Long Lane residents to start community clean-ups

first_imgA neighbourhood-wide community initiative has begun in the Long Lane area of Letterkenny in hopes of keeping the area cleaner. The initiative, started by the Long Lane Area Residents Association, aims to bring a close sense of community back to the Letterkenny estate.A committee has now been organised to seek the improvement of the district – with one method being a community clean-up in the various estates in the Long Lane.  “We plan on doing clean-ups in each estate now for to foreseeable future,” said committee chairman, Finn O’Donnell.“We are urging everyone to come out and chip in with whatever time they can spare.“We have obtained bags, gloves and pickers from the council and we will provide brushes and things like that, so no excuses.”The first of the community clean-up will take place in Meadowbank this Saturday (September at 12pm. The meeting point will be at the top end of the estate just off the green space area coming into Glencar Shopping Centre.Long Lane residents to start community clean-ups was last modified: September 11th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)last_img read more

Malaria cases halved in SA

first_imgMalaria nets play a crucial role in reducing the spread of the disease. (Image: Malaria No More) MEDIA CONTACTS • Fadéla ChaibWHO communications officer +41 22 791 3228 or +41 79 475 5556RELATED ARTICLES • Malaria vaccine in final testing • Fruity treatment for malaria• Swaziland to wipe out malaria • Scientists abuzz over mosquito• Adventurer spreads his net wideJanine ErasmusSouth Africa is one of nine African countries that has managed to slash malaria-induced illness and death by half, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).This was revealed in the WHO’s World Malaria Report 2009, released in December. The document profiled the status of malaria in 108 countries around the world.The nine African nations are Botswana, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia. The semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar in the United Republic of Tanzania also achieved a 50% reduction. This can be attributed to the use of insecticidal nets and proper treatment of patients, said the WHO.Aggressive malaria control strategies have been implemented across the continent, according to WHO director-general Dr Margaret Chan. This is due to a drastic increase in funding for malaria control and prevention, which gives health workers the opportunity to cover greater areas with preventive measures.Between 2003 and 2009, global funding rose from $US300-million (R2.2-billion) to $1.7-billion (R12.6-billion) – although this falls short of the estimated $5-billion (R37-billion) needed annually to successfully combat the disease.Chan said the world health body is cautiously optimistic that the spread of malaria is slowing, and the main beneficiaries are the children of sub-Saharan Africa.The report said that four of the 31 African nations considered to be high-burden, as well as five of the seven low-burden countries, have achieved more than a 50% reduction in malaria cases compared to 2000.The report also showed that incidence of the disease has been halved in 29 of 56 countries surveyed outside the African region.One of the aims of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals is to reduce the under-five mortality rate by 66% between 1990 and 2015. According to the WHO, the survey shows that some countries are on track to meet this significant goal, as well as other malaria targets set.Download the World Malaria Report 2009 (PDF, 1.16MB).More nets and better treatmentThe report revealed that, compared to 2006, more insecticidal nets and treatments were made available to those in need during 2007 and 2008.More African households, 31% in 2008 compared to 17% in 2006, own at least one insecticide-treated net. Consequently, more children under five years of age were able to use this life-saving item. In 13 high-burden countries, more than 50% of households owned at least one net.The use of rapid diagnostic tests as well as artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which are well tolerated by patients and are most recommended by experts, are on the rise.However, the percentage of African patients with access to these vital therapies is still unacceptably low, said the report. Although the World Health Assembly has set a target of 80%, in 11 out of 13 countries surveyed, fewer than 15% of young patients were treated with ACTs.Resistance to anti-malarial drugs is a continuing threat to achieving control of the disease, but the WHO and other agencies are working hard to prevent the spread of drug resistance. Steps to be taken include reducing the spread of the disease itself, ensuring that malaria outbreaks are correctly diagnosed and treated, doing away with artemisinin monotherapies in favour of combination therapies, and monitoring medication so that any sign of resistance will be detected immediately.The report documented the significant impact of the combination of effective treatment and bed nets, and suggested that the Millennium Development Goal for malaria is not out of reach, provided these key strategies become more widely available. It also said the two-thirds reduction in infant mortality can also be achieved with a sustained effort to control malaria.Funding needs to be spread more evenly. At the moment many funding sources concentrate on smaller countries with lower infection rates. More attention must be given to bigger countries with a higher malaria burden, said the report.Preventable diseaseMalaria is caused by the transmission of parasites of the genus Plasmodium into the blood. P. falciparum is the most deadly of the four human-infecting species, being the only one that kills. The vector, or carrier, is the female Anopheles mosquito.An Anopheles bite results in large numbers of parasites moving through the bloodstream into vital organs, which become vulnerable to damage and failure. Patients with low immunity can die from organ failure, and in pregnant women and children the disease contributes to anaemia, low birth weight, premature birth and neurological damage. Cerebral malaria is a particularly dangerous form of the disease.Malaria is both preventable and curable, but can only be successfully combated using a multi-faceted approach. This involves not only effective treatment of patients, but also insecticide-impregnated bed nets, indoor spraying, bite prevention and the development of an effective vaccine by 2015. The ultimate goal is the development by 2025 of a vaccine that would provide more than 80% protection and last for more than four years.With about half of the entire global population at risk of contracting malaria, it is not surprising that a staggering 243-million cases and almost 863 000 deaths were registered in 2008. Of the deaths, around 767 000, or 89%, occurred in Africa. Malaria kills one child under the age of five every 30 seconds.last_img read more

Dyer Island Trust teaches people to protect marine heritage

first_imgThe team at Dyer Island Conservation Trust knows that it takes a community to protect marine life and heritage; it is not a job for one organisation. The Western Cape group engages with local communities and tourists, teaching them about how to save our oceans and its creatures. Cleaning beaches is one way of saving the ocean, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust team regularly tells children and adults. It is one of the group’s educational programmes. (Images: Dyer Island Conservation Trust) Melissa Javan“It is critical that we protect our marine heritage for future generations,” said Pinkey Ngewu, the operations manager of Dyer Island Conservation Trust.She was speaking during National Marine Month, which began on 1 October in South Africa. It focuses on the National Development Plan‘s outcome to protect and enhance the country’s environmental assets and natural resources.The Dyer Island Conservation Trust, which is based in Van Dyks Bay on the southern coast of Western Cape, was established in 2006 to help the African penguin, whose numbers were at an all-time low. The trust now also focuses on rescuing other sea animals, as well as on teaching the local communities and tourists about marine life.The importance of educationTo get more people involved in protecting marine heritage, the trust runs several educational outreach programmes. These programmes – for children and adults – reach approximately 15 000 people annually.“Education is key to changing perceptions and social behaviour that ultimately affects the wildlife around us,” said Ngewu. “We are blessed with incredible marine wildlife that is under threat in so many ways, but we can change what we are doing and in time we will see the results of those efforts.” The Dyer Island Conservation Trust and its partners run several educational programmes that reach about 15 000 people a year.Ngewu said the trust and its partners, for example, work with schoolchildren in the area. “The trust supported an eco-schools co-ordinator in the Gansbaai-area for three years.”Gansbaai, neighbouring the trust’s homebase, is a fishing town and popular tourist destination. Known for its dense population of great white sharks, it is one of the world’s leading destinations for shark cage diving. It is also a well-known whale-watching location.“We also work with the Grootbos Football Foundation, which has a dedicated 12-week programme. Within this the trust does two lessons, one on the Marine Big Five and the other a practical beach clean-up. The beach clean-ups help in addressing the marine pollution issue and raising awareness by the practical output of this lesson,” said Ngewu.Watch the trust teach local youngsters about their environment, and in so doing restore pride in communities:About the trust Pinkey Ngewu is the newly appointed operations manager of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust.Working with eco-tourism partners Marine Dynamics Shark Tours and Dyer Island Cruises, the trust conducts valuable research, conservation and education.Marine Dynamics is a shark cage diving company that has been running since 2005; Dyer Island Cruises is a whale-watching company founded in 2001. The companies hold Fair Trade in Tourism certification and employ marine biologists whose research is, in turn, supported through the trust. The companies are essential in fundraising for the trust.Dyer Island is a 20ha nature reserve 8.5km from Kleinbaai harbour in Gansbaai. It is the easternmost of the chain of seabird islands of the Western Cape. Dyer Island is managed by CapeNature, and is primarily for seabirds and shore birds.The island is recognised as an important bird area (IBA), which gives Dyer Island the same status as an IBA anywhere else in the world. There are 1 228 IBAs in Africa, and 101 in South Africa. From a national bird conservation perspective, Dyer Island is one of the 100 most important sites in the country.The projects At the African Penguin Nesting Project, penguins readily adapt to over 2 000 nests.The Dyer Island Conservation Trust runs several projects:African Penguin Nesting Project: Heavily exploited penguin nesting sites are replaced with artificial nests. “During the mid-1800s and early 1900s, guano was harvested from the offshore islands and sold as fertiliser,” said Ngewu.“The penguins now struggle to burrow into the hard, rocky substrate on Dyer and other colonies, and have been forced to nest on the surface, leaving their eggs and chicks exposed to predation by kelp gulls, and other environmental influences,” she explained.“This nest project is in place in the majority of the colonies with the placement of over 2 000 nests. The penguins readily adapt to these nests and they have become essential in the fledgling success of this endangered species.”Seabird Rescue: “We deal with many injured, oiled or ill African penguins and others seabirds which are rehabilitated at our facility, the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary.”Great White Shark Research: “The Overstrand area has been established as a hotspot for the ocean’s most critical and threatened apex predator (the great white shark). We have produced the nation’s first population estimate and can greatly influence national and international protective measures.“Acoustic tagging and tracking and years of boat-based observational data have helped build a better understanding of great white shark behaviour with crucial scientific papers published,” said Ngewu. “Our studies have also helped in the understanding of predatory interactions and new insights into their behaviour are being revealed.”Fishing Line Disposal Bin Project: Through correct disposal, this project aims to reduce the severe environmental damage to animals caused by entanglement in fishing line that has been discarded along the coastline. Monofilament fishing line, line used for shore-based and small boat-based angling, is one of the major causes of marine life mortality.Marine Animal Strandings: This may include whales, whale sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and seals. “We own a fully equipped boat for whale disentanglement, as well as a specially developed rescue floatation cradle, and have specially trained staff to handle any disentanglement that might arise,” said Ngewu.Watch what the trust does on a typical day:Besides learning about the ocean and marine life, find out 10 ways of saving the ocean here.last_img read more

