New social housing for East London

first_img15 February 2012 Social housing projects are an integral part of the government’s quest to enhance racial integration in South Africa, Eastern Cape Economic Development MEC Mcebisi Jonas said at the official launch of the multi-million rand Southernwood social housing project in East London on Tuesday. The project includes a nine-storey building in the heart of the city’s central business district and close to all socio-economic amenities. It consists of 249 units in total, made up of 57 bachelor flats, 78 one-bedroom and 114 two-bedroom flats.People who fall in the GAP market The project caters for households earning between R2 500 to R7 500 per month. “Social housing projects are one of the very few vehicles we have of ensuring social stability through racial and social integration,” Jonas said. “These projects are fundamental because they are situated in the city centres and cater for people from all walks of life.” He added that such projects were important in dealing with the ever-growing number of people flocking to South Africa’s urban areas to look for work and to study. Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said the provision of medium- to high-density housing projects was one of the main solutions in dealing with the management of spatial integration in South Africa’s urban areas. “For us to make a difference in the lives of people who fall within the GAP market [those who earn too much to qualify for state subsidies but too little to apply for banks home loans], we need to have more of these projects,” Sexwale said. The project is spearheaded by the Department of Human Settlements, is managed by one of its housing entities, the Social Housing Regulatory Authority, and partly funded by the National Housing Finance Corporation.‘We want to deracialise our cities’ Sexwale said one of the ultimate goal of social housing projects was to create non-racial cities and towns across the country. “We want to ‘deracialise’ our cities and towns so we can see all races in this country co-existing harmoniously,” Sexwale said. “Integration mustn’t be limited only to rugby games and other big sporting events, but it must be a way of life.” Residential executive committee member Lungisa Nazo, who has been a tenant at the project for two years, said: “We co-exist well with all other races, which is why I love living here. Even when we were drawing up our grievances to hand over to the minister’s team, people from all races participated for the ultimate benefit of the tenants.” Social Housing Regulatory Authority chairperson Zora Ebrahim said she hoped the project would be the start of the “cleansing of Southernwood and the inner city”, which has suffered from overpopulation and infrastructural dilapidation in recent years. “We hope this project will create a trend that will see urban decay being dealt with both by residents and the municipality,” Ebrahim said. “We hope it will ultimately lead to social cohesion amongst the community within which people can learn, play and pray.” Sexwale used the occasion to take a swipe at people involved in the hiring out of state-subsidised houses. “People must stop doing this because it is taking away opportunities for those who genuinely deserve houses. Moving forward, we must reclaim the land which is currently being occupied illegally through shack renting.” Sexwale assured those present that the department would not “just provide the money any more”, but would “follow the money” and see how it was spent, as it was the government’s duty to account for taxpayers’ money. Source: BuaNews. Additional reporting by SAinfolast_img read more

The Power of Our Profession

first_imgThis is the time of year when I like to reflect on the state of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It is an opportunity to look back on a year of activity, accomplishments and, most important, progress as the world’s largest professional association for HR. Each year, I find myself revisiting a simple but important question: Have we realized the true power of our profession?Over the years, SHRM has helped turn an occupation into a profession—from personnel administration to human resource management to people strategy. From a profession, we have transformed into a community dedicated to the best of people management. And in that community lies our power.The HR profession is at its best when we come together to share effective practices and collective wisdom, raise the standards of human resource management, and advance HR to its rightful place in leading business. This philosophy guides SHRM.Know that whatever comes your way in 2016 and beyond, you can turn to SHRM as a trusted resource. If it means only one thing to be a member of SHRM, it is that you are never alone in the HR profession.Ours is a growing, thriving community dedicated to managing people in the best way at a time when doing so is at the top of every business agenda. That is the power of our profession.last_img read more

