Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improving female reproductive health and empowerment through control of NTDs

Date:
December 1, 2009
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Controlling neglected tropical diseases in developing countries would help improve the reproductive health and rights of girls and women in the poorest countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, according to a new editorial.

Controlling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in developing countries would help improve the reproductive health and rights of girls and women in the poorest countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, according to a new editorial published November 24 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

The analysis demonstrates that NTDs are "important factors that impair reproductive health in developing countries; increase the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and promote stigma and gender inequality."

Anemia is a common condition linked to NTDs, with dangerous potential consequences among women in developing countries. The editorial notes that an estimated 20% of maternal deaths in Africa are attributed to anemia, which is also a key risk factor for infant mortality and low birth weight. Schistosomiasis is an important contributor to anemia and infertility, and likely contributes to increased maternal morbidity and low birth weight. Human hookworm infection, one of the most common NTDs, adds significantly to iron loss and anemia in pregnancy, and also contributes to infertility. An estimated 44 million pregnant women are infected with hookworm at any one time.

Peter Hotez, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Distinguished Research Professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and author of the article, states that "not surprisingly, deworming during pregnancy has major beneficial effects in terms of reduced maternal morbidity and mortality, as well as improved perinatal outcome."

Adding to their negative impact on reproductive health, several NTDs are either also STIs or may promote susceptibility to other STIs. Trichomoniasis is the former, and is now recognized as one of the most common STIs in Africa and elsewhere. Female genital schistosomiasis has been identified as an important co-factor in HIV transmission in rural areas of Africa.

Furthermore, numerous studies have demonstrated the stigma of NTDs carries social and economic consequences. Many women are ostracized and sometimes prevented from seeking medical attention due to their disfigurations; those who seek medical attention may be restricted to examination of their arms and legs. In Afghanistan, cutaneous leishmaniasis prevents mothers from holding their children; in Colombia, this disease is grounds for spousal abandonment.

In the analysis, Hotez concludes that "because of the dramatic impact of NTDs on the health of women, especially girls and women in their child-bearing years, it is critically important that these populations are included in current and proposed large-scale interventions for NTDs," and calls for specific actions to help control and eliminate NTDs and improve the health of women.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hotez et al. Empowering Women and Improving Female Reproductive Health through Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2009; 3 (11): e559 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000559

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Improving female reproductive health and empowerment through control of NTDs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201152650.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2009, December 1). Improving female reproductive health and empowerment through control of NTDs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201152650.htm
Public Library of Science. "Improving female reproductive health and empowerment through control of NTDs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201152650.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins