Jun 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced that it is allocating states and major metropolitan areas $1.1 billion to strengthen public health preparedness and help healthcare facilities respond to emergency events such as an influenza pandemic or terrorist attack.”States and local communities need to be supported because they are on the front lines of response in a health emergency,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in an HHS press release today. “These funds will continue to enhance community readiness by increasing the capabilities of health departments, hospitals, and healthcare delivery systems to respond to any public health emergency.”HHS earmarked $1.1 billion for two related cooperative agreement programs: Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP), administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), managed by the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).Public health departments depend on cooperative health agreements to build capacity.Budget support for building capacityHHS said it allocated $704.8 million in PHEP funds to states, territories, and certain metropolitan areas, which is down from $896 million the agency granted in 2007. However, last year’s amount included $175 million for pandemic influenza preparedness.Focus areas for this year’s funds include:· Integrating public health, public, and private capabilities with other first responder systems· Addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in the event of a public health emergency· Ensuring that state, local, and tribal groups coordinate their planning on preparedness and response activities.The metropolitan areas that receive PHEP funding include New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles County, and Washington, DC. Grant amounts ranged from $330,743 for the territory of Palau to $50,161,370 for California.Renewed funding for surge capacityHHS started ramping up its funding for healthcare facility preparedness after the Sep 11 and anthrax attacks in 2001. The grant award, designed to boost surge capacity, this year is $398 million, down from $430 million in 2007.Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit public health advocacy group based in Washington, DC, has voiced concerns about the state of hospital preparedness over the past few years in its annual reports called “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism.”Most of the goals for the funds are the same as last year: development of or improvement in interoperable communication systems, bolstering hospital bed tracking systems, preregistration of healthcare volunteers, processes for hospital evacuations or sheltering-in-place, and fatality management. An added focus this year is strengthening community healthcare partnerships, HHS said.The same metropolitan areas that receive PHEP funding receive healthcare facility preparedness grants. Overall, grant awards ranged from $273,894 for Palau to $32,625,884 for California.A change this year for both programs is a new accountability program, which was stipulated in the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act. HHS said it could withhold funds from states, territories, or cities that don’t meet performance measures.Downward funding trendsIn February, TFAH issued an analysis of the Bush administration’s budget proposals for 2009 in which it raised concerns over shrinking funding levels for public health preparedness and hospital readiness programs. Over the past 5 years, the funding level has been reduced by one-third, according to a TFAH press release that accompanied the analysis.At about the same time, a report from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) said that the cuts have impaired local preparedness efforts.Cuts in federal preparedness funding threatens the gains that many states have made, TFAH director Jeff Levi said in December 2007 when the group released its fifth annual readiness report.Rich Hamburg, director of governmental relations for TFAH, told CIDRAP News today that the amounts of today’s grants were about what the group had expected.See also:Jun 3 HHS press releaseJul 11, 2007, CIDRAP news story “HHS to give states $430 million for hospital preparedness”Jul 18, 2007, CIDRAP news story “HHS, DHS fund public health preparedness and emergency response”Feb 4 TFAH press release
Everton captain Phil Jagielka’s solitary goal cut through the mediocrity on an afternoon when both the Toffees and Southampton disappointed. Press Association Even the centre-back’s close-range finish in the first half was relatively routine but neither he, his team-mates or manager will mind as it secured a third successive league win and back-to-back home wins in the top flight time for the first time in almost a year. Jagielka’s fifth goal of the campaign for the Toffees – he also scored in England’s win over San Marino in October – represents his best goalscoring return in eight seasons at Goodison Park, with the strike at Goodison Park securing a 1-0 win. His side were certainly grateful for it as they recorded only their second win over top-half opposition this season. If they were going to do it against anyone, however, then Southampton were the team as they have not won in 10 visits, of which they have lost eight, with their last success coming in November 1997. Considering they had the chance to reclaim fifth place after Liverpool’s earlier defeat at Arsenal, Saints were strangely lacklustre after dominating the opening 15 minutes. Ronald Koeman’s side were described by Everton counterpart Roberto Martinez as the “revelation team” of the season but they never came close to living up to that billing. With his midfield options reduced by the news Darron Gibson had broken a metatarsal and is likely to miss the remainder of the season, Martinez made a slight tweak with James McCarthy pushed forward into