Car Window Broken In Road-Rage Incident

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInPolice Scotland officers are seeking help in tracing the driver of a car who was involved in a confrontation with another motorist on Tuesday 31 January 2017. The incident took place on the B7076 APR road at the junction with the A701 road at Beattock. At around 1230/1245 hours a 68 year old man from Lockerbie was seated alone in his car, a blue coloured Audi A4 estate, which had broken down, and was awaiting assistance at the side of the road.Around that time a car, described as a burgundy coloured Vauxhall, drove along side, stopped, and the driver thereafter took a photograph of the Audi car. The driver, who was male and the sole occupant of the car then appeared to mouth something before driving off. A short time later the same burgundy car and driver returned, and at the same time a window was smashed in the Audi car as the burgundy car drove passed. As a result a window on the Audi car was found to have a hole in it. The burgundy car then sped off.Constable Stephen Glendinning at Lockerbie said “this does appear to be a bizarre incident and we are at a loss to understand what the motive was for this behaviour. The driver of the burgundy car is described as being in his late 30s/early 40s, medium build, had a full black beard, possible black hair and was wearing a black coloured hat. We want to hear from anyone who may have been in the area and can help us identify the burgundy car and its driver. Or indeed, if the driver of the burgundy car wishes to come forward and explain his actions we would be only too happy to speak to him. Callers can contact us at Lockerbie on the 101 number.”last_img read more

Dominican Army Leaders, Siblings Serve Together

first_img Tweet Share LocalNews Dominican Army Leaders, Siblings Serve Together by: By Army Staff Sgt. Gene Arnold13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) – January 29, 2015 Share 294 Views   one commentcenter_img Share Sharing is caring! CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait, Jan. 28, 2015 – Army Sgt. 1st Class Suzanne Prosper and her brother, Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Weaver Prosper, came a long way from the sandy shores of the Commonwealth of Dominica, a small island in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean.The Prospers come from a close family of hard workers that strive to be the best they can be, they said.“Deployments are hard, being away from family. I’m lucky because I’m here with my brother,” said 33-year-old Suzanne, a human resources noncommissioned officer, deployed here with the 12th Detachment, 3rd Medical Command Deployment Support. “When things get hard, and I need a hug, I can just walk across the way and get a genuine hug.”“I know it’s genuine … he loves me,” she said of her brother.Suzanne and her 35-year-old brother, Weaver, may be considered lucky to be deployed to the same base for the first time after 15 years of military service.“We could’ve joined under the ‘Buddy Program,’ but I think a week before we enlisted we got into a small fight, and she decided she didn’t want to be around me anymore,” said Weaver, a general construction technician assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Engineer, U.S. Army Central Command.“She went to Fort Drum [New York] and I went to Hawaii. Three months later she called crying and said, ‘Fort Drum is the coldest place ever.’” He added, “We laugh about it now, but that’s how we got separated.”Serving TogetherSuzanne volunteered to deploy with her reserve unit based outside of Fort Gillem, Georgia, and was excited to learn that Weaver would soon deploy to the same location.“I was excited. I was really … really excited,” she said.While away from each other, Suzanne said, she and her brother both experienced the joys of career progression, combat deployments, the joys of parenthood and family gatherings held once a year.Suzanne decided that active-duty service wasn’t for her anymore and she joined the Army reserve. Weaver, also a fast-tracking noncommissioned officer, also had thoughts of leaving active-duty service.Then, Weaver received some advice from his leadership that helped him lean towards a different path. Shortly after being promoted to sergeant first class, he decided that being enlisted was no longer a direction he wanted to go. Seven years later, he’s been a two-time awardee of the Outstanding Engineer Warrant Officer of the Year for 2011 and 2014.In the upcoming weeks, Weaver is scheduled to head to Washington, D.C., to receive the Modern Technology Leader Award that is based across all branches of service and the civilian sector of the Army Corps of Engineers.Shared Success“If we have success, the way my family is so close, we all have success,” Suzanne said. “If I could go with my brother, they wouldn’t be able to shut me up.”When asked if Suzanne could describe her family in one word, she said it would be “dedicated.” It may be seen as ironic that this family’s name is Prosper, she said, because through hardships and times of success this family rallies together and cheers each other on.“My mother is pretty proud … all her children are doing great for themselves, and we have a very close-knit relationship,” she added. Weaver said he’s very proud of his sister.“As far as NCOs and doing what’s right, my sister epitomizes that,” he said. “She’s the type of person that even though I’m her brother and if I’m doing something wrong, it’s an on-the-spot correction. Sometimes I wish that some NCO’s have the same dedication and drive that she has.‘Best NCO I’ve Ever Seen’“She’s definitely an inspiration to me,” he continued. “On the [administration] side, she is the best NCO I’ve ever seen. Awards, NCOERs, counselings, anything that I have [to do] anywhere in the world … she’s the first person I call back to.”After hearing her brother complimenting her professionalism, Suzanne giggled.“That’s nice to know,” she said, smiling. “I think that we all have a responsibility once we wear these stripes. While you’re supposed to take care of yourself, your soldiers’ needs should be right up there with yours.“If a soldier has to work late at night, I’m going to be sitting right there … I’m going to be right there smiling doing whatever I can to help them,” Suzanne continued. “At the end of the day, if they fail I’ll see it as a failure on my part as I didn’t do enough to help.”They both said they wouldn’t be able to get far in their careers without the support, mentorship and love from their close family.When asked if she thought her relationship with Weaver would be as close as it is now based on their relationship growing up, she said with a giggle, “Oh no, me and my brother fought so much as children it’s not even funny. I have a card when I turned 22 or 23 years old, that he sent me and he chronicled all the things that he did to me as children with ‘remember when’, but it ended with ‘I still loved you.’”Saluting Brother’s Professional AbilitiesSuzanne saluted her brother’s military capabilities and professionalism.“My brother is a pretty-darn-good officer if you ask me; he’s well rounded,” she said. “This is the first time actually serving with my brother, and I’ve heard nothing but great things from anyone who’s dealt with him.”She shared this advice to her brother, “Be who you are, because who you are — is a great person.”last_img read more

Ohio High School Boys Basketball Regional Semifinals Scoreboard

first_img Matt Medley is co-editor at NEO Sports Insiders, covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians and high school sports in Northeast Ohio.Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter for live updates from games. Matt Medley Division IUniversity of ToledoToledo St. John’s Jesuit 48                   Elyria 47Cleveland StateGarfield Heights 29                       Uniontown Lake 22St. Edward 62                                       Mentor 43Columbus (Ohio Dominican University)Pickerington Central 75               Columbus St. Charles 53Dayton (Wright State University)Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller 60   Mason 57Cincinnati La Salle 47                   Springfield 46Division IIICanton FieldhouseNorthwestern 75                                         St. Thomas Aquinas 67Villa Angela-St. Joseph 87             Garrettsville Garfield 47Bowling GreenMaria Stein Marion Local  54             Milan Edison 44Archbold 47                                             Cardinal Stritch 36AthensProctorville Fairland 57             Sugarcreek Garaway  52Berlin Hiland 60                           Chillicothe Southeastern 34KetteringCin. Summit Country Day 35 Worthington Christian 32Cincinnati Roger Bacon 61           Versailles 46Division IVWarren G. Harding High SchoolWarren JFK 72                                           McDonald 60Follow @NEOSportsInside on Twitter for score updates throughout the night.center_img Related Topicslast_img read more

BCA legal minds planning “surgery” on Wehby governance report

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados,  CMC – Barbados Cricket Association president, Conde Riley, said yesterday the local governing body had established a “high-powered” committee to examine the recommendations put forward recently by the Independent Task Force for Corporate Governance Reform. Riley, a prominent Cricket West Indies director, told a media conference here the committee would carry out “surgery” on the 36-page governance report with a sense of “urgency” and expected to be able to submit its findings within a month.“We are in the process as a board of putting together a group to do a surgery on the proposals,” Riley said.“Our committee that we have put together will look at it, come back to the board and then we will make our submission. “I remember the last report was the Barriteau Report which said they would dissolve Cricket West Indies – it cannot be done in law. I’m not a lawyer … but I know you cannot take over a company.“The only body that can do that would be the shareholders and all six shareholders would have to agree to that. If one says no, it’s over.“But we will report to our membership and the people of Barbados in due course once that committee does its surgery on this report.” The BCA is one of six constituent boards of CWI currently mulling over the report which was submitted last week by task force chairman, Jamaican businessman and senator Don Wehby.Among the recommendations is a reduction in the size of the board from its current total of 18 members to 12, and the inclusion of at least two women to reflect diversity.The report also calls for a decrease in committees from 12 to five and a redefining of the roles of the president and vice-president in order to strengthen their non-executive nature. Riley, who has often been at odds with the current Ricky Skerritt-led administration, said he had no issues with reducing the size of the board once the executive functions were carried out efficiently.“If they say – and again the shareholders would have to agree to this – you reduce the board instead of having two directors per shareholder you have one, once you have the executive arm functioning properly I have no difficulty with that,” Riley explained.“But as I said, we’re going to deal with it as a board, take the advice of the committee which we’ve put together and the committee is a fairly high-powered one. “We have asked that this thing be dealt with ASAP so I hope that within a month, we will have a report if not sooner.”The task force was commissioned by Skerritt, following his unseating of three-term incumbent Dave Cameron last year, making good on a campaign promise to review the governance structure of CWI once elected.Wehby’s committee comprised an eminent group of Caribbean personalities with University of the West Indies (UWI) vice-chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; West Indies Vice-Captain Deryck Murray; Jamaican businessman, OK Melhado and prominent Caribbean lawyer Charles Wilkin QC, all helping pen the report.Skerritt said CWI was determined to “do all we can to ensure the implementation of this report.”last_img read more

