Public Health Minister Seema Kennedy has confirmed the government will be retaining the world-leading expertise of outgoing Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies, as UK special envoy on AMR. Dame Sally will be working across all sectors to deliver a ‘One Health’ response to AMR, which includes health, agriculture and the environment.Professor Dame Sally played a critical role in putting AMR on the global agenda, driving forward the UK’s world-leading strategy and advising the UN in her role as Co-Convenor for the Interagency Coordination Group on AMR.Last year the government committed £32 million funding to accelerate the UK’s work in the global fight against AMR. Ten leading research centres across the country will now use the funding to explore new ways to inform prescribing and identify patterns of resistance.The awarded funding will support the development of a state-of-the-art, virtual ‘open access’ centre that will link health outcomes and prescribing data. This technology, led by Public Health England (PHE), will gather real-time patient data on resistant infections, helping clinicians to make more targeted choices about when to use antibiotics and cutting unnecessary prescriptions.PHE will use £5 million in funding to develop a fully functional model ward, the first of its kind in the UK, to better understand how hospital facilities can be designed to improve infection control and reduce the transmission of antibiotic-resistant infections.Other successful funds include £4.4 million to Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust to test ‘individualised’ approaches to antibiotic prescribing by bringing together patient care and clinical research, and £3.5 million to the University of Liverpool to apply innovative genome sequencing to enable more personalised antibiotic prescribing.Today’s announcement follows the government’s 20-year vision and 5-year national action plan published earlier this year, setting out how the UK will contribute to containing and controlling AMR by 2040.List of programmes funded (PDF, 64.6KB, 2 pages)Public Health Minister Seema Kennedy said: Innovation is critical to tackle the growing challenge of antibiotic resistance. With this investment we will be able to create the most sophisticated AMR data set globally, enhancing our ability to monitor AMR and design effective interventions to halt its rise. By increasing our laboratory capacity to study novel agents and the healthcare environment, we’ll be able to take bold steps to preserve antibiotics for when we really need them and improve care and outcomes for patients. Dr Susan Hopkins, Public Health England, said: Professor Dame Sally Davies said: Antibiotic resistance poses an enormous risk to our NHS – we are already seeing the harmful effect resistant bugs can have on patient safety in our hospitals. It is vital that we retain the irreplaceable expertise of Professor Dame Sally Davies – an international expert in AMR – and continue to invest in research. This funding to prop up the facilities for novel ideas and technologies, supported by the continued leadership of Dame Sally, will play a vital role in helping us to tackle this threat. AMR is a complex challenge which needs local, national and global action. The UK should be proud of its world-leading work on AMR. We have made tangible progress but it is essential we maintain momentum. I am honoured to have been asked to continue this vital work on behalf of the UK government.
Focus on the Family August 2015Resistance to a Colorado law passed in 2012 legalizing the recreational use of marijuana is growing steadily as unnerving results continue to mount.Some voters who supported the law are now voting to block pot shops in their communities. Education organizations are springing up around the state, and a fledgling repeal movement is underway.“There is a growing angst among people who are now pushing back,” says Bob Doyle, executive director of the advocacy group Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance. “People have become aware of what this is all about—the mass commercialization of marijuana, not social justice or (reducing) incarceration rates.”A top concern for many people who are now part of the resistance is the fact that kids under the age of 21—the minimum age for purchasing marijuana that was written into the law—are nonetheless consuming it at stunning levels, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA), an offshoot of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which coordinates efforts between federal, state and local drug-enforcement agencies.Moreover, today’s marijuana includes concentrated products, like cannabis butter or oil, which are made by extracting the psychoactive ingredient of the plant for a very powerful effect.“I feel like we’re losing a generation. I talk to these kids, mainstream kids, and they are doing the concentrate every day. Every day,” says Diane Carlson, co-founder of Smart Colorado, a youth advocacy group that works with many schools. “The potential for harm and the implications for their future is unfathomable.”The new law has caused headaches for its neighbors, too. Two states and a consortium of law enforcement agencies from three are suing Colorado for the spillover effects they’re now seeing in their own neighborhoods, where marijuana usage remains illegal.Far-Ranging ImpactsCarlson admits she was unaware of all the different types of marijuana products that could be sold when the law was being debated in 2012. Now she knows.Aiming at the ChildrenThere’s big money in legalized marijuana. Sales hit $700 million in Colorado in 2014—$313 million in the recreational category and $386 million in medical, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. In the first quarter of 2015, retail cannabis shops sold $118 million worth of marijuana. That number is increasing every quarter, the department says, and recreational sales will likely top $472 million this year.Spiking PotencyAccording to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, THC levels in marijuana averaged about 4 percent 30 years ago, when smoking a joint meant a gentle high. The national average now is 12 percent and rising. But in Colorado, THC levels exceed 20 percent in many of the retail edibles, and can reach 95 percent in the case of concentrates. That exacerbates the drug’s mental and physical impacts, sending addiction levels soaring.Rising Opposition“Our kids are getting access to the potent marijuana edibles. Adults are absolutely shocked,” Carlson says.http://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/citizen-magazine/where-theres-smoke/where-theres-smoke
Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri says there is “nothing” in reports linking him with Chelsea.The 48-year-old Italian has been touted as a possible successor to Guus Hiddink at Stamford Bridge, with the Dutchman in interim charge of the Blues until the end of the season.However, Allegri, who has won the Serie A title with both AC Milan and Juventus, has dismissed speculation he may be on his way to the reigning Premier League champions.Speaking at a youth tournament on Tuesday, he told Sky Italia: “There’s nothing to it. I cannot either confirm or deny something that doesn’t exist.”I want this matter over and done with now. What’s important for me right now is to get to the end of the season with Juventus and try and win some silverware.”Juventus have won 17 of their last 18 matches in all competitions and are two points behind Serie A leaders Napoli, who they play on Saturday. They are also through to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they face Bayern Munich, and the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia with Inter Milan as their opponents.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySports