5 Years In, 5 Years Out:
Progress in the Millennium Villages
Scientists, engineers, health care workers and other practitioners in the Millennium Villages are using innovative solutions to help provide poor communities with the basics: reliable sources of food, clean water and sanitation, health care, community education. As the Millennium Villages Project enters its second five years, we take a look at how some of this work is having an impact.
SEE THE REPORT
The Millennium Villages Project -- The Next Five Years 2011-2015
New Study on Nutrition »
Poor nutrition remains a major challenge across much of Africa, contributing to nearly half of child deaths. In a just-published study, researchers monitored the growth of children across nine Millennium Village field sites between 2006 and 2010, and compared these data to national trends. They examined levels of chronic under-nutrition, or stunting (children who are short for their age), which is the result of factors such as insufficient food quantity and quality, inadequate child care practices (breast-feeding or immunization) and repeated bouts of disease such as diarrhea and malaria.
In the study, levels of stunting among children under 2 years old were 43 percent lower at Year 3 of the Millennium Villages Project than at baseline. The average prevalence of stunting for countries included in the study has remained largely unchanged for two decades. These findings provide encouraging evidence that a package of interventions, such as that offered by the Millennium Villages Project, has the potential to contribute toward reductions in childhood stunting.
Mobile Phones & Better Health
Community health workers provide vital services for rural residents who may rarely see the inside of a modern health facility. Adapted to standard cellphones, ChildCount+ uses text messaging to give those workers tools to track maternal and infant health progress. The system provides alerts and reminders to the workers, and recommendations for treatment or referral based on the data collected.
Power Solution »
In rural villages far off central power grids, residents who use kerosene and batteries pay a high price for energy. The SharedSolar program combines existing technologies to provide a better solution: Small-scale, locally sited solar or solar-diesel power units generate electricity; a prepaid metering system keeps track of usage; and residents prepay for power using their cellphones.
Food Security »
A program to teach villagers how to grow a variety of crops has helped Dertu village in Kenya survive three seasons of failed rains. Watch a report from Kenya Citizen TV.
Reproductive Health »
Women in Pampaida Millennium Village in northern Nigeria are offered free access to Jadelles, a long-acting, implantable and reversible method of family planning effective for 3 to 5 years. With proper community engagement, the community welcomes this intervention that broadens the choices of family planning. Watch a report from the BBC.