Photos: Stephen Curry sells Alamo mansion

first_img … Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry has sold his Alamo, Calif. mansion for $6.3M, reports the Los Angeles Times.Click here if viewing from a mobile device.Curry purchased the estate in 2016 for $5.775M. The 10,290 square foot home boasts a main house with five bedroom suites and a guest house with sauna. The main house includes a media/billiard room and library among many other amenities. The 1.5-acre property also has an infinity-edge pool, manicured gardens and a six-car garage.last_img

From Liliesleaf to Robben Island

first_imgThe farmhouse at Liliesleaf, in a policephoto taken during the raid.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust) Denis Goldberg in the 1960s.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Denis Goldberg is now retired, and livesin Cape Town.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Nelson Mandela in the 1960s.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Nelson Mandela at a 46664 Arctic concertin 2005. The campaign gets its name fromMandela’s prison number, 46664, andraises funds for and awareness ofHIV/Aids.(Image: 4664 Arctic) A police mug shot of Bob Hepple.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Ahmed Kathrada on the cover of hisautobiography, Memoirs. Walter Sisulu in the 1960s.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) A police mug shot of Andrew Mlangeni.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) A police mug shot of Elias Motsoaledi.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) A police mug shot of Rusty Bernstein.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) An aerial view of Liliesleaf farm, takenduring the police raid.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust) Police inside the farmhouse during theraid.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust) A radio transmitter found in one of theoutbuildings during the raid was used forthe first broadcast of the ANC’s RadioFreedom.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust)Lucille DavieOn hearing they had received life sentences, Denis Goldberg shouted: “Life! Life is wonderful!”On that day, 12 July 1964, the Rivonia trialists had expected the death penalty. Instead, Judge Quartus de Wet handed down four life sentences to eight of them.“All rationality aside, and for all our preparedness to die for freedom in South Africa, we started smiling in disbelief, at first, and complete relief as it sunk in that when the judge said he would not impose the maximum penalty, even though it would be an appropriate sentence,” says Goldberg 44 years later. “By the time he had finished speaking we were openly laughing. In the end most of us got four life sentences, but in the end, you can only serve one of them!”They would live, but that life would include up to 27 years in jail. They would not see their children grow up, nor would they see their wives struggling to hold things together, dealing with harassment by the security police and imprisonment themselves, sometimes with their children.Eight of the 10 trialists were sentenced to life, while two – Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein and James Kantor – were acquitted. Kantor had been arrested a month after the Liliesleaf raid.Of the original eight, only four are still alive: Nelson Mandela, Denis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni. Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Elias Motsoaledi and Raymond Mhlaba have died.Mandela is about to turn 90, Goldberg is 74, Kathrada is 78, and Mlangeni is 81 years old.Liliesleaf farmhouse and the outbuildings in Rivonia, where Mandela lived for a time and where the trialists were arrested and, have been restored, and were opened as a museum on 9 June. With two new buildings on the site, the Liberation Centre and the Liliesleaf Resource Centre, it promises to be an exciting addition to South Africa’s museums.Arrest at LiliesleafIn 1961 the South African Communist Party (SACP) bought Liliesleaf farm, some 25km from the Johannesburg city centre, to use as its headquarters. In those days it was a quiet 28-acre smallholding far outside the city.Goldberg, a civil engineer, describes Liliesleaf as having an “exhilarating atmosphere”.“We ate, slept, dreamed, worked at how to make a revolution,” he says. “That is what we did. That is why it was exhilarating. Buying a kombi, buying a farm, moving house, sorting out weapons manufacture, where to get the things needed, how to buy them, how to transport them, how to train people, endless problems to solve.“Sorting out getting passbooks signed without giving away where we were was a problem.”Mandela lived there in disguise, as a gardener and cook under the name of David Motsamayi. A the former president recalls in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom: “The loveliest times at the farm were when I was visited by my wife and family.” He says they were times of more privacy than they ever had at their tiny home in Orlando West, Soweto. “The children could run about and play, and we were secure, however briefly, in this idyllic bubble.”But it was not to last.The top leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) – key alliance partners of the SACP – were arrested at Liliesleaf on 11 July 1963. The apartheid government were smug. They had seized and put away for life the top echelons of the liberation movement, who they had caught hatching Operation Mayibuye, the plan to switch to violence to overthrow apartheid.When the police swooped on the farmhouse they arrested Sisulu, Mbeki, Kathrada, Goldberg, Bernstein, Mhlaba and Bob Hepple. Arthur Goldreich, who was ostensibly the owner of Liliesleaf, drove into the farm shortly afterwards, and was arrested along with the others. Goldreich made a dramatic escape from prison, together with Harold Wolpe, Mosie Moola and Abdulhay Jassat, crossing the border shortly afterwards.Mandela was already on Robben Island, serving a five-year sentence for inciting workers to strike, and for leaving the country without a passport.Mlangeni and Motsoaledi had been arrested on 24 June, and were charged together with the other Rivonia trialists.Hepple acted as lawyer for Mandela in 1962, also representing Sisulu and other ANC and Pan Africanist Congress leaders. He too managed to escape over the border before the trial.Today going under the title of Professor Sir Bob Hepple, retired Emeritus Master of Clare College and Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Cambridge, he is currently judge of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, sitting in New York and Geneva. He recounts the events on the afternoon of the arrest.At about 3.15pm, 15 minutes into the meeting, a van was heard coming down the drive.“Govan Mbeki went to the window. He said ‘It’s a dry-cleaning van. I’ve never seen it before.’ Rusty Bernstein went to the window and exclaimed: ‘My God, I saw that van outside the police station on my way here!’“I moved to the open door and saw the panel of the van which read ‘Trade Steam Pressers’. I could see a man wearing a white coat, hat and glasses on the front seat. I pulled the door closed. A few moments later I heard dogs barking. Rusty shouted: ‘It’s the cops; they’re heading here.’“Govan had collected up the Operation Mayibuye document and some other papers and I saw him putting them in the chimney of the small stove in the room. The back window was open, and I helped Govan, Walter Sisulu and Kathy (Kathrada) to jump out of it. There was a second or two as I moved back near the door, with Rusty next to me and Ray Mhlaba sitting next to the window.“The door burst open. Detective Sergeant Kennedy, whom I had cross-examined in a political trial earlier that year, rushed in: ‘Stay where you are. You’re all under arrest.’“He walked up to me with an excited sneer: ‘You’re Advocate Hepple, aren’t you?’Hepple was chair of the youth section of the Congress of Democrats, which was part of the anti-apartheid alliance in the 1950s. He was a member of the secretariat which serviced the central political leadership of the ANC.Hepple says that he had been anxious driving to Liliesleaf, or Lil’s place, as it was called, from his chambers in Johannesburg. “My anxieties led me to stop more than once to ensure that I was not being followed. I took a secondary road to avoid passing the Rivonia police station.”He’d had a visit from a “mysterious man” who had appeared unannounced at his chambers that morning, with a message from leaders in Natal leadership for the central underground leadership. “Ever since Mandela’s arrest there had been suspicions about a possible police spy and lax security in Natal. I feigned ignorance and told him to come back the next day. I intended to check his credentials at our meeting at Lil’s place that afternoon.”The leadership were worried about the police discovering Liliesleaf farm, where they had been secretly meeting and living for the past two years. In fact a new property had been bought, a smallholding called Travallyn in Krugersdorp, and Goldberg had moved into it along with Sisulu, Mbeki, Mhlaba and Wilton Mkwayi. It was to become the new ANC headquarters but the next meeting did not take place there.“It could not take place at Travallyn because that would repeat the security failure of bringing people to the place where the leaders of MK [Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC’s armed wing] were living in secrecy,” says Goldberg now, referring to Liliesleaf.“They could not at that moment decide on a safe venue, therefore they decided to have one more meeting at Liliesleaf,” he explains. “It was the pressure of the security police surveillance and the house arrests, banning orders, etcetera, that led to the fateful decision.”Solitary confinement and jailAfter arrest Hepple and the other trialists spent almost four months in solitary confinement. Then he was offered freedom from prosecution if he turned state witness. He agreed to do so but, as soon as he was released from jail, escaped across the border with his wife, making his way to England where his young children and parents joined him later.Hepple, like the others, found his jail time hard going.“In the long hours of isolation and boredom, especially as I lay awake at night on the cold stone cell floor, I became obsessed with our predicament. As the days and nights slowly passed I became increasingly confused and created my own world in which reality and fantasy were hard to separate.“Threats and promises made by the police during continuous periods of interrogation became distorted out of all proportion in my mind and my capacity to reason was seriously impaired.“I say this with hindsight, because one of the consequences of sensory deprivation and exhaustion is that one is unable to realise the extent of the changes taking place in normal behaviour.”Mlangeni spent 26 years in prison, with his fellow Rivonia trialists, on Robben Island. He used simple methods to get through the low moments in prison. “I personally would take out the letters I received from my wife and read them over and over again. Look at the photographs I received and that helped me to get myself together again and go back to my studies.”Mlangeni became a politician on his release, and is still a member of parliament.Goldberg says it took discipline and determination to get through his 22-year prison sentence in Pretoria Central Prison. He did not go to Robben Island like the others because he is white.“I believe it was our self-discipline and determination to uphold our dignity, to demand respect, and that the warders act within their own rules, was the key to survival. We found ways of creating our own little world of politics and social contact that enabled us to support each other.“For myself, too, there was the sense of living time day by day. Time was flexible: at Christmas and New Year another year stretched out ahead, and suddenly it seemed the year was over. This was more so for lifers who had no release date.”He describes waking up at 5am, washing in a hand basin in his cell, using the bucket toilet in his cell, then eating a breakfast of watery mealie meal porridge, with a chunk of bread and coffee, which consisted of burnt mealies and chicory.Days were filled with sewing mailbags in the exercise yard, which was freezing in winter, and burning hot in summer.Lunch was “some kind of stew”, supper was powder soup, bread and coffee. “In total each day we were alone in our cells for 16 to 18 hours each day.”Kathrada says in his book, Memoirs: “Nothing could have prepared me for the enormity of losing all choice in such mundane matters as deciding when to wake up and when to sleep, or comprehend that minor joys such as letter-writing and meetings with family and friends would be so severely curtailed and controlled, and that fundamental human rights would become privileges that had to be earned and were always under threat of removal.”Kathrada has been honoured with awards and honorary degrees. While in prison he obtained several degrees. In 1999 he published his Letters from Robben Island, and is currently working on another book. He is retired but consults to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.The islandMandela describes Robben Island as the “harshest, most iron-fisted outpost in the South African penal system”. Being imprisoned at Robben Island was “like going to another country. Its isolation made it not simply another prison, but a world of its own, far removed from the one we had come from.”Mandela says that in Pretoria Central Prison, from where they were flown immediately upon being sentenced, they had felt connected to their families and supporters. But on the island, although they were together as a group, it was little consolation. “My dismay was quickly replaced by a sense that a new and different fight had begun.”The fight involved the Afrikaans-speaking warders demanding a master-servant relationship. “The racial divide on Robben Island was absolute: there were no black warders, and no white prisoners.”To get through the long hours he dreamed about being able “to go to my office in the morning and return to my family in the evening, to be able to pop out and buy some toothpaste at the pharmacy, to visit old friends in the evening”, he says in Long Walk to Freedom.To help him get through his prison sentence Mandela cultivated a vegetable garden. “I had a garden, which I looked after and when the tomatoes were ready, the warders would be very friendly and come and get some tomatoes from the garden,” he recounts with a mischievous smile in a 2006 interview.It was to be a long, hard 18 years on the island, before being moved to Pollsmoor Prison, then Victor Verster Prison, just outside Cape Town, for nine more years, before being released in February 1990.The world on releaseGoldberg says that the world he entered in 1985 was very different from the one he left in 1964.“The world was different after 22 years. Colours were brighter, everything moved faster. I flew in a jumbo jet. I wasn’t sure of how to deal with the outside world.”Goldberg lived in England after his release, representing the ANC in exile, and continuing his anti-apartheid activities. He settled in Cape Town in 2002, where he become special adviser to the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. He is now retired.Kathrada’s release from prison was marked by “life-changing news” in the form of a simple question: What is a fax?“We had read and heard about this strange new contraption, but none of us had ever seen a fax machine or message, and we simply could not grasp the concept of a sheet of paper being transmitted by telephone, and an exact replica arriving within minutes thousands of kilometres or several continents away.”He was inundated by family and well-wishers when he arrived at his brother’s house in Lenasia, Johannesburg.“Except for a few indelible memories, most of that first day has always been a blank,” he says in Memoirs. “My most precious recollections are of my little grand-nieces and nephews, clambering all over me, clasping their little arms around my neck, holding my hands, hugging and kissing this strange man they had never seen, but had learned to love in absentia.“After 26 years on my own, no other welcome could have meant as much as this spontaneous display of unconditional love and immediate acceptance.”His first television interview brought another surprise discovery. He was confronted with “a cylindrical, black, hairy object that was pushed into my face. I learned very quickly, that day, that this was a ‘boom’, and that I was expected to speak into it.”Mandela had been equally surprised when first confronted with a boom when he walked out of Victor Verster Prison, thinking it a “newfangled weapon” developed while he was in prison.Mandela arrived on Robben Island in the prime of life – he was 44 years old. He left prison as a 71-year-old man.He walked out of Victor Verster Prison on 11 February 1990 to thousands of assembled people, hundreds of photographers, television cameras and journalists. “When I was among the crowd I raised my right fist, and there was a roar,” he says in Long Walk to Freedom. “I had not been able to do that for 27 years and it gave me a surge of strength and joy.”His first night of freedom was spent at Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s house in Cape Town. “We were led inside the house, where more family and friends met us but, for me, the most wonderful moment was when I was told that I had a telephone call from Stockholm. I knew immediately who it was. Oliver Tambo’s voice was weak but unmistakable, and to hear him after all those years filled me with great joy.”Mandela and Tambo had been comrades since their student days at Fort Hare University, had set up a legal practice together, and founded the ANC Youth League.Mandela says that in his 27 years in prison, he held “a life-long conversation with him in my head”, and that when Tambo died in 1993, he felt like the “loneliest man in the world”.Mandela was busy after his release. “I began a tour of Africa, which included many countries. During the first six months after my release, I spent more time abroad than at home,” he recounts. “Nearly everywhere I went there were great enthusiastic crowds so that even if I felt weary, the people buoyed me. In Dar es Salaam I was met by a crowd estimated at half a million.”It was reported that a million people greeted him on his ticker tape parade in New York.Mandela is now retired, enjoying his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He will turn 90 on 18 July.Useful linksNelson Mandela FoundationNelson Mandela: reflections on prison lifeRivonia Trial documentsLiliesleaf TrustRobben Island MuseumSouth African History Onlinelast_img read more