Gift of the Givers: 25 years of philanthropy: Ahmed Bham

first_imgIn a series of five articles, we share stories from Gift of the Givers volunteers in their own words as the organisation marks its 25th year of serving humanity. Ahmed Bham is the head of search and rescue. Find out about his experience in Haiti.Volunteering for Gift of the Givers taught Bham more about himself and motivated him to study further. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Sulaiman PhilipAhmed Bham: Head of search and rescue and lecturer in emergency medical care in the North West provincial Department of HealthI lead the first Gift of the Givers team to arrive in Haiti in 2010. We comprised a team of 10 search and rescue and advanced life support paramedics. Our medical team set up a field hospital while the search and rescue team began looking for surviviors in the rubble in Port au Prince. For seven days we recovered only bodies. We moved on to the Catholic cathedral where our dogs indicated there may be a survivor. After two-and-a-half hours of searching we pulled Ana Zizi from the rubble. This 69-year-old woman had been buried under the rubble for 10 days, her first words, in French, were: “God is great.” She looked at me and said: “I love you”.We stabilised her at our field hospital before she was shipped to a US Navy ship for further treatment. The whole time we talked, through my interpreter. When I told her we were from South Africa she said: “Look how amazing God is that he brought you all the way from South Africa to recue me.”I think for the first time I realised that things were done through us and not by us. I believe that is why I volunteer for the Gift of the Givers; it is a spiritual organisation guided by a desire to serve and help all of humanity. We, the volunteers and staff, come from all backgrounds and are driven by the same passion and purpose. Dr Sooliman will not compromise on that principle. Everyone is given humanitarian aid and the same level of medical care and treatment regardless.“I get to serve and represent my beloved country and show the world what Africa has to offer. We are a unique and amazing nation. I know the spirit of ubuntu lives in us.” (Image: Gift of the Givers)Wherever I arrive I am already looking at the logistics, how can we assist and what are the needs. It’s a calling and passion that I am driven to fulfill. As a volunteer travelling into a disaster zone, you have a picture in you mind of what its going to be like, but the reality can sometimes be overwhelming. You learn to adapt to the situation on the ground.Every mission I have gone on has taught me lessons, has given me that feeling of contentment and self-fulfilment. In 2005, I was honoured to be selected to go to Pakistan to help in the aftermath of the earthquake. Many of my personal foundation lessons were learnt there. It was an experience that opened my soul and I learnt a lot about myself and humanity. After Haiti I was more confident in myself and I felt encouraged and motivated to study further so I could do more.My mum passed away when she was only 38, but it was through her that I was first exposed to humanitarian work. I am still inspired by her and I can honestly say the proudest moments in my life have been away on humanitarian missions. I feel that I am fulfilling my mum’s purpose in life by serving humanity. There is also the other side of it: I get to serve and represent my beloved country and show the world what Africa has to offer. We are a unique and amazing nation. I know the spirit of ubuntu lives in us. I have not just seen it, but I have lived it many a time.Read the next article about orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Livan Meneses-Turino, and his experience in Nepal, Haiti, and Palestine.Our first profile was on medical co-ordinator, Dr YM Essack. Click here to read more.To find out how beekeeper, Owen Williams, has contributed to the organisation, click here.Emily Thomas, who works in logistics at Gift of the Givers shares her story.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

