Lamborghini’s racing arm builds wild one-off to combat Ferrari Monza

first_img We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. advertisement Power comes from an awesome 6.5-litre naturally-aspirated V12 engine, which makes 759 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22019 Lamborghini SC18 Alston Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22019 Lamborghini SC18 Alston Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22019 Lamborghini SC18 Alston Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22019 Lamborghini SC18 Alston Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22019 Lamborghini SC18 Alston Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22019 Lamborghini SC18 Alston Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22019 Lamborghini SC18 Alston Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.22019 Lamborghini SC18 Alston Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 2019 Lamborghini SC18 Alston Trending Videos COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS But this model seems a little more special than that, and we’re guessing the company is probably not going to make any more, although spin-off models might be planned. RELATED TAGSLamborghiniLuxuryLuxury VehiclesNew Vehicles PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | center_img Lamborghini’s racing arm, Squadra Corse, has come up with an insane new road-legal one-off hypercar called the SC18 Alston.The SC18 Alston is a road car, but one that definitely errs on the side of track driving, making it a perfect contender for Ferrari’s SP2 Monza concept, which is not street-legal due to the lack of windshield.Lamborghini based the SC18 on the venerable carbon-fibre chassis that underpins the Aventador SVJ, which currently holds a lap record at the Nurburgring. Trending in Canada Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever As for the looks, the SC18 borrows from a few of Lambo’s other special offerings: the taillights remind us of the Centenario, the headlights of the Aventador SVJ, and, of course, the styling is uniquely Lamborghini.A massive aero wing on the rear keeps the car stuck to the ground, held up by a shark-like fin down the centre of the rear window, which itself has been replaced with louvres that remind us of 1980s sports cars.Lamborghini calls most of its special vehicles “one-offs,” even the limited-edition Centenario, of which 10 were built. See More Videos ‹ Previous Next ›last_img read more

New Content From Perspectives on Psychological Science

first_imgWhen Beliefs Face Reality: An Integrative Review of Belief Updating in Mental Health and IllnessTobias Kube and Liron RozenkrantzKube and Rozenkrantz integrate different lines of research about how people adjust their beliefs in light of new evidence. Some research suggests that everyone is prone to biases when updating their beliefs, although people with mental disorders appear to have difficulty updating disorder-specific dysfunctional beliefs (e.g., patients with depression may have difficulty revising negative beliefs). These biases include failures to take information into account that goes against one’s own view, with political and societal implications. The authors discuss different anomalies in belief updating, propose a new model of belief updating, and recommend directions for future research. The Future of Women in Psychological ScienceJune Gruber, Jane Mendle, Kristen A. Lindquist, et al.Gruber and colleagues analyze 10 topics relevant for women’s professional prospects in psychological science: career advancement; financial compensation; service assignment and practices; lifestyle roles and work–family conflict; gender biases; prevalence and perceptions of positions of power; intersectionality; harassment and incivility; agency, self-esteem, and self-promotion; and lack of belonging. The authors discuss empirical evidence for each of these issues and clarify gender gaps and positive change. They hope that a better understanding of these issues will spark conversation and help to mitigate remaining gender differences in psychological science. The Emerging Science of VirtueBlaine J. Fowers, Jason S. Carroll, Nathan D. Leonhardt, and Bradford CokeletThe study of virtues has grown in the past two decades and has incorporated diversified research methods. Fowers and colleagues propose a framework to help to resolve theoretical and methodological challenges surrounding the science of virtue. Their model, STRIVE-4 (Scalar Traits that are Role sensitive, include Situation × Trait Interactions, and are related to important Values that help to constitute Eudaimonia), depicts virtue as acquired traits dependent on one’s role and situation and related to values that partly constitute eudaimonia (human flourishing). The model also proposes that virtue traits include components of knowledge, behavior, emotion/motivation, and disposition. A Call for Greater Attention to Culture in the Study of Brain and DevelopmentYang Qu, Nathan A. Jorgensen, and Eva H. TelzerDevelopmental cultural neuroscience—a potential interdisciplinary approach combining developmental psychology, cultural psychology, and cognitive neuroscience—could compensate for the current dearth of studies considering cultural and ethnic variation in neural processing across the life span. Qu and colleagues analyzed 80 publications in developmental neuroscience, finding that 99% of them used samples from Western countries and only 22% provided a detailed description of the racial/ethnic makeup of their sample. These findings point to the importance of incorporating culture into the investigation of neurodevelopment.center_img Self-Regulation Without Force: Can Awareness Leverage Reward to Drive Behavior Change?Vera U. Ludwig, Kirk Warren Brown, and Judson A. BrewerEffortful self-control is one way to regulate behavior to achieve goals (e.g., restraining oneself from eating cake to lose weight). However, another way to self-regulate behaviors relies on autonomous motivation (e.g., eating healthfully because doing so is intrinsically satisfying or aligned with one’s values). Ludwig and colleagues propose that bringing awareness to one’s subjective experience and behavior can change the value (or reward) one assigns to learned but unhealthy behaviors, leading to behavior changes. These changes would derive from reinforced learning, rather than being forced and dependent on self-control. Is the Political Slant of Psychology Research Related to Scientific Replicability?Diego A. Reinero, Julian A. Wills, William J. Brady, Peter Mende-Siedlecki, Jarret T. Crawford, and Jay J. Van BavelReinero and colleagues investigated the impact of political ideology on the quality of scientific articles, including their replicability. They asked psychology students and laypeople to classify the political slant (liberal vs. conservative) of the abstracts of 194 articles reporting studies that had been subjected to later replication attempts. The political slant of the articles was not associated with the success of later replications, subsequent citations, original effect size, or original sample size. However, research with a greater political slant—liberal or conservative—appeared to be less replicable.last_img read more

A psychologist explains why you shouldn’t want to always be happy

first_imgIn the 1990s, a psychologist named Martin Seligman led the positive psychology movement, which placed the study of human happiness squarely at the center of psychology research and theory. It continued a trend that began in the 1960s with humanistic and existential psychology, which emphasized the importance of reaching one’s innate potential and creating meaning in one’s life, respectively.Since then, thousands of studies and hundreds of books have been published with the goal of increasing well-being and helping people lead more satisfying lives.So why aren’t we happier? Why have self-reported measures of happiness stayed stagnant for over 40 years? LinkedIn Share Share on Twitter Share on Facebookcenter_img Email Pinterest Perversely, such efforts to improve happiness could be a futile attempt to swim against the tide, as we may actually be programmed to be dissatisfied most of the time.You can’t have it allPart of the problem is that happiness isn’t just one thing.Jennifer Hecht is a philosopher who studies the history of happiness. In her book “The Happiness Myth,” Hecht proposes that we all experience different types of happiness, but these aren’t necessarily complementary. Some types of happiness may even conflict with one another. In other words, having too much of one type of happiness may undermine our ability to have enough of the others – so it’s impossible for us to simultaneously have all types of happiness in great quantities.For example, a satisfying life built on a successful career and a good marriage is something that unfolds over a long period of time. It takes a lot of work, and it often requires avoiding hedonistic pleasures like partying or going on spur-of-the-moment trips. It also means you can’t while away too much of your time spending one pleasant lazy day after another in the company of good friends.On the other hand, keeping your nose to the grindstone demands that you cut back on many of life’s pleasures. Relaxing days and friendships may fall by the wayside.As happiness in one area of life increases, it’ll often decline in another.A rosy past, a future brimming with potentialThis dilemma is further confounded by the way our brains process the experience of happiness.By way of illustration, consider the following examples.We’ve all started a sentence with the phrase “Won’t it be great when…” (I go to college, fall in love, have kids, etc.). Similarly, we often hear older people start sentences with this phrase “Wasn’t it great when…”Think about how seldom you hear anyone say, “Isn’t this great, right now?”Surely, our past and future aren’t always better than the present. Yet we continue to think that this is the case.These are the bricks that wall off harsh reality from the part of our mind that thinks about past and future happiness. Entire religions have been constructed from them. Whether we’re talking about our ancestral Garden of Eden (when things were great!) or the promise of unfathomable future happiness in Heaven, Valhalla, Jannah or Vaikuntha, eternal happiness is always the carrot dangling from the end of the divine stick.There’s evidence for why our brains operate this way; most of us possess something called the optimistic bias, which is the tendency to think that our future will be better than our present.To demonstrate this phenomenon to my classes, at the beginning of a new term I’ll tell my students the average grade received by all students in my class over the past three years. I then ask them to anonymously report the grade that they expect to receive. The demonstration works like a charm: Without fail, the expected grades are far higher than one would reasonably expect, given the evidence at hand.And yet, we believe.Cognitive psychologists have also identified something called the Pollyanna Principle. It means that we process, rehearse and remember pleasant information from the past more than unpleasant information. (An exception to this occurs in depressed individuals who often fixate on past failures and disappointments.)For most of us, however, the reason that the good old days seem so good is that we focus on the pleasant stuff and tend to forget the day-to-day unpleasantness.Self-delusion as an evolutionary advantage?These delusions about the past and the future could be an adaptive part of the human psyche, with innocent self-deceptions actually enabling us to keep striving. If our past is great and our future can be even better, then we can work our way out of the unpleasant – or at least, mundane – present.All of this tells us something about the fleeting nature of happiness. Emotion researchers have long known about something called the hedonic treadmill. We work very hard to reach a goal, anticipating the happiness it will bring. Unfortunately, after a brief fix we quickly slide back to our baseline, ordinary way-of-being and start chasing the next thing we believe will almost certainly – and finally – make us happy.My students absolutely hate hearing about this; they get bummed out when I imply that however happy they are right now – it’s probably about how happy they will be 20 years from now. (Next time, perhaps I will reassure them that in the future they’ll remember being very happy in college!)Nevertheless, studies of lottery winners and other individuals at the top of their game – those who seem to have it all – regularly throw cold water on the dream that getting what we really want will change our lives and make us happier. These studies found that positive events like winning a million bucks and unfortunate events such as being paralyzed in an accident do not significantly affect an individual’s long-term level of happiness.Assistant professors who dream of attaining tenure and lawyers who dream of making partner often find themselves wondering why they were in such a hurry. After finally publishing a book, it was depressing for me to realize how quickly my attitude went from “I’m a guy who wrote a book!” to “I’m a guy who’s only written one book.”But this is how it should be, at least from an evolutionary perspective. Dissatisfaction with the present and dreams of the future are what keep us motivated, while warm fuzzy memories of the past reassure us that the feelings we seek can be had. In fact, perpetual bliss would completely undermine our will to accomplish anything at all; among our earliest ancestors, those who were perfectly content may have been left in the dust.This shouldn’t be depressing; quite the contrary. Recognizing that happiness exists – and that it’s a delightful visitor that never overstays its welcome – may help us appreciate it more when it arrives.Furthermore, understanding that it’s impossible to have happiness in all aspects of life can help you enjoy the happiness that has touched you.Recognizing that no one “has it all” can cut down on the one thing psychologists know impedes happiness: envy.By Frank T. McAndrew, Cornelia H. Dudley Professor of Psychology, Knox CollegeThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

IBA 2019: Lawyers must stand against populism

first_imgStaffan LindbergSource: Michael CrossPolitical scientist Staffan Lindberg addresses the IBA 2019 annual conference in Seoul‘One-third of the world’s people live in countries undergoing autocratisation,’ the institute’s Staffan Lindberg (pictured) told a session on ‘Are human rights in retreat?’ Thanks to a retreat from democracy in some large and influential countries, including Russia and Turkey, ‘we are living in a different world to that of 10 years ago’, Lindberg said. He also warned that the current wave of autocratisation differed from its predecessors in ways that could make it more pernicious. First, it is happening more slowly, which makes it more difficult to react to with urgency. Unlike the coups of previous waves, it is happening within the constitutional framework. ‘[Turkish president] Erdogan hasn’t broken any law,’ he said. Finally, elections are still happening – in form, at least. ‘Autocrats and would-be autocrats have learned their lesson,’ Lindberg said. ‘Make the elections look good, but between them undermine everything that makes elections meaningful.’This includes attacks on freedom of expression and judicial independence – an early warning sign of democracy under threat. ‘I think it’s time for us to take this seriously,’ Lindberg said. ‘When you lawyers act and speak governments have to listen. It’s time to start.’As for events in the UK, the Law Society’s immediate past-president Christina Blacklaws told the conference that the ‘Enemies of the people’ headline episode ‘still sends shivers down our spine’. However this week’s Supreme Court decision shows that ‘if you have robust institutions and an independent judiciary, you can hold the government to account. But there is no room for complacency. It is up to us who hold all this dear to fight for that.’ In a week of political drama on both sides of the Atlantic, the perceived threat from populist politics was a recurring theme at the International Bar Association’s annual conference in Seoul. Lawyers were repeatedly urged to engage in the issue – both in their role as ‘canaries in the mine’ and as credible voices of opposition. Addressing a session on ‘Collapse of the middle – the different impacts of modern populism’, the Argentinian economist and author Emilio Ocampo described populism as ‘not an ideology but a way of doing politics’. This is a ‘Manichean and antagonistic narrative’, of  finding an enemy to blame when voters encounter a ‘frustration gap’. For left-wing populists, the enemy is an economic one; for right-wing populists, they are cultural, he said. A separate conference session unveiled a disturbing global study indicating that democracy is in retreat. The latest ‘state of the world’ report from the V-Dem institute at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, argues that the world is undergoing a third wave of ‘autocratisation’; the first was in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s; the second globally at the height of the Cold War. The evidence is from 27 million data points from 181 countries about elections, access to justice, freedom of expression and other indicators.  #*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more

Listen to the conversation about the 2020 prep football season, and LSJ’s 52-page football preview

first_img0 × 23 Blast Inappropriate / Offensive Cardholder Name LocalSportsJournal.comIt takes a lot of work to get a 52-page high school football preview magazine written, edited, designed and published.That’s particularly true when it involves getting preview information and photos for 22 varsity teams in the Muskegon area, during a preseason when nobody was sure if there was even going to be a season. But the LSJ staff pulled it off, and now that the season is back on, you can order your full-color LSJ high school football preview magazine and get up to date on all the teams!Check out this short podcast, as LSJ Editor Steve Gunn, Publisher Jason Goorman and radio host John Mackay talk about the newly-revived high school football season, the production of the 2020 football preview magazine, and how you can get your copy delivered by mail for a minimum donation of $5.All proceeds from the sales will help survive the challenges of the COVID-19 shutdown and be around to cover area high school sports well into the future! Listen to the podcast, then order your football preview magazine today! ENDS IN Other Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Street Address Address Line 2 ZIP Code Bestseller × Share Cell Phone (optional)Football Preview 2020*2020 local sports football preview. Price includes shipping. Greek-English Lexicon, Ninth Edition with … Credit Card* $210.00 (119) Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Shop Related Products Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Inappropriate / Offensive The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle … $14.94$30.00 ENDS IN Not relevant Other Displayed poorly Address* Bestseller $3.99 Bestseller Displayed poorly Report a problem This item is… Full Name Inappropriate / Offensive Ads by Amazon Report a problem This item is… Report a problem This item is…center_img Price: $5.00 (369) Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon (G… Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Other Not relevant Displayed poorly (62) Add Comments (Max 320 characters) DEAL OF THE DAY DEAL OF THE DAY Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. DEAL OF THE DAY × Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Inappropriate / Offensive Card Details DEAL OF THE DAY Not relevant Share Other Report a problem This item is… Ads by Amazon City × Additional Donation*Please enter a number greater than or equal to 1.Product NameTotal $5.00 Shares $28.57$29.95 Email* Displayed poorly ENDS IN Add Comments (Max 320 characters) AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingArmed Forces AmericasArmed Forces EuropeArmed Forces Pacific State Not relevant (60) Full Name* Bestseller ENDS IN Maillast_img read more

Report: Hawks’ Dwight Howard pulled over for speeding the morning of playoff loss

first_imgRob Carr/Getty Images(ATLANTA) — Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard was reportedly caught speeding and without insurance on April 28, the morning of his team’s season-ending loss against the Washington Wizards.According to a police report obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 31-year-old Howard was pulled over by police in Dunwoody, Georgia, for traveling 95 mph in a 65 mph zone around 2:06 a.m. The report said an officer found he was driving without insurance and on a suspended registration.Howard was given a verbal warning for speeding and suspended registration, had a ticket written for having no insurance and had his car towed, the report said.The Wizards beat the Hawks 115-99 in Game 6 of the playoffs on April 28.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico Relatedlast_img read more

WCU’s Dulcimer U Weekend to be held Jan. 3-6, 2019 at Lake Junaluska

first_imgStart the New Year off with a fun weekend full of music, laughs and beautiful scenery. “Mix and match any classes you wish to attend. There will be something offered each hour for all skill levels,” said Bobby Hensley, WCU’s associate director of continuing education. Evening activities will include staff performances and a music sharing session for participants.  Featured instructors include: Larry Conger (Dulcimer U Director), Elaine Conger, Judy House, Laurie Alsobrook, Joe Collins, Stephen Humphries, Jim Miller, Guy George and Sherrie George. All classes, concerts, jam sessions, vendor area, and meals will be held inside the hotel. Western Carolina University’s Dulcimer U Winter Weekend will be held Jan. 3-6, 2019 at the Lambuth Inn at Lake Junaluska. Miller will also be leading jam sessions throughout the weekend. Winter Weekend participants can choose from over 50 hours of instruction on the mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, ukulele, and guitar.  The deadline for the early registration fee of $169 has been extended to Dec. 21. After Dec. 21, $199. For more information, visit or call 828-227-7397.last_img read more

