R13m boost for HIV clinic in SA

first_imgThe French government has donatedR13-million to upgrade the Grabouw Community Health Centre. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Faiza Steyn Western Cape Department of Health +27 21 483 3235 +27 082 801 6960fsteyn@pgwc.gov.za RELATED ARTICLES • Bold new HIV/Aids plan for SA • Loving life, fighting Aids • Garden of Hope for HIV/Aids • Hunger strike against HIVNosimilo RamelaThe French government has made a multimillion-rand donation to the Grabouw Community Health Centre in the Western Cape to upgrade its HIV/Aids clinic over the next two years.The Western Cape health department said the R13-million (US$1.8-million) grant will be used to expand and improve the clinic’s facilities.The centre, located in the agriculturally rich Overberg district, provides services for an estimated 50 000 residents annually, most of whom are farmers and farmworkers.An increasing number of people have moved into the area over the years to seek work on farms and this has put pressure on the clinic’s capacity. As a result staff often have to take on extra duties they have not received training in, such as administering antiretroviral (ARV) and tuberculosis (TB) treatment.The grant will help uplift ARV services at the clinic and enable a greater number of people to enrol for the treatment programme. Additional procedure rooms, four consulting rooms, four counselling rooms, a new waiting area, data-capturing room and more toilets will be built to accommodate extra patients.The funds will also be used to improve the hospital’s pharmacy and drug-dispensing area.Focus on high-risk communitiesFaiza Steyn, the department’s spokesperson, said French President Nicholas Sarkozy made a pledge to boost ARV infrastructure in the Western Cape after visiting it in September 2008.“The two major constraints for the inclusion of more patients in the antiretroviral therapy programme are the shortage of human resources and the lack of health infrastructure,” she said.Steyn added that the funds will also help achieve the National Strategic Plan goals, which include reducing new HIV infections by 50% and improving access to treatment services by 80%, by 2011.“Health services dedicated to HIV/Aids and TB patients need to be increased, and implemented closer to the communities, especially in the most affected high-risk areas,” she said.Provincial minister of health Theuns Botha welcomed the grant, saying the Western Cape government did not have the necessary financial resources to meet all the needs of public healthcare.“We cannot do this alone. We are so grateful to the French government for their continued support to this province.”Botha said the department is currently working on extending and renovating all community health centres in the province so they all offer services to treat and manage HIV/Aids, TB and other chronic conditions.French ambassador to South Africa Jacques Lapouge said the Grabouw clinic was one of the many projects his government was funding in Africa through the French Development Agency.The organisation falls under France’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, Finance and Industry, and is tasked with implementing social and economic upliftment projects in developing countries.African states are the agency’s main focus, receiving about half of the funding. Other countries it assists are in the Mediterranean Basin, Middle East and Asia.last_img read more

Global partners join forces on SKA

first_imgAustralia – Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and ResearchChina – National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of SciencesItaly – National Institute for AstrophysicsNew Zealand – Ministry of Economic DevelopmentRepublic of South Africa – National Research FoundationThe Netherlands – Netherlands Organisation for Scientific ResearchUnited Kingdom – Science and Technology Facilities Council SAinfo reporter 3 January 2012 The world’s biggest telescope project has taken a crucial step forward, with its international partners joining forces and agreeing funding for the detailed design of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA is a €1.5-billion global science project to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. Scientists, engineers and industry partners from around the world are collaborating on research and development for the SKA, which will be capable of answering some of the most fundamental questions about the universe. South Africa, allied with eight other African countries, is competing against Australia (allied with New Zealand) to host the SKA. The decision on the host country is due to be announced in early 2012. On 23 November, seven national governmental and research organisations announced the formation of the SKA Organisation, an independent, not-for-profit company established to formalise relationships with international partners and centralise the leadership of the SKA project. The signatories – from Australia, China, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK – plan to spend €69-million (including in-kind contributions) to fund the project in the period leading up to the construction phase, which starts in 2016. Further signatories are expected to join the SKA Organisation and commit additional resources over the next six months. Professor John Womersley, chair of the founding board that prepared the formation of the SKA Organisation, said in a statement: “I am delighted that the partners have recognised the scientific, economic and societal benefits that investing in international science projects like the SKA can bring.” The new SKA Organisation will directly employ staff, have the power to make legally binding decisions and lead the work of the international partners on the design of the telescope. Outgoing SKA project director Professor Richard Schilizzi said: “We are keen to start reaping the rewards that this new structure will bring, not only to the engineering development work, but to the project as a whole.” The office of the SKA Organisation will be located in purpose-built premises funded by the University of Manchester at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, UK. The office will take over from the SKA Program Development Office currently based at the University. Dr Michiel van Haarlem was appointed interim director-general of the new SKA Organisation following Schilizzi’s retirement in December. The SKA project is expected drive technology development in antennas, fibre networks, signal processing, software and computing, and power. The design, construction and operation of the SKA has the potential to boost skills development, employment and economic growth in science, engineering and associated industries, not only in the SKA host countries but in all partner countries. The SKA signatory organisations are:last_img read more

