World Malaria Day: Let no child die

Post Summary: 

This World Malaria Day, April 25, see how we’re joining with our partners and communities to end malaria for good!

Together, we’re one step closer to ensuring that no child dies from malaria.

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On World Malaria Day, I’m reminded of a day last summer when I attended an auspicious graduation ceremony in my home country of Malawi, in the northern district of Mzimba.

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    When a mother dies

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    What happens when a mother dies? In poorer parts of the world, like the highlands of Papua, Indonesia, a mother's death can be especially devastating to her family's livelihood and survival.

    And in 2015, 760 mothers-to-be died every day.

    This International Women’s Day, let’s #BeBoldforChange by helping to ensure that poor mothers survive childbirth.

    ***

    “On my way back home from the hospital, I just kept thinking … How am I going to tell my children, their mother and baby brother died?” Ekari’s husband lamented. “I do not understand why.”

    During 2015 alone, more than 275,000 pregnant women died while giving birth, which is 760 mothers-to-be every single day. One of those deaths on one of those days occurred in the city of Jayawijaya, located deep in the highlands of Papua, Indonesia, home to the Dani tribe.

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      Just like Jennifer

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      Due to fistula—an injury during childbirth that causes incontinence—Jennifer remained outside when she attended church, kneeling in the dirt to pray. For women who don't have proper health care, fistula can ruin their lives.

      Fortunately, it can be fixed with a simple surgery. For Jennifer in Uganda and many women just like her, this means a new lease on life!

      Read her story. 

      ***

      In my travels reporting stories for World Vision, I’ve heard of fistula. I’ve even met the incredible Dr. Catherine Hamlin at her world-renowned fistula clinic in Ethiopia. We had tea together in her parlor. It was a life highlight for me.

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        Ending the HIV epidemic: Leaving no young woman behind

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        As a former physician practicing in a busy maternity ward in a hospital in Africa, Gloria Ekpo has seen the devastation of HIV and AIDS up close.

        But she’s also seen progress.

        Read how we’re working to leave no young woman behind and to empower them toward an AIDS-free generation!

        ***

        As we lead up to World AIDS Day on December 1, we are provided with an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come since the discovery of the HIV virus more than 30 years ago as well as consider what more needs to be done to control the epidemic. We’ve moved from a time when there were no test kits, no drugs, and no hope for survival to the current situation where there are different modalities for testing and treating, including those for children.

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          Photos: Engaging communities to combat Zika

          Post Summary: 

          There have been more than half a million cases of the Zika virus so far across 47 countries.

          Focusing on the five most affected countries, which are in Latin America, we're working to empower communities to combat the virus by learning new behaviors that help prevent and treat the disease.

          Our photo series shows how!

          ***

          On February 1 of this year, the World Health Organization declared the current Zika outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. As of September 22, there had been more than 500,000 cases in 47 countries, with more than 2,000 reported cases of congenital syndrome (like birth defects) associated with this viral disease.

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            World Breastfeeding Week: The value of nutrition

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            This week (August 1-7) is World Breastfeeding Week!

            Our nutrition expert writes about how exclusive "breastfeeding really is the best start a newborn can have."

            Read about the impact that breastfeeding and good nutrition training is making in Ethiopia.

            ***

            The Lancet Breastfeeding Series was released on January 29 with little fanfare outside of the nutrition community. I attended the launch of the series in Washington, DC and was more than impressed with the main findings:

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              “I explored, I understood, and I chose”

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              Families around the world that make a plan to space out their pregnancies improve the health of both the mothers and children.

              Today on International Day of Families, meet two moms in India who chose the best plans for their families to help ensure productive futures for their kids!

              ***

              “I explored, I understood, and I chose.”

              These are the words of two women I met in India in February 2014. Neha and Ashrit both live in villages in the Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh, India. Neha lives with her husband and two children—Chandan who is four and 18-month-old Naitik. I was on a trip for World Vision and visited several homes.

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                UPDATE: Our Zika virus response

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                An update on the Zika virus outbreak in the Americas: what’s happening, how World Vision’s expertise with Ebola supports our response and prevention efforts, and what you can do today to help make a difference.

                ***

                We’ve all been watching the news carefully this week as the world was shocked by the speed of Zika’s spread, and its newly discovered, frightening effects. For a disease that was first confirmed in Brazil only nine months ago, it has now spread to 26 countries in the region, leading experts to predict 3-4 million infections by the end of 2016. The disease appears to be linked to 4,000 cases of microcephaly in Brazil—a congenital condition causing unusual smallness of the head and incomplete brain development in newborns.

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                  Why breastfeeding matters to babies and mothers

                  Post Summary: 

                  Blogger Jennifer James has visited mothers and babies all over the world.

                  Today for World Breastfeeding Week, she explains how in the early months and years of a child's life, breastfeeding can truly be lifesaving!

                  See how.

                  ***

                  When I visit low- and middle-income countries like Ethiopia, Zambia, the Philippines, and Tanzania, I am always heartened by the number of mothers I see breastfeeding their babies. Breastfeeding for so many of these mothers is the best and most affordable way for them to nourish their babies.

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                    Malaria: The phone call that wasn’t

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                    Malaria hasn't existed in the United States since 1949 (CDC). But half the world's population remains at risk of this mosquito-borne disease (WHO).

                    This World Malaria Day, let's take a moment to see firsthand how awful this disease is … and the difference a simple bed net can make.

                    ***

                    Do you remember a world without cell phones?

                    I distinctly remember our family not having one in 2002.

                    It’s why I didn’t know that my husband, Tom, was close to dying of malaria.

                    Tom works at World Vision like I do. We’re both reporters. I write and he uses a video camera to share stories of World Vision’s impact around the world.

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