Friday, April 29, 2016

WHO and UNICEF celebrate 25 years of BFHI during World Congress

By camlinknews
WHO and UNICEF celebrate 25 years of BFHI at World Congress in Geneva from 24-26th October 2016. Join to celebrate the 25th Anniversary since the inception of the Initiative. It would be recalled that in 1991, WHO and UNICEF launched the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), providing a framework to promote, support and protect breastfeeding in hospitals and maternity facilities through the implementation of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The 25th anniversary becomes the perfect moment to celebrate the successes and chart the future to ensure that every new-born receives appropriate care. Therefore, WHO and UNICEF are conducting a number of activities to reshape and reinvigorate the Ten Steps for Successful Breastfeeding such as: 1-assessing BFHI current status, 2-developing systematic reviews of the evidence behind the Ten Steps, 4-updating WHO guidelines, 5-gathering information on successes and challenges in implementation through country case-studies and, 6-hosting a Congress that will take place in Geneva, Switzerland in October 24-26 2016. The BFHI Congress aims to: 1. Celebrate achievements in improving quality of care for breastfeeding mothers, 2. Present the current status of the BFHI 3. Discuss new guidance on country implementation of the Ten Steps 4. Form or strengthen regional networks to improve country programmes for maternity facilities As regards this Congress, Agness Sitati (copied herewith) is a member of the eight team global planning committee (and the only one from Africa - Kenya) and some of her key responsibilities in the region are: 1-to identify speakers from the region who can share information on the successes, challenges, and lessons learnt in the implementation of BFHI in their countries (through case studies) 2-to provide suggestions for the invitation of participants from countries that have implemented the BFHI (strictly 2 participants per country who are the focal persons or national BFHI coordinators from the government and NGO). In this regard, We kindly request you to share this information with your networks so that we can get very fruitful contributions from the region to share and as much representation and participation as possible at the World BFHI Congress. If anyone has information from their countries that is worth sharing at the congress, kindly get in touch with Agnes at or call her on +254 722 678 886 or Skype at agnes.sitati1 so that you are added onto the Congress agenda as a key speaker at the earliest time possible before it is finalized. Also get in touch with her through the contacts provided on the invitation nominees for your countries, providing their full contacts. Your co-operation and assistance will be highly appreciated.

Monday, April 25, 2016

9 Reasons to Stop Eating Meat in Honour of Earth Day

By: Zoe Eisenberg and Kristina C.
There are tons of psychological reasons why many people still eat meat, from cultural affiliations to early formed habits, flavor preferences and more. Whether you’re flirting with vegetarianism or reaffirming your commitment to the cause, here are a handful of reasons to stop eating meat in honor of Earth, and everything that inhabits it. Eating meat is downright bad for the environment. From water pollution to deforestation, our country’s meat consumption is wreaking havoc on Mama Earth. A 2009 study found that 80 percent of Amazon deforestation was linked to cattle farming, and factory farming methods are a notorious culprit for water pollution. Eating meat can kill you. From heart disease to colon cancer, numerous studies have shown the deadly dangers of a meaty diet. Frequent meat consumers aren’t the only ones who should be worried. A Harvard study concluded that just one serving of red meat a day increases the risk of early death by 13 percent. Eating meat kills endangered animals. Cows and chickens aren’t the only ones at risk from our society’s carnivorous appetite. Researchers at Florida International University uncovered that meat consumption is the number one cause of species extinction due to habitat removal. Next time you order a burger, think about your furry friend the panda. Eating meat depletes precious fossil fuels. Forget driving cars. Meat consumption is what takes up the majority of our fossil fuels. To make matters worse, meat consumption is an inefficient use of these precious fuels. It takes eight times the fossil fuels to produce meat than to produce plant-based proteins. Most meat is infested with bacteria. Because of our large-scale factory farming practice, the majority of the meat consumed across the country is riddled with bacteria. A 2013 report by the FDA found that of all the meat tested, 81 percent of ground turkey was contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Pork chops came in at a gross second, with a 69 percent infestation rate. Ground beef ranked at 55 percent and chicken brought up the rear with 39 percent. Meat consumption is unsustainable. “Sustainability” has become a major buzz word, from coffee to chocolate and everything in between. Despite the interest in becoming more sustainable, many fail to realize (or choose to ignore) that eating meat is one of the least sustainable things you can do. The large amount of energy meat production consumes has been shown to contribute to global warming, as well as a loss of important biodiversity, soil erosion, grassland destruction and more. Meat consumption contributes to world hunger. Wait what? That’s right. While an estimated 56 million acres of land are producing feed for livestock, only 4 million are growing veggies for human consumption. A simple shift could equal much more food for the world population. Meat contains harmful hormones. What does Europe know that we don’t? When it comes to meat consumption, the answer is, a lot. The European Union has repeatedly stated they want nothing to do with U.S. beef because it is pumped full of harmful, synthetic hormones known to increase risks of breast and prostate cancer. Yikes. Its health dangers rival that of cigarette smoke. According to a 2013 study in the journal, Nutrients, eating a diet heavy in meat is just as harmful to your health as smoking tobacco. The easiest way to help out our planet is to cut meat from our diets. However, for many giving up meat completely is out of the question. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Reducing your daily consumption and consuming more consciously can help—but not as much as quitting, pardon the pun, cold turkey. Can Eating Meat Be Just As Bad For You As Smoking?
Can changing what you eat and what you do influence the likelihood of your risk for getting cancer? With a new year starting, many of us may be making pledges to improve our health, whether by quitting smoking or cutting down on our consumption of beer, wine or meat. A review published at the end of 2013 that analyzes food supply data from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) provides some motivation for sticking to your newly-made resolutions. According to this study, eating a meat-rich diet could be as bad for you as smoking or drinking. The study was published in an online, open-access journal, Nutrients, and was undertaken by William B. Grant of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in northern Califronia. It’s an ecological study that draws on data collected by others (in this case, the FAO) about populations, but without knowing specifics about the people studied (i.e., if they had any medical conditions, or if there were environmental factors, that might have made them more susceptible to cancer). Correlations Between Cancer and Eating a Diet Rich in Animal Products Various types of cancer (including lung, prostate, breast, stomach and liver, among others) among men and women in 157 countries were considered. Data from 87 of those countries was focused on, as these countries (Japan, the U.S.) are said to have “high-quality data” about health and diet. Based on the notion that there is “generally a lag of up to 20 years between dietary changes and peak cancer rates,” the study looks at data that goes back to 1980. The author found that smoking and consumption of animal products (meat, fish, milk and eggs) were correlated with “over half of the cancer incidence rates, with alcoholic beverage supply explaining a smaller amount.” For men, smoking was found to play more of a role in increasing cancer risk; for women, eating animal products played the greatest role. Overall, the study found that consumption of meat and dairy products was most strongly correlated with cancers of the “female breast, corpus uteri, kidney, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, testicular, thyroid cancer, and multiple myeloma.” Consumption of alcoholic beverages was only found to be linked to colorectal cancer while lung cancer was found to be “associated with animal fat supply in addition to cigarette supply.” Additional research that takes factors such as people’s medical histories and lifestyle choices into account is needed to confirm that a diet rich in animal products is as bad for your health as smoking is. Why Would Eating Meat Increase Cancer Risk? The study does not explain why eating meat might increase one’s susceptibility to cancer. The India Times comments that eating animal products is correlated with cancer risk “since animal products promote growth of the body as well as tumors through production of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I).” Other research has tied eating meat to increased cancer risk. Research published in March found that eating a lot of processed meat (ham, bacon, sausages, burgers) in particular was associated with a higher risk of dying from cancer and heart disease. In October, researchers from the University of Southern California reported that eating red and processed meat was significantly associated with a greater risk for colorectal cancer in people with a certain genetic mutation. In the United States, the early 1980s saw a push for eating fewer carbohydrates and increasing protein intake, as called for by the Scarsdale diet and, in the 1990s, the Atkins diet. That is, even while meat consumption has been linked to heart disease and to being at a higher risk for total, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, people have had their reasons to increase their meat intake. If you must eat animal products, eating meat that is minimally processed and from antibiotic-free animals who’ve been raised using sustainable methods and in humane conditions could be a way to minimize any risks. As the Nutrients study suggests, eliminating it from your diet and going meatless is a very good way to get your 2014 off to a very healthy start.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Top Signs of Iron Deficiency and How To Increase Iron Levels In Your Blood

By camlinknews
#‎Iron‬ ‪#‎deficiency‬ is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world so you must be aware of its warning signs. If left untreated, it can cause serious damage to the heart and other major organs. 12 Warning Signs of Iron Deficiency that Most People Ignore
Iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the…|By Healthy and Natural World Did you know that iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency and the leading cause of anemia in the United States? Iron is a mineral that helps you get enough oxygen throughout your body. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin which is part of the red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body. If you don’t get enough iron, your body cannot get enough oxygen, and you will eventually develop anemia. Anemia can occur due to a shortage of two key nutrients in our bodies: vitamin B12 (and folic acid) and/or iron. Iron is also an important part of many enzymes in our body and is required in many cell functions. This article will discuss the symptoms of anemia, as well as how to increase iron levels in your blood through nutrition and supplements. It will also include tips of how to improve iron absorption and which supplements are better for you. Causes of iron deficiency – Not getting enough iron from food. People who don’t eat meat may be at risk of iron deficiency if they don’t get enough iron from other foods. – Inability to absorb iron due to diseases like celiac disease or if part of your small intestine has been removed – Heavy bleeding, such as heavy periods or bleeding inside the body as in peptic ulcers or colorectal cancer. – Pregnancy – many pregnant women suffer from iron deficiency as their iron needs to serve not only their own increased blood volume, but their growing fetus as well. – Many people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) develop iron deficiency. What are the symptoms of anemia? When anemia become worse over time, symptoms include: – Fatigue – Dizziness – Lack of concentration – Headaches – Irritability – Shortness of breath – Pale skin – Delay normal growth and development in children – Higher risk of infections – Premature births and low birth weight babies – Brittle nails – Rapid or irregular heartbeat which can lead to heart problems How much iron do we need to consume a day? The recommended daily amount is 18 mg of iron a day for woman of reproductive age, 27 mg for pregnant women and 8 mg per day for men. Breastfeeding women can consume 9 mg a day since there is no menstruation during this period. Girls aged 14-18 need 15 mg of iron per day. Which foods contain iron? Food sources of iron are divided into two groups: • Animal source – red meat, poultry, internal parts (such as heart and liver), eggs yolks and seafood. • Vegetable source – the richest in iron are legumes, nuts and almonds, tahini, dried fruit, and green leafy vegetables such as parsley. There are also iron-fortified foods like cereals or bread. How to improve iron absorption? To improve iron absorption from vegetable sources you need to consume it with vitamin C, such as in fresh vegetables. For example, you can eat lentil soup with chopped parsley and red pepper (capsicum) which are full of vitamin C. As a snack, you should choose walnuts and almonds. This is because plant foods are different from animal foods when it comes to their iron content. In animal foods, iron is often attached to proteins called heme proteins, and referred to as heme iron. In plant foods, the iron is not attached to heme proteins and is classified as non-heme iron. The absorption rate of heme iron is usually higher and more efficient than that of non-heme iron. What about iron supplements? If you have anemia, after you’ve found the reason, you should consider taking iron supplements, and not just rely on nutrition. If you take dietary supplements in general, and in particular those of iron, you should consult your doctor, just like you do before taking medications. In general, an iron supplement can come in several forms: capsule, syrup and intravenous infusion (in cases of indigestion and lack of absorption as in certain cases of intestinal diseases, cancer, etc.). Which supplement is better? It’s better to choose the supplement that will enable you to achieve maximum iron absorption, with minimal side effects. Possible side effects of taking iron supplements are abdominal pain • Diarrhea • Constipation, • Changes in stool color (find out what your stool can tell you about your health) • General discomfort in the abdomen These effects are much smaller if taking liquid supplements. Iron absorption of liquid supplement is far easier for the digestive system, and therefore has less side effects. In addition, you should take supplement whose iron absorption is coordinated with the body: iron taken in excess can cause damage – iron molecule may oxidize and act like free radicals that damage DNA. What can interfere with iron absorption? • Oxalic acid found in many green vegetables may delay the absorption of iron. For example: spinach is very rich in oxalic acid which binds to the iron and interferes with iron absorption in the intestine. • Even phytic acid, which is found mostly in whole grains, may interfere with iron absorption. So although whole grains are a good source of iron themselves, the phytic acid they contain can stop your body absorbing iron from other foods and supplements. • Also drinking tea, coffee, and chocolate interfere with iron absorption due to the high content of polyphenols, as well as calcium like in dairy products. So the best way is to take an iron supplement along with eating a vegetable/fruit rich in vitamin C such as kiwifruit, orange, guava, strawberry, red pepper (capsicum) and apple. Berries are especially high in vitamin C, and you can find easy and nutritious berry recipes in my e-book The Healing Berry Guide. This e-book will teach you how to transform your health with berries and their amazing health benefits. There are other warning signs that can indicate a health problem: • 11 Health Warnings Your Fingernails May Be Sending • Warning Signs of Heart Disease Can Be Detected In Your Eyes • Top Signs Your Body is Toxic and What to Do About It • How to Tell If You Have Intestinal Parasites and What to Do About That

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

IYCF (Infant and Young Child Feeding)

