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Plant a Flower, Honor a Mother

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Honor a Mother.

For every flower planted, a generous donor will give $5 to support EngenderHealth’s maternal health programs.

All online donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar!

To mark Mother’s Day on May 8, we are featuring a success story from Bangladesh, where a community-based program helps mothers like Rashida Begum deliver their babies safely. Also in this issue:

  

   
Policy Updates

Rashida Begum

The Smile of a Healthy Mother
Rashida Begum, 32, experienced severe bleeding after each of her five deliveries, which left her weak and in need of costly medical attention. But after learning from an EngenderHealth-trained health worker about misoprostol, an inexpensive drug that is used to stop postpartum hemorrhage, Rashida safely delivered twin babies and was healthy and strong enough to care for her newborns. Read Rashida’s story.

Millions of Stillbirths: Neglected but Preventable
Every year, 2.6 million babies are stillborn, exceeding the total deaths from AIDS and malaria combined, according to a new research series launched by The Lancet. Among the top causes of stillbirth—death occurring in the third trimester—are complications during childbirth, infections in the womb, and medical conditions of the mother, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Preventing stillbirth requires improving women’s access to quality maternal health care, especially in the developing world, where about 98% of all stillbirths occur. Check out the Maternal Health Task Force’s roundup of commentary on the news about stillbirth.

 

   
Global Perspectives

Shang Ring™ Device Shows Promise for Helping to Prevent HIV among Men
Results of a study conducted by EngenderHealth and Weill Cornell Medical College and published in the May issue of JAIDS show that the Shang Ring has the potential to revolutionize the provision of male circumcision services in Africa and help prevent the spread of HIV among men. First developed in China, the Shang Ring is a novel device for adult male circumcision, which has been shown to reduce HIV transmission by up to 64%. Compared with conventional surgery, the Shang Ring significantly reduces risk and procedure time for patients. Health professionals of all skill levels can also be trained to use the device, which is key in low-resource settings. Read more.

After Failed Results, HIV Prevention Study Is Terminated
Preliminary data from a study being conducted in Africa showed that a daily pill containing a combination of the antiretroviral drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine (trade name, Truvada) had no effect in preventing HIV infection among women. As a result of these early findings, the study, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been terminated. Of the 1,900 women participants, 56 contracted HIV—28 in each of the experimental and placebo groups, researchers found. These results surprised many, after an earlier study in November found that a daily dose of the medication protected men who have sex with men against HIV infection.

A Global Shortage of Midwives
Addressing the global shortage of midwives is critical to saving the estimated 348,000 women who die each year from a pregnancy-related cause. A recent report, Missing Midwives (PDF, 1.1MB), by Save the Children, calls for training and educating 350,000 new midwives to fill a global deficit. Today, one in three women gives birth without the presence of a midwife or skilled birth attendant, while some 2 million women give birth alone. EngenderHealth routinely trains midwives and other health providers across the globe to improve maternal health services, including prenatal care, emergency obstetric services, and treatment of pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, and postpartum hemorrhage.

June 2011: Global Health Council Conference
EngenderHealth will participate in the Global Health Council’s annual conference (June 13–17). A June 13 workshop will mark the official launch of EngenderHealth’s assessment guide for the Supply-Enabling Environment-Demand (SEED) Programming Model™, the organization’s programming approach to achieving sexual and reproductive health. On June 14, EngenderHealth will host an evening reception, “EngenderHealth: Celebrating the SEEDs of Success.”

 
 

   
News and Views <empty>

House Representatives Request $1 Billion for Reproductive Health in FY 2012
Ninety-one members of the U.S. House of Representatives endorsed a letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting $1 billion for international family planning and reproductive health services in fiscal year 2012. “These programs are cost-effective, save lives, and support our broader diplomatic, development, and national security priorities,” the April 21 letter states. The “3 for 1” video created by EngenderHealth illustrates the numerous benefits of family planning. While still early in the annual budget process, the House has proposed a budget blueprint that cuts spending by $5.8 trillion over the next decade, compared with President Obama’s proposed $1 trillion. Congress last month also approved an FY 2011 budget that cuts funding for reproductive health programs but excludes some of the more extreme policy riders first proposed by the House. Obama signed the bill into law on April 15.

Congressional Briefing on Obstetric Fistula Prevention and Treatment
On May 24, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) will hold a congressional briefing on the prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula. Earlier this year, Maloney introduced a bill (H.R. 949) to increase federal assistance for fistula prevention (including access to maternal health care and family planning services) and treatment (including surgery and support for reintegration and training programs). The public event seeks to garner attention for the pending legislation and will feature speakers from EngenderHealth, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Human Rights Watch, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

 

   
In the News <empty>

The Global Health Council's blog features a new post by Dr. Isaiah Ndong, EngenderHealth's Vice President for Programs, discussing lasting solutions to the "unjust and unnecessary" injury of obstetric fistula.

The EngenderHealth-led Fistula Care project was featured in an April 4 IntraHealth blog article on efforts to repair obstetric fistula among women in Ethiopia.

In an April 11 Medscape blog post, Lies, Damn Lies and Maternal Mortality Estimates, Maternal Health Task Force Director Ann Blanc discussed how maternal health success should be measured within the context of individual countries.

A March 29 article in the Daily Independent in Nigeria highlights the efforts of the Fistula Care project in Bauchi State.

As part of an ongoing Maternal Health Policy Dialogue, the Maternal Health Task Force co-hosted an April 20 event in Washington, DC, on Accessing Maternal Health Care in Urban Slums: What Do We Know?


   
New Publications and Resources <empty>

The Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes published in its May issue the results of a study co-led by EngenderHealth’s Dr. Mark Barone on the efficacy of the Shang Ring, a novel disposable device for adult male circumcision.


   
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