Tag Archives: malawi

Du bist, was du isst: Frühe Urmenschen ernährten sich äußerst flexibel

Sich von dem ernähren, was regional wächst – was heute in Mode ist, war für den Urmenschen alltäglich. WissenschaftlerInnen der Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung und der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt haben jetzt anhand von fossilem Zahnschmelz herausgefunden, dass die frühen Urmenschenarten Homo rudolfensis und sogenannte Nußknacker-Menschen Paranthropus boisei, die vor 2,4 Millionen Jahren in Malawi lebten, überraschend anpassungsfähig waren und ihren Speiseplan gemäß regionaler Ressourcen änderten. (more…)

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Nourishing people—and an economy

Milk has a reputation for strengthening bones. In Malawi, the growing dairy industry is strengthening the livelihoods of small dairy farmers and the health of the country’s inhabitants.

In an effort to double the capacity of Malawi’s dairy value chain, MSU researchers led by Puliyur MohanKumar, professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, are applying successful outcomes from a similar MSU partnership project that helped transform India’s dairy industry. India, now the world’s top milk producer, shares similar environmental and cultural traits with Malawi. (more…)

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Grassroots women’s groups could halve maternal death rate

Women’s groups can dramatically reduce the number of maternal and newborn deaths in some of the world’s poorest communities, according to a new meta-analysis published in The Lancet.

The research incorporated seven trials in Bangladesh, India, Malawi and Nepal and looked at 119,428 births.

It assessed whether groups facilitated by local women, who received a short training course of around 7 – 11 days, but were not health workers, affected rates of maternal and newborn mortality.  The groups use a range of methods – including discussion, voting and role-playing – to identify common pregnancy-related health problems and work out locally appropriate ways to address them.  (more…)

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Malawi’s Bountiful Harvests and Healthier Children

In Malawi, the fields are full ­– and so are the children.

Through research led by Michigan State University, crop yields have increased dramatically. The children of Ekwendi, Malawi, also have gained weight and are taller. These improvements bring smiles to Sieglinde Snapp, MSU ecologist, and other researchers who have worked in Malawi for many years.

Snapp, a crop and soil scientist at MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station, shared the secrets of the initiative’s success at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Feb. 14-18 in Boston. (more…)

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Economics of Public Health: Study Finds Price for Reducing HIV Risk

With a goal to reduce HIV risk behaviors, researchers investigated whether gay men and male sex workers in Mexico City would participate in a conditional cash transfer program that encourages HIV prevention education and regular testing. A new study in the European Journal of Health Economics reports the price that would get more than 75-percent participation: $288 a year.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Studies have found that conditional cash transfer programs, in which governments pay citizens if they consistently practice societally beneficial behaviors, have improved pediatric health care and education in Mexico, increased HIV testing in Malawi, and reduced sexually transmitted infections in Tanzania. Public health researchers therefore investigated whether the idea could be applied to HIV risk behaviors among gay men and male sex workers in Mexico City. A new study reports not only that some members of those populations would change behavior for conditional cash payments, but the exact prices they would accept. (more…)

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Slinky Science Inspires African School Children

A University of Exeter physicist has inspired hundreds of African school children to engage with science during a whirlwind outreach tour to Malawi.

Professor Pete Vukusic used simple interactive demonstrations including slinky springs, glass prisms, light sticks and iridescent butterflies to enthral large classes of pupils and teachers in underprivileged rural schools.

The charismatic lecturer combined use of the demos and an interactive and engaging teaching style to explain fundamental and modern science principles to students who are used to formal instructional teaching methods. Professor Vukusic hopes his visit will both help to inspire science learning in these schools and help their teachers adapt to more modern techniques that engage young people more effectively. (more…)

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Fingerprints for Financing: Removing Some Risk from Lending in Africa

ANN ARBOR — Some called it “witchcraft.” Others just watched in awe as their scanned fingerprints were used to pull up their records on a computer.

They were paprika farmers in Malawi participating in a new study that shows fingerprinting can help encourage borrowers to repay their loans.

Like many impoverished countries, Malawi lacks a national identification system. Most of the population lives in rural areas with few government services. Even ID as basic as a birth certificate is rare in the southeastern African nation. (more…)

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