Simply Kolkata decodes the hottest fashion and accessories trends in the city.

first_imgBack to weaves handloomMeghna Nayak, fashion designer, wearing her label LataSita.If you are in Kolkata during the Durga Puja, it seems unthinkable, impossible even to celebrate those days without turning to traditional and ethnic wear. And while there maybe a plethora of cuts, styles and fabrics to choose from, you can never go wrong with a handloom weave-a classic choice that can be repeated year after year. Popular social media movements like the “I wear handloom” campaign started by Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani on National Textile Day, or the ‘100sareepact’-a movement started on Facebook-are making the humble nine yard drape a runway favourite now.”I think the very thought of having direct access to, or wearing your heritage, your roots and your tradition on your skin that makes the idea of wearing handlooms so great,” says Meghna Nayak, 31, designer and founder of sustainable fashion label LataSita. If you find wearing a sari or for that matter any kind of unstitched handloom cloth too cumbersome to drape, then there are plenty of other ways of wearing it too.Nayak has taken a simple red bordered tangail sari, a mainstay on Durga Puja days for mothers and grandmothers, and turned it in to a strapless dress. “Even youngsters who do wear a sari perhaps wouldn’t turn to such a simple basic weave. It’s such a pleasure to get an 18-yearold, who would never wear a sari, show interest in this skirt, and now they are quite literally wearing a bit of Bengal,” says Nayak. At facebook.com/latasitaadvertisementMake a statement minimalist wardrobeIn this festive season of shopping frenzy, a movement is slowly making brand toting fashionistas veer towards minimalism and focus on classics. Inspired by the supposedly French concept of a ten-piece wardrobe, the idea is steadily gaining ground in the city. Its details are in its simplicity.Instead of just amassing clothing and accessories, one should have a wardrobe of a few key pieces which may be more expensive than an average high street brand, but serve as investment pieces. “I think it’s more practical to prize quality over quantity. It makes more sense to have a good pair of heels or a classic bag instead of hording many that won’t last long,” says Saachi Bhasin, 19, model and actor. It also helps create a clean no-fuss look. “I think a good pair of jeans, a classic solid shirt or top, a good watch, a nice bag and simple jewellery can work for everyone.And with a little imagination one could make it work for most occasions,” says Bhasin. Indian staples you could add to the list of statement pieces are a few sari blouses in basic colours like black, red gold, silver and beige, suggests PR entrepreneur and consultant, Supreeta Singh, 35.”Kalamkari fabric blouses and multi-coloured check blouses also make for great contrasts that you can wear with nearly anything and would help maximise even a modest collection of saris,” says Singh. For a formal and corporate look, Singh suggests, “a couple of shirts, a few pairs of well-cut trousers and blazers, and a good watch could make for a smart office wardrobe, which works for any season”.Saachi Bhasin, model and actor, flaunts her favourite statement bags.Top five wardrobe staplesWell-cut Trousers BlazersStatement bags Designer watchesSari blouses in basic coloursModern Indian fusion wearKipling ay have predicted “never the twain shall meet”, but when it comes to our wardrobe, there is always a clash of traditional and contemporary. Crop tops aren’t just to be worn with western wear but as blouses for saris and dhoti pants that are currently in vogue can be teamed with fitted jackets. “One of my favourite pieces is this outfit by Abhishek Ray which can be worn as an anarkali as well as a gown.It all depends on how one wears it and how one styles it. It can work both ways,” says dancer Sreenanda Shankar. Another favourite of hers is an ivory and black asymmetric hemline, cotton voile kalidaar kurta. “It has a jamavar yoke and ombre dyed churi sleeves. This look was conceptualised to break the traditional norms of ethnic dressing and put in western elements in terms of styling with fishnet stockings, knee-high boots and chains in the ears. Yet the traditional nath and vermillion binditake us back to our roots.For me it was a powerful look which signifies the modern Indian woman who is deeply rooted in her culture, yet trendy, bold and experimental,” says Shankar. Fusion also makes ethnic wear more accessible for all body types.advertisementLadies who aren’t very comfortable sporting a fully Western silhouette, would find a tunic and palazzos flattering and yet modern. Women who are not quite inclined to wear a sari or battle a heavy dupatta while pandal hopping on Durga Puja, could easily wear an ethnic kurta as a tunic with white trainers for a hip new look. But it’s a look that can go wrong so wear it with care. “Fusion is a very common and happening word. My father Ananda Shankar, who was known for popularising fusion music across the world, used to tell me that if one doesn’t get it right then it can sound like cacophony. I think it’s the same with clothes,” says Shankar.Jewels of desire Offbeat JewelleryEina Ahluwalia, jewellery designer, wearing her own creation.Accessories are not just adornments anymore but conversation starters, feels fashion designer Sakshi Jhunjhunwala, 24. “I think people want to make a statement rather than just wearing the same old pieces. Which is why head gears and harnesses are huge hits right now,” says Jhunjhunwala.Polki, Meenakari, enamelled jewels have taken a backseat. What has replaced them, are quirky designs, experiments with various metal, wood as well as fabric. Kolkata’s fashionistas are no more sticking to the traditional bangles, rings and eleaborate neck pieces. Instead, earcuffs, bodychains, maangtikas in unconventional designs, waist chains, armlets and handcuffs are all the rage. Jewellery designer, Eina Ahluwalia, 41, too feels that there is a big shift towards the contemporary. Customers not just want to flaunt their jewellery, but understand the story behind it as well.With her new collection titled, Battlecry, Ahluwalia aims to show the transience of life. A recurring motif in the collections is that of the legendary creature-the Griffin. “The griffin’s body is shaped in a way that the hind is that of a lion and the head and wings are that of an eagle. It is a majestic combination of intelligence and strength.It is a symbol of divine power, known for guarding priceless possessions and treasures in the worlds beyond,” she explains Ahluwalia. Offbeat jewellery, like haathphools, maangtika and waist chains owe their current popularity to the fact that they aren’t as heavy as their older traditional avatars. The jewellery that was earlier restricted to weddings or formal functions is now being worn as an everyday essential.Ahluwalia also spots body positivity in this trend. “For women who have fuller figures, wearing a waist chain or a long necklace shows body confidence. It’s like a celebration of even our imperfections, which is wonderful,” she says, adding, “I had never made bodychains as part of my regular wear collection. Now I know people who just wear it through the day, eating sleeping and bathing in it”.Top jewellery trendsOffbeat lightweight jewelleryStatement pieces with a historyNew materials like wood and fabricTrending pickshaathphools, maangtika, waist chains, armlets, handcuffslast_img read more

Placing Women at the Center: Rethinking the RMNCH Continuum of Care

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 22, 2013June 12, 2017By: Ann Starrs, President and Co-Founder, Family Care InternationalClick 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 cross-posted from the FCI Blog and the PMNCH website.Last week’s Global Maternal Health Conference (GMHC), held in Arusha, Tanzania, was both inspiring and sobering. Twenty-five years after the Safe Motherhood Initiative was launched at an international conference held in neighboring Kenya, maternal mortality has finally begun to decline, and there are many and diverse examples of how countries are addressing the challenge of preventing deaths of women and newborns from complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period. But as the conference highlighted, huge challenges remain — in improving the quality of care, the conference’s core theme; in strengthening the functionality and capacity of health systems; in addressing major inequities in access to care, within and across countries; and in ensuring that maternal and newborn health receives the political support, increased funding, and public attention that it needs.The majority of the conference’s breakout sessions featured informative and often fascinating presentations on research findings and promising programmatic and technical innovations. One session, however, took a different tack — a debate on “Has the ascendance of the RMNCH continuum of care framework helped or hindered the cause of maternal health?”  I proposed this session to the Maternal Health Task Force, which organized the GMHC, because for me and the organization I head, Family Care International, maternal health has been at the core of our institutional mission since we planned the first Safe Motherhood conference in 1987. For much of the past decade, however, I have been closely involved with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) and Countdown to 2015, two coalitions that are dedicated to promoting an integrated, comprehensive approach to the reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) continuum of care. Have our efforts to define and advance the continuum of care framework contributed to progress in improving maternal health? If so, how much? If not, what can be done about it?These questions were debated by a stellar panel I moderated, which included Wendy Graham, Professor of Obstetric Epidemiology at the University of Aberdeen; Marleen Temmerman, the new head of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at WHO; Friday Okonofua, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Benin, Nigeria; and Richard Horton, Editor in Chief of The Lancet, as well as a fantastic and diverse audience. To start the discussion I shared the definition of the continuum of care that PMNCH has articulated, based in part on the World Health Report 2005: a constellation of services and interventions for mothers and children from pre-pregnancy/adolescence, through pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal/postpartum period, until children reach the age of five years. This continuum promotes the integration of services across two dimensions: across the lifespan, and across levels of the health system, from households to health facilities. Key packages of interventions within the continuum include sexuality education, family planning, antenatal care, delivery care, postnatal/postpartum care, and the prevention and management of newborn and childhood illnesses.It is, of course, impossible to conduct a randomized control trial on the impact of the RMNCH continuum of care on maternal health, so the discussion was based more on perceptions than on hard evidence. Nevertheless, there are a few data points to consider in debating the question. From an advocacy perspective, panelists generally agreed, the adoption of the continuum of care framework has helped the cause by appealing to multiple constituencies related to women’s and children’s health. Attribution is always a challenge; there are many other developments over the past 5-7 years that have also had an impact, such as the two Women Deliver conferences held in 2007 and 2010 (with the third one taking place in May of this year). But participants generally agreed that linking women’s and children’s health, and defining their needs as an integrated whole, has appealed to policy-makers and politicians on an intuitive and practical level, as demonstrated by the engagement of heads of state, celebrities, private corporations, and other influential figures.Let’s look at the money: during the period 2003-2010 overseas development assistance (ODA) has doubled for MNCH as a whole, according to Countdown to 2015 (Countdown’s analysis did not look at funding for reproductive health, but a new report later in 2013 will incorporate this important element). Maternal and newborn health, which are examined jointly in the analysis, have consistently accounted for one-third of total ODA, with two-thirds going to child health. Given the significant funding that GAVI has mobilized and allocated for immunization over this time period, the fact that maternal and newborn health has maintained its share of total MNCH ODA is noteworthy.And let’s look at how maternal health has fared within the UN Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child initiative, launched in September 2010: a recent report summarizes each of the commitments made to Every Woman Every Child in the two years since it was launched. Of the 275 commitments included, 147, or 53%, had specific maternal health content. If we look at the commitments according to constituency group, developing country governments had by far the largest percentage of commitments that had specific maternal health content — 84% — compared to 39% for non-governmental organizations, 24% for donors, and 52% for multilateral agencies and coalitions. Clearly, maternal health has not been marginalized within the continuum from a broad policy, program and funding perspective, despite the fear some had expressed that it would be pushed aside in favor of child health interventions that are perceived as easier and less costly to implement.Another benefit of the continuum of care framework, as noted by Dr. Okonofua, has been increased collaboration among the communities that represent its different elements. While there were tensions and rivalries when PMNCH and Countdown were first established, especially between the maternal and child health communities, today groups working on advocacy, policy, program implementation, service delivery, and research within the continuum generally work together more frequently, cordially and effectively than they did before, especially at the global level. PMNCH and Countdown, as well as Every Woman Every Child, have brought together key players to define unified messages and strategies that have achieved widespread acceptance.That was the good news; but panelists and participants at the session also saw a number of problems with the continuum of care concept. The concern articulated by Richard Horton, and echoed by many of the session participants, was that the continuum views women and adolescents primarily as mothers or future mothers. This narrow view contributes to a range of gaps and challenges; it means crucial cultural, social and economic determinants of health and survival, including female education and empowerment, are not given adequate weight. Gender-based violence deserves much more attention, both for its own sake and for its impact on maternal, newborn and child health. Politically sensitive or controversial elements of the continuum, especially abortion but also, in some cases, family planning and services for adolescents, may be neglected in policy, programming, and resource allocation.The fragmentation inherent in the continuum of care also contributes to what Wendy Graham called the compartmentalization of women. As Countdown’s analysis of coverage has demonstrated, the continuum of care doesn’t guarantee continuity of care; coverage rates are much higher for interventions like antenatal care and child immunization than for delivery or postnatal/postpartum care. Women’s needs for a range of interventions and services, available in a single health facility on any day of the week, are not being met in many countries.Other concerns that emerged during the discussion were that the RMNCH continuum of care framework does not explicitly or adequately reflect the importance of quality of care, which in turn depends on a range of factors: skilled, compassionate health care workers, functional facilities, adequate supplies and equipment, and an effective health information system that tracks not just whether interventions are being provided, but also whether individual women and their families are receiving the care they need throughout their lives.Dr. Okonofua, in his comments, focused on how the continuum of care concept has been implemented, or hasn’t, in countries. The implications of the continuum of care for on-the-ground program implementation have not been fully articulated and communicated; more effort, he noted, needs to be invested in making the concept relevant and useful for policy-makers, program managers, and service providers.Despite these gaps, however, participants in the session – and the panelists themselves – agreed that the continuum of care is a valid and valuable concept, and that the inadequacies identified should be addressed. “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” said one member of the audience. The continuum of care, as a concept, has already evolved; initially, for example, it did not fully integrate reproductive health elements. As Marleen Temmerman commented, the continuum of care concept is a tool; what is important is what is done with it.As 2015 approaches, the global health community is struggling to articulate a health goal for the post-2015 development framework that will resonate widely and guide accelerated, strategic action to prevent avoidable deaths and improve health of people around the world. The RMNCH community — or communities — needs a framework that more fully reflects the realities and complexities of the lives of women and children, and that enables us to reach out to other health and non-health communities, including HIV/AIDS, NCDs, and women’s rights and empowerment, for a common cause. To do this, we need to revise the continuum of care framework to maximize its relevance and utility for countries, and to incorporate the following missing elements:Recognition of the importance of quality of careResponsiveness to the needs of girls and women throughout the life cycle, not just in relation to pregnancy and childbirthLinks to the cultural, social and economic determinants of women’s and children’s healthRichard Horton’s call for a manifesto to emerge from the GMHC included 10 key points; redefining the RMNCH continuum of care was one of them, inspired by the panel. The challenge has been issued; it is now up to us to meet that challenge.Share this:last_img read more

