Troubling News on Global Measles Deaths

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The number of children killed by measles rose by more than 27,000 in 2013, said the WHO in a new report. “So, now we are in a crossroads,” said Dr. Robert Perry of the WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals. “We need adequate funding.  We need to find ways to increase the first dose coverage and to increase the uptake of a second dose in routine as well as conducting high quality campaigns or we are likely to see more outbreaks like we have seen in the last few years.” (VOA

And not enough money is spent on pneumonia…Only 2 percent of the $30.6 billion in international assistance spent on health care was directed to the disease. The impact is clear, progress against pneumonia deaths is not keeping up with other lesser child killers. “Achieving the ambitious new goal of ending preventable child deaths by 2030 will not only require significant additional investments in preventing, diagnosing and treating childhood pneumonia, but these investments will need to be targeted to sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia where deaths are most concentrated and progress is lagging,” said Chris Murray, institute director.” (Humanosphere

The Rohingya of Myanmar Deserve Our Attention...As President Obama departs Myanmar today, one issue has yet to be resolved: rampant discrimination against Burma’s ethnic and religious minorities. Mark speaks with Matthew Smith of Fortify Rights about the plight of the Rohingya people and their quest for basic civil rights. (Global Dispatches Podcast )


The Liberian government said new cases had dropped from a daily peak of more than 500 to around 50, confirming tentative announcements by experts worldwide of an apparent slowdown. (AFP

The U.S. military says it is scaling back its planned Ebola response deployments to West Africa from 4,000 troops to 3,000. (VOA

Doctors Without Borders is launching clinical trials in West Africa to test the effectiveness of three potential Ebola treatments. (VOA

Shift Labs, a Seattle-based tech outfit, has developed a prototype for a videogame that could be used to train health workers on duty in West Africa. (NPR


Six civilians have been wounded in a bombing raid in Upper Nile state, South Sudanese officials said Thursday, blaming the attack on neighboring Sudan. (VOA

Mediators in the Central African Republic say it will not be possible to hold national elections by February 2015, the date set last year. (VOA

With more than half of the population illiterate and its people speaking more than 40 local languages, Mozambique faces colossal challenges in disseminating health information to its population. As the country rolls out new national health campaigns, communication experts are becoming savvier about how they reach Mozambicans. (VOA

A profile of Uganda’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services for Uganda, the first and only rehabilitation center for disabled children in the country. (VOA

Internal Shell Nigeria documents show that the company was advised by its own staff in 2002 to immediately replace a 30-year-old pipeline passing through impoverished delta communities because it continually leaked and was a major risk. (Guardian

Burkina Faso’s army agreed Thursday to a blueprint for a transition to civilian rule, almost two weeks after the ouster of the west African country’s president Blaise Compaore. (AFP

A growing number of African enterprises are tapping this underutilized source to keep their businesses running. (Reuters


The Syrian refugee crisis is growing worse by the day, as host countries face economic and political pressures as they struggle to deal with the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have fled their war-torn nation. (VOA

UN aid has reached the last rebel holdout in the central Syrian city of Homs for the first time in six months, activists and a monitoring group said Thursday. (AP

Turkey is to issue work permits for some of the 1.5 million Syrian war refugees it is hosting, its labor minister said on Thursday, dismissing fears it would harm local workers. (AFP


A rice-subsidy scheme introduced by Thailand’s ousted former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra lost $15.8 billion, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday. (TRF

More than 400 protesters stuck their heads in the sand on Australia’s Bondi Beach on Thursday, mocking the government’s reluctance to put climate change on the agenda of a G20 summit this weekend. (Reuters

The New York Times is vowing to not alter its coverage of China, after President Xi Jinping appeared to confirm Beijing is punishing foreign news outlets for publishing critical stories. (VOA

The United States and India have announced an agreement to resolve a dispute about food subsidies that has held up the ratification of a global trade pact. (VOA

President Barack Obama is attending a regional summit in Myanmar, where U.S. officials say he will raise the touchy issues of human rights and the country’s slowing democratic progress. (VOA

Police in central India have arrested a doctor who performed sterilization procedures at a government run health camp that left at least 13 women dead. (VOA

Men must take more responsibility for using contraception away from women to reduce the risk of more women dying from botched sterilisations like those seen in India this week, a global symposium on gender equality concluded on Thursday. (Guardian

The Americas

China and Mexico will set up a $2.4-billion investment fund to support infrastructure, mining, and energy projects and are eyeing an oil deal worth up to $5 billion, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Thursday. (GlobalPost

The US government is using drones to patrol half of its border with Mexico to detect illegal immigrants and smugglers, a report by the Associated Press says. (BBC

Protesters set fire to a state legislative building in southern Mexico as angry demonstrations over the disappearance of 43 college students intensified. (VOA


Now Is the Time to Tackle Malnutrition and Its Massive Human Costs (IPS

Mapped: the trans-African highways (A View From the Cave

Quiet Asia Summits Offer Little on Key Issues (VOA

Financial inclusion: development enabler or goal in its own right? (The Guardian

Analysis: Refugee or IDP – does it really matter? (IRIN

Ebola and ISIS: A Learning Exchange Between U.N. and Faith-based Organisations (Inter Press Service

Is a Child Raped Every Three Minutes in South Africa? the Data Is Flawed (Africa Check

Yes, Doctor, I Took My Anti-HIV Meds (But Really, I Didn’t) (Goats and Soda