HSPH efforts in Africa helped lead to decade of success against AIDS

first_imgThe largest public health initiative in history dedicated to a single disease was announced unexpectedly during President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address in 2003: $15 billion over five years to fund a new international AIDS effort. For AIDS researchers at HSPH, the program known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) offered the opportunity to dramatically scale up their efforts in African countries hit hard by the disease.“By the early 2000s, thanks to new drug discoveries, AIDS was no longer a death sentence in the developed world. But the vast majority of AIDS patients, who were (and still are) in Africa and Asia, didn’t have access to treatment,” said Phyllis Kanki, professor of immunology and infectious diseases at HSPH. Kanki spearheaded the School’s application to PEPFAR— the largest government grant in Harvard University’s history. “PEPFAR was designed to address that gap. We couldn’t really go on thinking that we had addressed the AIDS epidemic if we didn’t do something to provide treatment to people in resource-limited countries.”The School received a total of $362 million from PEPFAR for work in Nigeria, Botswana, and Tanzania training health care workers, developing monitoring and evaluation systems, strengthening health care infrastructures, and collaborating with local hospitals and clinics that provide treatment for AIDS patients. HSPH’s PEPFAR grants wound down last year, and researchers at the School are now working with partner organizations to transition activities to full local ownership. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Di Canio dedicates win to mother

first_imgPaolo Di Canio dedicated a stunning derby victory at Newcastle to his late mother after Sunderland enhanced their prospects of Barclays Premier League survival. The 44-year-old Italian celebrated on his knees as the Black Cats romped to a 3-0 win at St James’ Park, their first in enemy territory in 13 years and just their second anywhere in 17 attempts. A priceless triumph ended a run of nine league games without a victory and lifted the club three points clear of the relegation zone with five matches left to play. Asked if that was how he had dreamt the first derby encounter of his reign would be, Di Canio said: “Can I tell you something? Sometimes, some special things have to remain inside yourself. It’s not good to share with others because it’s very deep inside yourself. But I believe in this thing. Before the kick-off, I saw the face of my mama smiling.” The Italian went on: “Exactly yesterday (Saturday), it was one year since she passed away. Exactly one year ago, there was the same situation. I was in the dug-out the day after she passed away and we won the game – I was at Swindon – and today, it has happened again. “For this, I have to thank not only my mama, otherwise my dad – he is next to her, but today, he is going to be upset. But dad, mama was special today, so my dedication goes to her today, to my mam.” Sunderland took the lead with 27 minutes gone when the hugely impressive Stephane Sessegnon dispatched a low, skidding drive past Tim Krul. With 16 minutes remaining Adam Johnson fired past substitute goalkeeper Rob Elliot from distance, and David Vaughan added the icing to the cake with a superb 82nd-minute strike. Di Canio added: “The big rivalry we have got in this area is very famous around the world, so to get the three points away from home against Newcastle was fantastic. But now we have to drop back and put both feet on the floor. For the result in the area, it is a massive step, but in terms of the table, it’s a small step. “We are on 34 [points] now, we are not safe, but it’s obvious that it was a fantastic result for everybody.” Opposite number Alan Pardew was understandably subdued after a game which saw his side fail to claim a fifth successive home league victory in spectacular style. He said: “We will have to wear it, probably next year as well. That’s what happens when you lose one of these games. We are under no illusions as to the responsibility we have to our fans, and we have let them down 100 per cent.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Randy Abbey suggests Hayatou ‘stole’ Afcon 2017 vote for Gabon

first_imgGhana’s bid team were left licking their wounds after losing out on hosting Afcon 2017 following an announcement in Gabon’s favour on Wednesday.However, Randy Abbey, a member of the Ghana team that traveled to Cairo to witness the landmark announcement alleges underhand dealings.He made the serious allegations while speaking to Joy Sports editor Nathaniel Attoh on Sports Today.”We will like to congratulate Gabon for being declared the winner. But there was something and in the coming hours or days you will hear, I’m sure, from especially the Algerians.”Abbey methodically detailed how the final moments of the voting went on, intoning how bizarre the entire Executive Committe felt the procedure had gone.”Even the Executive Committee members who cast their vote did not know the result of the vote. Only two of them, with Issa Hayatou were called to look at the vote,” Abbey alleged hours after the vote on the primetime afternoon show aired on Multi TV. He went on: “After that they were all ushered into the conference room where the media and the other three countries were.”Issa Hayatou, according to Abbey, then proclaimed Gabon as the winner, but how it happened was fishy.Procedure According to Joy Sports sources, the draw had been slated to be shown live around Africa via pay TV broadcaster, Supersport, but had been cancelled at the last minute, with no reasons given. Randy explains that till date, no one knows how the voting patterns panned out. The procedure is that after the vote, all delegates must know what majority the winner scored. As an example, when Ghana won the 2008 bid the country got a clear 9-3 berth. “What the votes were we don’t know. There were 14 members of Executive Committee who voted,” Abbey explains. “What the rules say is that there must be an outright winner, with a minimum of eight votes.””In this case we didnt know how Gabon won – whether they got five, [or] eight, [or] 10, [or] 13 [or] 14, nobody knows. Even the Executive Committee members weren’t told the results of their votes!””Everybody was brought to the conference room and the Caf president just took a paper that said Gabon had won.”Abbey, a former Communications Director of the Ghana FA said he was sad at the development. “And I found that quite embarrassing, [that this happened] in 2015. Maybe that is the value and culture here. Like they say in strategic management, that is how business is run here.”As at the time of writing this report, CAF have still not made details of the voting immediately available.Strong contendersAlgeria, the other country also in for the bid, are said to be readying an appeal, although it would have to come with the backing of its FA.Sources say Gabon won not only because of their bid’s promise to build on the legacy of 2012, when they last hosted, but due to the well-known relationship between President Ali Bongo Ondimba and Issa Hayatou. Caf is yet to respond to these allegations by Mr. Abbey, but a rep of the football-governing body tells Joy Sports there is no comment on the claims at this time.–Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmithlast_img read more