Jason Beaubien

Jason Beaubien is NPR's Global Health and Development Correspondent on the Science Desk.

In this role, he reports on a range of issues across the world. He's covered the plight of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, mass cataract surgeries in Ethiopia, abortion in El Salvador, poisonous gold mines in Nigeria, drug-resistant malaria in Myanmar and tuberculosis in Tajikistan. He was part of a team of reporters at NPR that won a Peabody Award in 2015 for their extensive coverage of the West Africa Ebola outbreak. His current beat also examines development issues including why Niger has the highest birth rate in the world, can private schools serve some of the poorest kids on the planet and the links between obesity and economic growth.

Prior to becoming the Global Health and Development Correspondent in 2012, Beaubien spent four years based in Mexico City covering Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. In that role, Beaubien filed stories on politics in Cuba, the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the FMLN victory in El Salvador, the world's richest man and Mexico's brutal drug war.

For his first multi-part series as the Mexico City correspondent, Beaubien drove the length of the U.S./Mexico border making a point to touch his toes in both oceans. The stories chronicled the economic, social and political changes along the violent frontier.

In 2002, Beaubien joined NPR after volunteering to cover a coup attempt in the Ivory Coast. Over the next four years, Beaubien worked as a foreign correspondent in sub-Saharan Africa, visiting 27 countries on the continent. His reporting ranged from poverty on the world's poorest continent, the HIV in the epicenter of the epidemic, and the all-night a cappella contests in South Africa, to Afro-pop stars in Nigeria and a trial of white mercenaries in Equatorial Guinea.

During this time, he covered the famines and wars of Africa, as well as inspiring preachers and Nobel laureates. Beaubien was one of the first journalists to report on the huge exodus of people out of Sudan's Darfur region into Chad, as villagers fled some of the initial attacks by the Janjawid. He reported extensively on the steady deterioration of Zimbabwe and still has a collection of worthless Zimbabwean currency.

In 2006, Beaubien was awarded a Knight-Wallace fellowship at the University of Michigan to study the relationship between the developed and the developing world.

Beaubien grew up in Maine, started his radio career as an intern at NPR Member Station KQED in San Francisco and worked at WBUR in Boston before joining NPR.

TB patients have become collateral damage in the train wreck that is COVID-19.

Until the emergence of COVID, tuberculosis was the deadliest infectious disease in the world. But health care workers were making slow, steady progress to contain it. Now for the first time in more than a decade the death toll from TB is rising.

Tuberculosis killed roughly 1.5 million people in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, up from 1.4 million in 2019. And researchers say COVID is to blame.

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The world's arsenal against malaria just got a fancy new bazooka. But it's not the easiest weapon to deploy, it only hits its target 30 to 40% of the time, and it's not yet clear who's going to pay for it.

The weapon in question is the RTS,S vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline, which on Wednesday got the green light from the World Health Organization for widespread use.

This is not only the first authorized malaria vaccine, it's also the first vaccine ever approved for use against a parasitic disease in humans.

A huge trove of leaked financial documents called the Pandora Papers has exposed the offshore financial dealings of hundreds of the world's global elites, including more than 330 politicians from nearly 100 countries.

The nearly 12 million documents were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The ICIJ worked with more than 600 journalists in 117 countries to sift through the records.

A 43-year-old woman arrived at an interview for a job with the World Health Organization to raise community awareness about Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was late 2018. The outbreak there was the largest since the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa.

She said the interviewer told her she could only get the job in exchange for sex. When she refused, she said, the man raped her.

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Updated August 19, 2021 at 8:10 PM ET

LES CAYES, Haiti — The field at the main soccer stadium in Haiti's third-largest city has turned into an expanse of mud. Last night in Les Cayes, as a thunderstorm drenched Haiti's south coast, hundreds of people slept in flimsy shelters on the athletic pitch.

Some had only a bedsheet or sheet of plastic tied over sticks to protect themselves from the elements. Others slept in tents and under tarps.

