World News in Brief: Russia’s LGBT Ban Condemned, Unprecedented Africa Malnutrition Crisis, Postnatal Health



This effectively bans all public LGBT activities and organizations in the country.

The nine United Nations Human Rights CouncilAppointed experts said the ruling “significantly distances” Russia from its obligations under international law to promote and protect human rights for all.

The experts sent an official letter to the Russian government on Monday outlining their urgent concerns, which continues the trend of reported state-sponsored human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other gender diverse (LGBT) people living there.

Bars and clubs targeted

They reported that in the previous days, Russia had carried out raids in Moscow and Saint Petersburg on places frequented by LGBT people, including LGBT-friendly bars and clubs.

“Policemen in balaclavas stormed in and carried out warrantless searches of the premises while visitors had their identity documents checked and photographed, creating further risk of harassment or misuse of their personal information,” a press release issued by the UN Human Rights Office (OCHR) said.

“The immediate and highly publicized nature of these police actions appears to be aimed at intimidating and instilling fear in the LGBT community in Russia,” UN experts said.

They warned that human rights defenders and organizations working to defend the LGBT community have now been forced to stop working “for fear of criminal prosecution”, adding that some lawyers and human rights defenders representing LGBT clients have already done so.

“This jeopardizes access to legal representation and justice for victims of discrimination, violence and other crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” the experts said.

“In line with the Russian president’s stated intention to maintain an anti-LGBT stance as a cornerstone of his political agenda, this decision marks the latest step in a series of legislative initiatives and related actions that erode every last remaining human rights guarantee for LGBT people in Russia,” the experts said.

UN Special Rapporteurs and other rights experts are not remunerated for their work and serve in their individual capacity without representing any government or organization.

‘Unprecedented’ malnutrition crisis in Africa: 75 percent cannot afford healthy food

More than a billion Africans cannot afford a healthy diet, and close to one in three of the continent’s children are stunted by malnutrition.

Those are the grim results of a report released on Thursday by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the World Food Program (WFP) and the African Union Commission.

It warns that 78 percent of Africa’s population – including many living above the extreme poverty line – lack the means to eat healthily, compared to 42 percent globally.

One in five Africans is malnourished – that’s almost 282 million people, the report says, or a quarter more than before. COVID-19 pandemic. The research shows that the prevalence of stunting among children under the age of five was 30 percent by 2022.

The authors expressed hope that the alarming statistics pointing to an “unprecedented” food security and malnutrition crisis will “trigger new momentum for the transformation of agri-food systems in Africa” ​​to make them more inclusive, resilient and sustainable.

Experts are calling for a new focus on long-term health challenges as a result of childbirth

Each year, at least 40 million women are likely to experience a long-term health problem caused by childbirth, according to a new study published in The Lancet Global Health and highlighted by the United Nations health agency (WHO).

The study, part of a special series on maternal health, shows a high burden of postnatal conditions that persist in the months or even years after birth.

These include pain during intercourse (known as dyspareunia), which affects more than a third of postpartum women, lower back pain, anal incontinence and urinary incontinence.

Other conditions include anxiety, depression, perineal pain, fear of childbirth and secondary infertility.

The magazine’s authors call for greater recognition within health systems of these common problems, many of which occur beyond the point at which women typically access postnatal services, WHO said.

Effective care during pregnancy and childbirth is also a critical preventive factor, they argue, in detecting risks and averting complications that can lead to lasting health problems after birth.

Daily suffering

“Many postpartum conditions cause significant suffering in women’s daily lives long after childbirth, both emotionally and physically, and yet they are largely underestimated, under-recognized and under-reported,” says Dr. Pascale Allotey, Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization.

“Throughout their lives and beyond motherhood, women need access to a range of services from healthcare providers who listen to their concerns and meet their needs – so they not only survive childbirth, but can enjoy good health and quality of life.”

These conditions have been largely neglected in clinical research, practice and policy, the paper notes, even though they appear common.

The authors identified no recent high-quality guidelines published in the last 12 years to support effective treatment for about 40 percent of the 32 priority conditions analyzed, and could not find a single high-quality guideline from a low- or middle-income country.


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