Booster for child health in SA

first_imgSouth Africa’s pneumococcus vaccineprogramme is about to get underway andwill save thousands of lives.(Image: stock.xchng) The vaccine is targeted at children fiveyears old and under – the most vulnerable.(Image: World Health Organisation)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa will become the first African country to freely distribute a pneumococcal vaccine amongst its children – the main victims of deadly pneumococcal diseases such as meningitis and pneumonia.The life-saving announcement was made at the 2009 Regional Pneumococcal Symposium held in Johannesburg in early March. Deputy Minister of Health Molefi Sefularo said the new vaccine would be available from April 2009 as part of the government’s primary immunisation programme.Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. There are more than 90 subtypes in the species. When these organisms invade the lungs, they cause bacterial pneumonia; when they invade the bloodstream, they cause bacteraemia; and when they invade the membranes covering the brain, they cause meningitis.Other conditions caused by S. pneumoniae include acute sinusitis, otitis media, osteomyelitis, endocarditis, peritonitis, and pericarditis.The symposium was a joint effort of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, GAVI’s PneumoADIP at the Johns Hopkins University, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kenya Paediatric Association, South African Paediatric Association and the University of the Witwatersrand.The goal of the symposium was to review progress towards safe, effective pneumococcal vaccines and address the question of how to make sure they get to the world’s poorest children. Delegates were also brought up to date regarding the extent and burden of pneumococcal disease in Africa.Costly but effectiveWhile South Africa already spends R104-million (US$10-million) annually on vaccinating children, said Dr Shabir Madhi of the Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit at the Medical Research Council, the new vaccine was expected to cost an extra R728-million ($70 million).The vaccine Prevnar, known as pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), is designed to be effective against the seven types of the deadly pathogen that cause 70% of all invasive pneumococcal disease in South African children; it is therefore a seven-valent vaccine.Manufactured by Wyeth, Prevnar has been available in South Africa since 2005, but one of the biggest controversies surrounding the drug has been its exorbitant cost. At nearly R2 717 ($260) for four doses, it is far beyond the budget of people in developing countries.According to Professor Till Barnighausen of the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies at KwaZulu-Natal University, patients in developing countries who do not have free access to PCV may have to wait up to 15 years before the price drops to a level within their grasp.However, there is no doubting the efficacy of PCV. Clinical trials carried out between 1998 and 2000 in South Africa and Gambia, with a nine-valent formulation on nearly 40 000 infants, showed a drastic decrease in pneumococcal infections in fully vaccinated children.At six, 10 and 14 weeks of age, 19 922 children received the vaccine and 19 914 received a placebo. The vaccine reduced the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease by more than 65% in HIV-positive children and by more than 83% in HIV-negative children. It also reduced infection by antibiotic-resistant strains by between 56% and 67%. The results of the study were published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2003.“Widespread use of the vaccine will contribute to reducing the burden of childhood illness,” said Madhi in an article published in 2008 in the South African Journal of Child Health. “It will assist in achieving the Millennium Development Goal aimed at reducing under-five mortality by two-thirds by 2015 compared with 1990 rates. The launch of PCV for all children is a great step forward for child health in South Africa.”A killer disease – but preventableEvery year between 800 000 and one million children under the age of five succumb to pneumonia, meningitis, and other invasive pneumococcal diseases, according to the World Health Organisation. In South Africa pneumococcal diseases kill almost 350 out of every 100 000 infants under 12 months of age, and infection rates have risen steadily since the mid-1990s because of Aids, according to Sefularo.Pneumococcal disease is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in young children. Unfortunately S. pneumoniae has developed both intermediate and high levels of resistance to some of the most commonly used antibiotics and therefore preventive treatment is the preferred means of combating the disease.Children who are HIV-positive are especially vulnerable, and studies have shown that the rate of pneumococcal bacteraemia or invasive disease is up to 40 times greater in these youngsters. In fact, 75% of severe invasive pneumococcal disease in South African children occurs in the 5-6% of the childhood population who are HIV-positive.Despite the fact that pneumococcal conditions are preventable, millions more young survivors are permanently affected, often suffering intellectual impairment, hearing loss or seizures for the rest of their lives.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at articlesHigh-price vaccine for all SA kidsHealthcare in South Africa Useful linksDepartment of Health4th Regional Pneumococcal SymposiumWorld Health Organisation – pneumococcal infections and vaccinesNational Vaccine information Center (US)Wyeth South AfricaRespiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit Conjugate pneumococcal vaccine – SA Journal of Child Health (pdf)last_img read more

Killer Marketing Plan For Startup Entrepreneurs

first_imgMark Sands, co-founder of High Risk Merchant Account LLC, enjoys writing onsmall business and entrepreneurial advise for start-up entrepreneurs. Visit us online at Facebook:This is the powerhouse of social media. This means you will likely find all audience-types on the platform. But you are not in business for everyone, so you must determine where you can find your targets and reach out to them.Instagram:This is a great tool for native advertisement purposes. Since the algorithm is optimized for valuable content, you will likely gain natural following of your target audience if you provide top quality content.Twitter:Twitter is another top notch social media channel. However, consistency is required to gain and maintain your audience. The ultimate goal though, should be to provide content that is relevant to your audience.To improve your chances of reaching even more people, you can run a sponsored ad with a little budget.You much evaluate and test each channel of social media in order to know which channel your customers feel comfortable with and how they relate to the social media channel. To add extra sweetener — you can invest a few bucks on a sponsored campaign. You can rest assured you will achieve results sooner rather than later.5. Build a referral network.Word of mouth advertising is one of the most powerful forms of advertisements, especially for small businesses. Since people make purchases based on trust and credibility, you can take advantage of their network and get a referral.Getting a referral involves a two-step process.First step:You must deliver top quality results for your clients. During this process, ensure you keep the communication lines open so you can keep them engaged throughout the course of the transaction.Second step:Ask for feedbacks. Transparency is a very important quality especially for startups. Even if something goes wrong, asking for feedbacks is a great way to learn the personalities of your clients, and how satisfied they are.Build upon these comments for the future. Whether a feedback is positive or negative — your startup will enjoy from engaging with users. A negative feedback offers you an opportunity to learn areas that require improvement while a positive feedback helps to build your referral network.Be thankful for your customers’ connection with you.If a client is satisfied with your service — you can also let such one know that you also enjoyed working with them. Let your clients know that you will be looking forward to future engagements with them.If they do not have a need for your service at the time, you can politely inquire if they know anyone who would like your offerings. Even if this doesn’t lead to a prospect right away, you can rest assured the client will keep you in mind if anything comes up in future.6. Cultivate relationships with influencers.Influencers are just as important as your customers. They are the people your target audience listens to on a daily basis. You may wish to include hosts of YouTube channels and radio or TV personalities on your site.If your target prospect is paying attention to these influencers — you must reach out to them and leverage their exposure. All of these efforts will benefit your startup.Call or send emails to your influencers. Offer free products or services — you will most likely need to get creative. Reach out to these influencers. A mention from any influencer can propel your business startup from literally nothing — to a credible and legitimate force.7. Emotional advertisements.A number of studies have revealed that emotional advertisement outsells logic. In making brand decisions, people rely on their emotions rather than just information. The emotional response to ads has proven to be more influential on the decision making and purchasing intent of a person.Unruly — a platform that ranks successful viral ads each year — discovered in 2015 that the most shared ads relied heavily on emotional awareness. Relating to friendship, happiness, warmth, and inspiration — they killed it with emotion.How can a business drive connection with its target audience through emotional content? Tags:#marketing#Marketing Plan For Startups#startups Mark SandsHigh Risk Merchant Account LLC How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts Why break the bank for your marketing needs when you can brainstorm your way to a killer marketing plan? The best marketing ideas come simple and cheap but these ideas do not come out of the blue.Your actual business plan will require an out-of-the-box, innovative thought process. You’ll want to get your marketing wheels spinning. Always remember, building your brand is a perpetual process, so get into the right mindset from day one.Here are seven successful marketing tips that can help you establish a solid framework and platform.These seven tips can move you forward in every entrepreneur’s journey to success.1. Define your end goal.Just as it is practically impossible to embark on a road trip without deciding on a destination and determining your reason for the trip — it is only ideal that you define your marketing and business goals.Do you relate with your target prospects on social media?Ask yourself, how do you plan to increase the number of followers on your profile? How do you plan to generate traffic