Also In Global Health News: China’s First HIV Discrimination Case; Congo Mass Rape; S. Sudan Flooding; Kenya’s Population Growth; Family Planning In The Philippines
Court Accepts China's First HIV Discrimination Case, State Media Reports
"A municipal court in central China has accepted the country's first lawsuit alleging work discrimination because of HIV status, state media reported Tuesday," the Associated Press reports (8/31). "The lawsuit alleges city officials denied the plaintiff, a recent college graduate, a teaching job after a medical screening revealed he had HIV, the virus that causes AIDS," Agence-France-Presse reports (8/31). According to China Daily, the court on Monday said it would accept the case by the "plaintiff, from Anqing, Anhui province," who is seeking the position he applied for, but no additional compensation (Yue/Juan, 8/31).
"HIV-positive Chinese suffered both official and public discrimination for years after the disease first surfaced there in 1986 More recently, the national government has taken a tolerant approach, offering free antiretroviral drugs, prenatal care and HIV screening," the New York Times reports (Wines, 8/31). "Government statistics from 2009 showed that there were 319,877 Chinese confirmed to be living with HIV/AIDS, though Health Minister Chen Zhu has said the actual level of infections is probably near 740,000," the AP adds (8/31).
E-Mail Shows U.N. Was Warned About Congo Rape, New York Times Reports
"United Nations officials had been warned about rape occurring in a remote Congolese area much earlier than officials originally said, according to an internal United Nations e-mail and a humanitarian bulletin," the New York Times reports. The U.N.'s peacekeeping mission in Congo has been "harshly criticized since the news broke 10 days ago that United Nations peacekeepers did not respond to a rebel attack in which nearly 200 women were raped," according to the newspaper. The article cites an internal U.N. e-mail sent July 30, "as the attack was unfolding" that revealed "officials knew that the rebels had infiltrated the area and that at least one woman had been raped." A U.N. representative Roger Meece said at the time officials were only aware of one rape and had "no reason to believe that this was happening on a mass-scale as later reported" (Kron/Gettleman, 8/31).
South Sudan Floods Displace More Than 50,000; Added Risk Of Disease
Flooding in south Sudan has "forced more than 50,000 people from their homes, health officials said on Tuesday, warning that the situation could worsen," according to Agence France-Presse. "Torrential seasonal rains" have left three-quarters of the city of Aweil under water, prompting people to live on the roads because, as southern health minister Luka Monoja said, "it is the only area of the town that is raised." He added that aid agencies and the health ministry has sent tents and grain to the affected region and is "forward planning" to help areas that will likely be flooded in coming months (8/31). Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the south's undersecretary of health Olivia Lomoro spoke about a risk of malaria and water-borne diseases (8/31).
Kenya's Population Up 10M Since 1999; Government Launches Family Planning Program
Kenya's population has risen by around 10 million since 1999, according to Agence France-Presse. The population now stands at 38.6 million, according to a national census. "This high rate of population growth has adverse effects on spending on infrastructure, health, education, environment, water and other social and economic sectors," Prime Minster Wycliffe Oparanya said. He added that the government will launch "aggressive" family planning services in the coming year (8/31). Kenya Broadcasting Corporation reports that the Kenya Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (KURHI), a subsidiary of the nation's population agency, has begun a five-year project to increase contraceptive prevalence by 20 percent. KBC also reports that the plan "aims at increasing political commitment for financial and human resources of family planning and strengthening the participation of national and community leaders" (8/31).
Inquirer.net Reports On USAID Family Planning Program In The Philippines
Inquirer.net examines the Filipino government's implementation of a USAID family planning program. In addition to women, the program focuses on describing the importance of family planning and contraceptives to men and young people, a Department of Health official said. The article looks at how the program is training health workers and its messaging to different groups (Esplanade, 8/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.