Friday, September 21, 2007

Mommy gene may explain birth rate

ScienceDaily: Mommy gene may explain birth rate: "'...The drive to leave a legacy through offspring can be side-tracked by an attraction to legacy through other things like career, fame, and fortune -- distractions that, until recently, were only widely available to men,' he said. He speculates the trend will eventually subside because over time genetic traits influencing women away from motherhood will necessarily be 'bred out.'"

critical reading for Tuesday's class

This post is by Josh Ruxin, a professor here at Columbia. But I'd like to draw your attention to the comments, particularly the ones regarding lactation consultants. I

How Do They Cope? - Nicholas D. Kristof - Opinion - New York Times Blog

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Comments for ORT/Water Presentation

• Good coverage of important information; only class exercise was “the drinking” of ORS. Overuse of PowerPoint. Family feud questions was a good way to involve class.
• Presenters were really well informed. I thoroughly enjoyed the case studies end the tie-ins to the presentation before.
• Great presentation. Wish you would have put more online ahead of time.
• The treatment of this topic was a little shallow, and #1 – while it was interesting, depended a little too much on personal/family anecdotes.
• ORT should have been defined a bit more clearly (in retrospect) very broad topic. Perhaps should be broken in two days so greater detail could be added.
• Clear, well-organized presentation. Utilizing the game facilitating learning. Fun!
• Abbas: breakdown the information prior to presenting. Excellent delivery.
• Reyes: Excellent delivery – good use of experience, examples, pictures.
• The professors were engaging but maybe the students need to speak out more.

Web 2.0 For Development: The Conference

Web2ForDev: Home: "Web2ForDev 2007 is the first conference devoted to exploring the ways in which international development stakeholders can take advantage of the technical and organizational opportunities provided by Web 2.0 methods, approaches and applications."

Global Development Leaders Discuss BRAC's Expansion into Africa and the U.S.

MAILMAN SCHOOL - AT THE FRONTLINE - News and Events - Global Development Leaders Discuss BRAC's Expansion into Africa and the U.S.: "On Monday, September 18, Mr. Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC - Building Resources Across Communities, joined Mailman School Dean Allan Rosenfield, MD and prominent leaders in international development at a meeting hosted by the School to discuss successful methods for facilitating and providing aid to underserved areas of the world..."

Ranks of child soldiers swell again in Congo

Ranks of child soldiers swell again in Congo | "...Nowhere has the use of child soldiers been as pernicious as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But in the past three years of relative peace, militia groups as well as the Army were starting to send their adult soldiers into an integrated Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the FARDC, and to send their child soldiers home to their families. But a recent bout of fighting - a tangled conflict of local ethnic militias, Rwandan rebels, and the Congolese Army - is putting that progress at risk. Untold hundreds and even thousands of young boys and girls are being forced to rejoin the fight, or to fight for the first time in a war that few of them understand [...]"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hospital Practices Affect Long-term Breastfeeding Success

ScienceDaily: Hospital Practices Affect Long-term Breastfeeding Success: "A new study in Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care suggests that implementing 5 breastfeeding-friendly practices in hospitals following birth can significantly improve long-term breastfeeding success. Nearly two-thirds of mothers who engaged in all 5 supportive practices were still breastfeeding 4 months after going home. The specific hospital practices include:

Initiating breastfeeding within 1 hour of delivery
Keeping infants in the mother’s hospital room
Feeding infants only breast milk in the hospital; no supplementation of water or formula
Prohibiting pacifier use in the hospital
Providing a telephone number to call for breastfeeding help after hospital discharge"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Following last weeks discussion on food supplementation and alternatives to direct feeding program, this is an interesting, brief article on the benefits of fish farming in Malawi.

Fish versus AIDS
Aug 30th 2007 JOHANNESBURGFrom The Economist print edition

Fish ponds are helping in the fight against AIDS

18 Percent of Country's Doctors Abroad - Grange (Page 1 of 1)

Later this semester we'll discuss braindrain in more detail--the controversy over training individuals from developing countries to become doctors and nurses, when they often then leave to take high paying positions in developed countries. Nigeria: 18 Percent of Country's Doctors Abroad - Grange (Page 1 of 1): "At least 18 percent of Nigeria's medical doctors are either studying or practising abroad, Minister of Health Professor Adenike Grange said in Abuja yesterday [...]"

BRAC event tomorrow!

Come see Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of BRAC, tomorrow at the Allan Rosenfield Building, 4 p.m. or Thursday at Morningside Campus, Faculty House, President's Room, Second Floor.

Calendar -- Event Display: "Fazle Hasan Abed founded BRAC (Building Resources Across Communities) in 1972, in the aftermath of the liberation of Bangladesh. He states that 'Scaling Up and Managing Well is the BRAC approach to health and development.' From humble beginnings, BRAC has become one of the world's largest NGOs with over 100,000 staff members and an annual budget of more than $430 million. A remarkable 78% of which is self-financed by BRAC initiatives, a model of international leadership in sustainable development for resource scarce and rural areas.

BRAC is dedicated to alleviating poverty and empowering the poor by utilizing a comprehensive, multilateral approach that combines microfinance with health, education, and other social development programs. Mr. Abed advocates a holistic approach to poverty alleviation, emphasizing the importance of gender equality and social mobilization. "

Kenyan Farmers' Fate Caught Up in U.S. Aid Rules That Benefit Agribusiness

As the United States Congress debates an omnibus farm bill, it is considering a small change that advocates say could make a big difference to the world's hungriest people: allowing the federal government to buy some food in Africa to feed the famished, rather than shipping it all overseas from America.....

You can read the article at:

(I meant to post this after last week's class. It's an article I remembered having read over the summer.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Oral Rehydration Therapy and Water

In preparation for Tuesday's class on ORT (Oral Rehydration Therapy) and water, please take a minute to review the following articles.

The first is a joint statement from the WHO and UNICEF on the clinical management of acute diarrhea. It contains some good background information, and recommended practices.

The next is an article that appeared in Time magazine about a year ago, about the situation in Bangladesh:,9171,1543876,00.html

The next is a short article from the WHO on reducing deaths from diarrhea and dehydration, and the benefits of ORS:

Finally, we have a 10-minute video on Water: