Health Ministry to adopt more people-centred communication strategy

first_imgThe Public Health Ministry and the Pan-American Health Organisaion/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) are working to re-draft the National Communication Strategic Plan for the health sector during a two-day consulting exercise at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston.Communications Specialists, Kevin Cook and Leticia Linn from PAHO, Washington DC are spearheading the exercise.PAHO’s Communications Specialist from Washington DC, Kevin CookThe Public Health Ministry had drafted a National Communication Strategic Plan in 2012, but this was never implemented. Ministry officials have been seeking, since last year, to redraft and implement a plan that can provide vital health care information to the public.Addressing the gathering at the opening of the consultation, Cook indicated that the importance of health communication has never been more of a priority as it is today. He highlighted PAHO’s strategy towards successful and effective health information and communication in the Americas.“Well-formulated health communication, coupled with community engagement efforts was absolutely critical to saving lives.”Minister within the Public Health, Dr Karen Cummings said that the establishment of health literacy through health promotion is essential to realising positive public health outcomes.“Health communication is an essential component of any public health programme. This vital component provides a vehicle for the transmission of messages to targeted audiences on a number of issues that can result in the creation of health awareness and the development of the embryonic stages of health literacy.”Also, PAHO/WHO’s country representative to Guyana, Dr William Adu-Krow said that effective communication is a prerequisite to bridge gaps that exist in communicating health information.“Globally, whether we want to maintain and improve health, contain immediate public health crisis or respond appropriately, the messages we send and receive are critical to creating better health for us all.” Dr Adu-Krow said.The objectives of an effective health communication strategy is to provide health information by using understandable language; to provide methods that can be easily accessed by population; to enhance the ability of healthcare providers to interact with individuals and to develop a system for management and delivery of health materials developed.last_img read more

What’s Up with Alley Oop?

first_imgHere are some recent stories about human evolution.  Some might deserve to be in the comics.1.  Lucy walked up right into the trees:  Nathaniel Dominy thinks Lucy’s ankle bones don’t rule out the possibility she was a tree-climber.  By studying the Twa tribe in Uganda, whose members routinely climb trees looking for honey, Dominy and colleagues found the fossil evidence of Australopithecus afarensis ambiguous.  That’s because the muscle and tendon changes associated with habitual tree climbing don’t fossilize.  PhysOrg posted a video clip explaining the problem.  Dominy’s work was published in an open-access paper in PNAS, where the abstract states,Paleoanthropologists have long argued—often contentiously—about the climbing abilities of early hominins and whether a foot adapted to terrestrial bipedalism constrained regular access to trees. However, some modern humans climb tall trees routinely in pursuit of honey, fruit, and game, often without the aid of tools or support systems… Here we show that Twa hunter–gatherers use extraordinary ankle dorsiflexion (>45°) during climbing, similar to the degree observed in wild chimpanzees…. [O]ur results imply that derived aspects of the hominin ankle associated with bipedalism remain compatible with vertical climbing and arboreal resource acquisition. Our findings challenge the persistent arboreal–terrestrial dichotomy that has informed behavioral reconstructions of fossil hominins and highlight the value of using modern humans as models for inferring the limits of hominin arboreality.“Not so fast,” PhysOrg put it.  Claiming that Lucy didn’t climb trees “may be a rush to judgment in light of new evidence” in the paper.2.  Clothes make the Peking Man:  The Homo erectus specimens collectively dubbed Peking Man apparently exhibited another human trait: they were fastidious about fashion.  Reporter Owen Jarus said in Live Science,“Peking Man,” a human ancestor who lived in China between roughly 200,000 and 750,000 years ago, was a wood-working, fire-using, spear-hafting hominid who, mysteriously, liked to drill holes into objects for unknown reasons.And, yes, these hominids, a form of Homo erectus, appear to have been quite meticulous about their clothing, using stone tools to soften and depress animal hides.Jarus pointed out that these people made spears like Heidelberg Man, but they’re not sure if they learned the skill independently or at the same time.  As for the drilling of holes, just because living humans can’t figure out why they did it doesn’t mean the cave dwellers didn’t have good reasons.  They apparently made tools for their fashion industry.  “‘If they are depressing the hides, if they are softening hides, they can use the hides for their clothes,’” something no sophisticated hominids would dare live without.”  Alley Oop wore clothes, we remember from the cartoons, but since the hides didn’t fossilize with the skulls, we can’t really know how chic Mrs. Oop looked.3.  Climate makes the man:  If you can believe a headline on PhysOrg, we are what we are because the weather was what it was.  “Fluctuating environment may have driven human evolution,” it reads; “A series of rapid environmental changes in East Africa roughly 2 million years ago may be responsible for driving human evolution, according to researchers at Penn State and Rutgers University.”  How did they come up with this notion?  By looking at leaves in an ancient lake.  Presuming the dates of those leaves tell a climate story, and presuming they match epochal periods of human evolution, they placed cause with effect.  But if anthropogenic climate change is a big modern debate, perhaps the hominids caused the climate change, not the other way around.It seems this idea could be testable.  See if people in the polar regions are regrowing fur.  Without asking questions like this, the researchers convinced themselves that they had found natural “forcing mechanisms” to drive hominid evolution toward scholarship.  They didn’t explain why other species didn’t simultaneously learn abstract language and philosophy.4.  Out of “Out of Africa” theories:  A new find musses up common ideas about humans emerging out of Africa.  Pamela Willoughby has found evidence of continuous habitation at two sites in Tanzania between 200,000 years ago and the present.  According to PhysOrg, this “may lead to a rethinking of how, when and from where our ancestors left Africa.” Many paleoanthropologists believe a genetic bottleneck after the Ice Age shows there was a migration into Europe at around 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, but Willoughby’s evidence includes the whole period before and after the bottleneck – all the way to the present.  She explained why this represents an upset:“It was only about 20 years ago that people recognized that modern Homo sapiens actually had an African ancestry, and everyone was focused on looking at early Homo sapiens in Europe who appeared around 40,000 years ago,” she said. “But we now know that as far as back as around 200,000 years ago, Africa was inhabited by people who were already physically exactly like us today or really close to being the same as us. All of a sudden, it’s not Europe in this time period that’s really important, it’s Africa.”What were hominids identical to us doing for 200,000 years against the inexorable forces of evolution?  Didn’t they read the bumper stickers, “Evolve or perish?”  Willoughby’s upset is just the latest upset until the next upset.5.  Annus horribilis, a new endangered species:  Latin speakers will know that Annus horribilis means “terrible year,” not a Linnaean classification name.  But according to Science Magazine (Dec. 21), it was a terrible year for Homo sapiens var. anthropologist – a recent entry in the endangered species list.  A lot of anthropology graduates can’t find work.  There just aren’t that many jobs labeled “anthropologist,” so graduates are evolving into subspecies that adapt their image to a changing environment.  With multiculturalism a buzzword in certain quarters, anthropologists can advertise themselves as ones able to “research human life, history, and culture, and apply that knowledge to current issues” such as “diversity in the world”.  The article did not describe the plight of a minor subspecies of the clade, paleoanthropologists.None of these stories really matter, because paleoanthropology is a field where every year or two they announce, “Everything you know is wrong.”  Since there are infinitely more wrong ideas than correct ones, changes to this pattern are unlikely when the blind lead the blind.  We offer paleoanthropology stories less as scientific discovery as much as funny pages. 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Klaveness to Take Delivery of 3 CABU Carriers Soon

