Thousands of dengue fever cases emerging in Pakistan UN reports

30 September 2011More than 12,000 cases of dengue fever and 125 deaths linked to the disease have been reported across Pakistan so far this year, with the majority occurring in Punjab province, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today. WHO is supporting sub-groups that have been formed by Pakistani authorities to respond to the epidemic through case management, community mobilization, vector control and public awareness campaigns, the agency’s spokesperson, Tarek Jasarevic, told reporters in Geneva.He said WHO has also been facilitating and supporting dengue case management training at the district level in several provinces. A WHO expert on the disease arrived in the country last week to provide technical guidance on dengue fever control.A dengue fever booklet for teachers has been printed and is being circulated. WHO has also circulated new clinical case management guidelines drafted by Pakistani doctors on the basis of a retrospective study of Pakistani hospital data and global and regional experiences.Last year, 11,024 confirmed cases of dengue fever and 40 deaths were reported in Pakistan, but this year the number of cases has climbed to 12,466.Dengue is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with any one of four dengue viruses. Symptoms appear within three days to two weeks after a bite by an infected mosquito.Symptoms can include fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and a rash. read more

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Depressed oil prices help push Alberta deficit to 64B last fiscal year

Depressed oil prices help push Alberta deficit to $6.4B last fiscal year Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci releases the 2015-16 year-end financial results in Edmonton on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken by John Cotter, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 29, 2016 11:03 am MDT Last Updated Jun 29, 2016 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email EDMONTON – The Alberta government says depressed oil prices and a shrinking economy pushed its deficit up to $6.4 billion last year — $324 million higher than expected.Revenues for the fiscal year that ended March 31 were down more than anticipated due mainly to lower oil revenue and a reduced take in corporate and personal income taxes.The government’s annual financial report says Alberta’s economy contracted by 3.7 per cent in 2015.Spending increased for health care and education — areas the New Democrats have pledged to shield from the economic downturn.Finance Minister Joe Ceci said the NDP have chosen to maintain key public services during challenging times instead of laying off staff and making deep spending cuts.“In the past, when the boom went bust, government made severe cuts that hurt Alberta families,” Ceci said Wednesday. “As Albertans, we all paid for this through infrastructure falling into disrepair, overcrowded classrooms and a health system in crisis.“We will not repeat those mistakes.”The grim numbers illustrate an economy shaken by a steep drop in non-renewable resource revenue to $2.8 billion last year from $8.9 billion in 2014-15.The report noted that the price of a barrel of oil fell to the mid-US$40 range from a high of US$105 during the same period.In April, Ceci introduced a budget that forecasts a $10.4-billion deficit in the current fiscal year and no return to a balanced budget until 2024.The government plans to wait until its next budget update in August to estimate how the Fort McMurray wildfire will affect its bottom line.Progressive Conservative Leader Ric McIver said the NDP could cut spending by about $4 billion without affecting front-line government services.“What is most concerning is that they don’t seem to have any willingness to make the tough choices that a government should make,” he said.“This government owes it to Albertans — to Albertans’ children and grandchildren, who will ultimately carry the burden of the poor choices being made by this government — to start taking that job and that responsibility seriously.”The Wildrose Opposition also went after the government for not cutting spending. Wildrose Leader Brian Jean pointed to Alberta’s ballooning $19.5-billion debt.“Growing interest payments just to service the debt mean less money going to hospitals, schools, teachers and nurses for the long term,” Jean said in a release.The report pegs the government’s rainy-day Contingency Account at $3.6 billion, down by $2.9 billion from the previous year. The province expects to burn through the remaining money this year. read more

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