Tag Archives: World Health Organization

Why Mothers Aren’t Accessing Antenatal Care Early in Their Pregnancies

Anja Smith, Stellenbosch University

South Africa has extremely high maternal mortality levels. This is true when compared with developed countries as well as other developing countries.

According to the World Health Organisation, for every 100,000 live births in the country in 2015, 138 women died due to pregnancy and childbirth complications. In Sweden, fewer than five women die for every 100,000 live births. In Brazil, the estimate is 44 women for every 100,000 live births.

Continue reading Why Mothers Aren’t Accessing Antenatal Care Early in Their Pregnancies

HIV ‘Test and Treat’ Strategy Can Save Lives

By Sydney Rosen, Boston University

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continues to take a tremendous toll on human health, with 37 million people infected and 1.2 million deaths worldwide in 2014. In sub-Saharan Africa, where the HIV epidemic has been most devastating, more than 25 million people are HIV-infected, about 70 percent of the global total.

But as of 2014, only about 11 million people infected with the virus in Africa were receiving treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications, which can stop the progression of disease and reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

That leaves 14 million people with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa untreated. This is partly because, until recently, most countries have provided ART only for patients who reached a specific threshold in HIV disease progression. And starting ART can be a lengthy and complicated process, leading many patients to drop out of care before they even begin treatment.

Continue reading HIV ‘Test and Treat’ Strategy Can Save Lives

Malaria No More Launches #MalariaSucks Campaign

As you might know last Friday marked World Malaria Day, a day to encourage the global health community, the private sector, governments, NGOs, and everyday, ordinary people to keep up the fight to help defeat malaria.

Every minute a child dies of malaria somewhere in the world, most of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, 90% of children who die from malaria live in Africa and 40% of those live in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to WorldMalariaDay.org. There is encouraging news, however. From 2000 – 2012 3.3 million lives were saved due to scaled up malaria control interventions. What many might not understand is that malaria is completely preventable and treatable, a fact that is repeatedly reiterated by the World Health Organization and others. Interventions such a insecticide-treated bed nets, residual indoor spraying, and draining of stagnant water helps to control malaria. One of the reasons many children, especially those under the age of five, die from malaria is because they are not treated in time or remote areas do not have access to rapid diagnostic tests and treatments.

Chongwe District Hospital
A mother and son in Chongwe District Hospital outside of Lusaka, Zambia. He was recovering from a severe bought of malaria. Copyright: Jennifer James

Malaria No More, an international NGO that is determined to end malaria, launched its Malaria Sucks campaign on World Malaria Day that encourages donations, as low as $1, to help save more children from dying from malaria. Malaria Sucks’ icon is an orange lollipop that signifies what children in malaria prone areas miss out on – their childhoods. One donated dollar goes to rapid diagnostic testing and full treatment for one child, so a dollar indeed makes a difference.

Celebrities have taken on the issue like Anthony Bourdain and James Ven Der Beek who tweeted their support of the Malaria Sucks campaign.

“MalariaSUCKS is a fun, tangible way for supporters to connect to an issue that may seem distant from their everyday lives,” said Malaria No More CEO Martin Edlund in a statement. “We’re putting our supporters in the spotlight – asking them to help us create real change through an everyday activity like posting a selfie and spreading a powerful humanitarian message through their social networks. It’s our pink ribbon, only sweeter.”

Global social engagement is key to the success of the campaign and Malaria No More is making it fun. Anyone can join the conversation by donating money to www.MalariaNoMore.org/MalariaSUCKS and by posting to #MalariaSucks.

You can also generate a lollipop selfie and share with your friends. Here’s mine.

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Visit www.MalariaNoMore.org/MalariaSUCKS to save a life.

Full disclosure: I traveled to Zambia with Malaria No More in October 2013 to cover the global launch of its Power of One campaign.

[Photos in B&W] Historical Look at Child and Newborn Health in the US

There is a long tradition of newborn and child healthcare in the United States and around the world for that matter. See photos below. From 1900 – 1997 the child mortality rate decreased more than 90% in the United States – a laudable national health achievement.  Now there is an accelerated global move to save more newborn lives around the world given the knowledge and interventions that can keep more newborns alive in countries where the newborn mortality rate is absurdly high.

UNICEF and the World Health Organization has led a new movement to draft the Every Newborn Action Plan that will create a roadmap to lower the newborn mortality rate across the board to effectively reduce the overall child mortality rate. Through February 28 you can add your thoughts and ideas about the plan on the World Health Organization web site.

Without a national plan, strength of will, resources, and national participation the child mortality rate in the United States might not have improved as rapidly as it did. This shows that indeed improvements can be made in child and newborn survival rates when everyone is on the same page. Changes will not happen overnight, to be sure, but they will happen when steps are made in the right direction.

Read and comment on the Every Newborn Action Plan.

Nurse Aiko Hamaguchi, mother Frances Yokoyama, baby Fukomoto, Manzanar Relocation Center, California
Nurse Aiko Hamaguchi, mother Frances Yokoyama, baby Fukomoto, Manzanar Relocation Center, California. Ansel Adams
Baby in the nursey at the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers' community. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona
Baby in the nursey at the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers’ community. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona
Russell Lee
Nurse weighs baby in the nursery of the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers' community. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona. Russel Lee
Nurse weighs baby in the nursery of the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers’ community. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona. Russel Lee
Chicago, Illinois. Provident Hospital. Miss Irene Hill, nurse technician, taking baby to be x-rayed. Jack Delano
Chicago, Illinois. Provident Hospital. Miss Irene Hill, nurse technician, taking baby to be x-rayed. Jack Delano
Photo shows "Junior Sea Breeze" a summer hospital for babies run by the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, supported by John D. Rockefeller. The hospital was located at 64th Street and the East River, New York City.
Photo shows “Junior Sea Breeze” a summer hospital for babies run by the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, supported by John D. Rockefeller. The hospital was located at 64th Street and the East River, New York City. Bain News Service.
Doctors examining baby whose parents have just brought him into the clinic at the Negro hospital. Chicago, Illinois. Russel Lee
Doctors examining baby whose parents have just brought him into the clinic at the Negro hospital. Chicago, Illinois. Russel Lee
At the well baby clinic at the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers' community. The well baby clinic meets once a week and babies are weighed, measured, and others given instructions as to their care, feeding, etc. Three of those babies were born at the Cairns Hospital. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona
At the well baby clinic at the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers’ community. The well baby clinic meets once a week and babies are weighed, measured, and others given instructions as to their care, feeding, etc. Three of those babies were born at the Cairns Hospital. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona
Babies and child care - doctor examining babies on Recreation Pier, E. 24th St., N.Y.C. - N.Y. Health Board supervising care of babies in hot weather
Babies and child care – doctor examining babies on Recreation Pier, E. 24th St., N.Y.C. – N.Y. Health Board supervising care of babies in hot weather

Credits

Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-A35-5-M-4
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34- 071888-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34- 071908-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USW3- 000544-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ggbain-09828
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34-038660-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34-071858-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-72011