Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo

On May 12, officials declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in a remote area of the northern DR Congo. The WHO reported 37 cases of infection, including one confirmed and three probable deaths from EVD. The outbreak triggered a response involving more than 13 international agencies and could prompt the roll-out of an Ebola vaccine candidate, pending government approval of its use. Read more.

HIV, family planning groups grapple with new WHO guidelines on popular contraceptive

The World Health Organization's reclassification last month of progestogen-only injectable contraceptives has triggered a critical debate in the family planning community over how to manage the potential link between higher rates of HIV acquisition and one of the most popular birth control methods in many at-risk communities. Read more.

Surviving the "underground" economy

It has been 15 years since South Africa introduced its first proposed quotas to encourage the mining industry to hire women. The quotas, which were included in the country’s draft mining charter, were a marked change in a country that once prevented women from even entering the industry.

Some elements are still missing, though — including the enforcement of sexual harassment policies, which researchers say continues to fuel inequalities and can put the lives of women working underground at risk. Read more.

Insecurity jeopardizes South Sudan famine relief

In the wake of the United Nation’s declaration of famine in parts of war-torn South Sudan, humanitarian agencies are scrambling to deliver emergency assistance for the 100,000 people currently facing starvation and the more than 1 million more who are on the brink of it. These efforts could be stymied, however, if access issues in the war-torn country continue to prevent aid workers from reaching the people most in need. Read more.

HIV prevention advocates push Global Fund for more data

The Global Fund has pledged to re-energize HIV prevention and, in line with that commitment, civil society groups are calling on the Fund to offer more explicit data on how much it spends on these efforts. That includes not only overall expenditure data, but also granular information, like spending at a country level and spending on specific interventions. Read more.