(Compiled by Amanda Blazek and Edited for blog by Margaret Walker)
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General Global Health and Law
Rwanda Feels the Pinch as Donors Slash Health Aid
Scientific American, 11/15/16
Rwanda has made major public-health strides since the country’s genocide, but declines in foreign aid now threaten that progress. Donors such as the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have reduced assistance to Rwanda by 40% over the past three years.
Thailand finds 33 new cases of Zika, says health ministry
Thai health officials on Wednesday said 33 new Zika virus cases have been detected in the country. Thailand has reported more than 680 cases of Zika since January but its Department of Disease Control has said the virus is manageable.
US aid for women’s sexual health worldwide under threat
The Guardian, 11/12/16
Hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid that helps prevent child and maternal deaths and reduces unintended pregnancies worldwide could be at risk under a Donald Trump administration. Campaigners and think tanks fear a reversal in aid commitments that have seen gains in reproductive health and gender equality internationally.
Syria: Doctors under siege
Medicins Sans Frontieres, 11/15/16
Doctors in east Aleppo are working in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, and there are shortages of health staff, fuel, drugs and medical supplies. Each of the eight hospitals that were functioning before the siege have been hit, many of them multiple times, with 27 strikes on hospitals in four months.
Female Genital Cutting
Ending child marriage and FGM in Ethiopia
Relief Web, 11/9/16
The Afambo District Justice Office in Ethiopia is helping to coordinate an integrated program on the prevention of child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) in the district. The program, which is being supported by UNFPA through funding from the UN Association in Sweden, is approaching its fourth year of implementation in the Afar Region.
WPR Reveals Female Genital Mutilation Practice in Georgia
Democracy and Freedom Watch, 11/10/16
The Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) has unveiled that a small native group in a remote area of Georgia has been performing female genital mutilation for the past two decades. Girls from an ethnic Avar community of around 3 000 people are being forced to undergo female genital mutilation procedures.
Social Change Communication Training of Trainers Underway
Daily Observer, 11/10/16
The Girl Generation (TGG), a global campaign that supports the Africa-Led movement to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), has begun a week-long training forum for its partners and member organizations on social change communications.
The forum is meant to equip participants with social change communication skills to ensure that they deliver effective social change communication in their geographical areas of intervention.
Nigeria: Hunger crisis could kill 200 children per day
Al Jazeera, 11/15/16
Two hundred children could die each day from hunger in northeastern Nigeria as a result of the ongoing conflict in the country. Up to half of all children under the age of five are acutely malnourished.
Nigeria: Forging Multi-Sectoral Partnerships to Battle Malnutrition
All Africa, 11/15/16
HarvestPlus Nigeria recently hosted its annual Nutritious Food Fair (NFF) to battle malnutrition. The event is meant to raise awareness and help forge partnerships between Nigeria and actors in the public and private sectors.
Nigeria probes new reports of food aid stolen from refugees
U.S. News & World Reports, 11/12/16
Lawmakers in northeastern Nigeria are investigating new allegations that officials have diverted crucial food aid intended for people who have fled from Boko Haram extremists. The allegations focus on officials and market traders accused of selling food items donated by Nigeria’s customs service.
Nigeria: 180 Countries Adopt Landmark Decisions On Tobacco Control
All Africa, 11/13/16
Nigeria was one of many governments that adopted policies to protect public health from the tobacco industry. These include tools to hold Big Tobacco legally liable for the harms of its products, recover healthcare costs, facilitate access to justice for victims of tobacco-related diseases, and safeguard public health policymaking from the industry at the national level.
Palestinian Social Fabric Frays in Lebanon’s Camps
Counter Punch, 11/14/16
The past few years have witnessed an alarming increase in drug distribution in several of Lebanon’s 12 Palestinian camps. Dealers are reportedly targeting children and teenagers, becoming increasingly brazen in pushing their narcotics.
Aoun, Hariri Hint of 24-Member Cabinet to Break ‘Ministerial Appetite’
Asharq Al-Awsat, 11/15/16
The tug of war between Lebanese parties concerned by the formation of a new cabinet has reached an unprecedented level as the unofficial deadline of Nov. 22 to complete the lineup approaches. Political parties are arguing if more seats need to be given to sectors like finance, communication, public works, and health.