first_imgzoom Norwegian shipping company Torvald Klaveness has revealed that three 80,500 dwt CABU combination carriers being built for the company by China-based Zheiang Ouhua Shipbuilding will be delivered soon, starting from this September.The naming ceremonies for the first two vessels, MV Balboa and MV Baffin, took place last week at the shipyard in Zhousan.According to Klaveness, MV Balboa will be delivered at the end of September 2016 and MV Baffin in November. On its maiden voyage, MV Balboa will ship caustic soda from Taiwan to Australia.The third vessel, MV Ballard, is scheduled for delivery in January 2017.Klaveness ordered the three CABU combination carriers in 2013 and 2014.“The new vessels have been designed to reduce fuel consumption with 5-10 % achieved through amongst others an optimal hull form, fuel saving devices and a low RPM main engine with large diameter propeller,” according to the company.In December 2015, Klaveness ordered three 83,500 dwt combination carriers from China’s Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding, slated for delivery during the second half of 2018.Klaveness’ current fleet is comprised of six CABU combination carriers, eight containerships and one Kamsarmax vessel.last_img read more

Stars Donate To Auction To Help Stop NYUs Expansion Plan

first_imgThe stars have come out for an Online Holiday Auction to stop NYU’s expansion plan.Mark Ruffalo holds a boxed Hulk mask that he will sign for one lucky winner in the online auctionThis holiday season, how would you like to have dessert and drinks with Cynthia Nixon and her wife Christine Marinoni? Have lunch with Bill Moyers, Fran Lebowitz or Lewis Lapham? “Hulk Out” with a signed mask and set of figurines from Mark Ruffalo? Go on a two-hour shopping expedition, to curate your pantry and spice collection, with Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi? Play basketball with John Leguizamo? Get a signed copy of Bianca Jagger’s ‘Arts for Human Rights’ event catalogue? Get a book signed by E.L. Doctorow, a manuscript page from Philip Glass, an uncorrected galley of Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Vol.1, an Alex Katz print, a photograph of William S. Burroughs by Gary Indiana, a painting by actor Joel Grey, signed copies of all Eric Bogosian’s published works, or a signed personal photo by Matthew Modine from the set of Full Metal Jacket? Become the owner of the rare Omas fountain pen that former US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Levine used to write The Mercy? Snap up a poster signed by Edward Norton?Hang a gorgeous Carol Friedman photograph of Iggy Pop on your living room wall, tour the best hamburger restaurants in the East Village, or have a private makeup application lesson with Hollywood makeup artist Nicki Ledermann (Boardwalk Empire, Side Effects)?Get your hands on these lots and more in an online auction to help fund the struggle that NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (NYUFASP) and Village residents and supporters are waging against NYU’s ruinous 2031 expansion plan — a project that will crush the Village. The auction lasts until December 18th.“I can think of no worthier cause than saving the Village from overdevelopment. This neighborhood is one of the most iconic parts of the City and precisely what makes New York so special,” said Padma Lakshmi.Actor Matthew Modine, 30 years a Villager, said, “NYU has moved from being a friendly neighbor to a power hungry, land grabbing, politician buying, bullying Scrooge. I encourage everyone that loves the Village to lend their support and voice to protecting this beloved oasis of Manhattan.”Nearly 170 individuals and businesses have donated items to the auction, which range in value from $25. to $8,000. The silent online auction started yesterday, December 9 and ends December 18.Bidders will base their choices on a range of pictures and descriptions of each item, and will be notified by email when they are outbid.Access the auction here.last_img read more