“When people are miserable, their resilience to other bad things becomes reduced,” said Dr. Oswald. “It’s easier to shrug off others’ good fortune when your life is OK. It’s been a terrible time for many people and the last thing they want to see is a millionaire’s house with a giant lawn.” Jens Lange, a psychologist at the University of Hamburg in Germany, agreed that the pandemic has created conditions that are ripe for envy. “Envy is an ugly two-headed monster,” said Dr. Christine Harris, a psychology professor at the University of California, San Diego, who studies emotions. “One head wants what someone else has. The other head chews on the first, for having these negative feelings.” I’ve seen the discontent over the years, in my day job, moderating reader comments. Growing wealth disparity, along with ubiquitous social media, appears to have made us all less satisfied (and snarkier). The pandemic has fueled the fire. Essential workers envy those working at home. People who were laid off envy those who weren’t. Those home-schooling young children envy those who aren’t. We all envy the rich. Those studying the topic find the reaction understandable. Envy, studies show, presents as a measurable brain response and is quantifiable via self-report scales. (Researchers suspect envy is underreported because people are ashamed to admit to it.) “At the heart of envy is social comparison of your situation with someone else’s,” Dr. Lange said. “It’s a basic process across all cultures.” … Read the whole story: The New York Times When the coronavirus hit France, Leila Slimani, a popular French-Moroccan novelist, and her family left Paris for their country home. Once there, Ms. Slimani began writing a quarantine diary for the newspaper Le Monde. The response, especially from people in teeny Parisian apartments, was so scathing, she apparently abandoned the series. When the billionaire David Geffen posted photos of his mega-yacht on Instagram while he quarantined in the Grenadines, the backlash led him to turn his account private. He added: “The pandemic is increasing the divide between the advantaged and disadvantaged, so there’s more opportunity to compare yourself to others in unflattering ways. You may also realize certain things are important that you never thought about. Say you’re alone in lockdown. Before, you were never socially isolated. Now your envy increases toward people locked down in others’ company.” Quarantine envy: If it’s not a widespread term yet, it should be. Envy, of course, is the joy-devouring emotion of craving what others have. Even before the pandemic, social media was linked to rising levels of the emotion. “Social media magnifies and creates instant, destructive envy,” said Andrew Oswald, professor of economics and behavioral science at the University of Warwick in England, and a co-author of a study on whether envy is societally harmful (short answer: yes). “There’s a globalization of envy and in the longer run, we have to regulate it.”
The government’s final decision on alcohol advertising was keenly awaited by the alcohol industry and by the media, which depended heavily on its advertising expenditure. Opponents of alcohol advertising claimed that alcohol caused accidents, lowered productivity and caused health and social problems, but Zane Dangor, special adviser to Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, said a task team set up to probe the issue had adopted the approach that it was a public health issue rather than one of cost to the economy. 31 August 2011 For the SABC alone, annual advertising spending from alcohol companies amounted to between R250-million and R400-million. They were particularly interested in France, where restrictions were placed on TV, internet and radio advertising of alcohol . A proposal emerged in Parliament on Tuesday for “significant” restrictions on alcohol advertising and, possibly, a ban in particular segments of the media . A government task team investigating restrictions on alcohol advertising would probably not recommend an outright ban, according to a report in Business Day on Wednesday. Dangor said the task team would submit its report to an inter-ministerial committee soon. Dangor told a parliamentary media briefing by the social protection and community development cluster of ministers that the task team was looking at models used in other countries. Sapa
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS” TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, CAMSIGHT DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE SOFTWARE AND THE ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENTATION. YOU ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR SELECTING THE SOFTWARE TO ACHIEVE YOUR INTENDED RESULTS, AND FOR THE INSTALLATION OF, USE OF, AND RESULTS OBTAINED FROM THE SOFTWARE. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS, NO WARRANTY IS MADE THAT THE SOFTWARE WILL BE ERROR-FREE OR FREE FROM INTERRUPTIONS OR OTHER FAILURES OR THAT THE SOFTWARE WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS.That’s standard boilerplate that you’ll find with almost any piece of software you purchase or run on the Internet. It doesn’t instill a warm feeling of confidence that the software you bought is going to perform in the way that you expect. How can software companies get away with it? Almost any other industry is required by law to be liable for problems created by their products.Now the EU is proposing legislation to change that. The EU consumer commissioner thinks that companies providing digital services should abide by rules similar to the rules that bind manufacturers of physical products. The Business Software Alliance (BSA), which represents software vendors like Apple, IBM and Microsoft, as you might expect, criticized the proposal.The BSA said in their response that “Digital content is not a tangible good and should not be subject to the same liability rules as toasters. Unlike tangible goods, creators of digital content cannot predict with a high degree of certainty both the product’s anticipated uses and its potential performance.”Undoubtedly there will be a lot of push back from vendors on this one. But if this becomes law in the EU, it seems like it will only be a matter of time before the discussion crosses the Atlantic.
