Burundi malaria outbreak at epidemic levels as half of population infected

World Health Organization records 1,800 malaria deaths since start of year, almost equalling number of lives claimed by Ebola in DRC A serious outbreak of malaria in Burundi has reached epidemic proportions, killing almost as many people as the 6 million cases have been recorded since the first week of January to the end of July, with infections reaching crisis levels in May. The figures look on course to outstrip the epidemic of 2017, when more reached epidemic proportions. The national malaria outbreak response plan, which is currently being validated, has highlighted a lack of human, logistical and financial resources for effective response, reported the organisation. The organisation and other experts have blamed a number of issues for the crisis, …

Living without water: the crisis pushing people out of El Salvador

El Salvador will run out of water within 80 years unless radical action is taken, a study found, while corporate interests, corruption and gangs worsen the problem Just after 6am, Victor Funez fills a three-gallon plastic pitcher with water from a tap in the cemetery, balances it on his head and trudges home, where his wife waits to soak maize kernels so she can make tortillas for breakfast. Funez, 38, stops briefly to help his daughter with some homework before heading back to the cemetery with the pink urn. This load fills large plastic milk and juice bottles used for drinking throughout the day. The tap is the familys only source of water, so Funez makes the journey along the …

‘I’ve seen terrible, terrible violence’: cocaine and meth fuel crime and chaos in Fiji

The Pacific island nation best known as a holiday destination is grappling with a growing drug problem In the early hours of a Saturday morning in the city of Nadi, on the west coast of Fijis main island, Isaiah* is sitting in a Burger King drinking Fanta through a straw and explaining how he became a drug dealer. He started five years ago, aged 13, selling cigarettes and marijuana. Now he sells cocaine and methamphetamines. My family were selling drugs in Suva, he says. They said there would be a time when me and my cousins would take over. We start training, training, training. Isaiah inhabits Fijis underbelly, far removed from the tourist trail of white sand beaches dotted with …

Trump takes war on abortion worldwide as policy cuts off funds

Sexual health organisations warn women will die if they are forced to seek DIY abortions The Trump administration has taken its war on abortion worldwide, cutting off all funding to any overseas organisation or clinic that will not agree to a complete ban on even discussing it. The Mexico City policy, dubbed the global gag by its critics, denies US federal funds to any organisation involved in providing abortion services overseas or counselling women about them. It was instituted by the then US president Ronald Reagan and has been revoked by every Democrat and reinstated by every Republican president since. But, under Trump, the net has been thrown wider and pulled tighter than ever. Sexual health organisations have said women …

Can the US’s unsafe water crisis unite Americans? | George Goehl

Urban or rural, Republican or Democrat, we all want clean water and the battles over Flint, Michigan, and the Dakota Access pipeline have resonated across the US I was a teenager in southern Indiana when news broke that Westinghouse Electric had dumped polychlorinated biphenyls at multiple sites across Monroe county, contaminating our communitys water supply. It was an early lesson not to take clean water for granted in America. Every day, millions of Americans wake up and drink tap water that is unsafe. According to one study, up to at least 33 major US cities have skirted water quality testing in much the same vein as Flint and the state of Michigan. People throughout the country are more Sign up …

Trump expands global gag rule that blocks US aid for abortion groups

Policy bans aid going to foreign groups that support abortion rights as secretary of state Mike Pompeo says: This is decent. This is right The Trump administration has expanded expanded the reach of the funding ban which dates back to the Reagan administration, to apply to all US healthcare assistance, totalling about $6bn. The extension of the policy announced by Pompeo would not only cut funding to foreign non-governmental organisations directly involved in abortions or abortion rights advocacy, but also those who fund or support other groups which provide or discuss abortion. What is the ‘global gag rule’? The rule, otherwise known as the Mexico City policy, requires NGOs to certify that they will not perform or promote abortions anywhere …

Fires of Jharia spell death and disease for villagers

The inhabitants of a remote village at the heart of Indias coal industry brave deadly sinkholes and toxic gases simply to survive In the village of Liloripathra, in a remote corner of Indias eastern Jharkhand state, mother-of-three Sushila Devi grips the hands of two women sitting on either side of her. India, believes safety measures at the mines are in line with international standards. There are accidents and people have died also. But such types of incidents are reducing with each passing year. Our safety parameters can be compared with any other country, he says. Women scavenge for coal on one of Jharias many state-owned mines Back in Liloripathra, crowds have gathered around the vehicles that have pulled up outside …