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The Essential Role Of Midwives

Mary Ellen Stanton, a senior maternal health advisor at USAID, and Chris Thomas, global health communications and policy advisor at USAID, outline the agency’s work to promote better health outcomes for women and children in the developing world on GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog.

Japan’s Coastal Health Systems Facing Long Rebuilding Process Following Tsunami

The Lancet reports on Japan’s “daunting task of rebuilding hundreds of damaged health facilities” four months after an earthquake and tsunami hit the country. “When the tsunami ripped houses from their foundations and sent cars and other debris miles inland, it also caused widespread damage to the health infrastructure in a region already struggling to fund health services for its large elderly population,” the Lancet writes.

IRIN Reports On Concerns Over Poor Midwife Training In Senegal

IRIN reports on concerns about the low level of training midwives in Senegal undergo, a topic that was discussed at the launch of the U.N. Population Fund’s (UNFPA) State of the World’s Midwives report in Senegal. According to UNFPA, “[p]oorly-regulated, privately-run training schools in Senegal are churning out midwives who do not have a solid grasp of birthing or ante- and post-natal care, causing women and babies to die needlessly,” IRIN writes. There are dozens of midwife training schools in the country, which are supposed to be regulated, but because the government only has two inspectors to monitor the schools, many of them have low standards, said Edwige Adekambi, UNFPA’s joint Senegal director (6/30).

South Sudan Should Use Military As Force For Development

Calestous Juma, an author and professor at Harvard Kennedy School, writes in an East African opinion piece that as South Sudan prepares for independence on July 9, it “is the time” for the country “to chart a new path by defining a new role for its military” by “shift[ing] its military budget to development objectives.”

NPR Examines Maternal, Child Health In Mozambique

NPR’s All Things Considered reports on efforts to improve maternal health in Mozambique. The piece, which is part of a summer series, looks at the challenges involved with getting pregnant women to hospitals and shortages of trained health worker (Block, 6/27). A second report on NPR’s Morning Edition examines Mozambique’s doctor shortage. NPR correspondent Melissa Block, who traveled to Mozambique to report on maternal and child health, is interviewed (Montagne, 6/27).

Cancer Professionals Urge World Leaders To Attend U.N. Meeting On NCDs

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on Monday sent a letter (.pdf) signed by major U.S. medical societies representing about 300,000 health care professionals to the White House urging President Barack Obama to participate in the U.N. High Level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases that is scheduled for September, Agence France-Presse reports.