Mothers wait to see health workers to weigh and vaccinate their children in a clinic in Accra, Ghana. (Kate Holt/MCSP)
Over the past quarter-century, the number of children dying each year has more than halved. Yet in 2016, an estimated 5.6 million children still died before reaching their fifth birthday. Most of these deaths occur from conditions such as pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea, and malnutrition, all of which are readily preventable or treatable with cost-effective interventions. This global burden of child deaths is not distributed equally: Higher rates of under-five deaths reflect longstanding underlying causes of disadvantage and persistent inequities in certain regions of the world. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia account for more than 80%, while Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the highest under-five death rate (79 per 1,000 live births on average in 2016). This means that 1 in 13 children die before their 5th birthday in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 1 in 189 children in high-income countries.
Projet Jeune Leader recruits dynamic young adults to work full-time as sexuality educators, counselors, and mentors to public middle school students in Madagascar's Haute Matsiatra region. Photo: Projet Jeune Leader
We need innovation, not renovation, when it comes to providing youth with comprehensive sexuality education.
Public Health Ambassadors Uganda | Programme Coordinator
PHAU's concert, Famile Pulaningi Mu Ndongo, attracted thousands of people to learn about family planning while having a great time.
Friday, November 24, 2017 got the people of Hoima, Uganda merrymaking and dancing! They turned up in the thousands for a family planning concert organized by Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU). The concert, dubbed Famile Pulaningi Mu Ndongo (a Luganda phrase for the combination of edu-tainment with family planning information and services), was held at the Hoima Booma grounds, where top local artists, comedians, and actors treated the revelers to a night filled with themed musical performances, skits, comedy, and much more.
Marie Stopes Uganda | Marketing and Public Relations Officer
Marie Stopes Uganda's giant puppets are helping spread the word about family planning.
The drive to increase access to family planning in Uganda is gaining pace. In 1989, only one in 20 women in the country was using modern contraception to prevent an unintended pregnancy. Today, just one generation later, that figure is almost one in three. But Ugandan women still face barriers. Unsubstantiated fears, stigma, and myths are leading many women to forgo contraception altogether.
Marie Stopes Uganda (MSU), which provides a wide range of short-term, long-term, and permanent contraceptive methods across the country, has been trying to increase awareness to large groups by broadcasting messages and information over loud speakers from mobile vans. But over time, the vans became such a common feature that many people simply ignore them and continue their daily routines without so much as looking up.
EMG Consulting and Multi-Media Inc. | Independent Consultant
Antenatal care exam. Photo: UNICEF.
As the world focuses on ending the AIDS epidemic in children, adolescents, and young women by 2020 as part of the Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free Super-Fast-Track framework, programs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) are critical to these efforts. Ninety percent of HIV infections in children under the age of 15 are estimated to occur through mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Without antiretroviral therapy (ART), the risk of HIV transmission from a mother living with HIV to her infant varies between 15% and 45%. However, new HIV infections in children from MTCT can be dramatically reduced (to below 5%) by giving mothers ART during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and breastfeeding, and continuing ART for life. Today, ART is the cornerstone of PMTCT programs.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic hit the Caribbean in the late ‘70s. By 2001, it had become the second-most affected region in the world with an estimated 420,000 people – more than two percent of the adult population – living with HIV, according to a UNAIDS/WHO report. That year, a group of Caribbean nations created the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) to help avert new infections and reduce deaths in the region by providing support for universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support services.
Dereck Springer is Director of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP)
For the past year, K4Health has partnered with PANCAP to support its role as a regional leader in the Caribbean’s HIV response. In honor of World AIDS Day, we interviewed PANCAP’s Director, Dereck Springer, about the partnership, his work, and PANCAP’s vision for an HIV-free Caribbean.
Photo: PATH/Chimwasu Njapawu. The Global Digital Health Forum convenes in Washington DC next week. This year’s theme is “The Evolving Digital Health Landscape: Progress, Achievements and Remaining Frontiers.”
The annual Global Digital Health Forum is scheduled for December 4-6th in Washington DC. Though the Forum features amazing presentations every year, one of the most valuable aspects of this event is having the world’s digital health implementers, donors, and champions in one space. The dialogue and strong relationship building between ministries of health leaders, technical developers, and other players in our field is what makes this conference special.
When I was first learning about family planning methods as a teenager, there were seemingly two real options: condoms (for men, obviously—whoever heard of a female condom?) and the pill. I heard whispers of patches and injectables, but these were followed up with dire warnings from my friends about side effects. The idea of an implant in my arm was terrifying, and an IUD? You may as well have suggested parking a spaceship in my uterus. Besides, wasn’t that something for moms who’d had all their kids already? And, come on, a sponge? Really?
I’m relieved to say I’ve learned plenty since then. Although I don’t have a background in public health, working at CCP has shored up my education in all things family planning. After four years here on the K4Health Project, I can comfortably discuss the various types of IUDs and explain why they’re a great method for many. I know about female condoms and how to use them, and I’ve even learned more about my old friend, oral contraceptive pills. Yet, as technology marches on, even newer family planning methods are reaching the marketplace. And in a world with 85 million unintended pregnancies per year and women still dying in childbirth daily, that’s good news for everyone.