March 26, 2023

Tag: CommunicableDiseases


Biggest…NGO Coalition…Ever

Action2015 formally launches today. This is a collection of all the major development and environmental NGOs and advocacy groups, plus thousands of smaller ones, that are banding together to raise the profile and help maintain an ambitious agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Talks later this year. “We span environmental, development and human rights movements. We are united in our focus to make 2015 a huge breakthrough moment for people and planet,” says the coalition. #Action2015 is the hashtag for launch day events around the world on January 15.

The Ebola News We’ve been waiting for…A new study found Ebola could come to an end in Liberia by June, if the trend toward better hospitalization and preventive care continues. (VOA

More humanitarian interventions in 2015? U.N. aid chief Valerie Amos suggested more intervention in humanitarian emergencies as she said some states were aggressively asserting sovereignty rights to stop action being taken to protect civilians. (Reuters

2015 economic growth prediction cut…The World Bank, citing stagnation in Europe and Japan and a slowdown in China, downgraded its forecast for the global economy this year. It also reported that world economic growth came in below expectations in 2014. (AP

This is cool…MTN-Qhubeka will become the first African team to compete in the Tour de France after race organizers selected the South African outfit among the wild cards invited to take part this year. (AP


Even as his country registered 19 new Ebola cases over a 24-hour period, Sierra Leone’s president is predicting there will be zero new confirmed cases by the end of March. (AP

A new study by the United Nations Development Program finds the Ebola epidemic is dramatically setting back prospects for economic development in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The study urges recovery plans for West Africa’s three Ebola-affected countries to begin now and not to wait until this deadly disease is contained. (VOA

Eighty percent of people phoning a toll-free Ebola help number are prank callers, the head of the Ebola Call Centre in Sierra Leone Reynold Senessie said. (AFP

UNDP has helped the Liberian government pay thousands of Ebola workers. Over $1 million dollars in cash payments were distributed across the country in January alone.


Malawi President Peter Mutharika has declared half the southern African country a disaster zone after torrential rains over the past few days killed at least 48 people and left around 70,000 homeless. (Reuters

Nigeria’s military on Wednesday said that soldiers had repelled a new Boko Haram attack after a two-hour gun battle in the restive northeast. (AFP

South Sudan’s conflict could cost regional nations Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania a combined $53 billion if it lasts another five years as they deal with refugees, security needs and other spillover effects, a report said on Wednesday. (Reuters

The U.S. Embassy in Uganda says U.S. Special Forces in Obo, Central African Republic, have handed over a Lord’s Resistance Army commander who is charged with war crimes to Ugandan troops. (AP

Tanzania has banned witchdoctors to try and stem a surge in murders of albinos, whose body parts are sold for witchcraft, officials said Wednesday. (AFP

Former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan on Wednesday urged Nigeria to hold peaceful elections next month, warning that violence could be a set-back to progress across Africa. (AFP

Nigeria’s electoral agency said that next month’s elections will go ahead in three northeastern states worst hit by Boko Haram violence but there was little prospect of voting in militant-held areas. (AFP

Heavy flooding in Mozambique has killed 10 people and displaced nearly 20,000 more, the government disaster management office said Wednesday. (AP

Nigeria has re-registered around 10 million voters wrongly struck off the roll a year ago due to technical glitches, leaving Africa’s most populous nation with an electorate of 68.8 million, the electoral commission said on Wednesday. (Reuters

Madagascar’s president has accepted the resignation of his prime minister and government amid mounting public frustration about regular power cuts and a failure to deliver on promised improvements to daily life. (Reuters


Syrian refugee families will resort to increasingly drastic measures to survive unless the world does more to help, the U.N. refugee agency said, as it released a study showing that one in six Syrian refugees in Jordan live in “abject poverty” (Reuters

The United Nations gathered Libya’s rival factions for talks in Geneva Wednesday, amid warnings they could be the last chance to halt intensifying fighting for the country’s main cities and oil wealth. (AFP

The wife of a Saudi blogger who was publicly flogged for “insulting Islam” called for his release. (AFP


Four passengers aboard a Bangladesh bus were burned alive on Wednesday when anti-government protesters threw a petrol bomb at the packed vehicle, taking the death toll from a bloody nation-wide blockade to 18. (Reuters

