Navigating Egypt’s Nile: Essential Tips for a Memorable Nile Cruise Adventure

Embarking on a Nile river cruise in Egypt is a voyage like no other, a journey through time that offers an intimate glimpse into the country’s historical legacy and captivating landscapes. As you sail along the legendary river that has witnessed the rise and fall of ancient civilizations, you’ll be surrounded by ancient temples, bustling markets, and breathtaking panoramas. To ensure that your Nile cruise experience is as smooth and enriching as possible, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

1. Choose the Right Cruise: Research and choose a reputable cruise operator that aligns with your preferences and budget. There are various options available, from luxury cruises with world-class amenities to more budget-friendly choices. Read reviews and seek recommendations to find the best fit for your travel style.

2. Plan Your Timing: Consider the time of year for your Nile cruise. The peak tourist season is typically from October to April, when the weather is milder. However, this is also when crowds are at their highest. Shoulder seasons (spring and fall) offer a good balance of pleasant weather and fewer visitors.

3. Pack Light and Smart: Pack comfortable and lightweight clothing, suitable for both warm days and cooler evenings. Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent. If you plan to visit religious sites, pack modest attire that covers shoulders and knees. Sturdy walking shoes are essential for exploring onshore excursions.

4. Stay Hydrated: Egypt’s climate can be quite hot, especially during the summer months. Carry a refillable water bottle and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Bottled water is readily available on most cruise ships and in local markets.

5. Respect Cultural Norms: Egypt has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. When interacting with locals or visiting religious sites, dress modestly and avoid public displays of affection. Greeting people with a friendly “As-Salaam-Alaikum” (peace be upon you) is appreciated.

6. Currency and Tipping: The local currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (EGP). It’s a good idea to have some local currency on hand for small purchases and tips. Tipping is customary in Egypt, so be prepared to tip guides, drivers, and cruise staff for their services.

7. Embrace Local Cuisine: Nile cruises often offer a mix of international and Egyptian cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor local dishes such as koshari (a mix of rice, pasta, and lentils) and traditional street food. Be cautious with tap water and opt for bottled water and cooked foods to avoid stomach issues.

8. Be Flexible: Travel in Egypt can sometimes come with unexpected delays or changes in plans. Maintain a flexible attitude and allow for some wiggle room in your schedule to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.

9. Capture Memories: The landscapes, historical sites, and cultural experiences during your Nile cruise are undoubtedly memorable. Capture these moments through photographs, but also take time to put down the camera and simply immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of your surroundings.

10. Learn About History: Before your trip, familiarize yourself with the history and significance of the sites you’ll be visiting. This knowledge will enrich your experience and help you appreciate the ancient wonders even more.

A Nile cruise in Egypt is a voyage of discovery, a chance to unravel the mysteries of the past while indulging in the beauty of the present. By following these tips, you can ensure that your journey along the Nile is not only smooth and enjoyable but also deeply enriching and unforgettable.

As you sail the tranquil waters that have witnessed the passage of time, you’ll find yourself enchanted by the stories of pharaohs, captivated by the grandeur of ancient temples, and moved by the warmth of the Egyptian people. Let the magic of the Nile guide you through a travel experience that will leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul.

(Note: Make sure to verify any travel advisories or updates before your trip, as circumstances may have changed since my last knowledge update in September 2021.) Book now Egypt Luxury Tours.

Medical Uniform Guide: Choosing the Right Scrubs for the Job

Ever had one of those days at work where everything seems to go wrong? You show up for your shift at the hospital, coffee in hand and ready to take on the day. Before you’ve even finished your first rounds, you get a call that a water pipe burst on the floor above and there’s flooding in half the rooms. Great, just what you needed.

Disaster strikes in all shapes and sizes, even in places designed to make people well again. But when duty calls, you spring into action. The cavalry arrives in the form of The Steam Team, a disaster recovery crew ready to mop up the mess. Only this crew doesn’t come armed with mops and buckets alone. 

They roll in wearing stylish Blue Sky Scrubs, ready to scrub the place down without worrying about ruining their uniforms. Sometimes even superheroes need a solid wardrobe to get the job done in style. 

The Steam Team to the rescue! Now to get this place cleaned up and back in working order. At least you can cross “deal with massive flood” off your to-do list for the day, right?

Responding Quickly in Blue Sky Scrubs

When a water disaster strikes, you need to respond quickly to minimize damage. That’s why The Steam Team always has plenty of Blue Sky Scrubs on hand for our technicians. These comfortable yet durable scrubs are perfect for messy jobs.

As soon as we got the call about the leak at the hospital, our crew threw on our Blue Sky Scrubs and rushed over. Within minutes of arriving on the scene, we assessed the damage and got to work extracting the water and drying out the area.

Because we were wearing our water-resistant Blue Sky Scrubs, we didn’t have to worry about ruining our uniforms or tracking water and grime into the hospital. The scrubs’ breathable and flexible fabric kept us comfortable even doing demanding work in a hot environment.

Thanks to our quick response time and the functionality of our Blue Sky Scrubs, we were able to contain and clean up the water damage in record time. The hospital staff was extremely grateful to have their facility back in working order so swiftly.

When unpredictable messes happen, be ready to respond instantly in durable and comfortable scrubs. Blue Sky Scrubs give us the freedom to focus on the job at hand rather than worrying about our clothes. We can plunge in to remedy even the biggest disasters, knowing our scrubs can handle whatever challenges come our way.

Restoring Hospital Operations With Efficient Cleaning

When disaster strikes a hospital, restoring operations quickly is critical. That’s why hospitals call in specialized cleaning crews like The Steam Team. Wearing protective Blue Sky Scrubs, their technicians swiftly clean up even the biggest messes.

After a ruptured pipe flooded three floors, The Steam Team arrived within hours. First, they extracted standing water and dried out carpets and floors. Then, they scrubbed every surface to prevent mold and sanitize the area.

With efficient cleaning and drying complete, The Steam Team’s job isn’t over. Next, they test all equipment like MRI and X-ray machines to ensure proper functioning before hospital staff return. They even clean ceiling vents and behind cabinets for maximum safety.

Thanks to The Steam Team’s speedy disaster restoration and their high quality Blue Sky Scrubs protecting them in hazardous conditions, the hospital reopened the next day. Patients received treatment without delay, and staff had a safe working environment waiting for them – looking as spotless as if the flood had never happened.

When water or fire damage impacts your facility, call in the experts with protective gear and advanced cleaning techniques to get your operations back online fast. The Steam Team and Blue Sky Scrubs: a partnership you can trust when disaster strikes and lives are on the line.

Cleaning FAQs: How We Got the Hospital Back to Normal

How did we handle the water damage?

The Steam Team specializes in water damage restoration and mold remediation. We were equipped to handle the hospital’s water leak quickly and thoroughly.

  • First, we extracted the standing water using industrial wet/dry vacuums and pumps. We then used moisture detectors to locate any water that had soaked into walls, flooring, and ceilings.
  • Next, we removed and discarded any porous materials like drywall, insulation, and flooring that couldn’t be dried fully. We performed structural drying and dehumidification to completely dry and stabilize the area.
  • We applied EPA-approved disinfectants and antimicrobial treatments to sanitize the area and prevent mold growth.
  • Finally, we performed precision demolition and repairs to restore the area. New drywall, flooring, ceilings, and paint were installed to return the space to like-new condition.

Our team wore protective gear like waterproof boots, eyewear, masks, and of course – Blue Sky Scrubs. These high-quality yet affordable scrubs are designed for restoration work, protecting our uniforms from water, mold, and other contaminants. We change into street clothes when leaving job sites to avoid tracking hazardous materials to our homes or vehicles.

The hospital staff and patients were extremely grateful for our swift response and efficient work. Within days, all signs of the water damage were eliminated, and the affected area was back to fully operational. Our goal is always to restore any property back to pre-loss condition as quickly and seamlessly as possible.


So there you have it. Even when facing messy situations, you can still look good and feel confident by wearing high-quality yet affordable medical scrubs. The Steam Team certainly proved that by rocking their Blue Sky scrubs during the big water leak cleanup

When you’re on your feet all day doing difficult work, comfortable and durable scrubs can make a real difference. And with so many color and style options, you’ll be able to find scrubs that reflect your personality or the culture of your workplace. 

The next time you’re gearing up for a demanding shift, think of The Steam Team and consider slipping into a stylish pair of Blue Sky scrubs. Your body and mind will thank you.

How To Easily Potty Train Your Cat?

When your cat finally learns to go to the toilet at the designated spot, it truly feels like an achievement! Not to mention, this can make your life so much easier. 

However, potty training your cat is the main challenge for most pet parents, the very thought of it seems daunting. Many people often resort to seeking guidance from reliable and expert vets in Charlotte NC when it comes to training cats to poop and pee at the right place. But honestly, it does not have to be so difficult; potty training your dearest pet will no longer be an uphill task, provided you have the right amount of patience and proper idea.

Let us find out below, how you can easily help your cat learn to use the toilet.

  • Place their litter box right beside the toilet.

If the litter box was placed somewhere else before, you need to make sure that your cat gets used to this new spot for the litter box. Take it slow and encourage them to learn, so that they do not feel insecure or scared of this change. Allow enough time until you feel your pet is comfortable with the new litter box spot.

  • Gradually raise the level of the litter box.

Elevate the height of the litter box very gradually. And when you do so move it a little away. Make sure the box remains firm and does not move or fall down when your cat jumps into it.

  • Gradually move the litter box onto the toilet seat.

When your cat gets used to the elevated height of the litter box, make sure to gradually move it towards the toilet every day. As you get it closer, one day place it directly on the toilet seat. 

  • Place a “training box” instead of the litter box.

You can either go for a DYI training box or purchase one, but make sure it is proportionate to your cat’s weight. Disappearing litter boxes are perfect for toilet training your pets. 

  • Encourage your cat to use the toilet every time.

Now it is time to ensure that your pet uses the toilet only, every time it needs to poop or pee. With disappearing litter boxes, you can conveniently alter the size of the opening in the toilet seat and keep increasing it so that one day you can simply take off the litter box.

  • Make sure you flush the toilet every time your cat uses it.

Yes, this is important. Also, many pet parents want to teach their cats how to flush. While you can help them learn how to flush after every use, they might get playful and cause a waste of water!

  • Don’t forget to treat your cat.

Treats are the best form of appreciation and acknowledgment for pets. This is also essential to help them succeed every time and keep them motivated to continue with the habit.

Please remember to be gentle with your pet while they learn to use the toilet consistently. More than anything, you need patience and perseverance to help them succeed.

Basics of Effective Branding


Effective branding can make all the difference in the world for a new business. In fact, it can be one of the key differentiators between a successful and an unsuccessful company. Your brand is what sets your company apart from others, and it’s what people will identify you with. It’s about a lot more than a logo or a company name — it’s about the words you use, the images you choose, and how it all ties together. The goal of branding is to create a truly unique identity for your business that reflects its values, its personality, and, above all else, its customers. 

Your brand is the face of your business. It’s often the first thing that potential customers encounter when they are trying to decide whether or not to use your services or buy your products. A strong brand presence is therefore essential to competitiveness in a world of expanding consumer options. 

But creating a successful brand for a business requires more than quick thinking. It is an art form, and it requires you to be thoughtful and deliberate about your company’s image. If you’re having trouble establishing a brand for your product or service, here are some tips to help you out.

Find your identity

Creating a brand for your business is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Branding plays a huge part in getting potential customers to trust your product or service and ultimately buy it. The best brands have clear messages and a strong sense of identity. They offer a distinct value proposition that is communicated through powerful branding. But, with so many businesses out there, it can be difficult to make your brand stand out. The key is to find a unique concept for your business that will draw in potential customers. 

The world is a noisy place. Purchasing behavior is more impulsive than ever. In order to stay ahead of your competitors, you have to make sure that your brand message cuts through the clutter and lands in a meaningful way. That means establishing a company identity that’s acknowledged by all stakeholders, including your employees and customers.

Branding is an important but tricky aspect of marketing, so it’s essential to get it right if you want to succeed. The stronger your brand identity is, the easier it will be for people to recognize your business and your value proposition. Remember, your business is more than just an item sold for money. It’s a story that will be relived over and over again every time a customer or client uses your product. 

Make Your Identity Shine

Now that you’ve figured out what your business stands for, the first step is to select a name that captures the essence of what you do and provokes interest among potential customers. When choosing a business name, write down every idea you can think of, use a business name generator, and then pick the one that is the shortest, easiest to pronounce, and most memorable.

The next step is to choose a slogan or a catchphrase that will serve as the beacon for developing brand recognition. Your slogan is your company’s first impression, and it needs to be an accurate one. To capture the attention of prospective customers online, you need a slogan that encapsulates the spirit of your brand image in a way that’s eye-catching and memorable. It’s time to enhance design aspects to make your brand pop.

Once you have chosen your brand’s name and tagline, take the time to think about its overall look and feel. From logos to app icons, your company’s design is how people identify you. The right design can draw people in while the wrong one can turn them away. Your brand is the direct reflection of your business and its attitude – the face behind it and the voices speaking for it. That’s why it is so important to determine a design aesthetic that both reflects and supports your brand.

When you’re just getting started, it can seem like a lot of fun to experiment with different fonts, colors, and graphics. What you may not realize is that this can be incredibly confusing for your customers. Choosing a logo that represents the company’s core values and personality is a good place to start when building a company’s visual identity. From there, it’s all about picking colors and fonts that complement the logo, while also facilitating a consistent easy-to-read experience across all platforms.

In a world where businesses have less and less time to make an impression, effective branding is imperative. Brands are like people – some have charming personalities that others find unforgettable, some must learn how to dress before going out in public, and some are just plain shabby. You might have great services, but without competent branding, your product might not get the recognition you deserve. Effective branding can spell the difference between an organization’s success and failure. 

Fostering connection, one meetup at a time: How The Awareness, Courage and Love Global Project is deepening relationship worldwide

In a world that seems more isolated than ever, The Awareness, Courage and Love (ACL) Global Project is working to unite people in meaningful communication that not only brings people together but also promotes self-actualization. More than just having conversations with other people, ACL is guided by scientific research and purposeful discussion that allows for participants to open up in ways they may have never thought possible before.

A nonprofit organization, ACL was created in 2015 in the form of meetups. The organization began with just one group based in Seattle, Washington, and after years of growth, it is now a worldwide phenomenon that consists of chapters in 29 countries and 6 continents cities and continues to grow.

Mavis Tsai, the Founder and Executive Director of the ACL Global Project, is a clinical psychologist who has made it her mission to ameliorate the widespread public health issue of loneliness. Out of research that she was conducting, she developed the idea of an organization that would allow people all across the world to learn more about themselves and strengthen their connections with other people. Thus, ACL was born and began to foster deep communication and listening among people everywhere.

Origins of ACL

ACL originated when Tsai and her spouse started Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), which led to five books and a following around the world. Tsai wanted to create a way for people across the globe to have access to the powerful principles of FAP, without having to be in therapy, and so ACL came to be.

“ACL’s mission is to grow a worldwide network of open-hearted change seekers who strive to meet life’s challenges through deepening interpersonal connection and rising to live more true to ourselves,” Tsai said. “We’re looking to alleviate the major public health crisis of loneliness and isolation and reach any person who desires richer relationships.”

At its core, ACL works to deepen interpersonal connection and truth for its members. The organization bases its work on the fact that connection with others is absolutely crucial for physical and mental health.

What ACL does and how it works

At ACL, Tsai and her team make a space for people to come together, connect and create more meaningful and passionate lives. This is done through chapter meetups, with each chapter guided by its own leader. During the meetings, participants practice open-hearted presence, deep listening, embrace vulnerability and respond to contemplation questions that focus on different themes. Themes range from unlived lives and dying without regrets to cultivating resilience and living with intention.

“We help people delve into what’s meaningful,” Tsai said. “This can include addressing unfinished business or the courage to face the unknown.”

In addition to exploring these themes, group members also participate in a guided meditation to acknowledge times when the themes were present in their lives, as well as promote being truly present in the moment.

“If you’re not true to yourself, you can’t connect with others from a genuine place,” Tsai said.

During the pandemic, which has brought a heightened sense of isolation, the meetups have been especially important for people. Currently, they’re conducted through video meetings. As far as connection tips in the time of COVID-19, Tsai said it helps to increase eye contact, to ask meaningful questions, to self-disclose with vulnerability and to reflect with warmth and acceptance.

“Loneliness is as rampant as ever but many people aren’t talking about it,” she said.

In these current times of isolation, Tsai said she has seen that social media can have different effects. During the pandemic, some people find it life-saving and a good way to connect with others.

“Interacting on social media for some people can be like making warm contact at the drinking fountain when people were working at the office,” she said. “We need to be researching and harnessing the positive aspects and decreasing the negative effects.”

At ACL, it’s all about awareness, courage and love. There, awareness is defined as taking notice of one’s internal feelings as well as the feelings of others, and not passing judgment while doing so. When it comes to courage, it’s about taking steps outside of one’s comfort zone in order to live more true to one’s self, for instance verbalizing a vulnerable thought or feeling that may otherwise go unexpressed. Finally, love in this sense is defined as treating one’s own and others’ experiences with compassion and being open to receiving that same compassion back.

Taking these principles, chapter leaders facilitate exercises to help participants practice and experience awareness, courage and love in real time, as well as take learning to the real world and implement them in daily life.

Creating a phenomenal effect worldwide

With each meetup, ACL is making a significant difference and impact in the lives of its members with a grassroots approach to spreading the message and practice. This is a different kind of wellness center.

“I see people changing right in front of my eyes,” Tsai said.  “They become bigger versions of themselves.”

Now present on six continents, ACL currently has 68 active chapters in 29 countries. While there is no official data, Tsai said she has seen more of a sense of isolation in first-world countries as opposed to other countries that have community-focused cultures.

Tsai said they’ve been able to scale ACL by training people to be deeply present and caring. She emphasized that powerful moments of connection are created through the practice of vulnerable self-disclosure and listening responsively with acceptance.

Some of the plans and goals of ACL are to develop hundreds of groups and have one lead coordinator on each continent, furthering the ultimate vision of reaching tens of thousands of people. As part of this process, ACL is also soon launching an app that will make its reach significantly broader.

Grounded in psychology and science

At its core, ACL is rooted in psychology and scientific research. Tsai said during the meetups, research suggests that when deep connections are made, the brain generates higher levels of oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine. Oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone,” can increase due to positive reactions.

During the sessions, serotonin, or the mood stabilizer, can increase, which is a result of being present in the moment. Dopamine, the reward chemical, also sees an uptick in participants as they partake in self-care activities.

“We’re really social creatures,” she said. “Our work is grounded in psychological science, and studies have shown that people who lack social connection suffer from impairment in physical systems, immune systems and cardiovascular systems. It’s more harmful than excessive drinking, obesity or excessive smoking. People’s physical health is actually endangered.”

Tsai said her research team evaluates the effectiveness of ACL interventions and the impact of creating close connections through randomized controlled trials and also survey questions.

“We’re collecting feedback data from leaders and groups and using it to improve the work,” she said.

Reaching more people through an easy-to-use app

Soon, people will be able to extend their connections beyond just the ACL meetups. The organization is planning to launch an app that will offer an array of community and connection features that will be available for both iPhones and Android phones.

Anne Gulyas, Chief Operating Officer at ACL, said members have had such powerful experiences in meetups that they want to experience the feeling more. With the focus on mobile applications in society today, the natural next step was to create an app.

“The app comprises itself of all the core elements of the meetings, with a link to weekly ACL meetings and a meditation area,” she said.

Gulyas, who started as a member herself in meetups five years ago, said the experience was life-changing and spoke to how she believed life was supposed to be.

“It was a breath of fresh air,” she said.

To start, the app will be in English, but they have plans to expand to other languages. There will also be exercises, which will ask users meaningful questions regarding awareness, courage and love.

The app will also include a “Thought Garden,” where people can post to a stylized posting board and see other people’s responses and input. The prompt would ask a closeness-generating question and cut past all the superficial, small-talk style questions.

Gulyas also emphasized that privacy and security are top priorities when it comes to the app.

“We want to make sure the people who use the app are secure, and there’s account-level security but also a deeper level of privacy,” she said. “Because there’s a journal feature in the app, nobody except the user will have access to that content, and their privacy is honored.”

She said the app will be paid but will be a small fee, which will help support the enhanced security features and decrease the number of spam or bot activities. She said their team has insisted on an ethical approach to the app’s build, backend, data and metrics that are examined. She said the only information they’ll look at is feedback from users, popular features, the language and guidance.

“We built this app to answer a commonly asked question about how you can take ACL into the real world as well as provide the ACL experience more often whether there is a live group near you or not.” she said. “Mavis’s dream is to make sure ACL is available to everyone, in every city, so we’re working on making that happen.”

