‘Nanette’ joined the Séléka armed group in Central African Republic when she was just 15. She was regularly forced to have sex with her Commander. “I did not have a choice,” she said.
In January, Nanette was released into a UNICEF-supported transit centre. “I was disturbed when I arrived at the centre, very nervous and worried about my future. But with the support of the team, I have learnt to move on and build a life. I now live with my big sister and have begun a vocational training programme (supported by UNICEF).”
Violence against children is entirely preventable when people come together and say that it is unacceptable. It’s #TimeToAct to end the rape and abuse of children in war. #ENDviolence http://uni.cf/PSVI
UNICEF LAUNCHES 2014 STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN REPORT
Thirty years have passed since The State of the World’s Children began to publish tables of standardized global and national statistics aimed at providing a detailed picture of children’s circumstances.
Much has changed in the decades since the first indicators of child well-being were presented. But the basic idea has not: Credible data about children’s situations are critical to the improvement of their lives – and indispensable to realizing the rights of every child.
Data continue to support advocacy and action on behalf of the world’ 2.2 billion children, providing governments with facts on which to base decisions and actions to improve children’s lives. And new ways of collecting and using data will help target investments and interventions to reach the most vulnerable children.
Data do not, of themselves, change the world. They make change possible – by identifying needs, supporting advocacy, and gauging progress. What matters most is that decision-makers use the data to make positive change, and that the data are available for children and communities to use in holding duty-bearers to account.
Visit the 2014 State of the World’s Children site here
We remember our colleagues Basra Hassan and Nasreen Khan, who lost their lives in a bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Friday. They dedicated their lives to making the world a better place for children.
Just for the record…UNICEF is determined to continue the work that they gave their lives for.
The Peace Corps is excited to be a partner of Saving Mothers, Giving Life. We are particularly proud of the contributions Peace Corps Volunteers have made at the community level to promote the importance of essential maternal health services, and we are thrilled to continue our collaboration to aggressively reduce maternal mortality. - Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Saving Mothers’ first Annual Report, Making Pregnancy and Childbirth Safe in Uganda and Zambia, demonstrates rapid progress towards reducing maternal mortality ratios in eight pilot districts.
In Uganda districts, the maternal mortality ratio has declined by 30%, while in facilities in Zambia, the maternal mortality ratio has decreased by 35%. The Report showcases the activities that have helped contribute to these gains, including:
- Increasing the number of women delivering in health facilities by 62% and 35% in Uganda and Zambia, respectively
- Enhancing women’s access to Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care, by hiring and training skilled birth attendants;
- Strengthening transportation and communications networks among communities and facilities, in addition to strengthening the supply chain for life-saving medicines and commodities; and
- Expanding testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS for women and their newborns.
Paid maternity leave by country
Are you interested in breastfeeding?
NYC Health is proud to announce Mobile Milk, our free text messaging service for pregnant women and new mothers in NYC. By texting MILK to 877877, women can sign up to receive timely text messages to encourage and support breastfeeding based on their due or delivery dates.
Text messages are delivered between 28 weeks of pregnancy and 4 months after giving birth. During pregnancy, women receive 1-2 messages per week, which provide information and tips for preparing to breastfeed. After delivery, mothers receive text messages 3-4 times per week, providing guidance and support during the first weeks and months of breastfeeding.
Please note that while the Mobile Milk text messaging service is free, standard text messaging rates do apply.
Text MILK to 877877 today, or visit the Mobile Milk page for more details.
The idea came to Jorge Odón as he slept. Somehow, he said, his unconscious made the leap from a YouTube video he had just seen on extracting a lost cork from a wine bottle to the realization that the same parlor trick could save a baby stuck in the birth canal.
Mr. Odón, 59, an Argentine car mechanic, built his first prototype in his kitchen, using a glass jar for a womb, his daughter’s doll for the trapped baby, and a fabric bag and sleeve sewn by his wife as his lifesaving device.
Unlikely as it seems, the idea that took shape on his counter has won the enthusiastic endorsement of the World Health Organization and major donors, and an American medical technology company has just licensed it for production.
With the Odón Device, an attendant slips a plastic bag inside a lubricated plastic sleeve around the head, inflates it to grip the head and pulls the bag until the baby emerges.
Doctors say it has enormous potential to save babies in poor countries, and perhaps to reduce cesarean section births in rich ones.
“This is very exciting,” said Dr. Mario Merialdi, the W.H.O.’s chief coordinator for improving maternal and perinatal health and an early champion of the Odón Device. “This critical moment of life is one in which there’s been very little advancement for years.”
About 10 percent of the 137 million births worldwide each year have potentially serious complications, Dr. Merialdi said. About 5.6 million babies are stillborn or die quickly, and about 260,000 women die in childbirth. Obstructed labor, which can occur when a baby’s head is too large or an exhausted mother’s contractions stop, is a major factor.
In wealthy countries, fetal distress results in a rush to the operating room. In poor, rural clinics, Dr. Merialdi said, “if the baby doesn’t come out, the woman is on her own.”
The current options in those cases are forceps — large, rounded pliers — or suction cups attached to the baby’s scalp. In untrained hands, either can cause hemorrhages, crush the baby’s head or twist its spine.
