South Africa’s public health system is a countrywide network of care facilities ranging from mobile and rural clinics to huge academic hospitals in the urban centres.A new mother takes her baby for a checkup and vaccinations at a local clinic. (Image: Department of Health)In this article:IntroductionExpenditure on healthNational, provincial and localNational Health InsuranceFacilitiesDoctor shortagesStatutory bodiesLegislationHealth profile: HIV, TB, maternal and child health, malariaTraditional medicineIntroductionHealth care in South Africa varies from the most basic primary health care, offered free by the state, to highly specialised, hi-tech health services available in the both the public and private sector.However, the public sector is stretched and under-resourced in places. While the state contributes about 40% of all expenditure on health, the public health sector is under pressure to deliver services to about 80% of the population.The private sector, on the other hand, is run largely on commercial lines and caters to middle- and high-income earners who tend to be members of medical schemes. It also attracts most of the country’s health professionals.This two-tiered system is not only inequitable and inaccessible to a large portion of South Africans, but institutions in the public sector have suffered poor management, underfunding and deteriorating infrastructure. While access has improved, the quality of health care has fallen.The situation is compounded by public health challenges, including the burden of diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis (TB), and a shortage of key medical personnel.However, the South African government is responding with a far-reaching reform plan to revitalise and restructure the South African health care system, including:Fast-tracking the implementation of a National Health Insurance scheme, which will eventually cover all South Africans.Strengthening the fight against HIV and TB, non-communicable diseases, as well as injury and violence.Improving human-resource management at state hospitals and strengthening co- ordination between the public and private health sector.Deploying “health teams” to communities and schools.Regulating costs to make health care affordable to all.Increasing life expectancy from 56.5 years in 2009 to 58.5 years in 2014.ExpenditureThe bulk of health-sector funding comes from the South Africa’s National Treasury. The health budget for 2012/13 was R121-billion, which was aimed at improving hospitals and strengthening public health ahead of the National Health Insurance scheme.In 2011, total spend on health was R248.6-billion – or around 8.3% of GDP, way above the 5% recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Despite this high expenditure, health outcomes remain poor when compared to similar middle-income countries. This can largely be attributed to the inequities between the public and private sector.According to the National Treasury’s Fiscal Review for 2011, the GDP spend on health was split as follows:R120.8-billion (48.5%) in the private sector, which covers 16.2% of the population or 8.2-million people, many of whom have medical cover.R122.4-billion (49.2%) in the public sector, which is made up of 84% of the population, or 42-million people, who generally rely on the public health care sector.The remaining R5.3-billion (2.3%) is donor and NGO spend.See South Africa gears up for National HealthThe latest budget on the National Treasury’s websiteNational, provincial and localBefore South Africa’s first democratic elections, hospitals were assigned to particular racial groups and most were concentrated in white areas. With 14 different health departments, the system was characterised by fragmentation and duplication. But in 1994 the dismantling began, and transformation is now under fully under way.However, high levels of poverty and unemployment mean health care remains largely the burden of the state. The Department of Health holds overall responsibility for health care, with a specific responsibility for the public sector.Visit the Department of HealthProvincial health departments provide and manage comprehensive health services, via a district-based, public health-care model. Local hospital management has delegated authority over operational issues, such as the budget and human resources, to facilitate quicker responses to local needs.Public health consumes around 11% of the government’s total budget, which is allocated and mostly spent by the nine provinces. How these resources are allocated, and the standard of health care delivered, varies from province to province.A Health Charter has been devised with the aim of creating a platform for engagement between sectors to address issues of access, equity and quality of health services as well as issues of broad-based black economic empowerment and employment equity.Download a copy of the Revised Draft Health Charter [PDF]South Africa has more than 110 registered medical schemes, with around 3,4-million principal members (and 7,8-million beneficiaries).See the Council for Medical Schemes, an autonomous statutory body created by parliament.Hundreds of NGOs make an essential contribution to HIV, Aids and TB, mental health, cancer, disability and the development of public health systems. The part played by NGOs – from a national level, through provincial and local, to their role in individual communities – is vitally important to the functioning of the overall system.National Health InsuranceThe Department of Health is focused on implementing an improved health system, which involves an emphasis focus on public health, as well as improving the functionality and management of the system through stringent budget and expenditure monitoring.Known as the “10-point plan”, the strategic programme is improving hospital infrastructure and human resources management, as well as procurement of the necessary equipment and skills.Under this plan, health facilities – such as nursing colleges and tertiary hospitals – are being upgraded and rebuilt to lay the way for the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme.The NHI is intended to bring about reform that will improve service provision and health care delivery. It will promote equity and efficiency to ensure that all South Africans have access to affordable, quality health care services regardless of their employment status and ability to make a direct monetary contribution to the NHI Fund.The NHI will be phased in over 14 years, beginning in 2012. In 2012/13, the government earmarked R1-billion to its pilot projects.Apart from infrastructure and management overhauls, another factor for ensuring the success of the NHI will be the strict regulation of the sector to make it more affordable to all South Africans.See the Department of Health’s FAQs on the NHIFacilitiesThere are 4 200 public health facilities in South Africa. People per clinic is 13 718, exceeding WHO guidelines of 10 000 per clinic. However, figures from March 2009 show that people averaged 2.5 visits a year to public health facilities and the usable bed occupancy rates were between 65% and 77% at hospitals.Since 1994, more than 1 600 clinics have been built or upgraded. Free health care for children under six and for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers was introduced in the mid-1990s.The National Health Laboratory Service is the largest pathology service in South Africa. It has 265 laboratories, serving 80% of South Africans. The labs provide diagnostic services as well as health-related research.See the National Health Laboratory ServiceDoctor shortagesIn March 2012, 165 371 qualified health practitioners in both public and private sectors were registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, the health practitioner watchdog body. This includes 38 236 doctors and 5 560 dentists.The doctor-to-population ratio is estimated to be 0.77 per 1 000. But because the vast majority of GPs – 73% – work in the private sector, there is just one practising doctor for every 4 219 people.In response, the Department of Health has introduced clinical health associates, midlevel health-care providers, to work in underserved rural areas.About 1 200 medical students graduate annually. In some communities, medical students provide health services at clinics under supervision. Newly graduating doctors and pharmacists complete a year of compulsory community service in understaffed hospitals and clinics.In an attempt to boost the number of doctors in the country, South Africa signed a co- operation agreement with Cuba in 1995. South Africa has since recruited hundreds of Cuban doctors to practice here, while South Africa is able to send medical students to Cuba to study.South Africa believes the Cuban opportunity will help train the doctors it so desperately needs for the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme.Other agreements exist with Tunisia and Iran, as well as between Johannesburg Hospital and Maputo Central Hospital.The government has also made it easier for other foreign doctors to register here.The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa had 3 773 registered “complementary health” practitioners in 2012.See the Allied Health Professions Council of South AfricaStatutory bodiesStatutory bodies for the health-service professions include:Allied Health Professions Council of South AfricaCouncil for Medical SchemesHealth Professions Council of South AfricaMedicines Control CouncilThe National Health Laboratory ServiceSouth African Dental Technicians CouncilSouth African Medical Research CouncilSouth African Nursing CouncilSouth African Pharmacy CouncilLegislationThe National Health Act, 61 of 2003, provides a framework for a single health system for South Africa. The Act provides for a number of basic health care rights, including the right to emergency treatment and the right to participate in decisions regarding one’s health.The implementation of the Act was initiated in 2006, and some provinces are engaged in aligning their provincial legislation with the national Act.Other legislation relating to health care, some recently passed, include laws which aim to:Ensure all health establishments comply with minimum standards through an independent entity (National Health Amendment Bill, 2010)Make drugs more affordable and provide for transparency in the pricing of medicines (Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act, 59 of 2002)Regulate the medical schemes industry to prevent it from discriminating against “high risk” individuals like the aged and sick (Medical Schemes Act, 1998)Legalise abortion and allow for safe access to it in both public and private health facilities (Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, 92 of 1996)Limit smoking in public places, create public awareness of the health risks of tobacco by requiring certain information on packaging, and prohibt the sale of tobacco produces to anyone younger than 18 (Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act, 23 of 2007)Provide for the introduction of mandatory community service for nurses (Nursing Act, 2005)Introduce a process to develop and redesign mental health services so as to grant basic rights to people with mental illnesses (Mental Health Care Act, 2002)Allow non-pharmacists to own pharmacies, with the aim of improving access to medicines (Pharmacy Amendment Act, 2000). This came into effect during May 2003.Other important developments in health care policy and legislation include:The Health Professions Amendment Bill of 2006The Traditional Health Practitioners Act, 35 of 2004Regulations relating to the Labelling and Advertising of Foodstuffs came into effect in May 2012, and aim to empower citizens to make healthy food choices.Find full copies of health-related Acts, Bills, and other legal documents on the Department of Health’s websiteHealth profileHIV and tuberculosisAids and other poverty-related diseases such as tuberculosis and cholera place a tremendous strain on South Africa’s health care system. According to Statistics South Africa, in 2011:The overall HIV prevalence rate was 10,6%. About one-fifth of South African women in their reproductive ages were HIV positive.There were 5,38-million people living with HIV. This was up from 4,21-million in 2001.16,6% of the adult population (aged 15-49) years was HIV positive.There were about 2,01-million orphans due to HIV.New HIV infections for 2011 among adults was estimated at 316 900.An estimated 1,06-million adults and 105 123 children were receiving antiretroviral treatment in 2010. This was up from 101 416 and close to 12 000 children in 2005.In May 2012, the government said it had cut the mother-to-child transmission rate from 3.5% in 2010 to less than 2%. It also said the rate of new infections had dropped from 1.4% to 0.8% in the 18 to 24 age groups.South Africa’s HIV/Aids battle planHealth sector overhaul on track: reportHIV and TB are dangerous bed fellows: the co-infection rates exceed 70%, with TB being the most common opportunistic infection in HIV-positive patients.Because of late detection, poor treatment management, drug-resistant forms of TB (known as DR-TB or multidrug-resistant TB; and XDR TB or extensively drug-resistant TB) have increased significantly, with about 5 500 cases diagnosed during 2009.See the WHO’s factsheet on tuberculosisIntegrating the double scourge of HIV/Aids and TB for the first time, the government has launched the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and TB for 2012 – 2016. It is shored up by a provincial implementation programme.The plan seeks to address the social structural drivers of HIV/Aids, STD and TB care, prevention and support; to prevent new infections; to sustain health and wellness; and to protect human rights and access to justice of sufferers.The HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign was launched in April 2010 – by mid- 2012, almost 20-million people had been tested and knew their status. Millions were also screened for TB.Increasing the number of anti-retroviral sites as well as nurses certified to initiate ARV treatment has seen 1.7-million people placed on ARV treatment, from 1.1-million in 2009. South Africa has the largest ARV therapy programme in the world, and an improved procurement process has seen a 50% decrease in the prices of ARV drugs.Download the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and TB for 2012 [PDF]Download the Global Aid Response Progress Report 2012 [PDF]Visit UNAids profile of South Africa, which includes statistics and progress reportsMaternal healthSouth Africa is a signatory to several international commitments such as the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seeks to address the health needs of women and children. However, in South Africa the health of mothers and children remains poor.According to statistics from WHO, South Africa has a maternal mortality ratio of 310 deaths per 100 000 lives births. The infant (under-1) mortality rate in 2010 was 41 deaths per 1 000 live births, while the under-5 mortality rate was 57 per 1 000 live births.Under the national prevention of mother-to-child (PMTCT) programme, every pregnant woman is offered HIV testing and counselling. If a woman tests positive for HIV, she is put on to a regime of anti-retroviral therapy to avoid transmitting the virus to her baby, and is offered a continuum of treatment, care and support for herself and her infant.But it is really access and utilisation of antenatal care services that most influence pregnancy outcome, child survival and maternal health. The renewed focus on primary health and the improving and expanding the health system infrastructure should go some way to addressing the high mortality rates – and get South Africa closer to the MDG target of reducing infant mortality to 20 by 2015.The Department of Health has a strategic plan in place which identifies “priority interventions” that will have the greatest influence on reducing mortality rates, as well as enhancing gender equity and reproductive health.The campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA), an African Union initiative, was launched in May 2012 and aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates.Download the Strategic Plan for Maternal, Newborn, Child and Women’s Health and Nutrition in South Africa 2012 – 2016 [PDF]See the UN website on its Millennium Development GoalsRead more about the African Union’s CARMMA campaignChild healthImmunisation is a significant barrier against disease and death, and the rates of children receiving their primary vaccines have steadily been increasing under immunisation programmes. These aim to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, TB, cholera and pertussis.Measures