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SUNS # 8432 Wednesday 29 March 2017

Health : CSOs launch Europe-wide patent challenge on hepatitis C drug (PRIV)
(Kanaga Raja, Geneva)
The international medical humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has joined a number of other civil society organisations from 17 European countries in simultaneously filing patent challenges with the European Patent Office on the hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir.

United Nations : Food security in the Middle East sharply deteriorated (PRIV)
(IPS, Rome/Cairo)
Food security and nutrition levels in the Near East and North Africa have sharply deteriorated over the last five years, undermining the steady improvement achieved before 2010 when the prevalence of undernourishment, stunting, anaemia and poverty were decreasing, a new UN report warns.

Caribbean : Faces forecast for prolonged drought (PRIV)
(IPS, Bridgetown)
The Caribbean Drought & Precipitation Monitoring Network (CDPMN) is warning countries in the region that the same abnormal climate conditions they have experienced over the last few years, which resulted in some of the worst droughts in two decades, could continue this year.

Fiji : Free education helps combat child labour (PRIV)
(IPS, Canberra)
In the South Pacific nation of Fiji, free and compulsory education, introduced three years ago, in association with better awareness and child protection measures, is helping to reduce children's vulnerability to harmful and hazardous forms of work.

Bangladesh : Menstrual hygiene project keeps girls in school (PRIV)
(IPS, Dhaka)
Breaking taboos surrounding menstruation, a project to distribute sanitary napkins to girls in one district of Bangladesh has had a positive impact on school dropout rates - and should be replicated in other parts of the country, experts say.

Opinion : The world faces a historic opportunity to ban nuclear weapons (PRIV)
(IPS, Vienna/Oxford/London)
Vienna/Oxford/London, 24 Mar (IPS/Beatrice Fihn, Martin Butcher, and Rasha Abdul Rahim*) -- Nuclear weapons are once again high on the international agenda, and experts note that the risk of a nuclear detonation is the highest since the Cold War.

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