Visibility of LBT women enhanced through SWAG – Akola Thompson

first_imgWomen empowerment in Guyana had seen a sizable increase over the past year, ever since a new movement was launched to target the need for equality among all.This was according to the coordinator of SASOD Women’s Arm Guyana (SWAG), Akola Thompson, who noted that the foundation has significantly impacted the visibility of LBT (Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) women and has provided a voice for many who are discriminated against in society.“So far, we have really promoted the visibility of LBT women and that’s not something that has been happening a lot. For a long time, you never really saw a lot of LBT women in public spaces and that is a thing that has been significantly changing,” Thompson stated.Through the movement, numerous empowerment sessions were conducted with women in various communities across Guyana; an activity which they hope to increase as time progresses.“Since the launching of SWAG, we have begun monthly empowerment sessions also aimed at providing community orientation for our community members and these are some things that we’re hoping to continue and also expand into other regions as the time goes by. We recognise that advocacy is largely sensitised and sensualised and we need to have more spaces in communities that do not have the same access as Georgetown.” To further eliminate acts of violence against women through sensitisation, SWAG will be partnering with a number of organisations, including the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA).“CEDA committee had recommended enacting antidiscrimination legislation that includes the prohibition of all forms of discrimination against women. So far, none of this has happened and we’re calling on Government to personally repeal discriminatory laws and practices and to put in more mechanisms in strengthening and supporting LBT persons in the community,” Thompson stated.Since the launch of the organisation on Women’s Day 2017, outreaches were conducted with LGT women to address the issues of violence and discrimination that they face on a daily basis.It was revealed that these discussions will continue in the coming months to spread more awareness to promote equality.last_img read more

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HIV in SA improving slowly

first_imgThe 2009 HIV gauge reveals that progress is being made, especially among South Africa’s youth, but more needs to be done. (Image: MediaClubsouthafrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Fareed MohammedloveLife public relations+27 11 523 1102 or +27 79 597 9374RELATED ARTICLES • Loving life, fighting Aids • HIV in South Africa stabilising • Powerful HIV antibodies found• Hunger strike against HIV • HIV/Aids in South AfricaJanine ErasmusNational youth HIV prevention programme loveLife, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in October 2009, has released its second annual publication on the status of HIV in South Africa.The publication shows that in some areas there has been marked improvement, but a lot more needs to be done to control the spread of the epidemic and save lives.The 2009 Gauge of HIV Prevention in South Africa is written by Dr David Harrison, former loveLife CEO, and freelance researcher Ruth Scott. Harrison now heads the national youth empowerment programme Connected! – a loveLife initiative.“The publication will give us a sense of where progress is, and is not being made,” said Harrison, speaking at the launch on 2 November 2009.“We’re finding that data such as that from national antenatal surveys are becoming less and less useful – we would prefer that the money be used to better understand the dynamics of the epidemic.”LoveLife CEO Grace Mathlape concurred, saying that the gauge would inform people about what has been and can still be achieved in preventing the spread of HIV and Aids.The publication was funded by the UK Department for International Development, which manages UK aid to poor countries, working to eradicate destitution. It may also be accessed online.Comprehensive informationDrawing on a wide range of published sources, the publication collates all current data about HIV and Aids from both national and regional studies, and presents it in one comprehensive document.The gauge has a threefold aim. Firstly, it reports on the status of the HIV epidemic in South Africa and identifies trends that will assist in halting the spread of the disease. Secondly, it aims to identify areas where knowledge is lacking, and thirdly it makes recommendations that could influence the direction of future policies and programmes.The report noted a number of positive developments. The HIV epidemic has peaked, according to the publication, but the prevalence will not drop for at least five years even if the incidence, or rate of new infections, is slashed in half. This is because antiretroviral drugs help to prolong life, and therefore there are more people living with HIV and Aids.More precise measurements must be implemented to overcome this situation and deliver accurate results, said Harrison. In fact, he added, if the prevalence goes down too soon it could mean that treatment is failing and that too many people are dying.Another significant statistic reveals that in the past five years the prevalence of HIV among 15- to 24-year-olds has dropped, indicating that the rate of new infection has also decreased sharply.Research did show, however, that there is a sharp jump in new infections among people in their mid-20s and early 30s. This means that children in school are relatively protected, but once out of school their lifestyle changes, the future is no longer so certain, and they are more willing to take risks.The report recommends more support structures for new school leavers, and immediate opportunities for personal growth and development.The number of people who have been tested and now know their status has also increased over the past few years, from less than 33% of the population, to about 50%.Preventing infectionThere are a number of areas where firm action could save thousands of lives.Mother-to-child transmission is a key area that could result in fewer new infections. According to the report, every year about 30 000 babies are needlessly infected with HIV in this way, when prevention is possible. Although this number has decreased in the past few years it is still unacceptably high – there should be no more than 4 000 of this type of infection per year.The strategy for preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) does not reach all babies. When successful, the programme reduces transmission to less than 5%, but the report revealed that for various reasons, at most only about 66% of infants who need PMTCT actually benefit from it. The main reason is that testing doesn’t extend to all pregnant women, and many of those who are tested, and found to be HIV-positive, are later neglected by the health system.Testing also falls short with regard to tuberculosis, as incidence of the two diseases are closely related and more than 50% of tuberculosis patients also have HIV. The successful detection of tuberculosis in HIV-positive people must increase.For every two pregnancies in South Africa, there is one HIV infection. This is largely as a result of higher risk in the social environment, since young girls often drop out of school during this time and become insecure about their financial situation. There is also a greater physiological vulnerability to infection.The report recommends a focus on the prevention of teen pregnancy, but failing this, there must be a greater use of condoms during pregnancy as well as the return of new, young mothers to the school system as soon as possible.While condom use has increased among young men between the ages of 15 and 24, the same cannot be said of women in the same age group. Furthermore, not enough condoms are distributed, as seen in the high incidence of HIV in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Free State – the provinces where condom distribution is lowest. Female condoms are expensive and not readily available.Some of the most vulnerable groups, such as prisoners, are not protected by easy access to condoms. This is especially dangerous because each year 25% of all prisoners are released back into society. “We must flood prisons with condoms,” said Harrison.Disabled people, Aids orphans, and commercial sex workers are also at particular risk of contracting HIV. The group most at risk of infection are those living in informal settlements, whether urban or rural. Most-at-risk groups are neglected in general, and this is an area that needs urgent attention.Taking actionAnother strategy that could drastically reduce the infection rate is the introduction of a national male circumcision programme, as this medical procedure has been proven to reduce HIV incidence – when performed properly.Behaviour change and the reduction of risk tolerance must also be addressed. Such programmes do not address all age groups and there is too little focus on high-risk groups.The report recommends that healthcare be improved generally, as well in specific areas relating to most-at-risk groups, men and those with sexually transmitted infections.More funding is needed. Although currently about R1-billion (US$130.6-million) is spent on HIV prevention, the gauge reported that the investment of another billion into a comprehensive national programme will result in three times that amount in annual savings within a decade.Finally, government needs to be firm and clear on how it is tackling the spread of HIV and tuberculosis, and it must form joint partnerships with the civil and corporate sectors to strengthen its work.last_img read more

