Press release: Walkers to enjoy new 16-mile public path in Lincolnshire

first_img England’s beautiful coastline is a sight to behold, and I am delighted that more people than ever before will be able to enjoy its striking scenery during this Year of Green Action. With Lincolnshire home to some of our most precious coastal habitats, the new stretch of path announced today will open up access while boosting valuable tourism for rural communities and businesses. The new route takes into account the area’s important coastal habitats, including the seascapes and unique habitats of Anderby Marsh, Chapel Pit and Wolla Bank Reedbed. Walkers will be able to enjoy the adjacent sand dunes, clay pits and beaches, where a range of bird species such as the bearded tit and reed bunting thrive.Users will also enjoy views of Woola Bank Site of Scientific Special Interest (SSSI) at very low tides – a submerged forest dating from the Neolithic Period – and access to the world’s first official cloud spotting area at the Anderby Creek Cloud Bar.Natural England is currently establishing a 2,700-mile path around the entire English coastline, with today’s stretch the eleventh to open. When completed, it will be the longest continuous coastal walking route in the world. It will also become a National Trail – the nation’s finest and most popular long-distance paths.Today’s launch comes during the government’s Year of Green Action, a commitment outlined in the 25-Year Environment Plan to inspire more people to engage with the natural world.Colin Davie, Executive Councillor for economic development at Lincolnshire County Council, said: Interim Chief Executive of Natural England Marian Spain, who is attending today’s event at the North Sea Observatory, said: The England Coast Path plays a key role in helping people connect with and access nature and it is a privilege to open the first Lincolnshire stretch. “From wild dunes to sandy beaches, the public will now be able to easily enjoy the countless beautiful habitats between Skegness and Mablethorpe.center_img Natural England will today (27 February 2019) open the latest stretch of the England Coast Path, increasing access to the magnificent Lincolnshire coastline with a new 16-mile route from Skegness to Mablethorpe.Encompassing the tourist hotspot of Skegness, wild sand dunes and the world’s first official cloud spotting area, Lincolnshire’s first open stretch of the England Coast Path will enable people to explore the route’s natural and diverse wildlife that have made the area their home.Home to a long-established coastal tourism industry, the new Lincolnshire route will benefit from improved access and signposting to allow visitors and locals alike to enjoy the diversity of the coast, with a new boardwalk at Chapel Point improving access to the North Sea Observatory.Rural Minister Lord Gardiner, said: I’m delighted that the England Coastal path now runs from Skegness to Mablethorpe, through our beautiful Coastal Country Park. We have such a spectacular coastline with amazing wildlife, Blue Flag beaches and ‘excellent’ bathing waters – perfect for people to explore. Tourism is vital to our county’s economy and our coastal strip attracts millions of visitors each year. I’m sure the new coastal path will encourage many more people to visit Lincolnshire and explore our brilliant coastline.last_img read more

Phil Lesh Announces New Performance With Chris Robinson, John Scofield & More

first_imgBeloved Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh will host an all-star “Friends” performance at his own Terrapin Crossroads venue next month, as he welcomes veterans like Chris Robinson and John Scofield into the mix. The show will take place on May 22nd, bringing this talented lineup for a Grateful evening of music.The full lineup of friends will include Scofield, Robinson, Jason Crosby, Ross James, Tony Leone, and, of course, Phil Lesh. This show serves as the follow-up to a May 21st performance with a similar lineup, but the first night of the two-night run will see additional contributions from Scott Law. More information here.While tickets sold out almost immediately after the show announcement, a webcast will almost surely be announced, and media (audio, video, etc.) will also almost surely be available for us to share the music of this glorious performance.last_img read more

Rising to the Surface

first_imgRed Bank restaurant begins rebuilding By Michele J. Kuhn RED BANK – After a bit of hell and a lot of high water, Kelly Ryan expects Boon­docks to be back in operation in May.Ryan is determined to reopen her popular seasonal riverside restaurant on May 14 and she – and others – are working to ensure that happens.A fundraiser is in the works for Thursday, April 11, at the Oyster Point Hotel, the only other Red Bank business to have to close for a period of time from damage inflicted by Super Storm Sandy’s devastating tidal surge. The event will celebrate the hotel’s recent reopening and raise the funds – $30,000 – Ryan needs to renovate, refurbish and totally re-equip her business.Her rebuilding process is just beginning.Kelly Ryan, the owner of Boondocks Fishery, is looking to reopen her storm-ravaged restaurant in May,“They finally got into my building [on Monday, Feb. 18] and they ripped down all the walls and floors. Now the whole building is gutted. We are getting heaters in there to dry out and in a couple of weeks, we’ll go back in there and put the walls up, the tile up, put everything back up, get new equipment. I’m shooting for May 14 to reopen, no matter what,” she said.Boondocks was already closed for the season when Sandy smashed into New Jersey on Oct. 29 and sent a 5-foot wall of water into the dockside restaurant, rendering all its contents unsalvageable.Prior to the storm, Ryan moved refrigeration equipment to the top of the hill behind the restaurant and stored the rest – fryers, stove, grill and the like – in a garage at Irwin Marine, which is her landlord. She felt she was safe storing the equipment there because during the 1992 storm “they only got an inch of water in the garage.” The walk-in storage box was left at the restaurant “because who would have ever expected 5 feet of water there? It was just crazy,” she said.The day after the storm, Ryan, a Highlands resident, first walked to Sea Bright to check on Donavan’s Reef because she knew that borough had taken a severe hit from the storm. Donavan’s was destroyed.“When I saw the devastation there, I knew we had to get to Boondocks,” she said. Ryan then went to Red Bank to check on her waterfront restaurant.“When I got to the top of the hill, I was, like, the building’s there! Everything is fine,” she said. “Then I couldn’t get into the building because it had separated from the dock and I couldn’t get in the doors.“Then I realized there was all this water shooting out of one of the windows. The hot water heater and all the piping under the building had broken and all this water was just everywhere,” she said.Ryan’s boyfriend was able to climb into a window and shut off the water.“Then we saw what happened. We went into the garages and everything there was tossed around like little buoys. Things were everywhere. There was gasoline, oil, grease and mud … There were boats in there too,” she said. “It was disgusting.“At the time, you just go into overdrive. You don’t know what to do,” she said with emotion.The next day the people at Irwin Marine had a Dumpster available. Helpful friends and staff members threw everything that had been part of the Boondocks operation into the trash.Ryan then turned her attention to the devastation at Sea Bright where she pitched in with the Sea Bright Rising effort.After helping others in Sea Bright for a while, Ilene Winters of Sea Bright Rising told Ryan she needed to begin thinking about herself. Winters helped her get an effort to restore Boondocks off the ground on a website called Indiegogo. Her fund­raising webpage can be found at www.indiegogo.com/boondocks. So far, the page has generated about $6,800 in donations, she said.When members of the Navesink Business Group learned of her plight and fundraising efforts, they decided they could assist and the April 11 event, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Oyster Point Hotel, was created.Tickets for the event will be $50 and organizers are hoping to get 350 to 400 people to attend. There will be a cash bar and food supplied by members of Red Bank Flavour, an alliance of Red Bank restaurants. Donations will be accepted at the event, said Robert Lowe, founder of Navesink Business Group.Ryan “has always donated her services to others and she has done a lot for Sea Bright Rising,” Lowe said. “We felt we needed to help her.”Though she is grateful for the help, Ryan said she was having a little trouble getting used to accepting an assist from others.“It’s overwhelming,” she said. “I guess because I’m the one always trying to do everything for everybody, now I’m awkward because people are trying to do things for me and I don’t know how to react to it.”Ryan expects Boondocks to remain much the same for its upcoming fifth season as it was pre-storm except she hopes to be able to put more of an emphasis on her lunch business and maybe offer delivery to area offices and homes.Meanwhile, Ryan appear­ed Monday, Feb. 18, on WCBS TV. She made lobster mac and cheese during a 4 ½-minute segment on CBS 2 This Morning’s “2 In The Kitchen” featured at 6:45 a.m. and had a “really fun time.”last_img read more

Waddock returns as Aldershot boss

first_imgGary Waddock has returned to Aldershot Town for a second spell as manager.The former QPR player and manager, from Kingsbury, has left his job as assistant first-team coach at Barnet to return to the National League club on a rolling contract.Waddock led the Shots into the Football League in 2008 with a then record points total of 101. He has since managed Wycombe and had short spells in charge at Oxford United and Portsmouth.His first managerial job was at Rangers, where he was a hugely popular player in the 1980s and also had a spell as youth coach.He succeeded Ian Holloway at Loftus Road in 2006 but was replaced by John Gregory later that year following a series of poor results and behind-the-scenes problems.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Small-scale farms grow African women’s income

first_imgKenalemang Kgoroeadira is just happy that she is able to live her dream of providing healthy food to her community.(Image: eNCA) • Kenalemang Kgoroeadira Thojane Organic Farm +27 11 882 8983 • Oyama Matomela flies South Africa’s friendly skies • Sir Stuart Ntlathi: an inspiring passion for science • I Decide – give African women and girls access to contraception • Nontsikelelo Qwelane is a born teacher • Former Miss Earth South Africa on M&G Top 200 list Sulaiman PhilipThere are some 36 000 commercial farmers in South Africa; they are in the main white and male. Yet, historically, Africa has been a continent of small-scale, subsistence farming where women crofter farmers have kept the food supply secure for their families and communities.Now, a small – barely two hectares – organic farm in the North West Province is trying to revive that tradition. Kenalemang Kgoroeadira – or Mama Kena – a PhD student at University of South Africa (Unisa), who conceptualised the project, hopes Thojane Organic Farm will grow into a working example of small-scale sustainable farming that gives local residents access to healthy food. Building communities using traditional African knowledgeKgoroeadira and five other local women planted the first crops in 2009 on a single hectare plot. As an indigenous knowledge systems PhD candidate she wanted her neighbours to rebuild their communities using traditional African knowledge. “Transformation by enlargement is the vision behind this farm … [It’s] a place where people can have self-determination and begin to live like Africans, where what you do or learn is for the benefit of the whole society.“It is knowledge that can benefit the whole nation,” Kgoroeadira told a Unisa journal.Along with organic green beans, spinach and tomatoes, the farm produces herbs – mint, yarrow, lemongrass, lavender – that are sold at local markets, to national retailers like Food Lovers Market. It also donates produce to feeding schemes at the local Phokeng schools.Produce from Thojane is grown without chemicals that strip the soil of its nutrients. Instead Kgoroeadira and her team use natural fertilisers like chicken manure. This method of farming is, Kgoroeadira believes, the most sustainable. It follows permaculture principles, which works with rather than against nature.Kgoroeadira says, “It has always been my dream to go back to my roots, plough, interact with the soil like I used to as a girl, growing food, healthy organic food, not foods that are fed with chemicals for them to grow fast, losing all the nutrients.” Fighting poverty through food securityThojane is also Mama Kena’s schoolroom. It is where she takes all she has learnt and uses it to benefit her community. She encourages the women of Phokeng to plough their large back yards and turn them into vegetable gardens that can feed their families and give them an income. “In Phokeng, people are dependent on the mines, but they forget that platinum will be depleted one day. We need to fight poverty and have our own food security,” she says.Her thesis advisor inspired her to take her “book knowledge” and build something tangible and real, something that would benefit her community and not simply become a book covered in dust on a library shelf. Thojane has become that, but for Kgoroeadira it is just the beginning. Looking out over two hectares of vegetables and herbs she sees more.“One day this farm will supply all the hospitals, mines and even international markets. We will grow organic vegetables and herbs; there will be honey, mutton, indigenous chickens and eggs. You will be able to buy essential oils, herbal teas, bath soaps and creams with a Thojane label. One day.”Her dream is no pipe one: what began as a small agricultural co-op has grown into an award-winning programme with Kgoroeadira being named Best Female Subsistence Farmer by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Thojane has not only improved food security in Phokeng, but also increased the nutritional content of the food the poorest in the community eat. It is changing lives, one meal at a time.last_img read more

An AgriCountry Thanksgiving

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The holidays are a time to reflect on years past. In that spirit, we’ve gone through our archives to find a special Thanksgiving piece of AgriCountry with Ed Johnson.We hope you enjoy this look into holiday preparation in 1983 — and from all of us at Ohio Ag Net & Ohio’s Country Journal, Happy Holidays!last_img

