What Do Adolescent Girls Think About Contraceptives?

The piece below originally appeared on the A360 Learning Hub. Do I fit in? Does that boy like me? Am I in trouble with my parents? How do I achieve my dreams? What do my friends think of me? How does the future compare to what’s happening right now? Adolescent girls everywhere have a lot

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Opening the Door for Family Planning in Nigeria

The Expanded Social Marketing Project (ESMPIN), funded by USAID, improved the health of women and children in Nigeria by increasing use of modern family planning methods and child health. To achieve this, a team, including Society for Family Health (SFH) along with the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), BBC Media Action (BBCMA) and

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9 Ways to Increase Demand for Child Spacing and Survival

By Boladale Nurat Akin-Kolapo, Society for Family Health Nigeria/PSI The Expanded Social Marketing Project (ESMPIN), funded by USAID, improved the health of women and children in Nigeria by increasing use of modern family planning methods and child health. To achieve this, a team, including Society for Family Health (SFH) along with the Association for Reproductive

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How Small Changes in Nutrition Can Make a Big Difference

By Laila Jewayni, Program Coordinator for West and Central Africa, PSI Bibi takes a break from playing her favorite game “Snake and Ladder,” to talk to me.  The fabrics in her shop cover the three walls while the front overlooks the dirt road stretching through the busy market.  Neighbors poke their heads through the door

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Empowering Women and Teaching Healthy Habits in Nigeria

By Martha Bolanos, Unilever, Regional trade marketing manager, Customer Development, South America I am blessed to have been raised with so many mentors who guided and motivated me to embrace my talents. Now it’s time for me to give back and help other women and their families. A year ago, I applied to become a Unilever

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Pulse Report

Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of Innovation

By Karl Hofmann, PSI President and CEO At PSI, we aim to maximize our health impact. In our latest issue of PSI Pulse, you can take a look at five cutting-edge ways that innovation, collaboration and partnership make it easier for people in the developing world to lead healthier lives. You can see how we…

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How Nigeria’s Election is Affecting Health Care Delivery

By Anna Dirksen, PSI Consultant Millions of Nigerians cast their ballots this weekend in what some are calling the country’s most closely fought elections since independence. While voting took place with fewer problems than many predicted, some reports of violence showed that tensions in some parts of the country remain high. From a public health

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Action to #BringBackOurGirls

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Over 270 Nigerian girls between 15 and 18 years old were kidnapped from their school two weeks ago by Boko Haram militants, a terrorist group whose name translates to “Western education is sinful.” The school’s principal, Hajiya Asabe Ali Kwambula, told the New York Times yesterday that 53 girls managed to escape while 223 are still missing. The girls have reportedly been taken to a terrorist camp deep in the forest, although new reports have come in this week from remote villages that some of the girls have been “auctioned off to Boko Haram members for 2,000 Naira” — about $12 — for forced “marriages” or sex slavery.

Nigerians have been holding mass protests this week calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to deploy every means possible to find the girls. You can join the international call to action to bring back the girls by supporting two petitions that have been building momentum.

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By Enacting Discriminatory Laws in Uganda and Nigeria, Health is put at Risk

A statement from Karl Hofmann, PSI President and CEO

PSI believes that all people share equal human rights and that no person should be subjected to discrimination or violence on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Men who have sex with men are among the highest risk groups for HIV transmission, and discriminatory laws such as those recently adopted in Nigeria and Uganda will increase stigma, incite violence and have a negative health impact.

Such laws also undermine progress toward universal health coverage for all, a national health objective sensibly embraced by Uganda, Nigeria, and many other countries in Africa.

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Nearing the tipping point against AIDS

AIDS activists say the tipping point against AIDS will be when more people are on life-saving treatment for the first time than the number of new cases each year. The ONE Campaign calls the point the beginning of the end of AIDS. We are not there yet, but some countries are doing well. Unfortunately those lagging are mostly located in the Global South.

The NGO AVAC decided to analyze how countries are doing in their fight to end AIDS. There is some good news, but countries like Nigeria with its giant population, threaten to circumvent progress. The New York Times highlighted the findings writing:

“There’s all this talk about ending AIDS,” said Mitchell Warren, AVAC’s executive director. “We wanted to find a mechanism that could chart the progress over time, and use it as a management tool, and to make comparisons between countries that are doing the right things and the others.”

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Polio Spreads in East Africa

Somalia PolioThe polio outbreak discovered in Somalia this May caused concerns that it would spread to neighboring countries. Today we learned of the first case of polio in Ethiopia since 2008. A total of 105 cases of polio have been recorded this year in Somalia. That is 5 out of every 9 cases of polio around the world.

“It’s very worrying because it’s an explosive outbreak and of course polio is a disease that is slated for eradication,” said Oliver Rosenbauer, a spokesman for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative at the World Health Organization in Geneva to TIME.

“In fact we’re seeing more cases in this area this year than in the three endemic countries worldwide.”

VOA reports on the latest outbreak:

Carol Pandak heads Rotary International’s polio eradication program.

“It’s not surprising that the virus is spreading. This area has been considered high risk because of its proximity to Somalia,” said Pandak.

A Somali refugee camp in Kenya has also seen 12 cases of the paralyzing disease this year.

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Living a Double Life: HIV and Men Who Have Sex with Men

By Lung Vu, Research Advisor, HIV & TB and Rena Greifinger, Technical Advisor, Sexual Reproductive Health and TB

HIV has a devastating impact on men who have sex with men (MSM) in Nigeria.

“[B]ecause of stigma, discrimination, homophobia, and criminalization that MSM face in the course of their lives in many African countries, many are reluctant to access health care services and participate in research thus heightening their vulnerability to HIV infection,” says an article from the June 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immonudeficiency Syndromes (JSAIDS).

Led by PSI’s Lung Vu, the researchers found MSM to practice very high-risk behavior: having more than one sexual partner and high rates of unprotected sex, as well as many who have sex with both men and women. Many of these men suffer with internalized homophobia and are therefore less likely to access HIV prevention and treatment services. The researchers call for a combination prevention approach which includes biomedical (such as HIV counseling and testing and condoms), behavioral (such as mass media campaigns and education programs), and structural (such as advocacy to change discriminating policies) interventions.

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