Gareth O’Brien: Castleford Tigers sign full-back on three-year deal | Rugby League News

first_imgGareth O’Brien will remain at Castleford Tigers until the end of 2023 “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to continue my stay at the Tigers and I’m really looking forward to the next three years,” O’Brien said.“Since joining it’s been great, I settled in really quickly, the boys have been great and the coaches have been fantastic. It’s been a difficult year for everyone, and I think we’re a bit glad to see the back of it and we’re all looking forward to 2021.“I can slot into both half-back and full-back and that gives us some good options for next year. I’ll be putting everyone on their toes, it’s healthy and helps the competition that a squad needs. I’m looking forward to it.” – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Daryl Powell says O’Brien is a ‘very dangerous’ player Gareth O’Brien joined Castleford on loan from Toronto in August, and was planning to return to Canada at end of 2020 season; however, after Super League clubs voted against allowing Wolfpack back into the competition in 2021, the 29-year-old has committed his future to the Tigers Last Updated: 15/11/20 3:19pmcenter_img Gareth O'Brien will remain at Castleford Tigers until the end of 2023
Gareth O'Brien will remain at Castleford Tigers until the end of 2023

Study: School-based flu immunizations save money

first_imgJan 31, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – School-based vaccination could be a cost-effective option for preventing influenza in school-age children and their families, according to a recent multistate trial.The study, published Jan 23 in an early online edition of Health Affairs, used a population of more than 15,000 school children ages 5 to 18 from a previous study that showed the intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine, FluMist, reduced flu-like illnesses in the households of children who were vaccinated. That study was conducted during the 2004-05 influenza season and was supported by MedImmune, the maker of FluMist.The current study was designed to gauge whether school-based immunizations are cost-effective, according to the authors, led by Jordana Schmier, a managing scientist at Exponent, a research group based in Menlo Park, Calif. The trial grouped 28 elementary schools from four states into 11 demographically similar clusters, each of which included one intervention school that offered the vaccine plus one or two schools that served as controls. The vaccine was offered free of charge at school to all healthy children aged 5 or older during the fall of 2004.Investigators did a cost-benefit analysis of the previous trial, which was published in a December 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Phone surveys during the peak week of the flu season revealed that 17% of households of students in the intervention schools reported a child with flulike illness, compared with 26% of households in the control schools. In the same week, 8% of households in the intervention group reported an adult with a flu-like illnesses, compared with 13% in control-group households.The authors of the new study used “event rate” data from the earlier study—such as rates of medical visits, prescription drug purchases, and missed work days—to estimate the per-household costs of vaccination and costs related to flu cases. In intervention schools, where almost half of the students were vaccinated, peak-week vaccination costs were estimated at $41.66, compared to $5.58 in control schools, where about 2% of students reported vaccination outside school.However, the researchers reported that the expense of the vaccine program was exceeded by the direct and indirect flu-related costs. During the peak influenza week, intervention households used $57.63 in healthcare resources to treat influenza infections, compared with $75.50 used by control households. For indirect costs such as care-giving and absences from school and work, intervention households spent $64.48 during the peak week of flu season, while control households spent $81.97.The difference in costs during the peak flu season was small—only 71 cents—the researchers reported. However, they said the difference would be magnified over the entire flu season, during which intervention households would incur an estimated total cost of $759.92, versus $931.88 for the control group—a difference of $171.96.”The major cost disadvantage for intervention schools is the costs of the vaccine themselves,” said Schmier in a Jan 23 Health Affairs press release. “But by peak week, most students who are going to be immunized have already received their vaccines, leaving intervention schools to reap savings from their higher vaccination rate for the rest of the flu season.”Previous studies on the cost-effectiveness of school-based immunizations have shown mixed results, the authors reported. However, none of them were designed to gather data about household protection due to vaccination of school-age children.The authors wrote that their study supports two key points about vaccinating school-age children: “First, that its effectiveness extends to the household, and second, that a high-efficiency immunization program that requires minimal time from parents provides economic benefit.”Amanda Honeycutt, PhD, a health economist at RTI International, a research institute based in Triangle Park, N.C., has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on projects to improve immunization rates. She told CIDRAP News that the researchers established that if a school-based program immunizes a high percentage of students, the results could yield cost savings. (The immunization rate in the intervention schools was 47%.)In a school-based immunization program, administration costs are lower and the cost of the vaccine is probably lower than in a physician’s office, Honeycutt said. “A nurse can give this vaccine to 15 children an hour, and this does appear to be cost saving,” she said, adding that in economic terms, “cost saving” is a high bar to pass.The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet in February to update its flu immunization recommendations. In a February 2006 press release, the CDC said it would continue to review vaccination strategies to improve flu prevention and control, including the possibility of expanding routine vaccination recommendations to the entire US population.Among other strategies for boosting flu immunization rates in children, New Jersey in December became the first state to require flu shots for preschool children, according to a Dec 14 Associated Press report. The rule takes effect on Sep 1 and also covers three other vaccines for children, including the pneumococcal vaccine for preschoolers and the meningitis vaccine and whooping cough booster for 6th graders.Some parent groups opposed the new regulations because of concerns about vaccine safety and the role of the government in making medical decisions, the AP report said. The New Jersey laws grant religious and medical exemptions.Schmier J, Li S, King JC, et al. Benefits and costs of immunizing children against influenza at school: an economic analysis based on a large-cluster controlled clinical trial. Health Affairs 2008;27(2)(early online publication) [Abstract]See also:King JC, Stoddard JJ, Gaglani MJ, et al. Effectiveness of school-based influenza vaccination. N Engl J Med 2006;355(24):2523-32 [Full text]Health Affairs Jan 23 press releaseFeb 23, 2006, CDC press releaseDec 14, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Studies support flu vaccination in children, adults”last_img read more

Buttressing a faulty narrative

first_imgDear Editor,Public commentary in Guyana does come with personal attacks, especially when you upturn the traditional narrative on its head with new facts.I refer to an attempt to buttress the narrative offered by Dr David Hinds by two individuals. I thank them for their letter in the Stabroek News of Match 7, 2019. But rather than deal with the core issue at hand, they offer an academic illusion of ethnic harmony and political order, without understanding that such a situation can only be achieved when there are heavy doses of truth and integrity in public policy development and implementation.The traditional narrative that drives the ethnic disharmony and political disorder in Guyana is grounded in a fallacy that Indo-Guyanese are wealthy and thus a need for equity in how the Treasury is distributed. My previous letter has now put that to rest, and the only presumed oversight on my part was the source of my conclusion.Any letter writer to any media house will tell you that space is always an issue, and thus I deliberately left it out.My source was a World Bank document called “Guyana – Strategies for Reducing Poverty”. A proper interrogation of that document would lead anyone with the required training to conclude that some 22,000 Indo-Guyanese families do live in poverty, compared to 15,000 Afro-Guyanese families and 9,000 Amerindian families. All it takes is a bit of reading and mathematics to figure that out.Secondly, anyone with an iota of social inquisitiveness can conclude that, after some 7000 sugar workers were severed by Team Granger between 2016 and 2017, there would have been major poverty consequences. You have to be clearly foreign to the happenings in the sugar industry not to comprehend the gravity of the social-economic dilution that took place since 2016.Based on a statistical analysis of the population of severed workers done over October 2018, I have enough evidence to make that declaration public that some 3,000 Indo-Guyanese families were pushed into the army of the poor. This process was accelerated by the severance pay being withheld in some cases by almost a year by this heartless Granger Team. Were it not for the barrels and remittances coming from their loved ones in the diaspora, the impact on those families would have been worse.Unfortunately, the connected class aligned to Team Granger would want us to log on to the narrative that it is okay for Team Granger to spend G$1.3 billion to build the Durban Park Parade Ground, but delay the payment of the Wales Sugar Estate workers for almost a year. They totally ignore the fact that such an action drove hundreds of men who used to live in dignity into a life of indignity.As an example from my research, there were cases wherein many former sugar workers found themselves becoming petty thieves, who stole their neighbours’ “soap” from the outdoor showers.These truths do not find their place in the traditional academic narrative, because the purveyors of the traditional message do not want to feed this truth, but an alternative truth. Their alternative truth is one that provides excuses as to why it is okay for Team Granger and the PNC to progress their ethnic supremacist policies and attitudes, since it was supposed to bring ethnic economic equity to the society. Well, it clearly has not!Driving a programme that cultivates 200 Afro-Guyanese millionaires to match the 200 Indo-Guyanese millionaires is not equality, when very little is done to address the inequality for the over 50,000 families from all races living in abject poverty at the bottom of the economic ladder. So while the Granger Team may have brought economic equity at the top, by making many of the PNC boys and girls into millionaires and in a couple of cases billionaires, Guyana has regressed at the bottom, where too many of our people are living below the poverty line.But the fact remains that the largest ethnic group in this army of the poor remains the rural Indo-Guyanese, away from the lights of Georgetown. While the ethnic group with the highest percentage of the poor remains the Amerindians, in this case, percentages are useless, since a poor man is a real human being and must be counted as an individual, not a statistic.There we go, my source. Let us now progress the conversation on how we will fix the system to empower, enrich and enhance the lives of all of our people, especially those 50,000 families living at the bottom of the economic ladder.Sincerely,Sasenarine Singhlast_img read more