Women & Children

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Putting children at the centre of the end of AIDS

Charles Lyons | “In the 15 years since the Millennium Development Goals were adopted, the number of people accessing antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV/AIDS has Read More

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How Can We Fight the Pandemic of Global Violence against Women?

Domestic violence — overwhelmingly against women — is by far the most common form of violence in the world. About 350 million women across the planet have suffered severe physical violence from their intimate partner according to the World Bank (PDF). In developing countries, more than one in three girls will be married before the age of 18, placing them at increased risk of abuse. Worldwide, 125 million women have been subject to genital mutilation.

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Decline in global hunger threatened by climate change and conflict

There are 209 million fewer people who face hunger today that did in 1990. Hunger has become an issue of the past for some 100 million people in the last decade alone. This progress is exciting, but recent developments may slow down the rapid decline of hunger, warns the United Nations. In a report released

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Building Community capacity for maternal health promotion: An important complement to…

By Moustapha Diallo, Country Director, EngenderHealth|Guinea; and Ellen Brazier, Senior Technical Advisor for Community Engagement, EngenderHealth EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care Plus project recently published the results of two studies in Guinea, one examining factors associated with institutional delivery and another investigating the effect of an intervention to build the capacity of community-level volunteers to promote maternal health care-seeking. Community empowerment and participation has long been recognized as a fundamental component of good health programming and as a critical strategy for improving access to and use of health services. However, as Susan B. Rifkin notes in a 2014 review of the literature, evidence directly linking community participation to improved health outcomes remains weak. For maternal health, the evidence gap is particularly acute


#Commit2deliver Working To Bolster Efforts To Save Lives Of Women, Children

Huffington Post U.K.: Five Things You Need to Know About #Commit2deliver Allan Pamba, GSK vice president for East Africa “…Last month I was at an Every Woman Every Child event held in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly week, where heads of state, business leaders, philanthropists — even some celebrities — joined together…More


For HIV Positive Moroccans, Life is Grim

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By Mark Minton CASABLANCA, MOROCCO – With his fair complexion and auburn hair, 21-year-old Samir is often mistaken for a foreigner. But Samir is a native Read More


UNGA week shows maternal and newborn health are central to development challenges

By Amy Boldosser-Boesch, Interim President of Global Advocacy, Family Care International This year’s UN General Assembly was full of high-profile moments that reinforced the need for investment and action to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH): the launch of a Global Financing Facility to Advance Women’s and Children’s Health; the release of reports tracking stakeholders’ fulfillment of commitments to Every Woman Every Child; new data on maternal, newborn and child survival from Countdown to 2015; and a plethora of side events focusing on strategies and country progress toward MDGs 4 and 5. For Family Care International—which advocates for improved reproductive, maternal, and newborn health—this unprecedented level of attention to women’s and children’s health is a welcome sign that our advocacy is having an impact, and that global commitment to ending all preventable maternal and child deaths is stronger than ever. RMNCH was a key theme in many other important discussions during the week, demonstrating the centrality of the health of mothers and newborns to a range of development challenges. Events began with a Climate Summit that brought together leaders from more than 120 countries.


Let’s Talk About Sex: why sexual satisfaction and pleasure should be on the international…

This guest post is by Chloe Safier (@chloelenas), Regional Gender Lead for Oxfam in Southern Africa, with thoughtful contributions from Marc Wegerif I was sitting at dinner with my Oxfam colleagues on a Sunday night, just before a country strategy meeting. Over grilled fish and cokes, I mentioned an…


Making a Human-Rights and Socioeconomic Case for Preventing Maternal Mortality

By Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF On October 7, 2014, a panel of experts in maternal health—moderated by Dr. Ana Langer, the Director of the Maternal Health Task Force—gathered at the Harvard School of Public Health to discuss the socioeconomic impact of a maternal death on her family and community. Several studies were summarized and priorities for how to use this research were discussed by the panel and audience at “Women’s Lives Matter: The Impact of Maternal Death on Families and Communities.” What does the research say? In many countries around the world, the household is the main economic unit of a society. At the center of this unit is the mother and the work—both productive and reproductive—that she provides for her family. A study in Kenya, led by Aslihan Kes of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Amy Boldosser-Boesch of Family Care International (FCI), showed great indirect and direct costs of a mother losing her life


WHO Welcomes Revitalized Interest in Maternal and Newborn Heath Integration

By Severin Ritter von Xylander, WHO This post is part of the Maternal and Newborn Health Integration Blog Series, “Integration of Maternal and Newborn Health: In Pursuit of Quality” technical meeting. The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes the revitalized interest in integration of maternal and newborn health care as integration is the key to success for both improving maternal health and for ending preventable newborn deaths. This is the very reason why WHO, together with UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank, have been promoting, already since 2000, Integrated Management of Pregnancy and Childbirth (IMPAC). This is the package of guidelines and tools, which respond to key areas of maternal and perinatal health programmes. IMPAC sets standards for integrated maternal and neonatal care


Research Needed On Sanitation Challenges Among Women, Children

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Putting Women and Girls at the Center of Development: Sanitation Dipika Ailani, associate program officer in the water, sanitation, and hygiene group at the Gates Foundation, discusses the importance of understanding “…the impact of poor sanitation on women and children and the role women play in sanitation investments,…More


Physician Reflects On Challenges Of Providing FP Services In West Africa

Intrahealth’s “Vital”: Family Planning Has Yet to Take Hold in West Africa — But Change Is Coming Boniface Sebikali, senior clinical training adviser at IntraHealth International, reflects on his experience as a physician and family planning/reproductive health trainer in West Africa to shed light on the challenges of providing family planning services in the region…More


A Year of Mentoring, A Lifetime of Impact: The Maternal Health Young Professionals Program in…

By Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF At the beginning of this year, the MHTF teamed up with St. John’s Medical College and Research Institute to launch the Maternal Health Young Professionals (MHYP) program; a year-long mentoring program for health professionals throughout India. This professional development program supported eight young health professionals from the private, public and practice sectors to enhance their research, evaluation, and managerial skills – equipping them with the skills they need to be national and global leaders in maternal health. In September, the MHYP showcased their projects, which were made possible by this unique skill building and mentoring process.


Quality of Care for Maternal and Child Health: An Interview with Dr. Zulfi Bhutta

The maternal health community has made great strides towards improving the health of women and newborns around the world, but as global efforts have scaled up interventions quickly, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) has often paused to consider the quality of this work. To evaluate this, Ana Langer and Anne Austin from the MHTF joined experts from around the world to create the Quality of Care in Maternal and Child Health supplement, published by the Reproductive Health Journal in September, 2014. Three of the five articles in the supplement have been highly accessed, which demonstrates high interest in quality of care in the community and untapped momentum that may be used to fill the identified research gaps. We talked to Dr. Zulfi Bhutta, lead researcher for the series, and asked him a few questions about the research process and how we as the maternal health community should move forward with the results


Empowering Pregnant Women for Positive Birth Experiences: Addressing RMC in the United Kingdom

By Milli Hill, Founder, Positive Birth Movement The focus of my response will be on UK maternity care, as this is where I am based and where the majority of Positive Birth Movement (PBM) groups are. However I am aware that RMC is a global issue, and that different cultures face different issues in their efforts to promote compassionate care. Running the PBM and writing about birth nearly every week, women consistently tell me this: kindness, compassion and respectful care really matter. How a woman (and her partner) are treated during and after childbirth can transform a difficult birth into something they feel at peace with; conversely, disrespectful treatment can be the root cause of trauma, even if the birth was relatively straightforward. The birth experience matters greatly to women, but we have somehow formed a cultural habit of discouraging them from admitting this.


Deutsche Welle Examines Malnutrition, Family Planning In Niger

Deutsche Welle: Niger’s malnourished children “In Niger, children with dusty blond hair are ubiquitous: It’s a sure sign of widespread malnourishment. Resources are scarce, while fertility rates are soaring. Yet family planning is an uphill struggle…” (Conrad, 10/15).


Free Women from Disrespect and Abuse: Promote Respectful Maternity Care

By Christina Rawdon, National Coordinator, White Ribbon Alliance Zimbabwe How great it would be if all women the world over were free from any form of disrespect and abuse (D&A) in their life time; not because I am a woman but because I am an advocate for human rights with love for other human beings. Health care professionals are the pillar of respectful maternity care (RMC). Who disrespects and abuses women in health facilities? It is often but not always the health professionals.


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