Is your nonprofit website open for business?

first_imgIs your nonprofit website sending the right message to potential donors? Year-end fundraising season will be here before you know it. Now is the time to clear away the cobwebs and roll out the welcome mat for prospective donors, volunteers, and those who may benefit from your work. If you haven’t updated your site in a while, you might give donors the impression that your organization is no longer active.Worried your site may say “move along” instead of “come on in”? Here are the top issues that can scare visitors away from your nonprofit website (and how to fix them).Broken linksThey’re not just aggravating and confusing for your website visitors, broken links can also be a big red flag for search engines like Google. Having internal links that don’t work or that don’t point to real content can affect how your site shows up in search.How to fix it: Most website platforms and content management systems have reporting that will show you the top pages that are returning an error. Taking a close look at your Google Analytics can help as well. Do some internal testing on your website to make sure all of your links are taking visitors where they should. Stale content Do you still have information about your “upcoming event” on your home page even though the “upcoming event” took place several months ago? Is the last post on your nonprofit’s blog from 2012? This is a surefire sign that no one in your organization is actually looking at your website. To your visitors, it says: we gave up.How to fix it: Make it someone’s responsibility to frequently review your website and do regular housekeeping. If you have a news feed or blog that shows up on your home page, make sure you’re adding new content frequently. If you don’t have a plan to add new items, remove these feeds from your pages. Dated designThis one is somewhat subjective, but there are certain hallmarks of an outdated web design: crazy animations, hard to read text (usually light text on dark background, or a veritable rainbow of font colors), randomly-placed images, to name a few. Geocities is dead. It’s time for your nonprofit website to move on to better things.How to fix it: A complete makeover would be nice, but if that’s not in the cards, focus on fixing the most egregious cosmetic issues within your current design and platform. Start with your key pages and branch out from there. Make it easy to read and remove anything that makes your site look like this. No contact informationThe lights may be on, but without obvious and current contact information, is anyone really home? Your contact details give people an easy way to ask questions and find out more, plus openly listing this information on your website is a sign of trust and transparency. How to fix it: Add your physical address, phone number, and a way to email you to the footer of your website. Place clear links to your “Contact Us” page within your site’s global navigation. No clear way to donateThis is the first thing I look for when I am asked to review an organization’s website, and it’s amazing how many nonprofits still don’t have a prominently placed donation button on every page of their website. Without a clear and highly visible way to donate, you’re effectively telling donors: we don’t need your money. How to fix it: Make your donate button big, bold, and above the fold of your website. Make sure your donate button actually says “Donate Now”, “Donate”, or “Give”. Fuzzy language won’t cut it here. Slow to loadOne Mississippi, two Mississippi … by three Mississippi your website better be finished loading, or most visitors will simply leave. It may not be fair, but people are impatient. They have better things to do than to wait for your carousel of images or Flash presentation to load. How to fix it: Start by confirming there are no technical problems with your website’s platform or hosting service. Then, take a hard look at your website’s key pages and see how you can streamline them by removing extraneous images, code, or other files that are bogging down your site. A reputable web developer can also provide suggestions for other improvements that can speed up your site. (Bonus: Decluttering your site will have a positive effect on potential donors, making it easy for them to figure out what it is you do and why they should care.) Not mobile friendlyWhen your nonprofit website is difficult to load (or completely dead) on a mobile device, you may as well not exist for that smartphone user. 56% of US adults are smartphone users, and they’re becoming more and more likely to read your emails and social media outreach on a mobile device. If your links take them to a site that’s non-functional on their phone, you’ve missed out on another opportunity to connect.How to fix it: You don’t need a complete overhaul to make your website more mobile friendly. Focus on a handful of key pages (think: home page, donation page, contact page, any other pages you point to regularly from emails or social media) and improve them with these 8 tips for making your nonprofit website mobile friendly. (Bonus: Most mobile-friendly website tweaks will improve usability overall.)What are your biggest website challenges? Have you made a recent change to your site that’s made a big difference? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.last_img read more

No Kitties or Puppies. HELP! (Step Two)

first_imgReview Step One In Step One of this two-part post, I shared my take on why this type of emotional candy works so well to raise money or recruit volunteers. I cited a reliable litmus test for photo impact—would you share it with your own family and friends, and would they “like” or share it? Here are some recommendations, with examples: For policy and intermediary organizations: Connect the dots between your work and the people who are the ultimate beneficiaries. If your organization is not an animal rescue or somehow directly related to puppies, kitties, or babies, these alternatives will be far more effective in helping you forge connections and motivate giving. Most important, they are authentic, relevant expressions, rather than manipulative clickbait. Organizations like yours have it even harder when building relationships and motivating action, be it giving or something else. That’s because your work is indirect. For all causes and organizations: Highlight the similarities between your audiences and your organization’s clients, participants, or beneficiaries. Get detailed and personal in words and/or photos. The close-up (bottom left) of the little girl focused on drawing is compelling! Clearly, we never want anyone to be homeless, much less our own family. The cause has the potential to scare off supporters because of their fear that it could happen to them. Stigma! However, by photographing an older resident (like your grandma or mine) reading to a couple of kids, Hope House busts through and connects us with the residents in a positive way. (I remember when my grandma read to me.) The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation does a great job of this on its Facebook page, as shown in the post above. Here, the foundation makes it easy to make the connection between its work and the individuals who benefit from its grants for a real “aha!” moment.center_img The details are what sticks (or doesn’t) and make your story memorable and more likely to be shared. How do you make your organization’s content compelling—beyond kitties, puppies, or babies? Please share your recommendations in the comments! You’re working on legislation related to a cause or supporting other cause organizations. This makes it challenging for prospects to connect emotionally. It takes your audience time and thought to make the connection between your impact and people, which is always a deterrent. Findlay Hope House does a great job of this on its Facebook page time and time again. Consider the post above, showing kids without homes living in Hope House’s transitional housing. But there is a great method of speeding that vital connection—make the message for your prospects and supporters. Connect the dots between your organization’s work and impact and your ultimate beneficiaries, even if there are layers in between. Okay, your organization is one of many that can’t use kitty or puppy photos to raise money or recruit volunteers. So what can you do to quickly and effectively connect with the emotions of prospects and supporters? Step 2: Make emotional connections and compelling content—if not candy—even without the supercute. Review Step One With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.last_img read more

