How Would Our Ministries, Agencies Fare in a Software Audit?

first_imgIf someone was to ask how much the Government of Liberia (GoL) or Liberian businesses spend on proprietary and commercial software, I am not sure you would get a straight answer. This is just my opinion, of course. But, if a software audit was done today at our ministries, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), businesses, and other organizations, how would they fare? In today’s article, I briefly discuss software audit and its impact on our society.Before I proceed, let clarify the misunderstanding that a few IT professionals have about a software audit. Software audit is different from Information Technology (IT) audit. A software audit or software licensing audit, on which this article focuses, is a regular investigation of the software installed on all computers in an organization to ensure that it is authorized or licensed. The process minimizes the risk of prosecution for software theft, as well as the risk of malware through uncontrolled software copying. In addition, a software audit ensures that the right technical support is available to all users.On the other hand, an Information Technology Audit or IT Audit is an examination of the checks and balances, or controls, within an information technology (IT) group. In this process, evidence of an organization’s information systems, practices, and operations are collected and evaluated.  The evidence culled from this evaluation is used to determine whether the organization’s information system is safeguarding the information assets, maintaining data integrity, and operating effectively and efficiently to achieve the organization’s business goals or objectives. As I said earlier, the focus of this article is on software audit and this is what I discuss in following paragraphs.Many of the IT professionals I know in Liberia (some of them working at government establishments), carry a software wallet or portable storage device that stores costly proprietary software on them. I often wonder how they manage to obtain their repository of software knowing that the cost of commercial software is extremely prohibitive. For example, the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system is about $200 USD or more per copy. This amount is more than what some IT professionals make monthly in Liberia. So, it doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that software piracy is ubiquitous in Liberia, and the entire continent of Africa. In fact, report on global software piracy by the International Data Corporation (IDC) found that 80% of all software sold in Africa is pirated. This level of piracy, according to the IDC’s report, causes Africa’s economy to suffer to the tune of over USD$1 billion.Software piracy is mostly found among consumers and small businesses, and the increasing availability of unlicensed software at online peer-to-peer file-sharing sites. For every legal copy of software that comes out more than one copy of it is made and distributed illegally, and Liberia is not alien to this phenomenon. Honestly, I don’t think a lot of folks in Liberia bother to think of the ethical or economic consequences of pirating software; just as folks don’t give thought do music or movie piracy.Companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, IBM, and other large software publishers often perform an audit of their customers. And when organizations are found to be in violation of licensing agreements, significant fines are placed on them. Despite this, no software publisher has successfully found a 100% secure method to control pirated software. Illegal software is freely available and readily accessible in many forms: on CDs, both home-recorded and mass-produced, and across the Internet. But does this mean that our government entities should have illegal software installed on their computers?For many businesses and organizations in Liberia, the term software auditing is foreign. And even if there is a remote thought of software audit, it is without a doubt given the lowest priority. Obviously, there are many reasons for this: very little interest in ICT and the lack of funding to purchase legitimate software. But the most vivid reason for this is the proverbial and ubiquitous problem that haunts us in Liberia; the lack of knowledge of software auditing and piracy, as well as their impact on organizations.Software audits provide several benefits for an organization, especially the Government of Liberia. It can be an effective and efficient way to improve software distribution, and help avoid copyright infringement prosecution by software companies like Microsoft. This is something I wish policy makers would take seriously. In fact, the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace, lists five key elements that it believes governments must implement in order to reduce piracy in their respective countries. Perhaps our policymakers can begin by taking a look at those five elements.Now, let’s get back to my original question: Do we know how much the Government of Liberia (GoL) spends on proprietary software? I would assume that it does spend a lot of money on proprietary software. And these software are greatly under-utilized, partly because of the lack of skills or proper training, and often because they were deployed without due diligence or research. Now, do you understand why I have always advocated the development and use of Open source software in Liberia? Such an initiative could allow software to be produced locally thereby empowering Liberians through entrepreneurship, and reducing the risks that software piracy brings.  If we invest the same amount spent purchasing proprietary software on Open Source Software development in Liberia, we may just be able to stimulate economic activity via a software ecosystem and reduce, if not eliminate, the amount spent on proprietary software. I reckon we might need to provide strong quantitative data to help us make a strong economic argument to our policymakers, for why we should adopt open source software. To make this argument, you need to collect data on the number of licenses that are purchased by the government, businesses, etc. The question is, where do you find the data?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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LDEA Arrests over L$6M Illegal Drugs

first_imgLinks foreign nationals to the tradeAuthorities of Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) said it has arrested several individuals in Monrovia at different locations with a variety of illegal substances, including home-grown marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. The exercise, LDEA director-general Marcus Soko said, is part of efforts the agency has instituted to restrict importation of illicit drugs.At a news conference on Monday, August 27, 2018, Soko said that two suspects, Sahr David Sessie and Abu Kamara, both Sierra Leoneans residing in the Caldwell Community, outside Monrovia, were apprehended on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at the home of one Solomon Freeman, a Nigerian, and Robertson B. Bai, alias Bone, a Liberian national, in the Point Four Community on Bushrod Island.LDEA agents reportedly caught the four suspects red-handed with a huge quantity of the illegal substances. The agency puts the street value at over L$6,450,000.“Those individuals have been charged for being in possession of illegal substances and forwarded to court for prosecution,” Soko said.As for the two Sierra Leoneans, Mr. Soko informed journalists that they were arrested with two kilograms of home-grown marijuana valued at over US$300 or its equivalent of L$45,000.Soko said based upon the entity’s investigation, both suspects have been charged for “unlicensed possession and sale of harmful drugs and substances as defined in section 14.107 of Liberia’s penal law.”The two Sierra Leoneans were accordingly arrested by an elite team of LDEA agents commanded by Abdullah Kromah in West Point Community.Soko said during a thorough search conducted on suspect Bai, “our agents seized 51 carefully wrapped packages of heroin, which weighed about 20.0 grams and had a street value of  between US$102 and US$200 or its equivalent of L$15,300, and 1.1 grams of cocaine, with a street value of US$44 or its equivalent of L$6,600.“We also have a Nigerian national, Solomon Freeman, a notorious drug dealer in the Point Four community. He was also arrested with 58.4 grams of heroin,” Mr. Soko said.Mr. Soko put Freeman’s drug value at US$21,500 and L$3,225,000.“Our fight against drug abuse and trafficking will remain strong, because we are committed to penalizing anyone in accordance with the penal law of Liberia,” Soko said.He added, “We would like to reassure you that the process of informing the public about what we do will not stop, in as much as those criminal-minded people continue to disturb the peace of ordinary people.”Soko used the occasion to call on all Liberians and foreign residents to report any information regarding illegal drug activities within the territorial confines of the country as the LDEA will do its utmost in bringing perpetrators to justice.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Govt continues to plunder nation’s coffers – Ali

first_imgRising debt levelsWeeks after declaring that Guyana was on its way to amassing exorbitant debt levels, Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Irfaan Ali has once again condemned the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration’s handling of the economy, contending that Government is continually plundering public funds. “Since taking up office in 2015, the APNU/AFC Government continues to plunder the nation’s coffers [by] outstripping private investment to satisfy their growing budget deficit and unruly profligate spending habit,” Ali highlighted on Tuesday.He also contended that market securities were in decline, noting that these were critical sources of foreign currency. Market securities are debts which can be redeemed within a year and can be in the form of stocks or bonds. Ali, a former Minister under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government, stressed that his party’s successor was leading the country on a downward trajectory, which could cause the collapse of the nation’s financial system.Ali further observed that even private enterprises were continuing to record large deficits, coupled with shrinking contributions to net domestic credit. It was pointed out that from a fiscal point of view, Government deficits and total debt continue to proliferate.“When assessed, growth in total debt outstripped [Gross Domestic Product] GDP by more than 119 per cent points,” he stated.Ali had observed last month that based on estimates, the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio, using the 2018 GDP forecast of 3.8 per cent, would now be 73 per cent. He noted then that Government was increasing the country’s total debt by more than 28 per cent. It was observed then that the Administration was refusing to adhere to calls by international observers for the country to reduce large-scale borrowing.Highlighting the threats to job creation and supporting sectors such as forestry, agriculture and construction, the PPP executive pointed out a range of outcomes if these industries continued to suffer a decline.Finance Minister Winston JordanFrom rising non-performing loans, there could be a high tax burden, low growth rate and low disposable income. According to Ali, the economic decline will see high unemployment as businesses will opt to downsize their operations owing to high interest rates and low demand, coupled with depreciation of foreign exchange.At the end of December 2017, the Finance Ministry’s Public Debt Annual Report showed Guyana’s total debt, inclusive of external and domestic debt, stood at US$1.66 billion or 45.2 per cent of GDP. Earlier this year, Government secured a US$900 million line of credit from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to develop the areas of agriculture, banking and finance, human development, energy, and rural development.The funds are also expected to go towards developing new co-generation capacity for the sugar estates’ operations and for the national electricity grid. Finance Minister Winston Jordan had explained that the IsDB financial arrangement has a resource envelope of US$900 million that is potentially available, from which the Government can borrow.However, some observers, including Ali, were of the opinion that these decisions will lead to a “massive” increase in debt.In April 2018, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo opined that Government was, in fact, “pawning our futures”.last_img read more

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New Patriot is comfy, easy to drive, handy on both city and country treks

first_imgDriving a Jeep is like growing up in any small town. Everywhere you go, there’s a familiar face. Go anywhere around Los Angeles in a Jeep and you’ll see that familiar grille on a regular basis – a testament to the brand’s popularity and the fact that this division of DaimlerChrysler is doing something right. And there is no disputing that sport utility vehicles like the Jeep are popular. (Most of my neighbors have two SUVs parked in their driveways or in front of their houses.) “Which one of the neighbors did you let park in the driveway?” my wife wondered when she looked out the front window and spotted the metallic light khaki-colored Patriot. “This is cool,” she added while climbing into the passenger seat for the first time. The Patriot is the newest member of the Jeep family and it delivers the essence of Jeepness at an entry-level price point. “This all-new compact sport utility vehicle delivers fun, freedom, utility and best-in-class Jeep 4×4 capability,” gushed the owner Web site, jeephorizons.com. This model, first introduced in concept at the 2005 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, is equally adept at handling urban chores or exploring the boonies. Jeephorizons.com likes the fact that the 2007 model features the looks and various interior configurations of an SUV with the price, fuel economy, performance and handling of a small car or truck. But the Patriot is not diminutive by any means, and safety features include side air bags and an electronic stability program. The interior is roomy and comfortable and all the gauges are easy to read. The center-console armrest slides forward and back, so finding a comfortable position is easy. A neat feature is that the top of the armrest flips up and becomes a cell-phone holder, which allows the driver to keep both hands on the wheel. The Patriot is similar in appearance to the Cherokee, which was discontinued in 2001. This was my first experience with an SUV, and the Patriot, with a five-speed manual transmission, proved easy to operate. The stick shift pokes up and out of the dash but still is within easy reach. Visibility is good all around. The 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine churns out 172 horsepower at 6,000 rpms, which provides enough zip for both city and freeway driving. Off-road options are available, too. It is equipped with the Freedom Drive II option, which provides more off-road capabilities. This gives the driver added traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording for various types of terrain. And with a base price of $14,425, the Patriot is an attractive first-car option for someone yearning for the flexibility of an SUV. greg.wilcox@dailynews.com (818) 713-3743 JEEP PATRIOT TOP SPEED: 120 mph ENGINE: 2.4 liter DOCH TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual SUSPENSION: 4-wheel independent with stabilizer BRAKES: 4-wheel disc FUEL ECONOMY: 26 mpg city, 30 mpg highway PRICE: $14,425 base, $17,615 as tested TRIVIA: The Patriot is also the name of a vehicle in Rockstar Games’ hit video game series “Grand Theft Auto.” Russian car manufacturer UAZ also has a 4×4 off-road vehicle named the Patriot. And the UAZ product line has roots in the original WWII-era Jeep that was supplied by the U.S. to the former USSR. THE MANUAL SAYS: Read 233 pages before starting and operating your vehicle. THE WIFE SAYS: “Which one of the neighbors did you let park in the driveway?” my wife wondered when she looked out the front window and spotted the metallic light khaki-colored Patriot. SOURCE: Daily News research COMING NEXT WEEK: Ford’s Edge Crossover160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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GAA: ST EUNAN’S GAA CLUB NEWS

