Maternal health internships give students hands-on experience

first_imgFrom assessing what motivates women in rural Zanzibar to give birth at a health facility rather than at home, to studying what fuels obesity rates among Tanzanian women before and during pregnancy, nine Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health students spent the summer in seven countries doing internships in maternal health.They spoke about their experiences and shared research findings at the School on Sept. 6 and 7, 2017.The students’ internships were supported by travel grants from the Maternal Health Task Force, part of the School’s Women and Health Initiative.Isabel Fulcher, a doctoral student in biostatistics, worked in a D-tree International program aimed at improving birth safety in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Despite having access to health facilities, over half of women in Zanzibar give birth at home with an unskilled attendant. Rates of maternal and neonatal mortality in Zanzibar remain high, and home births rates are higher compared with births at health facilities.Last year, Fulcher worked with D-tree to help develop a mobile phone app to guide community health volunteers in conversations with pregnant women in their homes, with a focus on encouraging women to get pre- and postnatal care at a health facility and to save money toward delivering their child at a facility. This past summer, Fulcher expanded on that work by helping assess the effectiveness of the app.She and her colleagues found that how much money the women saved was a key factor in their decision to deliver at a health facility. Women who had previously delivered at home were more likely to give birth at home for their next pregnancy. And women were more likely to deliver in a facility if they had been visited at home by a community worker close to the delivery date.Onella Dawkins, a master’s degree student in epidemiology, worked with the Africa Academy of Public Health to study the prevalence and risk factors for obesity and overweight in women both before and during pregnancy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. About 40 percent of Tanzanian women of reproductive age are overweight or obese, putting both mothers and children at risk for a range of health problems, Dawkins said. She had expected to train workers to collect data, but when she arrived she found that they needed help developing a nutrition survey tool—so she switched gears, quickly familiarizing herself with nutrition information as well as popular local foods.“It was a great experience. I learned about flexibility and how to make the most to be productive in a role I hadn’t planned on,” she said. “I stopped researchers in the hallway to ask questions. It was a lot of learning on the go.”Other students participating in the 2017 Summer Internships in Maternal Health included Alexandra Earle, Estelle Gong, Jigyasa Sharma, Shiyi Zan, Mia Monique Blakstad, Kalin Stoval, and Kayla Rosenberg.For more on the program: Summer Internships in Maternal Health— Marge Dwyer Read Full Storylast_img read more

Peanut weather

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia’s cool, wet spring has delayed the growth of some crops. But the days are heating up just in time to help Georgia’s peanut crop.In May, temperatures across south Georgia climbed steadily into the 80s. Soil temperatures jumped by as much as 10 degrees, reaching the mid-70s at 4 inches deep.This is good news for peanut farmers ready to plant this year’s crop, said John Beasley, an agronomist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Around April 20, he said, soil temperatures around the peanut growing region were in the mid-60s, almost too low for proper seed germination. Soil temperatures are usually around the mid-70s at that time, which is ideal for germination.It should take a peanut seed about seven days to germinate and emerge from the ground as a young plant. But some earlier-planted peanuts took 15 days to start growing in the cooler temperatures, he said.It’s important for peanut seeds to germinate quickly and come up at the same time in fields, Beasley said. Research has shown that this helps reduce the risk of tomato spotted wilt virus, which causes millions of dollars in damage each year to peanuts and other Georgia crops.Peanut farmers have to deal with TSWV every year. But if farmers can get into fields and begin planting peanuts soon, their risk for the disease will be lower. “In the next two to three weeks,” he said, “there will be a lot of farmers trying to get peanuts planted.”They’ll be planting more, too, said Nathan Smith, a UGA Extension Service economist. Georgia farmers are expected to plant 750,000 acres, 130,000 more than last year.Right now, prices for row crops like corn and cotton are low. Fertilizer costs are high. And an economically damaging soybean disease has been confirmed in Georgia.Peanut prices, however, have been good in recent years, around $400 per ton. And the demand for peanuts for food has climbed by about 20 percent in the past two years.This has all made planting peanuts look like the safer bet for many farmers this year, Smith said.If Georgia farmers have an average production year with the extra acres, there could be an oversupply around harvesttime in late summer, he said. This could lower prices.”Even with the strong consumer demand,” Smiths said, “it would be tough to use up that large a supply.”last_img read more