$300 million in hospitalization allocated by the Government
Business News, 11/14/16
A Cabinet decree issued last week allocated around $300 million per year to cover hospitalization fees of patients to be treated at the expense of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). The amount is an increase of around eight percent compared to 2014.
Dominican Republic: Health
Dominican Republic: Zika, dengue and chikungunya virus outbreak DREF Operation Final Report n° MDRDO008
Relief Web, 11/14/16
On 23 January 2016, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) reported the presence of the Zika virus in the Dominican Republic. Out of ten confirmed cases, eight were contracted locally and two were imported from El Salvador.
Confirmed: 10 babies with microcephaly linked to zika virus
Dominican Today, 11/14/16
The birth of babies with microcephaly (Guillain-Barre Syndrome) suspected of being linked to the Zika virus reached 28. Of these, 10 are confirmed to be linked to Zika, while 18 additional cases currently await results from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Prisons fight opioids with $1,000 Vivitrol injections: Does it work?
CBS News, 11/14/16
U.S. prisons are experimenting with a $1000 monthly injection that could help addicted inmates stay off opioids after they are released. However, skeptics question its effectiveness and say the manufacturer has aggressively marketed the unproven drug.
Targeting Opioid Use When Workers Get Hurt
Wall Street Journal, 11/15/16
Workplace injury is one of the main reasons doctors prescribe opioids, and dependence has become an expensive problem for those paying workers’ comp claims. As such, companies that handle these claims are trying new programs that push workers toward alternative pain treatments and that make it harder to get prescriptions for potentially addictive drugs
Deadly Synthetic Opioid ‘Pink’ Now a Schedule I Drug
Responding to an “imminent threat” to public health and safety, the US Drug Enforcement Administration has temporarily classified the synthetic opioid U-47700 ― known on the street as Pink ― as a Schedule I substance. The DEA said it has received reports of at least 46 confirmed deaths associated with U-47700 occurring in 2015 and 2016.
Refugees and Health Access
For Refugees And Advocates, An Anxious Wait For Clarity On Trump’s Policy
Donald Trump’s election has sent tremors through America’s refugee advocate community, and caused fear and uncertainty among the most recently resettled refugees – the Syrians. The United States is the world’s leading resettlement country for refugees; historically, the program has had bipartisan support and has been a mainstay of U.S. foreign policy.
Only 13 percent of recent refugees in Germany have found work: survey
A survey published on Tuesday shows that only around 1 in 8 refugees in Germany have found jobs so far. Many newcomers are still in the process of getting asylum applications assessed and so have limited access to the labor market, it found.
Winter Is Coming for Tens of Thousands of Refugees in Greece
Greece is currently struggling to cope with the more than 50,000 migrants who are now waiting for relocation elsewhere on the continent. However, a recent cold snap has demonstrated that while some of the most vulnerable refugees have been moved to pre-fab housing containers, hotels, and apartments with heat, 38,000 are still living in camps that are ill-prepared for the cold and snow of the coming winter.
Early Marriage / Early Pregnancy
Climate Change is Exacerbating Child Marriage in Bangladesh
Huffington Post, 11/11/16
In Bangladesh, increased floods, droughts and river erosion are exacerbating a pre-existing crisis where 52% of girls are married before 18. For a family who has just lost much to flooding, the short term expense of paying a dowry is a far more viable option than struggling to feed, clothe, educate, house, and protect one more family member.
The Teen-Age Brides of Georgia
The New Yorker, 11/15/16
Although early marriage is often associated with longstanding tradition, in Georgia the practice increased dramatically during the period of war and economic instability that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Today in rural areas of Georgia, which has one of Europe’s highest rates of early marriage, young girls are still being kidnapped for marriage.
Churches critical in ending child marriages
The Zimbabwean, 11/11/16
In the apostolic faith, girls are often encouraged to marry much older men at a very young age. It is a widely shared belief among the congregants that if a girl reaches puberty, any man can claim her to become his child bride, making the church an important player in ending the practice.
Visit us each week for the latest public health news updates!