LES CAYES, Haiti — Inside the gates of the Immaculée Conception Hospital in this seaside town, family members of a woman who just died have collapsed in each others' arms.

The woman's thin body is carried out on a stretcher. Wrapped tightly in a sheet, she's loaded into the back of a battered Chevy Suburban.

Even as the dead depart, more injured come in the front gate. They come in cars, on the back of motorcycles. Children are carried to the door. A woman limps in, her foot wrapped in cloth. A famous Haitian DJ called Tony Mix arrives and tosses money to the crowd.

CÔTEAUX, Haiti — In this coastal town west of Les Cayes, 57 year old Kettly Rosier is now terrified to sleep inside her house. Thin black fissures snake up her walls. The concrete floor of her second story — which is the ceiling of her kitchen — is cracked.

For the first two nights after the quake, Rosier and many other residents slept out in the main street.

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An earthquake ravaged areas of Haiti. Government workers are starting to use heavy equipment to demolish collapsed buildings where it's clear no more survivors will be found.

(SOUNDBITE OF DEMOLITION AMBIENCE)

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In the wake of one of the most devastating moments in Haiti's arduous history, there has been a bright spot.

One week after Haiti's president was assassinated, the country's first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines finally arrived.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in his heavily guarded private residence on July 7 shocked the nation. But it happened at a time when violence is surging in the country. Many Haitians say that killings, kidnappings and random shootings are at levels they've never seen before.

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David Moinina Sengeh is not your typical education minister. The 34-year-old with a Ph.D. from MIT not only oversees the public schools in Sierra Leone, he's also the nation's chief innovation officer. And that's in addition to being a recording artist, a clothing designer and an inventor.

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — President Biden this month announced plans to ship a half a billion doses of the Pfizer vaccine to the 100 lowest income countries in the world. That would include Sierra Leone and many other sub-Saharan African nations.

Hospital wards across Uganda are filling with COVID-19 patients as the country faces an aggressive surge in cases. One of the biggest issues have: a serious shortage of oxygen.

Over the last month, the number of daily reported infections has increased tenfold, showing no signs of letting up. Cases have jumped from less than 100 a day in mid-May to 1,584 on June 18. "ICU bed capacity is now full, almost at 100%," says Willy Tabu, a physician based in Kampala who helps coordinate Mercy Corps response to the pandemic.

Sahr Tarawaly is proud to be the breadwinner for his family. Each day the 14- year-old fetches water for several of his neighbors. He collects firewood to sell by the side of the road. He goes around to construction sites and asks for work sweeping and cleaning up debris. When fishing boats come in, he helps them draw in their nets.

"I used to like mathematics," the round-faced teenager says. But that was in the past. "Now I go down to the beach to fish, to have fish to eat."

Sahr dropped out of school two years when he was 12.

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FREETOWN, Sierra Leonoe — Gunmen opened fire at 2 a.m., killing more than 160 people in the West African nation of Burkina Faso over the weekend, according to local officials.

The assault on the village of Solhan on Saturday is the latest incident in a region reeling from a recent coup and plagued by instability. Human rights groups say it was the worst attack on civilians in the region in years.

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A massacre over the weekend left more than 130 people dead in Burkina Faso.

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From the get-go, the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was different.

This week, President Biden announced that the U.S. will be sending millions of doses of COVID vaccines abroad by the beginning of July. But he said the U.S. would not be doling out these life-saving vaccines simply to curry favor with allies ravaged by the pandemic.

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Haiti has one of the lowest death rates from COVID-19 in the world.

As of the end of April, only 254 deaths were attributed to COVID-19 in Haiti over the course of the entire pandemic. The Caribbean nation, which often struggles with infectious diseases, has a COVID-19 death rate of just 22 per million. In the U.S. the COVID-19 death rate is 1,800 per million, and in parts of Europe. the fatality rate is approaching 3,000 deaths per million.

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