for your website? How will you  be reaching out to leads/prospects. What is your plan to converting them into customers. Your company will require a well-defined approach with specific objectives.What goals do you hope to accomplish? In two years? Where will you be in five years? When you have an end goal, you can now start using landmarks. You will now be utilizing marketing strategies that can help you reach your destination.2. Maintain a consistent brand and message.The importance of consistency in the brand and message of startups cannot be overemphasized. It is often a school of thought that consistency and discipline is only important for the biggest enterprises.While your startup will definitely under-go  minor changes over time — consistency is key. to as it This process will help the minds of your target audience.3. Determine your target audience.What can you possibly achieve without the right prospects? No matter how great of a marketing plan, product, or service you have in place, customers are crucial to the success of your small business. But who are these customers?Obviously, you won’t cater to the needs of everyone. It is important that you define your target customers so you can structure your marketing strategy to meet their needs.How can you determine your target audience? This can be a pretty tough puzzle to solve but you can soar with these three ideas:Identify the basic demographics of your target prospects such as their gender, age, and location.Learn how to relate with your audience by analyzing their personalities and/or shopping behavior.Establish your brand’s message following your research.These suggestions will help you hone in on your specific audience. You will be better able to determine their needs and structure your offerings to satisfy them.4. Find the social channel for your startup.Many startups recognize the power of affordable social media marketing. However, only few understand the need use the right channels.Each social media channel serves different personalities and audience. Certain audiences engage with each channel differently, so it’s up to you to determine what works best for your startup.Some of the channels and their behaviors include: AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… Happiness:Positive posts that create an atmosphere encouraging smiling, laughing, and generally happy customers will definitely increase user engagement.Coca-Cola is an example of a brand that leveraged emotional content to reach its target customers. With tag-lines such as “Open Happiness” and Taste the Feeling.” The brand has been able to connect with its customers by focusing on the happy photos of people engaging one another.Fear/Surprise:Fear is a built-in human instinct that triggers reactions to threats and helps to boost our chance of survival. It creates a sense of urgency that prompts us to act, to effect a change, or for the purpose of this article.Purchase an item that will prevent catastrophic events in one’s life. Lots of scare-driven tactics are employed in commercials to prevent cigarette smoking and drunk driving.However, caution must be exercised while using this strategy to avoid displaying disturbing ads to viewers. Creating anticipation while passing an emotional message can prove especially effective for startups.Anger:Although anger is a negative emotion, it can also wake the emotions of people and spur them to action. Frustration and disgust can cause people to ask important questions.While ads that promote negative emotions are less common, a study discovered that integrating anticipation and surprise into the content led to huge successes for such brands.Create ads that take your viewers aback and cause them to ask important questions. Emotional content can be especially helpful to connect directly with your target audience.8. Assemble the right team.Individual talents and skills are important qualities for any business. However, teamwork kicks it up a notch. To develop an effective marketing plan, you need to have the right team.This means having individuals with varying strengths and skills who come together for a common goal: to complement each other for the overall growth of the company. Maybe consider hiring a professional marketing team on a contractor basis.When building a team, consider a few factors:Identify the roles you need to fill to achieve your end goals.Determine whether you would need individuals to work on a contract basis.Interview each candidate for their strengths, skills, and experience.Conduct assessments regularly for members of your team.Since resources may be limited for a small startup, the suggestions above may prove challenging. But you can try out other alternatives.Is your partner a great social media expert? Do you have an intern who is a coding whiz? Use the resources available until you are gradually able to expand your team.Closing thoughts.As mentioned earlier, creating a killer marketing plan does not necessarily cost lots of money. All that is required is your time, effort, and creativity.Let you focus be on providing unique solutions. By being creative with your service, you will soon find your target customers opening up their wallets for you. Your customers will help you make the success of your startup. China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who …last_img read more

How to Get Better At Asking

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Selling well requires that you ask for–and gain–commitments. We move from one commitment to the next commitment, from target to close. If you’re going to gain those commitments, you’re going to have to ask for them. Here’s how to get better at asking.Tie Your Ask to Future Value CreationOne way to improve your ability to gain a commitment is to focus on the future value you’re going to create. What will the client get out of allowing you to have the commitment you ask for? If you ask for access to their decision influencers, how will that benefit them? If you ask for access information, how will giving you that information help them?By justifying your ask, you make it easier for your dream client to give you the commitment you need.As a side note, if it’s early in the sales process the best way to create value is to give them information and ideas they can use whether they choose you or one of your competitors. This makes it easy to say yes. If it’s late in the sales process you show how only you can create the kind of value that you’re describing, differentiating yourself from your competitors in a way that’s compelling to your prospective client.Earn the Commitment Before You AskThe more value you create during each sales interaction, the more you earn the right to ask for the commitment you need. If it’s early in the sales process and you help your dream client with ideas that benefit them, you make it easier to gain a commitment to move forward.But the opposite of this is also true. The less valuable you are during each sales interaction, the more difficult it is for you to ask for again the commitments that you need. You haven’t earned them.It’s easy to ask for and obtain the commitments that you have earned. It’s much more difficult when you haven’t earned the right to ask. Do the work to deserve the commitment you’re asking for.Practice AskingYou get a lot better asking if you practice. The more you practice asking, the more comfortable you are with the words coming out your mouth, the easier it is for you to ask. Most salespeople won’t do this. They’re too shy. They’re too embarrassed. They don’t think they need to practice. But the rewards are high for those brave souls who will rehearse the words and practice the language.You might practice with a group of your peers. If you’ve got a really “game” group, you’ll be brave enough to critique each other and offer suggestions. You also get the opportunity to listen to the language that other salespeople use, and you can steal some of it to use in your own sales interactions.If you want to get better at anything faster, practice. If you don’t have enough opportunities to practice in real sales interactions, rehearsing with your peers is a great substitute.Remember, You’re In SalesDon’t worry about being salesy. Guess what? You’re in sales. Your dream client already knows you’re a salesperson. They knew that when you called and asked for the appointment.Instead of worrying about being “salesy,” worry instead about the points above. If you tie your ask to future value creation, if you create value during every sales interaction, and if you’re well rehearsed and comfortable with the language, you can ask directly very comfortably with no problem.You’re in sales. And selling is a game of commitment gaining. Get comfortable asking for the commitments you need.QuestionsHave you earned the commitments that you ask for?How do you create value during every sales interaction?Do you have good language choices that allow you to tie the value that you create on one sales interaction to the value you create by being allowed to have the commitment that you need?Do you rehearse your language choices? What would it sound like if you did?last_img read more

Grittys hospital visit with a 7yearold fan is beautiful and wholesome

first_img 0 Comments Share your voice Tags When a 7-year-old in hospital asks for something, you give it to him. If that something happens to be orange nightmare fuel, you still give it to him. That fuel in question is Gritty, the hairy, googly eyed mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers in the National Hockey League. He’s also, in many ways a treasure of the internet. CNN has documented a rare Gritty appearance off the ice, at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Tuesday.There, Gritty and two Flyers cheerleaders, paid a surprise visit to Caiden O’Rourke, who as a result of two rare conditions has suffered the amputation of his lower right leg. A double amputee suffering a bone deformity, O’Rourke regularly requires new prosthetics. He requests them to be adorned with the colors and logos of his local favorite teams, according to CNN, and his latest design involved of course a big orange hairy monster.After O’Rouke was fitted with the custom prosthetic, Gritty himself appeared and a moment beautiful and wholesome was captured. This may surprise those initially skeptical of the mascot whose wild-eyed mug debuted last September for a team that had been mascotless since the ’70s. Aren’t they glad they took a chance on their furry, left-field chum. A 7-year-old hockey fan wanted a prosthetic leg with Gritty’s face on it, so the googly-eyed Philadelphia Flyers mascot surprised him by delivering it himself— CNN (@CNN) June 26, 2019 Culture Sportslast_img read more