Google, 10 Years Ago

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Do you remember when you were first introduced to Google.com? It’s almost hard to imagine a life before them, isn’t it? (B.G. – Before Google?) Their impact on the internet cannot be understated. As Google has come to dominate what it means to search the net, they’ve integrated themselves into our lives, our browsers, and our cell phones. But this wasn’t always the case. Ten years ago, Google was just some new search engine trying to make a name for itself amid competitors like Excite and Yahoo. Last night, we received a link to a little bit of Google nostalgia and we thought we would share it with you, too. Doug Sherrets, Business Development Manager at Slide, Inc. and occasional contributor over at Venture Beat, sent us over to this Facebook page where he had reposted a blog entry that he had written on November 16th, 1998 at age 14 about a tiny startup called Google. We thought you would enjoy it too:“A new search engine is Google.com, founded by some kids out of Stanford, the same university where Excite and Yahoo spawned. You might think the search engine market has already developed and today’s leaders — like Yahoo, Lycos, and Excite — are going to be the search engine leaders for years to come. Guess what? You’re wrong. Start-ups like Google will offer better services, and unless the established players react, they’ll lose market share. Whether you like the name or not, Google is going to be a search engine to be reckoned with.” “While Google won’t be #1 overnight, they’ll get up there because people will like their search over Yahoo, Lycos, or Excite. Google produces accurate results, and that is what search is all about, right?” “Can just a search engine company support a $1+ billion market value? Those billion dollar companies have more services like personalization, chat, and message boards other than search. You’re right, but if you take search away, you take away the basis of the whole site. Users don’t go to a portal to get stock news, they go to a portal to get to where they want to go. They might stop for a couple minutes on the portal using the extra services, but internet investors have to remember the epicenter of the whole business is the search engine. Instead of portals putting search on the backburner and letting their indexes get outdated, they should be buying out companies like AskJeeves and Google. They are the future.”Original article Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market sarah perez Tags:#Trends#web last_img read more

Manchester United sign Portuguese defender Diogo Dalot from FC Porto

first_imgManchester United completed the signing of 19-year-old Portuguese defender Diogo Dalot on Wednesday. The former FC Porto player has signed a five-year deal with an option to extend for a further year with the Premier League club.”Diogo is an extremely talented young defender with all the qualities to quickly become a great player for this club,” United manager Jose Mourinho said.”He has all the attributes that a fullback needs: physicality, tactical intelligence and technical quality, combined with a Porto Academy mentality which prepares players for the maturity they need at the professional level.”Dalot, who made seven appearances for Porto in all competitions last season, played a part as the club won the Primeira Liga title.A busy first day for @DalotDiogo as an #MUFC player!Here’s the story of his career so far: https://t.co/YSVdNSRwvr #BemvindoDalot pic.twitter.com/WdRDax6YbCManchester United (@ManUtd) June 6, 2018The fullback joined Porto’s youth squad, aged nine, in 2008 and came through the ranks to make his first-team debut in February.”Joining Manchester United is an unbelievable opportunity for me. I have grown up in Porto’s academy and I am so thankful for everything they have done for me,” said Dalot, who has four international caps for Portugal’s under-21 side.”But the chance of coming to the biggest club in the world is something I just couldn’t turn down … I’m excited about working with Jose Mourinho and learning everything I can from such a successful coach.”United did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.advertisementDalot’s arrival follows the news on Tuesday that United have reached an agreement to sign Brazilian midfielder Fred from Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk for a reported 52 million pounds ($69.8 million).(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

What Cap’n Crunch Can Teach You About Fundraising

first_imgHave you ever felt like you were being watched in the supermarket? In a new study from Cornell Food and Brand Lab, researchers found that characters featured on kids’ cereal boxes make incidental eye contact with children and cereals aimed at adults make incidental eye contact with adult shoppers. Cereals presumably marketed to children (think Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Trix) were found on lower shelves, and the gaze of the characters on these cereal boxes look downward at an angle of 9.67 degrees. This is probably not too surprising, but they took things a step further. Researchers asked a group of volunteers to rate their feelings about a brand based on the character featured on a cereal box. Study participants were randomly shown one of two versions of a Trix cereal box. One version featured the rabbit looking straight at the individual, in another, the rabbit had a downward gaze. Can you guess what happened?People expressed a stronger connection to the brand when the rabbit made eye contact. Brand trust was also found to be 16% higher. Participants even stated they preferred Trix, compared to another cereal, when that silly rabbit made eye contact. So what does this have to do with nonprofit fundraising? Here are a few important reminders from the cereal aisle:Know your target audience.Think about the people you are trying to reach. Everything about your marketing efforts should speak to their unique experiences and values. One size does not fit all, so if you have multiple audiences, segment and tailor your approach accordingly.Position yourself in their line of sight.Are your cereal boxes on the right shelves? Understand the habits of your target audience and how to find them when they’re most likely to take action. If your target audience commutes via carpool each day, placards on the train aren’t going to make much impact. That’s somewhat obvious—the trick is having a deep understanding of where and when to reach your prospects. If you don’t have this intel, make it a priority to get it.Make eye contact.Are you looking your donors in the eye? Do this both figuratively and literally with your fundraising materials. In your emails, in advertisements, and on your website and donation pages, feature strong images of faces looking directly into the camera. Strike an emotional chord with your donors and make it easier for them to connect with your campaign.How are you making eye contact with your donors? Share your ideas in the comments below, and—just for fun, tell us which cereal is your favorite. (Confession: I’m partial to Apple Jacks as a guilty pleasure.)Want to learn more about the science behind effective fundraising? Download our free guide, Lisa Simpson for Nonprofits.Image courtesy of Cornell Food and Brand Lablast_img read more

