“Myths” and Maternal Health: PATH and IDEAS Share Perspectives on 2014 Gates’ Annual Letter

first_imgPosted on February 12, 2014November 7, 2016By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In this year’s annual letter, Bill and Melinda Gates focus on the truth behind three popular “myths” in discussions of global health and development:Poor countries are doomed to stay poorForeign aid is a big wasteSaving lives leads to overpopulationThe letter not only highlights evidence challenging these popular perceptions, but explores some of the reasons why they are so commonly held, as well as the consequences that their popularity may carry. In the weeks since the letter was published, many media organizations and NGOs have joined the discussion of this year’s letter and the evidence that it presents regarding prospects for health and economic development.Two of the highlights of this discussion include blog posts by our colleagues at PATH and IDEAS.IDEAS discusses the specific ways that the letter “strikes a chord,” resonating with their work in assessing the Gates Foundation’s work efforts to implement valuable, cost-effective programs to improve the health of women and their families. Further, the post highlights its efforts to promote health along the reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health continuum: “The projects we working with in Ethiopia, Uttar Pradesh, India, and North East Nigeria are not introducing revolutionary concepts.  Instead, they are bringing basic, fundamental knowledge to front line health workers, families and local communities about:How to improve the health and survival of mothers and newborns, for example through low-cost, simple approaches such as. breastfeeding, keep the newborn warm, cutting the cord with a sterilised knife, looking out for danger signs during pregnancy), andHow women can take control of and plan for a healthy, sustainable future for their families.”PATH expands on the theme of “myths” in health, with a series of six blog posts tackling harmful myths in global health, including the idea that “women don’t die in childbirth anymore.”  In her post on maternal mortality, Senior Policy and Advocacy Associate for reproductive, maternal, and newborn health Elesha Kingshott points out that“We may be well into the 21st century, but devastating maternal deaths are not yet a thing of the past. About 800 women die every day from complications due to pregnancy or childbirth. Almost all of them live in poor countries, and most of their deaths could be prevented.” Further, she highlights the importance of innovative approaches to ensuring that more women have access to proven interventions. She points out:“Excessive bleeding during or just after childbirth accounts for about a quarter of all maternal deaths. It’s also a complication with proven interventions. Medicines such as oxytocin and misoprostol, for example, can prevent excessive bleeding for less than US$1 a dose. And the nonpneumatic antishock garment has the potential to keep a mother experiencing excessive bleeding alive until she can be transported to a health facility with a higher level of care.”Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

If you have a W-2, you may owe more tax this year

first_imgWork clothes and uniforms required for your work (and not suitable for everyday use) Legal fees and loan losses related to your work as an employee Passport fees for business trips Union dues and expenses Professional society dues Education expenses related to your work as an employee The expenses must be related to your business purpose as an employee. Subscriptions to professional journals and trade publications If you have a significant amount of employment-related expenses and you do not already have such an arrangement in place, now would be the ideal time to talk to your employer about creating an accountable plan for the current tax year and beyond.Does this change my freelance business deductions?No. This change only applies to expenses related to W-2 employment situations. Non-wage earning self-employed individuals can deduct eligible business expenses related to their work on Schedule C or Schedule F of their tax returns.If you have both a W-2 and freelance income, you can still claim the expenses related to your freelance business.Know where you standTake time to learn the new tax rules before you file this tax season. For freelancers with W-2 income to claim and significant business-related expenses that they are hoping to deduct, the elimination of employee business expense deductions from the tax code is unfortunate.However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the increased standard deduction (now at $12,000 for individual filers) may ease some of your tax pain. That being said, it is definitely worth talking to a professional to make sure you know exactly where your tax obligation stands in light of the new laws.Jonathan Medows is a New York City based CPA who specializes in taxes and business issues for freelancers and self-employed individuals across the country. He offers a free consultation to members of Freelancer’s Union and a monthly email newsletter covering tax, accounting and business issues to freelancers on his website — which also features a blog, how-to articles, and a comprehensive freelance tax guide.Jonathan is happy to provide an initial consultation to freelancers. To qualify for a free consultation you must be a member of the Freelancers Union and mention this article upon contacting him. Please note that this offer is not available Mar.1 through April 18 and covers a general conversation about tax responsibilities of a freelancer and potential deductions. These meetings do not include review of self-prepared documents, review of self-prepared tax returns, or the review of the work of other preparers. The free meeting does not include the preparation or review of quantitative calculations of any sort. He is happy to provide such services but would need to charge an hourly rate for his time. Tools and supplies used in your work as an employee One thing’s for sure about The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (tax reform): it has brought about a lot of changes. So many that for busy freelancers, it’s hard to keep up with all the nuances. That’s especially true if you also maintain a 9-to-5 job.That’s why the elimination of tax deductions for employee business expenses may catch you off guard when you file your taxes this year. Here is what you need to know:Who is affected?If you received a W-2 this tax year and you have unreimbursed business expenses related to your employment, then you should take note of the information below. And if you employ individuals and issue W-2s, you should pass this information along to them as well.OverviewEssentially, employees can no longer reduce their taxable income by deducting common business expenses — at least until 2025, when this TCJA provision ends. Under the old tax rules, employees who itemized their deductions (as opposed to claiming the standard deduction) could claim business expenses if those expenses exceeded at least 2 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI).What’s missing?Prior to 2018, common eligible business expense deductions included: You must adequately account for the expenses to your employer for these expenses within a reasonable time — providing details such as the date, time, and place they were incurred, the amount you spent, and the business purpose of the expense. A home office used regularly and exclusively in your work as an employee and for the convenience of your employer You must return any excess reimbursements within a reasonable and specific period of time as determined by your employer. Professional license fees Is reimbursement possible?Yes, but likely not this tax season. You can ask your employer about setting up an accountable reimbursement plan — which allows you to be reimbursed for expenses as long as these three IRS-instituted rules are met: Job search expenses to seek new employment in your current profession Depreciation of a computer that your employer requires you to use Travel expenses related to your work as an employeelast_img read more