The EngenderHealth News Blog
EngenderHealth on YouTube EngenderHealth on Twitter EngenderHealth on FaceBook The latest news from and about EngenderHealth, a leading international nonprofit working in sexual and reproductive health. For more information, visit our web site or join us on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

South Africa ramps up its response to HIV and AIDS

In a move that United Nations officials say is the biggest and fastest expansion of AIDS services ever attempted, South Africa is opening up a new front in its response to HIV. In the past month, some 500 hospitals and clinics have begun dispensing antiretroviral drugs, and the government has trained hundreds of nurses to prescribe the drugs, work that was formerly the domain of doctors, the New York Times reported yesterday. The plan is to train enough nurses so that all of South Africa’s 4,333 health clinics will be able to dispense antiretroviral medicines.

South Africa is home to an estimated 5.7 million HIV-positive people, the largest number in the world. More than half of South Africans living with HIV are women, and 20 percent of pregnant women accessing public health services in 2008 tested positive for HIV. South Africa also has a high rate of sexual and domestic violence toward women, which increases women’s vulnerability to HIV infection.

Since 1998, EngenderHealth has worked in South Africa to transform men’s attitudes and behaviors to reduce gender-based violence and HIV infection rates. We have also introduced innovative approaches for improving men’s access to HIV counseling and testing and care and treatment services. We applaud South Africa’s increased efforts to respond to HIV and the campaign that was kicked off on Sunday to test 15 million of the country’s 49 million citizens for the virus by next June. We also know from our experiences in places where doctors are scarce that properly trained nurses and midwives can offer high-quality health care.

Read more about EngenderHealth’s work to train nonphysicians to perform male circumcision in Kenya.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

At the Huffington Post, More Commentary from Dr. Ana Langer on the Maternal Mortality News

Today at the Huffington Post: Dr. Ana Langer, EngenderHealth's president, explains the importance of the latest maternal mortality research published in the Lancet -- and how it inspires us to keep moving ahead.
For decades, the maternal health community has been stuck on the number 500,000 -- the estimated number of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth each year -- a stubborn figure that keeps us up at night, that horrifies us, that refuses to budge. That changed this week.
Read the full article.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

At, Dr. Ana Langer's Perspective on the Maternal Mortality Numbers

At, EngenderHealth's president Dr. Ana Langer provided some perspective on the maternal mortality numbers in today's headlines, including why the U.S. is lagging.
Dr. Ana Langer, president of EngenderHealth, an international reproductive healthcare organization, said that better record keeping might account for some of the increase in the U.S. The window for classifying maternal mortality has been extended from 42 days after a woman gives birth to one year. Also, in recent years, U.S. death certificates began tracking whether or not a woman of reproductive age is pregnant at the time of death. As for global changes, Langer points to an increase in contraceptive use, women's education and the use of skilled medical providers during birth. However, she was quick to point out that it's somewhat deceptive to say that maternal mortality is declining worldwide. The reality is that it's "declining in some countries with large populations."
Read the full article.