Manifesto for Maternal Health: Highlights From Women Deliver and Population Council

first_imgPlease join the conversation! Tell us about your work to improve maternal health over the past year and how it relates to the calls to action from the manifesto. Send an email to Kate Mitchell or Natalie Ramm or join the dialogue on Twitter using the hashtag #MHmanifesto and help us celebrate the anniversary of the manifesto for maternal health!Share this: Posted on March 4, 2014November 14, 2016By: Natalie Ramm, Communications Coordinator, Maternal Health Task Force, Women and Health InitiativeClick 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)Continuing the celebration of the one-year anniversary of the “Manifesto for Maternal Health,” this post showcases the work of Women Deliver and the Population Council to improve global maternal health.Women DeliverIn 2013, Women Deliver organized its third global conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was one of the largest gatherings of policymakers, advocates, and researchers focused exclusively on women’s health and empowerment to date, bringing together over 4,500 participants from 149 countries.Women Deliver’s work focuses primarily on the Manifesto’s first and second principles, as we work to influence the post-2015 agenda. We are pushing for the post-2015 development framework to prioritize gender equality, with a specific focus on education and health, including access to reproductive health and family planning information and services.Last year, Women Deliver and the World Bank published a report highlighting the significant social and economic benefits of investing in girls and women and recommending specific policies to improve reproductive health outcomes. We also published a report about our 2013 global conference, including information about panelists, attendees, and sessions.Population CouncilA crucial gap in improving the quality of maternal health services is that the validity of many global benchmarks, including skilled attendance at birth, is largely unknown. To improve measurement of maternal health care received during labor and delivery (core area 10 in the Manifesto for Maternal Health), investigators at the Population Council, led by PI Ann Blanc, are conducting research to identify a set of indicators that that have the potential for valid measurement and integration into population-based data collection systems in developing country contexts. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Manifesto for Maternal Health: In-Country Perspective From the White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on April 24, 2014November 4, 2016By: Rose Mlay, National Coordinator, The White Ribbon Alliance TanzaniaClick 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)Throughout my career as a midwife, I am all too familiar with the challenge of women arriving too late to the hospital to give birth. Over and over again, I have attended to women who had traveled for days to reach care. It is so heart breaking to know that these women’s lives could be saved if only they could reach quality professional care faster. We, at the White Ribbon Alliance, have advocated strongly over the years to our government in Tanzania to focus on maternal and newborn health, and great promises have been made! Now, we are faced with the challenge of making sure these promises are delivered. And we are working hard on that front!In recognition of the one-year anniversary of the publication of the Manifesto for Maternal Health, I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of our recent efforts to ensure that promises to women and newborns are kept.Just last year the White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania brought together national leaders engaged in maternal and newborn health ranging from the media, government, non-governmental organizations, and professional associations to set out a strategy for holding the government of Tanzania accountable for delivering on commitments made to our women and newborns. More specifically, we collectively set out a plan for holding the government accountable on promises to provide comprehensive emergency obstetric care (CEmONC) in at least half of all health centers by 2015. Together, we concluded to focus our efforts on the commitment to CEmONC because we listened to our citizens who have asked for these services to be closer to their homes. In addition, we know that the majority of the 24 women who die every day in childbirth die due to the lack of access to quality emergency care.In order to make our case, we knew we would need strong evidence to show the government just how off track their promises are, so we carried out a full facility assessment in 10 government-run facilities in Rukwa region. We engaged with community leaders, media and district officials as we moved through the region. Rukwa is beautiful with its rolling hills and great lakes, but it is a treacherous journey through the dirt tracks to get to rural health centers, with many being so remote that they are out of reach of telephone signals.As we gathered the data, we found that for a population of 1 million people, and over 10 health centers throughout the district, there was not a single health center that was providing the level of care that the government had promised.According to plan, we shared the evidence with the district government teams, and we pushed the district leadership to budget adequately for emergency obstetric care. In the meantime, we also set up meetings with national leaders and the Parliamentary Safe Motherhood Group to make sure emergency obstetric care is budgeted for adequately in the 2014-2015 budget cycle.We also made this film about the situation in Rukwa which Dr. Jasper Nduasinde, our White Ribbon Alliance focal person from the region took to the United Nations General Assembly to get global attention on the gap between promises and implementation.We called on our politicians to act. The Safe Motherhood Group in Parliament is working to get all politicians to sign a petition to the government to prioritize this issue.We called for a meeting with the Prime Minister. We spoke for an hour and a half on what could be done now to change this critical situation. He promised to take action.We also made this film about Elvina Makongolo, the midwife in Mtowisa who works tirelessly to save women’s lives.As we move to make these critical changes happen, we are faced with very sad news that motivates us even more. Shortly after this film was made with Elvina, the teacher of her grandchildren died in childbirth. Leah Mgaya died because Mtowisa health center does not have a blood bank. In the maternity ward of the health center ,a big refrigerator stands tall but the electricity to power it is missing. The closest blood supply is 100 km away at the regional hospital, reached only by a 4×4 vehicle due to the rough terrain.Leah’s husband, Cloud Kissi, said: ‘My wife has left a big gap in my life and she has left three children without a mother. It has left me with trauma as every time I see a woman carrying a baby I feel that if my wife could have survived, she could have been carrying a baby like the one I am seeing. I am quite sure that if we had a good operating theater, availability of safe blood and a reliable ambulance, we would have surely saved my wife’s life.’We continue to hear the personal accounts of husbands losing their wives, children losing their mothers, families losing their aunties, sisters and nieces and, in Leah’s case, a community losing their teacher. Citizens want change and they are pushing for it.In Rukwa alone, over 16 thousand citizens have signed a petition pushing the district officials and their MP to prioritize a budget for CEmONC.Recently, on White Ribbon Day in Rukwa, the Minister of Health spoke on behalf of the Prime Minister to say that this budget must be prioritized across the country.We now believe that the Prime Minister has become this campaigns’ greatest ally! And we know that our President Kikwete cares about the women of our nation. He has committed greatly to preventing these tragic deaths. But we cannot let up until women can access emergency life saving care near their homes. It is their right.As critical decisions are being made on budget allocation for 2014-2015, we are urging our leaders to listen to the citizens of our nation and budget adequately for comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care.If you would like to share your in-country story with us, please email Natalie Ramm or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.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