The World Bank said Wednesday the Philippines can eliminate poverty within a generation as sustained economic growth in recent years has translated into more jobs and higher incomes. (AP

Authorities were investigating Wednesday how more than 100 bodies, many of them children, ended up floating in an offshoot of the Ganges River in northern India. (AP

World sea piracy fell to its lowest level in eight years in 2014, but ship hijackings rose due to attacks against small tankers off Southeast Asia’s coasts, a global maritime watchdog said Wednesday. (AP

Authorities in a north Indian state suspended 23 officials Wednesday in a crackdown on illegal liquor sales, as the death toll among villagers who drank from a bad batch of cheap alcohol climbed to 38. (AP

Rights groups in Cambodia called on the United Nations to investigate alleged rights abuses against villagers living at the sites of two large hydropower dam projects. (VOA

Hun Sen, Cambodia’s tough and wily prime minister, marked 30 years in power Wednesday, one of just a handful of political strongmen worldwide who have managed to cling to their posts for three decades. (AP

The Americas

A group of ambassadors and the U.N. special representative in Haiti said that President Michel Martelly has their support through a period of political flux that many observers worry could set the troubled country back. (AP


The TTIP trade deal will throw equality before the law on the corporate bonfire (Guardian

Islamic Reformation, the Antidote to Terrorism (IPS

Ten Reasons Why 2015 Is a Crucial Year for Africa (Africa Progress Panel

For the moment, Russia is the winner in the global geopolitical struggle (GlobalPost

How an argument over gasoline became a matter of national security in Egypt (GlobalPost


As economic losses from disasters rise around the world, more effort is needed to reduce the risks from extreme weather and earthquakes in every area, from infrastructure to health, the United Nations disaster prevention chief said. (TRF

A human ‘ring of gold’ will be formed outside St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday to mark the start of a new campaign encouraging couples to tie the knot with Fairtrade wedding bands. (Guardian



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Big Drop in American Volunteers to Ebola Zone

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It turns out unnecessary quarantine rules and the stigmatization of aid workers is undermining the fight to defeat ebola at its source. Thanks, Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo!“Aid groups have been warning about a possible “chilling effect” on volunteers since the two states’ rules were announced in late October. And now there is some data to back up those claims. The United States Agency for International Development, which handles applications from medical personnel volunteering to serve in West Africa, says applications declined by about 17 percent after October 26th, when the rules for mandatory quarantine rules were announced. “There was an unquestionable drop-off,” says USAID spokesman Matt Herrick. “And unfortunately, that decline has continued.” (NPR

New Data on Access to Clean Water and Sanitation…Global efforts to provide improved water and sanitation  for all are gaining momentum, but serious gaps in funding continue to hamper progress, according to a new report from the World Health Organization on behalf of UN-Water. The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS 2014), published biannually, presents data from 94 countries and 23 external support agencies….2.5 billion men, women and children around the world lack access to basic sanitation services. About 1 billion people continue to practice open defecation. An additional 748 million people do not have ready access to an improved source of drinking-water. (WHO

For your Bemusement….Here’s Bob Geldof getting pulled from live TV for an intemperate reaction to a perfectly legitimate line of inquiry. (Daily Mirror. And here’s the excellent Amanda Taub asking more perfectly legitimate questions. (Vox


The failure of a top Malian hospital to detect probable cases of Ebola has raised questions about whether the country’s health system is sufficiently prepared to tackle the disease. (IRIN

The United Nations is worried about the potential for further isolation of the hardest-hit nations in West Africa. (IPS

Why is Sierra Leone reporting an uptick in Ebola cases while Liberia’s outbreak is slowing? The chain of events in one village points up the obstacles that the country is facing. (NPR


Fewer babies could mean an “economic miracle” for sub-Saharan Africa, with gains of $500 billion a year over three decades for the region, the UN Population Fund said. (AFP

Michel Kafando was sworn in as transitional president of Burkina Faso on Tuesday, faced with the task of leading the West African country to elections in a year following a brief military takeover. (Reuters

South Africa plans to spend $2.2 billion over two years to buy HIV/AIDS drugs for public hospitals, a government minister said on Monday, as a study shows the prevalence of the virus is rising. (Reuters

