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Showing posts from May, 2014

No Toilet at home leads to gang rape & murder in U.P. village

  Relatives of two teenaged cousins who were hanged after being allegedly gang-raped in Badaun district on Wednesday.- pHOTO: PTI BADAUN (UTTAR PRADESH): In a crime that is rapidly gathering casteist and political overtones, two teenage girls from a backward community were raped and murdered allegedly by three brothers of the Yadav community in the village of Katra under Ushait police outpost in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh. The girls, who were cousins, had left their house together at 9 p.m. on Tuesday and walked toward the nearby open field as there was no toilet at home. Their bodies were found hanging from a tree 250 metres away from their home at about 4 a.m. on Wednesday after neighbours and relatives began a frantic search. “We have arrested one of the brothers, Pappu Yadav, and a hunt is on for the other two,” DIG Bareilly R.K.S. Rathore told  The-Hindu  . The State Government on Thursday suspended three policemen, including constable Sarvesh who has been

Maternal death rates fall but chronic diseases increase pregnancy risk

6 May 2014 – Rates of maternal deaths are down, according to United Nations figures released  today, but pre-existing medical conditions heighten the risk of death for pregnant women and require continued investment in quality care  during pregnancy  and childbirth. An estimated 289,000 women died in 2013 from complications in pregnancy and childbirth, down from 523,000 in 1990, according  to the  UN  World Health Organization ’s ( WHO ) Trends in maternal mortality estimates 1990 to 2013. The figure represents a decrease of 45 per cent. Among its findings, the report shows that 11 countries that had high levels of maternal mortality in 1990 have reached the Millennium Development Goal ( MDG ) target of a 75 per cent reduction. These include Bhutan, Cambodia, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Maldives, Nepal, Romania, Rwanda, and Timor-Leste. “A 15-year-old girl living in sub-Saharan Africa faces about a 1 in 40 risk of dying duri

Too many people still lack basic drinking water and sanitation

A child carrying water at the Tomping civilian protection site, 6 May 2014. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe 8 May 2014 – Despite a narrowing disparity in access to cleaner water and better sanitation between rural and urban areas, sharp inequalities still persist around the world, says a new United Nations  report . According  to the  2014 Joint Monitoring Report on global progress against the Millennium Development Goal ( MDG ) on  water and sanitation , more than half of the global population lives in cities, and urban areas are still better supplied with improved water and sanitation than rural ones. But this gap is decreasing. The report, produced  by the   World Health Organization  ( WHO )  and the  UN Children’s Fund ( UNICEF ), notes that in 1990, more than 76 per cent of people living in urban areas had access to improved sanitation, as opposed to only 28 per cent in rural ones. By 2012, 80 per cent of urban dwellers and 47 per cent of rural ones had access to better s

Future global development agenda must include targets for improved health – UN official

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan (at podium), addresses the 67th World Health Assembly. Photo: WHO/V. Martin 19 May 2014 – Health must be a part of any future global development agenda, a senior United Nations official underscored today as she outlined a host of issues afflicting millions around  the world  and which impact on efforts to reduce poverty and advance overall well-being. “Better health is a good way to track the world’s true progress in poverty elimination, inclusive growth and equity,” Director-General Margaret Chan  said  as the  World Health Organization  ( WHO ) opened its  annual assembly  in Geneva. According to a WHO report released last week, substantial progress has been made on many health-related goals ahead of the 2015 target date for achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs ). These include halving the proportion of people without access to improved sources of drinking water, as well as progress in r

UN urges end to ‘global social injustice’ of obstetric fistula

Two women in Mauritania who had operations for obstetric fistula. Photo: IRIN/Manon Riviere 23 May 2014 – United Nations officials today called for eradicating the global social injustice of obstetric fistula, a consequence of childbirth that affects an estimated two million women and girls in developing countries but is entirely preventable with access to  quality medical care . “This International Day to End Obstetric Fistula is an  opportunity  to  sound the alarm  on this tragedy so that we may galvanize action to end it. Progress is possible,”  Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his  message  to mark the occasion. Observed annually on 23 May, the Day aims to raise awareness about, generate new support for and  speed up  efforts to end an injury that harms women physically, socially and economically. Most women who develop fistula, a hole in the birth canal usually caused by prolonged, obstructed labour, remain untreated for their entire lives,  and the  condit

Menstruating woman denied toilet, 'inhuman' railways fined

MUMBAI: A consumer forum has held Western Railway guilty of deficiency in service for not providing free and accessible toilets for women commuters. The forum directed WR to pay Rs 25,000 in compensation to an advocate, who was humiliated and abused following her request to use the railway staff toilet at Dadar station after she started menstruating on a local train in 2007.  Calling the behaviour of railway staff "inhuman", the South Mumbai District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said on Saturday that because of a non-functional toilet on a footbridge, the advocate suffered discomfort and mental agony.  The complainant, S Rajan (name changed), was on a train from Mulund to Malad on January 3, 2007. She told the court that at 10.30 am, she had to switch trains at Dadar. While the train approached the station, she started menstruating. After alighting, she desperately began to look for a toilet and was told that there was one near the booking office counter on the f