2017 Orioles preview: Jonathan Schoop

first_imgWith Opening Day less than three weeks away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.Manny Machado Kevin Gausman Adam Jones Darren O’Day Seth Smith Mike Wright Caleb Joseph Donnie Hart2B Jonathan SchoopOpening Day age: 25Contract status: Under club control through the 2019 season2016 stats: .267/.298/.454, 25 HR, 82 RBI, 82 R, 1 SB, 647 PAWhy to be impressed: In addition to hitting 25 long balls for the first time, Schoop increased his walk rate and lowered his strikeout rate, which are improvements an aggressive hitter needs to make in his mid-20s. His .688 on-base plus slugging percentage against left-handers in 2016 doesn’t sound like much, but it represented major improvement from his .573 mark against southpaws the previous year.Why to be concerned: After posting an .847 OPS in the first half of 2016, Schoop slumped after the All-Star break with a .643 mark and batted just .196 in the final month of the season, perhaps an effect of playing all 162 games. He still only walked 3.2 percent of the time in 2016, which is 2.6 percent worse than even Adam Jones and illustrates how much his impatience limits his ceiling as a hitter. 2017 outlook: Schoop is often overlooked because of the remarkable development of Manny Machado, but he’s come a long way over his three full major league seasons and can still get better if he improves his plate discipline and contact rate. Manager Buck Showalter should try to give Schoop an occasional day off in an effort to avoid the second-half swoon he experienced last season. Not-so-scientific projections for 2017: .274/.314/.474, 29 HR, 85 RBI, 88 R, 2 SB, 623 PAlast_img read more

European Champions League: Liverpool draws Chelsea

first_imgLiverpool and Chelsea will renew their Champions League rivalry after being drawn together in next month’s Champions League quarter-finals.It is the fifth successive year the two sides have met in Europe, with Chelsea triumphing in their semi-final in 2008.Holders Manchester United take on FC Porto and Arsenal play Villarreal, with the winners meeting in the semi-finals.Bayern Munich meet Barcelona in the other tie. The first legs are on 7/8 April, and the return on 14/15 April.Liverpool’s second leg will not be on 15 April as they asked Uefa to avoid that date because it is the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.The semi-finals take place on 28/29 April and 5/6 May and the final will be played on Wednesday 27 May at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. It is the second successive year that four English teams are in the last eight of the competition.Although they were beaten by Chelsea last year, Liverpool reached the 2005 and 2007 finals at the expense of the Blues.As in 2008, the Reds must travel to Stamford Bridge for the second leg, but Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is confident his side can come out on top this time.“Hopefully it won’t make a difference to us that the second leg is away,” Benitez told his club’s website. “We have to think about the first game at Anfield with our fans behind us and look to get a positive result to take to Stamford Bridge.”Last season’s first leg at Anfield ended in a 1-1 draw after John Arne Risse scored an own goal and Chelsea won the return 3-2 after extra-time. “We need to make sure we don’t make a mistake in the first leg like we did in last year’s semi-final,” added Benitez. “They will be two tough games but we are playing well and clearly we are confident we can win.“Chelsea are a very good team. We know each other very well and this is an exciting draw.“We knew it would be difficult to avoid an English team but we need to approach the two games with confidence. We’ve done the double over them this season in the league but clearly these two games in the quarter-finals will be different.”The draw is also a reunion of sorts for Porto and United. The Portuguese club beat United on their way to winning the tournament in 2004, when then Porto boss Jose Mourinho charged up the Old Trafford touchline in delight after a 90th-minute Costinha goal took the Portuguese side through.And Arsenal’s tie with Villarreal is a rematch of their 2006 semi-final, which the Gunners won 1-0 on aggregate. United beat Chelsea on penalties in last year’s final and the draw means another all-English final remains a possibility.Reacting to match-up with Porto, Sir Alex Ferguson said: “This is a good draw for us. We’ve met Porto before and obviously we respect any Portuguese team.“We have had a huge Portuguese influence in the club, firstly with Carlos Queiroz but now with Cristiano (Ronaldo) and Nani, so we understand Portuguese football.”United will play the second leg in Porto but Ferguson insists that should not be a problem.“You sometimes wonder if being at home first is a good or a bad thing, but I think in this modern-day competition there is no indication of what is better,” said the Scot. “The only thing you hope is that you don’t lose a goal in the home tie. We are happy with the draw and we are looking forward to the next round.”CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER-FINAL DRAWVillarreal v ArsenalManchester United v PortoLiverpool v Chelsea Barcelona v Bayern MunichThe first legs will be played on 7/8 April with the second legs on 14/15 April.CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL DRAWManchester United or Porto v Villarreal or ArsenalBarcelona v Bayern Munich or Liverpool v Chelsea The first legs will be played on 28/29 April with the second legs on 5/6 May.Source: BBClast_img read more

Inside Conditions …Deep “Freese”

first_imgPittsburgh Pirates third baseman David Freese (23) takes the field on opening day against the St. Louis Cardinals in Pittsburgh on Sunday, April 3, 2016. (AP Photo)Sunday April 3, 2016 was opening day for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  However, with a 1 p.m. start and a game time temperature of 39 degrees at PNC Park, the 2016 MLB season opener pitting the Pirates against one of their staunch NL Central rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, could have easily been confused for a late October, early November Pittsburgh Steelers battle against one of their NFL, AFC North combatants taking place at neighboring Heinz Field.With the temperature being just a few degrees north of freezing, I was initially concerned with the players on both squads maybe pulling groins, as well as pitchers straining their arms and a host of other “pulled” muscle related injuries that often happen in cold weather, especially in light of returning to Pittsburgh after preparing for the current campaign at their balmy preseason home Bradenton, FL as well as playing away games at other parts of the “Sunshine State”Aubrey BruceBoys’ and girls’ hold your horses.  When Pittsburgh Pirates ace lefty Francisco Liriano took to the mound to face Cardinals star Adam Wainwright, Liriano appeared as if  he was throwing from the “forge” of one of the few steel mills continuing to operate and produce steel in Pittsburgh, allowing just three hits and five bases on balls while striking out 10 before he was relieved in the top of the seventh inning; The Pirates beat the Cards 4-1 while Liriano also helped his own cause by driving in a run in the bottom of the second inning.While sparks were flying from the arm of Liriano, former Cardinal infielder David Freese who was the 2011 World Series MVP for St. Louis punched out a couple of hits against the “Redbirds” while theoretically subbing for Pirates third baseman/infielder Jung Ho Kang who was injured in 2015 and was out for the remainder of 2015 with a knee injury after a “questionable“ and what many consider a “dirty slide”. In mid-September 2015, Kang suffered a tibial plateau fracture with a lateral meniscal repair after attempting to complete the throw to from second to first base in the midst of an “overzealous” slide by the Cubs Chris Coghlan while Kang was trying to turn a double play in the first inning of a 9-6 loss to the Cubs at PNC Park.As far as offense goes, Freese has a career B.A of .276 with 68 homers and 348 RBI’s and possesses more power than the average infielder. He may also be the answer to increased production from the number 3 spot in the Pirates batting order, possibly taking away some of the constant pressure heaped upon Pirates All-Star centerfielder Andrew McCutchen to constantly perform flawlessly both offensively and defensively.The Pirates were far more blessed than lucky to acquire the skills, experience, and veteran leadership of David Freese.  When you have not only been part of a winning and storied franchise like the St. Louis Cardinals, but a World Series MVP for your ball club, winning becomes mandatory in the clubhouse and obligatory for your fan base, winning becomes a part of the culture.  The Pirates and their “Nation” should not hope to win, they should expect to win; not just merely a wildcard game or a divisional series or a National League Championship series.  The one and only goal for the Pittsburgh Pirates should have been, should now be, and should forever remain to just simply win the MLB World Series.(The sources for this article were espn.com and mlb.com)Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected] or 412.583.6741Follow him on Twit[email protected]last_img read more

Head of Kootenay Christian Martial Arts School reaches Sixth Dan Black Belt level

first_imgAccording to World Taekwondo Federation statistics, there are only 130 – 6th Dan in Canada out of 42,831 registered black belts.GM Brenda Sell and GM Melanie Wyatt of the UCDKA headed the exam.Siminoff, head of the Kootenay Christian Martial Arts School in Nelson and Crescent Valley, also had an opportunity to compete as the USCDKA held its National Championships.”There were schools from all over the USA and just a hand full from Canada,” Siminoff explained.”In this division I competed in continuous free spar and came out with gold,” he added.This is an exciting time for Siminoff and his KCMA School. The Nelson-based training facility is moving to a new location near the Nelson Airport beside Nelson Home Building Centre.Siminoff has also been instrumental in founding a local-based Martial Arts For Justice chapter in the area.”Martial Arts For Justice is a non-profit organization dedicated to uniting “all” martial artists for the cause of justice,” Siminoff said, adding the cause has grown ten-fold since starting out.More information can be found on Siminoff’s Facebook Page. Crescent Valley’s Dean Siminoff joined an elite company after the local martial arts expert tested, and passed, his Sixth Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo.Siminoff achieved the feat during United States Chung Do Kwan Association (USCDKA) recently in Florida.”Florida was fantastic,” Siminoff said.”I tested alongside three other Masters and even though any testing is very intense and hard work there is extreme feeling of accomplishment when it is finished.”last_img read more

