6 Phrases We All Can Stop Using In Work Emails

first_imgThese days, most business is conducted over email. Whether checking in on the status of a project, setting up a meeting with coworkers or interfacing with clients, email is the easiest and most common way to share information in an office setting. It follows then, that the way your professional emails come across matters almost as much as how you present yourself in person. After all, your email etiquette could be what makes the difference between scoring that dream job interview and getting stuck at the bottom of the pile. While some email correspondence rules are fairly obvious (never send messages in all caps!), others are less so. Plus, what’s de rigueur changes with the times. Now, certain once-required sayings are no longer necessary and can, in fact, make their writer seem out of touch.In order to save you time and face, we tapped top experts in the field to find out which phrases are becoming obsolete.1. To Whom It May Concern“With access to all the information on the internet, it’s not difficult to find exactly who to address your email to,” says Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Texas. “It feels lazy and cold to receive an email that uses this term.” Try using a specific name whenever possible, and if you can’t, at least personalize your greeting to the company or team you’re emailing.2. I hope this email finds you well.“This is basically just filler,” says Gottsman. While it’s certainly good to send people your best wishes, it’s not necessary to include generic sentences like this one. If you actually know someone well enough to hope that they’re doing well, say something more specific as an opening. Otherwise, skip it and get straight to the point. No one is going to read an email and be offended you didn’t say that you hope they’re well.[Related: How to Write A Winning Thank You Letter?]3. Please do not hesitate to contact me.“This sounds so cliché,” says Jacqueline Whitmore, etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. “The prevalent ‘please do not hesitate’ was a light, bright phrase when it was coined almost a half-century ago, but now it has fallen by the wayside. It also comes across as bland and impersonal. ‘Please call me if you have any questions,’ is polite without the cliché connection.”4. Kindly be Advised or Be Advised“Unless you are an attorney, this sounds threatening,” notes Gottsman. If you want to advise someone of something, just tell them! No need to preface it with language that makes them feel like they’re about to be the subject of legal action.[Related: Don’t Rule Out These Common Resume Phrases]5. Enclosed please find…“This phrase, more than any other in the world of business writing, epitomizes the lawyer-like way people start to write when they want to avoid using a pronoun, like I”, says Whitmore. Plus, whatever you’re sending won’t be enclosed, it will be attached. “Instead, use something more conversational like: ‘I have attached my bio and headshot for your promotional materials.’” Even if you’re emailing someone more senior than yourself, there’s no reason to get overly official. Just be polite and direct.6. Yours truly, Sincerely yours, and Yours faithfully“You do not belong to the receiver,” notes Whitmore. “These closings are antiquated, but if you must use them, use them in extremely formal situations.” Sign-offs like Best regards, All the best, and Sincerely are better options.DISCOVER: Search Available Jobs Hiring In Your Area!last_img read more

A STEM Degree Does NOT Guarantee a Higher Salary—Here’s Why

first_img See more “Engineer” jobs 5.0★ Available “Engineer” Jobs 23 hours ago 23h While receiving a STEM degree is a great first step towards ensuring that you receive a good salary, that alone is not enough — but coupled with some knowledge and proactivity, you’ll be set up for success. 23 hours ago 23h SCADA Engineer Quadvest Magnolia, TX Software Engineer Masergy Communications Plano, TX UI Engineer LifeOmic Raleigh, NC 23 hours ago 23h Application Engineer II Superior Technical Ceramics Saint Albans, VT Today, it’s not just common sense that degrees within the STEM field (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) earn you a higher degree — there’s loads of data to back it up. Recent Glassdoor research revealed that the majority of the top 10 highest-paying college majors are in STEM fields, while other studies have found that STEM majors’ starting salaries are about $15,500 higher on average than their non-STEM peers, have higher employment rates, and earn about $300,000 more than non-STEM majors over their entire careers.Given this, it might seem like a STEM degree is a golden ticket to a higher salary, nearly guaranteed to earn you more than your non-STEM counterparts — right? Not so fast.While the Glassdoor study found that many of these highly technical, specialized degrees did have a higher payoff overall, there were also many degrees in which salaries varied significantly, even within the same major — especially for women. For example, within Mathematics, Glassdoor’s study found an 18 percent pay gap, with men earning a median base pay of $60,000 in the first five years after college and women with $49,182. Similarly, men who studied Biology had a median base pay of $46,000 in the first five years after college, while women brought in about $40,000.Demystifying the Gender Pay GapSame Majors, Different Career Paths This is largely a matter of occupational sorting, the tendency of men and women to sort themselves into different positions. “For female Mathematics majors, the three most common jobs after college (ignoring grad-school jobs like teaching and research assistants) are data analyst, analyst, and business analyst. For men, the three most common jobs are (ignoring grad-school jobs) analyst, data analyst, and data scientist,” the study reads. “The larger share of male math majors working as highly-paid data scientists is the primary factor driving this male-female pay gap after college.”Similarly, “among women who major in Biology, the most common three jobs after college are lab technician, pharmacy technician, and sales associate. By contrast, the three most common jobs for male Biology majors are lab technician, data analyst, and manager. The fact that men are more likely to work as higher-paying data analysts or managers, while women are more likely to work in lower-paying roles as pharmacy technicians and sales associates creates a gender pay gap, even for students with the same college major,” the study continues. What we don’t yet quite know for certain, though, is why this happens. Some studies suggest that marriage and motherhood factor into compensation, while others hypothesize that personal passion plays a large role, and still others note that when women begin to take over a certain career path, pay as a whole drops.Time to Take ActionAs you can see, when it comes to guaranteeing that you earn top dollar, much of the impetus largely falls on you. Here are a few actions you can take:Educate Yourself About Career Opportunities: Within your college major, there are a range of different career paths that you can choose to pursue. Before you settle on yours, make sure to research them thoroughly. You shouldn’t necessarily just take a job because it offers a higher salary, but it should certainly be a factor to consider along with things like work-life balance, career growth, and of course how much you enjoy the daily work of the role itself.Know Your Worth: A good salary is highly subjective dependent on things like your job title, years of experience, location, and more. So to make sure that you’re earning the most that you possibly can, use Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth™ personalized salary estimator to understand what you deserve to be making, then bring this data point to the table when it comes to negotiations. Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate: As the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease — if you advocate for yourself rather than waiting for your good work to be rewarded, you’re much more likely to see a pay increase. Want to learn how to effectively make your case? Try these resources: 4 Ways to Score a Great Salary at Your First JobSalary Negotiation Scripts For Any Job10 Dos & Don’ts of Salary Negotiation 3.3★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 2.8★ Flight Controls Software Engineer My Job Tank Santa Clara, CA Sales Engineer Power Monitors Mount Crawford, VAcenter_img 4.9★ Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer Business Technology Professionals, Inc. Buffalo, NY 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 1.6★ 5.0★ Idm Engineer WadiTek Columbia, MD N/A Automation Engineer Ashley Furniture Advance, NC 4.4★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Test Engineer (Clearance Required) CollabraSpace, Inc. Annapolis Junction, MD 5.0★ 3.7★last_img read more

