“I find [a new report (.pdf) released Tuesday by Save the Children] particularly interesting because it broadens the debate” over family planning by discussing not only the logistics of providing modern contraceptives to women in need, but “the young women, sometimes no more than children themselves, who risk their lives and those of their babies if they become pregnant inside or outside of marriage,” Guardian health editor Sarah Boseley writes in her “Global Health Blog.” She notes that the report says complications from pregnancy are the leading killer of women ages 15 to 19 and infants born to women under 20 are at a much greater risk of dying before their first birthday than those born to older women. Boseley writes, “The low status of girls and their power to make decisions over their own bodies is fundamental,” and family planning and education can help empower women.
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
In a video message addressing the Rio+20 summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “announced a ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ to rid the world of malnutrition,” Bloomberg News reports. “‘In a world of plenty, no one, not a single person, should go hungry,’ Ban said. ‘I invite you all to join me in working for a future without hunger,’” the news agency notes. “Ending hunger would boost economic growth, reduce poverty and help protect the environment, as well as foster peace and stability, Ban said,” Bloomberg writes, adding that the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 13 percent of the world’s population, or 900 million people, suffer from hunger. Barbara Stocking, CEO of Oxfam, said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg, “This is the first big idea on food to come out of the Rio+20 debacle. … But it is in total contrast to the lack of any action in the summit conclusions” (Ruitenburg, 6/22).
Also In Global Health News: Breast Cancer In Developing World; Burkina Faso ITN Distribution; Diarrhea In People Over Age Five; Gates Q&A
Researchers Highlight ‘Troubling Increase’ In Breast Cancer In Developing Countries “International cancer specialists meet this week to plan an assault on a troubling increase of breast cancer in developing countries, where nearly two-thirds of women aren’t diagnosed until it has spread through their bodies,” the Associated Press reports. Researchers will…
To mark the first World Pneumonia Day, Inter Press Service examines how vaccines and other strategies can be used to combat the disease, which kills more children under age 5 each year “than measles, malaria, and AIDS combined, according to the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia.”
Scientific American reports on a multiyear PLoS Medicine study, published on Monday, which “followed a nationwide public health campaign to increase zinc use for childhood diarrhea in Bangladesh.”
Inter Press Service examines how a program developed by the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) is working to promote the treatment of “children with severe acute malnutrition … at home with ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF) made from locally available ingredients.” The news service continues, “Except in cases of…
“There is great hope that we can finally stop infants from getting infected with HIV by their mothers. But first, countries with high rates of HIV infection must work out how to deliver reliable health programs to protect babies form their mothers’ infected breastmilk,” Pierre Barker, senior vice president of…
About 1.3 million children’s lives could be saved each year by teaching new mothers how to breastfeed, but many women do not receive help and stop trying, the WHO said on Friday ahead of the start of World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from August 1 through August 7, Reuters reports.
“India has asked UNICEF to stop distributing millions of dollars worth of nutrition aid to children, saying it had been done without permission and at the expense of local food to fight hunger,” Reuters reports.
TIME examines the “quiet revolution [now] under way” to treat diarrhea using zinc supplements.