UNFPA Calls for Collaborative Efforts to Prevent Women Dying During Childbirth in Liberia

first_imgThe United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has called for collaborative efforts toward greater investments to increase the number of midwives in Liberia. The specialized UN Agency also wants to enhance the quality reach of the services Liberians midwives. “Strong political commitment and investment in midwives are needed to save millions of lives every year,” said Ms. Shelly Wright, UNFPA Program Associate, in a statement she delivered on May 22 at the 9th graduation ceremony of the Midwifery Training Program Southeastern Region held in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County. Forty two students graduated.According to the UNFPA Program Associate, the need for strong health systems and sufficient health workers has been highlighted by the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, yea the West Africa sub-region, where pregnant women struggled to find available health services to ensure safe delivery. “UNFPA is expanding midwifery services through the Mano River Midwifery Response to support resilient health systems in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia;” Ms. Wright stated.According to her, evidence shows that midwives, who are educated and regulated to international standards, can provide 87 percent of the essential care needed by women and their newborns. She said UNFPA would continue to support midwifery and sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for all women. “Today, UNFPA funds more than 250 midwifery schools with books, training equipment and trained faculty, and has help trained over 15,000 midwives globally”; she added. Ms. Wright urged the graduates to always conform to the ethics and standards of midwifery practice in the execution of their duties. “Practice professionally, and be respectful to one another as members of the health care team; also be kind and passionate toward your patients; especially women and their families because it is for this purpose that you have been trained,” she further told them. “You are advocates for your clients and hope at the time of need. Do not put personal gains before duty; keep your knowledge and skills updated frequently. Do not be afraid or too proud to say ‘I don’t know’ to prevent people from thinking that you know when you don’t. This is dangerous to the life of your clients. Ask if in doubt and never reject the call to work in rural areas. That is where the greatest health needs are. It is in the rural areas where you will improve your skills best and also make a great difference to the lives of expectant mothers, children and ill adults. In her keynote address, the president of the Liberia Midwifery Association, Mrs. Lucy Barh, called on the newly trained midwives to always be the service of the people. “Midwifery is a unique profession. I want you to be passionate about this profession and put the wellbeing of your clients — pregnant women and their newborns at the heart of your service,” Mrs. Barh urged the graduates.She called for greater investment in training more midwives in Liberia; providing better job incentives and career ladder for them.The Midwifery Training Program Southeastern Region was established in 1983 by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare with support from partners. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

SA’s true colours show on Freedom Friday

first_img25 April 2014 Wearing South African regalia and waving national flags, hundreds of members of the public, including school learners, joined in celebrating the last Freedom Friday at the Rand Show in Johannesburg on Friday. Adorned in pins and badges of the South African flag, Joy Chauke said Freedom Fridays have been a great platform for mobilising South Africans to celebrate the road they have travelled since 1994. “We were able to rise above the worst towards a common future, and that is a milestone,” Chauke told SAnews at the event to mark the final Freedom Friday before the country’s celebration of Freedom Day on Sunday. “We have come far as a country, and the future has endless possibilities.” The campaign, which encouraged people to wear anything on Fridays that expressed their pride in being South African, ended with a bang at the Nasrec Expo Centre, with speakers recalling their stories of 27 April 1994 and South Africa’s subsequent journey. “Looking back 20 years ago, we had no clue what we were trying to build after the first elections, the journey had begun and still continues,” Phumla Williams, acting chief executive of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said. “Today South Africa is a better place to live in because of the sacrifices made.” Williams said the celebration of the country’s 20 years of freedom should continue all year. “But as South Africans we must not forget the support and the sacrifices our African brothers made for us during the struggle. We cannot celebrate our freedom without acknowledging their role.” Proudly South African CEO Leslie Sedibe said great strides had been made over the past 20 years, and that it was important for everyone to collectively celebrate, and vote in the upcoming election regardless of which political party one supported. Lead South Africa CEO Yusuf Abramjee used his address to call on citizens to practice their democratic right and vote on 7 May while continuing to share the South African story. South Africans can still mark Freedom Friday by sharing their thoughts, video clips, memories and pictures of freedom via Twitter (@20_yof) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/20yof). South Africans are also encouraged to show their pride, wear their colours, take a selfie and upload it to social media using the hashtag #FreedomFridaySelfie and/or #20YOFSelfie. Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

Three Hackers Arrested in Wake of DDOS Attacks

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Tags:#NYT#Real World#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… One of the more cringe-worthy stories to come out of the Wikileaks-Anonymous-DDOS plotline in the last few weeks is the lack of security practiced by just about everyone involved. Authorities found the name of a designer named Alex Tapanaris embedded in a PDF press release purporting to come from the hacker group Anonymous. His site was later inaccessible and he was said to have been arrested. Several other people were arrested, said to be allied to Anonymous, in the Netherlands. Their identities may have been ascertained because the LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) software used for the retaliatory DDOS attacks carried user information with it. In Holland, two teenagers, a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old, have been arrested. The first, from The Hague, was said to have been involved in Operation Payback. The second, Martijn Gonlag of Hoogezand-Sappemeer, was arrested for an attack, possibly related, on the Dutch attorney general’s website. The back-and-forth DDOS attacks from supporters, opponents and random extras, has created an environment of compromised security on each side. Perhaps this will point up how much those who believe themselves bulletproof have to learn. But just like any other fight, the instant people stop talking and start attacking each other, the discourse coarsens precipitously, and often permanently. Here are the DDOS attacks so far by target. curt hopkins Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting WikileaksVisa and MastercardAmazonPayPalWikileaksGawker (if this is related to the other, it’s oblique, but it’s often hard to tell which way the battle lines are pointing)PandaLabs Blog has a good timeline of these attacks.Some here at ReadWriteWeb have made the case that DDOS attacks are really a type of civil disobedience. Others see it as the beginning of a war. (I hold with those who favor fire.) If there’s anyone smart out there in either camp – pro-Wikileaks or anti-Wikileaks, pro-DDOS or anti-DDOS – they’d best do something to stop this before it gains such momentum that no one person can have an effect on it. Anyone who doesn’t will bear responsibility for what it becomes. Now, what is that quote about war and truth? “Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.”Yeah. That’s the one.Other sources: OpenTopic, Softpedia, BoingBoing 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Footings and Frost Walls at Flatrock Passive

first_imgEditor’s Note: This is one of a series of blogs by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland, the first in the province built to the Passive House standard. The first installment of the GBA blog series was titled An Introduction to the Flatrock Passive House. For a list of Goodyear’s earlier blogs on this site, see the “Related Articles” sidebar below; you’ll find his complete blog here. BLOGS BY DAVID GOODYEAR A Final Design and Energy ModelingAn Introduction to the Flatrock Passive House RELATED ARTICLES April has brought relatively good weather. This week has been above 0°C (32°F), and the temperatures are climbing. For the most part all the snow is gone and the ground has thawed. The switch in weather has made it easy to get some work done.The excavation company, Wade’s Excavating, dug down to solid ground. There was an amazing amount of topsoil on the lot. In places, it was almost 2 feet thick. It has all been pushed out of the way for now, waiting to be moved around and used for final grading after backfilling. After the hole was dug, we hired Aubrey Burt, a land surveyor, to roughly mark out the foundation pad (see Image #2 below).We knew we would require fill in places, and we will need a lot of it. We won’t be able to use a 4-foot frostwall everywhere; if we did, backfilling to the top of the wall at the back of the lot will turn the lot into a ski hill. Our plan is to make a stepped frostwall of varying depths — from 8 feet to 6 feet to 4 feet — from the low to high parts of the lot. We may do siding part way down the insulated concrete or just leave it with the concrete parging over the foam. Adding the frostwallsSince the home design has been completed, I’ve been studying the drawings over and over again. Every couple of days I come across an interesting conundrum. This one is a tale of two foundations.One of the principles of Passive House design is building an efficient envelope that is superinsulated, airtight, and thermal-bridge-free. If a foundation in a cold space is joined to a foundation in a heated space there are several potential issues. First, it provides a short circuit for heat to travel outside of the thermal envelope during heating season and for heat to enter the envelope during cooling season. This also could lead to interstitial condensation in the walls, promoting mold issues inside the wall at the junction of the short circuit. To minimize this transfer, the designer wanted to separate the thermal envelope of the house from the porch using 2 inches of EPS foam.Because of the way the forms are connected it would have been possible to insert a piece of foam at the connection between the two foundations. However, once the concrete was poured there would be no guarantee the foam would stay in place. Additionally, there would be no way for the two foundations to be connected. So is there a way to do this using fancy Passive House materials? Probably. However, I had to work with what I have.Our solution was two pours. The house foundation was poured first. The following day, the forms were removed and a piece of foam 8 inches wide was glued to the foundation at the point of connection between the two walls. We drilled holes through the foam and into the newly hardened concrete, then glued rebar into the holes with epoxy. The forms could then be set up and the concrete for the second foundation poured. The rebar makes a semi-rigid connection between the two foundations. Behind the garage will be nice and sunny and I have been thinking about using that area for my solar kiln for drying green wood for woodworking and firewood. So leaving the foundation exposed there may not be a big deal.center_img Digging the foundation footingsArmed with our plan, we had the surveyor mark the foundation corners. We started digging and taking grades with the transit as we went. The digging went smoothly. All the rock that we brought in for the pad was excavated and placed in the center where it will be used to fill in the foundation before placing the slab.After the footings were completely dug out, they were “tracked in” using the excavator. I followed up by tamping the footing areas for a couple of hours so we have a good stable base for the footings. With the footings dug, the next logical step was pouring them. We had the surveyor re-pin the foundation location and the footing contractor, Todd Brenton, set up the footing forms. The lot was pretty level so for the most part, we have an 8-inch footing everywhere except one small length where it’s about 6 3/4 inches. The whole foundation will be setting on a structural rock bed which was originally tamped using a large vibratory roller and now has been further tamped, to compress the loose rock after digging, using a large diesel plate tamper.Although I was a little unsure about the leveling process, now that I have seen it, I realize it’s much simpler than I expected. The footing contractor lays out the forms according to the survey pins. Then he uses a transit to find the highest/lowest points (see Image #4 below). He goes to the corners and sights an elevation and pounds a nail into the inside of the form. Then on to another corner, or along the form, sighting elevations to match the previous. Then he snaps a chalk line between the nails on the inside of the forms and that gives them a measure of how much concrete to pour.This work took about a day. The concrete got poured in less than 20 minutes (see Image #5 below). As the concrete was poured, one of the laborers followed behind leveling the footing to the lines with a shovel by moving the concrete around. Another guy followed, further flattening the concrete with the end of a rake.What you are left with is a poured footing, ready to set up overnight to a nice set of hard concrete footings: a solid foundation for the Flatrock Passive House (see Image #6 below). Calculating energy losses of thermal bridgingIs there an energy penalty for using rebar? There definitely is! It is a thermal bridge directly into the foundation. But since the heat flow is proportional to the area, one would expect the cross-section for several pieces of rebar to be much less than the area connecting the two walls.Using some highly simplified assumptions, I determined that using the rebar has an energy penalty about 14 times less then leaving the concrete connected; it’s safe to assume the energy lost is about an order of magnitude less when using the rebar. Using data found online, I calculated the power lost through the rebar could be as high as 0.5 W/ degree C. So a temperature differential between the outside foundation and the inner foundation of 15° would mean an energy loss of about 7.5 watts. With the concrete walls joined together, the power lost through the wall would be about 9.2 W/ degree, equating to about 140 watts. Assuming the temperature differential between the foundations is at least 15°C for one-third of the year, this equates to almost 400 kWh of energy, or about $40 on my electricity bill.This is significant and has a short payback for the time invested. But keep in mind there are a lot of assumptions here. The total energy savings is really still a question left up to energy modeling. But for the cost of rebar, epoxy, a masonry drill bit (about $70), and some minor inconvenience associated with doing two pours, I figured it was worth it. Green Basics: Slab FoundationsFrost-Protected Shallow FoundationsFoam Under FootingsGreen Basics: Foundation Types Q&A: Thermal Break Between a House Foundation and Garage Foundation Creating a compacted structural padWades Excavating completed the structural pad in early May, a day ahead of schedule and a day quicker than the original time estimate. They trucked in 34 tandem loads of blast rock to fill the hole for the house and rolled it in with a vibrating roller to pack it down (see Image #3 below).The site was inspected by a geotechnical engineer who will now certify it’s good to build on. The depth of the hole was very deceiving and I realize that, in such large quantities, fill cannot be estimated visually. So keep in mind that structural fill will really chew a hole in the excavation budget if you ever decide to build on a sloped lot. A 4-foot drop over almost 80 feet is enough to add significantly to the cost of your home.With the pad in place, we now have a good solid foundation for the house. Parts of the pad will have to be dug down in the back for footings and to facilitate our grading plan. I’ll also be calling the well driller to have a look at the proposed position of the well. If he thinks he can fit the drilling rig between the house and the trees we’ll be ready to move ahead; otherwise, we’ll be waiting for several weeks for the well to be drilled before we start the foundation.The build is now about two weeks ahead of my original proposed timeline, so we have some time to play with. But I know that other things will pop up. If we can keep the momentum going, we’ll be in better shape later.last_img read more

Understanding FMLA for Military Families & Caregivers

first_imgWhen working with our Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Military Program at various installations across the state, it became apparent that many of our employees were unaware of the types of leave that are available. Approximately half of our Extension Military Program personnel consist of families of active duty service members, the other half are families of veterans. When we employ these types of individuals it is important that not only our Agency understand the types of leave available to the employee, but that our employees are also aware. If you are a military family member or a military caregiver currently employed, there is new legislation regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that could be beneficial to your family.In 2010 FMLA was amended by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to expand leave rights to employees with family members in the military depending on the individual’s circumstances. Under the new legislation by NDAA, FMLA includes two new benefit entitlements for military families: (1) Qualifying Exigency Leave and (2) Military Caregiver Leave.Let’s take a closer look at which type of leave would best fit you and your service member’s situation.Qualifying Exigency LeaveEligible employees who fall under the Qualifying Exigency Leave can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave yearly for reasons related to the call to active duty of covered service member’s spouses, children, or parents. Qualifications for Exigency Leave include:Service member has received a week or less for orders of deploymentService member is involved in military events and/or related activitiesUrgent child care or school activities is warrantedFinancial and legal tasks related to family member’s active dutyCounseling for the employee or child who isn’t already covered by FMLATime spent with service member on rest and recuperation (R&R) breaks during deploymentPost-deployment activitiesProviding care to parent of the service member when the parent is incapable of self-care and the service member necessitates a change in the existing care arrangement for the parentCertificationIf you qualify for Exigency Leave you must give reasonable notice to your employers upon seeking leave. Employers may require certification for Qualifying Exigency Leave, in which you will need to provide a copy of your service member’s active duty orders.For more information on Qualifying Exigency Leave go to the Department of Labor’s, Qualifying Exigency Leave under FMLA fact sheet.Military Caregiver LeaveIf you are caring for an active duty service member or veteran that has been wounded, Military Caregiver Leave is available. Military Caregiver Leave allows employees up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for seriously injured or ill “covered” service members. However, eligible employees may take an additional 26 weeks of leave in a different 12-month period to care for the service member in the event another injury is sustained. Employees may also take Military Caregiver Leave to care for families members who sustained a qualifying injury for up to five years after they have been discharged from service. Eligible employees include the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or “next of kin” of the covered service member.Service members who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness may be covered under the following qualifications:Member of the Armed ForcesDischarged or released under conditions other than dishonorableDischarged within the five-year period before the eligible employee first takes FMLA military caregiver leave to care for the service memberCertificationIf you qualify for Military Caregiver leave you may be required to provide certification by an authorized health care provider for employers to allow for leave to care for your service member. Health care providers can be from the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, TRICARE, or non-military affiliated providers. In addition to authorization from your healthcare provider, you may be required to submit documentation of family relationship in order to complete the certification process.To see if you qualify for FMLA leave for your current service member or veteran check out the following fact sheets provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.Military Caregiver Leave for Current Service Members under FMLAMilitary Caregiver Leave for Veteran under FMLABy knowing the types of leave available to you, it will not only help alleviate the many emotions that come with being part of the military community, but it will help you to know your options as an employee in the event your service member is deployed or wounded.This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on May 22, 2015.last_img read more