What’s It Really Like to Work at Glassdoor? Find Out in the Latest Episode of Cultur…

first_img Senior Systems Engineer Glassdoor Mill Valley, CA 4.2★ 23 hours ago 23h 4.2★ 23 hours ago 23h Senior Manager, B2B Email Marketing Glassdoor Mill Valley, CA Enterprise Account Executive Glassdoor Mill Valley, CA Director of Product Marketing Glassdoor Mill Valley, CA 23 hours ago 23h Lead Machine Learning Engineer, Entity Understanding Glassdoor Chicago, IL 4.2★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 4.2★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 4.2★ 4.2★ See more jobs at Glassdoor 23 hours ago 23h Senior Account Executive Glassdoor Chicago, IL 4.2★ 4.2★ Senior Software Engineer in Test, Employer Engagement Glassdoor Chicago, IL Dogs. Arcade games. Waterfront views. At Glassdoor, it’s all in a day’s work. Our mission is to help people find jobs and companies they love, and the employees who work here are certainly no exception. That’s why Glassdoor leadership has gone to such lengths to make our Mill Valley, CA headquarters an amazing place to be — just ask Susie Castillo, host of Nasdaq’s original Facebook show, Cultural Capital.In the series, Castillo visits some of today’s most innovative companies to explore where the magic happens and who’s behind it. Recently, she stopped by Glassdoor — here’s what she found.An Office as Cool as the People In ItOn the banks of Richardson Bay in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, Glassdoor’s headquarters offers scenic views, a game room complete with ping pong and foosball tables, daily catered lunch, a workout facility and bootcamp classes, to name just a few amenities. But the real draw is the people, says Senior Software Engineer David LeBrun.“What brings me here every day is definitely the people,” LeBrun said. “Everyone’s very compassionate, talented and supportive.”Add to that a company-wide commitment to transparency and collaboration, and you’ve got one great working environment.A Meaningful MissionWhat keeps Glassdoorians eager to come back to the office on a daily basis? For one, the pride we take in our company’s mission.“Where you go to work is one of the most important decisions that you make in your life,” CEO Robert Hohman told Castillo, “and yet there was very little information prior to Glassdoor to help you” in that quest.When everyone from software engineers to sales reps to marketers and more can tie their daily efforts back to helping people make the right life decisions, it’s incredibly rewarding — and it keeps us engaged, satisfied and driven.A Growth-Focused Environment“You need to create [a work] environment where people grow, and that’s what we strive really hard to do,” Hohman shared. “We talk a lot with people about where do you want to be next, and how does that align with what we need as a company? How do we put you into a situation where you can flourish and you can learn new things and grow?”Need proof that Glassdoor cares about employee development? Just ask Stephanie Sosa, Senior Engagement Marketing Associate.“I started on a different team than I am now. I was working in this entry-level marketing role, and… there was another opening for another team,” Sosa shared. “My former manager allowed me to pursue that opportunity, coached me, guided me, and really helped me find the role that I’m in now.”Want to learn more about who Glassdoor is, what we do and how you can join? Watch the full video above, then browse our open jobs! Sr. Java Engineer, Security Glassdoor Mill Valley, CA Creative Director, Brand Design Glassdoor Mill Valley, CA Senior Manager, Content Marketing Glassdoor Mill Valley, CA 4.2★ Available Jobs at Glassdoor 23 hours ago 23h 4.2★last_img read more

The Surprising Step You Should Take to Find Your Next Job Opportunity

first_img 4.1★ Junior Marketing Project Manager Kforce Vancouver, WA Staff / Senior Accountant Kforce New York, NY 4.1★ Jr Business Development Representative, Finance & Accounting Kforce Chicago, IL Senior Law Project Manager Kforce White Plains, NY 23 hours ago 23h Available Jobs at Kforce 4.1★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Business Development Associate, Finance & Accounting Kforce Addison, TX 4.1★ 23 hours ago 23h 4.1★ .NET Developer Kforce Houston, TX 4.1★ 23 hours ago 23h Jr Business Development Representative, Technology Kforce King of Prussia, PA 23 hours ago 23h 4.1★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 4.1★ 23 hours ago 23h Application Developer Kforce Charlotte, NC See more jobs at Kforce Senior Java / J2EE Developers Kforce Phoenix, AZ 23 hours ago 23h 4.1★ Account Manager, Technology Kforce Dublin, OH 4.1★ Between the new opportunities, colleagues and environment, starting a new job is often an exciting time. What’s not so exciting? The job search process itself. I have yet to meet a person who actually enjoys scouring open job listings, vetting companies and coordinating interview times (or worse — hearing radio silence from the companies they’ve applied to). If there were a quick and easy way to streamline the process, most job seekers would take advantage of it in a heartbeat.But the truth is, there is a simple way to streamline your job search, and at no out-of-pocket cost to you. It’s just that many people aren’t aware of it. Working with a staffing services firm can ease or even eliminate many of the biggest job search pain points. To get the details on how it all works, I chatted with Ryan Lynch, a Client Relationship Executive at Kforce.The Perks of Having Your Own Personal RecruiterOnce you make contact with a staffing services firm, whether you reach out to them or they reach out to you, you’ll have a recruiter assigned to you whose entire job is to connect you with the right opportunities.“The nice part about working with a staffing services firm is that you are essentially crowdsourcing your job search efforts. I talk to enough people who are looking for a job to know that most find it to be a scary proposition, because there’s no defined roadmap. When you’re looking at different job postings you see different titles, different job descriptions and sometimes it just gets confusing. That’s where we come in,” Lynch says.Recruiters will work with you to figure out “what you’re looking for and why,” Lynch says. For example, “Do you like the flexibility of contract work? Are you looking for a more permanent placement?”“Once we decide what path you need to take or where you want to go with your career, you suddenly have multiple associates throughout the firm actively advocating on your behalf with our clients,” Lynch explains. “Plus, we aren’t just putting your resume in a portal — we’re having face-to-face conversations with the managers who have the ability to hire you. A firm like ours has access to more than 50 years of rich history and relationships throughout the country that you get to build upon.”From there, your recruiter will identify interested companies, coordinate interviews and even help you polish your resume if needed.“Most companies will help you write your resume as part of their services. When I meet with a candidate, I see it as part of my job to sit down with them and work on their resume with a critical eye,” Lynch shares.Everything You Need to Know About Writing the Perfect ResumeOngoing SupportAnother benefit of working with a staffing agency is that you continue to receive support even after you’ve found and accepted the right job for you.“The minute you accept that offer, you’re going to get onboarding emails and you’re introduced to our consultant care program. We have a portal which really acts as a home base for anything you need related to your placement, whether it be payroll, benefits, additional training or resources to reach out to,” Lynch says.Beyond that, staffing services firms are committed to keeping touch with you even after you’ve started your new job in order to ensure that you’re getting everything you need.“To me, consultants are the lifeblood of everything that we do, and I truly believe we embrace that idea as a company. Sometimes people are surprised by the consistent follow-up they experience once they become a consultant. We have a structured process where the recruiter who helped you find that job will be there to support you throughout the assignment,” Lynch explains.Often, recruiters will meet you on-site on your first day to walk you in, set you up for the project and introduce you to the team. From there, they’ll check in at least every couple of weeks and provide consultant events quarterly and ongoing training. Recruiters will even reach out to your employer to make sure that your experience is going as well as it possibly can.“On the client side, we check in regularly to ensure things are going well and to gather feedback which we can share with the consultant,” Lynch says.Separating Fact From Fiction Because not everybody is familiar with staffing services firms, there are often myths and misconceptions around how they operate. One of the biggest is that you, the job seeker, have to pay them for their services. But in fact, staffing services firms’ revenue comes from their clients — the employers looking to fill positions. “If someone is asking you to pay for their service, it’s a red flag and you should look elsewhere,” Lynch cautions.Another prevalent misconception job seekers have is that firms only offer short-term assignments.However, “most of our business is actually geared toward long-term engagements, either in project work or contract-to-hire,” Lynch says. “As companies are transforming their technology or their business, a lot of times they want to retain the people who helped them build their system and have the institutional knowledge.”4 Tips to Go From Contract to Full Time“Also, I often hear the assumption that we just sling resumes and that couldn’t be further from the truth. The intent is always to form lasting personal relationships whether that be to help you find a permanent job or if you want to deploy from assignment to assignment,” Lynch adds. “That’s what most good firms are searching for — people who want to have a mutually beneficial relationship to help them achieve their career goals while solving problems for our clients.”Want to take your job search to the next level? Check out open Kforce jobs here!last_img read more

Idrissa Gueye eager to taste European football with Everton fans

first_imgEverton midfielder Idrissa Gueye is eager to taste European football with Blues fans.Gueye recalls how Blues fans made their presence felt in Lille before a Europa League tie in 2014, when he was playing for the French club.”I was playing for Lille when Everton came over (for the 0-0 Europa League draw in October 2014) and the city centre was amazing,” he said.”We were staying over in a hotel pre-match and we heard all the noise. We were very much aware of Everton’s massive support.”It was like they had invaded the city en masse! At the same time, we appreciated how much English fans got behind their sides. Everton obviously do that and I’m do happy to be a part of it.”I can’t wait. I’m impatient for the Europa League to get underway.”Let’s hope we can have a good run in the competition so we can have a good chance for the fans to travel around with us again. We appreciate it because we know it’s a big deal to travel that far and spend that amount of money.”The fans at Everton live for the club.”last_img read more

Liverpool winger Ryan Kent wanted by Birmingham, Bournemouth

first_imgLiverpool winger Ryan Kent is still weighing up his next move.The Mirror says Birmingham City are among a handful of Championship clubs interested in taking Kent on loan.Harry Redknapp is keen on taking the 20-year-old to St Andrew’s for a year, but faces competition from others who watched Kent make an impression when he spent last season with second-tier Barnsley.Premier League Bournemouth have also been linked with the midfielder.last_img

Positive Fragmentation

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 1, 2011June 20, 2017By: Sara Al-Lamki, Young Champion of Maternal HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This blog post was contributed by Sara Al-Lamki, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. She will be blogging about her experience every month, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.My life has always been a series of fragmented journeys. I was never quite so sure what I wanted to do, I just knew I wanted to contribute to ‘the greater good’, as cliché as it sounds, and I was always taking different medical related paths. I wish I could say that maternal health was a passion from day one, but it took many paths to get here. Yet, this Young Champions program is the first thing that truly feels right. I feel passionate, and finally feel this is a road that I can travel.As Anna Dion said in her November post, you have to get out of your comfort zone to affect change. And as all the Young Champions I’m sure will relate and echo her words, I too am completely out of my comfort zone, yet wholly in my element. The frustrations are many and frequent, but I have never felt more driven, or more determined to get my idea into fruition, to change the face of maternal and reproductive health in the Arab world and beyond.It all sounds idyllic, I know, but believe me I realize the challenges. Indonesia is very much like Oman, with one public holiday after another, Bali especially, as it gets not only the National Muslim holidays, but all the Hindu and Christian holidays as well. And of course the run-up to the public holiday is slow as people ‘prepare’, so being productive is hard, and frustrating – oh so very frustrating. But I have learned to channel these frustrations, and find solace in releasing it. It helps that I’m on Paradise Island, and the beauty helps me forget and brings back the motivation. My particular comfort is the sunsets; the most spectacular sunsets one will ever set their eyes on. It takes my breath away, and I feel renewed, revived, and ready to handle the frustrations another day, week, month. I find fragmenting my life in this way helps me take things one step at a time. I always want to run through things, eager to see results, but if I break things down, then I can make those races shorter. All of this is helping my idea develop, so before I race into planning the revolution of family planning in Oman, I focus on my project, and the fragments of contributions I’m making here.It also helps that my mentor, an Ashoka Fellow, is extremely enthusiastic, and laughs at the hurdles, literally, and it helps everyone else at YRS breathe a little easier. It also helps me put things into perspective; things are never bleak, no matter how they seem, there is a way out—it may be hard, but there’s always a way. I recently watched her give a seminar on Reproductive Health to some Indonesian staff at one of the international schools. I’ve never quite seen a crowd so shocked as Dr. Sari demonstrated how to use a female condom—something they had never heard of, and to be frank, something I had never seen! She also inspires me, if she can open up minds here, I can do it too.I am now half-way through the mentorship, and into a new year. I am only now feeling settled, productive, and getting into the grind of things. I am starting to see fruits of my labor: one of the connections I was pursuing is being established, and the pregnant clients of YRS are beginning to be referred to the natural birthing clinic close by, to receive free or low-cost ante-natal care, and a place to give safe natural birth. The new educational materials I was developing are being printed, and will be distributed along with the others already at hand, and I have finally finished the planning and development stages of my project, and am beginning to implement it. Four months ago, I came here after the most inspiring trip to India, pumped to make a change, and improve global maternal health, and yet had only the vaguest idea of how I was going to do that. Now I realise it’s not such a bad thing that I have always fragmented parts of my life. It may seem impossible, but when you step back and look at the collective picture, things start to come into focus.Share this:last_img read more

Ektam: A Case Study from CEDPA

first_imgPosted on March 14, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The following is part of a series of project updates from the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA). The case study come from their project, Working on Integration Issues of HIV/AIDS and Maternal Health, which the MHTF is supporting. More information on MHTF supported projects can be found here.Ektam, a 30-year old mother from Barmer District in India, felt that she and her children were cursed. Her family blamed Ektam’s bad fate for the numerous illnesses that plagued her children, and she was wrought with worry during her latest pregnancy over the health of her new baby.Ektam comes from a region where awareness, access and usage of health care is minimal. The situation is exacerbated by limited access to education, especially for girls, early marriage, and early and frequent pregnancy.Then Ektam met a male community health volunteer from CEDPA/India’s Child, Maternal and Reproductive Health Awareness Initiative (CMH Program). He explained that simple health interventions, including vaccinations, would reduce the children’s illnesses. And, he met with Ektam’s husband and mother-in-law to educate them about the importance of regular antenatal care and other preventative measures to improve family health.Today, Ektam is getting regular health check-ups for her children, with the blessing of her husband and mother-in-law. And, she expresses confidence that her fifth child will be healthy because of her regular visits to the maternal health clinic.She is just one example of how increasing health awareness has led to healthier outcomes for families under the CEDPA/India initiative. Implemented from 2007 to 2009, CEDPA worked with Panchayat leaders (local governing bodies), community organizations and health workers to improve the reproductive health of adults, adolescents and transient workers and truckers in Barmer. The program was funded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Cairn, UK-based oil and Gas Company.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Preventing Malaria in Pregnancy in Mozambique

