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January 2009

This month's editorial (PLoS Medicine Editors, e1000021) discusses the unconscionable use of rape as a weapon of war, as documented in recent conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and the former Yugoslavia among others, to the extent that a UN peacekeeping commander recently reported that "it has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in an armed conflict." But while the International Criminal Tribunal recognized rape as crime of genocide under international law in 1994, rape continues to be conducted with impunity in many armed conflicts, leaving women and communities devastated. The editorial calls for more pressure from those involved in reporting, researching, and providing medical care to be put on international authorities, to take concerted action, and to make protection from sexual violence a central part of peacekeeping and security efforts.

Image Credit: r.marin at

Health in Action

Improving Maternal and Child Health in Difficult Environments: The Case For “Cross-Border” Health Care

Gijs Walraven, Semira Manaseki-Holland, Abid Hussain, John B Tomaro

Data Sources for Improving Estimates of the Global Burden of Injuries: Call for Contributors

Kavi Bhalla, James Harrison, Jerry Abraham, Nagesh N Borse, Ronan Lyons, Soufiane Boufous, Limor Aharonson-Daniel, on behalf of the Global Burden of Disease Injury Expert Group

Policy Forums

Condom Access in South African Schools: Law, Policy, and Practice

Juliana Han, Michael L Bennish

Research Articles

Explaining Adherence Success in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Ethnographic Study

Norma C Ware, John Idoko, Sylvia Kaaya, Irene Andia Biraro, Monique A Wyatt, Oche Agbaji, Guerino Chalamilla, David R Bangsberg

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