3 Musts for Better Stories

first_imgEveryone knows that storytelling is a win for nonprofits, but not all stories are created equal.To truly resonate with your readers, your story needs to have three essential ingredients:A strong emotional pull. Stories should make us feel something. Happy. Sad. Outraged. Inspired. All of these emotions can make an impact, but above all else, an amazingly effective message needs to make your reader feel, then act. Not think, then act. Not think, then feel, then act. FEEL, then act. Don’t disconnect these two steps. Lead with a strong pull of emotion, engage your reader’s senses, and then ask them to take action. A singular focus. Resist the urge to pack everything into one story—you’ll only confuse your reader. Stories work best when they are rich, yet simple, and are laser-focused on one message, one issue, and one person. You likely have many stories to tell, but focus on telling one distinct story at a time for best results.A clear tie to the reader. Your audience should quickly and clearly understand why your story matters to them. Does it tap into something they have experienced? Does it affect the community they love? Think about how to incorporate details that are meaningful to your supporters, then underscore your donors’ role in the story. Are they the hero? What can (or did) they make happen?There are many components that come together for an amazing story, but without these core elements, your message will fall flat. How are you incorporating all three into your donor communications?Need some help writing more effective stories for your nonprofit’s outreach? I’ve got your back.In our next free webinar, I’ll walk through a simple framework for more compelling stories that will help you connect with donors, raise more money, and retain supporters by reporting your impact in a highly memorable and relatable way. Register now to save your seat for Storytelling with the Emotional Brain. (Can’t attend the live session? Never fear. Go ahead and register and I’ll make sure you get a copy of the slides and the recording.)last_img read more

Women’s and Children’s Health: No Time for Complacency

first_imgPosted on October 3, 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)On September 29th, The Lancet published a commentary, Women’s and children’s health: no time for complacency, by Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet. The commentary describes discrepancies between research groups that estimate maternal and child mortality. Horton calls on these groups to work together to reach some level of consensus in order to help country leaders and program implementers to make important decisions.  He also discusses big challenges with equity, accountability and monitoring of recent pledges for women’s and children’s health.When new figures for under-5 child mortality were released this month, the headline message was that aid works. Deaths among children younger than 5 years fell from an estimated 12 million in 1990 to 6·9 million in 2011. That remarkable achievement means that 14 000 fewer children now die each day than in 1990. There are many examples of success. In Niger, rates of under-5 mortality almost halved between 1998 and 2009. Rates of reduction of newborn mortality have also accelerated since the 1990s. These are truly impressive results, fully deserving of celebration. But not complacency.Read the full commentary here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Quality of Care for Maternal and Child Health: An Interview With Dr. Zulfi Bhutta

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 16, 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)The maternal health community has made great strides towards improving the health of women and newborns around the world, but as global efforts have scaled up interventions quickly, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) has often paused to consider the quality of this work.To evaluate this, Ana Langer and Anne Austin from the MHTF joined experts from around the world to create the Quality of Care in Maternal and Child Health supplement, published by the Reproductive Health Journal in September, 2014.Three of the five articles in the supplement have been highly accessed, which demonstrates high interest in quality of care in the community and untapped momentum that may be used to fill the identified research gaps.We talked to Dr. Zulfi Bhutta, lead researcher for the series, and asked him a few questions about the research process and how we as the maternal health community should move forward with the results.Q: What prompted the research team to take on the systematic reviews that make up the series?Despite recent progress, about 273,500 women died of maternal causes in 2010.  Furthermore, the share of neonatal deaths among all under-five children increased from about 36% in 1990 to 44% in 2012. These deaths have occurred disproportionately in low-income countries or among the disadvantaged in high- and middle-income countries. It is particularly acute where access to and utilization of skilled services for childbirth and newborn care is lowest.Evidence shows that poor quality of care for these women and newborns is a major factor for their elevated morbidity and mortality rates. Understanding underlying factors that impact the quality of maternal and newborn health (MNH) services and assessing the effectiveness of interventions at various health care delivery levels is crucial.The collection assesses and summarizes findings from systematic reviews on the impact of various approaches to quality of care improvements. The focus was two-fold: identify the evidence base and information gaps and assess approaches that enable health providers to adopt and implement patient-centered, evidence-based interventions that improve quality of care during childbirth and immediately after.Q: What gap does this series fill?This series systematically reviews the evidence of interventions aimed at improving care at the community, district and facility level. It also highlights knowledge gaps, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The gaps point to priority research questions to pursue to improve quality of care in these settings.The findings can help governments, stakeholders and donors to form policies and develop health care models applicable to various levels of healthcare. This could enable community- and facility-based health care providers and district-level program managers to implement patient-centered, evidence-based interventions, which will improve childbirth and postpartum quality of care delivery.Q: Which result stood out most?At the community level, packaged care involving home visitation, outreach services, community mobilization, referrals, women’s support groups and community health worker and traditional birth attendants training showed improvements in MNH outcomes.Mid-level health worker (MLHW) based care not only demonstrated outcomes comparable to routine non-MLHW care delivery but also showed better results for some outcomes. At the district level, user-directed financial strategies—especially conditional cash transfers and voucher schemes—increased MNH service utilization. District level supervision also found positively influenced provider’s practice, knowledge and awareness. At the facility level, in-service training, standardized or individualized social support programs and continuity of specialized midwifery care throughout pregnancy, labor and the postnatal period have the potential to improve perinatal, maternal, and labor specific indicators.The findings demonstrate that community-based improvement interventions have been widely assessed for MNH outcome effectiveness in LMICs. However, many district- and facility-level interventions have been evaluated mainly in high-income country settings. Given the differences in low-, middle-, and high-income county healthcare infrastructure and systems, findings across countries in district- and facility-based care are not generalizable. There is also an information gap on the effectiveness of these interventions on different subgroups that may represent within-country disparities. Few of the studies provided evidence on sustainability and scale up.  Generating evidence on the sustainability of proven interventions—including implementation feasibility and scale up in various settings in countries with constrained resources and weak health systems—is needed.Q: What is the series’ biggest take-away?In addition to the effectiveness of specific quality improvement interventions on MNH, as I mentioned above, there is a dearth of evidence on district- and facility-level interventions, particularly those specific to quality of maternal health and MNH outcomes. Further evidence is needed to evaluate the best combination of strategies.Q: Given the research gaps you’ve identified, what are the priority areas for future research?Future research in LMICs should focus on factors affecting interventions’ sustainability and cost-effectiveness when scaled up. District- and facility-level interventions—including social support, specialized midwifery teams and staff skills mix—have proven to improve MNH outcomes in high-income countries; we need further research on implementation feasibility in low-resource settings. We also need qualitative data describing the individual components of interventions for reproducibility, which would make the interventions invaluable for scale up and sustainability in low-resource settings. Strengthening health information systems, one of the strategies that evaluate interventions’ effectiveness over a time period, should be established in LMICs. Further evidence is now needed to evaluate the best possible combination of strategies and healthcare models to suit specific groups.Share this:last_img read more

