The Madagascar Action Plan aims todevelop all aspects of the country aswell as to introduce measures to curbpopulation growth. Madagascar’spopulation is expected to doubleto 43 million by 2050.(Image: Mission Madagascar)Tamara O’ReillyThe New Madagascar Action Plan (MAP), of which boosting access to contraception is an integral feature, is a bold strategy focussed on boosting a country whose ballooning population is hamstrung by social, economic and environmental pressures.The population of the world’s fourth largest island has doubled in the last 25 years to 19.5-million and estimates are that by the year 2050 it will reach 43.5-million. According to the Malagasy government, there are between seven and 10 children per household in rural areas. More than 70% of the total population lives below the poverty line and 50% of children under the age of three suffer retarded growth, partly due to malnutrition. According to the United Nations Human Development Index for 2005 which is a measurement of life expectancy, literacy, education and standard of living, Madagascar was listed as one of the low human development countries ranking 143 out of 177 countries surveyed.Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is the mainstay of the economy and accounts for more than one-fourth of gross domestic product, employing four-fifths of the population. Climate change and a rise in the number of natural disasters over the past 35 years have affected production and exports, creating a ripple effect on the economy and people’s ability to survive. An increase in the price of rice, the island’s staple food, has also hit large segments of the population, particularly the rural poor.Healthcare boostThe five-year MAP, initiated in 2007 to establish direction and priorities for the nation, aims to speed up development on the island by boosting eight key areas, including infrastructure, education, rural development and health.Listed under healthcare is family planning, which has been problematic in rural areas due to poor infrastructure and traditional beliefs that a woman should bear several children. Adding to population pressures is a 36% drop in infant mortality from 177 per 1 000 live births in 1981 to 43 in 2006, according to the US based Population Reference Bureau’s 2006 figures. This is a result of more extensive and accessible healthcare services in urban areas.According to Irin News, MAP seeks to reduce the average size of the Malagasy family through educational programmes aimed at reducing unwanted teenage pregnancies and making contraceptives more widely available.An early initiative of this kind was the Madagascar Population Support Project carried out between 1993 and 1998, which attempted to expand the use of modern contraceptive methods in urban areas and reduce the fertility rate. The project also provided family planning services in the workplace, introduced non-scalpel vasectomies and educated people through a popular radio series.Through these efforts the project helped increase the contraceptive prevalence rate from 3.5% to 9.7% nationally – a total increase of 177% over the five-year project life.Useful linksMission Madagscar UN Human Development Reports Government of MadagascarDo you have comments or queries about this article? Email Tamara O’Reilly at email@example.com.
23 March 2012 Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has identified 10 districts in the country for the much-awaited pilot of South Africa’s National Health Insurance (NHI), which will be phased in from 1 April. Making the announcement in Pretoria on Thursday, Motsoaledi said the NHI pilots would focus on the most vulnerable sections of society across the country, reduce high maternal and child mortality through district-based health interventions, and strengthen the performance of the public health system in readiness for the full roll-out of NHI.Assessing the effectiveness of the NHI package The pilots will further assess whether the NHI’s health service package, primary health care teams and strengthened referral system will improve access to quality health services, particularly in rural and previously disadvantaged areas of the country. The objectives of the pilots include testing the ability of the districts to assume greater responsibilities under the NHI, and to assess usage patterns, costs and affordability of implementing a PHC service package.10 districts, one extra in KwaZulu-Natal The districts are: OR Tambo (Eastern Cape), Gert Sibande (Mpumalanga province), Vhembe (Limpopo province), Pixley ka Seme (Northern Cape), Eden (Western Cape), Dr K Kaunda (North West), Thabo Mofutsanyane (Free State) and Tshwane (Gauteng). Due to high population numbers and a high disease burden, two districts have been identified in KwaZulu-Natal – uMzinyathi and uMgungundlovu. However, the province has added a third district, Amajuba, and will be using its own funds to carry out the pilot. The selection of the districts was based on a range of indicators, including socio-economic