DES MOINES — The medical director of the Iowa Department of Public Health confirms Iowa is among the states that’s investigating cases of lung disease or illness that may be tied to vaping.Dr. Caitlin Pedati, who is also the state epidemiologist, says national reports indicate 15 states have at least 120 such cases under watch. “While we didn’t initially have any cases, we did share a message with our health care and public health providers through our website,” Dr. Pedati says. “It was after that that we were notified of a potential case. We are still investigating this case so I don’t have any additional information for you at this time but we do have one under investigation.”She would not provide any details on the case, including the victim’s name, age, region of the state, type of illness or severity of illness. Pedati notes that vaping was introduced as a way to help smokers quit, so it would be unfortunate if vaping turned out to pose a serious health risk as well. “Whenever something unusual like this happens, it can be concerning and frustrating for people when we don’t have answers initially,” Pedati says.You have to be at least 18 to buy vaping products in Iowa. Pedati wouldn’t comment on whether that age should be raised or whether additional taxes should be added to the product to make it more expensive and thus, less desirable to young consumers. “We never want our teenagers, our young people to be using any vaping products,” Pedati says. “We’re really discouraging that across the board. In the meantime, we’re also asking our public health and health care providers to be on the lookout for cases like this and to contact Public Health when they think they may’ve found one.”According to a CNN story, health officials in multiple states says it’s unclear whether there’s a connection between the cases or if vaping definitively caused these illnesses. Several people were hospitalized.
Even though the commemoration of President Joseph Jenkins Roberts’ birthday as a holiday was observed with all business places closed, little is known of the importance of the occasion in Nimba County.On local radio talk shows, many citizens advised the government to abolish the celebration of this holiday, because they said it lacks importance to society as J. J. Roberts did not do anything that can be talked about. There were no special events held in his memory in towns and villages around Nimba County. Business places were partially open during the morning hours, but by afternoon, Gompa City Inspectors were seen going around closing the partially opened businesses.Some of the callers said the government should not celebrate the birthdays of the individual presidents (J. J. Roberts and William V. S. Tubman) separately, but instead create one memorial day for all the presidents of Liberia.“I am not interested in any of these celebrations, especially like J. J. Roberts or William V. S. Tubman, because they hinder the movement of business,” Saye Lakpor, a caller said on Radio Saclepea.“Why are we celebrating J. J. Roberts’ birthday?” inquired Paul, a businessman. “What really did he do that’s worth remembering?”Every business activity in the county was stalled, with even commercial motorcycle riders complaining of lack of passengers. As one rider put it, “this holiday is too hard compared to other holidays. People are not moving like on other holidays when people go around visiting friends and loved ones, so then why are we celebrating it?” he asked.Despite the complaints, in Saclepea, the Old Timers of Saclapea held a friendly soccer encounter with officers of the Liberia National Police to commemorate the birthday of Liberia’s first President, who was also the first President of an African nation.The key reason for people downplaying the celebration of this day is because the government failed to organize a national occasion that could be symbolically celebrated in every provincial capital, one of the callers said.“Our people are not informed about the important role our first president played; even who he really was; what he did during and after the declaration of independence in 1847,”the caller added.President Joseph Jenkins Roberts was born in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, in 1809. He came to Liberia at the age of 20 in 1829, along with his mother and brothers.Before becoming a politician, upon their arrival in Liberia he became a merchant, involved in exporting ivory, palm products and camwood. In 1838, he became a sheriff in charge of the militia to collect taxes from the indigenous people and to resist the rebellion that originated from that exercise.He was later appointed as deputy governor to Governor Thomas Buchanan, who was then governor of the American Colonization Society (ACS), and upon his death, Roberts succeeded him as Governor of Buchanan.Roberts advocated intensely for Liberia’s independence, and in 1847 Liberia gained her independence. On October 5, 1847, Governor Roberts was elected the first President of Liberia and was sworn into office on January 3, 1848.President Joseph Jenkins Roberts was again elected as President, when Edwin James Roye was deposed from office, owing to cancelation of elections and during this time also Liberia was facing a financial crisis.Prior to his death on February 24, 1876, President Roberts turned over US$10,000 and an estate to the Liberia Education System for the education of the poor.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Rev. John Troseh of the Liberia Inland Church performs the ground breaking ceremony for the annex as other guests look on.The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) funded child-friendly school, otherwise referred to as Francis Manweah Public School, is embarking on an annex worth about US$91,000.At the groundbreaking ceremony recently, Principal Rannie Gbatu said the construction of the annex comes due to the overcrowding of the school to the extent that a single classroom now accommodates about 75 students.Gbatu said the school was initially constructed for classes up to junior high level, but due to the influx of students as well as the demand for public schools in the community, the administration, with support from the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), decided to elevate it to high school.The child-friendly school started three years ago. However, according to Mr. Gbatu, since then there has been an influx of high school students, which makes student enrollment imperative, thus compelling the administration to construct an annex for additional classrooms, in order to cope with the influx.The school recently graduated about 103 students, something of which the principal boasted, because of the school’s success in this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), where about 75 percent of the senior students scored high marks in nearly all the nine subjects.The school was constructed by UNICEF as pilot project for students to learn extra curriculum activities, including “preaching of peace messages among community dwellers depicting the name; Child Friendly School.”The school was expected to have a minibus to transport students that live Guinean/Liberian border near Ganta, and a mini radio station to air peace messages, but these materials are yet to be available up to press time last night.The laboratory has remained empty, “but we are still lobbying for money to have this annex completed and also equip our lab,” said Mr. Gbatu.There are 13 high schools in Ganta, three of them being government-owned. The increase in tuition in private schools is putting tension on public schools, where student enrollment has increased dramatically.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)