“Ebola Taught Us Serious Lessons”

first_imgFormer Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn-Dr. Dahn Says at stakeholders meeting on Public Health ProgramsBy Bill E. Diggs (UL Intern)Dr. Bernice Dahn, former Health Minister and a faculty member of the A. M. Dogliotti School of Medicine, on Thursday said that lessons learned from the devastating Ebola epidemic (2014, 2015) has been a catalyst for stakeholders to strengthen its public health workforce to respond to any disease outbreak.“We all remember Ebola, because the virus thought us some serious lessons, but the one good lesson we learned from there is that if you have a weak public health system, diseases can overwhelm the country and can carry its development programs backward,” Dr. Dahn said.She said that while the country was responding to Ebola, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with partners developed an investment plan for building a resilient healthcare delivery system.“That plan,”  the former Health Minster said, “has led to the development of a three-level public health program at the University of Liberia (UL).Dr. Dahn further said “globally there is a continuous emergence of diseases which nations including Liberia need to continuously addressed.”She spoke at a public health stakeholder’s meeting held at the UL Fendell Campus, where a public health program has been approved to train some high school graduates, graduates and undergraduate students, to ensure that the health workforce is ready to carry on public health function effectively.The first level of the program will be to enroll high school graduates to receive training that will prepare them to enter into public health workforce in entry-level positions and function effectively in those roles.Also, the program will focus on training for middle-level health professionals and serve as a bridge program to provide complete undergraduate education and prepare them for graduate-level programs such as the UL Masters of Public Health Program.UL President, Dr. Ophelia I. Weeks, who said that although the Faculty-senate has approved the curricula for the program, it would begin only if the University Board of Trustees approved.She said the program was part of the many indicators that the UL was starting to reach new heights in providing Liberians the kind of academic environment that is needed to propel the country forward in all sectors.“I cannot think of any place for any program to be that is more sustainable than the UL campus, because institutions can come and go, but higher education institutions are the most stable ones that can be counted on to sustain these kinds of programs,” Dr. Dahn said.Sonpon Sieh, One Health Coordinator; Dr. Masoka Fallah, Deputy Director General for Technical Services at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia; and Dr. William E. Allen, Vice President of Academic Affairs, were part of Thursday’s event. They spoke separately on topics such as, “Vision for a School of Public Health, Public Health Workforce Support under Regional One Health Initiative and the next steps for Operating School of Public Health.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Valley economy rocks!

first_imgUnemployment claims in the San Fernando Valley hit a record low in October, indicating the local economy is strong, driven by job growth in the entertainment, construction and trade sectors, a research center reported Friday. Growth has been so robust that the Valley’s economy shed as much unemployment in the past seven quarters as it did during the entire six years of the previous recovery, according to figures compiled by the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University, Northridge. “The Valley’s continuing to grow and people are coming off the unemployment rolls,” said Dan Blake, a CSUN professor of economics who directs the center. “It ought to be a very Merry Christmas in the Valley.” While manufacturing, long the source of good-paying, middle-class jobs, has yet to make a major rebound, the region has become diverse enough to grow steadily across all its sectors. This puts the Valley on track to meet the annual job-growth rate of 1.7 percent first forecast by the center in May. Two months ago, 12,961 unemployment claims were filed in the Valley, 555 fewer than the previous low in November 2000. The record high was 34,541 claims filed in February 1994. Blake said a decline in claims generally means unemployment is also falling. Unemployment started improving in the Valley during the first quarter of 2004. Blake said October’s unemployment claims numbers for the Valley are the most recent available from the state. “This region is absolutely on a solid growth track,” said Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley. “When we talk about the number of companies who want to expand, there are no 1,000-job companies, but there’s a lot of them with 10, 20, 50 employees. If there’s a downturn, I’d much rather lose 10 here or there than 1,000 employees at the same time.” On Monday, the alliance and its work force partners will celebrate the creation of 125,000 jobs over the past five years. While the Valley’s trend line appears positive, the state’s job market is mixed, according to separate reports issued Friday. The unemployment rate in Los Angeles County dipped to 5.1 percent in November from 6.5 percent a year ago, but was up from 4.5 percent in October, said the state Employment Development Department. There were 249,000 unemployment claims filed in November in the county, an increase of 29,000 from October, but 54,000 fewer than a year ago. California’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in November, unchanged from the month before and down from 6 percent last November. Nationally, unemployment sits at 5 percent, steady with October and down from 5.4 percent the same month last year. Jack Kyser, chief economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., characterized the report as “mixed, but not bad.” “It’s kind of strange, because the unemployment rate jumped in October to November,” Kyser said. “There’s been a jump in the number of people looking for jobs, probably because they figured retailers would be hiring, which accounted for the big unemployment increase.” Brent Hopkins, (818) 713-3738 brent.hopkins@dailynews.com 160Want 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