Mwencha: “We are watching Liberia very closely…”The head of the African Union’s (AU) elections monitoring group in Liberia, Erastus Mwencha, yesterday re-emphasized the call for Liberians to ensure that the 2017 elections do not tear them apart and take the nation backward.“The AU in collaboration with ECOWAS and all other local and international partners are watching Liberia, the oldest independent African republic that set the agenda for continental independence from colonial rule. We are watching you as you people go through these elections,” Mwencha said.Addressing journalists at the Julius Berrian School on Peace Island, Congo Town, Montserrado District #10, he said the international community believes that Liberians are mature enough to maintain the peace and that they should do all it takes to keep it very close to their hearts.“Resources of all kinds, including time, money and the lives of foreign troops have been spent to bring you together as a people and put an end to the civil conflicts. Now is the time for all of you to prove to the international community that you are prepared to handle your own affairs with no need of destroying lives and properties as it was done some years back,” he said.“It is encouraging to see people coming out in large numbers and they are very enthusiastic to exercise their democratic right. This is a historical electoral process intended for a peaceful transition of power from one democratically elected president to another in almost a century since 1944 as your history explains. Therefore, we believe that this will stand as a beacon of hope for the sub-region and even beyond,” Mwencha noted.He said Liberia is a history-making nation in so many aspects. “This nation was the first to elect a woman president on the continent of Africa as well as the first and only African country that has produced a global best football player. It has lots of achievements in the collective history of the continent and the world at large,” he said.Touching more on the voting process as he toured precincts across Monrovia and its environs, he said: “As for now we have been at five polling stations and we saw that the process has started on a good note except that the identification process of voters’ information by polling staff is very slow.” He recommended that the National Elections Commission (NEC) see reason and allow all voters in queues across the country cast their votes even if its 6 p.m. deadline expires, a position that the NEC has already said it has allowed.He wished the country well and admonished all stakeholders to allow the electoral process to be transparent and credible.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The new study recruited men over 49 with enlarged prostates who had moderate to severe symptoms. They took 160 milligrams of saw palmetto twice a day or similar-looking dummy capsules. At each visit, they filled out a symptoms survey and their urine flow was measured. After a year, there was no significant difference between the groups in symptom changes or other measures, the researchers reported. Bent said the dummy capsule was carefully designed to match the brown color, bitter taste and strong odor of the extract. At the end of the study, 40 percent in the saw palmetto group and 46 percent in the comparison group thought they were getting the extract, showing it was well disguised. “It’s a theory of ours, but we think that that might be one of the reasons that our study didn’t work, whereas prior studies did work,” Bent said, suggesting that men in other studies may have figured out they were getting a placebo. A larger study of herbal remedies, including saw palmetto, is in the final planning stages. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The findings are published in today’s New England Journal of Medicine. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder. Benign enlargement is a common condition as men age, and it causes problems with urination. This condition has nothing to do with prostate cancer. The saw palmetto is a small palm native to the southeastern United States. The extract comes from its olive-size berries and is sold over-the-counter in capsule form. It is the third-highest-selling herbal dietary supplement in the U.S., after garlic and echinacea, according to the American Botanical Council. Unlike prescription drugs, dietary supplements do not need government approval. Bent said he and his colleagues picked saw palmetto to study because of its widespread use and positive findings from previous studies, which were smaller and shorter than his federally funded research. Some of his colleagues have received fees or support from drug makers. NEW YORK – A popular herbal pill used by millions of men doesn’t reduce the frequent urge to go to the bathroom or other annoying symptoms of an enlarged prostate, a rigorous new study concludes. The yearlong research found the plant extract, saw palmetto, was no more effective than dummy capsules in easing symptoms for the 225 men in the study. The results contrast with previous research that showed it helped. “This certainly sheds some doubt on whether the product’s effective and suggests that it might not work,” said the lead researcher, Dr. Stephen Bent, of the San Francisco VA Medical Center. More than 2 million American men take the herb to treat an enlarged prostate and it is widely used in Europe, the researchers said. Until their results are confirmed by more studies, men who take saw palmetto and feel it works should probably keep using it, Bent said.