Despite its status as “the world’s fifth largest exporter of sugar, coffee and bananas,” Guatemala “has the highest rate of child malnutrition in Latin America,” with “half of all children under five” reportedly malnourished, Agence France-Presse reports. In a phenomenon being called “green hunger,” the failure of subsistence crops because of droughts and floods over the last few years has forced families to buy “their basic staples of corn and beans and rice from local markets,” according to the news agency, which also published an accompanying video.
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
The Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia recently announced the World Pneumonia Day 2011 Small Grants Program, aimed at funding innovative events and activities on or around World Pneumonia Day that address gaps in prevention and control of the disease, according to a press release.Â (8/5). This year’s theme, “I am the…
Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who is traveling in East Africa with a U.S. delegation “to study the famine affecting the lives of over 12 million people, many of them children,” writes in the Huffington Post’s blog, “Huffpost Impact,” that the group will assess “what more we as a nation can do.”
According to a study published Tuesday by Muhimbili University in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in collaboration with the CDC and funded by UNICEF, “nearly three out of every 10 girls and nearly three out of every 20 boys in Tanzania claim to have experienced sexual violence,” the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog” reports. The blog says it is “the first time an African country â€¦ has subjected itself to international scrutiny of the rates of mental, physical and sexual violence suffered by girls and boys, and their impact.”
A case in Uganda of a woman bleeding to death while giving birth “underscores an unintended consequence of global health aid,” a Globe and Mail editorial writes, adding that “in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, a reverse trend is under way; for every $1 of development assistance for health, governments have reduced their spending,” according to a study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
The success of the Afghan Safe Birth Project, funded by HHS, and the Community Midwife Education program, supported by USAID, in helping reduce maternal mortality in Afghanistan “is in jeopardy â€“ not because of security threats, but because of a fiscal one,” authors Isobel Coleman and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, both fellows at the Council on Foreign Relations, write in a Bloomberg opinion piece.
“Six years after leprosy was declared officially eliminated in India, officials and doctors are warning that the disfiguring disease is spreading in poverty-stricken pockets of the country,” Agence France-Presse reports. According to Nata Menabde, head of the WHO in India, the number of new cases of leprosy exceeds the agency’s target of less than 10 new cases per 100,000 in about 209 out of 640 districts in the country, the news agency notes.
Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz and Special Assistant to the President Gayle Smith arrived in Kenya on Monday to assess and raise awareness of the famine conditions in the Horn of Africa, Capital FM News reports (Kaberia, 8/8). “Biden’s trip is the highest-profile U.S. visit to drought-stricken East Africa since the numbers of refugees began dramatically increasing in June,” according to the Associated Press (Straziuso, 8/8).
“South Africa’s maternal mortality rate has quadrupled while most African countries have cut that crucial health indicator â€“ from 150 to 625 deaths for each 100,000 live births between 1998 and 2007,” according to the Associated Press, citing a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that used data from the South African government. The report “describes the suffering of scores of women in South African government hospitals and clinics,” the article states (Faul, 8/8).
“Famine relief efforts in Somalia are being hampered as much by delays in procuring food aid and raising funds as by difficulties in accessing Islamist-controlled areas, according to humanitarian organizations working there,” the Guardian reports. Staff from several aid agencies working within al-Shabab-controlled areas “say the major problem in responding to the crisis is the time it is taking to buy food abroad and to transport it to the worst-hit areas,” the newspaper writes (Rice, 8/4).