‘Poverty favours the mosquito’: experts warn Zika virus could return to Brazil

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'Poverty favours the mosquito': experts warn Zika virus could return to Brazil

Two months after government says Zika emergency at an end, water shortages and weak health system trigger fears of fresh outbreak

Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
Friday 14 July 2017

Weaknesses in the public health system risk another Zika epidemic in Brazil, according to a report published two months after the government declared the mosquito-borne virus was no longer an emergency.

Blamed for the birth defect microcephaly, Zika exposed human rights deficiencies in areas such as sanitation, access to clean water, poverty and sexual health restrictions, the report released on Thursday by Human Rights Watch said.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jul/14/poverty-favours-the-mosquito-experts-warn-zika-virus-could-return-to-brazil

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Brazil: Zika Epidemic Exposes Rights Problems

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Brazil: Zika Epidemic Exposes Rights Problems

July 12, 2017
Government Announced Emergency Over, But Major Risks Remain

(São Paulo) – Brazil has not addressed longstanding human rights problems that allowed the Zika outbreak to escalate, leaving the population vulnerable to future outbreaks and other serious public health risks, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government declared an end to the national public health emergency related to the Zika virus in May 2017, but the Zika threat in Brazil remains.

The 103-page report, “Neglected and Unprotected: The Impact of the Zika Outbreak on Women and Girls in Northeastern Brazil,” documents gaps in the Brazilian authorities’ response that have a harmful impact on women and girls and leave the general population vulnerable to continued outbreaks of serious mosquito-borne illnesses.

Continued at source: Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/12/brazil-zika-epidemic-exposes-rights-problems

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Four priorities on women’s health for new WHO chief Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus

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Opinion: 4 priorities on women’s health for new WHO chief Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus
By Shannon Kowalski
23 May 2017

Today, the race to head the global health agency charged with responding to pandemics and setting health policy has culminated with the selection of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. As next director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros will take the helm as countries such as the United States are stepping up their efforts to roll back progress on women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The next WHO director-general is Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The former minister of health of Ethiopia was elected as the new leader of the U.N. global health body by the World Health Assembly on Tuesday.

In this context, it will take a particularly courageous leader to ensure that the world’s prominent health body does not let politics trump evidence. Instead, the WHO’s new leader must take the bold action needed to ensure that every woman and girl everywhere can exercise her right to control her body, protect her health and live a healthy, empowered life.

Here are four priorities for women and girls that should be at the top of Tedros’ agenda.

Continued at source: Devex: https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-4-priorities-on-women-s-health-for-new-who-chief-dr-tedros-ghebreyesus-90335

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Brazil: Court Reviewing Criminalization of Abortion

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Brazil: Court Reviewing Criminalization of Abortion
April 25, 2017

Amicus Briefs Cite Violations of Women’s Rights

(Sao Paulo) – Criminalization of abortion is incompatible with Brazil’s human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said today in filing amicus briefs in two cases before the Federal Supreme Court. Human Rights Watch said that the court should move to decriminalize abortion.

Abortion is legal in Brazil only in cases of rape, when necessary to save a woman’s life, or when the fetus suffers anencephaly – a fatal congenital brain disorder. Women and girls who terminate pregnancies under any other conditions face sentences of up to three years in prison, while people who perform abortions face up to four years.

Continued at source: Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/04/25/brazil-court-reviewing-criminalization-abortion

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Dutch ‘abortion boat’ arrives off the coast of Mexico

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Dutch 'abortion boat' arrives off the coast of Mexico
April 21, 2017

Women on Waves says it is offering free, legal, medical abortions till nine weeks of pregnancy in international waters.

Women on Waves has visited waters off Guatemala, Ireland, Morocco, Poland, Portugal and Spain [File: Reuters]

A Dutch sailing boat offering abortions has arrived in international waters off Mexico's west coast, according to the organisation which operates it.

The vessel, which operates often in defiance of some countries' laws, took up position on Friday off Guerrero state on Mexico's southern Pacific coast.

Women on Waves, a non-profit group, said in an online statement that it was offering "free legal medical abortions till nine weeks of pregnancy" to women who needed them. It said its ship "has all required permits" and would receive women until Sunday.

Continued at link: Al Jazeera: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/04/dutch-abortion-boat-arrives-coast-mexico-170422042001781.html

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U.S.: Zika poses even greater risk for birth defects than was previously known, CDC reports

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Zika poses even greater risk for birth defects than was previously known, CDC reports
By Lena H. Sun
April 4, 2017

About 1 in 10 pregnant women infected with Zika in the United States last year had a baby or fetus with serious birth defects, according to a study released Tuesday that represents the largest and most comprehensive study of Zika’s consequences for pregnant women.

Women infected during the first trimester of pregnancy had an even higher risk of birth defects, about 15 percent, according to the analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Continued at source: Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/04/04/zika-poses-even-greater-risk-for-birth-defects-than-was-previously-known-cdc-reports/?wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1

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Zika-fighting ‘abortion ship’ detained by Guatemala

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Zika-fighting ‘abortion ship’ detained by Guatemala
25 Feb, 2017

Guatemala has detained a ship off its coast offering abortion services to women, ordering the expulsion of the vessel, owned by a Dutch non-profit organization, and its crew members.

The ship, run by Women on Waves, offers free abortions to women living in countries where the procedure is banned. The group carry out terminations in international waters for women up to ten weeks pregnant, and also offer sexual health and contraceptive advice.

The group said the abortion hotline was receiving hundreds of calls from women looking for information and hoping to schedule a visit.

Continued at source: Russia Today: https://www.rt.com/viral/378603-guatemala-detains-abortion-ship-zika/

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Guatemala: The Last Resort Women Are Turning to Because of Illegal Abortion

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The Last Resort Women Are Turning to Because of Illegal Abortion
February 24th 2017
By: Charles Davis

A pregnant woman in Guatemala generally has one legal option: give birth. In Guatemala abortion, as in much of Latin America, is illegal except when the authorities determine it necessary to save the mother’s life. In practice that means only the rich, or those who can afford a flight to Miami, can exercise their right to choose in a manner that is safe.

Those who are poor — nearly half the country lives on $1.50 a day — are forced to exercise their reproductive rights in a rather more dangerous way: in unlicensed clinics that, according to the Guttmacher Institute, send a third of the estimated 65,000 people who use them each year to the hospital with complications.

Some women with a boat want to help change that.

Continued at source: ATTN: http://www.attn.com/stories/15199/women-are-using-boat-provide-abortions-americas

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Dutch ‘abortion ship’ due in Guatemala

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Dutch 'abortion ship' due in Guatemala
AFP
Published Feb 23, 2017

The Hague: A Dutch "abortion ship" was Thursday due to arrive in a Guatemalan port to provide free help to women to end unwanted pregnancies, aiming to circumvent the country's strict laws.

Abortion is only allowed in Guatemala in cases where the mother's life is in danger, the non-profit organisation Women on Waves said, adding there are some 65,000 illegal and unsafe abortions in the Central American country every year.

The ship will visit the harbour of the Puerto San Jose, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Guatemala City and will stay for five days, the organisation said in a statement.

"The ship can provide women with free legal medical abortions till 10 weeks of pregnancy after sailing to international waters, 12 miles outside Guatemala," it added.

Continued at source: Deccan Chronicle: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/world/america/230217/dutch-abortion-ship-due-in-guatemala.html

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Brazil: The panic is over at Zika’s epicenter. But for many, the struggle has just begun.

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The panic is over at Zika’s epicenter. But for many, the struggle has just begun.
By Marina Lopes and Nick Miroff
February 7, 2017

RECIFE, Brazil — In this city at the heart of the Zika outbreak, the gloom and dread have lifted from maternity hospitals and delivery rooms.

The scary government posters with giant mosquitoes have mostly come down. Fertility clinics are busy again. At one public hospital that has delivered 1,700 newborns over the past five months, doctors haven’t seen a single case of Zika-related birth defects.

Continued at source: Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/the-panic-is-over-at-zikas-epicenter-but-for-many-the-struggle-has-just-begun/2017/02/07/a1f15178-e804-11e6-acf5-4589ba203144_story.html

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