IHP news 526: SR/Mat/neonatal & child health

By on June 14, 2019

UN News – Understanding of LGBT realities ‘non-existent’ in most countries, says UN expert

https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/06/1040381

Policymakers in most parts of the world are taking decisions in the dark when it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity, an independent UN human rights expert said on Wednesday.”

In a statement issued ahead of presenting his latest report to the Human Rights Council later this month, Victor Madrigal-Borloz urged States to collect more data in an effort to understand the root causes of violence which is often routinely directed towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in societies across the world….”

New International Rescue Committee Report: Less than $2 of help for each woman or girl at risk of gender based violence

Rescue;

It is estimated that less than $2 in gender-based violence (GBV) services is allocated to each woman or girl at risk of GBV on average in crisis and conflict settings, according to  new research   by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Voice, released today. Where’s the Money? How the Humanitarian System is Failing to Fund an End of Violence Against Women and Girls found that violence against women and girls accounts for just 0.12% of all international humanitarian funding….”

The Conversation – Attitudes to gender and sexual diversity: changing global trends

M S Pepper; https://theconversation.com/attitudes-to-gender-and-sexual-diversity-changing-global-trends-117684

Global attitudes to gender and sexual diversity are changing. Some embrace the diversity; others push back.”

Guardian – Vatican launches guide to tackle ‘educational crisis’ on gender

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/11/vatican-launches-guide-to-tackle-educational-crisis-on-gender

Paper called ‘Male and female he created them’ will be sent to Catholic schools around the world.”

The Vatican has launched into the debate on gender ideology, publishing an educational document called “Male and female he created them” in a bid to tackle what it called “an educational crisis”. The paper is intended to help Catholic school teachers counter ideas which “deny the natural difference between a man and a woman”, and is subtitled “Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education”. The document drawn up by the church’s education ministry states: “It is becoming increasingly clear that we are now facing with what might accurately be called an educational crisis, especially in the field of affectivity and sexuality.” The document notes “challenges” rising from gender theory which “denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family”….”

Doesn’t really help (deep sigh).

Hyde amendment, other abortion riders in the spending limelight

Rollcall;

Analysis from early this week: “Democrats set for showdown with Republicans, administration.”  In Congress, that is.

The debate surrounding abortion access is about to spill over from the campaign trail to Capitol Hill as lawmakers begin debating must-pass appropriations bills. Starting Wednesday, the House will take up a nearly $1 trillion spending package written by Democrats that would roll back Trump administration anti-abortion policies, including restrictions barring health clinics from recommending abortion services and preventing U.S. foreign assistance to aid groups that perform or promote abortions. But the massive spending bill keeps in place the four-decades-old Hyde amendment, which prevents federal health care funding, including Medicaid, the insurance program for low-income beneficiaries, from covering abortions except in cases of rape, incest or to save the woman’s life. The amendment is named for the late Illinois Republican Rep. Henry J. Hyde, who sponsored the original language….”

“…the State-Foreign Operations title of the package would eliminate the Mexico City policy, which prevents federal funding from going to any nongovernmental organization that uses any funding, including private money, to discuss, provide referrals or perform abortions outside of the country. Abortion rights advocates refer to the Mexico City policy as the “global gag rule.”…”

“…The House bill would also provide $55 million for the United Nations Population Fund, which supports reproductive health care programs in developing countries. The Trump State Department had cut off funding over the group’s alleged support for coerced abortions and involuntary sterilization in China, and the White House and Hill Republicans oppose giving the U.N. agency any money. The organization disputes the charge, but Democrats included a provision in the State-Foreign Operations bill that would bar any program funds from being used in China….”

Annals of Internal Medicine –  Self-reported Physical Health of Women Who Did and Did Not Terminate Pregnancy After Seeking Abortion Services: A Cohort Study

annals

This [US focused ] study examined the physical health of women who seek and receive or are denied abortion. Prospective cohort study. Setting: 30 U.S. abortion facilities from 2008 to 2010.