Join the Live Webcast for Putting Mothers and Babies First

first_imgPosted on February 18, 2015August 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)Thursday, February 26, 2015, 12:30-1:30pm ESTThe Leadership Studio, 10th Floor Kresge Building, 677 Huntington Ave., BostonJoin us with The Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for Putting Mothers and Babies First: Benefits across a lifetime – a panel discussion presented in collaboration with The GroundTruth Project and GlobalPost.One of the smartest investments a society can make is to foster the health and education of its mothers. Healthy mothers raise healthier children, which boosts the productivity and stability of communities and economies. Yet, maternal mortality remains a terrible and disproportionate reality, particularly in developing countries, where 99 percent of all maternal deaths occur. These deaths put the lives of infants and older children at risk. Traditional approaches address the needs of mothers and children separately, but growing efforts are breaking down those silos — embracing the continuum of mother and child health in the hopes of providing more effective care and resources. The hoped-for result? Health benefits to mothers, children and their families across their lifetimes.This Forum event will explore how to achieve those benefits, including providing basic care such as vaccinations, and how societies stand to thrive as a result. The panel will be moderated by Marissa Miley, Deputy Editor of Global Health for The GroundTruth Project, and includes the following experts:Ana Langer: Professor of the Practice of Public Health and Director of the Women and Health Initiative and Maternal Health Task Force, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthAlicia Yamin: Director, Program on Health Rights of Women and Children, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthJoy Riggs-Perla: Director, Saving Newborn Lives, Save the ChildrenKirsten Gagnaire: Executive Director of the Mobile Alliance for Maternal ActionTune in for the live webcast by visiting the The Forum event page. Also follow and join the conversation by using #mothersbabiesfirst and following @ForumHSPH and @MHTF on Twitter.E-mail questions for the expert participants any time before or during the live webcast to theforum@hsph.harvard.edu, the Community Discussion page, or Tweet them to @ForumHSPH using #mothersbabiesfirst.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

3 Steps to Getting Corporate Sponsors for Your Event

first_imgFundraising events take a fair amount of money to produce, and it’s easy to spend more money on the event that it actually raises. There are a number of ways to keep this from happening (like setting a realistic budget and fundraising goal and having a data-backed plan to boost donations), but one of the most efficient ways to ensure your event is a net financial gain is through corporate sponsorships.So, how do you get corporate sponsors to support your event?Step 1: Identify prospects.To start, ask yourself: which companies should be targeted as sponsors? Ideally, you’d like sponsors that fit well with your mission, and whose target markets overlap the demographics of your guests. In other words, the people attending your event would also be likely to support your sponsors.Leverage your board’s personal networks and see if anyone has any connections that might be a good fit. Ask board members if they’d be willing to contact these companies directly, by signing the proposal letter and making a follow-up phone call after it’s been sent.Another method of finding potential sponsors is looking at your competitors. Which companies are sponsoring their events? Who are the competitors of those companies? It helps to check out event pages and websites to find out what kind of publicity your competitors are giving their sponsors.Step 2: Find out what matters to them.If you want to win over a sponsor, you need to speak their language. Formulate your approach with one question in mind: What’s in it for the sponsor?A corporate sponsor is looking for benefits like a new business, more customers, a halo effect with their customer base to encourage brand loyalty or visibility. When you approach prospective sponsors, listen more than you talk, and ask them about their goals and priorities. Then, show how it’s a big benefit to them to be in front of your audience.Chris Baylis at www.sponsorshipcollective.com has five great questions to ask potential sponsor:Who is your target audience?How do you normally engage in sponsorship?What does your target market value?What are your sales goals for the coming year?What would you consider to be the most important elements of a sponsorship proposal?While you’re communicating with various organizations, make sure you’re tracking your interactions. Use your donor management system to create an organization record for every company you approach. If you can’t easily track organizations in your current donor database, talk to us about switching to a system that gives you the option to make a company record.Step 3: Make them a winning offer.With all this background information, you’re ready to formulate a compelling proposal. First things first, your job is to sell the benefit to the sponsor. The cost of that benefit is your sponsorship package. Think of this way:Event Package + Promotional Package + Donation = Sponsorship PackageThat means you should lead with “Here’s what we can do for you – let’s make this win-win happen together,” not “Here’s our sponsorship package – please support us.” You need to demonstrate the value to them.So, how much should you actually charge your sponsors? A lot of it will depend on what you learn from your conversation with them. Also, get to know the market by looking at the competition. What do similar organizations in your region charge?Then, consider your own event. How many people will be attending your event? What kind of exposure can you offer for your sponsors? The answers to all of these questions can help you come up with a fair dollar amount.As you’re working to win over your sponsor, make sure you’re clear on what their role will be. It’s critical to establish clear parameters that are ethical and appropriate from the start.Once your sponsors have agreed to support you, follow-up with a contract – and create a plan to make you both successful. Involve the sponsor in planning and promotion so they feel like an integral part of your event – and so your event feels like part of their overall outreach strategy. The deeper the thought you put into the partnership, the deeper the partnership will be.Not only are corporate sponsors great partners for funding your event, but they lend your event more reach and recognition within your network. Knowing that a well-reputed business supports your cause gives your organization legitimacy in the eyes of a potential attendee or donor. Take advantage of this strategy for the long-term with your organization. Your sponsor’s for-profit savvy and business sense can be a powerful tool beyond your upcoming event.last_img read more

