South Africa declared polio-free

first_img24 October 2006South Africa has been officially declared free of the preventable, but incurable, childhood disease of polio.The Global Certification Commission’s subcommittee in Africa, the Africa Region Certificate Commission, (ARCC) announced last week that there was sufficient evidence pointing to the non-existence of the virus that causes wild-type polio, or polio occurring through natural infection, in the country.At its meeting in Uganda last Tuesday, the ARCC awarded South Africa polio-free certification based on the time elapsed since the last confirmed wild polio case in the country, in 1989.According to the Department of Health, the percentage of South African children vaccinated with their third dose of polio vaccine – and thus given “Routine OPV3 Coverage” protecting them from polio – is now above 80%.In addition, surveillance for “sudden floppy paralysis,” a key symptom of polio, has been at a satisfactory level for at least three years.However, while the ARCC expressed satisfaction with the measures South Africa had in place against polio, it stressed the importance of continuing to monitor for possible polio cases, and of responding promptly should the disease be imported.South Africa needed to be prepared to act swiftly to prevent the spread of polio from any such importation, the commission said, and urged the country to strengthen its routine coverage to ensure that every child was immunised.South Africa acted swiftly in June to prevent importation of the disease following an outbreak in Namibia that led to the death of 19 people.According to, polio, or poliomyelitis, is a contagious, historically devastating disease that was virtually eliminated from the Western hemisphere in the second half of the 20th century, following the discovery of a vaccine.Polio mainly affects children under five years of age. While there is no cure for the disease, it can be prevented: the polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a global effort to eradicate the disease saw polio cases decrease by over 99% since 1988, from more than 350 000 cases in more than 125 endemic countries to 1 951 reported cases in 2005.“In 2006, only four countries in the world remain endemic for the disease – the lowest number in history,” the WHO says on its website.But despite these achievements, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative “faces an increase in global cases in 2006, due to an ongoing outbreak in northern Nigeria, and a new outbreak in western Uttar Pradesh, India,” the WHO reporter and BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

The amazing deal to build A320s at Long Beach that went sour

first_imgAirbus A320s could have been built at Long Beach California. With Airbus building and selling A320s at record rates, it is fascinating to go back 30 years ago to when an extraordinary deal to link two aerospace giants went sour over a lunch.The deal, was for McDonnell Douglas Long Beach to build A320s and to stretch the MD11 airframe and use the A330/A340 wing to build the AM300.It started in 1982 when, Sandy McDonnell, then Chairman of MDC appointed GE’s VP Marketing Development Jim Worsham to take up an EVP position at Douglas.Worsham had met Sandy McDonnell during the successful campaign to sell F-18s to the Royal Australian Air Force.Read: The story of the magnificent DC-8Worsham landed at the right time. Deregulation was rapidly changing market dynamics with point-to-point giving way to hub-and-spoke operations, which demanded smaller 150 seat jets.Worsham responded with a once-only innovative rent-a-plane deal and secured orders from TWA and American for a total of 35 Super 80s and sold another 30 to Alitalia.A beaming Worsham, who was appointed President of Douglas on 15 November 1982, told the Los Angeles Times that “reports of Douglas’ death were exaggerated.”The Super 80 orders sparked an avalanche of business so the agenda of international collaboration fell off MDC’s radar for a short time. The production rate on the DC-9 Super 80, later renamed the MD80 to deflect the bad publicity relating to the DC-10, soared to 2.5 a week in 1987. With orders flowing plus fat military contracts, Worsham was able to get Douglas back into profit.If you’re afraid of flying don’t watch this video In late 1986, MDC launched a modest improvement of the DC-10 – dubbed the MD-11 – with various commitments for 92 aircraft from 12 airlines but it was a compromised design because of the decision by the MDC board not to sanction funding for an all-new wing.So, in 1987, the MD11 was at the limit of its design guarantees and battling Airbus’ all-new A340/A330 combo.“At MDC we were starved of R&D,” Worsham told Airways in 2004. “So, we were shopping around for a new wing which would cost at least $1 billion so we could stretch the MD11.” In October of 1987, MDC even proposed a stretched MD11 with the existing wing but with a much-reduced range of just 5,000nm – well down from the 7,920nm of the standard offering.Ironically, while bleating about Airbus’ “subsidies” from European Governments in its 1987 annual report, MDC was actively courting Airbus for a marriage of sorts to take advantage of its deep pockets.Worsham was bullish about a French connection for MDC drawing on his vast experience with GE and Snecma. He also had great respect for Airbus leaders, lauding Felix Kracht and Roger Beteille as “great visionaries.” He added that in his view Kracht was a “manufacturing genius,” and Beteille was an “engineering giant.”“I had the idea of getting MDC and Airbus into some sort of marriage,” he recounted. Worsham raised the issue with Airbus’ executives at the famous Conquistador Club for aircraft manufacturing chiefs at a Wyoming ranch in 1987.The basis of the discussions started with the MD11 utilizing the wing of the A330/A340. Talks focused on a stretched MD11 with an A330 wing (AM300) to challenge the 747. A new 100-seat aircraft or a joint endeavor with the A320 was considered.According to Worsham and insiders at Airbus, an agreement was tantalizingly close and it was “looking win, win”. Airbus was still yet to crack the US market and many saw a tie-up with MDC as the answer. In 1987, Airbus aircraft only made up 2% (53 aircraft) of the US fleet, although another 60 were on order.Jim worsham Jim Worsham in October 2004. He pushed hard for an Airbus deal.In March 1988, European Government ministers gave Airbus until July to bed-down a deal with MDC.  Airbus also talked with Lockheed about a US production line for the A320 but Henri Martre, the then-head of Aerospatiale and a member of the Airbus supervisory board, told trade media that “the Airbus partner companies were in agreement with the Government view that McDonnell Douglas offered the best possibility for successful cooperation.”Worsham confirmed that at all levels of middle management there was consensus and real cooperation between Airbus and MDC and Airbus insiders say that agreement was imminent with press releases drafted detailing the agreement.Many studies were done by Douglas engineers on the production with the A320 sharing Building 54 with the C-17.A320 production planProduction plan for the A320s and C-17 to be side by side.However, Worsham claims that the luncheon meeting in Germany between the then-Chairman of the Airbus Supervisory Board, the late Franz-Josef Strauss and the new MDC Chairman John McDonnell was a disaster. “This is a people business and John and the late Franz-Joseph just didn’t get on. I knew almost immediately that the deal was dead.”“It was an irresistible force meeting an immovable object. John was very proud of what McDonnell Douglas had achieved and of the turnaround that had been made, while Franz-Joseph was equally proud of what Airbus had achieved and was very dedicated to what Airbus could accomplish.”“I think the President of Airbus Jean Pierson and I could have worked a deal,” said Worsham. “And middle management and the technical people were onside.”Strauss, who collapsed and died while hunting a few months after the meeting with John McDonnell, was described by one Airbus official “as a strong-willed, sometimes controversial German politician, who had made aviation his speciality. Strauss had been extremely active in the re-establishment of the German aerospace industry post-war.”At the lunch, John McDonnell was upbeat that MDC had sold over 100 MD80s in each of the previous four years and the MD11 was starting to win more sales battles.In fact, in 1988 the MD11 won 17 sales campaigns and McDonnell is likely to have gone into the luncheon knowing that Delta’s major MD11 order was very close.In MDC’s 1988 annual report, John McDonnell said, “Another reason for confidence in MDC’s future is the rapid growth of some of our commercial businesses. MDC re-emerged as a clear number 2 in the commercial aircraft business as a result of a great surge in orders for the MD80 and MD11 in 1988.”What he didn’t know was that his strategy of not committing to a new wing for the MD11 to save money would prove a disaster sowing the seeds for the collapse of MDC.Adam Brown, Airbus VP Customer Affairs in 2004 was part of the evaluation process in 1987/88 and told Airways that “Worsham believed that Airbus and MDC could collaborate on a single program (AM300) while competing on others. We believed that it has to be a complete marriage across the whole product line.”Brown said that Airbus developed a total plan for one product line. The AM300 was at the top of the range and to maximize its appeal to both Airbus and MDC customers would be offered with the option of either a MD11 or A330/340 cockpit and flight system.AM-300 was part of the A320 package Layout of the proposed AM-300.“There would be work sharing on the A330/A340 calculated equally to give each partner the same ratio between investment and revenue and MDC agreed to halt the MD11 once the joint program was in place.Eventually, according to Brown John McDonnell and Jim Worsham accepted this way forward and met with Airbus to finalize the deal.“At this point, a press release was drafted” but it fell apart over the definition of a joint single-aisle 100-seat aircraft to be developed.”McDonnell wanted yet another derivative of the MD80/90 but Airbus – rightly – rejected that as old technology.Worsham reflected that he was in absolute shock after the lunch. Months of negotiations were in tatters in just 45 minutes. “Strauss suggested that Douglas didn’t have a hell of a lot to offer with old technology and obsolete stuff and that really rubbed John the wrong way. Many things work because of chemistry and this wasn’t one of them.”Worsham considered ruefully that the last chance at European cooperation for McDonnell Douglas became just crumbs on a luncheon table somewhere in Germany. “I can’t even remember what the name of the city was.”As history shows McDonnell’s reluctance to spend money on designing and building all new aircraft led to a collapse in orders and forced the merger with Boeing in late 1996.Airbus has now sold 14,120 A320s and is increasing the production rate to 60 a month in 2019.Putting that extraordinary number into perspective McDonnell Douglas built just 2,438 DC-9/MD80/MD90s/MD95s. And the variant that John McDonnell wanted a new single-aisle based on sold just 116 and its smaller sibling, the MD95 (Boeing 717) just 155.Authors note: Much of this article was published in Airways magazine in 2004 in a series of articles authored by myself and reprinted here with permission of the late owner John Wegg.last_img read more

