It is no surprise that the world needs more health workers. In fact, even though there are currently 22 million nurses and 2 million midwives globally there is an urgent need for 18 million more health workers in order to reach universal health care coverage by 2030 according to the World Health Organization.
There is a particular need for 9 million nurses and midwives as they are critical components to a robust health system and are often on the front lines of general and critical care including:
Continue reading 2020 Marks The International Year of The Nurse and The Midwife #SupportNursesAndMidwives
- Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases
- Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of noncommunicable diseases
- Sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, and maternal and newborn health care, including immunization and breastfeeding support.
As I have written many times before postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) or excessive uterine bleeding after childbirth is the leading cause of maternal mortality in low-and-middle income countries. The recommended drug to prevent PPH according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is oxytocin. When administered in its recommended dose it causes little to no side effects. Oxytocin, the WHO’s current gold standard therapy, however, must be refrigerated and administered by skilled health workers posing two obstacles to its wider use in low resource, tropical settings.
Some countries have approved misoprostol, an oral drug, to prevent PPH, but there are several concerns that its use can be misappropriated for abortions instead of used solely for PPH. The World Health Organization has listed misoprostol as an alternative to oxytocin if it is not available.
Now, another PPH preventative drug, carbetocin, has been added to the latest updated 2019 WHO Essential Medicines List. The announcement was made last week. Unlike oxytocin, even at high temperatures carbetocin remains effective. The recommendation is that carbetocin can be used when oxytocin is not available or if its quality is uncertain. Additionally, the cost must be comparable to oxytocin.
Continue reading NEW: Drug That Prevents PostPartum Hemorrhage Added To WHO Essential Medicines List
Yesterday global women’s and children’s advocates sounded the alarm regarding alleged strong-arming by US delegates at this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva. The issue at hand was the rights of women regarding their choice between breastfeeding and formula feeding.
According to the New York Times, the US delegation sought to remove the language in a pro-breastfeeding resolution that compelled countries to “protect, promote and support breastfeeding” and to remove any restrictions on formula that many global health experts contend is harmful to infants and toddlers.
The US delegation threatened Ecuador (the sponsoring country for the resolution) with devasting trade measures and a reduction in military aid. Ecuador acquiesced as did many more African and Latin American countries until Russia stepped up to sponsor the resolution, a country the US could not threaten.
Lucy M. Sullivan, Executive Director of 1000 Days, tweeted an entire thread about what was happening at the World Health Assembly in May.
Continue reading Is the Formula Industry Overpowering Breastfeeding?
Today starts World Immunization Week which is a time to reflect on the major accomplishments we’ve seen on routine vaccinations of children worldwide, but also to look critically at the challenges that children face who are still not fully immunized.
This year the World Health Organization is calling upon the global health community, governments, civil society, and other key actors to close the gap for under-immunized children. Today immunizations curb 2 – 3 million child deaths from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. each year, but that number of saved lives can be larger. Today 84 percent of children have received three doses of the DPT vaccine, but a whopping 21.8 million infants do not have complete vaccines, that is 1 in 5 children who still lack all of their basic vaccines.
“World Immunization Week creates a focused global platform to reinvigorate our collective efforts to ensure vaccination for every child, whoever they are and wherever they live,” said Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General, Family, Women’s and Children’s Health. “It is critical that the global community now makes a collective and cohesive effort to put progress towards our 6 targets back on track.”
Continue reading World Immunization Week Starts With a Global Challenge
During a packed event at Michelangelo hotel in Johannesburg, key partners including Save the Children, World Vision, PATH, Mothers 2 Mothers, and the Society of Midwives of South Africa came together to rally support for newborns and celebrate the progress thus far to save millions of vulnerable newborns around the world.
The Every Newborn Action Plan was endorsed by 194 countries in May 2014 and will be officially launched at the PMNCH Partners’ Forum today. At this early pre-event called “A Common Thread: Reaching Every Woman and Every Newborn” leaders in the global call to save newborns and their mothers spoke including Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, Joy Lawn, professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, former Ethiopian Minister of Health as well as the Minister of Health of South Africa.
During the event Save the Children unveiled its Blanket of Hope with squares from across the globe.
And global stories of mothers and their newborns and their survival were placed throughout.
The Partners’ Forum begins today in Johannesburg. Follow along at #PMNCHLive.