Unwinding the tangle of adolescent pregnancy and socio-economic functioning: leveraging administrative data from Manitoba, Canadaby Jakubowski A. et al.
This study uses rich administrative data from Manitoba, Canada, to assess women's functioning during childhood (including pre-pregnancy academic performance), fertility behaviors during adolescence (live birth, abortion, pregnancy loss, or no history of pregnancy), and adult outcomes of high school completion and receipt of income assistance. This rich set of covariates allows calculating propensity score weights to help adjust for characteristics possibly predictive of adolescent pregnancy. The study also explore which risk factors are associated with the study outcomes.
Number of Childhood and Adolescent Vaccinations Administered Before and After the COVID-19 Outbreak in Coloradoby Sean T. O’Leary et al
In this report, the authors assessed the number of childhood and adolescent vaccinations administered in the months before and after the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in Colorado. Findings suggest that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination uptake in children and adolescents has shown a significant decrease in Colorado. While the clinical implications of our observation are not yet known, public health advocates should consider addressing this drop to avoid the potential for vaccine-preventable diseases.
Improving the health of young African American women in the preconception period using health information technology: a randomised controlled trialby Jack et al
The aim of this research was to assess the impact of an embodied conversational agent system on preconception risks among African American and Black women. The Gabby system has the potential to improve women's preconception health. Further research is needed to determine if improving preconception risks impacts outcomes such as preterm delivery.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Infection in Children and Adolescents A Systematic Reviewby Riccardo Castagnoli et al
The objective of this study was to evaluate currently reported pediatric cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. A total of 815 articles were identified. Eighteen studies with 1065 participants (444 patients were younger than 10 years, and 553 were aged 10 to 19 years) with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included in the final analysis. All articles reflected research performed in China, except for 1 clinical case in Singapore. Children at any age were mostly reported to have mild respiratory symptoms, namely fever, dry cough, and fatigue, or were asymptomatic. Bronchial thickening and ground-glass opacities were the main radiologic features, and these findings were also reported in asymptomatic patients. Among the included articles, there was only 1 case of severe COVID-19 infection, which occurred in a 13-month-old infant. No deaths were reported in children aged 0 to 9 years. Available data about therapies were limited.
Effectiveness of Universal School-Based Screening vs Targeted Screening for Major Depressive Disorder Among Adolescentsby Sekhar et al
The study aims to compare the effectiveness of universal school-based screening for adolescent major depressive disorder (MDD0 vs the existing process of targeted screening based on observable behavior. Screening in High Schools to Identify, Evaluate, and Lower Depression (SHIELD) is a randomized clinical trial that will take place in at least 8 Pennsylvania public high schools among at least 9650 students enrolled in 9th through 12th grade. Students will be randomized by grade to either targeted screening (current process) or universal screening (intervention).
The impact of underuse of modern methods of contraception among adolescents with unintended pregnancies in 12 low- and middle-income countriesby Bellizzi S
The authors sought to explore the contribution of the underuse of modern methods of contraception (MMC) to the annual incidence of unintended pregnancies among adolescent women. Findings suggets that eight million out of 9.5 million unintended pregnancies occurring annually in twelve countries could have been prevented with the optimal use of MMC of contraception. MMC need to be further supported in order to further prevent unintended pregnancies globally.
Recent levels and trends in HIV incidence rates among adolescent girls and young women in ten high-prevalence African countries: a systematic review and meta-analysisby Birdthistle et al
The authors aimed to summarise direct estimates of HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women since ART and before large investments in targeted prevention for those in sub-Saharan Africa.
Trends in adolescent first births in five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean: disaggregated data from demographic and health surveysby Neal et al
The study draws on Demographic and Health Survey data from five countries where three surveys are available since 1990, with the most recent after 2006. It examines trends in adolescent births by wealth status and urban/rural residence. The study draws on Demographic and Health Survey data from five countries where three surveys are available since 1990, with the most recent after 2006. It examines trends in adolescent births by wealth status and urban/rural residence.
Demand for family planning satisfied with modern methods among sexually active women in low- and middle-income countries: who is lagging behind?by Ewerling et al
The objective was to identify groups of sexually active women with extremely low demand for family planning satisfied with modern methods (mDFPS) in low- and middle-income countries, at national and subnational levels to inform the improvement and expansion of programmatic efforts to narrow the gaps in mDFPS coverage. Analyses were based on Demographic and Health Survey and Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey data. Almost half of the women in need were not using an effective family planning method. Subgroups requiring special attention include women who are poor, uneducated/illiterate, young, and living in rural areas. Efforts to increase mDFPS must address not only the supply side but also tackle the need to change social norms that might inhibit uptake of contraception.
Barriers to and strategies for addressing the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of the sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health workforce: addressing the postby Homer et al
The aim of this paper is to explore barriers, challenges and solutions to the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality (AAAQ) of SRMNAH services and workforce. The number and scale of the barriers still needing to be addressed in these 36 countries was significant. Adequate planning and policies to support the development of the SRMNAH workforce and its equitable distribution are a priority. Enabling strategies need to be put in place to improve the status and recognition of midwives, whose role is often undervalued.
Countdown to 2030: tracking progress towards universal coverage for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child healthby Countdown to 2030 Collaboration
To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the rate of decline in prevalence of maternal and child mortality, stillbirths, and stunting among children younger than 5 years of age needs to accelerate considerably compared with progress since 2000. Countdown to 2030 is investing in improvements in measurement in several areas, such as quality of care and effective coverage, nutrition programmes, adolescent health, early childhood development, and evidence for conflict settings, and is prioritising its regional networks to enhance local analytic capacity and evidence for RMNCH.
Adolescent health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 studyby El Bcheraoui et al
Using data from the Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (GBD 2015), this study reports the leading causes of mortality and morbidity for adolescents in the EMR from 1990 to 2015. We also report the prevalence of key health risk behaviors and determinants. Findings from this study suggests that even with the return of peace and security, adolescents will have a persisting poor health profile that will pose a barrier to socioeconomic growth and development of the EMR.
Evidence-based policy responses to strengthen health, community and legislative systems that care for women in Australia with female genital mutilation / cuttingby Varol N et al
This article reviews the literature on research on FGM/C in Australia, which focuses on health system response to women and girls with FGM/C. Recommendations are made for policy reform in health, legislation, and community programs to provide the best healthcare, protect children, and help communities abandon this harmful practice. Findings suggest that countries of migration can be part of the solution for abandonment of FGM/C through community interventions and implementation of national and coordinated training in FGM/C of experts involved in the care and protection of children and women. The global focus on collaboration on research, training and prevention programs should be fostered between countries of FGM/C prevalence and migration.
Mapping the knowledge and understanding of menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countriesby Chandra-Mouli et al
This review aims to answer the following questions: (1) how knowledgeable are adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries about menstruation and how prepared are they for reaching menarche, (2) who are their sources of information regarding menstruation, (3) how well do the adults around them respond to their information needs, (4) what negative health and social effects do adolescents experience as a result of menstruation, and (5) how do adolescents respond when they experience these negative effects and what practices do they develop as a result? Results suggest that dolescent girls in LMIC are often uninformed and unprepared for menarche. Information is primarily obtained from mothers and other female family members who are not necessarily well equipped to fill gaps in girls’ knowledge. Exclusion and shame lead to misconceptions and unhygienic practices during menstruation. Rather than seek medical consultation, girls tend to miss school, self-medicate and refrain from social interaction. Also problematic is that relatives and teachers are often not prepared to respond to the needs of girls.
The causes of maternal mortality in adolescents in low and middle income countries: a systematic review of the literatureby Neal et al
This study systematically reviews the literature on cause of maternal death in adolescence. Where possible the authors have attempted to compare the main causes for adolescents with those for older women to ascertain differences and similarity in mortality patterns. The main causes of maternal mortality in adolescents are broadly similar to those for older women, although the findings suggest some heterogeneity between countries and regions. However there is evidence that the relative importance of specific causes may differ for this younger age group compared to women over the age of 20 years. In particular hypertensive conditions make up a larger share of maternal deaths in adolescents than older women. Further, large scale studies are needed to investigate this question further.
Population-level impact, herd immunity, and elimination after human papillomavirus vaccination: a systematic review and meta-analysis of predictions from transmission-dynamic modelsby Marc Brisson et al
The authors did a systematic review and meta-analysis of model predictions of the long-term population-level effectiveness of vaccination against HPV 16, 18, 6, and 11 infection in women and men, to examine the variability in predicted herd effects, incremental benefit of vaccinating boys, and potential for HPV-vaccine-type elimination. Although HPV models differ in structure, data used for calibration, and settings, our population-level predictions were generally concordant and suggest that strong herd effects are expected from vaccinating girls only, even with coverage as low as 20%. Elimination of HPV 16, 18, 6, and 11 is possible if 80% coverage in girls and boys is reached and if high vaccine efficacy is maintained over time.
Interventions to Address Adolescent Health and Well-Being: Current State of the Evidenceby Salam et al
The momentum to bring adolescents and young adults to center stage in global health and international development is palpable. Adolescents are increasingly seen as a crucial group for the success of the newly adopted Agenda for Sustainable Development. The recent supplement in the "Journal of Adolescent Health" titled "Interventions to Address Adolescent Health and Well-Being: Current State of the Evidence" focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of various interventions targeting adolescent age group including sexual reproductive health, nutrition, immunisation, substance abuse, menatl health and injury prevention.
Young adolescent girls are at high risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa: an observational multicountry studyby Mombo-Ngoma et al
This study assessed whether young adolescent girls constitute a group at increased risk for adverse birth outcomes among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa. Young maternal age increases the risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes and it is a stronger predictor for low birth weight and preterm delivery than other established risk factors in sub-Saharan Africa. This finding highlights the need to improve adolescent reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa.
Reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health: key messages from Disease Control Priorities 3rd Editionby Black et al
As part of Disease Control Priorities 3rd Edition, the World Bank will publish a volume on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health that identifies essential cost-effective health interventions that can be scaled up to reduce maternal, newborn, and child deaths, and stillbirths. This Review summarises the volume's key findings and estimates the effect and cost of expanded implementation of these interventions. Recognising that a continuum of care from the adolescent girl, woman, or mother to child is needed, the volume includes details of preventive and therapeutic health interventions in integrated packages: Maternal and Newborn Health and Child Health (along with folic acid supplementation, a key reproductive health intervention).
Video of Manson Christmas Lecture 2015 by Professor Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Advisor, DfID and founder of the Gender, Violence and Health Centre, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK.
Damalie Nakanjako (MBChB, MMED, PhD) is an internist whose work focuses on optimizing HIV treatment outcomes and reducing HIV-associated morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa.
An RCT to improve behaviour and communication in Kenyan children with Neurodevelopmental Disordersby The Editorial Team
Difficulties in behaviour and communication are core problems in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, and often cause the most stress to parents and families living in resource poor areas of Africa.
Men in their roles as fathers, husbands, community and religious leaders may play a pivotal part in the continuation of female genital mutilation (FGM). However, the research on their views of FGM and their potential role in its abandonment are not well described. This systematic review suggests that the level of education of men was one of the most important indicators for men’s support for abandonment of FGM. Social obligation and the lack of dialogue between men and women were two key issues that men acknowledged as barriers to abandonment. Advocacy by men and collaboration between men and women’s health and community programs may be important steps forward in the abandonment process.
Community based reproductive health interventions for young married couples in resource-constrained settings: a systematic reviewby Sarkar et al
This paper presents a review of the available evidence on the effectiveness of community-based health interventions to improve the reproductive health status of young married couples in LMICs. Review suggests that multi-layered community-based interventions, targeting young married women, their families and the health system can improve utilization of reproductive health services among young couples in resource-constrained settings. The paper emphasizes the need for further research to fill the knowledge gaps that exist about improving utilization of reproductive healthcare services, especially safe abortion care among young married women in LMICs.
Women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ healthby The BMJ
The articles in this collection examine the evidence and the thinking that form the basis of the new global strategy.
Association between maternal age at childbirth and child and adult outcomes in the off spring: a prospective study in fi ve low-income and middle-income countries (COHORTS collaboration)by Fall et al
The study aimes to assess both child and adult outcomes in five LMICs. Children of young mothers in LMICs are disadvantaged at birth and in childhood nutrition and schooling. Efforts to prevent early childbearing should be strengthened. After adjustment for confounders, children of older mothers have advantages in nutritional status and schooling. Extremes of maternal age could be associated with disturbed off spring glucose metabolism.
Associations between objectively assessed and questionnaire-based sedentary behaviour with BMI-defined obesity among general population children and adolescents living in Englandby Coombs et al
The objective of this study was to examine associations between a range of objectively measured and questionnaire-based SB indicators with obesity and body mass index (BMI) to assess whether these associations were independent of physical activity. TV time (but not non-TV sitting or objectively-measured SB) was consistently associated with higher levels of obesity and BMI SD score, even after adjusting for MVPA and other potential confounders. Weaker associations were observed for total sitting time.
Determinants of unmet need for family planning among currently married women in Dangila town administration, Awi Zone, Amhara regional state; a cross sectional studyby Genet et al
Evidences about unmet need for family planning and associated factors are not enough in Dangila town. Therefore, this study was done to assess the magnitude and determinants of unmet need for family planning among currently married women in Dangila town. Findings suggest that the level of unmet need for family planning in the study area is still high compared to the target set (10 %) in the national family planning guide plan of Ethiopia to be achieved by the end of 2015. Therefore, it is important to strengthen counseling and partner involvement in Dangila town to reduce unmet need for family planning.
In celebration of Global Health Trials' fifth birthday (May 11th 2015) Professor Trudie Lang, Principal Investigator of the programme, talks to us about why Global Health Trials was started, why people should share their experience, and what the future holds.
Understanding sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents: evidence from a formative evaluation in Wakiso district, Ugandaby Atuyambe et al
Adolescents are frequently reluctant to seek sexual and reproductive health services (SRH). In Uganda, adolescent health and development is constrained by translation of the relevant policies to practice. This study aimed to assess the sexual reproductive health needs of the adolescents and explored their attitudes towards current services available. Adolescents in Uganda have multiple sexual and reproductive health needs that require special focus through adolescent friendly services. This calls for resource support in terms of health provider training, information education and communication materials as well as involvement of key stakeholders that include parents, teachers and legislators.
Supporting adolescent girls to stay in school, reduce child marriage and reduce entry into sex work as HIV risk prevention in north Karnataka, India: protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trialby Beattie et al
Low caste adolescent girls living in rural northern Karnataka are at increased risk of school drop-out, child marriage, and entry into sex-work, which enhances their vulnerability to HIV, early pregnancy and adverse maternal and child health outcomes. This protocol describes the evaluation of Samata, a comprehensive, multi-level intervention designed to address these structural drivers of HIV risk and vulnerability.
Pakistan Food Fortification Scoping Studyby MQSUN and Pakistan food fortification study team
Food fortification is safe and cost-effective in the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies and has been widely practiced in developed countries for well over a century. The findings in this report clearly support the utilization of food fortification strategies at scale, which could build on the recent success of the iodized salt programme. Given the widespread prevalence in Pakistan of deficiencies in iron and in vitamins A and D, food fortification strategies offer a tangible option for delivering these micronutrients on a large scale.
E-health: potential benefits and challenges in providing and accessing sexual health servicesby Jai K Das
E-health has become a burgeoning field in which health professionals and health consumers create and seek information. E-health refers to internet-based health care and information delivery and seeks to improve health service locally, regionally and worldwide. E-sexual health presents new opportunities to provide online sexual health services irrespective of gender, age, sexual orientation and location. This paper used the dimensions of the RE-AIM model (reach, efficacy, adoption, implementation and maintenance) as a guiding principle to discuss potentials of E-health in providing and accessing sexual health services.
India, with a population of more than 1.21 billion, has the highest maternal mortality in the world (estimated to be 56000 in 2010); and adolescent (aged 15–19) mortality shares 9% of total maternal deaths. Addressing the maternity care needs of adolescents may have considerable ramifications for achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG)–5. This paper assesses the socioeconomic differentials in accessing full antenatal care and professional attendance at delivery by adolescent mothers (aged 15–19) in India during 1990–2006.
Reproductive and Maternal Health in the Post-2015 Era: Cervical Cancer Must Be a Priorityby Jai K Das
The authors propose four arguments for why cervical cancer screening and treatment should be included when it comes to operationalizing these two goals and thus to improving reproductive and maternal health outcomes. Each of the four arguments is illustrative of a larger framework that has equity and socioeconomic, gender, public health, and health services dimensions.
Recent research has established linkages of preconception interventions with improved maternal, perinatal and neonatal health outcomes and it has been suggested that several proven interventions recommended during pregnancy may be even more effective if implemented before conception. The authors in this report have collated and synthesized relevant information on interventions available during the preconception period by using standard methods.
Contraception matters: Indicators of poor usage of contraception in sexually active women attending family planning clinics in Victoria, Australiaby Jai K Das
Unintended pregnancy remains an important health issue for women. This cross sectional survey recruited women from family planning clinics to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with risk of unintended pregnancy in Victoria, Australia.
Whether breast cancer screening does more harm than good has been debated extensively. The main questions are how large the benefit of screening is in terms of reduced breast cancer mortality and how substantial the harm is in terms of overdiagnosis, which is defined as cancers detected at screening that would not have otherwise become clinically apparent in the woman's lifetime.