Soybean problems showing up

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologistWe have multiple planting dates in Ohio this year with soybeans in all different growth stages. This can create challenges when management decisions are based on the stage of crop development.For soybeans that are flowering, there was a confirmed report of frogeye leaf spot. If the soybeans in the field are in good health then managing this disease is often cost effective on susceptible varieties. Scouting between R2/R3, if frogeye is easy to find on the newly expanded leaves a fungicide application is warranted. There are many fungicides available with fair to very good efficacy. The one caveat is in Ohio we have identified strains of the fungus that causes frogeye leaf spot that is resistant to strobilurin fungicides, so choose a product that has another mode-of-action.For soybeans that are in the early seedling stages that have continued to get these saturating rains, damping-off is occurring. So these fields will continue to decline until about V2, then the resistance in the plant will take over. So continue to monitor stands in these fields. If stem rot develops at the later stages, then that is from Phytophthora sojae. In these cases, a better variety is needed for the future that has higher levels of quantitative resistance.last_img read more

Not SAI’s duty to treat Dutee so shabbily

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

Two can’t miss webinars: Dan Heath and Guy Kawasaki!

first_imgNetwork for Good has two amazing webinars coming up – and (as usual) they are free with registration.*Nonprofit 911: How to Get More Followers on Social Media w/ Guy KawasakiThursday, March 21 at 1 p.m. EasternWhy isn’t your hashtag everywhere? When’s the best time for a Facebook status update? What does it mean when someone +1’s you on Google +? How come no one liked your picture, story, update, tweet, share, friendship, etc? You might be caught a social media slump!Tune in Thursday, March 21 at 1 p.m. Eastern to hear tech and social media expert Guy Kawasaki lead a free presentation giving nonprofits the insider scoop on garnering support via the most popular social media platforms.Register here.Nonprofit 911: The Decisive Organization: Building a Culture of Better Decision-MakingMonday, March 25 at 1 p.m. EasternBest-selling Switch author Dan Heath’s done it again! Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work hits shelves next week. He’s going to stop by and pre-release the most helpful decision-making practices to the Network for Good audience via a Nonprofit 911 webinar on Monday, the 25th at 1 p.m. Eastern. Join Dan Heath as he makes it easier for your organization to make that sound decision. Bonus: Dan will be giving away a free copy of his new book to 10 lucky nonprofits on the call.Register here.*If you can’t make the date for Guy Kawasaki, sign up anyway. You will get a recording of the webinar afterward! Dan Heath’s session is live only, so we won’t be sending recordings.last_img read more

The MHTF is Pleased to Announce the Launch of the MHTF Quarterly

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 1, 2013August 15, 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 excited to announce the launch of the first issue of our newsletter, the MHTF Quarterly.  Each issue of the Quarterly will highlight critical issue in maternal health, compiling resources, including new and important research, multimedia and news. For the first issue, the Quarterly focuses on malaria in pregnancy.From the Quarterly:Despite encouraging progress, coverage of malaria control efforts among pregnant women remains low. Malaria in pregnancy continues to be a substantial contributor to maternal and infant mortality and morbidity in malaria-endemic regions.Malaria in pregnancy programming is at a critical juncture. Important gains have been made in malaria control, but without continued efforts, the gains achieved may quickly erode.Given the existing synergies and overlap between the malaria and maternal health communities, several opportunities exist to collaborate more effectively. These areas of overlap include the target population (pregnant women), common health outcomes (maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity), and a shared delivery mechanism (the antenatal care platform).To receive the Quarterly or any of our other features, including the biweekly MH Buzz, by email, please sign up using our online form.Share this:last_img read more

The Lancet’s Editor Richard Horton Provides Commentary on Recent MMR Estimates

first_imgPosted on May 28, 2014November 4, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, 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)If you have been following the news and our MMR Estimates Blog Series, you know that the WHO and IHME recently released new global estimates for maternal mortality. These estimates have strong implications for global maternal health goals as they will be used as baselines for Post-2015 targets.Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief at The Lancet, recently addressed a common concern with these estimates—the estimates differ greatly at a regional and country level. Dr. Horton points out, “These differences are not at all obvious when one examines the headline numbers from each source. IHME’s global estimate for maternal deaths is 292,982. The equivalent UN figure is 289,000. But at the regional level, big differences begin to appear.” In fact, 15 of the 75 countries with the highest burden of maternal mortality have estimates that differ by 1,041 to 21,792 maternal deaths. The discrepancy of 21,792 deaths falls on India—the country with the highest number of maternal deaths in the world.For a country that needs to strategize well to address this high burden of disease, India is faced with a discrepancy that could affect how they respond. Dr. Horton says, “[If] you were India’s new Prime-Minister-elect, Narendra Modi, you might just alter the urgency with which you acted to reduce maternal mortality if you believed the UN figure, which records a remarkable 21,792 fewer maternal deaths than the independently calculated estimate from a competing large international collaboration. It would not be unreasonable if other Presidents and Prime Ministers, let alone Ministers of Health, were confused by these often strikingly divergent results.” The discrepancies not only affect the important decisions of country officials, but also affect the credibility of the estimates themselves.So what can be done to address these discrepancies? Dr. Horton suggests reviewing the methods and models used to generate these estimates. “[The] Gates Foundation funded Independent Advisory Committee for the Global Burden of Disease… meets next month in Seattle. One of its remits is to ‘engage in dialogue with other efforts on global health estimates.’ A further goal is to review strengths and weaknesses of the GBD’s methods. But this second objective will solve only half of the problem. Someone also needs to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the UN’s methods. [The Independent Advisory Committee for the Global Burden of Disease] could consider conducting a careful comparison of methods used by both the UN and IHME.”The most important conclusion of this discussion is that country leaders need accurate data to effectively mitigate maternal mortality. As the common management adage teaches us, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Hopefully with increased collaboration we can bridge the gap between UN and IHME estimates for maternal mortality.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

