Advertisements Protocol Officer Off to Spain on ScholarshipJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay RelatedPM Simpson Miller wants Greater Role for Private Sector in CARICOM Protocol Officer Off to Spain on Scholarship Foreign AffairsJuly 17, 2014Written by: Douglas McIntosh Photo: JIS PhotographerForeign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson (3rd right), and Spain’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Celsa Nuño (2nd left), with the Ministry’s Protocol Officer, Marva Campbell (centre), and husband, Damian Campbell (3rd left), after the symbolic presentation of her scholarship to pursue a Masters Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations at the prestigious Diplomatic School, in Madrid, Spain, during the 2014/15 academic year. The presentation was made at the Spanish Embassy, New Kingston. Also sharing in the occasion are: General Manager, Spanish-Jamaican Foundation, Dr. Rebecca Tortello (left); Project Manager for Spanish technology firm, Indra Systemas, Ignacio Aguas Gallego (2nd right); and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy, Victoria Tur Gomez. Story HighlightsProtocol Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Marva Campbell, has been awarded a scholarship to pursue a Masters Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.The scholarship is a personal initiative of Spain’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Celsa Nuño.Significant inputs were made by the Spanish private sector which she approached for support. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail RelatedCeremony to Dedicate Site for Mary Seacole Statue Held in London RelatedInformation is Safe on Diaspora Mapping Website Protocol Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Marva Campbell, has been awarded a scholarship to pursue a Masters Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations, at the prestigious Diplomatic School, in Madrid, Spain, for the 2014/15 academic year.The scholarship is a personal initiative of Spain’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Celsa Nuño, and is intended to provide advanced training in the programme area to officers of the Ministry.Significant inputs were made by the Spanish private sector which she approached for support. Positive responses came from the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation, and Spanish technology firm, Indra Systemas, which provided approximately $562,500 (US$5,000) each.As a result of this partnership, Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation decided to join in the effort, and will pay for Mrs. Campbell’s airfare.Mrs. Campbell is fluent in Spanish, and has been attached to the Ministry for the past 12 years.She will join over 100 representatives from different countries, including the host nation, who have been selected to participate in the programme, which runs from October 2014 to June 2015.The programme, which is imparted in Spanish, will provide diplomats, non-diplomats, and other participants with specialized training in diplomacy and international studies; enable them to engage in in-depth studies pertaining to the ever-changing developments in international relations; and provide them with the requisite qualifications and tools necessary for them to better understand the historical, sociological and economic developments of the areas outlined in the programme’s modules.Ambassador Nuño made the presentation to Mrs. Campbell during a brief ceremony at the Spanish Embassy, New Kingston, recently.Ambassador Nuño, who is also the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation’s President, said the scholarship is one of several areas she explored during her tenure, to further strengthen the relationship between both countries.Additionally, she said it is also indicative of “the importance that Spain attaches to Jamaica and CARICOM.”The Ambassador also highlighted the pivotal roles played by the three organizations that have made Mrs. Campbell’s participation in the programme possible.“I have been fortunate to have found excellent partners in the private sector to complement the Embassy’s work. At a time when Spain has had its own financial difficulties, we have found creative ways to continue our cooperation with Jamaica,” she added.Commending Mrs. Campbell on her selection, Ambassador Nuño expressed confidence that she will “take full advantage of this opportunity.”She argued that on completion, Mrs. Campbell’s newly acquired skills will enable her to enhance the services provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.“You will have somebody who brings to the Ministry, a perspective and skills which will allow her to better assist in the important task of analyzing global events, something which is at the core of any Foreign Affairs Ministry worldwide,” the Ambassador said.Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson, welcomed the gesture and collaboration.Noting Spain’s “elevated interest” in Jamaica within recent years, Senator Nicholson said he was pleased about the focus on education and training.“This is another example of the kind of cooperation that is needed across the globe, across both sides of the Atlantic, to help move forward what we wish for all our people. It is also an example of the interest Spain is taking in the development of Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said.