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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,”…

International Community Must Address Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis With Urgency, MSF Warns

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) “says the international community should demonstrate the same urgency in addressing Syria’s humanitarian crisis that it did in pressing for the destruction of its chemical weapons,” VOA News reports. “The call from MSF Operations Director Bart Janssens came Tuesday, along with a warning that the threat…

BBC News Series Examines Maternal Mortality In Afghanistan

Lyse Doucet, chief international correspondent for BBC News Magazine, examines maternal mortality in Afghanistan. “For our 100 Women series, I’ve spoken to Minister of Health Suraya Dalil at Malalai Hospital, the oldest and largest hospital in Kabul,” she writes and introduces a short video of her visit there. She also…

Saudi Health Ministry Says No MERS Cases Detected So Far Among Hajj Pilgrims

“Saudi Arabia has so far recorded no cases of the deadly MERS coronavirus among pilgrims in the holy city of Mecca for the annual hajj season, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday,” Reuters reports. “The death toll from the respiratory virus in the kingdom, where the strain emerged last…