On February 5, 2014, the first sale of Super Bebe happened in Mozambique, after awaiting approval from the Ministry of Health. As advertised in the commercial above, Super Bebe is a simple, once-a-day nutritional supplement in the form of a powder that can be sprinkled onto any baby food mothers are already using.
A quick explainer video for the Equity Measurement Toolkit, which was launched earlier this year.
…greater social empowerment of women will be associated with smaller mortality differences between women and men, which may seem counterintuitive from a nonevolutionary perspective. In other words, they predict that higher levels of societal patriarchy will be associated with greater levels of excess male mortality.
One of the biggest challenges in youth engagement is being able to involve young people that represent the heterogeneity of the youth population. It’s been noted in this forum and many others that oftentimes the young people that are able to sit ‘at the table’ and join the conversation about SRHR policy and practices, are only those that are highly educated, urban, from higher socioeconomic strata, and less marginalized than many of the young people that our programs set out to reach. There is no easy answer – however, policymakers can do a better job of thinking creatively about how to access young people, different types of young people, in the spaces that they already gather.
The AIDS epidemic is relatively young. It was only 30 years ago this year that scientists first discovered HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Perhaps it’s because it’s relatively young that efforts to abate it could learn from history and adopt new approaches.
Now, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), it’s time to “Use lessons from fighting HIV to fend off new regional threats in Asia.” From their statement:
“The effective approaches to HIV in Asia and the Pacific have illustrated that a focus on law and human rights, and attention to the needs of marginalized people, can support the achievement of human development objectives,” says Clifton Cortez, UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Team Leader in Bangkok. “We think the same lessons can be applied to reducing the threat posed by chronic non-communicable diseases that will have catastrophic human and financial impacts in this region,” he says.
IUD stands for intrauterine device. It’s a mouthful in English; now imagine trying to recommend using it in Nepalese, to a patient you’re not quite sure is eligible for it, and you’re not quite sure how manageable the side effects really are.
You’re probably not going to recommend it. That’s unfortunate because it’s safe enough for over 160 million women worldwide, can be as reliable as sterilization, has manageable side effects, and is completely reversible (source).
PSI recently did some research into the knowledge and perceptions of intrauterine devices among family planning providers in Nepal, publishing this research brief by Dr. Nirali Chakraborty, Caitlin Murphy, Mahesh Paudel, and Sriju Sharma.
Some good news out of Uganda. The government announced that it will double the amount of money it spends on life-saving anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs). It’s hope is to reduce the spread of HIV throughout the country.
The bottom line is that 1.3 million Ugandans will have access to free ARVs over the next year. That is a big jump from the 600,000 currently receiving treatment.
AFP reported on how the country is coming back after falling behind on the battle against HIV/AIDS.
Uganda was once heralded as a success story in the fight against HIV, with President Yoweri Museveni being among the first African leaders to speak openly about AIDS and the government mounting a highly successful public awareness campaign in the late 1980s and 1990s.
Infection rates initially dropped from double to single digits, but according to the most recent statistics, from 2011, the national prevalence rate rose to 7.3 percent from 6.4 percent in 2004-05 — with health officials blaming increased complacency.
“We want to make HIV not a health problem anymore,” the doctor said, explaining the drive would target those who have a low CD4 cell count — or the type of cells that fight infection — as well as the groups most at risk, such as sex workers, truckers and fishing communities.
“If we identify those who are positive early, put them on treatment early, we are going to reduce the community viral load. Once we reduce the community viral load, the rate of transmission in the community is going to come down to very low levels,” Ario explained.
The new policy is expected to cost about 120 million dollars (90 million euros) per year, Ario said, with donors being asked to pick up much of the bill.
Data is not terribly sexy, but it is important to understanding the world, the existing challenges and ways to address them. UNICEF, like PSI, strongly believes in the power of data. The UN’s children organization just published its annual State of the World’s Children report and it is full of valuable data.
“Data have made it possible to save and improve the lives of millions of children, especially the most deprived,” said Tessa Wardlaw, Chief of UNICEF’s Data and Analytics Section. “Further progress can only be made if we know which children are the most neglected, where girls and boys are out of school, where disease is rampant or where basic sanitation is lacking.”
This year’s report finds that more effort and innovation is needed to support the world’s 2.2 billion children, especially the most disadvantaged. There are some truly encouraging numbers shared by UNICEF:
- Some 90 million children who would have died before reaching the age of 5 if child mortality rates had stuck at their 1990 level have, instead, lived. In large measure, this is because of progress in delivering immunizations, health, and water and sanitation services.
- Improvements in nutrition have led to a 37 per cent drop in stunting since 1990.
- Primary school enrolment has increased, even in the least developed countries: Whereas in 1990 only 53 in 100 children in those countries gained school admission, by 2011 the number had improved to 81 in 100.
There are also some serious concerns:
- Some 6.6 million children under 5 years of age died in 2012, mostly from preventable causes, in violation of their fundamental right to survive and develop.
- Eleven per cent of girls are married before they turn 15, jeopardizing their rights to health, education and protection.
- The world’s poorest children are 2.7 times less likely than the richest ones to have a skilled attendant at their birth, leaving them and their mothers at increased risk of birth-related complications.
One of the greatest challenges is simply having the right information on children. For example, only 4% of the poorest Tanzanians are registered at birth. Compared to the fact that 56% of the richest babies are registered, the fact shows how far behind the poor are and how much improvement is needed overall.
“Overcoming exclusion begins with inclusive data. To improve the reach, availability and reliability of data on the deprivations with which children and their families contend, the tools of collection and analysis are constantly being modified – and new ones are being developed. This will require sustained investment and commitment,” says the report.
For a more interactive version of the report, check it out here.
The world is a heck of a lot better than it was 25 years ago. It is not because music has come a long way since the lip syncing days of Milli Vanilli. Among the many truly great achievements, the number of people living under $1.25 a day has declined from 34.8% to roughly 15%.
Check out some more stunning facts from Bill and Melinda Gates: