Tag: 上海龙凤419

Free wi-fi for South Africa’s taxi commuters

first_img13 June 2014South African commuters using the country’s most popular form of public transport – the minibus taxi – will now be able to update their Facebook status, check their e-mail and surf the internet through a free wi-fi connection on their way to work.On Thursday, the South African National Taxi Association (Santaco) started rolling out a free service that, it says, will see 1 500 taxis and 50 taxi ranks across the country fitted with wi-fi access points within six months, and universal coverage in all its taxis and taxi ranks within three years.Each commuter will receive 50 MB of free wi-fi per month on 3G and 4G platforms, with the option of buying more if they run out. Once a commuter’s mobile device is connected with the wi-fi network, they will be able to use their 50 MB in any connected taxi or taxi rank.South Africa’s taxi industry transports over 15-million commuters daily with an average of 45 minutes per trip.“We want to keep our 15-million daily commuters and attract more people back to using public transport in general and taxis in particular,” Santaco president Philip Taaibosch said at the launch of the initiative in Soweto on Thursday.Sanaco is partnering with Telkom Mobile and technology company Wi-Taxi to drive the service, which was successfully piloted in Johannesburg in April and May.According to Wi-Taxi’s website, the service will have no effect on taxi fares, nor will it increase the risk of fraud or theft as “all devices are network locked and can only connect to the Wi-Taxi services”.Gauteng’s transport minister, Ismail Vadi, also speaking at Thursday’s launch, praised the “novel” initiative, saying an urban province such as Gauteng should have a high rate of internet connectivity.His remarks were echoed by independent telecoms analyst Spiwe Chireka, who told technology news website ITWeb that the taxi association’s move was “an indication of innovative ways that, as South Africa, we are able to use to drive access.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Australian panel calls for clean energy target to cut emissions

first_imgA proposed clean energy target for Australia aims to offset emissions from the Yallourn Power Station and other coal-fired power plants. The plan, part of a report on the future security of the national electricity market, has gotten mixed reviews from environmentalists. “While the Finkel review is a step forward, much more needs to be done to reduce the emissions of Australia’s biggest polluter—the electricity sector,” reads a statement issued by Amanda McKenzie, CEO of the Climate Council in Sydney, Australia, an organization that seeks to educate the public on climate change.Ian Lowe, an energy policy specialist at Griffith University in Nathan, Australia, near Brisbane, backs the need to set a clean energy target but is disappointed by the timetable for a transition to clean energy. “Basically, these recommendations would allow dirty old coal-fired power stations to continue operating for decades,” he says.Others note that Australia has pledged to reduce all emissions by 28% below 2005 levels by 2030. To meet that target, “the electricity sector can and needs to deliver much greater percentage reductions,” says Frank Jotzo, an energy economist at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. Matthew Stocks, a renewable energy specialist at ANU, hopes the new report will “take the politics out of energy policy” by setting a clear policy that will spur investment in energy infrastructure.The review panel was set up after 900,000 households lost power during a blackout in southern Australia last September. In addition to the strategy for emissions reductions, the report has recommendations for increasing energy security and reliability and reducing prices for consumers.All of the recommendations require action by Parliament to implement. The two major parties appear to disagree over how ambitious the clean energy target should be, Stocks notes. But he’s cautiously optimistic: “We could be closer to a compromise than at any time I’ve seen before.” CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons By Dennis NormileJun. 13, 2017 , 1:45 PMcenter_img Australian panel calls for clean energy target to cut emissions A panel led by Australia’s chief scientist has called for the government to set a clean energy target to reduce emissions from electric power plants that would help the country meet its commitments under the Paris climate agreement. Though any goal is seen as a welcome step toward resolving the nation’s long-standing emissions policy paralysis, many worry the panel has set the bar too low.The recommendation comes from a five-member panel led by Alan Finkel, a neuroscientist and former chancellor of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Under the proposed scheme, power plants would receive certificates for producing clean electricity in proportion to how far their carbon emissions fall below a specified threshold. Technologies such as solar and wind would benefit most, but plants using gas and coal—paired with carbon capture and storage—could also earn certificates. Electricity retailers would then have to purchase enough certificates to demonstrate that a certain percentage of their electricity comes from low-emissions sources.The report recommends that the clean energy target be set so that electricity sector emissions are reduced by 28% below 2005 levels by 2030 and cut further, to an unspecified level, by 2070. The report does not set a threshold for emissions generated during production or the percentage of clean energy to be supplied to consumers; presumably these will be set by the government. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

The 6 things you must know about the science of persuasion

first_imgIf you have never read the classic book Influence by Robert Cialdini, you really should. But you’re also in luck, because the Influence at Work team just released this summary of the six principles of persuasion that the book covers. Spend 11 minutes watching this video – it’s well worth your time.Trouble viewing the video? Go here.No time to watch? Here’s my summary of the principles and how they apply to us.1. Reciprocity – People tend to return a favor, thus all those annoying address labels charities send out as a fundraising ploy.2. Scarcity – Perceived scarcity fuels demand. “Only four memberships are left” prompts action!3. Authority – People will tend to obey authority figures. What expert can attest to the value of your organization?4. Consistency – If people commit to an idea or goal, they are more likely to follow through. It’s why pledging is a great option for people who aren’t ready to take action.5. Liking – People are easily persuaded by other people whom they like. That’s why you want your champions spreading the word about your cause among their friends and family.6. Consensus – People will do what other people are doing. That’s why it’s great to show who is taking action for your cause – others are likely to conform.last_img read more

Obama email team reveals what worked – and didn’t – in election fundraising

first_imgM+R had a fascinating post* last week about political fundraising. It highlighted insights from the digital team who sent out fundraising emails for the Obama campaign. While political fundraising is its own animal, I do think many of these insights apply to all forms of fundraising. So whether you’re a political activist or a nonprofit fundraiser, or of the red or blue or purple persuasion, you will find this interesting.(The whole post is here. These are some highlights along with my commentary.)1. It’s hard to predict what will work – so testing matters. There were 18 very smart people on the email team alone, and they often predicted the wrong winners among versions of emails. And just when they figured out what worked, it stopped working. So they tested again. Keep testing!2. The best segmentation was based on what donors did – not how they voted or their demographics. Segmenting their message according to the ways people responded worked far better in yielding strong fundraising results than any other variable. What have people donated in the past? In response to which appeals? Segment accordingly.3. Length didn’t seem to matter a lot, until the end of the campaign, when shorter did better (reminds me of my advice to write very short appeals on December 31!). What did matter was the content and relevance of the message.4. For fundraising, setting a big goal for number of donations worked, but little, very local goals (we need six more donors in Washington, DC) did not. Those only worked for advocacy. Interesting. Something to test?And my favorite finding? The best appeals also had the highest unsubscribe rates. Like Mark Rovner always says, evoking passion means you get strong opinions on all sides. Bland is safe – and gets NO reaction.For more findings, check out the full post, “Surprises from Obama’s New Media Staff.”*Hat tip to Jono Smith of Event360 for sharing the post.last_img read more

Navigate Any PR Crisis: 5 Pitfalls for Nonprofits to Avoid

first_imgIn the early 1980s, Johnson & Johnson faced a massive organizational crisis when someone laced Extra-Strength Tylenol caplets with cyanide and returned the bottles to store shelves. When the Tylenol link was discovered, the company sprang into action, spending millions to remove pills from stores, communicating its efforts to consumers via the media, and helping to pioneer tamper-resistant packaging that ultimately reduced similar crimes in the future.What does this story have to do with your nonprofit? It’s a great example of effective organizational crisis management: act quickly and decisively, communicate consistently and honestly, and apply lessons learned to prevent future situations. The key is to be prepared for whatever life throws in your direction. But sometimes our plans go awry amid the chaos. Here are five common pitfalls that can derail your nonprofit’s efforts to guide communications during a PR crisis.Slow or no response. Like an ostrich with its head in the sand, you simply hope the problem will go away on its own. Or your team gets stuck trying to find consensus before taking action. By the time you’re ready to respond, days or weeks have gone by and your organization is in a heap of trouble. Solution: Control the message before someone else does. Be prepared with your crisis communications plan and respond quickly.Ill-prepared spokesperson. You task a key senior executive with handling media outreach, but once she starts getting peppered with hard questions, you find she’s not nearly as prepared for the hot seat as you had assumed. Solution: Take nothing for granted. Test your spokesperson ahead of time. Sit down with that person and fire tough questions at her quickly and relentlessly until she can deliver your organization’s message calmly and consistently. Legal concerns. In the midst of the storm, you have to wait for your legal team before taking action. This slows you down tremendously and potentially derails your entire organization. Solution: Have ample conversations with your legal team during your crisis communications prep. What might they need to do or approve? Where would they need to step in? You’ll avoid disastrous delays if you can agree to operating procedures and best practices in advance.Inconsistency or lack of transparency. Your market doesn’t believe your message or find it credible because they’re hearing different things across channels, which makes your nonprofit seem less than honest. Solution: As the crisis wears on, you’ll continue to get tough questions from every corner, so you need to hunker down and ensure you’re delivering a consistent and honest message, whether it’s on television, in print, or on your website and social media channels.Failure to take responsibility. Do you take responsibility? Do you apologize? Similar to being slow to respond, if you fail to address these questions, you’ll extend the news cycle. Solution: From the beginning, own the problem (or, if you didn’t create it, explain clearly how the problem arose) and communicate how your organization is addressing it. Again, be consistent and honest in your message.A final bit of advice: Fix it yourself first.Some crises will be imposed on you externally, out of the blue, and you’ll need to react with your readymade communications plan. But others you might avoid—if you take action now. If you see anything in your organization that doesn’t seem quite right or could create a bit of drama, talk among your team about how you can fix it yourself before external forces make you fix it. Adapted from the Nonprofit 911 webinar “Crisis Communications for Nonprofits” with Susan Kearney, COO of Network for Good. Download the full webinar.last_img read more

3 Ways to Shrink Your Communications-Fundraising Divide

first_imgThere’s strong evidence that integrating communications and fundraising into a single team is a real success factor. For many organizations, that shift is far, far away or absolutely out of the question. Even so, you can take small steps to shake up your silos and build productive partnerships.Try any or all of these three approaches to bring your communications and fundraising teams closer together—and boost results. Donors first! Map out how and when your organization touches an individual in each of your target audiences or segments.It’s human nature to ignore a problem until it’s in your face. This technique will highlight what’s really going on.Partner up a fundraiser and a communicator to visually document touchpoints within a week or month for individuals representative of your priority audiences. Use your personas if you’ve already developed them. Map the campaign, message, format, channel, call to action, and timing details for each touchpoint.You’ll likely uncover some days when an individual receives multiple touches with conflicting messages—aka chaos!Nothing is a stronger motivator for coordinating messages and missiles.Bonus: Mapping supporter touchpoints showcases everyone who has played a role in spurring a donation or other desired action. Typically, credit is given only to the creator of the last interaction, overlooking many of the contributors who move supporters to act. Identify what’s working—from each “side”—and do more of that.Ask your communications team to identify the fundraising team’s three most effective approaches and to integrate those techniques into their own work—and vice versa.While you’re at it, ask each team to identify what the other is doing that isn’t working. Try this: Ask each team to give the other one a “free pass” to make a single change to their work, without protest or arguments, for a week. If your marketing director can make only one change to a fundraiser’s direct-mail letter, what will it be? And what single change will the development director make to the marketer’s Facebook post?This practice enables each team to focus on what is truly most important to them, gives each team some level of control, and encourages both to better understand each other without arguing over the merits of the requested change.P.S. I learned this method from my favorite transformative change experts, Switch authors Chip and Dan Heath. The Heaths advocate this underused technique as the most reliable pathway to positive change. Co-create messaging for a single campaign.Select a time-limited campaign that’s related to both teams’ goals. Possible focal points include a significant organizational anniversary, an exceptional opportunity to work with a celebrity, a new program launch, or a change in strategy.Next, task a few communications and development staff members to fully collaborate in creating the campaign messages. This is another useful way each team can learn what’s happening behind the scenes on the “other team” and understand their point of view.Ask collaborators to document the process, especially stumbling blocks, so collaboration will go smoother next time. Then, when the messages are complete, sit down with both teams to discuss the process and the product.Ask the folks who worked together on this campaign to share the high points and the pain of the process, as well as the unexpected benefits for the end product (the messages). Brainstorm recommendations for shifts in each team’s creative, review, and approval process. Then, keep your eyes open for the next co-creation opportunity.Tiny wins like these are the most realistic way I know to shift the status quo. I dare you to experiment with one of these techniques. Let me know how it goes!From Network for Good: Nancy is spot on with her recommendations for communication and fundraising teams. If you can’t implement Nancy’s ideas for tracking donor touchpoints, it’s time to invest in a smarter way to manage your donors. A donor management system can help you keep better track of all your donor information, communication, and more. Talk to a Network for Good rep today and we can help you get started.last_img read more