Julia’s Best Week Ever, May 18, 2017: A Mother of a Weekend

first_imgWe headed over to the Beach Club, and thankfully our room was ready. Florida has been incredibly dry all spring, and so it was a welcome relief to hear thunder and to see a huge downpour of rain. Yes, it is just our luck that the one day we’re staying at Disney is the one day it rained, but we were all so happy for that rain. We got to rest some, watch some Mickey cartoons, and enjoy the room. In particular, I like this little touch on the throw pillows on the couch–it’s Flounder!Once the rain had stopped, we headed over to the Crew’s Cup for a quick snack, as we were all still pretty full from our morning of meals. Afterwards, our daughter wanted to play in the sand at Stormalong Bay for a while. It was almost empty, so we enjoyed sitting on lounge chairs while she worked on a sand castle.Needless, to say, she had a blast and was thoroughly soaked. Back to the room to change, and then off to Ample Hills Creamery for some ice cream and to the Boardwalk Bakery for some pastries for the morning. On our way back to the room, we stopped on the bridge for the Friendships to catch the last bit of Illuminations.Once we arrived back at the room, there was a surprise waiting for me — this lovely flower arrangement for Mother’s Day from my husband and daughter. It is a wonderful arrangement and still having new blooms open today. If you look closely, in addition to the very prominent Minnie, you can spot a tiny orange hidden Mickey in there as well.And because nothing else can top love from family, I’ll be signing off for this Best Week Ever. Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, and no matter what you’re doing, keep having your own Best Week Ever! After about 20 minutes in line for the River Journey with no motion, we decided to get out of line and grab some breakfast. There was no wait for food, and we tried two of the unique offerings at Satu’li Canteen–the oatmeal with bourbon-soaked raisins (and what appeared to be an extra slosh of bourbon on top) and the spinach and egg breakfast pods. For the oatmeal, I did have to show ID. I can honestly say it is the first time in a long time I’ve been carded, and the first time I’ve ever been carded to buy a bowl of oatmeal. We all had a good laugh at that. The pineapple-cream cheese lumpia on the other hand was delicious. I could easily get an order of those every time I stop by Pandora. The River Journey was now up and running, so we took a relaxing boat ride through the nighttime landscape of Pandora. It was so mellow and relaxing, plus visually stunning. I could easily ride that ride over and over again. It was a huge family favorite.There was one more meal to try at Pandora–lunch. None of us were all that hungry, so we decided to get a couple of bowls to share. For the adults, it was the beef bowl with onion chimichurri sauce on a quinoa and vegetable mixture. It was incredibly delicious. After a mediocre meal at Flame Tree recently, Satu’li may be our new go-to quick service place. Our daughter enjoyed the chicken in her chicken and rice bowl, but wasn’t a fan of the texture of the brown rice.Overall, even though I’ve never seen the Avatar movie, I love Pandora–there’s so much to see and it is one of the most photogenic places in all of Walt Disney World. The blending of “real” plants and “created” plants is beautiful, and little things like the drum circle area are fun surprises to find.Since our tour, I’ve been looking at lots of people’s coverage of their tours of Pandora and the things that they’ve seen. By far, our favorite thing that we spotted seems to have been missed by a lot of people. I’m not telling you exactly where this is hidden, but it is a lot of fun to search for it, and to see what it does. The food was really good, and I don’t know if I’ll ever eat oatmeal without some “special sauce” again. It was very filling, and could easily be split by two or more people. My husband enjoyed the pods, but found that it was the right amount of food–not too much and not too little.center_img With Flight of Passage taking up more than an hour due to more technical difficulties inside, I decided to get a little snack before we finished exploring. I’m a big fan of boba drinks, and love sweet drinks, so the Night Blossom sounded like a drink I wanted to try. In the end, we threw away 90% of it. If you like eating sugar by the spoonful, this may be a drink for you. If not, it’s a hard pass. Around Satu’li, there’s a variety of “artifacts” to look at. I know I want to wander around more in the future and see all of them. I’ve never seen the Avatar movie, but having things like this to really flesh out some story for the land are nice touches.After breakfast, it was time for our Flight of Passage FastPass. We headed on up…and immediately were stopped for more than a half hour in the outdoor queue as the ride experienced technical issues. There’s amazing views up there, and thankfully it was overcast and not too hot, but I don’t envy people waiting up there during the heat of summer. One nice feature is that there are waterfalls everywhere, which are both beautiful and may help keep temperatures moderated.I’ll not give many spoilers on the ride itself, because I think that if you are able and willing, it is something you need to experience for yourself. Out of the three of us, our daughter has said she has no desire to ever ride again, my husband may not ride again (and if he does, he’ll need motion sickness medicine and/or a barf bag which aren’t provided….yet), and I may ride it once again someday, but no huge rush to do so. Because our daughter was so brave to ride it willingly, we let her adopt her own Banshee. (His name is Green Ocean.) Share This!You know that whole “need a vacation to recover from a vacation”? I think I’m there after this week. It isn’t often that a new section of a theme park opens, so we decided to make the most of it. As locals, we don’t spend as many DVC points, so when we heard that there was a DVC preview in Pandora for Mother’s Day weekend, we booked a room at the Beach Club and signed up. (And consider this the spoiler alert–there will be some mild spoiler pictures later on in the article.) Our time slot was for 9 AM on Saturday morning, so in theory we needed to get an early night’s sleep. But Friday night was also the first night of Happily Ever After. My husband and I had seen some of it when it was in testing at 1 AM, but our daughter slept through it. We let her stay up to watch, and she had fun making “water effects” for it in the pool.Thankfully, even with all that excitement, she was able to get some sleep. The next morning we got up and arrived at Animal Kingdom around 8:30. We walked over to the Annual Passholder line and there was a crowd just hanging out. The Cast Member there asked if we were Passholders, and we said yes. She asked if we were staying on property, and we said yes, but were a little confused how she knew. She scanned our Magic Bands and it occurred to us–everyone else was standing around because they couldn’t go in yet. It was a morning Extra Magic Hour for resort guests. Yay! In we went. Getting in early meant we could say hi to the animals on our way to Pandora. Specifically, an anteater came to say good morning. He certainly looks like he would belong on Pandora, doesn’t he?It was about quarter of nine, but they let us walk right in. We got a FastPass return slip for Flight of Passage and admired the landscape as we walked over to the Na’vi River Journey.last_img read more

How America’s Future Foundation is Inspiring the Millennial Generation for Liberty and How You Can Be a Part of It

first_imgHow do you build a movement? At America’s Future Foundation, we believe movements begin in your communities. They begin in the happy hours, church groups, or local volunteer organizations, and are strengthened and reinforced through the social bonds built there. This is where points of view are discussed and ideas are debated. This is where liberty thrives. This is where movements begin.AFF’s vision is to be the vehicle by which young professionals can introduce their peers to the principles of free markets, limited government, and personal responsibility.In 2016, AFF launched six new chapters (we now have 25 chapters), hosted over 200 events, and connected with more than 8,000 young leaders across the country. We partnered with more than 40 leading conservative and libertarian organizations to bring their ideas to young professionals throughout the country. Ideas these audiences may not have otherwise encountered. Ideas they will now discuss with their friends.In our nation’s capitol, we brought together young liberty-minded congressional staffers for programs connecting them with policy experts and legislative leaders. AFF provided career-building fellowships to aspiring writers, giving them the tools to restore balance to the media. We also expanded this opportunity to enable writers outside the beltway to participate via webcam.Whether you’re pursuing a career in policy or you just love liberty, there are a variety of ways to get involved in our ever-growing community of young professional leaders across the U.S. and inspire the Millennial generation for liberty. Together, we are winning a generation.Read more about how AFF is working to spread the values of free markets, limited government, and personal responsibility in our 2016 Annual Report.last_img read more

