Text messages can boost knowledge and help reduce adolescent pregnancy risk in LMICs

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health by Harvard Pop Center faculty members Jessica Cohen, PhD, Joshua A. Salomon, PhD, and Günther Fink, PhD, along with lead author Slawa Rokicki, reveals that text-messaging programs can be an effective vehicle through which to increase reproductive health knowledge and reduce pregnancy risk among sexually active adolescent girls in Ghana. The study’s findings are referenced in this Washington Post editorial.

Child stunting in developing countries increases national economic burden

Harvard Pop Center faculty members Günther Fink, PhD, and Wafaie Fawzi, Dr.P.H., are authors on a paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that is among the first to quantify the economic cost of growth faltering of children in developing countries. Their findings suggest that interventions aimed at preventing early childhood stunting could not only benefit the children themselves, but also yield substantial long-run economic benefits. Photo: Miville Tremblay on Flickr

Children living even slightly further from health facilities at increased risk of death in 21 LMICs

A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology by Harvard Pop Center faculty member Gunther Fink, PhD, and Center Associate Director David Canning, PhD, reveals that even small increases in the distance between children’s homes and the health facilities that serve them increases their mortality risk.    

Birth weight is a larger contributor to height than the socio-economic conditions in which a child grows up

Former Pop Center student Aditi Krishna is lead author on a new study in Economics & Human Biology that examines the role of birth weight in childrens’ height; Lisa Berkman, Gunther Fink, and SV Subramanian are co-authors. The study shows that prenatal conditions, reflected in birth weight, are more important in setting height trajectories in comparison to postnatal factors, which do not help children recover fully from early growth deficits. In other words, children born at…

Are children who lose a parent at greater risk of physical stunting?

Harvard Pop Center Research Scientist Jocelyn Finlay, PhD, and faculty members Gunther Fink, PhD, and Wafai Fawzi, DrPH, are authors on a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health that has found young children in low- and middle-income countries who have lost a mother are at increased risk of stunting. Being in the care of the surviving parent (or grandparents), however, was found to mitigate these adverse…

More years of secondary schooling, particularly for women, reduces HIV risk in Botswana

A study published in the Lancet Global Health authored by Harvard Pop Center faculty members Gunther Fink, PhD, and S “Subu” V Subramanian, PhD, and colleagues, suggests that secondary schooling could be a cost-effective HIV prevention measure in HIV-endemic settings. Read more in this Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health press release.

How does female literacy, under-5 mortality rate, and poverty level influence declining fertility rates in India?

Harvard Pop Center researchers, including visiting scientist Sanjay K. Mohanty, PhD, faculty member Gunther Fink, PhD, and associate director David Canning, PhD, have produced a PGDA working paper that explores the distal determinants of fertility decline across 640 Indian districts.

Impact of family planning on child survival and development

Pop Center faculty members Gunther Fink and Wafaie Fawzi have published a new study showing that postponing the age of first birth and increasing inter-pregnancy intervals—two outcomes made possible by family planning—have the potential to significantly reduce the prevalence of stunted growth and improve child development in LMICs (low and middle income countries).