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first_imgSinn Féin Councillor Gary Doherty and Marie Therese Gallagher have today proposed that Donegal County Council hold off on the handover of Water Services to Irish Water. The handover is due to take place in January but there is concern among Council members over the implications of the handover.Councillor Doherty proposed that Donegal County Council delay the handover until the Council is given an in-depth report of the details and implications of the handover. Speaking today he said “I have huge concernsnover this handover and the timing of it. I believe that a lot of questions need to be answered before we can give control of our water services to Irish Water.His motion was seconded by his party Colleague Cllr Gallagher.She said “The establishment of Uisce Eireann has one sole purpose, and that is to charge citizens for a basic resource, and to ensure families and individuals will have another bill come through their door in the near future.“The water infrastructure in the county is priceless and belongs to the people of Donegal, after the first of January this priceless asset will be handed over to Bord Gais which will most probably be sold off in the near future. “I welcome Cllr Dohertys amendment to this motion, and hope that the executive of Donegal County Council adhere to the policy adopted today. To charge citizens for a basic service to ensure survival is simply wrong.”Irish Water is the new body created by the State to takeover the provision and retention of water services in the State.There has been opposition to the body since its inception with concerns raised over the security of jobs and the quality of service which will be received once the handover takes place.   DONEGAL SINN FEIN CALL FOR HOLD-OFF ON HANDOVER OF WATER SERVICES was last modified: December 9th, 2013 by StephenShare 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) Tags:Irish WaterSinn Feinlast_img read more

Taking the risk out of giving birth

first_imgAfrican countries have taken to theCarmma initiative. It has been launched inover 30 countries so far.(Image: www.pbs.org ) AU commissioner for social affairsBience Ganawas with Ugandan first ladyJanet Museveni at the launch in thatcountry in 2010.(Image: Flickr)MEDIA CONTACTS• South African Ministry of Health+27 12 395 9165• AU Directorate of Women, Genderand DevelopmentLitha Musyimi-Ogana+251 11 551 77 00 Ext 220RELATED ARTICLES• Healthcare in South Africa • Rural health gets R9m boost • Angola’s four-year plan for health • Booster for child health in SA Valencia TalaneThe problem of maternal deaths stopped long ago being about women’s health and care facilities – it is a power issue, between men and women, and will not be resolved until men realise it is very much their problem too.This was the firm assertion of Bience Gawanas, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, at the 2009 launch of the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (Carmma) in Tunisia.“Women need to claim their power in society, to make sure they can live better lives for themselves and their children,” said Ganawas.The Carmma programme has just been launched in South Africa.How Carmma came aboutCarmma was established three years earlier, when ministers of health from over 40 African countries gathered in 2006 to discuss a way forward in developing a strategy to curb the occurrence of maternal deaths.The campaign was born out of what is now known as the Maputo Plan of Action, a document agreed upon at the same meeting held in the capital of Mozambique.South Africa’s launch of the campaign came only recently – Friday 4 May was the date set for the big event, on the eve of the annual international day for midwives.Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi did the honours in KwaZulu-Natal province at an event that was attended by, among others, senior government officials, leaders in the health fraternity, delegates from the AU and the UN, and members of NGOs.The theme of the campaign is Africa Cares: No woman should die while giving life, which Motsoaledi quoted as a way of kicking off the proceedings.“It is important to note that maternal mortality is not just the death of a women – it is death of a woman because she dared fall pregnant!” he went on to say.Keeping MDGs in checkOne of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established by UN member countries in 2000, maternal health has been a tough challenge for health authorities in African governments for decades.The objective, in terms of the MDG, is to reduce, by 75%, the maternal mortality ratio from what it was in 1990 (430 per 100 000 women died in the world) by a set deadline of 2015. Additionally, the point is to also increase access for mothers to antenatal care that should be provided during pregnancy and delivery, as well as to the standard duration of postnatal care.Four of the top five countries with the highest prevalence of maternal mortality are in Africa, so it was not by accident that a programme of accelerated proportions was deemed extremely necessary for the continent.Seven years after its inception, the campaign has been incorporated into the reproductive health programmes of over almost all of the 40 countries present at its establishment.Part of basic human rightsThe right to health is a basic human right that every woman should enjoy, yet every day hundreds of women die in pregnancy and childbirth worldwide, according to the UN.Every year, eight-million women suffer serious pregnancy-related illnesses and disabilities, such as obstetric fistula, and two-million babies don’t survive the first 24 hours of their lives.A major cause of these tragedies is lack of access to maternity services, including the care of midwives or others with midwifery skills at childbirth.The maternal mortality ratio in South Africa is estimated to have increased from 150 to 310 deaths per 100 000 live births between 1990 and 2008.Abuse of maternity patients in health facilities can have an indelible psychological effect and drive women away from seeking care, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment, and increased morbidity and mortality.According to the Patient’s Rights Charter as determined by South Africa’s national Department of Health, all patients have the right to a positive disposition displayed by health care providers that demonstrate courtesy, human dignity, patience, empathy and tolerance.However, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) article published in August 2011, pregnant women with complications experience problems with referrals to higher levels of care and with accessing emergency transport, like ambulances, when they need it.This is despite the country having enough resources to improve care substantially.HRW research further revealed that many women in South Africa don’t believe they’ll receive good treatment if they seek medical help in a clinic or hospital during childbirth. And if they do receive poor treatment, many don’t believe the doctors or nurses will be held accountable.South Africa’s dilemmaThe HRW’s Stop Making Excuses Report is based on research gleaned from visits between August 2010 and July 2011 to health care facilities providing maternity service, and interviews with patients, medical staff, health officials, and experts in the Eastern Cape.The report finds the government is not addressing recurrent health system failures that contribute to poor maternal health outcomes. It also fails to be accountable for the implementation of existing reproductive and sexual health-related laws and policies that could greatly improve maternal health care and overcome abuses documented here and elsewhere.However, HRW acknowledges that the government has made a genuine commitment to address these problems. Since the end of apartheid in 1994, for example, South Africa has passed important sexual and reproductive health-related laws and policies, and a constitutional guarantee of the right to health.Acknowledging that maternal deaths are unacceptably high, the government has identified the decrease in maternal and child mortality as a national priority, and stated that this mission is one of four “strategic outputs” that the health sector must achieve by 2014.Today, 92% of South African women attend antenatal care, almost 87% deliver in health facilities, and South Africa is one of the few African countries where maternity care is free, abortion is legal, and there is a system of confidential inquiries to assess levels, causes of, and contributors to maternal deaths.All hope is not lostMinister Motsoaledi, in his launch speech, outlines eight strategy points that South Africa will be following. They are:• Addressing inequity through targeting of under-served areas;• Development of a comprehensive and coordinated framework for the provision of Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Women’s Health (MNCWH) & Nutrition services;• Strengthening community-based MNCWH & Nutrition interventions;• Strengthening provision of key MNCWH & Nutrition interventions at PHC and district levels;• Strengthening provision of key MNCWH & Nutrition interventions at district hospital level;• Strengthening the capacity of the health system to support the provision of MNCWH & Nutrition services;• Strengthening human resource capacity for delivery of MNCWH & Nutrition services;• Strengthening systems for monitoring and evaluation of MNCWH & Nutrition interventions and outcomes.The following are the key components of the Carmma strategy:a) Strengthening access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and rights, with specific focus to family planning services;b) Advocacy and promotion of early antenatal care attendance/ booking;c) Allocation of obstetric ambulances to every facility where deliveries are conducted;c) Establishment of maternity waiting homes, where necessary and facilities for lactating mothers and for Kangaroo Mother Care;d) Strengthening human resources for maternal and child health through:• Training on essential steps in management of obstetric emergencies for doctors and midwives;• Strengthening midwifery education and training.last_img read more

Broadband doubles as SA shifts to mobile

first_img14 December 2012Broadband access in South Africa more than doubled in the last two years as mobile operators slashed the cost of data and network roll-outs accelerated, according to researchers World Wide Worx.According to the final version of the Internet Access in South Africa 2012 study, released last week, the number of broadband subscriptions in the country grew by 128% from 3.6-million at the end of 2010 to 8.2-million by the end of 2012.Over the same period, the number of individual broadband users more than doubled, growing by 140% from 2.8-million to 6.7-million.The study, conducted by World Wide Worx with the backing of the howzit MSN online portal, shows that many users have multiple forms of broadband access – such as an ADSL account as well as 3G – while many hop between operators to take advantage of promotional offers.‘Shift in way South Africans consume content’“The migration from fixed line to mobile represents a profound shift in the way South Africans consume content,” howzit MSN executive producer Justin Zehmke said in a statement.“The 9-5 internet peak, along with the traditional desktop publishing and advertising model that has become the South African standard, will become increasingly irrelevant.“Coupled with the availability of cheaper mobile devices, this presents an opportunity for smaller publishing and tech companies to enter a market traditionally dominated by a few major players.”Zehmke’s view is backed up by World Wide Worx’s finding that the total number of fixed line broadband subscriptions is now outnumbered 8 to 1 by mobile broadband subscriptions. Telkom’s ADSL service now holds just 10.6% of the broadband subscriber market in South Africa.‘Demographic of SA internet user shifting’Measured by subscriptions, South Africa now has an apparent 15.8% broadband penetration of the population. However, due to extensive multiple-use of broadband subscriptions, especially thanks to the falling cost of data and the proliferation of promotional offers, the number of individuals using broadband subscriptions represents only 11% penetration of the population.“This may seem small, but it is still light years ahead of where we were five years ago,” said World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck. “It suggests that, five years from now, mobile broadband and smartphones will be the conventional means of access, rather than fixed line, which will increasingly be confined to small business.”Zehmke added that high speeds, lower rates and ease of access also meant that the demographic of the South African internet user base was shifting significantly, once again creating space for new content and business models.“The trends presented in this survey suggest that we will see a major shift in the type of content supplied and consumed, with mobile apps and services at the top of the industry’s priority list.”The impact, Zehmke believes, will be highly positive for the content industry.“The search for viable digital business models will lay the foundation for a culture of innovation in technology and publishing, creating choice and variety for the consumer. As the audience matures and continues to grow, we are set for a reinvention of the South African digital industry.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Russell Westbrook revives beef with Utah Jazz fans

first_imgTrump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “I swear to God. I will fuck you up, you and your wife. I will fuck you up,” Westbrook said. Cayetano’s beef with ABS CBN? Unfair air time during 2016 campaign PLAY LIST 02:25Cayetano’s beef with ABS CBN? Unfair air time during 2016 campaign00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting It was unclear from the video what the Jazz hecklers said to initiate the profanity-laced response from Westbrook but the player said he heard a racial slur.Westbrook was not penalized by the game officials in the Thunder’s 98-89 victory in front of a crowd of 18,300 at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Westbrook finished with a near triple double, 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook gets into a heated verbal altercation with fans in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)Westbrook issued a statement after the game to reporters but declined to answer questions.“The young man and his wife in the stands told me to get down on my knees like you used to,” Westbrook said. “And for me that is completely disrespectful. I think it is racial. It is inappropriate.“There are people that come to the games to say mean disrespectful things about me and my family. For many years I have done all the right things and never done anything to hurt or harm anybody. Never been in any trouble. Never fought a fan.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Thunder beat Jazz to sweep NBA season series 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The incident was similar to another outburst from Westbrook in the final of last year’s first round playoff series in Utah.Russell Westbrook explains the verbal altercation he had with Jazz fans during tonight’s game, saying fans told him “to get down on my knees like you used to.” (via @espn_macmahon) pic.twitter.com/aObvg6ZuPT— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2019“Here in Utah, man, a lot of disrespectful, vulgar things are said to the players here with these fans,” Westbrook said at the time. “It’s truly disrespectful. Talk about your families, your kids.”The NBA’s worst incident between players and fans took place during a 2004 brawl between Indiana Pacers players and Detroit Piston spectators which resulted in nine players being suspended.The brawl started with 46 seconds left in a game in Detroit and began with Pistons centre Ben Wallace and Pacers forward Ron Artest getting tangled up. A fight broke out between the players.After the fight was broken up, Artest charged into the stands to confront a fan that had thrown a drink at him.That sparked a massive brawl between players and a number of fans that lasted several minutes. Artest ended up with an 86-game suspension and Wallace got six games. P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Things get heated between Russell Westbrook and Utah Jazz fans again. “I’ll f*ck you up. You and your wife,” he says. Not sure what these fans said to him, but he also had issues with Jazz fans during the postseason. pic.twitter.com/LquwRmLVNy— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) March 12, 2019Russell Westbrook threatened a female fan and her male companion when the Oklahoma City Thunder player got into another heated exchange with Utah spectators during an NBA game on Monday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe confrontation between Westbrook and the Jazz fans was caught on video and posted to social media.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem View comments Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears endlast_img read more