first_imgPosted on July 9, 2012June 21, 2017By: Leonardo Chavane, National Senior Advisor for Mozambique, MCHIP & JHPIEGOClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is part of a blog series on Malaria in Pregnancy. To view the entire series, click here.In Mozambique, malaria constitutes a primary cause of demand for health care, including among pregnant women and children under five years of age. Malaria also contributes to significant mortality among children under five years of age and is the leading cause of indirect maternal deaths.Although the country has adopted the strategy of Intermittent Preventive Treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) as a measure of prevention, implementation has encountered numerous difficulties that have limited national coverage. Our experience coordinating public health activities from the primary health care level to the national level demonstrates how addressing barriers is vital to ensuring adequate coverage of interventions to prevent malaria in pregnancy.In the following paragraphs, I will share four critical components of health systems that need to be strengthened in order to see improvements in coverage of IPTp.1. Coordination and integration in the implementation of malaria control and maternal and child health programsIn Mozambique, several policy documents and strategies advocate a coordinated management of health interventions and programs and, whenever possible, an integration of services offered to the communities. Despite clear expression of political support and strategic objectives, the degree of integration at different management levels and the provision of care remain poor. Although it is common for program managers to speak to each other, we have not yet reached the stage where programs are complementary. At the health unit level maternal and child health care, as well as malaria prevention services, are implemented in the same location and by the same person, yet an urgent need for unification and standardization of instruments (program management guidelines, supervision guidelines, etc.) for the management of malaria in pregnancy remains.2. Management of logistics and capacity to forecast commodities stock outsThe capacity of the system at different levels to forecast the need for commodities and to ensure arrival at health facilities remains a major obstacle to ensuring access. The indicators of coverage for pregnant women receiving at least two doses of SP in the past three years is 67%, 14% and 19% respectively, although nearly 100% of women accessed prenatal care at least once. Often there are stock outs in health facilities that do not correspond to stock outs in the national system or at the district level. Commodities related training activities for health workers, improved communication strategies between health workers at various levels of the system, and better tools for forecasting stock outs at the facility level are recommended.3. Lack of awareness of the danger posed by malaria among health workers and communitiesDespite clear evidence that malaria in pregnancy has significant impact on the health of women and newborns, health workers at various levels and communities do not always recognize the threat that malaria poses and do not always prioritize malaria prevention activities. Many times, other health issues take precedence—such as prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Increasing education and training for health workers and communities about the health implications of malaria in pregnancy is crucial for the success of any intervention aimed at preventing malaria in pregnancy. 4. The role of leadership in preventing malaria in pregnancyIn my opinion, strong leadership is a cornerstone for the success of prevention programs that aim to address malaria in pregnancy. Strong leadership is needed at every level–from communities and health units up to the highest level of political leadership of the country. This strong leadership around the issue of malaria in pregnancy should result in continued support of prevention efforts—specifically, prevention efforts that build the capacity of health workers and influence community members to seek prevention and care for malaria.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Despite Differences in Culture, the United States and India Fall Short in Childbirth in Similar Ways

first_imgPosted on March 10, 2017March 13, 2017By: Neel Shah, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, Associate Faculty at the Ariadne Labs for Health Systems Innovation and General Obstetrician-Gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)After eight years of practicing obstetrics and researching childbirth in the United States, I know as well as anyone that the American maternal health system could be better. Our way of childbirth is the costliest in the world. Our health outcomes, from mortality rates to birth weights, are far, far from the best.The reasons we fall short are not obvious. In medicine, providing more care is often mistaken for providing better care. In childbirth, the relationship between more and better is complicated. Texan obstetricians, when compared to their counterparts in neighboring New Mexico, are 50% more likely to intervene on the baby’s behalf by performing a cesarean section. Nonetheless, Texas babies still have a lower survival rate than New Mexican babies.Neel Shah, center, pictured with Jishnu Das, a Lead Economist at the World Bank and Leslie Page, President of the Royal College of Midwives. Neel Shah, Author providedI long assumed that our most puzzling American health care failures were idiosyncrasies–unique consequences of American culture, geography and politics. But a trip to India for the 2017 Human Rights in Childbirth meeting led me to a humbling realization: When it comes to childbirth, both countries fall short in surprisingly similar ways.Human rights in childbirthI take care of patients at a well-funded teaching hospital in Boston, where pregnant women seem well-respected and have clear, inviolable rights.I’ve read about the gender-based violence, the profoundly disturbing cases of disrespect and abuse that too many women in India and around the world experience. But these are not things I have deep experience with.I initially hesitated when I received an invitation to speak at a human rights meeting. Still, the opportunity to scrutinize my profession alongside international experts from a broad range of disciplines was compelling. Over 200 activists and scientists, midwives and physicians, journalists and attorneys planned to discuss strategies to advance justice, dignity and respect for pregnant women. So I got on the long flight from Boston to Mumbai.The meeting began with Indian women describing their experiences of care gone wrong. Many were heartbreaking stories of women receiving too little care too late – failures to provide antibiotics, blood and other forms of resuscitation in a timely way. Others were equally heartbreaking examples of women receiving too much care too soon – unnecessary inductions of labor, episiotomies and cesarean sections. Beyond instances of clinically measurable harm, the stories illustrated routine misappropriations of care that these women felt deprived them of basic dignity.Throughout, I was conscious of the fact that Indian clinicians have different training and face different constraints than I do. Indian women often have less agency to advocate for themselves compared to American women. Nearly half of Indian women are married before the age of 18 and have limited capacity to make independent decisions regarding reproduction. Indian women also have less access to basic social services than American women, though they are far more likely to require them. Higher rates of chronic and infectious diseases, higher rates of illiteracy and higher rates of abject poverty are all factors contributing to avoidable suffering in childbirth.But as I sat there, listening to case after case, aware of the differences between the American and Indian context, much of what I was hearing also sounded uncomfortably familiar. Fundamentally, providing too little care too late or too much care too soon are challenges that all maternal health systems are confronting, including the American system. And in the United States, India and many other countries, the standard approach to address these challenges is similarly limited.The principal way my profession aims to improve care is by issuing guidelines that spell out the things we should be doing more of. But simply advocating that we start to do more things may be inadequate. In many cases doing more can actually be harmful.A security device is shown on the right ankle of a newborn in the maternity ward at Medical City Hospital in Dallas, March 15, 2007. AP/Matt SlocumThe balance between too much care and too littleIn a recent Lancet commission on maternal health, 77 researchers from around the world, including me, concluded that our primary struggle in maternal health care is to find the appropriate balance – to provide the right patient with the right care at the right time.The testimonies during the conference revealed a startling set of facts. In India, as in the United States, the biggest risk factor for getting an avoidable and potentially harmful cesarean section appears to be which facility a woman goes to for care, not her personal preferences or medical risks.In India, as in the United States, those facilities that are better at achieving the right balance of interventions rarely share best practices with others. And in India, as in the United States, efforts to elicit and attend to the legitimate preferences women may have during childbirth are the exception rather than the rule.These parallels have their limits. On average, health outcomes in the United States are significantly better than those in India. But this mode of comparison misses a critical point. Dignity is a consequence of appropriate care, and appropriateness cannot be easily determined by population statistics. In our intense focus on mortality rates, we often overlook the obvious fact that childbearing women have goals other than emerging from birth alive and unscathed.Childbirth is a moment of identity formation as a mother. It is a moment of profound self-agency (or lack thereof). It is a moment that nearly all my patients tell me has long-lasting and nuanced effects on their lives, though we do not have good ways of measuring such things.Appropriate care is about more than safetyThe stories of care gone wrong in India gave me an uncomfortable feeling that even the routine, seemingly respectful and safe care I provide in Boston may occur in a system that may not be designed to prioritize the dignity of my patients.A large part of the challenge is that many women may not know what they deserve when it comes to the experience of having a baby.An impoverished Indian woman who treks to civil hospital, only to give birth through an avoidable episiotomy, with minimal labor support, on a dirty metal cot, in a room crowded with other patients, may see that as normal. She may even expect it.Of course, an American woman who labors in a clean, private room, within a state of the art hospital, only to receive an avoidable cesarean section will often see that as normal as well. In both cases, as long as the baby is healthy, women are almost always grateful.Those of us in the birth community could do better in helping women understand what they deserve, and in developing systems of care that deliver on this promise. But first we have to be willing to link the ideas of appropriateness and justice, of patient experience and dignity. In other words we have to be willing to see childbirth through the lens of human rights.As an obstetrician, I understand the hesitation. There’s a part of me that still bristles at this framing. In practice, knowing when to intervene in the course of an otherwise healthy woman’s labor can be incredibly difficult. Perfect accuracy may actually be impossible.Yet there are certainly broad ways that the American maternal health system can do better. About 50% of United States counties lack any qualified childbirth provider, limiting access to necessary care. Paradoxically, when we do provide access to care, we tend to provide too much. In the case of unnecessary cesarean sections, the error margin is again about 50%.While perfection may not be a reasonable goal, delivering appropriate care with the same success rate as a coin flip is not reasonable either. In fact, it is unjust.This post originally appeared on The Conversation.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