New ExactEmerge Retrofit Kit available for late-model John Deere planters

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest ExactEmerge conversion components fit newer 1770NT, 1790 and DB planters John Deere is making it easier for customers with late-model John Deere planters to increase planting speed while improving accuracy and performance with the ExactEmerge Retrofit Kit. This conversion kit provides corn and soybean producers with the latest performance-enhancing ExactEmerge technology that allows them to significantly increase productivity and crop yields through more timely and accurate seed placement.“Producers realize that seed depth accuracy, spacing, and population are critically important. Crop residue management and timely planting also help to achieve maximum yield,” says Adam Sipes, product specialist with John Deere Seeding Group. “By retrofitting their late model John Deere planter with ExactEmerge components, customers can expect up to a 100% increase in planting speed, at least a 10 percent improvement in seed spacing accuracy, and improved performance on side hills, all without impacting depth control.”The ExactEmerge Retrofit Kits are available for model year 2011 and newer 1770NT CCS and 1790 planters as well as model year 2012 and newer DB Series planters. ExactEmerge conversion components includes meter and hopper assemblies, cartridge assemblies, 56v electric drives and row unit controller assemblies, scrapers, cartridge guards, and mounting hardware. Other components include planter controller with SeedStar 3 HP, backbone harness and tractor power generation harnessing, vacuum automation, and curve compensation capability.Kits require the use of tractor power generation and GreenStar 3 2630 Display for full operation. Depending on model of planter and tractor, additional components may be needed to complete the retrofit.“The ExactEmerge technology is revolutionizing the planting industry,” Sipes adds. “The Retrofit Kit now gives more customers the ability to incorporate much of this technology onto their existing late-model planters and gain these improvements for themselves.”For more information on the new ExactEmerge Retrofit Kits for late-model John Deere planters, see your local John Deere dealer or visit www.JohnDeere.com/Ag.last_img read more

Many Free Android Apps Are Starting To Look A Lot Like Malware

first_imgantone gonsalves Tags:#ad networks#advertising#Android#apps#developers#mobile#personal data#privacy Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The money-go-round between app developers and ad networks is starting to blur the line between many free Android apps and malware. While these legitimate apps aren’t stealing passwords, they’re still riding roughshod over user privacy by gratuitously sucking up your contact and location information — or worse.What These Bad Apps Glom OntoBetween last September and March, security vendor Bitdefender analyzed 130,000 popular Android apps on Google Play and found that roughly 13% collected your phone number without explicit notification, 12% stored your location data and 8% sucked up your email address. Included in those numbers are apps that siphoned off one or more of the three.Many apps don’t stop there. Other data they glom onto includes your browsing activity, your contact list, the unique identification number of your device and even your call registry.These apps took all that information legally. Android apps display their privacy policies in seeking permission to gather personal data, and many developers bank on the fact that most people will just click through to the app.(See also: Hey! iOS Apps Play Faster And Looser With Your Data Than Android)All that data gathering typically starts when an app developer download an ad framework provided by more than 400 companies listed on the Ad Network Directory. Such frameworks makes it easy for developers to display ads in the app, and thus to get paid every time someone clicks on them.Since free apps only make money for developers from such clicks (and, it turns out, the distribution of associated user data), very few pay attention to exactly what kind of information ad frameworks are gathering.“Because they copy-paste the code, they don’t really debug it; they don’t really look through it and see what data it collects,” Bitdefender researcher Liviu Arsene told me. “I bet they don’t even care.”And It Doesn’t Stop ThereApp privacy policies often stake out even more aggressive data-collection goals, presumably to pave the way for future updates to vacuum up more info and further erode user privacy.Take, for instance, Airpush, the second-largest ad network for Android developers with 40,000 apps. Its privacy policy reads, in part:[I]n accordance with the permissions you have granted, we may collect your device ID, device make and model, device IP address, mobile web browser type and version, mobile carrier, real-time location information, email address, phone number and a list of the mobile applications on your device.The policy goes on to explain that Airpush might supply that information to third-party advertisers who are part of its ad platform and third-party vendors, consultants and other service providers. Because the data is available to so many organizations, it’s virtually impossible to know who is using your personal data, and how, once it leaves the device.Obviously, the possibilities for abuse here are legion. Suppose one of those third-party organizations is acquired by an outfit that is, shall we say, less reputable. Or that a third party company’s computers are hacked, spilling your data into the hands of cybercriminals.The Feds Agree: It’s A Huge ProblemFederal regulators acknowledge that a huge problem exists. “Mobile technology provides unique privacy challenges,” Jon Leibowitz, departing chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, said in February, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. “Some would say it’s a sort of Wild West.”The FTC wants the mobile industry to bolster privacy controls by allowing phone users to opt out of being tracked by ad networks. The commission also wants apps to prominently display the kind of data they’re collecting, rather than burying it in fine print. Congress is also considering proposals to tighten privacy protections on mobile devices, though it’s hard to say how such measures will fare given firm opposition from industry.In the meantime, here’s some free (!!) advice: Scrutinize your free mobile apps as if they’re malware ready to wreak havoc on your personal information. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more