SEND/SNV WASH Project Launched

first_imgThe Social Enterprise Development (SEND) Foundation in collaboration with the Dutch-based non-governmental organization SNV formally launched the Grand Cape Mount County innovative Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) pilot project in Sinje, Gawular District recently.According to SEND Foundation-Liberia Acting Country director, Dr. Sam N. Duo, SEND-Liberia, with support from SNV, a development organization from the Netherlands, formulated the program for the “institutional capacity building of community-driven WASH Sector development.” The program was launched with the objective to strengthen partnership with the government and local communities and development partners to improve WASH in Grand Cape Mount County.He noted that the Community-driven WASH Sector development is being piloted in three of the five districts in Grand Cape Mount County-namely; Gawular, Tewor and Porkpa. The launch of the project, Dr. Duo said, is part of SEND program implementation strategies aimed at bringing together key actors including: lawmakers from the county, county and districts officials, representatives from the ministries of Public Works, Health, and Social Welfare. Others were representatives from international NGOs, United Nations Children’s Education Funds, OXFAM, WaterAid, County-based WASH sector NGOs, the youth and women organizations. “While the launch primarily seeks to shed light on SEND’s program in the county,” Dr. Duo added that, “it was also intended to serve as a platform to engage stakeholders to jointly address some of the critical issues affecting the WASH Sector across the country.” He informed those who attended the ceremony that the issue of water, sanitation and hygiene is one of the priority components of “our national development agendas and therefore, requires the collective engagement of all, irrespective of status or locations.” Earlier in a welcome remark, Gawular District Commissioner, Kaison Kiadii, expressed gratitude to SEND-Liberia and its partners including the SNV for the project. He promised that the awareness created by the organization relative to the WASH Sector would be spread across the entire Grand Cape Mount County. For his part, SNV WASH Coordinator based in Accra, Ghana, Bimal Tandukar, briefly introduced the SNV and shared its WASH program, detailing the concept, which was accompanied by a slide show in underlining the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene in various communities across the world.Those who attended the ceremony included local officials as well as those from the joint security apparatus and the various sectors of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Economic Genocide’

first_imgThe new Third Party Insurance policy and vehicles registration scheme embarked upon by national government is being seen as a “serious economic genocide of the masses,” said the deputy secretary general of the National Patriotic Party of Liberia.Addressing a news conference Monday, March 10, in Monrovia, NPP deputy secretary general Marvin Cole described the process as a calculated plan to unleash untold suffering on the common people who are affected by government regulations and policy.He maintained that forcing private, commercial and business vehicles to get insurance registration while all government-owned vehicles are not covered is unfair.“Government vehicles should be the first category to be covered under this policy,” Mr. Cole declared.“Suppose a government vehicle hits me and is in the wrong, who takes responsibility for the damage? Attempting to enforce the law but not abiding by it is ridiculous. You who preach equity must come forward with clean hands. Laws should be created to help citizens, but it seems this new insurance policy is meant to cripple the economy. I realized that Deputy Police Director for Operations, Abraham Kromah, and other security officers are in streets enforcing the law, yet their vehicles are not insured.“We think this action on the part of the police amounts to an economic crime. This exercise prevents vehicles in Monrovia from transporting food to other parts of the country while vehicles from the opposite direction are denied entry into Monrovia,” Cole pointed out.“If the government who have all the resources in this country cannot be covered under this scheme; how can private cars owners go about said regulations?”The party wants government to halt and redesign the process to ensure that all government cars are signed up under this arrangement.The NPP further called on the National Road Transport Union of Liberia to stage a sit-in action demanding a restructuring of the plan.Meanwhile, many commercial drivers interviewed by the Daily Observer have expressed dismay over the US$300 fee required to sign up for the insurance scheme.One driver, Mr. Eugene Allison, described it as “extremely expensive and to the disadvantage of struggling drivers.”“Imposing such a high cost in a short period without the aid of a massive awareness campaign is counterproductive. I appeal, on behalf of Monrovia’s drivers, that more time be provided in order to allow us to generate said amount,” Allison declared.The Liberian National Police and the Ministry of Transport on March 1 began enforcing the nationwide Compulsory Third Party Insurance policy intended to have all business, private and commercial vehicles covered under the scheme. Since then, hundreds of vehicles have been grounded, leading to a major transportation crisis in the country. Commuters can be seen standing on the side of the road waiting for transportation for hours.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Nun at Catholic Hospital Dies of Ebola