Gift of the Givers: 25 years of philanthropy: Owen Williams

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. We find out more from beekeeper, Owen Williams.Being involved with Gift of the Givers gives Owen Williams a sense of purpose. (Image: Owen Williams)Sulaiman PhilipSouth African humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers, the largest African organisation of its kind, has brought aid and comfort to people in need in 43 countries.It has ongoing feeding programmes in South Africa, humanitarian missions in war-torn Syria and has helped to free South African hostages in Yemen and Mali. The group, founded and led by Dr Imtiaaz Sooliman, has helped to deliver water to drought stricken areas of South Africa and fed refugees in Somalia.William’s met Dr Sooliman while trying to rescue bee colonies that had survived the Knysna fires. (Image: Honeywood Farms)Owen Williams: BeekeeperI met Dr Sooliman for the first time on 15 June 2017 as Knysna was dealing with the fires that devastated the area. In hindsight it seemed that our paths were destined to cross.The day before, I got a phone call from Grant [Liversay, one of my partners in Honeychild Honey] asking how he coud help with protecting our hives. We had saved a few hives but the bees were starving; we needed to get sugar to make syrup to feed the surviving bees. We abhor artificial feeding, but it was either that or lose the colonies we had rescued.Despite his efforts – and Grant is not a man who understands the word no – we were only able to find a few broken bags of sugar from local supermarkets. Remember, the region had gone from extreme drought to a fire storm and back again. We were not the only beekeepers in dire straits.Grant had heard of this humanitarian organisation whose station was located in the mall. So he went up to them to ask if there was any chance they could spare a few bags of sugar. I can only imagine their thinking when faced with this manic, slightly built redhead asking for sugar. After explaining his need, Emily [Thomas], felt it was important enough to speak to Doc.I feel I should point out that Gift of the Givers was working around the clock but Doc wanted to know more about, as Grant said, “this bee story”. I don’t believe in co-incidence, but when the call came Meagan [Vermaas, William’s partner] was giving free therapeutic massages and I was delivering basic goods donated by the community.We met Doc, explained the need and how unique the Cape Honey bee was. Immediatley he wanted to know how Gift of the Givers could help, but he also wanted to see the bees. Back at Honeychild me, Meagan and Doc were all kitted out in beekeeping gear inspecting a colony I had rescued from the side of the N2.We pulled a frame from the hive, and right there in the middle of the comb was the queen. The sun was just beyond the apex and Doc’s face was lit up by the sun. I could see through the veil as he watched the queen and bees working. He looked so amazed and serene.Doc wanted to know how his organisation could help; he wanted to know our objectives. He suggested we set up an NPO – Hope for the Honeybee – and then Gift of the Givers donated R250,000. We ordered pollen substitute, bought sugar for syrup, collected data on losses, designed a strategy for feeding stations and contacted renowned bee scientists.From what I can tell, Hope for the Honeybee and the support from Gift of the Givers is a world first. In the middle of the kind of human suffering that we saw in Knysna, that they took the time to consider the plight of honey bees speaks to the aura of love and caring that surrounds them. I remember that look on Doc’s face when he was inspecting the hive, and my vision became clear. What we are doing is about the survival of the honeybee and benefits humankind as a whole. There are no personal agendas, just this aura that comes from giving.Through Hope for the Honeybee we are tools that spread the help that springs from Gift of the Givers. I read about the landslides in Freetown; hundreds have died. In the past I would have said a silent prayer. This time I found myself wondering if Gift of the Givers might be headed there and if there was a way I could go along.Williams joined the Gift of the Givers humanitarian mission in Knysna after meeting the team. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Read the next profile on Emily Thomas, who works in logitistics at Gift of the Givers.Our first profile was on medical co-ordinator, Dr YM Essack. Click here to read more.Ahmed Bham is the head of search and rescue. Read his story here.Orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Livan Meneses-Turino, shares his experience in Nepal, Haiti, and Palestine.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Jeron Teng wants to join Gilas pool

first_imgHeart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken LATEST STORIES Teng said that he’s hopeful to get an affirmative response from Reyes if he can join the training on Tuesday.“I have no idea how they are working now, but maybe, now that I’ve reached out, I’ll drop by. I didn’t know that you only have to reach out and tell your intention to join the team, so I hope I get the call. Everyone wants to play for the national team,” he said. What ‘missteps’? Jeron Teng. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ Joaqui FloresFresh from his stint with Chooks-Pilipinas 3×3 in the 2017 Fiba 3×3 World Cup, Jeron Teng has signified his intention to be a part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool.“Even in France, I was telling Kief (Ravena) and Kobe (Paras) that I also want to be a part of the training,” he said Saturday in the Chooks-Pilipinas 3×3 homecoming press conference.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Teng shared that he already reached out to national team coach Chot Reyes on Saturday after the 3×3 squad arrived from Nantes, France.“I already reached out to coach Chot if I can practice and try out. There’s no player who doesn’t want to represent the country. There’s no greater glory than being a part of the team representing the country,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutTeammate Kiefer Ravena and Kobe Paras were earlier called up to join the Gilas pool, together with new additions Raymar Jose and Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger and veterans Kevin Alas and Baser Amer.Reyes has also included Bobby Ray Parks to the pool last week as the national team resumed its trainings at Meralco Gym on Tuesday. World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Gamescenter_img Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Red Sox retire No.34 for Ortiz: ‘This is his (pause) city’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more