Grange welcomes maquette discourse

first_img SENSE OF INCLUSION Sport Minister Olivia Grange said that despite criticisms of the maquette of the statue being created for Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, she is happy that there is public discourse about it. Fraser-Pryce’s statue’s maquette, a small mock-up of the final product, was unveiled at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on June 23. However, much like when fellow Olympian Usain Bolt’s was unveiled ahead of his statue last year, the Jamaican public has given a largely negative response to it, saying that it does not look like the sprinter. But Grange told The Gleaner that this was expected, especially after the response to the maquette of Bolt’s statue. “I think that we can only benefit from the conversation,” she said. “When you treat with a statue, normally the public does not get a chance to see a maquette. They see the statue itself when it is unveiled. So I’m saying to the public right now, what I have done is to ensure that you are engaged in the process. It is good to get the feedback from the public and to be able to assess if what you are doing is ensuring that the people are a part of the conversation.” Grange said that the reason the maquettes of statues of athletes such as Bolt and Fraser-Pryce were unveiled to the public, is to give it a sense of being included in the process. “I would want to encourage everyone to understand that it is our respect for them why we have actually unveiled a maquette,” she explained. “It is so they can be part of the whole development of this monument that is going to be mounted in tribute to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who has been one of our most outstanding women.” Grange had previously said that the statue, being sculpted by Basil Watson, will be unveiled at the end of the track and field season. It will be mounted at Statue Park at Independence Park, at the National Stadium, where Bolt’s monument is located. rachid.parchment@gleanerjm.comlast_img read more

‘The end of meningitis in Africa’

first_imgSource: WikipediaA new mass vaccination campaign to be rolled out across West Africa this year promises to eliminate the deadly brain disease meningitis in Africa, according to the UN World Health Organisation (WHO).Twenty-five-million doses of the new meningococcal A, or MenA, vaccine are currently in production in India. The drug is expected to be introduced in Burkina Faso in late 2009.“This is the beginning of the end of the disease,” said Marc LaForce, the director of the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP). The project, an initiative of WHO and the non-profit Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health, has been developing the vaccine since 2003.The vaccine currently used in the region spanning from Senegal to Ethiopia – called the “meningitis belt” for its vulnerability to deadly outbreaks – offers at most two years of protection, according to MVP.In developed countries bacterial meningitis – known as meningococcal meningitis – occurs in only about three people per 100 000 each year. The meningitis belt by contrast has an annual rate of some 500 cases per 100 000, usually in the dry season.While the disease is more deadly in the meningitis belt than anywhere else in the world, there have been no prevention vaccines for the strain found in Africa – until now, following clinical trials with MenA.Recent studies with patients age one to 29 in India, Mali, Senegal and The Gambia have shown that the new vaccine will provide long-term protection. Lead researcher LaForce has said the drug “will allow the elimination of the meningococcal epidemics that have afflicted the continent for more than 100 years”.Meningitis is caused by inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. In meningococcal meningitis the inflammation is caused by bacterial infection, but the disease can also be caused by viruses and other microorganisms, and less commonly by certain drugs or diseases. Meningitis is life threatening because of the inflammation’s proximity to the brain and spinal cord.Months away from the vaccine’s US$29-million (R288-million) donor-financed debut in three countries – Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – LaForce said the disease cannot be wiped out overnight.“Look at polio and how long it took to eliminate that. We are looking at 10 years at least.”More than 45 years after the polio vaccine was licensed, there were still more than 1 600 infections worldwide in 2008, according to WHO – down from 350 000 cases 20 years ago.LaForce said the MenA vaccination campaign’s goal is to reach “herd immunity”, in which if at least 70% of the population is immunised, then the entire population is protected.When asked if people who might refuse vaccinations could thwart herd immunity, LaForce said the response has been “tremendous” in clinical trials to the vaccine. “Seventy percent coverage will not be hard to reach,” he said.He added that “a single case of meningitis can drive a family into a spiral of poverty from which they may never recover.”Even with antibiotic treatment, at least 10% of people stricken with meningitis die and 20% percent are left with permanent disability, including mental retardation or deafness, according to WHO. In severe cases of meningococcal meningitis the symptomatic rash can progress to gangrene, requiring the amputation of limbs.WHO has more than 9 500 cases thus far in 2009, including an outbreak in a camp for displaced persons in Darfur, Sudan, where aid workers have recently been ordered to leave.The organisation aims to immunise 250 million people in the meningitis belt by 2015. The Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization has agreed to create an emergency stockpile of the MenA vaccine starting in 2011 with an initial investment of $55-million (R454-million).WHO has pledged to fast-track approval of the vaccine as soon as it is licensed in India, according to the director of WHO’s Initiative for Vaccine Research, Marie-Paule Kieny. Kieny said the vaccine is scheduled to become a routine childhood immunisation by 2012.Potential obstacles to mass immunisation are new meningitis strains and inadequate funds to continue beyond the three roll-out countries, Kieny said.MenA is expected to cost governments 40 US cents (R4) per dose; current meningitis vaccines cost up to $1.58 (R15.70), according to WHO.LaForce said the challenge in developing MenA has been in part financial. “These are the poorest areas in the world. Large pharmaceuticals were not interested in producing a specific product for Africa.”The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded MVP’s creation, research and development since 2001.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.comSource: Irin News and MediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporter.Related articlesBooster for child health in SA An open solution to healthcare African farms grow malaria drug Ridding Africa of HIV in 10 years Fruity treatment for malaria Useful linksWorld Health OrganisationMeningitis Vaccine ProjectProgramme for Appropriate Technology in Health Bill and Melinda Gates Foundationlast_img read more