“We are more than grateful that you have seen it fit to help in the development of someone who is going to add exponentially to what we have to offer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. We could not have had a better choice to offer to you,” he said.For her part, Mrs. Campbell said she was “very grateful” for the opportunity presented to her.“This scholarship will afford me much appreciated exposure to the rich and diverse culture of Spain. Successful completion of this programme will improve my knowledge and expertise in the international arena. You can be assured that during my studies, I will be a worthy ambassador for Jamaica,” she said.In his remarks, Indra Systemas’ Project Manager, Ignacio Aguas Gallego, said the firm is committed to development through training and education and had welcomed the opportunity to contribute to this worthy initiative.As Ambassador Nuño’s tenure in Jamaica draws to a close, she is hopeful that the scholarship will continue to be offered each year to eligible candidates at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
HomeFeaturedReview: ‘Captain Marvel’ gets an average introduction Mar. 06, 2019 at 4:30 amFeaturedNewsReview: ‘Captain Marvel’ gets an average introductionAssociated Press2 years agoapNews LINDSEY BAHRAP Film WriterIf there is one thing that’s true of most of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s that they have life and spirit to spare. It’s a kind of an intoxicating joy that dares even the most comic book-apathetic to get onboard and delight in the spectacle, and it usually comes down to the characters. You might not care about whatever Earth-threatening foe is at large this time, but you care about Captain America, Black Panther and Black Widow and enjoy spending a few hours with them.I spent over two hours with Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers and I still have no idea what her personality is. Sure, there’s a lot more going on in “Captain Marvel ,” but it’s a pretty egregious failing considering that the creative bigwigs at Marvel had 10 years and 20 films to work it out. It’s hard to say whether that’s a flaw in Brie Larson’s performance or a failure of the script, but I came out of the film from writers/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck not caring all that much about her beyond what her dazzling powers might mean for the next Avengers film, which is perhaps the lamest way of all to experience these movies.The story drops you in the middle of things and gives Carol Danvers a convenient case of amnesia as she tries to piece together her past by dreaming of Annette Bening while training to be a soldier with Jude Law on the planet of Kree. She is told at least 10 times in the first 10 minutes of the film that she needs to control her emotions, mostly by Law. This is a charged thing to say to a woman, but also confusing because “emotional” is the last word I would use to describe the character as she’s presented. She’s more impulsive and bullheaded than anything else. Emotions and heart don’t seem to have anything to do with her decisions. At times it even seems like she’s channeling the Terminator.But this is also a script that has Larson delivering eye-rolling lines like “enough of your mind games” with a straight face. She’s a great actress, but that’s a tall order for the best of them.The film is meant to be disorienting, especially at the beginning. She’s confused and so the audience must be too, I guess? But things start to come together when she crash-lands on Earth in the middle of a Los Angeles Blockbuster Video somewhere around 1995, which you know because there’s a “Babe” poster and a cardboard display for “True Lies.” The filmmakers have fun with all their mid-’90s references from computers to musical cues (if you like angry ’90s girl pop anthems you’re in luck), but I wish someone would have been paying that much attention to the continuity of Larson’s curls, which change even in the middle of scenes.In LA, she comes across a young Nick Fury, played by a digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson, whose infectious liveliness is a godsend. Together they try to both track down shapeshifting alien invaders called the Skrulls (led by Ben Mendelsohn) and also get answers about her past, which honestly sounds a lot more interesting than her present. But this is the origin story they went with and it does not include Bening teaching Larson how to fly a fighter plane.There are some twists and turns and a scene-stealing orange cat that would be difficult to discuss here without spoiling everything. All-in-all it’s fine, but nothing to get too excited about. And it could have and should have been so much better: The cast was there, the cool directing talents, the budget and the “brand” goodwill. Halfway through most Marvel movies I don’t often find myself dreaming up some other Brie Larson, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn and Gemma Chan movie (oh right Gemma Chan is in this as a glorified extra), but it happened in “Captain Marvel.”The first female-led movie of the MCU deserved more.“Captain Marvel,” a Walt Disney Studios release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language.” Running time: 124 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.___MPAA Definition of PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. 