New FIGO Guidelines for Misoprostol Use

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 29, 2017December 20, 2017By: Samia Khatun, Project Manager, Global Safe Motherhood Projects, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)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)The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for a reduction in global maternal mortality to fewer than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. Achieving this target will require specific attention to postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), which is estimated to cause more than a quarter of maternal deaths worldwide. The burden of PPH is even higher in certain regions: In Eastern Asia and Northern Africa, more than 35% of maternal deaths are attributable to hemorrhage.A relatively basic set of interventions can dramatically reduce the rates of PPH, including skilled care before, during and after childbirth, active management of the third stage of labor (AMTSL) and, in many cases, administration of uterotonics. The preferred uterotonic of choice is oxytocin, which is delivered to the mother by intravenous injection immediately following delivery. Where oxytocin is not available, storage conditions are inadequate or health workers are not trained to administer it safely, misoprostol is currently the best alternative. Unlike oxytocin, misoprostol tablets do not need to be refrigerated or administered with a syringe, which can make it a more viable option in low-resource settings.In 2012, the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (FIGO) produced guidelines for the prevention and treatment of PPH with misoprostol along with a chart detailing recommended dosages of misoprostol when used alone for a variety of gynecologic and obstetric indications. In June 2017, FIGO released an updated chart informed by recent scientific evidence and developed through consultation with maternal health experts.The chart, divided into stages of pregnancy, outlines recommendations for dosages and routes of administration for misoprostol use for several indications including medically induced abortion, clinical management of miscarriage, cervical preparation for surgical abortion, fetal death, induction of labor and management of PPH. The chart has been endorsed by the FIGO Prevention of Unsafe Abortion Working Group and the FIGO Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health Committee.Some of the changes to this updated version include the addition of alternative routes for misoprostol administration and the introduction of secondary prevention of PPH. A group of experts agreed that secondary prevention of PPH is a strong, alternative approach to universal prophylaxis because it involves medicating far fewer women (only 5-10%), thus risking fewer adverse effects and substantially reducing costs.While the development of the dosage chart and its dissemination are critical steps in reducing the global burden of PPH, further work is needed to ensure that misoprostol is included in national essential medicine lists, high quality misoprostol is available—particularly in low-resource settings—and that health workers are trained to administer it safely.For more information, please contact Samia Khatun.—Download different versions of the new FIGO misoprostol charts in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.Learn more about the updated FIGO guidelines.Read about barriers to misoprostol use in developing countries.Access resources related to the maternal mortality targets under the SDGs.Share this:last_img read more

Member of the week: Jeffrey Loyd, Mortgage Broker

first_imgOur member of the week is Jeffrey Loyd. Jeffrey works as a mortgage and real estate broker. A look through Jeffrey’s website will give you an idea of the numerous services he provides. Jeffrey has a wonderful section on how mortgages work, including a mortgage glossary, a mortgage calculator, a checklist for those seeking a mortgage, and much more. To learn more about Jeffrey, check out his blog and his profile.1. What has been your most interesting project?My most interesting project is one that I’m currently working on. It’s obtaining the financing for the coop conversion of a beautiful building in the landmark section of Brooklyn Heights. This is challenging because of the need to have financing for some renovations and the ability to pay down the mortgage substantially so as to not overly burden the buyers with a high maintenance. Once I accomplish this, I’ll be able to market the properties as a Real Estate Broker, so this is going to be a very hands on project for me.2. Why did you decide to go freelance?I decided to go freelance because I felt that as a Mortgage Broker and Real Estate Broker, I could better service my clients by remaining independent. If I worked for one bank, all I’d have to offer my clients would be what my bank offered, and that would not be in the best interests of my clients.3. What tip would you give to a new freelancer or someone who is considering going freelance?The best tip that I can offer, is to have some savings to cover you during those initial start up months. It’s hard to get business while juggling to pay the rent. You just won’t be able to concentrate enough, I think. It’s best to have 6 months reserves, 3 months minimum. Other than that, I suggest setting yourself up to present yourself the most professionally. Get a fax, or efax, get your own domain for email, if not a website. Don’t miss an opportunity to brand yourself, and always work on your elevator speech. An elevator speech is that sentence or two that instantly tells another person what you can do for them.4. What is your favorite spot in the city in which you live?New York City buildings are what I enjoy the most. My favorite is the Woolworth Building.5. What is your inspiration? It’s hard to define my inspiration. I get a lot from others in my business, watching what they do–both good and bad. One of the people I find inspiring is Tamir Sapir, who started in New York City as a taxi cab driver and through hard work, grit and intelligence has put together a portfolio of more than 7 million square feet of prime commercial office space in Manhattan, including 11 Madison Avenue.last_img read more

The Anti 9-to-5 Guide

first_imgMichelle Goodman has written a practical career guide for women, one blessedly free of the ladder-climbing ethos of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office and its ilk. The Anti 9-to-5 Guide may offer just the inspiration you need if you’re trying to overcome your trepidation about going freelance–or just the advice you need if you already have. Goodman is just now embarking on her book tour, and will be appearing in Seattle this week. On the events page of Goodman’s website, you can find out whether she’s coming to your area.last_img read more

Who Has Access to My Credit Reports?

first_imgFrom the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,There’s a specific conversation I frequently have with people around my age. As they get closer to middle adulthood and look back on everything they’ve learned about money, they start to wonder – why didn’t they teach us this stuff… Full Story,Depending on what you look for in a card, one of these may be a perfect fit your do-it-yourself projects. Follow along to learn more about these top five credit cards for DIYers. Full Story,In many ways, our credit determines our power as consumers. The strength of our credit profile and score enable us to rent an apartment, take out a car loan, and sign up for a cell phone number. Can you imagine… Full Story,Travel credit cards are available with a wide array of rewards, redemption options, fees, and bonuses. Weeding through so many general and branded travel rewards cards can be tough, so we picked out some favorites for a wide range of travel styles – so you can find the best travel credit card for your wallet.Full Story,Traveling abroad carries with it all sorts of potential credit issues. Some are just mildly annoying, but some can leave you stranded in Amsterdam, relying on the help of a broke friend you haven’t seen since high school. To avoid those issues and everything in between, here are some tips for using credit abroad. Full Story,The top reward credit cards cater to an array of desires. Whether you want to get cash back or earn miles and points toward free travel, the cards below are all a great place to get started.Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated by some of the links that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint Partners were added after the creation… Full Storylast_img read more

MintFamily With Beth Kobliner: A Penny for Your Thoughts on Minimum Wage

first_imgMy birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Technology has transformed the way we dine out in groups. Gone are the days when friends take turns treating each other to nights on the town. Now that apps make money accessible everywhere, tabs are paid down to the cent… Full Story,Occupation: Copywriter Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 29 Location: Indianapolis, IN Paycheck (BiWeekly): $2,100/mo after HSA and 401(k) removed Monthly Expenses: Rent: $462.50 Car lease: $300 Insurances: $85 All other expenses Utilities: $200/mo Pet supplies: $30/mo Phone: $50/mo Streaming services: $15/mo… Full Story,Occupation: Digital advertising Age: 30 Location: San Francisco Bay Area Income: $5,200 month net post 401K, health insurance / HSA, and taxes Total Debt: $0 Monthly Expenses: Rent and utilities: $1,800 Auto: $275 including car insurance Internet/mobile: $120 10:00 am:… Full Story,The holidays are time for family. Here are some fun ideas from our friends at Quotacy on how to make the most of this holiday season with your loved ones, with a bit of humor. ?   With the rise… Full Story,Occupation: Social Media Manager Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 26 Location: Indianapolis, IN Paycheck: $2,500/month after health/vision insurance deductions Monthly Expenses Rent: $700 Car Insurance: $65 Renters Insurance: $16 Utilities: $75 (Internet, Electric, Gas) Dental Insurance (not through work): $15 Hulu:… Full Story,On November 30th, The Financial Diet is kicking off their nationwide book tour for The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide To Getting Good With Money in New York.  Join us when the tour hits your city and don’t forget… Full Story,Occupation: Data Analyst Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 31 Location: Menlo Park, CA Paycheck (BiWeekly): $1,700 after auto-savings, 401k, ESPP purchase, renters & auto insurance and health care removed I have everything removed automatically as I have trouble with in-the-moment spending…. Full Story,Occupation: Account Services & Freelance Writer Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 39 Location: Longmont, CO Paycheck (3): $4,700/mo includes salary and three freelance clients (side hustles) Monthly Expenses Rent: $900 Car loan: $275 Credit card payment: $450 All other expenses… Full Story,If you’re still in college or a recent grad working with a limited budget, the idea of implementing a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming and very expensive. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself shelling out lots of cash… Full Storylast_img read more

Here’s What Car Accidents Really Cost You

first_imgEric Brandt has more than 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry. Eric currently serves as Chief Customer Advocate for Esurance, where he leads the customer experience, including claims fulfillment. Prior to joining Esurance, Eric led customer-centered transformations in the areas of claims, risk management and relationship management for carriers offering personal lines, commercial lines and employee benefits protection. To learn more about Esurance’s car insurance options, visit their website.   Car accidents are not only scary but also a monumental hassle. That’s largely thanks to what comes after the accident itself.  After an accident, you’ll likely have to spend ample time on the phone with your insurer. Then there’s dealing with the auto shop and rental car agency. There’s also the possibility of having to shop for a new car. When you consider all these factors, the whole cost of even a minor fender-bender can be hefty — both in terms of time and money.  Three-quarters of all drivers have been in an accident. Three-quarters of drivers also believe they’re well covered by their car insurance policies. Unfortunately, this might not be so. A recent Esurance study found that it’s not uncommon to shell out more than $1,000 after an accident — and spend 20-plus hours dealing with post-accident demands.  Truth be told, we often make the whole thing more expensive than it needs to be. From understanding coverages to researching repairs, here are several ways you can ease the financial (and emotional) burden of an accident.  Understand Your Policy Most online quote systems will customize coverage for you. It’s based on both your ZIP code and the answers you provide throughout the quote. That way, at the very least, you meet minimum state requirements — plus, you can see relevant coverage options.  However, many people don’t even read their policy after they purchase it. That’s not surprising—insurance policies are long, complicated and not particularly riveting. But knowing the fundamentals of your coverage can go a long way in helping you to be aware of protections you don’t have or reimbursements you’re entitled to. As a starting point, ask yourself the following as you go through your policy:   Is my vehicle protected in the event of a collision? While no state requires collision coverage, it can be invaluable. It’s designed to cover repair costs for your car, whether you hit another car or another car hits you. Yet the Esurance study reported that over a quarter of drivers opt out of it — likely in an attempt to shave down their premium. But consider this: If your vehicle’s a newer model, a damaged bumper alone can easily cost $1,000. That’s because many newer models are equipped with a suite of built-in sensors and cameras. Without collision coverage for your car, even a minor accident can burn a hole in your wallet.  It’s worth noting, too, that collision coverage goes hand-in-hand with comprehensive coverage – in fact, some insurers require that you buy them together. That’s because when you bundle them, they help foot the bill for a wide array of mishaps: crashes, fallen trees, hail storms, hitting a snow bank, vandalism, auto theft, collisions with animals and more. Whether you need to replace a damaged part or your entire vehicle, these coverages can be lifesavers.   Do I have backup transportation? For many of us, a car isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. Our job, school, errands, doctor visits and the like depend on it. Having an easily accessible backup plan can save you a lot of money and stress. If your car is in the shop after an accident, having transportation in the interim helps daily life continue as normally as possible. Rental car costs can add up quickly, so knowing whether your car insurance will help cover those costs is critical—especially if the shop is, say, waiting on a replacement part, which could take a couple weeks.  How much will my coverages actually cover? Having coverage is one thing. Having enough coverage to be reimbursed for the total cost of an accident is another. Let’s say you’re found at-fault in an accident. The other driver is injured and looking at about $100,000 in medical bills. Your bodily injury liability limit is $25,000. That means you could be responsible for the remaining $75,000.  While lower limits might save you money at checkout, it could leave you in the lurch after an accident. Pay attention to your coverage limits and make sure you’re comfortable with them. What do I have to pay out of pocket? A deductible is what you pay before you’re insurance coverage pays. When you buy car insurance, you get to choose from a range of deductibles. The more you’re willing to pay out of pocket, the lower your premium is likely to be. But your deductible should be one you’re comfortable paying. If, for instance, you choose a higher deductible of $1,000, make sure you have $1,000 in your bank account on standby. Otherwise you could be facing a not-so-little snag in the claims process.  Research Local Auto Repair Costs About two-thirds of U.S. drivers don’t trust auto repair shops in general, according to a 2016 AAA survey. Fear of being overcharged is understandable, so researching auto repair costs in your area can be to your advantage. According to the Esurance study, drivers who had to shell out less than $1,000 in repairs after an accident were more than 60 percent more likely to have done their research on repair costs.  Auto insurance companies typically have a direct repair program. This consists of a network of repair shops pre-approved by your insurance company. After all, your insurer has a stake in this too, and a quality repair job at a reasonable price reflects well on them.  However, direct repair programs aren’t mandatory. Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the repair shop you want to work with.  Plan for the Unexpected Lawsuits over emotional distress. Being hit by an underinsured driver. Missing work due to injuries. These are scenarios no one likes to dwell on, but having a contingency plan in case they do happen can bring you much peace of mind.  It’s not just money in the bank that’s at stake. Your assets ought to be top of mind as well — property, equity, savings. For this reason, the general rule of thumb is to purchase the coverage that’s right for you and fits within your budget. An auto policy shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, but it should protect that arm and leg as well.   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related5 Different Types of Insurance Policies & Coverage That You NeedFebruary 6, 2013In “Financial Planning”The 4 Biggest Budget Surprises for New College GradsMay 24, 2018In “Budgeting”Credit Card Top Picks: Based on Your Life StageMarch 14, 2019In “Credit Info” center_img Post navigationlast_img read more