Sharapova gets red-hot Garcia in tough Tianjin opener

first_imgNo more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Ronaldinho plays soccer exhibition with Chechnya leader But as usual, most focus will be on the 30-year-old Sharapova, who has struggled for top form and fitness since returning to tennis in April following her suspension for taking the banned substance meldonium.She fell in the third round at the China Open to Halep, who will be confirmed as number one for the first time on Monday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next However, 15th-ranked Garcia has been carrying a thigh injury and combined with her reaching Sunday’s final of the China Open, she could yet choose to skip Tianjin.Sharapova, now ranked a lowly 104 in the world, could hardly have a harder opponent.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingGarcia is in the form of her life, winning the Wuhan Open last weekend and later Sunday playing new number one Simona Halep in the final in Beijing.Also taking part in Tianjin, which is near the Chinese capital, is the two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts during her women’s singles match against Simona Halep of Romania in the China Open tennis tournament at the Diamond Court in Beijing, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)Maria Sharapova’s stop-start comeback from a 15-month doping ban takes her to the Chinese city of Tianjin this week and a tough draw against France’s on-form Caroline Garcia.The five-time Grand Slam champion and former number one from Russia has been paired with top seed Garcia in her opener at the Tianjin Open, where she was granted a wildcard.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View comments ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims MOST READ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel planslast_img read more


first_img“This is my first national level gold medal after 2014 “This is my first national level gold medal after 2014 and I am very happy to have won the race. I have not won an international medal till now and I hope I can do it at the Asian Championships in Japan next month,” said Irfan, who had finished fifth at the 2014 Asian Games. “I am hoping that I can time below one hour 20 minutes and that can fetch me a medal even in the World Championships. In 20km race walk, the competition is very tough at the Asian level. Most of the top competitors in the world are from Asia.” Irfan received a winners prize money of Rs 50,000 while Devender and Ganapati received Rs 30,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively. In national record holder Khushbeers absence, Priyanka (ONGC) won the womens 20km event in one hour 37 minutes and 58.32 seconds. The silver and bronze went to Railways athletes Shanti Kumari and Rani Yadav respectively in 1:38:38.70 and 1:38:51.30. None, however, could qualify for the World Championships among the womens 20km race walkers. Priyanka got the winners cheque of Rs 50,000 while Kumari and Yadav received Rs 30,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively. Contrary to speculation that the National Anti-Doping Agency may not come to take samples from the athletes for dope testing, a team came and did its job. PTI PDS CM CMlast_img read more

Oklahoma State has a new white helmet

first_imgIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! unis. #okstate— Oklahoman Photo Dept (@NewsOKPhoto) September 28, 2013I have to admit, at first I didn’t like it very much — it looks plastic-y, almost like they got it at Toys-R-Us — but from far away on the white jersey and black pants, it looks solid.I love the stripe down the middle and the black face mask.Also, this…not sure why we’re pumping Phantom Pete so hard. should have looked like this…Here’s what the new #okstate helmet should have been –— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 28, 2013last_img read more

5 tips for better orchestrating your messages this holiday

first_imgIf you want the best response to your outreach this holiday, focus on creating surround sound around your supporters. You want to project the same messages via multiple channels in a well-orchestrated marketing symphony.How do you do that? Roger Craver had some good tips in Fundraising Success that focused on retention. Here are five ways to better orchestrate your messages this holiday, inspired by his thinking.1. Create one message or theme and build on it. You want your outreach via email, direct mail, telephone, social media, mobile, etc. to sound like variations on a theme – not unrelated music. Pick a key idea and reinforce it through each medium through which you contact supporters.2. Contact supporters in multiple ways. The best way to build a relationship with donors is to acknowledge the fact that people like to give in a variety of venues: email, direct mail, Facebook,etc. There are not just pure “online donors” and “mobile donors”and “direct mail” donors – there are donors who choose to mix it up. Research shows donors give the most – and stay the longest – when you take this approach.3. In each form of outreach, reference other ways to connect. Put web addresses for online giving in your direct mail. Put postal addresses on your website. And so on.4. Experiment. Roger notes that some organizations have success when they send text messages to donors the day direct mail hits. Others find better responses by sending emails a little while after a direct mail piece lands. Test different combinations and timing to see what works best for you.5. Plan around the donor. Get all of these pieces playing together by creating a comprehensive plan around the donor (rather than having each department at your organization doing their own thing). You want harmonic sense for your supporters — a lovely set of surround sound rather than a cacophony of ad hoc outreach! So make a calendar from the donor perspective and confirm your supporters are getting the right messages, through the right channels at the right times.last_img read more

What Kind of Donor Gets a Thank You?

first_imgPop quiz: Who should receive a thank you?a. A recurring donor who gives $15 a month.b. A major donor who gives a $10,000 gift.c. A first-time donor who gives a $50 gift.d. A regular donor who gives a gift to a special campaign like #GivingTuesday.e. A new donor acquired through a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.f. All donors.If you answered “f,” you’re right! Every donor should be thanked for their gift. The type of thank you will vary, but no matter the size of the gift or where it came from, every donor should get a thank you.“Should I send multiple thank you messages to a recurring giver?” Have you ever heard of anyone getting mad for receiving too much gratitude? Not very often. Recurring donors are a special group of supporters who love your cause enough to give you a financial commitment on a consistent basis. You should thank these donors as often as you see fit. If that’s an email every quarter, go for it. But listen to donors’ preferences. If a donor provides helpful feedback that the frequency of communication they are receiving is too much (or too little), take it to heart and respect their input.“Is a thank you note enough for a major donor?” A thank you note is just the first step in your donor relations strategy. In addition to a thank you note, major donors should receive an appropriate level of recognition for their gift (or the option to remain anonymous), engagement with your organization, and updates on how their gift is used. Depending on who the donor is and what the funds will be used for, the thank you should come from your executive director or board director. We aren’t discussing the importance of a phone call as a thank you in this post, but this would be the perfect opportunity for the development director to pick up the phone and chat with a generous donor.“Can the receipt serve as the thank you for a first-time donor? I doubt I’ll see them again.” It’s an unfortunate but true reality: Most first-time donors won’t return to make a second gift. But with a sound donor relations strategy that starts off with a stellar message of thanks, you could turn this one-time donor into a loyal supporter who gives year after year!“Is it awkward to send another thank you to someone who gave to a specific campaign?” Most definitely not! In this case, your thank you message should focus on how the donor was part of the campaign’s success. If the campaign is ongoing, thank them soon after the gift was made, and then send a second note of thanks to update donors on the campaign’s success. Check out this great #GivingTuesday thank you from Collective Action for Safe Spaces. Did you notice how many times the word “you” was used in this thank you message? This is an excellent example of what a donor-centric, campaign-specific thank you message should look like.“Shouldn’t it be the responsibility of the peer fundraiser to thank those who gave to their campaign?” Sure, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t too. These donors gave to you because a friend asked not necessarily because they are super educated about your nonprofit. How can you show your appreciation, encourage them to stay connected to your organization, and educate them on what your nonprofit does? The best way to keep these new donors engaged is to start off the relationship right with some gratitude.Want more tips on donor thank yous? Download our newest eGuide: The Complete Donor Thank You Guidelast_img read more

Current Issue of the Lancet: A Focus on Progress Toward MDG 4 and 5

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 11, 2012June 21, 2017Click 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 the comment section of the latest issue of the Lancet, several articles discuss current progress toward improving the health of women and children.The authors of Building a future for women and children offer interesting insight into the fourth report of Countdown (to be launched on June 13th, 2012):The 2012 report shows that substantial progress has been made since 1990. As of 2010, the number of maternal deaths has declined by almost half and the number of child deaths has declined by over a third. But this reduction is not enough, relative to what can be achieved. Progress in most Countdown countries still falls short of the rate of decline required to reach MDG 4 and MDG 5, unless progress is greatly accelerated in the next 3 years.Countdown focuses on tracking coverage of life-saving interventions. Here as well, progress has been mixed. A few countries, such as Bangladesh, have made consistent gains in coverage for several interventions across the continuum of care, and are on track to achieve both MDG 4 and MDG 5. In most countries, however, progress is patchy. High coverage levels for vaccines (over 80% on average across all Countdown countries) and rapid progress in distribution of insecticide-treated bednets show what is possible with substantial political commitment and financial resources. Progress is much slower for skilled attendance at birth and case-management interventions that require a strong health system…Read the full article here.The authors of Keeping promises for women and children discuss commitments made by a range of stakeholders, including donors, countries, multilateral agencies, the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), health-care professional associations, and academic and training institutions to improve the health of women and children:The report showed that major contributions have been leveraged from the 49 low-income, high-burden countries. 44 countries have made commitments with almost half making explicit pledges to increase government health spending, with an estimated value of US$10 billion specifically to benefit women’s and children’s health. NGOs have also made pledges that account for about 12% of the total financial commitments. In May, 2011, the financial commitments were worth more than US$43 billion. With additional commitments made in Sept, 2011, the total is now more than US$50 billion.4 This is a remarkable achievement. Furthermore, this figure includes only commitments expressed in financial terms, and therefore underestimates the total value. Defining how much is new and additional funding was beyond the remit of this report and will require a robust and clearly communicated analysis agreed by stakeholders.In addition to the financial pledges, there were policy and service commitments that were not quantified financially, but which are important in terms of financial investment and for health outcomes. Four-fifths of stakeholders made policy commitments, including removing user fees and promoting gender empowerment, whilst a similar number made commitments to strengthen service delivery, including support to increase the number of skilled birth attendants and midwives…Read the full article here.More from the Lancet comment section on the health of newborns and children:Towards ending preventable child deathsTackling pneumonia and diarrhoea: the deadliest diseases for the world’s poorest childrenGlobal child survival: beyond numbersPreterm birth: new data on a global health priorityShare this:last_img read more

World Water Day Provides Occasion to Consider Connections Between Maternal Health and WASH

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on March 22, 2013March 13, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick 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)Today, March 22 is World Water Day, an annual UN event that seeks to draw attention to the persistent challenges related to securing clean water for people around the world. As the guest blog series coordinated by WASH Advocates earlier this month makes clear, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues are integral to the health, rights and general well-being of women and girls around the world, including maternal health.  WASH issues connect to maternal health in ways that are both direct and immediate and indirect and far-ranging: clean water and sanitation are fundamental for the safety of mothers and infants during and just after childbirth, but these issues are just as important for ensuring that girls can go to school, women can work, and families everywhere can ensure the health and safety of their children.Given the intricate links between WASH and other issues – including maternal health – it is fitting that this year’s World Water Day theme is “cooperation.” After all, recognizing these connections only serves to underscore the importance of working together across what might otherwise appear to be wholly separate issues. As an article published today in The Huffington Post points out, issues related to water are often so much more: they are also women’s issues, child health issues, sanitation issues and education issues, to name just a few.For more on these connections, visit WASH Advocates’ interactive poster on WASH and maternal, newborn and child health. For more on World Water Day, visit The Huffington Post water page, WaterAids’s “Women and WaterAid” or UN Water.Share this:last_img read more

Maternal Health, HIV, and AIDS: Examining Research Through a Programmatic Lens

first_imgPosted on June 3, 2013November 27, 2017By: Kate Mitchell, Manager of the MHTF Knowledge Management System, Women and Health Initiative; Samantha Lattof, Project Manager, Maternal Health Task Force, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is the first in a blog series on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS. To view the entire series, click here.Women and girls are increasingly and disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and now comprise over half of those living with HIV. According to recent estimates from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, not only is the proportion of pregnancy-related and maternal deaths attributable to HIV higher than expected, but pregnant women with HIV are eight times more likely to die than women without HIV. The feminized HIV and AIDS epidemic is one factor limiting progress in the reduction of maternal mortality. As the global community discusses bold visions for new targets to reduce maternal mortality, researchers from both the HIV and maternal health communities must come together to share knowledge and build a path to improved women-centered programming.Over the next several weeks, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) will share a series of guest blog posts from our colleagues who are working in maternal health, HIV, and AIDS. The posts will cover topics such as:An exploration of a particularly groundbreaking approach used in a specific country to integrate and improve maternal health and HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, or careExperiences managing HIV-related comorbidities and obstetric complicationsAnalyses of a persistent barrier to integrating and/or improving quality of maternal health care and HIV/AIDS care for womenCountry responses to the World Health Organization’s new guidelines for prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV and antiretroviral therapy as well as country experiences in implementing these guidelinesExperiences addressing the demand side—or how to facilitate interest on the part of women and their families to demand higher quality maternal health and HIV servicesImplications for policymakers on the measurement of direct and indirect causes of maternal deaths related to HIVIn addition to the blog series, the MHTF will convene the technical meeting Maternal health, HIV, and AIDS: Examining research through a programmatic lens starting on 10 June 2013, in collaboration with USAID and CDC. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss emerging research linking maternal health and HIV, identify research gaps, and consider programmatic implications. While there is a need for significant investment in this issue around the globe, the focus of this particular meeting is Africa.Finally, our Maternal Health, HIV, and AIDS topics page highlights resources, recent publications, videos, and blog posts, along with the organizations working on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS.  The page is a work-in-progress. Please check back frequently for new content. The MHTF is always looking for new resources, research, and news.  We welcome any feedback or resources you have to share on our topics page.Stay tuned to the MHTF for upcoming blog posts about maternal health, HIV, and AIDS as well as daily summaries and a final report from the meeting. If you are interested in sharing your maternal health, HIV, and AIDS research and expertise on the MHTF Blog, please contact Kate Mitchell ([email protected]) or Samantha Lattof ([email protected]).To view the blog series, click here. For additional information about maternal health, HIV, and AIDS, visit our topic page. To follow the meeting on Twitter starting 10 June 2013, use #MHHIV.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

