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Posts Tagged ‘malaria’

The International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University is offering two groups of fellowships this spring: International Journalism and Global Health Reporting.

Up to five fellows will be selected for the Global Health Reporting Fellowship with the International Reporting Project. They will be given five weeks to report on a specific topic in global health such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, or maternal and child health.

“Fellows will spend two weeks in Washington at the IRP offices preparing for their overseas trips and then five weeks reporting on their chosen health topics in the country of their choice. Fellows will return to Washington for a final two weeks of reporting and presentations of their findings.”

Eligible candidates are journalists based in the United States with five years of professional experience in journalism.

The dates of the fellowship are March 3, 2011 to May 7, 2011.

Deadline to apply is December 20, 2010.

For more info, click here.

Click  here to apply!

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On Wednesday, September 29th, nearly 300 community health workers from 174 villages in the rural Seraikela block of Jharkhand, India came together for an interesting event that involved plenty of art supplies, a flurry of creative ideas, a tangible passion for and dedication to improving rural maternal and newborn health, and a little bit of healthy competition.

The gathering, part of the Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative (MANSI), was an effort to develop effective behavior change communication tools for four maternal health interventions being implemented through MANSI– by tapping into the vast knowledge, experiences, and creative capacity of the newly identified community health workers.

Holding the belief that there is no better source of ideas for effective slogans and images than the community itself, MANSI staff coordinated a contest that called on community health workers to develop slogans and images to explain the importance of the MANSI health interventions. The thinking behind the contest was that if the artistic representations of the health interventions and the key messages come from within the communities, then the images and messages will be more likely to resonate with the community members—and ultimately the health practices will be more likely to be widely understood and adopted.

Before the contest began, the MANSI team provided an overview of the four maternal health interventions that the health workers would be developing images and slogans for: Misoprostol for post-partum hemorrhage, intermittent preventive treatment for Malaria, Vitamin A supplementation, and deworming. (In-depth training on these interventions will take place in the coming months.) Craft supplies were distributed and the nearly 300 health workers spent one hour competing to develop the most creative, compelling, and scientifically accurate slogans and images to be used as behavior change communication tools throughout the MANSI project.

A panel of judges made up of doctors, public health professionals, and government officials recently selected three winning submissions for each health intervention. The winners received prizes and their slogans and images are being incorporated into the final behavior change communication strategy for the MANSI project.

Check back soon for a short video about the the winning submissions!

To learn about another initiative that is tapping into creative energy to improve maternal health, visit MDGfive.com. MDGfive.com is a global project that is uniting artists around the world to use their collective artistic abilities to develop multimedia maternal health advocacy pieces.

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Horton comments on the new study, Maternal mortality for 181 countries, 1980-2008: a systematic analysis of progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5, published today in the Lancet Online First, that suggests a dramatic reduction in global maternal mortality between 1980 and 2008. Horton describes additional significant findings in the paper–aside from the overall drop in maternal deaths. He also outlines five lessons to be learned from this paper. 

 The Lancet

“…What lessons can be drawn from these new data? First, the latest figures are, globally, good news. The provide robust reason for optimism. More importantly, these numbers should now act as a catalyst, not a brake, for accelerated action on MDG-5, including scaled-up resource commitments. Investment incontrovertibly saves the lives of women during pregnancy. 

       Second, the intimate connection between HIV and maternal health is now explicitly laid bare. Such an association, including tuberculosis, has been gaining important recent ground. This latest evidence therefore supports growing calls to integrate maternal and child survival programmes into vertical funding mechanisms for the MDGs, such as the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria…”

Read the full commentary, Maternal mortality: Surprise, hope and urgent action.

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Cambodian News reports that while Cambodia’s health system has improved over the past decade, maternal mortality has seen no real improvement. 

Cambodian News

“Cambodia’s health system has improved over the past decade resulting in significant reduction of child mortality, reduction of mortality and morbidity due to communicable diseases such as HIV/ AIDS, TB and malaria, vaccine preventable diseases, and improvement in fertility rate and life expectancy.

Despite these improvements, Cambodia still faces challenges. There has been no improvement in maternal mortality (472 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005); the lack of sanitation and access to clean water are continuing problems; the level of malnutrition is high (stunting at 37% among children under 5); chronic non-communicable diseases and injuries from road traffic accidents are on the increase; and significant inequalities in health outcomes between the rich and the poor, and urban and rural.

High level of out-of-pocket expenditure leads to problems of affordability in accessing services. In addition there are physical constraints to access for remote, and rural populations…”

Read the full story, Improvements in Health Services for the Poor

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President Obama made his budget announcement—leaving some organizations  pleased with the increases in funding for maternal and child health, family planning, and malaria while others wonder if, “scarcity of cash means AIDS has to be played off against maternal health, when both urgently need more money.”

Sarah Boseley’s Global Health Blog

“Hot on the heels of the Gates Foundation $10 billion donation to vaccines and Bill and Melinda’s impassioned pleas to governments to increase their aid comes President Obama’s budget announcement, which has attracted both praise and blame.

Among those who say he is a good guy is the Global Health Council, lauding him for a 9% increase in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget request to Congress. This is their analysis of how the money is to be parceled out.

The Council is happy that there are increases for maternal and child health and malaria and family planning (Obama lifted the Global Gag or Mexico City rule imposed by Bush which prevented any US funds going to overseas organisations including UN agencies which were prepared even to discuss abortion with women).

But other organisations are not happy and foremost among the critics is the formidable Jeff Sachs of Columbia University, who has labelled the budget request a Very Big Disappointment…”

Read the full story here.

Also, take a look at Serra Sippel’s post, Obama’s Global Health Initiative: Getting It Right The First Time Around on Huffington Post.

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Voice of America

Click here to read this report on Margaret Chan’s speech regarding the current state of health in Africa. She sites progress in tackling Malaria and HIV and improvements in child health, but she expresses sadness at the lack of success in reducing maternal mortality and addressing gender-based violence.

Read the full article.

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