26 June 2014

Africa: Scidev.net Podcast - A Promising Dengue Vaccine and More

This month's podcast is a wellspring of hope, as we hear about a new vaccine against dengue fever, how e-learning platforms connect students from around the world and why reforestation can also promote local development.

We begin with the story of a new vaccine to treat dengue fever that has been 20 years in the making. Nicholas Jackson, head of research and development for the dengue vaccine programme at Sanofi Pasteur, tells us why dengue - a life-threatening disease carried by mosquitoes - is spreading and putting more people at risk. He also tells us how the vaccine is performing in clinical trials.

Then we take a look at emerging e-learning platforms that cut across cultural and language barriers to connect students around the world. Moses Mulimira is working with the National Health Service in London to pilot an online Student Health Partnership, uniting health practitioners in Uganda and the United Kingdom.

Next, Donata Columbro of CISV, an NGO working in international development, talks about the 'eathink2015' blog - a multilingual space for dialogue between students of developed and developing countries.

Finally, we hear about a reforestation project in Costa Rica and its mission of 'biocultural hope'. Eben Kirksey, an anthropologist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, talks about the unique design of The Cloud Forest School in Monteverde. The school is run by Milton Brenes, a local farmer, who is seeking to find the delicate balance between promoting tourism and biodiversity.

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