Honduras and Colombia Sign a Mutual Overflight Agreement to Combat Small Drug Planes

first_img The Honduran and Colombian Air Forces signed a cooperation agreement to combat illegal flights that cross the airspace of the two nations and of the Caribbean and Central American region. With this agreement, both Air Forces will have the possibility of flying in each other’s airspace. During the now-concluded F-AIR Colombia 2011 exhibition, the commander of the Colombian Air Force (FAC), Gen. Julio Alberto González, and the commander of the Honduran Air Force (FAH), Col. Ruis Pastor Landa, signed the operational cooperation agreement that will enable the two forces to exchange experiences in the fight against drug trafficking. “It’s an agreement that, in union with one that we have with Mexico, with Guatemala, and in the future with El Salvador, is going to deny Caribbean and Central American airspace to illegal traffic headed to the United States,” the FAC commander, General González, declared. According to official information, the agreement is the result of joint work over three years by several Central American intelligence agencies and Air Forces, together with those of Colombia and the United States, which found that Honduran airspace has been frequently used by drug traffickers to transport drugs to Mexico and the United States. “We want to draw on the experience of our brothers in the FAC and do our part,” said the head of the FAH, Colonel Landa, who also praised the Colombian Air Force’s capabilities in its fight against illegal flights. The new agreement will enable the FAC to follow illegal traffic in Honduran airspace up to the moment the plane lands, in those cases in which Honduras is unable to do so. In the same way, Colombian intelligence platforms will also be able to identify the landing sites of these irregular planes. El Salvador would benefit from this kind of cooperation, since it does not currently have the necessary fighter-plane capability, due to the fact that its planes are grounded because of budgetary shortfalls, cost savings, or the lack of needed repairs, to intercept small drug planes or other kinds of planes or ships that pass through its political jurisdiction, in either its airspace or its territorial waters. By Dialogo August 18, 2011last_img read more

Photographing Your Ballot Could be Illegal

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Some New York voters were so proud about participating in the democratic process on Election Day two weeks ago that they may have unknowingly broke the law by snapping a photo of their marked ballot and posting it on social media.That’s because showing another person a marked ballot is considered a misdemeanor under New York State law. Experts began bringing attention to the issue due to the high number of so-called “voter selfies” that have been taken in recent elections by enthusiastic voting Americans, and then posted on such social networks as Facebook and Instagram.“This issue has come up with the last few presidential elections,” said Jeff Hermes of New York-based Media Law Resource Center.The Empire State is not alone. A majority of states nationwide have such laws prohibiting photographs of marked ballots.The thinking behind these laws, according to Hermes, is that photos of marked ballots can be used for such illicit behavior as vote buying or voter intimidation. For example, a person looking to push a certain candidate can pay someone to vote, but ask for a picture as proof that they followed through, he said.“The majority of these laws were promulgated before it was a simple matter to discreetly take a photograph of one’s ballot with a cellphone, and then publish that image to the Internet,” Hermes explained in blog post prior to the 2012 presidential election.“It is quite possible,” he added, “that the lack of a temporal or geographic limitation on a ban on disclosure of one’s ballot is the result of nothing more than the failure of lawmakers to realize that it would even be possible to display the image of a ballot, after the ballot has been cast and the election has ended.”In New York, a person could be charged if the voter “shows his ballot after it is prepared for voting, to any person so as to reveal the contents or solicits a voter to show the same…or places any mark upon his ballot, or does any other act in connection with his ballot with the intent that it may be identified as the one voted by him.”Critics of the laws say prohibiting ballot photos is an attack on political speech.The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union is taking the issue a step further by challenging the state’s laws on photography in court. The organization filed a lawsuit Oct. 31 on behalf of three voters in the state, including an elected official, on the grounds that it violates free speech. The law went into effect there on Sept. 1.“What this law ignores is that displaying a photograph of a marked ballot on the Internet is a powerful form of political speech that conveys various constitutionally-protected messages,” the NHCLU said. “This form of speech can convey a sense of pride from an 18-year-old, newly-minted voter who is enthusiastic about voting in her first presidential selection.”last_img read more

Leading hoteliers organized the possibility of testing their guests in tourist destinations

first_imgJadranka Group co-finances the cost of testing in their camps with an amount depending on the total residence bill, while Amines Hotels & Campsites co-finances the cost of testing in its hotels for guests from Austria, with an amount depending on the total bill of stay. After Falkensteiner and other leading hoteliers have organized the possibility of testing their guests in tourist destinations along the Adriatic coast, all with the aim of increasing the level of security and providing the most carefree vacation for their guests. Arena Hospitality Group assumes the cost of PCR testing for guests coming from Austria, in full or in part, depending on the total length of stay. Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences offers free testing to guests who achieve a minimum stay of 3 nights, and gives a discount of EUR 50 for all guests from Italy and Austria who leave the hotel after a minimum stay of 3 nights and want to take the test in their country. Testing is intended for guests coming from countries that have introduced an obligation or possibility to test when returning to their home country. Some companies provide free testing or co-finance testing, especially for guests from Austria who, due to new circumstances, need to present a negative PCR test for Covid-19 when returning to Austria from Croatia.center_img Tako Maistra provides free PCR testing for stays in the facilities until September 15, according to the following criteria: for reservations from 1000 € it is possible to test up to two people, for reservations from 1500 € to three people and for reservations from 2000 € testing up to 4 people. All open facilities Valamar Riviera offer Austrian guests free PCR testing if the cost of testing is less than 50 percent of the total stay bill. The above applies to individual guests, OTA and lump sum guests in campsites who are Austrian citizens.last_img read more