Private Providers Important to Maternal Health Care

first_imgPosted on October 10, 2012March 31, 2017By: Amy Boldosser, Director, Global Advocacy Program, Family Care InternationalClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Family Care International was proud to partner with Merck for Mothers and Women Deliver to host a stimulating and provocative discussion on The Role of Private Providers in Expanding Access to Affordable, Quality Maternal Healthcare. At this side event to the 2012 UN General Assembly, held in New York on September 25, 2012, a distinguished panel of speakers highlighted the crucial role that private providers play in ensuring access to quality maternal health care, especially for the most marginalized populations, and the important contribution they can make in accelerating progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, which aims to reduce maternal mortality by 75% and achieve universal access to reproductive health.While there has been notable progress in reducing maternal mortality globally over the past decade, only 10 countries are currently on track to reach the 75% reduction target, and more than a quarter-million women continue to die each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Approximately 99% of maternal deaths occur in the developing world, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and almost all of these deaths could be prevented with better access to skilled care before, during, and after childbirth. In many countries, the private health sector — including independent physicians, nurses, and midwives; traditional practitioners; private clinics and hospitals; pharmacies, health shops, and drug outlets; and health insurers — plays a central role in helping governments accelerate efforts to reach women with essential, lifesaving care. Non-health businesses, including transportation operators, mobile service providers, and financial institutions, also play an important role in facilitating health care.Speakers at the event, moderated by Diane Brady of Bloomberg Businessweek, included Nigerian Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization; Sweta Mangal, co-founder and CEO of Ziqitza Health Care Limited, a private ambulance service in India; and Karl Hofmann, CEO of Population Services International (PSI), an NGO that focuses on “social marketing” of family planning and other essential health supplies and services.Jill Sheffield, president of Women Deliver, provided the context for the discussion and introduced Geralyn Ritter, Merck’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility, who noted the vital, but often overlooked, role that private healthcare providers and health businesses play in delivering health care in local communities. Roughly half of Africans and up to 80% of South Asians now receive care from the private sector, she said; independent midwives, private clinics, and local pharmacies are trusted by the communities they serve, and are key partners in government efforts to improve maternal health. The Merck for Mothers initiative, a 10-year, $500 million initiative to reduce maternal deaths, is working with private providers and health businesses at the local level to ensure that the care they provide is accessible, affordable, and of high quality.Dr. Bustreo, who heads WHO’s programs for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health, described WHO’s work, in partnership with governments and the private sector, to identify and promote innovative solutions to the maternal health challenges faced by countries, health providers, and women. She also highlighted the high cost of maternal health services as a critical barrier that limits women’s access to the services they need, and discussed approaches that countries are using to address it.The Honorable Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, who has served as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and as its Foreign Minister, and is a former Managing Director of The World Bank, focused on empowering women and girls: “Women are the next emerging market and are a force to reckon with. If we invest in women, we can move the world.”  In Nigeria, she noted, 43% of health care facilities are private, so the government understands the importance of engaging private providers and ensuring that they are appropriately regulated. Scaling up midwifery services is a key to ensuring increased coverage in rural areas, she said, and Nigeria’s conditional cash transfer scheme, which provides women with financial incentives for attending a certain number of antenatal visits, is a key policy for expanding access to care. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala reported that, in the areas where these cash transfers have been offered, there has been a 16% decline in maternal deaths.Karl Hofmann discussed social franchising, a “cousin of social marketing,” as a channel for ensuring that quality services and technologies reach women and their families. Social franchising efforts work to build recognition for providers who serve poor and vulnerable women: a key element of their “brand” is ensuring that all franchisees meet improved service standards and provide good quality care. PSI has, to date, provided support for franchising 10,000 providers in 24 countries; these providers reach 10 million people with essential health care services each year.Sweta Mangal shared Ziqitza Health Care’s experience operating more than 860 advanced and basic life support ambulances across India, filling a gap in government services and increasing access to quality, lifesaving care for poor patients. One-third of Ziqitza’s patients are pregnant women needing transport to health facilities that offer skilled delivery care. In addition, she said, more than 5,000 babies have been born in Ziqitza’s ambulances, since government hospitals are often too overcrowded to immediately accommodate all of the pregnant women who arrive by ambulance.A lively discussion followed these presentations, focusing on how to ensure that private providers and health businesses comply with government regulations and protocols, meet quality standards, and provide services that are affordable and accessible for users from all income levels.At the meeting’s conclusion, Family Care International’s president Ann Starrs referenced recent remarks by Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO, that universal health coverage is an idea whose time has come. “There is a consensus in most parts of the world that it is the responsibility of governments to ensure that all people have access to basic preventative and curative health care,” she noted. “But that doesn’t mean that governments have to provide those services themselves.” The private sector offers clear advantages, she said, in terms of pioneering innovative approaches, their connection to the community, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and sustainability. Enabling the private sector to maximize its potential contributions requires governments to provide a normative and regulatory framework to ensure that quality standards are met; financing mechanisms to make services affordable; training and support of private sector providers; and sharing learning, experiences, and evidence. “Partnership,” she said, “is the key.”Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

#SoWMy2014: Beyond Just Maternity Care

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 4, 2014August 10, 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)Yesterday, the MHTF joined with UNFPA, ICM, MCHIP, Jhpiego, Girls Globe, Women Deliver, Johnson & Johnson, Save the Children, and the UN Foundation to take part in a Twitter Chat to talk about the State of the World’s Midwifery. As of yesterday, the State of the World’s Midwifery hashtag, #SoWMy2014, was tweeted about 5,500 times with a reach of 28.3 million. Thanks to everyone who joined in the conversation![View the story “#SoWMy2014: Beyond just maternity care” on Storify]Share this:last_img read more

