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Releve Epidemiologique Hebdomadaire. 2013 Jun 14; 88(24):241-2.In May 2013, eight total cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) were isolated in Mogadishu and Bay Region, becoming the first polio cases reported in Somalia since March 2007. That same month, the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation confirmed a WPV1 case in an infant girl from the Dadaab refugee camps near the Somalia border. Genetic sequence analysis of WPV1 from both countries shows that they are closely related, with evidence of the virus’ single introduction into the region and subsequent local transmission. In Somalia and Kenya, rapid response polio supplementary immunization activities (SIA) were conducted. Preventive SIAs are being conducted in areas of Ethiopia and Yemen, and surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) is being strengthened in all countries in the Horn of Africa.
Forced Migration Review. 2007 Jan; (27):20-21.The problem of sexual exploitation and abuse is often exacerbated in situations characterised by poverty, conflict and/or displacement where the UN is actively involved. Poverty and a lack of economic opportunities frequently force women and children to engage in 'survival sex' - the exchange of money, goods or services for sexual favours. In 2002 a joint UNHCR/Save the Children UK report revealed a disturbing pattern of sexual exploitation of refugee children by aid workers and peacekeepers in West Africa. Documenting allegations against 40 agencies and 67 individuals, it reported how humanitarian workers extort sex in exchange for desperately needed aid. Acts of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were brought to the international public's attention in 2005. The UN continues to document cases involving children as young as 11 and anecdotal evidence indicates that hundreds of babies have been born of such acts. For unaccompanied (separated or abandoned), internally displaced and refugee children, vulnerabilities are compounded by increased risks of sexual abuse, prostitution, trafficking, military recruitment and psychosocial distress. A lack of documentation and birth registration in displaced and refugee settings leaves many unable to access healthcare, education and other services. (excerpt)
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2004 Nov; 87(2):111-113.In May 2004, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States ruled that emergency contraception would not be available over the counter. In December 2003, two FDA expert panels overwhelmingly recommended approval of the drug by a 23 to 4 vote after reviewing more than 15,000 pages of data for over 40 studies in support of the over the counter (OTC) application. The FDA typically follows the recommendations of the government scientific committees, and the experts in this case made it clear that use of emergency contraception does not increase promiscuity or unprotected sex among teenaged women. In an unusual decision written by Dr. Steven Galson, Acting Director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, and not supported by other members of the FDA staff, a decision was deferred pending further information about the safety of emergency contraception in girls under the age of 16 or on the possibility raised by the manufacturer in their proposal that the drug be used over the counter for girls over the age of 16 and that there be an age limit to those who could get it without speaking to a pharmacist or without a prescription. (excerpt)
MRC News. 2001 Feb; 32(1):.Tuberculosis, or TB as it's commonly known, is a rampant, infectious disease with estimates putting worldwide infection rates at 1 in every 3 people. Especially in countries where the rate of HIV infection is high, TB infection rates soar, with HIV and TB forming a deadly duo. An even greater problem is that of drug-resistant TB - when the illness is not cured by the use of first-line drugs. This is commonly thought to be caused only by poor compliance of patients not adhering to treatment strategies. Prof. Paul van Helden, Director of the MRC's Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, and his team of scientists hold a different view. (excerpt)