Not SAI’s duty to treat Dutee so shabbily

first_imgSports View by S. Kannan.The Sports Authority of India has shown complete insensitivity in dealing with the plight of young and promising athlete Dutee Chand.Days before the Indian track and field team was to leave for Glasgow to compete in the Commonwealth Games, news broke that the Orissa girl was ineligible to compete because of an increased androgen level in her body. In the normal course, androgen (primarily testosterone) levels are usually associated with a male athlete. However, in case there is suspicion that a female athlete exhibits certain male characteristics and it gives her an extra edge over the field, there is cause for checking for hyperandrogenism.This is not the first time a female athlete from India has been embarrassed and made to feel like a dope cheat. Call it exuberance or sheer callousness, the way the SAI and the Athletics Federation of India has dealt with Dutee is awful.Sources in SAI say a test was called for by the AFI on the reigning 100 and 200 metres sprint champion as it felt something was amiss. Whether it was due to certain changed physical characteristics or something else is best known to the AFI.Then again, this is not the first time a female athlete at home has faced such trauma. To be sure, every other person knows the names of Shanti Soundarrajan, silver medalist at the 2006 Doha Asian Games, who failed a gender test.The name of Pinki Pramanik is even more famous, as the 2002 Busan Asian Games gold medalist flunked a gender test and was later accused of rape in Kolkata. If you talk to old timers who were part of India’s campaigns as long back as the 1978 Asian Games in Bangkok, a track and field athlete failed a gender test. Yet, the officials showed great care in keeping her name under wraps.advertisementAthlete Dutee Chand.Not many would know that the athlete in question was so traumatised, her teammates and coaches felt she could even have committed suicide at that point of time. Nobody went to the media and shouted out her name. Her anonymity is something which needs to be respected and she continues to work even today with the Indian Railways. Then again, in 1990, at the Beijing Asian Games, a woman hockey player failed a gender test and had to be sent home. In an age when TV channels were not around to rip open privacy and the internet did not exist, the player returned home safe and sound.Coming back to Dutee, it was not SAI’s duty to issue a press release and vilify her (without mentioning her name). Today, it is well known that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the international athletics body (IAAF) have stopped conducting gender tests as it has become so sensitive.Tests for hyperandrogenism are well prescribed and even in India the government has laid down the SOP (standard operative procedure) in black and white. If at all the SAI and AFI cared for Dutee, they would not have meted out such treatment to her. WHEN it comes to an athlete failing a dope test, what the SAI does is to inform the concerned federation and athlete. Once the ‘A’ sample comes positive, a test is ordered on the second sample called ‘B’. Mind you, nobody is in a hurry to tell the world a dope cheat has been caught.Benefit of doubt has to be given to athletes, as was the case in 2010 at home when so many athletes tested positive for MHA (methylhexanamine). The athletes said they were innocent and health supplements could be the cause. This time, Dutee has been painted like a cheat by the SAI, unmindful of the fact that she did not use anything to boost her hormone levels for achieving any advantage.In an age where the media feasts on sensational news, Dutee has become a victim for no fault of hers. As if to rub salt into the wounds, we have thick-skinned officials who tell us she could again compete as a female athlete if her androgen levels are below the prescribed limits of 2 nanograms per millilitre. For those unaware of the jargon, a nanogram is one-billionth of a gram!Logic demanded that the SAI and the AFI spoke to Dutee and her family in Orissa and pointed out that something was wrong. After that, she could have been pulled out of the squad. At least, that way, the young girl would not have been subjected to this kind of public humiliation where the average person now wonders if she is a boy or a girl.advertisementToday, when rape cases are mentioned, the name of the victim is not supposed to be given away. Take the case of the December 16, 2012 gang-rape victim in New Delhi. By and large, people have shown care in respecting her personal identity. The SAI, best known as a body which maintains stadia in India, cannot be allowed to get away with something which borders on character assassination. Athletes crave for respect, more so when they are down and out. Ideally, I would not have named the athlete, but it’s now out in full glare in public domain.s.kannan@mailtoday.inlast_img read more

‘Our Neighbourhood’ Grants

first_imgApplications are now open for the Australia Post Our Neighbourhood grants which are aimed at funding community projects that build a more healthy and inclusive Australia.Applications for the grants close on Friday, 28 June 2013, with one-off cash grant payments of between $1000 and $25,000 on offer, with grant amounts based around how strongly the community project or initiative includes and supports disadvantaged groups in Australia.The initiative is aimed at giving services that met these criterions a needed boost, in order to provide all Australians with necessary services, maintain and support diversity, grow community spirit and help areas recover from previous crisis.If you believe your community project or initiative may be eligible for a grant or to find out more information, please visit http://ourneighbourhood.com.au/grants/community-grants.html.Related LinksOur Neighbourhood Grantslast_img read more

Reader question: What’s a good framework for a fundraising plan?

first_imgToday, I’m answering another reader question. Beth asks:Can you provide a basic (simple) framework to create a fundraising plan (or resources to do so) – for a brand new nonprofit and their completely new to fundraising staff? Thanks!Here’s what Network for Good recommends in our Fundraising Campaign in a Box. (You can get the whole free kit here. It has worksheets, templates, etc.)1. Figure out what you’re trying to accomplish.Any campaign worth its salt is about getting results. What results are you and your organization looking to achieve? When you’re planning your outreach, remember these three tips:There is no such thing as “the general public”…Instead, you need to segment your communications to be effective and targeted.Some audiences are more important than others. Think about your goals and who holds the key to your success. Lack of participation from primary groups can cause your campaign to falter or fail.2. Determine how you’re going to accomplish your goals (tell a great story).So – you have groups of people and actions you want them to take. How are you going to tell your story in a compelling manner? What themes, messages and ideas are you going to take from your arsenal of content to encourage action? Need inspiration? Read How to Tap into the Heart and Soul of Your Organization When You Write.3. Determine which communications channels you’ll use.There are a variety of online and offline channels that you can use to send the right message to the right audiences. Examples of online channels include your website, search marketing, email marketing and social networking. Offline channels include things like direct mail, paid advertising and public relations.4. Decide which resources you need to get the job done.Ensure that you have all of your tools and resources in place to make your job-and the jobs of your audience(s)-as easy, effective and cost-effective as possible.Is email an important part of your plan, but you’re still communicating with supporters via Outlook? (eek! Stop what you’re doing and read 5 Steps to Choosing the Ideal Email Service Provider)Is your website well-branded and easy to use, with a clear way to donate?Is your website set up to take safe, secure online donations? (I of course recommend Network for Good!)5. Determine who will execute your campaign steps.Accountability will make or break the success of a campaign. As much fun as it is to pass the buck, now is as good a time as any to decide which members of your organization, board or volunteers are responsible for the different portions of your campaign.6. Lay out how you will measure your success.In the case of holiday fundraising, this could be as simple as a dollar sign with a number after it. But take a moment to consider what other goals you may have. Wow your organization’s Board and leadership with conversation rates, list-building, website traffic and any other number results into which they can sink their teeth.7. Set your timeline and benchmarks.One of the defining features of a campaign is that it has a defined start and end. Now that you have planned out the ‘who, what and why’ questions of your campaigns, it’s time to determine the when. Continue to build your campaign plan by setting ownership and deadlines for the associated activities. Begin with the end in mind – if your campaign will run from 11/1 – 12/31, work backwards to be sure that all activities will happen in a smooth manner. Don’t use magical thinking to set deadlines! Run activities in parallel if you are worried about compression time-wise.Good luck!last_img read more

