HEADLINE: Expert Urges African Countries to Embrace Family Planning BRAZZAVILLE, CONGO (SEPTEMBER 7, 2004) — Sub-Saharan Africans can enjoy better health quality by taming population explosion and arresting the spiraling maternal and infant mortality rates through effective family planning and improved reproductive health practices, a health management expert has recommended.

By John Donnelly, Globe StaffJOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (SEPTEMBER 24, 2004) — Meeting in Nigeria four years ago, African leaders set a goal that 60 percent of children and pregnant women in malaria-affected areas around the continent would be sleeping under bed nets by the end of 2005.Today, fewer than 5 percent in those areas use the nets, which are coated with insecticide to kill mosquitoes that carry the deadly disease.

HEADLINE: Afghan midwives aim to reduce maternal and child mortality KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (OCTOBER 8, 2004) —  Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, says Kaswera Vulere, a Midwifery Training Coordinator with World Vision. The country's health care system was left shattered after more than two decades of war, with medical care for pregnant mothers and newborns almost non-existant in the countryside. "The high rate of complications shows clearly that antenatal care is very low in the rural districts," continues Kaswera.