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23rd April-7th May: Malaria breakthrough, Covid success, curing blindness and body power

We have missed you these last few weeks but we have been busy taking the next steps in our mission to help children, and grown ups, seek solutions! Watch this space... more details to follow soon!

In the meantime, I hope that these awesome stories below inspire some hope for our future! Please share this email with anyone you think might benefit from seeing a better side of the world.

This rapid radical reduction in the price of PV solar is a story about Chinese industrial might backed by American capital, fanned by European political sensibilities and made possible largely thanks to the pioneering work of an Australian research team.(The Guardian)

This breakthrough new malaria vaccine could save hundreds of thousands of lives a year Efforts to make malaria history have had huge success in recent years. Now, there’s hope. A vaccine against malaria has been shown to be highly effective in trials in Africa, holding out the real possibility of slashing the death toll of a disease that kills 400,000 mostly small children every year. (The Guardian)

Immune cells programmed to attack tumours in a smarter way have shrunk brain and ovarian tumours in mice studies where unaltered immune cells failed. The technology could be used to treat cancers as well as degenerative brain disorders.

Can plastic waste be made into bricks for new houses? Across the world there are about 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste. In fact only 21% of all the plastic ever produced has been recycled or incinerated. So finding new ways to reuse it is crucial. With constant global demand for new buildings, using it to make construction materials is one of the big ideas. (The Conversation)

Taiwan has been widely applauded for its management of the pandemic, with one of the lowest per capita COVID-19 rates in the world and life on the island largely returning to normal. Just 11 people have died from COVID-19 in Taiwan since the pandemic began, an impressive feat considering the island never went into lockdown. (The Conversation)

A wearable wristband containing a thermoelectric generator (TEG) can convert body heat into enough electricity to power an LED. In future, the technology may be able to power smartwatches and end the need for traditional charging hardware.

This is a huge achievement compared to the mid-1980s, when trachoma, a neglected tropical eye disease, was responsible for almost 1 out of 5 cases of blindness, countrywide. “This is a remarkable achievement that has saved children, mothers and families from preventable visual impairment or blindness, and improved their quality of life and well-being,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. At the heart of the efforts against trachoma are Gambian community volunteers, who have played a crucial role in mobilizing communities and promoting behaviour change.

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