China stocks crash on virus fears after long market break

first_imgChinese stocks crashed on Monday with some major shares quickly falling by the maximum daily limit as the country’s investors got their first chance in more than a week to react to the spiralling coronavirus outbreak.The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dived 8.73 percent, or 259.83 points, to open at 2,716.70.The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, sank 8.99 percent, or 158.02 points, to 1,598.80. The scale of the plunge was remarkable even by the standards of China’s notoriously volatile share markets, indicating deep concern over the viral outbreak’s economic impact.The yuan also weakened by nearly 1.5 percent to around 7.00 to the dollar.But in Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index edged up 0.17 percent, or 43.59 points, to 26,356.22 in the first few minutes.Markets in the world’s second-biggest economy had closed on January 24 for the annual Lunar New Year holiday, but since then the viral epidemic that started in Wuhan has spread around the world. Global concern has dragged down stocks and major corporate names have frozen or scaled back their Chinese operations, threatening the global supply chain as so many of the world’s products are manufactured in China. ‘Large’ economic impact China’s central bank said Sunday it would pump 1.2 trillion yuan ($173 billion) into the economy on Monday to help limit market losses.”Investors will release their emotions at first and then make further decisions based on the epidemic situation and the potential stimulus measures rolled out by the government,” Zhang Qi, an analyst with Haitong Securities, said before the open.”Whether the spread of the epidemic is effectively contained, and how much of a toll it takes on the economy are stressful for investors.”Travel and tourism shares plummeted after China curbed domestic travel to slow the virus and a growing list of foreign countries and airlines halted or reduced travel links with China.China International Travel Service quickly fell by the maximum 10 percent allowed, to 73.80 yuan.Individual Chinese stocks are limited to a 10 percent daily move in either direction to limit volatility, after which trading in those shares is suspended.Foxconn Industrial Internet, an arm of Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, also fell by the daily limit to 18.00 yuan.Foxconn had said last week it is keeping its Chinese factories closed until mid-February, potentially affecting global supply chains for tech companies that rely on it for everything from Apple’s iPhones to flat-screen TVs and laptops.Markets had been scheduled to re-open on Friday after the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, but that was extended by the government to buy time in the fight against the virus.China Southern Airlines fell 2.99 percent to 4.22 yuan, and China Eastern Airlines lost 2.51 percent to 3.49 yuan.Consumer bellwether Kweichou Moutai, the world’s largest distiller and whose fiery liquor is a favoured Lunar New Year gift, fell 4.26 percent to 1,007.99 yuan.The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said its market intervention was aimed at maintaining “reasonable and abundant liquidity” in the banking system, as well as a stable currency market, during the epidemic.China’s economy is expected to take a clear hit from the crisis, which has brought industrial regions grinding to a halt.”The near-term impact on Chinese GDP growth is likely to be large,” Oxford Economics said in a research note.”Considering the affected areas account for just over 50 percent of total Chinese output, we think this could lead China’s annual GDP growth to slow to just four percent in Q1,” it added — down from a previous forecast of six percent growth.Topics :last_img read more

