The EngenderHealth News Blog
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Raise Your Voice : End the Global Gag Rule

The Global Gag Rule has had terrible consequences for the health and lives of poor women and their families, in ways that have nothing to do with abortion. The Global Gag Rule has forced clinics to cut back on all sorts of health services, such as family planning, obstetric care, HIV testing, and malaria treatment.

Urge President-elect Obama to overturn the Global Gag Rule during his first 100 days. Watch the video, sign the petition, then spread the word.

Learn more about the Global Gag Rule.

Friday, December 5, 2008

EngenderHealth on PBS's "Foreign Exchange"

Dr. Isaiah Ndong, EngenderHealth's Vice President for Programs, appeared on PBS's weekly "Foreign Exchange" to discuss the Global Gag Rule, the impact it has had on global health efforts, and what it could mean if President-elect Obama overturns it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

HIV and circumcision

An op-ed by Paul Perchal, the director of EngenderHealth's HIV/STI program, appeared in the Los Angeles Times today:

“My downstairs neighbor, eight months pregnant, recently stopped me in the elevator to share her dilemma about whether to have her baby boy circumcised. For a growing number of American parents today -- particularly in urban centers like Los Angeles and New York -- the decision to cut or not to cut is not the foregone conclusion it used to be.

“Forty years ago, the circumcision rate for newborn boys in the United States was 85%; today, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, it's about 56%, as more parents rethink whether circumcision is--or ever was--necessary.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, attitudes are moving in the other direction. There, circumcision is gaining a hold in communities where historically it has not been practiced, and there is good reason for the shift.”

Read the rest of the article.

New Initiative Launched to Advance Maternal Health

EngenderHealth announced today that it has received a three-year, $11 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to coordinate the Maternal Health Task Force Project, which will contribute to shaping collective efforts to improve maternal health worldwide. The Task Force will serve as a catalyst to address one of the most neglected areas in global health.

Maternal morbidity and mortality rates remain unacceptably high across the developing world. Every minute, a woman dies from complications related to childbirth or pregnancy. While most maternal deaths are preventable, poor health services and scarce resources limit women’s access to life-saving, high-quality care. Although there have been some notable advances, efforts to adequately address maternal health remain fragmented, and the political will remains insufficient to effectively tackle the issues.

Recognizing that real progress will require better coordination and increased global attention, EngenderHealth will bring together existing maternal health networks and engage new organizations to facilitate global coordination of maternal health programs. The Task Force will not duplicate or replace existing projects; rather, it will play a complementary role by convening stakeholders and creating an inclusive setting to engage in dialogue, build consensus, and share information.

The Task Force will provide a new forum dedicated specifically to maternal health, while reaching out to leaders from allied fields – including neonatal and child health, reproductive health, human rights, and HIV/AIDS – to devise innovative solutions to maternal morbidity and mortality. As a key component of the initiative, partners in developing countries will play a central role in setting the agenda. The Task Force will work very closely with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) and other critical partners in this field.

The Task Force will harness new opportunities for collaboration and coordination and ensure that efforts pay off for women, families, and communities around the world.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Video: HIV is Real and It's Around

Mogomotsi "Supreme" Mfalapitsa, a senior transformation agent at EngenderHealth in South Africa, works in our Men As Partners® program to reduce both HIV and gender inequality. He performed this original song about HIV and safe sex at the Mexico YouthForce pre-conference just before the 2008 International AIDS Conference. The video was filmed by Marius Juel Hovland. As Supreme says, “I am passionate about music being used to send positive messages and creating change in people's lives.”

Download a free MP3 version of Supreme's song.

Turning the Corner for People Living with HIV

EngenderHealth's president, Dr. Ana Langer, appears in the Huffington Post as a guest columnist.

“Today, people across the globe will rally around World AIDS Day. An AIDS awareness bike marathon will wind its way through the streets of Cairo. Zagreb will host a massive rock concert. And hundreds of activists will gather for a candlelight memorial on GorĂ©e Island in Senegal.... A lot has changed since the World Health Organization designated the first World AIDS Day 20 years ago. Back then, 5 to 10 million people were thought to be infected with HIV worldwide. Today that number is estimated at 33 million.”

Read the rest of the article.

Champions Speak: Voices from Uganda

The theme of the 2008 World AIDS Day is leadership, and we are reminded of the leaders we encounter every day who take bold steps to address HIV and transform their communities. In this photo essay, “Champions Speak: Voices from Uganda,” meet individuals like Alice Kiyonga, who helped change attitudes toward people living with HIV.