Compiled by Amanda Blazek and Edited for Blog by Margaret Walker
General Global Health and Law
How the U.S. should change its approach to global health
The Washington Post, 12/02/16
With uncertainty about the new U.S. administration’s position on funding foreign assistance of any kind or to global cooperation in the health area, experts are debating where US global health should go. One expert argues that the system needs to move toward a model where half of assistance is devoted to global goods rather than mostly to national health care delivery.
Nuclear War Remains a Global Health Threat
Medpage Today, 12/04/16
On Oct. 27, the United Nations General Assembly First Committee voted to commence negotiations to prohibit possession of nuclear weapons as the next step towards their complete elimination. Health professionals played a key role in promoting passage of this resolution by sounding an urgent alarm about the growing danger of nuclear war.
Yellow Fever Epidemic in Africa Shows Gaps in Vaccine Pipeline
The New York Times, 12/05/16
The yellow fever outbreak in Africa this year came closer to being a disaster than is widely recognized. The epidemic reveals glaring weaknesses in the emergency vaccine supply pipeline.
Highly Potent Antibody That Can Stop Zika Discovered!
Nature World News, 11/28/16
Associate Professor Lok Shee-Mei and her team at Duke-NUS explored C10, an antibody believed to be the most promising in neutralizing the Zika virus. Using cryoelectron microscopy, Dr. Lok and her team visualized C10 antibody interacting with the Zika virus under different pH levels, mimicking the different environments both the antibody and virus will find themselves in throughout infection.
Female Genital Cutting
Female Genital Mutilation in Pakistan
New Delhi Times, 11/28/16
FGM has led to the death of young girls in Pakistan who underwent the practice because of social pressures laid down on them by their families and communities. This act is usually performed at home in many Pakistani households to ensure that the family’s honor is not compromised.
Why the cutting of a woman’s clitoris is so prevalent in Indonesia
The perception that females must be circumcised like males, along with religious beliefs, social pressure, and encouragement from health workers are behind the rampant practice of female genital mutilation in Indonesia. NEw research found that among mothers who have had FGM procedure done to their daughters, 97.1% believe circumcision is a must for both males and females.
Reconstructive surgery gives hope to FGM survivors
Al Jazeera, 12/06/16
Dr. Marci Bowers is a gynecologist who specializes in transgender surgical care, but over the past seven years, around 126 clients have come to her to reclaim a part of their anatomy they lost as children. In her opinion, these women experience a loss of identity post-FGM, as western society tells them that FGM is an act of mutilation
Osun first Lady intensifies campaign against Female Genital Mutilation
Daily Trust, 12/06/16
Sherifat Aregbesola, wife of Osun state governor, has intensified the campaign against the practice of Female Genital Mutilation in efforts to discourage residents of the state from indulging in it. Osun is considered the state with the highest prevalence of female genital cutting in Nigeria.
Nigerians petition Saraki on primary health care development
The Guardian, 12/03/16
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has been petitioned by Nigerians on issues regarding development of primary health care systems, and transparency challenges in the health sector, especially in rural communities. The petition is imploring the government to implement the Strategic Health Development Framework agreement to ensure that 15% of the total national budget is allocated to health sector development.
Revitalising Primary Health Care Centres In Nigeria
The Federal Government is pursuing a policy to revitalize 10,000 Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) in each of the 9,423 wards in the 774 local governments in Nigeria. The policy involves upgrading the existing PHCs to an acceptable minimum standard as recommended by the World Health Organization.
Niger Assembly advocates Budget increment in health sector
The Guardian, 12/04/16
The Niger State House of Assembly has advocated for budget increments in the health sector to effectively tackle health challenges affecting its citizens. The House also restated its commitment to sensitize the state government on challenges confronting child and family health as well as build consensus on innovations for the state health services.
Nigerian lawmakers, seeking expanded health budgeting, point at “bureaucracy” as obstacle
Premium Times, 11/29/16
Nigerian legislators from the Senate and House Committees on Health, Appropriation, and National Planning remarked on Monday that bureaucracy is the key obstacle to implementing the mandatory 15% budgetary allocation to the health sector. Currently, Nigeria’s health sector appropriation is 4.64% of the annual budget.
Monaco delegation visits UNRWA Lebanon Field Office
Relief Web, 11/29/16
On November 9, officials from Monaco visited the UNRWA Lebanon Field Office to observe the implementation and achievements of Monaco-funded projects in Lebanon. For example, the project ‘Improving Diabetes Care for Palestine Refugees in Lebanon’ has strengthened the quality of diabetes care for Palestine refugees in Lebanon, especially related to prevention and early detection.
