Center for Humanitarian Health Weekly Newsletter
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The Humanitarian Health Weekly Newsletter

Center for Humanitarian Health Upcoming Events & Courses


Humanitarian Health Seminar

Careers in Humanitarian Health
Thursday, March 30, 2017 | Noon - 1:20PM
Watch via webcast (day of the event) | Please RSVP for in-person tickets

Speakers:
Paul Perrin, Director, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL), Catholic Relief Services
Patricia McIlreary, Vice President, Humanitarian Policy and Practice, InterAction
Lara Ho, Senior Technical Advisory for Health Research, International Rescue Committee
Jolene Nakao, Public Health and Medical Technical Advisor, Medical Epidemiologist Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA/USAID)


Moderator:
Dr. Gilbert Burnham, Professor, Dept of International Health, Center for Humanitarian Health

H.E.L.P Course


The H.E.L.P Course is offered by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in joint collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. For more than 20 years, the HELP course has offered humanitarian workers an intensive training experience in public health principles and disaster epidemiology.

Register for the course today!

For more information, please email the HELP Coordinator.

Recent Webcasts

Refugee Resettlement in the United States

February 23 seminar Refugee Resettlement in the United States. 
Watch full video

Recent Publications

Rubenstein, L., Spiegel, P. The revised US refugee ban, health, and security (2017) The Lancet.
World Health Day

World Health Day, celebrated on April 7 every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health OrganizationMission has been to provide a unique opportunity to mobilize action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world.

The theme for World Health Day 2017 is
depression.
Countdown to World Health Day with WHO with their #LetsTalk campaign on Twitter

Humanitarian Emergency News, Special Reports and Updates

Humanitarian Emergency News

Week of March 13th - March 19th, 2017

Peru Struggles with worst flooding in 20 years


LIMA, PERU — The intense rains, overflowing rivers, mudslides and flooding are the worst Peru has seen in two decades, Peruvian authorities said Saturday, affecting more than half the nation as the death toll since the beginning of the year hit 72. The rains have overwhelmed the drainage system in the cities along Peru’s Pacific coast, and the health ministry has started fumigating around the pools of water that have formed in the streets to kill mosquitoes that carry diseases like dengue. Lima has been without water service since the beginning of the week. The government has deployed the armed forces to help police control public order in the 811 cities that have declared an emergency. The storms are being caused by a warming of the surface waters in the Pacific Ocean and are expected to continue for two more weeks. Read more.

Reality of the worst drought since 1945 peaking in parts of Africa
 
Millions of people in over a dozen countries in the Horn of Africa and southern Africa are facing the peak effect of severe drought that hit the regions resulting in famine. The Horn of Africa is facing its third consecutive year of drought causing thirst and hunger, decimating livestock, destroying livelihoods, spreading disease and triggering large scale population movements. United Nations humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien described the crisis to the Security Council as the largest since the second world war in 1945, and an amount of $4.4 billion is needed “to avert a catastrophe” in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula. During the previous famine in 2011, humanitarian response was slow and nearly 260,000 people died before the famine was officially declared in July. Read more.

Thousands vaccinated in Brazil Yellow Fever Outbreak
Brazil's Health Ministry says that at least 424 people have been infected with yellow fever in the largest outbreak the country has seen in years. Of those, 137 have died, and more than 900 other cases are under investigation. Most confirmed cases and deaths have been in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, which borders the state of Rio de Janeiro. Authorities say around 30,000 of the city's 42,000 people have been vaccinated in recent days. Rio de Janeiro's state Health Department has announced plans to vaccinate its entire population as a preventative measure. It says it will need 12 million doses to reach a 90 percent vaccination rate by year's end. Read more.
 

Special Reports

Private sector power for refugee camps could light up rural communities

DAKAR- Attracting private sector investment to provide clean energy in refugee camps would not only end their reliance on dangerous fuels and create job opportunities, but could also help local communities get on the grid. Refugees worldwide struggle to access energy, and often pay high costs for primitive fuels like firewood, according to the Moving Energy Initiative (MEI). With a record 65.3 million people uprooted by conflict or persecution in 2015, aid experts are seeking to increase the provision of sustainable energy for refugees and the displaced. At least 20,000 displaced people die prematurely from respiratory conditions due to their dependency on such fuels for cooking. Encouraging private developers to light up refugee camps - by using solar or wind powered mini-grids - could be a launchpad for providing power to nearby communities who lack access to energy. The MEI said it was considering solutions for Goudoubo such as looking to the private sector to install a mini-grid, working with the national energy company to connect the camp to the national grid, and using current aid spending on firewood to pay for cleaner fuel instead. Read more.

Increased community involvement for sustainable waste management solutions in Lebanon


More and more Lebanese municipalities are likely to face issues resulting from land degradation. In the aftermath of the civil war, Lebanon suffered an important amount of destructions, including at the environmental level. Public waste collection and recycling services remain irregular, while the amount of waste increases constantly, alongside significant population and urban growth with municipalities often unable to cope with the rising challenge of waste management. One of the first steps towards landscape regeneration is the implementation of comprehensive solid waste management interventions benefitting the whole community from an environmental, economic and social point of view. Bikfaya municipality, in Metn district, is a good example of sustainable waste management solutions in Lebanon. The municipality installed a waste management plant with sorting conveyors that can sort around eight tons of domestic waste a day from six different municipalities in Metn district. The municipality is also spreading educational messages to the population to explain that sorting practices start at home, and how this should be done. Discussions have focused on how to best promote waste management, how to make the plant work in the most efficient way, and how to mobilize the communities so that they take an active role in the process of waste management. Read more.

Refugee Transit in Indonesia: The Critical Importance of Community

 
Opportunities for refuge are constricting globally, just as the need for them expands. The average time that a person will spend as a refugee has extended from an average of nine years in 1990 to 26 years in 2016. Indonesia, traditionally a transit country through which refugees pass en route to Australia, it is now hosting around 15,000 refugees who will likely remain there for many years. In Cisarua, refugees must rely on family and diaspora support, and members of this group have adjusted to their changed circumstances with remarkable success. They are mostly comprised of Hazara families from Afghanistan and Pakistan, with smaller numbers from Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Sudan. Refugees here have made the transition from being individual families to a community, largely driven by the need to provide education for their children. The community was formed around a refugee-run school that opened in August 2014 and now has 200 students and 17 volunteer staff. The school has provided the community a focal point and shared project in which all are heavily involved. Many other activities have grown from this, including men’s, women’s and mixed soccer teams, art exhibitions, a karate club, and at least two more independent schools. The community has a strong social media presence and manages its own public representation, focusing on a narrative of refugee capacity rather than need. The community development approach in Cisarua is yielding significant benefits in this respect—it is not only inoculating against the precarious nature and mental health problems common to transitory life, but also developing skills and knowledge, such as English language abilities, organizational management, team work, and public communications. Read more.

Humanitarian Health Updates

Relief operations in western Mosul reaching ‘breaking point’ as civilians flee hunger


The United Nations and its humanitarian partners in Iraq are scrambling to get emergency sites ready amidst a mass exodus from West Mosul. There are still an estimated 650,000 to 680,000 civilians in Mosul’s Old City, and people who stay are without food and water. No steady supplies have been able to reach the city since mid-November, Ms. Grande said. If 50,000 civilians flee in a single day, the current response system would not work properly. The UN and its partners have already started to set up large warehouse size structures which will house the families as they await “the dignified support they deserve”.  The UN and its humanitarian partners are working “around the clock” in support of the Iraqi Government to quickly get sites ready for the displaced civilians. Aid workers receive the site, set up tents and mattresses, clear and construct sanitation areas, and then transfer the areas to Iraqi military, who move in civilians on civilian buses.
Read more.

UNICEF humanitarian airlift arrives in Madagascar in aid of thousands affected by Cyclone Enawo


A cargo flight carrying 79 tons of humanitarian supplies has arrived in the capital of Madagascar as part of the UN Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) ongoing response to Cyclone Enawo which caused significant damage in the northeastern part of the country and has affected much of the rest of the world’s fourth-largest island. As of March 17, 246,842 people were reported to have been affected by the cyclone, including 5,194 who remained displaced of a total population of 433,612 who were displaced either directly by the storm or as a safety measure. The number of deaths due to the storm rose to 81, with 18 people missing and 253 injured. The damage caused by the cyclone has added to the cumulative effects of years of drought in the south, aggravating the vulnerability of many – all combined, further highlighting the need for longer-term resilience and development efforts. Assessment missions, led by the government through its national disaster office (BNGRC) and supported by UN agencies, NGOs and the Malagasy Red Cross, are ongoing and data is being compiled regularly.
Read more.

Supporting local humanitarian action in Myanmar


National organizations are at the heart of humanitarian response in Myanmar, using their local skills, relationships and access to assist the 525,000 people who are estimated to be in need across the country. Myanmar is leading the way in embracing the contribution of local partners, in line with commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. In 2016, 45 per cent of the US$5.6 million allocated to projects through this Country Based Pooled Fund went directly to national Non-Government Organizations in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states. The Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) is one of dozens of local organizations working to meet the needs of almost 100,000 people who remain displaced across 188 camps and sites in Kachin and Shan states because of the country’s decades-old civil war. Humanitarian access for international organizations to deliver life-saving assistance to affected people in both states is shrinking, resulting in an increasing reliance on local humanitarian organizations like KBC to deliver aid. The localized approach is also effective in Kachin because of the strong relationships between local organizations and the people they assist.
Read more.
Visit us at www.jhsph.edu/refugee
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