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Mechanical and Electrical Systems at the Orchards at Orenco Project

first_img RELATED ARTICLES Meeting the Airtightness ChallengeRoofing and Cladding for the Orenco PassivhausWalls and Windows for the Orenco PassivhausPlacing a Concrete Foundation on Rigid Foam InsulationThe Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S.Multifamily Passivhaus Project Starts in Oregon While an ultra-high performance enclosure lies at the heart of the Passive House concept, the mechanical systems constitute the “yang” to the enclosure “yin.” The HVAC system, water heating, lighting, appliances, and conveying systems all contribute to the building’s high level of performance.Because the Orchards at Orenco project is a large multiunit residential building, these systems and components are in many ways quite different from those one would see in single-family residences designed to meet the Passive House standard. Part 1 in this blog series introduced the basic pieces of the mechanical system design at Orchards. This post will provide more information about the design and discuss some of the challenges encountered during construction and commissioning of the system. This is Part 6 of a blog series describing construction of the Orchards at Orenco project in Oregon. The first installment was titled The Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S. A forthcoming blog will discuss the key lessons learned at the Orchards at Orenco project, and will report measured performance data from the first year of operation of the building. A hybrid approach: HVAC “pods”After reviewing the respective pros and cons of centralized vs. unitized mechanical systems, the team ultimately decided to utilize a hybrid approach, optimizing the mechanical design to capture the best qualities of those two different approaches. VentilationEach penthouse has a different size ERV, rated at 1,500 to 3,500 cfm, based on the flow rate and volume of the building zone served (see Image #4, below).The ERVs are manufactured by the Loren Cook Company. Initially the team had specified Zehnder and UltimateAir units since they were the only available units identified that met the ventilation efficiency requirement of the Passive House standard. Midway through design, however, the team identified the Cook units as potential candidates. Several months of back and forth with the PHIUS technical committee resulted in acceptance of the Cook units for our project.These units have a heat-recovery efficiency that ranges from 73% to 76%. The Cook units were considerably less expensive that the UltimateAir units which had been previously specified, and the savings allowed the owner to afford other valuable features on the project, such as the “green screen” I will discuss later.Distribution of the ventilation air from the ERVs is via 4-inch hard ducts running directly to and from each apartment. These duct “home runs” are collected into main trunk lines running above the ceiling at the third floor corridor (see Image #5, below). By keeping the duct penetrations no larger than 4 inches in diameter, this approach eliminates the need for fire-smoke dampers at each apartment (see Image #6, below).A continuous 50 cfm of supply air is delivered to each bedroom, with continuous exhaust from each bathroom and kitchen area. To filter cooking pollutants, recirculating hoods are provided above the kitchen ranges. Continuous air flow regulators installed within the ducts help to ensure balanced continuous airflow into and out of each apartment. While the mechanical design uses a centralized water heating system, a decentralized “pod” system is used to provide ventilation air as well as space heating and cooling. The project has three mechanical penthouses (see Image #2, below), each of which houses a large energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) with a heat pump condenser coil in the the supply air duct to temper the ventilation air. Each pod serves a zone of 10 to 24 apartments and adjacent common areas (see Image #3, below).The “pod” approach optimizes cost and performance while also reducing future maintenance. Regular maintenance of 57 individual ERVs would have been required if a fully unitized approach were used. Going with the pod approach allowed the use of smaller ERVs as well as shorter duct runs than would have been required with a centralized approach. Ducts were smaller, reducing system costs while also reducing distribution losses.The mechanical penthouses are built on top of the roof and accessed through large ceiling hatches at the third-floor corridors. The walls and roof of each penthouse have the same level of insulation and airtightness as the main walls and roof of the building, so the penthouses are functionally