Verizon’s Spectrum Shopping Spree Pays Off Again with Cox

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement scott fulton What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts What was considered the most influential consumer media trend of 2007 and ’08 was how providers of many categories were bundling services together and going after one another in the market. Suddenly Comcast could compete with Verizon, or with something we used to call Cingular. The “triple-play” was changing not only the way services like broadband Internet and phone were offered, but the shapes and makers of the devices themselves.Fast-forward nearly four years later, and that tide has almost completely subsided.Last month, Cox Communications executed its plan to exit the wireless phone business, in a move that created an opening for another provider to step in to make the “triple” out of the “play.” Two weeks ago, Verizon Wireless stepped to the plate by buying the wireless spectrum that Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks had been reserving for their wireless phone service. The three cable providers had purchased their spectrum at an historic bargain price, in a joint bid with Cox.It looked as though VZW would make the same move to buy Cox’s spectrum block, which everyone knew it wouldn’t be needing anyway. Today Cox and VZW parent company Verizon confirmed that deal indeed took place: VZW will be getting access to spectrum covering Cox’s 28 million points of presence (POPs), for $315 million.Up to now, the major difference between the quality of spectrum that Verizon has been amassing for future LTE service, compared against its nearest competitor, AT&T, is that the bulk of Verizon’s holdings stay in the 700 MHz range while AT&T is split between 700 and 1700 MHz. Lower frequencies tend to cover longer distances and penetrate through downtown buildings better (although on the other hand, there’s something to be said for leaving a nice gap between one’s downlink and uplink frequencies).A year ago, AT&T agreed to purchase from Qualcomm a block of 700 MHz spectrum that Qualcomm was going to use for its FLO TV, a mobile TV service that never made it even to the launch stage in the U.S. That deal remains under review by the FCC, as smaller regional carriers claim that AT&T keeps making adjustments to its 700 MHz buildout plan, allegedly to prevent them from making satisfactory roaming arrangements for their older-generation equipment.center_img Tags:#mobile#news Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more