Saints Grad Arie Postmus Embraces Sutter-Immersion

first_imgAfter retiring from the NHL, Sutter purchased the Red Deer Rebels in 1999 and has been the owner/president ever since. Other than a five-year break to coach in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils and Calgary Flames between 2007 and 2012, Sutter has also been the Rebels head coach. In that time he has brought the central Alberta city a Memorial Cup in 2001 and also coached Canada’s World Junior Team to a pair of gold medals in 2005 and 2006.“It’s awesome, they preach professionalism right off the start,” Postmus says of the organization that also includes Brent’s son Merrick and his nephew Shaun. “Brent has put me in, has shown me the ropes and introduced me to some pretty well known people in the hockey community. I’m just trying to soak it all in and learn every day. I really cherish this opportunity and it is an important start in the hockey world.”Postmus is no stranger to organizations that strive for excellence in a family-like setting. He grew up in Fruitvale and after midget started playing for the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Beaver Valley Nitehawks. One of the most storied Junior B teams in Western Canada, Postmus was part of a juggernaut squad that won the league title in 2012 under the guidance of head coach Terry Jones.“That was a pretty special team,” Postmus says about his hometown club. “Terry Jones is the greatest coach I ever had, hands-down. He preaches on-ice performance, but he wants to develop good people. I feel like a lot of what shaped my personality and who I am today is growing up in hockey schools with him as a young kid and then getting a chance to play for Beaver Valley. It was unbelievable. I owe a lot of my success and where I am today to Terry, he helped me grow as a person. He puts people in positions to succeed.”From junior, Postmus joined the Selkirk College Saints in the 2013-2014 season where he fit into a line-up fresh off its first British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) title. A key member of the Saints’ blueline, Postmus helped the team to three more championships as part of an incredible four-in-a-row run of provincial titles between 2013 and 2016.“I have those three rings in my room and everyday I see them and think ‘wow.’ What we accomplished during those years was pretty special,” Postmus says. “Both [former Saints coaches] Jeff Dubois and Alex Evin did such a great job of recruiting guys that brought excellence not only on the ice, but off the ice as well.”After graduating from the Business Administration Program at Selkirk College, Postmus transferred to Red Deer College where he played two seasons for the school’s hockey team while working on completing his Business Degree.Now well on his way to a career in the sport he loves so much, Postmus looks back to his time at Selkirk College as pivotal in his current success.“I’m grateful to [Selkirk College Athletics Coordinator] Kim Verigin, Jeff Dubois and Alex Evin who took me in right away and put me in a leadership role,” he says. “Through that I was able to have some experiences that I might have not gotten as a young guy. I really cherish the time I spent at Selkirk College, I wouldn’t be here today if not for that time.” For his first off-ice hockey job, Selkirk College alumnus Arie Postmus could not have landed a better boss to show him the ropes.This past summer, the former Selkirk College Saints defenceman secured a position with the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels as the team’s Hockey Operations Administrator that includes a focus on player education and wellness. His boss is Brent Sutter, one of the most decorated men in professional and junior hockey, and member of the legendary family of hockey brothers who grew up on a farm in Viking, Alberta.“I have always wanted to work for a hockey team and stay involved in the sport, it’s my true passion,” says Postmus, who suited up with the Saints between 2013 and 2016. “I have been playing hockey since I was four and it’s just a part of me. I didn’t think this opportunity would come along so soon and there is no better person to start your hockey career than with Brent.”His role with the Rebels is dynamic and providing Postmus with a hands-on education about how an organization operates on a daily basis. Postmus looks after the logistics of road trips like hotels, meals, ice times and schedules, along with helping the coaching staff with analysis during games. The 27-year-old is also charged with working with younger players to ensure their education and life outside the rink is on track for success.His duties with the team are under the guidance of Sutter, the fourth of the famous family of six to play in the NHL and the most successful of his clan. Brent Sutter won three Stanley Cups with the New York Islanders and was a member of three Canada Cup championship teams during a feisty professional playing career lasted between 1980 and 1998.last_img read more

PSG join Man United and Barca in race for Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld

first_imgPARIS SAINT-GERMAIN will fight Manchester United and Barcelona for Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld, according to reports.The 29-year-old’s future is uncertain – talks have stalled about a new contract to extend his stay at White Hart Lane.4 Toby Alderweireld is wanted by Paris Saint-GermainCredit: Getty Images – GettyHis current deal has a one-year extension option, which is set be activated at the end of next season and would see him contracted to 2020.However, it also features a £25million release clause that could be activated in the summer of 2019, as long as a transfer was completed at least 14 days before the window shuts.Tottenham may have to listen to bids in the region of £40m for the defender at the end of this season, which has put some of Europe’s elite on red alert.United and Barcelona have been following Alderwiereld’s situation for months, but the moneybags French outfit could financially blow the pair out of the water, according to the Telegraph.RETRACING STEPSJack Charlton’s granddaughter Emma Wilkinson ‘would love’ to visit IrelandROY RAGEFurious Roy Keane launched foul-mouthed rant at Pique over Fabregas friendshipPicturedTOP FORMBrazil icon Ronaldo soaks up sun with partner Celina Locks on yacht in FormenteraPicturedON THE PAOLPaolo Maldini shows off shredded physique at 52 while on holiday with wifeLive BlogUNITED LATESTMan Utd transfer news LIVE: All the gossip and updates from Old TraffordExclusiveLOCK CLOWNPaul Scholes flouts local lockdown rules by throwing huge 7-hour birthday bashPicturedMADD FOR ITPrem aces Dele, Maddison & Grealish enjoy hard-earned break in sun-soaked IbizaLive Bloggunners newsArsenal transfer news LIVE – Latest updates from the EmiratesLive BlogBLUES NEWSChelsea transfer news LIVE: Havertz deal LATEST, Willian move updatesPicturedSOR SUBJECTNeymar’s ex-girlfriend Soraja Vucelic almost pops out of dress in steamy selfie4 PSG boss Unai Emery is expected to be chopped this summer but his replacement could land Toby AlderweireldCredit: EPA4 Could Toby Alderweireld be on his way to Old Trafford?Credit: Getty – Contributor4 Mauricio Pochettino could allow Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose to leave this summerCredit: Getty Images – GettyPSG boss Unai Emery looks to be on borrowed time in the French capital after their Champions League exit to Real Madrid.And whoever takes over will have a huge transfer kitty to improve the squad to make another tilt at the Champions League next season.ZAH MAN Tottenham eyeing £40m swoop for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha this summerPSGfancy their chances of bagging Alderweireld as they have developed a good working relationship with Spurs over the last year with Serge Aurier and Lucas Moura moving to North London.Spurs chief Daniel Levy will hope to spark a bidding war for the defender who been struggling with a hamstring injury since the FA Cup win against Rochdale last month.Levy will only move on players at the request of manager Mauricio Pochettino, as was the case last summer with right-back Kyle Walker who joined Manchester City.United are also keen on Danny Rose who is expected to be allowed to leave in the summer.But it will be a huge ask for Old Trafford chief Ed Woodward to deliver the England left-back and Alderweireld in the same transfer window.How to win £1MILLION with Sun SixSUN SIX is the new predictor game where you can win £1million – just by correctly picking the results of six games.Here is how to get your mitts on the million:Make your picks – predict the scores from these six gamesEnter your details – quickly sign up to Sun Bets so we can contact youScore £1m – Watch the scores roll in and you can win £1mTop pundits IAN WRIGHT and DANNY HIGGINBOTHAM have made their picks for this week if you need a steer.And remember, you can claim a free £30 bet with Sun Bets when you sign up put a tenner on this weekend’s football here.Swansea 0-3 Tottenham: Christian Eriksen double sends Spurs into FA Cup semi-finalslast_img read more

State lawmakers gear up for final week of session

first_img(Missourinet) Get ready for what could be long hours and plenty of drama during this last week of the Missouri Legislature’s regular session. The GOP supermajority chambers are hoping to wrap up final passage of several priorities that not all members agree with, including some of the same party. Two small but mighty groups – the Senate Conservative Caucus and Senate Democrats – will likely determine how bumpy the road to the finish line will be and how much wheeling and dealing will go on this week when several controversial bills potentially resurface.Missouri House (Photo courtesy of Tim Bommel, House Communications)The next five days are also key for Gov. Mike Parson, R, who is experiencing his first legislative session as the state’s chief executive officer. He has repeatedly pushed for lawmakers to focus on workforce development issues and infrastructure funding.The Missouri Senate is expected to consider this week a $50 million incentives package for a potential $1 billion expansion General Motors expansion at the plant in eastern Missouri’s Wentzville. The plan was formed about one week ago by Parson and other House and Senate allies. The Senate Conservative Caucus is expected to have plenty to say about Senate Bill 68, sponsored by Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield.The package would give $5 million per year in tax credits over 10 years to carmakers that invest at least $750 million in plant upgrades and would provide tax credits earlier in a business expansion. It would also provide financial aid for people seeking high demand fields and workforce training improvements for major expansions.Missouri Senate daisThe House passed the measure during the late night hours last Thursday before adjourning for the week. It wasn’t a slam dunk in that chamber. Representatives voted 92-51 in favor of the plan, with a few Republicans from the St. Louis region voting against the measure. The House had to call in absent members to get enough votes and 17 members did not even cast vote.Other legislation that could reemerge is one that would block a possible high-voltage power line project from using eminent domain to take private land in eight northern Missouri counties. Those counties are Buchanan, Clinton, Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Randolph, Monroe and Ralls.Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Frankford, is sponsoring House Bill 1062 in response to Clean Line Energy’s Grain Belt Express line project. The proposal is not one that is separated along party lines because of the impacts it could have on agriculture – Missouri’s number one industry.Hansen, like many lawmakers in this final week, are searching for other progressing bills to attach their measures to.Another controversial measure that could come up for Senate debate is one that would ask voters to overturn a voter-approved ballot issue to change the legislative redistricting process. The resolution intends to toss out the portion letting the state auditor evaluate a nonpartisan demographer and requiring the demographer to draw legislative districts.House Joint Resolution 48 is sponsored by Rep. Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres. It would also ban all lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, instead of the current $5 maximum limit.The Missouri Senate’s top two Republican leaders have pledged to pass this session the proposal known as “Clean Missouri”. Senate Leader Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, and Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, strongly support getting the plan on the November 2020 ballot.Comprehensive anti-abortion bills could also come up for debate in the upper chamber. House Bill 126 would, among other things, make abortions illegal if a fetal heartbeat is found, which could come as early as eight weeks. Among other things, Senate Bill 279 would criminalize doctors who perform abortions unless for medical emergencies, prohibit doctors from providing an abortion if the baby could have Down Syndrome or if the procedure is sought solely because of the sex or race of the child.According to the Missouri Constitution, the Legislature must adjourn the session by 6 p.m. on Friday.To see a list of the bills that have so far been passed by the General Assembly, click here.last_img read more

DeRozan scores 29, Raptors beat slumping 76ers

first_imgRobredo: 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 MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims “He wants to do so much more and he can’t,” Brown said. “He just hasn’t practiced or, recently, played. There was a rhythm and a fluid side of his game that he was searching for.”Dario Saric scored 17 points, Amir Johnson had 12 and Ben Simmons scored 10 for Philadelphia, which has lost five straight and nine of 10.Brown insisted his players haven’t been affected by the slump.“They understand the sky isn’t falling,” Brown said.Simmons echoed his coach’s assessment of the rotten run, which includes a triple-overtime loss against Oklahoma City.ADVERTISEMENT Embiid, Philadelphia’s leading scorer and rebounder, returned after missing the previous three games because of a sore lower back.“It wasn’t feeling the best but I really wanted to play tonight,” Embiid said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingEmbiid had 14 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes, but the 76ers lost for the 18th time in 19 meetings with the Raptors.Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said he could tell Embiid, who got a technical foul late in the third, was frustrated at not being able to perform better. LATEST STORIES View comments Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan high fives fans as he comes off court after scoring 29 points in his team’s 102-86 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in an NBA basketball game. APTORONTO — Joel Embiid’s return wasn’t enough to get the Philadelphia 76ers out of their recent rut.DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points, Serge Ibaka had 17 and the Toronto Raptors beat Philadelphia 102-86 on Saturday (Sunday Manila time) for their 10th straight home victory.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ “A rough few games,” Simmons said. “We just need to get back on track. Once we get that game under out belts, we’ll be fine. There’s no reason to panic.”Delon Wright matched his season high with 14 points while Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas each had 12 for the Raptors, who have won six straight overall and 12 of 13.Toronto is an NBA-best 12-1 at home and is 10-1 in December, second only to Golden State’s 10-0 mark this month.“I can see an air of confidence, especially here, and we’ve got to continue that,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.Embiid took Philadelphia’s first six shots of the game. He scored eight points in the opening quarter, but Ibaka had 13 for the Raptors. The teams were tied at 27 after the first.Ther 76ers made five of 15 field-goal attempts in the second and committed 10 turnovers that led to 15 Toronto points. Lowry and Valanciunas each scored eight points in the second, and the Raptors led 55-46 at halftime.DeRozan scored 16 points in the third, and Toronto closed the quarter on a 13-3 run, taking an 81-63 lead into the fourth.“You blink and they go whack, whack,” Brown said. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Man United collapse allows City to go 13 points clear in EPL Malditas save PH from shutout After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breadslast_img read more

