Experts at HHS webinar cite key pandemic planning issues

first_img HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan At the beginning of the webcast, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt made some opening remarks that focused on what the agency has accomplished, especially since the release of the HHS’s Pandemic Influenza Plan in 2005. Osterholm said the private sector has so far failed in its pandemic planning efforts, because businesses haven’t taken their plans to the next level, such as establishing back-up plans in case supply chains collapse, which could have more severe effects than the pandemic virus itself. “They have to play like a chess master, and plan the next 8 to 10 moves down the board,” he said. On the vaccine-sharing issue, Leavitt said he understands the concerns that Indonesia and other countries have about access to affordable H5N1 vaccines, but he said Indonesia’s apparent demand of financial compensation for sharing virus samples is a “dangerous proposition” that could open the door to endless demands. Some of the online viewers asked the panelists how individuals and corporations can better prepare for a pandemic. Leavitt and Osterholm advised viewers to keep the issue alive by keeping dialogues on the topic going with local and state government officials. “I think we can finish our service better prepared, especially since 2005, but there is still a great deal to do,” he said. Finish work on new vaccine facilities. Remind states, businesses, and families about their responsibility to help prepare for an influenza pandemic. In terms of pandemic preparedness, Leavitt emphasized a list of the agency’s accomplishments, which include an H5N1 vaccine with aggressive efforts under way to expand vaccine production technology and capacity, an antiviral stockpile that has been amplified by a state purchase incentive plan, new diagnostic testing systems, and an array of regional pandemic planning summits and formal exercises. The compensation demand promotes a vaccine scarcity mentality, Leavitt said, “but we need to pursue an abundance mentality.” See also: Continue work on countermeasure distribution, which he said is currently the “Achilles heel” of bioterror response planning. Leavitt said he has four recommendations for the next HHS secretary, “sort of a note on the desk,” he said: Strongly defend the global influenza virus-sharing network. Leavitt also spoke to the transitions that will likely occur over the next few months as the Bush administration winds down and a new administration takes over. He said during his tenure, the HHS has planned for 15 different disaster scenarios, including pandemic influenza. After Leavitt spoke he joined the panel discussion group, which included Maggie Fox, health and science editor for Reuters news service, Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes CIDRAP News, and William Raub, PhD, Leavitt’s science advisor. He said two events loom large during his years as HHS secretary: the re-emergence of H5N1 avian influenza virus and hurricane Katrina. The storm response was, “a remarkable shakedown of our national response plan,” Leavitt said. “We’re due for a pandemic, but regrettably, we’re still somewhat underprepared,” he said. Leading the nation’s pandemic preparedness efforts has required a delicate balance, Leavitt added. “You want to stimulate preparedness, but not panic.” Oct 29, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today hosted an online conversation among experts, government officials, and members of the public that touched on emerging issues in pandemic planning, such as anticipating supply chain interruptions and keeping the momentum going during tough economic times.last_img read more

Veja Mate Pushes SMC to New Heights

first_imgThe provision of technicians by Specialist Marine Consultants (SMC) to the 402MW Veja Mate project saw SMC reach a significant milestone – the company now contracts over 100 people.The Veja Mate wind farm comprises 67 Siemens SWT-6.0-154 turbines installed in the German part of the North Sea. The construction of the Veja Mate wind farm was completed in less than 14 months, and just 23 months after the Financial Close.Specialist Marine Consultants Ltd was established in 2006 by Captain Ian Coates. In its early days, the company’s sole remit was the provision of vessel inspections to the oil & gas sector. Over the last eleven years the business has grown and now provides a range of specialist services and personnel across the oil & gas, offshore wind and utilities sectors.“The business started eleven years ago with one person and has now grown in scale to employ over one hundred members of staff,” Coates said.”This is a tribute to the hard work, professionalism, high standards and a dominant safety culture that SMC has built its foundations on since day one. Thank you to all personnel past and present, who have, and continue to work to the highest safety standards. We must also thank our large client base for their continued support and up take of SMC’s specialist services.”Veja Mate is a EUR 1.9 billion project owned by the Highland Group Holdings Ltd, Siemens Financial Services and CI II managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.last_img read more

Shakib Al Hasan rues not getting the Player of the Tournament award

first_imgSHAKIB Al Hasan, the Bangladesh all-rounder, was a bit surprised after he didn’t get the Player of the Tournament award in the 2019 World Cup.He was one of the contenders, but in the end, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson got the award. In the mega event, Shakib churned out 606 runs with five fifties and two centuries, and also got 11 wickets, including a fifer against Afghanistan.Shakib understands that the award is the highest honour for any individual cricketer. Had Bangladesh qualified even for the semis, Shakib had more than a decent chance of becoming the leading run-scorer above David Warner and Rohit Sharma.“Well, I wished for it, to be honest. Yeah, I think as an individual player that’s the highest achievement you can get,” Shakib was quoted as saying to Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz.Shakib had once gotten the Player of the Series award in the 2012 Asia Cup. There he managed 237 runs in four matches and also picked up six wickets. Back then, he was relatively young and was privileged to play alongside the likes of Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Younis Khan.“I got man of the series once in 2012 Asia Cup. That was I think a huge achievement for me because all the big names of the other sub-continent teams were also there, like Mahela, Sangakkara, Sachin, Sehwag all those players were playing at that time, Misbah, Younis Khan all those players were playing,” he stated.Even as Shakib rues not getting the award last year, he also reckons that Williamson was a worthy winner of the same. The Magura-born lauded the Kiwis’ captain for how he took his team to the final where they missed out against England at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.“Getting the man of the series award at that stage was a special moment for me but yeah it would have been nice if I would have got the Man of the Tournament in the World Cup. But that happens and I think Kane deserve it. The way he handled his team and took them to the final was something I’ll cherish,” Shakib added. (CricTracker)last_img read more

Whitbread promotes Hutchinson

first_imgWhitbread has promoted Bridget Hutchinson from head of HR services to talent director, Premier Inn.In her new role, Hutchinson will lead the talent and succession, HR business partners, resourcing and internal communications teams.Prior to joining Whitbread, Hutchinson was head of resourcing and employer brand at Dixons Retail.last_img