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Also In Global Health News: UNESCO Report; U.S. Aid Teams To Libyan Borders; Improving Hygiene, Sanitation In India; Health System Strengthening Grant In Uganda; Disaster Relief Water-Cleaning Technology « » The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Also In Global Health News: UNESCO Report; U.S. Aid Teams To Libyan Borders; Improving Hygiene, Sanitation In India; Health System Strengthening Grant In Uganda; Disaster Relief Water-Cleaning Technology

Sexual Violence Hinders Girls’ Education, UNESCO Report Says

In its annual report on education, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) highlights how sexual violence affects development issues, including girls’ education, the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog” reports. According to UNESCO, “in 35 countries affected by conflict there are 28 million children out of school, 42% of the world total. Wars also lead to some of the biggest inequalities between girls and boys in school enrollment, while child malnutrition levels are twice the average for developing nations.” The report says the effect of “rape and sexual violence on girls’ education has been underestimated. For the immediate victims, physical injury and psychological trauma has long-term consequences, including acute depression, stigma and isolation.” According to the report, “[t]his is a hidden crisis that is reinforcing poverty, undermining economic growth and holding back the progress of nations” (Elliott, 3/1).

U.S. Sends Aid Teams To Libyan Borders, State Department Focusing On Medical Supplies

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Monday the U.S. would send assistance teams to help refugees fleeing to Libya’s borders with Egypt and Tunisia, the Associated Press reports (Klapper, 2/28). According to Clinton, USAID is dedicating “an additional $10 million in emergency assistance to support the efforts of organizations on the ground already to meet the most urgent needs of Libyans and others who are guest workers or migrants,” National Journal reports. In a press release, the State Department said its “immediate attention is focused on the need to keep medical supplies in the pipelines well-stocked and intact.” It also said USAID is prepared to dispatch food stocks to Libya if necessary (Sorcher, 2/28). Also on Monday, U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said the delicate security situation in the Libyan capital of Tripoli has made it too dangerous for international aid groups to determine food, medical and other needs, according to the AP. “Over the long term, Amos added, humanitarian agencies also fear that there won’t [be] enough to eat for people in a country that imports most of its food” (Snow, 2/28).

Guardian Reports On ‘No Toilet, No Bride’ Campaign In India

The Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog” reports on the Indian government’s efforts to urge young women to participate in the “No Toilet, No Bride” campaign by demanding potential husbands have a toilet in their home. The article describes access to toilets and waste systems in India, contrasting rural and urban environments, and elaborates on the annual cost of inadequate sanitation facilities on the country. The article also describes why health experts feel women play an important role in spreading the message of hygiene and sanitation (Bhowmick, 2/28).

U.S. Ambassador To Uganda Launches Five-Year, $130M Grant For Health System Strengthening

U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Jerry Lanier on Friday announced the official launch of a U.S. government-funded program to help strengthen Uganda’s health system, New Vision reports (Kagolo, 2/28). The five-year, $10 million grant given to the Medical Education Partnership for All Ugandans, is part of the overall $130 million initiative administered through PEPFAR and HHS that aims to “transform African medical education and dramatically increase the number of health care workers,” according to a press release from the U.S. embassy in Kampala, Uganda. The “grant will improve the quality of medical education through curriculum improvement, increase the number of doctors trained, and broaden the geographic scope of their training,” the release states. Grants will be awarded directly to African institutions through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (2/25). 

Arizona Republic Examines Technology That Creates Clean Water

The Arizona Republic examines HydroPacks, a water-purifying method that utilizes “a forward-osmosis process, different from the more conventional reverse osmosis, to purify water without the use of pumps or other mechanical devices.” Hydration Technology Innovations, the company that sells HydroPacks, aims to “sell tens of millions of the packs to relief organizations and disaster-stricken countries around the world,” according to the newspaper. The packs weigh very little and use “existing water sources” and are also “less expensive to airlift than bottled water,” Walter Schultz, the company’s CEO, said. The article highlights a recent trial of the product in Kenya (Jarman, 2/26).