August Week 4: Africa declared free of wild polio, 39 missing children found in US

Africa declared free of wild polio in 'milestone' via BBC News

The Independent body, the Africa Regional Certification Commission, has declared that Africa is free from wild polio. Nigeria, which accounted for more than half of all global cases less than a decade ago, is the last African country to be declared free from wild polio. The disease, which usually affects children under five, is now only found in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Since 1996, billions of oral polio vaccines have been provided, averting an estimated 1.8 million cases of wild poliovirus. That year Nelson Mandela launched the 'Kick Polio Out of Africa' programme, mobilising millions of health workers who went village-to-village to hand-deliver vaccines.

Misbahu Lawan Didi, President of the Nigerian Polio Survivors Association, says that survivors have been crucial in persuading people to accept the campaign. He said: "Many rejected the polio vaccine, but they see how much we struggle to reach them, sometimes crawling large distances, to speak to them. We ask them: 'Don't you think it's important for your to protect your child not to be like us?"

Since the campaign began, more than 95% of Africa's population has been immunised.

US Marshals find 39 missing children in Georgia during 'Operation Not Forgotten' via CNN

During a two-week effort to rescue endangered minors, 'Operation Not Forgotten' has resulted in the rescue of 26 children and safe location of 13 others.

The operation was conducted in collaboration with the US Marshals Service Missing Child Unit, the agency's Southeast Regional Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and state and local agencies.

The operation led to the arrest of nine people, clearing of 26 warrants and filing additional crimes, including those related to sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, registered sex offender violations, drugs and weapons possession and custodial interference.

Some of the rescued children, whose ages ranged from 3 to 17, were believed to have been victims of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse and medical or mental health conditions. Others were missing and located at the request of law enforcement to ensure they weren't in danger.

Darby Kirby, Chief of the Missing Child Unit said: “When we track down fugitives, it’s a good feeling to know that we're putting the bad guy behind bars. But that sense of accomplishment is nothing compared to finding a missing child. It's hard to put into words what we feel when we rescue a missing child, but I can tell you that this operation has impacted every single one of us out here. We are working to protect them and get them the help they need.”

Ecuadorian spouses break record as the world's oldest married couple via NBC News

110-year-old Julio Mora and 104-year-old Waldramina Quinteros have been awarded the title of the world's oldest married couple, according to the Guiness World Records.

The two wed on 7th February 1941 and have been married for 75 years. They have four surviving children, 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

While there are longer marriages on record, there are no other marriages between people as old as Mora and Quinteros. Their daughter Cecilia says that the two former teachers are both lucid and active, though they no longer have the agility they had before and are missing family get-togethers due to the pandemic.

Cecilia added: "For a month they have been different, more downcast because they miss large family gatherings. Since March, we have not had any of that. My parents need family contact."

13-Year-Old Florida Boy Scout Creates Device to Help Save People from Drowning via Inside Edition

Inside the box are life vests, a lifesaver and CPR instructions, and each box would have a location number to help rescuers find people faster.

Along with his father Joe, Hajik hopes to present their product to their local Optimist Club, which focuses on community service projects, and then the city council so that these boxes will be installed in the sand soon.

Kaial Hajik told WECP: "It's very simple, I would say, but it's also very important in saving someone's life. I wanted to let people know how to actually save people from those kinds of disasters like either currents or drownings."

Featured image credit: Julien Harneis / CC BY-SA