Stop Competing Against Transactional Value

first_imgThis post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.If you are competing by creating a higher level of value, then you can’t try to compete against lower levels of value and the accompanying lower price.You don’t need to win the battle over product or service (Level 1 Value Creation). You don’t need to compete and win feature by feature and benefit by benefit. You only need parity here, and you may not need parity if you create enough value that you can lose on some features and benefits. BMW isn’t big on cup holders.You also don’t need to win a contest over experience (Level 2 Value Creation) in business-to-business sales. Again, here you only need parity when it comes to service, support, and customer experience. The experience that you should be worrying about is the experience you provide as a salesperson (and that’s Level 4 Value Creation).It used to be that tangible, measurable business results differentiated you in B2B sales. Now, it is table stakes (Level 3 Value Creation). It doesn’t hurt to have a better return on investment, but I’ll bet you never get a look at your competitor’s; you’ll likely only receive feedback that they have a lower price.If you are competing by creating the highest level of value for your clients, you will be focused on collaborating with your clients around creating the biggest, most value-creating solution. You will be proactively presenting ideas that help your client build a future-oriented platform from which to produce even greater results. The solution you create together will be tied to their most strategic initiatives. And, you will be side-by-side in the foxhole with your client, ensuring what you build together produces the promised results.If you are going to create this higher level of value (Level 4 Value Creation), you can’t compete on price. You aren’t competing by creating transactional value, and your competitor is going to have a lower price (Period. End of story). You only win by selling greater value, not by competing on price.Big, strong value beats skinny, weak transactional.last_img read more

Serge Ibaka bails out Raptors with winning dunk

first_imgSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (9) hangs from the rim and bumps Atlanta Hawks guard Jeremy Lin (7) at the end of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)TORONTO — Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry shared the court for the first time in almost a month for Toronto, yet it was Serge Ibaka who scored the biggest basket of the game for the RaptorsIbaka scored the winning points on a dunk with 17 seconds remaining and the Raptors won their sixth straight home game, 104-101 over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Following a timeout, Young drove against Leonard but missed his shot. Ibaka grabbed the rebound that led to a fast break dunk for Anunoby with less than a second to go.“You had a rookie going up against probably the best defensive player in the league,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “He just kind of fell for the bait.”Carter, a former star with the Raptors, launched a long 3-point try at the buzzer but came up empty.“Tip your hats to the Hawks,” Lowry said. “Those guys, they’re playing extremely hard.”The banged-up Hawks were without guard Kevin Huerter (back). Guard Kent Bazemore missed his fifth straight game because of a sprained right ankle, while center Miles Plumlee sat for the third straight game because of a sore left ankle. Forward Taurean Prince has not played since Dec. 3 because of a sprained left ankle.“I’m personally not a big fan of the moral victories, but with a lot of guys down, guys stepped up and played hard,” Carter said.A former slam dunk champion whose career began in Toronto, Carter received a brief standing ovation when he checked in for the first time at 5:13 of the first quarter. He scored six points in 13 minutes.“The joy of stepping into this arena each and every year is something I always look forward to,” Carter said.Making his first start of the season in place of Huerter, Lin made all four of his shots and scored 10 points in the first as Atlanta led 31-28 after one.After shooting 0 for 6 from 3-point range in the first, the Raptors shot 6 for 10 from long range in the second. Atlanta led 57-56 at halftime. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LATEST STORIES Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Toronto is 16-6 when Lowry and Leonard both play.John Collins had 21 points and 14 rebounds, Jeremy Lin scored 20 points and Trae Young added 19 for the Hawks, who have lost four of five. Atlanta made a season-worst 27 turnovers, leading to 34 Toronto points.“If we keep it under 20, the result is a little different,” Atlanta’s Vince Carter said.Neither team led by more than five in a tight fourth quarter. Atlanta’s Dewayne Dedmon made a pair of foul shots at 2:15 to put the Hawks up 101-98, but Toronto finished the game with a 6-0 run.Anonuboy’s layup with 1:57 remaining cut the gap to one and, after a steal by Leonard, Ibaka’s dunk with 17 seconds to go put Toronto up 102-101.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Raptors: Host Brooklyn on Friday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion “We pulled one out,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “We were trying to get away from them and never really could.”Leonard scored 31 points, Pascal Siakam had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Lowry scored 16 points as the Raptors earned their sixth consecutive win over the Hawks.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsOG Anunoby scored 14 points and Ibaka had 13.Lowry and Leonard played together for the first time since a Dec. 9 home loss to Milwaukee. Toronto has not lost at home since. Lowry had missed 10 of the past 14 games because of hip and back injuries, returning Sunday against Indiana. Leonard missed that game to rest. View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Leonard and Lowry each scored eight points in the third and Toronto took an 80-77 lead into the fourth.TIP-INSHawks: Atlanta scored 12 points off six Toronto turnovers in the first quarter. … Carter’s mother attended the game.Raptors: G Danny Green (rest) did not play. Fred VanVleet started in his place. It was Toronto’s 14th different starting lineup of the season. Twelve different players have started at least once. … F C.J. Miles (right hip) was active, but did not play. … C Jonas Valanciunas has had the splint removed from his dislocated left thumb. Valanciunas was injured Dec. 12 at Golden State. … Toronto waived G Lorenzo Brown on Monday. G Jordan Loyd was active. Loyd played a G-League game at Philadelphia earlier in the day.ON A ROLLLeonard scored at least 20 points for the 17th consecutive game, extending his career-best streak.STEALING THE SCENELeonard’s six steals were a season-high, while Lowry matched his season-high with four. In doing so, Lowry became the first player to top 700 with Toronto.UP NEXTHawks: Visit Brooklyn on Wednesday night. Stephen Curry’s PGA Tour event scrapped Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausslast_img read more

