Visit the main HIFA website:

North and South America

Allowing moms to self-weigh babies in BF support group

I agree very much with Nicholas Cunningham on the importance of involving mothers -- and older siblings and schoolchildren -- in the use and understanding of growth monitoring, using a clear, graphic, easy-to-use "Road to Health" chart. In remote rural areas of Mexico a lot of families with children live in isolated small farms far away from a health post.

Women’s reproductive health knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to the Zika virus outbreak in northeast Brazil

Objectives: To assess knowledge, pregnancy attitudes and contraceptive practices in relation to the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil.

Methods: We interviewed 526 women 18 to 49 years old in primary health services in a Northeastern capital of Brazil, in 2016. They provided information about their knowledge of Zika transmission and health consequences, their receipt of counseling related to sexual and perinatal transmission of Zika, their pregnancy intentions and reassessment of contraceptive options in the context of the Zika virus outbreak.

Quality of care for pregnant women and newborns — the WHO vision (4) Traditional birth attendants (2)

Not everything need be or can be done at once. But some simple measures could make a substantial difference. For example "severe" postpartum bleeding is a major cause of maternal mortality in poor communities where up to 70% of women are visibly anemic, many of them severely so. Provision of oxytocics to TBAs, with adequate precautionary training to use only after the baby is delivered, could probably save a large number of women's lives...

Should the British National Formulary be freely available online?

If we could make the BNF freely available on the internet world-wide, this would have a huge impact on health information for all. Cuban health professionals have often told me they would love to be able to access both BNF and BNF-C [BNF for Children]. They do not have the financial resources to purchase them online. I suspect many health professionals worldwide feel the same.


Tribute to Prof. David Morley (6)

My reaction to [Tony Waterstone's challenge: what single step can we each take to reduce the influence of the large hospital?] is as follows:

1) Improve the relationship between the people and their institution by having short educational talks in areas where patients congregate. Best done in smaller facilities. We did this in Nicaragua with the Sadinista health system in the mid 80's. If we talk with people instead of to them, there will be a dialogue. Otherwise it will be a one way blah-blah-blah street.

Introduction: Trinity Zan, USA - mHealth Knowledge

I'd like to share with everyone a new mHealth resource, called mHealth Knowledge, from the Knowledge for Health Project (K4H), funded by USAID.  mHealth Knowledge is a one-stop shop for mHealth resources and more.  From it, you can access Take the mHealth Basics eLearning Course: Introduction to Mobile Technology for Health, search the latest research and literature via the mHealth Evidence Database, and access guidance and tools for planning your next mHealth effort with The mHealth Planning Guide: Key Considerations for Integrating Mobile Technology into Health Programs.  Please go to the

BBC article: "Trust your doctor, not Wikipedia, say scientists" (7) Mayo Clinic website

Here is the most definitive and current health information that could be accessed by all from any locations.  The Mayo Clinic homepage for diseases and conditions is now being checked by almost all hospitals and the public in the USA.  Most importantly, it is free and accurate. Here is the link:
When in doubt, check the Mayo Clinic.

BBC article: "Trust your doctor, not Wikipedia, say scientists" (2)

Thank you for forwarding the URL of this BBC article.
The article starts: 'Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, contains errors in nine out of 10 of its health entries [on 10 of the "most costly" conditions in the USA, including osteoarthritis, back problems and asthma], and should be treated with caution'

Community health workers in low, middle, and high income countries: an overview of their history, recent evolution, and current effectiveness.

Over the past half-century, community health workers (CHWs) have been a growing force for extending health care and improving the health of populations. Following their introduction in the 1970s, many large-scale CHW programs declined during the 1980s, but CHW programs throughout the world more recently have seen marked growth.


Subscribe to North and South America