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Canada Supreme Court Rules Vancouver's Safe Drug-Injection Site Can Stay Open

“Vancouver’s Insite clinic, the only such safe-injection site for [people who use drugs] in North America, can stay open, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday in a landmark defeat for the federal government,” Reuters reports. “The country’s top court … ruled unanimously that closing the site would threaten the lives of drug users and therefore violate their human rights,” the news agency writes (Ljunggren, 9/30).

Human Rights Watch Report Says Foreign Aid Indirectly Supporting Forced Labor In Vietnam's Drug Rehabilitation Centers

In a report released Wednesday, New York-based Human Rights Watch “accused the United States government, the World Bank and other international donors of indirectly funding forced labor in Vietnam’s drug rehabilitation centers,” Inter Press Service reports. The report “said that Vietnam’s system of forced labor centers for people who use drugs has expanded over the last decade” and they “have been sustained by a variety of international donors, none of which has made objections,” the news service writes.

Few Treatment Options For Growing Population Of Drug Users In Afghanistan

The New York Times examines the “growing drug addiction problem” in Afghanistan, where, in 2010, about 900,000 people, or seven percent of the adult population, were using drugs, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. The newspaper notes “a recent report by the Ministry of Public Health in partnership with Johns Hopkins University … found HIV present in about seven percent of drug users, double the figure just three years ago, said Dr. Fahim Paigham, who until recently directed the Ministry of Public Health’s AIDS control program.”

WHO Marks First-Ever World Hepatitis Day

The WHO on Thursday marked the first-ever World Hepatitis Day, recognizing a disease that affects nearly one of every three people in the world, the U.N. News Centre reports (7/27). According to a WHO press release, 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A occur each year, two billion people are infected with a hepatitis virus, and at least 130 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C (7/28).

NGOs Support Harm Reduction Declaration

Ahead of the U.N. High Level Meeting on AIDS, more than 200 international non-governmental organizations have pledged their support for the Beirut Declaration on HIV and Injecting Drug Use, which “call[s] on world leaders to scale up harm reduction programs that address the role of injecting drug use in the AIDS…

Supreme Court Of Canada Opens Hearings On Safe Drug Injection Facility

The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday began hearing the Canadian government’s case against Insite, a Vancouver-based legal injection site where people who use injecting drugs can obtain clean needles and syringes and inject their own drugs under a nurse’s supervision, the Canadian Press reports (5/12).

Recent Releases In Global Health

The Importance Of Investing In Adolescent Girls: A Lancet editorial examines the challenges adolescent girls living in developing countries face and the work of the U.N. Adolescent Girls Task Force (UNAGTF) to help young women overcome these barriers. “This International Women’s Day, we recognise that investment in today’s population of…

Also In Global Health News: Global Alcohol-Related Deaths; Pentavalent Vaccine Plant To Resume Operations; Harm-Reduction In Russia; IDUs In Tanzania; MDG Tracking Program In Kenya

Alcohol Kills 2.5M Annually, WHO Report Says “Alcohol abuse is killing 2.5 million people each year,” according to a report from the WHO, which said that about “4 percent of all deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “The main causes of alcohol-related deaths are injuries incurred…