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  • Making the most of marketing metrics

    first_imgAs the end of the year quickly approaches, we find ourselves once again looking forward to all of the exciting opportunities and projects we can approach in the coming year. While you’re planning out your marketing calendar and activities for 2019, take some time to consider how you’re using your metrics to track your success. After all, what gets measured gets our attention, and there’s plenty of insight to be gained from the things we’re measuring. You can do your future-self a lot of favors by making sure your metrics make sense for your marketing goals and those for the credit union as a whole. When you focus on the things that truly matter, you and your department move the vision forward. Here are some ideas for leveraging your metrics to gain useful insights.Looking for GrowthMembership growth is on plenty of minds right now and there are ways to help you understand your unique situation better.New target member: Your target member is the person who is the best-fit for your credit union based on its purpose and offering. When you look at your new member numbers, you can also identify how many of those new members fall within your target group.This can be a more meaningful identifier for longer-term success than just new members for two reasons. One, your target member is most likely to be satisfied with your partnership and become advocates for you. Two, you can add poor-fit members (say, through indirect lending) and you may never make them advocates, even with lots of costly onboarding activities.Keeping track of how many new members fall into this category is helpful because it can also confirm whether or not awareness and branding activities are reaching the right audience. Then, seeing their engagement and product mix over time gives you an idea if you’re adequately serving their needs. Attrition: It doesn’t help to bring in 10 new accounts when you lose 20 in the same time frame. Get to know the ins-and-outs of closed accounts. That includes how long they’ve been a member, what kinds of accounts they had, and their reason for closing.With some more information about your recently closed membership, you can piece together what it would take to keep more of them at the credit union. It may be as simple as educating members about convenience products when they are in the process of moving. Looking for Engagement Engagement also feeds into the growth of your credit union. Not only can you add more members, but you can also ask for a larger share of wallet from the members that you already have.Product and Service Adoption: Knowing the percentage of members using your products helps you identify which ones are popular and which ones would be improved with more marketing activities. In addition to looking at the penetration for a product or service, get to know how they are related within a membership. Some products and services are clearly complimentary – like your bill pay with your checking accounts. Try to find connections that may not have been as intuitive. Maybe you have a specialty product that acts as a gateway. You gain enough trust with the member through that products that they want to bring over more of their business. That’s where you want to pay attention and use the knowledge to drive additional business with both current and potential members.Looking for Efficiency and EfficacyChannel Performance: Knowing how your channels perform can help you in a few ways. For example, you can see how effective you are with your email campaigns by looking at opens, click throughs, and resulting new accounts or services. Additionally, you can see where you are getting the most activity within your membership. As you identify a best-fit member, you’ll also want to know where you can reach them. Seeing your channel performance can help you more easily choose the right channels when you’re creating campaigns. You’ll also be able to see where you should invest time, resources, and technology.Sales Conversions: Especially when you’re using multiple channels or when you have hand-off points in our process, tracking the flow of the member or potential member is key. Look beyond the number of leads successfully converted and you can find out where your process can be improved. You may find simple adjustments – like the fields in a form or the layout for a landing page – make a huge difference in your outcomes.Traps to AvoidDon’t waste your time tracking things that don’t matter or that don’t give you valuable information. Skip Vanity Metrics. It can feel good to see likes to your Facebook page or that an event was well-attended, but what did it do for your business? Instead, look for results, not activity. Engagement and conversions tell you whether or not the activity is working and is worth the effort that you put in. Don’t Settle for What’s Easy. It can be tempting to track the things that are easy to track, even if they don’t tell us what we want to know. Whether it’s a high-level metric or something short-term for a specific campaign, identify what you really care about. There’s always a way to get the data, you just need to design it.Quality Over Quantity. It takes time to manage data, so go for quality rather than quantity. Just as you don’t want to settle for the easy things, know what you want to determine and keep your focus on that data.Metrics can be fun and they most definitely can be useful. Be smart and selective to make the most of your time, get the information you need, and be more impactful with your marketing. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jennifer Laud Jennifer is a credit union marketing consultant and the owner of Jennifer Laud Consulting. She has a background in strategy and a passion for positioning credit unions to find their … Web: www.jlaud.com Detailslast_img read more

  • Serie A: 10-man Bologna Fight Back to Stun Inter Milan

    first_imgRomelu Lukaku had opened the scoring when he tapped in the rebound after Lautaro Martinez’s header hit the post.Martinez missed the chance to double his side’s lead from the spot, after Bologna’s Roberto Soriano was sent off.Both sides finished with 10 men as Alessandro Bastoni was shown a second yellow card with the score poised at 1-1.Antonio Conte’s Inter remain third in the table, four points behind Lazio, while Bologna move up to ninth.Speaking after the game, exasperated Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte blamed himself after watching his team collapse again on Sunday.“There’s a great, indeed enormous, disappointment,” said Conte whose side were leading 10-man Bologna when they missed a second-half penalty and conceded twice to go down 2-1 to late goals by Gambian pair Musa Juwara and Musa Barrow.“We managed to lose a match that we should have brought home comfortably. I’m angry with myself as the coach and responsible for what happens on the pitch,” said Conte.“The players must also be angry with themselves although they only have a small part of the blame.”There was a long delay before Conte spoke to the press and some Italian media reports said he was involved in a meeting with club directors.“It’s right to question all of us, first of all me because I was called to bring Inter back to victory after so many years,” he said. “Of course, it won’t happen overnight but this situation brings a lot of bitterness.“We have not reached the standard we set ourselves. Everyone has to show they want to rise above the past years, otherwise it’s right to make other decisions”.Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was happy with the result but also frustrated that his team, who are ninth, took so long to get going.“We were poor in the first 20 minutes, we were afraid and there were too many wayward passes,” he said. “We really looked a completely different team in the second half.“It wasn’t easy to be a goal down with ten men; this is a great victory, with character and conviction. However, we’ve sometimes waited to concede before we start to play. That’s not okay – we need to play from the off.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The 10 men of Bologna staged a stunning comeback to deny Inter Milan the chance to move within a point of second-placed Lazio in Serie A.Former Super Eagles winger, Victor Moses was not listed in Inter’s line up for the game.Musa Barrow struck the winner from inside the box late on, just six minutes after Musa Juwara equalised.last_img read more

