Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ethiopian development raises birth rate

14.02.2006


Development projects designed to improve maternal and child welfare in Africa may incur unexpected costs associated with increases in family size if they do not include a component of family planning, according to new research from the University of Bristol into rural communities in Ethiopia.



The research, published today in Public Library of Science: Medicine, is the first study to demonstrate a link between a single technological development intervention (in this case, a tapped water supply) and an increase in both birth rate and childhood malnutrition.

Dr Mhairi Gibson of Bristol University’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology and Dr Ruth Mace of University College, London examined nearly 2,000 households in rural Ethiopia over a four year period during which a tapped water supply was introduced but family planning provisions were absent. They looked at the nutritional status of women and children (in terms of weight and height) and birth rates in villages where tapped water had been introduced and others where it had not.


While previously, women had to walk up to 30 km to fetch their families’ water, the new water supply reduced the time spent carrying water each day from around three hours to about 15 minutes. The availability of tapped water improved the survival of young children and the birth rate increased. However, the nutritional status of young children declined.

Overall, neither women’s health nor nutritional status appeared to be improved by the reduced workload, lending support to the idea that the energy women save due to new development technology is being diverted towards reproduction, resulting in greater fertility and reduced mortality. However, since food and other resources are already scarce, this comes at the cost of an increase in childhood malnutrition.

Dr Gibson said: "This study is, to our knowledge, the first to demonstrate a link between a technological development intervention and an increase in both birth rate and childhood malnutrition. Women’s nutritional status was not improved by the energy-saving technology, because energy was diverted into higher birth rates.

"This research shows that development projects that focus on just one issue can cause long-term problems and that it is preferable for development to be ’multisectoral’. Improving access to contraception, which was poor in the area where this study was done, should be a key part of development programmes."

Hannah Johnson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>