With 63 cases of polio diagnosed in Pakistan this year, nearly double the number recorded in the same time period 2010, the U.N. “says that these findings suggest Pakistan could be the ‘last polio reservoir worldwide’ â€“ the country standing in the way of eliminating only the second global epidemic disease after smallpox,” the Atlantic Wire reports.
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
NPR’s “All Things Considered” on Wednesday examined how Islam influences health and family planning decisions in Pakistan, one of Asia’s fastest-growing populations. In Pakistan, mullahs generally regard contraception as sin, a high rate of illiteracy among women undermines family planning and a lack of access to adequate health care contributes to a high maternal mortality rate, according to the piece, which profiles a mufti, a physician and two families making very different decisions about the size of their families (McCarthy, 8/10).
Almost one-third of infants in the U.S. are delivered by caesarean section (c-section), a trend that is now growing globally, PRI’s The World/PBS NewsHour reports. “The c-section rate in Thailand has reached 34 percent, in Vietnam, it is 36 percent, and in China, nearly half of all births are by c-section,” the article states.
The August 8 visit of a U.S. delegation to the drought-stricken Horn of Africa “was important in terms of shedding light on the important efforts that are under way and the importance of continued support from the international community,” Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Eric Schwartz said on Tuesday during a briefing on the trip, IIP Digital reports (Babb, 8/9).
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.
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.