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Tag Archives: World Health Organisation

Creativity unlocked as restrictions ease

A GERMAN artist and photographer has traded life in the fast lane for the more relaxed rhythms of East Clare and is now holding his first Irish exhibition in Scariff. Claus-Eckhard Kraemer, a native of South West Germany, arrived in the county just days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus pandemic. Confined, under Covid-19 regulations to a radius of between 2km and 5km, the former Formula 1 media delegate, turned his artistic interest and his camera lens to the spectacular landscape around the shores of Lough Derg. He compiled a calendar inspired by the area and is in the process of producing a second one for 2022. The easing of pandemic restrictions now means that Claus can show his work to a wider audience with an exhibition entitled, ‘Time Lapse’, running at the gallery at Scariff Library until mid-October. “I always carry a camera,” Claus told The Champion. “Even with a smartphone, it’s possible to take fantastic …

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Action plan needed to tackle air pollution in Ennis

Call for action to protect town’s citizens CALLS have been made for an “action plan” to protect the people of Ennis after recent statistics showed air pollution levels 12 times higher than safe limits. Environmental Protection Agency statistics show the county capital suffering huge air pollution despite a smoky coal ban being in place. Councillor Johnny Flynn called for the plan, saying this “very serious issue” has not got the attention it deserves because of the focus on Covid-19. He has also pointed out that research has shown that the impact of air pollution on people’s health can exacerbate the impact of the virus. The councillor said more air quality monitors should be put in place that could warn people vulnerable to air pollution of any potential risks. At the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District the councillor asked for a review to be carried out into the causes of poor air quality in Ennis. He asked that the …

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Killaloe hotelier seeks government support for tourism

TOURISM-related businesses need financial support for the purchase of personal protective equipment and signage, according to a local hotelier. Lakeside Hotel general manager, Eoin Little believes that government grants are needed to defray the cost of adjusting tourism premises physically because this expenditure will only have a temporary benefit and will not generate any additional revenue. The Lough Derg Marketing Group member has proposed the government should consider reducing VAT rates from 13.5% to about 5% for at least a year as a Covid-19 measure to give businesses a timely boost. He expects most operators in the hospitality sector will do well to break even this year. He believes the government has done an excellent job managing the pandemic to date and stressed tourism operators will follow guidelines to the letter of the law to protect staff and guests. The Lough Derg Marketing Group will continue to promote Lough Derg for holiday makers during the pandemic because it is low …

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At risk groups urged to get flu vaccine

THE HSE is urging people in at-risk groups in Clare to get vaccinated against influenza as the flu season starts. According to Dr Anna Clarke, consultant in public health medicine at the HSE National Immunisation Office, the flu vaccine prevents hospitalisations and deaths. Dr Clarke said the best protection against flu is the vaccine. “All people in risk groups should get the vaccine if they have not gotten it already. As the vaccine takes two weeks to work, the HSE is urging people to get the vaccine now. “The flu vaccine is a lifesaver because flu can be a very serious and sometimes deadly disease, with potentially  in Ireland during a severe flu season. “National uptake figures show that 54% of people aged 65 and over, who hold a medical card or GP visit card, received the flu vaccine during the 2016-2017 flu season. “This uptake rate is on a par with the 2015-2016 flu season,” she said. However, it …

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Health Minister aims to reduce drug-related deaths

The Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar has pledged to step up efforts to bring about a reduction in the number of drug-related deaths. He was speaking as the 2012 figures from the National Drug-Related Deaths Index have just been published, the last full year for which data is available. It shows a small decline in the overall number of drug-related deaths, and the number of deaths in which heroin was involved also continues to decline. “Drug-related deaths still remain at an unacceptable level, and every death is a tragedy in its own right. We need to continue our efforts to reduce the number of such deaths. “The HSE Service Plan for 2015 includes an additional €2.1m for measures under the National Drugs Strategy targeting vulnerable problem drug users. These measures include enhanced provision for residential detoxification and rehabilitation facilities, and the mainstreaming of needle exchange facilities outside the Dublin area,” the Health Minister said. This funding will also support a …

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Inagh man’s call for better tracing of Ebola victims

A Clare man has called for better tracing of victims of Ebola, in order to stop the spread of the disease. Damien Queally, from Inagh, is Deputy Head of Programmes with Plan Ireland in West Africa. He is currently based in Senegal and is co-ordinating Plan Ireland’s response to the virus in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. He was in Guinea back in March when the disease was first detected. In the past week, the death toll from Ebola topped 1,000 and the World Health Organisation declared an international health emergency. However, Mr Queally believes the reaction to Ebola has been too slow. He wants to see concrete action being taken and greater support provided to countries where cases have been confirmed. “It is only hitting the media now but governments should have done much more, the WHO should have done much more and if they had, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” he said. Mr Queally believes tighter border …

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