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A Pakistani Woman's Mission to Eradicate Polio

Polio has been eradicated over most of the world, but Pakistan is still fighting the disease, in part because of skepticism about vaccines. One woman is fighting to change that, as VOA’s Sidra Dar reports in this story narrated by Bezhan Hamdard.
Camera, Producer: Sidra Dar

European Cities Locked Down Amid Coronavirus Surge

Dozens of European cities have been forced into lockdown amid a surge in coronavirus infections. Hospital intensive care units are filling up fast and there are fears that health systems could become overwhelmed as winter approaches. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, there is growing pressure for a return to the strict nationwide lockdowns that were imposed in the spring — despite concerns over their economic impact. 
Camera: Henry Ridgwell    Produced by: Rob Raffaele 

Ghana’s Private Forest Project Brings Business to Reforestation

A new World Bank report says Ghana’s annual deforestation rate is around 3.51%, meaning the country loses at least 315,000 hectares of its forest a year, costing about $400 million annually. To help reverse the damage, a Ghana project is promoting sustainable forestry through timber, seedling and essential oil sales and educational tours. Stacey Knott reports from Breman Bedum, a farming community in Ghana’s Central region. 
Camera: Stacey Knott

Young American Voters Urge Action on Climate Change

This election season, young American voters are raising their voices and demanding action to fight climate change. VOA’s Veronica Balderas Iglesias looks at how young people — Democrats and Republicans — are urging communication and compromise to tackle what most climate scientists call a global existential threat.
Camera, Producer: Veronica Balderas Iglesias

COVID-19 Stokes Demand for Temperature Check Technologies

Eager to open up, companies, shopping centers and sports venues worldwide are looking into thermal imaging technology that picks up the body temperature of people entering buildings in order to deter the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.Demand for technology that automatically scans for a fever has grown globally since the pandemic began. With that demand, there are also concerns about privacy, security and other workplace issues, experts say.   Companies "need to be mindful of the fact that collecting data about people in particular is increasingly seen as a liability," said Bhaskar Krishnamachari, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the University of Southern California. "If that data, for example, gets hacked, gets abused, there can be a lot of repercussions, even financially, for the organizations involved."   Businesses that are reopening and employers who have to keep their doors open during a pandemic in industries such as transportation, food processing and government are scrambling to come up with ways to keep sick people out.   Many stores, doctors' offices and salons take people's temperatures with handheld thermometers, but those devices cannot be used for large venues with a lot of foot traffic, such as stadiums and airports.FILE - A security guard uses a handheld thermometer to take the temperature of customers, wearing face masks or coverings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as they wait to enter a bar in Liverpool, England, Oct. 2, 2020.One solution is a thermal camera or sensors placed at building entrances. When used correctly, these systems measure skin temperatures accurately, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Before the pandemic, Thermoteknix Systems Ltd., a firm based in England, was shipping approximately 10 of its FevIR Scan Fever Screening Systems a month. When the pandemic hit, demand for the thermal imaging cameras skyrocketed, first in February in Asia and then in the rest of the world.   Now the company is shipping up to 100 devices a day worldwide. Thermoteknix develops the hardware and software for FevIR Scan, an infrared camera that measures body heat by sensing the temperature around the eyes' tear ducts to get the best correlation to core body temperature.   "If you imagine those little point-and-shoot detector guns that everyone has that's looking at a small spot on the forehead or on the temple, an infrared camera is about 110,000 of those point-and-shoot cameras. They're not shining a laser. They are waiting ...

This Week's Space News

Italian scientists this week showed evidence of Martian salt water, raising hopes of finding tiny Martian life swimming in it. NASA says an air leak aboard the International Space Station does not threaten the crew.  And SpaceX's next batch of StarLink satellites will need to find another ride into orbit. VOA's Arash Arabasadi has the Week in Space.

Robot Arms Perform Tests to Detect COVID-19

The world recently reached a tragic milestone of one million known deaths linked to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.  Experts say more testing is key to combating the virus’s spread.  A biotech company in Taiwan has developed a robot capable of conducting thousands of COVID tests each day, making it possible to safely revive the economy.  VOA’s Arash Arabasadi has more.Camera: Reuters
Producer: Arash Arabasadi     

Ghanaian Cancer Experts Want More Focus on Colon Cancer

Cancer experts in Ghana lament that little attention is paid to screening for colorectal cancers, leading to a high death rate, despite the disease’s relatively low occurrence. The death from colon cancer of American actor Chadwick Boseman, who played the lead role in the Hollywood film Black Panther, might bring fresh awareness of the disease.  Stacey Knott reports from Accra 

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