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 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

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: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>