a quartet behind lone striker Arouna Kone with Gareth Barry the sole holding player. It made a difference in that it put additional pressure on Southampton further up the field and McCarthy’s energy ensured their opponents were less comfortable on the ball. But it took a while for that to take effect and Everton could easily have been behind as Shane Long’s hanging cross was met with a looping volley from Graziano Pelle which Tim Howard had to claw out from under the crossbar. McCarthy was criticised for his lack of passion and enthusiasm in the Republic of Ireland’s recent internationals but he seemed to enjoy being given a bit more freedom and only Ryan Bertrand’s last-ditch intervention denied him a goal after being played in by Kone. Without leading scorer Romelu Lukaku, still not fully recovered from a hamstring injury, Everton needed someone else to shoulder the responsibility but not many would have backed Jagielka to be their greatest threat in the first half. However, the England defender reacted sharpest to sweep home Barry’s cross from close-range at a 16th-minute corner and later header over another Leighton Baines set-piece when Nathaniel Clyne had deflected behind Leon Osman’s header. But the hosts did not have it all their own way, with James Ward-Prowse unlucky not to find the net on two occasions having left Howard rooted to the spot with a free-kick which whistled just wide and then seeing the United States international throw up a hand while diving the wrong way to deny his long-range drive. The second half was even less of a spectacle, having all the feeling of an end-of-season affair five weeks early, with neither goalkeeper remotely troubled. That will have been of much greater concern to Koeman than it was to Martinez, who nevertheless was booed for replacing Barkley with Muhamed Besic after 71 minutes. The Spaniard will argue the ends justified the means but while he still talks about reaching 40 points – they are three points short in 11th place now – fans will continue to voice their complaints about a lack of ambition.
With footballing activities across the country regaining momentum after a year’s hiatus, there’s been a significant rise in interest in the game locally.And, according to the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, it would take a great deal of support from Ghanaians, to ensure that these encouraging signs are maintained.Addressing Parliament on the state of the nation on Thursday, President Akufo-Addo congratulated new Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kurt Okraku on his election and called on Ghanaians to continue to show their enthusiasm for football in the country.“I’m happy to note that football has returned to normalcy after the election of GFA President, Kurt Okraku. The Ghana Premier League has returned, let’s help Bring Back The Love,” Nana Addo said.The return of the Ghana Premier League, the Division One League and the Women’s League has led to huge excitement among Ghanaian football fans ahead of the games as well as packed venues on matchdays.On social media, the local league has never been this popular, with Ghanaians keenly following the action across the country.This level of excitement can partially be attributed to the GFA’s Bring Back the Love Campaign, which the President referenced in his speech.The campaign has been geared towards hyping up games involving Ghanaian sides, from the national level to the clubs.It has been a welcome addition to the revival of Ghana football which saw its image severely dented by damning revelations of corruption in 2018.Despite some challenges, the campaign has been quite successful.Among the personalities in Parliament for the State of The Nation Address was former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed into law an Act repealing the 1993 Act of the Liberia National Lotteries Corporation thus creating the National Lottery Authority.According to a release, the new Act gives the agency the exclusive power to conduct, manage, regulate, and supervise Lotto and all other games of chance within the entire country.The Act identifies games of chance as raffles, casinos, numbers games, raffle draws, casino slot machines, schemes, arrangements, systems, plans and promotional competition or device for the distribution of prizes by lot or chance.The new National Lotto Authority will also monitor, supervise and regulate any exercise of skill and chance or betting based on the outcome of an event, including but not limited to sports, or any other game, scheme, arrangement, system, plan, competition or device which shall be operated pursuant to the issuance of a license under this Act.The Act which was signed on December 22, 2014 by the President compels companies operating casinos, slot machines, sports betting and others hosting raffle draws, promotional competitions or devices for the distribution of prizes by lots or chance to acquire a permit or license from the Authority.The new Act also created a Board of Directors that includes several Ministries as statutory members; the Liberia National Bar Association, Liberia Teachers Association and the Chamber of Commerce.The National Lottery Authority Act was introduced by Representative Clarence Massaquoi of electoral District 3, Lofa County, and was printed into handbills on March 6, 2015.The new Act which came into effect as of its printing into handbills by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 6, 2015 was drafted with the cooperation and participation of the Law Reform Commission and other stake holders.Prior to the signing into law of the new Lotto Act, some sporting betting companies and other businesses staging raffle draws and operating casinos often challenged the authority of the former Liberia National Lotteries Corporation to require them to obtain operating licenses. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)