SCHEDULE OF GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION HELD AT EARLY VOTING CENTERS

first_imgElection Office Civic Center Room 214Monday thru Friday8 am to 4 pmOct. 6th to Nov. 2nd at noon DAYSTIMESDATES Oaklyn Library3001 Oaklyn Dr.Monday thru ThursdayFridayNoon to 6 pmNoon to 5 pmOct. 19th to Oct. 23rd andOct. 26th to Oct 30th 2015 GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION EARLY VOTING VOTE CENTERSEarly voting is for voters who choose to vote early at the Election Office, Libraries or the designated Vote Centers.  Early voting is from Oct. 6, 2015 through Nov. 2, 2015 at noon in the Election Office.  Any questions call the Election Office at 812-435-5122. Salvation Army1040 N. Fulton Ave.Saturday8 am to 3 pmOct. 24th & Oct. 31st North Park Library960 Koehler Dr.Monday thru ThursdayFridayNoon to 6 pmNoon to 5 pmOct. 19th to Oct. 23rd andOct. 26th to Oct 30th Red Bank Library120 S. Red Bank Rd.Monday thru ThursdayFridayNoon to 6 pmNoon to 5 pmOct. 19th to Oct. 23rd andOct. 26th to Oct 30th McCollough Library5115 Washington Ave.Monday thru ThursdayFriday  Noon to 6 pmNoon to 5 pmOct. 19th to Oct. 23rd andOct. 26th to Oct 30th Election OfficeCivic Center Room 214Saturday8 am to 4 pmOct. 24th & Oct. 31st Northeast Park Baptist Church1215 N. Boeke Rd.Saturday8 am to 3 pmOct. 24th & Oct. 31st LOCATIONS Central Library200 SE Martin Luther King Jr. BlvdMonday thru ThursdayFridayNoon to 6 pmNoon to 5 pmOct. 19th to Oct. 23rd andOct. 26th to Oct 30th FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Two change-makers say why education matters

first_img Read Full Story As part of Commencement festivities this week, the Harvard Graduate School of Education hosted two members of the change-making 2018 Congressional class, Representatives Jahana Hayes (D-CT) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). Both dynamic lawmakers have a strong interest and track record of leadership in education — Pressley from a community-building, whole-child-sustaining point of view, and Hayes (a former National Teacher of the Year) from a classroom-informed, opportunity-and-equity point of view.Pressley, who in 2009 became the first black woman elected to the Boston City Council, last November became the first black woman to be elected to Congress from Massachusetts. And Hayes, a longtime history teacher, is the first black woman that Connecticut has sent to Congress.We spoke with them in the few moments they had before taking the stage to deliver keynote addresses at Harvard’s Black Graduation ceremony, held in Radcliffe Yard on May 28. The event was organized by the Harvard Black Graduate Student Alliance.last_img read more

GVC finalises Ladbrokes Coral migration

first_img GVC Holdings has reached a ‘milestone’ after confirming that it has completed the migration of Ladbrokes onto its proprietary technology platform.The Ladbrokes migration marks the final stage of a ‘complex integration process’ after acquiring the brand in 2018. All brands acquired by GVC have now been migrated onto the GVC platform, including Ladbrokes, Coral, Gala Bingo, Gala Casino and Gala Spins.GVC COO Shay Segev commented: “I am delighted that this critical and hugely complex stage of the Ladbrokes Coral integration process has been completed so successfully. It is a great testament to the sophistication of our technology and the quality of our teams, and it is particularly impressive that they have managed to finalise it during this period of remote working. It also positions the business even better to emerge from the current crisis from a position of strength.“The GVC integration model has proved itself time and again to be extremely effective at integrating large-scale operations with minimal disruption to our underlying business. As a result, we are confident in our ability to take advantage of the attractive M&A opportunities which we believe will present themselves to us in the future while further boosting the growth of our existing business.”GVC lauded the timely completion of the migration, highlighting that it has been ‘executed on time, on budget and with no disruption to the 25 million Ladbrokes Coral customer accounts that have been moved across’.The GVC platform is hoped to enhance product development and customer propositions, while also allowing GVC to adapt to regulatory change. It will also enable GVC to deliver a range of social responsibility tools and initiatives as it continues to promote a safer gambling environment.With the platform migrations now complete, the remaining process and back office integrations can now take place, with GVC emphasising that it remains ‘on track’ to deliver the full £130m of annualised synergies by the end of 2021. StumbleUpon FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020 Related Articles GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile  August 25, 2020 Submit Share GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 Sharelast_img read more

The Tour de Kruger: a wild ride

first_imgThe Tour de Kruger takes bikers on a70-kilometre ride every day for five days,through pristine African bushveld. A close encounter with elephants.(Image: Children in the Wilderness)Fiona McIntosh“You’re going to cycle for five days through wild game reserves?” exclaimed my friends when I told them of the bush adventure that I’d just discovered. “Are you crazy? What about the elephants? And the lions? You’ve clearly got a death wish.”But I could think of nothing more exciting than getting up close and personal with the big herds of elephant, buck and other game of the southern African bush. As for seeing lion … we’d be lucky.I’d signed up for the annual mountain-bike tour that supports the Children in the Wilderness programme. Our route would take us from northern Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana, through the World Heritage Site of Mapungubwe, finishing up in the Pafuri concession of the Kruger National Park.It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – where else in the world can you ride for five days through wilderness, knowing that at any moment you might encounter one of the big five? This was to be a real immersion in Africa yet, outside South Africa, the tour seemed to be a well-kept secret. I suspected a conspiracy – the locals didn’t want foreigners snapping up the limited places!Previous tours had been held in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, through western Mozambique and the Pafuri concession of northern Kruger, but this route from the Tuli block approached Pafuri from the west, so was entirely new ground even for tour veterans.Most riders took advantage of the transfers laid on from Johannesburg, hopping on their bikes at the reserve gate to stretch their legs on the final few kilometres to camp. We spent our first night under canvas next to the airstrip and were treated to the impressive sight of a classic aircraft, a shiny DC-3, swooping in to collect some of the reserve’s guests. Our kit bags, numbers and detailed race manifest were waiting on arrival and, once we’d labelled and parked our bikes, we were guided to our tents, all neatly numbered into respective groups.Then it was time for the pre-race briefing. We were out to have fun, but there were ground rules designed to ensure our safety. I’ll admit to being a bit nervous as we rode to camp, but now my fears about riding through elephant country the next day were allayed.Each group of 15 or so riders would stick together as a tight unit behind an experienced, rifle-toting front guide. The back guide was also trained in the ways of the bush and was in constant radio contact with the front guide, the other groups and HQ. They carried satellite phones just in case there was no radio contact. I slept well that night. This was one well-organised operation.Close encountersThe importance of the tight drill was soon evident. After a long, 70-kilometre day in the saddle we were less than five kilometres from the South African border and our camp. The thought of a cold beer was putting new life into my weary legs. Suddenly our lead guide stopped in his tracks.“Over there,” he whispered. Just about to cross the track we were following was a big breeding herd of elephant – females with tiny calves that looked as if they were going to be stomped upon any minute. It was not a happy group. They’d clearly sensed our presence, and were becoming increasingly anxious.“There’s another group in the trees to our right,” whispered the guide. “We’ll back off.” Suddenly loud trumpeting and the crashing of branches broke the silence of the bush and we mounted our bikes and fled back to the nearest group of big trees. So close, and yet so far: the herd was between us and camp, so we retraced our route until we found a safe place to cross the sandy riverbed.Some of the guides from an earlier group were sitting out in a hide on the South African bank as we took off our shoes and carried our bikes across the narrow channel of the Limpopo.“Was that you the elephant were revving?” they laughed. “We heard all the commotion then saw a load of riders retreating at speed.” I’d been praying for some intimate bush encounters, but that was a trifle too exciting for my liking.Mountain-bike countryThat was our third encounter with elephant that day. We’d also been treated to sightings of giraffe, impala, scuttling warthog and a ridiculously raucous display of snorting and histrionics from the clowns of the bush, a big herd of galloping wildebeest, as we followed the game trails through the mopane forest.It’s classic mountain-bike country, with wide open spaces and a seemingly endless network of single track – the work of elephant matriarchs carving out paths for their young to follow down to the water sources.The paths weaved through dense sections of bush, forcing us to bunny-hop over fallen branches and dodge thorn trees. There were a few technical sections – the odd rocky downhill, stretch of sand or loose gravel climb, but on the whole it was easy flowing riding past towering baobabs and over dry, stony riverbeds.This part of southern Africa is not only famous for its elephant, but is rich in history and home to important paleontological remains such as the dinosaur footprints of Vhembe in South Africa and the dinosaur skeletons of Sentinel in Zimbabwe. Our second night was spent at Mapungubwe – a place as seeped in history as it is prolific in game.The camp was in an incredible spot high up on an escarpment, and the dramatic rock formations of the park glowed in the late sun as we walked to the viewpoint where a bar had been set up.We toasted surviving the first day and our unscheduled detour from the route. It was an atmospheric place. Below us was the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers and the point where Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa meet. Now that the day visitors had left we had the