Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

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Lancet Examines Indonesia’s Efforts To Reduce Maternal Mortality

The Lancet examines Indonesia’s efforts to reduce maternal mortality, one of the Millennium Development Goals President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has identified as a national priority. Indonesia’s risk of maternal death is one in 150, compared with one in 4,000 in developed nations, and the government has set a goal of reducing mortality to 102 for every 100,000 live births by 2015, one-quarter of the rate in 1990, according to the journal. Gita Maya Koemara Sakti, recently appointed as director of maternal health, explained the Ministry of Health “has adopted a four-step plan that starts with bolstered family planning campaigns,” the Lancet writes. Other efforts include providing free maternal health care through the national social assistance system, improving the national midwifery program, and providing more funding to rural health clinics, the journal notes. The Lancet includes quotes from other government officials and non-governmental organization representatives regarding these efforts and the challenges faced (Webster, 12/8).

Global Burden Of Disease Study Finds People Worldwide Living Longer, But With More Illness, Disability

“A sharp decline in deaths from malnutrition and infectious diseases like measles and tuberculosis has caused a shift in global mortality patterns over the past 20 years, according to a [study released] on Thursday, with far more of the world’s population now living into old age and dying from diseases mostly associated with rich countries, like cancer and heart disease,” the New York Times reports (Tavernise, 12/13). The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, “published in the Lancet, has taken more than five years and involves 486 authors in 50 countries,” the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters” blog notes (Mead, 12/13). Researchers worldwide “drew conclusions from nearly 100,000 data sources, including surveys, censuses, hospital records and verbal autopsies,” NPR’s “Shots” blog writes (Doucleff, 12/13). The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2010 consists of “[s]even separate reports conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, the Harvard School of Public Health, and elsewhere [that] gauged people’s health in 187 countries and determined that developing countries are looking more like richer Westernized countries in terms of the health problems that pose the biggest burden: high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease,” according to the Boston Globe (Kotz, 12/13).

Opinions: Kangaroo Care; NTDs, Women’s Health

Kangaroo Care Could Help Mothers In Poor Settings To Save Their Babies New York Times contributing writer Tina Rosen, on the newspaper’s “Opinionator” blog, examines the success of a system known as kangaroo care, which has helped to improve the survival rates of premature infants by using skin-to-skin contact with…

Recent Releases In Global Health

‘Complacency Is Dangerous’ In Global HIV/AIDS Fight: A Lancet Editorial is critical of UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe’s statement in the annual UNAIDS report├é┬áthat “We have halted and begun to reverse the epidemic.” The editorial states, “These words, from the head of a U.N. agency, are reckless and premature, and…

New U.N. Commission Will Track Donors’ Pledges On Maternal, Child Health

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete will co-chair a new “U.N. commission tasked with tracking whether $40 billion in pledges from countries and aid groups are really flowing to efforts to improve the health of mothers and young children in poor countries, and what impact the programs have,” the Globe and Mail reports (Clark, 12/16).

Health Experts, Mobile Service Providers Discuss Potential For Mobile Health In Africa At Summit

“Some 80 health professionals and telecom operators [met last week for the mHealth Africa Summit] in the Ghanaian capital Accra to explore ways to use mobile phones for better healthcare delivery,” IRIN reports in an article that details a variety of successful projects relaying health information through cell phones in Africa. The article describes how mobile phones are being used in Africa to educate populations about HIV/AIDS, TB and improve maternal health, as well as means to track medicines and other health supplies, including mosquito nets.

Also In Global Health News: Infectious Disease; Aid Money Needed For Afghanistan, Haiti; Increasing Rice Production; Family Planning In Rwanda

Species Extinction Could Lead Humans To Become More Vulnerable To Infectious Diseases “[T]he loss of biodiversity may make humans more vulnerable to infectious diseases,” according to a review article published Thursday in the journal Nature, VOA News reports (DeCapua, 12/6). “The review analyses studies of 12 diseases, including West Nile…

Inadequate Sanitation Costs India Close To $54B, World Bank Report Finds

“Inadequate sanitation cost India about 6.4% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or the equivalent of $53.8 billion (Rs.2.4 trillion today) in 2006, according to a new report (.pdf) from the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), a global partnership administered by the World Bank,” Livemint reports (Ghost, 12/21).

Recent Releases In Global Health

The Problem With A ‘Robo Budget’: In a post on “The Hill’s Congress Blog,” Senator Patrick Leahy, (D-Vt.), writes about the recent defeat of the omnibus bill, calling the passage of a continuing resolution a “robo budget” that is a “disservice.” According to Leahy: “The Omnibus would have funded global…