Tim’s El Salvador Blog: Zika in El Salvador

Any discussion of reproductive health in El Salvador also requires mention of El Salvador’s absolute ban on abortion.   There are no exceptions, and the country will prosecute women who have abortions for murder. Pregnancies are going to happen in El Salvador in the coming months and years.   While we may see some reductions in birth rates among the small middle and upper classes, it seems unlikely in the many areas of the country where poverty is persistent.   From a Washington Post story titled The country with the world’s worst homicide rate now grapples with Zika:In this web of slums, there are blocks where 8 in 10 houses are breeding sites for mosquitoes. The city is a patchwork of rival gang territories that are defended so fiercely that health authorities cannot enter some neighborhoods. In just the first three weeks of January, El Salvador recorded 2,474 new suspected Zika cases, nearly half of them here in the capital. Many infected pregnant women live in these densely packed southern neighborhoods. “It’s uncontrollable,” said Eli Leiva, 40, an elementary school teacher in San Jacinto who has several students with Zika. “It’s a problem that has gotten totally out of hand.” Doctors are worried that basic public-health messages are not reaching their audience. Many residents ignore the recommendation to destroy mosquito breeding grounds by disposing of standing water, even though El Salvador has suffered repeated outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya, fevers transmitted by the same type of mosquito that carries the Zika virus. Teen pregnancy is rampant, abortion is illegal and contraception is discouraged in the heavily Catholic country. Many women interviewed dismissed the advice not to become pregnant as unrealistic.It is not a matter of lack of information being disseminated throughout the country.   The newspapers and airwaves are full of stories about the virus and public service announcements on avoiding mosquito bites.    But the country has been fighting dengue and chikunguya for years, two diseases carried by the same mosquito which carries Zika.  Unless that fight becomes more effective, we can expect to hear about Zika as a recurring public health problem in El Salvador.

Source: Tim’s El Salvador Blog: Zika in El Salvador

‘I Want a Safe Place’: Refugee Women from Syria Uprooted and Unprotected in Lebanon | Amnesty International USA

Shortfalls in international assistance and discriminatory policies imposed by the Lebanese authorities are creating conditions that facilitate the exploitation and abuse of women refugees in Lebanon, said Amnesty International in a new report published ahead of the Syria Donors Conference in London on February 4.The report, ‘I Want a Safe Place’: Refugee Women from Syria Uprooted and Unprotected in Lebanon, highlights how the Lebanese government’s refusal to renew residency permits for refugees and a shortage of international funding, leaves refugee women in a precarious position, and puts them at risk of exploitation by people in positions of power including landlords, employers and even the police.

Source: ‘I Want a Safe Place’: Refugee Women from Syria Uprooted and Unprotected in Lebanon | Amnesty International USA

What Asian Americans Are Bringing to Campus Movements for Racial Justice | Race Files

Discussing the future of their work, Tran said: “Hopefully more people within the Asian American community understand that Asian American activism does exist, that Asian American students can make differences within campuses.”Wong stressed the importance of highlighting existing student efforts, encouraging students at other campuses to reach out to strategize and build together: “There is a community in that way because a lot of students think that there aren’t students doing this and they have to do it on their own.”Ultimately, Asian American student movements depend on a radical shift in perspective, one in which students see themselves not as visitors but as stakeholders and change agents within their institutions.“The more that people feel like they belong in a space, the more they feel like they should change what’s going on if they feel like it’s wrong,” said BAATF and BAASA leader Theresa Yeo. “That feeling of empowerment: if there’s a problem you can do something about it. You don’t just have to sit with it. That’s something I’ve learned in this past semester. I definitely think that’s something that comes with a sense of belonging, a sense of saying ‘This is my space. This is my house. I can do something here.’”

Source: What Asian Americans Are Bringing to Campus Movements for Racial Justice | Race Files

Groups to Deliver Petition to the White House Calling on President Obama to Halt the Raids and Give Relief to Refugee Families from Central America

For Planning Purposes: Monday, February 1, 2016
Contact: Carlos Vogel, 202-239-2133, cvogel@cccaction.org

The Administration’s Unwillingness to End Raids is Unacceptable

(WASHINGTON) — Immigrant rights, social justice, and faith groups, along with directly impacted families will hold a press conference in front of the White House on Tuesday, February 2nd to deliver a petition with more than 130,000 signatures calling on President Obama to end deportation raids against refugee families from Central America and provide them with Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Along with the petition signatures, a letter addressed to President Obama with over 75 organizational signers from across the country will also be delivered. The solidarity letter is organized by the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC), Korean Resource Center (KRC), National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC).

The groups participating in the petition delivery include: the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Reform Immigration FOR America (RI4A), CREDO Action, Southeast Immigrant Rights Network (SEIRN), Church World Service (CWS), Presente.org, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Just Foreign Policy, America’s Voice, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), CASA in Action, and impacted families.

Press Conference Details:

WHO:   Alma Couverthie, Senior Director of Organizing, Casa de Maryland / FIRM

             Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director of Refugee and Immigration Ministries

             for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Quyen Dinh, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center   

             (SEARAC)

             Directly Impacted Families

WHAT:   Delivery of Petition to the White House Calling on President Obama to

               Halt the Raids and Give Relief to Refugee Families from Central America 

WHEN:   Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. EST.

WHERE:   In front of the White House (Lafayette Park side)

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California Congressman Takano Works to Unleash Power of Agriculture for Riverside’s Health and Prosperity

Official-Portrait-Mark-Takano-113th-200x

Congressman Mark Takano, a Democrat from California’s 41st congressional district, was born in Riverside, California. The longtime Riverside Community College Board of Trustees member delivered a keynote address at GrowRIVERSIDE’s “Citrus and Beyond” conference in 2014, and he understands … Read More

Heroin OD Antidote Naloxone Will Be Available Without Prescriptions At Duane Reades, Walgreens Across NYC

Heroin OD Antidote Naloxone Will Be Available Without Prescriptions At Duane Reades, Walgreens Across NYC To further combat the epidemic of heroin overdoses, the city has announced that the life-saving anti-overdose drug, Naloxone, will be made available at 300 Duane Reade and Walgreens stores—without a prescription. Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Opioid overdose is preventable – yet it continues to claim hundreds of lives in our city. By making naloxone even more widely available we are literally saving lives and helping New Yorkers onto the path to recovery.” [ more › ]

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