In the News
Nursing Organizations and Education
* Global Nurses United (GNU), an activist organization formed in June, held rallies worldwide to protest health care cuts and austerity measures and to support full funding for public health care. Follow the activities of GNU at the National Nurses United blog (http://bit.ly/1gDvj9b).
* The Chinese Nursing Association and the Palestinian Nursing and Midwifery Association were welcomed into the International Council of Nurses in May.
* Nursing Times reported in August that students in England would be recruited for a controversial pilot project of the National Health Service that requires nursing school applicants to work first as health care assistants for one year.
* Food and access to medical care remain priorities for women in South Sudan, according to an interview by Doctors Without Borders with Belgian field nurse Caroline Scholtes. Read the interview at http://bit.ly/19ztEPy.
* As of September, 60% of the public hospitals in Syria had limited or no capacity, and there were shortages of medicine and elevated risks of infectious diseases, according to the World Health Organization.
* Global mortality among children younger than five years decreased by 41% from 1990 to 2011, according to Levels and Trends in Child Mortality: Report 2012 from the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation. That decrease represents a decline of only 2.5% annually, and the rate must decline faster (by 14.2% annually) to meet the Millennium Development Goals target by 2015.
* The worldwide eradication of polio is possible, but to achieve that goal, all children need to be vaccinated, according to a recent declaration by more than 80 countries (http://vaccines.emory.edu/poliodeclaration). Barriers to vaccination include weak health systems, vulnerable populations, and civil unrest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
* The UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic 2013 documents a 33% decline in new HIV infections since 2001, and AIDS-related deaths continue to decline globally. Those gains, however, are offset by continuing challenges, including HIV transmission in sex workers and injection-drug users, and the stigma related to the disease that persists in many areas of the world.
* A large national survey reported in JAMA September 4 indicated that China may now have the highest prevalence of diabetes (11.6%) in Asia, which is similar to the prevalence (11.3%) in the United States.
Universal Health Coverage
* The World Bank Web site provides a series of studies on universal health coverage (http://bit.ly/1bks21H) with reports on programs that have expanded coverage, starting with the poor and vulnerable, in 22 countries and Massachusetts. A comparative analysis is forthcoming.—Gail M. Pfeiffer, MA, RN, news director