Vaccine hope for SA women

first_imgKhanyi Magubane A revolutionary new vaccine aimed at protecting women and girls as young as nine from cervical cancer has been launched in South Africa. The cancer preventing-vaccine Gardasil protects against diseases caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 6, 11, 16 and 18.In laymen’s terms, these include cervical cancer, abnormal and pre-cancerous cervical lesions, genital warts, vaginal and vulva cancer.The vaccine was launched in early April in South Africa and although it is not yet available for free at public health institutions, it is available at private clinics and hospitals.Treatment is administered in three doses, at R770 (US$ 97) per injection. Beverley Cowper, the medical director at Merck Sharp & Dohme, the pharmaceutical company manufacturing the vaccine, says: “Clinical trials conducted over the years have showed that the vaccine is 100% effective in preventing vaginal cancer and genital warts.”The vaccine is launched in South Africa amid worrying statistics. According to health website Health24, in South Africa approximately 6 700 women per year will develop cervical cancer while an estimated 3 700 will die from the disease.The Cancer Association of South Africa’s Martha Molete says cervical cancer is the main cancer affecting South African women, “One in every 31 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in their lifetime.”In March 2008, the Medicines Control Council also approved another cancer-preventing vaccine in South Africa. Following approval from the regulatory board, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline launched a product called Cervarix. It is available in the private and public sectors.Cervarix is already in use in the UK and the US, and is recommended for use in girls and women from the age of 10 upwards.Both Gardasil and Cervarix will work in the same way to protect the cervix against absorbing HPV.What is cervical cancer?Cancer of the cervix is associated with the cancer-producing HPV, which is transmitted during intercourse as a sexually transmitted disease. HPV can also be passed on from mother to child during birth, when the infant passes through the cervix.Just like all other parts of the body, the cervix is made up of different tissues. When cancer-producing agents disturb the genetic coding of the cervix, abnormal cells develop which, after some time, can form a malignant tumour (cancerous growth). If abnormal cells are found only within the epithelium (the outer surface of the cervix), the condition is called a pre-cancerous lesion. Once malignant cells penetrate through the basement membrane into the deeper tissue, the condition is then called cervical cancer as it may be spread to the rest of the body.SymptomsA pap smear can usually pick up abnormal tissue cells within the cervix. Bleeding may start and stop between regular menstrual periods, or it may occur after sexual intercourse, douching or during a gynaecological examination.Menstrual bleeding may last longer and be heavier than usual. Bleeding after menopause may also be an indicator of cervical cancer. This symptom may also point to cancer from the endometrium (inner lining of the womb). Increased vaginal discharge can be another symptom of cervical cancer.These symptoms may point to cancer or to other health problems. Smoking increases the risk of developing cancer cells in the cervix. The risk is dose-related – if a woman is a heavy smoker, the risk is higher.Immunity-lowering conditions like AIDS and certain medications for transplant patients may also increase the risk for cervical cancer.TreatmentCervical cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, where different types of drugs are used to treat primary or recurrent cervical cancer. If diagnosis takes place when a woman is already pregnant, a decision must be made if the pregnancy will be carried to full term. Treatment for cervical cancer cannot be administered during pregnancy and if the cancer has advanced, immediate treatment is required.Other forms of treatment for early stage cancer include cryosurgery, which freezes the pre-invasive cancer cells with a metal probe that has been cooled with liquid nitrogen. Laser surgery is also used to burn off abnormal cells or remove tissue to be studied further. A patient may also decide to have a hysterectomy. The uterus and cervix are removed either through the vagina or the abdominal wall. This results in infertility.Useful linksMSD South AfricaHealth 24Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Cancer Quest – educational information on cancerlast_img read more

