The UN Population Fund released its flagship annual State of the World’s Population report. This year’s report focuses on adolescent pregnancy. The report finds that every year 7.3 million girls under 18 give birth, and of these 7.3 million births, 2 million are to girls 14 or younger. The report, Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy shows how this young cohort suffers the gravest long-term health and social consequences from pregnancy, including high rates of maternal death and obstetric fistula.
This video offers some key insights into the challenges of combating adolescent pregnancy and the promising future that adolescent girls can have when they have access to family planning.
PSI and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week in Geneva in an agreement to work together in the fight against malnutrition. Potential areas of collaboration include joint program design and delivery, new business development, and advocacy for innovative approaches to development.
Karl Hofmann (left), the President and CEO of PSI, joined Marc Van Ameringen (right) and members of GAIN senior management to officially cement the partnership. PSI particularly focuses on social marketing and behavior change communication. Their approach leverages private sector resources and utilizes private sector communication and delivery techniques.
“PSI’s approach to driving change in the field of nutrition aligns with GAIN’s own way of working,” said Marc Van Ameringen. “It makes this a natural partnership and one which can help both organizations really drive impact for nutrition.”
Activities related to the partnership are to be finalized.
There are an estimated 94,000 people living with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR TB) The WHO says that roughly one in five of those people are not receiving care.
In its latest report on the state of TB around the world, the WHO sounds the alarm on the issue of MDR TB spreading and the lack of action to address the problem. However, it is not all bad news.
“Nearly 20 years after the WHO declaration of TB as a global public health emergency, major progress has been made towards 2015 global targets set within the context of the Millennium Development Goals,” says the report.
Others are not so optimistic. ACTION’s Kolleen Bouchane recently wrote in the Huffington Post about the emerging crisis. She says progress has been sliding the past few years and the gaps are critical in terms of stopping the spread and progression of TB.
“We’ve reached a point where an ancient disease is outrunning our attempts to control it. Despite some visionary political commitments — such as recent U.S. and UK commitments to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — ultimately, our global fight against TB is starved of political leadership and funding,” she writes.
The HPV vaccine has proved to be an invaluable development against the development of cervical cancer in women. It is already saving lives.
However vinegar, the same thing you find in your household pantry, is also vital to making sure that lives are not lost to cervical cancer. With just a simple swab of vinegar, a medical professional can detect whether or not a woman has cervical cancer. The immediate feedback, ease of use and cheap cost means that more women will be diagnosed earlier.
Lauren Bohn recently wrote about its impact on women in Zambia for The Daily Beast.
For the N’gombe health clinic’s community health-care manager, Ignicious Bulango, the method is indeed transformative, but the country still has a long way to go. “Cervical cancer, and cancer in general, isn’t necessarily on the radar like malaria and HIV/AIDS for the majority of Zambians and most of Africa, but we’re getting there,” he said. “It’s a process.”
TV Asia USA covered the Help a Child Reach 5 campaign event featuring PSI, Unilever, Lifebouy soap and the Millennium Villages Project. Watch experts and advocates, including our CEO Karl Hofmann describe the importance of children reaching their fifth birthday and how handwashing with soap can make a difference.
The Mitr Trust, an HIV drop-in center in New Delhi, India, is helping to deal with the problem of HIV by providing support to the most vulnerable: sex workers and LGBTs in the city.
It builds off evidence that targeted work against HIV/AIDS has helped to reduce the spread of the virus. Noam Levey reports for the LA Times that the projects number of HIV/AIDS positive people in India would reach around 25 million by today. In fact, there are only 2.4 million Indians currently with HIV/AIDS. The projects may have been overestimated, but falling so far below the number is a testament to efforts in the country over the past decade.
Reducing stigma and working with the people living on the margins of society will ensure that HIV/AIDS does not explode in India. Levey writes:
Some countries have granted rights to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that go beyond those in the United States.
“This is the first disease where people affected demanded a seat at the table,” said Dr. Chris Beyrer, an epidemiologist who heads the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at Johns Hopkins University. “LGBT communities are literally emerging out of the HIV response.”
Male circumcision (MC) has emerged as a hotly debated topic in Europe and the US. Countries like Germany and states such as California have considered legislation that would outright ban or make it harder to for medical male circumcision.
Opponents say that MC is on par with female circumcision/genital mutilation. The WHO endorses the use of MC as a tool to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, particularly in areas with high infection rates.
While the debate rages on, a recent article from Mark Joseph Stern in Slate breaks down some of the anti-male circumcision myths.
AIDS activists say the tipping point against AIDS will be when more people are on life-saving treatment for the first time than the number of new cases each year. The ONE Campaign calls the point the beginning of the end of AIDS. We are not there yet, but some countries are doing well. Unfortunately those lagging are mostly located in the Global South.
The NGO AVAC decided to analyze how countries are doing in their fight to end AIDS. There is some good news, but countries like Nigeria with its giant population, threaten to circumvent progress. The New York Times highlighted the findings writing:
“There’s all this talk about ending AIDS,” said Mitchell Warren, AVAC’s executive director. “We wanted to find a mechanism that could chart the progress over time, and use it as a management tool, and to make comparisons between countries that are doing the right things and the others.”
Millions of people around the world will celebrate the lifesaving impact of handwashing, tomorrow. Global Handwashing Day will mobilize youth in schools and adults in community spaces to practice handwashing with soap.
Celebrated annually, this year’s Global Handwashing Day is marked with the theme “The Power is in Your Hands.” The ability to reduce illness caused by poor hygiene lies in the hands of every person around the world. It is even more important for young children. Handwashing alone can cut into the 5,000 children that die every day from pneumonia and diarrhea.
It is for this reason that countless events will take place in over 100 countries on October 15 to celebrate handwashing with soap. For example, the Pan-American Health Organizations (PAHO) in Latin America and the Children’s Global Hygiene Foundation in Australia will both attempt to set Guinness World Records for the most number of people washing their hands at the same time.
Friday is International Day of the Girl Child, which provides a key inflection point for the entire international community to consider what they are doing to improve the lives of girls around the world. Our friends at the Girl Effect are taking this one step further and circulating a petition from girls themselves, calling for better access to education, health services, freedom from violence, economic security and equal rights as citizens.
Watch the video below and show your support for the declaration!