first_imgClub Notes – Naomh Adhamhnáin – 08.10.12The Seniors put in a big performance in Towney on Sunday to force a play-off with Kilcar. It takes place this Thursday evening in Convoy with an 8pm throw-in. The Reserves got the required victory to move on to the quarter-finals of their championship.Scór na nÓg heats will take place in Glenfin on Friday week, October 19th. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Emer McGeehin asap on 087-992 9580. The U15 Boys were to meet Gaoth Dobhair on Tuesday evening in the Northern Board Championship Final in Falcarragh. See next week’s notes for details and facebook and e-mail for result.The U13 Boys Div. 1 team await the results of a 3 team play-off to determine who they will meet in the Northern Final between Gaoth Dobhair, MacCumhaills and Buncrana.The Minor girls are also in their semi-final and are waiting on a fixture. The U16 girls have reached their final but again are still waiting to find out who they will meet.U12 Girls training resumes on Wednesday, October 24th in the Loreto Convent Gym.  The Friday Evening Hurling & Camogie Academy has now finished their outdoor season and will resume again shortly indoors. The Sunday Morning U10 Football Academy will finish on Sunday, Oct. 21st this year. Details of the Presentation night will be announced shortly.Twenty St. Eunan’s Hurlers took part in the County Winter Training Programme on Saturday in Deele College. The next scheduled date for this training programme is on Saturday in 3 weeks time at the same venue.The U13 Hurlers had two good wins away to Derry teams in the North West League on Sunday. They play away this week-end. Details available at training.The club would like to sincerely thank the staff of Pramerica who did some great work at the clubhouse on Saturday as part of their Global Volunteer day. Great fun was had by all who were ably assisted by club members Adrian Mc Clafferty and Brendan Kelly,  the club would like to thank John Watson and Watson Hire for supplying all the equipment on the day.The Training Pitch is in bad shape at the minute. Please use common sense when choosing what area to train in for the benefit of everyone. The AGM has been provisionally pencilled in for Sunday, November 25th at 2pm.Best wishes to Brian Kelly and Helena who will finally tie the knot this weekend!GAA: ST EUNAN’S GAA CLUB NEWS was last modified: October 8th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:GAA: ST EUNAN’S GAA CLUB NEWSlast_img read more

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DONEGAL HOSTS IRELAND’S LEADING TRIATHLETES IN SUPER EVENT

first_imgMembers of Letterkenny 24/7 club after today’s event.Irelands leading triathletes came to town to battle on the Donegal roads and set a blistering pace with many boasting that Letterkenny’s course as the fastest course in the country.In the national series standard distance race winner & previous lrish champion Paul Carroll from Olympian triathlon club finished first in 1hr 50min for the 10km run – 40km bike – 5km run.Paul said afterwards “That’s one honest course , you really have to work it from the gun, there’s nowhere to hide” it’s a brilliant super fast course.” Killian Heery finishing second in 1.50.22min while Gavin Corey finishing third in 1.52.45min.The best of the 247 triathlon club was the current national series champion Aidan Callaghan who’s just back to the sport recovering from a sustained illness over the Christmas months.The stand out performance came from local athlete Danny mooney posting fastest 10km fastest 5km runs. In the ladies category in the same national series standard distance race local athlete Siobhan Gallagher was the overall winner in 2.17.28min fighting a hotly contested battle with seasoned athlete Hannah Shields 2.17.48min.The second race of the day was the shorter sprint distance of 3.2k run – 20km bike – 3.2km run and what a battle it was with an open field of 83 athletes.Winner was Sean cosgrove in a time of 53.06min followed closely by odhran mc Kane in 53.46min.Best local 247 triathlete in an impressive time of 58.35min finishing in 7th place in his first outing as a duathlete was Jason King.First Lady in the sprint duathlon was Sonia Nox in a time of 1.00.10min followed into second was Catherine woods 1.02.42min. And a highly impressive third place and local 247 triathlete was Evelyn Boyle in 1.07.16min.An outstanding result came in from 16year old junior triathlete & winner from last years Tri a Tri was Laura Black, winning First Junior lady and 6th lady over all in 1.10.05minIt was an incredible event today showing the fantastic sporting spirt as newbies to the sport gave an incredible account of them selves with ground breaking steps in competing in there first ever duathlon and later triathlons as the season continues. The 247 triathlon club would like to thank their sponsors “the kitchen” & “Aura leisure Center” for financially supporting today’s event. Thank you to the travelling competitors & supporters and finally to the general public for been patient and caring as we collectively shared our roads today.Next 247 triathlon event is our Tri a Tri on April 24th so register now on triathlonireland.com and make a difference.Full Results from the sprint & standard distance races today on www.chipit.ieDONEGAL HOSTS IRELAND’S LEADING TRIATHLETES IN SUPER EVENT was last modified: March 6th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Donegal SFC semi-final between Kilcar and Naomh Conaill clash rescheduled

first_imgThe mouth-watering clash between Naomh Conaill and Kilcar has been re-scheduled again as the two sides clash in the last four of the Donegal SFC. The game was originally pencilled in for 5.30pm at Mac Cumhaill Park on Sunday, but that has now been re-scheduled for 6pm.It is believed the decision to change the time of the throw-in, was in order to allow patrons attending the other semi-final between Glenswilly and Malin to see both games. Naomh Conaill defeated St Eunan’s on Sunday, and many are tipping them to retain their title, and land back-to-back titles for the first time in the club’s history.However, Kilcar have a serious side stacked with quality, and they’re desperate to end their 23-year famine without a Donegal SFC title.They haven’t reached a decider since they last won the title in 1993, and even reaching the final would be seen as progress under the stewardship of Martin McHugh.Glenswilly have powered into the semi-final, after a stumbling start to the championship, and indifferent league form. They look a good bet to reach another Donegal SFC final, but Malin showed their quality with a brilliant win over Dungloe at O’Donnell Park on Sunday afternoon.It’s their first semi-final appearance since 2013 when they stunned the county by dumping out then reigning champions St Eunan’s.Donegal SFC semi-final between Kilcar and Naomh Conaill clash rescheduled was last modified: September 27th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal SFCfixturesGAAScheduledSportlast_img read more

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READY STEADY SMILES CELEBRATES TWENTY YEARS IN BUSINESS

first_imgReady Steady Smiles Dental practice, headed by Dr. Joseph Bonner, is a welcoming modern facility offering the highest quality treatments in a comfortable and friendly environment.The aim of Ready Steady Smiles is to improve the health and well being of each one of its patients. Having taken over the practice in 1995, Dr. Bonner is celebrating 20 years in practice this year.The large and loyal patient base is testament to the expertise and services the practice has to offer.Dr. Bonner together with his associates, offer services in all areas of dentistry including, Crowns, Bridges, Veneers, Dental Implants, CEREC milled Crowns (dental crowns in one visit) and many more.With practices in Donegal Town and Ballybofey, along with a consultation suite in Letterkenny, patients from all areas of Donegal are catered for. Why travel further afield for dental treatment such as Dental Implants? Boasting hundreds of dental implants placements between them, which excellent success rates, you can be assured that with Dr. Bonner and his associates, you are in good hands.The practice offers the revolutionary All-on-4 treatment which using dental implants and the most innovative restoration techniques can provide patients with a full arch of permanent teeth in just one day.If you are unhappy with your smile, why not call to book a consultation.Each visit to Ready Steady Smiles is a positive one where the clinicians ensure each patient fully understands the treatments on offer and where a tailored treatment plan is formulated that works for each patient and what they wish to accomplish.Because you’re never fully dressed without a smile 🙂Modern dentistry can transform your smile and the way you feel about yourself. Cal now and book an appointment on 074-97-21508.READY STEADY SMILES CELEBRATES TWENTY YEARS IN BUSINESS was last modified: May 27th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessDental PracticeFeaturesnewsReady Steady Smileslast_img read more

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Rugby Cranes to face Kenya in Elgon Cup return leg

first_imgSome of the Rugby Cranes fans display a dummy ticket they won from Nile Special. They will be travelling to Nairobi to cheer the team. Courtesy photoThe Uganda Rugby Cranes will face Kenyan side at Ngong Road this Saturday for the return leg of the Elgon Cup which also dubs as the Africa Gold Cup. The team that faced the Kenyan Simbas at the Legends Rugby Grounds in Kampala recently has only undergone a slight change with veteran player Mathias Ochwo replacing Robert Aziku.Robert Seguya , the Uganda Rugby Cranes Assistant Coach, is confident Ochwo will pair well with Uhuru Charles to deliver the desired results.“Mathias is a good ball jumper, ball carrier and he is also good at tackling,” Seguya said, adding that the veteran player brings a lot of experience and leadership to the team. Uganda goes into this game with a five- point deficit after the 18- 23 loss at home.The team of 27 players that will travel to Kenya for the Saturday game includes Asuman Mugerwa, Alex Mubiru, Brian Odong (Captain), Mathias Ochwo, Charles Uhuru, Brian Asaba and Scot Olouch. Others are Marvin Odong, Ivan Kirabo, Ivan Magomu, James Odong, Pius Ogeno, Michael Wokorach, Lawrence Sebuliba, Philip Wokorach, Cyrus Wathum, Collins Kimbowa, Adnan Mutebi, Cox Muhigwa, Musa Muwonge, Gerald Ssewakambo, Justin Kimono, Kevin Makmot, Santos Senteza , Joseph Tamale, Byron Oketayot and Ronald Musajja.The team will then travel to Senegal for the second game of the Africa Gold Cup scheduled for July 1, in Dakar.The Kenyan Simbas have dominated the Elgon Cup winning it nine times against Uganda’s three wins. Uganda Rugby fans are expected to throng Nairobi to cheer the team, thanks to Nile Special, the Rugby Cranes Sponsors, who have organised transport for selected winners of several challenges conducted on social media.Commentslast_img read more

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Major concerns over flu as virus hits general community across Donegal

first_imgThere is major concern about a major Flu outbreak across Donegal after the HSE confirmed the virus is actively circulating in the community.It comes as the HSE confirmed that the number of people already struck down with the flu has exploded compared to the same period this time last year.And health bosses are now urging the public to play its part in reducing the infection. The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has today issued guidelines in a bid to control the spread of the flu.People in high-risk groups need to get vaccinated against flu if they have not done so already, said HPSC director, Dr John Cuddihy.Dr Anthony Breslin, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE North West is reporting that there have been a very significant number of flu case in the North West this year.“We have had 154 cases of confirmed flu in the last 3 weeks compared to only 5 cases for the same period in 2018. There is a lot of flu in Northern Ireland and in pockets elsewhere in Ireland. “About 70 of the cases have required hospital care. It is affecting mainly young children and older adults. Pregnant women have also been admitted to hospital with the flu. Over 60% of flu cases have had no flu vaccine.“The vaccine matches the flu virus so I urge those who should get the vaccine to get it to protect themselves.”If you have the flu you can seek advice from your local pharmacy or discuss you illness with your GP.Although most people with the flu can be cared for at home please note that families are advised to watch and monitor young children and the elderly who have flu as these two groups can get very ill very quickly and may require hospital care, added Dr Breslin.The symptoms of influenza usually develop over a matter of a few hours and include a high temperature, sore muscles, dry cough, headache and sore throat. “This is different from the common cold, which tends to come on more gradually and usually includes a runny nose and a normal temperature,” he added.He said the flu vaccine is a safe and effective prevention measure against flu and it is provided free of charge for people in at risk groups, which includes everyone aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, anyone over six months of age with a long term illness requiring regular medical follow-up such as chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, diabetes, cancer or those with lower immunity due to disease or treatment.The vaccine is also recommended for all healthcare workers to protect themselves and those they care for.Vaccination remains the most effective means of preventing infection by seasonal influenza viruses and can reduce severe disease that can lead to hospitalisation and death. The vaccine takes two weeks to take effect once received. Anyone who gets flu should stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and use over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol to ease symptoms. Anyone in one of the at-risk groups who develops flu symptoms or anyone who is not in an at-risk group, but whose flu symptoms are severe or getting worse, should contact their GP.GPs may wish to prescribe antiviral medication for patients in these categories. If you need to visit your GP or the Emergency Department, please phone first to explain that you might have flu.Covering your cough and sneeze can also help stop the spread of flu.Use a tissue and place it immediately in the bin. Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer.If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands. You’ll end up spreading germs to everything you touch.The HSE has a dedicated self-care website www.undertheweather.ie which provides tips and advice in relation to common winter illnesses, including flu.Major concerns over flu as virus hits general community across Donegal was last modified: December 18th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalfluHSElast_img read more

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