IHP news 504: SR/Mat/neonatal & child health

By on January 11, 2019

New Yorker – The Ghost Statistic That Haunts Women’s Empowerment

K Moeller; https://www.newyorker.com/science/elements/the-ghost-statistic-that-haunts-womens-empowerment

Recommended. In the words of the author on Twitter: “My @NewYorker essay on one of the most powerful #statistics on girls and women in world, and how it creates racialized stories and distorted #development interventions.”

The statistic she refers to? “…The data is pretty clear that women spend ninety per cent of their income on their children. And men, I think it’s more like forty per cent.” She turned to the former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, then the executive director of U.N. Women, who corrected her estimation. Sandberg clarified: men spend “thirty to forty per cent….””

Excerpt: “… For Cookson and Lorena Fuentes, of the feminist research consultancy Ladysmith, “the gender data gap is also qualitative.” Closing it requires engaging with women’s accounts of their own lives and drawing on decades of feminist knowledge about the root causes of poverty and inequality. If we continue creating global-development policies based on the story that women are more likely than men to invest in their families, we will not transform the inequitable gender relations that make these statistics true. We will capitalize on these inequalities—and potentially exacerbate them—for the sake of a development return….”

Global Health Science and Practice (Viewpoint): Regaining Momentum in Family Planning

J G Rimon et al; http://www.ghspjournal.org/content/6/4/626

Since the launch of the Family Planning 2020 initiative 5 years ago, 46 million more clients in the 69 poorest countries are using modern contraception—a tremendous accomplishment, albeit behind schedule to reach the 2020 global goal of 120 million. Family planning continues to be innovative, and as reflected in the recent 2018 International Conference on Family Planning in Rwanda, there is a newfound momentum behind the movement and a new generation of young leaders with powerful ideas, creativity, and passion who are stepping up to help propel family planning onward.”

PAHO – Special issue on Men’s Health


“The articles in this special issue of the Pan American Journal of Public Health provide valuable evidence to inform health policies in the Region that will support this transformative agenda for gender equality and universal health going forward.”

Start with the Editorial by Carissa EtienneAddressing masculinity and men’s health to advance universal health and gender equality

Globalization and Health (Debate) – Improving early detection of breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa: why mammography may not be the way forward

E Black et al; https://globalizationandhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12992-018-0446-6

The prevention and control of breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is an increasingly critical public health issue. Breast cancer is the most frequent female cancer in SSA and mortality rates from this disease are the highest globally. Breast cancer has traditionally been considered a disease of high-income countries, and programs for early detection have been developed and implemented in these settings. However, screening programs for breast cancer in SSA have been less effective than in high-income countries. This article reviews the literature on breast cancer in SSA, focusing on early detection practices. It then examines the case for and against mammography and other early detection approaches for breast cancer in SSA….”

Buzzfeed News – House Democrats Just Passed A Bill That Undercuts Trump’s Abortion Policy


But before you get too carried away, “The language, which already received bipartisan support in a Senate committee, is caught up in the government shutdown fight and won’t become law.”

“…House Democrats passed a bill to try to end the government shutdown on Thursday night that would also undercut a major anti-abortion policy Donald Trump implemented as one of his first acts as president nearly two years ago. The bill will not become law, with both the Senate and Trump already saying they won’t consider it as both sides continue to fight about funding for the border wall, but Democrats note that the language repealing Trump’s abortion policy already received unanimous bipartisan support in a Senate committee last year….”

BMC Women’s Health – Abortion laws reform may reduce maternal mortality: an ecological study in 162 countries

S Mon Latt et al; BMC Women’s Health;

Unsafe abortion is one of the commonest causes of maternal mortality. Abortion-related maternal deaths are higher in countries with the most restrictive abortion laws. We assess whether maternal mortality varies within and between countries over time according to the flexibility of abortion laws (the number of reasons a woman can have an abortion)….”

The Conversation – Women’s reproductive lives are being interfered with on a large scale – new study

S Rowlands; https://theconversation.com/womens-reproductive-lives-are-being-interfered-with-on-a-large-scale-new-study-109375

“Reproductive coercive control is where a woman’s decisions about contraception and pregnancy are interfered with. The concept was first described in 2010. We wanted to update the evidence to 2017 and widen the range of control activities to include family pressure and criminal behaviour, such as sex trafficking. We found that up to one in four women at sexual health clinics report coercion over their reproductive lives. For our narrative review, we searched relevant databases of medical and social sciences research, looking at women’s experiences of interference with their reproductive autonomy. We included only heterosexual relationships where women were controlled and excluded government control of women by laws and regulations. We wanted to concentrate on interpersonal aspects of the subject. Most of the relevant studies were from the US, with a few from Asia and Africa. There was a notable lack of studies from Europe….


And a quick link:

Guardian – Schoolgirls in Kenya to face compulsory tests for pregnancy and FGM

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