Our Children are Dying!

I have watched with abject dismay, the state of cultural and moral degradation that now permeates our society and imbibed in our children.

More often than not, we have allowed this quite unconsciously, and a times with deliberate intention to give our children the best out of life, allowed a slip, a never ending slip that we may or may not recover from.

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Single parents don’t need anonymous generosity but public respect

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Single parents don’t need anonymous generosity but public respect” was written by Suzanne Moore, for theguardian.com on Monday 26th January 2015 11.51 UTC

Are random acts of kindness so rare that they are actual news? Apparently so. A young woman Samantha Welch was on a long train journey with her three year-old son. She did her best to entertain him, playing games with him and letting him listen to music. Eventually he fell asleep and because the train was full, she pulled him on to her lap so that she could offer his seat to other people.

Anyone who has travelled with a child will be familiar with this. Trains and boats and planes. Or actually buses. You try your best to keep the child quiet and happy and it’s exhausting. There are times when they become fractious, whatever you do. There are tantrums that not even a bag of Wotsits can soothe. There are stairs in most stations where people rush by as you bump up a buggy with a child and a heavy bag.

There are times when you need to leave your luggage to take a child to the loo or when a flight attendant will dump a tray of food on top of you when you have a toddler on your knee.

Travelling with a small child can be hard work, work that single parents do all the time. If you are not in that stage of life, it’s easier not to notice: move away from wailing infants and put your headphones in.

One man, however, did notice that this young woman in front of him was doing her best. As he left the train he tapped Samantha on the shoulder and said she had dropped something . It was a note that said:

“Have a drink on me. You are a credit to your generation, polite and teaching the little boy good manners. Man on train at table with glasses and hat. Have a lovely evening.
“PS I have a daughter your age, someone did the same for her once. Hope when she has children she is as good a mother as you.”

There was a fiver wrapped inside it.

Letter
The letter Samantha Welch received. Photograph: Ken McKay/ITV/Rex

The Daily Mail reported this story and wants to find this “generous stranger”. Kindness is clearly no longer its own reward. The subtext to this sweetness, though, is that of a decent man acknowledging a good young mother. Who knew such a thing existed? Samantha said: “People look at you and judge you every day when you’re a single mum but getting that note made me feel special and proud. That might sound silly, but all I’m trying to do is make a better life for my son.”

That does not sound silly at all. It makes perfect sense. Where, pray, does the assumption that single mothers do not want the best for their children come from?

Is it only the province of perfect couples to teach their children basic manners or how to behave in public? Actually, as a single parent, it has always been to my advantage to make my children as portable as possible.

But I am happy that this young women’s efforts were recognised. What we need though is not simply anonymous generosity but public respect. This has long been in short supply from the top down as single mothers are spoken of as failures, burdens, and responsible for so many societal ills. Besides dropping us a fiver and helping us with our bags, the ultimate kindness would be to relieve us of the baggage of nasty and negative preconceptions. We mostly try to get it right most of the time.

It’s nice that at least one person saw that.

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Interactive map: which country has the fewest ATMs?

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Interactive map: which country has the fewest ATMs?” was written by Rachel Banning-Lover, for theguardian.com on Monday 18th August 2014 16.23 UTC

As with all inventions, with the possible exception of the mobile phone, global distribution of automated teller machines (ATMs) has been uneven.

This interactive uses the most recent World Bank data – from 2012 – and highlights just how little traditional banking infrastructure there is in parts of Africa, South America and the Middle East.

View the fullsize map here. Credit: Rachel banning-Lover

By providing access to cash at all times and on any day, ATMs have transformed traditional banking. The map highlights the vast global disparity in consumers’ access to cash, from South Korea where there are 282 ATMs per 100,000 adults to places like Burma where there is just one cash machine per 100,000 adults.

How does your country compare? Hover over the map or check out the rankings below.

Note: All data is rounded to 0 decimal points.

Can’t find your country on our map or chart? Data was unavailable for some countries. ATMs per 100,000 are also rounded to 0 decimal points.

