Analyzing High Abortion Rates in Pakistan

Analyzing High Abortion Rates in Pakistan

     The country of Pakistan has one of the highest rates of abortions in the world; it is noted there are 50 abortions for every one thousand women. However, this procedure is “legal only in very limited circumstances” according to the Guttmacher Institute. Pakistan states an abortion can occur if there is a “need” for it such as if a woman’s health is in danger. But, otherwise, the term “need” is very vaguely defined—culturally, abortions are not accepted or promoted in Pakistan. As a deeply conservative and Muslim country, most hospitals and doctors refuse to perform abortions for religious and moral reasons and beliefs. As a result, a huge underground abortion industry thrives. This contributes to the statistic that ⅓ of all women who undergo abortions in Pakistan suffer complications largely because those who are performing the operations are likely not properly qualified. The high amount of abortions comes from the fact that there is a large unmet need...
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World Health Organization Releases New App

World Health Organization Releases New App

The World Health Organization has recently launched its new app entitled “Medical Eligibility Criteria For Contraceptive Use.” The purpose of the app is to allow anyone with a smartphone to be able to access recommendations for the best and proper contraceptive methods according to one's medical conditions. The WHO released the fifth edition of the medical eligibility criteria (MEC) in 2015 as a 276 page document as “part of the process for improving the quality of care in family planning” for “guidance on the safety of various contraceptive methods for use in the context of specific health conditions and characteristics.” The app condenses this information into an easily accessible and user-friendly interface. MED takes into account a woman’s medical condition and history in order to note which contraceptive methods would adversely affect the woman and to note if the condition could interfere by making the contraceptive method less effective. It truly emphasizes safety as a priority to promote female reproductive...
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Ovarian Cancer Needs more Attention and Awareness

Ovarian Cancer Needs more Attention and Awareness

Ovarian cancer is the 7th most common cancer in the world. Nearly 300,000 women are predicted to develop ovarian cancer this year and less than half of these women diagnosed are expected to survive after 5 years. However, there is very little awareness of ovarian cancer and its effects. A survey conducted by the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition gathered information from 1,531 women across 44 countries. The women who participated were from high, middle, and low income countries and were asked to answer online questions about their experiences with ovarian cancer. The study points to the fact that over two thirds of women who participated had never even heard of ovarian cancer or knew nothing about it before they were diagnosed. Additionally, less than half of these women attempted to find care or answers for their symptoms within the first month they appeared, and one in every ten women did not seek medical help for 6 months. This data is important...
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Immigrant Women Facing Maternal Health Struggles

Immigrant Women Facing Maternal Health Struggles

In a recent CNN piece, obstetrician Dr. Cristina Gamboa reveals her insights on trends in regards to her pregnant immigrant patients at the community health center Salud Para La Gente in Watsonville, California. She has noted that patients who are Mexican Immigrants seem to be suffering from increases in stress during their pregnancy. These increases have led to high blood pressure which can be further characterized as the condition preeclampsia. Stress can be a result of a multitude of factors, but Dr. Gamboa analyzes that America’s current political climate could be a root cause. It is considered a crime for someone to enter and stay in the United States without permission. Approximately 25% of unauthorized immigrants reside in California and 26.9% of the population in Watsonville are non-US citizens. Although there are no scientific studies connecting a woman’s immigration status and maternal health, Dr. Gamboa believes research is needed. There is, however, evidence pointing to a lack of general health...
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A Seminar Focused on The Finance Behind Global Health Initiatives

A Seminar Focused on The Finance Behind Global Health Initiatives

The Seminar Series: Stories From Africa, Financing Health in Sub-Saharan Africa took place at Duke University on Thursday, October 18. Led by Gavin Yamey, the seminar featured a panel of speakers: Sarah Bermeo, Associate Professor of Political Science, Duke Sanford School of Public Policy; Charles Muiruri Program Director at Duke Global Health Institute and Co-founder Association of Research Administrators in Africa; Kaci Kennedy, Associate Research, Duke Center for Policy Impact in Global Health; Godfrey Kisigo, Masters Student DGHO, Physician at Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute, Tanzania; and Osondu Ogbuoji, Deputy Director, Duke Center for Policy Impact in Global Health. The seminar opened with an introduction to global health from a very optimistic perspective. Global health is a cutting edge field that focuses largely on improving the future for humanity. Initiatives in global health are making large and wide impacts, for example, in fields such as child wellness. However, there are also still huge numbers of people suffering from illnesses and burdens that...
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Sharp Rise in C-Section Births Around the Globe

Sharp Rise in C-Section Births Around the Globe

A study recently published in The Lancet journal reveals that from 2000 to 2015 there has been approximately a double in the number of cesarean section (C-section) births in the world. C-section births occur when a surgery is performed to open a woman’s lower abdomen and remove the baby. These procedures can either be planned in advance or they can happen suddenly if problems occur during birthing. There are risks to C-section births for the woman, such as infection and postpartum heavy bleeding, and the baby, such as trouble breathing and injury. Additionally, C-sections create a more complicated labor recovery for the mother and pose a threat to future labor complications. The figures from the study state that in 2000 C-sections accounted for 12.1% of all births and in 2015 they accounted for 21.1% of all births. There is evidence published by the World Health Organization stating that there is "no justification for any region to have a caesarean section...
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Contemporary Birth Control Pills Reduce Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Contemporary Birth Control Pills Reduce Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer causes thousands of deaths every year- more than any cancer of the female reproductive system. In 2012, 238,719 women worldwide were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 151,917 died from the cancer. A new study led by Lisa Iversen, a research fellow with the Institute of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, hypothesizes that modern day birth control pills that contain both estrogen and progestogen may lessen the risk of ovarian cancer in women. A similar study was performed decades ago that applied to older contraceptives, although there was no evidence for a similar relationship and effects regarding modern day birth control. Iversen’s study included 2 million women aged 15-49 and found the women who had never used hormonal contraception had the highest risk of ovarian cancer compared to those women who had at some point used birth control. Researchers estimated that hormonal birth control prevented around 21% of women in the study...
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New Research About Relationship Between Breastfeeding and Lower Obesity Risk for Babies

New Research About Relationship Between Breastfeeding and Lower Obesity Risk for Babies

A recent Canadian study points to a new benefit of breastfeeding in opposed to breast milk in a bottle or formula. Breastfeeding is linked to a smaller risk for obesity of babies as they have lower BMIs and gain weight more slowly. Having a high BMI early on in life can be linked to being overweight down the road; therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy BMI beginning as an infant. The CDC’s latest report stated that 1 in every 5 children in the United States are obese and this new research could truly impact efforts to changing this statistic. Some other benefits to breastfeeding include reduced risks of asthma, ear and respiratory infection, and type 2 diabetes. The World Health Organization promotes women to exclusively breastfeed until the child is 6 months of age. However, in the United States women may struggle to the time commitment of breastfeeding. Dr Alison Volpe Holmes notes, "the United States is a...
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Texas Fetal Burial Law Claimed Unconstitutional by Federal Judge

Texas Fetal Burial Law Claimed Unconstitutional by Federal Judge

Article by Emily Woodrow Last week in Texas, federal Judge Ezra prohibited the legality of an abortion law that would have required hospitals, health care facilities, and clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains without consent of the patient. This law was planned to take effect this February as a part of the Senate Bill 8 which passed in July 2017 and was created by anti-abortion politicians. Whole Woman’s Health and other Texas abortion providers filed for a lawsuit against this abortion law on the basis that burial and cremation requirements were a “politically motivated attempt by the state to force abortion providers into closing because only a limited number of vendors would be willing or able to meet the onerous disposal requirements”. Additionally, president of Whole Woman’s Health Amy Hagstrom stated that the law was “designed to shame and stimatize patients and health care providers” in regards to the morality of abortion. Texas has a history of strong abortion regulation...
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US Faces Sharp Increase in STD Rates

US Faces Sharp Increase in STD Rates

Article by Emily Woodrow Syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. All three are caused by bacteria and can be treated and cured with the proper screening, diagnosis and medication. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recently released statistics noting a record high of 2.3 million cases of these STDs in 2017, which is an increase of 200,000 cases from 2016. Gail Bolan, the director of STD Prevention at the CDC, noted that after years of success in STD control, the US has seen sharp increased over the past four years. David Harvey, Executive of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said, "The U.S. continues to have the highest STD rates in the industrialized world.” This is largely due to the fact that so many people do not know they are infected with STDs; symptoms may not arise for weeks after one is infected. Therefore people may be unaware that are...
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