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May 05, 2016

Are women with disabilities facing more discrimination than men with disabilities?

Persons with disabilities are the world’s largest minority, representing 15% of the global population. 80% of this population live in developing countries. As of 2009, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), disabled persons account for 15.3% of the country’s population. The main causes are US-Vietnam war casualties, the lasting effects of Agent Orange (a herbicide warfare that causes mental and physical disability) and land mine accidents. UNICEF-Viet Nam estimates that there are 1.2 million Vietnamese children (out of the 30.5 million Vietnamese under 18) with disabilities. Yet, WHO reports that less than 5% of amputees have any access to prosthetic products in developing countries.
Significantly, inequality is exacerbated for women and girls with disabilities. The United Nations estimates that 75% of women with disabilities are unemployed and women with disabilities who are employed often earn less than their male counterparts and women without disabilities. In addition, this inequality also exist in education. While the overall literacy rate for persons with disabilities is 3 percent, UNESCO estimates that it is just 1 percent for women and girls with disabilities.

3D Printing prosthetics
Prosthetics are among the most personal pieces of technology someone might ever own - literally being extensions of a person’s body...

default tag
May 05, 2016

Are women with disabilities facing more discrimination than men with disabilities?

Persons with disabilities are the world’s largest minority, representing 15% of the global population. 80% of this population live in developing countries. As of 2009, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), disabled persons account for 15.3% of the country’s population. The main causes are US-Vietnam war casualties, the lasting effects of Agent Orange (a herbicide warfare that causes mental and physical disability) and land mine accidents. UNICEF-Viet Nam estimates that there are 1.2 million Vietnamese children (out of the 30.5 million Vietnamese under 18) with disabilities. Yet, WHO reports that less than 5% of amputees have any access to prosthetic products in developing countries.
Significantly, inequality is exacerbated for women and girls with disabilities. The United Nations estimates that 75% of women with disabilities are unemployed and women with disabilities who are employed often earn less than their male counterparts and women without disabilities. In addition, this inequality also exist in education. While the overall literacy rate for persons with disabilities is 3 percent, UNESCO estimates that it is just 1 percent for women and girls with disabilities.

3D Printing prosthetics
Prosthetics are among the most personal pieces of technology someone might ever own - literally being extensions of a person’s body...

Infection, co-infection, HIV
April 30, 2016

Nobody needs convincing of the huge impact of HIV in our world today. While the prevalence of HIV differs vastly by region of the world, it still touches nearly every corner of the earth and has caused devastation throughout the span of its pandemic. There are an estimated 35 million people living with HIV today, and while the number of mortalities per year has fallen in recent years, it remains above one million. While these numbers are difficult to see, they are unlikely a surprise to most. The HIV pandemic is one of the most researched, targeted, and widely discussed. Much less discussed is the interaction HIV can have with other infectious diseases, and how coinfection can amplify the effects of disease.

Coinfection is defined as infection with more than one disease at the same time. The impact of coinfection with HIV is especially significant due to where HIV is most prevalent: Sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa, home to the highest rates of HIV in the world, is also home to the greatest risk for an array of other infectious diseases. This has very specific implications for HIV positive individuals. HIV weakens the immune system, leaving individuals more susceptible to contracting other diseases. Once infected, coinfection can amplify the effects of both diseases and speed up the progression of disease, worsening health outcomes to an even more extreme degree. Schistosomiasis and syphilis are both closely tied to HIV, which will now be discussed in more...

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April 17, 2016

Zika, a disease caused by Zika virus, can be spread from mother to child, through sexual contact, mosquito bites and blood transfusion. While most symptoms of Zika are mild, Zika infections in pregnant woman has been linked to microcephaly and other birth abnormalities. Zika has now been declared as a public health emergency of international concern.

We are featuring five unheard voices on Zika:

Unheard voice 1:
The political turmoil and conflicts in Brazil have heavily influenced the ways in which women are protected from the sexually-transmitted Zika virus. Conservative forces in Brazil’s congress has taken steps to censor and eliminate HIV prevention campaigns and restrict reproductive rights, which in turn make the task of preventing Zika more challenging and controversial.
“The ability of the state to properly respond to sexually transmitted diseases in general is really compromised, and there is nothing from the political point of view that is going to change soon,” says Sonia Correa, a co-chair of the Sexuality Policy Watch at the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association in Rio de Janeiro.

Unheard Voice 2:
Brazilian officials have recently begun to confiscate abortion pills shipped into the country by Women on Web, the international abortion advocacy organization, despite there being more than 4,000 women in the country who have given birth to babies with shrunken skulls — a condition...

Zika, pregnancy, Brazil
April 15, 2016

Zika, a disease caused by Zika virus, can be spread from mother to child, through sexual contact, mosquito bites and blood transfusion. While most symptoms of Zika are mild, Zika infections in pregnant woman has been linked to microcephaly and other birth abnormalities. Zika has now been declared as a public health emergency of international concern. As a complement to the news and near panic around the illness we are featuring five unheard voices on Zika:

Unheard voice 1: How politics in Brazil makes this worse

“The ability of the state to properly respond to sexually transmitted diseases in general is really compromised, and there is nothing from the political point of view that is going to change soon,” says Sonia Correa, a co-chair of the Sexuality Policy Watch at the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association in Rio de Janeiro.

The political turmoil and conflicts in Brazil have heavily influenced the ways in which women are protected from the sexually-transmitted Zika virus. Conservative forces in Brazil’s congress has taken steps to censor and eliminate HIV prevention campaigns and restrict reproductive rights, which in turn make the task of preventing Zika more challenging and controversial.

Unheard Voice 2: Turning to the Black Market

“Here in my town there’s nothing else to do,” wrote a woman whose medication was confiscated twice by the government to Women on Web. “It’s either your service...

CRADLE, vital signs, Microlife, Maternova, blood pressure, eclampsia, preeclamps
March 08, 2016

On International Women's Day, we are excited to announce Maternova’s newest addition to our groundbreaking obstetric and neonatal health products: CRADLE Vital Signs Alert by Microlife.

The Vital Signs Alert is the first device specifically designed to measure heart rate and blood pressure specifically designed for pregnant women. There have been extensive trials and field testing that have proven both the effectiveness of the VSA, and the ease of use in low-resource settings. It has also been approved by the World Health Organization and was recognized as one of thirty high impact innovations in global health by a PATH-led award. Needless to say, we are thrilled to be the distributor of Vital Signs Alert and begin spreading this high-impact innovation.

Three of the most common causes of death during pregnancy are severe bleeding, infection, and blood pressure disorders, all of which are correlated with abnormal vital signs. More specifically, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia cause 10-15% of all maternal deaths, and high blood pressure is the most telling symptom. Pre-eclampsia can be managed with medication until the baby is delivered, after which symptoms usually resolve. However, pre-eclampsia cannot be managed if it is not detected. Using the VSA, it is easy to see if a pregnant woman has abnormal vital signs and requires further attention. A unique feature facilitating the ease of use is the traffic signal warnings (red, yellow and green lights to indicate...

pratt pouch for PMTCT HIV
March 01, 2016

The Pratt Pouch is at an exciting point right now, on the verge of being introduced or expanded in a number of countries including Ecuador, Uganda, and Nigeria as the most prevalent contenders. With all the progress being made, we wanted to gather information of how the pouch is paired with the recommended ARV regimens, so we did some research on what drugs are recommended for babies born to HIV-positive mothers. Not only was this information usually buried in pages and pages of files, but it also varied widely across different sources. Some organizations provided regimens with specific measurements and timetables that depended on the regimen and serostatus of the mother, whereas other sources only had information as broad as “Nevirapine should be given to babies born to HIV-positive mothers.” With all the challenges we faced in comparing findings and determining reliable sources, we could not help but think what this means for a health clinic worker in Uganda or Ecuador. We are working with the marvels of modern technology, without language barriers, and with background understandings of reliable institutions. This just goes to show that access to the technologies for health are useless without access to information as well.

Nevertheless, the most reoccurring and reliable information confirmed that babies born to HIV- positive mothers should be given Nevirapine (NVP) daily, either for 6 weeks or until one week after the end of breastfeeding. The essential aspect...