More people have access to mobile phones than to bog-standard sanitation around the world.
The numbers are actually quite close – both are around the 4.5bn mark. But the implications are clear: we value a text, a tweet over one of our most basic sanitary needs: the loo.
(From Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance)
It’s the most humanitarian aid we’ve ever sent by air in a single month. And we won’t stop - as long as children are in need we will continue to carry out these urgent supply missions.
On our blog, Supply Division Director Shanelle Hall explains what’s going where in August 2014: http://uni.cf/1qKgu9A
"When you say Ebola," says Amanda Ellis, "everybody will run."
Ellis is 79. She’s sitting in a blue plastic chair in the dirt yard in front of her house, in a rural area outside Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia. She looks worn out. She has lost five members of her family to the virus that has claimed over 1,400lives in her homeland and in neighboring countries.
Ellis’ daughter Thelmorine was the first to go. She was 58. She contracted Ebola after taking care of a friend who was infected at a hospital where both of them worked as nurses.
When Thelmorine got sick, her sister Rose came over to her house to tend to her. That’s how Rose got infected.
Ellis says she was there when her daughter Rose showed the first symptoms. She points to a small, white-washed house a few yards from her own. Rose lived there with her husband.
Rose told her mother she had stomachache. Ellis gave her warm water to drink and took her to a clinic several times.
But Rose’s decline was swift. “She come into the bathroom to take a bath and just dropped,” Ellis recalls.
Photo: Amanda Ellis, 79, lost five members of her family to Ebola. Now, nobody will buy the mangoes that used provide her income. She must rely instead on handouts.
SKILLZ Street (SS) is an all-girls soccer-based programme developed by Grassroot Soccer (GRS) that combines HIV educational activities, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) knowledge, and soccer. SS also partners with the Thuthuzela Care Center (TCC) for medical and social services.
(By Jessica Rivera)
From pasteurization to deet, the world has seen many health innovations that have inarguably saved lives, reduced illness, and prevented severe outbreaks. Yet whether due to unforeseen consequences, changing moral or cultural attitudes, or environmental concerns, many of these innovations have become sources of controversy and debate today.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the most explosive in history. One reason the virus spread so fast is that West Africa was blindsided. Ebola had never erupted in people anywhere close to West Africa before.
The type of Ebola causing the outbreak — called Zaire — is the deadliest strain. Until this year, it had been seen only in Central Africa, about 2,500 miles away. That’s about the distance between Boston and San Francisco.
So how did it spread across this giant swath of land without anybody noticing?
To answer that, ecologist Peter Walsh says we need to look at the history of Ebola Zaire.
Back in the summer of 1976, a young Zairian doctor named Ngoy Mushola traveled to a rural village in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He heard people were dying of a strange disease, near the shores of the Ebola River. They had fevers, stomachaches and rashes. Some had internal bleeding.
"What’s so nasty about it is that it effectively melts your blood vessels," says Walsh, who’s at the University of Cambridge.
Illustration by Leif Parsons for NPR
Scientists have taken the first steps to developing a vaccine for chikungunya — an emerging mosquito-borne virus that has infected more than a half million people in the Western Hemisphere this year. About 600 Americans have brought the virus to 43 states.
The study was small. Only 25 people were given the experimental vaccine. But the findings are promising. They demonstrate that the vaccine is safe and that it triggers a strong response from the immune system, scientists reported Friday in the Lancet journal.
Until last year, chikungunya was found only in parts of Africa and Asia. Then in December, the virus started circulating on the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean.
From there, chikungunya spread like wildfire. It hopped from island to island in the Caribbean and spilled over into Central America and parts of South America. By July, chikungunya had found its way to Florida. At least four people have caught the virus in Florida. And the state has recorded 138 imported cases. New York state has the second largest number of imported cases, 96.
Chikungunya usually isn’t fatal. But it causes a high fever, headache, nausea and extreme joint pain — which can linger for months. And there’s no cure or vaccine.
Photo: Residents walk amid fumes as workers spray chemicals to exterminate mosquitoes in a neighborhood of Petion Ville in Port-au-Prince on May 21. The virus swept through Haiti this spring, infecting more than 40,000 people. (Hector Retamala/AFP/Getty Images)