UK roundup: 3i plan fully insured after final, £650m buy-in

first_imgAccording to the statement, 3i group is fully supportive of the latest buy-in, although it was achieved without relying on it for any additional contribution.Carol Woodley, chair of the 3i Group Pension Plan trustees, said: “This transaction is a significant step forward in providing a more certain and secure solution for members’ future benefits and removes significant risks in the plan that would otherwise be difficult to hedge.“Achieving this level of security is especially valuable in the current economic climate and we are delighted that, with the support of our advisers, we have been able to take this step sooner than previously anticipated.”Laura Mason, CEO Legal & General Retirement Institutional, said: “We are delighted to have continued our partnership with the 3i Group Pension Plan and help complete the final step of its de-risking journey, providing a solution that ensures the long-term benefits promised to its members are fully secured.”The trustees were advised by LCP, Linklaters and Lincoln Pensions. 3i Group was advised by Mercer and Slaughter and May, and legal advice was provided to Legal & General by Macfarlanes.Legal & General noted that its asset manager has provided investment support to the 3i pension plan since 2004.Market movements triggered by the coronavirus crisis have made for attractive pricing opportunities in the bulk annuity market. PLSA opens forum to progress pensions climate risk agenda The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) will be hosting a series of online roundtables from 12 June to give pension schemes a structured forum to discuss “ideas, solutions, and barriers to the pension industry operating in ways which have a positive impact in helping the UK achieve its Paris climate agreeement commitments”, it said today.In addition, it is inviting pension schemes, the wider financial services industry, the public and any other stakeholders to share their views on the practical ways the retirement savings sector can address climate risk.It is seeking responses to the followinq questions:How are pension funds currently incorporating climate considerations into their investment approaches?What are the biggest practical challenges to effective consideration and implementation of climate-aware investment strategies?To what extent will existing industry, policy or regulatory initiatives be effective in overcoming these challenges?Are there any industry, policy or regulatory initiatives which would support you in consideration of climate risks and opportunities? The group pension plan for private equity manager 3i has struck its final buy-in, a £650m (€716m) deal with Legal & General Assurance Society, it was announced today.The transaction is thought to be the largest UK pension risk transfer transaction announced this year.It covers the benefits of around 280 pensioners and 570 deferred members and, according to a statement from Legal & General, means the plan is now fully insured through buy-in policies held as assets of the plan.The trustees previously completed two pensioner buy-ins, one in 2017 with the Pension Insurance Corporation and one last year with Legal & General. Richard Butcher, chair of the PLSAThe PLSA has made climate risk one of its top policy priorities for 2020. It considers that ”a significant amount of good work has been undertaken by both policymakers and the investment industry to achieve greater decarbonisation [but] there remains room for improvement”.Its view is that tackling climate change and ensuring the ongoing stability of the financial system requires all segments of the investment chain to “work in alignment”. It is working on finding workable solutions to the remaining barriers to green finance, and providing practical support for actors across the investment chain.Richard Butcher, chair of the PLSA, said: “The PLSA is rightly proud of its efforts to encourage the pension industry to prioritise climate risk to date.“With the engagement this work has brought, and new climate regulations in force, I am excited to be getting the opportunity to discuss with scheme CEOs, CIOs, trustees and anybody else to turn enthusiasm into action and take the agenda further.”Q1 hurts 2019’s best performing fiduciary managers hardestThe outbreak of the coronavirus drove a 10% differential between the best and worst performing fiduciary managers in the UK in the first quarter of 2020, according to XPS Pension Group.The consultancy analysed the performance of fiduciary managers in the first quarter for a special edition of its regular ‘FM Watch’ report, and found that those managers that made the strongest gains through high equity allocations in 2019 also sustained the biggest losses in 2020, while managers that made lower returns in 2019 tended to be better prepared for the market falls.Three-quarters of fund managers made changes to their portfolio in early 2020, to take advantage of emerging opportunities and to defend against losses. Towards the end of March and early April, there was a divergence of views on economic outlook, XPS said, with some managers looking to increase exposure to equities and others acting more defensively and increasing allocations to government bonds or cash.“The market downturn was the first big challenge for the majority of fiduciary managers”André Kerr, head of fiduciary oversight at XPS Pensions Group“The market downturn was the first big challenge for the majority of fiduciary managers,” said André Kerr, head of fiduciary oversight at XPS Pensions Group.“The industry was only in its infancy during the 2008 financial crisis and since then managers have enjoyed one of the strongest bull markets in history. While all managers suffered losses last quarter, these were most severe for bulls in the bull market.“As the initial shock of Covid-19’s arrival begins to subside, trustees at pension funds with an outsourced fiduciary management must understand what is driving strategic decisions and whether they align with their investment beliefs.”To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

‘Pusher’ busted in Victorias City

first_imgOfficers of the Victorias City police station staged the entrapmentoperation which led to the arrest of Pilante around 5:20 p.m. on Jan. 30. Aside from suspected shabu, a P500 marked money, a cellphone and P60cash were also recovered from him, police said.  Seven sachets of suspected shabu valued around P10,000 were seized from29-year-old resident Joshua Pilante, a police report showed. The suspect was detained, facing charges for violation of Republic Act9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002./PN BACOLOD City – Police arrested a drug suspect in a sting operation in Barangay19-A, Victorias City, Negros Occidental.last_img read more

Martinez pays tribute to Barry

first_img “He is the best defensive midfielder in the league, never mind in English football,” said the Everton boss. “Teams have invested massive amounts of money into bringing in the best foreign players to play in that position – Fernando and Fernandinho at Man City – but you go through all the players in that position and Gareth has been the most consistent. “He has been overlooked for England – I don’t know the reason behind it but it allows him, at 33, to concentrate on being able to play every game for us. “On one side, I feel he deserves the reward and I don’t understand why he is not getting it but on the other, it will extend his career at club level and that is important.” Barry was injured at Sunderland just before the international break, but after initial fears of a broken leg were allayed it is expected he will be out for a matter of weeks not months, and Martinez said he was making good progress. “He is a lot better. He has had ligament damage and maybe it takes a couple of weeks, but he is recovering well,” said the Spaniard, speaking at a We Are Evertonians event in the city. Martinez has other concerns as in addition to the already-injured John Stones (ankle), Antolin Alcaraz (shoulder) and Arouna Kone (knee), the international break has created more issues. James McCarthy was called up by the Republic of Ireland but was sent home after they decided not to risk him because of a hamstring complaint, while fellow midfielder Darron Gibson left the squad after coming off in the defeat to Scotland with a knee problem. Press Association Left-back Leighton Baines also returned early after sustaining a hamstring injury with England. “James was desperate to be involved with his national team but he couldn’t make it,” Martinez told ahead of the visit of Crystal Palace. “We will try to get him fit for West Ham but it is a bit too early to tell. He hasn’t been able to train with the team and that is a worry on a Tuesday leading up to a Saturday game. “It’s James’ second injury of this nature in the last month and that’s a bit of a worry. “We need to give him perfect treatment and make sure he is fully fit. “Darron Gibson played against Scotland and got a bit of soreness in his knee. “He had a year-long lay-off with his ligaments, so we need to be cautious but I’m very confident he will be available to train very soon. “When you see Leighton Baines pull out of a training session you know that something is wrong but at the moment he is responding well to treatment. “Again, it is too early to say how long he is going to be out but we remain very positive. Leighton is the type of player that heals very quickly from those sort of injuries.” On a more positive front Belgium forward Kevin Mirallas, who has not played since tearing a hamstring in the Merseyside derby on September 27, is on the verge of a first-team return. The 33-year-old, currently sidelined by ankle ligament damage, has been one the club’s most consistent performers since initially signing on loan in the summer of 2013. Martinez believes he is the best in the Premier League in a holding role and is baffled as to why he has not made an international appearance since being forced off with injury in a friendly against Norway on the eve of Euro 2012. Everton manager Roberto Martinez is mystified why midfielder Gareth Barry has not earned a recall to the England side since his move to Merseyside. last_img read more

Alan Pardew salutes battling Bournemouth as Palace settle for a point

first_imgCrystal Palace manager Alan Pardew was full of admiration for the opposition after their 0-0 draw with Bournemouth. “I think the referee managed the situation very well with the reaction of the Palace players, supporters who were close to the incident,” he said. “He could have easily had a different reaction and over-reacted to that feeling, so credit to him for how he refereed that game because I thought he did well.” Arter was substituted at half-time and Howe added: “I just thought one more tackle from Harry would have seen a different reaction and I just wanted to take him out of that environment.” The Cherries boss was pleased with his side’s performance and a point in front of the home fans to take their unbeaten run to six matches. “I think it is a sign we have grown as a side, that we can continue to improve,” said Howe. “We are harder to beat now. “That is six games unbeaten, which at this level, if you can pick up points in a run of games, certainly does you no harm and reinforces really that confidence is improving and belief is growing within the camp.” “Bournemouth really couldn’t raise a leg at that period – probably our best period of the game – so I am full of admiration for what they did today. “Physically, mentally it was a tough game. You have to take your hat off to Bournemouth, they were relentless.” Pardew was happy with the handling of a controversial moment in the first half, when Bournemouth’s Harry Arter received a yellow card for a late challenge on Wilfried Zaha. The incident riled both sets of fans, but after waiting for things to calm down referee Michael Oliver opted only to book Arter. Pardew said: “The ref made a good call on Harry Arter. “He has done brilliant, he just slightly mistimed that. “That was the only moment where it got a little unsavoury, but in the end the referee made the right call and it was all sorted out.” Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was in agreement about the incident, saying there was “an atmosphere to the game” but that Oliver dealt with the players well. Pardew’s men picked up their 36th Barclays Premier League point on the road in 2015 at the Vitality Stadium, but he acknowledged the Cherries’ set-up made them hard to beat. “Their work-rate was phenomenal,” he said. “They wouldn’t let us have a rest, they wouldn’t let us keep the ball. I had to bring on Yohan Cabaye to try and get some of the ball and in the last few minutes I thought it showed. Press Associationlast_img read more