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PLOS BLOGS Speaking of Medicine and Health

This Week in PLOS Medicine: Integrating Mental Health, Aging & Disability in Malawi, Measuring Maternal & Child Health Coverage, & More.

Image Credit: Flickr Ms. Phoenix
Image Credit: Flickr Ms. Phoenix

This week PLOS Medicine publishes a Collection on measuring maternal and child health coverage, and also continues with the series Integrating Mental Health. Additional works reflect on disability in sub-Saharan Africa, intimate partner violence, and antibiotic stewardship.

In the second article of a five-part series providing a global perspective on integrating mental health, Atif Rahman and colleagues argue that integrating maternal mental health care will help advance maternal and child health. However, many misconceptions about depression in mothers may hamper attempts at integration.

Collin Payne and colleagues investigate development of disabilities and years expected to live with disabilities in participants 45 years and older in Malawi. The researchers show that remaining life spent with severe limitations at age 45 in Malawi is comparable to that of 80-year-olds in the US. In an accompanying Perspective, Andreas Stuck and colleagues offer commentary on aging and disability in Sub-Saharan Africa and discuss next steps for research and policy.

Karen Devries and colleagues conduct a systematic review of longitudinal studies to evaluate the direction of association between symptoms of depression and intimate partner violence. They find that not only are women who have experienced violence from their partner at higher risk of becoming depressed, but women who are depressed may also be at increased risk of experiencing intimate partner violence. In an accompanying Perspective, Alexander Tsai comments on possible public health implications of the study’s insights.

Heiman Wertheim and colleagues describe the launch and impact of VINARES, an initiative to strengthen antimicrobial stewardship in Vietnam. This case study may offer insight for other countries struggling to address the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

The 16-article Collection, Measuring Coverage in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, publishes today in PLOS Medicine and PLOS ONE, with an overview by Jennifer Bryce and colleagues. The collection argues that measuring coverage of maternal, newborn and child health in low- and middle-income countries is critical to ensuring that health interventions are reaching the women and children who need them most. Accurate measurement of the effectiveness of those interventions for combating diseases such as pneumonia and malaria, and preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child, is also deemed essential.

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