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Share Share 696 Views no discussions Tweet LocalNews Attorney to be appointed to Law Commission Office by: Dominica Vibes News – January 23, 2017 Share The Law Commission Office will soon have additional assistance from an attorney as it works on revising the country’s laws.The Office was established under the Ministry of Justice, Immigration and National Security to work on a general law revision which covers a period of twenty-six years. The last law revision was done in 1990.According to head of the Law Revision Unit, government consultant Ray Harris the preparation for this law revision has been beset by a few difficulties, one of which is finding the suitably qualified personnel.Harris informed that this revision was commenced by Justice Angela Zorro, a law revision consultant assigned to CARICOM under the auspices of the Commonwealth Secretariat, more specifically CFTC.This process, he added, was interrupted and Justice Zorro attempted to recommence in mid-2015 with his assistance and that of a clerical officer.“At that juncture, the understanding was that Justice Zorro was supposed to do the law revision with advice and assistance from me. However, this did not materialize and Justice Zorro’s contract with CFTC came to an end, so the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, by cabinet decision, established a Law Commission Office which is now responsible for the general revision,” Harris explained.Considering the initial commitment of the Commonwealth Secretariat, CFTC and the volume of work entailed in doing a general law revision, the Dominica government submitted a request to the Commonwealth Secretariat for additional assistance.“After tremendous back and forth, a lot of correspondence, eventually CFTC, thankfully, has agreed that from march 2017, this year, a lawyer will be assigned to the Law Commission Office to assist me and the Law Commission Office in completing the general law revision for Dominica,” Harris informed.A publishing company was also engaged to do the data capture which entailed collating all the laws over the last twenty six-years to be used as a foundational database for the law revision.After the data capture was completed, government purchased the data base and designed it into a Microsoft template with the assistance of the Law Revision Centre in Anguilla.Nine persons from the Law Revision Unit, Attorney General’s Chambers and Government Printery have been trained in the use of that template so that when the rich text data base text is received they will be able to format it for the law revision.“The idea obviously of training staff to place the text of the laws from the database into the specifically designed template was to ensure that the Law Commission Office, and by extension Dominica, would become self-sufficient in not only producing a new edition of revised laws for the Commonwealth of Dominica, but to efficiently continue the revision process of updating, say every two years, even if a publishing company is used to actually print the supplement pages,” Harris explained.He noted that Dominica does not want to fall into the same situation that a number of islands are at the moment “where they’re totally tied to some publishing house which does their law revisions for them and they never become self-sufficient”. Sharing is caring!
Make it easy for people to share and connect. Finally, make it easy for people to connect with you and share your site with their friends by including buttons and links to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When it comes to your donate button, think big, bold and above the fold. Make it easier for people to give online by helping supporters find your button in the first place. Put it on every page of your website. Stay away from vague words like “support” or “help.” If you want people to donate, say “donate now.” Determine what you want visitors do and offer a clear call to action. Think about the most important things you want a visitor to do and make the pages of your website clearly guide visitors toward those actions. Note: You may want to alter your calls to actions at different times of the year. Use more photos and video to showcase your work. The quickest way to make an emotional connection with your website visitors is to, in a sense, make eye contact with them. This is why a photo of one person or animal you are helping works much better than an image of an inanimate object. Don’t let your perceived level of quality hold you back – whether you caught a clip of a child saying thank you at your last event with your iPhone or took candid photos of volunteers helping in a soup kitchen – the authenticity will shine through. Your nonprofit website is a critical resource for engaging with three important audiences:All of your constituents, including volunteers, alumni, members and advocacy supportersAll of your donors – both current and prospectivePeople who have little to no previous knowledge about your nonprofit.Whether you plan a total redesign or just a few tweaks, a few simple changes to your website can make a big difference in how people perceive and interact with your cause. Ditch the text. Familiar with the phrase “less is more”? People do not read websites—they scan them. Think in terms of headings, bullets, lists and images. When it comes to adding text to your site, be ruthless. Eliminate unnecessary words or phrases and make the ones you do include count by making them clear and compelling.