Anterior knee pain

first_imgDefinitionAnterior knee pain is pain that occurs at the front and center of the knee. It refers to many different problems, including:Chondromalacia of the patella — the softening and breakdown of the tissue (cartilage) on the underside of the kneecap (patella)Runners knee (sometimes called patellar tendinitis)Alternative NamesPatellofemoral syndrome; Chondromalacia patella; Runners knee; Patellar tendinitis; Jumpers kneeCauses, incidence, and risk factorsYour kneecap (patella) sits over the front of your knee joint. As you bend or straighten your knee, the underside of the patella glides over the bones that make up the knee.Strong tendons help attach thekneecap to the bones and muscles that surround the knee. These tendons are called:The patellar tendon (where the kneecap attaches to the shin bone)The quadriceps tendon (where the thigh muscles attach to the top of the kneecap)Anterior knee pain begins when the kneecap does not move properly and rubs against the lower part of the thigh bone. This may occur because:The kneecap is in an abnormal position (also called poor alignment of the patellofemoral joint)There is tightness or weakness of the muscles on the front and back of your thighYou are doing too much activity that places extra stress on the kneecap (such as running, jumping or twisting, skiing, or playing soccer)You have flat feetAnterior knee pain is more common in:People who are overweightPeople who have had a dislocation, fracture, or other injury to the kneecapRunners, jumpers, skiers, bicyclists, and soccer players who exercise oftenTeenagers and healthy young adults, more often girlsOther possible causes of anterior knee pain include:advertisementArthritisPinching of the inner lining of the knee during movement (called synovial impingement or plica syndrome)SymptomsAnterior knee pain is a dull, aching pain that is most often felt:Behind the kneecap (patella)Below the kneecapOn the sides of the kneecapOne common symptom is agrating or grinding sensation when the knee is flexed (when the ankle is brought closer to the back of the thigh).Symptoms may be more noticeable with:Deep knee bendsGoing down stairsRunning downhillStanding up after sitting for awhileSigns and testsThehealth care providerwill perform a physical examination. The knee may be tender and mildly swollen, and the kneecap may not be perfectly lined up with the thigh bone (femur).When you flex your knee, you may feel a grinding sensation below the kneecap. Pressing the kneecap when the knee is straightening out may be painful.X-rays are usually normal, although a special x-ray view of the kneecap may show signs of arthritis or tilting.MRI scans are rarely needed.TreatmentResting the knee for a short period of time and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin may help relieve pain.Other treatments or self-care for anterior knee pain include:Changing the way you exerciseLearning and performing exercises to both strengthen and stretch thequadriceps and hamstring musclesLosing weight (if you need to)Special shoe inserts and support devices (orthotics — for people with flat feet)Taping to realign the kneecapWearing the correct running or sports shoesSurgery for pain behind the kneecap (anterior knee pain) is rarely needed. During the surgery:Kneecap cartilage that has been damaged may be removed.Changes may be made to the tendons to help the kneecap move more evenly.Expectations (prognosis)Anterior knee pain often improves with a change in activity, exercise therapy, and the use of NSAIDs.ComplicationsCalling your health care providerCall for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of this disorder.ReferencesCollado H, Fredericson M. Patellofemoral pain syndrome. Clin Sports Med. 2010;29:379-398.De Carlo M, Armstrong B. Rehabilitation of the knee following sports injury. Clin Sports Med. 2010;29:81-106.Steiner T, Parker RD. Patella: subluxation and dislocation. 2. Patellofemoral instability: recurrent dislocation of the patella. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr., Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drees Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2009:chap 22:sect C.Silverstein JA, Moeller JL, Hutchinson MR. Common issues in orthopedics. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 30.Review Date:6/29/2012Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.advertisementlast_img read more

Achieving MDG 5: More Health Workers Needed to Find Solutions for Vulnerable Women

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 21, 2010June 20, 2017By: Maureen Corbett, Vice President of Programs, IntraHealth InternationalClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The MHTF is soliciting reactions from the maternal health community to the newly released UN MMR data. Our hope is that, together, these comments will serve as a springboard for discussion and provide momentum towards MDG5.Last week, the United Nations released the newest estimate of maternal mortality, which shows an important 34% decline in the last two decades. More than 220,000 fewer women died of pregnancy-related causes in 2008 when compared to 1990. These new estimates reinforce the good news reported earlier this year by The Lancet, further confirming that maternal death and disability are not intractable problems.  Progress is possible. However, the new numbers also bring sharp focus to the global inequities, which for too many of the world’s girls and women mean they do not get the high-quality health care they need before, during, and after a pregnancy. This inequity is clear in the fact that the lifetime risk that a 15-year old young woman  in sub-Saharan Africa will eventually die of a pregnancy-related cause (1 in 31) is more than 1000 times that of a young woman in some developed countries (1 in 4,300). These wide disparities between developing and developed regions are unacceptable. If we are serious about achieving Millennium Development Goal 5, a 75% drop in maternal mortality by 2015, we need to more than double our efforts in the next five years.The UN press release accompanying the new report highlighted the four main causes of maternal death—postpartum hemorrhage, infections, hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortion. Each is preventable, treatable, or both. We know the technical interventions that are needed, including modern contraception, safe abortion, antenatal care, skilled attendance for labor and delivery, and postpartum care. We also know that strong health systems are essential for improving availability, quality, and access to these services. And, essential to the health system is the health workforce. Without increased attention and innovation around solving the problem of the critical shortage of skilled health workers, continued progress in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity will not be possible. The UN report sends a clear message.  Progress in reducing maternal mortality will only be achieved with increased national ownership, strong health systems, and a global commitment to recruiting, training, equipping, deploying and retaining, and supporting more motivated and productive health workers.During a recent trip to India, I learned more about India’s ASHA (accredited social health activist) program. This innovative program recruits female health workers from the communities they serve, and trains them to educate community members and serve as a liaison between the community and the health system. The program offers these women incentives through a “pay for performance” system. Colleagues pointed out, however, that in some of the most marginalized and isolated communities in India there are no ASHA workers because in some villages there are no women who meet the basic selection criteria for being an ASHA, which includes basic literacy. Because of this, these already marginalized communities do not have community health workers to offer even the most basic health care. Continuing to make progress in these communities and the many others that are isolated or marginalized requires us to get creative about how to reach all women with the package of services they need. Doing this starts with a global commitment to value all women’s lives—only then will we be able to galvanize the resources necessary to prevent their deaths.Share this:last_img read more