to improve child health also include the expansion and strengthening of school health services and the establishment of district clinical specialist teams.Other prevention services, such as regular deworming and growth monitoring, help protect children’s health.The Health of our Children report in 2010, which surveyed 8 966 children, found that HIV prevalence among infants (age 0 to 2 years) was 2.1%, lower than the 3.3% average in the age 0 to 4 years, suggesting a positive impact of the national Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission programme, begun in 2006.Download a copy of the Health of our Children reportMalariaMalaria is not endemic in South Africa, and does not pose a major health risk. According to the WHO’s World Malaria Report 2010, only 4% of the population is at high risk of malaria and 6% at low risk, while 90% live in malaria-free areas. Almost all cases are caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Transmission occurs seasonally, with peak rates of infection occurring in April and declining by June.See the WHO’s Malaria Country Profile, 2010 for South Africa [PDF]Traditional medicineAn estimated 80% of South Africans consult with traditional healers alongside general medical practitioners.The Medical Research Council (MRC) founded a traditional medicines research unit in 1997 to introduce modern research methodologies around the use of traditional medicines. It also aims to develop a series of patents for promising new entities derived from medicinal plants.See the MRC’s Traditional Medicines Research UnitBrand South Africa reporterLast reviewed: 2 July 2012Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels India is on right track in its preparations for next year’s World Cup and resting five senior players to test bench strength in the ODI series against Australia was a right decision taken by the selectors.”The decision to drop five senior players for ODI series against Australia has been a brave one. Sehwag and Gambhir are the best opening duo in the world and Sachin is like old wine, getting better every day. More than the batsmen, the decision to rest Zaheer and Harbhajan will definitely impact the bowling attack. But I am sure this is for a justified cause. Even if India lose the ODI series against Australia, there will be nothing to worry,” Akram said.”Indian cricket is surely on the right track. The Test series win against Australia justified their status as world number one and I must laud the national selectors for doing a good job in picking a balanced side for the two matches,” Akram wrote in his column for ESPN Star Sports.Akram said at a time when Pakistan’s selectors were groping in the dark, their Indian counterparts were taking some wise decisions which will impact the future. “At this stage, all nations must be planning for the World Cup early next year and I think, India seem to be making the right moves,” said the legendary fast bowler.He said India’s bench strength is now well established and because of that the selectors rested five senior players against a strong team like Australia. “India’s bench strength has been well established now and this is a great sign. Even a few years ago, Indian selectors would not have dared to rest five of the best players in the country against Australia,” he added.advertisement”India are by no means a weak side (even without five senior players). Folks like Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh are good enough and Australia will not have it easy.”This is a great opportunity for youngsters like Saurabh Tiwari and Shikhar Dhawan to prove themselves. I am sure, at the end of the New Zealand series, the Indian selectors will have a problem of plenty.” Akram felt that Indian cricket board should take quick decisions in the IPL mess so that the Twenty20 league is held without any hitch next year.”The only thing that is worrying me in Indian cricket is the crisis over the IPL. Whatever it is, the BCCI should quickly make its decisions so that the ‘clean’ franchises can plan ahead and make the tournament a success.”NEW CODE OF CONDUCT FOR PAKISTAN PLAYERSThe PCB has introduced a revised code of conduct for its players in line with recommendations made by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for stricter implementation of anti-corruption laws.”Pakistan’s squad must sign the new code before leaving for a Twenty20, one-day and Test series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates later this month,” manager Intikhab Alam said.The new code has been prepared keeping in mind recommendations made by the ICC. “There is a lot more stress on creating awareness among players about anti-corruption laws and regulations,” Alam said, adding that the new guidelines also encompassed domestic cricket.”We don’t want a repeat of what happened in England. I myself have given a detailed briefing to the players about the code of conduct,” he said.Three Pakistan players — Test captain Salman Butt and pace duo Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif — have been suspended by the ICC while an investigation takes place into allegations they had deliberately arranged for no-balls to be delivered at during fourth Test against England at Lord’s in August.The trio, who has all denied wrongdoing, will attend an appeal hearing in Doha on October 30 and 31.Alam said that he had been given increased authority by the PCB to deal with indiscipline and misconduct.”The board has made it clear in the new code that the manager will waste no time in stamping out indiscipline in the team,” he added.
Indian discus thrower Krishna Poonia finished a creditable seventh in the women’s discus throw while the gold medal was won by Sandra Perkovic of Croatia in the 2012 London Games at the Olympic Stadium here on Saturday.Sandra took the gold with throw of 69.11 metres, a national record, while the silver medal was taken by Darya Pishchalnikova of Russia with 67.56 m and Li Yanfeng of China settled for the bronze medal at 67.22m.Poonia’s best effort of 63.62 m came in her fifth and penultimate attempt. The Commonwealth Games gold medallist had 62.42 m in the first attempt and 61.61 in the third and 61.31 in the sixth and the final throw. She had two no-throws in the second and the fourth attempt.Poonia’s efforts here were nowhere near her personal best of 64.76 m that she achieved three months back in Hawaii.
Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday clarified that the ‘Institution of Eminence’ tag has not been bestowed on the Jio Institute.Only a letter of intent has been given subject to conditions, said Prakash Javadekar.The HRD minister made the announcement during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha; several members sought clarity on the criteria on the basis of which the prestigious title was conferred on select institutions.Congratulations to @ManipalUni, @bitspilaniindia & Jio Inst for getting status of #InstituteofEminence. #TransformingEducation #48MonthsOfTransformingIndia@PIB_India @MIB_India pic.twitter.com/XpRsm8nxIQPrakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) July 9, 2018Committee of expertsFurther, Javadekar also said a committee of experts had made the selections after a thorough scrutiny. Other institutes that were given ‘Institution of Eminence’ tag:Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, KarnatakaIndian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, MaharashtraIndian Institute of Technology (IIT), DelhiJio Institute (Reliance Foundation), PuneBirla Institute of Technology & Sciences (BITS) Pilani, RajasthanManipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, KarnatakaThe Birla Institute of Technological Sciences, Pilani, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, and Jio Institute were recommended for issuance of letter of intent, as reported by PTI.Controversy around Jio InstituteEarlier this month, even Google had zero idea about the existence of the word Jio Institute.Interestingly, out of nowhere, the non-existing institute by Reliance Foundation found a place in the list of ‘Institute of Eminence’ along with many other renowned institutes of India.Moreover, the institute came up with its business plan to take students’ fee and earn from their tuition and hostel fee.advertisementRead: Jio Institute was counted among Institutes of Eminence: Here’s why it’s amusingThe fee will be paid by roughly 1,000 students in the first year of operation of the institute. It has projected to earn Rs 100 crore according to this plan, as reported.Also, the Reliance Foundation is also planning to waive off Rs 38 crore as scholarships for meritorious students in the first year.This will increase to Rs 76 crore in the second year, as per their application to the government — reported by Indian Express.Reliance Foundation’s proposalIn its first year, Jio Institute, as per its proposal, will be offering the following seats for these courses — offering the largest number of seats in the discipline of natural sciences.Natural Sciences: 300Engineering and Computer Science: 250Humanities: 200Management and Entrepreneurship:125Law: 90Media and Journalism: 60Performing Arts: 50Sports Sciences: 80Urban Planning and Architecture: 50Estimated expenditure:Operating expenditure for the first year: Rs 154 croreSalaries and benefits meant for faculty and staff: Rs 93 croreAccording to the Reliance Foundation’s claim, it will hire teachers from the top 500 global universities.Here’s how Twitterati reacted:Soon after, Prakash Javadekar, MHRD Union Minister made the announcement of Jio Institute, Twitterati started questioning over how a proposed university can be qualified for the Institute of Eminence tag.Students of Jio Institute working on a Prototype bike which runs on a single wheel and without fuel. pic.twitter.com/GgCvg1V3trJio lnstitute (@Jiolnstitute) July 10, 2018A Campus beyond boundaries and a toilet to keep campus Free from open defecation. pic.twitter.com/tsHSHY1HHsJio lnstitute (@Jiolnstitute) July 10, 2018jio:-…ALl is well…. #JioInstitute#saveindia pic.twitter.com/oV1JWzMxwb(@Badlegaind) July 9, 2018CPI leader D Raja speaks on top performing institutionsFurthermore, when CPI leader D Raja sought to know why top performing institutions like the IIT Chennai or JNU were not included, Javadekar said a panel had carried out the scrutiny and the government had maintained an arm’s length.Another supplementary question was raised by Raja, but before Javadekar could reply, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the questions should be directed through the chair.Here’s what Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said:”The mantri (minister) need not respond just because the Raja (King) has asked,” Naidu commented.Condition of educational infrastructure:While replying to another question, Javadekar listed the steps taken to improve the condition of educational infrastructure NSE 1.12 per cent in the country.An allocation of Rs 75,000 crore over the period from April 1 this year to March 31, 2020 has been approved under the Samagra Shiksha scheme, which was 20 per cent more than the current allocationsThe annual grant of Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 per school was approved for strengthening of libraries while the composite school grant has been raised from Rs 25,000 to one lakh from Rs 14,500 to 50,000, Javadekar saidAnnual grant for sports equipment was Rs 5,000 for primary schools, Rs 10,000 for upper primary and upto Rs 25,000 for secondary and senior secondary schools, he saidAllocation for children with special needs was also increased, including a stipend of Rs 200 per month for girls to be provided from class 1 to 12, he said, adding that the allotment for uniforms was enhanced from Rs 400 to Rs 600 per child per year.Read: Ishrita Gupta becomes new CBSE Class 12 topper in Nagpur after re-evaluation of marksadvertisement
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Real Betis coach Rubi urges calm: We’ll move forwardby Paul Vegas4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Betis coach Rubi has urged calm after defeat to Real Sociedad.While admitting he was worried, Rubi dismissed talk of relegation.“Everything worries me, I don’t want to see Betis where it is now, I don’t want to see Betis suffering but I am convinced that we will finish in a good position and we will pass 50 points,” he said. “You can remind me when the season is over.”Rubi added: “My personal situation does not worry me, I am convinced that we will move forward.”
