FILE PHOTO: Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping. REUTERS/ Denis Balibouse
Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan called for a global effort to eradicate the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic on Wednesday as she addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Meeting on the Fight to End Tuberculosis via video while also explaining at length China’s endeavor to combat the disease.
Peng, who was appointed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) goodwill ambassador for TB and HIV/AIDS in 2011, shared her thoughts and experiences with the attendees of the meeting, which took place at the UN headquarters in New York City. She also shared the touching stories of unsung heroes in China who have been selflessly dedicated to the cause of combating TB.
The first lady, who is also China’s national ambassador for TB control and prevention, said that the control and prevention of the disease in China has made rapid progress, and its victims are being diagnosed and treated in a more timely and effective manner.
Such progress has been made, she pointed out, because of the great importance the Chinese government and the entire society has attached to the cause, as well as the enthusiastic participation of about 700,000 volunteers.
In some parts of China, TB prevention has become one of the key tasks in the government’s poverty alleviation program, said Peng.
Now, China has seen continuous increases of case detection and cure rates for TB and decreases in morbidity and mortality, as many TB victims in the country have had their lives renewed, said Peng, adding that the awareness rate of TB control and prevention knowledge has reached over 75 percent in China.
Thanks to the joint efforts by governments, international organizations, NGOs, specialists and volunteers, the control and prevention of the tuberculosis epidemic at the global level has scored significant achievements, but mankind still faces severe challenges in this aspect, said Peng.
The WHO has adopted the End TB Strategy, she said, urging all countries in the world to join hands and do their best to change the lives of the millions of people who are affected by TB and end the global epidemic.
The high-level meeting was chaired by Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, president of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. A political declaration on the control and prevention of TB was endorsed at the meeting.
In interviews after the meeting, attendees said that Peng’s speech was very impressive. Attendees also said they really appreciated China’s achievements in the fight against tuberculosis, as well as the country’s support and contribution to the global fight against TB.
“As WHO goodwill ambassador on TB and HIV/AIDS, the first lady is doing a lot within her country to raise awareness about the problem, to encourage, to provide necessary treatment to these people, and, of course, it demonstrates a very good example,” said Teresa Kasaeva, WHO Global TB Program Director.
“I saw very well the things that she highlighted, and I know the efforts that are happening in China. I want to say to China to support as well TB programs in the world,” said Lucica Ditiu, executive director of the Stop TB Partnership.
“In the future, we hope that China can achieve the goal of eliminating TB by 2030 and keep TB under control at a very low level. We hope China can continue to make more efforts and contribute to the global community,” said Ren Minghui, WHO Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases. — Reuters
DOLE issues regulation on Filipino English teachers for China
MANILA, Philippines — Recruitment and deployment of Filipino teachers for tertiary educational institutions in China is now open after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) released its guidelines on the matter.
Applicants, as stated on the regulation, should have worked in a private higher education institution in the Philippines to be qualified.
The applicant must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education or in English Language from a Philippine educational institution accredited by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.
The applicant must also have a valid certificate of registration above the intermediate level and a professional license from the Philippine Board of Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers.
Aside from these, the applicant must never been charged or convicted of criminal or administrative offense or has not committed any violation of the law; must be in good health; no mental issues; and no drug and alcohol addiction.
The Philippine embassy and the Chinese Consulate will serve as the contact window to heed and resolve the concerns on their employment particularly on the recruitment and the deployment of teachers, and other issues on their workplace.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) meanwhile, will focus on recruitment, orientation, processing, and documentation of Filipino teachers-applicants. — UNTV News & Rescue
China marks 81st Nanjing Massacre anniversary
Students standing in tribute in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province in China | CCTV via Reuters
China marked the 81st anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre in eastern Nanjing City on Thursday (December 13), an event which still plays a key role in defining the country’s relationship with Japan.
China and Japan have long sparred over their painful history. China consistently reminds its people of the 1937 massacre in which it says Japanese troops killed 300,000 people in Nanjing.
A postwar Allied tribunal put the death toll in the eastern city of Nanjing at 142,000, but some conservative Japanese politicians and scholars deny a massacre took place at all.
Sino-Japanese relations have been tense in recent years due to a feud over East China Sea islands, and suspicion in China about efforts by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to amend Japan’s pacifist constitution. But in October this year, Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a broad range of agreements and pledged to forge closer ties at the first full-scale Sino-Japanese summit since 2011. — Reuters
Chinese scientists first discover spider species breastfeeding, nursing
Spider babies eating milk on bellies of spider mothers | REUTERS
Chinese scientists discovered a spider species that feeds their babies with milk as mammals, marking the first time humans discovering invertebrates breastfeeding and nursing theirs offspring, said Chinese Academy of Sciences Friday.
Breastfeeding is a unique animal behavior to mammals, including humans. This type of spider, commonly known as big ant spider, discovered with “breastfeeding behavior”, belongs to Myrmarachne of Salticidae, which is a spider species widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of East and Southeast Asia.
“Spider babies which just hatched out clime up on spider moms’ bellies, to eat a kind of liquid (secreted by spider moms), which was tested to be milk containing four times the protein of cow’s milk. We call it spider milk,” said Chen Zhanqi, a post doctor from Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Researchers found after long-term observation that the newly hatched spider babies feed themselves entirely with the milk in the first 20 days after birth, during which they grow as big as half of their mothers. From 20 to 40 days, spider babies go out looking for food by themselves, while also eating milk from their mothers. This period is a transition for weaning.
The study also found that spider babies don’t leave their mothers after weaning, and continue to stay with them in nests, even after they grow up. This kind of spider will take care of its grown-up offspring, which is seen as a long parental behavioral mode. This mode was once thought to only exist in the social vertebrates with long lifespan.
Experts believe that this breakthrough discovery has extremely important significance for the research on revolution of breastfeeding behavior for contemporary animals. — Reuters