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rhamilton's picture

UNICEF’S Accelerated Child Survival and Development Program (ACSD)

UNICEF’S Accelerated Child Survival and Development Program (ACSD) has been applied to selected focus districts in several West African countries. A retrospective analysis of the impact of this initiative in Benin, Ghana and Mali has just been published¹. The results are disappointing. Between 2001 and 2005 child (0-5yrs) mortality did decrease in the focus groups of all 3 countries, but in Benin and Mali, no significant advantage was conferred by the ACSD interventions when analysed against data from comparison groups. In Ghana comparison groups were not available. Improvements in expanded immunization coverage and in antenatal care were significant in response to the interventions but, unfortunately, care for children with malaria or pneumonia did not improve.

rhamilton's picture

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Early Childhood Development Initiatives.

In a presentation to a May 2009 conference held in Canada entitled “Putting Science Into Action” Daniel Telfor Ph.D. provided a fascinating analysis of 2 American studies of early childhood intervention programs.¹

High quality programs of this nature are expensive, $15,000 per child, but he shows that the return on this investment (ROI) represents a net gain.

rhamilton's picture

How Can We Know So Much About The Early Years And Yet Do So Little

Compelling neurobiological and behavioural evidence points to events occurring between conception and 6 years of age as key determinants of human brain development. During these early years many external stimuli, sights, sounds, touch, food, effect the brain for life with lasting impacts on the child’s development, behaviour, school performance and vulnerability to various diseases. Coordinated science-based national clinical programs, in Sweden and Cuba for example, have shown that the deficiencies resulting from deficient shaping of a child’s development in those early years can be ameliorated or totally reversed. Unfortunately many wealthy countries, including Canada lag far behind in dealing with this major societal problem.

steven's picture

Treating Even Mild Gestational Diabetes Reduces Birth Complications; Clear Benefits For Infants And Mothers

From Science Daily:

A National Institutes of Health network study provided the first conclusive evidence that treating pregnant women who have even the mildest form of gestational diabetes can reduce the risk of common birth complications among infants, as well as blood pressure disorders among mothers.

Treatment of severe gestational diabetes is known to benefit mothers and infants. Although treatment is routinely prescribed for all women with gestational diabetes, before the current study, there was no evidence to show whether treating the mild form of the condition benefited, or posed risks for, mothers or their infants.

Anonymous's picture

Green Parenting

What is it? Certainly not growing your children under a cabbage at the bottom of the garden or living in a hole in the hillside with no electric or running water (I do admit this may be attractive to some, although I personally prefer a fully insulated house with four walls whether that be wood, straw or brick). Neither is it depriving your children of every modern convenience and reverting to the lifestyle of 200 yrs past. There were reasons for modern advances, they improved our health, education, our standards of living improved but has it gone too far? Yes.

asharma's picture

Media and medicine,

By now it should be clear that few things set me off more than shoddy media coverage of medical issues, particularly when important caveats are either omitted or distorted. Today's Globe and Mail (our national newspaper!!!) had a sensational front-page report on a study presented at a recent meeting by one of my colleages, which tripped every outrage switch in my head.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/a-few-less-weeks-in-the-wom...

Since the study has not yet appeared in print, there is not even an opportunity to see full results or be reassured by an appropriate peer review. Though these comments won't appear in print, I will feel better if given an opportunity to ventilate. So here goes!

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asharma's picture

Kidney transplant donor sources - expanding the options and the debate. Originally posted for World Kidney Day, March 12 2009

Kidney transplant donor sources - expanding the options and the debate

I can’t help but noticing that World Kidney Day came and went last week, and two items in particular caught my attention. In the New England Journal of Medicine (March 12, 2009), Rees and colleagues described a “chain of 10 kidney transplants initiated by a single altruistic donor (i.e. a donor without a designated recipient)” (1). This single act of generosity provoked a chain reaction whereby patients with willing but incompatible donors “swapped “with others in "paired transplant programs", the end-result being 10 kidney transplants over a period of 8 months. According to the authors of the report, their goal was to “highlight the potential of this strategy” of living donor recruitment. 



asharma's picture

Journal of Theoretical Biology vs. People magazine: controversy, scandal, and newborn gender ratios

Journal of Theoretical Biology vs. People magazine: controversy, scandal, and newborn gender ratios

bholahravhee's picture

Dr

Science/biology education

kinsley's picture

Less than 39Wks Gestation C-Section Babies Prone to Serious Health Issues

A new study has found that babies delivered by elective Caesarean section before 39 weeks of pregnancy, to mothers who previously had an elective C-section, are much more likely to have serious health problems than newborns delivered under the same circumstances at 39 weeks.

The study, conducted in part at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, also found that babies delivered at 41 and 42 weeks faced a similarly elevated risk as those delivered before 39 weeks. However, only a very small percentage of newborns in the study were delivered this late.

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