Jason Beaubien http://wkar.org en Polio Hits Equatorial Guinea, Threatens Central Africa http://wkar.org/post/polio-hits-equatorial-guinea-threatens-central-africa Health officials are worried.<p>After being free of polio for nearly 15 years, Equatorial Guinea has <a href="http://www.polioeradication.org/Dataandmonitoring/Poliothisweek.aspx">reported</a> two cases of the disease.<p>The children paralyzed are in two distant parts of the country. So the virus may have spread widely across the small nation.<p>The outbreak is dangerous, in part, because Equatorial Guinea has the worst polio vaccination rate in the world: 39 percent. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:29:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 52300 at http://wkar.org Polio Hits Equatorial Guinea, Threatens Central Africa Global Aid For Health Hits Record High As Funding Sources Shift http://wkar.org/post/global-aid-health-hits-record-high-though-total-aid-dipping International development aid has hit an all-time high, despite some nations dramatically slashing their foreign assistance budgets. As patterns of international assistance shift, an increasing amount of money is being invested in improving health in the developing world.<p>Donors from wealthy nations, aid groups, U.N. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:15:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 51861 at http://wkar.org Global Aid For Health Hits Record High As Funding Sources Shift To Save Her Husband's Life, A Woman Fights For Access To TB Drugs http://wkar.org/post/save-her-husbands-life-woman-fights-access-tb-drugs One year ago Pavel Rucsineanu was running out of options.<p>Drug-resistant tuberculosis was ravaging his lungs. And the disease had evolved into an incurable form, doctors said.<p>It's like an "infectious cancer," Dr. Tetru Alexandriuc <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/06/03/186072305/love-in-the-time-of-tb-a-young-family-fights-an-ancient-foe">said</a> at the time. "We have no other medicines" to treat Pavel, the doctor added. Wed, 19 Mar 2014 20:31:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 50909 at http://wkar.org To Save Her Husband's Life, A Woman Fights For Access To TB Drugs Stopping Microbes Not Missiles: U.S. Plans For Next Global Threat http://wkar.org/post/stopping-microbes-not-missiles-us-plans-next-global-threat Spot the next plague before it arrives. Predict the next swine flu outbreak before it makes headlines. Even detect a biological weapon before it's launched.<p>These are the goals of an ambitious initiative, launched Thursday, to build a worldwide surveillance system for infectious diseases.<p>Spearheaded by the U.S. government, the <a href="http://www.globalhealth.gov/global-health-topics/global-health-security/index.html">Global Health Security Agenda</a> brings together 26 countries, the World Health Organization and several other international group. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 23:12:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 49357 at http://wkar.org Stopping Microbes Not Missiles: U.S. Plans For Next Global Threat Cancer Cases Rising At An Alarming Rate Worldwide http://wkar.org/post/global-cancer-cases-rising-alarming-rate-worldwide As countries modernize around the world, they're increasingly being hit with one of the curses of wealth: cancer.<p>There are about 14 million new cancer cases globally each year, the World Health Organization <a href="http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2014/pdfs/pr224_E.pdf">reported</a> Monday. Wed, 05 Feb 2014 00:08:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 48911 at http://wkar.org Cancer Cases Rising At An Alarming Rate Worldwide Access To Toilets And Books Improves Life For Kids Across The Globe http://wkar.org/post/access-toilets-and-books-improves-life-kids-across-globe The world is in the midst of a porcelain revolution.<p>Nearly 2 billion people have gained access to clean toilets, or at least a decent outhouse, since 1990, the nonprofit UNICEF <a href="http://www.unicef.org/sowc2014/numbers/">reports</a> Thursday.<p>That rise in sanitation <a href="http://www.who.int/topics/sanitation/en/">has led</a> to big health improvements, the agency says, because contaminated drinking water is still a major cause of disease and death for children.<p>But toilets aren't only the reason the world is becoming a better place for kids. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 17:29:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 48665 at http://wkar.org Access To Toilets And Books Improves Life For Kids Across The Globe Overweight People In Developing World Outnumber Those In Rich Countries http://wkar.org/post/overweight-people-developing-world-outnumber-those-rich-countries People are getting fatter around the world. Fri, 03 Jan 2014 13:15:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 47483 at http://wkar.org Overweight People In Developing World Outnumber Those In Rich Countries Why Ending Malaria May Be More About Backhoes Than Bed Nets http://wkar.org/post/why-ending-malaria-may-be-more-about-backhoes-bed-nets Wiping out malaria is a top goal for many leaders in global health.<p>Fewer people are dying now from the mosquito-borne disease than at any other time in history. "And there's a very, very strong belief now that malaria can be eliminated," says <a href="http://www.who.int/woman_child_accountability/ierg/members/Phumaphi/en/index.html">Joy Phumaphi</a>, who chairs the African Leaders Malaria Alliance.<p>But when you look at the overall numbers on malaria, eradication almost seems like a pipe dream.<p>In 2010, malaria was ranked as the seventh biggest killer in the developing world. Fri, 03 Jan 2014 08:24:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 47469 at http://wkar.org Why Ending Malaria May Be More About Backhoes Than Bed Nets Simple, Cheap Health Remedies Cut Child Mortality In Ethiopia http://wkar.org/post/simple-cheap-health-remedies-cut-child-mortality-ethiopia Poor countries are starting to realize something that richer ones sometimes forget: Basic, inexpensive measures can have dramatic impacts on the health of a country. Wed, 01 Jan 2014 21:02:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 47416 at http://wkar.org Simple, Cheap Health Remedies Cut Child Mortality In Ethiopia Rushing Toward Chaos: Covering The Aftermath Of Typhoon Haiyan http://wkar.org/post/rushing-toward-chaos-covering-aftermath-typhoon-haiyan It felt like a dream.<p>The Marines kept flying over us all night long. Their hulking C-130 cargo planes rattled the tarp we'd jerry-rigged above our heads. NPR photographer David Gilkey and I were lying in sleeping bags next to the runway of the destroyed Tacloban airport. We'd arrived a few hours earlier in the back of one of those military aircraft. Now we were just waiting for daybreak.<p>Typhoon Haiyan had ripped the airport apart, killed the soldiers based there and left it flooded with seawater. Sat, 28 Dec 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 47253 at http://wkar.org Rushing Toward Chaos: Covering The Aftermath Of Typhoon Haiyan They Shot For Zero, But Couldn't Squash Polio In 2013 http://wkar.org/post/they-shot-zero-couldnt-squash-polio-2013 <em>As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year. Numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we're living in, right now. Over the next two weeks, you'll hear the stories behind numbers, ranging from zero to 1 trillion. </em><p>The lowest number of polio cases ever recorded in the world during one year was 223. And 2013 was on track for an even lower number.<p>But this was a year when polio pushed back. Hard. Sun, 15 Dec 2013 13:23:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 46709 at http://wkar.org They Shot For Zero, But Couldn't Squash Polio In 2013 Nelson Mandela, Inspiration To World, Dies At 95 http://wkar.org/post/nelson-mandela-inspiration-world-dies-95 Nelson Mandela, who was born in a country that viewed him as a second-class citizen, died Thursday as one of the most respected statesmen in the world. He was 95.<p>President Jacob Zuma announced the death in a televised speech.<p>From his childhood as a herd boy, Mandela went on to lead the African National Congress' struggle against the racially oppressive, apartheid regime of South Africa. For his efforts, he spent 27 years behind bars as a political prisoner. Thu, 05 Dec 2013 21:56:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 46255 at http://wkar.org Nelson Mandela, Inspiration To World, Dies At 95 A Chronic Problem In Disaster Zones: No Fuel http://wkar.org/post/chronic-problem-disaster-zones-no-fuel In the wake of any natural disaster, there are almost always shortages of fuel. Even in the United States, gas stations shut down during blackouts because there's no electricity to run their pumps.<p>It was no different in the Philippines, where practically no fuel was available after Typhoon Haiyan struck. Aid agencies said the lack of gasoline was a major impediment to relief efforts.<p>One small American nonprofit called the Fuel Relief Fund is trying to change that.<p>Immediately after Haiyan hit, all the gas stations in Tacloban were shut, along with everything else. Wed, 20 Nov 2013 21:52:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 45603 at http://wkar.org A Chronic Problem In Disaster Zones: No Fuel Catholics In Philippines Turn To Church To Cope With Typhoon http://wkar.org/post/catholics-philippines-turn-church-cope-typhoon Across the ravaged center of the Philippines on Sunday, people flocked to Mass, often in churches that had been severely damaged or destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.<p>In many villages in Leyte province, the only structures that survived the storm were churches. Spires and statues of angels look out over fields of smashed houses and twisted typhoon debris.<p>In Tacloban, the typhoon ripped the roof off the once-stately Santo Nino Catholic Church. There's still mud in among the pews, and one of the large stained-glass windows hangs precariously from its frame above the congregation. Mon, 18 Nov 2013 08:31:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 45449 at http://wkar.org Catholics In Philippines Turn To Church To Cope With Typhoon Photos: A Crippled Hospital Aids Desperate Survivors http://wkar.org/post/crippled-hospital-aids-desperate-survivors In the typhoon-ravaged heart of the Philippines, many hospitals were badly damaged or destroyed by the storm. NPR photojournalist David Gilkey and reporter Jason Beaubien visited one battered hospital that continues to serve patients.