About 450,000 children, displaced by severe flooding in the southern Philippines, could face an outbreak of diarrhea and pneumonia, Vanessa Tobin, UNICEF’s representative in the Philippines, said on Sunday, Agence France-Presse reports.
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC describes “global public health achievements â€¦ that occurred outside of the United States during 2001-2010.” Gains in public health efforts, such as preventing child mortality, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, have improved longevity and “resulted from improved living conditions overall, advances in medical science, and a number of population-level interventions. However, major disparities persist. During the past decade, in low-income countries, average life expectancy at birth increased from 55 to 57 years (3.6%), while increasing from 78 to 80 years (2.6%) in high-income countries,” the article notes (6/24).
“Michelle Obama on Friday began the second leg of her weeklong visit to Africa by wielding a brush to help paint a mural” at the Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence in the capital city of Gaborone, the Associated Press reports. The clinic serves 4,000 children and their families who have been affected by HIV/AIDS, according to the news service (Superville, 6/24).
Family planning “is one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent illness and save lives in the world’s poor countries,” according to health experts gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at a conference sponsored by the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, GlobalPost’s “Africa Emerges” blog reports.
In his latest New York Times column, Nicholas Kristof discusses the health benefits of breast milk for preventing childhood malnutrition.
The Center for World Health and Medicine, the University of Missouri-St. Louis Medicinal Chemistry Group, and the Institute for One World Health have joined forces “to develop safe and effective anti-diarrhea drugs â€¦ aimed at preventing the massive water and electrolyte secretion that occurs in severe diarrhea,” which causes dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, the primary causes of death from diarrheal diseases, the St. Louis Beacon reports.
“Gender biased sex selection, widespread in many parts of Asia, has serious and profoundly debilitating effects on the mental and physical health of women, says a report by five United Nations agencies,” BMJ reports.
The final phase of testing for GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals’ malaria vaccine, RTS,S, is underway in seven sub-Saharan African countries, and “[i]f the results, due to be released later this, year confirm the vaccine’s efficacy in preventing malaria, it could be made available as early as 2015,” IRIN reports.
Inter Press Service examines the challenges associated with Sierra Leone’s plan to provide free health care for some members of the population.
“The time of neglecting malaria in pregnancy (MIP) should be over,” Bill Brieger, senior malaria specialist at JHPIEGO, writes in a Malaria Matters blog post summarizing a session on malaria and maternal health at the recently concluded Global Health Council annual conference. He adds that “moving forward, strengthened monitoring and surveillance is needed to fine tune, revise and better target MIP interventions to make a bigger impact on reducing maternal mortality in endemic countries” (6/18).