T&T PM for State visit on September 19, 20

first_imgPrime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Dr Keith Rowley, is scheduled to visit Guyana on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 September, 2018.According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), during his visit, Prime Minister Rowley and President David Granger will discuss a wide range of matters of interest to both States, including energy sector cooperation, agriculture and security. Their meeting will be followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Energy Sector Cooperation between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.The non-binding MoU will outline a number of sector-specific areas of possible cooperation between the two countries, and will be publicised after it has been signed.Five ministers of the Trinidad and Tobago Government are expected to accompany their Prime Minister on his visit to Guyana.This working visit is part of ongoing efforts to foster greater dialogue aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two Caricom member States.last_img read more

HIV/Aids: things we should know

first_img1 December 2005A major new study on HIV/Aids makes a number of findings that South Africans should know about. These include findings on how pregnancy, breastfeeding and male circumcision can affect HIV transmission, and on the importance of periodic HIV testing.But the key finding is this: if you think that you, or your children, are not at risk of contracting HIV, the chances are you’re wrong.Aids ‘starting to level off’HIV prevalence among South Africans aged 15-49 increased only slightly from 2002 to 2005, a sign that the epidemic in SA may have started levelling off, according the HSRC study.The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) published its 2005 national household survey on HIV prevalence, incidence, behaviour and communication on Wednesday ahead of World Aids Day on 1 December.The study, which estimates that 10.8% of South Africans are HIV-positive, found that young South African women, and people in poorer communities, are particularly vulnerable to HIV/Aids – but that South Africans in general fail to appreciate the risks posed by the epidemic.Key findingsKey findings of the report, all of which have implications for HIV/Aids communication campaigns in South Africa, include the following:South Africans suffer from a “false sense of security” regarding HIV/Aids.The stigma attached to HIV/Aids is becoming less of a factor in South Africa.There is an increased risk of contracting HIV during pregnancy.Periodic HIV testing is crucial to HIV/Aids prevention and treatment.HIV prevalance among children is significant, and affected both by prolonged breastfeeding of infants and poor supervision of children.Sex at a young age, high partner turnover and concurrent sexual partnerships are significant factors in HIV transmission in South Africa.Safe male circumcision offers significant, but not complete, protection.False sense of securityHalf of the respondents in the study who were found to be HIV-positive – over two million people – did not think they were at risk of HIV infection, and hence were unaware of their risk of infecting others.The study recommends that HIV/Aids campaigns and programmes address “this false sense of security in the general population, with a particular emphasis on encouraging people to go for voluntary testing and counselling”.Aids stigma on the decreaseThe survey found that an overwhelming majority of South African are willing to care for an Aids patient, and that nearly half of South Africans of 15 years and older do not think it is wrong to marry a person with HIV.“These results suggest that South Africans are accepting HIV/Aids as a reality in South Africa, and that stigmatisation in society is becoming less of a factor, especially in urban areas.” The study recommends that service providers capitalise on this by encouraging people to undergo counselling and testing, and to disclose their HIV status to their partners.Increased risk during pregnancyThe study confirmed recent findings from other studies that suggest an increased risk of HIV acquisition during pregnancy, and recommends that awareness campaigns aimed at pregnant women and would-be parents be undertaken on a national scale.These campaigns, the report said, should encourage people to plan their pregnancy, to get tested for HIV before trying to conceive, and to disclose their results to their partners.Periodic HIV testing crucialDespite a well-established voluntary counselling and testing service in South Africa, and despite the fact that most respondents in the survey knew of a place to be tested, many of those found to be HIV-positive had not been tested.“Knowledge of HIV status is a critical aspect of prevention as it is linked to motivation to prevent HIV infection of others,” the report said. “It also serves as an entree into seeking treatment for opportunistic infections and receiving antiretrovirals in the case of advanced HIV infection.”The study recommends encouraging periodic HIV testing for men and women in stable partnerships. It adds that, given the extremely high HIV incidence among South African women aged 15-24, Aids campaigns and programmes “should sensitise this young female group to the fact that the risk of HIV is real”.HIV among childrenWhile the survey recorded a substantially lower HIV prevalence among children aged 2-14 (3.3% in 2005 compared to 5.6% in 2002), the epidemic remains “significant” among South African children, with an estimated 5.1% of children aged 2-4 and 4.4% of children aged 5-9 living with HIV.Most of the HIV-positive children aged 2-4 years are likely to have been infected “through mother-to-child transmission or during prolonged breastfeeding,” the HSRC said.However, the study also found that 6% of all recent HIV infections in South Africa occurred in children aged 2-14, with 3.3% occurring in children aged 5-9. “These infections cannot be clearly linked to mother-to-child transmission, and could include child sexual abuse or infection through the healthcare system.“Other findings suggest that many South African children are left unsupervised for much of the time, including going to and from school and being sent on errands alone – practices which could expose children to sexual abuse.”The study recommends that HIV prevention campaigns include messages on increasing supervision of children. It also recommends that the government review its “baby friendly” breastfeeding policy, encouraging HIV-positive women not to breastfeed their children but to supply them with a breast milk substitute instead.Sexual lifestyle issuesA high number of sexual partners, regular turnover of sexual partners, and concurrent sexual partnerships pose significant risks for HIV infection. Over a quarter of South African men aged 15-24 had more than one partner in the past 12 months, the study found.The study also found that young South African women are more likely to have male partners who are at least five years older. “Older men have a higher HIV prevalence than younger men, and therefore young women with older male partners increase their chances of getting HIV.”The study recommends that prevention campaigns and programmes emphasise these aspects of risk, and that sexually active people should:Avoid engaging in unprotected sex with anyone whose HIV status they do not know.Access and consistently use condoms to protect themselves in every sexual encounter with non-regular partners.Avoid frequent partner turnover and concurrent sexual partnerships.Older people also at riskA high HIV prevalence among South Africans aged 50 years and older (5.8%) calls for the development of targeted interventions for this age group, the study finds, “as they are considerably less aware of national HIV/Aids campaigns and programmes and have generally poorer knowledge of key aspects of HIV prevention and other aspects of HIV/Aids”.Safe male circumcisionA recent study in Orange Farm in Gauteng found that safe male circumcision can offer males at least 60% protection from HIV infection.The HSRC study recommends that safe male circumcision be encouraged by the public health sector, medical insurance schemes and women as one effective way of slowing the spread of HIV infection.At the same time, the study warns that male circumcision does not completely prevent HIV acquisition, and that it remains crucial for circumcised men to practise safe sex.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

17737: Your hotline to the President

first_img15 September 2009South Africans can now dial 17737 (toll-free from a landline) to get through to a call centre at the President’s office with questions or gripes about government service delivery. Some callers may even find themselves speaking to Jacob Zuma himself!Callers will have the option of being helped in a variety of languages, and calls will be recorded and logged for quality, tracking and monitoring purposes. A call log will help the Presidency monitor turnaround times and gather information – to tell them, for example, which government department receives the most complaints.The R4-million service is operational between 7.30am and 10pm, and has 21 well-informed hotline agents, backed up by 43 public liaison officers, dedicated to answering inquiries.Each government department and each province has assigned a public liaison officer to help handle inquiries that cannot be solved by the Presidency alone.Speaking to ZumaAnd some callers may be lucky enough to speak to the President himself. Zuma will have a direct link to an online platform where he can take calls directly, depending on his schedule and when he is in his office at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.Zuma announced in his State of the Nation Address earlier this year that he intended setting up a public liaison unit, which would include a toll-free hotline to handle public inquiries, as part of the efforts to move towards a “more interactive government”.Deputy director-general in the Presidency Vusi Mona said Zuma had attached a lot of importance to handling each inquiry like it was the only one, and following it through all channels until it received the attention it deserved. “This project is very close to the heart of the President. It’s one of his pet projects,” he said.Mona said the hotline would become a key service delivery improvement instrument and monitoring and evaluation tool, which was of importance to the new administration.“The President has indicated that this is not a public relations exercise, but forms part of the government’s attempts to change the way it operates.”Zuma’s word of adviceZuma visited the centre on its first day of operation, 14 September, to offer a word of advice to the call centre agents.“You may receive calls from very angry people, who would have been provoked by your colleagues from other departments,” Zuma said. “Remain calm, patient and be humane and human. You will solve a lot of problems if you remain human and avoid being technical.”Zuma added that part of the call centre agent’s job was to improve the government’s image. “We want people to be able to tell us what their problems are with service delivery, so that we can assist directly.”He urged the staff to work together to eradicate the stigma that makes people think anything from the government is bad or is of inferior quality.“You are the frontline of government communications and citizen care and support,” Zuma said. “Smile when you take those calls, as people can feel your mood wherever they are.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