New Resource Page: Respectful Maternity Care

first_imgPosted on April 11, 2013March 13, 2017Click 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)Along with the respectful maternity care guest blog series, the MHTF has launched a new resource page on respectful care. The page provides an overview of the major concerns for efforts to humanize care during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as links to organizations working on issues related to ensuring that women are treated with dignity during pregnancy and labor; recent articles on issues related to respectful care; and posts from the MHTF blog.We hope you will have a look at the resources that are currently posted, and return often, since the page will be updated as new resources become available. Finally, we invite you to submit your suggestions for additional resources that may be included.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Women in Philanthropy Profile: LaVondra Dobbs

first_imgBased in New Orleans, Via Link provides information, referrals, training, and crisis intervention to individuals, organizations, and communities so they can help themselves and others. LaVondra Dobbs, joined the organization five years ago as Programs and Services Director, and within a year, was offered the CEO position after the former CEO retired. She leads a team of 20 full-time employees, 35 part-time staff, and five volunteers to provide people with help finding available resources such as housing, food, mental health services, health care, and suicide prevention across southeast Louisiana.211Via Link’s flagship program, 211, is a free, 24-hour hotline that was designated by the FCC in 2001 as the Health and Human Services Hotline. Via Link staff researches, compiles, and updates a directory of free, public resources serving 10 parishes, or counties, in New Orleans, and works with the other 211s operating across the state. The hotline provides health and human services ranging from the location of the nearest food bank or food pantry to shelter locations, help with rent or utility bills, and respite from taking care of an elderly parent or child with disability.The Early YearsVia Link started in 1928 when a group of volunteers banded together to provide a directory of available resources for people in need. For almost 50 years, Via Link existed as a group of volunteers compiling and distributing resource directories for the greater New Orleans area, until officially becoming a 501(c)(3) in 1972.In addition to 211, Via Link provides crisis work, including managing the Louisiana branch of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK). With a network of 160 agencies, the calls first go to New York before being routed to the agency closest to the caller’s area code. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) oversees the Lifeline and designates $7-$12 million a year to the national program. However, the stipend for centers like Via Link is only $1,500 a year. To pay for that one phone line, Dobbs raises approximately $400,000 a year. As a result, Via Link can field an average of 1,300 calls a month from Louisiana residents in need of crisis or suicide prevention assistance.Four years ago, Dobbs noticed that teens weren’t calling the Lifeline, so she raised independent funds to launch their Crisis Teen Textline. Prior to launching the Textline, everything was done by phone, but Via Link only received 54 calls to the Lifeline from youth age 13-22; an age group prone to suicide attempts. Since launching the Textline they have had about 62,000 conversations with youth.“My grandfather completed suicide when I was about 12 years old and that’s always weighed heavily on my mind. I don’t have the clinical degree, but I can use my business sense to make the resources available for those who are trained to do this work. I love the diversity of individuals and organizations that I work with. It takes a certain amount of creativity to sustain and be profitable in this environment. I really enjoy that challenge.”Diversifying FundingWhen Dobbs came on as CEO, Via Link was on the brink of closing after years of being solely grant supported. With degrees in economics and business administration, she knew things had to change.“If we were going to sustain the organization, I had to diversify our income. One of the first things I did was develop the Crisis Teen Textline, followed by an online chat option. We had been doing everything by phone and not taking advantage of new technology. I used the little bit of reserve dollars I had to build our capacity, and then found other streams of income. It was a delicate balance.”Much of those other streams of income came through crisis work with the Health and Human Services agencies around Louisiana. Under Dobbs’ leadership, Via Link is now cashflow positive and no longer dependent on any one funder. Today, Via Link is predominantly supported by HHS contracts, along with a few grants and state funding for the Lifeline.“Being able to visualize that goal and make it a reality was a great feeling. CEOs truly must understand their funding sources. The relationships with those funders and developing other funding streams is crucial. There have been people in foundations who have made my goals possible because they introduced me to other people and got me in doors I knew I needed to get through.”Collaboration and RelationshipsSince becoming a Network for Good customer, Dobbs has dedicated her time and energy to board development and fundraising. In this past year, she’s seen an increase in regular donations. When the only other crisis center in Louisiana hit financial trouble, Dobbs worked with them on how to close their operation and shift the contract to Via Link to sustain the services for the community.When it comes to fundraising, Dobbs is a big proponent of networking with other agencies and combining resources to offer something to the community. In 2018, she teamed up with Family Service to pitch an idea at the Greater New Orleans Foundation “Pitch-It Competition” and was able to leverage their second-place win into funding for their idea for the next three years.“You cannot be in your own little silo. You’ve got to get out and expand.”Women in Philanthropy is an ongoing blog series in celebration of Women’s History Month, featuring some of the incredible women Network for Good has the pleasure to work with.Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