Compelling Images for Nonprofits: When Babies and Puppies Aren’t in Your Mission

first_imgThe verdict is in: Donors love puppies and babies. But not every organization can use an image of a child or dog to tell their story. So what kind of images can you use if your mission isn’t related to a smiling child or a playful puppy? Here are some ideas to help you create or find compelling images for your nonprofit.Find InspirationLook to other organizations you admire and see how they are using images. Here are a few examples from our Network for Good partners: To recruit volunteers and supporters, the San Francisco-based St. Anthony Foundation used Facebook to showcase a collection of images featuring current volunteers, local famous faces and their clients posing with their dining room’s newly branded cafeteria trays. Your organization’s shared drive is one place where you can keep images. Photos stored on a shared drive are accessible to everyone in your office and, unlike a desktop computer, can be recovered if your organization’s system crashes.An external hard drive is another option for photo storage. External hard drives are portable, reliable, and are a good storage solution for organizations that don’t have a shared drive.If you chose to store images online, consider using a free tool such as Picasa, Flickr, or Dropbox.Sharing Your PhotosBefore you start publishing images online, sharing them with the media, or adding them to your annual report, be sure to have the following:Photographer’s name. (Don’t forget to give credit!)Caption to accompany the image. (Captions are read more often than blocks of copy.)Relevancy. Images need to enhance your story, not distract or confuse.Social media is a great place to share images that you’ve collected.Post an image on Facebook and ask your fans to contribute caption suggestions.Share images on Twitter with a specific call to action (and don’t forget an appropriate hashtag).If your staff members and volunteers have the ability to take pictures with their phones, encourage them to share on Instagram.Be sure to include images in as many communication pieces as possible. Compelling images create a deeper emotional impact than words alone. Include images on your website, newsletter, donor appeal letters, fundraising campaign pieces, brochures, annual report, Holiday greetings, and event invitations.RememberYou don’t have to have puppies and babies in your images to make them appealing to donors.Create an emotional impact with the images you chose.Collecting and capturing images should be part of your regular communications plan.Look for inspiration, don’t be afraid to get started, and continue to build up your nonprofit’s photo collection.When you capture the heart and soul of your mission, iPhone pictures on Instagram can be just as compelling as professional photograph. Google’s Picasa makes it easy to control a photo album’s privacy setting. Gardens for Health International’s website has beautiful images of their work. Most of their images are action shots with a high color contrast that always leave the viewer feeling positive.The St. Anthony Foundation has a great collection of photos from their Willing to Serve campaign (including some famous faces).The St. Bernard Project has wonderful stories and images accompanying their Faces of Katrina campaign.The Arts Council of New Orleans never misses an opportunity to take pictures at community events showcasing the arts in their area.Public radio station 90.7 KSER has a unique way of highlighting their staff members and behind-the-scenes moments with images on their Facebook page.Organize Your IdeasStart a Pinterest board and collect images you admire. When the time comes to work with a photographer, show them the images you’ve collected so that they understand the types of photos you are looking for. Sharing good examples helps set an expectation for the kind of images you want.Think about the work your organization does. How can you capture that in an image? Are there any upcoming events that would serve as good photo opportunities that can help tell your story? Would an on-site photo shoot or a series of pictures of your fieldwork do a good job of illustration your mission?Getting StartedWhen moving beyond inspiration to taking and choosing photos, don’t forget the basics:Use photos to help tell your story.Choose photos that grab the attention of the viewer.Use photos that create an emotional impact. (Human faces are the best.)If you can’t take your own images anytime soon, learn the right way to use stock images.Storing Your PhotosOnce you have a solid collection of photos that represent your work, what do you do with them? Here are suggestions for storing and managing photos.last_img read more

7 Online Donation Page Mistakes to Avoid

first_imgHas it been a while since you’ve updated your organization’s online donation page? It’s time to get down to business and whip your donation form into shape before the year-end stream of donations begins. Get better online fundraising results by avoiding these donation page mistakes:1. Too much text.Once your donor has landed on your donation page, don’t confuse, overwhelm, or bore them with paragraphs of text. One or two lines of short, compelling copy are plenty. Your goal is to reinforce your call to action and get donors to your donation form as quickly as possible.2. Too many options.Just like too much text, too many options on your online donation page can make donors less likely to complete your form. Get rid of unnecessary fields and remove extraneous navigation that will take donors away from your page.3. Inconsistent branding.When a donor goes to your donation form from your email appeal or website, do they feel like they have been transported to a different planet? A donation page that looks like your other campaign materials and your nonprofit’s website makes your donation experience familiar and seamless.4. Outdated information.This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you have outdated information on your nonprofit donation page, you’re sending a not-so-subtle signal to donors that you may not be the best steward of their gift. Make sure you’re not still touting a matching grant that has expired, a program that has ended, or last year’s fundraising goal.5. Lack of testing.Two types of online donation page testing will help you get better results this year. Usability testing will help you uncover any issues that may derail a donor. A/B testing can help you decide which images, calls to action, and suggested donation amounts perform best. 6. No suggested giving amounts. Make it easy for your donors by offering suggested giving amounts that take the guesswork out of how much to give. Use your average gift as a starting point, and then offer one giving amount that’s slightly lower and two or three higher amounts. Illustrate what each gift level could provide with impact labels to help donors visualize the result of their donation.7. No recurring gift options.If you’re not offering supporters a way to give a recurring gift, you’re missing out on donations. Recurring gifts help donors fit giving into their budgets and allow you to collect more over time. If donors feel like they can’t give enough to make a difference, they may not give at all. Frame your recurring gift options in a way that lets donors know how their regular support will help.last_img read more

How to Get Your Board on Board with Online Fundraising

first_imgIf you’re a fundraiser who is struggling to get your executive director or board to understand why you should launch an online fundraising program or invest more in online giving tools, try these talking points to help plead your case.Online giving boosts individual giving.You might have experienced push back on launching online fundraising because your leaders want to focus more on grants and major gifts from foundations. Remind them that individual giving is the biggest slice of the fundraising pie, and online fundraising is a key way to help diversify your funding. Having an online presence (and a way to give online) will help you recruit and retain donors who are likely shifting away from writing checks.Online giving allows you to interact with your donors where they are—online.Are your board members questioning how many of your target donors are really online? Send them these statistics from Pew Research:· 85% of American adults use the Internet· 61% of Internet users bank online · 73% of American adults use social mediaWhen potential donors find your nonprofit on social media or through a Google search, you’ll miss out on gifts without an easy online donation option. If you don’t make it simple for donors to support your mission, they may think you don’t need help! You don’t have to set up a merchant account.Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to set up a merchant account, payment gateway, or other fancy money-processing component to accept online donations—and you don’t have to be a tech whiz, either. In 2001, Network for Good made it easy for donors to give to any registered 501(c)3 online. Thirteen years and $1 billion dollars later, we still make it easy! You can get up and running with a branded donation page over your lunch hour.It’s not just a fad.Every year online giving continues to grow. Organizations like Crowdrise and Causes have leveraged the power of social networks to help encourage peer-to-peer giving. National giving campaigns like Giving Tuesday and Give Local America are here to stay. Wonder how areas affected by natural disaster get the instant funds they need? The answer: through online giving disaster relief campaigns. Consider these four conversation starters the next time you bring up online fundraising with your board. What other things do you want to teach your board about online fundraising? Do you have advice for those who are still trying to convince their leaders? Share your thoughts in the comments section.This post was created as part of this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival. The roundup of February’s submissions will be featured on The Fundraising Coach blog later this month.last_img read more

Create a Fundraising Plan: Getting Ready

first_imgFor more about setting goals and calculating expenses, download a copy of the eGuide How to Create a Fundraising Plan. You’ll also have access to free Excel templates to help you map out your plan. The same principles apply when you are planning your fundraising for a new fiscal year. You need to know where you want to go, internal and external factors that may help or hinder the success of that plan, and the steps to take to reach the finish line. The new eGuide I co-authored with Network for Good, How to Create a Fundraising Plan, is a step-by step overview of how to create a plan that’s realistic. It will also help you build a sustainable fundraising model from which you can grow in future years. The key to crafting a plan is the prep work you do before you begin to map out your course. I call it the “Getting Ready” stage.The first and most important step is determining how much you will need to raise this year. When your organization begins its budgeting process for the next fiscal year, your senior staff (executive director, board, development director, senior leaders) can discuss anticipated overall expenses (be sure to include both programmatic and administrative costs!) and how much funding is needed to support your operations. This is essential. You want everyone on the same page when it comes to expenses so that you avoid unrealistic fundraising expectations and goals.Equally important to these planning discussions is ensuring everyone understands the fundraising trends you’ve experienced in your current and previous fiscal years. These can be one-off events, bequests, or other anomalies that may not be sustainable or guaranteed future sources of funding. Sit down with appropriate staff members and discuss anticipated income. Understanding what’s expected through committed and potential sources will help you better calculate your fundraising goal.After you have determined your projected expenses and income, you can then calculate your “left to raise” goal for the year. This is the gap between what you have identified as income from various sources that you know you can count on and your overall organizational budget for the fiscal year. The “new money” you need to raise is the missing part of the equation.If you can, think about adding up to 10% over that goal to start growing a financial cushion for your organization. When you start to write the plan, you’ll develop a fuller pipeline of prospects and anticipated solicitations. If you don’t think you will have the donors and asks needed to reach your budget, now’s the time to discuss this with senior staff so there are no surprises later in the fiscal year. It might mean you adjust the fundraising goal by scaling back new initiatives or programming. It could also be a call to action to engage your board and other volunteers to fundraise in new ways.Once you have a good handle on your financial needs and potential, take a look at revenue and expenses from your current fiscal year and the past few years to spot patterns in your donors’ behavior as well as overall industry and economic trends. This helps you identify where you should make course corrections in the future. For example, are there noticeable trends in giving to your issue area? How has donor confidence been generally? How has donor confidence been toward your organization? How did your fundraising revenue break down, and what were your fundraising expenses for each donor type? What motivates your donors? Do they tend to give through events or to restricted programs? Learn and grow from what you know.Don’t worry about spending too much time finding the exact answers to the broader industry analysis questions. It’s most important to understand your donors’ giving patterns and the external factors that can affect your organization’s fundraising (for example, remember the stock market plummet of 2008 and the many years it took to restore donor confidence?). Once you’ve assessed all of your data, you’re ready to start building your plan. In my next blog post, we’ll review how to use this information to set your course for the next year. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” —Benjamin FranklinI’m what you’d call “a planner.” Before I take a trip—even if it’s a place I know—I research the latest restaurants, places of interest, stores, theater shows, and museum exhibits. I make reservations well in advance. I sketch out a general itinerary to make sure I maximize my time. I have emergency contact information and multiple contingency plans. It took one crazy cab ride late at night on what should have been a transit through (not throughout) Naples to teach me to have alternative backup plans. Having a full sense of my options, needs, and resources well in advance puts me at ease and makes my trips much more enjoyable.last_img read more

