Tag Archives: Africa

Featured Video: Periods Change Lives

Once girls get their period in low- and middle-income countries where resources are low, their lives change — sometimes irreparably.

When girls get their periods they oftentimes have to drop out of school and work around their home instead. And on top of that, many cannot afford sanitary napkins.

Irise International, an East African organization, is fighting the stigma of menstruation and providing easy, affordable solutions for girls when they get their periods.

See their work in their video: Periods Change Lives

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Maternal and Newborn Health News from the 68th World Health Assembly

The 68th World Health Assembly features the launch of two important reports – The WHO report on Strategies Toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality [PDF] and the Every Newborn Action Plan Progress Report [PDF].

Maternal health remains one of the most elusive Millennium Development Goal to achieve. While maternal deaths worldwide have been nearly halved since 1990, there is still a long way to go to ensure that more women’s lives are saved during childbirth. Currently 800 women lose their lives during childbirth due to largely preventable reasons. According to the new report, Strategies Towards Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality, by 2030 the maternal mortality ratio should be no larger than 70 deaths/100,000 live births and no country should have a MMR of 140 deaths/100,000 live births.

How can this be achieved?

The new report calls for more wellness-focused healthcare as opposed to emergency-focused care for expectant mothers despite available resources. Most importantly, the post 2015 maternal health framework is rooted in human rights for women and girls. In order to save more women’s lives, there needs to be a cross-sectional system of integrated care. According to the report, more women, girls, and communities need to be empowered to recognize gender equality and empowerment. Mothers and newborns must have integrated care as opposed to caring for both independently.

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Can Forests Help Fight Global Hunger?

A child’s daily requirement for vitamin A can be met by around 25 g of a deep orange-fleshed mango variety. Photo: Terry Sunderland
A child’s daily requirement for vitamin A can be met by around 25 g of a deep orange-fleshed mango variety. Photo: Terry Sunderland

Currently 805 million people are undernourished worldwide.  That number is based on a number of factors including chronic and systemic poverty, a lack of access to improved growing methods and resources for small-holder farmers, a lack of purchasing power, as well as a lack of highly nutritious foods.

Researchers believe forests can help remedy the hunger problem worldwide. Even though 61.3 percent of the world’s forests are wholly owned by individual governments, that is a sharp decline from 71.4 percent in 2002 according to the newly-released report, Forests, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition [PDF].

Over 60 forest scientists contributed to the new report which outlines the best ways in which available forestland can be utilized to curb hunger. The first way is via tree crops that are often rich in vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients and are associated with more diverse diets. Examples include cashews and the African locust bean.

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Featured Infographic: Saving Mothers’ Lives Through Inexpensive Medicines

For Mother’s Day, PAI created an infographic about saving mothers’ lives in low-and middle-income countries through simple, live-saving medicines. PAI is a global organization advancing the right to affordable, quality contraception for every woman, everywhere. Due to the small numbers of physicians in countries like Zambia, Togo, and Mali, PAI argues that frontline health workers like midwives, volunteers, and also community health workers should be trained to administer medicines including oxytocin and misoprostol for hemorrhage and magnesium sulfate for eclampsia. Continue reading Featured Infographic: Saving Mothers’ Lives Through Inexpensive Medicines