It’s been an exciting week for the #DHSgames, particularly for female athletes of DHS countries. We support women’s empowerment, whether in the form of athletic achievement or as an indicator of development.
First, let’s review this week’s medal count. Kazakhstan is now in first place with ten medals, followed by South Africa with seven medals, and Uzbekistan with six medals, replacing Thailand and Brazil from last week. Kenya is close behind with five medals – two gold and three silver.
We have witnessed many history-making firsts. Chierika Ukogu of Nigeria is the first African to compete in a rowing event, placing second in her women’s single sculls group. Nigeria is also making great strides in health. The 2015 Nigeria MIS Key Indicators Report shows malaria prevalence by microscopy decreased from 42% among children age 6-59 months in 2010 to 27% in 2015.
Dipa Karmakar is the first female gymnast from India to qualify, ranking 4th in the women’s vault finals. Though she was just .15 points short of winning the bronze, her presence and performance have made a huge impact. As early as 1992-93, data from the National Family and Health Surveys have allowed program managers and policy makers to make an impact on the health of India’s population.
Many new bars were set in athletics competition. Ethiopian long-distance runner Almaz Ayana crushed the world record while earning a gold medal in the women’s 10,000m race. The ongoing 2016 Ethiopia DHS will reveal where Ethiopia has made notable improvements in health indicators.
Jemima Sumgong became the first Kenyan woman to win gold for a marathon event. Kenya has made impressive gains in malaria prevention, where children’s use of insecticide-treated nets has increased by 50 percentage points in a little over a decade.