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Open Access in the Developing World, BioMed Central

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October 2013

Research Highlights

 
The economic costs of malaria in children in three sub-Saharan countries: Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya
The economic costs of malaria in children in three sub-Saharan countries: Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya

Elisa Sicuri, Ana Vieta, Leandro Lindner, Dagna Constenla, Christophe Sauboin
Malaria Journal 2013, 12:307 (3 September 2013)

Millenium Development Goal 4 is to reduce child deaths by two thirds by 2015. In sub-Saharan Africa, malaria is still a significant cause of morbity and mortality in children under 5. The disease has an enormous economic and social impact on the region,  but the economic costs of malaria in children is not clear. Sicuri et al have provided an in depth assessment of these costs in Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya ( $37.8, $131.9 and $109 million a year respectively) to assist policy makers to better design future malaria control interventions

 

Women Deliver: Invest in girls and women - it pays

 
Women Deliver
In May thousands of participants took part in the largest global event of the decade to focus on female health and empowerment. Women Deliver is a global advocacy and was created to generate political commitment and financial investment to ultimately reduce maternal mortality and to achieve universal access to reproductive health. There are approximately 287,000 preventable deaths every year that are pregnancy related. The availability to reproductive education, adequate healthcare, contraception and overall maternal health is not only a basic human right but a practical necessity for sustainable development.
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The extent of arsenic pollution in contaminated groundwater

 
Environmental Evidence
In a number of developing countries worldwide, groundwater provides an alternative to drinking visibly polluted surface water. However, Arsenic is colourless and odourless and therefore is often ingested accidentally through drinking contaminated groundwater. Arsenic poisoning poses a threat to public health, and is a serious environmental hazard in many developing countries worldwide. A study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Evidence discusses the ineffectiveness of technology provided to reduce arsenic contamination in groundwater, and how the assessments of these intervention strategies are poorly devised and can’t be relied on.
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Improving access and relevance of research in the developing world

 
open Access in the Developing World
On Thursday 6th June, the Guardian Global Development Professional Network hosted a live chat on improving access and relevance of research in the developing world. Ruth King, a Publisher at BioMed Central and Open Access in the Developing World advocate was on the panel. Please visit the blog for a selection of tweets from the debate.
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Home gardens for food security

 
Agriculture & Food Security
The use of home gardens is a longstanding and effective strategy for coping with the daily threat of food and nutritional insecurity in many developing countries. By growing fruit, vegetables, crops, spices, herbs, medicinal plants and farming livestock, this small area of land can provide a vital source of protein as well as additional income. A family can grow subsistence produce in order to supplement their diet, as well as to buffer socio-economic hardships.
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This week in BMC Medicine: Tuberculosis, HIV and global health

 
This week in BMC Medicine: Tuberculosis, HIV and global health
In China, tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem; it has the second largest burden in the world, and TB is the number one cause of deaths due to a single infectious agent. Here, 1.4 million people per year develop the active form of the disease, and just 20 years ago, it was attributable to the deaths of 360, 000 individuals per year. However, it is known that when intervention strategies are in place, they are effective. For instance, China was able to halve the deaths attributed to TB following a large scale program initiated in 1992.
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The war against malnutrition

 
The war against malnutrition
Food insecurity is one of the main causes of undernutrition in the developing world. We tend to assume that as a result of poverty many are left hungry, however suffering is often caused through malnutrition where many disorders can arise depending on what nutrients are under or over-abundant in the diet. In many cases across the globe, most being in children under five, undernutrition is a result of insufficient calories, vitamins and protein with extreme undernourishment resulting in starvation.
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Madagascar - an island swarming with problem

 
BMC Medicine
It was announced recently that Madagascar is facing its worst locust plague since the 1950s. Already one quarter of the island's crops have been depleted, and 60% of the population's livelihood is now under threat. The country must race to find appropriate interventions, as infestation may engulf over two-thirds of the land by September, according to the Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO). Fighting back locusts is not a cheap endeavour – launching this campaign requires 41.5 million USD. Yet funding is vital to ensure food security. Previous underfunding helped facilitate the current boom in this uncontrolled locust population; what began as an upsurge turned into a plague.
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Contribute to the Open Access in the Developing World Newsletter
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