New Al Jazeera Documentary: Saving Lives Through Community Involvement

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 9, 2014November 4, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)High rates of maternal and newborn deaths affect many countries around the world. Malawi, which currently has the 24th highest maternal mortality ratio (MMR), is taking innovative approaches to save mothers and newborns. In order to protect women and newborns, the Presidential Safe Motherhood initiative was rolled out in 2012. Through this program, community involvement and mobilization is changing the way maternal health is delivered in Malawi. Al Jazeera recognized the important implications of this initiative and the positive effect it could have on other impoverished countries around the world. In order to highlight the problem of maternal mortality and innovative steps to solve it, Al Jazeera produced the documentary, “Between Life and Death.”The documentary highlights the current strategy for preventing maternal and newborn death in Malawi, which is get the woman to a facility. Through this initiative, rural communities in Malawi are now challenging traditional methods of birthing at home to effectively save lives of mothers and their babies. Women’s groups, NGOs, and community elders have been mobilized and now encourage women to deliver at facilities. This mobilization, which dispels traditional home birthing practices, has been successful in getting women to the care they need. With an increased awareness of the importance of safe birthing practices, villagers even escort some pregnant women on boats or cars to a health center. With transportation as a large barrier to accessing care, this innovation has allowed many women to reach the health center who would not have been able to before.Engaging traditional leaders, or tribal chiefs, has been a powerful way to create change. The tribal chiefs now meet with women’s groups and men to encourage women to give birth in facilities. One community member said, “Traditional chiefs are the gatekeepers in our society. They get respect and everyone listens to them. Their involvement in safe birthing means people listen and follow their advice”The work that has been done in Malawi is an example for other countries and communities on how dispel harmful traditional birthing practices. We have learned that people and communities can change their behavior and in turn save lives—even if it means breaking old birthing traditions and creating new birthing practices—when local leaders encourage them.When asked why Al Jazeera had an interest in maternal health, Director Clifford Bestall said, “By saving the lives of mothers and their babies, we save the future… Malawi was near the bottom in global ratings with extremely high maternal and neonatal deaths. Now the country has turned a corner by challenging traditional birthing methods and ensuring that skilled medical staff assist mothers to deliver.”Engaging traditional leaders is key for addressing harmful practices, empowering a community, and saving lives. If you’d like to learn more about the work being done in Malawi, the Al Jazeera article, “Challenging traditions to save lives” has more details.Share this:last_img read more

When 2 Become 1: Integrating the Health Care needs of Mothers and Infants, the New MHTF-PLOS Collection on Maternal Health

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 3, 2014June 12, 2017By: Jennifer Horsley, Editorial Project Coordinator, PLOS CollectionsClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This blog post was originally posted on Speaking of Medicine, the blog of the PLOS Medical Journals’ Community. The post highlights the June 2nd, 2014 launch of Year 3 of the MHTF-PLOS Collection on Maternal Health. The Year 3 Collection is a response to the call for submissions by PLOS and MHTF. Image credit: Jack Zalium, FlickrIn November 2013, PLOS Medicine and the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) called for submissions to Year 3 of the MHTF-PLOS Collection on Maternal Health. Today we launch the Year 3 Collection and include 10 research articles recently published by PLOS.The continuing collaboration between the MHTF at Harvard School of Public Health and PLOS Medicine is reflected in this latest collection highlighting the theme, “Integrating Health Care to Meet the Needs of the Mother–Infant Pair”. Our shared commitment to increasing the evidence base for approaches to improving maternal health has built a platform of research and commentary articles as featured in the preceding Year 1 & Year 2 Collections.This year’s theme was chosen with the aim to contribute to a better understanding of how and when to comprehensively integrate maternal and infant health care. This includes conditions such as HIV, malaria, exposure to environmental risks, and other situations that have a significant impact on both maternal and infant health.Through the collection we hope to provide a platform for the dissemination of new evidence and offer a venue for analyses of conditions that affect both mothers and infants, whilst keeping in mind the role that the integration of care provides in the context of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the Post-2015 development agenda.Featured articles in this third collection include a qualitative research study by Matilda Ngarina and colleagues describing the views of Tanzanian women on the new WHO guidelines relating to different methods of prevention from mother to child transmission of HIV during breastfeeding. A research article published in February by Abbey Byrne et al. addressed what works in the delivery of health care in hard-to-reach mountainous areas of low and lower-middle income settings. Another inclusion from Anayda Portela and colleagues focuses on a synthesis of existing training materials for community health workers in different components of sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health in order to identify gaps and opportunities to strengthen the capacity of community health workers in this field.The call for papers is still open – please do submit your papers soon so that your submission can be considered in time for this year’s collection. Please submit via the PLOS Medicine submission system, with a clear statement in the cover letter that you are intending to submit to the ‘Maternal Health Task Force Collection’.To read the Call for Papers or for more information on the Collections please visit: www.ploscollections.org/maternalhealthShare this:last_img read more

Innovative Technology and Trainings Empower New Generation of Midwives

first_imgPosted on October 29, 2014October 31, 2017By: Heather Randall, New Security BeatClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The MHTF along with UNFPA worked with The Wilson Center to sponsor this policy dialogue.Imagine you are a physician working in a rural health center in a developing country. You’re helping a woman deliver her baby, and it’s just arrived but is not breathing. Meanwhile, the mother has started to hemorrhage. You’re the only one working in the clinic that day, and many life-saving treatments need to start within one minute. You have 60 seconds to make decisions that could cost the lives of two people. [Video Below]That “golden minute” is critical for saving newborns in particular, said Dr. George Little, professor of pediatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology at Dartmouth Medical School and a fellow at the American Academy of Pediatrics, at the Wilson Center on September 30.While maternal and child deaths have declined by almost 50 percent since 1990, according to the World Health Organization, approximately 40 percent of yearly under-five deaths are in the first 28 days of life, and 800 women die daily due to preventable causes, 99 percent of whom live in developing countries. That means that many of the countries striving to meet the Millennium Development Goals to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters and under-five mortality by two-thirds from 1990 to 2015 are likely to miss the mark.“We have much to be happy about in terms of achievements we have done in the last 10 to 15 years, but our job is not done,” said Dr. Harshad Sanghvi, vice president of innovations and medical director at Jhpiego.New techniques for training more midwives and technologies to help them make the right decisions in this golden minute could, however, make a big difference.Low-Resource SettingsMany of the challenges to providing quality maternal and child health care in developing countries stem from a lack of training institutions and tutors, said Geeta Lal, senior advisor for strategic partnerships in the sexual and reproductive health branch at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “Even where [schools] exist, they are not properly equipped, the doctors are not there, the trainers are not there, and clinical skills training is particularly lacking.”Jhpiego, a health NGO affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, is working to address this challenge through rapid training programs for midwives, said Sanghvi. Even in countries that meet theWorld Health Organization’s recommendation of six midwives per 1,000 births, women aren’t necessarily getting the quality care they need, he said. “It’s not only about the numbers of midwives, it’s about the skills of our frontline workers.”Training new midwives must include clinical governance, Sanghvi said, a term he used to describe techniques to ensure skills learned in the classroom are used and maintained in the workplace. For example, after training, there should be regular check-ins to ensure health workers are using their new skills – and doing so properly.And if midwives work in a rural part of the country where women do not deliver in hospitals, it doesn’t make sense to train them in hospital settings, Sanghvi said. In Afghanistan, Jhpiego’s midwives complete a practicum in home births to ensure their training is as similar as possible to the conditions they’ll encounter in the field.The Mobile RevolutionTechnological innovations are also being developed to address these challenges. Lal outlined a new e-learning module designed by UNFPA that teaches birth attendants how to recognize potential red flags and respond accordingly with high quality care. The cost of laptops has declined so significantly that it’s now cheaper to buy them for students than to pay for the cost of midwifery books for three years, Lal said. And the modules can also be used offline, making them accessible in countries with limited internet access.Not only are midwives learning about proper maternal and newborn care through the modules, but they’re also learning computer skills, said Lal, which they can use to improve record-keeping.Jhpiego is also testing a virtual classroom training method in India to train new midwives, Sanghvi said. There are two instructors in the state of Bihar that conduct virtual lessons for 12 midwifery schools, and “every student in those 12 schools is receiving a standardized education at the highest possible level.”Mobile technology is an area with great possibility for rural health care workers, said Lal. “Even where people don’t have food to eat or an adequate roof over their heads, they