Why have four children when you could have seven?

By Jill Filipovic This piece originally ran on The Guardian.com. The article takes a thoughtful look into barriers to family planning uptake in Niger and the dilemma facing organizations like PSI working to meet the country’s high unmet contraceptive need. ____________________________________________________________________________________ With the world’s highest birthrate, Niger’s population is set to double in 17 years. NGOs are providing

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The Connection Between Wealth and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa

The above infographic from the Population Reference Buerau compares the health outcomes and systems of Niger and Ghana. Niger’s GDP per capital is less than half of that of Ghana. The wealthier Ghana is better on various comparison points when taken as an overall. However, when comparing the wealthiest and poorest 20% of each country the picture shifts a bit. Ghana’s economic growth has coincided with a widening gap of inequality.

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Evaluating Maternal and Infant Health Interventions Based on Inequality

A study by Dr Aluísio JD Barros PhD and others looked at the progress of 12 maternal, newborn, and child health interventions towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5. A particular emphasis is placed on within-country inequalities to see how maternal, newborn, and child health interventions vary in each country. By comparing the interventions in each country, the researchers hoped to understand what ways inequality may or may not be affecting their progress.

So, they took the data from national surveys in 54 Countdown to 2015 countries between Jan 1, 2000, and Dec 31, 2008 and re-analysed the data for 12 maternal, newborn, and child health interventions. The data was then compared across coverage for income groups and assessed inequalities with a pair of indices for absolute inequality and two for relative inequality.

According to the abstract, the researchers found:

Skilled birth attendant coverage was the least equitable intervention, according to all four summary indices, followed by four or more antenatal care visits. The most equitable intervention was early initation of breastfeeding. Chad, Nigeria, Somalia, Ethiopia, Laos, and Niger were the most inequitable countries for the interventions examined, followed by Madagascar, Pakistan, and India. The most equitable countries were Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Community-based interventions were more equally distributed than those delivered in health facilities. For all interventions, variability in coverage between countries was larger for the poorest than for the richest individuals.

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