Join our campaign for financial inclusion and use the hashtag #NOunbanked.

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WHO declares Ebola outbreak an international public health emergency

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “WHO declares Ebola outbreak an international public health emergency” was written by Maev Kennedy, for The Guardian on Friday 8th August 2014 10.15 UTC

The World Health Organisation has declared the Ebola outbreak an international public health emergency, but it is not recommending general bans on travel or trade.

The global body said the Ebola outbreak – the largest and longest in history – was happening in countries without the resources to manage the infections, some with devastated healthcare systems still recovering from war, and called on the international community to help.

“Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own,” said Margaret Chan, the WHO’s director general. “I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible.”

The current outbreak began in Guinea in March and has spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia, with some cases in Nigeria. There is no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola and the death rate has been about 50%.

The virus has an incubation period of up to 21 days, meaning symptoms do not necessarily show before then.

The WHO emergency committee unanimously agreed, after two days of meetings in Geneva and teleconferences with representatives in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, that the outbreak was “an extraordinary event”, meeting all the conditions for a public health emergency, Chan said.

With 1,711 confirmed and suspected cases, and 932 deaths, the WHO said the outbreak was a public health risk to other states – particularly in view of “fragile health care systems” in the affected countries.

Although the WHO said that “there should be no general ban on international travel or trade,” it issued a long list of recommendations on travel and contacts, including urging that all travellers leaving the countries affected by the outbreak should be screened for fever, and that no corpses should be transported across borders.

It said other states should provide information to people travelling to affected and at risk areas, be prepared to detect, investigate and manage Ebola cases, and be prepared for the evacuation and repatriation of nationals, including health workers.

States should also ensure access to specialist diagnostic laboratories, and prepare to manage travellers who arrive at international airports or border crossings with “unexplained febrile illness”.

“The possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus, the intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, and the weak health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries,” a statement said. “A coordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola.”

The charity Save the Children, which said it was scaling up its operations in the region, warned that medical services in the affected countries were already overwhelmed. Rob MacGillivray, its regional humanitarian director, said that even before the outbreak there was less than one doctor for every 33,000 people in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

“Parents are understandably frightened and stay away from medical centres through fear of coming into contact with the infection. Pregnant mothers are giving birth at home rather than seeking skilled help and orphaned children are at risk of being ostracised from their communities at the most vulnerable time in their lives.

“Challenges remain in reaching families in rural communities who were struggling to access healthcare even before the outbreak.”

The WHO said health advice at airports and ports or border crossings should warn travellers that though the disease is rare, careful hygiene should be practised, and all contact with blood and body fluids of infected people or animals, or with any items that have come in contact with such blood or body fluids, must be avoided.

It also says that sexual intercourse with a sick person or one recovering from Ebola should be avoided “for at least seven weeks”.

The WHO advises that the risk to travellers from sharing a flight with somebody who is showing symptoms of Ebola is “very low” – but does recommend contacting fellow travellers if a sufferer reports their condition and seeks medical help on arrival.

For those travelling to affected areas, the WHO describes the risk of business travellers or tourists returning with the virus as “extremely low” – even, it says, “if the visit included travel to the local areas from which primary cases have been reported”.

“Transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals, all unlikely exposures for the average traveller. Tourists are in any event advised to avoid all such contacts.”

It said the risk to travellers visiting friends and relatives in affected countries was similarly low “unless the traveller has direct physical contact with a sick or dead person or animal infected with Ebola virus”.

The long list of advice to affected states includes screening all travellers leaving for fever, banning the remains of those who have died of Ebola from being transported across borders, and ensuring “funerals and burials are conducted by well-trained personnel”.

Countries with land borders with the affected states are urged “urgently to establish surveillance for clusters of unexplained fever or deaths due to febrile illness”, and to act within 24 hours of any suspected cases.

The United States is sending teams of experts to Liberia, including 12 specialists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after the Liberian president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, declared a 90-day state of emergency and said the disease had overwhelmed her country’s healthcare system.

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