Qantas delays aircraft wi-fi launch

first_imgQantas is working to address bugs in its new onboard fast  wi-fi system after problems forced an 11th-hour delay of its public introduction.The airline had planned to launch its satellite-based wi-fi with a  media flight on a specially-equipped Boeing 737-800 due to take place Monday.But it cancelled both the flight and the launch after running into problems that have taken longer than expected to troubleshoot.Officials were unable to say when the new system would now be available to passengers but said it was working to fix the problems “very soon”.“We’ve been testing in-flight Wi-Fi for several weeks and the performance has been strong,’’ the airline said in a statement. “We were preparing to open it up to media and customers this week as we continue our fine-tuning over the next few months, but some stability issues have emerged that we need to fix before customers can use it.“We’re working with nbn and ViaSat to fix these issues very soon. We remain on-track for a broader roll-out to the Qantas Domestic fleet from mid-2017.”Qantas is using the faster Ka-band technology, rather the Ku-band system that passengers have found frustrating on some airlines, accessed through the nbn’s Sky Muster satellites. Real-world tests on the airline’s system had produced download speeds for individual passengers of between 7 megabits-per-second  (Mbps) and 12 Mbps.  A smart TV running at 3-4 Mbps comfortably displays streaming service Netflix in high definition without buffering.The airline had already signed up Netflix, Foxtel and music service Spotify as partners and announced recently that local service Stan would join the fold with an offer of a 90-day subscription that will be included in a  fare.The partner content was not due to be available until mid-April.last_img read more

Peter Karlsson says Ankita Das and Soumyajit Ghosh can create upsets

first_imgPeter Karlsson has been working with Indian paddlers for some time now. It is at the academy of the five-time world champion that Soumyajit Ghosh honed his skills for two years. Ankita Das, too, trained for a short duration.The two teenagers have qualified for the Olympics and Karlsson feels that it augurs well for the future of table tennis in the country.The Swede, who was here for a three-day coaching clinic for the Manav Rachna Sports Academy, said the two players have it in them to register a few upsets in London.”It is absolutely fantastic that two young Indian players will compete at the Olympics. They deserved their places. They have not been picked, they have qualified. They have a lot more potential and if they continue to work hard they will achieve more success.””They can surprise a few at the Olympics, but if that does not happen there is no reason to feel disappointed.”Soumyajit and Ankita left senior players like Sharath Kamal, Anthony Amalraj, Poulomi Ghatak and Mouma Das in the shade as they booked their berths for the London Games.Karlsson has guided Ghosh for most of the last two years as part of an ITTF scholarship programme. “He is a talented player. At the moment, Ghosh’s game is dominated by his tactical and mental ability. He needs to improve on the technical aspect and also physically.”Ankita was also selected for the scholarship, but she could not go, though she attended short-term coaching clinics under Karlsson.advertisement”The two players are just 19 and they have a bright future. It is definitely not their peak. As I can see, playing the Olympics at young age can only be positive. Olympics is totally different. They cannot imagine how it will be. When an athlete is competing at his first Olympics at his peak, maybe it’s not so good. But when you compete at a young age, you collect experience. They may have at least two, may be three, more Olympics in their career.”The Swede was a World Champion in men’s doubles in 1991 and also helped his team win on four other occasions.”There is a risk that being part of a big event can lead to emptiness thinking that they have achieved something big. But I don’t see that happening with Ghosh. He is an intelligent boy.”Karlsson said that he will have a chat with Ghosh.”He should not be satisfied with what he has done. You can be happy and proud. But don’t stop working.”Karlsson said that though Sharath Kamal has not qualified, he is an inspiration for the youngsters.”What Sharath has done is extremely good. The way he has performed over the years is great. I often tell the young Indian players that Sharath has shown what you can achieve. They need to respect and admire him for what he has done.”last_img read more

Ind vs Eng: MS Dhoni asks team to move on from Anderson-Jadeja spat

first_imgMS Dhoni also reiterated his frustration on officials’ decision to fine Ravindra Jadeja 50 per cent of his match feeIndia captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni wants his side to forget about the altercation between James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja, after the International Cricket Council announced Wednesday it will not appeal the decision to exonerate Anderson of the level three charge of pushing and abusing Jadeja.The Anderson-Jadeja Saga Speaking on the eve of the fourth test between the two sides at Old Trafford, Dhoni backed his players to focus only on taking a 2-1 lead in the series.”It is really important not to drag one thing into another,” Dhoni said. “Irrespective of what has happened, in the last game we were only concentrating on cricket. Once you are a part of the Indian cricket team it is one thing that you learn to do very well because a lot of things keep floating around cricket.”However, Dhoni reiterated his frustration that Jadeja was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for “conduct contrary to the spirit of the game” after his involvement in the incident.”It is very interesting what David Boon (of the elite panel of match referees) really found out on the basis of which he said Jadeja needs to be fined 50 per cent of his match money,” Dhoni said.His opposite number Alastair Cook defended Anderson, who could have been banned for four test matches, and does not believe he needs to tame his aggressive approach.”There’s always that muddy line,” Cook said. “He needs that for his bowling. The way he bowled at Southampton (in the third test) was incredible.”advertisementAnderson finished with match figures of 7-77 in the third match at the Rose Bowl, which England won by 266 runs for its first test victory in almost a year.He is now only 12 wickets behind Ian Botham’s record England wicket tally of 383 and Cook believes Anderson will surpass that figure easily.”I’m pretty sure he’ll be England’s leading wicket taker very soon,” Cook said. “That is an outstanding achievement. He is a very different personality when he crosses the line which I don’t think anyone should moan about. What happens on the field should stay on the field. He is the best English bowler I have seen.”As well as victory at the Rose Bowl leveling the series 1-1, Cook finally found some form with the bat, contributing with scores of 95 and 70 not out.But his wait for a century, which dates back to May 2013, continues and he admitted he still has work to do to reach the level he demands from himself.”It was great that I scored runs last week,” Cook said. “I want to be consistent and score big runs and I have got another opportunity to try and do that. We put a lot of wear and tear into India’s bowlers in that game and that is how you win test series.”last_img read more

ABP Jumps on the Blockchain Bandwagon

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license UK’s port operator Associated British Ports (ABP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with digital logistics enabler Marine Transport International (MTI) on exploring the implementation of blockchain technology to improve port connectivity.ABP operates 21 ports across the UK, handling 25% of the country’s seaborne cargo. As such, being able to transfer all types of cargo quickly and smoothly through its ports is critical.“We handle almost 100 million tonnes of cargo across all sectors every year so we are a significant gateway for our customers’ supply chains,” said Jens Skibsted Nielsen, Commercial Director at ABP. “This MOU with MTI is a demonstration of our commitment to technical innovation and finding new ways to improve the UK’s supply chains.”As part of the agreement, ABP will participate in MTI’s blockchain solution in pilot shipments. Currently, each party in a supply chain, from shipper to haulier and from port operator to carrier, uses different systems, which do not all talk to each other efficiently. MTI’s technology could offer a way to securely link these disparate ways of working and could bridge the silos to reduce time spent on manually re-entering data, ensuring a single version of the truth.“Blockchain is the buzzword of the logistics industry at the moment,” said Jody Cleworth, founder and CEO of MTI. Blockchain-enabled technology has the potential to provide a transparent, secure and accurate way of capturing and sharing data with key parties, but for MTI the critical part is interoperability – it has to be able to openly connect with existing systems. The logistics industry is awash with proprietary technology that forces users to work in a certain way – with blockchain, we can connect all those systems to ensure data is accurately and quickly shared, helping speed-up and simplify the flow of trade in and out of the UK.”last_img read more

Quebec premier asks MNAs not to fund events promoting Canada sovereignty

first_imgQUEBEC — The Quebec government is telling members of the legislature they cannot use their discretionary budgets to support events that promote federalism or sovereignty.Premier Francois Legault said today it should be up to the federal government rather than the province to support events that promote Canada.It is still unclear what kind of events will become ineligible for financial aid. Legault said legislature members could still fund Canada Day celebrations in their communities.Legislature members have discretionary budgets they can use to financially support local and volunteer-led activities and initiatives.Junior Education Minister Isabelle Charest is in charge of the program and says the premier wanted to clarify the rules in order to ensure taxpayer dollars are used in a neutral way.She says Fete nationale celebrations would not be affected by the new rules because the June 24 event, also known as St-Jean-Baptiste Day, promotes Quebec and not sovereignty.Legault said, “what we don’t want to get into is promotion of federalism or sovereignty of Quebec. We don’t want to get into this fight.”He said he is asking legislature members to use their judgment in deciding whether an event is promoting federalism of sovereignty. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Endearing tale of a Bengali household

