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Medical Workers In Syria Struggle With Safety, Ethics, New York Times Reports

“[W]hile the Obama administration claims credit for pushing President Bashar al-Assad into giving up [Syria’s chemical weapon stockpile], some experts say the real credit lies with the doctors who risked their lives — and confronted thorny questions of medical ethics — to bring to light the use of chemical weapons,”…

Polio Making Comeback In Middle East

“[I]t’s clear that polio — which just two years ago was on the verge of eradication, with active cases confined to just three countries — is resurgent, and the news is grim,” Laurie Garrett, a journalist and senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes in…

WHO Confirms 5 New MERS Cases In Saudi Arabia

The WHO on Thursday “confirmed five more Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases in Saudi Arabia, including two deaths, with three of them dating back to September 18,” CIDRAP News reports. “The WHO confirmations raise the agency’s MERS-CoV tally to 144 cases with 62 deaths,” according to the news…

Syria Reports 22 Suspected Polio Cases In Country’s First Outbreak In 14 Years

“At least 22 people are suspected of having polio in Syria, the first outbreak of the crippling viral disease in 14 years, the [WHO] said on Thursday,” Reuters reports. “The WHO, a U.N. agency, said on Saturday that two suspected cases of polio had been detected, the first appearance of…

Guardian Profiles Filmmakers, Documentary On FGM In Iraqi Kurdistan

The Guardian profiles a film on female genital mutilation in Iraqi Kurdistan made by two Kurdish filmmakers, who made history when their decade-long project culminated in the Kurdish parliament outlawing the practice. The newspaper describes the original film and writes, “[T]he story of the 10-year fight against female genital mutilation…

Humanitarian Situation Deteriorating In Syria As Winter Months Approach

“With more than five million people internally displaced, a suspected polio outbreak, and starvation threatening, the United Nations and aid agencies say that just a trickle of the required assistance is getting into war-ravaged Syria as the harsh winter months loom,” the Washington Post reports. “The U.N. humanitarian chief, Valerie…

International Community ‘Must Act Quickly’ To Deliver Life-Saving Assistance To Syrians

“The world already knows that [Syria’s] Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons, indiscriminate bombing, arbitrary detentions, rape, and torture against his own citizens,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry writes in a Foreign Policy opinion piece. “What is far less well known, and equally intolerable, is the systematic denial of…

WHO Confirms 10 Polio Cases In Syria, Warns Disease Could Spread Across Region

The WHO on Tuesday “confirmed 10 polio cases in north-east Syria, the first confirmed outbreak in the country in 14 years, and warned that the disease could spread across the region,” the Associated Press reports (10/29). “Tests confirmed polio in 10 out of 22 children in Deir al-Zour Province in…

France, Qatar, Oman Report New MERS Cases

“France [on Tuesday] reported a probable Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) case in a person who recently traveled to Saudi Arabia, while the [WHO] offered new details on a MERS case reported in Qatar [on Monday],” CIDRAP News reports. “The patient in France is a 43-year-old who recently returned…

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