Taking A Load Off Occupational Risk

Work health and safety is sometimes known as occupational health and safety. It involves the prevention of health and safety threats for all members of the workplace, including yourself, your employees, your suppliers, your clients, and anyone else who visits your location of operation. By law, business owners are responsible to provide a safe work environment by maintaining adequate facilities and machinery to allow workers to perform their jobs in a way that will not harm their health. By looking after the safety and welfare of their staff, businesses can ensure smooth, uninterrupted operations and high levels of productivity. We’re On A Roll There is nothing quite as comfortable as lying on a freshly-made bed with crisp, clean sheets. However, the experience may not be the same for housekeeping staff who are changing the linens of several beds that they will not get to rest on. If you consider the pile of pillowcases, sheets, and blankets generated in your household and multiply it by ten or a hundred, then you will have a vague estimate of the huge load of linen that hospitals, hotels, and resorts have to deal with daily. The storage, delivery, and collection of such large amounts of linen present a logistical challenge for housekeeping staff, who already have to strain their backs cleaning rooms and remaking multiple beds. In addition, laundry can present a similar problem, particularly when it is wet and exceptionally heavy. Dedicated trolleys specially designed for laundry and linen—wet or dry—can help your staff to move these loads easily and safely. Laundry & linen trolleys: Just like changing bed sheets, stacking boxes is not that much fun either. Yet, a myriad of industries from grocery warehouses to construction supplies revolve around the neat storage and movement of inventory. Hence, there are a variety of trolleys available that are purpose-built to transport objects in different industrial environments. Some equipment such as strong steel dollies can help to ease the transportation of bulky and hard-to-move pieces. Others such as electric scissor lifts can help employees get hefty items up to high shelves. Industrial trolleys are generally treated with a protective coating to allow them to resist wear and tear and extend their lifespan in harsh weather conditions. Industrial trolleys: Just as industrial trolleys are made to withstand the elements, trolleys made for the healthcare industry are produced with the highest quality stainless steel. Because stainless steel does not corrode or degrade when exposed to high surgical temperatures or harsh sterilization methods, it is the metal of choice for the medical industry. Stainless steel can be found in hospital beds, wheelchairs, and even surgical implants. In demanding medical settings with stringent sanitation and cleanliness requirements, stainless steel trolleys can provide storage and supply movement solutions that expedite the job of medical professionals. From medication trolleys to instrument trolleys designed to hold IVs and oxygen tanks, trolleys can help move essential items while keeping them sterile. Medical trolleys: A Win-Win Solution Aside from moving items from A to B, tailored materials handling equipment also assists employers in managing work health and safety risks. Some business owners worry about the costs of implementing safe practices but the hidden costs of workplace injury are a much more pressing concern. When an employee is injured at work, the costs incurred could include coverage of medical fees, paid time off for recovery, and even possible prosecution and fines from government agencies. On top of this, indirect costs such as a reduction in productivity, loss of skill and expertise, poor team morale, and time spent on training replacement staff can negatively impact a business even further. According to the Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia 2019 report, the cost of work-related injuries and diseases is estimated to be $61.8 billion a year. The report also states that 36 percent of serious claims by employees were related to body stressing, with 41 percent of claimants suffering from traumatic joint and muscle injury. Thus, it is even more imperative that we provide our staff with the appropriate equipment to protect them from having to perform heavy physical lifting or manually carrying stock items. Particularly in this sensitive pandemic era, it is also prudent to minimize employee contact with soiled linen, dirty laundry, or hazardous waste. For those in the healthcare profession, materials handling equipment can prevent the contamination of sterilized medical instruments. With the advancement of innovation and engineering, there are now numerous solutions for specific industry requirements. Just as we have adopted computer systems to accelerate our administrative and cataloging processes, businesses can take advantage of materials handling equipment to streamline and simplify the movement of their supply and waste. By taking a load off the backs of their staff, business owners can have happier and healthier employees, adhere to government guidelines, and achieve better productivity and profit.  

The Plumpy’nut Precedent

Stephanie Weber at the Univeristy of California at Berkeley raises the important issue of precedent. Will we see more patents on humanitarian relief products after Plumpy’nut? Would that be a good/bad/neutral development?

Of particular interest, when does the Plumpy’nut patent expire? I had assumed a standard term of 14 to 20 years. Needs checking.

Herewith Stephanie’s e-mail (published with permission):

I just read your blog posts. Very interesting topic! Coincidentally, a
colleague and I just gave a two hour presentation on Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Foods (Plumpy’Nut) as an approach to treating children with severe acute malnutrition.

After reading your blog, I had a few initial thoughts and questions to share with you.

First – and you might want to triangulate this statement with other people – Plumpy’nut is considered to have revolutionized the way children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) are treated. Now, instead of spending 30+ days in the hospital or nutritional feeding centers, they can be treated at home by their primary caregiver. Additionally, children are recovering more quickly, and there is no preparation necessary to give them the PN (i.e., no need to add water). PN is cheaper than the traditional mode of treatment and it tastes better.

However, there is still more research that needs to be done to measure the relapse rate of children on Plumpy’nut. For example, are children treated with PN less likely to relapse than children treated with F100?

Second – have you talked with Nutriset? It would be interesting to know why they decided to patent the formula. Also, what is it about the formula that requires patenting? The proportions of ingredients?

I believe the patent is due to expire next year, so an interesting question to consider is what has been the effect of this patent for the past five years? Were more children excluded? Was PN more expensive than it otherwise would have been? To what extent did patenting limit production?

It’s possible that the implications for the future will be more interesting than the findings on cost and access. Even with some restricted access and slightly higher cost for PN, using RUTFs to treat SAM is still way more effective and less expensive than hospitalizing kids
and treating with F100.

Ex Christine: F100 is a milk-based therapeutic food for the treatment of severe malnutrition. Also, it would be good to contact Nutriset but I think a little more background research is in order first. Of course, given this highly interconnected world we live in, Nutriset may post on the blog first?

How to suggest potential resources or new lines of inquiry

Discover your inner Sherlock Holmes and conduct a search, talk to an expert you just met, visit with a librarian, etc. Spend as little as ten minutes or all day, if you want, following your clue.

If you learn something interesting that relates to Nutriset, Plumpy’nut, humanitarian feeding programs or patents, summarize what you have found in a comment to this post.

Other readers are then free to comment on the quality of your information, follow up your clue or add clues of their own. Authors of the best comments will want to become writers in their own right, adding posts of their own.

(For now, the process of becoming a writer–as opposed to a commenter–is pretty informal: just e-mail Christine at cgormanhealth[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Be sure to use your real name, give real contact information and say why you want to publish your own posts on the blog and what you think you can contribute. As the community grows, the process will undoubtedly evolve.)

All posts that suggest new resources or avenues of inquiry should be tagged with the “suggested leads” category.

As noted above, the best part of collaborative reporting–you put as much or as little effort into the project as you want. The experiment is to see if the sum of all these individual intellectual efforts will amount to something valuable–something that will help more malnourished kids get fed or that provides greater insight into the way the humanitarian business gets done.

5 Easy Ways to Keep Up with New Information

The healthcare industry is continuously evolving. With the wealth of information available, it can be overwhelming and tedious to stay up-to-date with the latest discoveries, developments, and information available. Fortunately, technology makes keeping up with new information easier with the assistance of social media platforms such as Hospital Hippo that provide real-time, current information for hospitals throughout the world. Whether a patient or provider, accessing information is easier than it has ever been before and it is mutually beneficial. This article explores five easy ways for people to keep up with the newest information available in the healthcare industry.

1. Apps for Access
Technology has changed the face of the healthcare industry by making information available with the touch of a button. Through the use of apps, users have access to data at their fingertips, making their healthcare experience more seamless. A variety of apps have been developed to address the needs of both patients and providers, some are highlighted here and are effective in providing current, pertinent communication. Additionally, most apps are user-friendly and do not require individuals to be extremely tech savvy.

2. Follow the Trends
There are many websites dedicated to helping users stay informed on the ever-changing healthcare industry. US News & World Report is a site encompassing a wide-range of information inclusive of research, treatments, and the overall future of healthcare. Specifically, the site has a section dedicated to hospitals, Healthcare of Tomorrow, which can be particularly useful when seeking to stay abreast of new health trends and developments.

3. Subscribe to Newsletters
Another effective way to stay informed and obtain up-to-date information on healthcare industry changes is by subscribing to digital newsletters. Electronic newsletters bring information directly to patients and providers with very little effort. By subscribing to healthcare newsletters such as the ones found here, people can obtain current news on an ongoing basis. Likewise, the frequency that the subscription is received can be customized and discontinued at any time.

4. Seek out Publications
Similar to subscriptions, health publications provide users with the ability to obtain information specifically tailored to their areas of interest, such as the best ways to go about choosing a doctor, cancer support, and advance care planning. These publications are beneficial because they often contain detailed, niche information that is not explored in other outlets.

5. Traditional Research
With the plethora of information available, it is necessary to explore multiple channels in order to gather facts, compare and contrast, and obtain multiple perspectives. Additionally, it is important to ensure the resources providing the information are valid. Often times, the material is biased and intended to persuade individuals toward a particular belief as opposed to presenting all the facts so that an informed decision can be made. Fortunately, organizations such as Health on the Net Foundation provide access to vetted, objective, scientifically sound information which is extremely useful in obtaining accurate and consistent healthcare information.

There are many ways to remain informed when it comes to health, and technology has greatly improved the access and delivery of health-related news to information-seekers. Online health information helps people increase their knowledge base. Patients are taking an active interest in their health and providers are providing them with additional resources so they are better informed and more equipped to make much-needed decisions. The flow of healthcare information is ever-changing, but on-demand access to research and information allow patients and providers to work together in order to ensure the best care is administered and received. Healthcare is rapidly changing, but technological innovations make it easy to keep up on the latest developments, discoveries, and trends.

How to Learn Any New Skill Fast

Many people often put off acquiring a new skill because of the effort and time it takes to learn it, especially if they are also dealing with work or a family, or sometimes they are just simply afraid of failure. However, according to business adviser Josh Kaufman, scientists at John Hopkins University, and other experts, there are a number of ways to overcome your fears and learn a new skill, and fast, which can help put you on the right track towards bettering your life.

Overcome Your Fears

Some people put off learning a new skill because they dread they may not perform well, which can lead to embarrassment. However, according to Kaufman, the way to overcome this fear is to simply let go of the idea that learning a new skill means that you have to be superb at it, which can discourage you and make it more challenging to get started.

According to the business adviser, stereotypes can also play a role in people’s fears as it can make them feel as if they are unable to learn a new skill. However, it is also possible for these individuals to overcome these apprehensions simply by following these rules, he adds.

Embrace the Exploration Mode

Josh teaches that the first 20 hours of learning a skill is considered the exploration mode. It is during this time that you decide, after figuring out how the skill works, if you would like to pursue it further or not.

In other words, this is the time when you have either decided that what you have learned has provided value, at which point you may choose to continue to practice the skill in order to reap more benefits, or you have decided that the skill was not for you and that to continue to practice it is not going to improve the results, at which time you may simply walk away.

Embracing the exploration mode also helps take the fear out of learning a new skill knowing that if you at least try it and find that it’s not for you, then you can simply walk away.

Define Exactly What it is That You Want to Be Able to Do

Deciding exactly what it is that you want to be able to do helps define your target performance level, which gives you a sort of blueprint for your actions.

When defining your target performance level, Kaufman advises that you should be as detailed as possible because most people tend to fall off due to a lack of knowing exactly what it is they wanted to achieve.

Therefore, remember, the more detailed your goals, the better, and then focus your efforts towards getting to that point.

Dedicate Enough Time to Practice

Kaufman states that it takes approximately 20 hours to learn a new skill. However, he adds, the first few hours of learning something new can be challenging and frustrating, so be sure to endure it long enough to overcome the hurdle and see improvement,
which typically occurs around the five to six hour mark for more challenging skills.

Practice in Short Bursts

Energy and frustration play a huge part in learning a new skill. For instance, you may find that after a certain period of practicing, you notice that you are tired or frustrated, at which time practicing any further can become counterproductive. Therefore, you should practice in short bursts in order to remain productive.

Vary Your Training

Researchers at John Hopkins University found that slightly varying your training can keep your brain more alert throughout the learning process, which actually helps you learn twice as fast as opposed to simply repeating the same task many times consecutively.

Reflect Along the Way

Experts say that in order to progress from exploration to proficiency, you need to think carefully on what you are learning; otherwise, it will not stick. Therefore, they suggest sharing your goals and consulting with individuals who can offer educational and emotional support, who will hold you responsible and help keep you truthful about your progress.

Online courses provide a great way to learn a new skill, and in the comfort of your own home, which can help eliminate the time constraints and embarrassment often associated with traditional classrooms.