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BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7003.468 (Published 19 August 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:468

Polio outbreak hits Chechnya: The war torn region of Chechnya is now fighting to control an outbreak of polio. There have been 70 cases at the main hospital in the capital, Grozny, since July. Health care has suffered as a result of the secessionist war, and many places lack facilities such as running water.

Former NHS workers to sue health authority: During the first NHS buyout over 100 computer and support staff at the West Midlands Regional Health Authority transferred into the private sector, to QA Business Services, in 1989; they lost their jobs and pensions when the company subsequently collapsed. With the help of the union Unison they intend to sue for £3m.

US to cut disability benefits: The General Accounting Office claimed to a House of Representatives subcommittee that thousands of Americans continue to collect disability benefits after they have recovered and that savings of $1.7bn (£1200m) could be made by stopping them. The office claimed that the social security services had a bad record for reviewing the health of recipients and returning them to work.

Antiabortionists win Senate vote: The US Senate voted to ban the coverage of abortions in federal employee health plans except in cases of rape or incest or when the monther's life was in danger. The bill was carried by a majority of six and will affect nine million Americans.

Battle continues against female genital mutilation: The World Health Organisation estimates that between 85 million and 115 million girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation and suffer from its adverse health effects. An estimated two million young girls are victims of the practice each year, and the WHO is campaigning for its elimination.

Epidemic of salmonellosis hits south Florida: As many as 1800 people in Palm Beach were affected by a single outbreak of salmonella infection. They had all eaten at the same restaurant—one of the oldest in the area. Health inspectors believe that the sources of the infection were uncooked chicken and improperly stored food.

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