park to ourselves, and I began to appreciate the privilege of being part of the tour.Bush cuisineAlthough you ride hard by day, Tour de Kruger is a charity ride to raise funds for Children in the Wilderness, not a race. Groups are arranged according to rider ability and fitness with the speed freaks and the odd professional cyclist breaking the trail and social riders like myself bring up the rear. The emphasis is on enjoying the bush, game sightings and the bush cuisine – a legendary feature of the tour.You can easily gain weight over the five days despite cycling around 75 kilometres a day in the hot sun. After the first 25 to 35 kilometres of each day there’s a morning tea stop where encouraging Wilderness Safaris staff hand out copious quantities of fruitcake, muffins, hot-cross buns, biltong and sweets, as well as wetwipes, sunscreen, lube and tender loving care.Lunch is a proper cooked meal, and then there’s another tea stop before you reach camp, where, if you’re still hungry, another cooked lunch awaits. And the spoiling continues once you’ve finished for the day, with abundant quantities of energy drinks, massage and bike repair services, hot showers, a bar and a slap-up dinner.MapungubweDay two took us through the impressive koppies of Mapungubwe National Park. The archaeological site of Mapungubwe was discovered in 1932, unearthing a long history of human habitation in the region including the earliest recorded archaeological gold in southern Africa.Among the human remains were golden ornaments, gold beads and wire jewellery. The most famous find was that of a single-horned golden rhinoceros. All southern African rhinos have two horns, so this find has intrigued archaeologists – some of whom suggest that it’s a representation of a rhino from Asia, where one-horned species exist. As you ride through the park you can’t help being somewhat overawed by this incredible place.For the second half of the day we cruised the sandy tracks of a privately owned section of the park, the Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve, a De Beers property which is well stocked with big game and an integral component of the World Heritage Site.Our camp that night was on the Limpopo River, a truly glorious setting right on the sandy cliff. We sat listening to the soothing sound of running water as we sipped our sundowners then ate out under the stars. The handful of foreign riders couldn’t believe the beauty of the African bush – the tour had exceeded all their expectations.The next day started with a rollercoaster ride along the river cliff – some of the most demanding riding of the event with steep down- and uphills. The rising sun created a dappled effect in the trees and we flew along, happy, if a trifle saddle-sore. That afternoon we rode into Kruger National Park, through a back gate and into an area that visitors to the park do not see.We were now in serious big five country. The briefing had been fierce – stick together at all costs and keep moving. The final day through the Pafuri Concession was magnificent. We left our bikes at the tea-stop and climbed up to Lanner Gorge for a view out over the gorge cut in the Luvuvu River. The sight of the great chasm was worth every ounce of energy expended on the 6.4-kilometre sandy trail.We rode through great forests of glowing fever trees, enjoyed the antics of baboons and saw kudu, impala, warthog as well as some great sightings of tuskers in Elephant Alley.Our final detour was to Crooks Corner – the point where South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique meet. We watched a breeding herd of elephant come down to the water to drink then, once they’d left, scrambled down onto the sand bank for a team photo keeping a wary eye open for crocs.Early in the afternoon we arrived at Pafuri Camp where, in the usual slick manner to which we’d been accustomed, our bikes were taken off to be loaded onto the appropriate transfer vehicles – back to the start in Tuli, the Wilderness offices in Joburg or, for those with flights the following evening, onto the coaches that were taking us back the next day.Taking leaveClean and refreshed, we lounged around the camp watching buck graze next to the raised platforms of the tented rooms and elephant drinking in the river. The event ended with a slide show and presentation and we relived the thrills and spills.It had been a magnificent ride that had brought together people from all walks of life, united in their wish to intimately experience the African bush, to rise to the challenge of the ride and to support Children in the Wilderness. It was hard to leave – after five days together the members of each cycling group and the support staff had become a close-knit family.So was I mad to sign up? Well, it certainly wasn’t a walk in the park, but anyone who’s reasonably fit and with a bit of mountain-biking experience would enjoy the ride. The distances are manageable for recreational bikers, and the presence of guides and technicians means that you can seek assistance in the event of bike problems, or hop in a back-up vehicle if you’ve had enough for the day.The organisers go out of their way to make your life as easy and as much fun as possible. But for all that it’s a challenging ride, largely along fairly straightforward single track or dirt road with a few more tricky sections to amuse the downhill addicts – most of which I walked, and felt no shame.What makes the ride really special is the opportunity to journey through bits of the reserves that most visitors never see. You can help but feel privileged that these areas have been opened up for the tour to come through. Makes me want to get on my bike again.Related articlesSouth Africa’s national parksThe adventure starts hereThe biggest nature park in the world Holidays that save the worldTracking elephants across AfricaUseful linksChildren in the WildernessWilderness SafarisKruger National Parklast_img read more