EU Syria Trust Fund: new package of €139 million for refugees in Lebanon and stabilisation needs in Iraq
New Europe, 08/01/16
The European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations agreed to support refugees and host communities in the region with a 1 billion euro stimulus package. 82 million euros will be directed to Lebanon to improve health care and hygiene services.
In Beirut, controversial Canadian funding is greeted with smiles
The Star, 12/02/16
On Nov. 16, the Canadian government controversially announced it was restoring funding for United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to help Palestinian refugees across Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, West Bank, and Gaza. Canada pledged an unrestricted $20 million annually, but faced criticism due to UNRWA’s alleged connections with Hamas.
Dominican Republic: Health
IFRC appeals for 2.4 million Swiss francs to assist Dominican Republic communities devastated by floods
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 12/02/16
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has appealed for 2.4 million Swiss francs ($2.5 million) to provide support to 25,000 people affected by floods in the Dominican Republic. In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, the Dominican Republic has been hit with floods and landslides that have displaced thousands of families.
Dominican Republic: Cholera and leptospirosis updates released
Outbreak News Today, 11/24/16
The Dominican Republic Ministry of Health reported that in 2016 to date, the country has seen 1,097 cholera cases, which included 23 deaths. The health ministry also reported 473 human cases year-to-date, of which 37 deaths resulted.
VA reducing Opioids, veterans afraid of impact
Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country are cutting back on the use of opioids to protect veterans from overdoses and other complications, but some veterans fear the change could cause them more pain. The reduction follows new federal guidelines that warn opioids may not be as effective or safe as previously thought.
House passes sweeping health innovation bill with $1 billion for opioids
USA Today, 12/01/16
The House approved a bill on Wednesday aimed at sparking medical innovation, strengthening mental health services, and curbing the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic.
The measure, called the 21st Century Cures Act, would channel nearly $4.8 billion over the next decade to the National Institutes of Health, $1 billion of which would fund opioid addiction prevention and treatment programs.
DEA Bans a Cousin of Deadly Synthetic Opioid Fentanyl
Wall Street Journal, 11/30/16
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration added furanyl fentanyl, a deadly cousin of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, to its most restrictive list of controlled substances. The ban comes as the DEA tries to thwart the fast-evolving market for synthetic opioids.
Refugees and Health Access
‘We can’t abandon them’: Senators urge more language, mental health supports for Syrian refugees
CBC News, 12/06/16
One year after the first wave of Syrian refugees arrived in Canada, the Senate’s committee on human rights is urging the federal government to boost language training, mental health services and financial support to help the resettlement process. In the last year, Canada has brought in more than 35,000 government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees fleeing conflict and violence in Syria.
Health ministry and UNICEF in Egypt reach out to Syrian refugees
Ahram Online, 12/06/16
In a press conference on November 27, Egypt’s health and population ministry (MoHP) announced its collaboration with UNICEF to further provide Syrian refugees with primary health care. The initiative plans to enhance the role of Primary Health Care Units by integrating social services for Egyptians, Syrian and non-Syrian refugees via family clubs.
Thousands of Nigerian refugees need help in remote north of Cameroon
Thousands of Nigerian refugees are living in difficult conditions in isolated and insecure areas of Cameroon due to deadly Boko Haram attacks in north-east Nigeria. A UNHCR team was able to visit these previously inaccessible border areas, where they helped pre-register more than 21,000 refugees who have been living for months with host families.
Early Marriage / Early Pregnancy
Presidency, UN move to end early child marriage
The Guardian, 11/30/16
The Nigerian Presidency joined hands with the United Nations (UN), religious and traditional leaders, the Canadian government and other stakeholders to launch a major campaign to end early child marriage in Nigeria. This move was launched by the Vice President, and makes Nigeria the 16th country to join the campaign from the African Union.
Save The Children Launches Campaign To End Child Marriage
Front Page Africa, 12/04/16
In spite of all of the interventions committing Africa to ending child marriage, the continent continues to show alarming rates of the practice. To end this menace in Liberia, Save The Children International-Liberia program launched a campaign dubbed, “Every Last Child Campaign” under the theme: “End Child Marriage.”
Huge Step Backwards on Child Marriage in Bangladesh
Human Rights Watch, 12/01/16
Bangladesh’s parliamentarians are being pushed to kill a proposed law putting girls at greater risk of child marriage. On November 24, the Bangladesh cabinet approved draft legislation that poses grave risks to girls by creating vague exceptions to the country’s ban on child marriage, even including the punishment of victims.