As part of a four-country tour, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday arrived in Nigeria, where he highlighted the importance of fighting maternal and child mortality in the country, which has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Africa, Agence France-Presse reports (5/22).
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Sixteen countries have announced new commitments aimed at significantly reducing maternal, newborn and child mortality, by “focus[ing] on measures proven effective in preventing deaths, such as increased contraceptive use, attended childbirth, improved access to emergency obstetric care, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, and childhood immunizations,” ANI/Sify News reports (5/20).
A study has shown that during 2010, 12 women died every month while giving birth at the Princess Christian maternity hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone, “a country with one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates,” Agence France-Presse reports.
Haiti has a plan to vaccinate 90 percent of newborns by 2015, according to the Pan American Health Organization, but “[w]hether the plan works will depend on Haiti’s ability to reverse decades of incompetent government and bad coordination among aid groups,” as well as whether there will be funding, the New York Times reports.
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on Tuesday called for a “Decade of Vaccines” in a keynote address at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, saying strengthening immunization programs against infectious diseases worldwide could save 10 million lives by 2020, Reuters reports. He said countries should aim for 90 percent immunization coverage against diseases such as polio, meningitis and pneumonia and said pharmaceutical companies should work to make existing and new vaccines affordable to developing countries, according to the news agency (Nebehay, 5/17).
The WHO on Friday released its annual World Health Statistics report, which includes data on more than 100 indicators â€“ such as life expectancy, mother and child mortality, disease prevalence and health expenditures â€“ from the agency’s 193 member states, the Associated Press reports (5/14).
Scientific American looks at the possible link between HIV prevalence and a recent increase in the number of children dying from measles in sub-Saharan Africa.
IRIN/Plus News reports that “[t]he Kenyan government and rights groups have expressed outrage at a project in western Kenya that is paying HIV-positive women to undergo long-term contraception.”
U.S. and Egyptian officials on Thursday gathered for the launch of Egypt’s Health and Population Legacy Report, which documents the results of USAID health sector assistance in Egypt, Daily News Egypt reports.
Women in the developing world need new methods of contraception that meet their needs and lifestyles, according to Guttmacher Institute report that urges more investment in contraceptive technology, Agence France-Presse reports.