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Independent Audit Critical Of USAID Funds For Afghan Health Projects

“An independent audit released Thursday accused [USAID] of ‘reckless disregard toward the management of U.S. taxpayer dollars,’ prompting an angry rebuttal from the agency leading American reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan,” the Los Angeles Times reports (Bengali, 9/5). “In its latest report [.pdf] sharply criticizing U.S. government aid programs, the Office…

Israel Announces Polio Virus Found In Jerusalem Sewers

In the midst of a nationwide polio vaccination campaign, Israel’s health ministry on Monday announced “[p]olio virus has been found in Jerusalem’s sewers for the first time since Israel eliminated the disease,” the New York Times reports. “In June, the virus was found in sewage in Rahat, a small city…

Agencies, Health Care Workers Continue To Vaccinate Against Polio In Somalia, Pakistan

VOA News examines the polio outbreak in Somalia and the Horn of Africa in a video feature. “Earlier in 2013, polio was confined to three so-called ‘endemic countries’ — Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan — where the virus has never been snuffed out,” the news service writes in an accompanying article,…

Saudi Arabia Reports Additional MERS Cases, Deaths; Study Examines Possible Treatment

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry on Friday “announced five new cases of infection of the [Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)] coronavirus,” Agence France-Presse reports. Saudi Arabia, which also reported three deaths from the virus, “is the country worst hit by MERS,” the news agency writes (9/7). On Saturday, the WHO said…

Qatar Reports First MERS-Related Fatality

Qatar on Wednesday reported its first fatality from the SARS-like virus that “has killed 50 people out of 108 confirmed cases of infections, the [WHO] said on its website on August 30,” Agence France-Presse reports. The virus, called MERS-CoV — Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus — “is considered a cousin…

WSJ Blog Examines Saudi Arabia’s Response To MERS In Lead Up To Hajj

“Saudi Arabia continues to report sporadic new cases and deaths from a lethal new coronavirus, as hajj season in October — when the kingdom expects more than three million pilgrims from 187 countries — approaches,” the Wall Street Journal’s “Middle East Real Time” blog reports. “As of Friday, the Saudi…

Efforts To Eradicate Polio Continue In Israel, Pakistan

NPR’s “Shots” blog and “Morning Edition” program report on nationwide efforts in Israel to vaccinate one million children against polio after researchers found the virus in 85 different sewage samples from across the country. “Getting rid of polio flare-ups, like the one in Israel right now, is a crucial part…

U.N. Agencies To Continue Assistance To Syrian Refugees Despite Escalating Tension

“The United Nations children’s agency is scaling up its assistance to thousands of Syrian refugee children and their families in the Kurdistan region of Iraq where tens of thousands of families arrived in recent weeks,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “A plane carrying 100 tons of supplies — including water…

Researchers Continue Search For MERS Origin

The Economist reports on the search for the origin of the MERS virus, noting of 103 cases recorded by the CDC, 49 have been fatal — “a scary death rate.” The magazine details the search, which “was started by Ali Zaki of the Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi…

Escalation Of Syrian Crisis Following Chemical Weapons Investigation Would Aggravate Civilian Suffering, ICRC Warns

“Any escalation of the Syrian crisis following an apparent chemical weapons attack will aggravate civilian suffering, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday,” Reuters reports. “Areas plagued by heavy fighting, including the countryside around Damascus, eastern Aleppo and Deir Ezzor province, are already reeling from breakdowns of…