Ohio farm custom rates 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics & John Barker, Extension Educator Agriculture/Amos Program, County Director, Ohio State University Extension Knox CountyFarming is a complex business and many Ohio farmers utilize outside assistance for specific farm-related work. This option is appealing for tasks requiring specialized equipment or technical expertise. Often, having someone else with specialized tools perform a tasks is more cost effective and saves time. Farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply, “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.Ohio Farm Custom RatesThis survey summary reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 352 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2018. These rates, except where noted, include the implement and tractor if required, all variable machinery costs such as fuel, oil, lube, twine, etc., and the labor for the operation.Some custom rates published in this study vary widely, possibly influenced by:Type or size of equipment used (e.g. 20-shank chisel plow versus a 6-shank) Size and shape of fields, Condition of the crop (for harvesting operations) Skill level of labor Amount of labor needed in relation to the equipment capabilities Cost margin differences for full-time custom operators compared to farmers supplementing current income Some custom rates reflect discounted rates as the parties involved have family relationships or are strengthening a relationship to help secure the custom farmed land in a cash or other rental agreement. Some providers charge differently because they are simply attempting to spread their fixed costs over more acreage to decrease fixed costs per acre and are willing to forgo complete cost recovery.The measures shown in the summary tables are the summaries of the survey respondents. The measures are the average (or mean), range, median, minimum, and maximum. Average custom rates reported in this publication are a simple average of all the survey responses. Range identified in the tables consists of two numbers. The first is the average plus the standard deviation, which is the variability of the data from the average measure. The second number of the range is the average minus the standard deviation. The median represents the middle value in the survey responses. The minimum and maximum reported in the table are the minimum and maximum amounts reported from the survey data for a given custom operation.The complete summary of part 1 is available online at the Farmoffice website:https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/custom-rates-and-machinery-costslast_img read more

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Nate Irish

first_img SharePrint RelatedGeocaching Employee Spotlight: Tom, Veep of Marketing & MerchApril 10, 2016In “Community”Inside Geocaching HQ Podcast Transcript (Episode 18): Geocaching Map/Search, Adventure Lab app, plus nostalgia!December 20, 2018In “Community”Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Senior Software Developer, Dave (Wilson)May 8, 2016In “Community” This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. 🙂What is your name? Nate IrishYeah, but what’s your Username?I have two: My lackey name is OpinioNate, and my player name is Nate the Great. In the old days most Lackeys had two usernames but I think now it’s more common to have one.Nate the Great on a mountain highHow did you come up with your username?Nate the Great was a nickname given to me by my grandfather when I was little. He used to make short little poems about me like, “Nate the Great is never late to eat the food that’s on his plate”. That is still mostly true, but I try to make the plate smaller and have more green things on it. Being a grown-up can be a drag sometimes. OpinioNate because I have a lot of opinions, obviously.What is your job title?Currently, I’m the Product Manager. I’ve had around five different titles in my twelve years at Geocaching HQ. In the past I have been a project manager, quality assurance tester, community manager, discussion forum moderator, merchandise distributor manager, and way back in the day I stuffed Trackables into little yellow envelopes and drove them to the post office. These days the postman comes to us. We’re in the big leagues now baby!We’re in the big leagues now, baby!What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?I lead a team of six people whose mission is to identify product opportunities to support the game of geocaching. The product in this case is our website and mobile apps. When we do our job correctly, the output is new features that simultaneously serve the needs of our community, our company, and the game of geocaching itself. That’s a very tough thing to do, but we work hard to achieve that balance.Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?I’m definitely a less-is-more cacher. Usually when I travel, I sort by Favorite and look for a cache that is high terrain and is medium or large in size. I love to see the best and most extreme of what geocaching has to offer. Gadget caches are pretty high on my list, as well as anything inside a cave.Nate the Great PapaWhat’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?I love learning about some new local geocaching lingo or hiding style. For instance, in the Chicago area they used to have a lot of “Superman” caches. It’s when you tie a fishing line to a preform container and sling it over the branch of a tree. Then you reel in the line so the container is way overhead and secure the line against a tree knot or whatever. Everyone there knows what to look for when “Superman” is the hint.Nate the Great – Superman geocacherWhat’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?Let someone else stick their hand in there first. Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Apple Denies PRISM Knowledge, Explains Releases Of Customer Data

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Apple#cyberwar#nsa#Prism Related Posts Apple today released a statement revealing that it, too, has received requests for consumer data from Federal, state and local authorities in the United States, even as it denied participation in the alleged PRISM program conducted by the NSA.Apple joins Facebook and Microsoft as companies that have made public batch data of requests from U.S authorities.Between December 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013, Apple saw between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement for customer data. Those requests totaled between 9,000 and 10,000 Apple accounts or devices. Apple said the requests ranged from criminal investigations to matters of national security with the most common being local police investigating robberies, searching for missing children or trying to locate patients with Alzheimer’s disease.Apple said:Regardless of the circumstances, our Legal team conducts an evaluation of each request and, only if appropriate, we retrieve and deliver the narrowest possible set of information to the authorities. In fact, from time to time when we see inconsistencies or inaccuracies in a request, we will refuse to fulfill it.Apple insists that it knew nothing of PRISM, the clandestine project by the federal government where it supposedly has the power to access the servers of major tech companies (like Yahoo, Google, Microsoft etc.) for consumer data related to matters of national security.Apple reiterated its stance on protecting its consumer data and said that, “we don’t collect or maintain a mountain of personal details about our customers in the first place.”For example, conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data. Similarly, we do not store data related to customers’ location, Map searches or Siri requests in any identifiable form.Last Friday, both Facebook and Microsoft (both of which had negotiated with the Federal government for the right to report on data requests) released data on government requests. Over the last six months, Facebook saw 9,000 to 10,000 requests regarding 18,000 to 19,000 accounts while Microsoft said it saw 6,000 to 7,000 requests, affecting up to 32,000 accounts. Both Google and Twitter have said that the batch data that the government allowed the likes of Apple, Facebook and Microsoft to report is not enough. Google would like to see more detail and volume of the data requests including the ability to separate federal government requests from those of local authorities.  dan rowinskicenter_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

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

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

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

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