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Asia: So Close and Yet So Far From Polio Eradication

By IPS Correspondents

Mallika Aryal contributed to this report from Kathmandu, Kanya D’Almeida from Colombo and Ashfaq Yusufzai from Peshawar, Pakistan.

KATHMANDU/PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Oct 24 2014 (IPS) - The goal is an ambitious one – to deliver a polio-free world by 2018. Towards this end, the multi-sector Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is bringing out the big guns, sparing no expense to ensure that “every last child” is immunised against the crippling disease.

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PM Nawaz says immunisation right of every child, vows to eradicate polio

By Mateen Haider

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Friday that a comprehensive communication strategy was being evolved which would promote immunisation as the right of every child and also called upon every segment of the society to ensure that children were being given their due rights.

A ceremony was held at the Prime Minister House in relation to World Polio Day. On the occasion, the premier met polio-affected children and their parents.

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A leap forward: Striving towards sustainable and conflict-sensitive business practices in Pakistan

Last month International Alert, in close collaboration with the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), organised a series of three-day trainings for private sector and national and international civil society organisations on conflict-sensitive business initiatives.

The training, entitled ‘Building the capacity of Pakistan’s business sector to benefit from dividends of peace’, was funded by the European Union. The series kicked-off in Rawalpindi on 4–5 September, followed by Islamabad on 8–10 September and Karachi on 12–14 September.

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World + 22 others
Global Weather Hazards Summary October 24-30, 2014

Second-season dryness continues in Haiti, flooding risks remain in Central America and South Sudan

Africa Weather Hazards

  1. As the rainy season in Senegal comes to an end and harvesting begins, reduced crop yields due to this summer’s poorly distributed rainfall and delayed onset of the rainy season in July could become evident.

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The desperate struggle of Pakistan's polio 'martyrs'

10/24/2014 - 03:50 GMT

by Guillaume LAVALLÉE

Nadia Khan treasures two photos of her sister Sumbal: one showing her bright-eyed and smiling, the other blank-faced in death after she was gunned down by militants, a "martyr" in Pakistan's desperate fight against polio.

It was May 2013 and Sumbal and her friend Shirafat were vaccinating children against the crippling disease at a rough mudbrick house in the village of Badaber in the country's militant-plagued northwest.

Agence France-Presse:

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Improving safety of journalists in rural areas of Pakistan

Approximately 100 media professionals working in rural areas of Pakistan will benefit from a training programme that will equip them with the necessary safety skills and knowledge to report in hostile environments.

The project, which is being implemented by the Rural Media Network of Pakistan (RMNP), kicked off with a workshop held in Tehsil Yazman, District Bahawalpur, on 18 and 19 October 2014. This first event was conducted by Karachi- and Lahore-based trainers, and was attended by 20 rural journalists.

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Fresh Fighting In Pakistan's Khyber Tribal Region

By RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal
October 23, 2014

Three suspected militants and three members of Pakistan’s security forces have been killed in new clashes in the northwestern tribal region of Khyber.

The latest fighting took place in Sipah area on October 23 as the Pakistani military continued Operation Khyber One, launched earlier this month and aimed at clearing the area of Islamist insurgent groups.

Khyber is located in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt near the Afghan border.

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Pakistan Pledges Renewed Focus on Polio as Infections Rise

Report
Voice of America

Ayaz Gul
October 23, 2014 1:21 AM

ISLAMABAD— Pakistan is the only country where poliovirus is still spreading fast. This year, 208 cases of paralysis were recorded, accounting for 85 percent of worldwide victims. The country is coming under extreme pressure to contain its infections and boost vaccinations, or face isolation.

The number of children paralyzed by polio in Pakistan this year is the highest since 2000, when authorities recorded 199 cases.

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Monsoon 2014 Information Report 14 (as of 23-01-2014)

  • As per the latest flood alert from the Pakistan Meteorological Department, All the Major Rivers are flowing in their normal state of flow. According to the report of NDMA dated 15th Oct, 2014, Monsoon rains have affected 2.53 million caused 367 deaths and 673 people got injured in AJK, Punjab,KP and GB.

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Two more polio cases confirmed

ISLAMABAD: Two new polio cases have been confirmed by the Polio Virology Laboratory at the National Institute of Health, taking the total number of cases reported so far this year to 212.

An official of the Ministry of National Health Services said both cases were reported from Fata.

Mafia, the 12-month-old daughter of Mastak living in Mera Akakhel locality of Khyber Agency, is having onset of paralysis.

The second patient is a boy. Thirty-month-old Adil is a resident of Kalanga area of Khyber Agency.

DAWN Group of Newspapers:

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Afghanistan + 1 other
Khost & Paktika Update No. 35 - 22 October 2014

1. KHOST & PAKTIKA UPDATE

Displacement of refugees from North Waziristan and South Waziristan Agency into Khost and Paktika provinces continues. As the situation is prolonged, UNHCR with support from TLO conducted focus group discussions with both refugee families and host communities, including men and women to get a better understanding of the needs and priorities of the populations in Khost and Paktika.

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Bloody day in Pakistan's Quetta leaves 11 dead

Quetta, Pakistan | AFP | Thursday 10/23/2014 - 16:26 GMT

At least 11 people were killed and 30 injured in a series of attacks in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta Thursday, including a suicide bombing at a rally by a leading religious political party.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) party was leaving a rally in the capital of Pakistan's restive Baluchistan province -- where he had addressed thousands of people -- when his car was targeted by a suicide bomber, officials said.

Agence France-Presse:

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Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin - Disease early warning system and response in Pakistan, Volume 5, Issue 41, Wednesday 15 October 2014

Highlights

Epidemiological week no. 41 (5 - 11 October 2014)

In this week, 84 out of 87 districts and 2,791 out of 3,590 health facilities have reported to Disease Early Warning System (DEWS), compared to 68 districts with 1,995 health facilities shared weekly data in week 39, 2014.

A total of 658,642 patients consultations reported in this week 41, 2014; This decrease in number of consultations is due to Eid‐ul‐Azha holidays.

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Afghanistan + 1 other
Afghanistan: Cross-Border Movement from Pakistan (as of 14 Oct 2014)

Military operations (ongoing since June 2014) in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Pakistan have led to the displacement of thousands of people to surrounding districts in Paktika and Khost provinces in Afghanistan. As of 14 October 2014, 33,481 displaced families had been assessed. Response is ongoing based on an estimated 27,000 families in need of humanitarian assistance.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.