The Adding Content to Contact Project: Case Studies for Implementing Antenatal and Postnatal Care in Low-Resource Settings

first_imgPosted on May 30, 2014November 4, 2016By: Annie Kearns, Project Manager, Maternal Health Task Force, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)For the past nine months, the Adding Content to Contact (ACC) project at the Women and Health Initiative has been working to systematically assess the obstacles that prevent and the factors that enable the adoption and implementation of cost-effective interventions for antenatal and postnatal care along the care continuum. The project is also examining how these interventions can best be adopted and scaled up in resource poor settings to benefit women and children. As part of that process, the ACC team has been researching care delivery around the world. Today, we have published eight case studies highlighting various methods of delivering antenatal and postnatal care in a variety of settings:Focused antenatal care in Tanzania—Delivering individualized, targeted, high-quality careGroup care: Alternative models of care delivery to increase women’s access, engagement, and satisfactionHealth Extension Workers in Ethiopia— Delivering community-based antenatal and postnatal careJacaranda Health—A model for sustainable, affordable, high-quality maternal health care for Nairobi’s low-income womenLady Health Workers in Pakistan—Improving access to health care for rural women and familiesPostnatal care in Nepal—Components of care, implementation challenges, and success factorsThe Developing Families Center—Providing maternal and child care to low-income families in Washington, D.C.The Manoshi project—Bringing quality maternity care to poor women in urban BangladeshMembers of the ACC project team will be attending the ICM Congress in Prague, Czech Republic next week. These case studies will be discussed in detail during our session on Thursday, 5 June, 8:30am – 12:00pm in Room 4.3. We hope to see many of you there!Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

The Lancet Maternal Health Series: External Shocks and Health System Innovations

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 28, 2016January 6, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Lancet Maternal Health Series published in September 2016 contains six papers highlighting the importance of improving access to high quality maternal health care for all women across the globe. In paper 5, “Next generation maternal health: External shocks and health-system innovations,” Kruk and colleagues discuss how social, political, environmental and demographic changes will influence the future of global maternal health and highlight key health system innovations with potential for large impact.External shocksThe authors review a number of rapid societal and health system changes or “external shocks” that are anticipated over the next two decades, focusing on those that they believe will have the greatest influence on maternal health.Rise in domestic health financingIn the coming years, external donor funding and international aid for health financing is projected to decline, and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in particular will need to boost domestic financing. Despite evidence that spending on health is a wise investment, many countries lack the political will to allocate sufficient resources. The vast majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, designate less than 15% of their national budgets to health. While initiatives such as the Global Financing Facility offer hope for continued financial investment, LMICs will need to prioritize maternal health to improve access, utilization and quality of care.Shifts in governance for healthUnder the Millennium Development Goals, maternal health was a stand-alone goal. Now that the world has transitioned to the Sustainable Development Goals, maternal health is just one focus area within the broader goal to “ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.” Continued prioritization of maternal health is crucial given this broader framework. Furthermore, there has been a trend towards fragmentation in governance and financing related to maternal health: For example, the introduction of related initiatives focused on newborns, adolescents, family planning and nutrition, while important, may complicate priority setting and dilute funding for maternal health programs. Ensuring the synergy of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health efforts will amplify collective impact.UrbanizationAccording to the United Nations, about 66% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050. Fifteen years ago, 39% of births occurred in urban areas; The authors project that in 2030, that figure will rise to 52%. Urbanization carries a number of benefits for pregnant women including reduced travel time to health facilities and a higher ratio of well-trained providers to patients. However, the rich-poor gap can be even larger in cities compared to rural areas. Additionally, many families move from rural areas to urban slums, where quality of care and people’s overall health status tend to be poor. To respond to the effects of urbanization, countries will need to strengthen their health systems and prepare for higher demand for services in cities.EmergenciesInfectious disease outbreaks, armed conflict and natural disasters due to climate change create a double burden by increasing the demand for health services and decreasing the capacity of health systems to provide those services. Pregnant women and children are disproportionately affected by such humanitarian crises. One study found that the maternal mortality ratios (MMRs) of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that recently experienced armed conflict were 45% higher than those that did not. Following the Ebola virus outbreak, maternal mortality has risen dramatically in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, whose current MMR is approximately 1,360 deaths per 100,000 live births. More recently, the Zika virus has created unique challenges related to women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Health systems must become more resilient to ensure that women and children receive the care they need during emergencies.Health-system innovationsUniversal health coverageThe goal of universal health coverage (UHC) is to ensure that everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, receives essential health services without suffering financial hardship. UHC has the potential to improve maternal health by expanding coverage of maternity services, as well as access to care for chronic illnesses, non-communicable diseases and other conditions affecting women before, during and after pregnancy. Countries including Mexico and Rwanda have improved poor women’s access to health services by instituting national health insurance programs. However, the authors astutely point out that access alone will not improve outcomes: Quality of care is also critical.Behavioral economicsEvidence from behavioral economics illustrates the power of psychological factors in driving decision-making. People do not always make informed, rational decisions, especially those experiencing the daily stresses associated with poverty. Public health professionals can help address this challenge by implementing programs that encourage people to make better decisions about their health. Strategies include using a default choice, framing information differently and providing economic incentives such as cash transfers. Such programs need to be rigorously evaluated in diverse contexts.mhealthMobile health or “mhealth” is a relatively new field that leverages the growing accessibility of cell phones around the world, even in low-resource settings. Many countries, communities and health facilities have integrated mhealth into patient education interventions, data collection systems and performance-based payments for providers. Additional research evaluating the effectiveness of such programs is needed to better understand how these strategies can help improve maternal health.—Read summaries of other papers in The Lancet Maternal Health Series.Subscribe to get the MHTF blog delivered straight to your inbox.Share this:last_img read more

Providing Equitable, High Quality Maternity Care in the Context of a Limited Health Workforce: Lessons From Nigeria

first_imgPosted on September 29, 2017September 29, 2017By: Michael Ezeanochie, Obstetrician/Gynecologist, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, NigeriaClick 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)Shortages in the availability of well-trained health workers have been well documented in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Even in cases where there are relatively large numbers of health care providers, inadequate pre-service and in-service training, suboptimal proportions of different clinical specialties and a lack of strong health system support remain major challenges to providing high quality maternity care.The question therefore arises: How do developing countries facing severe shortages in well-trained, equitably distributed health workers ensure access to high quality maternal health care for all women?Perhaps the most logical long-term solution is to invest more resources into the expansion of training capacity to meet the health needs of the population. However, amid widespread poverty and competing needs for scarce resources, as well as migration of health workers across geographic boundaries, this may not be attainable for most developing countries. There are several other potential solutions that may be feasible in the short-term, which are currently being tested in Nigeria.The Midwives Service SchemeThe National Primary Healthcare Development Agency launched the Midwives Service Scheme in 2009 to expand skilled birth attendance to reduce maternal, infant and child mortality, especially in rural communities. Since 2010, more than 2,600 midwives have been recruited and deployed to over 650 rural primary health centers across Nigeria. The program incorporates training of midwives and medical officers to improve the quality of maternity care while strategically adding to the health workforce.West African College of Surgeons training program and curriculaLessons learned from the Midwives Service Scheme partly stimulated the development of other innovative strategies involving redistribution of the health workforce to rural areas. For example, the Faculty of Surgery, West African College of Surgeons revised its training program and curricula in 2016 to include a mandatory six-month “rural posting” for senior trainees before their exit fellowship exams. It is expected that this will make senior health workforce team members available in underserved communities to work with and mentor non-specialist physicians in the provision of maternal health services.The Volunteer Obstetrician SchemeSimilarly, the Volunteer Obstetrician Scheme (VOS) was launched in Nigeria in July 2016 as an initiative of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Primary Health Care Development Agency. Under VOS, experts in obstetrics and gynecology who work in referral hospitals volunteer to commit some of their regular work hours in designated lower level health facilities where they treat patients and provide in-service training. This program gives experts in obstetrics the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with caregivers working at community-based and primary health care centers.What is next?Nigeria, like many other developing countries in Africa, is confronted with severe health workforce shortages, but the resources needed to expand training capacity for health workers to meet the needs of the population are not readily available. Therefore, it is necessary to explore innovative solutions that maximize efficient use of the available health workforce, including redistribution to vulnerable communities. Programs like these could help to ensure equitable access to maternal health services with skilled providers. Rigorous research is needed to evaluate the effects of these interventions.Have you tried these strategies in your country? If so, tell us about it!—Read other posts from the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF)’s Global Maternal Health Workforce blog series.Access resources related to the global maternal health workforce.Are you interested in sharing your perspective on the MHTF blog? Read our guest post guidelines and send us an email with your idea.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Unlocking the Full Potential of Maternity Waiting Homes

first_imgPosted on March 1, 2018March 2, 2018By: Kayla McGowan, Project Coordinator, 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)Innovations in health care delivery are crucial to improving maternal health worldwide. Introduced in Northern Europe, Canada and the United States in the early 20th century—and now available in many areas around the world—maternity waiting homes (MWHs) provide a place for women at high risk of pregnancy complications to await labor and delivery near a qualified health facility. MWHs seek to reduce the distance to timely, high quality health care, which is often a major obstacle in the decision to seek care—especially for pregnant women living in rural areas. While the evidence on their effectiveness remains mixed, researchers have linked MWHs to reductions in maternal and perinatal mortality throughout Africa. Further research has explored the barriers that prevent use of MWHs as well as the factors that contribute to their uptake and success.Two open access studies recently published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth provide insight into MWHs through the lenses of women and other stakeholders. The first, a community-based cross-sectional study conducted in the Eastern Gurage Zone of Southern Ethiopia by Vermeiden and colleagues, explored factors associated with intended use of maternity waiting homes among more than 400 recently postpartum and pregnant women. The second, a mixed-methods, cross-sectional study in Zambia’s Luapula Province by Chibuye and colleagues, investigated both expectations as well as experiences of MWHs among women, community groups and traditional leaders. While the context of each study was distinct, the findings offer three keys to unlocking the full potential of maternity waiting homes around the world.Improve community knowledge and gain supportVermeiden and colleagues found that less than 10% of approximately 400 recently postpartum and pregnant women had prior knowledge about MWHs. This is consistent with previous findings. In Kenya, for example, researchers found that about a quarter of women they interviewed knew about the existence of a MWH two years after it was constructed.As outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) more than two decades ago, community and cultural support is a crucial element in the success of MWHs. In Zambia, support from community groups—including Safe Motherhood Action Groups, Neighbourhood Health Committee members and faith-based organizations—played a major role in the development, construction and operation of MWHs, as well as communication between the community and health staff.Address quality of care issuesAs with any service along the continuum of maternal health care, MWHs must meet women’s needs in a dignified, respectful environment. Even when the concept of MWHs is accepted and valued, poor quality of care can deter women from using them. Women and community groups in Zambia expressed the need for better infrastructure, services, food, security, privacy and transportation:“When I delivered last year, I went home immediately […] it was impossible to keep myself clean without water in the maternity ward and maternity home despite the midwife advising me to stay until the following day.”–Woman who gave birth at a rural health centerGiven that MWHs serve as a point of referral for nearby health facilities, efforts to improve quality of care must extend beyond the MWH itself. According to WHO, MWHs “…cannot function effectively in a vacuum. Rather, they are a link in a larger chain of comprehensive maternity care, all the components of which must be available and of sufficient quality to be effective and linked with the home.”As Vermeiden and colleagues articulated, it is vital to address the needs of the whole health system:“If the Ethiopian health care system is incapable of absorbing an influx of women for childbirth, encouraging women to use MWHs could lead to more women receiving substandard care, which may backfire on Ethiopia’s attempts to reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.”Adapt to context and make it sustainableWorking with the local environment and culture is critical to the uptake and success of MWHs. In rural Ethiopia, for example, former traditional birth attendants have been trained to refer women to maternity waiting areas. In rural Liberia, collaboration between traditional midwives and skilled birth attendants along with the use of MWHs was associated with increased facility-based births and decreased maternal and perinatal death.Considering the health system structure and capacity is another fundamental element of success. Chibuye and colleagues found that most participants remained skeptical that women would pay for services at MWHs because the health system services for reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health are free of charge in Zambia. Securing funding from governments and other sources as well as establishing strong partnerships are also key to ensuring sustainability of MWHs.As Vermeiden and colleagues emphasize, “MWHs alone will not reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity; they are merely a tool to increase the number of women who are able to access care.” Efforts to gain community support and engagement, improve quality of care and leverage local context can help ensure that MWHs are effective in linking pregnant women to timely, life-saving services.—Learn more about maternity waiting homes>>Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more