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By Dr. Chinta Sidharthan Jun 11 2024 Reviewed by Lily Ramsey, LLM

In a recent study published in BMJ Open, researchers assessed how the disruption of infrastructure and decreased access to health and medical services due to extreme weather events impact maternal health in resource-poor regions in low- and middle-income countries.

The review revealed that the findings on the subject were limited, and the mechanisms through which extreme weather events impact maternal health in low-income regions need to be studied extensively.

Study:  Extreme weather events and maternal health in low-income and middle-income countries: a scoping review . Image Credit: Nelson Antoine/Shutterstock.com Background

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines maternal health as women's mental and physical health through pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum periods. Optimal maternal health is intricately linked to the health of the infant.

However, despite the reduction in maternal mortality being a target of one of the sustainable development goals established by the United Nations, poor maternal health consists of many other facets than mortality alone.

Some forms of poor maternal health that also impact the health of the infant include high blood pressure, infection, and obstruction during labor. Mental health issues such as increased stress in the mother have been linked to spontaneous abortions, as well as low birth weight and developmental problems in the infant.

Maternal health can also be impacted by environmental conditions, such as extreme weather events that damage infrastructure and restrict access to medical care. About the study

In the present review, the researchers aimed to understand how disruptions to infrastructure and restricted access to medical and health services due to extreme weather events impact maternal health in low- and middle-income countries. Related StoriesGarlic proves potent in reducing blood sugar and cholesterol, study revealsEnvironmental stressors linked to fetal brain development challengesNSF CAREER award supports development of machine learning tools for preeclampsia detection

Although previous reviews have examined the impact of extreme weather events such as extreme heat and floods on the health of the mother and child in various low-, middle-, and high-income settings, the focus of these reviews has been on birth outcomes and not maternal health.

The researchers conducted the current review to fill the gaps in knowledge on the current assessment of how extreme weather events such as floods, extreme temperatures, hurricanes, and fires impact maternal health, from pregnancy to postpartum health, in middle- and low-income countries.

Extreme weather events were defined in this study as weather variations uncharacteristic of the typical threshold for that geographical region, while the definition of maternal health conformed with that of the WHO, encompassing the health of the mother through the stages of pregnancy, childbirth, and six weeks into the postpartum period.

The extreme weather events considered as exposures in the review included tropical storms, floods, droughts, and extreme heat, among others.

The examined outcomes included various conditions that fall under the umbrella term of maternal health, such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, access to maternal health services, postpartum hemorrhage, as well as malnutrition.

The review only included studies on the impact of extreme weather events on the health of pregnant or postpartum women. Studies involving geophysical events such as tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions were excluded. Those that examined only infant or child health were also excluded. The review did not include policy or opinion pieces or studies based in high-income countries. Results

The findings suggested that extreme weather events had a negative impact on the physical and mental health of the mothers by limiting access to medical services and causing stress and mortality.

A total of 15 studies were included in the review, of which four were quantitative while the remaining were qualitative. The quantitative studies showed that disruptions caused by extreme weather events restricted access to maternal health services, negatively affecting both the mental and physical health of the mothers.

The results from the qualitative studies, which included the perceptions of the women and their lived experiences, supported the findings from the quantitative studies.

The four major outcomes consistent across the quantitative and qualitative studies were problems in accessing maternal health services, malnutrition, stress, and mortality.

However, the review found limited evidence of the impact of extreme weather events on maternal health in low-income settings. Many of these studies, although set in middle- and low-income countries, examined outcomes such as stress among pregnant women residing in high-income settings.

The researchers believe that due to stark differences in the infrastructure and post-disaster support between high-income regions and middle- and low-income settings, these findings cannot be applied to mothers in middle- or low-income regions. Conclusions

Overall, the study found that extreme weather events have a negative impact on maternal health, especially facets of physical and mental health such as stress, malnutrition, access to maternal health services, and mortality.

However, the evidence from middle- and low-income regions is lacking, and more research is required to understand how low resource availability further exacerbates these problems. Journal reference:

Pappas, A., Kovats, S., & Ranganathan, M. (2024). Extreme weather events and maternal health in low-income and middle-income countries: a scoping review. BMJ Open, 14(6), e079361. doi:https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen2023079361. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/14/6/e079361

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Justin Timberlake addresses ‘tough week’ at first concert since drink-driving arrest

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Justin Timberlake addresses 'tough week' at first concert since drink-driving arrest

Justin Timberlake has performed his first gig since his arrest for alleged drink-driving, telling the crowd it had been a “tough week”. 

The US star is currently on his The Forget Tomorrow World Tour and performed in Chicago on Friday night after being arrested earlier this week.

He told the screaming crowd: “We’ve been together through ups and downs, lefts and rights.

“It’s been a tough week, but you’re here and I’m here, and nothing can change this moment right now.”

The singer appeared emotional as he added: “I know sometimes I’m hard to love but you keep on loving me and I love you right back.”

Timberlake was in Long Island in New York state – having reportedly had dinner with friends – when he was pulled over by police in the early hours of Tuesday.

Officers said the 43-year-old had failed to pause at a stop sign and was seen not being able to stay in his lane.

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Timberlake’s car caught on CCTV

Timberlake was held overnight and formally charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated) misdemeanour at Sag Harbor Village Justice Court on Tuesday morning before being released.

According to a source talking to Page Six, the officer who pulled Timberlake over “was so young that he didn’t even know” who the star was.

A second source told the celebrity news outlet that during the arrest, Timberlake said: “This is going to ruin the tour.”

Justin Timberlake.
Pic: Sag Harbor/Reuters
Image:
Timberlake’s mugshot after his arrest. Pic: Sag Harbor/Reuters

Timberlake, who rose to fame with boyband NSYNC before finding huge success as a solo artist with hits including Like I Love You, Cry Me A River, SexyBack and Mirrors, is due to perform in Chicago again on Saturday night.