The Hottest Charity Fundraising Idea? Peer to Peer Giving! Peer to peer giving, or peer fundraising, is catching on like crazy because it’s a fun way for supporters to engage their friends with your cause, and it’s an easy way for them to help you raise money.What Makes Peer to Peer Giving So Popular?Peer fundraising has taken off because it is all done online and is largely carried out through social media. The most popular channels for peer fundraising are Facebook and Twitter, but LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest can all be used.Peer funding has become a more acceptable form of fundraising because the popularity of crowdfunding has taken away the stigma of asking for money. In the past, asking for money was sometimes a delicate subject, and by some, even considered to be rude. But, now it is perfectly acceptable to get on a soapbox and proclaim “I gave to this cause and I want you to do the same!” The beauty of the online venue is that anyone who wants to can respond with “Yes, I will,” but those who are unable to contribute or choose not to, simply don’t reply and are not put on the spot. There are no awkward excuses required, and no apologies necessary for asking.The peer to peer fundraising model garnered a lot of attention with the ice bucket challenge last summer. Each participant was encouraged to challenge their friends, so with each person adding two or three friends to the game, it grew quickly.The “yes I will” participate/donate is a great place for supporters to add the “and I challenge my friends to join me/match my donation,” etc. That’s where the fundraiser becomes peer to peer rather than just a challenge that you proclaim—and where the opportunity comes to reach new donors by connecting with your current donor’s networks.To learn more about peer fundraising, download our free eGuide, The Crowdfunding Craze. We also have specialists available to discuss how we can help you get the most out of your peer fundraising efforts, so contact us today or call 1-855-229-1694.
You can download the full report from the Pew website.So what does this mean for your nonprofit marketing plans?Know your audience.Take the time to define the audience you’re trying to reach and understand where they’re spending their time. If your goal is to activate Boomers, assess your Facebook outreach and create content that appeals to their sense of identity and need for transparency. If you’re looking to mobilize younger supporters, consider documenting your work and the impact of donors via Instagram photos.Resist the urge to be everywhere.The Pew researchers found that 52% of online adults use multiple social media sites, which is an increase from 2013. For most nonprofits, though, it’s probably not advisable or realistic to spread resources too thin across multiple outlets. Your best bet, especially if you’re still establishing your social media strategy, is to focus on regular quality engagement on one platform. Measure your results and keep an eye on relevant activity on other networks before expanding. Remember: your social efforts need to reinforce your marketing efforts in other channels.Be realistic about your goals for social. We know that donors are engaging with nonprofits and each other on social, but most online dollars are coming in through non-social. Focus on using social as a listening and engagement platform, rather than expecting Twitter or Facebook to become your organization’s magic money machine. Think of social as a tool for understanding what interests your supporters and use your outreach to develop relationships with them.Carefully measure your ROI.Although Facebook is the most widely used social media site with the most engaged users, keep in mind that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to break through the noise (and the Facebook algorithm) and fully reach your audience through the platform. On the Care2 blog, Allyson Kapin recently outlined why it’s getting harder to see a return from Facebook advertising.Even if you’re not paying for social media advertising, weigh the time and attention your staff spends on social media with the results you see and progress to your goals. To get the most out social, you do need to commit to posting quality content and spending time building your presence and the relationships that result.Is social media on your 2015 list of priorities? Share your thoughts below and let us know how you’re incorporating Facebook, Twitter, and others into your nonprofit marketing strategy. The folks at the Pew Research Center recently published updates to their Social Media Report. Here are a few highlights:Facebook still reigns supreme. It comes as no surprise that 71% of all online adults are on Facebook, which also sees 70% of users engaging with the site at least daily.More older adults adopting social networks. But they’re mostly on Facebook. 56% of all online adults 65 and older now use Facebook, which equals 31% of all seniors. That said, all networks featured in the report saw significant jumps in the number of 65+ users.Visual platforms continue to emerge as key networks, especially with younger users. Over half of young adults (ages 18-29) online use Instagram. Nearly half of all Instagram users use the site daily.
Posted on March 13, 2015October 27, 2016By: Ana Langer, Director of the Maternal Health Task Force and Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As we reflect on the work that we’ve accomplished through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and plan for the next set of global commitments (the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs), it’s important to talk about the inextricable link between mothers and their children. This link is both biological and social and has critical implications for health systems.Biological: We know from past and current research that the health, nutritional status, and general well-being of the mother strongly influences the chances of survival and well-being of the fetus during pregnancy, the newborn, and older children.Social: Mothers are the primary caretakers at home. So when a mother’s health is compromised or life is lost, the children and family suffer dire consequences.Health systems: A functioning health system able to provide integrated care is needed to address both a mother and her newborn’s needs. Without a good infrastructure, the necessary supplies and proper training for health workers, both moms and their newborns suffer.With this knowledge, it is important that maternal and child health professionals work together and look at the continuum of maternal, newborn and child health in an integrated fashion, without forgetting any of these critical elements. But what is integration? Using a simple definition, integrated care means addressing simultaneously the needs of both the mother and the baby, ideally in the same place. Although that makes perfect sense from a conceptual perspective, we need more evidence about how to make it happen.In fact, barriers at various levels make it difficult to implement integrated maternal, newborn, and child health efforts. Too often we see separate and siloed efforts, which include financing, policies, research and programs. These challenges start at the global level, which then prevents an enabling environment for those changes to occur at the country level.Barriers in PolicyAs the global policy community transitions from the MDGs to the SDGs, we’ve seen some wonderful initiatives. For example, the Every Newborn Action Plan offers a road map for raising the visibility of newborns’ health care needs—newborns were neglected in global efforts until recently—and how to address them in the context of ongoing efforts to reduce infant mortality and morbidity. Similarly, key national and global partners, including the Maternal Health Task Force, have been very involved in another initiative called Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality, or EPMM, that has defined the new goals for the reduction of maternal mortality by 2030 and the key strategies to achieve them. Both initiatives recognize the mother-baby dyad and the importance of addressing both mothers and babies in an integrated fashion. However, they have names that keep them somehow separate, one referring to newborns and the other to mothers. Now that we are recognizing the benefits of integration, we are calling attention to this artificial separation. Siloed approaches have also prevented health and development professionals from viewing the continuum of care of a woman’s health.The continuum of care: It’s all women’s healthFrom a medical perspective, the health of the girl, the adolescent, and the woman before she gets pregnant is absolutely critical and influences what happens during a pregnancy and beyond. Women’s health shouldn’t be divided into little pieces; rather it should be seen as a continuum throughout the life cycle, as each stage of a woman’s life influences her health and well-being at the next stage. Very often the same social determinants that help or threaten a woman’s opportunities to achieve good health and well-being at one stage will influence her chances for health at later stages. However, the challenges are changing and we as the maternal, newborn, and child health community need to remain flexible to respond to these transitions. Even low-income countries are already facing an increased burden of non-communicable diseases and, as a result of that, many countries will have to address indirect causes of maternal mortality while still struggling with an unfinished maternal and newborn health agenda, which will require new infrastructure, new approaches, new training and new supplies. These will be critical issues to address for the maternal, newborn, and child health communities as we review our progress with the MDGs and evaluate the forthcoming SDGs.Lessons learned from the MDGsThe MDGs have had some limitations, but they kept the attention targeted on maternal and child health for 15 years, which is unique. With the SDGs, we are facing the risk of losing focus. This new set of global goals—that the international community is likely to embrace in September of this year—will only have one overarching health goal: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.There are many aspects of this goal worth celebrating, as it speaks to health throughout the lifecycle and talks about health for all, somehow alluding to equity. And it talks in a positive way about health, and not in a negative way as maternal mortality or child mortality. But, unfortunately, the goal might be too vague.Furthermore, this singular health goal will be one among many more development goals. To some extent, our golden moment in the maternal and child health community—from a global policy perspective—risks to be over soon. To avoid this from happening, we need to make a very important and focused effort now and in the years to come to keep maternal and newborn health high on the global policy agenda.Innovation: More than technologyAs we approach the future of maternal, newborn and child health, global and national policymakers and decision makers should support innovation defined in a broad way. Innovation does not only mean new technology. Innovation is needed to represent change and create new ways to think about and organize health systems. Looking at innovation from an integration perspective, we need to consider models that will allow us to integrate services on the ground and measure the impact they have. Our work does not stop once an innovation is implemented. If we don’t evaluate the effects, good and bad, of whatever we are introducing we will not move the agenda forward. So I would hope that policy makers commit to innovating for integrated maternal and newborn health care so that women and their children thrive in all societies.Photo credit: DRC Clinic in Swakopmund, Namibia © 2014 Synergos Institute, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on March 24, 2015October 27, 2016By: Shafia Rashid, Senior Program Officer, Global Advocacy, 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)This post is part of the blog series “Increasing access to maternal and reproductive health supplies: Leveraging lessons learned in preventing maternal mortality,” hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition/Maternal Health Supplies Caucus, Family Care International and the USAID-Accelovate program at Jhpiego which discusses the importance and methods of reaching women with lifesaving reproductive and maternal health supplies in the context of the proposed new global target of fewer than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 births by 2030. To contribute a post, contact Katie Millar.The past ten years have witnessed impressive gains in the availability and use of reproductive health supplies like condoms and oral contraceptives that allow men and women to safely and effectively prevent or space pregnancies. As a result of concerted efforts by many partners, contraceptive prevalence rates have risen over 60% in countries around the world.These dramatic successes in improving access to reproductive health supplies can shed important lessons and guidance for those working to ensure that life-saving maternal health medicines — including, oxytocin, misoprostol and magnesium sulfate — are available to all women, when they need them and wherever they give birth. These medicines — which can save lives by preventing or treating the leading causes of maternal death — remain out of reach for many women, particularly for poor, rural, indigenous and other vulnerable women. Many countries lack clear, supportive policies and adequate budgets to make essential maternal health medicines widely available, or have weak supply chains and logistical systems. Inadequate regulatory capacity, poor quality of medicines and lack of information and guidance on correct use are other barriers to access.In order to summarize lessons learned and provide concrete tools to improve access to maternal health supplies, the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition tasked Family Care International to create seven policy briefs that show policy makers and program managers real-world examples of successful interventions. Importantly, there is a brief dedicated to each of the three most critical maternal health supplies: oxytocin, misoprostol and magnesium sulfate. Other briefs cover the cross-cutting issues of policy and financing, supply and demand generation.Lessons learned from successful efforts to improve access to family planning commodities can help to effectively address the challenges related to maternal health medicines. Family planning advocates have, for example, tracked government expenditures on reproductive health supplies: in Indonesia, budget analysis and concerted advocacy led the mayors of five districts to increase their family planning budgets by as much as 80%. Similarly, many countries — including Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay — have established contraceptive security committees that bring together multiple supply chain stakeholders to support coordination, address long-term product availability issues and reduce duplication and inefficiencies. These committees have advocated for increased financial support for contraceptives, improved inventory management, developed standard operating procedures, published reports and provided technical assistance. These efforts to increase budgets and ensure commodity security for contraceptives can be effectively adapted and expanded to improve financing and security for maternal health supplies as well.A wide range of tools and resources can support countries in strengthening their forecasting, procurement and other supply chain functions. Tools originally developed with a sole focus on reproductive health supplies now include or can be adapted to apply to maternal health supplies as well and can be used by country managers working to improve the supply of maternal health medicines.Finally, many countries are moving toward integrating their supply chains to include family planning commodities and other essential medicines, including medicines for maternal health. In Ethiopia, for instance, the government (with the support of in-country partners) integrated their supply chain to include all health commodities and to connect all levels of the supply chain with accurate and timely data for decision-making. In Nicaragua, where the supply chain was separated vertically by health issue and type of