The challenges associated with protecting the people of Africa from malaria took center stage Monday during the second day of the African Union (AU) Summit, the New Times/allAfrica.com reports (2/2). Twenty-six heads of state convened the first working session of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), a group that "aims to defeat the disease, which accounts for over 25 percent of all deaths of children under the age of five across Africa, affects over 50 million pregnant women and is responsible for 10 percent of all maternal mortalities every year, " U.N. News Centre reports (2/1). During World Malaria Day 2008, the U.N. Secretary-General challenged leaders to provide universal access to malaria control measures in Africa by 2010, according to the Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report (4/25/08).
The following summarizes selected women's health-related blog entries. ~ " Dem Lawmaker: Strong Likelihood of Using Reconciliation To Pass Health Bill, " Jordan Fabian, The Hill 's "Blog Briefing Room": Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) on Monday said that the need to pass health reform legislation could justify the use of budget reconciliation, a legislative tactic that would require only a simple majority in the Senate, Fabian writes. Engel said that the "likelihood is quite good" that reconciliation would be used, adding, "The vast majority of people on the Democratic side feel that health care needs to be passed and we can't delay." In his State of the Union address, President Obama "promised not to walk away from health care reform legislation that has served as the signature legislative item, " Fabian writes.
A new study weighs in on the controversy over sex education, finding that an abstinence-only intervention for pre-teens was more successful in delaying the onset of sexual activity than a health-promotion control intervention. After two years, one-third of the abstinence-only group reported having sex, compared to one-half of the control group. The study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania appears in the February 1 edition of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. While abstinence-only intervention did not eliminate sexual activity all together, this is the first randomized controlled study to demonstrate that an abstinence-only intervention reduced the percentage of adolescents who reported any sexual intercourse for a long period, in this case two years, following the intervention.
The Utah House Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday approved a bill ( HB 12 ) that would permit criminal charges against a woman who attempts to have an illegal abortion, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The legislation would define which abortions are legal and protected from prosecution. According to the Tribune, terminating a pregnancy in a manner not allowed under the legislation could lead to a charge of criminal homicide, which is a second-degree felony. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Carl Wimmer (R), was developed in response to a case in Uintah County, in which a 17-year-old paid a man $150 to beat her in an attempt to cause a miscarriage of her seven-month-old fetus.
The Joint Commission on Tuesday issued its latest sentinel event alert highlighting maternal death in the U.S. as a serious, though rare, issue that should receive more attention from hospitals and caregivers, HealthLeaders Media reports. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, 13.3 women died per 100, 000 live births in 2006, marking an increase compared with previous years. Maternal death is defined as a death occurring within 42 days of birth or termination of pregnancy, HealthLeaders Media reports. Researchers speculate that one reason for the rise in maternal deaths could be the growing number of pregnant women with pre-existing health conditions, such as morbid obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes.
A study published Friday in the British medical journal Lancet found that a new type of emergency contraception, ulipristal acetate, appears to be more effective for a longer time than the most widely used form of EC, levonorgestrel, the AP/USA Today reports. The new EC pill -- available by prescription in Europe under the brand name ellaOne -- prevented pregnancy for up to five days in the study. Levonorgestrel -- sold as Levonelle and Plan B in the U.S. and more than 140 other countries -- can be taken for up to three days. Lead author Anna Glasier of the Family Planning and Well Woman Services at Dean Terrace Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland, and colleagues followed about 1, 700 women ages 16 through 36 who received either ellaOne or Plan B within three to five days of having unprotected sex.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a bacterial infection of the female reproductive organs, including the womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries. It usually occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from the vagina to the uterus and upper genital tract. PID is a general term and can refer to viral, fungal, parasitic, though most often bacterial infections. Many different types of bacteria can cause PID, but most cases result from a Chlamydia or gonorrhea infection. According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is: "acute or chronic suppurative inflammation of female pelvic structures (endometrium, uterine tubes, pelvic peritoneum) due to infection by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, or other organisms, typically a complication of sexually transmitted infection of the lower genital tract, may be precipitated by menstruation, parturition, or surgical procedures including abortion;
The Wisconsin Legislature approved a bill Thursday that would require school sex education programs to teach about contraception beginning in the 2010 school year, the AP/Appleton Post-Crescent reports. The state Senate approved the bill 18-15, with all Democrats supporting it and all Republicans voting against it. The state Assembly, which approved the legislation in November 2009, on Thursday approved a change made by the Senate and sent the bill to Gov. Jim Doyle (D), who has said he supports the measure. While Wisconsin schools are not required to teach sex education, the bill would require those that do to address the benefits, side effects, and correct use of contraceptives and other methods to prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancies.
President Obama's fiscal year 2011 budget proposal would exempt programs for women and girls from spending restrictions proposed for many other domestic programs, according to documents obtained by McClatchy, McClatchy/Kansas City Star reports. According to McClatchy/Star, the document -- "Opportunity and Progress for Women and Girls" -- highlights 15 federal programs that benefit women and girls and would receive 2011 funding increases, including nine that narrowly focus on women and girls. Six programs are broader initiatives that would also benefit men and boys, such as a 1.4% pay increase requested for the U.S. military. White House spokesperson Kate Bedingfield said, "We're looking at a lot of significant funding increases for women's programs in a year when the president has ordered a three-year, non-security, discretionary spending freeze.
The economic situation does not appear to have affected the cosmetic surgery business in Britain: new figures from a not-for-profit organisation show that the number of surgical procedures were 6.7 per cent higher in 2009 than 2008, among which the number of male breast reductions went up by 80 per cent. These figures, released on 1st February, are from the latest audit by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), a not-for-profit organisation that describes its purpose as being to advance the education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Despite the recession, said the BAAPS in a press statement, 36, 482 surgical procedures took place in Britain last year, up from 34, 187 in 2008.