Further shows are scheduled across the US, Canada and Europe between June and December.

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According to court documents filed about the star’s arrest, there was “a strong odour of an alcoholic beverage… emanating from his breath, he was unable to divide attention, he had slowed speech, he was unsteady afoot and he performed poorly on all standardised field sobriety tests”.

Timberlake also told officers he had one martini and was following some friends home, and refused to take a breath test.

His lawyer has said he is “looking forward to vigorously defending” the singer.

Timberlake’s next court date is scheduled for 26 July.

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US

Justin Timberlake addresses ‘tough week’ at first concert since drink-driving arrest

Published

on

By

Justin Timberlake addresses 'tough week' at first concert since drink-driving arrest

Justin Timberlake has performed his first gig since his arrest for alleged drink-driving, telling the crowd it had been a “tough week”. 

The US star is currently on his The Forget Tomorrow World Tour and performed in Chicago on Friday night after being arrested earlier this week.

He told the screaming crowd: “We’ve been together through ups and downs, lefts and rights.

“It’s been a tough week, but you’re here and I’m here, and nothing can change this moment right now.”

The singer appeared emotional as he added: “I know sometimes I’m hard to love but you keep on loving me and I love you right back.”

Timberlake was in Long Island in New York state – having reportedly had dinner with friends – when he was pulled over by police in the early hours of Tuesday.

Officers said the 43-year-old had failed to pause at a stop sign and was seen not being able to stay in his lane.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Timberlake’s car caught on CCTV

Timberlake was held overnight and formally charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated) misdemeanour at Sag Harbor Village Justice Court on Tuesday morning before being released.

According to a source talking to Page Six, the officer who pulled Timberlake over “was so young that he didn’t even know” who the star was.

A second source told the celebrity news outlet that during the arrest, Timberlake said: “This is going to ruin the tour.”

Justin Timberlake.
Pic: Sag Harbor/Reuters
Image:
Timberlake’s mugshot after his arrest. Pic: Sag Harbor/Reuters

Timberlake, who rose to fame with boyband NSYNC before finding huge success as a solo artist with hits including Like I Love You, Cry Me A River, SexyBack and Mirrors, is due to perform in Chicago again on Saturday night.

Further shows are scheduled across the US, Canada and Europe between June and December.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
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Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

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According to court documents filed about the star’s arrest, there was “a strong odour of an alcoholic beverage… emanating from his breath, he was unable to divide attention, he had slowed speech, he was unsteady afoot and he performed poorly on all standardised field sobriety tests”.

Timberlake also told officers he had one martini and was following some friends home, and refused to take a breath test.

His lawyer has said he is “looking forward to vigorously defending” the singer.

Timberlake’s next court date is scheduled for 26 July.

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US

Arkansas supermarket shooting leaves three dead and 10 wounded as gunman arrested

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Arkansas supermarket shooting leaves three dead and 10 wounded as gunman arrested

A supermarket shooting in Arkansas, US, has left three people dead and 10 others wounded.

Parked cars and shop windows were left riddled with bullet holes after a gunman opened fire on Friday, forcing bystanders to dive for cover.

Among the injured were two police officers who shot back at the gunman – before he was arrested.

The incident took place around 11.30am local time at the Mad Butcher supermarket in Fordyce – a city of just over 3,000 people located 65 miles south of Little Rock.

Colonel Mike Hagar, director of Arkansas State Police, told reporters: “It’s tragic, our hearts are broken”.

The gunman was identified by police as 44-year-old Travis Eugene Posey.

Posey was taken to jail and charged with three counts of murder.

Other charges are still pending and no court date has been set, according to the inmate roster.

Pic: AP
Image:
Police on the scene of the attack in the aftermath of the shooting. Pic: AP

Neither Posey’s, nor the officers’ injuries were life threatening, but among the others the injuries ranged from “not life-threatening to extremely critical”, Col Hagar said.

It wasn’t immediately clear what the motive for the shooting was, nor if it took place predominantly inside or outside the shop.

Roderick Rogers, a member of the city council, witnessed the attack.

He said he saw people fleeing for cover in all directions and added: “People were just jumping into cars to get to safety.”

Law enforcement officers work the scene of the shooting. Pic: AP
Image:
Law enforcement officers work the scene of the shooting. Pic: AP

Amiya Doherty said she was in her mum’s car in the car park of the shop when she heard what she thought were fireworks.

But she then saw a man holding a gun and firing and said she ducked out of view.

“I held my sister’s hand and I told her I love her,” Ms Doherty told Little Rock television station KATV.

Images from the scene showed a slew of bullet holes in the grocery store’s window, and spent shell casings strewn throughout the parking lot.

The shooting took place at the Mad Butcher grocery store in Fordyce, Arkansas. Pic: AP
Image:
The shooting took place at the Mad Butcher grocery store in Fordyce, Arkansas. Pic: AP

Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she had been briefed on the shooting.

In a post on social media she added: “I am thankful to law enforcement and first responders for their quick and heroic action to save lives.

“My prayers are with the victims and all those impacted by this.”

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Read more from Sky News:
Hollywood legend Donald Sutherland has died
Shocking moment drunk driver ploughs into cyclists
Republican ‘sorry’ for repeatedly pouring water in colleague’s bag

The White House said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting and his team will continue to keep him updated.

David Rodriguez, 58, had stopped at his local petrol station in the town when he heard what he thought were fireworks.

But he too saw people fleeing from the shop and one person lying on the ground.

“The police started to show up, and then there was massive gunfire and ambulances pulling up,” he said.

“The bullets were just flying.”

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