Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti: United Nations Appeal Launched for Emergency Assistance

Thousands of Pregnant Women at High Risk in Haiti

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 15 January 2010 — Estimates that there could be as many as 37,000 pregnant women among the 3 million people affected by Haiti’s earthquake have led to an urgent appeal to meet their emergency maternal health needs.

The earthquake has devastated Haiti’s health system and many of the hospitals and clinics in Port–Au-Prince have been damaged. The remaining can barely handle the thousands in need of medical care. The current situation is putting the lives of thousands of women and their infants at risk from complications related to pregnancy and child birth.

To meet the urgent maternal health and other needs of women, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is seeking about $4.6 million as part of the coordinated United Nations Flash Appeal that will be launched today. The funding would supplement the supplies UNFPA is already providing in Haiti and address the specific needs of women, girls and other vulnerable populations for the next six months. The additional funds would enable UNFPA to help:

• Refurbish maternity wards to handle emergency obstetric care and other life-saving health services;
• Deploy skilled health professionals, such as midwives, obstetricians and nurses, to affected areas to provide maternal health and emergency obstetric care;
• Provide emergency safe delivery and reproductive health medicines and supplies to temporary clinics and health facilities being set up;
• Help safeguard the personal hygiene and dignity of women and girls by providing related sanitary supplies;
• Facilitate access of affected populations, especially young people, to psychosocial counselling and other services; and
• Carry out interventions to prevent gender based violence.

For further information, please contact:
In Santo Domingo: Trygve Olfarnes, Tel: +507 301 7362, Satellite:
+ 898 8169 3160 0057 1740,
In New York: Jessica Malter, Tel: + 1 212 297 5190,
Omar Gharzeddine, Tel: + 1 212 297 5028

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Save the Internet

By James J. Gormley

On behalf of Citizens for Health, an IRS-recognized not-for-profit organization with approximately 100,000 individual consumer members across the United States, I ask you to join with me and with FreePress in stating your strongest possible support for Net Neutrality (FCC Docket No. 09-191).

Visit this link: to file comments directly with the FCC. Once you are there scroll down (it should be near the top) to docket number 09-191 In the Matter of Preserving the Open Internet Broadband industry Practices. Once you click on the 09-191 it will shoot you to a page that already has all the docket details etc. this is the short form that you can use to easily file your comments.

The current Google censorship situation in China is a perfect example of why a 100 percent free and open Internet serves Americans and advances democracy.

Whether it is governments, corporations, advertisers or lobbyists (contributors), none of these groups should have any influence over a 100 percent free and open Internet that encourages the free-est possibly communication of ideas, opinions, facts, information, opportunities, and health information as well, whether it is health information about (or critical of) pharmaceuticals, diet, food, exercise, alternative medicine, herbalism, traditional healing traditions --- it should all be equally available and equally accessible to Americans.

Allowing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) the improper ability to slow down, hinder or block certain information (for example information that does not help their advertising partners) would be an outrageous and unacceptable violation of our Constitutional rights and would be wrong, unethical, anti-American and anti-democracy.

Filings by ISPs dare to suggest that this is about dictating to industry or assigning borders to an evolving medium --- that could not be further from the truth.

In point of fact, industry is attempting to gain greater control over what is, for now, a free highway of information and ideas; consumers are merely trying to protect this medium from telephone, wireless and cable companies’ efforts to turn this into an issue of virtual “eminent domain.” If these corporations and their lobbies are successful, it would make a mockery of this freedom and would not only violate article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but would, as noted, violate the U.S. Constitution.

For all of these reasons, and many more, I, on behalf of the 100,000 members of Citizens for Health, ask you to call on the FCC to do the right thing: to pass strong and broad Net Neutrality rules.

Doing this will represent one of the most important regulatory protections any Federal agency can pass this decade, and perhaps even this century --- it will represent a legacy advancing democracy and protecting consumers for us, our children and future generations. 
The Gormley Files - Blogged