Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus

UNICEF blogged a great post focused on maternal and neonatal tetanus. Jen Banbury mentions that most people in the US think of tetanus as something you get if you step on a rusty nail. But in the developing world just a decade ago, 30,000 mothers were dying from tetanus each year.

Health Workers Struggling to Do Job

In health facilities across Kenya, many workers are struggling to do their jobs in less-than-ideal conditions. Work climate issues such as poor working environments, unfriendly colleagues, disorganized facility functions and ineffective supervision have been hindering workers’ performance and productivity—and contributing to low retention.

An End to Female Genital Mutilation

Today, February 6, is the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Cutting.  The United Nations estimates that two million girls undergo FGM/C each year. The possible repercussions of FGM/C are numerous, including psychological trauma, difficulties during childbirth, gynecological problems, and death.

Pushing for Change From the Ground Up

We just discovered a great non-profit called OneMama.

Campaign to End Fistula Wins Award

The Campaign to End Fistula was recognized as a model for championing collaboration between countries in the Global South, receiving an award of excellence from the United Nations Development Programme.

HIV in Marriage

Late last month, Population Action International (PAI) showed the world premiere of their documentary The Silent Partner: HIV in Marriage. The screening drew more than 170 community leaders, members of the media, and local and international advocates together in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ghana’s First Lady Calls for New Partnerships

Ghana's First Lady Mrs. Theresa Kufuor called for the strengthening of partnerships aimed at funding and improving sexual and reproductive health programmes.

Campaign to End Fistula

The Campaign to End Fistula, led by UNFPA, has just announced that they'll quadruple in size and work in 45 countries (up from 12). There are at least 2 million women in Africa, Asia and the Arab region living with obstetric fistula and 50,000 to 100,000 new cases developing each year.

Spotlight on Sierra Leone

There was a great feature in the Washington Post this weekend all about maternal mortality in Sierra Leone. Unfortunately, Sierra Leone has an extremely high maternal mortality rate -- 1 in 8 women die during childbirth.

Why is Africa Plagued with Maternal Mortality?

There's a great blog post on RH Reality Check today about maternal mortality in Africa: On Maternal Mortality, Why Africa Falls So Far Behind. In the post, Edna Adan Ismail lists some of the reasons why African women die in pregnancy and childbirth.

Kangaroo Mother Care

Check out this video about the success of Kangaroo Mother Care in Malawi.

Op-Ed from Thoraya Obaid

Everyday, over 1,400 women and adolescent girls die needlessly from giving birth and 40,000 more suffer injuries and disabilities that can last a lifetime. Complications of pregnancy are the leading cause of death for young women aged 15 to 19 in the developing world.

Report Card on Maternal Mortality

A new report on maternal mortality, released by UNICEF, highlights the risks faced during pregnancy and childbirth by women in developing countries.

Misoprostol Approved in Uganda

The Uganda government approved the use of the low-cost drug, misoprostol, to treat and prevent excessive bleeding in mothers during childbirth to curb the high maternal mortality rates.

Beyond HIV: Many STIs Can Kill Pregnant Women

Masimba Biriwasha wrote a blog post on RH Reality Check today about the need to screen pregnant women for other STIs than HIV. She references a new study that was conducted in Cameroon on gynaecological morbidity--defined as "any condition, disease or dysfunction of the reproductive system that is not related to pregnancy, abortion or childbirth but may be related to sexual behaviour." Biriwasha says:

Mobile Phones and Global Health

Many thanks to DataDyne, the nonprofit (sponsored by the UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation) that developed a software application for mobile phone devices that enables public health workers in developing countries to collect data more efficiently. (Found via UN Dispatch) Yesterday, the UN Foundation and the Vodafone Foundation, together with the World Health Organization announced that its EpiSurveyor program will expand to 22 sub-Saharan African countries by the end of the year. Check out this video of a DataDyne employee who helped train health workers in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo explain why this technology is so significant. Click through to watch a video.

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