commodity until 2005, the health ministry has integrated the essential medicines system with the contraceptives’ supply chain and has now fully automated the system and expanded it to include all essential medicines.There are many parallels and potential synergies between reproductive and maternal health supply chains and processes. The reproductive and maternal health communities must take the following actions to address the interrelated barriers that prevent access to and use of life-saving commodities:Advocate for development and implementation of supportive policies at the national and sub-national levels,Advocate for dedicated budget lines to enable monitoring and evaluation of policy implementationImprove government systems and procedures for procuring high-quality medicines and maintaining their quality throughout the supply chainInvest in a streamlined, coordinated supply chain across sectors and levels, reducing inefficiency and duplicative effortsStrengthen the knowledge and skills of health providers so that they are aware of evidence-based policies and guidelines and can effectively administer these essential medicinesMore information can be found in Essential Medicines for Maternal Health: Ensuring Equitable Access for All, a set of briefs that highlight challenges and strategies for increasing the availability of these maternal health medicines and identify linkages with reproductive health supplies. You can download the Essential Medicines for Maternal Health policy briefs in English, French and Spanish.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on July 20, 2016October 7, 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)In July 2016, 35 global leaders in maternal newborn health gathered for the second annual Safe Mothers and Newborns Leadership Workshop (SMNLW) hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF), the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and The Aga Kahn University, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The participants represented 26 countries from five continents.SMNLW participant Dr. Emmanuel Ugwa is from Nigeria where he has served as a Consultant Obstetrician/Gynecologist at several hospitals. He is a principal investigator on USAID and Gates-funded research projects in Nigeria. Additionally, Dr. Ugwa sits on review committees and editorial boards for multiple scientific journals and has published numerous research articles himself.S: Tell me about yourself and the work that you do.E: I am an OB/GYN clinical specialist from Nigeria. I currently work with Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, where we’re implementing The Maternal and Child Survival Program in Nigeria. The program’s aim is to use high impact, low-cost interventions to end preventable causes of maternal and newborn deaths. As an operations research adviser, I work with the rest of the team to test new innovations to end maternal and newborn death in Nigeria’s multicultural context.S: What is the biggest challenge in maternal and newborn health in your country? E: There are a lot of challenges. I think the first is getting the right figures about how many women and newborns are dying, especially in the rural areas where there is no well-organized system for documentation and reporting. Whatever figures we have are assumed to be a national average. Sometimes we have to do something extra to disaggregate this to reflect the various regions – whether rural, peri-urban, or urban. There should be equity in data collection and reporting. We need to get the figures right: how many women are dying and what are they dying from? And we also need to identify appropriate interventions that are culturally acceptable and feasible to address maternal and newborn deaths.S: What is being done to address that challenge?E: Part of the work that we do at Jhpiego is to strengthen the health information system. We organize trainings on record keeping and accurate data collection involving the officers at various health facility levels. We hope this will build their capacity for capturing and recording the right data correctly. We also build their capacity on how to use that data for decision-making.S: What kind of leader do you aspire to be? E: Partnerships are key to achieving health objectives. If you know other people working in the area where you work, you share experiences and lessons learned – and also health metrics. People tell me, “our maternal mortality is as low as 70 per 100,000 live births”, and I think back home ours is as high as 576 per 100,000 live births. So I want to know where they started from and what they did to bring these figures down. How did they engage their government and what advocacy strategies did they use? What stakeholders did they get involved? I think learning from these kind of experiences would really help me as a leader to see how I can apply them in my context.S: What would you like MHTF readers to know?E: A lot is going on in Nigeria in maternal, newborn and child health. We are testing new approaches to training and capacity building. In the past we’ve been taking health workers out of their facilities, bringing them to another location, training them, and sending them back to their facilities. That seems to not have worked, so we are testing other methods at Jhpiego. We’re taking the trainings to the facilities. We’re training as many people as possible without taking them out of the workplace, and we’re getting them to practice competencies using anatomical models. We give them mentorship to see if this capacity building approach will translate into better performance – whether they’ll be able to handle obstetric emergencies, and in the long run, whether we will see better outcomes such as reduction in maternal and newborn mortality.I also think people need to know that leadership capacity in maternal and newborn health has to be built and developed because that’s the key! We need leaders who will become champions who will train, motivate and mentor others at the government, policy and program implementation levels – also at the local levels. We need leaders in these areas, not just in Nigeria but in all of sub-Saharan Africa, who will work together to improve health outcomes.