27 November 2009South Africa has secured an additional US$108-million (about R818-million) from the Global Fund to finance its HIV prevention projects over the next five years, which Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says has come at the right time, given the current financial environment.“This is very important for us as we try to mobilise additional resources for our response to the epidemic,” said Motlanthe, who is also chairperson of the South African National Aids Council.Motlanthe was addressing a plenary session of the council in Pretoria this week.National strategic plan reviewThe funding was made available after South Africa’s application to the Global Fund under a submission entitled “Leveraging partnerships to achieve the objectives of the national strategic plan”.Delegates attending the session were also briefed on the preliminary findings of the midterm review of the plan – the country’s blueprint to combating HIV/Aids.“This review took place alongside a United Nations led review of the health sector’s HIV programme as well as an analysis of our state of readiness to conduct mass counselling and testing,” Motlanthe said.He said the review focused on progress towards achieving the key objectives of the plan as well as the institutional arrangements at national, provincial and local levels to implement the plan“We acknowledge that the review team had a short timeframe to conduct the review and that a bit more work needs to be done to finalise the report,” he said.Challenges, HIV/Aids treatmentThe report found that while levels of knowledge about HIV are high, behaviour change remained a challenge. “Condom use has increased but we need to increase the consistent use of condoms significantly,” Motlanthe said.Regarding treatment, he said more than 700 000 patients were receiving treatment, but that the figure represented only 50% of those who need to be treated.The review found that the health system needs to be strengthened to ensure increased access to care and for services to be integrated with within the public health sector and between the public and private health sectors.“We really need to ensure that we mobilise and align all our resources to meet our targets. There are also challenges with regard to information about the epidemic. We collect lots of data but do not use the information intelligently to monitor progress,” Motlanthe said.Source: BuaNews
Eggs, bacon and asparagus. One of the filling, tasty, protein- and fat-rich – and guilt-free – recipes in sports scientist Tim Noakes’s new recipe book, The Real Meal Revolution.• Professor Timothy NoakesDirector, UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports MedicineUniversity of Cape Town+27 21 650 [email protected]• A Mad Swim from Mozambique to Madagascar • Quality non-fiction from Mampoer • ‘Human polar bear’ makes Himalayan swim for peace • Science in the spotlight • Taking a nation’s health to heartMelissa Jane CookEating fat is good for you. That’s the extraordinary claim by South African health and exercise guru Tim Noakes, who has snatched headlines with his controversial new diet plan – high fats, high protein and next to no carbohydrates, ideally none.Speaking at an Extraordinary South Africans event in Johannesburg in late January, Noakes, a professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town, explained to an engrossed and crowded room why a plate of bacon and eggs may be good for you.The Extraordinary South Africans series of talks at Gallagher Convention Centre gives a platform to South Africans who are not afraid to confront lazy thinking. An author, serial runner and globally respected researcher, Noakes fits the bill: he’s in the middle of a global challenge to dietary convention, and doesn’t shy away from a rumpus.Noakes is a world-class scientist, so his assertion that there is “no evidence that a low-fat diet is healthy” has caused an outcry. The evidence, he said, is that fat is good and carbohydrates bad – contrary to what massive food corporations tell us. Carbohydrates are profitable, he said, but big industry shouldn’t determine what people eat.“It has taken me 61 years to suspect that bread and cereals – the biblical staff of life – as well as rice, pasta and refined carbohydrates may not be healthy for me personally as I had always believed.”Noakes claims that fat is a US government-endorsed scapegoat for obesity. “It was made up initially by a couple of scientists, and then the US Senate got behind it. They produced the US Dietary Guidelines and said fat was bad, and that you should eat more carbohydrates. Industry got behind it because you can make more money selling carbohydrates. From that moment, Americans became more obese.” Professor Tim Noakes is no maverick outsider, easily ignored. He’s a globally recognised sports science expert, an accomplished University of Cape Town academic, a ground-breaking researcher, and the author of numerous well-regarded books.Over his long career Noakes – particularly in his classic runners’ bible The Lore of Running – always recommended loading up on carbohydrates to improve sporting performance. Only in the last few years has he made a U-turn, concluding that carbohydrates are in fact the cause of diet-related illnesses such as obesity and type-two diabetes.At his talk, Noakes apologised, putting up his hands to say: “I’m sorry for telling you all those years ago that carbohydrates were the way to go: bulk up the diet with those and this creates healthy bodies.” Recently, the Harvard school of public health released a statement admitting they, too, were wrong about carbs.The ancestors’ dietNoakes has backed up his views