The Health News – 21 October 2014

Overview

  • Nigeria has been declared free of Ebola after a 42-day period without a reported case of the deadly virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.
  • Outlaw motorcycle gangs are recruiting children to cook crystal meth and targeting young people in country towns, a Four Corners investigation has found.
  • The Federal Government has put a $1.55 to $2 per share price range on its Medibank Private float. While the shares may end up being priced below or above the indicative range depending on demand.


Stories Discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 21st October 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-20/who-declares-ebola-defeated-in-nigeria/5828414

Nigeria has been declared free of Ebola after a 42-day period without a reported case of the deadly virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

The arrival of Ebola in Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous nation, leading economy and top oil producer, sparked fears of its rapid spread throughout the country of 170 million people.

The country recorded its first case of Ebola on July 20 through a Liberian diplomat who flew into the country carrying the virus.

But the doomsday scenario did not happen and health experts involved in tackling the outbreak commended authorities for their rapid response and comprehensive contact tracing.

In all, eight people died out of 20 confirmed cases in Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, and the oil hub of Port Harcourt, while nearly 900 people were monitored for signs of the disease.

Local doctor Benjamin Ohiaeri has praised the way authorities in Nigeria came together to defeat Ebola.

Ebola has killed at least 4,546 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in the recent outbreak, according to the WHO.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-20/four-corners-investigation-into-spread-of-crystal-meth/5826576

Outlaw motorcycle gangs are recruiting children to cook crystal meth and targeting young people in country towns, a Four Corners investigation has found.

The investigation uncovered alarming evidence of how the drug is being manufactured and distributed by locally-based bikie gangs working with several major international drug cartels.

Four Corners found that authorities were unable to deal with the unprecedented ice scourge, with a desperate lack of treatment facilities and resources.

The program spoke to a former child dealer and crystal meth cook who said he was one of many recruited by an outlaw motorcycle gang to deal drugs when he was 11 years old.

A lonely child from a broken home, by 13 he said he was smoking ice and at 15 the gang had taught him how to cook crystal meth, cooking up to an ounce a day with a street value of up to $28,000.

He said the labs changed often, to keep ahead of police, and described them as “wannabe science labs”.

They were highly dangerous and toxic; the fumes were overpowering.

For the first three years he said he was given no protective clothing or gloves by the syndicate he was working for.

Now 19, cooking meth has left him with a lasting legacy. He has early onset arthritis and his joints have worn down so much, they now regularly dislocate. He has to pop them back in to place.

Cooking ice, he noticed his health began to deteriorate quickly.

Authorities have told Four Corners there has been an explosion in the numbers of local dealers in country towns, and the age of users is plummeting.

As teenagers take up the drug, crime rates are also soaring, with ice-related offences up.

Health professionals have warned that if nothing is done, Australia is at risk of losing an entire generation of rural youth to ice.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-20/government-puts-two-dollar-cap-on-medibank-private-shares/5826154

The Federal Government has put a $1.55 to $2 per share price range on its Medibank Private float.

While the shares may end up being priced below or above the indicative range depending on demand, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann also announced a $2 price cap for retail investors buying up to $250,000 worth of shares.

At the top end of the indicative price range, the Government would raise a total of $5.5 billion from the sale, while the bottom end would value Medibank Private around $4.3 billion.

The company is expecting to pay out 4.9 cents in its first dividend payment to shareholders for the seven months to June 30, 2015, which would be a yield of 4.2-5.4 per cent, based on the indicative share price range.

The Government has previously revealed that more than 750,000 Australians have pre-registered to receive the Medibank Private prospectus, also entitling them to get a larger allocation of shares than those who did not pre-register.

Medibank Private policyholders are also entitled to a greater allocation than the general public.

The retail offer opens next Tuesday and will close on Friday, November 14, with the company to list on the ASX around November 25 and begin normal trading in early December.

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