How Social Factors Drive up Suicide Rates Among Pregnant Women

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on February 21, 2017February 22, 2017By: Jason Bantjes, Senior Lecturer, Stellenbosch University; Nnachebe Michael Onah, Doctoral Candidate, University of Waterloo; Sally Field, Project Coordinator/Researcher, Perinatal Mental Health Project, University of Cape Town; Simone Honikman, Director/Senior Researcher, Perinatal Mental Health Project, University of Cape TownClick 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)Pregnant women in South Africa who live in poor communities are more likely to consider or attempt suicide than the general population. That’s a key finding from a recent study we undertook at Hanover Park.The research found 12% of pregnant women living in low-resource communities had thought of killing themselves during the previous month. In the same period, an additional 6% of pregnant women reported they had started to enact a suicide plan or attempted to end their lives. Rates of depression and anxiety were also found to be elevated among the pregnant women who took part in the study.These findings mirror research about high rates of suicidal ideation and behavior among pregnant women elsewhere in the world. A review of 17 studies in high- and low-income countries found the prevalence of suicidal ideation among pregnant and postpartum women ranged from 5% to 18%. Rates were higher among pregnant women living in low-income countries.Our study’s most-significant finding was that more than half of the pregnant women who were at risk of suicide did not have a diagnosable depressive or anxiety disorder. Their suicide risk was also associated with lower socioeconomic status, food insecurity, intimate partner violence and a lack of social support.This suggests suicidal ideation among pregnant women is about more than mental illness. Past studies suggest suicide and mental illness are strongly linked. Pregnant women who are depressed or have problems with anxiety are more likely to experience thoughts of death and engage in suicidal behavior compared with other pregnant women.But our research shows social and economic context may be a much more important contributor to suicide risk than previously thought.Pernicious impact of adversityThe findings show the pernicious impact of socioeconomic adversity, interpersonal violence and lack of social support on pregnant women’s wellbeing.We found pregnant women who are the victims of intimate partner violence are twice as likely to engage in suicidal behavior compared to other pregnant women. Those who experience food insecurity – either they go hungry regularly or they have considerable trouble feeding themselves and their families – are almost four times more likely to report suicidal behavior.Pregnant women who are not in a relationship are also more likely than other pregnant women to experience suicidal thoughts and attempt suicide. And we found suicide risk decreases as pregnant women experience more social support.These findings add to the growing body of evidence showing that sociocultural and economic factors are important risk factors for suicide. Suicidal ideation and behavior are not simply a symptom of mental illness. Suicide can be a reaction to living in a particular context or facing stressful circumstances.So, our research supports the idea that suicide risk should be assessed independently of – and in addition to – depression and anxiety among pregnant women.Broader focus neededThis is an important nuance. Suicide prevention initiatives have traditionally focused narrowly on identifying and treating psychiatric illness. Our findings suggest they should more broadly include interventions that tackle socioeconomic factors and adversity.Interventions that focus exclusively on psychiatric determinants of suicidal behavior are unlikely to be effective. This is especially true in low-resource settings. Contributing factors include a scarcity of mental health resources and factors that adversely affect people’s lives.More work still needs to be done to identify effective suicide prevention interventions for pregnant women living in adverse conditions. This requires more collaboration between different sectors. Policymakers also need to tackle social ills and find ways to increase the level of support for pregnant women and mothers of young babies.This post originally appeared on The Conversation.Share this:last_img read more