When Thad Matta was coaching at Xavier in 2004, the Musketeers had a three-game stretch against Mississippi State, Texas and Duke. Each of those teams was ranked in the top 11 of the Associated Press poll, with MSU (No. 4) and Duke (No. 5) placed in the top five. Those contests came in the NCAA Tournament, as Matta led Xavier to its first-ever appearance in the Elite Eight before losing a close one to the Blue Devils, 66-63. “It was crazy,” Matta said Monday, who left Xavier after that season to coach Ohio State. As treacherous a task as that was for Matta and his team, his current Buckeyes squad is staring down a two-game trek that might be even tougher than the one Xavier faced in 2004. OSU will play two top-three teams in a six-day span this week. And these upcoming bouts will come in the regular season, not in March when consecutive battles against elite programs are commonplace. OSU, ranked No. 10 in the most recent AP poll, is set to take on No. 3 Michigan in Ann Arbor Tuesday night. After squaring off against the Wolverines, the Buckeyes return home Sunday to play the No. 1 team in the country, Indiana. “It’s another week,” Matta said so sarcastically he cracked a smile before finishing the sentence. Matta’s players weren’t as light-hearted in talking about the venture ahead. “It’s why you come to Ohio State and play in a conference like the Big Ten, for weeks like this,” said junior guard Aaron Craft. The Buckeyes’ leading scorer, Deshaun Thomas, agreed, saying he “loves a challenge.” “I’m hyped,” the junior forward said, who leads the conference in scoring at 20 points per game. At 7-2 in the Big Ten, OSU is a game back of the Hoosiers, who are all alone in first place. The Buckeyes share a tie of second with Michigan and Michigan State. OSU is 1-1 against those teams this season, beating Michigan at home but losing to the Spartans on the road. Every team in the Big Ten plays 18 conference games, so no two-game stretch at the midway point is going to decide the league champion. But if OSU wants to stay alive and well in the race for a fourth consecutive regular season title, winning at least one game this week might be necessary. Thomas would love to win both. “It’s going to mean a lot for this team, especially if we get two wins against Michigan, they’re highly ranked. If we get a win against IU, we know we got to go down there and it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be big if we can get these two wins,” he said. This week also represents a turning point in the season for the Buckeyes. OSU (17-4) is exactly halfway through its conference schedule, and they’ll likely be tested much more in the second half of the year than they were in the first. During their first nine Big Ten games, the Buckeyes played five of the worst six teams in the league, and only three of the six best. OSU’s second half includes two games against No. 1 Indiana (20-2), trips to No. 3 Michigan (20-2) and unranked Wisconsin (15-7), and home games against No. 12 Michigan State (18-4) and No. 18 Minnesota (17-5). In his ninth year coaching in the Big Ten, Matta said the league is as competitive as he’s seen it. “I think that probably from top to bottom it’s as good – and we haven’t seen everybody yet – but seeing on tape, seeing scores, seeing the standings, I would probably agree (it’s as good as ever),” Matta said. For now, though, OSU is just focusing on the Wolverines. The Buckeyes gave Michigan its first loss on Jan. 13 with a 56-53 win, also preventing the Maize and Blue from ascending to a No. 1 national ranking. “To be honest, we haven’t even talked about Sunday’s game,” Matta said. “Obviously the mindset is on tomorrow night’s game, knowing that they have a great team.” Michigan, ranked No. 1 last week, dropped in the polls after losing at Indiana Saturday night. Add in the fact that OSU beat the Wolverines the first time around in Columbus, and Michigan will be ready Tuesday night, Craft said. “There is no way we can try to look past this game in any way,” Craft said. Getting out to a fast start in Ann Arbor will be crucial for the Buckeyes, Craft said. In Michigan’s two losses this season, they fell in a big hole early and couldn’t recover. OSU, 3-3 on the road this season, probably needs to at least stay even with the Wolverines (undefeated at home) early to have a chance for an upset. Doing that will require solid defense, something OSU has relied on all season. “Defensively I think we’re pretty sound,” Matta said. “We’re trying to get our guys to have a prideful mentality in terms of getting stops. We want to continue to get them to understand we have to have that for 40 minutes.” That won’t be easy against the Wolverines, who are led by a National Player of the Year candidate and Columbus native Trey Burke. The sophomore point guard has potentially the country’s best sidekick in junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who averages 15.6 points per game. Two freshmen, guard Nik Stauskas and forward Glenn Robinson III, also average double figures in points. OSU has played three teams this season currently ranked in the top 12 by the AP in No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Kansas and No. 12 MSU, not including Michigan. The Wolverines are likely the toughest team the Buckeyes have had to defend. “With the number of people they can put out there, the number of people that can score the ball, it’s really tough to play normal defense when you’re worried about the number of shooters they have,” Craft said. Defending Michigan’s shooters is just one of the many challenges OSU is facing in the week ahead. Matta said his team is as close to being ready for the daunting task as he’d like them to be. “We had two good practices. I’ve never had a team exactly where I wanted it. I do think we’re making strides. We just have to continue to find that consistency and every night we take the floor, we need our guys to play the best that we can,” the 45-year-old coach said. OSU and Michigan are scheduled to tipoff at 9 p.m. Tuesday night in the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. The Buckeyes then take on Indiana at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Schottenstein Center.
