A few years ago, Bonny Wolf told a great story on NPR that goes something like this:In Chicago, a friend cuts off the end of roast beef before she cooks it. She does it because her mother does it. Her mother does it because her grandmother did it. So one day, the friend asks her grandmother why for years she has cut the end off the roast beef. The reason? Her grandmother says, “because my pan is too small.”I love this story because it tells us so much of how humans think. We often do as we have always done out of tradition or habit or imitation without questioning why. We move within our personal frames of reference, over and over, back and forth, until our ways are ingrained and unquestioned.Established nonprofits and companies create cultures that inadvertently lock in this dynamic. It is a very hard thing to resist the comfort of checking the same boxes without even asking how they got there. Each of my children went through a phase where they asked “why?” about every last thing. It has passed. Things get familiar and they don’t feel the need to pose the question. I think familiarity is one of the biggest barriers to innovation. It’s why we pay for fresh eyes – like consultants. – to ask “why?”In the spirit of rejecting the familiar frame we’re given, here are four questions to ask yourself before you check the same old box:1. Why did we start doing this activity?2. What underlying purpose does this activity serve?3. If it’s because of problem, is there a way to solve its root cause and prevent even needing to do the activity in the first place?4.If it’s because of an opportunity, is there a way to go bigger?The box may not be needed after all. There may be better ways to spend your time.
How do I look for good photos?Stock photo sites host thousands of images— and you probably won’t find the best photo on your first attempt. Don’t get discouraged! For best results, ask yourself these questions before searching for that perfect photo that fits your idea of “woman, pink hat, outdoors”:1. What kind of photo am I looking for?Do you want an illustration, an up-close photo of a face, a wide shot of someone head to toe?2. What elements must be in the photo?Is this an invite to a fundraising gala or a 5K? Should the woman wearing a pink hat be in running gear or a formal dress with a pink feathery piece topping off the look?3. What emotion am I trying to capture or elicit in this photo?Are you trying to portray a breast cancer survivor after treatment or an energetic young woman finishing a 5K on behalf of your cause?4. Where am I going to use this photo?Whether you use the image for print, web or both makes a big difference in the resolution and e file size you’ll need. Don’t know which medium the photo will end up in? As a general rule, download the largest image you can afford. That way, you can use the image for a variety of mediums without any resolution issues.5. How do I know if this is a good image or not?Save a few of the images you like (download a sample or take a screenshot) and make a note of where you found them (include the ID number) so you can locate them later. Show them to your staff, volunteers or a loyal donor to see if the image captures the message you’re trying to convey.6. Do I have to use the entire image?If half the image meets all your needs but the random dog on the other side doesn’t add any value, crop it out. Beware: some sites don’t allow editing of images in any way.Dos and Don’ts Don’t use a stock image with a testimonial or a quote; it will diminish your credibility.Do use stock images that feature real people in natural settings (avoid white backgrounds).Don’t use random stock images that have nothing to do with your mission or organization.Do download a higher quality image if you plan to use it in a print piece in the future. You can always make a photo smaller but a low resolution image will never look good enlarged or in print.Don’t modify images unless you have the skills and expertise to do so. People can usually spot inconsistencies and know it’s an altered image.Do download royalty-free images to keep costs downDo read a site’s terms and conditions carefully. Some sites have very specific requirements on how the image can be used.Do select imagery with people taking some sort of action—especially one that reinforces your mission.Do select images that have high-contrast colors. It will catch the viewer’s eye and be better seen by the sight impaired.Don’t select images of people wearing current fashion trends if you don’t plan to change your photos frequently. These images tend to quickly look outdated and this perception can transfer to how people perceive your brand.Do select images with diversity. Our world is diverse; make sure you pick images of people who reflect different ages, genders and races. There’s not much that can stand-in for beautiful images of your organization’s work. But we know there are times when stock images might be your only option for adding visual interest to your nonprofit website, newsletter or fundraising appeal. This is especially true for new nonprofits, organizations that don’t have a photo-savvy staffer or NPOs who can’t afford to hire a pro. For organizations that work with children, victims of abuse or other issue areas where privacy is a concern, stock images can be a great solution when visuals are needed.Let’s face it: Stock images can look generic and incredibly fake. (How many women do you know who casually laugh while eating salad by themselves?) But there are some ways to find quality photos that fit your criteria and help tell your story. Follow our simple dos and don’ts for using stock images and learn how to find the best photos for your message.Here are a two examples of good and bad stock images: 1. Call for volunteers—bad example White background Nothing to do with the organization’s mission Not a lot of contrast in color Not capturing a real world situation2. Call for volunteers—good example (for a clean-up)Real people in a real settingHigh contrast in colorPeople are taking actionDiversity is represented3. Join our email list—bad exampleUnnatural settingNo action is taking placeUnless an animal shelter offers typing classes for canines, this has nothing to do with the organization’s mission4. Join our email list—good example (for an animal shelter)High contrast in colorsPhoto is in a real settingLooks genuineWhere can I look for good photos?Many websites sell photos:iStockphotoBig Stock PhotoPunchstockShutterstockIf you don’t want to buy an image, try your luck with Flickr’s Creative Commons gallery. Flickr, one of the largest communities for online photo sharing, has developed an online photo gallery that gives photographers the ability to share free, high-quality, downloadable images with minimal licensing requirements.Our friends at TechSoup have compiled a helpful list of sites that offer free photos for use. TechSoup also explains the basics for using images you find on the internet (when you have permission and when you don’t).
