It is good to know that even once is a while, world leaders are united towards a good cause, and not fighting each other...

Posted: 29 October 2011

File photo shows a child getting anti-polio vaccination drops from an Indian health worker in Amritsar (AFP PHOTO/NARINDER NANU/FILES)
PERTH, Australia: World leaders Saturday added their weight to a push to eradicate polio, pledging millions of dollars in new funds to bring an end to the crippling and potentially fatal disease.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who is hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, said her country would spend A$50 million ($53.5 million) over four years towards the global fight.

"While polio remains anywhere in the world it is a threat to anyone," she told a joint news conference with leaders from Britain, Canada and two of the world's four polio endemic countries -- Pakistan and Nigeria -- by her side.

"We are here today to demonstrate our commitment to ending the fight against polio, that is ending polio for all time."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his country would commit further investments in polio surveillance and immunisations without giving a figure, while philanthropist Bill Gates pledged $40 million in new funding.

"We're at a crossroads," Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said via a video message, adding that recent cases in China highlighted the risk of polio spreading back across the globe.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said he would raise annual spending on fighting polio from $17 million to $30 million from 2012.

Jonathan said while the disease had been reduced by 75 per cent in the African nation, it remained present in some states and had started to make a comeback over the past year.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, whose government in January pledged 40 million pounds ($64.5 million) to fight the disease, said the world was in sight of eradicating the disease.

"Today for the vast majority of countries polio has been eliminated and the harrowing images of children in iron lungs banished to the past," he said.

"But for all this progress we haven't quite finished the job and the truth is that nearly eradicated is just not good enough."

Cameron said the world now ran the danger of going backwards on ending the disease which mainly affects children.

"If we fail to get rid of polio we run the risk of seeing it spread back to countries from which it has been eradicated," he said.

Polio remains a challenge for the 54-nation Commonwealth, with three of the four of the world's endemic countries -- India, Nigeria and Pakistan -- members. Afghanistan is the fourth state in which the highly contagious disease has not been eradicated.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said he was concerned that polio had re-emerged in his country, which shares a long, rugged and porous border with war-ravaged Afghanistan.

"This situation is totally unacceptable," he said, adding that medical staff often had difficulty reaching those in need given the difficult terrain and the problem of insurgents.

In areas where the oral vaccine was most needed, he said, there were people who were "so fanatical they don't let the doctors into this area".

"But we are trying our best," he added.

Gillard said it was possible the disease, which in 1954 held Perth in its grip, preventing Britain's Queen Elizabeth II from staying onshore during her maiden visit Down Under, could be ended for ever.

"Change is possible," she said. "This is an issue which within our lifetime was a problem right around the world. Now we are in grasping distance of the end of polio worldwide and that is what we are determined to do."

- AFP/wk

Taken from; source article is below:

World leaders vow to fight polio

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002 Top PupilsImage by via Flickr28-Nov-2011

Last week, specifically 24th November, the results for PSLE was out. The many feelings and emotions. Mixed. Varied. Elation. Depression. Name it, and you have it (or others have it).

One student was very brave and forward-looking, the kind of spirit that can survive crises. Although the result indicated failure, the child did not - and was looking forward to making good the next time around.

And many posted their numbers and categories at Facebook.

And their arrogance!

Well, I was keeping my quiet, and my wife and I, we were discussing how some achieved, and some others simply failed.

A remark said on one’s result: “Mana!” (Genetics!)

It was proven come Sunday school class. Whatever triggered the discussion, each one who took the PSLE told of their score in class. And surprisingly (or should I say NOT surprisingly), one boy said out loud, “I got 2xx and the highest in my class is 2xx!”

The figure is the same, so you know what the boy was telling.

Everybody was quiet, until another boy said, “Don’t boast lah!”

And everyone in the class LOL!

Later at home evening time, my daughter told about that incident, and we were all laughing. I was telling her, you should have answered back, “That score is the lowest in our school!”. Okay, okay, that is just an exaggeration, but it is a way to slap the arrogant person, figuratively…

My wife relayed that incident later on to another church mate, and the reply was, “The father is known for that same mark – arrogance.”

So the remark is correct: “Mana talaga!” (Really genetics!).

And these are the kind of leaders we elect… I’m just glad that I had no participation whatsoever in the election…

May God forgive me for being arrogant myself… sometimes… I mean, you don’t have to be the one telling how great you are – wait for others to do that, especially the Lord.

Ps 75:5: God is the judge. He decides who will be important. He lifts one person up and brings another down.

Jer 9:24: but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD."
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This is a late post, and just chronicling...

Posted: 16 October 2011

An Indian child suffering from Japanese Encephalitis lies on a bed in Gorakhpur (AFP Photo/Varun JAISWAL)
NEW DELHI: At least 430 people, mainly children, have died from an outbreak of encephalitis in a deeply neglected region of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Saturday.

K.P. Kushwaha, chief paediatrician at the BRD Medical College in the state's hardest-hit Gorakhpur district, said it was one of the worst outbreaks of encephalitis in the impoverished region, which borders Nepal.

"The situation is grim and the epidemic is worse than previous years and with so many patients there are no empty beds at the hospital," Khuswaha said.

"We count such cases since January but most of these casualties have occurred since July."

He said more than 2,400 patients have been admitted to government hospitals in the region so far this year of which at least 430 have died.

"Until Saturday, 336 children and 94 adults have died," Kushwaha told AFP by telephone from the overcrowded hospital where patients were lying two to a bed.

He said 262 patients were undergoing treatment in the state-run facility.

"Everyday between 30 and 40 patients are being brought in for treatment," he said.

Some 215 people, a majority of them children, succumbed to encephalitis in Gorakhpur last year while the death toll from the disease in 2005 was more than 1,400 in Uttar Pradesh.

Eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh are ravaged by encephalitis each year as malnourished children succumb to the virus, officials say.

Encephalitis causes brain inflammation and can result in brain damage. Symptoms include headaches, seizures and fever.

Health experts say 70 million children nationwide are at risk of encephalitis.

Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, has been struggling for years with an encephalitis prevention programme, vaccinating millions of children against the virus.

- AFP/wk

Taken from; source article is below:
Encephalitis in India kills 430

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