Fred has thanked former Arsenal midfielder and agent Gilberto Silva for his role in helping him decide to join Manchester UnitedThe Brazil international turned down offers from Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and some clubs in China to sign for the Red Devils this summer.Fred was officially confirmed as a United player on a five-year deal in June after the club agreed to pay Shakhtar Donetsk £47m.And the 25-year-old has thanked his agent, Gilberto, for helping pave the way to Old Trafford.Gilberto played for Arsenal for five years and was a key member of the famous “Invincibles” squad that went the entire 2003/04 season unbeaten.Solskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“Gilberto was a top midfielder who played for Arsenal,” Fred told the club website.“But he has a lot of respect for Manchester United, who are obviously a big club here in England.“He praised the club a lot and, after he was granted the opportunity to speak to Jose Mourinho and other senior figures at United, we made the decision together for me to come here. We decided it would be a good move for me.“Gilberto is a top guy and his advice means a lot to me. He played in the same position as I do and he won the Premier League, so I look to him for inspiration, I listen to what he has to say and I take on board what he tells me.”Fred will now be hoping to make his third start for United in Monday’s Premier League game against Tottenham.
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius has completed his move to Turkish side Besiktas on a two-year loan deal.Karius has not played a competitive game for the Reds since committing two errors in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in May.The German, 25, has made 49 appearances for Liverpool since joining the club from Mainz in 2016. He was equally named on the bench in Liverpool’s game against West Ham.“Everybody at LFC wishes Loris the best of luck during his loan spell,” said a statement on Liverpool’s website.Jurgen Klopp opted to keep Simon Mignolet as the second choice goalkeeper considering his vast Premier League experience.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.The Merseysiders continued their winning start in the Premier League with a narrow 1-0 win over Brighton. The solitary strike from Mo Salah was enough to send the Reds to the top after Man City drew at Wolves.Karius will play in the Europa League if his new side seals a spot in the group stages.Besiktas contested the first leg of their Europa League play-off against Partizan on Thursday and continue their league schedule at home to Antalyaspor on Sunday evening.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez believes that Lionel Messi is one of the best players to watch in footballThe Spaniard, who led the Red Devils to a best-ever finish of third at the World Cup in Russia, revealed his admiration for Messi during for the futsal Champions League in Belgium.“Whatever is said about Leo Messi, there’s nothing new,” Martinez told the club website. “He is a player you can really enjoy,”“When he is out on the field, and he’s at a level like the one he showed in England, that’s something everyone can appreciate.”Messi has continued his fine performances for Barcelona this season with 11 goals and five assists in 11 games across all competitions.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.Manager Ernesto Valverde is determined to ensure that the Catalans do better in the Champions League this time around following their shock quarter-final exit at the hands of AS Roma last season.And things have got off to a strong start for Barcelona with convincing wins over PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham in their opening two games of Group B.“Barça, as well as other teams, are candidates to win it all. There aren’t too many teams around the world that are built to win it. They hope to compete for everything, and that doesn’t change with one good or a bad match,” said Martinez.“Every year the Champions League competition gets more and more difficult. It’s very difficult to find a team to win three years in a row, but this year it’s pretty balanced, and I think we will see one of the best competitions we’ve seen in recent years.”
KUSI Newsroom Posted: January 24, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, Vista Unified School District All Schools Showcase Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Vista Unified School District is putting on an All Schools Showcase an impactful and challenging educational program for students.The Mission Vista Steel Drum Ensemble visited Good Morning San Diego to preview what people can expect to see at the showcase.The Showcase will feature:Resource and information booths representing all schoolsOnsite registration and transfersMagnet school information and on site applications will be acceptedThe All Schools Showcase is Thursday, Jan 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Vista Innovation Center located at 836 Olive Ave. Vista, CA 92083For more information click here. January 24, 2019