Fundraising ideas are always in demand for nonprofits, and the options are endless, but many of them cost a lot of money to produce. High-end fundraisers, like an annual gala, bring in the big donations, but they are a lot of work and can be very expensive to put on. Not everyone can participate in them, so you also need to have fundraisers that are more casual and easier to put on. Here are some ideas for low-cost, or free, fundraising events.Use What You’ve GotThe first step in free charity fundraising is to assess your resources. Take a look at what your organization already has that may be of use. If you have a building, look at your space — both inside and out — and see if you have a place you can use for an event. If the indoors is all office or clinic space, but you have a lawn, then consider an outdoor function. A couple of ideas to get you started thinking of possibilities might be:Build community by holding a small-town feeling event like a pancake breakfast or spaghetti supper. If you can get some “celebrity” chefs (the mayor, radio personalities, doctors, etc.), you can create a bigger draw.Support the arts by hosting an art show or sale. Use hallways as the gallery if you don’t have a room you can dedicate to the effort. You can sell pieces and charge a commission, encouraging sales by publicizing the fact that a certain percent of all sales goes to the charity. Of course, you can ask the artists to donate something for an auction too. Alternatively, you could just make it a show and ask local businesses to donate the prize money. Additional funds can be raised by selling ad space on a program or through sponsorships that you will publicize on flyers for the event. You also have the opportunity to make money from entry fees and guest admissions.Take Advantage of Fundraising WebsitesPhysical events are fun for guests and are a great way to give potential supporters a sense of connection with your organization, but more and more people are spending time online and developing personal networks there. Young people, especially, connect with others online and love to share what they are passionate about, so the Internet can be a great “place” for free fundraising.Auctions are great because the process is familiar; you get the donations, post details (pictures are vital!), and buyers make their offers and pay with online donations when it’s over. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, though. Consider the popularity of the “ice bucket challenge” that came out of nowhere and spread virally.Every organization is different, so the opportunities are endless. Hopefully, these ideas have given you a starting point for planning some events of your own.Network for Good has a blog with more free information on nonprofit marketing, including how to set up an effective donation page, and 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 fundraising efforts, so contact us today or call 1-888-284-7978 x1.
Network for Good loves #GivingTuesday! It’s the day after Cyber Monday, and just four days after the greed-fest madness of Black Friday. You might think that after spending all that money shopping, people would be tight with their purse strings, but in this case, we’ve found that not to be the case.#GivingTuesday Is Well Timed Thanksgiving puts everyone in a gratitude frame of mind, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday get people over-stimulated and competitive to grab the best deals; it’s true. But, a lot of folks are doing Christmas shopping, and perhaps that’s why they come out the other side with a sense of December being the giving season.Tax-savvy people are also aware that it’s the end of the year and time to make those tax-deductible donations, too! So whether for business or pleasure, people make a considerable amount of their charitable donations at this time of year.Network for Good’s Campaign Is Designed to Boost Your CampaignNetwork for Good’s campaign is called “N4G Gives,” and we are here to help get your team ready for easy fundraising this giving season. We want to make this your best holiday season ever by providing tools, training and the most effective tactics to reach your donors.For clients of Network for Good using our DonateNow or GiveCorps fundraising platforms*, there are even more valuable offers, including:Pool of $125,000 available in matching funds to make fundraising for a cause even more successful and fun“Featured Nonprofits” status, to give you extra visibility with our donorsSpecialized coachingClient-exclusive webinars and tool kitsEither way, whether you are a client or a guest on our website, you’ll find plenty of inspiration and useful information to help make this year’s #GivingTuesday your best ever. We hope to be your partner in starting (or continuing) a tradition of making #GivingTuesday one of your biggest and most fun fundraisers of the year.*For those who aren’t familiar with our fundraising platforms—we offer two different programs, so there’s bound to be one that suits your needs:DonateNow: Professionally designed, fully customizable donation websites that make donors want to give. The platform comes with built-in coaching and shares our expertise from many years of fundraising with organizations of all sizes and types.GiveCorps: Project-based funding and crowdfunding platform designed to draw in more donors and make it easy for your donors to support you even more by engaging their personal networks through peer to peer fundraising.To learn more about DonateNow and GiveCorps contact us today or call 1-888-284-7978 x1.
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:
Posted on December 13, 2013November 7, 2016By: Nora Miller, Research Assistant, Respectful Maternity Care program, 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)Unlike many of its neighboring countries, where progress has been made toward the MDG 5 target of increasing the proportion of births with a skilled birth attendant (SBA), Kenya has struggled. In fact, the country experienced a reduction in the percent of births attended by SBAs: from 50% in 1989 to 44% in 2010. This has contributed to an excessively high maternal mortality ratio of 488 deaths per 100,000 live births, leaving it off track to meet MDG 5 by the 2015 deadline.In an effort to address this issue, the newly elected Jubilee Government included the promise of free maternity services at public facilities in its 2013 campaign and officially abolished user fees in June of this year. While there has been much celebration of the free maternity services policy and the historic gains made for women’s rights in general, many members of civil society and the public at large have expressed skepticism about the impact this will have on reducing maternal mortality, and anecdotal evidence suggests mothers have avoided the free maternity services fearing that quality of care will decrease.Even though the new policy removes an important financial burden, it does not fully address the numerous deterrents to receiving care that women must overcome in order to access services. In addition to known geographic, financial and cultural barriers, research conducted by the Kenyan Federation of Women Lawyers, Family Care International and the Population Council has shown that disrespectful and abusive care from providers serves as a major deterrent to the decision to deliver in health facilities in Kenya. These studies show that many women choose to deliver at home because they fear the inhumane treatment they may experience if they go to the hospital. Under the new policy, respectful maternity care remains a concern, as women who access the free services may risk be subjected to humiliating or degrading treatment by health care providers and hospital staff.The new policy does not account for measures necessary to accommodate the expected increase in demand: additional investments are needed to increase the number of facilities or expand existing facilities’ capacity; ensure availability of supplies and equipment; and train health workers to provide respectful maternity care. Additionally, the policy does little to address the persistent shortage in human resources for health—an issue that has recently been compounded by a health worker strike.In short, removing user fees plays a key role in reducing financial barriers, but does not ensure that women will make the decision to deliver in health facilities, with assistance from SBAs, nor guarantee that the care they receive will be delivered with respect.Kenya’s 2010 Constitution provides for human dignity and the right to life. In providing free maternity services, the Jubilee Government has taken laudable steps towards protecting women’s right to health and in ensuring that financial barriers will not prevent women from accessing care in facilities. However, much more remains to be done to guarantee the Constitution’s claim of the right to human dignity, especially with regard to women’s experience of childbirth in health facilities.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
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:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 14, 2015October 13, 2016By: Kenny Simbaya, White Ribbon Alliance Citizen ReporterClick 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)On September 25, 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, 193 Member States of the UN unanimously adopted the post-2015 development goals christened Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are 17 in total with 169 targets. They were received with both optimism and skepticism.The SDGs are an opportunity to end extreme poverty, hunger, protect the planet and end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths. To achieve these goals, we need accountability and citizen engagement.As an advocate for maternal and newborn health issues, I would like to share some thoughts on Sustainable Development Goal 3, which is about ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. The health and well-being of mothers is central to this goal, and if we collectively work to achieve it, the new generation of women will enjoy one of their most respected responsibilities – that of bringing a new life.However, ending maternal and newborn death will remain a pipe dream unless we invest in young people with a special focus on girls. Ensuring girls enjoy their human rights just like boys do, will mean that we work hard to end child marriage.Statistics from UNFPA show that 70,000 adolescents die annually from causes related to pregnancy and child birth: pregnancy-related complications, together with HIV, are the leading causes of death among girls 15 to 19 years old. In fact, the risk of maternal death for mothers younger than 18 in low- and middle-income countries is double that of older females. During this year’s UNGA, a young mother of two and White Ribbon Alliance Citizen Reporter from West Bengal, India, Santana Murmu (now 18), shared her own experience of being married at 14. She now advocates for the improvement of maternal health and campaigns to end early marriage everywhere.“The world must stand together to condemn child marriage as it has adverse impact to the development and health of both the child-bride and that of her would-be newborn,” shared Murmu.To achieve this objective, we must engage young people. Children that are now 15 years old were newborns when the Millennium Development Goals were launched in 2000. When the SDGs come to an end, these children will be 30 years old. The SDGs are a young people’s agenda – they will be the ones to implement it.Photo: “Indien” © 2008 M M, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 19, 2016June 23, 2017By: Katie Millar, Jacquelyn Caglia and Ana Langer, MHTFClick 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 deadline for submissions has been extended to May 1st!Progress for AllAs a maternal health community, we have much to celebrate as we reflect on progress made with global attention to the Millennium Development Goals. Yet, most countries did not meet MDG 5[i],[ii], to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters by 2015, and, despite progress, inequality prevails both among and within countries[iii],[iv]. The Sustainable Development Goals emphasize the urgent need for increased equality everywhere. [v]In order to address the need to reduce inequalities and showcase necessary measurement improvements to uncover them, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) is partnering for the fourth time with PLOS for a new MHTF-PLOS collection, “Neglected Populations: Decreasing inequalities and improving measurement in maternal health.” The MHTF’s overarching goal for our collections is to promote and facilitate the wide dissemination of new evidence on this critical topic, highlighting in particular the work of maternal health researchers in low-resource settings.The epicenter of inequality is often found in neglected populations. Groups of women who are marginalized based on their race[vi], ethnicity, language[vii], socioeconomic status[viii], citizenship (or statelessness)[ix], age[iv], disability[iv], or geography[viii] experience some of the worst health outcomes. As the tide of global health priorities turns to universal health coverage[x],[xi],[xii], we must ensure that those worst off are provided access to the full spectrum of quality reproductive, maternal and newborn health care.In 2014, more people were displaced, internally and externally, than any other year in recorded history. The staggering rate of 59.5 million is 59% higher than it was a decade ago.[xiii] The resulting statelessness of displacement often further complicates a woman’s ability to access the care she needs.[ix] In particular, women in areas of conflict experience high rates of trauma, especially domestic and sexual violence[xiv],[xv], and have poor access to reproductive and maternal health care [xvi],[iv].Now, more women live in urban settings than rural, where they face a new set of barriers to health. Urban residence can bring challenges of overcrowding, insecurity, decreased social cohesion, and unhealthy lifestyles.[iv] Other groups, including adolescents[iv], women with HIV, and sexual minorities[iv], have poor access to maternal healthcare due to stigma or prejudice.Call for PapersThrough this latest collection of papers, we seek to draw attention to issues of inequality within maternal health, with a particular focus on new and innovative measurement tools and approaches to track disparities and guide efforts to reduce them.Papers submitted to this collection must present and discuss primary quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods research in maternal health with the following focus:Analysis of strategies to assess and address the needs of neglected populationsCommunity-based research conducted in neglected populationsImplementation and evaluation of programs where the neglected population they were designed to serve was included throughout the planning, implementation, and evaluation processUse of disaggregated data to address inequalities in maternal healthPresentation and evaluation of new measurement tools or novel application of existing ones to reduce disparities in maternal healthResearch articles should adhere to PLOS ONE’s publication criteria and submissions that present new methods or tools as the primary focus of the manuscript should meet additional requirements regarding utility, validation and availability. Authors should refer to the PLOS ONE Submission Guidelines for specific submission requirements.Publication FundingThis special collection has been made possible by generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through Grant #OPP1125608 to the Maternal Health Task Force at the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. The Maternal Health Task Force is pleased to cover the publication costs for a limited number of papers from authors with a financial need, for example early career researchers and/or authors from low-and middle-income countries. Authors requiring such assistance should include a statement to that effect in their initial correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org (see below).Submitting to the CollectionAuthors should submit a preliminary abstract or full paper (if possible) for scope consideration to email@example.com. Potential suitability for the collection will be determined within two weeks. A draft of the full manuscript may be requested if suitability cannot be determined based on the abstract alone. Preliminary decision on scope based on draft abstracts or manuscripts does not imply acceptance by the journal upon submission. Editors have no knowledge of an author’s financial status and all decisions will be based solely on editorial criteria. If your submission has been approved for conditional inclusion in the collection after scope review, a full draft of the paper should be submitted to PLOS ONE using the collection submission guidelines.Submitted manuscripts will then undergo evaluation according to the journal’s policies and no articles can be guaranteed acceptance. PLOS ONE editors will retain all control over editorial decisions.Articles will stand the best chance of inclusion in the collection if they are submitted by May 1, 2016.[i] Countdown Final Report[ii] The Millennium Development Goals Report[iii] Addressing inequity to achieve the maternal and child health millennium development goals: looking beyond averages[iv] Women and Health: the key for sustainable development[v] Ending preventable maternal and newborn mortality and stillbirths[vi] Pregnancy-related mortality in the United States, 2006-2010.[vii] Maternal language and adverse birth outcomes in a statewide analysis.[viii] Disadvantaged populations in maternal health in China who and why?[ix] Health insurance for people with citizenship problems in Thailand: a case study of policy implementation.[x] The Politics of Universal Health Coverage in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Framework for Evaluation and Action.[xi] Towards universal health coverage for reproductive health services in Ethiopia: two policy recommendations.[xii] Universal health coverage in ‘One ASEAN’: are migrants included?[xiii] World at War: UNHCR Global Trends 2014[xiv] What evidence exists for initiatives to reduce risk and incidence of sexual violence in armed conflict and other humanitarian crises? A systematic review.[xv] Symptoms associated with pregnancy complications along the Thai-Burma border: the role of conflict violenceand intimate partner violence.[xvi] Maternal health care amid political unrest: the effect of armed conflict on antenatal care utilization in Nepal.Share this:
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:
Posted on December 13, 2017December 13, 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)What do we know?One of the strongest predictors of a woman’s likelihood of having a cesarean delivery is whether she has had one with a previous pregnancy. Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) has been a contentious area in medicine for decades. Studies have demonstrated an association between VBAC and ruptured uterus and neonatal morbidity. However, repeat cesarean delivery also carries increased risks of complications such as placenta accreta in future pregnancies.When done in an appropriate context with the necessary resources in place, VBAC can have high rates of success. Evidence suggest that the relative risks associated with VBAC and repeat elective cesarean delivery are comparable among low-risk women. In addition to clinical risk factors, there are several elements that can influence a woman’s decision to attempt a VBAC including providers’ beliefs and practices, hospital-level and national policies, limited resources, lack of information, health insurance reimbursement and concerns about malpractice litigation.Clinical guidelines related to VBAC decision-making and management are inconsistent across hospitals and countries, and most of the research on the safety of and indications for VBAC has been conducted in high-income countries (HICs).Expanding the conversationOver the past few decades, cesarean section rates have increased dramatically in virtually every part of the world—including in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). As global cesarean rates rise, more and more women will be faced with a dilemma: “Do I attempt a VBAC or choose a repeat cesarean?” Weighing the risks and benefits of these choices becomes even more complicated in health facilities that do not meet basic requirements for safe surgery.More evidence from diverse settings is needed to understand the complexity surrounding VBAC in the global context. Very few studies on this topic have been conducted in LMICs, and findings from HICs may not always apply to different populations and health systems. For example, in some cases, the process of assessing whether a women is a good candidate for VBAC might incorporate facility-level factors such as the availability of safe anesthesia, a sterile operating room and a properly trained surgeon. In HICs, these issues are often not considered relevant in conversations about VBAC.Obstetricians, midwives and other maternal health care providers around the globe must be trained and equipped to safely conduct cesarean deliveries when needed, carefully monitor attempted VBACs to prevent complications and help women to make informed decisions about which option is best for them and their babies.—Explore the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF)’s mini-series, “The Global Epidemic of Unnecessary Cesarean Sections” [Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3]Read the report from a technical meeting that the MHTF hosted with the Fistula Care Plus Project, “Cesarean Section Safety and Quality in Low Resource Settings.”Subscribe to receive new posts from the MHTF blog in your inbox.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
For the second time in one week, the Panama Canal’s expanded waterway welcomed a container vessel with a total TEU allowance (TTA) of 14,863.The vessel CMA CGM J. Adams matched the capacity of the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, which established a new record as the largest capacity container vessel on August 22 with the same mark of 14,863 TTA.“Both transits over a period of seven days are further evidence of the impact of the Expanded Panama Canal to world maritime trade,” Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, said.The two ships are deployed on the new OCEAN Alliance’s weekly South Atlantic Express (SAX) service, which connects Asia and US East Coast ports via the Panama Canal.The SAX service is composed of 11 vessels ranging in size from 11,000 to 14,000 TEUs, including vessels which also transited the expanded Canal earlier in May becoming the largest capacity ships to do so at the time.Image Courtesy: Panama Canal
Tamara PimentelAPTN NewsA Calgary woman who travels around the city giving haircuts to the homeless says her bus was vandalized and she has received death threats.But in spite of that, she’s trying to get back up and running for Christmas.firstname.lastname@example.org
By 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/eaau6753
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 10 2019Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that leads to significant health issues as well as high treatment costs. In this themed issue of Clinical Therapeutics, published by Elsevier, experts review multiple aspects of RA detection and intervention with the overall goal of moving the field closer to developing effective preventive measures. Identifying people before they develop the disorder could significantly alter the course of disease and spare people its damaging effects.RA affects around one percent of the population worldwide. It leads to swollen, painful joints and can also damage other body systems such as the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. This debilitating disease results in diminished quality of life, loss of work, pain, and suffering. It is also largely a “forever” disease from which patients with full-blown RA will suffer for the rest of their lives. While medications can control RA for many patients, very few experience a complete cure and are able to discontinue treatment. RA is an expensive disease. In the United States it currently costs around $20,000-30,000 per patient annually for treatment.Guest-edited by Kevin D. Deane, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Denver, CO, USA; and Tsang Tommy Cheung, MBBS (HK), Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, this themed issue taps into the expertise of many scientists across the world and discusses multiple aspects of RA prevention. “These discussions will hopefully provide insights into how we can move RA forward to the point where we are preventing disease and also give guidance on how other autoimmune diseases could be prevented as well,” explain the Guest Editors.Many studies are already underway to learn how to prevent RA, however, prevention of autoimmune diseases is still new territory and there is a lot to discuss and learn. “Most people are familiar with prevention for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer,” notes Dr. Deane. “For example, it is very common for someone to have routine blood tests, which might reveal high cholesterol, a potential risk factor for a future heart attack. That individual can then implement lifestyle changes like more healthful eating, smoking cessation, and more exercise, or taking a medication to lower the risk of a future heart attack. We developed these approaches for heart attack prevention through clinical trials. The RA community has learned from these approaches and similar prevention-type trials are now underway in RA.””Most autoimmune diseases are only identified once an individual gets ‘sick.’ For example, with RA, once someone has painful, swollen joints,” adds Dr. Cheung. “Blood-based tests can now identify individuals who are at risk before they feel sick, opening a whole new world of screening and possible prevention. Treating RA very early may allow for cheaper, safer therapies to work because once full-blown RA has developed, typically very powerful medications are needed to control disease.”In a Commentary on the clinical burden of RA, John M. Davis III, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Rochester, MN, USA, makes the case that preventive approaches would greatly benefit RA patients. “There have been great advances in the development of conventional synthetic, biologic, and targeted disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to treat RA as well as strategies to use these agents to control disease-associated inflammation to the state of either low disease activity or clinical remission,” he comments. “However, with any given treatment strategy, up to 40-60 percent of patients ultimately respond inadequately. Investment in developing preventive strategies is expected to lead eventually to a paradigm shift from treating disease and disease-related complications to maintaining health of people worldwide.”Related StoriesResearch suggests new way to improve the efficacy of arthritis drugResearchers develop NO-scavenging hydrogel for treatment of rheumatoid arthritisStudy shows link between BMI and disease severity in psoriatic arthritisThe rigorously peer-reviewed articles in this themed issue cover topics such as the natural history of RA; nomenclature for the stages of development of RA; potential pharmacological targets; potential for prevention by targeting mucosal processes; predicting RA in at-risk individuals; optimal trial design for RA prevention studies; patient preferences; regulatory considerations; system challenges; monitoring safety; and adverse events. All of the authors contributed in a significant way to the overall picture of how RA prevention is developing.The issue identifies several important challenges: Finding individuals who are at-risk for future RA through simple methods, which could be population-based blood testing or other approaches. Getting the research and medical community to agree on the right terminology for RA. “Right now, RA is only applied once someone has arthritis. But it may be that we need to develop new terms like ‘Pre-RA’ that can be used to identify someone at high risk for future RA. For example, the term pre-diabetes is commonly used and is helpful for people to understand that they are in a stage of disease that indicates that they are at risk for getting worse unless they do something. We need similar terms in RA that can resonate with people, and help them take action,” comments Dr. Deane. Editor-in-Chief Richard Shader, MD, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA comments: The efforts of this team of experts to raise awareness of RA and to explore methods for early detection and intervention should catalyze the medical and scientific communities to increase their efforts to find better ways to treat and perhaps even prevent RA and its complications.” Many other rheumatic and autoimmune diseases follow a similar model as RA where there are blood markers that are abnormal, sometimes years before an individual feels “sick” from disease. These diseases include lupus, gout, and others such as vasculitis. Getting society to invest in prevention, which requires that groups such as governments, the insurance industry, and pharmaceutical companies are also interested in prevention and willing to support it. RA science is in a fortunate situation compared to many other inflammatory diseases where it is rarely known when and where disease-specific immunity may be triggered and how it may gradually evolve towards targeting of the end organ. Research and solutions proposed in this issue may also serve as a demonstration example for many other chronic immune-mediated diseases.”Lars Klareskog, MD, PhD, Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, in a Guest Editorial Prior research has already shown that the development of RA can be delayed with a single dose of medication that is typically used in people who have full-blown RA. That finding suggests that if individuals can be identified at the right time, future RA can be delayed or completely prevented. There are also multiple clinical trials underway that should help determine which drugs have the potential to prevent RA and who the best candidates are to receive this treatment.”Treating RA very early may allow for cheaper, safer therapies to work because once full-blown RA has developed, typically very powerful medications are needed to control the disease. This is like stopping a fire when it is still at the stage of a candle – pretty easy. However, stopping a fire once a full-blow forest fire has developed is very hard!” conclude the Guest Editors. Patient preference is also a major challenge. “Asking at-risk individuals to take medications with possible side effects when there is no clinically apparent disease is not easy at all,” observes Dr. Cheung. Finding prevention approaches that work – whether drugs or lifestyle changes (e.g., smoking cessation), or combinations of both. Source:Elsevier
This significant research is a result of the collaborative spirit NETRF fosters among our funded researchers. Drs. Ramesh Shivdasani and Bradley Bernstein assembled a top team of scientists who shared knowledge and resources, to advance our understanding of NETs that can help us improve care for those facing the highest risks.”Elyse Gellerman, NETRF chief executive officer Currently, physicians predict a patient’s risk of pNET recurrence using tumor size. Non-functional pNETs larger than 2 centimeters are considered the most likely to metastasize following surgery.Building on molecular findings in about a dozen pNETs, Shivdasani and colleagues analyzed the molecular profiles of another 142 pNET tumor specimens using new laboratory tests for expression of specific proteins. Shivdasani notes that the findings divided pNETs, sharply and unexpectedly, into roughly equal fractions of those that resemble normal alpha cells and express the regulatory protein ARX and others that resemble beta cells and express the regulatory protein PDX1.Related StoriesScientists reveal mechanism of tumor metastasis and tumor-suppressive role of UDP-glucoseNovel anticancer agents show promise to control tumor growth in nearly every cancer type3D breast tumor models may improve drug discovery and testingThe researchers were able to analyze data on tumor relapse for most patients whose tumor specimens were included in the study. Tumors with exclusive ARX expression had more than 35% risk of recurrence following surgery, compared to less than 5% risk if the tumor lacked ARX. Among study participants whose tumors showed high ARX levels, cancer recurred in the liver within 1 to 4 years, compared to the rare recurrence of tumors that expressed PDX1.ARX and PDX1 levels can be measured using immunohistochemistry (IHC), a test that stains tumor tissue and is routine in clinical laboratories. Current IHC assays do not test for these proteins, but the researchers note that they could easily be brought into routine diagnostic testing in a matter of months. Should the findings of this study be corroborated in future clinical research, the prognostic impact for patients with a new pNET diagnosis will be significant.The next steps are to make the distinction of the new pNET subtypes possible in clinical laboratories and to confirm the findings in larger groups of patients.This laboratory study is an early step in identifying prognostic markers for non-functioning pNETs. Medical research often starts in the laboratory and then takes years to move into clinical testing in humans. Because IHC assays for ARX and PDX1 can be developed readily, the new findings could be implemented into routine patient care considerably faster.The finding is the result of NETRF grants given to Drs. Shivdasani and Matthew Kulke at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Drs. Bradley Bernstein and Daniel Chung at Massachusetts General Hospital. All the investigators are on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. Source:Neuroendocrine Tumor Research FoundationJournal reference:Shivdasani, R et al. (2019) Enhancer signatures stratify and predict outcomes of non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Nature Medicine. doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0493-4. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 2 2019A group of researchers funded by Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) has discovered molecular information that may help predict recurrence of non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs), which do not release excess hormones into the bloodstream. In a paper published today in Nature Medicine, the researchers describe new subtypes of pNETs with vastly different risks of recurrence.Lead investigator Ramesh Shivdasani, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, said the finding moves us closer to being able to identify patients with a high risk for metastasis at diagnosis and initial treatment. “These patients can be monitored vigilantly for recurrent cancers, which may be treatable if detected early, while patients with the less aggressive kind of pNET can be advised that the prognosis is excellent.”
© 2018 AFP PayPal buys money-sending service Xoom in $890 mn deal US-based PayPal, a unit of eBay, said that its biggest acquisition to date would strengthen its platform for handling payment transactions at small businesses, particularly in Europe and Latin America.”Small businesses are the engine of the global economy and we are continuing to expand our platform to help them compete and win online, in-store and via mobile,” PayPal chief executive Dan Schulman said in a release.”In today’s digital world, consumers want to be able to buy when, where and how they want.”Schulman described the merging of iZettle and PayPal as a “strategic fit” combining shared values and culture with complementary product offerings and geographies.The iZettle platform for handling retail transactions is used by nearly a half million merchants, according to PayPal.The startup has been compared to Square, a payments platform co-founded by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey that made it easy to take credit card payments using smartphones or tablets.Buying iZettle will expand PayPal’s reach into shops in Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.”Combining our assets and expertise with a global industry leader like PayPal allows us to deliver even more value to small businesses to help them succeed in a world of giants,” iZettle chief executive Jacob de Geer said in the release.The Stockholm-based startup founded in 2010 expected to handle about $6 billion in transactions this year, taking in gross revenue of approximately $165 million in the process. The company said it expects to reach profitability by the year 2020.After close of the acquisition, co-founder Jacob de Geer will remain in charge of iZettle, reporting to PayPal chief operating officer Bill Ready, according to the companies.Earlier this month, iZettle filed paperwork to go public with an offering of shares that valued the company at slightly more than a billion dollars.PayPal closed the Nasdaq trading day in New York with a market value of about $94 billion based on its share price, which rose a percent to $80 in after-hours trades. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. PayPal on Thursday announced a deal to buy Swedish online commerce startup iZettle for $2.2 billion, a deal that came as the young company was poised for a stock market debut. Citation: PayPal buys payments startup iZettle for $2.2 bn (2018, May 18) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-paypal-payments-startup-izettle-bn.html US-based PayPal, a unit of eBay, has made its biggest acquisition to date by buying Swedish online commerce startup iZettle for $2.2 billion
© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. No warrant needed to get cell phone location: US court A federal judge has ruled that suburban Chicago police violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches by accessing weeks of GPS data indicating a suspect’s car had been outside a jewelry store when it was robbed. Explore further The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reported Wednesday that U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman granted a motion by defendant Tobias Diggs to bar the location data compiled by Hinsdale police from his upcoming trial.Prosecutors had cited a Supreme Court ruling that people don’t have a legitimate expectation of privacy when they voluntarily provide data to a third party. But Feinerman said that doesn’t apply to weeks of minute-by-minute location information kept by wireless carriers.Diggs’ lawyer, Douglas E. Whitney, said he was grateful for what he called Feinerman’s “meticulous legal analysis.”Prosecutors declined comment. Citation: Judge: Use of GPS data in robbery case unconstitutional (2019, May 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-gps-robbery-case-unconstitutional.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
COMMENT The passing away of a quintessential rebel SHARE COMMENTS death politics PM Modi condoles Fernandes demise George Fernandes, former defence minister (file photo) Former Defence Minister George Fernandes studied at a Christian seminary to become a priest but went on to become a trade union leader whose word was gospel for lakhs of workers, said 89-year-old banker Ranjit Bhanu.Bhanu is the Chairman of the New India Co-Operative Bank Ltd, which was co-founded by Fernandes in 1968. Till the end of March, 2018, the bank had deposits of ₹2,547 crore and advances of ₹1,168 crore.Bhanu, who is also a criminal lawyer and a trade unionist, recounting the veteran leader’s qualities said ‘simplicity thy name is George’. India has lost a unique leader, he cannot be compared with others. He started his career as a trade union leader but he rose to prominence when he defeated senior Congress leader S K Patil in Parliamentary elections of 1967. Patil was known as the uncrowned king of Mumbai due to his grip over the city, he said. Welfare of workersBhanu added that in 1967, Fernandes was invited to visit West Germany where he was inspired by the model of the German Labour Bank, which was a bridge between workers and businessmen. It lead to the formation of the Bombay Labour Co operative Bank Ltd in 1968, which today has metomorphosed into the New India Co-Operative Bank and continues to work for the welfare of the worker and the businessman.A friend of Fernandes and political analyst, Nagesh Kesari said that the former Defence Minister was not only a good orator but a principled leader, who had great ability to rally the workers for a cause. He could engage across the political spectrum but never deviated from his principles.General Secretary of the Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat (HMKP), Subash Malgi, who has been his associate for the last 55 years said that while participating in the Indian railway strike in 1974, Fernandes was in a dilemma while standing for the presidentship of the All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF), which was the largest rail union in the country.Leadership of the AIRF was pivotal for a successful strike but for that to happen, Fernandes, who also the Chairman of the Socialist Party had to fight his own comrade and party’s General Secretary, Peter Alvares. Fernandes was hesitant but when he realised that the rail workers’ solidarity was at stake, he filed the nomination papers. January 29, 2019 Engine that powered Konkan Railway SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on George Fernandes passes away after prolonged illness RELATED people