The Latest from our Blog

Ionnides, maternal health, maternal mortality, misoprostol, RCT
August 28, 2011

Randomized control trials have long been considered the “gold standard” of medical research. RCTs are typically large-scale studies that randomly assign individuals to an intervention or control group in order to measure the positive or negative effects of the intervention.Their results are often regarded as irrefutable proof, for they compare how one group responds to a treatment against how an identical group fares without it.

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August 21, 2011

In light of our post on J-PAL and the group’s use of randomized control trials (RCTs) to test behavioral and community-based maternal health solutions, we decided to update our readers on how more traditional, clinical RCTs are dealing with the subject of postpartum hemorrhage. What interventions have recently been shown effective in lower-income countries? What potential solutions are currently being tested that keep low-resource settings in mind?

August 02, 2011

J-PAL has gotten a lot of attention for its unique approach to development interventions. They use the scientific randomized control trial (RCT) to test behavioral and community-based solutions and thus far have implemented or are in the process of implementing 280 of them. The group is known for their work on school attendance and teacher attendance. They have also covered such interventions as providing free eyeglasses to children in China and evaluating primary school performance (it helps) and providing microcredit in Morocco (it helped expand livestock but did not translate into enterprises).

InSTEDD paper reporting wheel, mhealth,
July 21, 2011

This post covers the promise of mhealth and the interesting local additions that complement new technology with old school modes of communication.

There are currently over 5 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide, and 1 billion of these people are women in low- and middle-income countries. The UN even estimates that by 2012, half the people living in remote areas will have access to a mobile device. The ubiquity of mobile networks and devices in the developing world provides an unprecedented opportunity to directly connect people—particularly new and expectant mothers—with critical, time-specific health information.

ayod, "maternal mortality", "maternal transport", "Philippine hammock"
July 12, 2011

Transport of women in labor is one of the 'three delays' that often cost women their lives. In more remote areas of the Philippines with mountainous terrain and rural villages maternal mortality is much higher than the national average. Simple hammocks strung from a bamboo pole are part of an approach that is making a difference in a first-of-its-kind project in Ifugao, The Philippines. The ayod is a traditional Philippine transport hammock for sick people that actually looks like about as comfortable a way to travel over mountainous terrain as one could find short of a helicopter.

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