We are very pleased and excited to announce our new weekly chats all about maternal health with some of the leading maternal health experts, researchers, practitioners, and organizations in the world under the #maternalhealthchat hashtag. Starting on Tuesday, November 8 at 1 PM EST with Jacaranda Health we will host 30-minute chats each week all about maternal and reproductive health as well as the health of newborns. We will dig … Continue reading Announcing #MaternalHealthChat Starting November 8 With Jacaranda Health
For years researchers who study maternal morbidity and mortality have been stumped as to why rates continue to rise and why women of color are adversely affected despite education, health care, and socio-economic factors.
A new report and the first of its kind released in May, New York City 2008 – 2012: Severe Maternal Morbidity, shows the myriad reasons why women of color, especially low-income, Black non-Latina, women fare the worse with severe maternal morbidity (SMM). While most studies in the past across the country focus on maternal mortality, this report focused on maternal morbidity, the causes of maternal mortality.
One of the beautiful aspects of Africa is its beautiful, wide expanses. All over the continent you will be awed by how far-reaching your eyes can see especially when traveling through its spectacular countryside. But as much as it is beautiful, the size of Africa also poses a significant problem because without modern infrastructure, including the Internet, and transport to major cities, those who live in the deepest, far-reaching rural areas are not privy to the best medical care they can receive.
In Botswana, this is about to change.
In partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, Microsoft, the University of Botswana, and other global partners, the Botswana-University Hub (BUP) has launched a new project, “Project Kgolagano,” to bring telemedicine to rural areas in the country to help diagnose maternal health cases as well as HIV, cervical cancer, and TB cases.
Using TV white spaces (unused broadcasting frequencies in the wireless spectrum) Internet broadband is able to reach even the most remote villages in developing countries. In fact, it has been reported that Microsoft and Google are both chasing white spaces in Africa where only 16 percent of the continent’s population is online. This is where solar power can be game-changing to keep Africa online despite its energy shortcomings. Just look at Kenya where Microsoft helped provide broadband Internet in rural areas even when electricity was nonexistent or very scarce.
Each January Bill and Melinda Gates release their Annual Letter. This year they are taking a bet on the world’s future. 15 years ago the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was started and there have been substantial improvements in global health and development since then because of its dedication to the world’s poorest people. Now, Bill and Melinda Gates believe even more can be done in … Continue reading Bill and Melinda Gates’ 15-Year Bet For a Better World
2015 will be an interesting year in global health primarily because this is the year when the Millennium Development Goals should ideally be reached. Global health experts admit that many of the goals, for example MDG5, will not be reached globally even though some of them have already been reached on a country level. Ethiopia effectively reached MDG4 along with Bangladesh, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, and Tanzania according to … Continue reading 5 Global Health Stories We’re Following This Year
Photo: A premature baby is shown in the postnatal ward at Cama Hospital, a major hospital for women and children, in Mumbai, India. UN Photo/Mark Garten
Premature births are now the number one killer of babies globally. Of the 6.3 million children under five who died last year, 1.1 million of them died due to complications from premature births. Most of these deaths occured within the first month of life, according to new research published in The Lancet.
“This marks a turning of the tide, a transition from infections to neonatal conditions, especially those related to premature births, and this will require entirely different medical and public health approaches,” says Joy Lawn, M.D., Ph.D., of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, a member of the research team and a long-term advisor to Save the Children. “The success we’ve seen in the ongoing fight against infectious diseases demonstrates that we can also be successful if we invest in prevention and care for preterm birth.”
Today is the the fourth World Prematurity Day, a global awareness campaign that focuses on the number of newborns that die every year and ways in which we can help those numbers decline. With heightened attention on premature births it is only a matter of time before global prematurity rates improve just as the overall child mortality statistics have improved steadily since 1990.
UNESCO just released its report, Sustainable Development: Post 2015 Begins With Education, that takes a look at the critical importance of education on the post-2015 agenda. The core stance in the report portends that without greater access to education poverty eradication will become increasingly difficult to achieve by 2030. The betterment of women’s and girls’ lives across the globe, most specifically in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia depends greatly on their equal access to quality education.