Climate change on Joburg’s agenda

first_img24 October 2011In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference starting in Durban on 28 November, the City of Johannesburg is launching an awareness campaign to educate residents about the issue of climate change.The awareness campaign, a partnership between the City of Johannesburg and Siemens, will begin in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, on MondayThe 24th of October is International Day of Climate Action, and activities geared towards heightening awareness and education about the causes of climate change and its impact on ecosystems and human livelihood will be held all over the world.According to a City spokesperson Nkosinathi Nkabinde, the campaign will be spread across the city over the next weeks, running through to the beginning of COP 17.The 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) takes place at Durban’s International Convention Centre from 28 November to 9 December.Tree planting“City officials will interact with members of the community in Orange Farm and plant a number of orange trees to commemorate the occasion,” said Nkabinde.The officials will also stop at strategic points with a high concentration of people, like local markets and taxi ranks, to engage with the public and distribute pamphlets on how they can get involved in mitigating change.“The city is undergoing climate change and is not exempt from the negative impacts. It is expected that the temperatures will rise by two to three degrees Celsius in future, depending on the season of the year.”Rainfall was also expected to intensify, resulting in flooding in many parts of Johannesburg. Energy efficient bulbs will be installed by City Power officials in many households as part of the campaign.Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

#Nextchat: The Realities of Using a Modern TA Platform

first_imgoriginally published on The Tim Sackett Project blog Q1.  What are the reasons you’re currently NOT using (or fully using) a new talent acquisition software platform at your organization?Q2. What are some of the bad or broken habits that HR and recruiters need to unlearn to be able to use new technology effectively? Q3. What are some of the keys to creating an effective talent acquisition platform change management plan?Q4. What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered when training your employees on a new talent acquisition platform?Q5. What are some of the common mistakes made when working with HR technology vendors to adopt a new talent acquisition platform? Q6. Once a talent acquisition platform goes live, how can HR ensure that adoption rates meet project goals?Q7. What tools and metrics can help to evaluate your new talent acquisition platform’s success?Q8. If you are fully using your talent acquisition software with success, what advice do you have for others struggling to adopt? If you’re a talent acquisition (TA) leader for a big shop, I’m guessing my life is better than yours! Why do I know this? Because the technology you’re being asked to use has completely passed you by on the side of the highway!Remember that first time when your Mom or Dad asked you to fix the clock on the VCR? It was simple, but they had no idea on how to set the VCR clock, so it would blink “12:00” for weeks until you decided to fix it. Most TA leaders, right now today, are looking at that clock on the VCR blinking!The reality of using a full-fledged modern day talent acquisition platform is:You’re not ready for it.It’s like you’ll be taught how to walk all over again.It’s like you’ll be learning a new language.It will be the single most valuable thing you’ll ever do in your TA career.You’ll be forced to teach your entire leadership something completely new.Most vendors selling these solutions don’t have the capability to actually teach you and your team how to effectively use them.You and your team aren’t ready to unlearn all your broken, bad habits to use it effectively.You’re going to have to admit to yourself and others, you really don’t know what you’re doing.That last one is hard. Because we do know what we’re doing, damn it! But, this is where you have to remember the blinking VCR clock. You don’t, but you can learn!A full end-to-end talent acquisition platform will change the way you, your team and your organization actually attract, recruit, and onboard talent. Gone, completely, will be “post and pray.” So will be those employees who think this is what recruiting is.It’s not overly difficult to learn these new skills. It is uncomfortable because it’s a BIG change from what you’re actually doing today and calling it recruiting. You’re not recruiting. You’re administering a recruiting process. Those are different things. Your organization actually needs you, desperately, to attract, retain and develop great talent.The really, really cool part about this is you’ll completely change your career path by doing this! Once you implement and transform your organization’s recruiting practices using technology, you’ll have other organizations lined up at your door begging you to do the same for them!The real reality is you have a choice to make. Fix the blinking clock, or keep ignoring it. What kind of TA leader are you?Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on April 19 for #Nextchat with special guest Tim Sackett (@TimSackett). We’ll chat about how you can transform your organization’s recruiting practices with technology.last_img read more

Jeff McCandless Promoted to Senior Director, Store Operations at Target

first_imgJeff McCandless has been promoted to Senior Director of Store Operations at Target. Jeff was most recently Assets Protection Director at Target. Jeff began his career at Target as a team member in 2001 and has taken on positions with increasing responsibility in both assets protection and store operations since that time. He has also held positions as Executive Team Leader, District Assets Protection Team Leader, Store Team Leader, and District Team Leader with Target. Further emphasizing his versatility, Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business, Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Congratulations Jeff!- Sponsor – Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more