Tag Archives: maternal mortality

Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

 

Politics and Policies:

  • Judge strikes down age restrictions for ‘Morning after’ pill. Now it will be available to girls less than 17 years of age.
  • Health ministry of Liberia has adopted guidelines for mother to baby care with an aim to fight maternal mortality.
  • Health ministry of Rwanda has taken over a 11 year project which cost $ 2,718,000 with a goal of increasing access to and use of Fertility Awareness- based Methods.
  • The World Health Organization has called on the public to remain calm as human infections of new bird flu strain H7N9 are isolated.
  • New food health labeling standard is signed by the Food Safety Minister of New Zealand.

Programs:

  • An NGO of Australia is supporting Ethiopian government to enhance food security and improve maternal and child health in Ethiopia.
  • Targeting the improvement of health sector in Ethiopia, the World Bank and the Ethioian Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED) signed a 120 million dollar loan and grant agreement.
  • A book on Health promotion in Ghana launched. It evaluated the challenges of health promotion in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • According to the Vatican’s diplomatic mission, Pope Francis has donated $50,000 to help victims of the deadly floods .
  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has shut down seven HIV/AIDS clinics in Kenya.
  • A Danish firm aims to improve health, environment in Mozambique.
  • Australian and local NGOs are working together in Zambia to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene services in Western Province.
  • Hong Kong has launched fast bird flu tests for H5 and H7 viruses. The government will raise the response from ‘alert’ to ‘serious’ if virus is detected in poultry or people in Hon Kong.

Research:

  • According to a study brisk walking does the same benefit as running in heart disease patient. It reduces the chances of high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
  • Lack of dental services a factor in grades, attendance in state schools. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, ‘dental disease is at “epidemic” levels among California children’.
  • A study states that balding men are at a higher risk for heart disease. They also found that there was no significant correlation with Chronic Heart Disease.
  • A study published in editorial annals of Internal Medicine found a link between hormone therapy like Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) boosts heart disease risk.
  • Studies suggest that happy loving relationships are prescription to a healthy long life.
  • A study published in The Journal of the North America Menopause Society, a Chinese herbal supplement can help to reduce hot flushes of menopause.
  • According to a study, health problems and low income, not xenophobia creates a lack of well- being.
  • According to a study, higher  mercury levels is linked to higher diabetes risk. The team examined the toe nail mercury levels to diabetes risk.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • More than 600 children have been reported to have contracted measles in an outbreak in South Wales.
  • After one of its longtime members nearly died of a lung infection caused by fungi growing inside his bag, a prominent Scottish bagpiping school has warned pipers around the world.
  • The Kenya Red Cross society has warned that the floods in Kisumu may be a health risk due to water borne diseases.
  • According to the reports the death toll in Argentina due to floods rises to 57.
  • China has fast-tracked the approval of a new drug in an attempt to contain an outbreak of a new strain of bird flu known as H7N9.
  • Moderate earth quake measuring 5.8 on Richters scale hits Kashmir valley on Aril 4th. No damage to life or property has been reported.
  • Massive earthquake measuring 7.2 magnitude rocks Indonesia on 6th April. No tsunami warning has been issued.
  • According to the reports from the U.S. Geological Survey, a magnitude -6 undersea earthquake had hit eastern Japan on April 2nd.
  • Mild earthquake measuring 4.5 was felt in Kutch in Gujarat. No reports of casualties or property damage.

IH News Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

  • The government of Australia is preparing to soon offer a 20-minute HIV test in Melbourne. It has yet to decide which clinics will offer the test.
  • The National Population Commission has announced that China has planned to improve county-level family planning services.
  • Regulations have been issued by the government of Indonesia to bear graphic photographic warnings on the cigarette packets.
  • The United Nations has allowed Bolivia to return to the United Nations main anti-narcotics treaty and has given its approval on chewing the coca leaf.
  • Twelve nations have signed a new United Nations treaty which aims to counter the illegal tobacco trade.
  • New York City (U.S.) hospitals will adopt new guidelines that will forbid emergency room doctors to give out more than three days’ worth opioid painkillers to the patients.

Programs:

  • Pfizer Inc. has included its pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to expand its pediatric immunization program in Tanzania.
  • UNICEF calls for cessation of child recruitment in the Central African Republic. More than 300,000 children have been affected by the violence which has led to their limited access to education and health facilities.
  • US$176 million announced by IMF and World Bank for debt relief for the Union of the Comoros. It will help the country to fight poverty and improve health and education facilities.
  • European Union gives EUR 16million support to Ghana. This money will support the implementation of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Accelerated Framework and Country Action Plan developed to combat maternal mortality.
  • $25 million has been awarded by Abt Associates for a three-year malaria prevention project in Kenya.
  • The FCC has launched $400 million heath care development fund with an aim to create and expand telemedicine networks.

