China’s recent H5N1 cases raise transmission questions

first_imgJan 21, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – China’s recent spike in human H5N1 avian influenza cases appears to lack the hallmark of nearby poultry outbreaks, a development that some public health officials worry could signal asymptomatic infections in birds.Veterinary experts, however, suggest the pattern could point to surveillance gaps or the consequences of routine vaccination.China has reported four human cases so far this year, three of them fatal. According to World Health Organization (WHO) reports:The 16-year-old boy from Hunan province who died yesterday had been exposed to sick and dead poultry.Investigators found that a 19-year-old girl from Beijing who died on Jan 5 had contact with poultry before she got sick, but they did not say if the birds were ill.Authorities are still investigating the virus source in the other two cases, a 2-year-old girl from Shanxi province who is in critical condition and a 27-year-old woman from Shandong province who died on Jan 17.The country’s agriculture ministry said on Jan 18 after the 2-year-old’s infection was confirmed that no H5N1 outbreaks have been detected in Shanxi or Hunan provinces, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported yesterday.York Chow, Hong Kong’s secretary for food and health, has called on China to release more epidemiologic information on the recent human infections and said that an apparent lack of poultry outbreak reports against the backdrop of human cases raises questions about a possible change in the virus or that asymptomatic H5N1-infected chickens might be contributing to the spread of the virus.Chinese officials have said they have found no evidence that the virus has mutated to allow easier human-to-human transmission, according to media reports.Monitoring billions of birdsThis isn’t the first time that health officials have voiced their suspicions about asymptomatic poultry infections in China. In 2006, Zhong Nanshan, director of the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases, suggested that two victims might have caught the virus from chickens that were carrying it asymptomatically (see link to CIDRAP News story, below).Avian influenza experts say the size and nature of China’s poultry population creates a difficult surveillance task. Jan Slingenbergh, a senior animal health officer for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told CIDRAP News that China has roughly 4.6 billion chickens, 700 million ducks, and 300 million geese that are distributed somewhat unevenly throughout the country.He said the ducks gravitate toward the double-crop rice growing areas in southern and southeastern China, which are thought to be the main risk areas because the H5N1 virus keeps circulating in ducks. Geese head toward single-crop rice growing areas in the less rainy northeastern and extreme western part of China, Slingenbergh added.Meanwhile, he said chicken are kept everywhere people live, particularly in urban areas and coastal ports.Slingenbergh links the low level of poultry outbreak reports to China’s poultry vaccination policy. “The entire national flock is kept under a rigid vaccination blanket amounting to 11 billion applications per annum,” he said.He said he doubts that the H5N1 in China is evolving toward a low-pathogenic virus. “Vaccination creates a rather sparse geospatial mosaic of susceptibles, which may even enhance the pathogenicity level,” he said, adding that evidence from Vietnam, where most Chinese viruses spread to, suggests that the virulence increased between 2002 and 2007 when measured by infecting and gauging shedding in young mallards.Vincent Martin, a senior technical adviser in the FAO’s Beijing office, told CIDRAP News that Chinese officials obtain a lot of samples from farms and live bird markets each year to monitor asymptomatic H5N1 infections among the birds. “Regularly, they find the virus but do not detect any outbreak in the surrounding areas,” he said.However, a combination of factors makes detecting the virus difficult, Martin said. Several strains of the virus are circulating in China, and ducks can excrete the virus without showing symptoms or only exhibiting mild ones.In addition, suboptimal vaccination can mask the symptoms without stopping viral shedding.More intensive surveillance and monitoring efforts are needed in China to detect new outbreaks and identify viral circulation that is going unnoticed, Martin said, “to avoid a situation where humans serve as sentinels and reveal infection in birds.””The concern is, therefore, that the current surveillance is unable to provide a complete picture of the [high-pathogenic avian influenza] epidemiological situation in domestic birds and should be strengthened and improved in order to meet the challenge we are currently facing,” he said.Three Chinese government ministries yesterday issued a joint order for local health, agriculture, and commerce offices to work together to improve surveillance and management of the country’s live poultry markets, Xinhua, China’s state news agency reported today. The government urged local offices to close live poultry markets in urban areas, if possible, or disinfect the markets daily if they can’t be shuttered. The offices were also ordered to conduct daily surveillance and reporting and collaborate when they detect the H5N1 virus.The role of poultry vaccinationLes Sims, from Australia’s Asia-Pacific Veterinary Information Services and a consultant to the FAO, said though humans are once again acting as sentinels for infections in poultry, so far there is no evidence to support asymptomatic disease as the reason for absence of reported poultry outbreaks in China.”Vaccination will alter the clinical appearance of disease if the flock is infected, but on a flock basis, some disease will be detected. Infection is not silent,” he said. He added that infected vaccinated flocks, for example, have lower mortality rates with fewer birds showing classical symptoms of the disease.”If vaccines are used, veterinary and medical authorities have to accept that one of the signals they used to rely on for detecting infection in poultry—high mortality—needs to be modified,” Sims said.Infected poultry can still shed small amounts of the virus, even when the vaccine is a good match and the birds are vaccinated properly, he said. “This has always been the case and so can’t explain the current situation in China.”The issue of less severe infections in vaccinated poultry is creating negative sentiments about the measure, Sims said, but he added that China has maintained a close match between the circulating strains and the vaccine antigen, which greatly diminishes the viral load in poultry.”The benefits of vaccination in reducing viral load need to be considered and balanced against the changes in disease appearance that will occur if a vaccinated flock is infected,” he said. “The situation in China would almost certainly be much worse if vaccination was not used.”Sims said he’s not surprised that some poultry infections go undetected, given the size and make-up of China’s poultry population, along with the modified appearance of the disease in vaccinated poultry. He suspects, though, that under-reporting of the disease might be one factor that keeps the number of outbreak reports low. Farmers who raise poultry for their livelihood have little incentive to report the disease.A seasonal surge in poultry and human H5N1 cases in the winter isn’t unexpected, he said. “Winter peaks have been seen previously and are probably linked to the increased trade in poultry for various festivals and enhanced viral survival due to cooler conditions,” Sims said.See also:Jan 19 WHO statementJan 19 CIDRAP News story “China reports 3 H5N1 cases, 1 death”Mar 8, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Nine-year-old is China’s 10th avian flu victim”last_img read more

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Animal nightlife

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Rentvestors forgo thousands of dollars

first_imgBradley Beer, CEO of BMT Tax Depreciation, said inexperience among first time investors is to blame. Photo: suppliedOur newest investors are overlooking a simple way to boost their yearly income by almost $4000 on average, according to a prominent quantity surveyor.Bradley Beer, CEO of BMT Tax Depreciation, said inexperience means young rentvestors fail to boost their tax returns via depreciation benefits.“A rentvestor is more likely to be a first time investor,” he said.“You’re not used to having property and if you’re a first time investor, you’ve got a few things to learn.”Rentvesting is a strategy where buyers forgo home ownership and build an investment portfolio while renting in their desired location.Mr Beer said it’s a popular approach for young, first-time investors. “Probably it’s a bit around affordability in the areas people are trying to live, but I also think it’s around lifestyle choices and being close to things and going, ‘I don’t want to sit in traffic and drive to somewhere on a regular basis.’”More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours agoHe said the costs associated with home ownership and the flexibility created by renting is also driving a rise in the practice.Mr Beer says while rentvesting is smart, he believes uninformed landlords are failing to take advantage of tax breaks.“I’ve personally been a rentvestor until I was over 40.“Depreciation is one of those things that needs to be learned for sure.”Mr Beer says the average deduction in the first year of ownership across all the depreciation schedules his company has prepared is just under $10,000.“It is a bit different depending on the age of the property.”“Most investors are on 37 per cent (tax) so it’s that percentage back on that deduction — or around $3700 cash.“If you’re on the top marginal rate which is close to half, it’s about $100 per week in terms of cash flow.”last_img read more

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Gold Coast ‘landmark residence’ on the market

first_imgThe property pool, jetty and a boat ramp. What a location!LOCATION, location, location is a popular real estate mantra and this Gold Coast property certainly abides by that phrase.Offered to the market for the first time in 40 years, the “landmark residence” in the northern Coast suburb of Hollywell takes waterfront living to a new level. From the air the property is a sight to see.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa17 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“One of a handful of mainland Broadwater fronting blocks, this is unquestionably one of the Gold Coast’s most unique and desirable positions,” the listing states.“The sensational preserved Broadwater outlook is ever changing over expanses of blue water across to the natural wonderland of South Stradbroke Island.”The deceased estate at 2 Sapphire St offers 50m of Broadwater frontage as part of a 1058sq m block.The property features a four-bedroom house, pool, jetty and a boat ramp. “Whether you redevelop the site with a new luxury property or further improve the substantial and well sited original home, a relaxed luxury waterside lifestyle is assured,” the listing states.“(The) land area and the uniqueness of adjoining the Paradise Point parkland, combine to create the feeling of private island living.” Professionals -Vertullo Real Estate agent David Vertullo is taking the property to auction on May 19. Enjoy waterfront views from almost every room/last_img read more

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Number of Indian Seafarers Employed on Ships Rises

first_imgThe number of active Indian seafarers, employed aboard Indian or foreign flagged ships, has grown by about 45 percent in the last three years.According to the country’s Ministry of Shipping, in 2016 there were a total of 143,940 Indian seafarers working on vessels. The number was up at 208,799 in 2018.The Ministry informed that the Government took several initiatives and policy decisions to help increase the share of Indian seafarers at the global level.Namely, seafarers are being employed on ships through secured paths i.e. either by Indian shipowners on India-flagged ships, regulated under Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, or on foreign flagged ships through registered Recruitment and Placement Services License (RPSL) under Merchant Shipping (R&PS) Rules 2016.With employment and welfare of Indian seafarers being regulated through relevant rules framed in consonance with Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, more and more foreign shipowners are engaging Indian seafarers on board their ships.In addition, the promulgation of new, simplified, Continuous Discharges Certificate (CDC) Rules in 2017, making the entire process of issuance of CDC paperless and online, has facilitated an increase in the number of Indian seafarers.Additionally, the Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemical & Fertilizers Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, said that the Ministry of Shipping has lifted an earlier ban on conduct of post sea modular courses, pre-sea GP ratings and pre-sea courses, that would also lead to a rise in the number of Indian seafarers on board ships.The Ministry has also introduced a few new courses in line with International Maritime Organization (IMO) Model courses, while the Directorate General of Shipping is working to bring an exhaustive list of services under one digital portal to ensure transparency and efficiency.last_img read more

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Rohr Lists Moses, Ighalo, Others to Battle Algeria

first_imgSuper Eagles’ Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr has called up captain John Mikel Obi, assistant captain Ahmed Musa, goalkeeper Carl Ikeme and 21 others for next month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against the Fennecs of Algeria in Uyo.While he has retained the bulk of the squad that defeated Zambia 2-1 in Ndola earlier this month to establish Nigeria at the top of Group B of the African race, the Franco-German tactician has also beefed up the playing body with in –form Israeli –based midfielder John Ogu and Nigeria’s top scorer at the Olympic Men’s Football Tournament in Brazil, Oghenekaro Etebo.Germany –based defender Leon Balogun, back from injury, also returns while English Premiership stars Victor Moses and Odion Ighalo are also called.Former junior international goalkeeper Dele Alampasu and Dutch –based defender Tyrone Ebuehi are also invited.Players are expected to start arriving at the team’s Bolton White Apartment in Abuja on Sunday, 6thNovember.The Super Eagles welcome the Fennecs at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Saturday, 12thNovember in one of the potentially most explosive games of the African series.FULL LIST:Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Dele Alampasu (FC Cesarense, Portugal)Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); William Paul Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway); Kenneth Omeruo (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Uche Henry Agbo (Granada FC, Spain); Tyrone Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, The Netherlands); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey); Elderson Echiejile (Standard Liege, Belgium), Kingsley Madu (SV Zulte Waregem, Belgium)Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium); Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense, Portugal); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Brown Ideye (Olympiacos FC, Greece); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England)Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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UW runs up-tempo game

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoWith a roster laden with freshmen and sophomores, the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team took the ice for the first time this season last weekend. The Badgers opened up with offensive prowess, something the 2006-07 team struggled to attain and maintain. Wisconsin scored seven goals over the weekend, and according to a much-surprised UW head coach Mike Eaves, could have scored even more.”Well, I think the surprise was sitting on the bench and seeing firewagon hockey,” Eaves said during a press conference Monday. “We didn’t see that much in our previous five seasons here, but we have people that can really get up and down the ice.”Even the game that we lost, we had a chance realistically to win that game 6-5. The kids never quit playing, and if they did anything, they tried too hard.”Some of the younger freshman defensemen weren’t ready for the pace of the game, though.”We have to help the young people understand when the right moment is to get involved offensively — only experience and repetition in practice will solve that,” Eaves said. Although the players can get up the ice, put a lot of points on the board and have great puck handling skills, Eaves says the firewagon hockey style also presents some challenges; at times players would push too far forward in the offensive zone leading to man advantages going the other way.”There was five guys below the tops of the circles in the offensive zone and two of those guys were our defensemen, so that’s pretty unusual,” Eaves said.It is also a benefit.”The fact is we’ve got people with giddy-up in our horse, and that’s something that we can build on, and it goes back to when to make those decisions to go so that you have balance in your attack,” Eaves said.With a bye week coming up in two weeks prior to the start of conference play, Eaves will have extra practice time with his young players to straighten out the lack of balance in their attacks and some of the technical miscues.”In all actuality it’s probably a good schedule for us with having such a young team because we’ll be able to set in stone even more so — because of the repetitions in practice — the way we want to play,” Eaves said of this year’s early bye week.This weekend will be the first opportunity for Wisconsin fans to see the men’s hockey team in action. Former Badger Ryan MacMurchy said that this year’s team has a lot of talent, and Eaves believes the fans will be able to see that as well.”They’re going to see a team that can skate, pass the puck, has a bit more giddy-up in their step and makes some things happen offensively, so it’s going to be a little bit of a different look,” he said.Opening year on roadUnlike in seasons past when the men’s hockey team opened up the season at home against good nonconference teams, this year the Badgers traveled out to Dayton, Ohio, to play in the Lefty McFadden Tournament.While playing for the first time as a team is always a good feeling, according to Eaves, the fact that Wisconsin started out on the road also offered it an opportunity to build some team unity.”Well, going on this trip was a chance to have everybody come on the road,” Eaves said. “There are no real distractions when everywhere you go you’re together, and I think that can be a big benefit.”I think just going on the road and being around each other was a B-12 shot for us.”Engel out of actionAfter scoring the first goal of his collegiate career in Friday night’s win over No. 8 Notre Dame, senior defenseman Josh Engel was forced out of the Lefty McFadden Tournament with an undisclosed injury.Eaves said that Andy Hrodey, the trainer, had not spoken with the doctors as of the Monday press conference so Engel’s status remains unknown.With 18 of the 27 players on the roster underclassmen, Engel’s senior leadership would be missed should he miss any significant time.last_img read more

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Keck minor offers firsthand experience

first_imgChristopher Chou | Daily TrojanThe doctor is in · Sean Nordt, assistant dean of pre-health studies, heads the only health care studies minor program in the United States.Sumeet Sidhu, a senior majoring in health and humanity, has learned a lot about wilderness survival. He knows how to build a shelter by scavenging his surroundings and has studied the effects of hypothermia firsthand by jumping into 50 degree waters off of Catalina Island. But Sidhu is not a boy scout. He has taken MEDS 465: Wilderness and Survival Medicine, a course offered through Keck School of Medicine of USC’s health care studies minor program.The health care studies minor is the first of its kind in the United States, as courses are taught by Keck faculty but at the undergraduate level. This provides undergraduate students interested in medicine with a direct link to a professional school, as well as access to teachers and mentors within the health sciences.For Anna Catinis, a junior majoring in health and human sciences, the program has allowed her to access multiple volunteer and research opportunities.“There’s this saying, ‘It’s not about the classes you take, it’s about the connections you make,’ and I think in a lot of cases that can be true,” Catinis said. “But this minor is a really wonderful exception in that the classes you take lead to the connections you make.” Through the minor, Catinis has been able to access Keck faculty and work alongside principal investigators when conducting research. She has also shadowed physicians in the Emergency Room of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles alongside medical students, which she said provided her with a more realistic view of her career path.“Shadowing the medical students is really relatable since they were in your shoes just a couple years before,” Catinis said. “You get to see what you’ll be doing in the next step, rather than 10 years down the road.”Catinis currently conducts clinical research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The minor has also allowed Catinis to explore the medical field without taking classes she deemed unnecessary. “I ended up changing my major so that I could double-minor and fit in all my classes, and cut out some of those upper-division science classes like genetics and microcell biology,” Catinis said. “I have never regretted it — it’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve made at USC so far.” According to Sean Nordt, assistant dean of pre-health studies and the director of the minor in health care studies, the minor is open to students of all majors, and students are not required to declare the minor in order to take courses within the program.“We’d love for anyone who wants to take the minor to do so, but we’re happy if someone just takes one course and dips their feet in it,” Nordt said. “The program is for anybody, not just for pre-med.” Caroline Vance, a senior majoring in industrial and systems engineering, said the health care studies minor was crucial in allowing her to pursue a new career path without changing her major entirely. “I was contemplating a career switch midway through college, and I ended up using the minor to get more introduction to health care and clinical medicine,” Vance said. “It completely revolutionized my future and changed the way I see the world.”For Sidhu, the program’s largest appeal was its access to Keck faculty and a wide range of course offerings, such as MEDS 425: Medical Examiner-Coroner: Investigating Death.“It’s taught by the chief coroner of Los Angeles county, who testified at O.J. Simpson’s trial and led the autopsy on Michael Jackson,” Sidhu said. “He told us his office was really busy a couple weeks ago, and we were all pretty sure he was talking about Carrie Fisher.”The minor provided Vance with research opportunities and real-world hospital experience that allowed her to bridge the gap between the content she learns in class and what she plans to do in the future. “It verifies that is what you want to do with your life,” she said. “You really get to see the light at the end of the tunnel — you’re working hard so that you can have these awesome clinical experiences, so it all seems worthwhile in the end.”last_img read more

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Dougherty: Hack publishes dad’s ‘Life Rules’

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ This is about my dad, Paul Dougherty, so it could be about a lot of things.It could be about how, after Little League baseball games, he’d tell every player on the field to get a free cone at our family’s ice cream shop up the street. “Tell them to put it on Paul,” he’d say, and a generation of kids grew up calling him Paul the Ice Cream Man. That was so cool.It could be about how, before my first middle school dance, he pulled me aside and said everyone deserves to have fun. “If no one asks a girl to dance then you should,” he’d say, all the way until my Senior Prom. That was so caring.It could be about how, right when I started high school, he was diagnosed with tonsil cancer and showed me how to be strong. “I’ll be OK, just take care of your mom,” he’d say, and after months of radiation treatment and chemotherapy he was right. That was so brave.Instead it’s about him being the genesis of my young sports writing career. About something he’s told me, so many times, that I roll over in my head as words to live and write by.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“If I could go back and do it all again, I’d want to be a sports writer,” he’d say, his voice carrying a wistful tone of what-if. “Looking back, that would be my dream.”So I’m using my last space in The Daily Orange to make that dream come true. To publish his words in the sports pages of a newspaper. It’s the least I could do after all he’s given me.Below are his rules to life, which he sent to me in the exact format they appear without knowing I’d be using them in this column.Life Rules by Paul DoughertyDo not talk about yourself, let others do it.Be good to and respect others.Say I love you to your mate at least once a day.Say I love you to your kids more.Read Dr. Seuss now and as an adult.Always cut your own lawn.Read to your kids.Read.Listen to music, to some really listen.Don’t wait to talk, listen.Call your mom.Have a sense of humor.Be able to laugh at yourself.Be a team player.Don’t quit.Give a homeless person money, don’t worry about what he spends it on.Put money in a random expired parking meter.Play an instrument, even if you are not good at it.Watch your favorite movie, a lot.Find the Big and Little Dipper.Take naps.When alone, sing.Do not — do not judge others.Be a courteous driver.Slow down on exit ramps.Be true to your home town teams.Have a catch, whenever you get the chance.Make sure you are home for Christmas.Learn the rules of baseball.Never stop learning.See the Grand Canyon.Don’t litter.Eat ice cream.Play card and board games.Own a convertible, at least once.Listen to older people, they’ve been there.If you get the chance to be nice, take it.Dance.Across the last four years, I’ve often found myself wondering what great sports writing looks like. Sounds like. Feels like. I haven’t quite figured it out, and never fully will. But I do think great sports writing — the stuff that hits in such a way that you have to take a deep breath before turning each page — is empathetic, reflective of a reader’s life and capable of making the little things feel not so little at all.I think great sports writing looks, sounds and feels a lot like Paul Dougherty’s Life Rules. So thanks dad, for showing me that the writer I want to be is the one you would have been.Let’s go see the Grand Canyon someday soon.Jesse Dougherty was a senior staff writer at The Daily Orange where his column will no longer appear. He can be reached at jcdoug01@syr.edu or on Twitter at @dougherty_jesse.-30- Comments Published on May 3, 2016 at 12:03 amlast_img read more

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Ghana seal World Hockey League Round 2 berth

first_imgThe Ghana male hockey team defeated Nigeria to win the Hockey World League Round 1 tournament held at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra.Ghana came from behind to beat their age-long rivals, Nigeria, 2-1.Shadrach Baah was the hero of the day when he connected a pass from Elekim Akaba to give Ghana the maximum points at stake.The match winner, delivered in the 64th minute, sent the stadium into a frenzy as the fans celebrated the feat which earned  Ghana a slot in the Hockey World League Round 2.Earlier in the 54th minute, Emmanuel Ankomah connected a pass from close range to equalise for Ghana after trailing in the first half.Meanwhile, the  Ghana women hockey team also qualified for the Hockey World League Round 2  after defeating favourites, Kenya, 1-0 in their last match After wasting countless goal scoring opportunities,including eight penalty corners, Elizabeth Opoku made amends for her earlier misses when she connected Umaru Nafisatu’s pass in the 66th minute to set the stadium alight.Moments after the goal Kenya had attacked from all angles with the view of equalising but the defenders of Ghana stood firm,protecting their lone goal advantage.last_img read more

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