with a sumptuous book of recipes for unorthodox meals, The Real Meal Revolution, co-authored with nutritionist Sally-Ann Creed and “chef-athletes” Jonno Proudfoot and David Grier.With the tagline “Changing the world one meal at a time”, the book implodes conventional beliefs about weight loss, heart health, obesity and cholesterol. It is full of fat and protein – beef steak with horseradish crème fraiche, for example, or bacon fat cherry tomatoes with bocconcini cheese – but also lots of fruit, vegetables and nuts.Noakes is no maverick outsider easily ignored. He holds a Doctorate in Science, the highest degree the University of Cape Town can award, and is globally recognised as a leading sports science expert. With cold-water swimmer Lewis Pugh as his subject, he has conducted ground-breaking research in the Arctic and Antarctic on how the human body adapts to extreme temperatures, and has authored numerous well-regarded books on exercise and health.Fat, Noakes says, is the body’s preferred fuel. People don’t need carbohydrates for energy. In the introduction to The Real Meal Revolution, Noakes and his co-authors insist that their revolution is not some “newfangled diet involving bizarre strategies and supplements”.“Rather,” they say, “it’s a return to your dietary roots, bringing you back to the way humans are meant to eat and returning your body and mind back to the trim, happy, energised state our ancestors experienced thousands of years ago. They didn’t get fat or suffer from obesity, diabetes or other lifestyle illnesses.”Noakes himself is diabetic, and so has to cut carbohydrate consumption down to 25 grams a day. If he doesn’t, his insulin levels become unstable and he puts on body fat.“Metabolic syndrome, diabetes and insulin resistance are all agitated and brought on by the consumption of carbohydrates, and can be controlled – and in some cases reversed – by reducing the consumption of carbohydrates,” he said.The four absolutes of foodThree years ago Noakes had an epiphany. He realised his diet was killing him and vowed to do something about it.“I submitted myself to an experiment of rigorously avoiding all bread, cereals, rice, pasta and refined carbohydrates and replacing that nutritional deficit with healthy meats, fish, fruit, vegetables and fats, including nuts. Five months later, I was at my lightest weight in 20 years and running faster than I had in 20 years.”Noakes said there are four absolutes of diet:1. Healthy eating requires the best possible nutrition for gut and brain – food has a powerful influence on brain function. A good diet will make people more productive, and drive down health costs. The human gut – our food-processing intestines – also works best when occupied by lots of healthy bacterial flora, beneficial microorganisms that thrive on protein, fat, fruit and vegetables – but starve on carbs.2. What you eat determines what you eat. If you’re hooked on carbohydrates, then your body will crave carbohydrates.3. Don’t eat sugars, artificial sweeteners or processed food. Just don’t.4. Eat zero to a maximum of 200 grams of carbohydrates a day, depending on your insulin resistance.“It’s the European paradox: high fat equals low heart disease,” Noakes said. “Carbohydrate requirements are zero grams per day, but you can’t cut out fat and protein. We don’t understand health and, unfortunately, the population have been made obese and ill due to incorrect facts. There is no evidence that a low-fat diet is healthy.”Over the next few months the Extraordinary South Africans talk series, a project of Litha Communications, will present a line-up of top South African speakers. These include former president Thabo Mbeki, environmentalist and extreme cold water swimmer Lewis Pugh, Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, African Union chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, and Jonathan Jansen, rector and vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State.
A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… OCR (optical character recognition) fans that are frustrated with the current offering of online services may be pleased to learn that Google Docs will now grab text from images and PDFs quickly and cost free. According to the blog Google Operating System, the new feature has quietly been pushed live by Google after several months of experimentation and development, but will it replace commercial software or online solutions?When uploading files to their account, Docs users will now see an option to run an OCR scan, which will extract characters and place them within a new text document. As far as accuracy goes, PDFs fair much better than images, especially basic black text on a white background. Tags:#Google#web I uploaded a picture of my business card and Google Docs had trouble recognizing the largest text and clearest text on the card, but surprisingly did better with smaller text. A test of a PDF document turned up nearly perfect recognition results, but Google Docs strips nearly all of the formatting out, spewing out the text in a stream of letters and spaces. Other examples from Google Operating System produced decent results, but far from perfect or useful.Additionally, when scanning a PDF, Google Docs does not save a copy of the PDF, so scanning to text and saving an original file requires two separate uploads. This feature is great for casual OCR users that want to quickly grab text from PDFs and some images or business cards. Those who rely on OCR heavily will likely be disappointed with the features and may have better results with commercial solutions. chris cameron Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts