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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Holiday Event to Benefit Two Local Charities: Manna on Main Street and Laurel House

Press Release – COLMAR, Pa., Jan. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Two Philadelphia-area businesses are teaming with two local charities to help families in need make a fresh start in 2017.

“We’re excited to announce our partnership with Manna on Main Street and Laurel House, two fantastic organizations that are making a difference for people in need,” says Steve Erdman, president of Leather Expressions in Colmar.

“By teaming with Steve and his store, we’re able to have twice the impact for these charities by encouraging donations from both our customer bases,” says Jim Fossile, president of Ed’s TV, which shares a showroom with Leather Expressions in Colmar.

The Holiday Charity Event, now through January 16, encourages visitors to either retailer to make donations up to $500 to the charities. Donations are then rewarded with discounts of up to $500 on in-store purchases.

“There’s no limit to how much money we can raise for these outstanding charities, so we’re hoping for a big turnout. We’re also giving away a Sony Big Screen TV to one lucky person, in time to watch the Big Game in a few weeks,” says Erdman.

Why an event to benefit Manna on Main Street and Laurel House?

“Manna on Main Street ( is working to end hunger in the North Penn region by providing food, social services, and educational help. They have a very effective food pantry and soup kitchen, as well as financial aid and counseling,” says Erdman.

“Laurel House ( is committed to ending domestic violence in Montgomery County and beyond. We’re proud to support their emergency shelter, hotline support, and education services,” says Fossile.

Philadelphia-area residents in search of luxury leather furniture, big screen TVs, and high-end audio equipment can make a charitable donation in exchange for in-store savings, now through January 16, 2017 at the new combined location of Leather Expressions and Ed’s TV at 927 Bethlehem Pike, Colmar, PA 18915. Phone 215-631-1500 for store hours and details.

Details are found at:

“2017 to be decisive year to eradicate poliovirus”

ISLAMABAD: 2017, which starts on Sunday, will be a decisive one in making the poliovirus the second human disease, after smallpox, to be eradicated around the world.

Health experts believe that it is possible to eradicate the disease once and for all, but countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan have to intensify their efforts to eliminate the virus.

The virus has been eradicated in most countries, and over 90pc of its cases are reported from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Polio cases were also reported in Nigeria in 2016, after a two year interval, but it is expected that Nigeria will eradicate the virus.

An official from the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said Pakistan needs to do more, instead of blaming Afghanistan whenever a polio case is reported.

“It has become routine for Pakistan to blame Afghanistan and Afghanistan to blame Pakistan whenever polio cases are reported or the virus is found in samples,” he said.

“Pakistan has remained a matter of concern for the international community, and the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) for Polio are expressed concerns about the change in leadership of the polio programme, particularly in the provinces.”

The IMB for Polio works on behalf of international donor agencies, and issues biannual reports on countries’ performances. In November 2012, the board recommended travel restrictions on Pakistan – which were imposed on May 5, 2014. Because of this, the Pakistani government is bound to administer the polio vaccine to every person who intends to travel abroad.

The official said one of the major issues for the government are children who are missed during polio vaccination drives.

“It is a proven fact that the poliovirus can be completely eradicated if all the country’s children are administered the polio vaccine three times. Here, missed children become a reason for the spread of the virus,” the NHS ministry official said.

“Even today, some people think the polio vaccine is a conspiracy against them, which is why polio vaccination workers have been attacked and even killed a number of times. Awareness needs to be raised among the masses about the disease.

“Moreover, Pakistan and Afghanistan should coordinate more to eradicate the virus in both countries simultaneously,” he said.

A health expert said 19 polio cases were reported in Pakistan in 2016, of which eight were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh each. Two cases were reported from Fata, and one was reported from Balochistan.

“It is quite an achievement, because 54 cases were reported in 2015 and 306 cases were reported in 2014. Pakistan needs to do a little more work to eradicate the virus once and for all,” he said.

The coordinator for the National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio, Dr Rana Mohammad Safdar, said: “The virus has a natural ability to bounce back and try to survive, so we have been making all efforts to eradicate it.

Inaccessibility is no longer a barrier to reaching children – 96pc of the children who could not be vaccinated during vaccination campaigns for any reason are now being reached and vaccinated.”

“Demand for the inactivated polio vaccine, which is injectable, has also increased because people know it is very effective. We have the support of the medical and religious community, the media and local community leaders and organisations,” Dr Safdar added.

He said: “2017 has started on a positive note, and we want to finish the job as soon as possible. Misleading stories about unrelated incidents during the polio vaccination campaigns unnecessarily burden our efforts.

“After observing over 10 billion doses administered safely to over 2.5 billion children across the globe, the debate on vaccine safety and haram or halal should end now.”

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2017

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