first_imgA Congolese nun who worked with Spanish Catholic missionaries in Liberia has died of Ebola, the charity she worked for said Saturday in Madrid. Chantal Pascaline died early Saturday “due to Ebola at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Monrovia,” the Liberian capital, the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God said in a statement. Pascaline worked with Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, 75, who being a Spanish national, was flown out of the country to Spain for special treatment.  He left Liberia on Thursday after contracting Ebola.Father Pajares’ country’s government said the same trial drugs that were tested on the US citizens—Dr. Kent Brantly and Nurse Nancy Writebol—who, too, contracted the deadly disease in Liberia, would also be tested on the Catholic priest.  The Hospitaller Brothers are in charge of the NGO that runs the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital, where the priest and the nuns worked. Spanish health authorities said Thursday that the priest — the first Ebola victim in the fast-spreading outbreak to be evacuated to Europe — was in stable condition with no sign of bleeding. The hospital is not providing medical updates for the missionary, at his request. A weakened Pajares arrived in Madrid aboard a special hospital plane along with 65-year-old Spanish nun Juliana Bonoha Bohe. The nun had been cleared of Ebola before leaving Liberia, but doctors at Madrid’s La Paz-Carlos III hospital repeated the blood test on Thursday and said they would do so again in four days. The Hospitaller Brothers asked Madrid on Tuesday to “urgently” repatriate Pajares, Bonoha Bohe, Pascaline, and a Guinean-born nun, Paciencia Melgar, who was also infected with the virus. But officials said they would evacuate only the Spanish nationals.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

What Is God Saying about Ebola?

first_imgMany Liberians claim to be depending on God to protect them from the outbreak of the Ebola Virus, but are on the other hand holding unto mindsets and attitudes completely opposite to the mindset and attitudes God wants them to have towards such a contagious and infectious disease.Many believe they don’t need to take any extra care because God will protect them. Others believe that there is no need to do so because God has already decided who will live and who will die. These beliefs, mindsets and attitudes are completely false, misleading and are lies from the pit of hell… meant to ignorantly destroy the lives of those who hold such thinking and put the lives of many others at risk.Sickness and Diseases did not originate from God; they are the result of man’s SIN (disobedience, negligence, carelessness, failure to follow instructions, wickedness, etc.) that has shortened his life and made his body vulnerable to all kinds of weaknesses and external factors… including that of deadly viruses, that eventually leads to his death (Genesis 2 & 3). Because of disobedience, God may remove aspects of His protective covering from over a people. When this happens, they become exposed to afflictions like sicknesses and diseases… until they learn. (Num.12).Sickness and Diseases do not bring glory to God. God is glorified when we are healed, but He is not in the business of afflicting people just to receive glory from healing them. God is totally against sickness and diseases because they destroy His beloved creation and hinder His perfect will for man. This is why scripture says He anointed Jesus Christ to heal sickness and diseases (Matt. 8:23, Matt. 4:18). Though man will return to the dust, God’s preferred will is that he lives a full healthy life… to a ripe old age (Gen. 25:8, Psa. 90:10).We must know that when it comes to protecting us, God never leaves us out of it. In order for us to demonstrate how serious we are about our own protection, God gives us protective guidelines and principles to follow. These guidelines and principles become our part of the responsibility in His effort to protect us.In the case of infectious and contagious diseases for example, God has given guidelines and principles in His Word to follow in preventing their spread among people. Instructions like washing hands, feet, entire body and clothes are all common biblical cleanliness/health instructions. Other instructions like (1) reporting oneself to health authorities if suspected of having signs of a deadly infectious disease, (2) being tested by medical authorities, (3) being confined or quarantined if tested positive (4) burning of infected clothing and materials, etc., are all given by God to us as our part of the responsibility in His effort to protect us from such highly infectious diseases. Praying for the sick, for health workers and authorities, for the communities, for our families and our own selves are all further instructions.At the back are instructions (guidelines and principles) found in the Book of Leviticus, given by God outlining how the society and health authorities in Israel were to prevent the spread of Leprosy, a disease that was also highly infectious. These measures were given as principles to also be used in case of the outbreak of other similar infectious and contagious diseases like Ebola.When you read those verses of scripture, you will realize that God is saying He expects us to play the natural role given us by Him for our own protection… and He will play the supernatural role regarding our protection.Biblical Laws (Principles) Concerning Dreaded Skin Diseases (Or Highly Infectious/Contagious Diseases)The below passages outline guidelines that God gave Israel to follow in containing the infectious disease of Leprosy. It was also written to give us a clear picture of the type of attitude and actions God wants us to take towards highly infectious diseases… including that of EBOLA. (The comments in bold in parenthesis were added for broader understanding.)LEVITICUS 13:1-52 & 14:54-571 The Lord gave Moses and Aaron these regulations (guidelines & principles). 2 If anyone has a sore on his skin or a boil or an inflammation (or signs & symptoms of a disease) which could develop into a dreaded skin disease (or a highly infectious/contagious disease like Ebola), he shall be brought to the Aaronite priest (to the hospital to see a Doctor). 3 The priest (the Doctor) shall examine the sore (do a test), and if the hairs in it have turned white and the sore appears to be deeper than the surrounding skin (or if, as a result of the test a highly infectious virus like the Ebola virus is discovered), it is a dreaded skin disease (or a highly infectious/contagious disease), and the priest (the Doctor) shall pronounce the person unclean (or infected). 4 But if the sore is white and does not appear to be deeper than the skin round it and the hairs have not turned white (if the signs & symptoms appear but it is not yet certain of what it is), the priest (Doctor) shall isolate (confine) the person for seven days (for a period of time). 5 The priest (Doctor) shall examine him again on the seventh day (after a period of time), and if in his opinion the sore looks the same and has not spread, he shall isolate (confine) him for another seven days (period of time). 6 The priest (Doctor) shall examine him again on the seventh day, and if the sore has faded and has not spread, he shall pronounce him ritually clean; it is only a sore. The person shall wash his clothes and be ritually clean. 7 But if the sore spreads after the priest (Doctor) has examined him and pronounced him clean, he must appear before the priest (Doctor) again. 8 The priest (Doctor) will examine him again, and if it has spread (the virus is present), he shall pronounce him unclean; it is a dreaded skin disease (highly infectious/contagious disease)…45 A person who has a dreaded skin disease (a highly infectious/contagious disease) must wear torn clothes, leave his hair uncombed, cover the lower part of his face, and call out, “Unclean, unclean!” 46 He remains unclean as long as he has the disease, and he must live outside the camp, away from others (until of course his disease is healed. This does not mean the sick should be neglected or abandoned to die. It rather means they should be identified, separated and well cared for to get well).47 When there is mildew (or signs of contamination) on clothing whether wool or linen, 48 or on any piece of linen or wool cloth or on leather or anything made of leather, 49 if it is greenish or reddish, it is a spreading mildew and must be shown (or turned over) to the priest (or Doctor). 50 The priest (Doctor) shall examine it and put the object away for seven days (a period of time). 51 He shall examine it again on the seventh day, and if the mildew has spread, the object is unclean (contaminated). 52 The priest shall burn (destroy) it, because it is a spreading mildew (or infectious disease) which must be destroyed by fire……Chapter 14:54-5754 These are the laws about dreaded skin diseases (highly infectious diseases); 55-56 sores, boils, or inflammations (including symptoms of Ebola); and about mildew in clothes or houses. 57 These laws determine when something is unclean and when it is clean.NOTE: God is saying He expects us to play the natural role given us by Him for our protection, and He will play the supernatural role. To those who have ears, eyes, and minds, let them heed what the LORD is saying to His people. If we do this, divine protection is guaranteed.WARNING: Those who have chosen to take God’s instructions for granted, thereby directly or indirectly putting their lives and the lives of others at risk, keep in mind that God is watching you. Beware that what you sow today, you may reap tomorrow… when you think all is well with you. About the Author:Frey Bedell is the founder and executive director of Christ-Centered Ministries and Fit to Rebuild, a Liberian NGO. He can be reached on 0777318444 or 0886920920. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Rescue Ganta Immediately!

