will allow even more people to be diagnosed and begin treatment earlier. The $10 million (R77.5-million) project, which began in July 2008, will see 23 laboratories that support 77 hospitals around Tanzania upgraded by 2010.Previous successful projectsIn 2007, the Abbott Fund completed modernising the laboratories at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, and the Mount. Meru Regional Hospital. Many improvements have since been seen at the completed laboratories: their testing capacity has increased from 45 to 150 patients a day, and there has been a nine-fold increase in the annual number of tests processed. It is the on the success of these labs that the project is modelled.The first renovation under this project has already begun at the Amana Hospital and four other laboratories will be completed by the end of this year. According to the Abbott Fund, this hospital sees more than 1 500 patients every day and the laboratory processes an average of 500 specimens daily. Space in the existing laboratory is also limited and staff are forced to work many hours of overtime to process the average daily workload.According to the Abbott Fund website, the organisation has significantly improved the government’s national HIV treatment programme by expanding the HIV testing and treatment capabilities at more than 90 health centres and rural clinics in the country. They have also brought HIV care to people in some remote villages for the first time.A 2002 public health assessment conducted by the Ministry of Health and the US Centres for Disease Control found that the limited capacity of laboratories in Tanzania was the weakest link in the provision of quality HIV/Aids services. It also found that Tanzania has just one doctor for every 24 000 people and the average life expectancy is 48 years, about 30 years less than that of many European countries.“We have ambitious treatment goals for the more than 2-million people living with HIV in Tanzania, as well as broader challenges in meeting the needs of people who require long-term monitoring and care for diseases like diabetes,” said David Mwaykusa, Tanzania’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare. “Modern hospital laboratories are the building blocks for successful treatment, and we are grateful and excited to work with Abbott Fund on this project.”With this project, more staff will be trained in lab management, instrument use and maintenance at the laboratories that are earmarked for improvement. Like Mount Meru Regional Hospital, these improved skills will triple the laboratory’s capacity which will allow patients and physicians same-day access to lab results. The design and staffing of all labs have also been standardised to ensure equal quality of testing at all laboratories.“This laboratory improvement project is an important part of our continued partnership with the government of Tanzania to make sustainable improvements to the health care system in Tanzania,” said Catherine Babington, president of the Abbott Fund, in a press statement. “We’re improving the delivery of quality care for Tanzanians by upgrading testing services that are critical for the prevention and treatment of diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS and many other conditions.”Government’s roleAs Tanzania’s HIV/Aids population continues to grow each year the government is implementing many successful campaigns to encourage testing. In July 2007 a countrywide voluntary HIV testing campaign was launched and aimed to reach about 4.17-million people in a year. By the end of April 2008, the campaign had exceeded its target by reaching 4.2-million people.Since 2001, the Tanzanian government, in partnership with Abbott, has distributed more than 1.5-million rapid HIV tests at no profit to organisations providing quality voluntary HIV counseling and testing allowing many people in remote settings to learn their status regardless of access to laboratory equipment or electricity.The government is also rolling out an antiretroviral (ARV) programme. Currently, only 150 000 people have access to ARVs but the project will aim to provide this medication to 250 000 Aids patients by the end of this year, 350 000 in December 2009 and 450 000 by 2010.Do you have any queries or comments about this article? Email Tamara O’Reilly at [email protected] linksHIV in South Africa stabilising TB diagnosis breakthrough Useful linksCentre for Disease ControlAbbott Fund National Institute for Communicable Diseases Tanzania Commission for AIDSlast_img read more

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UN funding for African ‘green’ projects

first_img8 March 2010The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has partnered with South Africa’s Standard Bank and the German government’s International Climate Initiative to develop a new carbon project as part of the fight against climate change.The Africa Carbon Asset Development (ACAD) is the first facility dedicated to boosting the African carbon market, and will support continental projects through a combination of technical assistance, grants and preferential access to corporate finance and transactional guidance.ACAD takes a new approach toward capacity and market development, sharing costs and risks with African banks such as Standard Bank to realise and replicate projects.“Huge investments, especially in Africa, will be needed if we are to minimize the effects of climate change,” Sylvie Lemmet, director of UNEP’s Paris-based Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, said in a statement last week.“Government investment alone will not be enough. ACAD is a good example of how we can attract much-needed private capital for investments that address climate change.”Removing investment barriersOne of the key challenges Africa faces is in removing investment barriers to low-carbon sustainable development. Combined with traditional debt or equity finance, carbon finance is a promising means of attracting funding for energy and infrastructure projects; and it is here that ACAD can help.The ACAD partnership couples UNEP’s longstanding capacity building expertise in environmental policy and finance with the financial know-how and regional reach of Standard Bank.“We are keen to bring our global experience on carbon finance back to our roots in Africa and to combine it with the leading technical expertise of UNEP and its Risoe Center,” said Standard Bank Carbon Sales and Trading head Geoff Sinclair.“Our objective is to collaborate with local companies and investors to bring Africa to the forefront of the carbon markets and we look forward to working with everyone to achieve this.”‘Green’ development projectsACAD has recently awarded its first grants to innovative “green” development projects in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. These include:The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Kenya, one of the largest renewable energy generation projects on the African continent to have achieved financial closure. ACAD will provide partial payment for validation costs under the Clean Development Mechanism – the UN carbon credit scheme;The Lagos Waste Management Authority in Nigeria which is developing several waste-to-energy sites. ACAD is supporting the costs of engineering and carbon auditing studies required to earn carbon credits; andThe Athi River Mining (ARM) Company, which operates a cement plant in Kenya and is attempting to reduce coal consumption in a cement plant by using locally available biomass resources.“As we are continuously working to improve our environmental footprint, Athi River Mining appreciates the technical and financial support provided by the new ACAD Facility to get this project off the ground,” said ARM managing director Pradeep Paunrana.“We will look to the lessons of this project for further energy and cost savings across the company.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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How Small Businesses Can Save Money With Virtualization

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting john paul titlow Tags:#solution-series#Virtualization Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Reduce Power and Maintenance CostsOther areas in which cost savings can be realized are in software licensing, ongoing maintenance and server power and cooling. Obviously, not running physical servers on site means that the costs associated with powering and cooling of those servers, which can add up, are essentially outsourced. Once a server is up and running, the time and cost involved in maintaining it can add up pretty quickly. Virtualization can offer some relief as the need for physical maintenance is reduced or even eliminated. Whether it’s across servers or individual virtual machines, the maintenance that does need to be done can be managed far more efficiently in a virtualized environment, where IT support can often be managed from a single administrative console. Things like security updates can be deployed more efficiently, freeing up IT staff members’ time for other projects. For some small businesses, the majority of IT operations can be outsourced thanks to virtualization and the cloud. This can translate into some pretty dramatic savings for these companies, for whom budgets remain tighter than ever.Virtualization cost chart courtesy of Real Time Nexus Virtualization in IT has been big in the enterprise market for some time, but it’s not without its advantages for small- and medium-sized operations. Analysts are expecting the adoption of virtualization by SMBs to increase considerably in the months and years ahead. So what’s all the fuss about? For small businesses, the most immediate and obvious benefit offered by virtualization is the cost savings. This is true of businesses of any size, but it is perhaps more critical for SMBs, which naturally have smaller budgets to throw at IT. Less Hardware = Less MoneyBy virtualizing IT infrastructure, SMBs stand to save money on hardware and software. If a company needs to implement three new servers, for example, doing so in a virtualize environment doesn’t require the company to purchase three physical servers, set them up and take care of all routine maintenance. Instead, virtual servers can be provisioned on whatever virtualization platform the company is using, and this can be done at a fraction of the time and cost it would take in a traditional, non-virtualized environment. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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10 months agoCaption this! Man Utd star Pogba posts cryptic tweet after Mourinho sacking

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Caption this! Man Utd star Pogba posts cryptic tweet after Mourinho sackingby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePaul Pogba has posted a picture of himself smiling only an hour after Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager of Manchester United.The pair endured a tumultuous relationship during Mourinho’s two-and-a-half-year stint at Old Trafford, which ended on Tuesday.Within an hour of the news being announced, Pogba posted a photo of himself with a grin on Instagram and Twitter accompanied with: “caption this!”The Frenchman has been continuously linked with an exit from Manchester due to his relationship with Mourinho.The tweet was quickly deleted by Pogba.Paul Pogba decided to Tweet this following the announcement of José Mourinho’s departure from Manchester United before quickly deleting it… pic.twitter.com/KogUB28Gpu— Get French Football News (@GFFN) December 18, 2018 last_img read more

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American Justin Gatlin Narrowly Defeats Usain Bolt in 100

ROME – At the Golden Gala meet here Thursday American sprinter Justin Gatlin narrowly defeated Jamaican Usain Bolt, capturing the 100 meter gold with a time of 9.94 seconds.Bolt, who received the silver, finished with a time of 9.95 seconds, suffering his first major loss since his false-start disqualification at the 2011 world championships in South Korea.  Jimmy Vicaut of France finished third with a time of 10.02 seconds.“That was ridiculous – a perfect start and then I just cropped off,” Bolt said. “I think it was this perfect start that threw my game off. I have to do more strength work, I guess. I think it needs just some time to get it all back together. At the end it was just not me.”Bolt, who is a six-time Olympic champion, appeared to have difficulties in the first 50 meters of the race despite getting out of the blocks strongly. He appeared to be catching Gatlin toward the finish, but he was a little too late.“My legs did not have the energy,” Bolt said. “At 50 meters I had some problems, but the rest of the race was not bad.”Despite being the current world-record holder in 100-meter races, Bolt has gotten off to a surprisingly slow start this year. In his first race this year, he won with a slow time of 10.09 in the Cayman Islands, even though he was suffering a hamstring injury. He defeated his training partner Kemar Bailey-Cole in a photo finish, who finished with the same time.Bolt remained positive after his defeat acknowledging that he is going through the motions in the early track season that will prepare him for the world championships in Moscow in August.However, Gatlin presents a formidable hurdle in Bolt’s quest to capture gold in Moscow. Gatlin has won all five of his 100-meter races this year. He ran 9.97 seconds in Doha, Qatar, and a wind-aided 9.88 in Eugene, Ore., last weekend.Thursday was the first time that Gatlin and Bolt had raced each other since last year’s London Olympics final. Bolt won the race with a time of 9.63 seconds, while fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake took silver with 9.75. Gatlin finished third with a 9.79.Gatlin is managing to get back to his winning ways since he was suspended in 2006 for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, ultimately leading to a four-year ban. At the time of his suspension he was the reigning Olympic champion, having won the 100 at the 2004 Athens Games.Bolt will now travel to Oslo, Norway, to compete in the 200 and then return to Jamaica for the Jamaican championships. Gatlin will now focus his attention on the U.S. trials this month. read more

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Wisconsins Ethan Happ Is College Basketballs Latest Unicorn