Research:

  • According to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry there is a relationship between mental health and spirituality.
  • According to the Journal of Infectious Diseases, nosocomial transmission responsible for XDR-TB outbreak in South Africa.
  • A study identifies the chances of infection (co-infection) with another disease when a person is infected with a disease.
  • A study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics, climate can be the reason for a neurological condition, hydrocephalus in children in Uganda.
  • Number of new annual cases of HIV/AIDS cases in India has dropped by 57 percent in the last decade.
  • A study published in J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry links loneliness with higher chances of dementia or memory loss.
  • Researchers have identified role in obesity and diabetes. They have found that blocking the expression of gene TRIP-B2r  in mice protects them against obesity and insulin resistance.
  • A report published by Natural News states that children who are vaccinated according to the CDC recommended schedule are five times more likely to develop diseases as compared those who are not.
  • According to the findings of a report, among all rich countries, people of U.S.  live unhealthy and shorter lives.

Diseases and Disasters:

  • The Flu has surpassed an ‘epidemic’ threshold in the United States. It is widespread in all except the three states of US.
  • According to The New Times survey, there is a severe drug shortage in Kigali hospitals (in Rwanda).
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) yellow fever has killed about 171 people in Darfur (Sudan).
  • Top U.N. Aid officials warn food crisis in two isolated southern states of Sudan. People of South Kordofan and Blue Nile have been feared dying of malnutrition and disease.
  • According to the officials, about 80 people have died in Bangladesh due to cold-related diseases like respiratory problems, pneumonia and cough.
  • People in Beijing have been warned of extremely hazardous air quality. The density of PM2.5 particulates has reached 700 micrograms per cubic meter in many parts of city.
  • Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health has warned the public of possible outbreak of Leptospirosis (rat fever) in flood affected areas.
  • According to the health authorities, Barbados has recorded an increase in dengue cases since the last year.
  • Paraguay has confirmed reports of outbreaks of dengue in the north and east of the country. It has declared a national epidemics alert.

Global Health Weekly Nwes Round-Up

Politics and Policies:

Programs

Research

Diseases & Disasters

 

Global Health News Last Week

SECTION NEWS

The following announcement, from Eric Williams, calls for any IH section members interested in assisting efforts to address federal global health and HIV/AIDS funding.  Please see the text of the announcement below.  Eric can be contacted by e-mail at ericwms@gmail.com.

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to request assistance in a “grasstops” effort to address federal global health and HIV/AIDS funding. As you are likely well aware, there have been serious threats and concerns regarding global health funding over the last several years. There is a real need to mobilize influential members of our community in an effort to ensure that Congress does not backtrack on our global health commitments.

I am doing some consulting work with amfar and they want to identify experts, donors, high-profile individuals and/or organizations in select states who can reach out to key Senate leadership. We need these individuals/organizations to show and voice their support for continued and sustained commitments for global health.

States of focus include Nevada (Sen. Harry Reid), Iowa (Sen. Tom Harkin), and Washington (Sen. Patty Murray). We believe these senators are in key positions to influence appropriations decisions and sure up support for global health.

The aim of this effort is to:

  1. identify grasstop individuals/organizations and
  2. plan, coordinate, and carry out outreach efforts to Senate leadership in a variety of ways, including state-level meetings, Hill visits, op-eds, sign-on letters, and so forth.

If you are interested or able to provide assistance in helping to identify and/or reach out to the above stakeholders, I would be very interested in speaking. If there is strong support for this I would be happy to facilitate a conference call to discuss in full.


August 19 was World Humanitarian Day.

POLITICS AND POLICY

  • The CDC has made updates to its flu vaccination recommendations aimed at children and people with egg allergies.
  • The United Nations has released a list of 248 organizations from 48 nations that are accredited to attend the UN High Level Meeting (HLM) on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) during September 19-20, 2011.  Meanwhile, as has been widely reported (including here and here), negotiations have stalled over an “outcomes document” that is to be approved at the meeting.
  • The World Health Organization is calling for a ban on a common blood test for TB, saying the test is unreliable.
  • Twenty-two children in Kancheepuram, Indiawho were not allowed to go to school because they are HIV positive have been ordered to return to school after a court ruled in favor of the students.
  • International funding for HIV fell by 10 percent in 2010 from the previous year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS; activists worry that a continued reduction will undermine progress in global HIV prevention and treatment efforts.