<p>More than a week after the storm, the staff at Divine Word Hospital are simultaneously trying to patch up the hospital and take care of patients.<p>In the courtyard of the hospital, men fight thick, black mud that was left behind by the storm surge. Typhoon Haiyan ripped the roof off this solid, four-story hospital and threw it down in the courtyard. Sat, 16 Nov 2013 18:52:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 45416 at http://wkar.org Photos: A Crippled Hospital Aids Desperate Survivors U.S. Military Helps Transport Typhoon Survivors http://wkar.org/post/us-military-helps-transport-typhoon-survivors Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Stories of survival are emerging from the Philippines after the devastation brought by Typhoon Haiyan. Twenty-three-year-old Marcelo Maloon(ph) was studying nursing in Tacloban, the city hardest hit by the storm. And on the day of the typhoon, Maloon took shelter in a hotel with friends.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>From a third floor window, Maloon filmed videos he then posted to his Instagram account, showing debris flying through the air and cars being swept through the flooded street below. Thu, 14 Nov 2013 10:47:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 45275 at http://wkar.org Do For-Profit Schools Give Poor Kenyans A Real Choice? http://wkar.org/post/do-profit-schools-give-poor-kenyans-real-choice <a href="http://www.bridgeinternationalacademies.com/">Bridge International Academies</a> has set up more than 200 schools in Kenya over the past four years, and plans to open 50 more in January.<p>Using a school-in-a-box model, Bridge's founders say it gives primary schoolkids a quality education for roughly $5 a month.<p>"We believe that we can be educating at least 10 million pupils around the world that come from families who live on less than $2 a day," says Bridge co-founder Jay Kimmelman. "We believe that we can give them an education ... Tue, 12 Nov 2013 19:22:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 45190 at http://wkar.org Do For-Profit Schools Give Poor Kenyans A Real Choice? Aid Groups Struggle To Reach Survivors Of Typhoon Haiyan http://wkar.org/post/aid-groups-struggle-reach-survivors-typhoon-haiyan Aid agencies are scrambling to try to get water and food to people in the Philippines who've been left homeless or injured by Typhoon Haiyan.<p>But reaching some of the areas ravaged by the intense storm is proving difficult. Mon, 11 Nov 2013 23:00:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 45144 at http://wkar.org Aid Groups Struggle To Reach Survivors Of Typhoon Haiyan Polio In The Middle East And Africa Could Threaten Europe http://wkar.org/post/polio-middle-east-and-africa-could-threaten-europe Polio outbreaks in the Middle East and Africa could spread to Europe if precautions aren't taken, researchers say.<p>The recent discovery of the poliovirus in <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/10/22/238693328/first-polio-cases-since-1999-suspected-in-syria">Syria</a>, Somalia and Israel should be a wake-up call for European health officials, according to epidemiologist <a href="http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/modeling/Mod_Eichner_Intro_en.html">Martin Eichner</a> at the University of Tuebingen in Germany.<p>"There are more and more countries where polio is being transmitted, and there Fri, 08 Nov 2013 17:34:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 45019 at http://wkar.org Polio In The Middle East And Africa Could Threaten Europe Polio Has Not Returned To South Sudan, After All http://wkar.org/post/polio-has-not-returned-south-sudan-after-all We <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/10/31/240229425/violence-chaos-let-polio-creep-back-into-syria-and-horn-of-africa">reported</a> Wednesday that the polio outbreak in Somalia had spread to South Sudan. But health officials say that they were mistaken. There have been no polio cases in the country since 2009.<p>The World Health Organization said previously that it had confirmed three cases of polio in South Sudan back in August.<p>"There was a problem in the lab analysis," WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer told Shots Thursday in an email. "So in fact those are not [polio] cases. Thu, 31 Oct 2013 22:25:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 44635 at http://wkar.org Violence, Chaos Let Polio Creep Back Into Syria And Horn Of Africa http://wkar.org/post/violence-chaos-let-polio-creep-back-syria-and-horn-africa <strong>Update on Thursday<strong>, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m. ET:</strong></strong><p><blockquote><p>A spokesman for the World Health Organization <a href="../blogs/health/2013/10/31/242150843/polio-has-not-returned-to-south-sudan?live=1">said Thursday</a> that it was mistaken about the polio outbreak in Somalia spreading to South Sudan. The virus has been detected in Kenya and Ethiopia this year. But South Sudan has not recorded a polio case since 2009.