Wisconsins Ethan Happ Is College Basketballs Latest Unicorn

At first glance, Ethan Happ, Wisconsin’s do-everything, still-growing sophomore forward, looks like a typical Wisconsin big. He’s the sort of player former coach Bo Ryan habitually used to recruit to Madison — this season’s Jon Leuer or Frank Kaminsky. Under-recruited in high school, he’s remarkably efficient within the arc, connecting on 58 percent of his two-point field goals, and is active on the defensive glass, hauling in a quarter of opponents’ misses. He appears to be a good college player but someone likely to crack an all-Big Ten first team — at most — at least once during his Badger career.But Happ has transcended his role. Thanks to a growth spurt in high school that boosted him from a guard to a big, Happ is a multidimensional player who leads Wisconsin in offensive (6.3) and defensive (9.5) Box Plus/Minus, assist rate (22.9), steal rate (4.0) and block rate (4.5). He also tops all of DI in Box Plus/Minus (15.8). Using those rates as parameters within College Basketball Reference’s Player Season Finder, only two other players since 2009-10 have come close to matching Happ’s statistical output.1To measure how Happ compared to other bigs, the tool sifted through players with a usage rate of more than 25 percent, an assist rate and a defensive rebounding rate of at least 20 percent, and a block rate of at least 4.5 percent. The search was further sorted by field goal percentage, which would weed out any players that hadn’t scored enough to qualify for national rankings.Similarly, through the beginning of the Big Ten tournament, Happ was one of just three players the past eight seasons to post a defensive BPM of 10 (or more) and an offensive BPM of 6 (or more). The other two? Kentucky’s Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns.VIDEO: Our picks for bracket success But Wisconsin is not Kentucky, at least not this year. Towns and Davis led their Kentucky squads to Final Fours in their respective seasons with the school, but this season’s Badgers team has stumbled through February and early March, losing six of their last 10 games. Now they’re a No. 8 seed in the East Region. That sort of seeding isn’t usually indicative of a team with a player who possesses Happ’s unicornlike stat profile.But having just one unicorn — no matter how efficiently he plays — isn’t necessarily enough, and that is partly why Wisconsin has struggled this season. Happ is in the midst of a statistically anomalous season, and yet the Badgers — the tournament’s 29th overall team — enter March looking gassed. They’ve lost six of their last 10 and have an 18 percent chance to make the Sweet 16.I’ve watched hundreds of Happ’s plays this season, and what sticks out isn’t so much his offensive output, it’s how he mimics moves from other players and morphs those skill sets into his own. He then uses those moves to impact the game at different levels. Happ’s offense is entirely limited to attempts around the basket. His jump shot is non-existent — the ball knuckles as it leaves his hand without any rotation — and opponents realized midway through Big Ten play that the best way to defend Happ, and essentially shut down Wisconsin’s offensive flow, was to mix and match double teams (e.g., double on the catch or on the bounce).This strategic change led to the ball often sticking too long on the block and Happ looking like a rec league player who had stumbled into a game full of pros that just needed an extra body (he scored in single digits three of those six losses).That said, Happ is a bear for opponents to guard — a bundle of contained energy, he never stops moving. Whether setting a drag screen off a fast break, or bouncing on the balls of his feet as he roams from low block to the high post to the perimeter to set a pick, Happ is constantly seeking out the ideal angle that’ll give him even the slightest edge on the block. He scores .92 points per post up, which ranks 22nd nationally among other BCS conference forwards and centers (with at least 100 attempts, according to Synergy Sports), and he uses his vision to find fellow Badgers open on the perimeter or cutting through the middle. Since coach Greg Gard needs guards Bronson Koenig and Zak Showalter to concentrate on scoring and stretching defenses with their combined 39 percent 3-point shooting, the Badgers invert their offense — it flows inside-out — to run plays through Happ. Happ makes a pass out of the block on 41 percent of his post-ups, and the squad has benefited from Happ’s touch, scoring 1.30 PPP following one of his dishes.One move that he “borrowed” was used initially by Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan, the Big Ten’s player of the year. According to Happ, Swanigan would “chin” the basketball, or bring it to his chin, and then elbow the defender’s chest to create separation for a jump hook. “It’s a very good move,” Happ said in an interview with FiveThirtyEight. “He did it to me this year. Most people put their shoulder down to create space, but when you use an elbow, a defender can’t stand his ground.” Or, if the defender is within the arc, take a charge.This adaptability also impacts Happ’s defense. The Badgers hold opposing teams to .913 PPP, but what is most interesting about the squad’s defensive efficiency rating this season is its steal rate — 19.9 percent. The Big Ten squad is infamous for rarely generating turnovers, preferring to control the glass and use a man defense to hamstring opponents. But since Happ took the court, the team’s steal rate has skyrocketed (from 15.8 percent in Ryan’s final season as coach to a combined 19.2 percent during Happ’s two seasons on the court). According to Gard, Happ is “a gambler,” a trait he picked up during his redshirt season in 2014-15 when he matched up with Kaminsky daily in practice. “Frank would score on me so many times that I would have to adjust and learn how to do something different,” Happ said.Happ is the only player taller than 6 feet 5 inches with a steal rate that ranks in Ken Pomeroy’s top 50. He showcases that same nimbleness by playing farther behind whoever he is guarding, which presents the illusion that man is open. As soon as the pass is thrown, Happ swoops around the opposing big to tap the ball away. That same speed helps when a ballhandler tries to take Happ off the dribble — per Synergy, Happ holds opponents to .63 points per isolation possession, which ranks within the nation’s 73rd percentile.Happ is nowhere near the level of Towns or Davis — or even Swanigan. He is far from dominant on either side of the ball, and he can’t take complete control of a game and carry his team; whether he continues to build his game into something worthy of a lottery pick is unknown. But Happ is a basketball cipher, and what he has shown this season is just a glimpse of a player who is starting to realize the extent of his multifaceted skill set: “I knew I wasn’t a finished product, and that I would have to stay for three to four years to become a pro. I am just a really weird player.”Check out our March Madness predictions.CORRECTION (March 17, 10:15 a.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated Ethan Happ’s offensive and defensive Box Plus/Minus stats. His offensive BPM is 6.3, not 9.5. His defensive BPM is 9.5, not 15.9. As a result, the article also incorrectly identified Happ as one of three players over the past eight seasons to post a defensive BPM of 10 or more and an offensive BPM of 6 or more. That was only true through the beginning of the Big Ten Tournament. read more