After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Malditas save PH from shutout Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ In this file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives on Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) during the second half of Game 4 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Cleveland. The NBA is driven by star power and its Christmas Day lineup is about the league’s best players, not all the best teams. Yes, the NBA will roll out LeBron James and Kevin Durant, toss in some Russell Westbrook and James Harden under the mistletoe. APNEW YORK — Not since the Kobe-Shaq breakup have two rivals spent so many Christmases together.Golden State and Cleveland are playing the holiday’s heaviest-hyped matchup for the third straight season. The same teams hadn’t met that many times on Christmas since the Lakers and Miami squared off from 2004-06.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay This time the Warriors, as the NBA champions, are home for the holiday after having to travel to LeBron James’ house last season.“It’s great. It’s no fun playing on the road on Christmas,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s great playing at home. I always enjoy Christmas Day home games.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingThe Lakers-Heat trilogy began immediately after Los Angeles had dealt Shaquille O’Neal to Miami, making it an obvious addition to the schedule because of his feud with Bryant, even though the Lakers had fallen from championship contention.Dwyane Wade played in those games, beginning what’s been one of the most successful Christmas careers. His 10 wins in 12 appearances are the most in NBA history, and his 301 points are tied with James for third on the list. LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Stephen Curry isn’t expected back and Isaiah Thomas isn’t quite ready, so these familiar foes won’t look like they did last June or will if they meet again next June. Their first meeting this season is on the same floor as their last one, the Warriors’ victory in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. The team that won the title followed by also taking the Christmas Day matchup the next season after their two previous championship clashes, with the Cavaliers erasing a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 Finals and then a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter last Dec. 25 at home.WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT BOSTON CELTICSIt’s hard to make history on a franchise with as much history as theirs, but the Celtics will just by stepping on the floor Monday. They’ve never played a home game on Christmas, with 28 road contests and two at neutral sites. Expect them to be rude hosts to a Washington team returning to Boston for the first time since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, a series in which the teams exchanged hard fouls and bad blood in what’s become a heated rivalry recently.HOUSTON ROCKETS AT OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDERPerhaps it’s time for Carmelo Anthony’s breakout performance with the Thunder, because nobody has been better on Christmas. He has averaged 33.2 points in five games, tops among all players who made at least four appearances. This is the Thunder’s first chance to see what Anthony and Paul George mean in this matchup after the Rockets easily dispatched them in the first round of the playoffs. James Harden has scored 51 points in his last two games, but the Rockets lost both of them after winning 14 in a row.MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES AT LOS ANGELES LAKERSThe Timberwolves get another chance after losing in Oklahoma City last year in their first appearance on Christmas. Christmas games may be new to the Wolves but not to fans in Minnesota, as the Lakers made their first 11 appearances on the holiday from 1949-59 when they were based in Minneapolis. The Lakers have gone on to play 19 straight years on Christmas, so rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma better get used to having holiday plans.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Now together, they will to lead Cleveland to its 20th win in 22 games.A look at the games on the schedule of the 70th edition of the NBA on Christmas:PHILADELPHIA 76ERS AT NEW YORK KNICKSThe 76ers hope Joel Embiid can return from a back injury to play in their first Christmas Day game since 2001. The Knicks have played a league-high 51 games on Christmas and their 22 victories are tied with the Lakers for the most. They better enjoy being home for the holidays because they won’t be many times after Christmas. New York, tied for the NBA low with two road victories, plays 16 of its next 20 games away from Madison Square Garden after Monday.CLEVELAND CAVALIERS AT GOLDEN STATE WARRIORSADVERTISEMENT Ball to miss Lakers’ Christmas game with shoulder sprain ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims View comments
The Big Match of the ICC World Cup 2105-India versus Pakistan-is out of the way, and what a terrific performance by the Indian team. The win is the right tonic at the start of the tournament and the Indian team should take it step-by-step, focusing on the next match without,The Big Match of the ICC World Cup 2105-India versus Pakistan-is out of the way, and what a terrific performance by the Indian team. The win is the right tonic at the start of the tournament and the Indian team should take it step-by-step, focusing on the next match without thinking too far ahead.It was great to see Indian bowlers running in and bowling to plan. We need to keep up the momentum on our bowling and keep the consistency of performance. One of the most interesting aspects of the match was the batting of Shikhar Dhawan. He was under pressure due to a lack of runs in the recently concluded Australian tour and his response to the pressure situation was fantastic.The significant change that we saw when Shikhar started his innings was the elimination of the off-drives and the ‘swish’ outside the off stump, which had so often brought his downfall on earlier occasions. He was prepared to play the waiting game, tiring the opening bowlers and spending time in the middle to get back to form. Virat Kohli also adopted a similar approach but he has been in the thick of form and scoring heavily during this tour.I remember my first tour to Australia, 24 years ago in 1991, when I started playing the back-foot punch. With the natural disadvantage of being vertically challenged, I took a lot of pride in staying on top of the bounce getting behind the line instinctively and punching the ball with a straight bat. When there was room on offer, I would cut the ball, as would be normal on the subcontinental pitches.advertisementThe advantage of the back-foot punch was that it could be used even against good-length balls and I would often be up on my toes, in an effort to be on top of the ball, to play the shot effectively. This punch was different than the conventional flat-footed defensive stroke.Batting in Australia and New Zealand has three distinct challenges which can be represented as WBB: Wind, Bounce and the Boundary. The wind, especially in New Zealand, can sometimes be strong enough to seriously affect a batsman’s timing, playing against the wind your back-lift is faster but the down-swing is considerably slow, while the ball is coming on faster-and vice-versa from the other end. Even in the recent match against Pakistan, Wahab Riaz was bowling at about 140 kmph but when he came back for his second spell he was touching 150 kmph with the wind behind him.In Australia, the bounce that a bowler can get from the pitch is signifi cantly higher than pitches in the subcontinent. Mohammed Shami’s delivery which got the wicket of Younis Khan is a case in point. Perth and Brisbane are renowned for their fast and bouncy wickets that will easily expose inexperience-and both batsmen and bowlers have low margins for errors.As a batsman, if you understand the pace and bounce, then you could get on top of the bowling. For the bowler, the good-length spot is smaller in area on these wickets and the batsman can capitalise if the line and length falters. But if they extract bounce from the good-length areas, then it would make the batsman’s life diffi cult.With bowler-friendly conditions, it is important to not let the bowlers dictate terms. It is important to be watchful but equally crucial to create opportunities. After starting to open the innings in Auckland in 1994, I always backed myself to attack the bowlers up front and disturb their rhythm. I remember coming down the wicket on several occasions, forcing bowlers to adjust their length and then waiting for the short ball to come.A peculiarity of the grounds in New Zealand is that not all of them are traditionally round in shape. With the sight of the shorter boundaries, there is a natural tendency to try and clear the rope. But it is usually easier said than done, as the strong wind often plays a part in holding the ball up rather than letting it travel beyond the rope.In Adelaide, there