The African Development Bank Group [to 29 August 2015]

The African Development Bank Group [to 29 August 2015]
[We generally limit coverage to regional and global level initiatives, recognizing that a number of country-level announcements are added each week]

AfDB unveils plan to empower African Women in Agriculture
27/08/2015 – The office of the Special Envoy on Gender (SEOG) and the Department for Agriculture and Agro-industry (OSAN) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) launched a new report, “Economic Empowerment of African Women through Equitable Participation in Agricultural Value Chains” on Thursday, August 27 at its headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The event gathered high-level participants, including stakeholders from both the private and public sectors from the countries and sectors examined by the report – cocoa, coffee, cotton and cassava sectors in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, respectively.

First two projects of Africa Climate Change Fund approved to support climate finance readiness in Africa
27/08/2015 – The newly established Africa Climate Change Fund (ACCF) has approved its first two projects in the past month. One will support Mali with preparatory funding to advance its low-carbon, climate resilient development agenda, and the second will strengthen data and information on climate change vulnerabilities and opportunities for 54 African countries.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) [to 29 August 2015]

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) [to 29 August 2015]

Selected Press Releases
OIC Condemns Destruction of Historical Monuments in Syria and Iraq by Daesh
The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Ameen Madani, condemned the destruction of historical monuments in Syria and Iraq by Daesh, the latest being the Baal Shamin Temple in Syria. Madani said that the action is at variance with all religious and humanitarian values and international norms, which encourage the protection of monuments and places of worship and all cultural, religious and civilisational symbols…

Amref Health Africa [to 29 August 2015]

Amref Health Africa [to 29 August 2015]

Stop Female Genital Cutting! Join the Alternative!
Published: 25 August 2015 Marie Kinyanjui
More than 1200 girls join ARP.
Amazing news! On Friday the 28th of August the largest Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) ever will take place in Loitokitok, Kenya. More than 1,200 girls will take part in this passage as a way of publicly denouncing Female Genital Cutting. This ritual, that marks the transition from girl to woman, thanks to financing of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, has been developed by Amref Flying Doctors, together with the Masai. The key to success: an intensive dialogue with the tribal elders.

AMREF Kenya Rebrands: Legal Change of Name
Published: 25 August 2015 Marie Kinyanjui
AMREF Kenya is now Amref Health Africa in Kenya August 14th, 2015. Nairobi, Kenya: – Under the Non-Governmental Act, AMREF Kenya has legally changed its name to Amref Health Africa in Kenya.

Pomp and Colour as Free Fistula Camp is Launched in Kajiado
Published: 24 August 2015 Marie Kinyanjui
A colorful procession through Kajiado town last Friday marked the launch of a free surgical camp to treat obstetric fistula, organised by Amref Health Africa and the Kajiado County with support from Bayer Healthcare, the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the SRHR Alliance. The camp is being held this week at the Kajiado District Hospital, and targets operations of at least 50 women who have been living with the distressing condition.

Aravind Eye Care System [to 29 August 2015]

Aravind Eye Care System [to 29 August 2015]

National Eye Donation Fortnight Programme
August 25 – September 8
Eye Donation Fortnight Programme is celebrated every year to create awareness on eye donation amongst the public. Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai inaugurated the fortnight celebrations organising a walk led by blind people. Staff members after blindfolding their eyes participated in the rally from Anna Bus Stand to the hospital following the blind guides. District Collector, Sri. L. Subramaniam inaugurated the walk. Around 250 staff members participated. On the whole, it was a novel experience for the staff as they could realise how hard it is for a blind person to lead a normal life.

Geneva Forum for Health Award for Aravind Eye Care System
Geneva, Switzerland, May 19
Aravind Eye Care System was presented with Geneva Forum for Health Award by the Health Practice of McKinsey and Company during the World Health Assembly. The award recognises organization’s innovations in healthcare delivery providing high quality low cost eye care to millions across India. Dr. R.D. Ravindran, Chairman received the award on behalf of Aravind.

BRAC [to 29 August 2015]

BRAC [to 29 August 2015]

BRAC commits to protest violence and sexual harassment against women and girls every month
27 August 2015, Dhaka. On 14 April 2015 during the pohela boishakh celebrations around 20 women and girls were sexually abused in Dhaka University’s TSC and Suhrawardy Udyan gate areas. Similar kind of incidents took place in different parts of the country on the same day, stirring the entire nation. Practices like child marriage, dowry and violence against women and girls are issues that Bangladesh continues to struggle with. A national survey carried out by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics…

Bangladesh achieves the highest level of breastfeeding and the greatest increase in complementary feeding
26 August 2015, Dhaka. Interpersonal contact between healthcare workers and mothers have produced a large scale improvement in infant and young child feeding programme and in hand washing habits, said speakers at a seminar yesterday. Referring to a baseline and an endline survey conducted in 2010 and 2014 respectively in 50 sub-districts where community-based Alive & Thrive programme was implemented by BRAC, they said exclusive breastfeeding went up to 88 per cent from 48 per cent…

BRAC USA – August 2015 Newsletter

HelpAge International [to 29 August 2015]

HelpAge International [to 29 August 2015]

Minimum standards for age and disability-inclusive humanitarian responses launched
Posted: 14 August 2015
HelpAge International has worked with six other agencies to launch a new set of minimum standards to support ageing and disability inclusive responses in humanitarian crises…
The Minimum Standards for Age and Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Action are intended to inform humanitarian organisations about the actions needed to ensure their responses are as inclusive as possible. It’s comprised of key standards and includes sections on shelter, nutrition, food security and livelihoods, education, health and protection.

“These new minimum standards provide guidance to allow humanitarian actors to review, develop and monitor their progress in supporting the needs of these two highly vulnerable groups”, said Justin Derbyshire, Director of Programmes at HelpAge International.

“As such they make a direct contribution to support the quality and accountability of future humanitarian programming.”…

The ADCAP programme
The Minimum Standards for Age and Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Action has been developed as part of the Age and Disability Capacity Building (ADCAP) programme, led by HelpAge International as part of a portfolio of capacity strengthening projects under the Start Network.

ADCAP is an initiative of the Age and Disability Consortium, a group of seven agencies working to promote age and disability inclusive humanitarian assistance: CBM,, Handicap International, HelpAge International, IFRC, Oxford Brookes University and RedR UK. The programme is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

ICRC [to 29 August 2015]

ICRC [to 29 August 2015]

Families of the missing live with uncertainty about the fate of their loved ones
News release
28 August 2015
Kampala (ICRC) – Families of thousands of missing persons in northern Uganda continue to live in the sorrowful ambiguity of the loss of their loved ones, unsure whether to wait for their uncertain return or consider them as dead.

Yemen: Situation deteriorating in Taiz
News release
28 August 2015
Geneva / Sana’a – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is seriously concerned about an increase in fighting in the city of Taiz. There has been indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas. Essential infrastructure is being destroyed.

Syria: Emergency medical supplies delivered following heavy fighting in north-east
News release
27 August 2015
Damascus (ICRC) – Health-care needs are growing in north-eastern Syria as a result of the fighting, including a bomb explosion in Qamishli on 19 August. Medical supplies have been delivered this week to hospitals in the cities of Qamishli, Ras el-Ein and Hassakeh as part of a joint operation by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).

International Day of the Disappeared: ICRC calls for more efforts to establish fate of missing from Bougainville conflict
News release
27 August 2015
Port Moresby (ICRC) – Governments and civil societies around the world must do more to establish the fate and whereabouts of people who disappear in conflicts or other circumstances and give stronger support to the families left behind, the International Committee of the Red Cross has said. Under international law, this obligation lies clearly with authorities and all former parties to the conflict.

Lebanon: Violence erupts in country’s biggest Palestinian camp
News release
26 August 2015
Beirut / Tyre (ICRC) – Clashes in Ein el-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon’s southern district of Saida have been among the fiercest in recent years and resulted in many casualties. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today distributed surgical and other medical supplies to several health-care facilities treating the wounded inside and outside the camp. One of the wounded was transferred to the ICRC’s Weapon Traumatology and Training Center in Tripoli. In addition, the ICRC today distributed drinking water, jerrycans and hygiene kits to 35 families who fled the violence in the camp and found refuge in mosques.

Yemen: ICRC office in Aden attacked
News release
25 August 2015
Sana’a/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) strongly condemns an attack which has taken place on its offices in the city of Aden in Yemen. Unidentified gunmen stormed the building on Monday (24 August, 2015) and held staff at gunpoint. Cars, cash and equipment were subsequently stolen. As a result, fourteen international staff members have been relocated.

Weapons: ICRC sounds alarm on arms trade
News release
24 August 2015
Geneva/Cancun, Mexico – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has voiced concern that many countries are still involved in illegal arms transfers despite having committed themselves to an international treaty to regulate the flow of such weapons. The organisation says that hundreds of thousands of civilians are being killed, injured or forcibly displaced in conflicts fuelled by such transfers.

Islamic Relief [to 29 August 2015]

Islamic Relief [to 29 August 2015]

“This football match means so much”
August 28, 2015
As part of its work to empower blind people in the Chechen Republic to access mainstream opportunities, Islamic Relief has supported a football contest with a difference.
The tournament, which was held earlier this month in Grozny, saw four teams of blind amateur footballers competing on a pitch designed for the Paralympic Games.

Protecting children across the world
August 26, 2015
Islamic Relief’s child protection experts have received specialist training in helping faith leaders become agents of positive change.

Aid for stranded Rohingya
August 24, 2015
People displaced from Myanmar and Bangladesh are receiving lifesaving food aid in Islamic Relief’s latest project in Indonesia.

MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières [to 29 August 2015]

MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières [to 29 August 2015]

Press release
South Sudan: Two MSF Aid Workers Killed as Fighting Continues in Unity State
August 25, 2015
Two South Sudanese aid workers from the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) were killed last week in South Sudan’s Unity State, where conflict continues to take a heavy toll on the civilian population.

Press release
Syria: MSF Treats Patients with Symptoms of Exposure to Chemical Agents
August 25, 2015
Four patients exhibiting symptoms of exposure to chemical agents were treated at a hospital run by international medical organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in northern Syria’s Aleppo governorate on August 21.

Field news
The Fear that Follows Them: Providing Mental Health Care for Refugees in Chad
August 27, 2015
Attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region of Chad have increased over recent weeks, and military presence in the area has also expanded in response. The number of people who have been forced to flee their homes has more than doubled, bringing the total number of displaced in the area to 75,000. The fear that has been instilled in the population—consisting of refugees from Niger and Nigeria, as well as Chadians themselves—has only been exacerbated by the continuing violence which shows no sign of abating.

Field news
Delivering Medical Training for Health Care Workers in Gaza
August 26, 2015
For health care workers living in the Gaza Strip, it is extremely difficult to access the specialized medical training they need to develop their skills and provide the best quality care.

OXFAM [to 29 August 2015]

OXFAM [to 29 August 2015]

South Sudan deal just start of long road to peace
26 August 2015
The signing of the peace agreement by President Salva Kiir Mayardit is a positive step toward ending the brutal 20 month civil war but aid agencies CARE, IRC, Oxfam and World Vision say it is only the beginning of a long, hard journey towards peace and reconciliation.

35 aid organizations and 150,000 people launch public call to end Gaza blockade
26 August 2015
Over 150,000 people from around the world have joined 35 organizations in calling for world leaders to press the Israeli government to lift the blockade on Gaza as its reconstruction could take 17 years with just 5% of building materials allowed in one year on since the end of the last conflict.

SOS-Kinderdorf International [to 29 August 2015]

SOS-Kinderdorf International [to 29 August 2015]

The Sustainable Development Goals for Children
26.08.2015 – In four short months the MDGs will be history and the Post-2015 SDGs will take their place as the global development challenge for the next 15 years. Here’s how SOS Children’s Villages will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Women for Women International [to 29 August 2015]

Women for Women International [to 29 August 2015]

Women for Women International’s Monthly Newsletter – August 2015
Dr. Denis Mukwege to be Honored by WfWI
On November 10, Dr. Denis Mukwege will receive WfWI’s Champion of Peace Award…which aims to build momentum toward expanding our work to engage men as allies in supporting women’s empowerment. Steadfast in his belief that survivors of rape and sexual violence deserve dignity, justice, and a chance to rebuild, Dr. Mukwege is an international leader fighting for social change for women. Dr. Mukwege has been the recipient of numerous awards worldwide for his lifesaving work and advocacy against sexual violence as a weapon of war and is a two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee…

Global Fund [to 29 August 2015]

Global Fund [to 29 August 2015]

Ecobank Collaborates with The Global Fund To Eliminate Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS In Nigeria
Lagos, 27 August 2015 – Ecobank and the Global Fund continue their innovative financing partnership program to contribute to the fight against malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS. The program is designed to strengthen the financial management skills of program implementers in Nigeria, South Sudan and Senegal. Ecobank has pledged USD 3 million towards the scheme.
During the second phase of the program, which officially kicked off in Abuja yesterday, six Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who battle TB and HIV/AIDS in Nigeria will receive extensive onsite training over the next twelve weeks…

Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) [to 29 August 2015]

Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) [to 29 August 2015]

Global Forum Summary Paper
Knox Clarke, P. and Obrecht, A
28 July 2015 :: 119pp
The Global Forum for Improving Humanitarian Action, held in New York on 4-5 June 2015, sought to explore these issues and bring greater clarity and progression to thinking around context and its impact on humanitarian action.

Specifically, the aim of the Global Forum was to:
:: Produce a set of quality recommendations to improve humanitarian action in a variety of different response contexts; and
:: Identify propositions to make the international humanitarian system more adaptable, in order to support more effective humanitarian action across different response contexts.

This report provides the key findings from the Global Forum.

The Global Forum was an official consultation for the WHS. As such, it drew on recommendations made through previous WHS regional consultations as well as the work of the WHS Thematic Teams. The Forum was in part dedicated to further distilling and prioritising these recommendations. The results of the Forum will be shared with the WHS organisers for incorporation in its final report to the UN Secretary-General.

Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) [to 29 August 2015]

Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) [to 29 August 2015]

Displacement in Gambella region, Ethiopia
Report Synopsis
Date: 2015/08/25
On 25 August 2015 we responded to a funding alert in response to displacement in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data states that close to 216,604 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Gambella escaping the conflicts ongoing in South Sudan since mid-December 2013.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS), donors have committed or contributed US$304.4 million of humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia so far in 2015. The United States is the top donor, having contributed or committed US$152.8 million to the crisis.
So far in 2015, US$11.1 million has been disbursed to the Gambella region of Ethiopia, of which 87.4% is for assistance to displaced populations. Out of total funding in 2015, US$77 million is allocated to support refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs) elsewhere in Ethiopia (not including Gambella).
Read our full analysis of the current funding situation.

ODI [to 29 August 2015]

ODI [to 29 August 2015]

ODI Annual Report 2014-2015: global reach, global presence
August 2015
2015 is a watershed year for international development and for ODI.
Governments are set to adopt a new global framework – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to eradicate extreme deprivation, reduce inequality and expand opportunity.
While the new goals have raised the level of ambition, there is unfinished business from the Millennium Goals (MDGs). The poorest and most marginalised people are still being left behind. Climate change has become the defining challenge of our generation – posing a real and imminent threat to human development in the 21st century.

With so much at stake, ODI has risen to the challenge over the past year: unravelling the tangled relationship between many aspects of development, humanitarian action and the response to climate change.

Through our distinctive mix of research, convening power and communications, we have achieved global reach and global presence – making us uniquely placed to generate the ideas, influence the policies and inform the public debates that shape the prospects for international development.
This report summarises the cumulative impact of our work over 2014-2015.

BMC Health Services Research (Accessed 29 August 2015)

BMC Health Services Research
(Accessed 29 August 2015)

Research article
Perspectives of health care providers on the provision of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy in health facilities in Malawi
P. Yoder, Xavier Nsabagasani, Erin Eckert, Allisyn Moran, Yazoumé Yé
BMC Health Services Research 2015, 15:354 (29 August 2015)

Research article
Estimating the cost of referral and willingness to pay for referral to higher-level health facilities: a case series study from an integrated community case management programme in Uganda
Agnes Nanyonjo, Benson Bagorogoza, Frida Kasteng, Godfrey Ayebale, Fredrick Makumbi, Göran Tomson, Karin Källander, for the inSCALE study group
BMC Health Services Research 2015, 15:347 (28 August 2015)

Research article
Risk factors for delay in age-appropriate vaccinations among Gambian children
Aderonke Odutola, Muhammed Afolabi, Ezra Ogundare, Yamu Lowe-Jallow, Archibald Worwui, Joseph Okebe, Martin Ota
BMC Health Services Research 2015, 15:346 (28 August 2015)
Vaccination has been shown to reduce mortality and morbidity due to vaccine-preventable diseases. However, these diseases are still responsible for majority of childhood deaths worldwide especially in the developing countries. This may be due to low vaccine coverage or delay in receipt of age-appropriate vaccines. We studied the timeliness of routine vaccinations among children aged 12–59 months attending infant welfare clinics in semi-urban areas of The Gambia, a country with high vaccine coverage.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in four health centres in the Western Region of the Gambia. Vaccination dates were obtained from health cards and timeliness assessed based on the recommended age ranges for BCG (birth–8 weeks), Diphtheria-Pertussis–Tetanus (6 weeks–4 months; 10 weeks–5 months; 14 weeks–6 months) and measles vaccines (38 weeks–12 months). Risk factors for delay in age-appropriate vaccinations were determined using logistic regression. Analysis was limited to BCG, third dose of Diphtheria-Pertussis -Tetanus (DPT3) and measles vaccines.
Vaccination records of 1154 children were studied. Overall, 63.3 % (95 % CI 60.6–66.1 %) of the children had a delay in the recommended time to receiving at least one of the studied vaccines. The proportion of children with delayed vaccinations increased from BCG [5.8 % (95 % CI 4.5–7.0 %)] to DPT3 [60.4 % (95 % CI 57.9 %-63.0 %)] but was comparatively low for the measles vaccine [10.8 % (95 % CI 9.1 %–12.5 %)]. Mothers of affected children gave reasons for the delay, and their profile correlated with type of occupation, place of birth and mode of transportation to the health facilities.
Despite high vaccination coverage reported in The Gambia, a significant proportion of the children’s vaccines were delayed for reasons related to health services as well as profile of mothers. These findings are likely to obtain in several countries and should be addressed by programme managers in order to improve and optimize the impact of the immunization coverage rates.

Research article
A survey of the availability, prices and affordability of essential medicines in Jiangsu Province, China
Xiaoyu Xi, Weixia Li, Jun Li, Xuan Zhu, Cong Fu, Xu Wei, Shuzhen Chu
BMC Health Services Research 2015, 15:345 (27 August 2015)
Field surveys conducted in China before the implementation of the essential medicine policy showed that Chinese individuals faced less access to essential medicines. This paper aims to evaluate the availability, prices and affordability of essential medicines in Jiangsu Province, China after the implementation of the policy in 2009.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Jiangsu in 2013 using the World Health Organization/Health Action International (WHO/HAI) methodology. Data on the availability and prices of 50 essential medicines were collected from the public and private healthcare sectors.
The mean availabilities of innovator brands and lowest priced generics (LPGs) were 11.5 % and 100 % in primary healthcare facilities, 36.8 % and 32.6 % in the secondary and tertiary sectors, and 18.7 % and 42.9 % in the private sector, respectively. The median price ratios (MPRs) were 1.26 to 2.05 for generics and 3.76 to 27.22 for innovator brands. Treating ten common diseases with LPGs was generally affordable, whereas treatment with IBs was less affordable.
The high availability of LPGs at primary healthcare facilities reflects the success of the essential medicine policy, while the low availability in secondary and tertiary levels and in private pharmacies reflects a failure to implement the policy in these levels. The health policy should be fully developed and enforced at the secondary and tertiary levels and in the private sector to ensure equitable access to health services.

Research article
Community-level effect of the reproductive health vouchers program on out-of-pocket spending on family planning and safe motherhood services in Kenya
Francis Obare, Charlotte Warren, Lucy Kanya, Timothy Abuya, Ben Bellows
BMC Health Services Research 2015, 15:343 (25 August 2015)

Obstetric fistula in low-resource countries: an under-valued and under-studied problem – systematic review of its incidence, prevalence, and association with stillbirth

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
(Accessed 29 August 2015)

Research article
Obstetric fistula in low-resource countries: an under-valued and under-studied problem – systematic review of its incidence, prevalence, and association with stillbirth
Karen Cowgill, Jennifer Bishop, Amanda Norgaard, Craig Rubens, Michael Gravett BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2015, 15:193 (26 August 2015)
[Open Access]
Obstetric fistula (OF) is a serious consequence of prolonged, obstructed labor in settings where emergency obstetric care is limited, but there are few reliable, population-based estimates of the rate of OF. Stillbirth (SB) is another serious consequence of prolonged, obstructed labor, yet the frequency of SB in women with OF is poorly described. Here, we review these data.
We searched electronic databases and grey literature for articles on OF in low-resource countries published between January 1, 1995, and November 16, 2014, and selected for inclusion 19 articles with original population-based OF incidence or prevalence data and 44 with reports of frequency of SB associated with OF.
OF estimates came from medium- and low-HDI countries in South Asia and Africa, and varied considerably; incidence estimates ranged from 0 to 4.09 OF cases per 1000 deliveries, while prevalence estimates were judged more prone to bias and ranged from 0 to 81.0 OF cases per 1000 women. Reported frequency of SB associated with OF ranged from 32.3 % to 100 %, with estimates from the largest studies around 92 %. Study methods and quality were inconsistent.
Reliable data on OF and associated SB in low-resource countries are lacking, underscoring the relative invisibility of these issues. Sound numbers are needed to guide policy and funding responses to these neglected conditions of poverty.