indicators, health service performance, and financial and resource management.Department ‘ready for the roll-out’ On financing the pilots, Motsoaledi said this was part of an ongoing engagement between the Department of Health and the National Treasury, which has allocated R1-billion for the project. An optimistic Motsoaledi said the department was ready for the roll-out of the pilot and would be visiting all the identified districts, where he would be interacting with traditional leaders, church leaders, nurses and doctors to explain the projects ahead of the April launch. He will also be meeting with medical practitioners from each district, to ask them to assist in the NHI clinics for a few hours each week, for which they would be paid. Source: BuaNews
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Artificial insemination (AI) has long proven to be an effective and profitable management tool of the cattle trade. Another tool in the AI toolbox, sexed semen, has found its own niche on the farm in recent years and is growing in popularity.Chris Lahmers, marketing director for COBA/Select Sires, said the company’s sales of gender-sorted semen have steadily increased in the past few years, though they have generally plateaued due to the recent drop in milk prices. Still, the market for the product is ever changing.“About 9% of our sales of Holstein semen and about 37% of Jersey sales were gender sorted semen in 2015,” Lahmers said. “One of the reasons for that is the technology has improved increasing the fertility of the product. The sorting process is more efficient and the extender enhancements have improved fertility. The other reason for its increased popularity is the value of the genetics of the bulls that are being sorted. With genomics, people have put a greater value on the genetics in their herd and they’re wanting to get the most genetic progress out of their best animals. They’re using gender sorted semen to do that.”The question persists of how the process happens. Select Sires contracts with Sexing Technologies (ST) to process gender sorted semen. ST owns the patents on the semen sorting technology that is used in the AI industry. In 2006, ST opened a facility on Plain City to process gender sorted semen for Select Sires, for which they pay a per unit fee.Sexing Technologies notes on its website that USDA researchers experienced a breakthrough in semen-sexing technology the 1980s. Patents on the technology were awarded to XY Inc. of Fort Collins, Colorado. Efficiency grew and commercialization of gender sorted semen in the United States began in 2003 when ST granted a license to use the technology. All major AI companies now work with ST to process gender sorted semen.“The cliff notes version is they take the semen and run it through a flow cytometer,” Lahmers said. “The sperm cells are dyed and come through a laser individually where they separate the cells with male on one side and female on the other. They usually figure the process yields a product that is about 90% female semen. There are going to be a few male sperm in each straw as well but 90% of the semen in the straw is going to be female.“Through the process, we’ve been able to gender sort our genetically superior sires. When it first started in 2006, we just did the sires we had an abundant inventory of conventional semen on so sometimes the genetic level wasn’t quite as appealing. But over the years with technology and improved efficiency of the process, we’ve been able to do our best sires in the breed to offer gender sorted semen. That’s been really appealing to a lot of the dairymen out there.”Lahmers said there are a number of benefits to sexed semen, including increased milk production as a result of improved cow and calf health.“There was a study done a couple years ago where they found that virgin heifers that carry a heifer ended up producing 300 pounds more milk per lactation than those individuals carrying bull calves. The primary reason for that would be calving ease,” he said. “If they have a heifer, it’s usually easier on them to calve and get off to a better start and produce more milk.”Lahmers added he doesn’t see the rise in production from sexed semen as much of a factor in the recent drop in milk prices.With such complexity, many farmers tend to look at a range of factors that surround the technology, like cost, as barriers to its use on the operation. Farmers need to consider many factors when deciding to use sexed semen, some of which include lower fertility rate, accuracy of heat detection and amount of replacement heifers needed for herd goals.“The cost of producing a unit of gender sorted semen is much higher than the cost to produce conventional semen. Therefore, the cost of gender sorted semen is up to double that of the conventional unit,” Lahmers said. “The amount of sales we see depends a lot on milk price.”Also varying are the ways in which a sexed semen program can be introduced, flexible to the type of farm it’s serving.“COBA can assist farmers with making those decisions with our mating program,” he said. “We’ll go to herds and help them match the best sire genetics to their most elite animals. Genomic testing can also be used to determine individual genetic values. We can make mating recommendations on their breeding goals and recommend which ones to breed to gender sorted semen, and which ones to breed to conventional semen. Some farms break their matings into three tiers: those that get bred to gender sorted semen, conventional semen and then beef. Others that are undergoing expansion and want to continue to grow herd numbers may use gender sorted semen on all their heifers. It just depends what kind of setup they’re in and what are their goals are for the future.”Overall, 97% of Select Sires’ business is dairy and 3% is beef. Lahmers said sexed semen has helped in the market strategy of producers — one of the many reasons for its increased use in recent years.“Especially in the Jersey breed, particularly why we see the increase in sexed semen is bull calves are not worth that much,” Lahmers said. “So we find a lot of producers are doing is using gender sorted semen on anything they want to keep for the future and then everything else they will use beef semen on to give more value to those bull calves.“The strong beef market two years ago showed producers there was a value for their male calves. Particularly with Jerseys, they could now get some additional value out of those bull calves when they go to a feedlot. So they breed the top end of their herd with gender sorted semen to meet the needs of their dairy. Then the bottom end of the herd is breed to create a more valuable calf for the beef market.”Josh Keplar of W.G. Dairy Supply has seen firsthand the change in thinking in herd management that’s accompanied the technology.“Sexed semen now is more of a tool on dairy farms to get replacements out of your best cows,” he said. “So you want to use sexed semen to breed your top performing cows to get the best genetics to be the future of your herd. That’s how sexed semen has kind of changed.”Prior to his current position, Keplar spent 10 years working in the AI industry for Genex Cooperative.“Originally when it first came out, you used sexed semen on everything because you got more heifer calves — that’s a great idea,” Keplar said. “Where the downside of that was you were also getting replacements out of your bottom end animals to where now guys, instead of using a lot of sexed semen, the use of sexed semen actually came down and that’s because they’re using more targeted breeding to get replacements out of the top end versus just breeding everything.”As with most technologies through the years, the quality has improved and Keplar said producers have seen that in the form of fertility.“The conception rate has gotten a little bit better from when sexed semen first came out, but I think just overall management of the cows they choose to breed and breeding first lactation cows and breeding virgin heifers, guys have found the benefits outweigh the lower conception,” Keplar said.COBA/Select Sires is based on Alton Darby Creek Road outside of Columbus. W.G. Dairy Supply is in Creston and Minster.
Manny Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision in the rubber match between the fighters on Saturday, prevailing in what the Filipino has said is the final fight of his career.Pacquiao, who bounced back from a controversial split-decision defeat to Bradley in 2012 with a decisive win two years later, delivered the final blow in their welterweight clash in Las Vegas as all three judges scored it 116-110 in his favor.With fans chanting ‘Manny’ at the conclusion, Pacquiao (58-6-2) maintained that he is heading into retirement and continuing his political career in the Philippines.”I have a commitment to my family that I’m going to retire after this and we don’t know,” Pacquiao told ringside reporters.”If you ask me about if I’m coming back, maybe I enjoy by being retired and serving and helping the people.”After a slow start narrowly controlled by Bradley, the 37-year-old Pacquiao seized the momentum in the middle portion following a furious fifth round.Pacquiao then caught an off balance Bradley with a right hand to the ear to drop him in the seventh, but the American surprisingly bounced back to hurt Pacquiao during the eighth.From there Pacquiao wrested back control, highlighted by a right uppercut that dropped Bradley in the ninth.At the strong urging of his trainer Teddy Atlas, Bradley (33-2-1) continued to hang in for the latter rounds though he appeared in trouble at the final bell.”Every round (I was) looking for a KO but Bradley is a very good boxer,” Pacquiao said of the performance, which may go some way to helping cement his legacy after a disappointing fight against Floyd Mayweather last May.advertisementMayweather easily won the fight that lacked much action to retire undefeated, though Pacquiao’s support team said afterwards he had suffered a shoulder injury in training beforehand and later needed surgery.
France number one Richard Gasquet said on Monday he had pulled out of this month’s Davis Cup final against Croatia, with French media reporting that he has a groin injury.The 32-year-old Gasquet, whose last appearance was at the Paris Masters in October, wrote on Twitter that he was “extremely disappointed” at having to withdraw, with France bidding to retain the title.In the absence of Gasquet, France captain Yannick Noah will have to choose from Lucas Pouille, Jeremy Chardy and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the singles matches.The final will be staged at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille on Nov. 23-25 under a retractable roof.”I’m extremely disappointed to announce my absence from the final. I’m fully behind my team to go for a fresh victory,” Gasquet said on Twitter.Gasquet drops out of an already depleted squad and his versatility as a fine doubles partner will also be missed.Gasquet was originally called up by former French Open winner and France team captain Yannick Noah, alongside Lucas Pouille, the just back from injury Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Jeremy Chardy, Nicholas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.Noah has an array of players to chose from to replace Gasquet with Gilles Simon, Benot Paire, Adrian Mannarino or Gal Monfils.The loss leaves France looking a little stretched with Croatia’s singles players Marin Cilic ranked 7th and Borna Coric 12th in the world.The Davis Cup final takes place in Lille, France on November 23-25 on clay courts. Last year, the French beat Belgium in the final but in 2014 they lost to a Swiss team led by Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.advertisementThe meeting with Croatia is a repeat of the football World Cup final in July which France won, 4-2, in Moscow.(With agency inputs)
Key Opta stats:- Swansea have won all three of their Premier League home games against Burnley; the only side they’ve faced more than once at the Liberty Stadium and have a 100 per cent record against in the competition.- Only Tottenham (15) have won more Premier League points than Swansea (14) since Carlos Carvalhal took charge of the Swans.- Ki Sung-yueng scored his first Premier League goal since May 2016 at West Ham, ending a run of 37 games without one in the competition.- Swansea have won their last three home games in the Premier League, after winning just two of their opening 11 this season. Swansea City 1 Burnley 0: Ki unlocks Clarets defence Alex Fisher Last updated 1 year ago 00:56 2/11/18 Getty Images Swansea City’s remarkable revival continued apace at the Liberty Stadium as Burnley were beaten 1-0 in the Premier League. Ki Sung-yueng kept Swansea City’s great escape going under Carlos Carvalhal with a decisive late strike in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Burnley.The South Korea international produced the only moment of quality with nine minutes remaining at the Liberty Stadium, his low effort creeping past Nick Pope to extend Burnley’s winless run to 10 matches.Ki pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the area to seal all three points for Swansea, a win that sees them climb to 15th in the Premier League table – two points clear of the relegation zone on the back of a five-match unbeaten sequence. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player It was another disappointing day for Sean Dyche’s Clarets, though, who have not tasted victory since December 12, and they rarely looked like ending that run here.Half chances were the best they could muster, Lukasz Fabianski rarely called upon as Burnley’s attacking woes continued.The hosts were little better until Ki’s late strike, and the defeat leaves Burnley in seventh ahead of a two-week break due their elimination from the FA Cup.KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/W321InZDOe — Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) February 10, 2018 Swansea’s 8-1 thrashing of Notts County in that competition on Tuesday offered hope of goals from the hosts, however a drab opening 45 minutes failed to deliver.Both Fabianski and Pope were mere spectators for much of the half as play got bogged down in the middle of the pitch.The one moment of quality came with 12 minutes on the clock as Sam Vokes latched onto Ashley Barnes’ knockdown, however the Wales international fired wide from 20 yards.Swansea offered very little in the attacking third and only fired one shot vaguely towards Pope’s goal before the interval, Sam Clucas’ effort sailing over the crossbar.Little changed after the restart with Barnes curling an effort wide of goal for the visitors, while Johann Gudmundsson finally brought a save out of Fabianski with a rising left-footed shot.Moments later Pope also got his gloves dirty dealing with Ki’s ambitious free-kick, the Burnley keeper having no problems dealing with the South Korean’s weak effort.Carvalhal introduced Andre Ayew and Tammy Abraham to try and snatch a late winner but it was Ki who secured a vital three points with his first of the season.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd to try again for Benfica defender Ruben Diasby Paul Vegas15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United are ready to try again for Benfica defender Ruben Dias.United may have to splurge up to £80million to prise the 22-year-old away from the Portuguese capital, says The Sun.They made moves for the Portugal international in the summer but missed out.Now with Benfica set to offer the centre-back improved terms, his release clause will rise dramatically from £60m.Benfica are desperate to keep hold of their star man and are believed to be willing to pay him big money in a new deal.But the lure of Manchester United could prove tough to resist for the player.
Nine-11 hours of sleep and no more than two hours of recreational screen time a day is what can save your children from becoming impulsive and make poorer decisions in life, find researchers. Impulsive behaviour is greatly linked to sleep and screen time, found Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa. “Impulsive behaviour is associated with numerous mental health and addiction problems, including eating disorders, behavioural addictions and substance abuse,” said Dr Michelle Guerrero, lead author from CHEO Research Institute and University of Ottawa. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe paper, published in the journal Pediatrics, analysed data for 4,524 children from the first set of data of a large longitudinal population study. In addition to sleep and screen time, the study also captured data related to physical activity – at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily. The ABCD study allowed Guerrero and her team to look at the three pillars of the movement guidelines against eight measures of impulsivity, such as one’s tendency to seek out thrilling experiences, to set desired goals, to respond sensitively to rewarding or unpleasant stimuli, and to act rashly in negative and positive moods.
Related: Hot Takedown Even so, my findings suggest that a Rooney Rule-style policy could help increase the diversity of congressional staff hires, particularly if Congress has the means and the will to enforce it. In addition to his efforts to require his colleagues to interview at least one nonwhite candidate for any staff vacancy, then, Schumer should also consider urging them to make two further commitments — to provide a fair and equitable evaluation process for these candidates, and to publicly report the demographics of their staffers.3Perhaps he could even move beyond “urging” and build a bipartisan effort to formalize such a rule and its accompanying enforcement mechanisms. With this trio of policies in place, Congressional staffs might finally begin to match the diversity of the lawmakers they work for, and — more importantly — the people they represent.CORRECTION (March 15, 11:30 a.m.): An earlier version of the chart in this article incorrectly described the types of NFL coaches shown. The chart shows head coaches and coordinators, not head coaches and assistants. Although the new 115th Congress is the most racially diverse on record, its staff remains overwhelmingly white.1Exact numbers are difficult to come by, but according to a report by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, there were 336 top Senate staffers (chiefs of staff, legislative directors, communications directors, and staff directors) in December 2015, only 24 of whom were people of color: 12 Asian-Americans, 7 Latinos, 3 African-Americans, and 2 Native Americans. As The Washington Post recently reported, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) is trying to change that — and he’s using the NFL’s “Rooney Rule” as a model for addressing the imbalance.Established in 2003, the Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview at least one nonwhite candidate for any head coaching vacancy. It is an example of a “soft” affirmative action policy — that is, one that is designed to change the composition of the candidate pool, rather than change the criteria used in the hiring process. In this spirit, Schumer has urged his colleagues to ensure that at least one nonwhite applicant is considered for any open position. And if the NFL’s version is any guide, the policy should indeed help improve Congress’s hiring record.In a recent study I published in the American Law and Economics Review, I found that the NFL has hired notably more nonwhite head coaches in the years since the Rooney Rule went into effect. Of course, that increase could reflect the influence of other social, cultural or institutional changes, rather than the impact of the rule itself. So to account for this possibility, I compared the change in hiring trends among NFL head coaches (who became subject to the Rooney Rule) with the change in hiring trends among similar groups that were not affected by the policy, such as NFL coordinators and NCAA head coaches. Those comparison groups show us what the NFL might look like without the Rooney Rule, since they’re affected by the same hard-to-observe forces that may have influenced hiring decisions both before and after the Rooney Rule took effect.Using this technique, I found that a nonwhite candidate is about 20 percent more likely to fill an NFL head coaching vacancy during the Rooney era than before it, even after taking into account the general trend toward hiring more nonwhite candidates at all levels of coaching. In other words, the change can be traced directly to the Rooney Rule itself. Although there are plenty of differences between hiring congressional staffers and hiring NFL head coaches, the two processes share some similarities. Both are influenced by capacity constraints, meaning that NFL franchises and congressional offices can only interview a certain number of candidates because they are working under a limited hiring timeline. Additionally, there is a large amount of “noise” during the candidate-selection process in both fields, since there are no agreed-upon criteria for choosing candidates and it’s impossible to determine the true quality of a given candidate.2The Rooney Rule helps reduce this noise by requiring the franchise to take race into consideration when choosing candidates. These similarities suggest that a Rooney Rule-style policy may work in other organizations. (In fact, Facebook recently implemented its own version of the rule in certain departments, suggesting that the company has hopes for its ability to translate to another industry.)However, the Rooney Rule’s success is likely due in part to the fact that the NFL has been able to closely enforce it. For example, in 2003 the Detroit Lions’ then-president, Matt Millen, was fined $200,000 for failure to interview a nonwhite candidate for the team’s head-coaching vacancy. But when it comes to congressional staffing, there is currently no way for Schumer to force his colleagues to adopt and stick to a Rooney Rule-style hiring policy. The rule also cannot work unless nonwhite candidates are getting fair consideration and going through the same process as white candidates. The NFL has had to continually address teams’ temptation to fulfill the Rooney Rule’s requirements by conducting sham interviews instead of really searching for qualified nonwhite candidates. Finally, the hiring of an NFL head coach is a very public event that will be watched and commented on by reporters and fans alike, which helps maintain pressure to comply with the rule. Congressional offices, on the other hand, are not even required to publicly report the demographics of their staffs. So the positive effects of the Rooney Rule may not fully transfer to organizations that lack enforcement mechanisms. Hot Takedown’s March Madness Special
If the tenor set by Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer on the first day of preseason practice is any indication about what the coming season holds, the 2012 campaign will be an intense one. Meyer led veteran OSU players in an early-morning workout at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center that included stretching, running and drill work, according to an OSU release. Freshmen and upperclassmen walk-on players took part in their first fall practice under Meyer at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Meyer, who was hired Nov. 29, begins preparations for his first season with OSU after stints at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida. Meyer was not made available following his first-ever preseason practice at OSU, but sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby confirmed the arrival of a new era in OSU football from players’ perspectives when he said the morning session was more intense than what the team had experienced under former head coaches Jim Tressel and current OSU defensive coordinator Luke Fickell. “You can tell just by practice. It was totally different than coach Tressel,” Roby said. “Just the whole intensity of practice – It’s more urgent, more intensity. Not more competitive, but (coaches) stress the competitiveness so that brings out more.” Roby, who also called the Friday practice high-paced and crisp, said it was Meyer’s newly assembled coaching staff “being on you more” that brought the intense showing from players. Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, appearing less camera-shy and open to discussion with the media, said that his teammates came together during the summer. Miller, who rushed for 715 yard and seven touchdown while passing for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns during his freshman campaign, also credited the coaching staff for changes in his physique. “I feel a lot (different). My body’s changing, my attitude,” he said. “I had a talk with the coaches about, like, ‘how can I be a better leader?” In keeping with the theme of intensity, Miller also said he had some words of encouragement for his teammates before the early-morning practice. “Let’s go man,” Miller said. “We’re not here to lounge around.” New Season, New Numbers Three players, including Roby, are wearing new numbers this fall. Roby, who sported the No. 25 jersey last year, is wearing No. 1 for the 2012 season. Additionally, senior linebacker Ross Oltorik is wearing the No. 20 jersey and freshman defensive lineman Se’von Pittman will sport the No. 95 jersey. OSU begins its 2012 season Sept. 1 against Miami (Ohio) at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff, set for 29 days from Friday, is scheduled for noon. Patrick Maks contributed to this story.