—Read this blog post in Spanish on the ISGlobal website.As Emmanuel said, having accurate data is necessary for improving maternal and newborn health outcomes. Click here for reliable data resources.Are you an aspiring leader in the global maternal health field? Please contact us – we would love to hear from you!Receive the newest interviews in this series delivered to your inbox by subscribing to the MH Blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 21, 2017July 21, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)While urban residence has generally been considered a protective factor for maternal health, recent studies have offered a more nuanced perspective on the so-called “urban advantage,” illustrating that many women living in cities across the globe do not have increased access to high quality care. Additionally, a deeper analysis of national-level maternal mortality data often reveals underlying disparities in women’s risks of dying from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes.Erin Anastasi and colleagues recently published a paper in PLOS One titled, “Unmasking inequalities: Sub-national maternal and child mortality data from two urban slums in Lagos, Nigeria tells the story,” exploring these issues. The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF)’s Sarah Hodin interviewed Dr. Anastasi about her team’s findings and implications.SH: Let’s start with you telling me about the aim of the study.EA: The aim of the study was to estimate maternal, perinatal and child mortality in two marginalized, urban populations in the slums of Lagos, Nigeria where Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was working. MSF started working there because the people living in those slums weren’t accessing and benefiting from the health services in the area, so MSF wanted to explore maternal and child health in those areas.SH: Which methods did you use to estimate maternal mortality?EA: We looked at a few different methods for measuring maternal mortality, which is difficult to measure since it’s a relatively rare event. You typically need a large sample size to detect maternal deaths, so there have been other methodologies that have been developed over the years to measure maternal mortality in smaller sample sizes. We chose to use the sisterhood method – we interviewed people in almost 4,000 households in Makoko Riverine and Badia East about whether or not they had a sister who died during pregnancy or childbirth. We tried to ensure the accuracy of our data with extensive training and supervision of the interviewers and also by translating the instrument into different local languages.SH: What were your key findings?EA: The major finding—and the primary outcome of interest—was the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in these two slums, which we calculated to be a shocking 1,050 deaths per 100,000 live births. This figure is much higher than the average MMR of Lagos State, which is 545 deaths per 100,000 live births, as well as Nigeria’s national MMR, which is 814 deaths per 100,000 live births. Women in Makoko Riverine and Badia East have a lifetime risk of maternal death of one in eighteen, which is also significantly higher than the average lifetime risk in Lagos State and Nigeria overall. In many ways, I think these are invisible populations. Our findings exemplify that national statistics often mask inequalities, whether the disparities are geographic, socioeconomic, ethnic, etc.SH: What do you think are the implications of these findings?EA: Even though this paper is about two slum communities in Lagos, the principles apply more broadly. If there’s a certain group that is marginalized or suffering more than others, it’s important to identify contextual challenges, work collaboratively with communities and use a tailored approach. This study also illustrates the importance of data disaggregation for monitoring progress and making decisions about resource allocation. I love that the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to “leave no one behind.” It’s a lofty goal, and if we’re going to achieve it, countries need to figure out who is being left behind and how best to reach different marginalized or vulnerable groups.The views expressed in this post are individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of any affiliated organizations or partners.—Read the full open access paper in PLOS One.Check out papers from the MHTF-PLOS Collection, “Neglected Populations: Decreasing Inequalities & Improving Measurement in Maternal Health.”Browse the March 2017 MHTF Quarterly, “Maternal Health in Urban Settings.”Learn more about the global and national maternal mortality targets under the SDGs.Share this: