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U.S. Continuing To Assist In Mental Health Support For Syrians

Jack Myer, Syria regional disaster assistance response team leader in the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, writes in USAID’s “IMPACTblog” about the ongoing conflict in Syria and how “9.3 million people now find themselves in need of humanitarian assistance,” particularly women and children. “The U.S. will continue to provide…

WHO Reports New MERS Cases In Saudi Arabia, UAE

News outlets report on new Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) cases identified in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Reuters: Six new cases of MERS virus hit Saudi Arabia, UAE “Another five people in Saudi Arabia and one in the United Arab Emirates have become infected with the potentially deadly…

Opinion Pieces, Editorial Address Efforts To Eradicate Polio

The following summarizes opinion pieces and an editorial addressing efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. Los Angeles Times: Polio’s war foothold Nancy Aossey, president and chief executive of International Medical Corps; and William Garvelink, the group’s senior adviser for global strategy “The polio resurgence is preventable and it is time to…

BBC News Examines Polio’s Resurgence In Africa, Middle East

BBC News examines polio’s resurgence in some parts of the world. In a 60-second video report, the news service “outlines the struggle against polio,” noting that, “[d]espite a quarter-century-long vaccination program … experts fear it could make a comeback in countries riven by conflict” in the Middle East and Africa…

Reuters Examines Polio Eradication Efforts In Syria

“The Syrian government excluded the largely rebel-held province of Deir al-Zor — where polio broke out this year — from a 2012 vaccination campaign, arguing that most residents had fled although hundreds of thousands were still there, a Reuters investigation shows,” the news service reports. “Public health researchers say missing…

Polio Resurgence In Syria Could Reinvigorate Global Campaign Against Disease

“As of November 26, WHO has confirmed a polio outbreak with a total of 17 cases caused by wild poliovirus type one in Syria, which had been polio-free since 1999,” a Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial states. “At present, polio is endemic in three countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan,” the…

Middle East’s Snow, Cold Weather Exacerbate Humanitarian Situation For Displaced Syrians

“Already suffering from shortages of food aid, schooling, clean water, sanitation and employment, Syrians displaced inside the country and throughout the region — about nine million people — now must contend with bitter weather that, according to UNICEF, threatens more than 100,000 children living in temporary and often flimsy shelters…

NPR Examines Efforts To Eradicate Polio In 2013

“The lowest number of polio cases ever recorded in the world was 223. And 2013 was on track for an even lower number, on the road to complete eradication of the virus,” NPR’s “Shots” blog reports, adding, “But this was a year when polio pushed back. Hard.” The blog examines…