News Decoder
Teenage pregnancies soar in Africa as schools shut for COVID

Teenage pregnancies soar in Africa as schools shut for COVID

In Africa as elsewhere, many schools have shut classes due to COVID-19. With more girls at home, teenage pregnancies have spiked in some nations. A new-born baby in Chiradzulu, southern Malawi, 26 May 2021 (AP Photo/Thoko Chikondi) In much of the world, COVID-19 has...

COVID-19 has dominated headlines for the last year and a half. But the public health impact stretches beyond the virus. School closures did not just interrupt learning; they removed an essential form of protection for vulnerable youth. News Decoder correspondent Stella Mapenzauswa reports on the alarming rise in teenage pregnancies across the African continent since March 2020.

Exercise: Ask your students to enumerate some of the unanticipated consequences of the pandemic in their community. How are schools or governments addressing those challenges now?

COVID-19 is exposing deadly gaps in global public health

COVID-19 is exposing deadly gaps in global public health

COVID-19 could have brought out the best in humanity. Instead, public health programs have fallen short, exposing us to a resurgence of diseases. A baby is vaccinated against malaria in Malawi. (WHO/Mark Nieuwenhof) COVID-19 has shut down vaccination programs around...

Headlines about COVID-19 understandably tend to focus on the current state of affairs — cases, hospitalizations, deaths, new variants, vaccines. It takes the kind of expertise that Maggie Fox has earned in years of writing about science and health to look beyond today to see what the pandemic means for tomorrow. Citing the latest research, Fox explores how public health services are failing to cope with myriad illnesses that don’t stop in their tracks just because there’s a pandemic. The outlook is not bright.

Exercise: Ask your students to speak to a local epidemiologist to learn how COVID-19 is affecting public health services nearby and the impact the pandemic is having on the fight against other illnesses.

Populous Indonesia’s economic growth threatened by COVID-19

Populous Indonesia’s economic growth threatened by COVID-19

The world’s fourth most populous nation, Indonesia is struggling to keep fast-spreading COVID-19 from undermining its economic growth prospects. A man falls to the ground during the burial of a relative who died of COVID-19, Jakarta, Indonesia, 7 July 7 2021....

News Decoder aims to spotlight regions of the world that often don’t make the headlines. With an estimated 270 million people, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country after China, India and the United States. Correspondent Jonathan Thatcher, former Jakarta bureau chief for Reuters, draws our attention to the devastating impact of the pandemic on the island nation and why it matters. His article explains how COVID-19 tore through the country, stalling economic growth, and warns of the potential long-term impact on youth employment — what he calls “an especially frightening prospect.”

Exercise: Ask students how they think the pandemic will impact economic opportunity for young people in their country.

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