  • Syracuse controls pace in 2nd half of comeback victory over Virginia

    first_img Published on February 25, 2013 at 12:43 am Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb One half dictated by Virginia’s slow style of play, the polar opposite of Syracuse’s approach, was more than enough to tick off Gary Gait.“I don’t know, I wanted to smash something. But there wasn’t anything to break,” the SU head coach said with a laugh about his halftime speech.After a first half in which the Cavaliers completely controlled the game’s pedestrian tempo, Syracuse came out of the break and reversed the pace of the contest. The No. 6 Orange (2-1) fought back from a four-goal deficit and triumphed 10-9 over No. 7 Virginia (2-1) on Sunday in front of 849 fans at the Carrier Dome.The Orange got a long, early look at UVA’s offensive tactics.SU won the opening draw, but missed its first three shots of the possession. On UVA’s first possession, the Cavaliers worked the ball around the perimeter for nearly two minutes before attack Casey Bocklet charged toward the cage and put UVA on the board.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Cavaliers took the second draw, and again tossed the ball around for two minutes.“We’ve played Virginia every year for a while now. That’s their style of play,” said Syracuse attack Alyssa Murray.The lengthy possession ended with UVA attack Caroline McTiernan cutting past Natalie Glanell, catching and scoring to put Virginia up 2-0.Virginia clearly came out planning to work the clock, take its time on each possession and not force any shots. UVA calmly and selectively chose when to attack the cage – each of the Cavaliers’ first four shots found the back of the net.Twenty-five goal-less minutes in, the Orange found itself down by four scores. The Orange’s stagnant attack was left standing and watching from the other half of the field.“It’s a hard team to play against when our team really likes to run and gun and feed off of energy and stuff,” Murray said. “They really are good at taking the wind out of your sails when you’re playing.”In the final four minutes of the half, Murray scored twice in 55 seconds to cut the deficit in half, but a Cavaliers goal in the final minute gave Virginia a 5-2 lead at the break.And that’s when Gait lit a flame under his team.“Obviously, in the first half we just, you know – the energy wasn’t quite there,” Gait said. “We were a step behind on some loose balls, and at halftime they came out and they turned it around.”After the teams split the first-half draws at four each, the Orange took over at the faceoff X. Syracuse won eight of the 13 second-half draws and swung the time of possession in its favor.“When you’re playing a team that’s playing stall lacrosse and possession lacrosse, trying to hold the ball for three, four, five minutes at a time, you need to have possession of the ball,” Gait said.Slowly but surely, SU fought back. Facing two three-goal deficits, Syracuse scored four goals – three of which were possessions earned at the faceoff X – and cut the deficit to one.Michelle Tumolo drew a foul and dumped off the free-position ball to Devon Collins, who scored to knot the game at eight. The Orange won the ensuing draw and less than two minutes later, Murray drew a foul. She capitalized on the free-position shot for her fourth goal, giving Syracuse its first lead with 12:04 remaining.“I think we went to the goal a lot more, and obviously, our shot selection was much better than right into the goalie’s stick,” Tumolo said.But the Cavaliers went right back to slowing the game down and waiting for their opportunity. Almost two minutes after UVA won the draw, Morgan Stephens drove and scored her third goal of the game to tie the game at nine.Syracuse couldn’t score at the other end, but Becca Block sneakily checked the ball as Virginia continued its time-consuming methods. Block picked up the ground ball and almost two minutes later, Kayla Treanor scored the decisive goal with 4:56 left.Twenty-five minutes into the game and four goals down, the Orange appeared to be heading down the same path it did last week, a 19-11 home beating at the hands of Maryland. But tweaks and mentality adjustments at halftime saved Syracuse from consecutive losses at home.“So I tried to stay calm and tell the players to look inside and challenge themselves to be better than they were,” Gait said. “… And have the courage to make a play and make something happen, and they did.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

  • Taylor still searching for 1st win at tournament

    first_imgThrough four of the finest seasons a point guard has ever compiled at the University of Wisconsin, there are very few things Jordan Taylor doesn’t have.Individual accolades have come in the form of preseason All-American awards, Big Ten Player of the Week honors and two consecutive all-conference first team selections. Collectively, Wisconsin has compiled a 72-26 record over the three years Taylor has been the team’s primary point guard. Last season, the Badgers returned to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008.Taylor’s steady leadership and top-dog disposition have helped maintain UW’s streak of 11 straight top-four finishes in the Big Ten, and this weekend the Badgers head to the conference tournament in Indianapolis with yet another first-round bye.But while the Badgers can enjoy an extra day of practice on its own court while Indiana and Penn State battle for the right to play them, one very noticeable failure refuses to be swept under the proverbial rug woven by Wisconsin’s identity as one of the conference’s most consistent teams.Taylor, in four years, never has won the Big Ten tournament. In fact, he’s never even won a single game on the conference’s biggest stage. The Badgers did win the tournament in 2008, the year before Taylor arrived in Madison, but since then, a pair of four-point losses and last year’s 36-33 fiasco at the hands of Penn State have bounced Wisconsin out in the first round.“It’s been some ugly games for us down there since I’ve been here,” Taylor said. “Obviously, we haven’t won there since they won in ’08. It’s just been some ugly games, but sometimes you’ve got to find a way to win ugly games. We haven’t been able to do that.”Last season’s nightmare at the hands of the Nittany Lions was the lowest scoring game in the 14-year history of the Big Ten Tournament – and it wasn’t even close. The game’s combined 69 points shattered the previous low of 85, set by none other than Wisconsin against Michigan in 2008.But that’s not to say the Badgers haven’t brought talented teams to the tourney each year. Last season, a 13-4 conference record earned Wisconsin a No. 3 seed in Indianapolis. In each of the prior two seasons, UW finished No. 4.To hammer home the promise this year’s squad holds, 17-year strength and conditioning coach Scott Hettenbach made a special presentation of sorts to the players this week.“[Hettenbach] came in and he said, ‘The last three years, we obviously haven’t gotten any wins down there.’ He showed us the last time they got some wins down there, they won the whole thing,” forward/center Jared Berggren recounted. “He came in, he showed us the [championship] ring and said, ‘This is what we’re capable of; this is what we’ve been working for.’“That’s our goal, that’s our mindset going into this weekend. We’re going to go down there and try to win the championship.”As always, winning the title has been the players’ outwardly stated goal this week.But with a little prodding, some of the Badgers’ additional motives for finding success this weekend rose to the surface.“I’m personally really playing for [Taylor] and Rob [Wilson],” guard Josh Gasser said in reference two UW’s only two seniors. “Obviously for the whole team and all the fans and everything, but just seeing how hard them two have worked – Jordan, especially – it would just mean a lot to me to be able to see him hold up the trophy because he deserves it. He’s worked harder than anyone around and he’s good as anyone around.”But not all parties in attendance at practice this week shared those sentiments. Perhaps anticipating an overreliance on the notion of needing to get Taylor and Wilson some wins this weekend, assistant coach Lamont Paris quickly attempted to quell much of the “do it for the seniors” talk.“I don’t think it is in their minds at all, to be honest with you,” Paris said. “What if we had won every Big Ten tournament game since these guys had been here? Then the question would be, ‘Well there’s pressure on you; every other team has won every single Big Ten game.’ It’s a game that we have to play. We’re going to lace ’em up and whoever’s in front of us, we’re going to let our hair down and play basketball.”Regardless, Wisconsin agreed on one obvious goal for this weekend – win some games and establish momentum as the NCAA tournament draws near. Paris insisted this year’s squad has the maturity and coaching to ensure a focus on winning one game at a time, an idea that could pay dividends in a conference tourney that is regarded as one of the most wide-open in years.“[Winning] is definitely important to me,” Taylor said. “It’s my last chance to win in the Big Ten, the last experience in the Big Ten. It’d be huge, especially, if we go down there and try to win the whole thing.”last_img read more

  • Latham reclaims senior crown with wire-to-wire victory

    first_img Lincolnshire’s Richard Latham completed a wire-to-wire victory in the English senior men’s championship at Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire – beating the field by a hefty five shots.It’s the second time Latham (Image © Leaderboard Photography) has won the title and he commented: “It feels terrific, I am delighted.”He claimed his crown after a final round which had everything: a first tee wobble, a dramatic charge from a rival, birdies galore – and dogged determination from the new champion.At the end of it Latham, the general manager at Woodhall Spa, was level par for the championship, returning four-over 75 in the final round. The runner-up was David Niven (Newbury & Crookham), who set the final round alight with three birdies in his first five holes.Latham made a meteoric start to his senior career in 2013, but came to Kirby with a point to prove, after losing his England senior team place last year. “I have come out and proved I can still play, which is what I wanted to do. I was desperately keen to prove that to myself,” he said.He made his intentions clear with a superb first round of four-under 67, followed up with level par 71 at Rothley Park – the championship’s co-host – and at the start of the final round he held a seven shot lead over Niven, Chris Reynolds (Littlestone) and Andrew Stracey (Denham).But, such a big lead can be as much a challenge as a comfort and Latham was edgy on the first tee and ended up topping his opening drive. “It was probably the worst shot I have hit in my entire 40-year competitive career, but I did make a good bogey!” he said afterwards.A couple of unlucky breaks later and Latham was three over after four. Meanwhile Niven, a senior international, was charging – and the gap was narrowing.Latham showed his mettle with birdies on five and six, where he struck his shot of the championship. In the first round he had opted to lay up short of the water hazard in front of the green, but this time he went for it, arrowed his shot straight at the pin and holed the 10-footer. “I thought I’d better get a move on!” he said.Both players also birdied the eighth, but after that Niven’s charge stalled and Latham was able to extend his lead once more. He got back under par for the championship with a birdie on the long 17th where he played a superb approach to about 6ft, but the short 18th cost him a shot after he bunkered his tee shot.By then, though, it didn’t matter. He’d avoided paying attention to his rivals’ play but he did know he had a very comfortable cushion as he played the last.He paid tribute to his wife Lisa, for her support, and to his coach, David Ridley. “My coach told me ‘play for yourself, concentrate on what you are doing’ and that’s such sound advice. I gave very little thought to anyone else and concentrated on me.”The spectators, however, were well aware of the scoring as Latham and Niven – playing in separate groups – collected eight birdies between them.Elsewhere there was good play from Paul Plant who scored a final round 73, composed of 16 pars and two bogeys, which moved him into a tie for third place with David Nelson (Northenden). Fifth place was shared by Andrew Stracey and Keith Young (Ashridge).Click here for full scores 3 Jun 2016 Latham reclaims senior crown with wire-to-wire victory last_img read more


    first_imgJockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Mike Puype323669%$197,910 Flavien Prat601313222%$715,800 ESPINOZA, BAFFERT INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE AT STRONACH MEDIAXpressbet’s Aaron Vercruysse recently caught up with American Pharoah’s jockey and trainer, Victor Espinoza and Bob Baffert, for in-depth interviews regarding the colt’s upcoming pursuit of the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes on June 6.The informative and entertaining sessions can be viewed at Stronach Media’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDgBpujf7ok Fernando Perez64129819%$439,230 Gonzalo Nicolas6056108%$178,728 Michael Machowsky1433121%$94,120 Felipe Valdez63710511%$285,200 FINISH LINES: Joe Talamo hopes to “win one for the Knapper” on Harlington’s Rose in today’s Spring Fever Stakes. Steve Knapp, who trains the 4-year-old filly, had his gall bladder removed Friday at Mission Hospital in Orange County after experiencing stomach pains. The 58-year-old native of Chino Hills expects to be back at the track in a few days . . . Elvis has left the building: Jockey Elvis Trujillo will move his tack Monday from Santa Anita to ride regularly at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. Through 17 racing days, Trujillo, who won his 2,000th career race here on May 9, had five wins from 48 mounts . . . Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red worked four furlongs for Keith Desormeaux Saturday in 49.80, while Santa Anita Oaks winner Stellar Wind went five furlongs under birthday boy Victor Espinoza (43 today) in 1:01.80 for John Sadler.  Laz Barrera winner Kentuckian, prepping for the $350,000 Los Alamitos Derby at 1 1/8 miles on July 4, went four furlongs in a bullet 46 flat for Jerry Hollendorfer, who also sent California Derby winner Cross the Line seven furlongs in 1:26 for the Grade III Affirmed Stakes on June 7 . . . Bolo, who finished an eventful 12th in the Kentucky Derby, worked five furlongs on a firm turf course in 1:04 under Rafael Bejarano. Trainer Carla Gaines has the son of Temple City ticketed for the Grade I, $1,250,000 Belmont Derby Invitational at 1 ¼ miles on turf July 4 . . . Jockey Gonzalo Nicolas loses his five-pound apprentice allowance on Monday, Memorial Day, and begins riding as a journeyman next Friday . . . Congrats to TVG’s Christina Blacker and her husband, trainer Dan, on the birth of a five-pound, 11-ounce baby girl this morning . . . Santa Anita will race through Monday’s holiday, then be dark for live racing Tuesday through Thursday and return with live racing Friday at 4 p.m. There will be simulcast racing Thursday, June 4, with free parking and free General Admission . . . Santa Anita will host a book signing of John Perrotta‘s new publication, “Racetracker,” from 12 noon to 2 p.m. across from Champions! Gift Shop on Belmont Stakes Day, June 6. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. . . Tom Quigley‘s guests Sunday and Monday at 11:20 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens will be Frank R. Scatoni, co-author of Six Secrets of Successful Bettors, and TVG analyst Nick (The Sarge) Hines . . . Little Red Feather Racing has three horses in today’s stakes: Rocko’s Wheel, who makes his turf debut in the Snow Chief; Sheer Pleasure, who seeks back-to-back stakes wins in the Melair; and Chati’s On Top, gunning for three straight when he runs in the Snow Chief . . . And there’s the gag about a confused bettor at Golden Gate Fields who didn’t know whether to play a horse trained by Jonathan Wong or Blaine Wright, because “he didn’t know Wong from Wright.” Dan Hendricks831038%$71,890 ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR FAVORED IN WHITTINGHAMAshleyluvssugar seeks his third straight win, his second straight stakes win and his second in a row at a mile and a half when he runs in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes for three year olds and up at 1 ½ miles on turf.The 4-year-old California-bred gelding won the Grade II San Luis Rey at a mile and a half on March 21.