Aid workers in Somalia, which faces worsening hunger three years after famine struck the country, believe the humanitarian system is “rotten” and are hamstrung by fears of being prosecuted for aiding terrorists, an expert said. (Reuters

Human Rights Watch accused police in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday of summarily executing at least 51 people in an anti-gang operation and of being responsible for the disappearance of at least 33 more. (Reuters

Guyana President Donald Ramotar’s decision to suspend parliament to avoid a no-confidence motion against him has plunged the small former British colony into political crisis, as foes decry the president as a dictator. (Reuters

 Sudan’s government and rebels from war-torn South Kordofan and Blue Nile adjourned a week of peace talks late Monday, with mediators claiming they were “not too far” from a deal. (AFP

Former rebels now serving in Cote d’Ivoire’s army erected barricades and blocked streets outside barracks across the country on Tuesday in protest over unpaid benefits and bonuses, military and diplomatic sources said. (Reuters


Tensions are incredibly high in Israel and Palestine following the murder of four rabbis in their Jerusalem synagogue tuesday morning by two Palestinian cousins who were not part of any known terrorist group. Haaretz

A U.N. panel of experts monitoring al-Qaida is recommending new sanctions that would authorize the seizure of tanker trucks carrying oil from areas in Syria and Iraq controlled by the Islamic State group or the Nusra Front. (AP

An Egyptian rights group said Tuesday the government has repeatedly violated the country’s new constitution, calling it a crime that must be addressed immediately. (AP

Spanish lawmakers were set to vote on Tuesday in favor of their government recognizing Palestine as a state in a symbolic move intended to promote peace between the Palestinians and Israel but which has angered the Jewish state. (Reuters


Students in Myanmar have threatened to protest nationwide if the government does not amend an education law that prohibits them from engaging in political activities and curbs academic freedom. (AP

More than 600 trafficking victims from Myanmar and Bangladesh have been rescued off the South Asian coast, a navy spokesman in Dhaka said on Tuesday, in the single biggest operation of its kind by Bangladesh authorities. (Reuters

Indonesia must stop subjecting female police recruits to physical tests in an effort to determine whether they are virgins, a leading human rights group said Tuesday, describing the practice as degrading and discriminatory. (AP

Myanmar’s influential parliament speaker said Tuesday that any changes to the military-drafted constitution that bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president will not take effect before next year’s election. (AP

Cambodia’s government is using the country’s judiciary to silence opposition parties and other critics of its policies, a United Nations investigator said on Tuesday. (Reuters

The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to recommend that crimes against humanity in North Korea be referred to the International Criminal Court. Now, it’s up to the Security Council to decide if that will actually happen. (NYT

The Americas

The head of Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras promises to improve the way it is run as it struggles to deal with a corruption scandal. (BBC

A tweet from the account of Colombia’s Marxist FARC rebel group’s peace negotiators said on Tuesday that kidnapped General Ruben Dario Alzate was a “prisoner of war”. But in a message from the same account minutes later, the FARC said its Twitter account had been hacked. It did not deny or confirm the general’s status. (Reuters


The Problem With “Safe Zones” in the Middle East (UN Dispatch

 Will There be Peace Between Iran and the West? (IPS

Even with social media boost, big challenges ahead for Rohingya advocates (GlobalPost

10 Million Stateless and Growing: How Donors Can Help (CGD

Is the BRICS moment over? (CNN

Nairobi’s ‘miniskirt’ march exposes sexual violence in Kenya (Guardian

Reflections on the Arab uprisings (Monkey Cage

Reactions to Reflections on the Arab Uprisings (Dart-Throwing Chimp

One Year Later—the Road to Resilience After Typhoon Haiyan (USAID Impact

Stitching a more sustainable garment industry for Haiti (Development that Works


Give women the same access to land, credit, advice and markets as men, and they could increase yields on their farms by more than 20 percent, boosting total global agricultural output by up to four percent, a leading land rights researcher said. (Reuters

New technology has “brought the bank” to millions of low-income women in a revolution that could help drive economic growth, according to an authority on women’s finance. (Reuters

More than 10,000 people protested in the Hungarian capital, demanding the ouster of the head of the tax authority and greater accountability from Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government. (AP

Sexual exploitation of adolescent girls in Uganda (Overseas Development Institute

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UN health agency sees ‘alarming trend’ as efforts lag in eliminating measles

13 November 2014 – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) warned today that progress towards the elimination of measles has stalled due in large part to outbreaks in China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, as well as the re-emergence in Europe of the highly contagious virus.

The number of deaths from measles rose from an estimated 122,000 in 2012 to 145,700 in 2013, according to new data published in the WHO Weekly Epidemiological Report and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“Poor progress in increasing measles vaccination coverage has resulted in large outbreaks of this highly contagious disease, throwing the 2015 elimination targets off-track,” said Dr Peter Strebel from the WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals.

“Countries urgently need to prioritize maintaining and improving immunization coverage. Failure to reverse this alarming trend could jeopardize the momentum generated by a decade of achievements in reducing measles mortality,” Dr. Strebel said.

In developing countries, it costs around $1 to vaccinate a child against the disease, making the measles vaccine one of the best buys in public health. During 2013, 205 million children were immunized against measles through large-scale campaigns in 34 countries, including Cambodia, Cape Verde, Ghana, Jordan, Senegal, and Sudan.

While the increase in the disease in 2013 was in large part due to outbreaks in China, the DRC and Nigeria, sizeable outbreaks were also reported in other parts of the world, WHO said.

Progress is stalled in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region, where weak health systems, conflict and population displacement have hampered vaccination efforts. Meanwhile, the European region has seen measles re-emerge with outbreaks in a number of countries including Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine.

More than 60 per cent of the estimated 21.5 million children who were not vaccinated against measles at 9 months of age last year came from six countries: India (6.4 million); Nigeria (2.7 million); Pakistan (1.7 million); Ethiopia (1.1 million); Indonesia (0.7 million); and the Democratic Republic of Congo (0.7 million).

The vast majority of deaths from measles occur in developing countries and in 2013 over 70 per cent of estimated global measles deaths occurred in the six countries listed above.

The fourth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 4) aims to reduce the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Recognizing the potential of measles vaccination to reduce child mortality, and given that measles vaccination coverage can be considered a marker of access to child health services, routine measles vaccination coverage has been selected as an indicator of progress towards achieving that target.

According to WHO’s fact sheet on measles, the disease’s outbreaks can be particularly deadly in countries experiencing or recovering from a natural disaster or conflict. Damage to health infrastructure and health services interrupts routine immunization, and overcrowding in residential camps greatly increases the risk of infection.

WHO said that impressive gains had been made towards measles elimination in recent years and an estimated 15.6 million deaths were prevented through vaccination during 2000-2013 but the huge reductions in mortality are tapering off.

Steve Cochi, Senior Advisor for the CDC’s Global Immunization Division concurs that the resurgence of measles, especially in Africa, is in large part due to a marked decrease in financial support during the global recession.

“This funding gap is only recently being closed and the world’s children cannot afford yet another setback in progress,” Mr. Cochi says.

Seven countries are planning to roll out mass vaccination campaigns in November 2014: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Laos, Mali, Mauritania and Yemen. The DRC started a one-year rolling campaign in 2013 that finished in August 2014.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, which affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.

There is no specific treatment for measles and most people recover within 2–3 weeks. However, particularly in malnourished children and people with reduced immunity, measles can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, ear infection and pneumonia.

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And the Most Transparent Aid Donor Is…UNDP

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The UN Development Program is atop a new list published by the International Aid Transparency Index. And in case you were wondering, China is on the bottom. Overall, donor countries are off pace to meet their promise to join the transparency standard by the end of 2015. “A lot of progress was made at the political level in the early days of aid transparency, including a promise to publish aid information to an internationally-agreed common standard by the end of 2015,” said Rachel Rank, Director of Publish What You Fund. (Humanopshere

Man who brought Ebola to USA Dies…Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died on Wednesday morning at a Dallas hospital. This was the first death of an ebola patient in the developed world. “Duncan became ill after arriving in the Texas city from Liberia on Sept. 20 to visit family, heightening concerns the world’s worst Ebola outbreak on record could spread outside of the three worst-hit West African countries. About 48 people with whom Duncan had been in contact are being monitored.” (Reuters

Most of the world’s governments are taking measures to reduce the worst and most hazardous forms of child labor, according to a major report released by the U.S. Labour Department. (IPS


Britain will send 750 troops to West African state Sierra Leone to help build an Ebola treatment centre, the BBC reported on Wednesday following a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron. (BBC

The deadly Ebola epidemic could deal a $32 billion-plus blow to the West African economy over the next year if officials cannot get it under control, the World Bank warned Wednesday. (AFP

Sierra Leone burial teams have gone back to work one day after organizing a strike over pay and abandoning the dead bodies of Ebola victims in the capital. (AP

Travelers arriving in the United States from Ebola-stricken Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will face mandatory screening measures for the deadly virus as soon as this weekend, according to a media report on Wednesday. (CNN

The United Nations mission in Liberia says a second member of its staff has contracted Ebola. In a statement Wednesday, the mission said the international medical official is undergoing treatment, but did not specify their nationality. (VOA


An angry crowd killed a Muslim man in the capital of Central African Republic overnight, decapitating and burning his corpse, and in revenge Muslims killed a taxi driver, witnesses said on Wednesday. (Reuters

A court in Tanzania granted bail to an opposition member of parliament on Wednesday and eight others after charging them with illegal protests for demonstrating last week against a draft constitution. (Reuters

The new head of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan, Ellen Margrethe Loej, called for “the guns to fall silent” in South Sudan to allow the United Nations and aid agencies to stop focussing on protecting people from violence and start helping the young country to grow. (VOA

Somalia’s first-ever cash withdrawal machine has been installed in the capital, Mogadishu. (VOA


The governments of Europe and the United States have criticized Israel for announcing it will build 2,600 new housing units in a sensitive part of East Jerusalem. (VOA

The U.N. refugee agency on Wednesday said it was urging the European Union to overhaul its policy toward Syrian refugees, warning the number of fatal accidents at sea could rise further as winter approaches. (AP


Pakistan is losing ground in the battle against polio, with the country suffering its worst outbreaks in more than a decade, but suspicions about the vaccine itself are also proving an obstacle. (VOA

Five Afghan men were hanged on Wednesday for the gang rape of four women despite the United Nations and human rights groups criticising the trial and urging new president Ashraf Ghani to stay the executions. (AFP

Authorities sealed off villages in Myanmar’s only Muslim-majority region and in some cases beat and arrested people who refused to register with immigration officials, residents and activists say, in what may be the most aggressive effort yet to force Rohingya to indicate they are illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh. (AP

Indian PM Modi, in his biggest attempt at fiscal change since he swept to power in May, has been less bold than some would wish, steering clear of reforming the most sensitive and costly benefits – food and fertilisers. (Reuters

Rescuers and fishermen found eight survivors and 17 bodies Wednesday after two days of searching for a motorboat lost since its captain reported an engine failure off Indonesia’s main island of Java. (AP

Cambodia enacted a regulation Wednesday to protect nightclub hostesses and other adult entertainment workers under the same laws that protect other workers’ rights, a move that was hailed by the U.N.’s labor body. (AP

Protracted fighting in northern Myanmar is displacing entire villages, including those of ethnic Palaung, who say they need more help to build up local civil society groups to allow aid to flow more effectively to their people. (IRIN

The Americas

Colombia must invest at least $44.4 billion to implement a peace deal with Marxist rebels to end a 50-year conflict, says a senator who backs the current peace talks, adding the amount is much less than the cost of waging war. (Reuters

As sea levels rise, tidal flooding along the U.S. coast is likely to become so common that parts of many communities, including the nation’s capital, could become unusable within three decades, according to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists. (Reuters


Meet the Company That’s Bringing the LED Revolution to the Developing World (UN Dispatch

When it comes to aid, learn from those who know what poverty is really like (Guardian Supermarket for torture devices? (GlobalPost

A big deal in the ICC: 6 questions with GlobalPost’s Tristan McConnell

Rethinking US Foreign Assistance: MCC Tops US Government in Aid Transparency Again (CGD

Alternatives to refugee camps: Can policy become practice? (IRIN

Marine Protection as Stand-Alone Goal for Post-2015 Agenda? (IPS

How do donors imagine more effective humanitarian aid? (OECD

Africa On the Rise – a Myth or Reality? (New Times

Journalists Must Avoid Mass Hysteria Over Ebola (allAfrica

Categories: Uncategorized

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