still have a mobile phone.”A recent Broadband Commission report says that by the end of 2014, approximately 2.9 billion people will be online and 3.4 billion unique people will have mobile phones. There’s potential to use these new networks to promote maternal health, even in hard-to-reach parts of the world.But the health sector isn’t taking advantage as much as it could, said Sanghvi. Farmers, for example, use mobile phones to monitor their crops and to find the right types of fertilizers. Mobile technology could help patients keep track of their appointment schedules and reduce the need to visit a clinic, and there may be even more innovative uses. “There is promise, but there isn’t the fullest of evidence yet,” he said.Simplifying TrainingAnother way to improve training for midwives is to simplify. Sanghvi showed a modified World Health Organization Partograph, a midwife training chart. “My students at Hopkins asked me, ‘Which idiot developed this?’ and I had to tell them that I was the idiot,” Sanghvi said. “The midwife is supposed to collect all of this information and make sense of 13 to 15 pieces of information to predict problems in labor and to detect problems in labor. It’s very complicated.”New infographic and mobile training materials make it easier for midwives to identify problems and track the labor process. Sanghvi said that Jhpiego is now testing a tablet application to enter information and plot data. If something goes wrong, the app will automatically send alerts to the midwife and her supervisor.The Helping Babies Breathe curriculum, an initiative of the American Academy of Pediatrics with support from a number of global health organizations, trains midwives in neonatal resuscitation and simplifies the post-delivery action plan for midwives using a color-coded infographic.When only one care provider is available, “the first golden minute belongs to the baby and not to the mother…and that’s very new,” Little said.Using stoplight colors to indicate increasing urgency, the infographic highlights actions to be taken within the golden minute to ensure that the baby starts breathing after delivery. If the baby is still not breathing after 60 seconds, midwives are instructed to call for help.The infographic is designed for universal use, said Little, accommodating varying degrees of health infrastructure. This is a break from past approaches that relied heavily on textbooks originally written for North American audiences.The infographic is supplemented with additional training tools, including a flipchart, workbook, and simulator doll called NeoNatalie, all of which are available at relatively low cost, said Little.The curriculum’s universality means that “it’s not trying to do all things for all babies at all times,” said Little. “It’s linked to trying to get to babies and save as many as you can with the resources that you have.”Respect for Mother and MidwifeEmpowerment – both of the patients and the midwives treating them – is vital to better maternal and child health outcomes, said Sanghvi.He cited an example from Afghanistan, where a midwife stood up to a woman’s husband who repeatedly barred her from entering their home to help his wife. Eventually he relented and the midwife saved the woman’s life by manually removing a placenta that had not evacuated after birth.“All of these things were not just about training a midwife,” Sanghvi said. “It was about empowering her with knowledge and abilities.” The midwife almost certainly would have been killed had she failed and the woman had died, he said – that supreme confidence to perform a very difficult procedure anyway is what training should strive to give every midwife.Likewise, “each woman is entitled to respectful care in maternity,” said Lal. In some countries, “women no longer trust health facilities…simply because it’s better to die at home than travel and spend all the little money that you have and come to reach a facility and then die there.”Sixty seconds may not be long to make key life-saving decisions, but through training and empowering midwives and embracing innovation, there are tremendous opportunities to save mothers and babies from death during childbirth.Event Resources:Geeta Lal’s PresentationDr. Harshad Sanghvi’s PresentationDr. George Little’s PresentationFriday Podcast With Dr. Harshad SanghviPhoto GalleryVideoPhoto Credit: “Improve the quality and access of emergency obstetric care in Afghanistan,” courtesy of Sandra Calligaro/Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.Sources: Broadband Commission for Digital Development, United Nations, USAID, World Health Organization.This post originally appeared at The New Security Beat.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more