“I’ll just leave up to Gary,” trainer Peter Eurton said, addressing tactics and referring to Gary Stevens, who was aboard in the San Luis Rey for a 2 ¼-length upset over favored Finnegans Wake. “He knows the horse pretty well.“We got a decent enough draw on the outside (five in a field of five). At a mile and a half you never see a lot of pace. It just all comes down to who’s a little too eager. That’s why they’re going a mile and a half. It’s wait, wait, wait and run.”The field for the Whittingham, race three of nine: Divine Oath, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Crucero, Kent Desormeaux, 20-1; Ganesh, Flavien Prat, 5-2; Going Somewhere, Mike Smith, 7-2; and Ashleyluvssugar, Gary Stevens, 6-5. William Spawr1432221%$86,110 Bob Baffert1542227%$183,310 Edwin Maldonado55712913%$273,930 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Robertino Diodoro1832317%$109,990 Mario Gutierrez2432513%$162,128 Martin Garcia1742224%$111,050 Drayden Van Dyke4574516%$277,888 Elvis Trujillo4854710%$260,170 EURTON IS SWEET ON FAVORITE IN WHITTINGHAMDISTINCTIV PASSION BACK HOME FOR LA STAKESESPINOZA, BAFFERT INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE AT STRONACH MEDIATALAMO HOPES TO ‘WIN ONE FOR THE KNAPPER’ Tyler Baze9616122017%$678,360 Doug O’Neill521012519%$453,528center_img MALDONADO SAYS DISTINCTIV PASSION BACK ON COURSEEdwin Maldonado expects Distinctiv Passion to make amends when the front-running Florida-bred goes in Monday’s Grade III, $100,000 Los Angeles Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs.The 5-year-old With Distinction horse never got untracked in the five furlong Al Quoz Sprint on a “good” turf course in Dubai on March 28, finishing 13th of 16.“The grass was too long and wet, and he just couldn’t get a grip, not at all,” said Maldonado, who has ridden Distinctiv Passion in 12 of his 16 career starts, winning seven.“He came back well after the trip to Dubai and he likes this track,” Maldonado said. “He’s been training lights out.”Distinctiv Passion, trained by Jeff Bonde for owners Edward Brown, Alan Klein and Phil Lebherz, has four wins and a third from seven starts at Santa Anita, including the San Pedro Stakes in January 2013 and the Grade III Midnight Lute last Dec. 27.The Los Angeles field: Five Palms, Martin Garcia, 4-1; War Academy, Elvis Trujillo, 12-1; Spirit Rules, Iggy Puglisi, 12-1; Wild Dude, Rafael Bejarano, 8-5; Distinctiv Passion, Edwin Maldonado, 5-2; and San Onofre, Mike Smith, 9-5. Tiago Pereira2866321%$218,420 Brayan Pena373128%$71,730 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Richard Mandella2165229%$436,220 Mark Glatt2834411%$155,374 Alex Solis1533220%$156,010 Richard Baltas2883229%$374,820 Peter Miller38811121%$306,610 Santiago Gonzalez4841038%$188,226 Mike Smith2156124%$456,080 Vann Belvoir2535412%$123,890 Philip D’Amato2693335%$320,890 (Current Through Friday, May 22) Bruce Headley931033%$68,950 Martin Pedroza523766%$189,394 John Sadler3556514%$204,758 Eddie Truman1151145%$145,150 Joseph Talamo651431322%$449,798 Rafael Bejarano6815161322%$687,802 -30-last_img read more

  • Ebola situation in Liberia: non-conventional interventions needed

    first_imgReport from the World Health OrganizationDuring the past weeks, a WHO team of emergency experts worked together with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and members of her government to assess the Ebola situation in Liberia.Transmission of the Ebola virus in Liberia is already intense and the number of new cases is increasing exponentially.The investigative team worked alongside staff from the Ministry of Health, local health officials, and other key partners working in the country.All agreed that the demands of the Ebola outbreak have completely outstripped the government’s and partners’ capacity to respond. Fourteen of Liberia’s 15 counties have now reported confirmed cases.Some 152 health care workers have been infected and 79 have died. When the outbreak began, Liberia had only one doctor to treat nearly 100,000 people in a total population of 4.4 million people. Every infection or death of a doctor or nurse depletes response capacity significantly.Liberia, together with the other hard-hit countries, namely Guinea and Sierra Leone, is experiencing a phenomenon never before seen in any previous Ebola outbreak. As soon as a new Ebola treatment facility is opened, it immediately fills to overflowing with patients, pointing to a large but previously invisible caseload.Of all Ebola-affected countries, Liberia has the highest cumulative number of reported cases and deaths, amounting, on 8 September, to nearly two thousand cases and more than one thousand deaths. The case-fatality rate, at 58%, is also among the highest.Situation in Montserrado countyThe WHO investigation concentrated on Montserrado county, which includes Liberia’s capital, Monrovia. The county is home to more than one million people. The teeming West Point slum, which has no sanitation, little running water, and virtually no electrical supplies, is also located in Monrovia, and is adjacent to the city’s major market district.In Montserrado county, the team estimated that 1000 beds are urgently needed for the treatment of currently infected Ebola patients. At present only 240 beds are available, with an additional 260 beds either planned or in the process of being put in place. These estimates mean that only half of the urgent and immediate capacity needs could be met within the next few weeks and months.The number of new cases is moving far faster than the capacity to manage them in Ebola-specific treatment centres.For example, an Ebola treatment facility, hastily improvised by WHO for the Ministry of Health, was recently set up to manage 30 patients but had more than 70 patients as soon as it opened.WHO estimates that 200 to 250 medical staff are needed to safely manage an Ebola treatment facility with 70 beds.The investigation team viewed conditions in general-purpose health facilities as well as Ebola-specific transit and treatment facilities.The John F Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia, which was largely destroyed during Liberia’s civil war, remains the country’s only academic referral hospital. The hospital is plagued by electrical fires and floods, and several medical staff were infected there and died, depleting the hospital’s limited workforce further.The fact that early symptoms of Ebola virus disease mimic those of many other common infectious diseases increases the likelihood that Ebola patients will be treated in the same ward as patients suffering from other infections, putting cases and medical staff alike at very high risk of exposure.In Monrovia, taxis filled with entire families, of whom some members are thought to be infected with the Ebola virus, crisscross the city, searching for a treatment bed. There are none. As WHO staff in Liberia confirm, no free beds for Ebola treatment exist anywhere in the country.According to a WHO staff member who has been in Liberia for the past several weeks, motorbike-taxis and regular taxis are a hot source of potential Ebola virus transmission, as these vehicles are not disinfected at all, much less before new passengers are taken on board.When patients are turned away at Ebola treatment centres, they have no choice but to return to their communities and homes, where they inevitably infect others, perpetuating constantly higher flare-ups in the number of cases.Other urgent needs include finding shelters for orphans and helping recovered patients who have been rejected by their families or neighbours.Last week, WHO sent one of its most experienced emergency managers to head the WHO office in Monrovia. Coordination among key partners is rapidly improving, aiming for a better match between resources and rapidly escalating needs.Implications of the investigationThe investigation in Liberia yields three important conclusions that need to shape the Ebola response in high-transmission countries.First, conventional Ebola control interventions are not having an adequate impact in Liberia, though they appear to be working elsewhere in areas of limited transmission, most notably in Nigeria, Senegal, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.Second, far greater community engagement is the cornerstone of a more effective response. Where communities take charge, especially in rural areas, and put in place their own solutions and protective measures, Ebola transmission has slowed considerably.Third, key development partners who are supporting the response in Liberia and elsewhere need to prepare to scale up their current efforts by three- to four-fold.As WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan told agencies and officials last week in New York City and Washington, DC, development partners need to prepare for an “exponential increase” in Ebola cases in countries currently experiencing intense virus transmission.Many thousands of new cases are expected in Liberia over the coming three weeks.WHO and its Director-General will continue to advocate for more Ebola treatment beds in Liberia and elsewhere, and will hold the world accountable for responding to this dire emergency with its unprecedented dimensions of human suffering.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

