The story of mother-to-be Lalita, who we see receiving quality prenatal care in the video above, is an increasingly common one in Nepal. Because the country has significantly improved access to maternal, newborn and child health services, young women like Lalita no longer have to worry about unsafe deliveries as their mothers did. That’s something Nepalis are proud of.
As a newcomer in my new post in Accra, I am starting to learn about Ghana’s achievements and challenges. I have been impressed with some innovative policies and measures adopted to address difficult development challenges in the social sectors.
Earlier this week, the World Bank health team joined the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) to launch six reports that provide a rich collection of data detailing the health landscape across six global regions.
The reports—an outcome of the Global Burden of Disease 2010 (GBD 2010) data set released last December by IHME—explore changes in the leading causes of premature mortality and disability in each region over 20 years, depicting risk factors and comparing the performance of countries in a range of health outcomes. Individually, they document how each region is working to reduce health loss from most communicable, newborn, nutritional, and maternal conditions and what new challenges lay ahead.
New York Times columnist Nick Kristof, in a recent piece titled “A Free Miracle Food!”, wrote: “…if we want to save hundreds of thousands of lives, maybe a step forward is to offer more support to moms in poor counties trying to nurse their babies. Nursing a baby might seem instinctive, but plenty goes wrong. In some parts of the world, a problem has been predatory marketing by formula manufacturers, but, in the poorest countries, the main concern is that moms delay breast-feeding for a day or two after birth and then give babies water or food in the first six months.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are becoming a significant burden in sub-Saharan Africa, and road traffic injuries are rapidly emerging as a major cause of death and disability. By 2010, cerebrovascular diseases (stroke) and road injuries were already within the top 15 causes of years of life lost, joined by ischemic heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and hypertensive heart disease in Southern sub-Saharan Africa. Road traffic injuries are expected to be the number one killer of children aged 5-15 in Africa by 2015 if current trends continue unabated. Yet, this burden remains largely hidden.
The author with colleagues after touring a health facility in Turkey, June 2013. Also available in Turkish
Two days after joining the World Bank, I traveled to Turkey to attend the government’s ministerial meeting on universal health coverage (UHC), which corresponded with The Lancet publication of an independent 10-year assessment of Turkey’s Health Transformation Program (HTP).
Preschool programs are a great way to give kids the educational building blocks to help them learn and prepare for primary school. But is that enough?
photo credit: photo courtesy Tomasz Sienicki/Wiki Commons
It is a truth universally acknowledged that … tobacco prematurely kills about half of those who use it. That amounts to 6 million people, or one of every ten deaths worldwide, each year. This, in and of itself, may not make tobacco a global development issue. However, the fact that tobacco use in most middle-income and low-income countries runs against otherwise generally positive global development trends related to poverty, hunger and most of the MDGs, should give us pause, particularly on World No Tobacco Day (May 31).
An example of “leapfrogging” in development was in evidence last week at the World Bank’s headquarters as Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys, and now the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, described how India is rolling out its Aadhaar scheme, which intends to issue a unique identification number (UID) to every Indian (more than 1.2 billion people).