PROGRAMS

RESEARCH

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • The WHO Says Libya is facing a medical supply crisis.
  • The United Nations food agency called on Thursday for long-term aid for farmers in the Horn of Africa, saying constant crises in the region should shame the world.
  • A report by the National Institute of Malaria research in Delhi has found that climate change will enable malaria to move to new areas.
  • New research finds that radiation from the nuclear plant accident in Japanin March reached Californiawithin days, showing how quickly air pollution can travel, but scientists say the radiation will not hurt people.
  • According to an article published in Science, 19 August, cases of Chagas disease are rising outside Latin America, because large numbers of people who are already infected are migrating fromLatin America.
  • Len Rubenstein comments on the attacks on healthcare personnel inBahrain and the recent progress made to protect healthcare workers in conflict zones.

INFOGRAPHICS AND OTHER INTERESTING VISUALS

Thanks to Tom Murphy and Mark Leon Goldberg, Larry Johnson (filling in for Tom Paulson), Isobel Hoskins, and Jeff Meer.

A Golden Moment: Global Partners Unite to Expand Access to Skilled Birth Attendants

Guest Contributor: Conrad Person, Director of Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson
As a record-setting 3,000 delegates from more than 111 countries gathered last week in Durban, South Africa for the 2011 International Confederation of Midwives Congress, I believe that we are witnessing a “golden moment” for the global campaign to realize the right of every woman to have access to the best possible health care during pregnancy and childbirth.

Two things give me hope. First, a new analysis from the United Nations Population Fund verifies what we’ve known for decades – only by expanding access to quality midwifery services, especially in the world’s most needy countries, can we curb maternal and newborn mortality. Second, the groundbreaking Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI) is demonstrating what is possible when we focus on improving health in the world’s poorest cities.

This “golden moment” was on full display on a recent blazing hot afternoon in the Jamestown section of Accra, Ghana. With the Jamestown Lighthouse looming in the background, I was reminded that this Ga fishing community was once the heart of historic Accra. But now, it is a poor neighborhood in a city where the mean household income is less than $4 U.S. a day. In a brick courtyard, about 300 women wearing the distinctive colors and patterns of West Africa sat beneath a canvas tent. While Ga drummers, famous the world over, quickly attracted an overflow crowd and the First Lady of Ghana and Accra’s Mayor also inspired the audience, the stars of the show were the babies these women held in their arms.

Five of the midwives took their places in the center of the courtyard. One pretended to be in labor and from beneath a blanket another extracted a mannequin baby. “The baby is not breathing,” she announced. The team quickly went into action to resuscitate the baby.

At this point a regional director for MCI, Abenaa Akuamoa-Boateng, whispered into my ear, “This is the golden minute. Success depends on acting swiftly.” In a minute or so, the mannequin seemed to give a cry like a lamb’s bleat. Even with babies in their arms, the audience clapped.

Each year, an estimated one million babies die from birth asphyxia, or the inability to breathe right after delivery. But skilled birth attendants can change that. More golden moments would be successful if more midwives and skilled attendants had the authority and support of their government to attend these births. MCI is working to tackle one aspect of this global campaign – bringing critical health care services to the most vulnerable mothers and newborns in the world’s poorest urban centers.

Much is made, rightly, of the plight of rural women and children, but MCI makes the case that the urban poor represent a great challenge as well. MDGs 4 and 5 simply can’t be achieved if major African population centers have persistently poor health outcomes for mothers and babies.

MCI addresses this problem through a Neonatal Survival Program, piloted during the past year in Accra and Kumasi, Ghana. This program has incorporated training for 120 frontline caregivers in neonatal resuscitation and infant care with follow-up outreach to and health education of more than 1,500 new mothers, demonstrably saving newborn lives. This program has had the support of Johnson & Johnson, AmeriCares, the American Academy of Pediatrics and local and national health agencies. Statistically, it’s all but certain that without this program, some of those 1,500 children would not have survived.

I left Jamestown with the strong conviction that if we are to meet the MDGs, we must treat every minute that we have left as a “golden minute.” I hope we take full advantage of this unique – and critical – moment to act.

Global Health News Last Week

POLITICS AND POLICY

  • Attacks on aid workers are on the increase and one writer believes this largely due to the current “integrated mission” focus of the UN and other donors.
  • If the Global Fund is to avoid further adverse media coverage and further consequent donor nervousness, it must urgently implement a more effective and fine-tuned approach to the issues of corruption and transparency.
  • The families of two women who died in childbirth are starting a legal action against the government of Uganda, alleging that the inadequate care and facilities provided for pregnant women caused the deaths and violates their country’s constitution and women’s rights to life and health.
  • The results of a recent bombshell study revealing the impact of taking ARVs and the spread of HIV has the Obama administration doing some serious pondering over the impact of a policy change.
  • The elimination of mother-to-child transmission has become the focus of Rwanda’s ministry of health for reducing the rate of HIV.
  • The states in India have been directed by the central government to provide free healthcare to pregnant women and sick neonatal children effective June 1.
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has frozen payments on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of disease-fighting grants to China, one of the charity’s biggest recipients, in a dispute over China’s management of the grants and its hostility toward involving grass-roots organizations in public health issues.
  • Government think-tanks in China and India have recommended a jointly funded initiative to strengthen traditional medicine innovations in both countries.

PROGRAMS

  • In Ghana, the Oxytocin Initiative Project has begun testing whether community health workers can safely and effectively prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
  • ‘Tupange’ is the name of a new outreach program in Kenya that hopes to increase and sustain contraceptive use among urban women.

RESEARCH

  • Researchers discuss the new developments in vaccines for HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB in the scientific journal Nature.
  • Vuvuzelas – the horns used by football fans celebrating last year’s World Cup – not only cause noise pollution but may also spread diseases, say experts. In crowded venues one person blowing a vuvuzela could infect many others with airborne illness like the flu or TB. Mercifully, organisers are considering whether to ban them at the 2012 London Olympics.
  • Published by the Institute for Economics & Peace, the Global Peace Index tries to measure peace. This year has seen the world become less peaceful for the third year in a row – and highlights what it says is a continuing threat of terrorism.
  • It may be against the law, but wealthier, better-educated families in India are choosing more and more often to abort pregnancies if the child is female, researchers in Canada and India report in the Lancet.
  • Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston find that diabetics have a higher risk of contracting TB.
  • Lancet once called it “potentially the most important medical advance of the 20th century.” But today, oral rehydration therapy (ORT) — a simple treatment often consisting of a home solution of sugar, salt and water — is under-used, causing untold deaths of children.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

TOTALLY UNRELATED TO ANYTHING ELSE: Apparently, to Nigerians, Bill and Melinda Gates do not look like rich people.

Global Health News Last Week

SECTION NEWS

APHA’s 2011 Section elections are coming up soon! Online voting will open on May 16 and ends on June 20. Section members should receive an e-mail on May 16 (next Monday) which will include:

  • Your online election validation number
  • Your APHA membership ID number
  • Voting instructions
  • A direct link to your voting Web site

All you have to do is click on the direct link and VOTE!

APHA’s Trade and Health Forum has released its first newsletter! The Forum has established a quarterly APHA Trade & Health Forum Newsletter that includes brief reports from forum members regarding recent work and analyses of issues related to trade and health, as well as announcements for trade and health advocacy opportunities and events. The first spring issue can be viewed here (PDF).


David Sencer, the longest-serving director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and one of the leaders of the U.S. contribution to the smallpox campaign, passed away at age 86 on May 2.

May 5 was International Day of the Midwife.

POLICY

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have joined forces to assist Asia Pacific countries in identifying priority actions for dengue prevention and control.
  • On May 11, dozens of countries around the world will kick off the first global Decade of Action for Road Safety, from 2011-2020.
  • Starting last week, China’s Ministry of Health is strengthening its tobacco rules to require 28 types of businesses, including bars, coffee shops, hotels and stadiums to become 100 percent smoke-free.

PROGRAMS

  • After a sensationalistic (and rather silly) report from the AP on corruption and graft, the Global Fund has assembled a high-level panel of independent experts to assess the risk of fraud in the current portfolio. The review should be concluded by mid-September
  • Sri Lanka commemorated 100 years of its National Malaria Control Program, which has brought the death toll from malaria from 80,000 per year to 0, on May 5. In 2010, only 684 cases of malaria were reported in the country.
  • Health officials in India have taken up a pilot project at taluka places to identify areas with less number of institutional deliveries to bring down maternal deaths.
  • UNICEF has found that boreholes drilled in response to the Zimbabwe cholera outbreak in 2008 have not been adequately supported by the government in Harare.
  • USAID announced that it will be launching a $10 million mobile health program which will deliver information and tips to mothers via SMS.

RESEARCH

  • Protease inhibitors used to treat patients with HIV looks to provide an effective treatment to malaria as well and are being hailed as ‘superdrugs.’
  • Headaches are the most common health disorders across the world, yet they remain neglected and under-treated, according to a UN study.
  • Researchers warn that East African plants that could cure malaria could disappear before scientists have a chance to study them.

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

Thanks, as usual, to the Healthy Dose and Humanosphere.