are shorter boundaries at backward point and square leg but very long straight boundaries. As a visiting team, this makes a big difference because it affects the fi eld positions and bowling strategies.In 1999, the boundaries at Melbourne (MCG) were all the way till the wall and the straight boundary was actually behind the sight screen. As a batsman, you also have to assess the speed of the outfield. There have been occasions where I have played a well-timed, hard pull shot and still had to run four. So batters have to be alert and run hard rather than just assume that the ball will roll over to the boundary. Even though the boundaries have been brought in since then and the outfields are relatively quicker for the World Cup, they continue to be long.With the new field restrictions of having at least five fielders in the ring, a score of 275 seems to be the new par score in One Day Internationals. In the initial few matches, we have already seen four instances (until February 19) of teams setting a target of scoring 300 or more runs, including Ireland’s successful chase against the West Indies. For players struggling with form, the additional fielder in the circle will pose a challenge as rotating the strike will be tougher. But as a batsman, if you are in form, then the bowlers should be prepared for a nightmare.advertisementThe Indian team has started the tournament with a big bang and will carry this confidence into the next match in Melbourne. The South Africans will pose a bigger challenge as they are a very good and complete unit. The first 10 overs will be crucial for both sides. Here’s hoping for a repeat performance from the Indian team as I look forward to cheering from the stands-a first for me in the ICC World Cup!To tweet on this article, use #SachinIsBackTo read more, get your copy of India Today here.
How does a small nonprofit go viral and capture attention on the national stage? I set out to learn the answer from a Network for Good customer that has achieved the biggest exposure opportunity any business, organization, or individual could hope for: a commercial spot during the Super Bowl. At first, Estella was suspicious of the media. Local and national networks approached her several times after people in her community starting talking about Estella’s Brilliant Bus, but she turned them away. It wasn’t until she turned to some resources at a local college that things changed. Estella’s contact at the college told a friend about Estella’s work, who told her husband, who happened to be a producer for CNN. The producer got in touch with Estella right away. With the promise that she could review the story before its broadcast, Estella agreed to some media exposure. After the CNN spot, Estella was booked for more media appearances, and the passion and excitement around Estella’s Brilliant Bus grew. Small nonprofits like Estella’s can be hesitant to relinquish control over something that feels so personal out of fear of judgment or providing misinformation. But when we arm our supporters with the right to tell the story, that’s when “viral” happens. Estella’s Brilliant Bus was featured in Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad this year. And the Super Bowl was just one appearance from the past 18 months: Estella has appeared on Dr. Oz and Oprah and was named a CNN Hero of the Year. Be a business. Let’s focus on every part of our process to deliver programs. Are our programs easy to understand? Where are the risks? Let’s spend time making ourselves a well-organized and program-focused delivery machine. We owe it to our constituents and those telling our story to be the best we can be. Estella started with an idea, a bus, and her life savings. As she started researching how to make her organization operational, she found that she wasn’t the only one delivering technology or education to underserved communities—but her delivery mechanism was completely unique. Estella’s Brilliant Bus was the only self-sufficient mobile technology teaching facility in the world! It’s important for your staff, constituents, donors, and volunteers to understand what’s unique about what you do. To be noticed, your work must be noticeable. Continue to do good work. I talked with the organization’s founder and sole staff member, Estella Pyfrom, to understand the story behind the exposure. Going in, I thought I might find a replicable strategy around networking, PR, and elevator pitches, but after talking with Estella, I realized what I should have been expecting all along: It starts with mastering your nonprofit basics. Estella never stops moving or gets caught up in her own success. When we discussed how she feels about all the attention, Estella quickly responded, “I haven’t had a chance to be nervous or realize how big this has become. I’m too focused on achieving the vision I have for this business.” Her actions are true to her words: When presented with the 5,000 Points of Light award, she refused to fly cross-country to accept the award and drove her bus instead. Along the way, she stopped in cities to provide services to children. To date, Estella has served more than 61,000 children. She has no plans to slow down until Estella’s Brilliant Bus is a movement that puts a bus in every major U.S. city, and then worldwide. It’s a good reminder that landing big media attention is not the goal—it’s a means to touch more people and expand your reach. After that, let’s encourage and empower everyone we know to tell our story far and wide. Tell your story to others. So, the next time your executive director asks you how to land that big media attention, reply: Finally, remember that big media attention isn’t the goal. It’s an opportunity to get more volunteers, donors, and supporters, and the by-product is awareness about our organization. When I asked Estella about the keys to success, her immediate answer was that planning has made all the difference. The past two to three years have been about refining the model for delivering technology in a mobile facility to children in underprivileged areas. She knows where the bus will drive each day and how many kids they’ll serve, and she has backup engagements if a school or community has a last-minute cancellation. Delivering unique services with flawless execution has ensured that Estella’s Brilliant Bus maintains its positive reputation. The message is clear: Over-deliver your mission’s promise. Find your special sauce. We need to find what’s unique about our organization and let our work, communication, and story revolve around that concept. Let’s make sure everyone understands why we’re different.
#GivingTuesday is 12 weeks away, and by planning now, you can get a head start on creating a campaign that will give your year-end fundraising a boost.One question I’m often asked is whether nonprofits who don’t have a big email list or a huge social media presence should participate in a giving day like #GivingTuesday.Short answer: yes.Here’s why:#GivingTuesday is ultimately about creating excitement and activity in the community you already have. #GivingTuesday has gone from a grassroots movement to a mainstream event in the last four years. Your supporters will likely expect that you’ll participate in this national day of giving. Give them the chance to be involved in a variety of ways beyond making a donation. By involving donors in the campaign and making them feel like a part of the event, you’ll also strengthen their relationship with your cause and increase their loyalty to your organization.#GivingTuesday is a kickoff to December giving. Whether or not you put up big numbers on December 1st this year, getting your message out to supporters early will help you stay top of mind throughout the end of the year. Network for Good’s research shows that nonprofits who participated in #GivingTuesday raised more in December overall, so #GivingTuesday has an additive effect, rather than just shifting giving to earlier in the season.#GivingTuesday is a chance to amplify your results. By taking advantage of free training resources, templates, and even matching funds offered by organizations like Network for Good or GivingTuesday.org, even a small campaign can see bigger returns.#GivingTuesday is about building on your strengths. Although giving days can be a way to try and test new things, all great campaigns start from focusing on your best assets and proven tactics. If you don’t have a big Twitter following, focus instead on your core list of supporters, including board members, volunteers, and community partners. If your email list is just getting started, think about partnering with other organizations or businesses to help get the word out.#GivingTuesday is a good opportunity to attract new supporters and followers through a social fundraising campaign. By leveraging your existing base, you can tap into their networks by providing them with the right messages and tools to spread the word and raise funds on your behalf on the big day.For more #GivingTuesday tips, download our free guide, then sign up to receive our email alerts about new resources, templates, and updates on Network for Good matching funds.
Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 1, 2012Click 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)A recent collaboration between The Lancet and Imperial College London has led to a new Commission on Technologies for Global Health (launched today) that explores how medical technology (that tends to be developed in wealthy countries) can most effectively be utilized to improve health outcomes in low and middle income countries. The report looks into the appropriateness of existing technologies–and highlights examples of highly effective and context-appropriate global health technologies. Interestingly, the report notes that, “According to hospital inventories, an estimated 40% of healthcare equipment in developing countries is out of service, compared with less than 1% in high-income countries,” raising big questions about the effectiveness of technologies developed in rich countries being deployed to resource-poor settings.From the executive summary of the new Commission:Instead of relying on hand-me-down technologies from wealthier countries, which can be costly, inappropriate for local conditions, and even dangerous, the authors urge a renewed effort towards developing what they call “frugal technologies”—cost-effective technologies that are developed specifically to cope in local conditions. Examples of frugal technologies which have been developed to meet local needs include: the Jaipur foot, a rubber prosthetic for people who have lost their leg and foot below the knee; PATH’s Uniject injection system, which allows once-only use of needles for injectable contraceptives; and the eRanger, a durable rural ambulance, based around a motorbike and stretcher sidecar (which can be modified to carry one or two people).Read the full executive summary of the Commission.Read the Lancet Editorial that accompanies the new Commission: Technologies for Global HealthRead the BBC story about the new Commission: Medical Equipment ‘Undermining Aid Effort’Follow The Lancet and Imperial’s Institute of Global Health Innovation on Twitter!More on Global Health technologies:Learn more about WHO’s Compendium of Global Health Technologies.Discover MANDATE’s Maternal and Neonatal Health Technology Briefs.Take a look at Maternova’s Innovation Index that tracks new technologies that aim to improve the health of mothers and newborns.
Posted on August 7, 2012Click 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)Midwifery Journal recently published an article, Midwifery scope of practice among staff nurses: A grounded theory study in Gujarat, India, that aims to explore the role of midwives (among staff nurses) in providing maternal health services in Gujarat, India.Take a look at the abstract:BackgroundMidwifery is a part of the nursing profession in India. This current study explores and describes the midwifery scope of practice among staff nurses.MethodsA grounded theory approach was used to develop a model. Twenty-eight service providers from the maternity sections of public health facilities, selected through purposive and theoretical sampling were interviewed in-depth. Unstructured observations in the labour wards were also used for developing the model.FindingsThe midwifery practice of staff nurses was limited in scope compared to international standards of midwifery. Their practice was circumstance driven, ranging from extended to marginal depending on the context. Their right to practice was not legally defined, but they were not specifically prohibited from practice. As a consequence, the staff nurses faced loss of skills, and deskilling when their practice was restricted. Their practice was perceived as risky, when the scope of practice was extended because it was not rightfully endorsed, the nurses having no officially recognized right to practice midwifery at that level. The clinical midwifery education of nursing and midwifery students was marginalized because the education of medical students was given priority, and the students only got exposed to the restricted practice of staff nurses.ConclusionsUnclear definitions of the right to practice and the scope of practice have led to the un-utilized potential of staff nurses practising midwifery. This is detrimental because India faces an acute shortage of qualified personnel to meet the need in providing human resources for maternal health.Read the full article here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 28, 2014June 12, 2017By: Emily Maistrellis, Policy Coordinator, FXB Center for Health and Human RightsClick 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)Walif was only 16 and his younger sister, Nassim, just 11 when their mother died in childbirth in Butajira, Ethiopia.Both Walif and Nassim had been promising students, especially Walif, who had hoped to score high on the national civil service exam after completing secondary school. But following the death of their mother, their father left them to go live with a second wife in the countryside. Walif dropped out of school to care for his younger siblings, as did Nassim and two other sisters, who had taken jobs as house girls in Addis Ababa and Saudi Arabia.Nassim was married at 15, to a man for whom she bore no affection, so that she would no longer be an economic burden to the family. By the age of 17, she already had her first child. Seven years after his mother died, Walif was still caring for his younger siblings, piecing together odd jobs to pay for their food, although he could not afford the school fees.In all, with one maternal death, four children’s lives were derailed, not just emotionally but economically.More than 1,000 miles away, in the rural Nyanza province of Kenya, a woman in the prime of her life died while giving birth to her seventh child, leaving a void that her surviving husband struggled to fill. He juggled tending the family farm, maintaining his household, raising his children and keeping his languishing newborn son alive.But he didn’t know how to feed his son, so he gave him cow’s milk mixed with water. At three months old, the baby was severely malnourished. A local health worker visited the father and showed him how to feed and care for the baby. That visit saved the baby’s life.As these stories illustrate, the impact of a woman’s death in pregnancy or childbirth goes far beyond the loss of a woman in her prime, and can cause lasting damage to her children — consequences now documented in new research findings from two groups: Harvard’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, and a collaboration among Family Care International, the International Center for Research on Womenand the KEMRI-CDC Research Collaboration.The causes and high number of maternal deaths in Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa, and Kenya — the five countries explored in the research — are well documented, but this is the first time research has catalogued the consequences of those deaths to children, families, and communities.The studies found stark differences between the wellbeing of children whose mothers did and did not survive childbirth:Out of 59 maternal deaths, only 15 infants survived to two months, according to a study in Kenya.In Tanzania, researchers found that most newborn orphans weren’t breastfed. Fathers rarely provided emotional or financial support to their children following a maternal death, affecting their nutrition, health care, and education.Across the settings studied, children were called upon to help fill a mother’s role within the household following her death, which often led to their dropping out of school to take on difficult farm and household tasks beyond their age and abilities.How to use these new research findings to advocate for greater international investment in women’s health?At a webcast presentation earlier this month, a panel of researchers, reproductive and maternal health program implementers, advocates and development specialists discussed that question.Central to the discussion was the belief that the death of a woman during pregnancy and childbirth is a terrible injustice in and of itself. The vast majority of these deaths are preventable, and physicians and public health practitioners have long known the tools needed to prevent them. And yet, every 90 seconds a woman dies from maternal causes, most often in a developing country.The panelists expressed hope that these new data, which show that the true toll of these deaths is far greater than previously understood, can help translate advocacy into action.“It’s important to recognize that, beyond the personal tragedy and the enormous human suffering that these numbers reflect — some hundreds of thousands of women die needlessly every year — there are enormous costs involved as well,” said panelist Jeni Klugman, a senior adviser to the World Bank Group and a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.“So quantifying those effects in terms of [children’s] lower likelihood of surviving, the enormous financial and health costs involved and the repercussions down the line in terms of poverty, dropping out of school, bad nutrition and future life prospects are all tremendously powerful as additional information to take to the ministries of finance, to take to the donors, to take to stakeholders, to help mobilize action,” she said.Just what does “action” mean? Currently, the countries of the world are debating the new global development agenda to succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals, an ambitious global movement to end poverty. Advocates can use this research to make the case that reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health should play a central role in this agenda, given that it reveals the linkages between the health of mothers, stable families, and ultimately, more able communities, according to Amy Boldosser-Boesch, Interim President and CEO of FCI.Panelists also called for more aggressive implementation of the strategies known to prevent maternal mortality in the first place; as well as for the provision of social, educational, and financial support to children who have lost their mothers; and for continued research that outlines the direct and indirect financial costs of a woman’s contributions to her household, and what her absence does to her family’s social and economic well-being.But action is also required outside of the realm of health care, said Alicia Ely Yamin, lecturer in Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health and policy director of the FXB Center.In fact, the cascade of ill effects for children and families documented by this research doesn’t begin with a maternal death. The plight of the women captured in these studies begins when they experience discrimination and marginalization in their societies: “It [maternal death] is not a technical problem. It’s because women lack voice and agency at household, community, and societal levels; and because their lives are not valued,” she said.Klugman added that this research adds to work on gender discrimination, including issues like gender-based violence, which affects one in three women worldwide.It’s a tall order: advancing gender equality, preventing maternal, newborn, and child death, and improving the overall well-being of families. But panelists were hopeful that this research can show policy makers, and the public, that these issues are intertwined, and must be addressed as parts of a whole.As Aslihan Kes, an economist and gender specialist at ICRW and one of the researchers on the Kenya study concluded, this research is “making visible the central role women have in sustaining their households.”“This is an opportunity to really put women front and center,” she said, “making all of the arguments for addressing the discrimination and constraints they face across their lives.”This article originally appeared on WBUR’s CommonHealth.Share this: