World Bank [to 21 February 2015]

World Bank [to 21 February 2015]
http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/all
[We limit coverage to regional and global level initiatives, recognizing that a number of country-level announcements are added each week]
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Powerful Partnerships for Collaborative Governance
The GPSA awards grants ranging from $500,000 to $1 million for three- to five-year periods to CSOs based in countries that have agreed to participate in the GPSA. To date, 40 countries have opted-in. Before issuing calls for proposals, the GPSA organizes consultations with government, civil society, and other donor agencies to define the key governance issues in each country that CSO proposals should address. GPSA Program Manager Roby Senderowitsch said, “Our program works to ‘close the loop’ by empowering citizens with a voice, helping governments to listen, and supporting public institutions to respond to citizen feedback. ”After two calls for proposals in 2013 and 2014, the GPSA has awarded over $16 million in grants to 23 CSOs for projects in 17 developing countries, with another 57 organizations involved directly as project partners and more than 125 local – often grassroots – organizations benefiting from the grants as mentees. Date: February 18, 2015

China, World Bank and WHO Collaborate to Support ‘Deep Water’ Phase of Health Reforms
Joint World Bank-WHO-government health reform study launched in Beijing
On February 12, 2015, the World Bank Group and the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a new collaboration with the Government of China to support the next phase of China’s health system reforms. Over the last five years, China has undertaken the biggest health reform in history – with remarkable results: 95 per cent of China’s 1.39 billion citizens now have access to a basic health insurance package, up from 30 per cent in 2003. Yet, for China to build a strong, sustainable, equitable, and cost- effective health system equipped to meet current and future challenges, deepening of reforms is needed. At the request of senior government officials, the World Bank and the World Health Organization are collaborating with China’s Ministry of Finance, National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation… Date: February 17, 2015

BRAC [to 21 February 2015]

BRAC [to 21 February 2015]
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Over a million Bangladeshis sign the petition Up For School
17 February 2015, Dhaka. BRAC collected over 1.2 million signatures to support the petition Up For School initiated by the global movement-A World at School campaign. There are more than 58 million children out of school in the world. The campaign aims to mobilise global population to make sure the world leaders keep their promises to secure every child’s right to education by the end of 2015. Celebrating this achievement BRAC’…

Microfinance Leaders Welcome Two New Members to Join Working Group
12 February 2015, WASHINGTON, DC – The Microfinance CEO Working Group welcomes two new members to their international collaboration: Lauren Hendricks, Executive Director of CARE’s Access Africa program, and Shameran Abed, Director of BRAC’s microfinance program. Tanzania-based Hendricks and Bangladesh-based Abed join the Working Group’s efforts to support the positive development of the microfinance industry, so the field can reach its full potential…

IRCT [to 21 February 2015]

IRCT [to 21 February 2015]
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Announcement
Scientific symposium: Delivering on the Promise of the Right to Rehabilitation, Mexico City, Mexico
SAVE THE DATE 14 TO 16 MARCH, 2016
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The IRCT is hosting a global interdisciplinary scientific symposium from 14 to 16 March, 2016 in Mexico City. This is a unique opportunity for the global torture rehabilitation movement to come together to exchange experiences and research on developments in the rehabilitation of survivors of torture. This is the first global event to look in detail across disciplines at how to deliver on the promise of the right to rehabilitation as set out in the Convention against Torture and elaborated in General Comment 3 of the UN Committee against Torture.

Over 140 IRCT member centers from over 70 countries will gather in Mexico City to attend this symposium that will be held in connection with the IRCT General Assembly. We hope that you will be able to join this international gathering.

An open call for abstract submission and registration to the symposium will be launched on our website and other communication channels in the coming weeks.
If you have any questions please contact Leanne MacMillan (lm@irct.org) or Lars Døssing Rosenmeier (ldr@irct.org) of the Research Development team.

OXFAM [to 21 February 2015]

OXFAM [to 21 February 2015]
http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases
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Villagers seek refuge from renewed violence in Darfur
19 February 2015
A new wave of violence in Darfur has forced more than 50,000 people to flee their homes since the start of the year. Thousands of families are facing limited access to food, adequate water supply and shelter. Oxfam has launched an immediate response, aiming to reach more than 20,000 people with clean water, emergency latrines and hygiene supplies.

As the cycle of crisis continues in Somalia, vital remittance pipelines risk being cut
19 February 2015
Somalia’s financial lifeline remains under threat as banks in US, UK, Australia, and elsewhere have broken ties with the money transfer operators that make remittances possible, NGOs warn.

Targeted agricultural policies need to seize the chance of eradicating global hunger, says IFAD, Oxfam
16 February 2015
The real possibility of eradicating global hunger and poverty in our lifetime is dependent upon the international community getting more serious in supporting smallholder agriculture…

Save The Children [to 21 February 2015]

Save The Children [to 21 February 2015]
http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6150563/k.D0E9/Newsroom.htm

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Ebola Crisis: Save the Children Supports Safe Reopening of One in Five Liberian Schools
Monrovia, Liberia (Feb. 16, 2015) — Save the Children is actively supporting the long-anticipated re-opening of hundreds of schools in Liberia today following a six-month educational hiatus due to the Ebola crisis.

The move comes after weeks of steady declines in the number of new Ebola cases in Liberia, which, at the peak of the epidemic in mid-2014, was reporting more than 300 cases a week, but recorded only three new cases for the week ending February 8, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“This is obviously a time for much celebration for a country that has been ravaged by the worst Ebola outbreak in history,” said Save the Children’s Liberia country director, Greg Duly.

“However, we must be sure that schools re-open safely so that students and parents won’t fear a flare-up of the disease. It is more important than ever to remain vigilant as we send Liberia’s most precious resource back to school.”

The Government of Liberia has established strict guidelines to ensure that school children return to an Ebola-free environment, including the provision of hand washing facilities; accurate non-contact thermometers; a small space for the temporary isolation of any suspected Ebola case; and a robust referral system with a nearby health facility.

Save the Children has been working closely with the Liberian Ministry of Education, and other local partners, to provide intensive Ebola-prevention training for teachers and community members in more than 840 schools, including helping to set up local Ebola safety committees and reliable patient transfer systems.

In 546 of these schools, the agency is also distributing hundreds of safety kits comprising of digital thermometers, chlorine, soap, buckets, brooms, educational posters, and rubber gloves and rain boots, as well as providing hand washing facilities and reliable water supplies….

China, World Bank and WHO Collaborate to Support ‘Deep Water’ Phase of Health Reforms

China, World Bank and WHO Collaborate to Support ‘Deep Water’ Phase of Health Reforms
Joint World Bank-WHO-government health reform study launched in Beijing
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On February 12, 2015, the World Bank Group and the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a new collaboration with the Government of China to support the next phase of China’s health system reforms.

Over the last five years, China has undertaken the biggest health reform in history – with remarkable results: 95 per cent of China’s 1.39 billion citizens now have access to a basic health insurance package, up from 30 per cent in 2003.

Yet, for China to build a strong, sustainable, equitable, and cost-effective health system equipped to meet current and future challenges, deepening of reforms is needed.
At the request of senior government officials, the World Bank and the World Health Organization are collaborating with China’s Ministry of Finance, National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to analyze current constraints within the health reform process and identify practical solutions.

“In 2009, the Government of China launched an ambitious national health reform program to provide affordable, equitable and effective health care for all by 2020,” said Bert Hofman, World Bank Country Director for China.

“Impressive progress has been made in that time: health insurance coverage has increased, and access to health care has greatly improved. But the increasing rates of non-communicable disease like diabetes, hypertension and cancer coupled with an ageing population—and worryingly high prevalence rates key risk factors such as smoking—mean that pressing challenges for the health service delivery system remain,” Hofman said.

“China is now entering the ‘deep water’ phase of the health reform project, where crossing the river will require more than just feeling the stones,” said Dr. Vivian Lin, Director Health Systems in the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with the World Bank to support the Government of China as it navigates this crucial next phase of health reform. China now has an unprecedented opportunity to innovate and develop new models of health service delivery that are truly people-centered and meet the needs and demands of China’s vast population,” Dr. Lin said.

The World Bank-WHO collaboration with China’s Ministry of Finance, NHFPC, and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security will deliver recommendations to the government on the practical and concrete actions required to build a health care system for the future later this year.

GAVI [to 21 February 2015]

GAVI [to 21 February 2015]
http://www.gavialliance.org/library/news/press-releases/
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Immunisation leaders call for increased political support for immunisation in Pakistan
High-level mission shines spotlight on challenges facing immunisation services in Pakistan

19 February 2015 – Childhood immunisation in Pakistan is at a crossroads and strong political will is required to ensure that the lives of millions of children are not put at risk, three global health leaders warned today.

Almost three million children miss out on a full course of the most basic vaccines every year in Pakistan, leaving them vulnerable to life-threatening diseases. Immunisation coverage rates across the country vary widely with some districts seeing very few children protected against diseases such as diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles and bacterial pneumonia….

A high-level mission including Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr Ala Alwan, Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean region at the World Health Organization, and Dr Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF is meeting with leaders in Islamabad to set out their concerns and offer their support to Pakistan moving forwards….

Global Fund [to 21 February 2015]

Global Fund [to 21 February 2015]
http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/mediacenter/newsreleases/
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17 February 2015
Global Fund Supports “All In” to End the AIDS Epidemic among Adolescents
[Excerpt]
While major advances have been made in almost every area of the response to HIV, progress for adolescents is falling behind, said leaders in the global response to end the AIDS epidemic.

AIDS has become the leading cause of death for adolescents in Africa and the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally. Just one in four children and adolescents under the age of 15 have access to life-saving antiretroviral treatment. Deaths are declining in all age groups, except among 10–19 year olds.

New HIV infections among adolescents are not declining as quickly as among other age groups. Adolescent girls, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, are most affected. In South Africa in 2013, more than 860 girls became infected with HIV every week, compared to 170 boys.

To address this inequity, UNAIDS, UNICEF and partners have launched All In, a new platform for action to drive better results for adolescents by encouraging strategic changes in policy and engaging more young people in the effort.

Leaders from around the world met today in Nairobi, Kenya, where President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the new platform, which will help address one of the most pressing gaps in the AIDS response.

“By including adolescents in decision-making processes that have a direct effect on their lives, this initiative will be a catalyst for change,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta. “Kenya is proud to support this new initiative.”

All In focuses on four key action areas: engaging, mobilizing and empowering adolescents as leaders and actors of social change; improving data collection to better inform programming; encouraging innovative approaches to reach adolescents with essential HIV services adapted to their needs; and placing adolescent HIV firmly on political agendas to spur concrete action and mobilize resources

“HIV is the leading cause of death among adolescents in Africa and young women are most affected. This is a moral injustice. I am calling on young people to lead the All In movement, alongside the United Nations, public and private partners, and countries themselves, to end the adolescent AIDS epidemic,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS.

ODI [to 21 February 2015]

ODI [to 21 February 2015]
http://www.odi.org/media
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Developmental regimes in Africa: synthesis report
Research reports and studies, February 2015
David Booth, Ton Dietz, Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, Ahmad Helmy Fuady, David Henley, Tim Kelsall
This report brings together work done as part of the Developmental Regimes in Africa project, which explores how developmental regimes might emerge and be sustained in Africa in the 21st century.

The Sphere Project [to 21 February 2015]

The Sphere Project [to 21 February 2015]
http://www.sphereproject.org/news/
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Sphere Board unveils strategic plan 2015-2020
19 February 2015 | Sphere Project
Sphere 2020, the Sphere Project strategic plan for the coming six years, has just been published. The plan defines an ambitious agenda for Sphere to continue fulfilling its unique role within the humanitarian sector.

Building on nearly two decades of organic growth, Sphere 2020 sets about to transform Sphere into a vigorous, deeply connected network of practitioners and organisations which will act as a global catalyst for humanitarian quality and accountability.

Four strategic priorities will enable this ambitious goal:
Priority 1: The establishment of a robust, inclusive network of Sphere practitioners will allow humanitarian actors and first responders to develop greater capacity to put humanitarian principles and standards into practice.
Priority 2: The collective ability of the Sphere network to carry out training and advocacy will be strengthened, targeting first responders, traditional and new humanitarian actors, international systems as well as local and national authorities.
Priority 3: A revision of the Sphere Handbook will offer the opportunity to sharpen the relevance and usability of Sphere standards by consolidating the evidence base and aligning them with innovative best practice in the sector.
Priority 4: The progressive formalisation of a Global Standards Alliance will improve coordinated action, allowing humanitarian standards to better influence humanitarian response, building greater ownership by individuals, communities and organisations.

In support of its strategic priorities, Sphere 2020 makes a point of developing dynamic communications and fundraising strategies.
– Download Sphere 2020 (English, French, Spanish).

Start Network [Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies] [to 21 February 2015]

Start Network [Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies] [to 21 February 2015]
http://www.start-network.org/news-blog/#.U9U_O7FR98E
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Developing a Joint Emergency Contingency Plan after Floods in Mid-Western Nepal:
Summary of report following the Learning Activities led by Handicap International and Plan in December, 2014

In August 2014, floods and landslides affected the western part of Nepal. The Start Fund was alerted on September 8 and responded in 71 hours. Two projects addressed WaSH, health, shelter, education, protection and food security & livelihood needs, mostly implemented through local partners of Handicap International and Plan – such as Forum for Human Rights and Disabled Nepal, Centre for Victims of Torture and Radha Krishna Tharu Jana Sewa Kendra (Bardiya).

The response to the disaster, in which government, UN and INGOs were involved, was disjointed and slow, despite years of investment in disaster risk management at local and national level. This realisation led different stakeholders involved to critically reflect what went wrong and why. There was a learning event for Clusters and Resident Coordinator s Office in November 2014 resulting in a document called “Reflection Exercise of the Cluster Response”. In parallel, a separate consultation in the areas affected engaged communities and DIPECHO partners working in the flood areas with findings captured in the report “Learning lessons from disaster in Mid and Far Western Region”.

The Start Fund followed up on these learning exercises through its 1% learning budget, which Handicap International and Plan accessed jointly to help bring partners together to develop a joint emergency contingency plan….

…Conclusion
These two events allowed the humanitarian community to reflect critically on years of work on disaster risk management and to analyse key gaps, especially in assessment skills and tools, understanding vulnerability, government capacity to respond and thinking collectively when preparing and responding to disasters in Nepal. The INGOs, under the umbrella of the Association of International NGOs, will continue to meet and strengthen joint action for preparedness and response.

MacArthur Launches $75M Initiative to Reduce America’s Use of Jails

MacArthur Foundation
http://www.macfound.org/
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From the field
Building Consensus for Criminal Justice Reform
Published February 19, 2015
The Coalition for Public Safety, which brings together organizations of diverse philosophies and interests, is the largest national effort to make the U.S. criminal justice system safer, fairer, and more cost effective. The MacArthur-supported Coalition aims to build consensus around common sense justice reforms at the federal, state, and local levels.
The U.S. is home to five percent of the world’s population but makes up 25 percent of the world’s prison population – and 60 percent of those in prison are racial and ethnic minorities.
View the Coalition for Public Safety press release

Press release
MacArthur Launches $75M Initiative to Reduce America’s Use of Jails
Published February 10, 2015
MacArthur today announced an initial five-year, $75 million investment that seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. The Safety and Justice Challenge will support cities and counties across the country seeking to create fairer, more effective local justice systems that improve public safety, save taxpayer money, and lead to better social outcomes. Jail populations have more than tripled since the 1980s, as have cumulative expenditures related to building and running them.

“For too long America has incarcerated too many people unnecessarily, spending too much money without improving public safety,” said Julia Stasch, MacArthur’s President. “Jails are where our nation’s incarceration problem begins; there are nearly 12 million jail admissions every year, and jails too often serve as warehouses for those too poor to post bail, nonviolent offenders, or people with mental illness. With this substantial, long-term commitment and investment, MacArthur hopes to support and demonstrate alternatives to incarceration as usual, and to create demand and momentum for change across the country.”…

American Journal of Disaster Medicine – Vol. 9, No. 3–Summer 2014

American Journal of Disaster Medicine
Vol. 9, No. 3–Summer 2014
http://www.pnpco.com/pn03000.html
[No abstracts available]
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Original Articles
Superficial and invasive infections following flooding
James H. Diaz, MD, MPH&TM, DrPH, FCCM
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Public health aspects of nuclear and radiological incidents
Seth K. Katz, MD, Steven J. Parrillo, DO, FACOEP-D, FACEP, Doran Christensen, DO, Erik S. Glassman, MS, CCEMT-P, Kimberly B. Gill, PhD
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Deployable, portable, and temporary hospitals; one state’s experiences through the years
Randy D. Kearns, DHA, MSA, Mary Beth Skarote, NREMT-P, LPN, Jeff Peterson, NREMT-P, BS, Lew Stringer, MD, FACA, Roy L. Alson, MD, PhD, FACEP, FAAEM, Bruce A. Cairns, MD, FACS, Michael W. Hubble, PhD, MBA, NREMT-P, Preston B. Rich, MD, MBA, FACS, Charles B. Cairns, MD, FACEP, FAHA, James H. Holmes IV, MD, FACS, Jeff Runge, MD, FACEP, Sean M. Siler, DO, MBA, FACEP, FAAEM, James Winslow, MD, MPH
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Ethical and clinical dilemmas in patients with head and neck tumors visiting a field hospital in the Philippines
Tal Marom, MD; David Segal, MD; Tomer Erlich, MD; Erez Tsumi, MD; Ofer Merin, MD, MHA; Guy Lin, MD

The Case for the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health to Address Gender Identity

American Journal of Public Health
Volume 105, Issue 3 (March 2015)
http://ajph.aphapublications.org/toc/ajph/current

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The Case for the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health to Address Gender Identity
Frank Pega, PhD, MSc, and Jaimie F. Veale, PhD, MSc
Abstract
We analyzed the case of the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health, which did not address gender identity in their final report.
We argue that gender identity is increasingly being recognized as an important social determinant of health (SDH) that results in health inequities. We identify right to health mechanisms, such as established human rights instruments, as suitable policy tools for addressing gender identity as an SDH to improve health equity.
We urge the World Health Organization to add gender identity as an SDH in its conceptual framework for action on the SDHs and to develop and implement specific recommendations for addressing gender identity as an SDH.

BMC Health Services Research (Accessed 21 February 2015)

BMC Health Services Research
http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmchealthservres/content
(Accessed 21 February 2015)

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Research article
Community health workers improve diabetes care in remote Australian Indigenous communities: results of a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial
Robyn A McDermott, Barbara Schmidt, Cilla Preece, Vickie Owens, Sean Taylor, Ming Li, Adrian Esterman
BMC Health Services Research 2015, 15:68 (19 February 2015)
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Research article
The impact of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) service scale-up on mechanisms of accountability in Zambian primary health centres: a case-based health systems analysis
Stephanie M Topp, Jim Black, Martha Morrow, Julien M Chipukuma, Wim Van Damme
BMC Health Services Research 2015, 15:67 (18 February 2015)
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Research article
An innovation for improving maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) service delivery in Jigawa State, northern Nigeria: a qualitative study of stakeholders’ perceptions about clinical mentoring
Ekechi Okereke, Jamilu Tukur, Amina Aminu, Jean Butera, Bello Mohammed, Mustapha Tanko, Ibrahim Yisa, Benson Obonyo, Mike Egboh
BMC Health Services Research 2015, 15:64 (15 February 2015)
Abstract | Full text | PDF

A cross-sectional survey on the health status and the health-related quality of life of the elderly after flood disaster in Bazhong city, Sichuan, China

BMC Public Health
(Accessed 21 February 2015)
http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcpublichealth/content

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Research article
A cross-sectional survey on the health status and the health-related quality of life of the elderly after flood disaster in Bazhong city, Sichuan, China
Jun Wu17†, Jian Xiao2†, Tong Li3†, Xiaoshan Li1, Huamin Sun3, Eric Chow3456, Yihua Lu3, Tian Tian3, Xiaoyan Li3, Qi Wang3, Xun Zhuang3* and Lei Zhang4*
Author Affiliations
BMC Public Health 2015, 15:163 doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1402-5
Published: 19 February 2015
Abstract (provisional)
Background
Flood is common in China and causes extensive loss of property and human lives. Elderly is a vulnerable population prone to the detrimental impacts of floods. This survey aims to investigate the health status and the HRQoL of the elderly in Bazhong city after a major flood in 2011.
Methods
A total of 1183 elderly (aged 60) were surveyed through random sampling from eight villages in Bazhong city. Two-week healthcare-seeking rate and chronic diseases prevalence were recorded anonymously. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was measured by the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (MOS SF-36). Multivariate regression analysis was conducted to determine the associated factors of poor HRQoL.
Results
The two-week healthcare-seeking rate among post-flood Bazhong elderly was significantly higher than the references rate among rural elderly in Sichuan province (59.3% versus 55.7%, χ2 = 5.134, p = 0.013), but Bazhong elderly demonstrated a significantly lower prevalence of chronic disease (33.2% versus 44.4%, χ2 = 48.847, p < 0.001). All dimension scores among Bazhong elderly were significantly lower than the references scores in rural Sichuan elderly. The determinants of poor physical health included older age, singlehood, poor sleep patterns, and chronic diseases and so on.
Conclusions
A marked decline in health status among elderly in Bazhong after the 2011 flood. Post-flood management targeting elderly need to be sensitive to their age, gender, married status and status of chronic diseases.

BMC Research Notes (Accessed 21 February 2015)

BMC Research Notes
(Accessed 21 February 2015)
http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcresnotes/content

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Research article
Evaluation of non-response bias in a cohort study of World Trade Center terrorist attack survivors
Shengchao Yu, Robert M Brackbill, Steven D Stellman, Sharon Ghuman, Mark R Farfel BMC Research Notes 2015, 8:42 (15 February 2015)
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Research article
Illness perceptions and explanatory models of viral hepatitis B & C among immigrants and refugees: a narrative systematic review
John A Owiti, Trisha Greenhalgh, Lorna Sweeney, Graham R Foster, Kamaldeep S Bhui BMC Public Health 2015, 15:151 (15 February 2015)
Abstract | Provisional PDF

Brown Journal of World Affairs – Volume XXI Issue 1 Fall–Winter 2014

Brown Journal of World Affairs
Volume XXI Issue 1 Fall–Winter 2014
http://brown.edu/initiatives/journal-world-affairs/

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Rise of Africa
Africa’s New Economic Landscape
Punam Chuhan-Pole
Preview:
The August 2014 U.S.–Africa Leaders Summit served as a recognition of the dynamism of African economies and their growing interconnectedness with the global economy.1 For those who have been studying Africa’s economic development, the rise of the region has been evident for several years. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Africa has seen a remarkable turnaround in economic performance. Nearly two decades of robust growth and a better policy environment have made the region an increasingly attractive place to do business. Looking ahead, the more relevant issue is whether the region’s growth momentum will last. There are several deeper trends, especially natural resource wealth and demographic changes that hold the promise of sustaining Africa’s growth take-off and enhancing the region’s importance in the global economy. Unleashing this potential, however, will require countries to adopt appropriate reforms of policies and institutions.

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Rise of Africa
Is Africa Rising?
Ian Taylor
Preview:
Africa is said to be rising, turning a definitive page in its history. African per capita growth figures are relatively high and have now been sustained for a decade or so, constructed on the back of high commodity prices. Analyses thus far have had strong evangelical undertones, suggesting that Africa has turned a corner and that its emergence is imminent. Barely a week passes without a new article, official report, or conference eulogizing the continent and its growth figures. Africa has been called a “rising star” and a global power that “will rule the 21st century.”1 Previous, less positive studies on Africa’s political economy are dismissed as “Afro-pessimism,” to be swept away by “the Ultimate Frontier Market.”2 It is clear that a flip-flop in attitudes regarding the continent has occurred. With minimal critical consideration, the narrative has swung from a portrayal of Africa as a basket case to Africa now being the future. Growth in GDP and opportunities for investors are the new intonations in a crude construction of Africa that has shifted almost overnight.

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Rise of Africa
Religion and the Rise of Africa
Amy S. Patterson
Preview:
The September 2013 terrorist attack by al-Shabaab on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya, heightened the world’s awareness of the role of religion in sub-Saharan Africa. When members of the Islamic terrorist organization, which controlled large swaths of Somalia from the late 1990s until recently, stormed shops and killed patrons and shopkeepers, they attacked symbols of consumerism, globalization, and Western influence. Indeed, most shoppers were either expatriates or middle- and upper-class Kenyans. Yet, while al-Shabaab’s actions generated media attention, they also contributed to a simplistic understanding of religion in Africa that paints religion as violent, primitive, and anti-Western. These assumptions depict religion as a new force in African security, politics, and development. As this article illustrates, these portrayals misrepresent reality. As actors with perceived legitimacy in society, religious leaders and institutions play complicated and diverse roles in Africa, from mobilizing parishioners for conservative social policies to negotiating peace agreements.

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Capital Punishment
[No abstracts]
Capital Punishment
Carsten Anckar, Ty Alper, Salil Shetty
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The Value of International Standards in the Campaign for Abolition of the Death Penalty
Salil Shetty
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Why Countries Choose the Death Penalty
Carsten Anckar

Emergency and trauma care in Pakistan: a cross-sectional study of healthcare levels

Emergency Medicine Journal
March 2015, Volume 32, Issue 3
http://emj.bmj.com/content/current
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Original article
Emergency and trauma care in Pakistan: a cross-sectional study of healthcare levels
Junaid A Razzak1,2, Syed M Baqir1, Uzma Rahim Khan1, David Heller3, Junaid Bhatti1,4,5,
Adnan A Hyder2
Author Affiliations
1Department of Emergency Medicine, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
2Aman Healthcare Services, Karachi, Pakistan
3International Injury Research Unit, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
4Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montreal, Canada
5Public Health Solutions Pakistan (Pvt) Limited, Lahore, Pakistan
Abstract
Background
The importance of emergency medical care for the successful functioning of health systems has been increasingly recognised. This study aimed to evaluate emergency and trauma care facilities in four districts of the province of Sindh, Pakistan.
Method
We conducted a cross-sectional health facility survey in four districts of the province of Sindh in Pakistan using a modified version of WHO’s Guidelines for essential trauma care. 93 public health facilities (81 primary care facilities, nine secondary care hospitals, three tertiary hospitals) and 12 large private hospitals were surveyed. Interviews of healthcare providers and visual inspections of essential equipment and supplies as per guidelines were performed. A total of 141 physicians providing various levels of care were tested for their knowledge of basic emergency care using a validated instrument.
Results
Only 4 (44%) public secondary, 3 (25%) private secondary hospitals and all three tertiary care hospitals had designated emergency rooms. The majority of primary care health facilities had less than 60% of all essential equipments overall. Most of the secondary level public hospitals (78%) had less than 60% of essential equipments, and none had 80% or more. A fourth of private secondary care facilities and all tertiary care hospitals (n=3; 100%) had 80% or more essential equipments. The average percentage score on the physician knowledge test was 30%. None of the physicians scored above 60% correct responses.
Conclusions
The study findings demonstrated a gap in both essential equipment and provider knowledge necessary for effective emergency and trauma care.