Prenatal ‘Baby Pictures’

This tickles me: a clever way to draw women to prenatal care is to tap into their desire to “see” their developing baby. What a useful psychological insight! It’s not manipulative, brings pleasure to the mama-to-be, and serves a medical (and public health) purpose.

A group of Canadian doctors is pioneering what appears to be a very effective way to entice rural African mothers to visit clinics long before their due dates. They offered ultrasounds advertised on local radio with the words: ‘You will be able to see your baby.’ …

The medical charity Bridge to Health Medical and Dental tested the concept in the highlands of southwest Uganda in 2014. Their study, published by PLOS One this year, found that when doctors set up temporary clinics in rural villages, six times as many pregnant women visited when free ultrasounds were advertised, compared with the turnout in villages where the ultrasounds were not offered or were advertised only by word of mouth…

New York Times, Donald G. McNeil, Jr., published 11/10/17

A Perspective-Changing Map

A graduate school friend introduced me to this map of the Sahara-Sahel region. It repays a few minutes of close study. It helps explain, for instance, the relationship between the fall of Qaddafi and the strengthening of the Mali rebels. It also shows the routes of global drug trafficking and the presence of the US military in so-called godforsaken places. Perhaps most importantly, it illustrates that political maps of countries and capitals are totally silent on important transnational political and economic phenomena.