2017 Was the Second-Worst Year on Record for Tropical Tree Cover Loss

first_imgDespite concerted efforts to reduce tropical deforestation, tree cover loss has been rising steadily in the tropics over the past 17 years. Natural disasters like fires and tropical storms are playing an increasing role, especially as climate change makes them more frequent and severe.  But clearing of forests for agriculture and other uses continues to drive large-scale deforestation.Here’s a snapshot of tree cover loss in key tropical countries last year: The Colombian government is actively working to slow forest destruction and, in fact, was recently ordered by the Supreme Court to get deforestation in the Amazon under control. The government has already cancelled a major highway project connecting Venezuela and Ecuador, destroyed several illegal roads, expanded Chiribiquete National Park by 1.5 million hectares, and launched the “Green Belt” initiative to protect and restore a 9.2-million-hectare forest corridor. It’s too early to tell if these actions and others will be enough to slow the country’s rampant forest loss.Brazil’s Tree Cover Loss Remains High Despite Previous DeclinesBrazil experienced its second-highest rate of tree cover loss in 2017, after a prominent spike in 2016. Last year was the second-worst on record for tropical tree cover loss, according to new data from the University of Maryland, released today on Global Forest Watch. In total, the tropics experienced 15.8 million hectares (39.0 million acres) of tree cover loss in 2017, an area the size of Bangladesh. That’s the equivalent of losing 40 football fields of trees every minute for an entire year. What is tree cover loss?Tree cover loss is not the same as deforestation. “Tree cover” can refer to trees in plantations as well as natural forests, and “tree cover loss” is the removal of tree canopy due to human or natural causes, including fire. Methodology changes starting in 2011 may lead to inconsistencies between the 2001-2010 data and the 2011-2017 data. Read more here. The rapid increase in tree cover loss happened as peace came to the country. Last year, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest rebel group, was pushed out of large amounts of remote forest they previously controlled. The FARC kept tight control over land use and allowed little commercial use of resources – with the demobilization, a power vacuum has emerged, leading to illegal clearing for pasture and coca, mining and logging by other armed groups. Land speculation is rampant, as people occupy and deforest new areas in the hopes of getting a land title under the forthcoming rural reform law, a key component of the Peace Agreement. Abandoned FARC trails are also providing access to previously remote forest areas, with some regional governments officially expanding these roads to promote development. The decrease is likely due in part to the national peat drainage moratorium, in effect since 2016. Primary forest loss in protected peat areas went down by 88 percent between 2016 and 2017, reaching the lowest level ever recorded. Additionally, 2017 was a non-El Niño year, which brought wetter conditions and fewer fires compared to past years. Educational campaigns and increased enforcement of forest laws from local police have also helped prevent land-clearing by fire. Colombia Sees Tree Cover Loss Spike in Post-Conflict EraColombia faced one of the most dramatic increases in tree cover loss of any country, with a 46 percent rise compared to 2016, and more than double the rate of loss from 2001-2015. Almost half of the increase happened in just three regions on the border of the Amazon biome (Meta, Guaviare and Caquetá), with new hotspots of loss advancing into previously untouched areas. The rise comes despite declining deforestation rates, and is mainly due to fires in the Amazon. The Amazon region had more fires in 2017 than any year since recording began in 1999, causing 31 percent of the region’s tree cover loss according to University of Maryland data, which for the first time attributed specific instances of tree cover loss to fires. Though forests are likely to recover since fires mainly cause degradation rather than deforestation (read more here), the blazes have counteracted Brazil’s decline in deforestation-related carbon emissions since the early 2000s.While the southern Amazon did face a drought in 2017, almost all fires in the region were set by people to clear land for pasture or agriculture. Lack of enforcement on prohibitions of fires and deforestation, political and economic uncertainty, and the current administration’s roll-back of environmental protections are likely contributors to the high amount of fires and related tree cover loss.Experts are also concerned that high levels of fires and forest degradation are becoming the new normal in the Amazon. Climate change combined with human-caused deforestation is increasing the prevalence of drought, making the landscape more vulnerable to fires.Forest clearing for other uses is also apparent throughout the country, with evidence of agriculture, ranching and intensive logging incursion into previously intact forests in the states of Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia and Roraima.Indonesia Sees Encouraging Drop in Primary Forest LossUnlike most tropical forests, Indonesia experienced a drop in tree cover loss in 2017, including a 60 percent decline in primary forest loss. While some provinces in Sumatra still saw increased primary forest loss—including 7,500 hectares (18,500 acres) in the Kerinci Seblat National Park— provinces in Kalimantan and Papua experienced a reduction. This new development is reason to be cautiously optimistic, but only time and another El Niño year will reveal how effective these policies really are.Tree Cover Loss in the Democratic Republic of Congo Reaches Record HighTree cover loss in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reached a record high in 2017, increasing 6 percent from 2016.  Agriculture, artisanal logging and charcoal production drove the tree cover loss, with nearly 70 percent of it occurring in agricultural areas known as the rural complex. While shifting cultivation does not necessarily indicate expansion into primary forest, growing populations can intensify agricultural practices, thus reducing fallow periods where trees regrow naturally. Our analysis also showed that in 2017, 3 percent of overall tree cover loss occurred in protected areas and 10 percent within logging concessions.For the past 16 years, DRC has had a moratorium on new industrial logging concessions, but the government reinstated concessions to two companies in 2018. Environmentalists worry that opening the forest to additional logging could exacerbate the country’s growing deforestation problem. But there is more to DRC’s tree cover loss than industrial logging concessions. While the moratorium applied only to industrial logging, artisanal logging, often illegal, also soared. Given the increasing trends observed in 2016 and 2017, it is critical that DRC move ahead with improved land use planning and forest law enforcement while enforcing better management practices.Hurricanes Disrupt Forests in the CaribbeanThe extreme hurricane season of 2017 that killed thousands and caused billions of dollars of destruction in the Caribbean also had adverse impacts on the region’s forests. The island of Dominica lost 32 percent of its tree cover in 2017, while Puerto Rico lost 10 percent, including significant losses in El Yunque National Forest. While tropical forests in cyclone zones are naturally resilient to storms, scientists worry about their ability to recover in the face of more powerful storms due to climate change.Seeing Forests for More than Just the TreesThe steady increase in tropical tree cover loss is alarming, and the new data further demonstrates that current efforts to reduce deforestation are insufficient.Beyond sheltering biodiversity and providing human livelihoods, forests also play a critical role in storing carbon. But while forest conservation could provide nearly 30 percent of the solution for limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees C, the limit scientists say is necessary for preventing the worst impacts of climate change, only 2 percent of climate finance goes to the forest sector. If the world is serious about curbing climate change, all countries need to step up efforts to reduce deforestation.Leaders are meeting today at the Oslo Tropical Forest Forum to reflect on progress to date and discuss plans for the future. Given the dire news from 2017, it’s clear that anti-deforestation efforts are more important than ever.The authors would like to acknowledge Matt Hansen, Peter Potapov, Svetlana Turubanova, Patrick Lola Amani, Andre Lima, Chima Okpa, and Marc Steininger who updated the tree cover loss data.last_img read more

5 Under-recognized Impacts of Air Pollution

first_imgMost of the rising global attention to air pollution focuses on the impacts that ozone, particulate matter and other pollutants have on human health. This is natural; the numbers in the headlines are striking. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that air pollution inside and outside the home is responsible for about 7 million premature deaths worldwide. The majority of these deaths—4.2 million—are associated with ambient (outdoor) pollution. It is a leading environmental risk factor affecting urban and rural populations around the world.Growing public awareness of the health consequences is encouraging, but we need to look at the bigger picture of what air pollution is doing to our planet and ourselves. The social costs of air pollution—and the social benefits of reducing it—extend far beyond health, including to climate, water, renewable energy and agriculture. Air Pollution Affects HealthMost people know how much water they should drink– eight glasses per day, or about 2 liters. But do you know how much air you breathe? The average adult inhales and exhales about 7 to 8 liters of air per minute while at rest. That’s a minimum of about 11,000 liters of air per day.Breathing dirty air affects more than just lungs and causes more than premature death. Air pollution affects almost every organ in the body. A recent study by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies shows that air pollution contributes to everything from diabetes and dementia to fertility problems and childhood leukemia.”Dirty air” can also be invisible. Inhaling soot or smoke with particulate matter—often referred by size in micrometers, PM10, PM2.5 and PM1—blackens lungs and leads to respiratory and cardiac distress, and diseases such as asthma and cancer. Some PM10 is visible as a cloud, and both it and PM2.5 affect visibility by scattering and absorbing light, but it takes a microscope to see PM2.5 and an electron microscope to spot “ultrafines.” The smaller the particle, the deeper in your lungs it can go, along with the chemicals it’s composed of. This kind of air pollution arises from incomplete combustion (of wood and plants as well as fossil fuel); dust; and combinations of other pollutants from various sources including agriculture.Ozone, a gas formed by combinations of other pollutants from traffic, landfills, agriculture and other sources, is invisible. It contributed to 500,000 deaths worldwide in 2017, and as many as 23 million emergency room visits in 2015. Exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), one of ozone’s precursors that largely comes from fossil fuel combustion, can cause respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, as well as reproductive and developmental impacts.Air Pollution Affects ClimateOften called short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), black carbon (a component of PM), tropospheric ozone and methane contribute to both the warming of the climate as well as air pollution. According to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, these three highly potent pollutants are responsible for 30-40% of the global warming to date. They must be curbed alongside carbon dioxide (CO2) to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) and prevent catastrophic climate impacts like sea level rise and water insecurity.Black carbon and ozone persist in the atmosphere for just a few days and methane for up to few decades; it takes more than 100 years to eliminate CO2 . That means actions that reduce SLCPs can yield almost immediate reductions in their concentrations, with benefits to the climate and human health. Importantly, some particulate matter can also have a cooling effect by blocking solar radiation, but there will always be a health benefit from reducing particular matter. Decisionmakers should consider this interplay when designing strategies to reduce SLCPs.Air Pollution Affects Water and WeatherFrom rainfall patterns to monsoon intensities, air pollution can significantly affect the water cycle. Particulate matter can reduce the amount of solar radiation that reaches the earth’s surface, affecting the rate at which water evaporates and moves into the atmosphere. They also affect clouds’ formation and water-carrying capacity.For example, changes in intensity and distribution of rainfall in India and China have been linked to particulate matter pollution. Some areas experience more rain than usual, often in concentrated bursts, while others experience less. Particulate matter also affects the trajectory and intensity of monsoons in Asia, and have intensified droughts in China, North America and South Asia. European and North American pollution affect rainfall and drought in the Sahel. To the casual observer, these impacts seem to blend in with more general environmental variability, but their impacts on agriculture, water reservoirs and biodiversity are significant.Air Pollution Affects Renewable EnergySolar energy yields also drop in areas with significant particulate matter pollution. Wiping away dust on solar panels can solve part of the problem, but the rest is more complicated: Sunlight cannot fully penetrate through smog, reducing solar panels’ energy output. Studies in India and China find losses of up to 25% of potential yield in the most affected areas.This can cut into solar manufacturers’ bottom lines and has major implications for cities and countries that want to promote a quick and cost-effective transition to renewables. Overall, pollution appears to cost China about 11 GW of power annually, for example.Air Pollution Affects Food and VegetationOzone can damage plant cells and negatively affect photosynthesis, while particulate matter can reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches plants and food crops. In 2000, global yield losses due to ozone amounted to 79-121 million tons, or $16-26 billion dollars’ worth in today’s prices. This included yield losses of up to 15% for soy and wheat, and 5% for maize. As ozone increases, losses do as well. This type of pollution has caused massive damage to food crops in India: From 2000-2010, the amount of wheat, rice and soy crops lost annually could have fed close to 94 million people. That’s almost the entire population of Germany. Similar findings in Mexico showed estimated yield losses of 3% for maize, 26% for oats, 14% for beans and 15% for sorghum.Ozone and acid rain (which is created by sulfate and NO2 pollution, largely from fossil fuel burning), also affects other kinds of vegetation, forests and even pollination.Clean Air Is CriticalWhile its many and varied impacts may be daunting, we know how to reduce air pollution and significantly improve air quality. The benefits of reducing air pollution often far outweigh the costs, and air can improve much faster than most people realize if we put our minds and resources into it. These underrecognized but well documented costs only add to the tally of reasons we should act quickly and decisively to clean up the air.We’re already seeing solutions we can all learn from. For example, experts say that by reducing SLCPs now, we could slow the increase in near- term global warming by as much as 0.6°C by 2050. Global assessments have outlined a clear agenda for achieving this target by expanding access to clean energy, improving transport fuels, reducing vehicle emissions and controlling methane leaks from fossil fuel production and agriculture, among other actions.On a local level, we also have successes to learn from. Air pollution in Beijing has fallen considerably over the past 20 years thanks to improved energy efficiency and better controls on vehicle and coal emissions. A combination of investments in monitoring, political innovation and collaboration between regulatory and science communities in Mexico City helped diagnose the metropolitan area’s pollution and reduce it since the 1990s. The U.S. Clean Air Act is responsible for reducing ozone by 22% and PM 2.5 by 40% between 1990 and 2017, demonstrating that sustained efforts to tackle air pollution result in significantly cleaner air.The question, then, is what’s stopping us? We can clean up the air, and we should all have a stake in it. Clean air is a resource that affects our health, our climate, our food security, and more. We need to manage it well. Look for more on these topics soon.last_img read more

Entrepreneurial Business Tips From Celeb Hair Stylist Chaz Dean

first_img Don’t let your pride get in the way. . People want to be connected to a person, so incorporating personality is essential. Try to connect with them by reaching out and finding out from your customers where their passions lie. David Garland In this is the go-to guy in LA for all things hair. A stylist for the past 20-plus years, he has worked his way up from an assistant in high school to learning the industry and opening If you don’t accept this tidbit of wisdom, then whatever it is you’re trying to promote — a business, an idea, a product — won’t work out. Celebrity “hairpreneur” OK! “I believe in educating my clients… the more honest I am, the more they believe in me, rely on me more.” is designed to cleanse rather than strip. His products have been featured for the world to see in magazines like Dean created his own products as a solution to prevent damaged hair from the harsh detergents and chemicals in regular shampoos and conditioners. Now a successful line and dominant part of his business, If you do your job, your customer will be pleased. Keep their lifestyles in mind when marketing. Not only will he or she notice the effect of your work, but others will too. It’s the snowball effect: if everyone is connected, everyone will talk. Rise to the Top , . catered to celebrity culture and its high end market. InStyle Originally published Jun 3, 2011 4:30:00 PM, updated July 11 2013 Chaz Deancenter_img Natural Health , and interview with Create the complete experience. WEN Hair & Body Care W Connect with your customers on a personal level his own salon , Simply put — if you’re going to do it, do it right. Know your market, and be ready for it. Totally cliché, but honesty is key: , Dean reveals his advice for launching a business and stresses strategies including, but not limited to: Woman’s World What other entrepreneurial business tips can you learn from “hairpreneur” Chaz Dean? , Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Business Blogging Up 17 Percentage Points in 2 Years [New Data]

first_img business blogging Topics: blog.  And for good reason, because in both in the 2012 and 2011 reports, 57% of companies who blog said that they have gained new customers or revenue from their blog, meaning that blogging drives more sales! This is fourth consecutive year in which the study was conducted. The 2012 research was based on responses from over 900 professionals knowledgeable about their business’ marketing practices. From 2009 to 2012, the percentage of respondents with a company blog grew from 48% to 62%. This rapid growth means that businesses are now in the minority if they do HubSpot’s latest State of Inbound Marketing study revealed a remarkable trend aboutcenter_img not Originally published Jan 31, 2012 4:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 : Business Blogging Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more