  • Takeaways: Martin Jones gives Sharks the elite goaltending they’ve needed

    first_imgSAN JOSE — Logan Couture blasted his team for playing “AHL-level” defense and the message clearly hit home.After giving up three or more goals in nine straight game, the Sharks (9-6-3) finally found a way to keep the puck out of their net Sunday night, holding the Calgary Flames to a single goal in a win at SAP Center.The win comes on the heels of back-to-back losses in Dallas and St. Louis last week that inspired Couture to rip into his squad for playing “horrible” team defense over the last …last_img read more

  • Etihad offers a Flying Nanny service

    first_imgEtihad Airways has launched a dedicated in-flight child care assistance program for families, led by the introduction of a new Flying Nanny on board long haul flights. The Flying Nanny provides a ‘helping hand’ to families and unaccompanied minors. During the past two months, 300 Etihad Airways cabin crew members have completed enhanced training for the role. A further 60 will be trained in September and 500 Flying Nannies will be working on Etihad Airways long haul flights by the end of 2013.The course includes in-depth training, from the world renowned Norland College, focusing on child psychology and sociology.In addition, the course also covers many different creative ways the Flying Nanny can entertain and engage with children during flights.Aubrey Tiedt, Etihad Airways’ Vice President Guest Services, said: “Flying with a young family can be a daunting task, even for the most experienced travellers, and the Flying Nanny role demonstrates our understanding of our guests’ needs and our commitment to making the journey as relaxing and comfortable as possible.”“The Flying Nanny will liaise with parents and use their experience and knowledge to make the travel experience easier. This includes helping serve children’s meals early in the flight and offering activities and challenges to help entertain and occupy younger guests,” Ms Tiedt said. The Flying Nanny will also inform families transiting at Abu Dhabi about the various baby changing and child facilities at the airport, as well as advising them of the children’s play area in the premium lounges and at Gate 32 in Terminal 3.last_img read more

  • Why do we import so much beef?

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of TennesseeOne question that I receive on a regular basis is “Why do we import so much beef?”First, the top four import sources of beef include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico and the majority of imported beef is used as processing beef, which means it is ground and not marketed as a muscle cut. In 2018, the U.S. exported about 150 million more pounds of beef than it imported. It is actually more common for the U.S. to import more beef than it exports.Back to the question at hand, “Why do we import so much beef?” The answer is rather simple. If a person has a product that can achieve a goal and it is worth $5 per pound and they could purchase a similar product for $3 per pound that would achieve the same goal then the person would sell their product for $5 and purchase the similar product for $3 which would leave them with $2 per pound assuming no transaction costs.last_img read more