In the poorest countries, 2.9 million girls are married by 15. If girls in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia simply have a secondary education child marriage would decrease by 69%. Secondary education also causes a delay in young girls having their first child. Young girls disproportionately die in childbirth. Education will, in turn, cause a reduction in not only maternal health, but also in newborn deaths. In fact, Brazil saw a a 70 percent reduction in its fertility rate because it became a country priority to improve schools and education.
Educated girls have children later and smaller families overall. They are less likely to die during pregnancy or birth, and their offspring are more likely to survive past the age of five and go on to thrive at school and in life. Women who attended school are better equipped to protect themselves and their children from malnutrition, deadly diseases, trafficking and sexual exploitation. – Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and Graça Machel, President, Foundation for Community Development & Founder, Graça Machel Trust.
Expectant woman, Ayelech Fikadu, and her mother, Zarge Badunga sit in a “lie and wait” house at Project Mercy outside of Butajira, Ethiopia. The house was recently renovated by USAID and Pathfinder. Butajira is located in Ethiopia’s southern highlands where many live in the mountains. Women who live in the mountains have a difficult time delivering their babies at a hospital or health center due … Continue reading Photos from the Field: Expectant Mother Seeks Help in “Lie and Wait” House #Ethiopia
Addis Ababa- In Ethiopia there are 4.9 million pregnancies each year of which 84% take place in rural areas. Here in Ethiopia, where the vast majority of women deliver at home, only 32% of maternal, newborn and child health needs are being met by midwives according to the newly released State of Midwifery Report. That is troubling for a country that is making noticeable strides to save … Continue reading How Ethiopia is Scaling Midwifery to Save More Mothers, Newborns
This article was originally published on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Impatient Optimists. Every year Save the Children releases its annual State of the World’s Mothers report and each year a magnifying glass is held up to motherhood around the world and how mothers fare based solely on where they live. Now in its fifteenth year, Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers report puts into clear perspective the … Continue reading Save the Children Releases New Report on Motherhood in Conflict
Mother’s Day is a celebration full of flowers, cards, and sentimental mementos. It’s also a day to celebrate not only our mothers and the moms we know personally, but mothers everywhere. As you know there are women around the world who will lose their life giving birth. That may sound blunt, but the numbers say it all. 800 women will die today from birth complications that … Continue reading Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts That Give Back and Save Lives
By Casey Santiago, Founder and CEO of Kangu.org As every mom can attest, motherhood changes you. For me, becoming a mother made me feel, for the first time, part of a global sisterhood. Though we may live very different lives, all the world’s moms share one of life’s most beautiful experiences – becoming and being a mother. When I was in labor with my first … Continue reading Sharing the Gift of Health – this Mother’s Day and Every Day
Throughout the entire Mother’s Day month we will dedicate several posts to newborn and maternal health. We will feature programs and projects that are showing considerable progress in newborn health, are efficient and cost-cutting, and are even shaking up the newborn health and survival landscape with innovations in low-and middle-income countries. Even though it’s not May yet, we are happy to share with you what Rice … Continue reading Have You Heard How Rice University is Saving Newborns?
In 2014 newborns the world over will receive the much-needed attention they need to live and survive. Drawing on all of the great work from last year starting with the Global Newborn Health Conference held in Johannesburg last April leading up until now with the draft of the Every Newborn Action Plan newborns and their survival worldwide will be top on the global agenda as the … Continue reading A Plan to Save More Newborns in 2014 and Beyond
One of the world’s greatest tragedies is when babies are born too soon. Every day a mother around the world experiences the heartache of delivering her baby before 37 weeks gestation whether she is walking on foot to a rural health facility in Bangladesh, delivering her baby in a hut in the lush countryside of Kenya, or rushing in a yellow cab to an award-winning … Continue reading Why We Need World Prematurity Day