9 Ways to Save Lives Through Maternal and Newborn Health Integration

first_imgPosted on March 9, 2015October 27, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, 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)At a standing room only event last week at The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, global experts gathered to discuss the need for, barriers to, and the way forward for maternal and newborn integration. But what is integration and why is it so desperately needed?Every year approximately 300,000 women and 5.5 million newborns, including stillborns, die needlessly. The causes of these deaths are often similar since the mother and her newborn are inextricably linked both socially and biologically.For the panel, Putting Mothers and Babies First: Benefits Across a Lifetime, Ana Langer, Director of the Maternal Health Task Force; Joy Riggs-Perla, Director of Saving Newborn Lives at Save the Children; Alicia Yamin, Policy Director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights and Kirsten Gagnaire, Executive Director of the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), presented the health, rights, and technological advantages to integrating maternal and newborn health financing, policies, training, and service delivery.Why is integration important?A woman’s health before conception, during pregnancy, and after her baby is born has a direct impact on the health of her child and the rest of her family. “Biologically the health, the nutritional status, and the well-being of the mother in general strongly influence the chances of survival and well-being of the fetus during pregnancy, the newborn later and even older children,” shared Langer. Since a woman is the primary caretaker of her family, if her health suffers, everyone is affected.Recent research from Dr. Yamin quantifies this impact. In South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, and Ethiopia, if a mother dies during pregnancy or childbirth, there is a 50-80% chance that her newborn will die before reaching his first birthday. The impact of the death of the mother also reached far into the future. When a mother dies there are higher rates of family dissolution; early drop out of school, especially for girls; and nutritional deficits.What are the challenges to integrating?Although it is easy to see how the health of the mother would directly affect the health of her fetus, newborn and children, integrated care is rarely seen. Maternal health, newborn health, and child health are siloed as separate initiatives across the health care spectrum: from the policy, donor, financing and monitoring levels to the academic, health system, program and NGO levels. But these problems are seen beyond the program and country level. These “challenges also happen at the global level, failing to provide an enabling environment for those changes at the country level to happen. So too often, we see that different initiatives are either targeted to mothers or to babies and don’t make a good enough effort to bring them closer together,” shared Langer.Divisions in providing maternal and newborn health include separate pre-service training in maternal and newborn health for health care workers, rare HIV-testing and treatment of an infant if the HIV-positive mom dies in childbirth and separate global initiatives, among many others. These persistent separations have created a dearth of evidence of how best to implement integrated maternal and newborn care.Key areas that remain segregated are ministries of health and data collection systems. Joy Riggs-Perla shared that “there’s often a separation [of maternal and newborn health] organizationally in a Ministry of Health… That can cause problems with program coordination. It can cause problems where one or the other gets more or less emphasis. And so that can actually lead to problems in service delivery.” In addition, Riggs-Perla addressed the crucial need to collect data on both mothers and newborns so that programs and health systems recognize and synchronize their approaches to improve health outcomes along the continuum of care. “I think the bottom line in all of this is that if people think about care from a client-centered perspective, or a client-oriented perspective, you naturally come to the continuum of care. And that helps solve some of these problems. Too many of our health services are organized at the convenience of the providers,” concluded Riggs-Perla.An additional barrier to integration may be societal discrimination. “Ultimately maternal mortality is the culmination of layers of structural, and discrimination, and exclusion that women face in society. And often women and children face or experience their poverty and marginalization through their context with indifferent and dysfunctional health systems,” shared Yamin.How to break silosIn order to provide comprehensive care that benefits both the woman and her child, current silos in maternal and newborn health need to dissolve.MAMA is working to bring integrated information to pregnant women and mothers precisely when they need it. Through mobile technology, both text and voice messages are used to provide timed and targeted information during pregnancy through their child’s third birthday. These messages are specific to the local context and language and include a wide range of information from nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding to cognitive development and immunizations for their children.Another programmatic example is from the TSHIP project in Nigeria, where misoprostol and chlorhexidine are now distributed together by community health workers: misoprostol to prevent postpartum hemorrhage in women and chlorhexidine to prevent umbilical cord infection in newborns.The panel provided many potential solutions to the chasm in maternal and newborn health:Integrated national costed plans of action: “[Integration is] very, very difficult if it doesn’t start at the beginning: once budgets are separated, programs are designed, job descriptions are formed” and integration is nearly impossible – Yamin.Integrated pre-service training of health care providersIntegrated performance and health outcome indicatorsExcluding initiatives that are narrow, categorical and verticalInitiatives that strengthen health systemsPrograms that allow for flexibility and learning, both in activities and fundingDiverse partnerships: “We are increasingly finding ourselves needing to work in a partnership way: in public-private partnerships, bringing in UN agencies, bringing in the host country governments, bringing in bilateral funders, foundations and [the] corporate It takes a tremendous amount of aligning of agendas and understanding how each of these different sectors and entities works, and what their perspectives are. [But,] ultimately I think we get better results from it.” – GagnaireWhile these strategies are promising, there is still a lack of research on integration and so information exchange is key. In order to address this need, Dr. Langer shared news of the upcoming Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference, which will “provide a space for information exchange, for productive debate and for discussion about maternal and newborn health and how to bring it closer together.”For more details from this event, continue to follow our blog this week to hear more details from Joy Riggs-Perla, Alicia Yamin, Kristen Gagnaire, and Ana Langer. Also, to learn more about integration, check out our MNH Integration Blog Series.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

