In the news: men championing women’s health

In Chief Kwatiane’s district in central Malawi, it can cost you a goat or a chicken if you keep a woman in her home for childbirth rather than taking her to a health facility. That’s just one of the fascinating details in Olga Khazan’s story this week in The Atlantic on how reaching out to influential men in African villages can help improve the health of women. We agree that winning over influential members of the community is an important tactic in improving health for women. In India, for example, our work to encourage safer childbirth targeted all family members, including the most powerful: mothers-in-law.

Group of three women and two young children.

Savita Rai, left, and her daughters-in-law and grandchildren in their village in India. Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki.

Africa’s new agents of progress in female health: traditional male chiefs

The Atlantic, June 13, 2013

Traditional male leaders are typically the ones who protect ancestral ways, so they may not seem like natural vanguards of change. But across the developing world, increasingly more and more tribal chiefs and other leaders are becoming essential to ending harmful practices—in large part because of how central they are to the village’s life and beliefs. To improve the lives of women, some aid organizations are finding, you must first change the minds of the men in charge.

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Study finds sharp drop in HPV infections in girls

The New York Times, June 19, 2013

The prevalence of dangerous strains of the human papillomavirus—the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and a principal cause of cervical cancer—has dropped by half among teenage girls in the last decade, a striking measure of success for a vaccine that was introduced only in 2006, federal health officials said on Wednesday.

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Making a fifth birthday within reach

USAID Impact, June 19, 2013

It’s been a year since the United States joined UNICEF and the governments of Ethiopia and India in a bold pledge to end preventable child deaths within a generation. In the past year, 174 governments pledged to redouble efforts for children. More than 200 civil-society organizations, 91 faith-based organizations, and 290 faith leaders from 52 countries signed their own pledges of support.

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Data visualization aims to change view of global health

BBC, June 18, 2013

Imagine you are a foreign aid worker trying to persuade a senior politician in a developing world country to introduce a pneumococcus vaccination program. It’s not just a case of stressing how the bacterium causes diseases including pneumonia, meningitis, and sinusitis, and kills over a million children under the age of five every year worldwide. The politician has to decide how to allocate scant resources. How does the death toll compare with malaria and AIDS? Aren’t road traffic accidents a bigger problem? Has vaccination been a success in neighboring countries?

Read the article.

Posted in Drug development, Maternal and child health | Permalink

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