Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Maternal & Child Health: the unpleasant truth

Mother and child has been a recurring theme in arts, owing mainly to the powerful images it evokes - that of the mother as a life-giving and caring creature, and that of the child as a personifi cation of purity and innocence. But the adage of art
imitating life certainly does not apply to this particular theme, for the truth about maternal and child health (MCH) situation is far from pleasant.

The latest issue of Health Alert Asia Pacific newsletter, provides untangles the sociopolitical context of Maternal and Child Health (MCH), providing an overview of the scope of the problem -- high incidences of maternal and child deaths, and mother to child transmission of HIV-- making MCH one of the pressing health concerns worldwide. This also features domestic violence situation in Vietnam which details the learnings of a Vietnamese organization in handling a gender-sensitivity and anti-violence against women program. The article also provides a few insights on how other organizations can help eliminate gender inequality and violence against women in their respective areas. Another article provides comprehensive look at the global burden of child labor including using children as child-warriors. Another article entitled, “Similarities and Differences of Traditional and Professional Health Care System in B’laan Communities,” explores the divergence and convergence between Western medicine and the traditional beliefs and practices of the B’laan tribe, an indigenous peoples living in the Philippine island of Mindanao. This issue of Health Alert also focuses on adolescent reproductive health and how the lack of information and services makes the youth more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections and early pregnancy.

To request for copies of the newsletter, please write to hain@hain.org.