Excerpt from article on maternal health on Humanosphere:
By Amy VanderZanden
Maternal mortality is a popular subject in global health, but what about the many women who suffer disability as a result of pregnancy and childbirth?
While pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period are not remotely easy for women in the United States, compared to some parts of the world, it could be considered a fairly straightforward life event.
Maternal morbidity includes side effects like diabetes and excessive weight gain, but also such potentially life-threatening issues as sepsis, eclampsia, maternal hypertension, hemorrhage, uterine prolapse, infertility or any other of a long list of health outcomes. Maternal morbidity can be physical or psychological, and can result from direct or indirect causes which can have a lifetime impact on a woman’s health.
Uterine prolapse, for example, is most commonly caused by difficulty at childbirth. It can have drastic effects on a woman’s quality of life, impacting her ability to sit or walk; it can lead to back and abdominal pain, and make going to the bathroom difficult. Without surgery, prolapse can be permanently disabling.
Despite the fact that the majority of women globally have finished bearing children by the age of 45 or 49, the snapshot from the data visualization tool below shows that women can continue to suffer health problems from their childbearing years for the rest of their lives.
Read more here
A while back, we received an email from an organization in the maternal-newborn health space about potential collaboration. It appears that the policies in Kenya and political will are heading in the right direction with the cause being championed by the First Lady!
Excerpt from an article on Huffington Post:
Kenya is amongst the 10 most dangerous countries for pregnant women. Between 6000 and 8000 women die every year during childbirth; the current maternal mortality rate is 488 deaths per 100,000 live births. Kenya has made little progress in reducing this to achieve the commitment set in the Millennium Development Goals of 147 deaths per 100,000.
However, thanks to the introduction of free maternity services for women by the Government of Kenya in 2013, Kenya’s dire maternal death rate may finally begin to fall.
The First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, has emerged as a true champion in this cause. Her drive and resolve has put the spotlight on Kenya’s efforts to reverse this tragic trend. In January 2014 she spearheaded the Beyond Zero Campaign to raise awareness about the link between good health and a strong nation, specifically demonstrating the importance of maternal, newborn and children’s health. As part of the campaign, she ran both a half and full marathon to galvanize support and mobilize resources. And her clarion call, “no woman should die giving life” has resonated across the country and globally, now even transformed by a Kenyan band into a theme song, titled, It Has to be Now.
For this innovative work, Mrs. Kenyatta was voted by the United Nations (UN) in Kenya as the UN person of the year in 2014, a well-deserved recognition for which I congratulate her. It is remarkable that she has used her position as the First Lady of Kenya to tackle a critical human development issue and has demonstrated extraordinary initiative, integrity and courage to save the lives of women and children.
I had the honor of meeting with the First Lady of Kenya in September to discuss a University of California, San Francisco initiative to address pre-term births. I was struck by her knowledge about the current situation and determination to improve maternal, newborn and child health in Kenya.
See full article here
Some worthy downloads on maternal health:
1. Trends in Maternal Mortality – 1990 to 2013 Exec summary – Trends in Maternal Mortality – 1990 to 2013
2. Why mothers continue to die/Maternal mortality infographics maternal-mortality-infographic_part2
Here are some cool infographics on maternal health:
The struggle to reduce maternal mortality has registered some great strides. Although these strides are commendable, a lot remains to be done.
Here’s an infographic from USAID that summarizes the issue succinctly.
We completed WinSenga eFHR version 2.1 a short while back. We’ll be sharing a link to the app on the Windows Phone store in the coming weeks so you can check it out and help us improve the user experience through your feedback.
Lesson from WinSenga version 2.0: Refocus.
We listened to the feedback from our medical team and users to refocus. And we’ve done just that and stripped the app into smaller, more focused apps: WinSenga eFHR (an ultrasound on a mobile phone that can diagnose, alert, suggest courses of action, and make referrals), WinSenga ANC (an automated ‘clerking’ tool for midwives complete with diagnosis help, alerts, recommendations and referral help) and PregCalc (a pregnancy tracker and information guide that will also come to mothers without ‘smart’ phones via free SMS). – Joshua Okello, Lead Developer with WinSenga, Co-Founder & Business Development Lead at Cipher256
WinSenga eFHR v2.1 teaser in pics: With this new design, we’ve gone minimalist and focused on getting the user to productivity quickly.
As always, we still have easy -to-understand suggestions, now delivered via a pivot together with a summary of the results.
And you can send the results to the mother or continue to work on the next mother. We know this can be confusing at first. No worries. We’ve put all you need to know in a one-pager to make you a superhero. 🙂
Lastly, you can push all this quickly to the cloud via your OneDrive.
excerpts from allafrica.com
As Uganda celebrated the International Women’s day at the weekend, three Ugandans were listed for awards by Women Deliver, a global advocacy organisation.
Women Deliver, advocates improved health and well-being of girls and women. Martin Wanzala, from Allied Youth Initiative; Nargis Shirazi (Woman to Woman Foundation) and Humphrey Nabimanya (Reach a Hand Uganda) will each receive $5,000 to promote girls’ and women’s health and rights in their communities.
This C-Exchange seed grant is part of a $50,000 Women Deliver grant to Young Advocates in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“We know that if we want to advance girls’ and women’s health globally, we cannot act alone,” said Saundra Pelletier, CEO of WomanCare Global. “Collaboration is critical and Women Deliver helps forge partnerships for girls and women everywhere.”
The programme was launched at the Women Deliver 2013 conference in Malaysia to create new opportunities to engage and empower youth.
“Young people have fresh, new ideas to overcome maternal and reproductive health challenges in their communities, but they do not always have the means to transform proposals into projects,” said Joy Marini, executive director of Corporate Contributions at Johnson & Johnson.
The selected projects will help increase access to youth-friendly services and information in Uganda and end child marriage in rural Zimbabwe.
Women in Uganda have come a long way, and some people take March 8 as no more than another excuse to party.
A look at the recommendations in the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women shows the progress. The UN calls on member states to increase women’s leadership and participation in national governance, end violence against women, engage women in all aspects of peace and security processes, enhance womenís economic empowerment and make gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting.
Today, the number of girls graduating from university has increased significantly, with female graduands sometimes outnumbering the males. Uganda was the first African country to have a female vice president in Specioza Wandira, and now has a female speaker of Parliament in Rebecca Kadaga.
Team Tanzania Off to Kampala By Bus for Africa Cross Country
TANZANIA athletes are set to depart on Thursday afternoon by bus to Kampala, Uganda ready for the Africa Cross Country … see more at http://allafrica.com/stories/201403121264.html