Maternal & Reproductive Health

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Reflections on a year of malnutrition

Malnutrition is frustrating. I often sit in the office, analyzing data from our programs, and feel helpless. Children who stay the same height for two Read More

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Tracking perioperative mortality and maternal mortality: challenges and opportunities

Access to surgery remains inequitable worldwide, with 5 billion people lacking safe and affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed.1 The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery was convened in 2013 to assess the state of surgery around the world, provide recommendations for improving access, and propose indicators for assessing national surgical systems. A key safety indicator is the perioperative mortality rate (POMR). This is defined by the Commission as the number of all-cause deaths before discharge in patients who have undergone a procedure in an operating theatre, divided by the total number of procedures, and presented as a percentage.

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Large Price Premiums for Unprotected Sex Among Female Sex Workers in Kenya: A Potential…

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Global burden of maternal and congenital syphilis in 2008 and 2012: a health systems…

Maternal and congenital syphilis decreased worldwide from 2008 to 2012, which suggests progress towards the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis. Nonetheless, maternal syphilis caused substantial adverse pregnancy outcomes, even in women receiving antenatal care. Improved access to quality antenatal care, including syphilis testing and treatment, and robust data are all important for achieving the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis.


Actual and Predicted Prevalence of Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy in the WHO African…

Objective To estimate the prevalence of alcohol consumption and binge drinking during pregnancy among the general population in the WHO African Region, by country.


Child rape: U.N. pot calls the kettle black in Ivory Coast

The headline from a new U.N. report says that the rate of rape remains high and that the perpetrators are eluding justice. Ironically, it is not about U.N. peacekeepers and foreign forces, but about the west African country Ivory Coast. According to the United Nations Operation inCôte d’Ivoire report, in the five years since the country returned


Celebrating the decline in syphilis in pregnancy: a sobering reminder of what’s left…

In 2015, Cuba became the first country to be validated by WHO for having achieved the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.1 In June, 2016, Thailand, Armenia, Belarus, and Moldova were also validated.2 This is amazing news, which demonstrates that, given the political will, a policy for effective prenatal screening and treatment, and a commitment to implement that policy at every level of the health-care system, countries with limited resources can now have an HIV and syphilis free generation.


U.S. Congress Adjourns For Summer Recess Without Approving Funding For Zika Response

CIDRAP News: Senate impasse postpones Zika funding talks till fall “In the last chance for Congress to act on a Zika funding bill before it breaks for a 7-week recess, members of the Senate [Thursday] failed to advance a House version of a compromise bill, putting federal support for response activities on hold until fall…”…More


As More Children Survive Birth Complications, Number Affected By Preventable Blindness…

The Guardian: Preventable blindness in children on the rise in poorer countries “The number of children suffering from preventable blindness is increasing, partly because more children are surviving complicated births in low- and middle-income countries, specialists say. Worldwide, about 19 million children under the age of 15 are blind, with 12 million of these cases…More


My family legacy: delivering health and equity across generations

Editor’s note: This is the third post in our blog series Local Brilliance: women leading global health innovation, featuring firsthand accounts from scientists and leaders who are saving lives and improving health for women and girls in their countries and communities. As a little girl, I used to help my mother organize her closet every change […] ; ; ; ;Related StoriesMy 30 years of hope, empowerment, and politics in reproductive healthFriday Think: closing the global cervical cancer prevention gapThe Innovation Effect: five reasons it matters ;


U.S. Senate Impasse Over Zika Funding Hardens Ahead Of Friday Adjournment

The Hill: Senators block dueling Zika proposals for second day “Senators blocked dueling proposals funding a response to the Zika virus for the second time this week with days left before lawmakers leave for a recess that lasts until September. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) tried to bring up the $1.1 billion deal spearheaded by Sens.…More


El Niño, La Niña Weather Patterns Create Conditions Possibly Leading To Increase In…

Thomson Reuters Foundation: El Niño, La Niña could lead to spike in new HIV infections in Africa: UNICEF “Drought exacerbated by the El Niño weather pattern could lead to a spike in new HIV infections in Southern Africa as women and girls turn to sex to survive and patients miss treatments, the United Nations childrens’…More


HaBaby: The app for pregnant refugees

We have recently stumbled across an innovative aid to pregnant refugees that we could not keep to ourselves: an app called HaBaby. While maternal health has been of constant importance in the sphere of women’s rights, the topics and risks within maternal health evolve with the evolving world. This evolution means different populations are at increased risk for poor maternal health outcomes. Today, the staggering number of displaced persons and refugees is a huge population lacking sufficient maternal and newborn health resources. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are currently 65.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, 21.3 million of who are refugees.


U.S. Health Officials Concerned Congress Will Not Approve Zika Funding Before Summer Recess

POLITICO: Congress will fight over guns, Zika as it sprints for recess “With just one week left before they leave for a nearly two-month summer break, lawmakers will renew their fights over gun control and Zika money — as Congress sprints to get out of town ahead of the political conventions and the height of…More


Have an unmet (contraceptive) need?

“Do you want to get pregnant in the next two years?”How would you answer this question? How would you answer it if one of your neighbors—or relatives—were standing at your front door, in your living room, or even in a health clinic, asking it?For many women (or men) around the world—both unmarried and married—the answer is no.And, as I learned a few months ago, if you’re a young unmarried woman in rural Tanzania, and dare to visit a health center to ask for contraception, the response to your request for contraception is often followed by more questions from the health worker: “Are you having sex? Why are you having sex?” A few young Tanzanian women shared with me that they and their friends, those few who tried to get services, end up leaving empty-handed and embarrassed, not daring to even answer the questions about whether and why they’re sexually active.If you’re a married woman participating in a door-to-door Demographic and Health Survey, a standardized door-to-door in-person survey that has been conducted in countries around the world for the past 32 years, the question about wanting to get pregnant is followed by another question, “Are you using any form of contraception?”If you answer “no” again, you are categorized as having an “unmet need” for contraception. It’s a term commonly used by family planning experts, demographers, and other global health and development specialists.


Maternity care and Human Rights: what do women think?

A human rights approach to maternal health is considered as a useful framework in international efforts to reduce maternal mortality.


Philippines Only Asia-Pacific Nation With Rising Teenage Pregnancy Rate, UNFPA Says

Associated Press: Philippines only country in Asia where teen pregnancy rising “The Philippines is the only Asia-Pacific country where the rate of teen pregnancies rose over the last two decades and the slow decline of its overall fertility rate may deprive the country of the faster economic growth expected in places that have more working-age…More


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