Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Devex - Gordon Brown’s future global development plans

"Former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown plans to increase his focus on global development after stepping down as a member of the parliament at the next election, according to aides who supported him during his term in office.

Brown’s resignation after the U.K. general election in May 2015, will end a 31-year career in national politics. However, in recent years the former leader of the Labour Party has increased his development profile, especially on issues affecting children. Shortly after being appointed U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education in 2012, with his wife Sarah Brown he co-founded the international charity Theirworld, which campaigns for universal access to education and encourages business leaders to accelerate progress toward achieving this goal.

Alison McGovern MP, who worked for Brown as his parliamentary private secretary from 2010 until his resignation and is now a shadow minister for education, told Devex there was “no sense in which Gordon is retiring at all..."

Read the full article on Devex.com


Friday, 5 December 2014

TES - Life and learning under the shadow of the Ebola virus


"In September, teacher Foray Turay should have welcomed 300 children to his primary school in the Sierra Leonean village of Samaya. But not a single child in the country has attended lessons since 31 July, when the government declared a state of national emergency to contain the deadly Ebola virus.

Across the three worst-affected West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, 5 million children aged between 3 and 17 are currently out of education. With more than 16,000 reported Ebola cases and in excess of 6,900 deaths, it is safer for children to stay at home than sit on crowded school benches where physical contact – the way the virus spreads – is unavoidable.


But with the outbreak still far from being under control, educationalists are concerned that pupils will miss an entire academic year, or never return to their studies..."

Read the full article on TES online

Friday, 21 November 2014

Devex - Peter Piot's 4 tips to fight Ebola

With the Ebola crisis still far from unresolved, Devex spoke to the scientist who helped to discover the Ebola virus almost four decades ago to learn more about what the global development community needs to do right now to tackle the disease.

Peter Piot, director and professor of global health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and founding director of UNAIDS, traveled in 1976 to Zaire — now Democratic Republic of the Congo — to help quell an outbreak that was rapidly spreading from village to village. After identifying the virus from a Belgian nurse, Piot’s team put infected people into quarantine and was able to contain the epidemic within three months and after the disease had killed over 300 people.

Here are Piot’s four pieces of advice for the ongoing international effort to contain Ebola in West Africa and beyond...

To read the full article, go to Devex.com.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Devex - 'New R&D models needed to tackle drug-resistant TB'

"Tuberculosis has killed more people than any other infectious disease in human history, yet before 2013 no new drugs to treat the illness had been developed for more than 40 years.

Access to treatment varies from country to country, depending on the strength of health care systems and ability to buy drugs that can cost thousands of dollars. TB is treatable and curable, but 1.5 million people died from the disease in 2013.

Delegates from all around the world came together last month in Barcelona, Spain for the first international parliamentarian TB summit, where attendees declared a commitment to end TB in a generation..."


Read the full article on Devex.com

Thursday, 23 October 2014

New Internationalist - ‘Lost generation’ threat of Ebola

‘My two siblings and I lived with our parents before they both came down with the virus… one by one they died.’ These words, spoken by 13-year-old Liberian Ndebeh Kporloi, have become a familiar story in countries hit by Ebola. Across the worst-affected regions of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, at least 9,191 people have now been infected and 4,546 have died, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). While Ebola has dramatically changed everyone’s lives in these regions, children are experiencing a degree of suffering for which childhood cannot prepare.

One of the biggest concerns for children is the escalating number of orphans. In September Unicef estimated at least 3,700 children had lost one or both parents to Ebola. That number is growing, as Unicef’s Liberia spokesperson Laurent Duvillier explains: ‘WHO data shows the most Ebola-affected age group is aged 25 to 36 – that means most of them are parents. We have anecdotal evidence that the number is growing, following the exponential growth of the number of cases.’ The WHO has warned that by December there could be as many as 10,000 new infections each week...

Read the full article on the New Internationalist website

Devex - Four innovative solutions to deliver on education amid Ebola crisis

When government officials in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone and Liberia ordered schools to close over the summer to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, they probably didn’t expect the shutdown would last so long.

Ebola is transmitted through bodily contact, making children crowded onto classroom benches a high-risk situation. Months later, children of all ages are still confined to their homes and missing out on vital education.

As infection rates continue to rise — more than 9,191 across the most-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to latest World Health Organization statistics — education ministries and nongovernmental organizations are considering other ways to deliver education in an such a challenging environment.

Here are our top four innovations to delivering non-contact classes...

Read the full article on Devex.com

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Sunday Times - A land shuts down to fight ebola

"WHEN Oliver Johnson, a British doctor, left home on Friday to drive to work in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, the normal buzz of street life was hushed.

A three-day nationwide lockdown — the government’s extraordinary experiment to combat the lethal ebola virus — had begun.

“The streets were deserted except for small groups of people in bright white T-shirts saying ‘ebola is real’ on them,” said Johnson.

Soldiers patrolled streets to ensure residents stayed indoors. Anyone moving around was escorted home under threat of arrest. Police set up checkpoints and allowed only official cars to pass..."

Read the full article on the Sunday Times website.

The Independent on Sunday - Ebola virus outbreak: A first-hand Liberian tragedy – 'We begged, take the baby to hospital... They refused'

"Princess Mayers sobs as she describes how Ebola has destroyed her life. The 17-year-old Liberian, whose story The Independent featured in May, had already suffered profoundly before the deadly virus struck the country.

Aged 14 and an orphan, she was forced to work as a prostitute to survive, and bore a child. A British charity called Street Child found her in the streets of West Point, one of the largest slums in the capital, Monrovia. It intervened and set Princess and her daughter on a path towards a brighter future. But because of the impact of Ebola, she is now struggling to go on. And her baby is dead.

The Ebola epidemic has claimed more than 2,600 lives across West Africa, with more than half of those deaths in Liberia. Last week, Barack Obama called the outbreak “a threat to global security”, and announced that he would send 3,000 US troops to affected regions.

Princess’s child Angie did not die of Ebola..."

Read the full story on the Independent website.

Princess and baby Angie in March 2014

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Children & Young People Now - Head teachers for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils

"Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children are among the lowest achieving at every level of education.

In April 2012, a cross-departmental ministerial working group published 28 commitments to tackling inequalities faced by GRT communities. Six focused on education. Among plans to improve low school attendance and prevent bullying was a Department for Education pilot to appoint virtual head teachers for GRT pupils inspired by the successful virtual school heads model for looked-after children.

The pilot set out to raise attainment levels among GRT pupils by addressing common barriers to education including tackling mistrust between parents and teachers created by historic persecution of GRT communities, and engaging parents who may not have completed formal education themselves and be unfamiliar with school systems..."

Read the full article on the CYP Now website.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

New Internationalist - Fighting Ebola on the frontline

"British doctor Oliver Johnson is fighting Ebola on the frontline in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown. He leads a team of volunteer doctors and nurses from the Kings Sierra Leone Partnership at the country’s Connaught Hospital. They have been treating cases in an isolation unit since the outbreak emerged in March.

The virus is now present in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal. It has so far killed more than 1,550 people and infected more than 3,000. Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that cases could exceed 20,000 before the outbreak is halted. There is no known cure for Ebola.

In this interview, Oliver Johnson talks about the situation in Sierra Leone, and warns that without urgent international assistance Ebola threatens to undo all the reparations the country has achieved since the end of its decade-long civil war in 2002..."

Read the full interview on the New Internationalist website.

King's College has launched an emergency Ebola appeal.