first_imgMukherjee Dar Bou is a story based on a modern dysfunctional family majorly highlighting the complex, intricate yet caring relationship of a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. The story revolves around a Bengali home maker whose name is not known till the end of the film, and who is referred as ‘Mukherjee Dar Bou’ throughout. Mukherjee Dar Bou (Aditi) is married for more than ten years and has a daughter of six years old. Aditi’s married life was usual but it takes a turn when her father-in-law passes away. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainAditi Mukherjee’s (Koneenica Banerjee) mother-in-law (Anushuya Majumdar) starts behaving oddly after her father-in-law’s death which makes the situation difficult for her. After a series of altercations between the two, Aditi decides to grab the bull by its horns, only to discover that the change hasn’t been sudden — society has been programming them to keep crossing swords. It’s often said that films hold up a mirror to society. But only a handful can do it like Mukherjee Dar Bou. Every woman, mother, daughter, mother-in-law will connect on a deep level with this a family drama. It reminds one that every big picture is a collection of seemingly inconsequential dots – that actually define how beautiful or ugly the overall picture is. And obviously, every dot matters. These dots are the actions and words that make up our everyday lives, those almost mechanical aspects of our personality that define how we act or react under different circumstances. And little do we imagine that even the most inconsequential of actions can leave an indelible scar on someone else’s mind. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardThe beauty of the film lies not in dwelling on these scars, but in showing a way how even such stubborn scars can be wiped off with a pinch of understanding and love. It’s about repairing human relationships slowly. And in today’s world, when ‘I’s dominate our lives, it’s reminds us how ‘we’ can solve a lot of problems. Presented by Nandita Roy and Directed by Pritha Chakraborty, it’s a simple endearing tale of a Bengali household.last_img read more

SC seeks Centres reply on plea seeking entry of Muslim women into

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to hear a plea seeking permission for Muslim women to enter mosques to offer prayers and asked the Centre to respond to it.A bench of justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer told the petitioners’ counsel that it would hear the matter only in view of the apex court’s judgement in the Sabrimala temple case. “The only reason we may hear you is because of our judgement in the Sabarimala case. Otherwise you are not giving us satisfactory answers,” the bench told the counsel appearing for petitioners Yasmeen Zuber Ahmad Peerzade and Zuber Ahmad Nazir Ahmad Peerzade. On September 28 last year, a five-judge constitution bench of the apex court, in its 4:1 verdict, had paved the way for entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, saying the ban amounted to gender discrimination. Besides the Centre, the apex court also issued notices to the Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Minority Affairs, National Commission for Women, Maharashtra State Board of Waqfs, Central Waqf Council and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, seeking their replies on the plea filed by the Pune-based couple. During the hearing on Tuesday, the apex court asked the petitioners’ lawyer as to whether the right to equality could be invoked against private individuals. “Can you invoke Article 14 (equality before law) of the Constitution and claim equal treatment from another human being?” the bench said, adding, “Is a mosque a state? Is a temple a state? Is a church a state?” The bench also sought to know from the petitioners how the state was involved in this. “Persons in a mosque are individuals. Where is the state involved in this?” the bench said, adding that the fundamental right to equality can be invoked against the state and not against individuals.last_img read more

Airtel tweaks postpaid sops to phase out offerings below Rs 499

first_imgNew Delhi: Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has tweaked its post-paid plans, a move that involves gradual phasing out of offerings that are less than Rs 499 and retaining limited number of plans above it. The move is aimed at simplification of plans and would also help the company chase better realisation from mobile subscribers, improving the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), according to a source. The source said the company is in the process of phasing out post-paid plans of less than Rs 499, as other plans pack in more value and digital content for subscribers willing to shell out a tad bit more. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraEssentially, it has scrapped the Rs 299 plan and is in the process of gradually phasing out Rs 349 and Rs 399 post-paid plans. Even the number of plans above Rs 499 will be reduced to just three – Rs 749, Rs 999 and Rs 1,599. When contacted, a company spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. As of December 31, 2018, Airtel’s mobile services customer base in India was about 284 million. The company, which is in the midst of raising Rs 25,000 crore through a rights issue – while announcing its fourth quarter results recently steered clear of the customary investor call and management commentary nor it provided ARPU – a key metrics tracked by analysts. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysA recent report by SBICap Securities, however, said Airtel had “done well” on ARPU as it seems to have improved about 20 per cent sequentially, while Jio’s ARPU declined about 3 per cent. On Monday, rival Vodafone Idea reported that its ARPU for the March quarter grew 16.3 per cent to Rs 104, from Rs 89 in the October-December 2018 period. “Subscriber traction is something that Bharti needs to pick up, as ARPU gains incrementally may be much lesser but may still continue, driven by upselling for low-end subscribers and 2G-to-4G upgrade,” SBICap Securities said in a the report.last_img read more