The Consequences of Unintended Births for Maternal and Child Health in India

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 7, 2012August 15, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A new study, The consequences of unintended births for maternal and child health in India, published in Population Studies: A Journal of Demography, uses data from the Indian National Family Health Survey to look into the relationship between pregnancy intention and maternal and child health outcomes in India.From the abstract:Data from the Indian National Family Health Survey, 2005–06 were used to explore how pregnancy intention at the time of conception influences a variety of maternal and child health and health care outcomes. Results indicate that mistimed children are more likely than wanted children to be delivered without a skilled attendant present (OR = 1.3), to not receive all recommended vaccinations (OR = 1.4), and to die during the neonatal and postneonatal periods (OR = 1.8 and 2.6, respectively). Unwanted children are more likely than wanted children to not receive all recommended vaccinations (OR = 2.2), to be stunted (OR = 1.3), and to die during the neonatal, postneonatal, and early childhood periods (OR = 2.2, 3.6, and 5.9, respectively). Given the high levels of unintended fertility in India (21 per cent of all births), these are striking findings that underscore the importance of investments in family planning.Access the article here.Share this:last_img read more

Holding the World Bank Accountable for Reproductive Health Commitments

first_imgPosted on April 18, 2014November 13, 2014Click 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)Princess Sarah Zeid, champion of the White Ribbon Alliance, is holding the World Bank accountable for reproductive health commitments. Her article on The Huffington Post earlier this week emphasized the importance of keeping maternal and newborn health on the post-2015 agenda:The evidence shows us that to maintain the progress made, it is essential that we continue what we have begun, whilst expanding our investments if we are to spread our impact.To ensure that development is truly sustainable and to avoid far worse — to prevent a backward slide — we must do more for more.She also noted that reproductive health and family planning are essential for maternal and newborn health targets post-2015:Access to family planning — to choices about contraception — improves both maternal and newborn survival by lengthening inter-pregnancy intervals. Spacing the birth of children by three years will decrease under-5 deaths by 25 percent.Read the full article and learn how to help here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Emerging Priorities for Maternal Health in Nigeria: Surveying the Field

first_imgOther notable workshop presenters included: Alh Sani Umar Jabbi, a representative of the Sultan of Sokoto; Dr. Kayode Afolabi, director of the reproductive health division in the Federal Ministry of Health; Dr. Kamil Shoretire of TSHIP-USAID; Dr. Okoli Ugo, the project director of NPHCDA SURE-P MCH; Dr. Moji Odeku,country team leader of the NURHI project; Ansa Ogu, the director of health planning, research, and statistics at the Federal Ministry of Health; Emmanuel Otolorin, the country director of Jhpiego; and Dr. Kole Shettima, country director for the MacArthur Foundation.Sources: National Demographic and Health Survey, United Nations, White Ribbon Alliance, Population Council, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health. Photo Credit: Schuyler Null/Wilson Center.This post originally appeared on the New Security Beat.Share this: Posted on February 20, 2015June 12, 2017By: Katrina Braxton, Program Assistant, The Wilson Center’s Maternal 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)“Nigeria’s population is only two percent of the world population, but we contribute about 10 percent of the maternal mortality,” said Oladosu Ojengbede, professor and director of the University of Ibadan’s Center for Population and Reproductive Health. [Video Below]Despite efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goal 5 – reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters compared to levels in 1990 and achieve universal access to reproductive health – Nigeria has seen only modest improvements to maternal health, said a panel of experts participating in both Abuja and Washington, DC in a live video conference supported by the Maternal Health Task Force and UNFPA, on December 17.The simulcast event was preceded by a day-long policy workshop in Abuja with 40 participants from a wide array of stakeholders, including the ministry of health, development partners, NGOs, traditional leaders, health organizations, and the media.Results from Nigeria’s most recent National Demographic and Health Survey indicate the maternal mortality ratio stood at 576 per 100,000 live births in 2013, compared to 800 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2003 – a 52 percent decline since 1990. Through roundtable discussions, participants identified five key factors to Nigeria’s maternal mortality that must be addressed to accelerate progress.Five Central ChallengesThe first roundtable, led by Dr. Chris Agboghoroma, secretary general of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, identified quality of care as a critical area for improvement. “The quality of care in most public and private facilities varies significantly from poor to near excellence,” he said. This inconsistency causes women to lose confidence in health services and leads some to refuse services altogether. To improve quality, said Agboghoroma, Nigeria needs dedicated departments in the ministries of health with motivated staff to enforce standards in training institutions.The second roundtable focused on the provision of integrated services. Dr. Hadiza Galadanci, an obstetrician and gynecologist consultant, said the lack of skilled health care providers, poor infrastructure, and lack of commodities, like family planning, makes it difficult to provide integrated services for women at health facilities. She called for the full involvement of traditional and religious leaders and a more comprehensive curriculum for health workers. Workers should not only be trained in reproductive health services, family planning, or maternal health as individual specialties; they should be able to treat any woman that walks into a facility with a need, she said.Dr. Adesegun Fatusi, provost at Obademi Awolowo University, spoke for the third roundtable. He identified social determinants – such as poverty, child marriage, home delivery without aid or use of a skilled birth attendant, and cultural or religious opposition to family planning – to be consistent contributors to poor maternal health outcomes. There must be macroeconomic, “pro-poor” policies within the health sector that specifically address the poverty rate and provide social protection for the most vulnerable, he said. In addition, stronger legal provisions that protect against child marriage, engaging community leaders, and prioritizing education within households and throughout communities, especially for girls, is required to change social norms, said Fatusi.The fourth roundtable focused on knowledge gaps and research needs. Efficient data collection, reporting, and funding allows for the interpreting of maternal health trends and translation into policy, said Dr. Oluwadamilola O. Olagun, a project manager with the White Ribbon Alliance. In Nigeria, an estimated 38 percent of deliveries take place in health facilities, which means over 60 percent take place outside a facility. A mechanism for collecting maternal health data from all delivery points is therefore essential, she said.Often, there is also a disconnect between research findings and implementation, which delays progress. More government involvement is needed in research projects and the benefits of these findings need to be better articulated to the government, said Olagun.Ojengbede spoke for the fifth roundtable, which focused on policy. For maternal health policies in Nigeria to be more successful and sustainable they require political commitment and incorporation into legal frameworks, said Ojengbede. The ministries of justice, health, and civil service organizations working on maternal and child health play an important role. They must support legislation on the state and national levels to ensure accountability and implementation, he said, rather than relying on ad hoc efforts led by third parties.“Fertilizers to Improve the Fruits of Our Labor”“It is evident that Nigeria does not lack expertise or insightful discussions,” said John Townsend, vice president and director of reproductive health at Population Council, serving as a discussant in Washington, DC. “However, the issue of moving intervention to scale and getting services to people still needs to be addressed.”The importance of execution was well noted by workshop participants. Galadanci called for more comparative research that shows which programs are working in different states to determine which should be expanded. Ojengbede pointed out that Nigeria’s response to the Ebola crisis was very efficient; it created a national sense of emergency which spread awareness quickly. Likewise, the perception of maternal health must be changed so improving conditions for women and children is seen as a national duty for all.Ojengbede expressed optimism about the outcome of the workshop and Nigeria’s ability to tackle these important issues. “The government and fellow participants both 100 percent agree that the recommendations from this dialogue will be applied like fertilizers to improve and increase the fruits of our labor,” he said.Dr. Wapada Balami, director of the family health department in the Federal Ministry of Health, said the recommendations would be forwarded to the Honorable Minister of Health, who will set up a committee to advise him on the meeting’s results. “This will help in shaping reproductive, maternal, and newborn health policies in the country.”Event Resources:Presentations from AbujaPhoto GalleryVideo ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