WHO/UNICEF guidance on infant feeding in the context of ebola
West Africa crisis 2014 Association between breastfeeding and intelligence, educational attainment, and income at 30 years of age: a prospective birth cohort study from Brazil Background Breastfeeding has clear short-term benefits, but its long-term consequences on human capital are yet to be established. The research aimed to assess... Interim Operational Considerations for the feeding support of Infants and Young Children under 2 years of age in refugee and migrant transit settings in Europe The note outlines benefits, risks, options, and resources for supporting appropriate infant and young child feeding (IYCF) in children under 2 years of age in refugee... Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices: Standard Operating Procedures for the Handling of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS) in Refugee Situations for Children 0 - 23 months These SOP provide guidance on how staff of UNHCR and UNHCR partners should manage artificial feeding in refugee contexts to protect both breastfed and non-breastfed... Flyer on IYCF Feeding Support in Transit This is a flyer developed by the facebook group "Infant Feeding Support for Refugee Children". Members of this group, who are breastfeeding advocates,... Infant feeding in the context of ebola This guidance guidance document on infant feeding in the context of Ebola was produced through informal consultation involving UNICEF technical advisors at HQ,... C-MAMI Tool, Version 1 (2015) The C-MAMI Tool provides a health worker with a format to assess, identify/classify and manage uncomplicated acute malnutrition in infants < 6 months of age in the... Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies: Making it Happen. Report of a regional workshop on IFE (2008) Report of a regional workshop on IFE held in Bali, 10-13 March, 2008. Organised by ENN/IFE Core Group, in collaboration with UNICEF NY, UNICEF regional offices,... Infant and young child feeding counselling: An integrated course (WHO and UNICEF) Background: There are three existing courses available from WHO/UNICEF: Breastfeeding Counselling: A Training Course (5 days) HIV and Infant Feeding Counselling: A...
Introduction to Nutrition in Emergencies- Basic Concepts; UNICEF E-learning course Introduction to Nutrition in Emergencies- Basic Concepts; UNICEF E-learning course This online course covers basic concepts around the humanitarian system and... Breastfeeding counselling: A Training Course Contents: This course is designed to provide health workers with the clinical and interpersonal skills needed to support mothers and their children to breastfeed... IYCF: Formative Research for Infant Feeding Programs: Skills and Practice for IYCF and Maternal Nutrition Content: Formative research looks at the community in which an organization is implementing, or plans to implement, programme activities and helps the organization to... Essential Nutrition Actions to improve the nutrition of women and children - including under situations of emergencies and HIV: Training materials, Ethiopia Trainer's Guide - Using the Essential Nutrition Actions to Improve the Nutrition of Women and Children in Ethiopia, including under Situations of Emergencies and HIV... Training of Trainers for Mother-to-Mother breastfeeding support groups Contents: The purpose of this course is two fold: to train community health workers to facilitate infant feeding mother-to-mother support groups and to train trainers... Recomended feeding & dietary practice to improve infant and maternal nutrition Used in training in Somalia by UNICEF. Please download below. IFE Module 1 Note: This module has now been updated to Module 1, v2.1, 2010. Module 1. Infant feeding in emergencies. For emergency relief staff. Orientation and... Infant Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) Module 2, Version 1.1 (2007) For health and nutrition workers in emergency situations. Module 2 has been developed through interagency collaboration and consultation with many experts and field... Christian Aid partner in Gaza requests baby milk after sewage flood Christian Aid partner in Gaza requests baby milk after sewage flood: An example of a request for... Operational Guidance on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies, v 2.1 (2007) Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies Operational Guidance for Emergency Relief Staff and Policy-Makers. The guidance provides concise practical but mainly... WHO guiding principles for feeding infants and young children during emergencies
Sets out the 10 guiding principles on feeding of infants and young children during emergencies to prevent excess morbidity and mortality in emergencies. Covers... Infant Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) Making it Matter: Report of an international strategy meeting (2006) Report of an international strategy meeting on infant and young child feeding in emergencies, held by the IFE Core Group in Oxford, 1-2 November, 2006. Celebrating the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding Past Achievements, Present Challenges and Priority Actions for Infant and Young Child Feeding This report reviews the developments in breastfeeding promotion in the... Operational Guidance - essential orientation Presentation on the Operational Guidance on IFE, version 2.1, 2007, part of the IFE Orientation and Training Day 11th July 2007, held at the Institute of Child... WHO Statement on iron supplementation in malarious regions WHO Statement on iron supplementation of young children in regions where malaria transmission is intense and infectious disease highly prevalent Consensus statement on Infant feeding and HIV/AIDS (WHO, 2006)
Summary of latest recommendations regarding HIV and infant feeding following a 3 day meeting in October 2006 that aimed to clarify and refine the existing UN... Review of policies and guidelines on infant feeding in emergencies - Common ground and gaps Review of policies and guidance on infant feeding in emergencies, common ground and gaps. Disasters, 2001, 25(2), 136-148 Conflict 1990s: From policy to practice: challenges in infant feeding in emergencies during the Balkan Crisis From policy to practice: challenges in infant feeding in emergencies during the Balkan Crisis. Disasters, 2001, 25 (20), 149-163 Mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 infection during exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life Mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 infection during exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life: an intervention cohort study. Coovadia et al, Lancet... Joint FAO/WHO Workshop on Enterobacter Sakazakii and Other Microorganisms in Powdered Infant Formula Joint FAO/WHO Workshop on Enterobacter Sakazakii and Other Microorganisms in Powdered Infant Formula. Child Survival II: How many child deaths can we prevent this year? Child Survival II: How many child deaths can we prevent this year? THE LANCET • Vol 362 • July 5, 2003 • UKZN wins right for ARV trial on babies: Online South Africa news article Article published in online 'Mail & Guardian' South Africa 6th November... Breastfeeding saves lives after earthquake in Indonesia 100 breastfeeding peer counsellors trained in Indonesia following earthquake. Article and video. Also available here. Flash pasteurisation of breastmilk may prevent HIV transmission, news article Research showing pasteurization of breastmilk may kill HIV, also available at:... PMTCT programme insufficient in Malawi HIV positive and forced by poverty to breastfeed: News article on Malawi An article that appeared in the Telegraph newspaper on 16th December 2006. In Zambia, a formula to fight AIDS Long article on HIV and breastmilk vs formula from Zambia. Ratih Sanggarwati, Indonesian model supports breastfeeding Breastmilk a lifesaver for a baby in times of emergency: News article Also available here. S African Govt supports HIV positive mothers choosing to breastfeed with food parcels The wrong formula Guardian article supporting breastfeeding and criticising infant formula industry. Nestle... Indonesia nears completion of regulations on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes Breastfeeding safer for some HIV-infected mothers in poor conditions Article also available here. Baby Formula goes to Manila Court: newspaper article
Article published in Australia on 3rd February 2007. Improving breastfeeding rates in Mali, the plan & benefits USAID press release on funding for infant feeding work Red Cross endorsed concert appeals for powdered baby milk in Fiji, News article Also available from: Nestlé donates nutritional formula to Red Cross for victims of recent typhoons, Philippines, News Article Also available from: UN OCHA say infant milk needed following Durian, Philippines, News article Also available from: Engineer appeals for medicines and infant formula following Durian, Philippines, News article Also available from: Patients keep pouring into Indonesian hospitals despite receding flood waters: News article about babies becoming ill after having formula infected with E Coli News article about the floods in Indonesia in 2007 regarding infant feeding. With poverty so immense, how we help is crucial Tanya Plibersek, Australian politician, comments on Australian foreign policy, and inappropriate use of infant formula... Distribution of powdered milk to returning refugees, Rwanda, News article Available from: Distribution of powdered milk & formula in Gaza and West Bank, News article Also available from: NGO provides Bishop with infant formula to hand out to the needy, News article on Sri Lanka Also available from: Singapore Red Cross donate food packs containing milk biscuits for babies, Indonesia, News article Also available from: and Singapore Red Cross supplies milk powder to flood victims in Malaysia, News Article National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) supply baby milk in East Timor, News article For briefing on East Timor see page 4. ACT/Christian Aid partner supplies milk powder following Durian, Philippines: News article Also available from: Indonesian Government distribute baby food/milk to flood victims, News article Also available from: Comment on long term impact of inappropriate distribution of infant formula: News article from Armenia Also available from: Blog-entry tells of Islamic Reliefs distribution of powdered milk and Infant Formula Also available from: Infant Formula Distributed in Nablus, Palestine, News article Also available from: Infant feeding in emergencies: experiences from Lebanon Also available from: Powdered milk distribution, Sri Lanka, News article In order to supply the dry rations for recently displaced people living in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu... Tsunami survivors queueing for formula milk in Sri Lanka, News video Also available from:... Singaporean NGOs distribute powdered milk and baby food to flood victims, News article Also available from: Distribution of baby bottles and milk by Brunei after Tsunami in Aceh, News article Also available from: Communal breastfeeding practices in Cameroon and its relation to HIV/AIDS: News piece Myanmar mother afraid that milk had dried up whilst under detention by Malaysian authorities Story of baby unable to be breastfed after mother dies in floods in refugee camp Mother breastfeeding in Philippines after Durian www.gulf A Little Booklet About Disaster Management This short booklet aims to inform community members involved in disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, of essential precautions and measures that should be... Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding This publication sets out the challenges on improving infant and young child feeding practices, and the types of interventions governments and other stakeholders will... Infant and Young Child Feeding: Innocenti Declaration 2005 A call for action following 15 years since the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding and the 2002 Global Strategy for Infant...
Data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) from 43 countires between 1998-2004 on breastfeeding, consumption of food, etc compiled by USAID.... Isolation of Enterobacter sakazakii and other Enterobacter sp. from food and food production environments Research paper on bacteria in food products, with a special focus on infant formula and powdered milk. See also WHO Guidelines for the safe preparation, storage and... WHO/FAO guidelines for the safe preparation, storage and handling of powdered infant formula IMPORTANT NOTE: These guidelines, leaflets and poster have NOT been made with the emergency setting in mind. Hence pictures of bottle feeding should be used with... Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) in Emergencies: A UNICEF Toolkit A manual and toolkit for behaviour change communication in emergencies from UNICEF ROSA. Target groups include: Programme managers from UN, NGOs, partners and governments. Using the Essential Nutrition Actions to Improve the Nutrition of Women and Children in Ethiopia, including under Situations of Emergencies and HIV and AIDS Linkages and the Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative produce this manual and materials from a four day training course for pre-service instructors of health... The impact of infant feeding practices - from relief to sustainable development. Keynote address at IBFAN International Meeting on IFE Situations, Croatia, October 1998 Keynote address from the International Meeting on Infant Feeding in Emergency Situations by Dr Aileen Robertson. Event hosted by IBFAN, WEMOS & Baby Milk Action,... International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes & Resolutions The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, 1981, and subsequent resolutions by the WHO/UNICEF. The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk... International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes - Code Watch, 25 years This leaflet, prepared by WABA for World Breastfeeding Week 2006, is a concise summary of the code that can be used to summarise it's meaning and importance. It can... A Generation on: Baby milk marketing still putting children's lives at risk - media briefing A Generation on: Baby milk marketing still putting children's lives at risk. Media briefing by Save the Children (UK) on the Code using examples from UK,... Why infant formula causes deaths due to diarrhoea A paper that describes how the use of infant formula contributes to diarrhoea in emergency and resource limited settings. Explains the causes of diarrhoea and how... UNHCR policy related to the acceptance, distribution, and use of milk products in refugee settings UNHCR policy on use of milk products in infant feeding in refugee settings. Originally written in 1989, and updated in 2006 with the help of the ENN, the IFE Core... Recommendations on infant feeding in emergencies Joint policy on infant feeding from UNICEF, the WHO, and the Indonesian Society of Paediatricians (ISP) produced following the Tsunami. covers breastfeeding and... A tool for assessing national practices, policies and programmes This tool is designed to assist countries in: summarizing current data with regard to infant and young child feeding practices, assessing the strengths and... WHO global data bank on breastfeeding and complementary feeding Can put in survey details to add to data and also search it for background data on a country. Entry web page is here. Questionnaire from Bolivia Community Assessment of Infant Feeding Practices LINKAGES and its PROCOSI partners in Bolivia used this survey form to gather information on infant feeding practices among mothers of infants less than 12 months old.... Questionnaires from Ethiopia Community Assessment of Essential Nutrition Actions and Other Health Behaviors LINKAGES and the ESHE Project used these 4 survey forms in Ethiopia for household interviews and interviews with mothers of infants 0-11 months, 12-23 months, and... IFE and the International Code
Part of a presentation on the Code for the IFE Orientation and Training day, held on 11th July 2007, at Institute of Child Health, London. Media Guide on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies A two page flyer outlining how the media can help protect and support appropriate and safe infant and young child feeding in emergencies. Diarrhoea risk associated with not breastfeeding in Botswana (summary) Diarrhoea risk associated with not breastfeeding in Botswana. Summary of report and presentation in Field Exchange 29, Dec 2006 p.22 Botswana diarrhoea outbreak... Infant feeding patterns and risks of death and hospitalisation in the first half of infancy: multicentre cohort study. 1Bahl R, Frost C, Kirkwood BR, Edmond K, Martines J, Bhandari N, Arthur P. Infant feeding patterns and risks of death and hospitalisation in the first half of... WHO guiding principles of feeding non-breastfed children 6-24 months There are a number of infants who will not enjoy the benefits of breastfeeding. They include children born to HIV-positive mothers who choose not to breastfeed and... PAHO/WHO Guiding principles for Complementary Feeding of the Breastfed Child A review of feeding guidelines promoted by various national and international organizations has shown that there are inconsistencies in the specific recommendations... Home fortification in emergency response and transition programming: Experiences in Aceh and Nias, Indonesia (Sprinkles) Describes the post-tsunami experience using Vitalita Sprinkles for children > 6 months. Saskia de Pee, Regina Moench-Pfanner, Elviyanti Martini, Stanley H.... Infant feeding in the South Asia earthquake aftermath Weighing scales for young infants: A survey of relief workers Field Exchange 29 December 2006, p.11 Survey of weighing scales used for young infants, by staff working in emergencies. This led to the concept of a scales for 0-5... Assessment of nutritional status of chidren <5yrs of age, pregnant women & lactating women living in relief camps after the tsunami in Sri Lanka Assessment of nutritional status of children under five years of age, pregnant women, and lactating women living in relief camps after the tsunami in Sri Lanka. R....

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Balanced source of nutrition for human being

By James Achanyi-Fontem
CEO Cameroon Link A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrition it needs to function properly. In order to get truly balanced nutrition, you should obtain the majority of your daily calories from fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. What Are Calories? The number of calories in a meal is a measure of the amount of energy stored in that food. Your body uses calories from food for walking, thinking, breathing, and everything else it does. The average person needs to eat about 2,000 calories every day to maintain his or her weight. A person’s daily calorie intake should be based on age, gender, and physical activity level. Men generally need more calories than women, and active people need more calories than sedentary (inactive) people. The following examples of calorie intake are based on Cameroon Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Animal Breeding guidelines: •children ages 2 to 8: 1,000 to 1,400 •active women ages 14 to 30: 2,400 •sedentary women ages 14 to 30: 1,800 to 2,000 •active men ages 14 to 30: 2,800 to 3,000 •sedentary men ages 14 to 30: 2,000 to 2,600 •active men and women over 30: 2,200 to 3,000 •sedentary men and women over 30: 1,800 to 2,200 The source of your daily calories is just as important as the number of calories you consume. You should limit your consumption of “empty calories,” or those that provide little or no nutritional value. The Cameroon Ministry of Agriculture defines empty calories as calories that come from sugars and solid fats, such as butter and shortening. According to the Cameroon Ministry of Health Cameroonians consume empty calories most often in: •bacon and sausages •cakes •cheese •cookies •doughnuts •energy drinks •fruit drinks •ice cream •pizza •sports drinks and sodas Why a Balanced Diet Is Important A balanced diet is important because your body’s organs and tissues need proper nutrition to work effectively. Without good nutrition, your body is more prone to disease, infection, fatigue, and poor performance. Children with a poor diet run the risk of growth and developmental problems. Bad eating habits can continue for the rest of their lives. Rising levels of obesity and diabetes in Cameroon are prime examples of the effects of poor diet and lack of exercise. The department for health promotion of the ministry of public health reports that four of the top 10 leading causes of death in Cameroon are directly influenced by diet. These are: •heart disease •cancer •stroke •diabetes How to Achieve a Balanced Diet At the core of a balanced diet are foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients and low in unnecessary fats and sugars. The following are essential parts of a balanced diet. Fruits Besides being a great source of nutrition, fruits make quick and tasty snacks. Choose fruits that are in season in your area—they are fresher and provide the most nutrients. Vegetables Vegetables are primary sources of essential vitamins and minerals. Dark, leafy greens generally contain the most nutrition and can be eaten at every meal. Examples include spinach, kale, green beans, broccoli, and collard greens. Grains In Cameroon, we consume refined white flour more than any other grain. During the refining Grains In Cameroon, we consume refined white flour more than any other grain. During the refining process, the hull of the grain—the outer shell—is removed. Unfortunately, the hull is where the majority of the grain’s nutrition lies. Whole grains, which are prepared using the entire grain, including the hull, provide much more nutrition. Try switching from white to whole-grain breads and pastas. Proteins Meats and beans are primary sources of protein, which is essential for proper muscle and brain development. Lean, low-fat meats such as chicken, fish, and certain cuts of beef and pork are the best option. Removing the skin and trimming off any visible fat are easy ways to reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in meats. Nuts and beans, such as lentils, peas, almonds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts, are also good sources of protein. Tofu, tempeh, and other soy-based products are excellent sources of protein and are healthy alternatives to meat. Dairy Dairy products provide calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients. However, they are also major sources of fat, so it is best to choose reduced-fat or fat-free cheeses, milk, and yogurt. Oils Oils should be used sparingly. Opt for low-fat versions of products that contain oil, such as salad dressing and mayonnaise. Good oils, such as olive oil, can replace fattier vegetable oil in your diet. Avoid foods that have been deep-fried in oil because they contain a large number of empty calories. The Sub department for food and nutrition of the ministry of public health highlights the key substances that Cameroonians should consume less of in order to maintain a balanced diet and a healthy weight: •alcohol •cholesterol •refined grains •solid and saturated fats •salt •sugars If you have questions about your diet or feel that you need to lose weight or eat better, schedule an appointment with your doctor or a nutritionist. They can suggest dietary changes that will help you get the nutrition you need and, if necessary, lose weight I hope this is helpful and answers your question. Thank you!

Are Protein supplements taken for better growth safe for the body?

By camlinknews
Bodybuilding requires intense training along with proper diet and nutrition. The bodybuilder aims to attain a certain physique; however, reaching that ultimate goal can be extremely difficult. Even a very healthy person’s diet may not contain all of the nutrients required to build a large amount of muscle mass. Therefore, many bodybuilders augment their routine with bodybuilding supplements. Lately, however, a few supplements have been shown to be harmful, causing many people to believe that all bodybuilding supplements have a negative effect on the body. Is this true? Bodybuilding supplement safety The main concern lies with confusing supplements with anabolic steroids. These products can adversely affect the human body when taken in large doses, damaging the liver and causing heart enlargement. Anabolic steroids also act on the reproductive system, damaging associated organs. Other dangers lie with untested supplements claiming to be miracle products. Before you begin to take any bodybuilding supplement, do research on the product. A bodybuilding supplement that claims to increase your muscle mass dramatically in an extremely short period of time can be either useless or very dangerous. However, some bodybuilding supplements, like creatine, amino acid supplements, or protein products pose far fewer risks. Creatine stimulates the uptake of amino acids, which in turn increases muscle growth. In fact, doctors may prescribe creatine supplements to people with neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders, as it rebuilds lost muscle tissue, thus increasing the patient’s overall strength. This product, along with other protein supplements, can improve bodybuilding performance with a low risk of side effects. Studies have shown it to be very safe, and it is legal. In fact, the main reason that creatine is used is for its effect of muscle increase! Another option for bodybuilding supplements is amino acid supplements. These usually come in pill form and contain different blends of amino acids. Although the human body naturally needs amino acids to function, taking them as a bodybuilding supplement works best when used in tandem with a muscle building workout routine. Since amino acids are either produced by the human body or found in the foods we eat, they naturally belong in the body. Therefore, taking amino acids as supplements only enhances their natural function. Protein supplements come in various forms, such as powders, bars, or pre-mixed shakes. Unlike the protein supplements of years past, today’s versions taste quite good while delivering high amounts of high quality protein, which is necessary to build muscle. In fact, in addition to helping a bodybuilder build muscle mass, protein supplements may benefit the body in other ways. A diet high in protein correlates to better overall health. As always, with any supplement you take, follow the instructions exactly and do not take more than the recommended amount.

Animal proteins and soy protein

By camlinknews
The recommended dietary allowances, or RDA, for protein are listed as total grams of dietary protein, regardless of whether the source is animal or vegetable. Animal and vegetable proteins, however, are different from each other in unique ways. Getting your daily protein from a variety of sources helps ensure that your body gets all the essential amino acids it requires on a daily basis. Proteins in food are made of amino acids. Some amino acids, called nonessential amino acids, your body can make -- while others, called essential amino acids; you have to get from your diet, because your body cannot make them. The nonessential amino acids include alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid. Usually, amino acids such as arginine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, ornithine, proline, serine and tyrosine are nonessential -- except during periods of illness and stress, notes MedlinePlus. The nine essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lycine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Animal proteins such as eggs, meat, chicken, poultry, as well as seafood and dairy products contain all the essential amino acids you need to build proteins within your body. With the exception of dairy foods, most animal-based proteins contain few – if any -- carbs, giving you a high percentage of your total calories from protein. Many protein-rich, animal-based foods such as red meat, egg yolks and dark-meat poultry, are also rich in zinc and heme iron, which is more readily absorbed in your body than the iron in plant-based foods. Benefits of Eating Vegetable Protein Getting your protein from plant-based foods such as soy, quinoa, other whole grains, legumes, as well as nuts and seeds, means that you’re more likely to have a lower intake of dietary cholesterol and unhealthy saturated fat. Proteins from soy and quinoa are classified as complete proteins because they contain all essential amino acids, much like the proteins from animal-based foods. A 2010 review in “Nutrition in Clinical Practice” reports that individuals following vegetarian diets have lower body mass indexes, lower blood cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure than non-vegetarians. Although not all plant proteins are complete proteins, you can still obtain all the essential amino acids by eating a variety of plant proteins during your day. Drawbacks of Animal and Vegetable Proteins Drawbacks exist for both animal- and plant-based proteins. Some proteins from animal foods such as high-fat meats and full-fat dairy foods, contain high amounts of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, which can increase your risk for heart disease when consumed in excess. Many plant proteins contain some, but not all, essential amino acids. Eating soy is safe for most people. Soy proteins contain isoflavones, which resembles the female hormone estrogen. Pregnant women and those struggling with infertility should limit their intake of soy. Recommended Amounts Regardless of the source of your dietary protein, your total daily protein needs are based on your gender, size and activity level. The RDA for protein is 71 grams daily during pregnancy and lactation, 46 grams per day for other women and 56 grams of protein daily for men.

