МОЗ пропонує посилити відповідальність за відмову від вакцинації

Міністерство охорони здоров’я України виступає за посилення відповідальності за відмову від вакцинації. Про це під час засідання Верховної Ради 19 січня заявила виконувач обовя’зків міністра охорони здоров’я Уляна Супрун.

«Для наступних кроків нам потрібна ваша підтримка, щоб внести зміни до законів України, які регламентують питання вакцинації, і посилити відповідальність за відмову від вакцинації, як це зроблено в усьому цивілізованому світі. Важливо ухвалити нову національну стратегію імунізації, яка підготовлена Міністерством охорони здоров’я», – заявила Супрун.

За даними МОЗ, в Україні зараз спалах кору, до чого призвело низьке охоплення вакцинацією впродовж останніх років. Протягом 2017 року було зареєстровано 4782 випадки кору і за два тижні 2018 року уже захворіли 1285 дорослих і дітей.

Нині в Україні не передбачено адміністративної або кримінальної відповідальності за відмову від вакцинації.

У міністерстві наголошують, що за умови охоплення вакцинацією на рівні 98% дітей і дорослих, смертельним випадкам і госпіталізації можна запобігти.

За даними МОЗ, на тлі покращення ситуації із вакцинацією проти кору, краснухи та паротиту викликає тривогу рівень охоплення вакцинацією від інших інфекцій. Зокрема станом на 1 грудня 2017 року первинним вакцинальним комплексом від поліомієліту охоплено 47,4% дітей до одного року, первинним вакцинальним комплексом проти кашлюку, дифтерії та правця 47,5% дітей до року, вакциною БЦЖ – 75,5%, гепатиту В – 50,8%. 


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Олександр Долгополов програв на Australian Open

Єдиний представник України в чоловічому одиночному розряді на відкритому чемпіонаті Австралії Олександр Долгополов завершив участь у змаганні. Долгополов у чотирьох партіях програв 24-му сіяному аргентинцеві Дієго Шварцману.

Українець виграв на тай-брейку перший сет, але програв у трьох наступних партіях – 2:6, 3:6, 3:6. Поєдинок тривав 2 години 38 хвилин.

Раніше українська тенісистка Катерина Бондаренко також припинила боротьбу на відкритому чемпіонаті Австралії. В третьому колі змагання Бондаренко у трисетовому матчі програла словачці Магдалені Рибариковій – 5:7, 6:3, 1:6.

Єдиною представницею України в одиночному розряді на Australian Open залишилася Еліна Світоліна. Перемогою досвідченішої українки завершилася зустріч двох співвітчизниць у третьому колі відкритого чемпіонату Австралії. За 59 хвилин перша ракетка України здолала опір юної Марти Костюк – 6:2, 6:2. В 1/8 фіналу 21 січня Світоліна зіграє зі 130-ю ракеткою світу чешкою Денізою Алертовою.


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Debate Over Abortion, as 45th Pro-Life Rally Takes Place in Washington

The 45th annual March for Life rally takes place Friday in Washington. President Trump says he will speak at the anti-abortion event from the White House. The rally also coincides with the 45th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, a Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States. Pro-choice supporters favor the law, while anti-abortionists want the decision reversed. VOA’s Deborah Block looks at the debate over the issue.


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In Early Attempts, Cancer-detecting Blood Test Shows Promise

Scientists are reporting progress on a blood test to detect many types of cancer at an early stage, including some of the most deadly ones that lack screening tools now.

Many groups are working on liquid biopsy tests, which look for DNA and other things that tumors shed into blood, to try to find cancer before it spreads, when chances of cure are best.

In a study Thursday in the journal Science, Johns Hopkins University scientists looked to see how well their experimental test detected cancer in people already known to have the disease. The blood tests found about 70 percent of eight common types of cancer in the 1,005 patients. The rates varied depending on the type, lower for breast tumors but high for ovarian, liver and pancreatic ones.

In many cases, the test narrowed the possible origin of the cancer to one or two places, such as colon or lung, important for limiting how much follow-up testing a patient might need. It gave only seven false alarms when tried on 812 others without cancer.

Not ready for use yet

The test is nowhere near ready for use yet; it needs to be validated in a larger study underway in a general population, rather than cancer patients, to see if it truly works and helps save lives, the best measure of a screening test’s value.

“We’re very, very excited and see this as a first step,” said Nickolas Papadopoulos, one of the Hopkins study leaders. “But we don’t want people calling up” and asking for the test now, because it’s not available, he said.

Some independent experts saw great promise.

“It’s such a good first set of results” that it gives hope this approach will pan out, said Dr. Peter Bach, a health policy expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who consults for a gene testing company. “Anything close to 50 percent or 40 percent detection is pretty exciting stuff,” and this one did better than that, he said.

Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, was encouraged that the test did well on cancers that lack screening tests now. If a blood test could find 98 percent of ovarian cancers at an early stage, as these early results suggest, “that would be a significant advance,” he said.

But he cautioned: “We have a long way to go to demonstrate its effectiveness as a screening test.”

Testing the test

The test detects mutations in 16 genes tied to cancer and measures eight proteins that often are elevated when cancer is present.

It covers breast, colon and lung and five kinds that don’t have screening tests for people at average risk: ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal. Prostate cancer is not included. A blood test is widely used, the PSA test, but its value for screening is controversial. 

Researchers tried the new test on people whose cancers were still confined to where it started or had spread a little but not widely throughout the body. It detected 33 percent of breast cancers, about 60 percent of colon or lung cancers and nearly all of the ovarian and liver ones. It did better when tumors were larger or had spread. It did less well at the very earliest stage.


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Світоліна переграла Костюк на Australian Open

Перемогою досвідченішої українки завершилася зустріч двох співвітчизниць у третьому колі відкритого чемпіонату Австралії з тенісу. За 59 хвилин перша ракетка України Еліна Світоліна здолала опір юної Марти Костюк – 6:2, 6:2.

В 1/8 фіналу в неділю, 21 січня, Світоліна зіграє зі 130-ю ракеткою світу чешкою Денізою Алертовою.

Сьогодні на кортах Мельбурна зіграють ще двоє українців: Олександр Долгополов позмагається з 24-м сіяним аргентинцем Дієго Шварцманом, а Катерина Бондаренко – з 19-ю сіяною словачкою Магдаленою Рибариковою.


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Down to Business: Drought-hit Kenyan Women Trade Their Way Out of Poverty

Widow Ahatho Turuga lost 20 of her goats to drought early last year, but the shopkeeper is planning to reinvest in her herd once she has saved enough money.

“I think I will start with four goats and see how it goes,” she said, rearranging soap on the upper shelf of her shop in Loglogo, a few kilometers from Marsabit town.

She recalled how frequent droughts had left her on the edge of desperation, struggling to care for six of her own children and four others she adopted after their mother died.

But Turuga is finding it easier to cope since taking part in a rural entrepreneurship program run by The BOMA Project, a nonprofit helping women in Kenya’s dry northern areas beat extreme poverty and adapt to climate change.

The U.S. and Kenya-based organization provides two years of business and life-skills training, as well as mentorship.

Groups of three women are each given a startup grant of 20,000 Kenyan shillings ($194.55) and a progress grant of 10,000 shillings to set up a business.

After graduating, they carry on operating their businesses — mainly small shops selling groceries and household goods — either together or on their own.

The women also club together in savings groups of at least 15 people, who put away anything from 400 shillings a month each, and make loans to members at an interest rate of 5 to 10 percent.

Habibo Osman, a mother of five who was in the same group as Turuga, has been able to support her family even after divorcing her husband.

The 1,200 shillings she earns each week from the shop she established as a BOMA business has enabled her to enroll her eldest child, aged five, in nursery school. She is now hoping to save enough to buy her own land.

No more aid

Ahmed “Kura” Omar, BOMA’s co-founder and deputy country director, said his native Marsabit is one of Kenya’s driest counties. It is often hit by prolonged drought, with many families losing livestock in its mainly pastoralist economy, he added.

“Given that there is no foreseeable end to these drought patterns, we need to stop relying on food distribution and aid money, and create more sustainable, life-long solutions,” Kura told Reuters.

BOMA CEO Kathleen Colson said the program aimed to help break the cycle of dependency on aid, giving women power over their lives and the means to move out of extreme poverty.

“People need to be treated with dignity and be empowered to achieve self-sufficiency and effect change on a community level,” she said.

BOMA asks villagers to help identify the poorest women among them to participate in the training. After completing the program, they help other women, a process that raises income levels across the entire area.

Bakayo Nahiro, a widow and mother of six, belongs to the Namayana women’s saving group in Kargi in Marsabit. She has amassed 25,000 shillings in savings, but said profit margins go down in drought periods as people take shop goods on credit when they have no livestock to sell.

Money is power

Jane Naimirdik, a BOMA trainer and mentor, said communities in Marsabit are highly patriarchal, but the program helps women gain a voice in society.

The practice of grouping women in threes creates mutual accountability but also offers protection from husbands who may want to take money from them, she added.

“We once handled a case where the husband tried to take the wife’s savings by force, but we approached [him] and told him the money did not belong to his wife but to the women’s savings group and he understood,” said Naimirdik.

Moses Galore, Kargi’s village chief, said no such incidents had been reported to him, and men appreciated their wives’ financial contribution to the household.

Magatho Mifo, a BOMA business owner, said her husband was happy about her commercial activities as she could now provide for her family while he travels for days in search of pasture for his herd.

Her neighbors’ wives and children buy goods on credit when the men are away looking for grazing, and repay her when they return. This helps the community during lean times and generates more income for her business, she said.

“My husband sometimes gets angry when I attend the women’s group meetings, because they can last a long time, but once I arrive home with a bag of food or something else, all is forgotten,” said Khobobo Gurleyo, another entrepreneurship program member.

Business partnerships

BOMA mentor Naimirdik said the women are also trained in conflict management to strengthen their business partnerships.

Ideally, each group includes women of different ages so as to benefit from the experience of older members and to make the program sustainable as it passes to subsequent generations, she said.

In addition, the women receive information about family planning and the importance of having small families, as well as child and maternal health and hygiene, she added.

The BOMA Project has reported positive results in the communities where it works in Marsabit County and Samburu East, with about 15,700 women enrolled in its program since 2008.

Data collected during a 2016 exit survey of participants found that after two years, 99 percent of BOMA businesses were still open.

Members experienced a 147 percent increase in their income, and a 1,400 percent increase in their savings, alongside a 63 percent drop in children going to bed hungry.

The BOMA Project plans to expand its program across East Africa’s drylands by partnering with governments and other development agencies.

In Kenya, it is undertaking a pilot program with the government involving 1,600 women in Samburu, in addition to its existing work.

The project aims to reach 1 million women and children by 2022, said CEO Colson.


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Turkey Business Lobby Calls for End to Emergency Rule

Turkey’s main business lobby on Thursday called on the government to end the state of emergency as parliament extended it for a sixth time since it was imposed after an attempted coup in 2016.

Emergency rule allows President Tayyip Erdogan and the government to bypass parliament in passing new laws and allows them to suspend rights and freedoms. More than 50,000 people have been arrested since its introduction and 150,000 have been sacked or suspended from their jobs.

The Turkish parliament on Thursday voted to extend the state of emergency, with the ruling AK Party and the nationalist opposition voting in favor.

Rights groups and some of Turkey’s Western allies fear Erdogan is using the crackdown to stifle dissent and crush his opponents. Freedom House, a Washington-based watchdog, downgraded Turkey to “not free” from “partly free” in an annual report this week.

In order to preserve its international reputation, Turkey needs to start normalizing rapidly, Erol Bilecik, the head of the TUSIAD business lobby said.

“The first step in that regard is bringing an end to the state of emergency,” he told a meeting in Istanbul.

Parliament was due to extend emergency rule after the national security council on Wednesday recommended it do so.

The state of emergency has negatively impacted foreign investors’ decisions, another senior TUSIAD executive said.

“As Turkey takes steps towards becoming a state of law, direct investments will increase, growth will accelerate, more jobs will be created,” Tuncay Ozilhan said, adding that he hoped this would be the last extension of emergency rule.

The government says its measures are necessary to confront multiple security challenges and root out supporters of the cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom it blames for the coup attempt. Gulen has denied any involvement.

But critics fear Erdogan is pushing the NATO member towards greater authoritarianism.

Some 30 emergency decrees have been published since the failed coup. They contain 1,194 articles and cover defense, security, the judiciary, education and health, widely restructuring the relationship between the state and the citizen.

A total of 2,271 private educational institutions have been shut down in the crackdown, as well as 19 labor unions, 15 universities, 49 hospitals and 148 media outlets.

The two co-heads of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition party, parliament’s third-largest, are in jail on terrorism charges, as are several of the parties deputies.

The Turkish Journalists’ Association says about 160 journalists are in jail, most held since the failed coup. Last year, the Committee to Protect Journalists called Turkey the world’s top jailer of journalists.


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Nigeria Moves Closer to Turning Long-awaited Oil Bill Into Law

Nigeria moved closer to turning the first part of a long-awaited oil industry bill into law after the lower house passed the same version of the legislation approved by the Senate last year, a lawmaker in the House of Representatives said on Thursday.

It is the first time both houses have approved the same version of the bill. It still needs the president’s signature to become law.

The legislation, which Nigeria has been trying to pass for more than a decade, aims to increase transparency and stimulate growth in the country’s oil industry.

Under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the Petroleum Industry Bill was broken up into sections to ease passage.

The House of Representatives passed the first part called the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) on Wednesday.

“The PIGB, as passed yesterday, is the same as passed by the Senate. We have harmonized everything and formed the National Assembly Joint Committee on PIB,” Alhassan Ado Doguwa, a lawmaker in the House of Representatives, told reporters in the capital Abuja.

“Every consideration of the bills is now under the joint committee. We have broken the jinx after 17 years. We are working on the other accompanying bills.”

Doguwa is the chairman of the lower house’s Ad-hoc Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as well as of the National Assembly Joint Committee on PIB.

The joint committee is working on two more bills as part of the PIB.

The governance section deals with management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Uncertainty over terms affecting taxation of upstream oil development has been the main sticking point holding back billions of dollars of investment for the oil industry. This will be addressed later in an accompanying bill.

Shell, Chevron, Total, ExxonMobil and Italy’s Eni are major producers in Nigeria through joint ventures with the state oil firm NNPC.

The PIGB would create four new entities whose powers would include the ability to conduct bid rounds, award exploration licenses and make recommendations to the oil minister on upstream licenses.

“It’s an unprecedented step forward. The PIB is something that has defied the last two governments,” Antony Goldman of PM Consulting said.

“The detail of what is agreed will determine the extreme to which the bill takes politics out of the sector and tackles systemic corruption.”

 

 

 

 


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Emirates Throws Airbus A380 a Lifeline With $16 Billion Deal

The Middle East’s largest airline, Emirates, announced Thursday it struck a deal with Airbus to purchase 20 A380 aircraft with the option to buy 16 more in a deal worth $16 billion, throwing a lifeline to the European-made double-decker jumbo jets.

 

The Dubai-based Emirates already has 101 A380s in its fleet and 41 more on order, making it the largest operator of the jumbo jet.

 

“This new order underscores Airbus’ commitment to produce the A380 at least for another ten years,” said Airbus chief salesman John Leahy.

 

“This order will provide stability to the A380 production line,” Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement after the deal was signed in Dubai on Thursday morning.

 

Emirates, which is owned by the Dubai government in the United Arab Emirates, said the additional A380s will be delivered to the airliner from 2020 onwards and that some of the new A380s will be used as fleet replacements.

 

Airbus chief salesman John Leahy had warned only three days earlier that if the company couldn’t work out a deal with Emirates, it would have to shut down the superjumbo’s production line. Airbus has spent years and billions developing the double-decker jumbo jet, even as skeptics questioned whether it could generate enough demand to justify its cost and the bigger runways it requires.

 

An Airbus A380 has a list price of $445.6 million, but airlines and manufacturers often negotiate lower prices.

 

Airbus delivered just 15 of the planes last year, and aims to deliver 12 more this year.

 

Leahy told reporters Monday that Emirates is the only airline with the ability to commit to a minimum of six planes a year for a minimum of eight to 10 years, or what is needed to make the Airbus program viable.

 

“It’s positive news for both sides,” airline analyst John Strickland of JLS Consulting said. “The A380 is critical to Emirates’ hub-and-growth strategy and equally the airline is key to Airbus’ continuation of the program. It will be a great relief to Airbus to have secured this order, but they have to work aggressively to secure orders from other airlines too now.”

 

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the deal reflects Emirates’ commitment to advancing “Dubai’s vision to grow further as a world-class destination and aviation hub.” Dubai’s main airport, where Emirates is based, is among the busiest in the world with more than 80 million travelers passing through in 2016.

 

Airbus tweeted news of the deal, saying it was “glad to announce” Emirates’ commitment to the A380.

 

Shares in Airbus rose on the news of the deal, gaining 2.2 percent on the day, to 91.67 euros in Paris.

 

At Dubai’s biennial Air Show in November, Airbus suffered an embarrassment when it was scheduled to announce it had a struck a deal with Emirates for its A380, only to see Boeing sit on the podium with the airline and sign a $15.1 billion deal.

 

Emirates’ fleet relies solely on the Airbus 380 and the Boeing 777 for its flights.

 

 


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