From Mexico City: Iatrogenic Fistula on the Rise as More Women Gain Access to Surgery

first_imgShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 21, 2015October 13, 2016By: Sandeep Bathala, Senior Program Associate, Maternal Health Initiative, Wilson CenterClick 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)Obstetric fistula is a devastating childbirth injury caused by prolonged obstructed labor. It can lead to incontinence and infection, social stigmatization as others recoil in horror, and even mental illness. Between 50,000 to 100,000 women each year are affected by it – and it’s entirely preventable with proper medical attention.In my professional career, I have had the opportunity to visit three fistula hospitals, in Mali and Ethiopia. The challenges around unequal access to care stare you down in these places. Intravenous bags are held up by sticks in some cases, and each woman’s story is an exercise in heartbreak.Today, on the second day of the Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City, I had the opportunity to learn more about a new kind of fistula complication that is emerging.Dr. Lauri Romanzi, who spoke at the Wilson Center in July and is project director of the USAID/EngenderHealth Fistula Care Plus Project, explained how increased access to cesarean sections without regard to quality of care is causing an increase in iatrogenic fistulas, a form of fistula unintentionally caused by a health care provider.Iatrogenic fistulas are sometimes caused by inexperienced clinicians who are thrown into situations with many patients. According to research conducted by Dr. Thomas Raassen, a surgeon for the non-profit Operation Fistula, more than 13 percent of fistulas in 65 hospitals across East Africa and Asia over an 18-year period were iatrogenic.Raassen stressed the importance of better training (some medical officers receive only two months of instruction) and suggested staff should perform cesarean sections under supervision before they are posted to hospitals. Cesarean sections are “easy until they aren’t,” he said. They are major surgery, and mistakes can cause a lot of damage.He also stressed the need for cesarean section alternatives, especially in the unfortunate case of a dead fetus after days of obstructed labor.It’s not just an increase in poor quality cesarean section surgeries, said Dr. SK Nazmul Huda, a project manager with Fistula Care Plus in Bangladesh. He shared data from the National Fistula Center and three major hospitals in Bangladesh indicating that 27 percent of fistulas were iatrogenic from 2012 to 2014, but three quarters were caused by poor quality hysterectomies. Lack of access to quality care spans across a woman’s life cycle.Dr. Ganda Sanda of Niger’s Hopital National de Lamorde Niamey highlighted issues around classification and data. Should fistulas caused by sexual violence or female genital cutting be considered iatrogenic? How do we prevent these causes and prepare doctors to deal with them?Romanzi stressed throughout the session that fistula is an indicator of inequity. Fistulas are on the rise at a time when more women have access to cesarean sections and hysterectomies, which should be a good thing. But the poorest women are having a much harder time accessing high quality care.I look forward to learning more about equity and quality of care issues tomorrow.Sandeep Bathala is reporting from 2015 Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City for the Wilson Center, Maternal Health Task Force, and UN Population Fund.Photo: “Partner surgeon and staff during a fistula repair surgery” ©2014 Dining for Women, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license.last_img read more

Family Planning and Maternal Health: Four Takeaways From the 2016 International Conference on Family Planning

first_imgPosted on February 26, 2016October 12, 2016By: Jacquelyn Caglia, Deputy Director of Administration & Operations, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The 2016 International Conference on Family Planning, convened in Nusa Dua, Indonesia in late January, brought together more than 3,000 researchers, practitioners, policymakers, donors, and advocates. If you weren’t able to participate, here are four important takeaways those of us working in maternal health need to know.Family planning and maternal health are inextricably linked, and our communities of practice must be too. Each day, more than 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Many of these deaths could be avoided if women had access to contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy and increase the amount of time between pregnancies. Family planning must be an essential part of antenatal and postnatal care, and a conversation about contraception should be part of any clinical encounter with women of reproductive age.Various factors affect discontinuation of contraception. Nearly 30% of women who stop using contraception for reasons other than wanting to get pregnant cite concerns related to health service quality including lack of method choice, stock-outs, and ineffective referral systems. Quality matters across the reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) continuum.Young adolescents bear the biggest burden of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, the second leading cause of death globally among girls aged 15-19. Delaying the age of first pregnancy would reduce maternal and newborn mortality as well as improve the health and well-being of young girls.Improved tracking is needed. USAID and UNFPA have called for a new indicator to be added to monitor progress towards Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages. In the words of Ellen Starbird of USAID, the new measure – percent of demand satisfied by modern contraception – is “a measure of what women are doing, rather than what women should be doing.” ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: To read more reflections from the 2016 International Conference on Family Planning, visit the ICFP2016 Crowd360 digital hub.Share this:last_img read more

Research Gaps in Perinatal Mental Health: U.S. Racial & Ethnic Disparities and Neglected Global Populations

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 19, 2016September 26, 2016By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Racial & ethnic disparities in the United StatesRacial and ethnic disparities in health status, health care access and quality of care have been well-documented in the United States. Black women are about three times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes even after accounting for socioeconomic status and educational attainment. The preterm delivery and infant mortality rates for black mothers are also much higher than for white mothers. Racial health inequalities are not only unjust but costly, accounting for approximately $230 billion in direct medical expenditures. Nevertheless, the research on racial and ethnic disparities in perinatal mental health (and mental health in general) is lacking, and the majority of research in this area focuses on postpartum depression.Postpartum depression (PPD), which is defined as “intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, or despair that prevent [new mothers] from being able to do their daily tasks,” is one of the most common childbirth-related complications, affecting about one in seven pregnant women in the United States; however, many women are not diagnosed and even fewer are appropriately treated. Depression or anxiety before or during pregnancy, recent stressful life events and poor social support are strong risk factors for PPD, and some research has also found low subjective socioeconomic status to be a predictor.The evidence is inconclusive on whether women of certain races or ethnicities are at a higher risk of developing perinatal mental health issues, but some research has shown racial disparities in treatment. One study found that black and Latina women were less likely than white women to initiate mental health care after delivery for PPD, and among those who did seek care, black and Latina women tended to initiate treatment later and were significantly less likely to receive follow-up care. There are a number of potential explanations for this disparity, including health system barriers such as challenges receiving referrals for mental health services and sociocultural factors such as fear of stigma for seeking treatment for PPD. The quality of care a woman receives when she is screened or initially treated for perinatal mental disorders may also affect the likelihood that she continues to seek care.In order to address racial and ethnic disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of perinatal mental health, we need to identify women at risk of developing not just PPD but other perinatal mental health issues.Neglected populations in low- and middle-income countriesPerinatal mental health issues are common in non-U.S. global settings as well. A systematic review of evidence from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) found an average prevalence of 16% and 20% of perinatal mental illness among pregnant and postnatal women respectively. Risk factors included socioeconomic disadvantage, unintended pregnancy, being young and/or unmarried and lacking support from intimate partners and family. Women who belonged to an ethnic majority and who had higher educational attainment, a steady job and a supportive intimate partner were less likely to develop these conditions. Another systematic review found that one in three migrant women from LMICs suffered from perinatal mental health issues. However, these results are based on research from a subset of countries; most LMICs around the world are not represented in global estimations of prevalence, which limits the ability to measure the scope of the problem and associated risk factors.Given the high prevalence of perinatal mental health issues in the U.S. and around the world, additional research focused on inequalities and neglected populations is warranted. Evidence suggests that certain women are at a disproportionately high risk of suffering from perinatal mental disorders, but the current body of research is insufficient for accurately identifying the most vulnerable women. Sound measurement and research is a necessary first step for identifying high-risk populations and designing evidence-based interventions to address inequalities in perinatal mental health.—Read the MHTF blog series on maternal mental health.Read the MHTF blog series on inequities in maternal mortality in the U.S.Learn more about racial and ethnic disparities in U.S. health care from The Commonwealth Fund, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Check out the perinatal mental health series in The Lancet.Share this:last_img read more

The Current State of Maternal Health in Nepal

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on December 29, 2017January 2, 2018By: Amrit Banstola, Public Health Practitioner, NepalClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In November 2017, the most recent Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) was published with national data from 2016. The 2016 NDHS is one of the most comprehensive demographic and public health reports released by the Nepalese Ministry of Health in the last five years. Below are some highlighted findings from the report that illustrate the current state of maternal health in Nepal, progress made so far and gaps to address moving forward.Maternal mortalityThe maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in Nepal decreased from 539 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births to 239 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births between 1996 and 2016. In 2016, roughly 12% of deaths among women of reproductive age were classified as maternal deaths.Antenatal careIn 2016, 84% of pregnant women had at least one antenatal care (ANC) contact with a skilled provider—defined as either a doctor, nurse or midwife/auxiliary nurse midwife—which was a 25% increase from 2011. The percentage of women who had four or more ANC visits increased steadily from 50% in 2011 to 69% in 2016.Although the report showed increases in skilled ANC utilization, only 49% of women received counselling on five critical components during ANC: use of a skilled birth attendant (SBA), facility-based delivery, information about danger signs during pregnancy, where to go in case of danger signs and the benefits of postnatal care. Utilization of ANC services was a significant predictor of place of delivery and SBA-assisted births.Women in the highest wealth quintile with a high education level and those residing in urban areas were much more likely to have four or more ANC contacts from a skilled provider compared to women of lower socioeconomic status and education and those living in rural areas.Place of delivery and skilled birth attendanceAmong the notable findings in this year’s report was the rise in facility-based delivery and the use of SBAs. Between 2011 and 2016, there was a 22% increase in both the proportion of institutional deliveries (from 35% to 57%) and births assisted by SBAs (from 36% to 58%). Doctors assisted 31% of total deliveries, and nurses and midwives/auxiliary nurse midwives assisted 27%. While the percentage of deliveries attended by traditional birth attendants decreased from 11% in 2011 to 5% in 2016, the home birth rate remained high at 41%. Many women in Nepal still deliver with no one present or with an untrained friend or relative.There were large socioeconomic disparities in this area as well. While 90% of women in the highest wealth quintile delivered in a health facility, the same was true for only 34% of women in the lowest quintile. 89% of the wealthiest women delivered with an SBA, but only 34% of the poorest women did so. Similarly, the percentage of births attended by SBAs was 85% among women who had secondary or higher education and 38% among women without a formal education. Rates of facility-based delivery and the use of SBAs also varied among different provinces.Postnatal careThe percentage of women who received a postnatal care (PNC) assessment within two days following delivery rose from 45% in 2011 to 57% in 2016. 81% of women who delivered in a health facility and 13% of women who delivered elsewhere received PNC within two days of delivery. However, there were significant socioeconomic disparities in PNC utilization: 81% of women in the highest wealth quintile had an early PNC visit compared to only 37% among women in the lowest wealth quintile.The way forwardOverall, Nepal has made substantial progress in improving maternal health care access and utilization. However, disparities remain according to women’s socioeconomic status, education level and place of residence. Additionally, efforts are needed to improve the quality of maternal health care to end preventable maternal deaths.Nepal has committed to doing its part to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.1 of reducing the global MMR to less than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. To achieve this ambitious target, Nepal will need to reduce its MMR by at least 7.5% annually addressing severe inequities in maternal health access, utilization and quality.—Learn more about maternal mortality under the SDGs.Explore data on maternal and newborn health care coverage in countries across the globe on the Countdown to 2030 website.Are you interested in writing for the Maternal Health Task Force blog? Check out our guest post guidelines.Share this:last_img read more

Fisheries Minister Gives Commitment to Sector Stakeholders

first_img Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government is committed to creating an enabling environment which fosters growth and sustainability within the fisheries sector.Speaking at a Sustainable Fisheries Forum, held at the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, St. Ann, on Thursday, April 19, Mr. Shaw said this will be achieved by creating an environment where there is a balance for all stakeholders involved in both marine and aquaculture fisheries.“As we seek to work together to develop the fisheries industry, it is important that through the use of application of the best available scientific information, we monitor, assess and evaluate the industry,” he outlined.He said several important steps have been taken to ensure the sustainability of the industry, such as the expansion of fish sanctuaries; the adoption of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture policy; the establishment of a fisheries management and development fund; and improvement in the surveillance of Jamaica’s waters.The Minister also pointed out that the new Fisheries Bill will be implemented in short order.“This Bill will modernise the management of the fisheries sector, bringing it in line with international management and conservation measures… that [will] ultimately [become] a part of the solution and the framework for the management of resources in all its facets,” he said.Mr. Shaw said the industry continues to face challenges with the management and use of fisheries resources, the development of the aquaculture subsector, non-compliance of primary stakeholders, climate change, disaster risk management, institutional strengthening and resource mobilisation.In this regard, he encouraged the stakeholders to accept the realities of the environment and to strike a compromise by beginning to change the cultural practices towards dealing with the different challenges.“We have to demonstrate the vision to look beyond tomorrow…simple things like taking your fish pots and making them larger, agreeing to the fish pots having larger holes, so that the small fish can escape and go on to grow and to thrive, and protecting the reef,” he said. Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government is committed to creating an enabling environment which fosters growth and sustainability within the fisheries sector. Story Highlights Speaking at a Sustainable Fisheries Forum, held at the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, St. Ann, on Thursday, April 19, Mr. Shaw said this will be achieved by creating an environment where there is a balance for all stakeholders involved in both marine and aquaculture fisheries. “As we seek to work together to develop the fisheries industry, it is important that through the use of application of the best available scientific information, we monitor, assess and evaluate the industry,” he outlined.last_img read more

Chance The Rapper Ludacris Surprise Chicago Students With New Internet Essentials Laptops

first_imgChance the Rapper and Ludacris joined Internet Essentials and city and school leaders at Alcott College Prep on Tuesday afternoon to kick off the popular Get Schooled, Get Connected Spring Challenge, which is designed to help thousands of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students prepare for college.Chance the Rapper and Ludacris present a new Internet Essentials laptop to an Alcott College Prep student for the Get Schooled, Get Connected Spring Challenge.Throughout the spring challenge, more than 112,000 CPS students will have access to free educational tools, resources and games – or “quests” – to engage with even when the school day ends. The quests include information about topics ranging from how to succeed in school and plan for your education to how to apply for college and financial aid resources. This content is delivered through an online technology platform on getschooledgetconnected.com, and it features a series of pop culture references and localized information that maintains students’ interest.“Data from the Get Schooled, Get Connected Fall Challenge shows the content not only holds students’ interest, but the platform also engages and educates them about college opportunities,” Alcott College Prep assistant principal Grace Moody said. “The challenge is a great tool for CPS students who want to go to college and for educators who want to help them advance.”Students may become eligible for prizes depending on the number of quests they complete and points they earn. Individual prizes include special celebrity VIP meet-and-greets, $1,000 Get Schooled scholarships, concert and sports tickets, laptops, athletic wear and gaming systems. The schools with the most student points will receive support from Internet Essentials and the CPS-affiliated Children’s First Fund to enhance their classrooms and school technology.In January, Internet Essentials provided $100,000 in support for school foundations and community-based organizations, whose participants earned the most points during the inaugural three-month challenge. Over the past 18 months, Internet Essentials has provided more than $200,000 in support throughout the Chicago region.“Having home Internet access can transform a young person’s life, because it opens an entire world to special programs like the Get Schooled, Get Connected Challenge,” said Chance the Rapper, a graduate of Jones College Prep and recipient of Chicago’s 2014 Outstanding Youth of the Year award for his community service work. “One student and one family at a time, this program will help close the digital divide by engaging and educating students throughout Chicago.”Chance the Rapper was just one of the celebrities who helped motivate and celebrate student success during the hip fall challenge. Actress and singer-songwriter Christina Milian, singer-songwriter B.o.B, MTV’s Sway Calloway, White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams, Chicago Bears safety Ryan Mundy and offensive lineman Jordan Mills, Chicago Fire forward Harry Shipp, former Chicago Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams and former Chicago Bulls forward Sidney Green also personally engaged with thousands of students during the fall initiative.“Students need Internet access to succeed in school, and families need it to succeed economically,” said Ludacris, who has gone on to become a movie and rap sensation after attending Oak Park-River Forest High School. “I went to high school in this area, so I know first-hand how important it is for students and families to have Internet access at home.”Internet Essentials is a major resource for students participating in the spring challenge. Eligible students and their families may receive affordable Internet service at home for $9.95 per month plus tax, along with an Internet-ready computer for $150 and access to free digital literacy training.Since launching in August 2011, Internet Essentials has engaged and helped more Chicago families connect to the power of the Internet than any other city in the country. For the fourth year in a row, the Chicago metro area leads the way with more than 50,000 families benefitting, more than 200,000 low-income Chicagoans.That is nearly 25 percent of the eligible population in Chicago that has signed up.Overall in Illinois, 60,000 families or 240,000 individuals benefit from Internet Essentials. Nationally, Internet Essentials has connected more than 450,000 low-income families or more than 1.8 million people in just three and a half years. To put that in perspective, 1.8 million equals two-thirds of the population of the entire city of Chicago.“It is vital for CPS students and families to stay connected beyond school hours to ensure they remain life-long learners,” said Dr. Shawn Jackson, CPS Deputy Chief of Teaching and Learning.In conjunction with Internet Essentials and the Chicago City of Learning, CPS also has launched CPS Connects, which provides students free virtual learning opportunities as well as live activities across Chicago at locations like the Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium and Lincoln Park Zoo. CPS Connects provides students with connected learning environments by linking learning in school, home and community.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Stars To Take Part In Reel Stories Real Lives Event For MPTF

first_imgThe entertainment industry will join together for the 4th Annual Reel Stories, Real Lives (RSRL) event benefiting MPTF (Motion Picture & Television Fund) later this week.The evening will celebrate the Next Generation of entertainment industry leaders, and share the extraordinary stories of those who have benefited from the services provided by MPTF.Kate Bosworth, Lizzy Caplan, Tony Goldwyn, Tobey Maguire, Amanda Peet, and more will read powerful stories of industry members who have benefitted from MPTF’s services over the years, written by some of Hollywood’s leading feature and television writers including Bill Dubuque, Jason Fuchs, Jason Hall, John Hoffman and Beau Willimon. For the first time ever, a special tribute will be given to Kevin Spacey in honor of his dedication to MPTF.The evening is generously supported by UCLA Health, Cadillac, and Delta Air Lines.For over 90 years, MPTF (Motion Picture & Television Fund) has served as a beacon of hope for entertainment industry members in their time of need. As a charitable organization, MPTF provides financial assistance and services essential to the well-being of the community and is a leader in the development and implementation of services and programs for seniors and those who care for them. MPTF is supported by the generosity of corporate donors and fellow entertainment industry members who contribute their time and money because they believe in the critical importance of Hollywood Helping Hollywood.WHEN: Saturday, April 25, 2015WHERE: MILK Studios Hollywood855 N. Cahuenga Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90038Find out more about the event here.last_img read more

