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It’s more than 10 years since I first presented a statistical model to predict which countries in Africa were most at risk of a polio outbreak. Since then, our research collaboration has evolved and adapted the tool to meet current needs. With wild polio eliminated from Africa, the major concern in this region is tackling outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus serotype 2 (cVDPV2), which can cause permanent paralysis.
Many are still struggling in the disruptive wake of COVID-19. An open call from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations underlines the importance of social solidarity and ‘contagious’ kindness in communities response to COVID-19. Kindness and generosity, defined as the capacity to give more than is necessary or expected, that are driving people to help others are essential for us to getting through the gloomy, long-lasting fight against the pandemic.
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has a long and prestigious history of continuity and change in its mission to improve health worldwide. Changes are often in response to new challenges – as exemplified by our pivotal role in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which suddenly emerged in late 2019.
It is estimated that over 3% of the world’s population required humanitarian aid in 2020. As temperatures rise and weather patterns shift, one can only imagine the number of people and financial resources needed to provide services if we continue unabated on this current dangerous path. We lack accurate figures but hypothesize that the destruction of formal structures and social safety nets during natural disasters will likely lead to increases in violence against children.