Posted on behalf of Natasha Salaria
This Sunday is World Prematurity Day 2013, a global effort to raise awareness about premature birth and its prevention.
Published last year, Born Too Soon is a global action report which involved collaboration from more than 50 organisations and provides the first-ever national, regional and global estimates of preterm birth. The major findings of the report have now been expanded upon in six new review papers, which are published today in a supplement for the journal Reproductive Health. The articles have been jointly funded by the charities Save the Children and March of Dimes and are published in collaboration with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and …
According to the World Health Organisation, each year malaria causes an estimated 660,000 deaths worldwide, mostly in Africa, where one child dies of malaria each minute. At present, there is no available vaccine, only preventative measures such as mosquito nets and insecticides which have limited use. In a considerable step forward towards the fight against malaria, British drug firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) made headline news earlier this month with the announcement that they are seeking regulatory approval for the world’s first malaria vaccine; RTS,S. Whilst there are some other malaria vaccines in development, RTS,S is the most advanced vaccine targeting Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite. Understandably, this news generated substantial excitement worldwide, however critics have raised concerns about the efficacy of …
Written by Lin Lee, Senior Editor at BioMed Central
Deaths of women and children in low and middle income countries account for over 95% of all maternal and child deaths. This startling figure comes as we approach the deadline to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These eight goals aim to release people from poverty and associated health inequities. Although some goals will be met, it seems that MDGs 4 and 5 which relate to child survival and maternal health respectively, will not.
Childbirth, for instance, has one of the highest mortality rates for both the mother and the new born – complications during labor and delivery account for half the maternal deaths, one third of stillbirths and a …
With problems ranging from locust plagues to forest destruction, Madagascar may appear to be a beautiful & diverse paradise, but looks can be deceiving…
Recently it was announced that Madagascar is facing its worst locust plague since the 1950s. Already one quarter of the island’s crops have been depleted, and 60% of the population’s livelihood is now under threat. The country must race to find appropriate interventions, as infestation may engulf over two-thirds of the land by September, according to the Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO). Fighting back locusts is not a cheap endeavour – launching this campaign requires 41.5 million USD. Yet funding is vital to ensure food …
Food insecurity is one of the main causes of undernutrition in the developing world. We tend to assume that as a result of poverty many are left hungry, however suffering is often caused through malnutrition where many disorders can arise depending on what nutrients are under or over-abundant in the diet. In many cases across the globe, most being in children under five, undernutrition is a result of insufficient calories, vitamins and protein with extreme undernourishment resulting in starvation.
Despite undernutrition causing almost half of deaths in children (3.1 children per year) and approximately 1 in 3 suffering from stunted growth, it has been agreed that this is one of the most neglected issues in …
Written by Lin Lee, Senior Editor, BMC Medicine
In China, tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem; it has the second largest burden in the world, and TB is the number one cause of deaths due to a single infectious agent. Here, 1.4 million people per year develop the active form of the disease, and just 20 years ago, it was attributable to the deaths of 360, 000 individuals per year. However, it is known that when intervention strategies are in place, they are effective. For instance, China was able to halve the deaths attributed to TB following a large scale program initiated in 1992.
Early diagnosis followed by prompt treatment are the core objectives of an …
Written by Rhiannon Meaden, Journal Development Editor, Agriculture & Food Security
Home gardens can be used to alleviate hunger, malnutrition, economic hardship and disease. These are the findings of a comprehensive literature review by Galhena et al., published today in Agriculture & Food Security, which investigates the uses of home gardens in the context of food security, and specifically in post-conflict situations.
The use of home gardens is a longstanding and effective strategy for coping with the daily threat of food and nutritional insecurity in many developing countries. Home gardens comprise of small areas of land close to the homestead, where a family can grow subsistence produce in order to supplement their diet, as well as to buffer socio-economic hardships. These …
On Thursday 6th June, the Guardian Global Development Professional Network hosted a live chat on improving access and relevance of research in the developing world. Ruth King, a Publisher at BioMed Central and Open Access in the Developing World advocate was on the panel. See below for a selection of tweets from the debate:
For more information and to view the whole debate, please visit the Guardian website or alternatively search for relevant tweets by using the hashtag #globaldevlive.
Written By Rhiannon Meaden, Journal Development Editor, Environmental Evidence.
Technology is inadequately assessed for effectiveness to reduce arsenic contamination in groundwater finds a new systematic review published in Environmental Evidence today. Many investigations into the effectiveness of these intervention strategies are poorly devised and thus cannot be relied upon to provide an evidence base for policy making.
In a number of developing countries worldwide, groundwater provides an alternative to drinking visibly polluted surface water. However, Arsenic is colourless and odourless and therefore is often ingested accidentally through drinking contaminated groundwater. Arsenic poisoning poses a threat to public health, and is a serious environmental hazard in many developing countries worldwide.
There are several methods available for removing arsenic from contaminated …
Over the next three days, thousands of participants will be partaking in the largest global event of the decade to focus on female health and empowerment. Women Deliver 2013, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will hold more than 120 concurrent sessions from 28th – 30th May and will include high level plenaries, skills-building workshops, and ministerial and parliamentarian forums. This event aims to serve as a global platform for ensuring that the health and rights of females across the world remain top priority now, and for decades to come.
Women Deliver was founded back in 2007 by Jill Sheffield, a global educator and advocate for maternal, reproductive, and sexual health rights. This global advocacy was created to generate …