Massive Malaria outbreak in Region 7 – PHM

first_img… caused by illegal Venezuelan miningBy Jeanna PearsonChoked by their massive economic crisis, many Venezuelan workers are flocking to Cuidad in Region 7 (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) to illegally mine for gold and their heavy presence is contributing to the outbreak of Malaria.Hundreds of Guyanese and Venezuelans are falling sick with malaria in a village called Cuidad, near the Venezuelan border. And according to Public Health Minister Dr George Norton, while they do not know the exact figures, the numbers are rising.Reports of the outbreak have even reached the international media, with the New York Times saying that there are no medications in the Region to help all the sick people. According to the New York Times: “There were no lights because the government had cut power to save electricity. There were no medicines because the Health Ministry had not delivered any. Health workers administered blood tests with their bare hands because they were out of gloves.”Venezuela was the first country in the world that was certified by the World Health Organization for the eradication of malaria, however, the economic crisis has turned the tables around. Because of poor and insanitary living conditions, many Venezuelans were contracting malaria in Venezuela and inadvertently spreading it in Guyana by illegally mining in Region 7.Norton stated that the outbreak has hit two Amerindian Carib Settlements in Region Seven. “The Venezuelans are coming in and are carrying out large-scale mining in that region,” he said. He highlighted that a medical team, comprising of himself, the Vector Control Unit, and the Regional Health Officers will be deployed to the Region.“We plan on addressing the issue and making certain that there are medication on the ground and medical personnel is there,” he added.When questioned on how the ministry found out about the outbreak, Norton indicated that it was the news story in the New York Times. He stated that the community is a scattered Carib village and communication is difficult because they are isolated: “We promise to rectify the situation as fast as possible.”At present, reported cases of malaria in Guyana are somewhere near 8000. Reported cases are constantly fluctuating but cases of underreporting may seem to be higher, with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reporting that there were nearly 45 per cent underreported cases in 2013 and 2014, nationally.PAHO had stated in a report which compiled 50 years of health in Guyana, that the country’s tropical climate, high rainfall, and marshy conditions cause malaria to consistently pose a threat to the population. The report indicated that from the thousands of reported cases at the beginning of the National Malaria Eradication Programme in 1959, only 72 cases were reported in 1974.In 1991, there were 41,000 cases reported; the numbers increased to a little more than 84,000 in 1995. Thereafter, annual cases were consistently around 30,000 up to 2004. But suddenly there was a drop between 2007 and 2009, where reported cases were at their lowest.There have been increases annually afterward.Panning increases malaria.Malaria transmission has always been tied to movement of persons from the coast travelling to the hinterland regions to engage in economic activity associated with the extractive industries of gold, diamond and lumber.PAHO had indicated that whenever there is an increase in the price of gold on the world market, there is a concomitant increase in the number of malaria cases, as a greater number of Coastlanders travel to the malaria endemic regions for the purpose of mining, thereby a greater number of the population is exposed to malaria.last_img read more


first_imgWhat a great way to wake up on a Sunday Morning with a paddle long the coast from Dungloe Pier to Burtonport Harbour.The death on the poster above is wrong but the kayake event goes ahead this weekend!The Annual Sponsored Kayak from Dungloe Pier to Burtonport Harbour taking place on Sunday next, 22nd Sept, 2013 at 8.30am. All monies raised is in aid of Dungloe Hospital Patient Care FundThe event was rescheduled because of bad weather recently. Hope fully it will be all systems go this weekend! – This event is open to all age groups. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult– 2 Support boats will be in attendance on the day– Lifejackets must be worn by all participants– Own kayak essential – Leaving Dungloe pier at 8.30am sharp, if all participants could be at the pier for 8.15am to ensure we get away without delay– Approx time 1hour 20minsIf anyone is interested in taking part the please do not hesitate to contact Annette or Gerard on 0876448417/0877730727Please come and support this event either on the water or from the pier. SPONSORED KAYAK GETS GREEN LIGHT FOR SUNDAY was last modified: September 20th, 2013 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:burtonportdungloeKAYAKElast_img read more

Did Man Create God, or Vice Versa?

first_imgAnother theory is making the rounds that social groups invented moralizing gods to keep people under control.Once upon a time, hunter-gatherers lived in small groups that were able to check on each other. But then a mutation happened, and people started to live in large groups that were too big for everyone to know everyone.  As towns grew into cities, tribal chieftans needed ways to keep non-cooperators from getting out of hand, so they invented moralizing gods. And thus, religion became adaptive by natural selection.This is the theory Ara Norenzayan has been working on for the last few years (see 11/09/09, “Darwinizing of Religion Continues” and 12/06/11, “The Science of Atheism”). A Lebanese-born American sociologist very experienced with his native country’s sectarian warfare fueled by religious fervor, Norenzayan is now working to legitimize his theory with scientific-sounding data to support the thesis of his 2013 book, Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict. With compadre Edward Slingerland, he is seeking out religion experts in the humanities departments to “check boxes” on a new “Database of Religious History.”Science Magazine reporter Lizzie Wade is all over Norenzayan’s theory like white on rice (see “Birth of the Moralizing Gods” and “Feature: Why Big Societies Need Big Gods“).As societies grow larger, such intensive social monitoring becomes impossible. So there’s nothing stopping you from taking advantage of the work and goodwill of others and giving nothing in return. Reneging on a payment or shirking a shared responsibility have no consequences if you’ll never see the injured party again and state institutions like police forces haven’t been invented yet. But if everyone did that, nascent large-scale societies would collapse. Economists call this paradox the free rider problem. How did the earliest large-scale societies overcome it?In some societies, belief in a watchful, punishing god or gods could have been the key, Norenzayan believes. As he wrote in Big Gods, “Watched people are nice people.” Belief in karma—which Norenzayan calls “supernatural punishment in action”—could have had a similar psychological effect in the absence of actual gods, a proposition his colleagues are investigating in Asia.Wade can certainly point to a variety of “moralizing gods” from ancient Egypt to modern Buddhism and Mormonism. It’s unquestionable that many of these beliefs hold powerful sway over their adherents. Denyse O’Leary, writing at Uncommon Descent, points to other cases, however, that do not follow this pattern:Trouble is, if we look at the development of some of the world’s most significant and largest religions, we don’t see that at all. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are called Abrahamic religions, in that their basic assumptions can be traced back to a single family living in the desert in what is now called Israel. They weren’t trying to run anything, just to make some sense of their own lives.Buddhism started as a former prince heading a band of wandering monks. They did not have big plans to run everything; they had discussions about how to make do with the fewest possessions possible.Of course there were religions developed for the express purpose of running big societies; ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman religion come to mind. But their gods were not necessarily moral, they’re long gone, and they left no successors.In any event, the religions that survived often invert the beliefs and standards of Big Ideas, Big Politics, Big Guns, and Big Bucks.Big Science, she concludes, can only explain small gods. What society would ever invent a self-sacrificing Messiah who saves by trusting in him, not by works? Why would it start among a few fishermen with no power over their social order—in fact, at odds with it for centuries?Materialistic MoralityNorenzayan’s theory also suffers from slipperiness about what constitutes “moral.” He seems to equate morality with whatever promotes virtue and punishes selfishness and cruelty. That’s hard to reconcile with Islamic jihadists who try to cause pain and death to as many people as possible to get selfish sexual rewards in the afterlife. It also doesn’t explain the totalitarian societies built on atheism.What is “virtue” anyway, and why should it be labeled “moral”, when modern secularists write books on the benefits of being bad? New Scientist allows author Richart Stephens to defend his thesis in his new book Black Sheep: The Hidden Benefits of Being Bad.  But calling something bad presupposes a standard of morality.It’s well documented that evolutionists view human morality as merely an advanced form of biological altruism—the same kind of social cooperation that can be seen in amebas. Bacteria do it (Science Daily). Amebas do it (Current Biology). Ants do it (PhysOrg). Why should we be surprised that people show altruistic cooperation? Altruism is simpler than we thought, Science Daily says, based on Caltech eggheads doing game theory. Morality? Just a “complex interplay between neural, socioenvironmental, and behavioral facets” you can measure via brain waves, PNAS says. This makes it a fluid mixture of heredity and environment, untied to any absolute standard.MeddlingDespite the characterization that science and religion are different realms, Big Science often strays out of its realm. PhysOrg mentions a new book that claims that international efforts to “get religion right” are doing more harm than good, contributing to the very divisions they are meant to overcome. This doesn’t provide confidence in the expertise of secular materialists.In a worldview essay in Nature, David M. Lodge uses recent quotes from the Pope that “faith and science can find common ground” on matters of environmentalism and climate science. One thing he says might give a breath of fresh air to nature-loving Christians:As a Protestant scientist, I am distressed to see my faith twisted into support for such short-sighted extremism. Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer, once said: “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” Like Pope Francis, he understood the importance of loving and tending the gift of creation.Nevertheless, Lodge’s respect for the consensus implies that religion must bow before the throne of science. Cases in point are evolution and climate change. Although he derides the polarization fostered by atheists like Richard Dawkins, he favors the Catholic position on evolution over the Protestant one. But why is he even going there in a science journal?Strictly speaking, the realm of science is natural phenomena, not morality or religion. Calling religion a natural phenomenon, or a product of natural selection, undermines science itself. The same mindless forces that make religion supposedly adaptive also could be used to explain why scientists make claims about evolution.By committing the self-refuting fallacy, Norenzayan (and those who follow him) has undermined his claims and shown himself to be a false prophet. Don’t be deceived; the “database of religious history” is a prop to distract attention. There is nothing objective about the check boxes in his interview forms. The way the questions are worded, the selection of experts, and the force-fitting of answers into yes-or-no pigeonholes are all theory-laden. Why is his theory self-refuting? If you are a regular reader, try explaining it in your own words before continuing.Here’s the reason: the same evolutionary forces that he uses to describe religion could also be used to describe his own scientism. Because if humans are nothing more than the products of adaptive forces, there is no such thing as reason or morality. Writing a science paper as if it is true, trying to be honest with one’s arguments, is a fool’s errand if we are merely creatures whose behaviors are controlled by mindless forces acting on selfish genes. Furthermore, if moralizing gods are products of adaptive evolution, what does that make him? Poorly adapted! Less fit! Maybe he should join the Christians to pursue the survival of the fittest. Short circuit!If you watched carefully, you noticed Norenzayan filching from the Christian smorgasbord of virtues to make his point: he had to steal standards of morality. How can he say that social cohesion and a stable society are good? That’s a moral judgment. An evolutionist follows the Stuff Happens Law. On that standard, extinction is as moral as survival. So an ecosystem collapses. Who cares? If the evolutionist retorts that he is not claiming a result is moral or not, just whether it survives to be observed, self-refutation still crouches at the door. How can he trust his observations? How can he trust his mind, if it is a product of material forces?We could also jest with him about opposite outcomes. If moralizing gods are necessary for social cohesion of large populations, why don’t starlings, anchovies or bacterial biofilms hold religious services? Why do loners like male grizzlies do just as well as herd animals? If all Norenzayan can say is Stuff Happens, we’re not impressed.The number of exceptions to his theory also cause it to collapse. Perhaps he can point to North Korea as an example of a “cult of personality” that serves as a moralizing influence (i.e., defend the Dear Leader or get tortured and killed). But he cannot explain the staunch atheist dictatorships, from the French Revolution to modern communist regimes, that have tried to build their morality on reason without any moralizing god. Norenzayan gives us a good illustration of why the Bible constantly warns against false prophets. He is one.As the alternative to Norenzayan’s collapsed theory, we present the converse. Man didn’t create moralizing gods; the perfectly-moral God created man. Man rebelled, and his sinful heart was darkened. His only thought was evil continually. His heart was filled with violence. His bent is to eliminate the true God from his thinking. For instance, he tries to explain away what he knows about God via nature (Romans 1:20-21) and conscience (Romans 2-3) by inventing stories about morality that are “falsely called knowledge” (I Timothy 6:20-21).There is also a real devil in rebellion against God. His obsession is to turn people away from the truth. One of his best methods is false religion: trapping people in systems of works under powerful leaders. The confusion of religions feeds the notion that there is no true path back to the true God. It is there, but it is a narrow way surrounded by noise and distractions. That’s why there are so many religions about false gods, moralizing or otherwise.But the Creator God did not leave himself without witness: in nature (Acts 14:15-18), in conscience, and in special revelation. We have the Bible, God’s inerrant word, and we have Jesus Christ the Son of God, who revealed the true God and proved it by many miracles, capped with his death and resurrection—an act that also opened the way for every man, woman and child to be redeemed (“bought back”) from slavery to sin.This explains Norenzayan’s attempted escape from the truth into the wallows of self-refuting quicksand. If he complains that it’s impossible to pick which “moralizing god” is the true God, Jesus left him a test he can apply with empirical confidence as did Blaise Pascal and Francis Bacon: “By their fruits you shall know them.” (Visited 195 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Peppers pack a punch with nutrition

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,Where’s the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked Oh Mother Goose, I think Peter left his pecks and pecks of red peppers in my kitchen! I love red peppers. I love them raw, grilled, fajita-ed, stuffed, souped, sauced, anyway shape or form. Our crop this year has been close to phenomenal and was slightly delayed due to all the summer rains. Now that I am closed for the season, they are coming out of my ears. We have been eating one or two peppers a day. They are a nutritious powerhouse, but let’s just say we are anxiously awaiting the hard frost/freeze to end the season.Last month I took a bushel basket (that is about four pecks) of red peppers to the hair salon to give away. The next hour or so I was there the big discussion was about…the sex of peppers. According to Pinterest and Facebook postings, the sex of a pepper is determined due to the number of lobes or chambers. Peppers with four lobes are female and three lobed peppers are male. One sex was better for cooking because it is sweeter, one better eaten raw.This is simply not true. Absolutely not! Peppers do not have a sex. The flowers are bisexual, (hermaphroditic) and self-pollinating. Lobes are determined genetically and have no effect on flavor and sweetness. Now in my opinion, four lobe peppers would be better to stuff and hold dip just because they are more stable to stand upright. Otherwise all peppers are created equal in the cooking world. What about a five-lobe pepper? Sex sells in today’s culture so I decided to stay silent during the salon conversation and left with an empty basket.Choosing pepper varieties determines the final mature color, texture and flavors you are looking for. Peppers are first green before finally maturing into a rainbow of colors. You can eat them green but patience pays off as colorful peppers will have more intense flavor and sweetness. Red peppers are a super hero when it comes to Vitamin C. Half of a medium red pepper has 95 milligras of Vitamin C. That’s almost 1.5 times our daily Vitamin C needs in less than 20 calories. You just can’t beat that.Peppers can be added to about any salad, soup, stir fry or skillet dish. Grill them and have them as a side dish. Puree them and add them to sauces, dips and soups. They are a hidden gem in the veggie world. Don’t forget to pick your peck of peppers!Enjoy these last flavors of the season.    Roasted Red Peppers 4 large red or yellow bell peppers, preferably Holland2 tablespoons good olive oil Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, turning them twice during roasting. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.Remove the stem from each pepper and cut them in quarters. Remove the peels and seeds and place the peppers in a bowl along with any juices that have collected. Discard the stems, peels, and seeds. Pour the oil over the peppers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Easy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus“This hummus can be made 1 day ahead. Keep it refrigerated, and bring to room temperature before serving. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds and can be found in many grocery stores.”  2 cloves garlic, minced1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained1/3 cup tahini1/3 cup lemon juice1/2 cup roasted red peppers1/4 teaspoon dried basil  In an electric food processor, combine garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, and lemon juice. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add roasted peppers and basil; process until the peppers are finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer hummus to small bowl, cover and chill until you are ready to serve.  Quick and Easy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta 12 ounces, weight Pasta Of Your Choice (I Prefer Short Ones Like Rigatoni, Penne, Etc.)4 Tablespoons Butter1/2 whole Large Onion, Finely Diced3 cloves Garlic, Minced1 jar (15.5 Ounces) Roasted Red Peppers, Drained And Roughly Chopped1 cup Vegetable Or Chicken Broth1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To TasteFreshly Ground Black Pepper1/2 cup Heavy Cream (more To Taste)1/2 cup Parmesan Shavings (more For Serving)Finely Minced ParsleyChopped Fresh Basil (if You Have It!)  Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the chopped red peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot. Remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor or blender. Place on the lid and puree the pepper mixture until totally blended (there will still be some texture to the peppers.) Heat the other 2 tablespoon butter back to the skillet over medium heat. Pour the pepper puree back into the skillet. Add the broth, salt, and pepper, and stir until heated. Splash in the cream and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Add Parmesan and parsley/basil, then stir it together to coat the pasta. Serve in bowls with extra Parmesan and a sprinkling of parsley on top. Easy Stuffed Pepper Skillet Dinner“Same great taste of stuffed peppers without all the prep and wait. Sometimes I don’t even add the rice.”  1 pound ground beef1 onion2 cloves garlic5 large peppers, sliced thin1 small can diced tomatoes or 1-2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes1-2 cups of cooked brown rice or quinoa3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese  Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic and sliced red peppers. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until starting to soften. Stir in tomatoes and rice or quinoa. Cook until hot. Top with cheese. Serve when cheese has melted. Easy Chicken Fajitas  1 teaspoon pure chile powder1 teaspoon kosher salt1/2 teaspoon ground cumin1/2 teaspoon onion powder1/4 teaspoon garlic powder1 tablespoon cornstarch1/4 cup water3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil1 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch strips1 green bell pepper—cored, seeded and cut into thin strips1 medium onion, thinly sliced2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving8 flour tortillas, warmed in the microwaveShredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream, for serving  In a resealable plastic bag, combine the chile powder with the salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cornstarch, water and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken, bell pepper and onion, seal and knead gently to coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Empty the contents of the bag into the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a large bowl and serve with the warmed tortillas, lettuce, cheese, salsa, sour cream and lime wedges.last_img read more