within the Passive House enclosure.center_img Water heatingTwo central boilers (Bradford White eF Series boilers with 100-gallon tanks and 98.5% thermal efficiency) provide hot water to the building. These are housed in a first-floor mechanical room near the center of the building.Over the course of multiple design iterations, the team determined that a temperature maintenance system with heat trace tape was likely to be more energy-efficient than a recirculation pump. Hot water piping to the apartments is insulated to minimize distribution heat losses (see Image #9, below). High efficiency plumbing fixtures are used at the apartments to minimize the water heating load and further improve system efficiency. Green screenThe building has an information screen mounted prominently in the main lobby (see Image #11). This screen provides news that is important to the residents, while also indicating the energy use of the overall building and the electrical usage in each apartment (see Image #12). Intended as a tool for educating the residents about their energy usage, the green screen also fosters a fair degree of social interaction. Mike Steffen is a builder, architect, and educator committed to making better buildings. He is vice president and general manager of Walsh Construction Company in Portland, Oregon. Other active systems and componentsHigh-efficiency lighting is used throughout the building to minimize the electrical load. Pinned fluorescent lighting was designed to meet a target of 0.4 Watts/square foot at the apartments. LED lighting is provided in the common areas, with lighting controls used at the corridors and stairs to further reduce loads.Upper tier Energy Star appliances were specified for the apartments (see Image #10, below). Appliance selections were made to achieve the best balance of cost and performance as well as accessibility requirements (some of which can significantly limit the number of models to choose from).Only two stairs are needed in the building to meet code egress requirements (one near each end); however, the Orchards design includes a third stairway, adjacent to the main lobby. This richly detailed stairway is intended to encourage residents to access their apartments on foot rather than using the elevator, enhancing resident health and interaction while reducing energy use even further.A MLR traction elevator is used in lieu of a hydraulic model (the type of elevator that is typically used at a building of this size). This choice, combined with the provision of the “attractive” stairway, is expected to reduce elevator-related electricity usage by 57%. Heating and coolingAt each penthouse, a Samsung AM024 VRF heat pump coil is placed inline on the supply air distribution line. This air-source heat pump has a COP of 4.31 and provides approximately 80% of the heating for the building, as well as some cooling during the summer, though it does not meet the entire cooling load. The heat pump is in parallel with the ERV so that it does not create static pressure in the ventilation system.About 80% of the heating load is met with the ventilation air. Electric-resistance cove heaters in the apartments are designed to meet the remaining heating load (see Image #7, below). These heaters are expected to operate only on the coldest of days, or in some apartments not at all. The team has metered eight of these heaters to provide verification of our assumptions.The Pacific Northwest summer is relatively cool and dry compared to much of North America, and air conditioning is usually not provided in new multifamily buildings in Oregon and Washington. Though the HVAC system at Orchards does not provide full air conditioning, the ventilation air does provide some degree of cooling.The 50 cfm requirement for supply air at the bedrooms is intended to provide additional airflow to temper the apartments during the summer months. The system includes heat-recovery bypass with an economizer to assist with night-flush cooling. The residents are instructed to close their windows in the morning, keep them closed during the day, and open them again in the evening. This helps minimize heat flow to the interior during the day during warmer periods and further assists with night-flush ventilation. Upon initial occupancy of the building, this was not well understood, but after a few hot spells, nearly all of the residents have learned the protocol.It should be noted here that two key elements of the basic building design, the balconies and the eyebrows, serve an essential shading function to keep the apartments cooler during the warmer months (see Image #8, below). Low-solar-heat-gain glazing is used at the east- and west-facing windows (LoE 366/180, argon-filled units, SHGC = 0.25) to further control against overheating.last_img read more