The conclusion: “Although some argue that abortion is detrimental to women’s health, these study data indicate that physical health is no worse in women who sought and underwent abortion than in women who were denied abortion. Indeed, differences emerged suggesting worse health among those who gave birth.”

For the related Editorial, see Abortion and Women’s Physical Health: An Issue for All Physicians

In their article, Ralph and colleagues compare long-term physical health outcomes between women who had an abortion and those who gave birth after being denied abortion care because of clinic gestational age limits. Like other reports from the Turnaway Study, these data are important because they come from the first large, prospective study of abortion outcomes that has the right comparison group: women with an undesired pregnancy who sought abortion care but ultimately gave birth when abortion was denied. These data matter to internal medicine physicians because they illustrate connections between reproductive health and overall health….”

Guardian – Political violence against women tracked for first time as attacks soar

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jun/10/political-attacks-women-tracked-first-time-surge-violence

Violence targeted against female politicians and activists will be tracked for the first time by a global database, amid indications of a recent rise in attacks. Researchers reviewed thousands of events dating back to 1997, where political violence was targeted at women – ranging from wartime sexual violence to attacks on female civilians and crackdowns on female-led protests. It’s hoped the data, which will be updated on a weekly basis by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (Acled), will help provide a better understanding of the threats facing women. Analysis by the group suggests a recent spike in violence, with twice as many cases reported during the first quarter of 2019 (261 events) as during the first quarter of 2018 (125 events). The information was obtained from reports collected across Africa, south-east Asia, south Asia, the Middle East, south-eastern and eastern Europe and the Balkans….”

White House – US Strategy on Women, Peace and Security

Cfr the statement from the Press secretary:

Today, President Donald J. Trump released the United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security, which focuses both on increasing women’s participation in political, civic, and security endeavors to prevent and resolve conflicts and on creating conditions for long-term peace around the world. The Strategy aims to ensure women are no longer absent from, or overlooked at, the negotiating table, and it modernizes international programs to improve equality for, and the empowerment of, women….”

SS&M – Breastfeeding in the 21st century: How we can make it work

R P Escamilla; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277953619303004

There is abundant knowledge on the major health and social benefits of breastfeeding, and on how to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. Hence, it is surprising that recommended breastfeeding behaviors continue to be suboptimal in the 21st Century among large segments of the population, globally. Moving forward, it is crucial to enable the breastfeeding environments for women through family friendly employment policies and to enforce the WHO Code for Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. It is also key to invest more in training the workforce for successful large-scale implementation and sustainability of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, community-based breastfeeding counseling, and to prevent conflicts of interests with infant formula companies. Behavior change social marketing interventions that include social media need to be designed following social network science and behavioral economics principles. Evidence-informed policy tools are now available to help policy makers invest in and guide the scaling-up of cost-effective breastfeeding programs.”

Cidrap – Follow-up study: Mass azithromycin still tied to fewer child deaths

Cidrap;

From late last week, linked to new NEJM studies: “New follow-up data today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) provide additional evidence that mass distribution of azithromycin could be a strategy for reducing childhood mortality in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. But concerns about antibiotic resistance remain. In fact, a separate analysis published today as a letter in the NEJM notes rising drug resistance among children from the original 2018 study….”

And some quick links:

“Reproductive rights pushback could leave American women facing same life-or-death choices as Hondurans, say researchers.”

“A new [US !]study finds one in six women report maternal mistreatment. The number is higher for women of color.”  For the study, see Reproductive HealthThe Giving Voice to Mothers study: inequity and mistreatment during pregnancy and childbirth in the United States

Emory University in Atlanta has announced a $180 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) network. A global health network launched in 2015 and headquartered at the Emory Global Health Institute, CHAMPS collects and analyzes data that is used to help identify the causes of death among children under the age of 5 in seven countries where child mortality rates are the highest — Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and South Africa.”

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