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Mens Basketball Kaleb Wesson CJ Jackson lead No 15 Ohio State to

Ohio State senior point guard C.J. Jackson (3) dribbles the ball down the court during the second half of the game against Minnesota on Dec. 2. Ohio State won 79-59. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorKaleb Wesson has played an important role for Ohio State through the first 11 games of the season. The sophomore forward is averaging 16.5 points per game, scoring a career-high 31 points against Youngstown State on Tuesday. He is averaging 6.6 rebounds per game, recording 10 boards on Dec. 15, his first career double-double. For opponents like UCLA, Wesson is someone to plan the team’s defense around, which the Bruins did, showing a 2-3 zone for the majority of its contest against the Buckeyes, something Ohio State struggled with against Syracuse, its only loss of the season on Nov. 28. After struggling with the zone in the first half, shooting 36.1 percent from the field, Ohio State showed a faster pace in the second half, scoring 47 points and shooting 48.4 percent from the field to secure, a 80-66 win against UCLA, the Buckeyes’ 11th win in 12 games. Wesson had something extra to focus on: 7-foot-1 freshman center Moses Brown, who averages 9.4 rebounds per game, recording three games of at least 10 rebounds in the first 11 games of his collegiate career. Wesson won the matchup down low, recording six rebounds, including four offensive boards, in the first half, outrebounding Brown, who had one in the first half. Wesson finished with a career-high 12 boards, recording eight offensive rebounds while Brown had two rebounds. The sophomore forward also had 15 points, shooting 45.4 percent from the field in 27 minutes after fouling out late in the second half, giving Wesson his second double-double of his career and second in the past three games. With Wesson focused on Brown, the rest of the Ohio State defense stepped up, forcing 12 turnovers in the first half, recording nine points off turnovers despite allowing the Bruins to shoot 48.3 percent from the field. But the Bruins struggled from deep in the second half, connecting on two of nine from 3, giving Ohio State the 14-point victory. Offensively, Ohio State struggled to find a consistency from the floor early, making only five of its first 24 shot attempts. Ohio State connected on six of their final 12 attempts from the field, ending the half with a 33-30 lead after freshman guard Luther Muhammad connected on a jumper with 29 seconds left. Much like the Ohio State offense as a whole, senior guard C.J. Jackson struggled in the first half, making only one of his five attempts from the field with two points. And like the Ohio State offense in the second half, Jackson heated up, making 6-of-11 attempts from the field, ending the day as the Buckeyes’ leading scorer with 20 points. Jackson also finished with seven rebounds and six assists. The Buckeye offense found some holes in the Bruins’ zone early in the second half, running a quick offense and finding open layups for both sophomore forward Kyle Young and redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods, who earned his third start of the year while Young came off the bench. Junior forward Andre Wesson stepped to his right after a UCLA defender outran him on an attempt to defend the fastbreak Ohio State offense, hitting an open 3 to give the Buckeyes a nine-point lead. With 6:12 left in the game, Woods lobbed the ball up to Young from behind the half-court line, finishing with the dunk and giving Ohio State a double-digit lead, a lead that would remain for the rest of the game. While Jackson heated up, UCLA sophomore guard Kris Wilkes, who had 13 points in the first half, scored five points in the second, connecting on 7-of-18 attempts overall from the field.  Ohio State will return to Columbus on Dec. 29 to take on High Point at 12 p.m. read more

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