Amino Acids

AMINO ACID IMBALANCE The concept of amino acid balance is founded on a knowledge of the relationship between the amino acid composition of a protein and its biological value. A protein that provides amino acids in roughly the proportions in which they are required by the body is termed a balanced protein and has a high biological value : a protein that is low in one or more of the indispensable amino acids is termed an unbalanced protein and has a lower biological value. The more unbalanced a protein is, the lower the efficiency with which it is used and the greater the amount needed in a diet to satisfy the amino acid requirements (Block and Mitchell, '46-'47; Oser, '51; Almquist, '53; Mitchell, '54; Flodin, '53, '57). The term amino acid imbalance has arisen from studies in which adverse effects, beyond the expected fall in the efficiency of protein utilization, have been observed when the protein of a diet, usually one low in protein, has been thrown out of balance by the addition of amino acids or a quantity of an unbalanced protein. In order to reverse these adverse effects, such as retarded growth or an accumulation of liver fat, a supplement of the amino acid that is most limiting in the diet must be provided. Thus, an amino acid imbalance, There is even some difference of opinion about the use of the term amino acid imbalance (Harper, '58; Salmon, '58). For the present, an amino acid imbalance will be defined as any change in the proportions of the amino acids in a diet that result in an adverse effect which can be prevented by supplementing the diet with a relatively small amount of the most limiting amino acid or acids. This leaves open the question of whether there are different types of amino acid imbalances, i.e., whether imbalances caused by adding relatively small amounts of one or two amino acids to a diet (Hankes et al., '49; Deshpande et al., '58a) are identical with those produced by adding a relatively large quantity of a protein or of an amino acid mixture lacking a single amino acid (Salmon, '54; Deshpande et al., '55, '58a, b; Sauberlich, '56; Harper, '59). It excludes, however, those conditions described as antagonisms and toxicities (Harper, '58), in which adverse effects are caused by the addition of a fairly large excess of a single amino acid, and which are not known to be prevented by a relatively small supplement of the amino acid that is most limiting for growth. Similar to carbohydrates, proteins contain carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and oxygen (O). However, unlike carbohydrates (and lipids) proteins also contain nitrogen (N). Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids. This name amino acid signifies that each contains an amino (NH2) and carboxylic acid (COOH) group. The only structural difference in the 20 amino acids is the side group represented by the R below.
Fig 2.211 Structure of an amino acid To illustrate the differences in the side group we will consider glycine and alanine, the two simplest amino acids. For glycine the R group is hydrogen (H), while in alanine the R group is a methyl (CH3). The structures of these two amino acids are shown below.
Figure 2.212 Structure of glycine
Figure 2.213 Structure of alanine Individual amino acids are bonded together through a dehydration reaction (-H2O) forming a dipeptide (2 amino acids). This bond between amino acids is known as a peptide bond and is shown in the two figures below. The following video also shows the formation of a peptide bond.
Figure 2.214 Peptide bond formation
Figure 2.215 Peptide bond formation part 21 Check Yourself What are the three components of an amino acid? Which is structurally different among the amino acids? Check Yourself What are the three components of an amino acid? Which is structurally different among the amino acids? Amino acids can also come together to form tripeptides (three amino acids), oligopeptides (3-10 amino acids), and polypeptides (10 or more amino acids). A polypeptide is a chain of amino acids as shown below.
Figure 2.216 A polypeptide chain2 References & Links 1. 2. /amino_acid.cfm?key=amino%20acids

Alternative Nutrition Diagnostics and Assessments

By camlinknews
Weight-for-height z-score and MUAC are the evidence-based norm for identifying, categorizing and treating wasting/acute malnutrition and height-for-age z-score is the standard indicator for stunting.. We occasionally see blood tests for screening of micronutrient deficiencies (iron mainly), but this is rarely done at a population level--except for large scale research. We continue to measure proxy indicators of our nutrition, yet technology is advancing faster than we can even comprehend. With all the laboratory research into finger prick and non-invasive techniques (mass spectrometry, plasma ionization) for understating micronutrient and protein profiles as well as alternative proxy nutrition indicators like handgrip strength tests, I am curious to know what the public health nutrition community's thoughts are on the future of nutrition diagnostics? SOME DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What information do we ideally need to know to understand a person's nutrition and be able to act upon it? Is it necessary to have comprehensive understanding of nutrition status in order to address it effectively? How relevant are all these individualized assessments/diagnoses at the population level? Should we be looking at the factors affecting nutrition (dietary intake, gut microbiota, environment, and genetics) or focus more on measuring an individual’s full nutrition profile? What are your thoughts on handgrip strength (HGS) compared to MUAC or WHZ in measuring malnutrition? I haven't been able to find much literature on these matters. I look forward to your thoughts and a critical discussion). AndrĂ© BRIEND RESPONSES You raise an important but difficult question, on how to define malnutrition. A short answer to that is that there is no generally accepted “gold standard” to assess nutritional status. For this reason, in many programmes, MUAC is used as it is best to identify children with a high risk of dying, a clear indication that these children need intensive care, independently of their “true” nutritional status which we don’t know how to define. The problem with this “risk approach”, is that it is not applicable to older children (> 5 y) as the association between MUAC and risk of death in absence of treatment has not been investigated beyond this age. To determine which children should receive treatment, another criterion should be used. The best approach would be to use a functional outcome, such as hand grip strength, rather than a biochemical indicator with an unclear meaning. Comparing the ability of WFH and MUAC to predict this functional outcome, after adjusting for age, would be an interesting research project. Measuring body compartments, especially muscle and fat, with a clear function as nutritional reserve would be an interesting approach as well, but this is not easy. There is no simple reliable method as far as I know for instance to measure muscle mass in young children. I hope this helps,

Monday, April 11, 2016

Africa is negotiating for a new era of green industrialisation

By ECA External Communications
Africa can leverage opportunities from climate change to engineer a new era of industrialisation that can drive clean economic growth, create sustainable jobs and reduce poverty, according to the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Speaking at the African Pavilion at COP 21, Mr Carlos Lopes asserted that the rapid economic growth experienced by many African countries over the last decade comes despite major challenges that other continents have not had to face, such as complexities around intellectual property and more sophisticated trade regulations. “Africa is industrialising in an environment where achieving growth is more challenging. Windows that were open for other continents, enabling them to industrialise quickly and easily, are now closed for Africa.” However, in these seemingly adverse conditions lie clear opportunities which Africa can readily harness. As a latecomer, Africa can take immediate advantage of the new technologies that have been put in place over the last ten years. Africa has, for example, asserted itself as the leader in mobile banking technologies. In the same way, the continent is well placed to capitalise on new advances in renewable energy infrastructure and technologies. “We have the potential to access renewable energy at a time when the price for producing this energy is comparable to fossil fuel production. Industrialised countries will have to retrofit older infrastructure to harness the sector’s vast potential. Africa, however, is not married to any technological platform and is ready to leapfrog to these new, efficient and more sophisticated technologies.” Furthermore, with a rapidly growing population – set to reach 2 billion by 2050 – Africa will have an immense labour force ready to support this growth. By capitalising on these new technologies, Africa is poised to be the first continent to industrialise through powering renewable energy potential. “Our renewable energy potential is the best in the world, giving us a ticket for green industrialisation; a ticket to do things differently. Africa is here at the COP21 climate negotiations to clearly make this case. We are ready to negotiate hard for a climate deal that will allow the continent to pursue this pathway to a greener industrialisation that will not only further Africa’s development but also make a significant contribution to global efforts to reduce emissions,” Lopes concluded. ECA External Communications and Media Relations Section PO Box 3001 Addis Ababa Ethiopia Tel: +251 11 551 5826 E-mail:

Africa is the Continent of now, says Mme Zuma of the AUC

By ClimDev-Africa
Africa is not only the continent of the future, but mostly the continent of now, Madame Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma President of the Commission of the African Union told thousands of participants at the inaugural ceremony of the Africa Pavilion at the ongoing climate talks in Paris. Underscoring the increasing role that Africa now plays in seeking solutions to global impacts of climate change, Madame. Zuma called on Africans present at COP 21 to “prove that we are here, we are present, and we are ready to demonstrate that we can help through substantive contributions towards viable solutions to problems facing humanity, especially those posed by climate change.” “Africa’s contribution are not limited to the COP 21 negotiations but will go far beyond," she said, calling on African negotiators to do their best to defend the Continent’s positions in all the negotiation streams. She thanked the partners in the ClimDev initiative who teamed up with the African Union Commission to set up an Africa Pavilion at COP 21 - United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the NEPAD Agency. A Special Thank You message was reserved for President Boni Yayi of Benin, whose government provided financial support for the pavilion, calling on other governments to follow the example and show that Africa is ready to solve its own problems. Thanks to the pavilion which is hosting hundreds of events to raise awareness of the challenges facing Africa, African leadership the unwritten message of it is that Africa is forging its way, despite a myriad of challenges to address its own problems. She called on those working in the pavilion to make it as dynamic as possible. The Africa Pavilion at COP21 is aimed, among other things, at providing a forum for discussions and debates on climate change issues relevant to Africa, in the broader context of sustainable development. It is conceived as a platform to enhance critical reflections on the relationship between the available information and knowledge, technical services and policy directions on climate change in Africa. It will create opportunities for knowledge-sharing between policy makers and practitioners, the scientific community and the negotiators on the implications of climate change for the inclusive growth agenda, especially focusing on the interactions between the climate change and vulnerabilities. The African Pavilion will also help to identify opportunities of climate change for Africa. It will catalyze the identification of the climate policies, practices from the recommendations from research, and promote quality scientific research. An important event at the Pavilion will be the Africa Day event at which the Executive Secretary of ECA, Mr. Carlos Lopes; the President of the African Development Bank and the CEO of the NEPAD Planning Agency will discuss priority issues with participants in the event.

Africa drives bold new narrative at COP21, asserts post-COP period will be key

By camlinknews
Speaking in the aftermath of the landmark Paris conference, Ms. Denton commended Africa’s positive and tireless commitment throughout the entire negotiation process, successfully demonstrating its weight in the global climate negotiating arena. “The significance of this COP was clear; this was the frontier COP, the COP of humanity. If an ambitious agreement was not achieved in Paris, the opportunity would have been missed. “Africa came to these negotiations with determination and commitment, indicating that it is far more than just an observer. We reminded the world that as fifty-four countries, Africa is a considerable force – and, without the buy-in of these countries, there would have been no global agreement. At COP21, Africa laid out a clear set of issues and left the conference with a real sense of satisfaction, having put these issues firmly on the table.” However, according to Ms. Denton, the signing of the long-awaited climate deal remains only a step in the right direction – for Africa, the real challenge lies in implementation of the agreement in the post-COP period ahead. “Many of the issues the continent brought to COP21 will not be resolved overnight. Much work remains to be done in terms of putting our ambitions and development objectives into practice – a big part of this will be seeing how we can finance these plans.” Yet according to Denton, clear Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), setting out how African nations will tackle climate change – both in terms of reducing carbon emissions and in adapting to climate challenges – will serve the continent well as it pushes ahead with implementation. “Africa’s INDCs, including specific proposals on how it intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, were the most ambitious of all. These proposals run alongside concrete plans of how the continent intends to drive forward its economy with the development of sectors such as energy, forestry and agriculture. With clear climate action plans that are carefully aligned with national development strategies, Africa has done much valuable work in charting the pathway going forward.” Ms. Denton continued that submitting these ambitious national plans of action have contributed to a bold new narrative for the continent, emerging from the Paris negotiations. These plans, combined with the launch of two dynamic pan-African initiatives - the African Initiative on Adaptation and Loss and Damage, and the African Renewable Energy Initiative - have cemented the continent’s place as a front-runner in a new decarbonised world, and a thought-leader in developing innovative climate solutions. “In Africa’s INDCs and the launch of these two initiatives, Africa set out some very clear and tangible proposals. With this, we have seen a clear shift in narrative, moving away from an old dialogue which saw Africa “asking” – be that for financial support or new technologies. “With its own ambitious plans, Africa has demonstrated that it will not passively wait for things to happen. Instead, it has embraced a new determination and unity, showing the world that it is in control of its own development – and its own destiny,” Denton concluded. Photo:Paris, France, 12 December 2015 – As the world celebrates the outcome of the COP21 climate negotiations, widely touted as an historic deal to transform the world's carbon economy and slow the rate of global warming, implementation of the new climate deal will be vital for Africa, says Fatima Denton, Director of the Special Initiatives Division and Coordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Advantages, disadvantages and risks of ready-to-use foods

Breastfeeding Briefs by T. Frank, ACFin South Sudan
Globally, about 50 million children less than 5 years are wasted (too thin) at any one time; of these, over 17 million are severely wasted. These children are at high risk of death or may suffer from diseases and complications that will greatly affect their future life. Much more common is stunting (failure to achieve normal growth in length or height): it affects more than 160 million children that may not reach their developmental potential, mainly in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. During the past decade or more the news media have focused on claims that the “solution” to reduce the mortality and morbidity from infectious diseases in the form of specific food products, often referred to as “ready-to-use foods.” These foods have a high nutrient density and a low water activity; thus, they do not support bacterial growth even without refrigeration. They need no cooking or other preparation and can be fed directly from their packaging with no need for training. The “ready-to-use therapeutic foods” (RUTF) are for use in the treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The introduction of RUTFs in the management of SAM has allowed health authorities to extend effective treatment beyond hospitals, i.e. in out-patient units or at home. As a consequence, the case fatality rates recorded in hospitals, usually less than 10%, can be achieved largely outside the hospital environment, thus greatly reducing cost and the burden on in-patient health care facilities, and allowing an increased coverage. This, however, is far from universal, and many cases, possibly the worst cases, are not yet reached by programmes. In addition, proof of the advantages of RUTFs over other products is weak. In addition, RUTFs have their downside. They are too expensive to be used for anything else besides treatment of SAM. Their provision depends often on short-term external funding for humanitarian or emergency programmes. They tend to be monopolized by a handful of manufacturers able to put in place strict quality control measures. Children treated with RUTFs require extra water; if clean water is not available, RUTF alone will not result in a healthy child. The product does not contribute to teaching the child to like the taste of the healthy local foods needed to avoid malnutrition in the future. Finally, they are only part of the solution: prevention and rehabilitation of SAM need much more than RUTFs. And SAM is only the tip of the malnutrition iceberg: 90% of malnutrition consists of forms other than SAM, and RUTFs are neither necessary nor appropriate in treating them.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Green Tea

By James Achanyi-Fontem
Green tea is one of three types of tea known for their health benefits. Historically, green tea has been very popular in eastern countries such as Japan, Thailand and India. While green tea may offer many advantages, such as a number of health benefits, it also has disadvantages as well. Green tea is contraindicated for some health conditions. When in doubt, always consult your doctor or health-care provider for recommendations before consuming green tea. Reduced Risk of Heart Disease According to Harvard Medical School’s Health Watch, green tea contains antioxidants that help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. It can promote arterial health as well. Green tea is also beneficial for blood pressure by reducing the risks of developing hypertension. Cancer Reduction The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that green tea has been studied in relation to different types of cancer. Bladder cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and esophageal cancer all appear in lower rates in individuals who drink green tea. The beverage may also increase survival rates for some cancers, such as bladder cancer. Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants contained in green tea, are thought to be responsible for the cancer reduction and survival rates. Caffeine Green tea contains caffeine, which may be unsuitable for individuals with a heart condition, including hypertension. You should also speak to your doctor prior to drinking green tea if you have any disorders involving your central nervous system or an anxiety disorder. Caffeine may worsen these conditions or interact with medications meant to control them. Pregnancy also requires that caffeine intake be limited, so consult your midwife or obstetrician about the safety of consuming green tea if you are pregnant.

50 Years of Living Successfully with Diabetes

By Stephen Ponder
March 1, 2016 marked my 50 year anniversary living with juvenile diabetes. Half a century ago, my parents wisely took a symptomatic 9 year old boy to see his pediatrician for what would ultimately develop into a 10 day hospital admission ushering in a new reality which has now existed five decades. Back then I didn’t expect to ever see this day. My parents privately didn’t believe I would be around too long. That was what we were led to believe at the time. We probably weren’t any different than other families. After all, the only point of reference back then was based on the prior four decades. Recall that insulin therapy had only been around 44 years when I was diagnosed. The ‘facts of life’ about living with diabetes were not very encouraging. People survived with diabetes, but faced a gauntlet of new challenges. Insulin was life sustaining, but it was not a cure. A new door was now opened to the world of diabetes complications. Early on, I learned to fear blindness and failing kidneys. I came to feel it was just my destiny. But as I later entered medical school and began to meet some new inspiring people, my perspective began to change. I began to better understand the nature of the problems I feared out of ignorance. Soon I started to realize that my fate largely rested in my own hands. I could now shape my destiny. Knowledge did evolve into power. Marriage, children and a busy career soon followed. It became clear that my life with diabetes was irrevocably different than what would have transpired in its absence. And as life’s experiences unfolded it became clear that I had begun to reclaim my life from the clutches of my earlier fears. I would be lying if I said I like having diabetes. I don’t. But I like my life with diabetes very much. Whether I like it or not, diabetes has shaped who I am and who I’ve been able to help over the past 35 years as a health care provider. In the natural world order, I should have died a half century ago. But this did not happen. Why? I assume I will find out when I meet my Creator. What I do know is that I have a purpose. Mark Twain said the two most important days in life are the day you’re born and the day you find out why. I do feel I now know why I am here. And that awareness is one of my greatest gifts from God. For all those reading this, my message to you is that a life lived well with diabetes (and many other chronic diseases), is very much within reach. Each day is a gift. Each family member or friend is a priceless treasure. We can all make a difference. With or without diabetes, life is a series of choices. Choose well. Embrace today and appreciate each sunrise. Now I’ve got to get ready for work and take out the trash. Have a splendid day everyone, I woke up today. Therefore I’ve won one more day over diabetes. Stephen Ponder Type 1 diabetes diagnosed March 1, 1956. Board Certified Pediatric Endocrinologist since 1990. CDE since 1989. Directs one of the largest children's residential diabetes camping programs in the world since 1989. Former Chair of the NCBDE. Author of the groundbreaking book "Sugar Surfing, Managing type 1 diabetes in a Modern World". International speaker, clinical researcher and community advocate. Directs a free clinic for homeless and uninsured children. Currently directs the Pediatric Residency Training Program at McLane Children's Hospital in Temple, Texas. Clinical Professor of Pediatrics with Texas A&M University School of Medicine.

27 Ways to Fight Food Waste

By Becky Striepe
Chances are you’ve seen lists of ways to fight food waste before. The list below, though, is based on hard data from a committee dedicated to ending food waste. ReFED is a committee that’s working to combat food waste on every front. They’ve looked at food waste from all angles and identified 27 ways that individuals, governments and businesses can fight food waste. When they talk about food waste, they’re talking about more than just the food itself. They also look at packaging waste and water waste associated with excess food. The group is made up of more than 30 businesses, nonprofits and leaders. In 2015, they conducted an economic study on food waste, which they called the Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste. Their mission is to fight food waste on a large scale by showing how it can financially benefit companies while doing good for people and the planet. I’m sure you’re sick of hearing that we throw away four billion tons of food per year. When you look at food waste by the numbers, it can feel like an insurmountable problem. ReFED’s mission is to “fill the gap between awareness and action” by looking at our food system as a whole. These are the 27 ways that we need to attack our food waste problem.
1. Consumer Education Campaigns – The more consumers—like you and I—know about food waste, the more we can do to waste less. Check out these seven ways that individuals can reduce food waste at home. 2. Standardized Date Labeling - One UK study found that extending “Sell By” dates by just one day would keep 50 million pounds of food out of landfills. 3. Packaging Adjustments - Companies need to choose packaging to minimize packaging waste and encourage consumers to eat the food before it goes bad. 4. Donation Matching Software – There is software out there already that connects excess food with people who need it. These apps help nonprofits, like food banks, recover edible excess food. 5. Standardized Donation Regulation – Local food safety regulations often stop nonprofits from recovering food waste. Standardizing these laws would make it a lot easier for these groups to do what they set out to do. 6. Value-Added Processing – This is all about turning donated food into something appealing. Ugly fruit can be turned into jam, for example. Ugly veggies are still appealing in a soup or stew. 7. Donation Liability Education - Grocery stores and restaurants often don’t donate excess food because they worry about getting sued. An education program could recover 95 million meals per year. 8. Donation Storage and Handling – Donated food needs to be stored properly, or it does spoil. Organizations like food banks and food hubs need more refrigeration and freezer space to handle the volume of excess food. 9. Spoilage Prevention Packaging – High tech packaging can extend food’s shelf life. For example, ethylene-absorbing pads help fruit stay fresh longer. They absorb ethylene, a gas that ripens the fruit. 10. Donation Transportation – Groups recovering food waste need better ways to get the food to people who need it, both in their communities and further away. 11. Waste Tracking and Analytics – One of the best ways to fight food waste is to keep up with where it’s happening. Analytics would help businesses, like grocery stores and restaurants, see where they’re wasting food, so they can address problems on the fly. 12. Trayless Dining – It turns out that cafeteria trays encourage people to take more food than they can eat. Ditching the trays means less over-serving and, therefore, less wasted food. 13. Smaller Plates – This is another step that both businesses and consumers can take. A smaller plate helps you waste less in the same way that it helps you eat less: you tend to load on a more reasonable amount of food. 14. Manufacturing Line Optimization – A lot of food waste is generated at the factory level. Making these processes more efficient would mean less spoilage on the factory floor. 15. Cold Chain Management – This is about keeping cold food cold by making fewer stops between farm and plate. 16. Donation Tax Incentives – This is like what Italy is trying to do with their new food waste law. Instead of punishing businesses who waste food, they will be giving big tax breaks to businesses who donate. They treat excess food like the valuable gift that it is. 17. Improved Inventory Management – Tracking products by remaining shelf life would enable stores to feature food that’s closer to its sell by date. 18. Produce Specifications – Grocers and farmers often don’t sell “ugly” produce. New specifications would get more edible produce on the shelf, even if that produce isn’t picture perfect. 19. Secondary Resellers – This is also not a totally new concept. There are food waste grocery stores now, but this concept is definitely one worth expanding on. 20. Home Composting – If you’re new to composting at home, it might seem overwhelming. Here are some great tips to help you get started. 21. Commercial Greywater – Companies can save a lot of money and reduce wasted water by using greywater in their sewage systems. 22. Centralized Anaerobic Digestion - Inedible food waste can actually be used to generate clean energy! 23. Centralized Composting – Like I mentioned in #20, composting at home can be overwhelming. Municipal composting, like they have in San Francisco makes it easy. Your trash goes in one bin, recyclables in another and food waste in a third bin. Some areas also have private centralized composting—companies that pick up or accept food and farm waste for composting. 24. Water Resources Recover Facility with Anaerobic Digestion - Think of this as a pipeline—sometimes a literal one—that takes food waste to anaerobic digestion facilities (see #22). 25. Animal Feed – Heat-treated food waste can be used as animal feed. You probably already know that animal agriculture is terribly inefficient. 26. Community Composting – This is basically centralized composting, but for a smaller area. It works best in urban areas, where populations are dense. 27. In-Vessel Composting – Smaller businesses can compost quickly on-site with special equipment and save on trash fees while generating dirt to use in their own landscaping. If you want to dive into even more detail, their website has an interactive graph where you can see the impacts of each action and get more information about them.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cameroon Link IYCF Linkages

