The American Medical Association voted to urge the FDA to change its lifetime deferral policy for blood donations by men who have sex with men in favor of a policy that would assess donors on an individual basis. "This new policy urges a federal policy change to ensure blood donation bans or deferrals are applied to donors according to their individual level of risk and are not based on sexual orientation alone," said Dr. William Kobler of the AMA's board.
The World Health Organization says more than one-third of women around the world have been victims of violence, which has a profound impact on their health. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan says that violence-related health problems are of "epidemic proportions." "This report is the first systematic review of global data on the extent of this violence. It is also the first time that the World Health Organization is issuing a set of guidelines and policy recommendations on how health systems can provide the services to treat both the physical and mental consequences of violence," writes WHO lead specialist Dr. Claudia Garcia Moreno Esteva in The Huffington Post.
United Nations Foundation Resident Entrepreneur Elizabeth Gore says that women entrepreneurs are driving innovation and helping businesses flourish thanks to access to technology including mobile phones. "Business and entrepreneurism is punching through, even in the most unlikely places like a refugee camp," Gore says.
United Nations Women is heading up efforts to empower Syrian women now living in Jordan by offering technical skills training. These women "just want to live and be able to provide for their kids without surrendering their dignity," says UN Women's Yara Sharif in Jordan.
Questions about use of chemical weapons in Syria remain, making a United Nations-led investigation critical to solving the issue, observers say. Meanwhile, ethnic divides are creating riffs among Syrian rebels, write Alexander Dziadosz and Oliver Holmes.