Ohio State womens soccer splits Big Ten road games over weekend

Junior forward Nichelle Prince (7) dribbles with the ball during a game against Minnesota on Sept. 17. OSU lost 2-1.The Ohio State women’s soccer team (9-4-3, 4-3-2) saw its three-game unbeaten streak snapped during a pair of road games, but it was able to end the trip with a win. The Buckeyes were in Bloomington, Indiana, on Sunday afternoon, where they toppled the Indiana Hoosiers 2-1 behind senior midfielder/forward Michela Paradiso’s game-winning goal. OSU put its first point on the board in the 24th minute when Prince tossed a throw-in on the left wing to junior forward Lindsay Agnew, who launched it right past Rutgers goalkeeper Sarah Stone. The score was 1-0 heading into halftime with OSU leading 15-5 in shots, including 7-1 on goal.The Hoosiers came back from halftime with a newfound energy that sparked their one and only goal of the afternoon, a shot from senior midfielder Jessie Bujouves in the 50th minute to level the match. Paradiso’s game-winner came in the 85th minute off of an assist from Agnew that set up the Upper Arlington, Ohio, native to score from eight yards out. At the end of the game, the Buckeyes held a 22-12 advantage in shots, and 9-4 on goal. Corner kicks were tied at 5-5. Prior to Sunday’s victory, OSU was in Piscataway, New Jersey, on Thursday night for a match against Rutgers (12-2-2, 5-2-2). The Buckeyes fell to the No. 25 Scarlet Knights 2-0.Both teams played tight defense in the first half, as quality looks to score were few and far between. The Scarlet Knights, however, were able to convert one solid look in the 39th minute. Rutgers freshman defender Adora Moneme finished from 12 yards out near the center of the box after junior defender Erin Smith assisted on a ball played in from the left wing. Heading into halftime, Rutgers held a 5-4 advantage in shots. OSU struggled to generate any offense in the second half as well. The Scarlet Knights put the game out of reach when they posted their second — and final — goal of the night in the 82nd minute from sophomore forward Colby Ciarrocca, who flicked it past a pair of Buckeye defenders. The Buckeyes had a number of chances late in the game but couldn’t find the back of the net. The loss put an end to OSU’s three-match unbeaten streak, which dated back to Oct. 2.Rutgers maintained the lead of 12-7 shots and 5-3 on goal by the end of the game. OSU is set to return to Columbus to host the Penn State Nittany Lions next Saturday night. The match is slated for a 6 p.m. start time at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more

Football JT Barretts record watch – By the Numbers

Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) throws a pass in the second quarter of the 2017 Ohio State- UNLV game on Sep. 23. Ohio State won 54- 21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorLost among the quarterback controversy at Ohio State has been the extended success of quarterback J.T. Barrett. The fifth-year senior has posted up statistics that rank him among the program’s greatest in history. Here is a look at records he has broken and records he still has yet to set.22 – Ohio State records Barrett currently holds. As he prepares for the fifth game in his final season under center for Ohio State, Barrett holds 22 school records for either single-game, season or career statistics, with a chance to add some more to his resume before the end of the season. Touchdown passes? Barrett with 79 (second is Bobby Hoying with 57). Two-hundred-yard passing games? Barrett with 21, five more than Hoying. Average total offense per game? Barrett at 285 yards (Terrelle Pryor is second at 185.2). And just two weeks ago against Army, Barrett surpassed future NFL Hall-of-Famer and former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees for career touchdowns responsible for among Big Ten quarterbacks with his 107th touchdown. He has since moved to 30th on the all-time list with 112 touchdowns, and trails only Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (117) among active quarterbacks.Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) runs the ball in the first quarter of the 2017 OSU- Army game on Sep. 16. OSU won 38-7. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor22 (again) – passing touchdowns until Barrett holds the Big Ten record. Brees’ record for most career passing touchdowns could be within Barrett’s reach this season. In his four seasons at Purdue, Brees completed 90 touchdown passes. With just 22 fewer than Brees, Barrett could set the record if he averages even just three touchdown passes per game over the remaining eight games in the schedule, plus any more he throws during postseason bowl games.Barrett already leads Ohio State quarterbacks by miles in this area, having thrown 79 over his career, 22 more than Pryor.201 – passing yards left until Barrett owns the program record. Heading into Saturday’s game against Rutgers, Barrett sits just 201 passing yards away from surpassing Art Schlichter for the most career passing yards at 7,547. He is also just three rushing touchdowns shy of passing Schlichter for the most by an Ohio State quarterback, with the record currently set at 35.In terms of the Big Ten quarterback records for passing yards, Barrett still has a ways to go and is unlikely to break that record. With 7,347 career passing yards, Barrett would need 4,445 this season to surpass Drew Brees’ record. The Buckeyes’ three-time captain has yet to post a season with more than 3,000 passing yards.588* – rushing yards left until Barrett holds the record for most rush yards by an Ohio State quarterback. As a dual-threat quarterback, Barrett has provided the Buckeyes with offense not just with his arm, but also with his legs. Over his career, Barrett has piled up 2,639 rushing yards on 534 total attempts. The only quarterback still ahead of Barrett in terms of rushing yards is Braxton Miller, who totalled 3,053 rushing yards in his time spent as a quarterback.The asterisk by this statistic is just to indicate that Miller rushed for 261 yards his final season in Columbus as an H-back and were not accounted into his total of 3053.Ohio State redshirt senior J.T. Barrett (16) runs the ball in the second quarter of the 2017 Ohio State- UNLV game on Sep. 23. Ohio State won 54- 21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor1.3 – passing efficiency shy of setting Ohio State and Big Ten record. Rate statistics and other non-counting numbers are much more challenging to predict than counting stats. Barrett currently owns a career passing efficiency of 149.8, trailing both the Big Ten and Ohio State record holder Joe Germaine, who sits at 151.0 (minimum of 700 attempts).Over his career, Barrett has only once posted a passer rating of more than 151, and it came in his first season of play. So far this season, he has a rating of 156.8 and has exceeded that 151 mark in all but one of the four games he’s played in so far. It has been an incredibly high passing efficiency mark this season and maintaining this rate could be challenging. But if the three-time captain is able to maintain this rate all season long, he should be able to exceed Germaine.3 – 300-yard passing games shy of setting the Ohio State record. Following up on another record held by Germaine, Barrett has a total of six games in which he has passed for more than 300 yards. Four of Barrett’s 300-plus passing yard games came in his redshirt freshman season. The only other two 300-yard games have come in the season opener last season against Bowling Green and then again in the opener this season against Indiana.For a team that has relied heavily on its running game over the past several seasons, Ohio State might not give Barrett the chance to reach that milestone. Though Barrett has half of his 300-plus yard games against conference opponents, two of those three came in his redshirt freshman season when he was far more invested in the passing game. Three more games is hardly a lofty total to reach, but recent history suggests it could be a challenge for Barrett to set the record. read more