7 Best Practices for Donor Thank You Emails

first_imgWe all know that saying thank you is good etiquette. Timely thank yous for donor gifts are expected, as they should be. With just a little extra thought, your thank yous can make a meaningful impact and truly delight donors. And there’s no time like the new year to refine your donor thank you process. Let’s explore seven best practices for creating donor thank yous that generate warmth and a sense of teamwork.1) Say Thank You Within a Week of Receiving a GiftInclude a simple “Thank you for your donation!” with your gift receipt, followed by a more detailed thank you letter or email. If you can, send your thank you within 24 hours of receiving the donation, but definitely within one week of receiving a gift. Whether your first detailed thank you comes in the form of a snail mail letter or an email will depend on how your donors prefer to receive communications. Either way, don’t delay sending this thank you, or you’ll risk donors feeling unappreciated.2) Send From a Recognizable NameYou don’t want donors to miss your email because it gets mistaken for spam. Send your emails from a recognizable member of your staff, such as your executive or development director. You can set this name in the email blast templates in your donor management system so thank yous will always come from the same person. This way, donors will be able to identify the email as yours. Plus, sending from someone higher up in the organization will also make donors feel valued.3) Make Your Subject Line SpecificLet donors know even before opening the email that you’re communicating gratitude. Including words like “thank you,” “grateful,” or “gratitude” in the subject line lets donors immediately identify the email as an expression of thanks. This will also help your thank yous stand out from the other emails you send your supporters.4) Keep the Focus on the DonorKeep the attention on the donors and their gifts, rather than focusing on your organization. Donors should feel they are an integral part of your team, not just a source of money. Use “you” and “your” frequently, and make sure that you always include your donor in any “we” statements.5) Acknowledge Previous GiftsLet regular donors know that you haven’t forgotten previous gifts. Include a brief line mentioning donations given in the past and that you value their ongoing partnership. This will make your thank you more personal and cause donors to feel like a true member of your team.6) Share the Impact of the GiftThank yous should be inspirational, giving donors a feeling of accomplishment. For thank yous sent immediately after a donation is given, remind the donor what’s planned for their gift. After the project or campaign is finished, share the results of how you used the gift. Although the work is never done, taking time to celebrate the impact that the donor’s gift made is motivational and may even result in another gift. Tell an impact story or include a testimonial from a community member.7) Say Thank You More Than OnceIt’s nearly impossible to say thank you too much. Donors will especially value thank yous sent on the anniversary of a large or first gift, on meaningful holidays, after a vital year-end campaign, and along with project updates.Thank yous are one of the most important communications your organization sends to donors. They can make donors feel a part of your team and part of the important work you’re accomplishing together. They can also inspire donors and motivate them to continue their support.Want more ideas on how to create meaningful thank yous? Read 10 Creative Ways to Thank Donors to learn what makes a thank you effective, what to avoid in a thank you, and when to say thank you.Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

WHO Misoprostol Approval Means Lifesaving Treatment for Women in Low-resource Settings

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 16, 2015June 12, 2017By: Lindsay Grenier, Maternal Health Technical Advisor, MCSP ; Susan Moffson, MCSP Senior Program OfficerClick 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 has been slightly edited from it’s original posting on the blog of the Maternal and Child Survival Program.A young woman arrived at a health clinic in Sierra Leone with heavy bleeding. She was suffering from postpartum hemorrhage (PPH)—or excessive bleeding after birth—the most common cause of death for women after delivery.The midwife at the clinic acted quickly, administering oxytocin, a uterotonic that helps the uterus contract to stop the bleeding. However, the facility was lacking the refrigeration needed to properly store the drug, which was also two years out of date. As a result, the oxytocin had no effect, and the woman died two hours later.Mother and newborn in Allahabad, India. (Kate Holt/MCHIP)Tragically, poor and marginalized populations suffering from a disproportionate burden of disease often have the least access to high-quality health services. This is especially true of women during childbirth, who often deliver at home instead of health facilities. Those women who do make it to a facility may find them ill-equipped, lacking skilled personnel and essential medicines. Or, as in the case of the young woman from Sierra Leone, the medicines may be expired and improperly stored, thereby greatly diminishing their effectiveness.Alarmingly, all of these women will be at risk of dying from PPH without access to uterotonics. And while oxytocin is the gold standard for preventing and treating PPH, it is not always available or kept sufficiently cool. It must also be given through injection by a skilled birth attendant, such as a doctor or nurse.Thankfully, there is a second-line uterotonic drug that can be used to prevent and treat PPH when oxytocin is not available: misoprostol. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently added misoprostol — which does not require refrigeration and can be taken as a pill — to the Essential Medicines List for treatment of PPH in every country. This action expands the range of options to treat PPH, empowering health care workers with one more tool in their arsenal to fight bleeding after birth.As professionals who work every day around the world to ensure our interventions reach the most vulnerable populations, and understand the endorsement of misoprostol means more equitable access to and appropriate use of uteronics for countless women across the developing world.The WHO announcement opens an exciting new chapter in global health. While much work remains before every facility can guarantee a stable stock of viable oxytocin, the endorsement of misoprostol for the treatment of PPH will increase the availability of lifesaving care for some of the world’s most vulnerable women.As part of our own comprehensive PPH strategy, MCSP continues to strengthen essential health system functions, with the goal of overcoming local system barriers to provision of high-quality care, effective referral systems, and trained providers.Share this:last_img read more