World Cup 2010? Yes, we can

first_imgInside Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.(Image: Local Organising Committee) As the city of Durban kicked off celebrations marking 100 days to the 2010 Fifa World Cup last night, it was evident that South Africa is on track to success as hosts of Africa’s first global football extravaganza.As the city of Durban kicked off celebrations marking 100 days to the 2010 Fifa World Cup last night, it was evident that South Africa is on track to success as hosts of Africa’s first World Cup.“As we mark 100 days to the start of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, we do so with immense pride,” said Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe during the 100 Day Banquet at the Durban International Convention Centre. “We are proud because, in many respects, we are able to pronounce ourselves ready to welcome the world three months ahead of schedule.”Motlanthe used the occasion to not only celebrate the countdown to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, but to celebrate the hard work that has been put into getting to the 100 day mark.“We have gathered here to begin a countdown to the greatest football tournament on earth. On behalf of the Republic of South Africa, I wish to extend our gratitude to all the men and women who have worked on the World Cup project and those who are still working on the last phase of our preparations”.Irvin Khoza, chair of the World Cup local organising committee, said the 100-day celebrations marked a significant change in attitude.“When the countdown started there were 2 218 days; we did not count in years and months,” he said. “But when you arrive at 100 days it is the last three digit number on the countdown.“It is within this time period when people start applying for their leave, plan for their travel and even pay.”Khoza said South Africans’ anticipation of the event is growing. “We cannot wait until the 32 participating teams arrive. We cannot wait to enjoy the 30 days of football, 30 days of festival and 30 days of unprecedented and unequalled excitement and celebration. We cannot wait to bask in global attention, to project an image of Africa so vibrant and so positive that we create wealth, jobs and opportunity.”Although he had many to thank for the hard work put into the preparations for the World Cup, Khoza singled out the ordinary citizens of South Africa, and Africa, in preparing a country for the World Cup.“I would like to thank our people,” he said. “Together, as South Africans and Africans, we have faced doubters and skeptics, we have faced critics and opponents. We have heard people say we cannot finish stadiums. We have heard people say we cannot provide safety and security. We have heard people say we cannot host the Fifa World Cup.“Today, 100 days before the opening match, I ask you to recall the words of US President Barack Obama: Can we stage an outstanding World Cup in Africa? Yes, we can. We are waiting and we are ready.”last_img read more

Late season scouting tips

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Matt Hutcheson, Product Manager with Seed Consultants, goes over some scouting tips that will be beneficial for the upcoming harvest and next year’s crop. He also talks about some emergence testing being done and the results so far.last_img

Wimbledon 2018: Top seed Simona Halep crashes out in third round

first_imgWorld No.1 Simona Halep suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the third round of the Wimbledon 2018 to be knocked out of the third Grand Slam of the year.The French Open champion looked in complete control to begin things with but lost her way in the second set. Halep was leading 2-0 in the third set before Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei battled her way back to clinch the match.Halep crashed out when she was beaten 6-4, 4-6, 5-7 on the No.1 Court in a match that lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes on Saturday.The Romanian world number one, who claimed her first Grand Slam title at last month’s French Open, never got to grips with the tricky 32-year-old who battled back from 5-3 down in the deciding set to claim a stunning victory.A weary-looking Halep ended the match with successive forehand errors.The top seed is toppled.The #Wimbledon shocks continue as Su-Wei Hsieh defeats world No.1 Simona Halep 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 pic.twitter.com/KQRjt8ANZF Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2018Her defeat means only one of the top 10 seeds has reached the last 16 in the women’s draw.She is the first women’s top seed to lose to an unseeded player at Wimbledon since Ana Ivanovic lost to China’s Zheng Jie 10 years ago, also just after winning the French Open.Hsieh thoroughly deserved her win which booked her a fourth-round clash with Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova.”This is the first time I have beaten the world number one, it is amazing,” the world number 48, who made her Wimbledon debut in 2006, said.advertisement”I had to run and fight for every point. I tried to concentrate on my game and calm down a bit, that helped a lot. This year I have tried to enjoy more, not just tennis but life, food, strawberries and cream, lobster.”I am really enjoying playing tennis.”A *very* special momentCongratulations, Su-Wei Hsieh #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/PEabOhuRZG Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2018The crowd clearly enjoyed it too.In a sport often dominated by relentless baseline bashers Hsieh brought so much more to the party.Cunning drop shots, often played with two hands on the racket, delicate slices and laser-like flat groundstrokes that hugged the turf kept Halep continually off balance.She also used the volleying skills that helped her win the Wimbledon doubles title in 2013 to great effect.Halep did not play a bad match but simply ran out of ideas at the end of an absorbing two-hour-20-minute duel full of spellbinding rallies and shots not found in coaching manuals.”I know she’s mixing the rhythm, she’s playing everything,” Halep, 26, said. “It was really hard on grass court to do better. “She deserved to win. She had more things to do on court today. I am too tired. I was too tired. I have pain everywhere.”A curious match began untidily with five successive breaks of serve before Halep steadied to hold for a 4-2 lead and went on to clinch the opening set.Hsieh continued posing puzzles though and broke in the third game of the second set as she absorbed a fierce baseline barrage before punishing a clumsy Halep volley by spearing a backhand down the line to roars from the crowd.Halep broke back with a pummelling forehand for 3-3 but dropped serve again at 4-4 when she netted at the end of a baseline duel and Hsieh then calmly held serve to take the contest into a decider.When Halep led 4-1 and 5-2 in the final set it looked as though she would live to fight another day but Hsieh broke back and repeated the trick at 5-5 when she landed a sweetly-timed backhand into the corner and Halep could only net.Hsieh’s serve is hardly a weapon — her second serves often crawling over the net — but she battled back from 15-40 to deuce in the final game, then closed it out as a weary-looking Halep dumped consecutive forehands into the net.It was only the third time Hsieh had beaten a player ranked in the top 10 although she tamed Spain’s Garbine Muguruza at this year’s Australian Open where she also enjoyed a memorable run to the last 16.KERBER REACHES PRE-QUARTERSBack-to-back fourth round appearances for @AngeliqueKerberThe German prevails 6-2, 6-4 against Naomi Osaka #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/6u83hv30Gg Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2018Even in her wildest dreams 11th seed Angelique Kerber could not have imagined that by the end of the first week of this year’s Wimbledon, she would be the highest ranked player left in the top half of the women’s draw.advertisementBut after six days of non-stop destruction of the women’s seeds, and with the demise of world number one Simona Halep on Saturday, Kerber found herself the favourite to reach the final from the top half following her 6-2 6-4 win over Japan’s Naomi Osaka.On a hot and sticky day at the All England Club, barely anyone could be spotted in the 15,000-seater Centre Court with the match clashing with England’s World Cup quarter-final with Sweden.Even the Royal Box, that had been heaving with sporting greats such as England 1966 World Cup winner Bobby Charlton and golfer Sergio Garcia for Rafael Nadal’s win just minutes earlier, was deserted.The lack of atmosphere on the Centre Court, however, did not seem to throw Kerber off her stride as she did not face a single break point during her 63-minute outing against Osaka.The German, runner-up to Serena Williams in 2016, is one of only five top 16 seeds to make it into the fourth round.Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova and 13th seed Julia Georges have survived from the bottom half, while Kerber, 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and Russian 14th seed Daria Kasatkina complete the not-so-famous-five.OTHER RESULTS:Daria Gavrilova lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich 3-6, 1-6Elise Mertens lost to Dominika Cibulkova 2-6, 2-6Carla Suarez Navarro lost to Belinda Bencic 1-6, 6-7(3)Jelena Ostapenko beat Vitalia Diatchenko 6-0, 6-4Theres no stopping @JelenaOstapenk8 at #WimbledonThe 21-year-old advances to the fourth round, defeating Vitalia Diatchenko 6-0, 6-4 in 62 minutes pic.twitter.com/8ooqK0ykB6 Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2018Daria Kasatkina beat Ashleigh Barty 7-5, 6-3Anett Kontaveit lost to Alison van Uytvanck 2-6, 3-6(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

Labour Ministry Looking to Expand School Days Count Campaign

first_img The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is looking to expand its ‘School Days Count’ campaign to reach more institutions where there are high rates of non-compliance with the 85 per cent attendance requirement under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).The initiative was launched in February 2018 as part of efforts to address attitudes to school attendance and punctuality among students who are PATH beneficiaries.Portfolio Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, said that the first phase of the campaign was implemented in the 13 worst-affected institutions.“As an incentive, 10 scholarships, each valued at $250,000, will be awarded to PATH students who have achieved 100 per cent attendance rates,” she noted.She was speaking at a quarterly press briefing held at the Ministry’s North Street Offices today (September 4).Meanwhile, the Ministry continues to provide opportunities for young people under PATH to achieve their goals.To this end, two additional students have been presented with scholarships under PATH’s 15th anniversary tertiary award programme.They were Brittany Munroe, who received $400,000 to continue studies towards a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacology at the University of Technology; and Shanique Davidson, who received $600,000 towards the attainment of a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine and Surgery at the University of the West Indies.In celebration of its 15th anniversary, 17 beneficiaries of PATH were awarded scholarships valued at $15 million last year, to pursue studies at the tertiary level. The initiative was launched in February 2018 as part of efforts to address attitudes to school attendance and punctuality among students who are PATH beneficiaries. Story Highlightscenter_img The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is looking to expand its ‘School Days Count’ campaign to reach more institutions where there are high rates of non-compliance with the 85 per cent attendance requirement under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH). last_img read more