Towns Current Bidding Contract Opportunities

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Town’s Purchasing Department currently has the following bidding and contract opportunities available:Request For Proposals/QualificationsNoneInvitations To BidLighting Replacement for Woburn Street and Shawsheen Street School — Deadline: Thursday, August 2, 2018, 11amSingle Point Video Detection (SPVD) Traffic Signal Camera System — Deadline: Thursday, August 16, 2018, 10amAll interested parties must first complete the town’s Bid Registration Form.Visit the Town’s Purchasing Department website for additional information. Contact Wendy Martiniello at wmartiniello[at]wilmingtonma.gov with questions.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedTown’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”last_img read more

600000 Rohingya children may flee to Bangladesh

first_imgA Rohingya refugee woman sits with her two children under open sky near a new makeshift camp, in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh 16 September. Photo: ReutersSome 600,000 Rohingya children could flee to Bangladesh by the end of the year, a relief group said Sunday, highlighting the scale of the humanitarian crisis triggered by violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.More than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have now arrived in Bangladesh from their Buddhist dominated homeland to escape violence that the United Nations says could be ethnic cleansing.According to the UN, more than half of the refugees are children, and more than 1,100 have arrived alone after trekking mud roads and hills for days.“That number could rise beyond one million by the end of the year if the influx continues, including about 600,000 children, according to UN agencies,” Mark Pierce, the Bangladesh chief of Save the Children charity, said.The UN has also said it was possible that all the estimated 1.1 million Rohingya could flee Rakhine.Bangladesh and relief agencies are struggling to cope with new arrivals sheltering on roadsides, hills and open spaces close to existing camps around Cox’s Bazar, which borders Myanmar.Aid agencies have said thousands of Rohingya were half-starving and a major health emergency could break out.Bangladesh has announced it will build 14,000 shelters for some 400,000 refugees but has said it was also readying a desolate island where many could be relocated.A Rohingya boy carries a child after after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Teknaf, Bangladesh, 1 September, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Mohammad Ponir HossainPierce said his group was particularly worried about the traumatised children and orphans who have arrived alone in Bangladesh.“This is a real concern as these children are in an especially vulnerable position, being at increased risk of exploitation and abuse, as well as things like child trafficking,” he said.“Some children have witnessed violence and killing. Some have been shot at, others have seen their homes set on fire. Some have reportedly watched their parents being killed,” he said.The charity said it is setting up safe spaces in the camps for vulnerable children.They would receive 24-hour support and protection while attempts are made to find family members, it said.Bangladesh authorities say they are also preparing special measures to care for Rohingya orphans.last_img

Yemen rebels attack Saudi airport

first_imgCars are parked in front of Abha airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia`s mountainous resort, on 12 June 2019. A Yemeni rebel missile attack on the civil airport wounded 26 civilians today, drawing promises of `stern action` from the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Yemeni Huthi rebels. Photo: AFPA Yemeni rebel missile attack on an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia wounded 26 civilians on Wednesday, drawing promises of “stern action” from the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels.Yemen’s Huthi rebels, who have faced persistent coalition bombing since March 2015 that has exacted a heavy civilian death toll, have stepped up missile and drone attacks across the border in recent weeks.Wednesday’s missile strike hit the civil airport in the mountain resort of Abha, which is a popular summer getaway for Saudis seeking escape from the searing heat of Riyadh or Jeddah.Eight of the wounded were admitted to hospital, coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki said.The other 18 were discharged after receiving first aid, he added in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.The missile caused some damage to the airport’s arrivals lounge and flights were disrupted for several hours before returning to normal.At least one Indian and a Yemeni were among three women wounded along with two Saudi children, said Malki, adding the “terrorist attack” on a civilian target could be considered a “war crime”.- ‘Stern action’ -Malki said the coalition would “take stern action” to deter the rebels and protect civilians.The attack was also condemned by the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, whose information minister Muammar al-Iryani alleged the strike was carried out “under the supervision of Iranian experts”.The rebels said they had launched a missile at Abha airport but insisted they had the right to defend themselves in the face of more than years of Saudi-led bombing, and an air and sea blockade.”The continuation of the aggression and siege on Yemen for the fifth year, the closure of Sanaa airport and the rejection of a political solution make it inevitable for our people to defend themselves,” Huthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said in a statement reported by the rebels’ Al-Masirah television.A rebel military spokesman threatened to attack the airports of “countries of aggression”, referring to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and warned the public to stay away from them.There has been a spate of cross-border attacks by the rebels in recent weeks which have coincided with reports of intensified coalition strikes on rebel strongholds on the other side of the border.On Monday, Saudi air defences intercepted two rebel drones headed for Khamis Mushait.The city, not far east of Abha, houses a major airbase that has been one of the main launchpads for the coalition’s bombing campaign in Yemen.Last month, the Saudi air force shot down a rebel drone that targeted Jizan airport, on the Red Sea coast close to the Yemeni border, the coalition said.- ‘Proves’ Iran support -The rebel attacks come as Saudi state media reported the coalition was intensifying its air raids on rebel positions in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah.In May, the Shiite Huthi rebels also carried out twin drone attacks on the kingdom’s strategic east-west oil pipeline, forcing a two-day closure of the main diversionary route for Saudi exports avoiding the Gulf.Riyadh accused its regional arch foe Iran of having a hand in that attack and it levelled a similar allegation over the airport strike.The coalition spokesman said the missile hit “proves this terrorist militia’s acquisition of new advanced weapons and the continuation of the Iranian regime’s support and waging of cross-border terrorism”.The uptick in violence comes as a UN-led peace push falters despite the rebels’ unilateral withdrawal from the lifeline Red Sea port of Hodeida last month.The Yemeni government has accused UN envoy Martin Griffiths of bias towards the rebels despite the UN Security Council’s expression of renewed support in him on Monday.The coalition intervened in support of the Yemeni government in 2015 when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile as the rebels closed in on his last remaining territory in and around second city Aden.Since then, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of them civilians, relief agencies say.It has triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 24.1 million Yemenis — more than two-thirds of the population — in need of aid.last_img

Deluxe Oldies but Goodies Crab Feast

first_imgThe Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund is hosting the 19th annual Crab Feast, in memory of Yvonne McKinney, at 2 p.m. on July 18that the VFW Post located at 6506 Philadelphia Road in Rosedale, MD.  All you can eat crabs & free beer. Donations are $50. For ticket information call Marcia Pryor at 410-233-4307.last_img