Maternal Health Jobs

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 21, 2014August 10, 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)Looking for a job in maternal health? Here’s a round up of what’s available:Jhpiego – Maternal Health Team Leader; Program Officer IICARE – Senior Technical Advisor for Maternal and Child Health; Senior Technical Advisor for Maternal and Child NutritionBill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Senior Program Officer, Maternal Newborn and Child HealthMerck for Mothers – DirectorTo apply, go to this link. Select “Merck Kenilworth” as Location and “Long Term Assignment” as Position Type. Click “search” and select Job Number 301.Share this:last_img read more

“Taking Measure of Growth Charts” Published in The Wall Street Journal

first_imgPosted on December 22, 2014October 28, 2016By: Alison Chatfield, Project Manager, Maternal Health Task Force, Women and Health InitiativeClick 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)Are newborn growth charts one size fits all? Are growth charts developed based on how babies in the U.S. have grown in the past applicable in the U.S. today, or to countries around the world? Is it possible to create truly global standards for how a baby should grow?These are the questions at the heart of a new article published in The Wall Street Journal by Jo Craven McGrinty. Current practice has physicians assess a newborn’s weight and length against growth charts generated from data on previous births in the country they live in. This practice could work if a country’s population is completely healthy, and therefore provides an optimal standard for comparison. But, if it isn’t, then using population-specific standards can lead to certain characteristics of poor growth becoming institutionalized. What is needed are growth standards that provide an indication of how babies should grow under optimal conditions, rather than comparing growth to how babies have grown in the past.Enter, the INTERGROWTH-21st Project. The INTERGROWTH-21st Project has created globally validated growth standards that provide a universal norm of how babies shouldgrow under optimal conditions. By including approximately 60,000 healthy women from eight countries in the study, the project was able to develop true norms for fetal growth and newborn size that can be used in any country.Like the WHO Child Growth Standards before it, the INTERGROWTH-21st charts are poised to replace national-level growth references that describe how babies have grown in the past. The article ends on a forward-looking note, acknowledging that the INTERGROWTH-21st charts are just one of several assessment tools that are needed to inform interventions to improve maternal and newborn health, “but measurements pegged to good health are a start,” McGrinty concludes.The full article can be found at the Wall Street Journal.This article was reposted from the INTERGROWTH-21st blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

A Maternity Ward During the Ebola Outbreak: My Experience As an Ebola Fighter

first_imgPosted on July 1, 2015June 12, 2017By: Rudy Lukamba, Medical Field Coordinator, Women for Africa FoundationClick 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 week Dr. Lukamba is taking part in Safe Mothers and Newborns in CaixaForum Barcelona, a workshop supported by the MHTF, ISGlobal and Aga Khan University.There are so many ways to become famous; unfortunately West Africa will mark humanbeing history by being the area on Earth which experienced the worst Ebola outbreak. Ebola disease was known since 1976, but in this part of the world, no one was having an idea about it in November 2013 when the first cases started in Guinea Conakry. The weakness of the health system, the poor communication, the lack of coordination and resources contributed to the quick and large spread of the disease all over the subregion. Ebola created fear and panic in the societies of all countries affected; a lot of health facilities closed because health workers- who paid a huge tribute during this outbreak became afraid to treat any patients with Ebola-like symptoms. So the virus was killing one person directly and several others indirectly—mainly women—because all complications during pregnancy present similarly to Ebola (e.g. infection, eclampsia, bleeding, etc).Our intervention as Ebola fighters was less to treat patients affected by the virus than to avoid that those who were not Ebola infected died due to lack of proper care. The challenge was to provide maternal health care in the context of the Ebola outbreak. What follows is an account of our experience at the Maternity of Saint Joseph Catholic hospital in Monrovia, Liberia from November 2014 to June 2015. Our main method of work was to adjust the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) protocols to our reality of referral maternity which has to deal with all obstetrical emergencies. The main rule of IPC is the NO TOUCH POLICY. So our main concern was to find the way to attend to a pregnant woman without touching her. We developed innovative protocol to make it possible.All the patients, including all maternity patients, were going through hand washing with chlorine solution 0,05% and control of body temperature at the gate of the hospital. Then everybody passed by the triage to separate suspected cases (patient with fever and 2 to 3 others Ebola symptoms such as bleeding, body pain, vomiting, convulsion) from clean cases (patients having only pregnancy-related problems). Suspected cases were sent to the holding center (a building separated from the main hospital building) which was considered a red zone: an area where the wear of advanced personal protective equipment was mandatory. Quick assessment to evaluate the condition of the patient and blood specimen was taken for major endemic diseases (e.g. malaria, typhoid) and for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). An initial treatment was started waiting for the EVD result. When the EVD test was negative the patient was then cleared and sent to the maternity for further management. A delivery room was set in the holding building to attend to pregnant in advanced labor that couldn’t wait for the result to come.Patients without any symptom were sent to antenatal care, which was a new screening, comparing information from the patient’s history with those from the triage. Women were then scanned with an ultrasound which allowed a good clinical assessment without touching the patient.  Patients in labor were sent to the maternity, which was divided in three areas: red zone (labor and delivery room, because health professional were dealing with a lot of body fluid), yellow zone (postpartum, because the secretion was small) and green zone (nursing station). Over a 6 month period we screened 4,000 pregnant women, realized 700 deliveries, and performed 250 C-sections. And most important, avoiding the death of so many women who were wrongly suspected of Ebola. However the fight against Ebola is still going on.This post has been lightly edited from its original posting on the ISGlobal Blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

New Topic Page on Family Planning Now Available

first_imgPhoto: “Fenchuganj Upazila, Sylhet, Bangladesh” © 2011 Shafiqul Alam Kiron/Save the Children, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Share this: Posted on January 26, 2016August 4, 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)The MHTF is proud to bring you a new repository of information on family planning. Our newest topic page, “Integrating Family Planning into Maternal Health,” features an in-depth look at the relationship between family planning and maternal mortality:From 1990 to 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) decreased by 44 percent. A drop in the total fertility rate worldwide, due primarily to an increase in contraceptive use, resulted in 1.2 million fewer maternal deaths from 1990 to 2005. However, to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target of reducing the global MMR to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030, major challenges remain.Use the topic page to learn more about this relationship and to also access the most up-to-date reports, publications, news, and highlights of our work in family planning. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Misoprostol for Postpartum Hemorrhage: Empowering Health Workers to Save Lives

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 5, 2017January 6, 2017By: Shafia Rashid, Senior Technical Advisor, Family Care International (FCI) Program of Management Sciences for 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)In Senegal, approximately 1,800 women lose their lives every year while giving birth. The major cause of these deaths is uncontrolled bleeding after childbirth, or postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). More than half of Senegalese women live in rural areas and have limited access to well-equipped health facilities that can prevent or treat many of these deaths. Many women give birth, attended by matrones or volunteer birth attendants, in maternity huts. Recognized as essential health care providers by their communities, matrones have some formal training and are now registered with the Ministry of Health (MoH).To effectively prevent or treat PPH, women need access to uterus-contracting drugs, or uterotonics, such as oxytocin or misoprostol. The recommended uterotonic, injectable oxytocin, requires cold storage and technical skill to administer. Misoprostol is a safe and effective alternative where oxytocin isn’t available or feasible; it doesn’t need refrigeration and is easy to use—particularly important features for use in remote, rural areas.From 2013 to 2014, the Government of Senegal’s Direction of Reproductive Health and Child Survival, in partnership with USAID and Gynuity Health Projects, examined the use of misoprostol (600 mcg oral) or oxytocin (10 UI) via Uniject® for prevention of PPH at the community level. Matrones were trained to assist with deliveries and administer the designated intervention. According to the study, both misoprostol and oxytocin in Uniject® were equally effective and safe in preventing PPH, and matrones posted at the health huts were capable of administering the medicine they were assigned.As a result of the study’s findings, the National Health Commission approved the use of misoprostol for PPH in health huts across the country and granted matrones the authority to dispense medication and attend deliveries. Prior to the release of the study findings, the Ministry of Health did not consider matrones sufficiently qualified to administer life-saving interventions. They were only authorized to intervene in cases of imminent birth; otherwise, they referred women in labor to higher levels of care.Senegal’s recent commitment to empowering matrones and supporting community-based distribution of misoprostol for PPH prevention was codified in the National Strategic Community Health Plan (Plan National Stratégique de Santé Communautaire, 2014-2018). The government registered misoprostol for PPH prevention and treatment, making misoprostol commercially available in 2013, and included it in the update of the National Essential Medicines List in 2013.Senegal’s National Health Plan now officially recognizes matrones as a cadre of health provider in the country’s health system and the critical role they play in providing care at the community level. Matrones and other primary level staff from all 14 regions of Senegal participated in a national training so that they can effectively contribute to the roll-out and expansion of the national program for PPH prevention. Ongoing supportive supervision and close monitoring of the program is essential to ensure that matrones have the support they need to provide essential, life-saving care to women in their communities.This post originally appeared on Rights & Realities, a blog by the FCI Program at MSH.Share this:last_img read more

Improving Health Facility Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for Enhanced Delivery of Quality Maternal and Newborn Health Services in Kenya

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on March 22, 2018March 23, 2018By: Abdi Hassan, WASH Specialist, UNICEF Kenya; Lutomia Mangala, Health Specialist, UNICEF KenyaClick 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)Efforts for improving maternal and newborn health (MNH) often focus on implementing specific measures of maternity care, strengthening health systems and increasing women’s demand for giving birth in health care facilities—sometimes with little or no attention paid to the conditions of the places in which women give birth. Among these conditions is the availability—or lack—of clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities.Inadequate access to clean waterA 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) rapid assessment of WASH coverage in health care facilities in 54 low- and middle-income countries found that 38% of these facilities lacked access to an improved water source, or one that is likely to be protected from outside contamination. Furthermore, 35% did not have water and soap for handwashing, and 19% did not have improved sanitation, or a system that hygienically separates human excreta from human contact. The percentage of facilities without improved water rose to 42% when only countries in the African region were considered.This is consistent with the situation in some parts of Kenya, where a 2016 multi country analysis of WASH in the childbirth environment found only 18% of women delivered in an environment with improved water. UNICEF in Kenya has been supporting the government of Kenya over the past year to improve WASH conditions in select health facilities in the MNH high-burden districts of Kakamega, Homa Bay, Turkana, Garissa and Nairobi.A clean water, sanitation and energy planTo identify health facilities in great need of improved WASH facilities, UNICEF in partnership with United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) supported the government in undertaking a comprehensive assessment of health facilities to determine their WASH birth environment. One example is Homa Bay County’s Nyandiwa Health Centre, which—despite being on the shores of the second largest fresh water lake by area in the world—had no reliable supply of clean water. Nyandiwa was among 50 priority health facilities in the five districts that were eventually selected for a clean water and sanitation improvement plan.The improvements at Nyandiwa entailed rehabilitation and upgrading of existing water supply system to provide sustained WASH services to the health facility. An automatic water pump on the shores of Lake Victoria pumps water from the lake to raised water tanks with a combined capacity of 20,000 liters. These act as a reservoir and are connected through a piped system to various water delivery points within the health center, including the delivery room.A UNICEF-supported green energy project has also installed a solar system which provides reliable energy to the water pumping equipment, as well as lighting to the sanitation and hygiene facilities. Health facility managers and workers were trained on hygiene promotion as well as on operation and maintenance of the water system for sustained delivery of WASH services. For example, the health center has trained and assigned a Community Health Assistant to conduct routine operation and maintenance of the WASH facilities. The health center also conducts regular cleaning of the rain water harvesting tanks which provide clean drinking water for the staff and patients.Impact on maternal newborn healthAt health facilities, hygiene workers deliver messages promoting safe waste disposal, handwashing at critical times and drinking safe water through sessions with mothers during routine maternal, newborn and child health visits as well as through posters and fliers. Although there is a dearth of rigorous research quantifying the impact of WASH on MNH outcomes, available evidence, based on biological plausibility, suggests WASH interventions could improve MNH. It is therefore hoped the improvement in WASH in Nyandiwa and the other 49 health facilities will contribute to improvements in MNH service utilisation, and ultimately better health outcomes for mothers and newborns. Governments should develop plans and frameworks to continue improving WASH in health facilities and ensure that adequate financial resources are available to realize these goals.—Join the conversation on World Water Day by using #WorldWaterDay.Read about giving birth without clean water.Photo Credit: Eric Sakwa, UNOPS Engineer, KenyaShare this:last_img read more

Alberta spending more but saving more Highlights from the fiscal update

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci released the third-quarter fiscal update Wednesday showing the province on track for a $9.1-billion deficit when the budget year ends March 31 — $1.4 billion lower than expected. Here are some other highlights from the update:— The province is expected to take in an extra $1.9 billion in revenue this year for a total of $46.9 billion.— Spending is going up to $55.9 billion, about $1 billion more than projected in last spring’s budget.— Crude oil royalties to bring in $883 million, almost double what was expected.— Revenue from bitumen royalties to be $2.4 billion, about $188 million less than projected.— Personal income tax revenue expected to be $10.9 billion, $322 million less than expected.— Corporate income tax to generate $3.9 billion, about $66 million less than budget.— Capital plan spending forecast to be $9.2 billion, in line with the budget.— The unemployment rate was projected at 7.6 per cent at budget, but is now pegged at 6.8 per cent.— Of the 90,000 new full-time jobs created in the last year, most are in the oil and manufacturing sectors.— Debt for capital and operating expenses is forecast to reach $41.7 billion — about 12.4 per cent of GDP — with debt servicing costs at $1.4 billion.last_img read more

Worst intersections in Fort St John

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – ICBC has released their numbers for the worst intersections in Fort St. John.Data posted by ICBC is as of March 31, 2018, and includes all crash types including casualty crashes resulting in injury or fatality and property damage accidents.#100 crashes – 100 St & Hwy 97N & Turning lane#91 crashes – 100 Ave & Hwy 97N & Old Fort Road & Turning lane#76 crashes – 100 Ave & 100 St#67 crashes – 93 Ave & 96 St & 96A St#63 crashes – 108 St & 109 St & Hwy 97 N & Turning lane#60 crashes – 100 St & 93 AveTo view the crash scale; CLICK HERElast_img

Protests erupt in West Bengal over BJPs LS poll candidate selection

first_imgKolkata: Protests erupted in various parts of West Bengal after the BJP, in its first list of 28 candidates, nominated its veterans and defectors from the ruling Trinamool Congress to take on Mamata Banerjee’s party in the state. With old-timers being overlooked in favour of turncoats and newcomers, protestors gathered outside BJP offices in various parts of the state and, in some places, put up posters of rejected ticket aspirants outside the offices. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja BJP state vice-president Raj Kamal Pathak submitted his resignation after he was denied a party ticket. The saffron party, which bagged two Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2014 elections, is now targeting 23 of the state’s 42 constituencies. Of its 28 candidates, nearly 25 are new faces, with a thrust on active political workers rather than greenhorns from the glamour world. Unlike the TMC which had 18 new faces and a mix of old-timers and greenhorns, hardcore politicians and personalities from the film industry, the BJP has put faith on its own leaders and defectors from other parties. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway “If after serving the party for three decades and holding the post of vice-president do not make me qualified to get a party ticket, it is better to resign from the post,” Pathak said. The veteran BJP leader wanted to contest from Hooghly district, but he was overlooked in favour of a newcomer in the party. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said efforts will be made to pacify the dissidents. “There can be resentment in some places, but everything can be sorted out through discussions,” BJP state secretary Rahul Sinha said. This is not the first time the BJP has faced such protests. During the Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls in 2015, several ticket aspirants staged protest rallies outside the party office. Of the candidates, five had recently defected to the saffron party from the Trinamool Congress and one from the CPI(M). Union minister and BJP MP from Asansol Lok Sabha constituency Babul Supriyo has been renominated from the same seat and is pitted against actor Moon Moon Sen of the TMC. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh will contest from Medinipur seat against TMC leader Manas Bhunia. BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha will take on TMC heavyweight Sudip Bandopadhyay in Kolkata North Lok Sabha seat. State BJP vice-president and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew, Chandra Kumar Bose will contest from Kolkata South Lok Sabha seat. Former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, once known to be close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, will be fighting against TMC candidate and actor Dipak Adhikary, popularly known as ‘Dev’, from Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency. The BJP has fielded former Trinamool Congress MLA Arjun Singh from Barrackpur Lok Sabha seat. Singh, who had recently joined the saffron party, has been pitted against TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi. In Coochbebar Lok Sabha seat, the party has fielded former TMC youth leader Nishith Pramanik, while in Jadavpur, expelled TMC MP Anupam Hazra will contest against TMC’s Mimi Chakraborty, an actor by profession. Another former TMC MP Soumitra Khan, who joined the BJP in January, has been given ticket from Bishnupur (SC) Lok Sabha seat. Former CPI(M) MLA Khagen Murmu, who too had switched over to the BJP, will contest from Malda North seat against TMC’s Mausam Benazir Noor, who had recently defected to the party from the Congress, in Malda Uttar seat. Former TMC leader Sreerupa Mitra Chowdhury, who had contested elections on a TMC ticket from New Delhi, is the BJP candidate from the neighbouring Malda South seat. There are four women candidates and one Muslim nominee in the first list. The BJP in minority-dominated seats such as Malda South, Malda North and Basirhat did not field any candidate from the community. “We do not believe in giving tickets just on the basis of religion. For us winnability is the biggest criteria,” said a state BJP leader. The Lok Sabha elections in the state will be held from April 11 till May 19 in seven phases.last_img read more

Tunisia resorts tense but tourists shrug off attacks

first_imgSOUSSE – Failed suicide bombings in Tunisian resorts sparked fear Thursday among residents concerned for their livelihood, but tourists largely brushed off the attacks as they flocked to the beach.A day after Wednesday’s attacks police, national guardsmen and soldiers descended on the coastal town of Sousse, patrolling the streets and stopping motorists to search their cars.Security forces were also deployed outside supermarkets and shopping centres as part of a formidable operation to safeguard the country’s vital tourism industry. “These controls will be round the clock from now on all over Sousse,” an officer, who declined to be named, told AFP.The heightened security is evident as one approaches El Kantaoui, a luxury resort and port for yachts, where national guardsmen are deployed at roundabouts to check vehicles.El Kantaoui is north of Sousse and only 10 kilometres (six miles) from the beach where a suicide bomber blew himself up in a botched attack before authorities foiled another suicide bombing in neighbouring Monastir.Wednesday’s attacks have fuelled fears about the future of the country’s tourism sector, still struggling from the 2011 revolution, which resulted in a 30-percent drop in revenues.Already reeling from political instability sparked by the murders this year of two prominent politicians and a rise in violence attributed to jihadists, the Islamist-led government has repeatedly insisted that tourism is safe.On Thursday tourists appeared to agree with that assessment as they jogged along the beach, took rides in horse-drawn carriages, sunbathed or practiced waters sports, enjoying the warm October weather.“Yesterday I was scared, frankly. But I think such incidents are mostly a threat to Tunisia. The weather here still attracts us, and I’m determined to finish my holiday,” Aurelie, a French tourist, said as she walked her dog.Michele, another French holidaymaker lying on the beach, was also determined to see out her holiday. “I don’t want to think too much and ruin my vacation,” she said.Waiter Billel Toumi said he could not forget Wednesday’s events that easily.“Tourism has been targeted. We have been targeted,” he said. “We are not afraid for our own lives, but we must be able to work to feed our families.”Tourism accounts for a sixth of the workforce in Tunisia, according to the head of the National Tourism Office Habib Ammar, who was promoting his country at the Berlin tourism fair in March.But Tunisia has been struggling to woo tourists put off by the political turmoil across northern Africa.Figures released by the tourism ministry in mid-October showed the hotel occupancy rate for the first nine months of 2013 was 1.4 percent less than in 2012 and 15.7 percent lower than in 2010.The head of the French travel operator Selectour Afat (AS Voyage) Jean-Pierre Mas told AFP it was too soon to say if the attacks will have consequences on tourism in Tunisia.“Yesterday’s attacks… did not have measurable consequences. There are no cancellations. We cannot yet say today if the attacks affected bookings,” said Mas.“Globally the situation in Tunisia is worrisome from the economic point of view: tourism has dropped by 30 percent since the Arab Spring, it did not take off this summer, the political instability and now the attempted attacks targeting tourist zones are not favourable to the redeployment of tourism in Tunisia.”The porter of the four-star Riadh Palms hotel, the apparent target of the first attack, agreed.“We were already living through very tense times, and since yesterday’s incident we are living in fear,” said the porter, who declined to be named.“We are scared to death.”last_img read more

Can Alabama Afford To Lose

Last Saturday, the Mississippi State Bulldogs — ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll, the Coaches Poll and the College Football Playoff committee’s rankings — lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide 25-20. The loss ruined the Bulldogs’ quest for their first undefeated season since 1940, when they went 10-0-1.But under college football’s new playoff system, which will select four teams to contend for the national championship, a late-season loss by a No. 1 team isn’t as devastating as in years past. Mississippi State, for instance, fell only to No. 4 in the committee’s rankings after it lost to Alabama.It’s less clear whether the Bulldogs control their own destiny. They’ll have another chance to impress the committee when they travel to Oxford, Miss., on Nov. 29 to play No. 8 ranked Mississippi. But they probably won’t play in the SEC Championship and could be leapfrogged by a team (such as Baylor or TCU from the Big 12) that runs the table.The permutations can get intense. To forecast a team’s likelihood of making the playoff, you not only have to account for all plausible outcomes of upcoming football games but also how the set of humans who make up the selection committee might react to those different outcomes. We’re in the midst of investigating these questions and will have some results for you soon.But we’ll start, in this article, with a simple cut of the data: What’s happened, historically, to the ranking of No. 1 teams like Mississippi State when they lose? Could Alabama, the new No. 1, remain in the top four if it loses one of its remaining games?Because the playoff committee is new, we’ll be looking at the historical results from the Coaches Poll for guidance. (We figure the Coaches Poll might be a better proxy for the playoff committee than the AP poll since the committee leans heavily on athletic directors and former coaches.) Here are all the teams since 2002 to have lost a game while ranked No. 1 in the Coaches Poll:No. 1s that lost a regular-season game wound up anywhere from No. 4 to No. 10 after their defeats. That shouldn’t give much comfort to Alabama. Mississippi State’s case was unusual; most regular-season losses knock a No. 1 team out of the top four.What accounts for the different outcomes? Well, it’s complicated. The humans voting in the polls are a little forgiving if the loss comes against another ranked opponent. (No. 1s that lost to a ranked opponent fell to No. 6 on average, versus No. 8 for those that lost to unranked teams.) The margin of defeat may matter some as well. The No. 1s that lost regular-season games by the largest margin — Alabama and Ohio State on consecutive weekends in 2010 — fell to No. 8 and No. 10, respectively.Another factor is whether the year features a deep field of contenders. Part of Ohio State’s steep drop in 2010 may have been because there were an unusually high number of undefeated teams ranked just behind them at the time.Human voters have historically been more forgiving of losses in the conference championship: No. 1s to lose there have fallen to only No. 4 on average. That could be good news for Alabama. Still, this is a small sample with just three examples. Furthermore, the playoff committee claims it will put a particular emphasis on conference championship results.As I said, we’ll be making an effort to sort all this out. It will necessarily come with a lot of probabilities and approximations — this is the first year of the new system and we’re not expecting to identify hard-and-fast rules.There is one rule, however, that has almost always been true. It’s a simple one: A team can’t gain ground by losing.The chart, below, shows what happened to teams ranked throughout the top 25 in the Coaches Poll after they lost a game. (In the chart, read the vertical axis to find a team’s original ranking, then scan across to find the red line, which shows the team’s expected ranking after a loss. The dashed line represents what would happen if a team held its previous position.) Of the 1,133 ranked teams to lose since 2002, only 22 retained their original spot in the rankings. And even fewer — just five teams — improved their position in the poll.This may not be a surprising result, but it tells us something about how human voters react to college football outcomes. As I mentioned, the evidence suggests that voters pay some attention to margin of victory. A definitive win might get a little more credit than a narrow one.But what voters almost never do is reward a team because it loses by less than expected. Say, hypothetically, that No. 24 Gotham Tech travels to No. 3 Gotham State’s home stadium and loses on a last-minute field goal despite having been a 17-point underdog. Your esteem for Gotham Tech should probably improve: That’s a much better showing than you really had the right to expect. But a team’s standing in the polls has almost never improved after an outcome like this; the team has just been punished less. (In this respect, human voters seem to behave a lot like our version of NFL Elo ratings, which account for margin of victory but always prioritize a win over a loss by any margin.)Nor do teams seem to be demoted after narrower-than-expected wins. Take the non-hypothetical case of the 1995 Texas A&M Aggies. On Oct. 14 of that year, they won by just 3 points at home against the SMU Mustangs, an awful team that would go 1-10 that year. If there were ever a time to punish a team for a bad win, this was it. But the Aggies held their position at No. 22 in the polls.The next chart shows the data for ranked teams after wins since 2002. There are a few cases where a team lost ground in the Coaches Poll despite winning — but from what we can tell these were mostly cases where a team was leapfrogged by another that won in more impressive fashion. (That happened to Florida State earlier this year, for example.)There are some other interesting characteristics in these charts. After a loss, teams fall more positions in the poll if they are ranked lower to begin with. While No. 1-ranked teams fall five spots, on average, after a loss, teams ranked No. 15 fall eight positions. This may reflect the fact that teams are more closely bunched together toward the bottom of the Top 25 than toward the top, which is what you’d expect if team skill levels abided by a normal distribution.And a ranked team’s position falls more after a loss than it improves after a win. For example, when the No. 10 team wins a game, it improves only to No. 9, on average. But the same team falls to No. 17 after it loses.This is mainly a reflection of the fact that ranked teams are expected to win. A successful college football season is mostly a matter of running the gauntlet and avoiding upsets. The playoff system gives teams more slack, but not much. read more

Singer Anna Danes preforming at Martinis Above Fourth on Thursday

first_imgSinger Anna Danes preforming at Martinis Above Fourth on Thursday Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom July 30, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, center_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Anna Danes joined KUSI to share her talent and talk about her up coming show! She was accompanied by Sky Ladd on keyboard. Posted: July 30, 2019 Updated: 9:49 PMlast_img read more

Diplo Bounces Around The World For Blow Your Head Season 2

first_img Facebook Diplo Bounces Around The World For ‘Blow Your Head’ Season 2 The two-time GRAMMY winner’s music docu-series has returned after a 4-year hiatusBrian HaackGRAMMYs Aug 16, 2017 – 12:10 pm GRAMMY.comDiplo is at it again. The mega-producer and jet-setting artist has teamed back up with director Shane McCauley to bring their music documentary YouTube series Blow Your Head back for a second season after a 4-year break.The pair released a new trailer today for the second season via Diplo’s YouTube account. By way of introducing the subject matter of the series, Diplo explains that Blow Your Head is about “people creating new and innovative things with simple tools. Pure creativity, talent and expressions of youth at a time before someone tells you ‘you can’t do that.'” Email Twitter News Watch: Diplo’s ‘Blow Your Head’ Season 2 Trailer diplo-bounces-around-world-blow-your-head-season-2 NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Feb 17, 2016 – 12:49 pm Justin Bieber, Diplo, Skrillex Win Best Dance Recording This season will see Diplo and McCauley head to a variety of locations around the world, including South Africa, Kenya, and New Orleans to investigate micro-scenes of vibrant cultural music.J. Cole Signs On For ‘Bertie County’ Documentarylast_img read more

Microsoft invests 1 billion in OpenAI for supercomputing tech

first_img 0 Share your voice null OpenAI CEO Sam Altman (left) and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures Microsoft has invested $1 billion in OpenAI and reached a multiyear deal with the artificial intelligence research startup to jointly develop new supercomputing tech, the companies said Monday. OpenAI will run its services on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform.San Francisco-based OpenAI, which launched in 2015, has repeatedly emphasized its focus on the ethical use of artificial intelligence that “benefits all of humanity.” Microsoft and OpenAI said that artificial intelligence, a term used to describe how a machine can understand any intellectual task like a human being, should be used to resolve “currently intractable” problems such as the global climate crisis. “AI is one of the most transformative technologies of our time and has the potential to help solve many of our world’s most pressing challenges,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “By bringing together OpenAI’s breakthrough technology with new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, our ambition is to democratize AI — while always keeping AI safety front and center — so everyone can benefit.”OpenAI is backed by prominent tech leaders such as Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist, co-founder of PayPal and a Facebook board member. The company has a unique structure. It started out as a nonprofit but earlier this year, the nonprofit created a for-profit company that the nonprofit’s board still controls. OpenAI calls the hybrid a “capped-profit” company.The new collaboration with Microsoft comes at a time when cloud services for OpenAI have reportedly become a significant cost. OpenAI has been an Azure customer since 2016, Microsoft said. Earlier this year OpenAI offered a glimpse into GPT-2, a AI-powered text generator that focuses on reading comprehension, answering questions and summarizing. “We are in the process of porting our Rapid project to run on Azure,” an OpenAI representative said. “Rapid is a large-scale reinforcement learning software we’ve been developing for the last few years, and was used to train both our Dota agents and the robotic hand.”Originally published July 22 at 8:01 a.m. PT.Update, 9:25 a.m.: Adds comment from Microsoft. 3:02 Artificial intelligence (AI) Microsoftcenter_img Tags The farm of the future is in the cloud Computers Sci-Tech Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

Union Budget 2015 Belies Hopes of Tax Slab Revision

first_imgContrary to expectations, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2015 did not announce any changes in the income tax slabs. However, the minister raised the total exemptions for individual taxpayers to Rs 4,44,200.The proposed changes in the direct tax regime would incur a loss of Rs 8,315 crore, the FM said. New indirect tax proposals will bring in Rs.23,383 crore, Jaitley said.12:28 PM: Extension of benefits for the middle class tax payers announced.12:20 PM: Will abolish wealth tax; the rich have to pay more tax than the less affluent people.12:12 PM: New law to bring back black money from foreign countries.12:10 PM: Will reduce corporate tax from 30% to 25%.12:05 PM: GST will reduce the cascading effect of our goods and services.12:05 PM: ‘Make in India’ also aimed at our defence equipment including aircraft.11:57 AM: Will make sure that no student misses out on higher education for lack of funds.11:53 AM: Committed to make our development as green as possible.11:50 AM: Will move towards making India a cashless society.11.28 AM: Measures needed to monetise gold stocks of 20,000 tonnes.-Introduce a gold monetization scheme-Earn interest in metal account-Banks and dealers are able to monetise-Sovereign gold bond-Indian gold coin11.45 AM: Financial market reforms:–Aim to create world class equity market– Measures to reduce wild speculation– Capital accounts controls – propose amend FEMA– Sector neutral financial grievance reddressal agency–Introduce Indian financial code in parliament11:42 AM: The government plans to set up five ultra mega power projects.11:40 AM: We aim to improve ease of doing business.– Expert committee will prepare a draft legislation on creating a pre-existing regulatory mechanism that will replace multiple regulatory processes in setting up business.11:38 AM: All aspects of start-up businesses and self-employment opportunities will be addressed.11:35 AM: Tax free infrastructure bonds for rail and road.11.31 AM: Soon to be launched plan to offer 2 lakh rupees accident cover for 12 rupees premium a year– Propose to create Senior citizens’ welfare fund11:30 AM: Mudra Bank: Lending priority will be given to SC/ST candidates.A large portion of India is without insurance of any kind.A universal social security system Pradhan Mantri Surakha Yojna will be started.11.25- Government committed to increase people’s access to banking and funds. 11:24 AM: Helping farmers: Improving soil fertility, aimed at irrigating the field of every farmer.11.23 AM: Subsidies are needed for the poor. We need a well targeted system for subsidies delivery.– We need to rationalise subsidy not eliminate it.11: 21 AM: Considerable scaling up of the disinvestment figures.11. 20 AM: We will meet challenging fiscal deficit target of 4.1 percent which we inherited says Jaitley11:16 AM: Jobs for the young people who make up 35 percent of population. With ‘Make in India’, youth will turn from job seekers to job creators.– The eastern parts of the country will be economically integrated to the rest of the country.– Fiscal discipline in spite of rising demand of public investment– 42 percent of tax revenue to be shared with states.11:15 AM: We have to make India the manufacturing hub of the world.11:13 AM: Each house in India should have basic facilities, says Finance Minister.11.06 AM: Double digit growth to kick in soon; ”we think in terms of a quantum jump’. 11.06 AM: Jaitley hints at further easing of monetary policy this year as inflation seen around 5%. 11:05 AM: Jaitley says that the Budget aims to benefit the common man, women and children.11:01 AM: Arun Jaitley starts the 2015 Union Budget.11 AM: Indian markets up ahead of Finance Minister’s speech: Sensex up 0.7% at 29433.89 and the Nifty is up 0.6% at 8900.45.10:20 AM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Parliament.10:15 AM: Cabinet meeting under way.10 AM: If the Budget is pro-poor that does not mean it has to be anti-rich, says BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli.9:35 AM: Arun Jaitley makes his way to the parliament.9:26 AM: Union cabinet to meet ahead of the Budget.9:25 AM: Sensex opens at over 200 points.Where To Watch Budget 2015 Live Online9:20 AM: Nothing has changed on the ground as far as doing business is concerned, says Congress spokesman Sanjay Jha.9:15 AM: Arun Jaitley meets President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan.9 AM: Arun Jaitley reaches Finance Ministry two hours ahead of the Union Budget.We will wait for the #Budget2015 and ask very pointed questions: Anand Sharma (Congress) pic.twitter.com/xtpera3Jzi— ANI (@ANI_news) February 27, 2015last_img read more