By James Achanyi-Fontem, CEO, Cameroon Link
IBFAN was founded in 1979. It is a network of 273 groups in 168 countries. Member groups include consumer organisations, health workers associations, parents’ Support groups and diverse organizations in the social media and justice movements. It has also individual members. For example, the group in Canada and United Kingdom have more than 1000 members each. Each group is autonomous and raises its own funds, with the assistance of IBFAN’s Regional office and Programme Coordinating Offices, in accordance with the Seven Principles of the Global Body (IBFAN). IBFAN Cameroon brings together some 46 independent organisations implanted in the 10 regions of Cameroon. The greatest number of associations are in the Littoral region. IBFAN Cameroon’s goal IBFAN Cameroon improves the wellbeing of women and children through contributing to the reduction of five morbidity and mortality rates and improving maternal health. Improved infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices that could prevent the deaths of 1.000.000 children under the age of 5 years every year and save more than 300 thousand from the life – long debilitating effects of stunning and severe malnutrition (WHO Sixty – third World Health Assembly WHA63.23, Agenda item 11.6). It should be noted that Improved IYCF can also contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’S) 2016 – 2030. IBFAN Cameroon does not use one single approach to achieve its goal but rather uses a variety of strategies and initiatives. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), adequate nutrition, beginning in early stages of life is crucial to ensure good physical and mental development and long-term health. The key recommendation is to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth and breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of the child’s life. The benefits of breastfeeding are well known, including providing the perfect nutrition and protection from life-threatening ailments, obesity and non-communicable diseases. However, more than half of the world’s new-borns are not breastfed within the first hour of birth. In Cameroon, this is rated at 92% Only 38% of infants are exclusively breastfed in the first six months of life in Cameroon (WBti) . Several reports have highlighted the fact that sub-optimal breastfeeding has greatly contributed to malnutrition, which continues to be a major public health challenge especially in northern and eastern regions of Cameroon. In these regions, 20% of the children below 5 years of age are stunted. It is particularly noteworthy that Cameroon is faced with the double burden of under-nutrition and overweight in the Far North and East regions due to the presence of Boko Haram and refugees from neighbouring countries to Cameroon. In 2013, more than two-thirds of the 2.5 million under-weight and overweight children under 5 years of age resided in low and middle-income health districts of Cameroon. The IBFAN Cameroon agenda is piloted by the Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding Promotion Asso0ciations (FECABPA) coordinated by Cameroon Link and the Ministry of Public Health.
Programmes  Protection Of Women and Children’s Rights to health Protection of women and children’s right to health through maternity benefits and other efforts: IBFAN Cameroon advocates for national government to support the ILO Convention 183 of 2000 on Maternity Benefits and Recommendation 191 on the rights of all working women.  Public Awareness and Advocacy Public awareness and advocacy is intended to create a more visible, vocal and trusted Cameroon Network at both the 10 Regional and National levels.  Optimal Infant and Child Feeding prevention of MTCT Optimal infant and young child feeding and prevention of MTCT is intended to contribute to HIV- free child survival and the reduction of morbidity and mortality of infants and young children born to HIV+ mothers through quality counselling on infant feeding with the mothers.  The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and Baby Friendly Community Initiative: intended to promote protect and support breast feeding and food based complementary feeding.  Infant Feeding in Emergencies Infant feeding in emergencies is intended to support government and international organisations through the enforcement of an Emergency Code Monitoring tool, designed to support the work of humanitarian agencies, Cameroon Link and IYCF advocates where it is deemed necessary.  Men and Youth involvement and Gender Awareness Men and youth involvement and Gender Awareness Groups in Cameroon create awareness of gender mainstreaming, support women and educate other men and youths in IYCF issues within the scope of WABA (Men’s Working Group) Agenda. Camlink Y4DA Initiative Goal “Develop and sustain young advocates to promote, protect and support optimal maternal, infant and young child health and nutrition” Although the need for community involvement in youth programs seems clear, only a few organizations have actually attempted to measure the added value of incorporating such participation into the promotion of nutrition of the youth and infants in such programs. Clearly, adolescence is a pivotal stage of the life cycle, and in turn, provides a unique opportunity to foster transition from childhood to adulthood. Ensuring that the nutritional needs of the adolescents are met is essential to this transition. Youth participation increases the impact of Youth Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS programs through ensuring greater relevance to the problems and issues faced by young people and increasing sustainability of interventions. The youth as part of many social domains have power to share with others about the benefits of good health and nutrition practices including promotion of breastfeeding in the communities as the number of teen mothers is on the increase in schools, universities, work places and youth organizations. There are a large number of youth groups and organizations in Cameroon that are valuable in the promotion of appropriate IYCF and also promote their general health and nutrition. Cameroon Link and FECABPA are leading organizations in the promotion of IYCF and its relationship with the Ministries of Health, Youth and Sports, to access health facilities and communities is well positioned to support, promote, and protect appropriate infant and young child feeding (IYCF) in the country. The creation of a programme for the youth to involve them in the promotion of its objectives was another way of spreading its scope to help in the improvement of the health of the infants and mothers especially the young parents. Camlink Y4DA is involved in farming activities for income generation purposes. Based on the above justification, the camlink Y4DA Initiative came as an answer to provide support to the scale up of interventions on appropriate IYCF and the general health and nutrition of youth in Cameroon that IBFAN Cameroon is already operating in. IBFAN Cameroon currently has 20 active Youth Groups in Cameroon like other African countries. The overall objective of the camlink Y4DA Network is to develop and sustain young advocates to promote, protect, and support optimal infant and young child feeding. The IAYN is mandated to participate in the affairs of IBFAN Africa through a coordinator or representative. The youth desks provided for under the Cameroon Link and FECABPA Offices are charged with the responsibility of coordinating and communicating issues affecting the youth and spearhead development and implementation of youth programs at the national level and as a liaison with the other regional bodies and initiatives within the health, social and nutrition fraternity on matters pertaining to the youth.
Cameroon Link Key Activity Areas Advocacy for and support for the establishment and strengthening of the youth groups for optimal maternal, infant and young child health and nutrition across the national network. Collaboration with already existing youth groups and also spearheading the establishment of more new groups both at the national and district health levels in the promotion of child and youth rights to better health and nutrition with an emphasis on the young parents. Scaling up of interventions that have been successful in the already implementing country regions will be a key highlight in efforts to grow the network. This is through communicating leadership opportunities and conducting trainings for youth; building partnerships with community agencies to develop common goal for youth involvement; engaging community agencies to provide leadership opportunities for youth within the network; and enhancing services for youth and families across child serving agencies through resource mobilization to provide training for youth advocates. Strengthening peer education in communities, schools and other institutions among the national network Peer education is considered one of many tools available to reach young people with information and also in developing their skills for behaviour change. The camlink Y4DA Network strives to develop and promote peer education programs that are in support for the rights of young people to scientifically accurate information about nutrition, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and where needed, access to youth-friendly services. Using current ITC technological advancements to come up with ideas and concepts that are relevant in today’s communication environment and needs of the young people. Participation in the development of interventions and programs that promote optimal nutrition and health among the youth in the national network Attainment of full growth especially among adolescent girls is very important. Pregnancy puts severe nutritional demands on a woman’s body, and among girls who become pregnant there are high risks of maternal mortality, pregnancy complications, and delivery of low birth weight infants. The National Youth Network is involved in development of programs that are directed towards education of youth on good nutrition and reproductive health practices. This also involves building partnerships with agencies in support for rights based programmes, youth empowerment and development programmes through entrepreneurship and investment projects that support and improve livelihoods of youth within communities.
Policy Frameworks: The camlink Y4DA Network puts into effect the strategy and focus areas of the plan of action of the African Youth Charter. The camlink Y4DA Strategy has been based on the priorities set within the IBFAN Africa policies under the theme “Developing young advocates for breastfeeding promotion”. The objectives and targets are aligned to the IBFAN Africa Strategic Plan (IASP), and it is in line with the African Union Decade Plan of Action (DPoA), the African Youth Charter and World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond (WPAY). The camlink Y4DA Network operates within the framework of the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding and works in the area of Nutrition; HIV and AIDS; Child Health; Reproductive Health as well as Health Promotion and Education. Focus of Camlink Y4DA Initiative and Strategy is to: Provide continuity in terms of strategic planning for the Cameroon Youth Network. Capture critical lessons in implementation to guide strategic focus and investments for youth in the medium and long term, and consolidated investment targeting youth socio-economic empowerment; Align the national network priorities with organizational, regional and country government policies and strategies in terms of health and nutrition for youth; Ensure rights-based approach to youth development through meaningful participation and representation; and Mainstream youth perspective in the efforts to achieve broad development goals and priorities Conclusion: Camlink Y4DA Initiative as implemented under the African programmes has become an avenue of fulfilment of the Organization’s objectives. Implementation of its activities both at health district and community levels is one way of strengthening efforts and upholding achievements so far reached by building the blocks for tomorrow’s breastfeeding promotion movement and concerted efforts and engagement of populations and organisations in support of this initiative will go a long way to ensure that SDGs, and other international initiatives are reached in Cameroon.  Monitoring and Evaluation Cameroon Link is part of the global monitoring alliance for maternal and child nutrition: World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi). Capacity Development Cameroon Link provides health district level or national training for Men, Women, Youth and Community Radio Stations, NGOs, CBOs, government health staff and other organisations involved in the area of maternal health and nutrition and child feeding. UNICEF's work on statistics and monitoring UNICEF has learned through experience that problems that go unmeasured often go unsolved. In collaboration with a wide range of partners, UNICEF gathers evidence on the situation of children and women around the world. It uses this knowledge to inform national and global decision-making with the objective of improving children’s well-being. Some recent facts:
• 16,000 children die every day, mostly from preventable or treatable causes. • The births of nearly 230 million children under age 5 worldwide (about one in three) have never been officially recorded, depriving them of their right to a name and nationality. • 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation, including 946 million who are forced to resort to open defecation for lack of other options. • Out of an estimated 35 million people living with HIV, over 2 million are 10 to 19 years old, and 56 per cent of them are girls. • Globally, about one third of women aged 20 to 24 were child brides. • Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. • Nearly half of all deaths in children under age 5 are attributable to undernutrition. This translates into the unnecessary loss of about 3 million young lives a year. Supporting data collection UNICEF supports countries in collecting data related to children and women through Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), an international household survey programme. Since its inception in the mid-1990s, four rounds of MICS have been completed (in 1995-1996, 2000-2001, 2005-2006, 2009-2012) and a fifth is now under way (2013-2015). By 2015, over 280 surveys are expected to have been implemented in more than 100 low- and middle-income countries. Each round of surveys builds upon the last and offers new indicators to monitor trends and current priorities. The MICS programme is designed to collect statistically sound, internationally comparable data on more than 100 indicators used by countries to assess the situation of children and women in the areas of education, health, gender equality, rights and protection. It also provides data required to monitor progress towards national and international goals and commitments aimed at promoting the welfare of children. As part of the MICS global programme, UNICEF provides technical support and training through a series of regional workshops covering questionnaire content, sampling and survey implementation, data processing, data quality and analysis, report writing, data archiving and dissemination and further analysis. Under the fourth round of MICS, close to 700 UNICEF staff and experts from developing countries were trained worldwide. Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys generate data on more than 20 indicators used to measure progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the programme one of the largest single sources of data for MDG monitoring. The data generated in the fifth round of MICS (along with other nationally representative household surveys) is critically important in the final assessment of the MDGs, which was launched by the United Nations Secretary-General in September 2015. The MICS programme has pioneered the development and implementation of new measurement tools in areas such as early childhood development, female genital mutilation/cutting, child discipline, hand washing, post-natal health care and low birthweight. MICS findings have been used extensively as a basis for policy decisions and programme interventions, and for the purpose of influencing public opinion on the situation of children and women around the world. Leading data analysis Compiling data UNICEF maintains a series of global databases for tracking the situation of children and women globally. The databases include only statistically sound and nationally representative data from household surveys and other sources. They are updated annually through a process that draws on a wealth of data maintained by UNICEF’s network of 140 country offices. Developing new methodologies UNICEF plays an active – often leadership – role in a number of inter-agency monitoring groups on specific topics. Together with its inter-agency partners, UNICEF helps devise new methodologies, indicators and monitoring tools, build statistical capacity at the country level, develop joint estimates, and harmonize monitoring work across partners. UNICEF has also led the development of new indicators and methodologies for gathering relevant data on a number of priority issues, including education, child labour, child disability, child mortality, maternal mortality, water and sanitation, low birthweight, antenatal care, pneumonia, malaria, iodine deficiency disorder, female genital mutilation/cutting, and vitamin A deficiency. Assessing progress towards international goals UNICEF has undertaken extensive work on the development of indicators for national and international development goals and targets related to the well-being of children and women. These successful efforts include monitoring progress towards the Millennium Declaration and the MDGs, the World Fit for Children Declaration and Plan of Action, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS and the African Summit on Malaria. UNICEF is spearheading the development of child survival indicators currently used in the Countdown to 2015 initiative. Analysing data for evidence-based programming UNICEF’s work in the area of data analysis highlights trends and emphasizes patterns found within the data. It also suggests how these data can be used strategically to inform programmatic efforts. Where possible, data are disaggregated by gender, age, residence, household income, education, and other key social and demographic variables to help uncover possible risk factors and inequities. UNICEF also promotes the advancement of research through the development of joint projects and collaboration with academic institutions and other agencies working at the national and international level. Building capacity Through its MICS programme, UNICEF provides in-country technical assistance and leadership to local researchers and organizations, thereby contributing to the improvement of national monitoring systems for children and women. UNICEF also conducts regional workshops on specialized topics in conjunction with government counterparts to enhance their capacity to understand, interpret, analyse, disseminate and use statistics. These workshops cover several objectives ranging from supporting further analysis of malaria data for improved programme monitoring and management and for policy formulation and harmonizing the methodologies used to derive estimates on access to water and sanitation to improving coverage estimates related to HIV and to child and maternal mortality. UNICEF maintains a series of global databases on key indicators found at Enhancing data dissemination Researchers, programme managers and legislators worldwide count on UNICEF data to assess the situation of women and children and to plan and implement related policies and programmes. The media, both locally and internationally, also rely on such data to inform and substantiate their coverage of children and women and the issues that affect their lives. Publications UNICEF data are used for a variety of planning and monitoring purposes. They appear in UNICEF flagship publications such as The State of the World’s Children and Committing to Child Survival: A promise renewed and in a number of sector-specific reports. These include Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation; Malaria and Children; and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change. MICS dissemination tools Tools produced to disseminate MICS data at the country and regional levels include printed materials, presentations, web links and those focusing on the media.