Working with Government Systems to Improve Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices in Urban Informal Settlements of India

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 1, 2018August 1, 2018By: Society for Nutrition, Education & Health Action, Click 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 urban Maharashtra, a highly industrialized state in India, exclusive breastfeeding rates are low, around 50%. Increasing rates of exclusive breastfeeding is an effective strategy for preventing diarrhea, a leading cause of poor nutritional status and death among infants. Researchers at the Mumbai-based non-profit Society for Nutrition, Education & Health Action (SNEHA) recently published results of a study aimed at improving exclusive breastfeeding practices in informal settlements in Mumbai. We examined factors associated with practicing exclusive breastfeeding and whether its practice is associated with pregnant mothers’ enrollment in a community-based program to tackle child malnutrition.The community-based program for prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition operated for nearly five years in Dharavi, a large and vulnerable settlement in Mumbai. The program was implemented in partnership with the Government of India’s Integrated Child Development Services, covering 300 childcare or anganwadi centers and an estimated population of 300,000. The program’s primary activities included monthly growth monitoring, home-based counseling for pregnant women and caregivers and referrals to public health care facilities. A mixed-methods evaluation of the program found that the program had successfully reduced wasting (weight-for-height) prevalence among children under the age of three, in large part due to the continuous presence of trusted and informed community health workers (CHWs).Activities for pregnant women and children up to six months of ageThroughout the intervention, CHWs employed by SNEHA continually identified new pregnancies, new migrant pregnant women and missed pregnancies (as some women did not disclose their pregnancies until their second trimester). They also tracked newly married couples and couples with a single child who might be considering having a child. During the home visits, the CHWs encouraged pregnant women to register for delivery and access early antenatal care. They provided information on the possible danger signs during pregnancy for which they should seek immediate medical care.The CHWs counseled women on preparation for institutional delivery, appropriate postnatal care, the importance of iron and folic acid for the baby’s growth and on a nutritious diet and rest. A critical component of the counseling was to discuss the importance of breastfeeding practices such as initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of delivery, the benefits of colostrum, exclusive breastfeeding and avoidance of any prelacteal feeds. These educational visits continued from pregnancy through the birth of the child until the child was six months old.The CHWs also counseled lactating mothers on correct positioning, common challenges and remedies related to breastfeeding. The home visits allowed CHWs to respond to mothers’ breastfeeding concerns in a timely manner. Approximately 11% of mothers reported a problem with breastfeeding, with the majority reporting an issue of “low milk supply.” Each CHW was trained with specific strategies to manage issues and facilitate exclusive breastfeeding. In addition to home visits, SNEHA CHWs organized group meetings and culturally relevant community events for pregnant women for social support and health education.Factors associated with exclusive breastfeedingEndline evaluation data showed that 64.4% of 888 mothers with children under age six months of age were exclusively breastfeeding. Infants less than three months of age had much higher rates of exclusive breastfeeding (75.3%) compared to infants aged five to three months (52.7%). About a third of mothers gave prelacteal liquids in the first days following birth and had lower levels of exclusive breastfeeding (54.7%) as compared to mothers who did not give any prelacteal feeds (70%). Giving birth in a public facility was associated with higher rates (71.7%) of breastfeeding as compared to mothers who had given birth in private facilities (55%). Having a normal weight-for-height status and participating in the SNEHA program were positively associated with exclusive breastfeeding.Benefits of early enrollmentIn the study, we also examined our program surveillance data to explore whether counseling pregnant women helped improve exclusive breastfeeding practices. Mothers were significantly more likely to report exclusively breastfeeding if they had enrolled in the program while pregnant. Caregivers benefited from receiving counseling services earlier and more frequently: Mothers enrolled during antenatal care received an average of nine home visits from a SNEHA CHW, and mothers enrolled after a new birth received an average of five home visits. This study provides evidence in support of antenatal intervention in child nutrition programs and serves as example of how this can be done in partnership with existing government partners.—Read the study in PLOS ONE | Participation of pregnant women in a community-based nutrition program in Mumbai’s informal settlements: Effect on exclusive breastfeeding practicesLearn more about breastfeeding>>Read insight into breastfeeding from Dr. Ana Langer, Director of the Maternal Health Task Force>>—Photo Credit: Suraj Katra/SNEHAShare this:last_img read more

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