Flexible energy systems for Africa accelerated by crises

first_imgSign up for the ESI Africa newsletter Responding to the department of mineral resources and energy’s first budget speech since the merger of the two departments, Standard Bank Group says the COVID-19 crisis highlights that Africa needs to develop flexible energy systems. Rapid advancements in storage technologies are addressing the problem of intermittent supply of electricity by renewable energy units, but there are no utility-scale battery storage facilities in Africa. Alongside launching bid window five of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer (REIPP) programme, finalising plans to enable the private sector and municipalities to secure their own power supplies would also be a welcome development in South Africa. The Bank sees renewables and decentralised technologies play a far larger role in creating these new approaches to the delivery of electricity. But, demand is now increasing in most African states as economies reopen. Generation Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA Meanwhile, African nations are well placed to implement a ‘green stimulus’ strategy, as the European Union and other markets have done. Sign up for the ESI Africa newsletter “Given that renewables are currently the most economically viable source of energy in most countries, we expect that the COVID-19 crisis will accelerate the pace at which these technologies are adopted on the continent, with hydro, wind and solar being the most attractive technologies,” said Rentia van Tonder, head of power at Standard Bank. Flexible energy storage and renewables to plug the gap “This further strengthens the case for economic recovery strategies to be underpinned by investments in renewable energy,” said van Tonder. Gas to power projects will also be able to provide dispatchable power solutions, complementing renewables. “In countries such as Nigeria – where the electricity self-generation market is 55% larger than the main grid – we expect the country will start to seriously consider pivoting to decentralised renewable solutions as oil subsidies near an end, so as to decrease the supply shortfall and better service the large and geographically fragmented population,” said van Tonder. Considering that many African countries entered the crisis with a shortfall of energy supply, governments will need to procure more power in the months ahead. BRICS The fast and most cost-effective way to address that supply gap is through more flexible technologies such as renewable power projects, advises the Bank. This could mean the crisis may prompt some African nations to deploy renewables at a faster rate than before. “Given the heightened focus on environmental, social and governance factors as well as sustainability, we would also expect global investors and financiers to continue to pursue opportunities in the renewables space,” he added. In South Africa electricity demand reduced by as much as 7,500MW on average in March and April at the height of lockdown. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewables are the only energy source set for growth in demand in 2020, with solar and wind generators best placed to weather the storm due to cost competitiveness and the ability to adjust more easily to fluctuations in demand. Featured image: Stock Read more:Clean energy technologies will require more mineralsGreen hydrogen ideal for energy intensive users, says wind industry AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector With electricity demand recovering, South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy recently announced that it is preparing bid documentation for the emergency procurement of 2,000MW of generation capacity. “This approach would increase the potential to secure additional green funding for the continent’s COVID-19 recovery measures,” said Greg Fyfe, head of energy and infrastructure finance at Standard Bank. Read more:Power Africa’s energy transition will take collective effortHow Egypt banks on renewables to meet likely energy demand surgeEd’s note: South Africa’s DMRE budget shows a changing landscape Going green and off the grid to ensure reliable supply Some mining groups in Africa are even turning to hydrogen power to diversify their electricity mixes – an indication that the fledgeling hydrogen economy is garnering more interest.   TAGSCOVID-19solar powerSouth AfricaStandard Bankwind energy Previous articleSouth Africa reveals recovery plan for mining and energy sectorNext articleTV access forging ahead through Bboxx SHS and CANAL+ partnership Theresa SmithTheresa Smith is a conference producer for Clarion Events Africa. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Finance and Policy Worldwide the pandemic has created both a decline and change in electricity demand as commercial and industrial activity slowed and people worked from home. “With government finances under strain amid the pandemic, public-private partnerships will be essential for the energy infrastructure build programme to be a success. Banks will need to work closely with governments, development finance institutions and other financiers to mobilise funds and expertise,” explained Fyfe. Decentralised green-energy solutions, which promote innovation as they are purpose-built and not connected to national grids, will continue to gain momentum as municipalities, mining houses and industrial firms seek to ensure cost certainty and reliability of supply. Given the time constraints, renewables may be best suited to plug the gap, and there are signs that these projects could include investments in storage technologies, which would further enhance the flexibility of these systems. UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon developmentlast_img read more

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Completion of first commercial Australian VRB energy storage system for Hydro Tasmania

first_imgRenewablesHydroelectric Linkedin By chloecox – Completion of first commercial Australian VRB energy storage system for Hydro Tasmania TAGSHydroTasmania King Island, a small remote location off the south coast of Australia supports and operates 5 wind turbines ranging from 250 – 850kW and Four Diesel generators at 1.5MW each that act as a remote grid to supply power to the local residents. Pinnacle’s 200 kW x 4-hour (800 kWh) VRB/ESS installation has been integrated with the wind turbines and diesel generators to form a 3-way hybrid system. Linkedin VANCOUVER, Nov. 21, 2003 — VRB Power Systems Inc. announces that its 66 percent owned subsidiary, Pinnacle VRB Ltd., has reported the following: 11.21.2003 Hitachi ABB Power Grids to modernize 1.2-GW Chinese hydropower plant Based in Vancouver, B.C., VRB Power is an alternative electrochemical energy storage company that has commercialized the patented Vanadium Redox Battery Energy Storage System. (VRB/ESS). The VRB/ESS is a technology that effectively stores and delivers electricity on demand, improves power reliability, power quality and reduces costs associated with applications for load levelling, peak shaving, and the supply of essential Uninterruptible Power Systems. Twitter The commissioning of the King Island Vanadium Redox Battery Energy Storage System (VRB/ESS) is now completed. A Practical Completion Certificate was issued by Hydro Tasmania on Nov. 14, 2003. The presence of the VRB/ESS has raised the level of deliverable power and has allowed for the ability to provide “firm capacity” from the existing wind generation. The newly integrated system reduces the required use of the diesel generators thereby reducing fuel costs and emissions of diesel exhaust into the environment. This new facility forms part of Hydro Tasmania’s King Island Renewable Energy Expansion Project and will improve power supply and quality to the community of King Island. The Australian Greenhouse office is also a stakeholder in the project. Voith Hydro supplying pumped storage equipment to pair with Idaho combined solar-wind project Twitter Facebook Forming an integral part of the King Island’s power system, the VRB/ESS is used to smooth the short term output variations in the wind generators and the customer loads whilst providing frequency and voltage control and to implement a system of “load shifting”, ensuring optimum performance of the diesel and wind generation hybrid system. The successful installation of Pinnacle’s VRB/ESS for Hydro Tasmania and the Australian Greenhouse Office is a key milestone in the development and commercialization of Pinnacle’s Vanadium Redox Battery Energy Storage technology. The demand for a reliable and versatile Energy Storage System is becoming increasingly evidenced worldwide and in a number of markets including the industrial and commercial sectors that are not adequately serviced by existing battery technologies. Avista Utilities’ 2021 electric IRP includes upgrades to existing hydropower Previous articleAdvent Solar, Inc win 2003 National Clean Energy Venture competitionNext articleCartel Office blocks E.ON’s Luebeck Buy chloecox RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Design flexibilities, low life cycle costs, durability and simultaneous applicable “value streams” available within the VRB technology will allow for expansion into markets typically controlled by conventional storage technologies such as lead acid batteries. Characterized by low ecological impact, the VRB technology uses conducting plastic electrodes and contains no heavy metals. The VRB/ESS has mobile design capabilities, allowing the unit to be relocated as may be needed in the future. VRB Power is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (VRB), the OTC Pink Sheets (VRBPF) and on the Frankfurt Exchange (VNK). Facebook No posts to displaylast_img read more

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French Federation says it raised Olympic ranking concerns in September

first_img Horse Sport Enews SIGN UP On Monday, the FEI annulled hundreds of ranking points won at a controversial jumping venue in France – but the French federation finds it ‘painful’ the shows went ahead in the first placeSophie Dubourg of French Equestrian Federation (FFE) has spoken out about her “painful” months observing the jumping rankings controversy unfold at the Villeneuve-Loubet shows, while being powerless to intervene.Mme Duborg, FFE’s national technical director, today (February 19) told French magazine Grand Prix Replay that FFE raised concerns to the FEI about the venue’s multiple 2* CSIs back in September. FFE was amazed the shows were allowed to go ahead in December and January by the FEI; as the national federation, FFE could act only as “postbox and interlocutor.”On Monday (February 17) the FEI annulled ranking points won at Villeneuve-Loubet and also Damascus, Syria, in December, which had drastically impacted on the Longines world rankings and Olympic individual qualifying; as a result, Sri Lanka’s Mathilda Karlsson lost her Tokyo ticket. The FEI admitted the schedules were erroneously approved at FEI HQ.Key anomalies, as first revealed in HorseSport.com last month, were the deliberately restricted entry – some Grands Prix had just five starters, and full points were awarded for a 28-fault round – and the addition of rankings classes only after the close of definite entries.The FFE, like all NFs, is obliged to submit schedules for home CSIs to the FEI, though it has no powers to intervene over content. Since September, the FFE raised queries and was assured by the FEI that the matter was in hand.Invitations were initially confined to a small number of countries excluding France [the venue owner’s son, Andrea Herck was an active participant but represented Romania]. France was added only after a request from the FEI.Entry was restricted to 20 riders – (most CSI2* shows in Europe set no upper limit.) The initial program did not incentivise entries because there was only one ranking class per show and little prize money. She said despite the venue’s quality, Villeneuve was not popular with French riders due to “other problems.”Only after the definite entries deadline were two extra rankings classes added to each of three events. The FFE processed this request out of transparency. Riders who tried to obtain invitations in ample time or make late entries when the enhanced schedule became known were “systematically” refused by the organizer. Some riders testified to the FFE that the organizer then contacted them to dissuade them from participating.The FFE was disappointed it had been partially blamed for the erroneous handling of schedules. “It bothered us for four months and having to watch what was happening was painful – very painful,” said Mme Duborg.France is the premier organizer of international competitions. “We must guarantee ethics and a certain quality of organization, added MMe Duborg. “For many, what was happening in Villeneuve-Loubet was very obscure and we responded factually to the many requests by saying that we had questioned the FEI, which told us that everything was in order.”Since January, HorseSport.com has repeatedly invited the Villeneuve organization to respond to the widely published concerns. The organiser declined to address these points directly, other than accurately pointing out that his schedules abided by FEI rules and that the FEI approved them. A Villeneuve spokesman did say, though, that it had been “clever” to notice that this kind of restricted entry show could be programmed under “stupid” rules. Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. More from News: MARS Bromont CCI Announces Requirements For US-Based RidersThe first set of requirements to allow American athletes and support teams to enter Canada for the June 2-6 competition have been released.Canadian Eventer Jessica Phoenix Reaches the 100 CCI4*-S MarkPhoenix achieved the milestone while riding Pavarotti at the inaugural 2021 CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.Tribunal Satisfied That Kocher Made Prolonged Use of Electric SpursAs well as horse abuse, the US rider is found to have brought the sport into disrepute and committed criminal acts under Swiss law.Washington International Horse Show Returns to TryonTIEC will again provide the venue for the WIHS Oct. 26-31 with a full schedule of hunter, jumper and equitation classes. Email*last_img read more

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Learning Spaces Tech

first_imgTo apply, visit https://tamus.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/TAMUCC_External/job/Corpus-Christi-TAMUCC/Learning-Spaces-Tech_R-036809 All positions are security-sensitive. Applicants are subject to acriminal history investigation, and employment is contingent uponthe institution’s verification of credentials and/or otherinformation required by the institution’s procedures, including thecompletion of the criminal history check.Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability Employercommitted to diversity. Training Faculty and Staff on Learning Spaces TechnologiesOrganize training for Faculty, Staff, and Students. Present thetraining in person, by video, or another acceptable form ofcommunication. Create and keep up-to-date Learning SpacesTechnology training documents for the campus and InformationTechnology department. Coordinates and operates audio video campus eventsAssist with the planning and coordinating the technologynecessary for special events on and off campus. Serve as theprimary consultant and AV/IT coordinator of these events. Workclosely with the Public Relations office, Performing Arts, LiberalArts, University Center and others to coordinate these events.Attend meetings and other planning events to provide technicalskill and knowledge in regards to best practices.Perform other duties as assigned. Job TitleLearning Spaces TechAgencyTexas A&M University – Corpus ChristiDepartmentUser Support ServicesProposed Minimum SalaryCommensurateJob LocationCorpus Christi, TexasJob TypeStaffJob DescriptionService and Support for Learning SpacesHandle diagnostics and problem resolution of the campusclassroom technology, computers, and peripherals. Requestreplacement parts or equipment in order to facilitate thecontinuation of coursework in these classrooms. Consultation for Audio Visual technologiesProvide classroom technology consultation services to facultyand staff in order to improve their ability to decide on purchasingand successfully implementing new technologies. Provide testing,evaluation, and consulting on new and emerging technologies thatmay be utilized within the classrooms or various learningspaces.center_img Maintenance for AV Learning SpacesInstall and maintain technologies, as well as continue to meetthe needs of faculty as technological changes occur. Ensurecomputing systems and related equipment, within the campusclassrooms are maintained and fully functional. Maintain or repairequipment in a timely fashion. Qualifications:Bachelor’s degree.One (1) year of related experience.Additional experience may be considered as a substitution forthe minimum education requirements.Excellent presentation skills to be able to provide trainingmaterial in front of 100+ faculty, staff, or students.Coordinate large audiovisual projects with various AV vendors,contractors, architects, and consultants.Extensive experience in AV equipment troubleshooting and repairas well as software support and basic networking elements.Extensive experience with commercial sound systems,microphones, mixers, amplifiers, Digital signal processors, digitaland analog audio.Proficient using both Mac and PC computers.Demonstrated ability to manage audio and sound equipmentinventory and complete both simple and complex equipment set ups ina timely manner.Monitor, test, troubleshoot and repair audio and video systemsduring events. Preferred Qualifications:Three (3) years of Audiovisual design and installationexperience.Three (3) years of Crestron programming experience.Knowledge of American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) associatedwith classrooms.Experience with audio gain structure.Experience with PA systems.Technology Specialist (CTS) CertificationInformation Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)certification or willingness to earn the certification within thefirst year of employment. jeid-7469e9c4f1ee9049b6137adc39844037last_img read more

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NBSC WORLD HANDBALL PLAYMAKER 2019?

first_imgMartina 26. November 2019. at 14:38 He is a Greatest player 3 Comments Related Items:NBSC WORLD HANDBALL PLAYMAKER 2019? Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.Comment Name Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.  Loading …VOTE ALSO FOR…WORLD HANDBALL LEFT WING 2019WORLD HANDBALL LEFT BACK 2019WORLD HANDBALL PLAYMAKER 2019WORLD HANDBALL RIGHT BACK 2019WORLD HANDBALL RIGHT WING 2019WORLD HANDBALL LINE-PLAYER 2019WORLD HANDBALL GOALKEEPER 2019WORLD HANDBALL DEFENSIVE PLAYER 2019 ShareTweetShareShareEmail Jens-Ole F 21. November 2019. at 20:25 NBSC WORLD PLAYMAKER 2019? Rasmus Lauge Schmidt (Telekom Veszprem – Denmark) Luka Cindric (Barca Lassa – Croatia) Igor Karacic (PGE Vive Kielce – Croatia) Andre Schmid (Rhein Neckar Lowen – Switzerland)View Results ShareTweetShareShareEmailComments 3 Comments Pingback: Rasmus Lauge Schmidt nomineret til verdens bedste playmaker André Schmidtlast_img read more

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Escaper Blasts Into 2021 With ‘Live At Nublu (New York, 12/27/19)’ [Stream]

first_imgThe weeks leading up to a New Year’s Run (be it Phish or The Disco Biscuits) always have a certain electricity in New York City. The jam scene hibernates for the holidays, only to explode into the new year. New York City-based psych-jam band Escaper batted leadoff, playing “night zero” as a precursor to the musical mayhem that would follow over the next four nights.As New Yorkers, the four gentlemen that make up Escaper are no strangers to the tremendous live music performed during the four nights surrounding New Year’s Eve. Having the honor to open up the run, Escaper grabbed their opportunity at Nublu, an East Village hot spot that regularly plays hosts to up-and-coming artists in the scene.Related: Escaper’s Jay Grey Releases Debut Greywolf Single, “Exit Key” [Listen]At the time, no one could’ve predicted the devastation that would befall live music in 2020. This “before times” show occurred in the spirit of optimism and hope and excitement that always comes with a new year. The band was in the midst of recording their next studio album, Apotheosis, which dropped in June 2020, and the performance exhibited the energy and enthusiasm that a band attacks a show with as they’re putting out new material.On this night, the Escaper boys debuted a number of new songs from their forthcoming album, including an extended version of “Open Sky”, which would go on to make waves over the summer. Unique takes on “Vista” and “Res Magna” had the crowd grooving to this funkier, more up-tempo sound. They also revived fan-favorite “Galaxies”, dipping into their back catalog.Escaper also brought up special guest saxophonist Johnny Butler (Beyonce, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds) for two tracks from Edge Detections, including rousing renditions of “Lighthouse” and “Rare Form”. The set also included covers of Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” and Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”, two covers that this funky psychedelic foursome has given a sound of their own.Escaper set a tone for the New Year’s Run which would be carried throughout the week. They built on that momentum by putting out a stellar album in June of 2020, with new material and added dimensions to their sound and style. They are hard at work again, as always, crafting new material for a new album which they hope to release in 2021. They are excited about the future of their music, their new album, and performing live shows to dancing crowds in the hopefully very near future.Stream the new Escaper live album, Live at Nublu (New York, 12/27/19) via the player below. Scroll down to watch Escaper perform “No Strings” at Nulu, also heard on the live album.Escaper – Live at Nublu (New York, 12/27/19)Escaper – “No Strings” – New York, NY – 12/27/19[Video: Escaper Music]last_img read more

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Innovative Air Ambulance, Florida Team’s International Win & Tea Breaks

first_imgTea TimeAfter coming under scrutiny, the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) is finally taking some action on its tea-break policy. As part of the United Kingdom National Health Service’s current policy, EMS providers are entitled to an undisturbed break during their shifts. Calls are diverted to other stations during these breaks, even if the crew on break is only a few minutes away and the call is time-sensitive. According to thecourier.co.uk, SAS and Scottish government officials continue to meet “to find a solution to the challenges that the policy creates.” Although this policy’s challenges are complex and the action perhaps long overdue, we applaud the administration for taking steps to address the issue in an attempt to dispatch the closest resources to all incidents whenever possible.Dream MachineCalifornia Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR) was a unique consortium of air ambulances when it began in the 1980s, and it has continued to be innovative as it’s grown. CALSTAR began when 20 San Francisco Bay area hospitals took part in the planning of this first-of-its-kind consortium. The dream its founders had was of an air ambulance service that would best serve patients, not hospitals. They strove to be an air ambulance service whose helicopters transported patients to the best treatment facility for the patient’s condition.CALSTAR recently added an enhancement to one of its helicopters. Its Super Lift helicopter is equipped with new, aerodynamic performance that improves safety, operations and patient care capabilities.The BO105LS helicopter based at South Lake Tahoe (Calif.) gets its enhanced aerodynamic performance from the installation of a $320,000 Super Lifter Kit. The Kit gives the helicopter more speed, more efficiency, less vibration and greater weight-carrying potential so that it can carry two patients at once.South Lake Tahoe sits at a high ground elevation of 6,200 feet, so lift is crucial in that service area. The modified main and tail rotors give the helicopter the ability to get out of almost-vertical holes, according to Kris Hunt, CALSTAR’s chief pilot at South Lake Tahoe. That’s particularly important when you’re in an area with 200- to 300-foot tall trees.CALSTAR’s Super Lift helicopter is one of only three known in the world and the only air ambulance so equipped. We think CALSTAR deserves a thumbs up for continuing to improve patient transport and the overall safety aspects of its program.Overseas Victory for Flagler CountyThe Flagler County (Fla.) EMS team recently won the paramedic crew section of the International Competition Rallye Rejviz in the Czech Republic. In the past three years of the Rallye Rejviz’s 15-year history, Flagler County has placed first, second and first, respectively.In this year’s Rallye Rejviz, paramedics Dennis Kline, Caryn Prather, Mike Pius and Jessie Hunter competed against 28 teams from 19 nations. “The stations were extremely challenging. There were, for example, a subway accident with nine wounded, an AC/DC accident, drug intoxication and infant emergency management,” Austrian competition referee Christoph Redelsteiner says.Competing teams were required to complete eight tasks during the day portion of the competition and three tasks during the nighttime portion. These tasks are different from most of the EMS competitions in the U.S. because teams often take to the road, sometimes being required to find cottages in the woods. Kline says this year they had to repel down four stories, cross a zip line and then work their way back up to reach one of their patients. The Flagler County EMS Competition Team travels around the U.S. to about 15 competitions a year, including the JEMS Games at the EMS Today Conference & Exposition, and several other international events. Team members are tasked with raising most of the money themselves, but do receive some support from their department and corporate sponsorships from StatPacks and Intubrite LLC. JEMS is proud to recognize these highly skilled and practiced ALS ambassadors for leading the world with their knowledge and skills. JEMSThis article originally appeared in August 2011 JEMS as “Last Word: The Ups and Downs of EMS.”last_img read more

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Boom in Camps for Chronically Ill Kids

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore“Summer camps just for kids with chronic diseases are booming — places to finally meet someone else with Tourette’s tics or slice open a cow’s heart to see what’s wrong with their own. Now research suggests these special camps may offer lasting therapeutic value.” (Associated Press) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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The Science of Choosing Compassion

first_imgHuffington Post:As I walk down bustling Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I often pass homeless people who ask me for spare change. Sometimes I let myself feel compassion for these individuals. But other times I don’t want to get emotionally involved, so I look away and keep walking. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. Pondering such experiences has led me to systematically explore the factors that influence when people feel compassion for others. The upshot of my research: You can choose to feel more compassion than you might think.There are many cases when we don’t feel compassion for others. Joseph Stalin reputedly said that a single victim is a tragedy, but a million victims is a statistic. And Mother Theresa said that if she looked at the mass of suffering people, she could not act to save them. Despite their differences, these two agree that it is difficult to feel compassion for many suffering victims. Psychological studies show that people feel more compassion for a single victim than for multiple victims, a finding that has been called “the collapse of compassion.” The collapse of compassion should strike you as shocking. Most people predict that they would — and should — feel more compassion if more people are suffering. Yet people’s emotional responses to actual victims tell otherwise. Imagine reading about either a single victim or eight victims. Experiments find that compassion doesn’t simply level off with more victims — so it’s not that adding seven victims to the single victim increases compassion only a little bit. Instead, adding seven victims makes you feel less compassion compared to just one. Compassion plummets as the numbers increase.Read the whole story: Huffington Post More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

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Flu Scan for Jan 14, 2014

first_imgTFAH calls for boosting flu vaccine coverage in adultsWith the flu season hitting its stride and the 2009 H1N1 virus spreading, the public health advocacy group Trust for America’s Health today called for greater efforts to increase flu vaccine coverage, saying only 35.7% of working-age adults were vaccinated last season.”The trend of low vaccination rates among younger adults is particularly troubling this year, when they are more at risk than usual for the effects of the H1N1 strain of flu that’s circulating,” Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH, said in a press release. The 2009 H1N1 virus is the dominant US strain this season.TFAH said overall flu vaccination rates remain low in the United States, though coverage in children and the elderly is better than in working-age adults. Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the group said 45% of Americans got a flu shot for the 2012-13 season, which was an increase from 41.8% in 2011-12.Vaccination coverage last season was highest in Massachusetts, at 57.5%, and lowest in Florida, at 34.1%, TFAH reported. Only 12 states had 50% coverage or better: Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Tennessee.The group recommended a number of steps to increase flu vaccine uptake, including supporting flu shots without copays for all Americans and requiring vaccination for all healthcare workers.In other comments, TFAH said federal flu spending is slated to increase under a budget agreement reached by negotiators in the US House and Senate yesterday. The omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2014 allocates $156.7 million for flu planning and response, about a $6.6 million increase over last year, but $2.2 million lower than in 2012, the group said.Also, the bill allocates $115 million for pandemic flu preparedness, which hadn’t been funded since fiscal 2011, TFAH reported. Jan 14 TFAH press release Jan 14 TFAH full report Dec 12, 2013, CIDRAP News story on flu vaccine impact and coverage CDC FluVaxView page with vaccine uptake data  New Columbia Mailman Web site forecasts flu trends by cityA flu-forecasting Web site developed by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York may help consumers take extra precautions to guard against the illness and may inform the public health sector on such decisions as vaccine and antiviral stockpiling and distribution, according to a Mailman news release yesterday.”For the first time, people can see the outlook for seasonal flu in their area by going online,” Mailman assistant professor Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, said in the release.The site, called the Columbia Prediction of Infectious Diseases: Influenza Forecasts, or CPID (www.cpid.iri.columbia.edu), tracks influenza in 94 US cities and forecasts rates of seasonal flu in upcoming weeks “based on a scientifically validated system,” according to the story. Updated every Friday afternoon during the flu season, it includes an interactive map, comparison charts of the four most recent flu seasons, and exportable data.Among current predictions are these:Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Nevada have already seen the peak of flu casesThe current season will peak later and with fewer cases than the 2012-13 season but will be far more severe than the 2011-12 seasonCases in most of the cities tracked will peak in January (eg, Chicago, Jan 12 to 18; New York, Jan 19 to 25), but in several, including Miami and Providence, R.I., the worst will come in February (Feb 2 through 8 and Feb 16 through 22, respectively)Jan 13 Columbia Mailman news release Study: Text messages may boost flu vaccine uptake in pregnant womenText messages provide an effective means of reminding urban, low-income pregnant women to get their flu shots, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.The authors, primarily from Columbia University, enrolled 1,187 obstetric patients from five New York community-based clinics in their randomized controlled trial during the 2011-12 flu season. Women were eligible if they had a first trimester visit between Feb 1 and Aug 31, 2011, had an estimated delivery date after Aug 31, and had a cell phone capable of receiving text messages. Messages were sent in English or Spanish, depending on patient preference.Patients were randomized to receive five weekly text messages about flu vaccination beginning in mid September 2011 and two appointment reminder texts or to receive “usual” care. Messages were stopped after vaccination. Standard, automated appointment-reminder phone messages were sent to both groups.After adjusting for gestational age and number of clinic visits, the women in the text-message group were 30% more likely to have been vaccinated by December 2011, with those early in the third trimester at the start of the intervention most likely to have been affected by the messages (61.9% versus 49.0% for the controls).Pregnant women, while constituting only 1% of the population, are at increased risk for flu morbidity and mortality, note the authors.February Am J Public Health abstractlast_img read more

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