Friday Feb 17 – Finding Accurate News

  1. Independent Reading Response – part 2 – due Wed March 1


2. news

3. Identifying-credible-and-accurate-sources info sheet

4. analyzing-news-sources-worksheet – due for today?

5. pbl-evaluation

Benefits of Vaccines

What’s scarier than Contagion? This map!

What could possibly be freakier than the global spread of a mysterious zombie disease in “Contagion”? How about this interactive map, which shows an alarming number of outbreaks for diseases we already know how to fight. 

The Council on Foreign Relations’ interactive map, which plots outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio, and rubella from 2008 to the present, has gone viral on social media, thanks to a tweet from GAVI Alliance CEO Seth Berkley.

Take a look. Pretty scary, right?

This map does two important things. First, it does something rare in the development space: it uses data visualization to help people understand the spread and prevalence of an outbreak – not just numbers and figures. Secondly, it shows us how important vaccines are. Nearly all of these cases could have been prevented if people had improved access to vaccines and stronger health systems around them.

It’s even scarier when you break the map apart in the full interactive map hereHere’s the measles map, for example:

Diseases like measles exist in all inhabited continents and kill approximately 122,000 people every year—that’s 14 deaths every hour!  What’s worse? Most of these people are children under five years old.

And whooping cough… 

Pertussis, otherwise known as whooping cough, also targets small children. The numbers of cases in the United States are unbelievable.

And polio. 

While initiatives by the World Health Organization have reduced poliomyelitis by 99 percent, polio still affects the most vulnerable. 95 percent of outbreaks in developing countries affect children under five years old.

Bottom line? As our friends at GAVI say, #vaccineswork. Unlike “Contagion”, where no vaccine exists, we can put an end to these ugly diseases because we have inexpensive vaccines to do so.

9 Reasons Why This is the Age of Miracles

This year, we can do something remarkable: make what was once miraculous commonplace.

In a piece for TIME, I’ve written that I believe we live in the age of miracles. You can read the piece here.

These miracles aren’t about weird stuff that can’t be explained: they’re about saving lives, connecting people around the world, lifting families out of poverty – and they can be attributed to the sheer imagination and greatness of humanity. To people like you – who raise their voices on behalf of others around the world.

In 2015, we are calling on even more people to stand up and raise their voices, so that these miracles get even more common. We have a real chance to make the age of miracles last, and help even more people live happy, healthy lives.

Here are nine reasons why this is the age of miracles:

1. Global extreme poverty has dropped from over a third of the world’s population in 1990 to just 14.5% in 2011 – less than half of what it was.

2. Since 2000, worldwide malaria mortality rates have decreased by 47%, or nearly half.

Source: WHO Photo Credit: Malaria No More

3. In 2003 in sub-Saharan Africa, just 50,000 people were on lifesaving antiretroviral drugs to combat HIV/AIDS; now that figure is more than 9 million.

4. In 2012, there were some 57 million more sub-Saharan African children in primary school than in 2000 – that’s nearly as many as the population of California and New York State combined.

5. In the 1970s, less than 5% of the world’s infants received some of the most basic life-saving vaccines; now, it’s more than 80%.

6. Partly because of vaccines, deaths of children under five have been cut in half since 1990, from 12.7 million per year then to 6.3 million in 2013. That’s six million children that would have died who lived!

7. The number of people killed in wars each year has dropped from some 33,0000 in 1950 to less than 1,000 in 2007.

Credit: Steven Pinker/Wall Street Journal

8. The explosive growth of mobile telecommunications in Africa has had huge benefits – for example, women smallholder farmers can send and receive payments with complete security.


9. Millions of people, just like you, have put pressure on their governments to fund and implement policies and interventions that have saved and improved the lives of millions.

Joris Bulckens

But if the new Sustainable Development Goals are to do their job, even more millions of global citizens will have to step up. Together, we can do more. Join us at to make your pledge for a better world.