first_imgThe deadly Ebola virus is raging unstoppably in Liberia, ravaging lives and disrupting life as we knew it, including our already fragile economy.Our ever alert Nimba Correspondent Ishmael Menkor told the nation Friday that within the last 48 hours the virus had claimed 10 lives. This is indeed alarming, and calls for a rapid response, lest Ebola overtakes not only Ganta, one of the nation’s largest commercial hubs outside the capital, Monrovia, but the whole of Nimba County as well.There have already been many deaths in Sanniquellie, Nimba’s capital, in Saclapea and in Tappita, some of the county’s leading towns.  To date, there have been 105 suspected, probable and confirmed Ebola deaths.  The situation is so bad that County  authorities have suspended one of the most important economic activities—the weekly “market days” in various towns.  The reason, to limit people from distant towns and other places,   including other counties, coming into close contact with one another, as happens on all market days throughout Liberia.Ever since Dr. George Way Harley, the ingenious American Methodist missionary doctor, built the Ganta Hospital, it has been a blessing not only to the Nimba people but to many from southeastern Liberia and even Bong County as well.  Dr. Harley came to Liberia in 1926 as part of the Harvard Medical Expedition, and once he set foot in Ganta, he never left.  He built the Ganta Methodist Mission, the hospital, including a nursing school, and a leper colony, to help people in that part of Liberia afflicted with leprosy.But today, Ganta Methodist Hospital is down.  It has been hard hit by Ebola, leading many of its staff to shun their duties for fear of catching the virus.  They would not have had to do that had they been equipped with the personal protective equipment (PPE) required in such a dangerous health and medical environment.  But Ganta Hospital seems to have been forgotten.  We cannot understand why the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH) has not undertaken a rapid response to this hospital, which for decades has been, before the Chinese built the  Jackson F. Doe Hospital in Tappita, the main medical institution in Liberia’s second most populous county—Nimba.ArcelorMittal, the iron ore giant operating the mines in Yekepa, is building Ebola treatment at the Ganta Hospital, but it has been slow to complete.  Nor is there any indication of the rapid supply of equipment, PPEs and other necessities demanded by such a facility at such a critical time, when lives are being lost on an hourly basis to a deadly, incurable virus that now seems  clearly now out of control.We do not know why it has taken the iron ore giant so long to complete the Ebola treatment facility.  Nor do we know how long it will take the MOH to send in the equipment and supplies required to make the facility effective.This brings us immediately to the doorsteps of United States military and medical contingent which President Barrack Obama has graciously deployed in Liberia to help us defeat Ebola.  We know that it will take them time for all of their men, equipment and supplies to arrive and be made ready for deployment, but we appeal to Major General Darryl Williams, head of the contingent, to visit Ganta ASAP.  This visit will enable him and his health and medical team to understand the urgency of the situation and engineer a rapid response to halt the Ebola carnage.General Williams has already met with Defense Minister Brownie Samukai and reassured him that they are here to help defeat the virus.   We pray that the Defense and Health Ministers will help speedily to facilitate the General’s visit to Ganta, in order to organize and implement a rapid response to this looming catastrophe in Nimba County.       Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