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Nuggets top Lakers as LeBron passes Jordan

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Denver (43-21) blew all but two points of its huge early lead, but Harris and Nikola Jokic contributed key baskets down the stretch of the Nuggets’ first win of March.“I liked how we played for most of the game, aside from the stretch where they just got out and ran and scored at will,” Denver coach Michael Malone said.Jamal Murray scored 19 points and Jokic had 12 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets, who had lost four straight to the Lakers on the road despite their growth into an elite NBA team during that time period.After James barreled to the basket and hit a layup while being fouled for his milestone points, the Staples Center crowd gave a rousing ovation to the superstar who joined the Lakers last summer after 15 NBA seasons spent with Cleveland and Miami. While the Lakers aired a tribute video during the ensuing timeout, James covered his face with a towel, apparently crying under it.“A lot of stuff that I’ve done in my career, this ranks right up at the top (with) winning a championship,” James said. “For a kid from Akron, Ohio, that needed inspiration and needed some type of positive influence, M.J. was that guy for me. I watched him from afar, wanted to be like M.J., wanted to shoot fadeaways like M.J., wanted to stick my tongue out on dunks like M.J., wanted to wear my sneakers like M.J. I wanted kids to look up to me at some point like M.J., and it’s crazy, to be honest. ”ADVERTISEMENT The 34-year-old James began the night needing 13 points to pass one of his heroes. James now trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points), Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (33,643). P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed LATEST STORIES MOST READ 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash View comments 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 Krauss Will Barton scored 23 points, Gary Harris added 19 and the Nuggets snapped their three-game losing streak with a 115-99 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday night despite James’ latest move up the career scoring ranks.James scored 31 points and surpassed Michael Jordan’s 32,292 career points on a driving layup during the second quarter.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“You’ve got to appreciate him,” Harris said of James. “We’re witnessing greatness. It’s an honor.”With James playing alongside four youngsters who came in with a combined 200 games of NBA experience compared to LeBron’s 1,190, the Lakers nearly rallied from a 23-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Hayward’s game-winner lifts Celtics over Kings Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, shoots and scores as Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig, center, defends and center Nikola Jokic watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. With the basket, James moved past Michael Jordan for fourth place on the NBA career scoring list. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES, California—When LeBron James hit the driving layup that pushed him past Michael Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list, even the Denver Nuggets paused to appreciate their opponent’s big moment.The Nuggets then made sure James’ celebration didn’t include a huge come-from-behind win for the Lakers.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Baby Day more than just a day says Baker Institute expert

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareEXPERT ALERTJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.eduBaby Day ‘more than just a day,’ says Baker Institute expertHOUSTON – (Feb. 7, 2019) – This Friday, Feb. 8, is Baby Day, the first Texas-wide celebration of the critical first three years of life.Credit: 123RF.com/Rice University“These key years of growth and brain development are influenced by bonding, attachment and interactions with adult caregivers,” said Quianta Moore, fellow in child health policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, who is available for interviews about Baby Day and its importance for families and communities across the state and country. The day is spearheaded by the Texas nonprofit First3Years.“Baby Day is a celebration that provides the unique opportunity to raise awareness of the significant impact the early years have on outcomes later in life and what an important role parents, providers, businesses and the community can play in raising the next generation to be healthy, happy and productive members of society,” Moore said.Eighty-five percent of core brain development happens by the time a child is 3 years old, and 54 percent of parents wish they had more information about being a better parent, Moore said. Locally, the Baker Institute has partnered with the Houston Health Department and Harris County to make research on early brain development accessible to parents, she said.“Baby Day is more than just a day. It is part of a larger movement to bring increased awareness and resources to the first three years of a child’s life, when investments have been shown to have the greatest social return and early brains are wired for learning,” Moore said.Moore’s research focuses on developing empirically informed policies to advance the health of children. She uses mixed methodologies, including community-based research and surveys, to gain insight into the health needs of communities and to develop data-driven, tailored health policy recommendations. Moreover, she helps funders and community stakeholders develop strategies to support an equitable future for children and their communities.-30-For more information or to schedule an interview with Moore, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775. The Baker Institute has a radio and television studio available for media.Related materials:Moore bio: www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/quianta-mooreFollow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.last_img read more

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