Although more testing is planned on the Odón Device, doctors said it appeared to be safe for midwives with minimal training to use.
Along the way, it has won research grants from the United States Agency for International Development and from Grand Challenges Canada. “We’ve given out $32 million for 61 different innovations, and this one is the farthest along,” said Dr. Peter A. Singer, the chief executive of Grand Challenges Canada.
The device will be manufactured by Becton, Dickinson and Company, or BD, of Franklin Lakes, N.J., which is better known for making syringes.
“My first reaction, as soon as I saw it, was positive,” said Gary M. Cohen, the company’s executive vice president for global health. It was at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Dr. Merialdi asked him to consider taking it on.
“Many inventions get to the prototype stage, but that’s maybe 15 percent of what needs to be done,” Mr. Cohen said. “There’s finalizing the design for manufacture, quality control, the regulatory work and clinical studies. Absent that, they don’t see the light of day.”
So far, the device has been safety-tested only on 30 Argentine women, all of whom were in hospitals, had given birth before and were in normal labor.
“I was glad they asked me, because it was for a good cause,” said Luciana Valle, a kindergarten teacher who was 31 two years ago when her son, Matteo, was one of the first babies extracted with the device. Because Matteo weighed almost nine pounds, “it really helped,” she said in a telephone interview. “His head came out on my second push.”
The W.H.O. will now oversee tests on 100 more women in normal labor in China, India and South Africa, and then on 170 women in obstructed labor.
He tinkers at his garage, but his previous inventions were car parts. Seven years ago, he said, employees were imitating a video showing that a cork pushed into an empty bottle can be retrieved by inserting a plastic grocery bag, blowing until it surrounds the cork, and drawing it out.
That night, he won a dinner bet on it.
At 4 a.m., he woke his wife and told her the idea that had just come to him. (His own children were born without problems, he said, but he has an aunt who suffered nerve damage from birth.)
His wife, he recalled, “said I was crazy and went back to sleep.”
The next morning, a somewhat skeptical friend introduced him to an obstetrician. “You can imagine these two guys in suits in a waiting room full of pregnant ladies,” he said.
The doctor was encouraging, so he kept working. Polyethylene replaced the bag his wife had sewn, and the jar was replaced by a plastic uterus.
With the help of a cousin, Mr. Odón met the chief of obstetrics at a major hospital in Buenos Aires. The chief had a friend at the W.H.O., who knew Dr. Merialdi, who, at a 2008 medical conference in Argentina, granted Mr. Odón 10 minutes during a coffee break.
The meeting instead lasted two hours. At the end, Dr. Merialdi declared the idea “fantastic” and arranged for testing at the Des Moines University simulation lab, which has mannequins more true-to-life than a doll and a jar.
Since then, Mr. Odón has continued to refine the device, patenting each change so he will eventually earn royalties on it.
“My daughter said, ‘And now I can have my doll back,’ ” he said.
It is too early to know what BD will charge, Mr. Cohen said, but each device should cost less than $50 to make. While the company expects to profit on all sales, it will charge poor countries less.
Dr. Merialdi said he endorsed a modest profit motive because he had seen other lifesaving ideas languish for lack of it. He cited magnesium sulfate injections, which can prevent fatal eclampsia, and corticosteroids, which speed lung development in premature infants.
“But first, this problem needed someone like Jorge,” he said. “An obstetrician would have tried to improve the forceps or the vacuum extractor, but obstructed labor needed a mechanic. And 10 years ago, this would not have been possible. Without YouTube, he never would have seen the video.”
(From The New York Times)
About 500 American children and teenagers die in hospitals every year after sustaining gunshot wounds — a rate that climbed by nearly 60 percent in a decade, according to the first-ever accounting of such fatalities, released Sunday.
In addition, an estimated 7,500 kids are hospitalized annually after being wounded by gunfire, a figure that spiked by more than 80 percent from 1997 to 2009, according two Boston doctors presenting their findings at a conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held in Orlando, Fla.
Eight of every 10 firearm wounds were inflicted by handguns, according to hospital records reviewed by the doctors. They say the national conversation about guns should shift toward the danger posed by smaller weapons, not the recent fights over limiting the availability of military-style, semi-automatic rifles.
“Handguns account for the majority of childhood gunshot wounds and this number appears to be increasing over the last decade,” said Dr. Arin L. Madenci, a surgical resident at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and one of the study’s two authors. “Furthermore, states with higher percentages of household firearm ownership also tended to have higher proportions of childhood gunshot wounds, especially those occurring in the home.”
Among homes with children, rates of gun possession ranged from 10 percent in New Jersey, for instance, to 62 percent in Montana, the researchers found.
Madenci, and his colleague, Dr. Christopher Weldon, a surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, tallied the new statistics by culling a national database of 36 million pediatric hospitalizations from 1997 to 2009, the most recent year for which figures are available.
During that period, hospitalizations of kids and teens aged 20 and younger from gunshot wounds jumped from 4,270 to 7,730. Firearm deaths of children logged by hospitals rose from 317 in 1997 to 503 in 2009, records showed.
(From NBC News)