In the news: markers of progress

This week’s take-home from our reading is: to see progress, you’ve got to take a longer view than the daily—or hourly—news cycle allows.

Rwanda’s historic health recovery: what the US might learn

The Atlantic, February 20, 2013

Amidst the barrage of stories about failing states and civil wars that characterize the dour American media coverage of the developing world, the reinvention of Rwanda offers hope. Since the genocide with which its name is still synonymous in the United States, Rwanda has doubled its life expectancy and now offers a replicable model for delivery of high-quality health care with limited resources.

Read the article.

A smiling woman carries six baskets atop her head.

By a variety of measures, health is improving in Rwanda. Photo: PATH/Claire Suni.

Building the mHealth ecosystem

Stanford Social Innovation Review, February 20, 2013

Too often, children and their mothers die because they can’t access simple care. The promise of mHealth (mobile health) is that it can help lessen the “distances”—whether infrastructural, political, physical, or financial—that add up to the preventable deaths of over 7 million women and children each year. Unfortunately, most countries have graveyards filled with failed mHealth initiatives that were technologically sound but missing key components to scale: costing for scale, designed for their end users, alignment with important partners and priorities, and adequate evidence.

Read the article.

How vaccines have changed our world in one graphic

Forbes, February 19, 2013

The data in this graphic come from the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but a graphic designer in Purchase, NY, named Leon Farrant has created a graphic that drives home what the data mean. Below is a look at the past morbidity (how many people became sick) of what were once very common infectious diseases, and the current morbidity in the US. There’s no smallpox and no polio, almost no measles, dramatically less chickenpox (also known as varicella) and H. influenzae (that’s not flu, but a bacteria that can cause deadly meningitis).

Read the article.

Here’s how many fewer AIDS patients would be treated after sequestration

The Washington Post, February 18, 2013

Members of Congress have left Washington without having made a deal to avoid the deep across-the-board spending cuts to federal agencies slated to begin March 1, and agency heads are already lamenting the potential damage to both foreign and domestic programs…In a new policy brief, amfAR, an AIDS advocacy group, did the math on how people living with TB, AIDS, and malaria in developing countries would be impacted by the 5.3 percent across-the-board funding cut to non-defense discretionary programs.

Read the article.

Posted in HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Maternal and child health, Vaccines and immunization | Permalink

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