<p></blockquote><p>Global efforts to eradicate polio have made impressive progress over the past decade. Wed, 30 Oct 2013 08:29:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 44522 at http://wkar.org Violence, Chaos Let Polio Creep Back Into Syria And Horn Of Africa First Polio Cases Since 1999 Suspected In Syria http://wkar.org/post/first-polio-cases-1999-suspected-syria The World Health Organization is investigating a cluster of possible polio cases in an eastern province of Syria.<p>If the cases are confirmed, they'd be the first ones in the war-torn nation in more than a decade. The country eliminated polio in 1999.<p>Syria used to have one of the highest polio vaccination rates in the region. Mon, 21 Oct 2013 13:27:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 44062 at http://wkar.org First Polio Cases Since 1999 Suspected In Syria Tuberculosis Hitched A Ride When Early Humans Left Africa http://wkar.org/post/tuberculosis-hitched-ride-when-early-humans-left-africa Dogs often get credit for being humans' constant companions. Thu, 05 Sep 2013 15:54:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 41841 at http://wkar.org Tuberculosis Hitched A Ride When Early Humans Left Africa Chronic Illnesses Outpace Infections As Big Killers Worldwide http://wkar.org/post/chronic-illnesses-outpace-infections-big-killers-worldwide People around the world are getting healthier and living longer.<p>Infectious diseases are declining around the globe. Wed, 04 Sep 2013 16:33:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 41769 at http://wkar.org Chronic Illnesses Outpace Infections As Big Killers Worldwide To Keep Polio At Bay, Israel Revaccinates A Million Kids http://wkar.org/post/keep-polio-bay-israel-revaccinates-million-kids Israel is in the midst of a massive, emergency immunization drive of all children under the age of 9 against polio.<p>Why?<p>Health workers detected the virus in southern Israel in February. Since then, they've found it in 85 different sewage samples across the country, the <a href="http://www.polioeradication.org/">Global Polio Eradication Initiative</a> said Wednesday. Mon, 02 Sep 2013 07:24:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 41649 at http://wkar.org To Keep Polio At Bay, Israel Revaccinates A Million Kids In South Africa, A Clinic Focuses On Prostitutes To Fight HIV http://wkar.org/post/south-africa-clinic-focuses-prostitutes-fight-hiv South Africa has come a long way in dealing with AIDS. The country has been successful in getting drug treatment to millions of people infected with HIV.<p>But the country still has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world — and the virus continues to spread. Wed, 28 Aug 2013 21:13:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 41463 at http://wkar.org In South Africa, A Clinic Focuses On Prostitutes To Fight HIV After Missteps In HIV Care, South Africa Finds Its Way http://wkar.org/post/after-missteps-hiv-care-south-africa-finds-its-way South Africa has more people with HIV than any other country in the world.<p>Roughly 5.5 million of its 53 million citizens are infected with the virus. Tue, 27 Aug 2013 19:55:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 41389 at http://wkar.org After Missteps In HIV Care, South Africa Finds Its Way Experimental Malaria Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Test http://wkar.org/post/experimental-malaria-vaccine-shows-promise-early-trial A viable, effective vaccine against malaria has long eluded scientists. Results from a preliminary study have ignited hope that a new type of vaccine could change that.<p>The experimental vaccine offered strong protection against malaria when given at high doses, scientists <a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2013/08/07/science.1241800.abstract">report</a> Thursday in the journal <em>Science</em>.<p>The study was extremely small and short-term. Thu, 08 Aug 2013 23:04:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 40503 at http://wkar.org Experimental Malaria Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Test South Africans Ponder A Nation Without Mandela http://wkar.org/post/south-africans-ponder-nation-without-mandela From the township of Alexandra in Johannesburg, shack dwellers can look across a ravine to the spires of Sandton City, which houses the most lavish shopping mall in sub-Saharan Africa.<p>Alex, as this slum of roughly a half a million people is known, was home to Nelson Mandela when he first moved to Johannesburg in 1941.<p>The small house where Mandela rented a room is marked with a plaque, but the yard is littered with trash and construction debris. Thu, 25 Jul 2013 07:40:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 39673 at http://wkar.org South Africans Ponder A Nation Without Mandela Polio Eradication Suffers A Setback As Somali Outbreak Worsens http://wkar.org/post/polio-eradication-suffers-setback-somali-outbreak-worsens Somalia hadn't had a case of polio for nearly six years. But in the past few months, the virus has come back. Now the East African country has the worst polio outbreak anywhere in the world.<p>Twenty new cases of polio were <a href="http://www.polioeradication.org/Dataandmonitoring/Poliothisweek.aspx" target="_blank">reported</a> this week in Somalia by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. That brings the total number of cases in the Horn of Africa to 73. Sat, 20 Jul 2013 10:44:00 +0000 Jason Beaubien 39461 at http://wkar.org Polio Eradication Suffers A Setback As Somali Outbreak Worsens