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Civil Servants Underappreciated, Underpaid

first_imgMr. Cummings with J. J. Roberts students.The Cummings Africa Foundation (CAF), founded by the political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings, Jr., donated a brand new bus to the Joseph Jenkins (J. J.) Roberts United Methodist School Workers’ Association (JJRUMSWA) in Monrovia on Friday.At the presentation ceremony held in the school’s gymnasium, Mr. Cummings said the bus is intended to ease the teachers’ transportation burden to get to and from work on time.“We need to appreciate the contributions our teachers make in educating our young people by making sure that they have a better future. The donation is meant to help our teachers to be on campus on time and to also get home in a dignified manner,” Cummings said. The brand new ride for teachers: “If elected, one of the ANC’s priorities will be to find the money and ensure that civil servants are not only appreciated, but also well paid.”According to Cummings, there is a need to pay civil servants, among them, teachers, police officers and health workers, because of the services they provide to the country.“I believe that they are underappreciated and underpaid. If elected, one of the ANC’s priorities will be to find the money and ensure that civil servants are not only appreciated, but also well paid,” he said.CAF aims to be Liberia and Africa’s leading non-profit organization, focusing on empowering and uplifting Africans in the sectors of education, health, and agriculture. It also anticipates making substantial impact in Liberia.Cummings said while it is true that Liberia’s education sector faces many challenges, the issue of good salaries is cardinal, which the ANC led-government will make a priority.He lauded the J. J. Roberts School administration for imparting knowledge to young people, adding, “I am very delighted to help the young people of this country, and will continue to do so.”D. Benedict Freeman, president of JJRUMSWA, thanked CAF for the donation. He promised that the donated vehicle will be used for its intended purpose.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cal Poly team encouraged by bird flu vaccine

first_imgA Cal Poly Pomona instructor and a team of Los Angeles-based researchers say they are close to creating a vaccine that kills the avian flu, which has caused 70 deaths in Asia and which scientists believe has the potential to cause a worldwide pandemic. Medical microbiologist Jill Adler-Moore and the team at the small Los Angeles firm Molecular Express Inc. have developed a vaccine that seems to be working in mice and has gained the attention of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Dave Dagle, a CDC spokesman. “They are working on a universal influenza vaccine that has shown promise,” Dagle said. “It’s in an early stage, but we are interested in partnering with them.” So far the avian flu can only pass from birds to people, but scientist say the virus will eventually mutate and move from human to human. Since 1999, Adler-Moore and the other scientists and staff at Molecular Express, where Adler-Moore is the principal academic coordinator, have been working on a vaccine that targets a part of the influenza virus that tends not to change from strain to strain. So, in theory, the vaccine should trigger immunity for all strains of the disease. “We looked at literature and other studies, and we think we targeted a part of the flu that rarely changes,” Adler-Moore said. The 57-year-old specializes in delivering the vaccine into organisms, which she accomplishes by packaging a protein found in viruses into a tiny fat sphere in the body, called a liposome. The body opens the liposome and destroys the protein, which is identical to one found in an influenza virus. When the body encounters the virus, it will recognize the protein and destroy the virus. Adler-Moore has taught at Cal Poly since 1975 and also had a hand in developing AmBisome, a chemical that fights off fungal infections in people with compromised immune systems. In addition, she coordinates Molecular Express’ partnership with Cal Poly. Four Cal Poly students played a major role in developing the vaccine, Adler-Moore said. “Trust me, there is nobody in science nowadays who can do everything by his or herself,” she said. “The other scientists, the students, the researchers of the past, we needed all of them to get this far.” By Adler-Moore using the school for research, Cal Poly gets the prestige of having students working on the vaccine. And government funding routed to the school through Molecular Express is used to buy laboratory equipment, which the school gets to keep. Gary Fujii, president of Molecular Express, said Adler- Moore has a knack for knowing how a body will react to the introduction of a foreign substance. “She has a very good feel for biological testing, which is invaluable for moving a project along,” he said. He thinks the firm is on the right track, but he said there is no telling how long it will take to get the vaccine into mass production. The next step will be to test the vaccine against the most virulent flu strains, which are kept in tightly controlled federal laboratories. After that, the firm will have to conduct trials to see if people have any adverse reactions to the drug. “It’s working very well in animals,” he said. “The CDC people are excited about it.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2703 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 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