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Can countries develop without suffering epidemic obesity?

Much has been made of the obesity epidemic in the United States – and, importantly so: more than a third of Americans are obese and…


“Fetishism” and Humanitarian Aid – an Interview

I recently ran across a fascinating article in the Third World Quarterly, The fetishism of humanitarian objects and the management of malnutrition in emergencies. The…


‘Much Still Needs To Be Done’ To Prevent Severe Acute Malnutrition In Children

A Lancet editorial examines the global crisis of severe acute malnutrition in children, noting “19 million children younger than five years had severe acute malnutrition (SAM) worldwide in 2011, most of whom lived in Africa and southeast Asia,” and “more than seven percent of all deaths in this age group were attributable to this disorder.”…More


Multi-Sector Partnerships Essential To Address Nutrition, Hunger In Development Goals

Huffington Post: Partnerships Are Essential to Addressing Nutrition and Post-2015 Development Goals Marc Van Ameringen, executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition “…[P]artnerships are essential in mobilizing support and investment to address malnutrition globally, and it is critical that the new sustainable development goals reflect this priority. … As we look to the…More

Learning from the South: influenza immunization in pregnancy

Writing from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Jocalyn Clark celebrates the impact of a paper by Bangladeshi researchers on Western medical provision. When two worlds collide in global health it can be a marvelous thing. Take for example the fact that although countries like the US and UK have recommended influenza immunization during pregnancy for many years, there was no evidence from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to support the importance of that policy for birth outcomes until now. And the RCT to provide the needed evidence was not done in North America or Europe, but in Bangladesh by an international team, providing critical insights to help guide clinical practice, immunization policy, and women’s informed decision-making. Image Credit: Steven Depolo, Flickr The Bangladesh evidence, drawn from secondary analyses of an RCT involving 340 pregnant women, shows that a flu shot given in the third trimester increased the mean birth weight of infants by 200 grams

The Daily Impact: Emergency measures taken to prevent Ebola spread in West Africa

April 11, 2014 The historic ebola outbreak that started in Guinea continues as aid groups are taking emergency steps to prevent its spread. From AFP: The tropical bug is thought to have killed more than 110 people in Guinea and Liberia since January, with suspected cases reported in Mali and Sierra Leone and aid workers warning that vital hygiene products could run out. The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) announced emergency training for 70 people who would fan out across the Guinean capital Conakry to track people who have had close contact with Ebola patients. The UN agency is also setting up a special alert and response operation centre within the Guinean health ministry and training staff at Guinea’s main hospital and other health facilities. The organisation has described west Africa’s first Ebola outbreak as one of the most challenging since the virus emerged in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo

Chronic Malnutrition In Côte d’Ivoire Highest In Northern Region

IRIN: Chronic malnutrition dogs Côte d’Ivoire’s north “Forty percent of Ivoirian children in the northern region are chronically malnourished, the country’s highest rate, which has not fallen for the past six years. The effects of a drawn-out conflict, desertion by aid groups and inadequate medical staff have contributed to the situation. Food scarcity here is…More

The Daily Impact: Sub-Saharan Africa off track to meet Sanitation MDG, says report

April 10, 2014 A new study finds that no sub-Saharan African country will meet the MDG for sanitation, and that many are lagging behind achieving the target for clean drinking water as well. From VOA: According to a joint report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF last year, more than 2 billion people – or one-third of the world’s population – will remain without access to improved sanitation by 2015.  The Millennium goal calls for cutting in half the number of people who lacked clean toileting facilities in 1990. A study led by British researchers found that none of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa was on track to meet the sanitation goal by next year. Last year’s WHO-UNICEF report noted that the world has met the target of cutting in half the proportion of people without access to improved sources of water, five years ahead of schedule.  But that assessment is deceptive, according to Mathew Freeman of Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta.  Freeman is co-author of the report by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He says it appears the global goal of increased access to clean drinking water is largely being met by emerging countries in Asia, which is obscuring the real picture of the availability of adequate water supplies elsewhere.

Action Now Can Prevent Worsening Hunger, Malnutrition

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Is more hunger and malnutrition inevitable? Not necessarily Frank Rijsberman, CEO of CGIAR “…Investment in agricultural innovation is key. And we need to do more of it — soon. Some of the most effective ways to deal with climate change, such as adapting crop varieties and livestock to the new conditions, take…More

Income growth is great, just not for reducing child undernutrition

Nurse in Somalia measures child for malnutrition signs. Enough / Laura Heaton One out of every four kids in the world were not growing at the right rate (stunted) in 2011. That is a decrease by one-third over the past two decades. Similar improvements have been made on reducing the number of underweight children, but … Continue reading →

Economic Growth Not Strongly Associated With Improved Child Nutrition, Study Shows

News outlets report on a study published in the Lancet Global Health examining the association between economic growth and child undernutrition. NPR: A Booming Economy Doesn’t Save Children From Malnutrition “Lack of food is the leading cause of child death worldwide, killing 3.1 million children each year and accounting for 45 percent of all child…More

Proper Nutrition In First 1,000 Days Is Critical To Our Future

Huffington Post: The 1,000 Day Investment for Our Future Ambassador Tony Hall, executive director emeritus of the Alliance to End Hunger “…Hunger and malnutrition can stake their claim in the lives of the next generation before they ever take their first breaths. Without proper foods and nourishment, a mother may barely have sufficient nutrients to…More

Improving WASH For Better Health

In advance of World Water Day on Saturday, March 22, news outlets discuss WASH. The Guardian: The water-energy-food nexus: experts tackle the complexities “The triple challenge of energy supplies, water stress, and food security is becoming increasingly important at a global level. In a recent live chat on the water-energy-food nexus, experts shared positive, practical…More