I’m Happy That We Can Shake Hands Again

first_imgVice President Joseph Boakai has expressed joy that Liberians are once more able to do their traditional handshake.The famous Liberian handshake resumed immediately following the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday, May 9, that Liberia is now Ebola virus transmission free.Guess who did the first public handshake? To prove that the nation was now Ebola transmission free, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf shook the hands of WHO Rep., Dr. Alex Gasasira moments after he read the WHO Declaration and also US Ambassador Deborah Malac. Before that day, the President has not shaken anyone’s hand openly for more than six months, because touching is one way to spread the disease. The declaration was made after the country had endured the torments of the horrifying virus for nearly 415 days during which it killed over 4,000 people.The famous Liberian handshake requires both the right hands of two individuals to engage firmly together their thumbs and middle fingers in a snap, making a loud, joyful sound.May 9 was the 359th Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Meeting day, which was being held at the Incident Management System (IMS) on 18th Street in Sinkor.Mr. Luke Bawo, Head of Epidemic Surveillance, the man who leads the IMS group that takes stock of the daily Ebola happenings around the country, announced that the entire country was now “green,” meaning that the entire nation is now free of the viral transmission.Even though Mr. Bawo said it, more than 100 days had passed that Lofa County, which was the entry point of the Ebola virus disease into the country, had not reported any confirmed case despite its borders with Sierra Leone and Guinea, both of which are still reporting confirmed cases of the virus. In March 2014, a Liberian lady who was married to a Guinean crossed back into Liberia after her husband had reportedly died of the virus. She became sick and also died. It was confirmed that she had died of the virus. From that point on, the virus began to gradually spread throughout the country.Lofa’s predominantly Muslim Quardu Gboni District was worst hit with reports of over 500 persons dying in Barkedu Town. Lofaians came together and abandoned some of their traditional practices, including bathing and touching their dead relatives. It was a hard thing to do, but they did. Being the first to let Ebola in, it was the first to get rid of the disease. Vice President Boakai, himself a Lofaian, having visited the county, including Barkedu during the height of the crisis, decided to go back after the WHO declaration to thank the people of the county for working together to flush out the deadly virus.He was visibly elated to shake hands with his kinsmen and women again throughout his week-long tour of the county. He told them: “We feel that we are home now. We thank God for what He did to protect our people from Ebola. You listened to our President and kept the rules. We are happy that we can shake hands again.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ownership & management of the sugar industry

first_imgDear Editor,In a recent letter to the media, I strongly advocated the return of the sugar industry to private ownership or management, which is independent of the Government; because its current status as a nationalised industry has been largely responsible for its sad decline from profitability under private ownership to now limping along on virtual ‘life-support’ because of ineffective management, low production, poor productivity, and continuing losses.Because no industry can, or should, continue under such circumstances, I repeated what was also recommended by the Commission of Inquiry into the Sugar Industry, and in this context remind readers that the industry was indeed performing much better when it was under private ownership or private management contract— an objective fact, not an opinion.I was therefore most surprised to see in sections of the media a rather personal letter by a Patricia Persaud implying that my recommendations were not based on objective facts, but on my antecedents in the sugar industry; which she suggests were far removed from the struggles of the sugar workers. She apparently has a bias, and certainly does not know me. I would therefore recommend that she carefully reads my autobiographic account of the sugar industry, titled “A Product of Guyana’s Bitter-Sweet Sugar”, which is currently under publication. Pro-tem I say not!Sincerely,Nowrang Persaudlast_img read more

Thank God for men of conscience!

first_imgDear Editor,Mr Charrandas Persaud, the AFC Member of Parliament has voted in favour of the no-confidence motion thus paving the way for fresh elections in three months (90 days). Now this decision of his is of major significance in that it means that he has gone against the intentions of his party, and Government on a whole. It means that he has put his life on the line since the PNC, who is the major partner in this coalition are also notorious bullies known to have been associated with very heinous, ghastly acts when dealing with those whom they consider dissidents and subversives.Already there are open calls for his lynching from persons of the likes of a “vulgar” Lawrence in this PNC-controlled, PNC-dominated Government. He knows that there might very well be a grave and morbid outcome to his yes vote.Mr Charandass is a courageous and brave man of noble character, and as he rightly said, his conscience is clear now and he voted on that aspect. I commend Mr Charandass, in fact the nation of Guyana commends you on such a noble, brave, honest and straightforward approach to the political and social situation here in Guyana. Let the nonsense of a disgraceful PNC-controlled Government stop now! Let the stranglehold of backwardness cease now! I think he would have decided in the inner sanctum of his conscience I cannot go on living a lie, I have a soul, I must be true to myself. Enough is enough this country needs to breathe again.We commend him for standing up to a bully and making that altogether giant step in doing the right thing. God bless you and will take care of you Mr Charandass.Now this is just the first hurdle, the second – and I think this is the most important of all – is the removal of the unilaterally appointed Chairman James Patterson. For anything sane and fair to be accomplished at the elections commission this guy has to vacate that position, because the PNC will use him to commit another act of fraud against the people of this country.The PPP/C in the next few weeks will be on an entreaty of the appeal court to expedite the process of the rescinding of the appointment of a handpicked GECOM Chairman. Guyana must rise again on a free and democratically elected, peace loving, progressive thinking, Government.Respectfully submitted,Neil Adamslast_img read more