7 Tips to Make Your Donors an Irresistible Fundraising Offer

first_imgCLOSING EXAMPLE:Imagine your fundraising offer, in a nutshell, is to donate a meal that costs you less than $2.00.Your specific, simple, emotional, rewarding, leverageable, urgent, actionable appeal works like this (I’ve offered a few variations to show there’s no one right way to do this, but you’ll succeed if you include all the compelling elements):Your $2.00 gift will feed Joe a hot nutritious Thanksgiving dinner in the company of caring friends. Please give before Monday to reserve Joe’s place. Donate a $2.00 meal before next Monday so Joe gets a hot, nutritious Thanksgiving dinner in the company of caring friends this Thursday.The choice is yours. Joe can be cold, alone and hungry this Thanksgiving. Or warm and fed, in the company of a caring community. It all depends on you.Give the gift of a nutritious, hot Thanksgiving dinner, served in the company of friends. Just $2.00 received by Monday will reserve a place for Joe.Specific problem – You can show a photo of it. Donor can easily visualize the impact.Simple solution – Your reader is asked to do one thing. S/he doesn’t need to know all the reasons that bring Joe, and folks like him, to your mission. Or how you provide the meal. Or what ancillary services you provide (though you may hint at that in noting Joe will be “in the company of friends”). Offer up the information about additional support services you provide in your future donor communications.Emotional need – Fulfills human urge to help/make an impact; to connect with others.Reward – Feels good to help a real person. Now. Implication is that when you help someone in your community it makes the community betterLeverage – Good deal. Inexpensive. Fed someone, and then led to other “ripple effects” (implication Joe will get not just nutrition, but also other supportive care).Deadline – Feed someone a holiday meal, at a time people can feel very depressed and alone.Call to action – Do it now, here’s how, and it’s easy.Ready to Create Your Own Irresistible Fundraising Offer?Simply include these seven elements and you’ll be ahead of the game.And remember to keep it simple and focused.Black and white is good when it comes to offering options to join you (or not) in your mission. Your donor should think “Yes, I’ll help” or “No, I won’t help.”And, since your offer is so clear and compelling it would be unthinkable for them to say “no.”Right? 1. Specific ProblemSomething you can visualize happening. Or not happening. Not something broad and generic like “support our cause.”  If you’ve had success in the past with a generic appeal, I understand. That can work, especially with folks who already ‘get it,” but that limits your reach and appeal.  To expand beyond folks who already love you requires greater specificity. And, to be frank, when you’re more specific you’ll secure larger gifts. So stop leaving money on the table and describe a specific fundraising goal and cost to achieve what you propose.ACTION TIP:  If you know it costs $20/month to feed a senior, I’d like to know that.  In fact, in deciding how much I should give, I need to know that! It might cause me to give $240 to feed a senior for a year.  If you just ask me to “support our senior nutrition program with a gift of any amount,” I may just give you $25.#NFGtips: Before you send out any appeal, make sure your donation page makes it easy for donors to give.2. Simple SolutionSomething capable of being easily grasped by your audience.  Not all the underlying complexities.  Your fundraising offer is not a place to educate your donors. Or try to explain them into giving. Don’t feel compelled to expound on every nuance of what you do. Or every piece of the puzzle.  Get right to the most important part of what you do.  The demonstrated outcome.ACTION TIP: Donors simply want to show you they care. They want to make the happy ending come true. They want to see themselves as heroes.  Giving becomes a reflection in the mirror of who they are: compassionate, generous, values-based people. Donors will give when they’re persuaded that doing so is an excellent expression of who they are. If you want to tell the rest of the story (and you should), do it after the fact. In your thank you letters, emails and year-round communications. By the time next year rolls around, they’ll have a whole story bank in their minds and hearts, and will likely give even more passionately.Think of your fundraising offer as lighting the first spark. Then let your stewardship communications over the ensuing year fan the flames. 7. Call to ActionAsk early and often. Think about the single, most important thing you need to communicate; then tie your opening to your reason for writing as quickly as possible. It may be only thing your prospect will read before deciding whether or not to continue reading, or simply toss you into trash.ACTION TIP: Make your ask explicit. Spell it out in black and white. Force a decision with introduction that triggers an “I’ll help/I won’t help” decision.Every morning Jim dreams of getting onto a basketball court again. But his war injury means this will never happen. Unless you help.Isabelle dreams of being 1st in her family to go to college and ‘make something of herself.’ Instead she’ll probably get a minimum wage job right out of high school. Unless you help.Offer multiple ways to give (e.g., via remit piece and envelope; link to your website; telephone number). Make branded giving pages user-friendly and mobile responsive. Assure the landing pages include the campaign-specific call to action. Begin with “YES! I’ll help _________.” This seals the deal and helps the donor feel warm and fuzzy about their decision to help. 4. Donor BenefitsHuman beings always ask themselves: “What’s in it for me?” Always show your donor what the benefit will be if they give. Remind them they’ll feel really good.  Studies show merely contemplating giving releases “feel good” dopamine. Everything about giving –thinking and doing –is good for us!ACTION TIP: Tell prospective donors giving will save a life… lead to a cure… offer a resource for them and their children… make their community a better place. You can also add in benefits like tax deductions, inclusion in a giving society and even token gifts (like invitations to free events, being entered into a raffle to win something, etc.). Perhaps one of the biggest benefits you can offer is to make your donor feel like a hero. 3. EmotionalPeople give when their hearts are touched.  Usually from ONE compelling story.  Often from a photo that depicts this story, accompanied by a compelling caption. A zingy, succinct opening line can help as well.ACTION TIP: Come up with something memorable and “sticky” with which folks can easily connect. Usually the best way to do this is through storytelling. Don’t make it an educational lesson or intellectual exercise. Something people will struggle to remember. People don’t give because of the fact that 27,000 people in your community are hungry. Or 200,000 birds are soaked in oil and can’t fly. They don’t give to statistics. They don’t give with their heads. They give when something tugs at their heart strings. One hungry child. One oil-drenched, grounded bird. One wrong they can believably right with their gift.center_img 6. DeadlineStrike while the iron is hot. You’ve worked hard to trigger folks’ emotions. Don’t let them put off giving until a future time, when their ardor may have cooled.  Offer deadlines.ACTION TIP: Create a sense of scarcity.  No one likes to lose out on a good deal. Matching grant deadline.  Doors about to close deadline. People waiting in line deadline.  Year-end tax deduction deadline. Even if you can’t find a natural “scarcity” deadline, give some kind of deadline like: “Do it by next Monday.” 5. LeverageOffer the donor a “good deal” – show them how they get a bigger bang for their buck than may seem to be true at first blush.  People love to S-T-R-E-T-C-H their dollars.ACTION TIP: Describe how their dollar goes further than they might imagine. One meal provided in the third world will seem relatively cheap. One dollar given that will be matched dollar-for-dollar due to your matching grant is alluring.  One dollar given that has ripple effects, helping not just the recipient, but their entire family, is tempting. How to Create a Nonprofit Fundraising Offer That Can’t Be Refused Do you know what the 40/40/20 rule is? It’s something long preached by direct mail experts, and it reveals that the key to success with your fundraising appeal is not the thing most nonprofits spend the greatest amount of time on.Alas, it’s not the “creative.”Here’s how the “40-40-20 Rule” goes:40 percent of a direct mailing’s success is dependent upon the list; 40 percent of the success comes from the offer; and 20 percent of the success is due to the creative.40 – Mailing list (audience you’re talking to)40 – Offer (what you’re asking audience to do)20 – Creative (words, pictures, fonts, colors and design)Today we’re going to talk about the offer. Because if you don’t make it clear and easy for folks to take the exact action you desire, then the rest of your mailing has little purpose.7 Compelling Fundraising Offer Essentialslast_img read more

As Humanitarian Crises Multiply, Maternal Health and Safety of Women Becoming a Focus

first_imgSources: CARE, European Union Training Mission – Mali, John Snow, Inc., International Medical Corps, Partners in Health, TRIAL, UNHCR.Photo Credit: The Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, November 2012, courtesy of Brian Sokol/UNHCR.This post originally appeared on the New Security Beat.Share this: Posted on February 25, 2015June 12, 2017By: Katrina Braxton, Program Assistant, The Wilson Center’s Maternal 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)Accessing maternal health care is already a challenge in many countries, and when conflict erupts or a disaster strikes, it can get even worse, leaving millions of women on their own while at their most vulnerable, said Ugochi Daniels, chief of humanitarian response for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Women and girls also become more vulnerable to violence during times of crisis, she said, by virtue of nothing but their gender. [Video Below]Daniels and other experts discussed efforts by humanitarian agencies to better address maternal health and gender-based violence in crisis settings at the Wilson Center on November 20, supported by the Maternal Health Task Force and UNFPA.Providing a baselineMore than one third of maternal deaths world-wide occur in crisis settings, said Janet Meyers, deputy director of health policy and practice at the International Medical Corps. During an average humanitarian emergency — famine, conflict, extreme flooding, etc. — you can expect approximately four percent of the population to be pregnant; that’s a lot of people with different needs than your average beneficiary, she said. Furthermore, health facilities are usually destroyed, transportation is limited, community members are unaware of services, and donor services are limited.“At the beginning of a crisis, we can’t do everything, we can’t do cancer screenings, it’s not appropriate we don’t have time,” said Sarah Chynoweth, an independent consultant for sexual and reproductive health in emergencies. “We have to choose and decide which activities we’re going to focus on.”To help guide these decisions, a World Health Organization working group has developed a field manual and what’s called the “Minimum Initial Service Package,” or MISP. The MISP outlines steps to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with reproductive health problems. The five main objectives of the MISP, said Chynoweth, are to organize responding organizations and facilitate sexual and reproductive health coordination between them; prevent and manage sexual violence; reduce HIV transmission; prevent maternal and newborn death and disability; and begin laying the groundwork for implementation of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services down the road.An interagency working group of humanitarian organizations also packages essential commodities into prepared emergency reproductive health kits, which can provide condoms, clean delivery kits, post-rape treatments, and other equipment to thousands. The kits typically serve a population of 100,000 to 300,000 for a period of three months and even “enable you to set up an emergency maternity ward if need be,” said Daniels.Erasing rape from warPreventing gender-based violence during an emergency is perhaps even more difficult than providing basic health services. It is well known that incidences of sexual and gender-based violence escalate in times of crisis and displacement, said Danaé van der Straten Ponthoz, a legal advisor for the Swiss organization TRIAL (Track Impunity Always), which advocates on the behalf of victims of genocide, war crimes, and other crimes against humanity.The first line of defense is to engage men and boys. “Raising awareness about gender-based violence and the rights it violates are good tactics, but they are not the most effective techniques,” she said. Instead, she suggested programs that encourage good behavior in young boys and men by reinforcing their role as protectors of their mothers, daughters, and sisters.It’s also important to engage with any relevant military and peacekeeping forces, not only as critical partners in prevention and protection, but because they are perpetrators in some places, said van der Straten Ponthoz.Last year, as part of the European training mission in Mali, van der Straten Ponthoz was sent to work with government forces in hopes of reducing human rights violations. “Out of the six battalions that have been trained so far in Koukikoro, none of them have committed human rights violations,” she said. Van der Straten Ponthoz recounted the personal account of a Malian soldier’s thoughts on rape before and after training. “Rape is the beauty of war,” he told her without reservation at the beginning of 10-week training period; afterwards he said, “I will treat every woman with respect like my mother and sisters.”More male engagement is needed and more military personnel need to be trained on gender-based violence, said van der Straten Ponthoz. “There is no single answer to this issue which is very complex, and it requires a response both on the prevention and the accountability level.”Empowering women against vulnerability in conflictThere are practical things humanitarian organizations can do to reduce the vulnerability of women and girls though. It’s important to segregate latrines by gender in camps and have locking doors, said Chynoweth, and keep in mind where women are likely to have to go to collect firewood.Availability of certain medicines are especially critical to women and girls. A signature intervention for UNFPA is their provision of “dignity kits” to NGOs and partners, which include essential supplies for hygiene and survival such as whistles, flash lights, underwear, maternity pads, and tooth paste. “This has been a really key intervention with regard to protection [and] sanitation,” said Daniels, “but it’s also really important as an entry point to attract them so we can engage them and begin to talk to them about how they can protect themselves during emergencies, and [provide] basic information that they’ll need to take care of themselves during pregnancy and childbirth.”Access to resources like post-exposure prophylaxis to minimize HIV transmission, emergency contraception, and psychosocial care services for rape victims need to be consistently available as well. “Women and girls have fled. A lot of times when they’re fleeing they don’t bring their contraception and don’t have access to it, especially emergency contraception,” said Melissa Sharer of John Snow, Inc.The long tail of ebolaThese are immediate needs, but “disasters are becoming more and more protracted,” said Daniels. “If the woman or the girl survives the first week or two weeks of the disaster, the next thing that she’s contending with is trafficking, forced marriage, a teenage pregnancy, or female genital mutilation; therefore, we can’t just do our classic humanitarian interventions.”To adapt, a recurring theme among the panelists was the need for responding organizations to provide integrated health services – not just responding to HIV/AIDS or malaria, for example, but being able to respond to any need a woman or girl has. The devastation wrought by Ebola in West Africa is a case in point, said John Welch, a chief clinical officer of Ebola response with Partners in Health.“Before this outbreak, only 50 percent of women in Liberia had access to skilled birth attendants,” Welch said. “The estimate is now that’s down 30 percent.” Similarly, access to prenatal care and malaria treatment was 40 and 50 percent before the crisis, but has now dropped to 25 percent. Welch recently returned from Liberia where he worked to strengthen and open new Ebola clinics. He recounted first-hand the collapsing health system and available services for pregnant women.Women face a greater risk of contracting Ebola because they are the caretakers, the ones ensuring their family members are buried with dignity, said Welch. Consequently, “70 percent of Ebola patients are women.” Due to fear and vulnerability of exposure, many health clinics are understaffed and “safe delivery is virtually impossible.” Pregnant women who are not infected are also dying, as the symptoms of labor complications, like pre-eclampsia, are similar to those of Ebola and a lab test could take days, by which time the woman will be dead, said Welch.In this way, Ebola is devastating the health system and putting thousands of women at risk. Over the next 12 months, an estimated 800,000 women are expected to deliver in West African countries affected by Ebola, Welch said. It will take the integrated efforts of ministries of health and humanitarian agencies to restore health systems – and strengthen them, “so we don’t have to see this again.”Building resilienceUNFPA is usually the lead organization to facilitate services and help organizations integrate sexual and reproductive health services during crises. In 2008, when Cyclone Nargis hit Burma, UNFPA coordinated with partners to provide reproductive health kits and rented boats to provide transportation for emergency obstetric care, said Chynoweth. “The reproductive health response after Cyclone Nargis was the best I have ever seen. It was absolutely incredible,” she said. “We have so much we can learn from them, in terms of coordination, working with partners, [and] linkages with development actors.”But that story is sadly the exception. Women and girls often go lacking during even the most visible disasters, said Chynoweth. Four months after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, there were women going into labor without access to clean delivery kits and far from the nearest hospital, thanks to funding shortages, lack of trained health care workers, and delays in supplies.Responding more effectively requires more community involvement and awareness, said Chynoweth. “We can’t just fly in, provide services, and expect people to come,” she said. “We need women, and girls, and communities to be involved in the programs that affect their own lives.” This is especially true in conflict settings where preventing gender-based violence is a main priority, like the Middle East.With Ebola in West Africa and conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and South Sudan, “what we faced this year, has really led to a need for us to evolve or revolutionize the way we respond in emergencies,” said Daniels. As crises become more prolonged, humanitarian organizations must begin paying more attention to setting up health systems to help women and girls not only today, but tomorrow as well.Event Resources:Sarah Chynoweth’s PresentationUgochi Daniels’ PresentationJanet Meyers’ PresentationMelissa Sharer’s PresentationPhoto GalleryVideo ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Medical Detailing: Teaching Providers How to Properly Use and Advocate for Health Care Products

first_imgPosted on May 11, 2015October 26, 2016By: Saundra Pelletier, CEO, Woman Care Global & EvofemClick 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)I am thrilled to have a discussion about the need for better metrics and measurement for establishing best practices on correct use of maternal health supplies. As organizations focus on global maternal health, we need to evaluate provider practices and use of health supplies in the countries where we work. How are we going to address the gaps without first determining what the gaps are? Are providers short on supply? Do providers choose not to use certain products because of storage requirements? Are providers trained properly on the health supplies they’re being encouraged to use?At Woman Care Global, we use an approach called medical detailing to support providers in the correct use and advocacy of women’s reproductive health supplies. Medical detailing is considered one of the few interventions capable of impacting provider performance. The core theory of medical detailing is to use support and training through frequent contact with providers to develop customized interventions to improve healthcare outcomes. Trained representatives visit medical practitioners regularly to determine the individual provider’s needs, motivations and barriers around the use of medical devices, products or services.We have utilized, and had success with, medical detailing for a program we pioneered called Maximizing Provider Healthcare Performance™, or MAX for short. MAX representatives visit over 300 healthcare providers in Kenya and South Africa to gather information about the care being given to patients. The information is collected on tablets in the field and uploaded. Through a research partner, that data is analyzed to pinpoint which specific interventions lead to enhanced care. The representatives then follow up with each provider to implement the customized interventions indicated in each situation. They also share the provider’s own analyzed data with them each quarter, in order to provide a measurement of changes in service delivery, and to identify and discuss any gaps that may have resulted in decreased performance. The whole aim of the MAX program is to raise the bar on quality care delivery.Now, I can happily talk strategy and create a bunch of flow charts about how the program works, but I want to emphasize one crucial element to the success of medical detailing. We have found the interaction between our MAX medical detailing representatives and the healthcare providers is the predominant determinant of success with both changing provider practices and collecting accurate data. Yes, the representatives are there to gather data, but they also take the time to talk, walk and drink tea with the clinicians we’re trying to reach. These interactions happen very naturally out in the field where trust and true partnership are developed over time. In an era of big data and analytics, we should never underestimate the impact of taking a minute to have a cup of tea and the value of engaging people. On a personal level, I am encouraged by programs that layer emotional intelligence and solid business practices. I am also truly and deeply encouraged by programs that take the first step and recognize that each subsequent step is meaningful.“I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” – Helen KellerTeaching providers how to properly use and advocate for health care products is a small task with big potential. Each woman helped will benefit and she will bring those incremental gains back to her family and her community. And that in itself is great and noble.This post is part of the blog series “Increasing access to maternal and reproductive health supplies: Leveraging lessons learned in preventing maternal mortality,” hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition/Maternal Health Supplies Caucus, Family Care International and the USAID-Accelovate program at Jhpiego which discusses the importance and methods of reaching women with lifesaving reproductive and maternal health supplies in the context of the proposed new global target of fewer than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 births by 2030. To contribute a post, contact Katie Millar.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Considerations for Expanding Ultrasound Use in Low-Resource Settings

first_imgPosted on October 25, 2017October 25, 2017By: Catharine H. Taylor, Vice President, Health Programs Group, Management Sciences for Health; Dai Hozumi, Senior Director, Health Technologies, Management Sciences for Health; JoAnn Paradis, Strategic Communications Advisor, Management Sciences for HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Advances in health technologies have reshaped the lives of communities, families and individuals, undoubtedly contributing to better health outcomes around the world. For the most vulnerable populations, technology may significantly improve access to preventive, diagnostic and treatment services and help increase demand for greater quality care. Yet, despite their potential, new technologies can also add new challenges, risking potential gains in quality, safety or cost. Particularly in settings where health systems are weak, the introduction of technological interventions requires thoughtful execution.Take the case of ultrasound technology. Used during routine antenatal visits, ultrasound scans have the potential to change the scenario for many pregnant women who face complications. If combined with proper skills, knowledge and quality-assurance, this technology could help identify high risk pregnancies and establish an accurate gestational age in order to improve obstetric care. Many low- and middle-income countries are seeing a rapid introduction of this technology into their health systems, accelerated by a dramatic rise in demand that has been driven in part by medical staff, local advertising, falling prices and a greater availability and range of ultrasound devices.Yet ultrasounds are not proven to lead to better outcomes for women and newborns in low-income countries, and without the proper focus on their introduction and use, we risk the efficiency and effectiveness of health systems and expose women and newborns to unnecessary technological interventions. That’s why, just last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued recommendations on antenatal care endorsing one scan in early pregnancy in low-income countries alongside guidance for staff training and proper use of this technology.The realities on the groundWe recently visited a health center in the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, which had just introduced an ultrasound machine for antenatal care. Like many others, the doctor at this health center was looking to take advantage of this imaging technology to provide better care to his patients. Despite the guidelines calling for only one ultrasound scan in early pregnancy, a woman we met proudly shared with us four photographs she obtained through repeated scans, even though there were no abnormalities or issues identified throughout her pregnancy. We’ve encountered instances like these in several countries, bringing into question essential governance aspects including the right policies, oversight and mechanisms for evidence-based decision-making, and highlighting potential ethical issues around the use of this technology. Was the doctor equipped with the right skills or understanding behind the proper use of ultrasound? Were there additional unnecessary costs and burdens for the woman and her family, who may have been lulled into a false sense of security that repeated scans would ensure a better outcome for mother and baby?Given the WHO recommendation and the ubiquity of ultrasound devices, the real question becomes: How do we ensure health systems are robust enough to effectively and safely take advantage of this technology?There appear to be major gaps in policies, planning and oversight to support the introduction of ultrasound technology, especially outside the more specialized hospital setting. At Management Sciences for Health we support governments in their efforts to build strong adaptive systems that meet the needs of the populations they serve. The case of antenatal ultrasound highlights three specific issues:Adequate procurement and a strong supply chain: Our experiences in helping governments improve procurement and supply chain management highlight critical issues that affect how technology takes root and delivers on its potential. Ultrasound technology has advanced to allow for different types of imaging and functionalities, ranging in price from USD $2,000 to $15,000. Determining which one meets the specific needs of a local health system requires thoughtful procurement policies and effective distribution and placement. In addition to regular supplies such as jelly, paper towels, printers, etc., the processes and costs required to maintain the accuracy and sensitivity of the ultrasound equipment, including servicing malfunctioning machines, must be carefully considered within health systems – and these are influenced by the machine specifications. Of course, power supply requirements are also important considerations for health centers that frequently experience electricity outages and voltage fluctuations.A well-functioning referral mechanism: Because the effectiveness of this intervention relies on the ability of screened women to seek care depending on the screening results, it is also essential for a functional referral system to be in place. Health workers and sonographers must be able to support informed decision-making, and women with high risk pregnancies must be able to reach the referral hospital – one which must be equipped to handle the level of care that screening indicates, including emergency obstetric and newborn care. The value of the ultrasound screening is diminished when this is not in place, or when women are unable to cover the additional costs of transportation and hospital care and treatment. As illustrated in a study published recently on the implementation of ultrasound technologies in the Democratic Republic of Congo, these challenges represent enormous barriers for the most vulnerable populations.Strong governance for health: As a screening tool, the ultrasound depends on a process or a decision-making algorithm that allows health workers to adequately act on the information gathered. Nurses and midwives – the cadres who might typically perform this intervention at health centers – must have the policies, consistent training and ongoing supervision to use the technology, analyze the results and take appropriate actions. These elements, and a sound system of quality assurance and data management, will protect the health of women and newborns and prevent health workers from misdiagnosing patients.Above all, to realize the power of technology in any setting, but most importantly in low-resource countries, we must understand their specific circumstances, and support governments to establish appropriate policies, good governance and ethical standards as a foundation for appropriate use of technology. This requires structural changes within the health system and partnership with businesses involved in the manufacturing and selling of ultrasound devices. Only then can we ensure that ultrasound technology – or any technology – delivers on its promise.This post originally appeared on Next Billion Health Care as “The Complex Truth of Health Tech: Why Greater Ultrasound Availability Doesn’t Always Benefit Patients.”Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Urban Bangalore gives cold response to LS polls

first_imgBengaluru: Almost half of Bangalore’s urban voters didn’t vote during the second phase of Lok Sabha elections on Thursday, as voter turnout in India’s tech hub continued to remain stagnant and the lowest in Karnataka. “Comparison of voting percentage in the city’s three Lok Sabha constituencies and its 28 Assembly segments during the parliamentary and Assembly elections shows no change in the apathy of the urban electorate in exercising their democratic rights,” a poll official told IANS on Friday. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Out of the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka, fourteen seats in the state’s central and southern regions went to the polls on Thursday. The average voter turnout in the city was 53.87 per cent, with Bangalore North registering 54.63 per cent, Bangalore Central 53.53 per cent and Bangalore South 53.47 per cent. “In contrast, Bangalore Rural polled 64.07 per cent, although the rural constituency is 40-50 km from the city centre,” admitted the official. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Interestingly, in the Assembly elections held on May 12, 2018, the apathy of the urban voters was by and large the same in the city’s 28 Assembly seats under 3 parliamentary constituencies. “The average turnout of Bangalore Urban in the Assembly elections was 54.72 per cent, while in Bangalore Rural it was 84.03 per cent,” recalled the official. In the 2014 general elections, the average turnout in Bangalore was 55.97 per cent, with Bangalore North registering 56.53 per cent, Bangalore Central 55.64 per cent and Bangalore South 55.75 per cent. “It is unfortunate that about half of Bangalore’s electorate of 72.69 lakh don’t care to vote in either Lok Saba or Assembly elections despite being registered voters in the city. “We need to find out the reasons for the low turnout in the city despite the best efforts of the poll panel to educate, promote and encourage the voters about exercising their franchise,” Congress official K.E. Radhakrishnan told IANS. According to the final electoral list for the 2019 general elections, Bangalore North has the highest number of registered voters in the city and the state — 28,48,402 — while Bangalore Central has 22,04,853 voters and Bangalore South 22,15,533 voters. In contrast, Bangalore Rural has 22,15,533 voters.last_img read more

Spencers to buy Natures Basket for Rs 300 crore

first_imgNew Delhi: Sanjiv Goenka Group’s Spencer’s Retail Friday said it will acquire Godrej Industries’ grocery chain Nature’s Basket for Rs 300 crore. Natures Basket’s acquisition will make Spencer’s Retail a national player, giving it access to the western parts of India through its 36 stores in prime locations in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. “…The Board of Directors of the company….has approved a proposal for acquisition of entire 100 per cent stake held by Godrej Industries Ltd in its wholly owned subsidiary Nature’s Basket Ltd, subject to requisite approval of the shareholders of the company and execution of a share purchase agreement for undertaking the transaction contemplated above. “This acquisition will bring in many synergies in Spencer’s business and fits in well with Spencer’s omnichannel strategy,” Spencer’s Retail said in a regulatory filing. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraSpencer’s Retail will acquire Nature’s Basket’s entire share capital comprising 44,58,30,000 fully paid-up equity shares of Rs 10 each. Spencer’s Retail said the consideration for the proposed transaction is Rs 300 crore (+/- any agreed adjustments) in terms of the SPA to be executed with Natures Basket and Godrej Industries, and subject to the requisite approval of the shareholders and consumation of the transaction. Natures Basket Limited (NBL), a 100 per cent subsidiary of Godrej Industries and reported turnover of Rs 338.28 crore for the year 2018-19. The company sells various food products and beverages through its retail stores and online platform. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysKolkata-based Spencer’s Retail, part of RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, is a multi-format retailer that provides products across categories such as food, personal care, fashion, home essentials, electrical and electronics. “Looking forward, we realised that to further unlock the immense potential of this brand and to grow it to even greater heights, we need to pass on the torch to owners who have prioritised retail in their portfolio strategy and have the relevant ecosystems to take the business to the next level,” said Tanya Dubash, Executive Director and Chief Brand Officer, Godrej Group. Dubash said Spencer’s Retail is very keen to further strengthen the brand and strongly accelerate the growth of the business. “Both Spencer’s and Nature’s Basket are positioned as experiential grocery retailers, and that is the first of many synergies that this acquisition brings. Nature’s Basket has a strong portfolio of private label brands which has huge traction with its consumers. We believe there is huge potential to expand this to Spencer’s stores,” said Shashwat Goenka, Sector Head – Retail & FMCG, RP Sanjiv Goenka Group.last_img read more

Egypt police use teargas to disperse Azhar student protesters

first_imgCAIRO– Ambulances and fire engines could be seen barreling toward the campus, while firefighters readied water hoses inside the university in an effort to extinguish tires set on fire earlier by student protesters.Egyptian police on Monday used teargas to disperse protests staged by hundreds of Al-Azhar University students who support ousted president Mohamed Morsi as the latter tried to get out of the university’s campus in eastern Cairo.At least 37 students suffered gas inhalation as plumes of teargas could be seen billowing from the university’s main entrance after scores of anti-riot police blocked the university gate to prevent student protesters from pouring out, eyewitnesses said. Ambulances and fire engines could be seen barreling toward the campus, while firefighters readied water hoses inside the university in an effort to extinguish tires set on fire earlier by student protesters.Some students accused police of firing shotguns loaded with birdshot to disperse them, asserting that several students had been injured in the melee.Anadolu Agency, however, could not immediately verify the claims.The clashes came a day after police besieged Al-Azhar University’s student dormitory to prevent dormitory students from joining protests on campus.Students had pelted police with stones from inside the dormitory while police had responded by firing teargas.Since its new academic year began in October, Al-Azhar University has been at the epicenter of student protests against Morsi’s July 3 ouster by the military.last_img read more

Major accident sends two teen boys to hospital

first_img Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:accident, ANd construction, maranatha high school, millenium highway, pastor dor Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 09 Apr 2015 – A terrible smash up on Millennium Highway, just in front of Pastor Dor’s complex late yesterday not only caused a major traffic detour in the Blue Hills area of Provo, but sent at least three people, including two teen boys to hospital. It is unclear what caused the violent collision of an AND Construction Truck and an SUV; but bystanders told Magnetic Media they could hear the impact from beyond Maranatha High School. The driver of the truck was pinned in the vehicle, the entire front end smashed and crushing his legs. The Fire crew had to brace the man in a standing position as the jaws of life were used to cut him free. The injury to his knees and lower legs were visible; deep gashes. The boys, who were being driven by their father, were said to be hurt; the one in the back seat of the vehicle more severely with head wounds and heavy bleeding, this according to an eye witness. It was a commendable job by first responders which included the Fire Department, Ambulance Unit and Police Force. There is no official police report as yet on the accident, but speed seemed to be a factor. Another snorkel trip deadly in Provo; Guest dies Police update on Friday 13 snorkel death in Provo Tourist man gone missing on dive, body found Saturdaylast_img read more

Shattering the unbroken view of society

first_imgCelebrating the talent of fresh and new makes a compelling case for contemporary art in the city. Such is the case of exhibition ‘Panorama-9’. Curated by Priyanka Banerjee, this exhibition will host over 30 artists who will bring to the viewers a varying range of interpretation of ranging contemporary issues.The exposition delves into the contemporary issue of social relevance, such as feminism, ethical treatment of animals, spiritual harmony, global warming and so on. Nature, for instance, is explored through the mutually symbiotic relationship of flora and fauna. Urbanisation and industrialisation have exploited the natural layers of our ecosystem, and its awareness becomes paramount to awaken our collective consciousness. As each artist touches upon subject the subjects that have been paralysed by the society, their canvas becomes a window for us all to explore the possibilities. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn a one of its kind initiative, this five-day exhibition is wholly funded by the participating artists. The participating artists are Meghna Agarwal, Shalini Varshney, Shyam Porwal, Mahua Sinha, Jolly Sharma, Meena Wason, Babun Ghosh, Mahesh Kumar, S.K Chouhan, Vatsala Ranjan, Jasmeet Khurana, Gaurav Dahiya, Kritika Mitra, Aman Anand, Rama Sharma, Ram Kumar, Amit Kumar, Tapan Das, Abid Zaidi, Sheikh Abdullah, Uma Bardhan, Alpana Kataria, Mridul Chakraborty, Nilay Sarkar, Pulakesh Mondal, Ravi Verma, Veena Singh, Punam Rai, Darshan Sharma, PurnenduMondal, and Archana Das.Dabbling in a diverse range of mediums, from watercolour, oil and pen and pencils to mixed media, the artists bring to their canvas emotions that reverberate with social significance. The colours, shapes and emotion have emerged from the very soul of the Capital, and together they will converge at Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre this autumn from September 11-15.last_img read more