Fundraising for a Cause? Look into Peer Fundraising

first_imgFundraising for a Cause? Look into Peer FundraisingPeer fundraising, also called peer to peer fundraising, has become a popular way to raise money, but it is also exceptionally useful for spreading the word about your cause. In addition to meeting your nonprofit fundraising goals, you also gain new supporters.How Peer Fundraising WorksYour existing supporters become your first line of outreach in a peer fundraising campaign. As with any fundraiser, you begin with your plan. Then, instead of just sending out your appeal, you also send out a request to forward your information, share on social media, etc. to your supporters’ own personal networks. With minimal effort, you are able to turn your supporters into advocates for your cause and have them help raise the money your organization needs.Keep It SimpleBecause you are so passionate about your cause, your organization, and fundraising, it can be tempting to provide your supporters with too much information. Your supporters can get easily overwhelmed if they feel like they are being asked to do anything that’s too involved. Therefore, ensure your peer fundraising materials are more simplified than what you might present otherwise.You still need to make a strong case, and nothing does that better than engaging stories. Make it clear with your heading that it is a story, and use a layout that indicates a quick read, as opposed to an academic presentation of the “facts,” so that people will be drawn in and not be afraid they don’t have the time to read it now.Peer Fundraising Is an Online EndeavorInclude links to your donation page wherever it’s appropriate. If your organization gains a supporter, but she can’t figure out how to contribute, then the effort was wasted. Your supporters know that they are asking for money and their friends recognize the technique by now.Taking advantage of peer fundraising has enabled even very small nonprofit fundraising efforts to reach huge numbers of people. Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet in this new, and fun, approach!Network for Good has a blog with more free information on how to be successful at nonprofit fundraising. We also have specialists available to discuss how we can help you get the most out of your peer fundraising efforts. Call us today at 1-855-229-1694 to learn more!last_img read more

Maternal Health Commodities: Looking Beyond Medicines

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 16, 2012October 12, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is part of a blog series on maternal health commodities. To view the entire series, click here.Written by: the Fistula Care team at EngenderHealth.The UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities is working to improve access to essential but overlooked maternal health medicines, such as oxytocin, misoprostol, and magnesium sulfate. This is welcomed, wonderful news: Proper access to these drugs will save the lives of many women every year. As we consider how to improve mothers’ health worldwide, however, we must recognize that life-saving medicines are only a part of the story. Facilities require equipment and supplies to save lives, too.On the USAID-funded Fistula Care project, we at EngenderHealth have given some thought to the essential obstetric equipment that hospitals should have on hand. As it turns out, very little on our equipment list is exclusively for genital fistula repair surgery. The same retractors, specula, scissors, scalpels, and forceps can largely be used not only to repair fistula, but also to enable health providers to carry out cesarean sections, laparotomy and other surgeries. That is, the same tools that enable trained surgeons to repair fistula can also allow hospital staff to provide the comprehensive emergency obstetric care that will prevent fistula – not to mention maternal deaths.Equipment requirements go beyond surgical kits: Autoclaves, operating tables, and appropriate lighting can improve care hospital-wide. All equipment – both large and small – must be appropriately maintained and, when necessary, repaired. Ensuring local capacity for maintenance and repair is therefore essential.A functioning surgical service also needs supplies – items like gloves, disinfectant, gauze, and sutures that will naturally be used up and need replenishing. These items share the supply chain needs of the essential medicines, and it follows logically that improving access to lifesaving drugs could efficiently translate into systems able to maintain and appropriately distribute necessary consumables, too.Costing of consumables for maternal health is acknowledged as an issue that has not received sufficient attention. Our recent cost study assessed the average consumption of supplies related specifically to fistula surgery. Just like our equipment list, most consumables for fistula repair overlap with those required for emergency obstetric care.Can the UN commission include equipment and consumables among its concerns? Perhaps not, since its specific focus is central to its success. Nevertheless, all players in the maternal health field would do well to keep in mind that lifesaving medicines are just part of the story. Properly maintained, functional equipment and appropriate consumables also save lives.Learn more about the Fistula Care project here.Share this:last_img read more

Over 28,000 Deaths in the First Day of Life in Bangladesh Reminds the Urgency of MNH Services Integration

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 6, 2014June 23, 2017By: Mohammod Shahidullah, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neonatology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical UniversityClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is part of the Maternal and Newborn Integration Blog Series, which shares themes of and reactions to the “Integration of Maternal and Newborn Health: In Pursuit of Quality” technical meetingA new mother and her six-day-old baby receive a postnatal check up at the new government clinic in Badulpur, Habijganj, Bangladesh. Photo: CJ Clarke/Save the ChildrenThe continuum of care has become a rallying call to reduce the maternal deaths, stillbirths, neonatal deaths, and child deaths. Continuity of care is necessary throughout the lifecycle (adolescence, pregnancy, childbirth, the postnatal period, and childhood) and also between places of caregiving (including households and communities, outpatient and outreach services, and clinical-care settings). Within the continuum, all women should have access to care during pregnancy and childbirth, and all babies should be able to grow into children who survive and thrive.Unfortunately in the modern era of medical science, the program efforts addressing the health of mothers and newborns are often planned, managed, and delivered separately; though, from a biological perspective, maternal and newborn health are intimately linked.Integration of maternal and newborn health is an important approach to avoid separation between a mother and her newborn baby, places of service delivery, or at any event of health services. A persistent divide between training, programs, service delivery, monitoring, and quality improvement systems on maternal and newborn health limits effectiveness to improve outcomes. But it is evident that at the public health level, even with scarce human and financial resources, integrated service packages can maximize the efficiency for health services.In the last two decades Bangladesh has demonstrated extraordinary progress in reducing maternal and child deaths, but unfortunately, newborn mortality declined in a much slower pace and reduction of stillbirths was not even on the agenda. Fortunately, the country recently prioritized newborn survival and incorporated some priority interventions to reduce neonatal death. Improved delivery care services became one of the key strategies for improving child survival in addition to overall development of the health service delivery system.The following newborn-specific interventions are prioritized to achieve the commitment of ending preventable child deaths by 2035:Ensure essential newborn care, including neonatal resuscitation and application of chlorhexidine in the umbilical cordIntroduce and promote kangaroo mother care (KMC) for premature and low birth weight infantsEnsure proper management of newborn infection with antibiotics at the primary care levelsEstablish specialized newborn care unit at the sub-district and district levelEnsuring delivery by skilled birth attendants at the community levels and establishing an effective referral linkage to ensure continuum of care from community clinics to the sub-district, district and higher level hospitals—which can provide round the clock emergency obstetric and newborn care—are actions incorporated in the declaration. These give a clear indication of the government vision on integrated approaches to improve maternal and newborn health.Intra-partum complication, prematurity-related complications and newborn sepsis are the major causes of newborn death is Bangladesh. Without integration of maternal and newborn health we cannot reduce mortality especially due to the fact that intra-partum complications and prematurity-related complications together cause 67% of all newborn deaths in the country. Bangladesh recently scaled up the Helping Babies Breathe initiative and that is a unique example of integration of maternal and newborn health.Every year in the first day of life, 28,100 newborns of Bangladesh die indicating the importance of integration of maternal and newborn services in pursuit of quality of care.This post originally appeared on the Healthy Newborn Network Blog and has been lightly edited.Share this:last_img read more

3 Reasons Your Grantmaking Strategy May Not Be Working

first_imgPictured Here: Central Alabama Community Foundation – what they’re doing is working.It’s understandable. Programs, not payroll nor paperclips, create excitement and enthusiasm among your board, grant committee, and community when it comes to awarding grants. However, if you are in the philanthropy business, you are in the capacity-building business. We can’t create the type of long-term, lasting change we seek without strong organizations. As grantmakers, we’re dependent on nonprofit leaders that can sustain and scale their impact without applying for more grant dollars.To borrow an example from our for-profit friends, have you ever seen the show “Shark Tank” on ABC?If so, you know that the first questions asked after the entrepreneur’s pitch will be, “What are your sales for the last year?” and “How much do you plan to sell this year?”The sharks dig into the company’s ability to effectively market, sell and scale their product, before digging into its competitive advantages or how it’s manufactured.The sharks know that investing in sales and marketing isn’t a separate strategy. It’s an integral part of their investment strategy. More precisely, it’s the path to their return.I have never met an investor that restricts their funds from sales and marketing. That would be foolish. Investors (funders) depend on a company’s revenue growth, increased profits and sales multipliers to create a return on their investment (impact).In the same way, nonprofit capacity and sustainability are not separate or standalone strategies. They are critical components of all grants and to ensuring our philanthropy creates long-term, lasting impact.Yet, we reverse this order all the time. We ask the nonprofit about its programs, outcomes, and impact, and then maybe (not always) we’ll dive into a sustainability plan.Now, you may be thinking, why don’t we just fund sustainable nonprofits and stop this article here? We can just reject nonprofits that need to build their capacity, right?Well, we wouldn’t have many eligible applicants. According to Network for Good’s 2017 research across 10,000 nonprofits, the overwhelming majority heavily relied on single‐source funding.A startling 78 percent of nonprofits applying for grants have no written or specific fundraising plan to sustain their program, after the grant period (on the other hand, 85 percent view their funders as credible, go-to sources for technical fundraising assistance). Further, according to a new report released by GuideStar, approximately 50 percent of U.S. nonprofits are operating with less than one month’s cash reserves.Therefore, if we want to create long-term change and lasting good, we must stop referring to the capacity building as a standalone strategy. We must view it as part of a comprehensive, holistic strategy – as being implemented by the Central Alabama Community Foundation.[CLICK TO WATCH VIDEO]Nonprofits Must Respond to Emerging Needs, Not Live by ContractsDo you believe the environmental challenges we face today are the same as 50 years ago? Do you believe child development and education is unaffected by the growth in social media?As our communities’ complex challenges evolve, we must ensure that the nonprofits we fund have the resources they need to stay nimble and responsive.Nonprofit leaders operating with razor-thin margins, no process to measure success or retain talent will be caught flat-footed during times of emerging needs or a shifting landscape.So, practically speaking, what can you do?As part of The Walton Family Foundation’s Environment Grant reports, nonprofits are asked, “What notable obstacles did you face during this grant period?” as well as, “What changes to the project were made?”The program staff is interested in knowing how work plans, staffing, and timelines may shift throughout the grant period. This enables them to coach the grantee on navigating unforeseen challenges, re-allocating funds from the original proposal or calling in additional support, instead of using the report to rigidly enforce grant contracts.What would happen if you asked your grantees these questions in your reports?Short-Term Strategies Don’t Fix Long-Term ChallengesDo you believe that racism has been wholly eradicated? Do you feel all Americans have affordable health care? No, of course not. These issues are multifaceted and will, undoubtedly, continue to evolve in the foreseeable future.If we wish to confront longstanding issues plaguing our communities, grant strategies must be designed with the long-term in mind. However, grant funding is inherently short-term in nature (do you know any funders that make 10-year commitments through an annual grant cycle?).Yet, how often do we measure outcomes created 10 years after the grant period ends? Do we know if those dollars are creating the same impact today? Has the program declined?Hopefully not.Shifting to multi-year commitments is not sufficient. We must ensure with greater certainty that our grantees have the capacity to self-fund their programs, long after the grant period.So, practically speaking, what can you do?The YouthBridge Community Foundation is an emergent, three-staff member foundation in St. Louis, Mo. The foundation’s CEO, Michael Howard, regularly educates YouthBridge donors and donor-advised fundholders on how to make gift decisions with the long-term in mind.“You’ve proven your commitment to lasting good and meaningful change,” was the headline phrase from a recent newsletter, educating stakeholders on why the foundation is building the capacity of local nonprofits. This education is enabling YouthBridge to increase their investment in the fundraising capacity of nonprofits serving children and youth in the St. Louis area.Do your board members and donors understand the importance of nonprofit sustainability? How might you educate them in your next communication?Community Needs Outweigh Grantmaking BudgetsWill you be able to fund 100 percent of the letters of inquiry or grant applications you receive this year?Most likely not.This is where we derive the phrase, “competitive grantmaking.” Grantmaking is competitive because needs (generally) always outweigh grant dollars available.Because grantmaking is a zero-sum game (a dollar here can’t be invested there) we need to measure the “impact-per-dollar” of each grant. We must ask ourselves, “Will we create more outcomes if we invest a dollar into this program or that one?”To expand this metric with confidence, grantmakers should pair grant dollars with an investment in an organization’s fundraising capacity. Network for Good has found that, on average, every $1 invested into a nonprofit’s fundraising capacity produces $10 in the program or general operating funding. These are dollars that can be used to amplify and expand the nonprofit’s impact—without tying up additional grant dollars from the funder.So, practically speaking, what can you do?The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation recently revamped its annual grants process to provide community impact staff with greater depth and insight into the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses.During this process, nonprofits are asked to express any concerns about their ability to financially sustain their programs, and some even take a comprehensive assessment. For a group that identifies fundraising as a core challenge, a micro-grant for fundraising services is bundled into their award, ensuring that the organization not only diversifies revenue but also increases the impact of each grant dollar over time.Have you considered bundling a micro-grant for fundraising capacity alongside a restricted or program grant? Could you pilot this concept with a handful of your grantees?Please comment.  We would like to hear from you.last_img read more

NFG Staff Profile: Rezarta Haxhillari

first_imgRezarta joined the NFG family as Director of Customer Experience. She is passionate about making an impact and giving back in any way she can. Her goal is to empower nonprofits so they can “do more good” in their communities. Rezarta is a seasoned traveler and has been all around the world! In her free time, you can catch Rezarta watching The Bachelor franchise and planning her next adventure!“I love giving back to society in any way I can. Working alongside organizations with a strong mission and positive impact in their communities remains a passion of mine.”Q&A with Rezarta Haxhillari, Customer Experience DirectorWhat do you do at Network for Good?I lead our Customer Experience team, which ensures we deliver the best experience possible to all our customers. Our goal is to successfully on-board customers when they first join the NFG family and encourage continued engagement with our products and services throughout their journey with us. By doing so, we are helping them achieve their organizational goals that allow them to “Do More Good” in the communities they serve.What is your experience with nonprofit organizations outside of Network for Good?I served as an Executive Director of a nonprofit organization called The Gjergj Kastrioti Scholarship Fund for three years. I now serve on the organization’s Board of Directors. I believe this experience is very valuable for my current role at NFG as I have a deep understanding of the challenges some of our customers may face.What attracts you to nonprofits? I love giving back to society in any way I can. Working alongside organizations with a strong mission and positive impact in their communities remains a passion of mine. At NFG, we help thousands of nonprofits and charities daily. Consequently, we have an indirect influence on the ability to change people’s lives, which is an incredibly rewarding feeling!What do you enjoy most about your work? I enjoy speaking with our customers and hearing about the milestones and growth they are reaching as a result of using our products and services. I’m a proponent of adding convenience in everyday tasks. So, it’s extremely rewarding to hear when our platform makes their lives easier and helps them become successful.What do you enjoy doing outside work? I love to travel. In fact, I’ve visited over 40 countries! It’s gratifying to visit and learn about new cultures and historical facts unique to each country I visit. When I travel somewhere new, I visit local museums, take part in interesting attractions, and explore the restaurant scene (so much delicious food to be tried!)Lightning RoundDream vacation? Not sure about a dream vacation destination, but a two-week vacation to any new country is always a good idea! During the first week I would tour the city, eat local food, listen to local music and get a sense of the area’s unique characteristics. The second week would be just a period to relax. Maybe a beach in that country? Yes, that sounds like a lovely vacation Most recent book read? I just finished “End Game” by David Baldacci and I would absolutely recommend it if you’re into fast-paced thrillers. I’m also a fan of anything written by James Patterson and John Grisham. All three write quick page-turners!Last movie seen in movie theater? “Green Book”, an Oscar-nominated biographical comedy-dramaTheme song? “Happy” by PharrellFavorite color? FuchsiaAll time favorite athlete? Serena WilliamsRead more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

15 New Jobs in Maternal Newborn Health!

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 15, 2016July 28, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Interested in a position in maternal, newborn or reproductive health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.AfricaCommunications Director: Population Services International (PSI); Dar-Es-Salaam, TanzaniaCountry Director – Liberia: Jhpiego; LiberiaQuality Improvement Practitioner: Jacaranda Health; Nairobi, KenyaSenior Technical Advisor – Maternal Health and Family Planning: Jhpiego; MaliAsiaClinical Trainers: EngenderHealth; Bihar, IndiaSenior Program Officer, Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (Delivery Efficiency, Mechanisms, & Financing): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; New Delhi, IndiaSenior Program Officer, Measurement, Learning and Evaluation (Health Coverage, Quality, & Delivery): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; New Delhi, IndiaEuropeResearch Fellow in Reproductive & Maternal Health: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; London, EnglandNorth AmericaCommunications and Development Manager: Global Health Media; Waitsfield, VTCommunications Coordinator: Jhpiego; Washington, D.C.Communications Specialist: Jhpiego; Washington, D.C.Policy Communications Officer, Advocacy & Public Policy: PATH; Washington, D.C.Program Officer – Zika: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Baltimore, MDSpecialist, Communication and Advocacy, Global Health: Save the Children; Washington, D.C.Technical Writer: Jhpiego; Washington, D.C. Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.Share this:last_img read more

Exploring Maternal and Child Health Among Sex Workers and Their Children

first_imgPosted on December 14, 2016January 6, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Last week, the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health welcomed Saki Onda to speak about a vulnerable, understudied population: female sex workers (FSWs) and their children. Much of the global health research and programming efforts thus far have focused primarily on the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV in particular, among this population. The HIV infection risk is approximately thirteen times higher among FSWs compared to the general population. A number of factors put sex workers at greater risk of contracting STIs, including a lack of access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and increased exposure to violence.The issue of maternal mortality and morbidity among FSWs has been widely neglected in the public health literature. Along with colleagues Brian Willis and Hanni Marie Stoklosa, Saki recently published an article in BMC Public Health titled, “Causes of maternal and child mortality among Cambodian sex workers and their children: A cross sectional study.” The researchers interviewed 271 FSWs in Cambodia to explore the causes of maternal and child deaths. This was the first study examining these outcomes among sex workers.The authors found distinct differences between the causes of maternal mortality among FSWs compared to non-FSWs: While postpartum hemorrhage and pre-eclampsia were the most common causes of maternal deaths in the general population, complications from abortion were the leading cause of maternal death among FSWs. The most common causes of death for children under 5 were HIV and infection among FSWs compared to prematurity and acute lower respiratory tract infections in the general population. While the results cannot be generalized because of the study design’s limitations, these preliminary findings warrant further investigation in different global settings using more robust methodology.The FSWs who participated in the study reported experiences of disrespect and abuse from healthcare workers. One woman in Paraguay explained, “The majority of sex workers do not want to go for antenatal care because doctors do not treat them well because they are sex workers.” A woman in Uganda told the researchers that a nurse once told her, “You prostitutes go aside and we will treat the respectable people.” Especially in settings where sex work is illegal, FSWs may fear seeking care and disclosing their occupation to providers.Given the vulnerability of FSWs and their children, increased global efforts to understand and address their sexual, reproductive and maternal health needs are critical. According to Saki, these efforts should involve a rights-based, evidence-informed approach, community engagement, comprehensive health services and a focus on ending stigma and discrimination.—Explore resources on maternal health, HIV and AIDS.Are you working on a project related to the health of female sex workers? Tell us about it!Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Chris May sparks Ohio State mens lacrosse from the faceoff X

Senior midfielder Chris May (left) is widely considered the No. 1 faceoff specialist in the country as a member of the OSU men’s lacrosse team.Credit: Molly Tavoletti / Lantern reporterWhile snow continues to fall as March begins on Ohio State’s campus, in the lacrosse world, all signs point to May.Chris May, that is, who is now the No. 1 faceoff specialist in the country as a member of the OSU men’s lacrosse team.The Buckeyes fell just short of a win against Marquette on Sunday, losing 10-9, and while the team went 1-1 on the weekend in Louisville, Ky., May went 32 of 39 on the weekend in faceoffs, earning the Big Ten Specialist of the Week for the third time this season. And though he is more successful than ever, the graduate transfer has a “pretty crazy story” about his journey from Georgetown University to his first season with OSU.“My senior year, I was only in pads for a few practices,” he said. “I was coming off a shoulder injury when I tore my Achilles tendon … Once I got hurt, I started focusing on my future and graduate school. I’ve been a Buckeye fan my whole life … I realized I only had one shot to do this, so I really worked hard.”At Georgetown, he only stepped onto the field for 22 games, but now after just six with the Buckeyes, May has won 75 percent of his faceoffs and snagged 60 ground balls, thriving in a position named aptly for the precise skill set it requires.“It’s a unique position,” OSU assistant coach Jamison Koesterer said. “It’s mental, just hearing the whistle, finding a rhythm between what he hears and what he needs to execute physically … It definitely takes athleticism, but it also takes savvy, a little bit of poise and IQ to understand and anticipate where the ball might come out.”May’s success at the midfield X results not only from a consistent process, but also an unwavering support from his team, enabling him to aid the offense in taking the ball to the net.“A lot goes into it, but I just try to get a good reaction off the whistle and fight for the ball,” May said. “We’ve got a lot of great offensive players. A lot of guys who can score, but they can’t score if they don’t have the ball … But it’s a group effort, we have a great unit. It’s a great dynamic.”Although May is the new kid on the block with the Buckeyes, former high school teammate and OSU senior captain David Planning said he enjoys feeding off May’s familiar energy.“He’s such an easy guy to play with,” Planning said. “He knows what his job is. It makes it a lot easier on the offense and the defense.”With a lacrosse resume stronger than most of his younger OSU teammates, May assimilated quickly. He assumed a leadership role, but admitted his teammates teach him a few things too.“Being older than a lot of the guys, I feel like I have more experience,” May said. “I’m trying to be a role model for the younger guys, but I’m still learning a lot from the older guys too.”And while May continues to fine-tune his craft at the X, the rest of the Buckeyes look to learn from the loss at Marquette, revisiting the drawing board but “hungry” to return to the field.“We’re getting back to the basics on both sides of the ball,” coach Nick Myers said. “There’s always a desire coming off a loss wanting to look at what went wrong and how to fix it. Tuesday, we practiced in the pouring rain for two hours and these guys didn’t blink an eye … It’s a long wait till Saturday whenever you lose, so they’re excited.”The Buckeyes stand at the threshold of an uphill climb, facing three top 20 opponents before heading into conference play, but Planning said the team isn’t focusing on the opposition.“Our focus is on us,” Planning said. “We want to dictate the tempo and the style of play, and that starts with us.”With that goal in mind, Planning, May and the rest of the Buckeyes are set to move to Ohio Stadium on March 7 to take on Hofstra at 1 p.m. read more

Costa Rica has unfair advantage in maritime delimitation claim says Nicaragua

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica sues Nicaragua over military camp near border Costa Rica, Nicaragua to face off again at The Hague in new border dispute Costa Rica extends deadline to settle payment with Nicaragua for environmental damage Costa Rica submits arguments against Nicaragua in $6.7 million environmental damage complaint Facebook Comments Costa Rica opened the oral proceedings of its case against Nicaragua before The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday by describing Nicaragua’s border claims as ridiculous.Nicaragua and Costa Rica are facing off before the ICJ in order to define maritime boundaries both in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, something they have failed to achieve after negotiations that started in 1976.Costa Rica’s legal team complained that Nicaragua’s written arguments included a map of Costa Rica without the Nicoya Peninsula; Nicaragua argued that the maritime limits disputed before the ICJ should not take that territory into account.Nicaragua’s lawyers argued that the peninsula, which includes lands from the provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas, “due to its shape, should not be taken as a reference point to draw the maritime border in the Pacific Ocean.”They consider that the peninsula grants Costa Rica an “unfair advantage” in its proposed maritime delimitation claim.The pronounced protrusion of the Nicoya Peninsula is the type of irregularity to which the ICJ has referred in similar cases, Nicaragua’s lawyers said, referring to ICJ jurisprudence in cases of maritime delimitation.The argument states that the “equidistance that Costa Rica presented is entirely derived from the pronounced protrusion of the Nicoya Peninsula, which produces unnatural and unreasonable results.”If ICJ Justices accept Managua’s arguments, the maritime delimitation would be drawn thousands of square miles south of Costa Rica’s proposed border. Nicaragua’s legal team presented the Court with a Costa Rica map without the Nicoya Peninsula, claiming it should not be taken as a reference point to draw the maritime border. (Via Foreign Ministry)Inconsistent and exaggeratedCosta Rica’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Sergio Ugalde Álvarez, a member of the international team of experts representing the country, said Monday that Nicaragua is trying to ignore the existing geographical reality.“They eliminated the Nicoya Peninsula as if it doesn’t exist. Then, on the basis of eliminating a significant part of our territory, they are asking the Court to draw a substantially smaller limit than what International Law should set,” he said.He added that Nicaragua relies heavily on unrealistic or exaggerated claims, resulting in an “extreme reshaping of the actual geography of the disputed areas.”Ugalde said the Costa Rican legal team has extensively reviewed ICJ jurisprudence and did not find any precedent for one country being allowed to eliminate part of the territory of another country in order to gain an advantage in setting maritime boundaries.The ambassador added that the elimination of the Nicoya Peninsula “is laughable” and that “it only can exists in Nicaragua’s imagination.”“For forty years, Costa Rica has succeeded in negotiating its maritime borders with all its neighbors except for Nicaragua,” Ugalde said.Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister Manuel González Sánz attended the hearing and said that they are completely certain that the Court will reject Nicaragua’s legal arguments, which seek to reduce important Costa Rican maritime areas without a legal basis.“We know Nicaragua always asks for exaggerations to see if they can actually make something out of it. We reject that form of litigation. That’s not what Costa Rica does,” González said.Legal preceedingCosta Rica will continue presenting its arguments until Wednesday. Nicaragua then will present its oral arguments on Thursday, and both countries will have another chance to respond to each others’ claims. All legal proceedings from both countries will end on July 13.The ICJ will also issue a ruling on a border dispute filed by Costa Rica over land borders in the northern part of Isla Calero or Portillos, a small wetland, according to previous ICJ ruling, belongs to Costa Rica.Nicaragua, however, following the ruling, sent military personnel to the area who have set up camps within the territory, “clearly to claim it as its own,” Ugalde said.In 2015, the ICJ granted Costa Rica financial compensation for environmental damage in that territory caused by “Nicaragua’s illegal activities inside Costa Rican territory.”However, the two countries have failed to reach an agreement on the amount, and now expect the CIJ to calculate a compensation figure.The countries’s legal teams expect a final ruling on these claims by the end of this year or in early 2018.Below is a timeline of events in the Costa Rica–Nicaragua border disputes:last_img read more

Adventure World reveals agents support kit

first_imgAdventure World has launched a promotional kit, designed to assist agents marketing the group’s product range. Adventure World said at the launch that the kit would be distributed throughout the month and would include a promotional DVD for agents to use in store or on client information evenings. “Our promotional kit is aimed to assist our supportive travel partners to find the best and most suitable product for their clients,” Adventure World general manager Andrew Mulholland said. “We’re forecasting a big year ahead for the travel industry and are excited to offer agents the best product around, including new and never-before-seen experiences in 2011.” The kit also includes an “essential manual” filled with Adventure World’s 30 year legacy, product range and target market. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

November 20 2002 Saturday November16 2002 at 4

first_imgNovember 20, 2002 Saturday,November16, 2002, at 4 p.m., two hundred people from around the countryand the valley gathered at Cosanti to remember Mel Roman (June 27, 1927 – November 9, 2002).[Photo: T & portrait photo: a courtesy of Louise Roman] Of Mel, Chairman ofthe Board of Trustees of the Cosanti Foundation since 1977, PaoloSoleri wrote: THE GENEROSITY OF HIS LIFE HAS PUT MEL IN THE ARISTOCRACYOF THE DOING AND THINKING WORLD. IN THAT POSITION, A PRIVILEGE OF THEFEW, HE HAS BEEN SURROUNDED BY AN HETEROGENEOUS AND LARGE NUMBER OFFRIENDS. THE GAINS FOR US ALL HAVE BEEN PALPABLE. A SALUTE TO MEL INSADNESS AND IN GRATITUDE. [Photo: T]last_img

Want a Michigan fall travel guide Contact Rep Leutheuser

first_img05Oct Want a Michigan fall travel guide? Contact Rep. Leutheuser Categories: Leutheuser News,News State Rep. Eric Leutheuser is offering area residents a taste of Pure Michigan – just in time for the autumn color tour.The Pure Michigan 2018 Fall Travel guide is available by emailing ericleutheuser@house.mi.gov or calling the legislator’s office at (517) 373-1794. Leave your mailing address and the free 80-plus page guide will be on its way.“The peak time for fall color this year in southern Michigan is expected to begin around Oct. 14. But colors already are peaking in the Upper Peninsula and our county fairs have concluded, so the season has officially begun,” Leutheuser said. “Some of the best ways to enjoy our state’s scenic beauty are to hit the highway, find a bike path or take a nature hike and see the fantastic fall foliage.”The Pure Michigan guide features articles and attractions from all over the state. The guide includes information on scenic color tours, hiking and bike trails, outdoor dining and more.“The autumn color show lasts only a few weeks, but it’s a magical time,” Leutheuser said. “Get out there and enjoy Pure Michigan.”Leutheuser represents Branch and Hillsdale counties in the Michigan House of Representatives.###last_img read more

A close look at the brains of 40 US Embassy work

first_imgA close look at the brains of 40 U.S. Embassy workers in Cuba who developed mysterious symptoms has found no evidence of injury. The State Department has said the employees were hurt by some sort of attack.Advanced brain imaging techniques did reveal some subtle differences in the workers’ brains, says Ragini Verma, a professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania and an author of the study published in this week’s JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.But those differences “do not reflect the imaging differences that we see in [traumatic brain injury] or concussion,” Verma says.”All you can say is something happened, which caused their brain to change,” she says.And even that conclusion was challenged by brain scientists who have been skeptical that any diplomat was attacked or injured from what became known as “Havana syndrome.”The differences could have been random or simply the result of different life experiences that can change the brain — like learning a foreign language, says Sergio Della Sala, a professor of human cognitive neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K. He called the study in JAMA “half-baked.””There is no evidence of any pathology,” says Douglas Fields, a neuroscientist who has investigated and written about the events in Cuba. “And when you look at the data, there’s no coherent syndrome, no pattern.”The new results should end speculation that embassy workers were injured by a sonic weapon or something even more exotic, Fields says. “The physical evidence to support the idea that there was some sort of an energy beam is completely lacking,” he says.The study is the latest development in a mystery that began in 2016, when dozens of people associated with the U.S. Embassy in Havana began reporting strange, high-pitched sounds or sudden changes in air pressure. Shortly after these events, they began experiencing dizziness, headaches, sleep problems, hearing problems and foggy thinking.The State Department began referring those workers to the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair.In 2018, doctors there reported in JAMA that 21 workers had symptoms that resembled those of a traumatic brain injury or concussion.As part of their evaluation, people sent to the University of Pennsylvania also got MRI brain scans, which appeared normal.”Just a traditional read of the images did not reveal much,” Verma says.Verma and several colleagues decided to take another look using advanced imaging techniques usually reserved for scientific research.They studied brain scans from 40 government workers who had reported symptoms. Then they compared those images with brain images from groups of healthy people.This time, the team did find something.”The most important thing is that there were differences,” Verma says.The differences were subtle and involved measures of brain volume, brain networks and the fibers that carry signals around the brain. They were most apparent in an area called the cerebellum, which is involved in balance and movement, and were also found in areas of the brain that process sound.Differences in those areas, Verma says, might help explain why the workers reported symptoms involving balance and hearing.But Fields says even that is a reach.”First of all, these techniques are not diagnostic, they are descriptive,” he says. “And they don’t provide any clinical evidence of any kind of abnormality or pathology. What they show are minor differences between two groups.”And the existence of some differences is hardly surprising, he says.”These methods are used to find differences that are associated with being left-handed or right-handed, male or female, low IQ [or] high IQ, whether you are a musician or not,” he says. “They’re all within the normal range.”And 12 of the workers had a history of concussion, which also could account for some of the differences.The real importance of the study is in what it did not find, Fields says.”If there’d been brain injury, that would have been evident on the clinical brain imaging studies that were done before,” he says. “There was no evidence of any pathology, and these more sophisticated measures confirm that.”The State Department did not respond to requests for comment on the study. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… Disabled people and their organisations have reacted to Boris Johnson becoming the new prime minister with alarm and scepticism, but also an appeal for “honest engagement”.Johnson (pictured) has already concerned many opponents – both within his party and among opposition parties – by filling key ministerial posts with Brexit-supporters and right-wingers such as Dominic Raab as foreign secretary and Priti Patel as home secretary.And although Johnson mentioned the need to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all” in his first speech as prime minister yesterday (Wednesday), he mentioned only older people – like many ministers and other politicians before him – and ignored working-age disabled people, even though about half of local authority spending on social care is on working-age adults.Johnson said he had “a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve”, but there will be a suspicion that this is merely the much-delayed adult social care green paper promised by health and social care secretary Matt Hancock.Hancock, who has kept his post under the new prime minister, has already suggested that his green paper is unlikely to include a definitive plan for how to reform adult social care funding, but instead will simply “bring together the debate… behind a direction of travel where we can make progress”.Alan Benson, chair of Transport for All, the user-led charity which campaigns on accessible transport in London, said that during Johnson’s time as mayor of London “he not only failed to engage with disabled people and their organisations but he dismantled the structures that were already existing.“This sets a worrying precedent. We hope that a similar pattern is not now seen across government.”He said that Theresa May and London mayor Sadiq Khan had been “at odds” during May’s time as prime minister, resulting in “huge budget cuts” for Transport for London and “an unwillingness to devolve rail services”.Benson said: “This has hit London’s travellers hard and particularly impacted disabled and older people.”He warned that the relationship between Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan was even worse than that between May and the mayor, “so we can only see the situation deteriorating”.Baroness [Sal] Brinton, president of the Liberal Democrats, said Johnson’s record on equality – particularly around race – was “not encouraging”.She said: “The problem is he is just unthinking and the worry is that, particularly with disability, we may have the legislation but we don’t have the culture.“I would hope he will demonstrate a genuine delivery of the Equality Act to make disabled people’s lives better, but I am not holding my breath.“My worry is he is more concerned about a snappy message than he is about the underlying issues. He has to prove himself to the disabled community.”The crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell said she hoped Johnson would build on one of the “few positive moves” made by Theresa May, in the last weeks of her premiership, to set up a new strategic, cross-government disability unit in the Cabinet Office.She said: “This is an opportunity for him to engage honestly and realistically with disabled people on building a society inclusive of all people.“Better engagement with all sectors of society and parliament is something that he did mention in his acceptance speech – let’s hope he is serious about the ‘everyone’!”Sue Bott, head of policy and research for Disability Rights UK, raised concerns about the impact of a potential no deal Brexit under Johnson.She said: “Given the stated commitment of Boris Johnson to take the UK out of the European Union (EU) on 31 October with or without a deal, we are very concerned that the rights disabled people currently enjoy as members of the EU will continue post-Brexit, particularly given the impossibility of passing the necessary legislation on time.”There is already frustration with Johnson from The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), after he told a journalist during his leadership campaign that he wanted to increase the number of free special schools.Simone Aspis, ALLFIE’s policy and campaigns coordinator, said he had also ignored a letter from ALLFIE during the campaign that asked how he would implement the recommendations to the UK made by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities in 2017, when it called for a “coherent strategy” on “increasing and improving inclusive education”.Aspis said: “We understand Boris Johnson is looking to fund more special schools.“This is a clear violation of disabled people’s human rights, and non-engagement with disabled people’s organisations like ALLFIE is not a good start.”There was particular anger and frustration with the new prime minister from disabled people’s anti-cuts groups, which have been fighting Tory-led austerity policies for nearly a decade.Bob Ellard, of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said, before yesterday’s ministerial appointments were announced: “He’s a Tory and whoever he makes work and pensions secretary, chancellor and minister for disabled people will be Tories.“Since 2010 not one single Tory has done or said anything that benefits disabled people and that ain’t going to change now. The cruelty and the harm it creates is set to continue.”Michelle Maher, from WOWcampaign, said she believed a Boris Johnson government would see the UK become a “vassal state” to Donald Trump’s United States and would “wave goodbye to the NHS, which for sick and disabled people is our lifeline as no one will insure us”.She said: “Nowhere in the discourse are disabled children, adults and their carers.“We are completely ‘othered’ now by 10 years of austerity and hate speech aimed at us. This will only get worse for us, as a far-right Tory ideology takes hold.”John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said: “As humanitarians, of course we welcome his statement at the steps of Number 10 this afternoon that his government will try to do more for animal welfare.“As for the human catastrophe that has befallen disabled people under successive Tory prime ministers since 2010 – absolutely nothing.”McArdle also raised concerns about Johnson’s comments about mental health, in an article earlier this month, in which he claimed that the only way to really treat depression was through the “cure” of work.McArdle said: “Disabled people will now, and with good cause, be living in fear of what rash decisions this entirely unpredictable prime minister may take next with regard to mental health and social policy.”Rick Burgess, from Manchester DPAC, said: “Considering Boris Johnson’s voting record on social security and his total disinterest in disability rights indicates this will be a continuation of Tory disablism along with more hostile policies for all minority groups.“Only regime change through a general election will end this era of abrogation of rights, immiseration, and death.”Brian Hilton, digital campaigns officer for Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, said: “We have a new prime minister but it appears no new ideas.“Brexit is set to dominate the political agenda for the foreseeable future, all of which distracts from the ongoing problems facing disabled people.”He called for a “clear timescale” for the publication of the social care green paper and a consultation which “actively engages with and listens to disabled people”.He said: “We also need Boris Johnson to signal that his government is going to tackle the devastating effects that universal credit is having on disabled people and their families.“It is no good tinkering around the edges with this failed endeavour, it needs replacing.”Fran Springfield, co-chair of Disability Labour, raised concerns about the NHS, and said that “Boris Johnson’s obsession with leaving the EU, with or without a deal, is a disaster for disabled people and everyone who uses the NHS”, and warning of the impact on the supply of vital drugs, appliances such as stoma bags, nutritional feeds, and on recruitment.last_img read more

Gluten lactose food dyes in pills could be causing side effects finds

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMar 18 2019Pills or oral medications contain inactive ingredients. Some of these may be responsible for the side effects says a new study. The study results appeared in an article published in the latest issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.The researchers explain that the allergic reactions to the pills may be due to inactive ingredients that make up the pill including lactose, gluten, food dyes etc. People who are allergic to these ingredients may experience worsening of their symptoms or allergic reactions. Image Credit: Pavel Kubarkov / Shutterstock Dr. Giovanni Traverso, from the department of gastroenterology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School said that the results were surprising to the team of researchers. He was one of the authors of the study. He added, “. It involves almost every pill and capsule. And it’s something we tend not to think about.” Traverso is also part of the mechanical engineering department at MIT. He explained that the idea for this study came after a patient of Celiac disease presented with worsening of symptoms. The patient was not aware that the medication contained gluten, Traverso said and none of the prescribers were either. The team looked at other patients who had experienced similar side effects after taking the medication and found that several drug preparations could be harmful because of these seemingly innocuous ingredients.In 2017, the Food and Drugs Administration had prepared draft recommendations to label drug formulations that contained wheat derived products. The FDA also has a database with the list of all the inactive ingredients in prescription drugs.Daniel Reker, lead author of the study from Swiss National Science Foundation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said, “For most patients, it doesn’t matter if there’s a little bit of lactose, a little bit of fructose, or some starch in there. However, there is a subpopulation of patients, currently of unknown size, that will be extremely sensitive to those and develop symptoms triggered by the inactive ingredients.”Related StoriesFeeling safe and good sleep at night matter most to sick kids in hospitalStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryThe team found that 44.82 percent of the pills contain lactose which can cause side effects among those who are lactose intolerant. Similarly 33 percent of the preparations contain food dyes. Around 3.8 percent of a study population was found to be allergic to a food dye called tartrazine. Complex sugars or FODMAPS (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), in the pills are found in 55 percent drug formulations. This can lead to symptoms of bloating, gas, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. These sugars in the pills can worsen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. Other ingrediets include corn starch in 36.54 percent pills, polyethylene glycol in 35.8 percent pills, povidone in 35.8 percent pills and carboxymethylcellulose in 21.38 percent pills. Some pills also contain wheat starch, artificial sweeteners, peanut oil etc. Traverso said, “Many probably have amounts that are low enough that they wouldn’t induce a reaction, but in patients taking more than one medication they might pose a problem. For example, lactose is in a significant proportion of medications.”Sravan Kumar Patel, a pharmaceutical chemist and an instructor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center explained that the amount of these inactive ingredients is very small. He said, “If the required dose is 5 mg, that’s a really small amount and you can’t make a tablet out of that. So you mix it with an inactive ingredient such as lactose or dextrose and now you can make a tablet. It might not form into a tablet if you use something else.”Authors conclude in their study, “Recognizing that the inactive portion of a medication, which corresponds on average to two-thirds of the administered material, may be more ‘active’ than previously anticipated, we foresee potential implications for medical protocols, regulatory sciences, and pharmaceutical development of oral medications.”Source: http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/11/483/eaau6753last_img read more

Antibiotic levels in water and potential risk of drugresistant bugs

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 27 2019A JRC report brings together data on antibiotic levels in water, showing that small concentrations have found their way into a range of Europe’s waterbodies.Because of the threat of new drug-resistant bugs evolving when these antibiotics come into contact with bacteria present in the water, scientists are gathering evidence to better understand the potential risk.Their data confirms that the levels of antibiotic residues in drinking water are minute and do not represent a risk to human health.However, antibiotic residues can be found at higher levels in waste water, surface waters, agricultural runoff and water used for aquaculture (farms of fish, muscles, seaweed and other marine species).The report is part of JRC efforts dedicated to investigating the implications of antibiotics in water.Scientists aim to determine the minimum concentration of antibiotics that could cause resistance in bacteria, so that future limits can be based on risk assessments that take into account this potential.The report also highlights that the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) (the phenomenon of bacteria resisting the effects of antibiotics) can be constrained if measures are taken to improve the effectiveness of wastewater treatment processes and to control the use of antibiotics in medicine and animal husbandry.Where do antibiotics end up after they’ve done their job?Antibiotics are prescribed for a vast range of bacterial infections in humans and have saved the lives of millions since their discovery.They are also given to animals as part of veterinary treatment, including to control infections in farm livestock.Resistant bacteria regularly evolve in places where antibiotics are commonly used – such as in hospitals where the MRSA ‘superbug’ (resistant to a wide range of antibiotics) is often found.On top of this, antibiotics don’t simply disappear after they’ve done their job of fighting off a bug.They are excreted from the body and so there’s also a risk of similar bugs proliferating in water in treatment plants, in manure and slurry, and in the environment if the concentration of antibiotics is high enough to select for their survival.The prevalence of antibiotic use has led to growing concern over the spread of AMR. In Europe, about 25000 people die of infections from antimicrobial-resistant bacteria every year.It’s also estimated that AMR costs the EU €1.5 bn per year in healthcare costs and productivity losses.Which antibiotics? How are they monitored?Looking at data on 45 antibiotics from 13 countries worldwide, the report’s authors found sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim and ciprofloxacin to be the three most frequently found in the water that flows out of waste water treatment plants.Most of the data came from Europe (79.2%) and, for the antibiotics detected, the concentrations ranged up to 1 µg/L (one millionth of a gram per litre).Related StoriesA bacterium may limit cardiovascular risks of 1 in 2 people, study showsRaw meat can act as reservoir for bacteria associated with hospital infections’Scissors’ component of CRISPR/Cas9 sometimes gets stuckThese medicines are all commonly prescribed for urinary tract infections, while ciprofloxacin is also prescribed for ear and chest infections.Similar concentrations of antibiotics were also reported in surface waters, despite the fact that a reduction in their levels might reasonably have been expected due to the dilution of these substances as effluents run into rivers and lakes.Ciprofloxacin is included alongside amoxicillin, erythromycin, azithromycin and clarithromycin on the Watch List monitoring program under the EU’s Water Framework Directive, which gathers data on substances that may pose a risk at EU level.The analytical methods used have to be able to detect concentrations as low as between 0.019 and 0.089 µg/L, corresponding to concentrations considered not to have direct effects on aquatic organisms such as algae, crustacean and fish.Antibiotics in fish farms?The report notes that therehasso far beenlittle research into the use and effects of antibiotics in the aquaculturesector.In Europe,the use of antibiotics inallanimalfarming activities, including aquaculture,isregulatedby specific legislation.Aquaculture products(as well as any products from the animal farming systems)must not contain pharmacologically active substances abovean established Maximum Residue Limit.Efficient monitoring at EU levelreliesonsurveillance programmesimplementedin the EU Member States, andrelevant dataaremadeavailableto the Commission.Aquaculture is the fastest growing food-producing sector and it is estimated to account for approximately half of the total food supply coming from fish.While it is necessary to prevent bacterial diseases in aquaculture products, the use of vaccines could lessen the need for chemicals and antibiotics in this sector, on condition that vaccines against the most relevant diseases are registered and accessible in all EU member states.BackgroundIn June 2017 the Commission adopted the EU One Health Action Plan against AMR. The key objectives of this new plan include:1. Making the EU a best practice region2. Boosting research, development and innovation3. Shaping the global agendaThe Commission has also adopted the first deliverables of the plan, for example the EU Guidelines on the prudent use of antimicrobials in human health.The guidelines aim to reduce inappropriate use and promote prudent use of antimicrobials in people. They target all actors who are responsible for or play a role in antimicrobial use.The Commission also recently adopted a Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment – a set of actions addressing the multifaceted challenges that the release of pharmaceuticals poses to the environment. Source:https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/antibiotics-water-and-risk-drug-resistant-bacterialast_img read more