GECOM abdicating responsibility

first_imgDear Editor,The Federation of Inde-pendent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG), aggregately representing thousands of Guyanese workers, was expressly disturbed to learn that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from all appearances, has decided to abandon its functions to uphold and adhere to the Constitution of Guyana, Chapter 1:01 of the Laws of Guyana.The Federation could not help reaching such conclusions after it learnt that GECOM, without any apparent regard to the fast-approaching constitutional deadline for elections, has chosen, paradoxically, to proceed as if the situation were normal. The seeming complete ignorance of the ‘elephant in the room’ by the Government-appointed Commissioners and the President’s chosen Chairman, gives the impression that the independent, constitutionally-insulated, Commission has now become subjugated by the powers that be.As FITUG considered the decisions by GECOM we could not help but be reminded about some aspects of an editorial in sections of the media on February 11 where it was stated that “President Granger’s motive in selecting Justice Patterson as Chairman of GECOM has now been exposed for all and sundry to absorb. The fig leaf covering the President’s rejection of 18 names supplied by the Leader of the Opposition has now been fully exposed. Between them, President Granger and Justice Patterson have managed to recreate the spectre of the three-man Commission headed by Sir Harold Bollers, which presided over the last rigged general elections in 1985”.Indeed, when one considers the train of events vis-à-vis the current picture it’s hard not to arrive at such justifiable conclusions. The abrogation by GECOM of its duties is not a matter that can be treated lightly especially given its importance to upholding our cherished democracy. It is now incumbent on the Government, more so President Granger, not to countenance any violation of the Constitution seemingly with the intent to cling to power. The significant constitutional breaches must immediately come to an end and preparations for elections must commence in earnest.Regards,Federation ofIndependent TradeUnions of Guyana(FITUG)last_img read more

Rehabilitation work commences

first_imgBreached Mahaicony DamAfter a month of inundation, farmers and residents in the backlands of Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara can breathe easier as the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary-Agricultural Developmental Authority (MMA-ADA) has commenced rehabilitating two major breaches along the Perth Canal.MMA General Manager Aubrey CharlesDuring this month, Guyana Times had been highlighting that the unrepaired breach flooded hundreds of acres of farmlands during high tides as well as several residences along Company Dam, New Providence.This newspaper was told Monday that the MMA had deployed a hymac to the area on Friday to commence corrective works but some setbacks delayed the rehabilitation.When Guyana Times contacted farmers who were adversely affected, they related that they are overjoyed that works have finally begun.One female farmer noted however, that while she is appreciative of the works, small amounts of flooding still occurs at high tide. She is of the view that if the situation wasn’t highlighted in the media, nothing would have been done.General Manager of MMA Aubrey Charles when contacted last Tuesday confirmed that works would have begun. Based on an assessment, he noted that some months after the dam was constructed, it settled and thus its height was reduced.“After the settlement, the height of the dam was below the designed level,” Charles had told Guyana Times.The manager also said that the spring tide overflow caused soil erosions which facilitated the widening of the breaches, occasioning heavy flooding.The dam at Perth Canal which was rehabilitated around six months ago when dry weather was prevailing, collapsed shortly after. The farmers had earlier appealed to the MMA-ADA to repair the broken sections but their repeated calls were unheaded.They expressed frustration over the fact that the recent El Niño period was the ideal time to have done the repairs but nothing was done to assist them. Now that the rainy season has started, they lamented that they have to suffer losses.last_img read more

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