Connecting Fistula Care and the Manifesto for Maternal Health

first_imgPosted on May 29, 2014November 4, 2016By: Bethany Cole, Global Projects Manager, Fistula Care Plus, EngenderHealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)From 2007-2013 Engender Health managed the Fistula Care project in partnership with IntraHealth International and supported by USAID. The project worked in ten countries to increase access to fistula repair services, strengthen prevention and reintegration, contribute to the clinical and programmatic evidence base, and enhance the enabling environment for services.At the end of the project, over 130 participants from 16 countries gathered at the meeting, “Towards a Fistula-Free Generation.” The meeting was held in Kampala, Uganda, in September 2013. Uganda was chosen as the location for the meeting due to the Ministry of Health’s initiative to incorporate fistula guidelines and programming into its sexual and reproductive health services. Uganda was also the setting for other innovative approaches and achievements during the Fistula Care project.At the Uganda meeting, participants identified lessons learned and needs for action that echo several points of the Manifesto for Maternal Health post-2015, written by MHTF’s director, Ana Langer, and published in the Lancet in February 2013.Manifesto Point 1: The Urgency of NowAt the Uganda meeting, the Ugandan Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, presented the Ministry’s vision to reduce maternal morbidity:Promote appropriate care-seeking,increase the use of skilled care at birth, andimplement targeted programming to reduce maternal mortality and impact maternal morbidity.Dr. Rugunda closed his speech asking for a time when girls can grow up, achieve their reproductive intention, and have no need for familiarity with obstetric fistula. Allowing women and girls to languish with morbidity like obstetric fistula or condemning families to live with maternal morbidity can’t be an option. We must act to end preventable morbidity and mortality.Manifesto Point 3: To Count is to MatterDr. Özge Tunçalp, of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research, provided the keynote address in Uganda on the incidence and prevalence of fistula and discussed the challenges and importance of measurement. Dr. Tunçalp identified the role and importance of strong fistula metrics in both accountability and opportunities for learning. Globally, fistula is a rare event, with the majority of the cases occurring in low-income countries where women lack access to intrapartum care. While we do not have good prevalence and incidence data on fistula, the most frequently cited numbers are that two million women are living with the condition, with about 50,000 to 100,000 new cases annually. However, global estimates such as these are not sufficient for national health systems to plan and allocate national and local resources for prevention, outreach, and treatment services.Innovative approaches to fistula metrics should be further developed. One way this can be done is triangulating fistula data based on country-specific needs and capacity. At the global level, there is a need for better understanding of the challenges and costs involved in estimating the prevalence and incidence of rare events. We should conduct systematic and critical reviews of available estimation methodologies for obstetric fistula in order to formulate the most valid and reliable method.Manifesto Point 6: Caring for Most Vulnerable of the VulnerableMary Nell Wegner, the executive director of the Maternal Health Task Force, presented findings from a 2011 consultation on caring for women whose fistulas are deemed incurable. This consultation recommended that stakeholders need to reach a consensus on fistula-related terminology and donors should be asked to fund research to assess social constructs and contextual factors related to fistula. It was also noted that since fistula can be classified as a chronic condition, it could be made reportable within the ICD to capture policymakers’ attention.Social constructs, lack of family planning services, and unavailability emergency obstetric care put women at risk of obstetric fistula. In addition, efforts should be made to mitigate the use of stigmatizing labels like “untreatable” or “unfixable” among clinicians and policymakers.  Fistula, especially for women deemed incurable, can lead to hidden lives sequestered from the wider community. Reaching out to these unseen populations was a priority of the Fistula Care project.Manifesto Point 9: The Continuum between Maternal and Child HealthThe vast majority of women with an obstetric fistula have also experienced a stillbirth or early newborn death. Strengthening maternal health services helps protect the health and well-being of the mother, but it can also prevent intrapartum stillbirths or the deaths of newborns. This is particularly true since the cause of fistula, prolonged and obstructed labor, is strongly linked to perinatal mortality. The Fistula Care project supported facilities to strengthen the continuum of care from antenatal to infant care. When maternal health services are strengthened, both mothers and babies benefit, and families are spared the agony of preventable deaths.The Fistula Care website provides resources related to these topics, including training manuals, curricula and meeting reports. The Fistula Care Plus project has been awarded to EngenderHealth. With the project’s partners, FC+ will continue to build on these successes.Interested in writing a blog post on how your country is addressing the prevention and treatment of fistula? Please contact Katie Millar.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Family Inclusive Maternal Health Care: What it Is and Why it Matters

first_imgPosted on September 15, 2016October 4, 2016By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Duncan Fisher (Family Initiative) and Dr. Ana Langer (Women and Health Initiative)Not surprisingly, public health professionals, researchers and clinicians in the maternal and child health field have traditionally focused primarily on the mother and the child. Interventions aimed at encouraging antenatal care attendance, facility-based delivery and exclusive breastfeeding have generally targeted the pregnant woman or mother, often without much attention to her partner, surrounding family or social network.Duncan Fisher, Co-Founder and Director of the Family Initiative, traveled from the United Kingdom to give a lecture at the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health about the importance of expanding the focus of maternal health. While there has been some effort to engage men in maternal health, few studies examining this issue have been conducted and even fewer interventions have been designed, implemented or evaluated.Fisher noted that throughout human history, even before we were homo sapiens, child rearing has been a communal effort: fathers, family and even other community members have been instrumental in helping mothers to raise children. In fact, fathers experience similar hormonal changes to mothers (albeit somewhat less intensely) when they hold their babies, triggering a biological, instinctual sense of attachment. “An aspect of patriarchy and gender inequality,” Fisher suggested, “is suppressing that nurturing activity in men.”Engaging fathers, family members and women’s communities of care during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum may have numerous health benefits for mothers and babies. Not involving fathers during pregnancy is one missed opportunity. Fisher recalled a visit he made to a clinic in Nigeria where fathers rarely accompanied their pregnant wives to antenatal care appointments. When he asked a large room full of pregnant women, “Do you think your husband should be here?” the room erupted into chaos: “Do not ask us to tell him everything because he just thinks we’re nagging—you tell him!” many of the women responded. In many settings around the globe where men typically do not accompany their pregnant wives to antenatal care appointments, health care providers assume that their pregnant patients will relay all of the information discussed to their husbands. In reality, as the women at the Nigerian clinic stated, this assumption more often results in fathers being uninformed and uninvolved. Similarly, despite the important role that fathers and family members play in supporting mothers to breastfeed, efforts to encourage breastfeeding often target new mothers in isolation.Because of the potential negative consequences of promoting male involvement in maternal health and the diversity of family structures—particularly those that do not include a father—focusing on women’s families and communities of care more broadly is crucial. In its 2015 report, the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasized the importance of engaging families and communities to improve maternal and child health outcomes. Much work is needed to mobilize efforts to address these WHO recommendations, including developing consensus on the definition of “family inclusive maternal health care”, conducting research to understand global perspectives on the issue and designing effective, inclusive interventions that improve not just the health of mothers and babies, but also the functioning of family units and communities of care.—Learn more about engaging fathers and families in maternal and infant health from Family Included.Explore perspectives on the Child and Family Blog.Subscribe to receive updates from the Women and Health Initiative.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Funding provided to embrace Victorias many cultures and traditions

first_imgMulticultural organisations are encouraged to apply for funding to hold cultural events, festivals and exhibitions that celebrate their food and traditions with others in the community.The Andrews Labor Government is making $1.35 million available to eligible organisations to hold events in the first six months of 2020, as part of the second round of the Multicultural Festivals and Events Program.It recognises Victoria’s rich multiculturalism and helps groups hold events to celebrate their unique heritage and traditions both with their own communities and the broader Victorian community.Victoria is proudly multicultural, with more than 200 languages spoken and almost every second person either born overseas or who has at least one parent who was born overseas.“Whatever language you speak or the country you were born, we are all Victorian – it’s important we celebrate this,”  said Lily D’Ambrosio, Acting Minister for Multicultural Affairs. “I strongly encourage multicultural groups, particularly those in regional Victoria, to apply for a grant and an opportunity to share your traditions with pride.”READ MORE: Greek Australian actress Olympia Valance named Ambassador for MulticulturalismMore than $885,000 was invested through the first round of the program, which will support almost 500 events and festivals to be held up to December this year.They include the African Music and Cultural Festival at Federation Square, the Mexican Festival, the second-ever Halloumi Festival and the INTERKULTURA Regional Soccer Festival Tournament in Ballarat.READ MORE: Greek Food Fest returns to Welcome to ThornburyThe Labor Government has also invested a further $350,000 to fund 11 major multicultural events, fulfilling a pre-election commitment.Applications will be assessed against program guidelines and an independent panel, including representatives from the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Creative Victoria and Visit Victoria. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Dynamsofts Dynamic Web TWAIN document scanning SD

first_imgDynamsoft’s Dynamic Web TWAIN document scanning SDK has been updated to version 14.0. The new version adds improvements to workflow efficiency when working with images and uploading files.It also includes an optimized HTML5 image viewer which support loading local images using drag-and-drop. The image viewer also enables users to adjust image sequences using drag-and-drop capabilities and select multiple image areas for OCR or erasing.Other new features include a new image upload module for the HTML5 for Windows Edition, a 64-bit service, 64-bit scan module, and 64-bit PDF rasterizer.Undo closes a $14 million Series B funding roundUndo, a software debugging technology company, has closed a $14 million Series B funding round led by Cambridge Innovation Capital. New investors include Global Brain Corporation and Parkwell Advisors Ltd, in addition to existing investors such as Rockspring, Martlet, Sir Peter Michael, the Cambridge Angels group, and Jaan Tallinn.According to Undo, the funding will be used to expand its software development team, accelerate product development, and expand its US operations. The company’s software debugging technology provides capture and replay capabilities for diagnosing severe software faliures in test or production and fixing critical bugs. Intel announces plans to acquire eASICIntel has announced it is acquiring eASIC, a structured ASICs provider. The acquisition will help Intel expand its structured ASIC portfolio. According to the company, structured ASICs are used to optimize power-efficiency and performance.The acquisition will enable Intel to meet customers’ needs of time-to-market, features, performance, cost, power, and product life cycles.“Specifically, having a structured ASICs offering will help us better address high-performance and power-constrained applications that we see many of our customers challenged with in market segments like 4G and 5G wireless, networking and IoT. We can also provide a low-cost, automated conversion process from FPGAs (including competing FPGAs) to structured ASICs,” wrote Dan McNamara, corporate vice president and general manager of the Programmable Solutions Group at Intel in a post.Apache Phoenix 5.0.0 is now availableThe Apache Software Foundation has announced the release of the next major version of Apache Phoenix, 5.0.0. Apache Phoenix is used for enabling SQL-based online transaction processing and operational analytics for Apache Hadoop. It uses Apache HBase as a backing store and provides integrations with other Apache products including Spark, Hive, Pig, Flume, and MapReduce.As part of this release, the ASF has cleaned up deprecated APIs and leveraged new performant APIs, refactored coprocessor implementations, and ensured that Hive and Spark Integration working in the latest versions of Hive and Spark.last_img read more