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Malaka Gharib

Malaka Gharib is the deputy editor and digital strategist on NPR's global health and development team. She covers topics such as the refugee crisis, gender equality and women's health. Her work as part of NPR's reporting teams has been recognized with two Gracie Awards: in 2019 for How To Raise A Human, a series on global parenting, and in 2015 for #15Girls, a series that profiled teen girls around the world.

Gharib is also a cartoonist. She is the artist and author of I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir, about growing up as a first generation Filipino Egyptian American. Her comics have been featured in NPR, Catapult Magazine, The Believer Magazine, The Nib, The New York Times and The New Yorker.

Before coming to NPR in 2015, Gharib worked at the Malala Fund, a global education charity founded by Malala Yousafzai, and the ONE Campaign, an anti-poverty advocacy group founded by Bono. She graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism and marketing.

In the middle of a pandemic, Mavis Owureku-Asare is optimistic.

The reason? On February 24, her homeland, Ghana, became the first low-resource country to receive free COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX.

"I feel very hopeful," says Owureku-Asare, a food scientist with the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and a 2020 Aspen New Voices fellow. "Ghana has become a role model for other countries."

It's been a couple of years, but I can't get this viral tweet out of my mind. It was from 2019, and it asked: "Women, what is the dumbest thing a man ever said to you about ... menstruation, etc.?"

I remember laughing so hard at the thousands of replies:

"My husband thought I had to take a tampon out to pee."

Everybody knows that the pandemic has had a chilling impact on people's daily lives.

But how bad is it? And in particular, how are people faring in countries that aren't as well-off as, say, the United States or European nations?

A study published in February in the journal Science Advances aims to provide some answers.

Open up any social media app on your phone and you'll likely see links to COVID-19 information from trustworthy sources.

Pinned to the top of Instagram's search function, the handles of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization are prominently featured. Click and you'll find posts and stories how to keep safe during the pandemic.

The pandemic has had a chilling effect on freedom around the globe, according to a new report from Freedom House, a nonpartisan group that advocates for democracy and whose founders include Eleanor Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie.

Want a reminder of how gorgeous our world is — you know, back before all we were thinking about was COVID-19 and lockdowns and vaccine trials?

Take a look at the winning entries of this year's Siena International Photo Awards, an annual contest organized by a group of photographers and enthusiasts from Siena, Italy, that aims to showcase images of beauty, culture and nature across the globe.

It's a bit hard to describe Vietnam's Intergenerational Self Help Clubs.

But one thing is easy to say. If you're older — like above the age of 60 — and need help, the club will help you get it. That could mean a microloan if times are tough, a drum lesson as a chance for self-expression and social activity (and to prove that old people can play drums, too). And during the pandemic, the clubs have played a critical role informing and supporting its members.

There are around 3,000 of the clubs in Vietnam, with 160,000 participants, most of them older people.

Updated Saturday at 4:50 a.m. ET

Jumping through the air, floating in the wind, a firework shooting off — these scenes evoke a sense of freedom that so many of us staying home due to the pandemic haven't felt in a long time.

But we can feel them vicariously in some of the winning entries of this year's iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS). The 13th annual competition invites photographers worldwide to submit unaltered iPhone or iPad photos to one of 18 categories.

"I will kill you."

That's what a family member of a COVID-19 patient told a general practitioner at a private hospital in Aden, Yemen, amid the country's coronavirus outbreak in April.

Pointing a gun at the doctor, the family member pushed him to put the patient on oxygen and mechanical ventilation, two types of treatments for severe cases of COVID-19.

The doctor explained that he wouldn't be able to provide those options for the patient.

The world is being flooded with new terms in coverage of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Here's a glossary in case you're not up on the latest medical and testing jargon. We start with the nomenclature of the virus. Words are listed in thematic groupings (transmission and testing, for example).

There are 27 members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Only two are women: Dr. Deborah Birx and Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Check the hashtag #quaranzine on social media and you'll see thousands of mini books — called zines — that people are making to document their lives in the pandemic.

Read the comic to find out how you can make one yourself — including how to fold your zine and what to write about. All you'll need is a sheet of paper, a pen, 30 minutes and a little creativity.

When it comes to fighting COVID-19 abroad, the U.S. has been the most generous nation in the world, committing $900 million to global health, humanitarian and economic programs in 120 countries, according to the State Department. The money goes to international and local aid groups and health facilities in country.

But there's a catch.

The fight against coronavirus will not be won until every country in the world can control the disease. But not every country has the same ability to protect people.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with an entry for Jan. 14 with statements from WHO about human-to-human transmission.

On Tuesday, President Trump said he's suspending U.S. funding for the World Health Organization. He said the agency has "mismanaged" the pandemic, has been slow to respond to the crisis and is "China-centric."

We looked at the public record to see what Trump and the WHO had to say over the past 15 weeks about the coronavirus pandemic. Here's a timeline highlighting key quotes.

Jan. 5

Humanitarian groups say they've never had to face a challenge like the novel coronavirus.

"We've never had to respond to a crisis that has simultaneously impacted every single office that we run in the world at the same time," says Elinor Raikes, head of program delivery at the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian organization that operates in 40 countries.

What will happen when COVID-19 hits refugee camps?

This page is updated regularly.

In late January 2020 only a few dozen COVID-19 infections had been identified outside of China. Now the virus has spread to every corner of the globe. More than 100 million infections have been reported worldwide, and the death toll is above 2 million, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The United States has far more COVID cases and deaths than any other country. India and Brazil have the second and third highest tally of cases respectively.

It's something we've heard again and again from health authorities in the coronavirus pandemic. Wash your hands. Frequently. With soap and water. For at least 20 seconds. That's an effective way to eliminate viral particles on your hands.

Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China, has been in lockdown mode for weeks. But its delivery workers, zipping through empty streets on their motorcycles and scooters, are still very much on the move.

To avoid transmission of the virus, people have been told to stay at home and limit time outdoors. As a result, when they need food or other necessities, many of them turn to delivery workers, who put themselves at risk of exposure to the virus by interacting with dozens of customers, some of whom are sick, and handling multiple packages a day.

Updated on March 9th at Noon EST.

The coronavirus outbreak has sparked what the World Health Organization is calling an "infodemic" — an overwhelming amount of information on social media and websites. Some of it's accurate. And some is downright untrue.

A lot of my free time is spent doodling. I'm a journalist on NPR's science desk by day. But all the time in between, I am an artist — specifically, a cartoonist.

I draw in between tasks. I sketch at the coffee shop before work. And I like challenging myself to complete a zine — a little magazine — on my 20-minute bus commute.

Virginity tests are making headlines in the United States. In November, the rapper T.I. drew a firestorm of criticism after he said during a podcast interview that he requires his 18-year-old daughter to undergo an annual virginity test with her gynecologist.

A protest is mounting over one of the recipients of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Goals Award, to be presented next week in New York City, as part of events surrounding the U.N. General Assembly. The award is given to individuals who have contributed to efforts to improve the lives of the poor.

This week, Pope Francis began a seven-day trip to Madagascar, Mauritius and Mozambique. On his second visit to sub-Saharan Africa, he hopes to offer comfort and rekindle unity in a region struggling with natural disasters, poverty and religious and political tensions.

In October, NPR reported on the efforts of reproductive rights activist Farhad Javid in Afghanistan. He was trying to free girls and women who had been jailed for failing a virginity test, even though such tests are banned by the U.N. Was he successful?

The last time we spoke to Javid, he was about to meet with Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani and his wife, first lady Rula Ghani.

Ten years ago, Renee Bach left her home in Virginia to set up a charity to help children in Uganda. One of her first moves was to start a blog chronicling her experiences.

Among the most momentous: On a Sunday morning in October 2011, a couple from a village some distance away showed up at Bach's center carrying a small bundle.

"When I pulled the covering back my eyes widened," Bach wrote in the blog. "For under the blanket lay a small, but very, very swollen, pale baby girl. Her breaths were frighteningly slow. ... The baby's name is Patricia. She is 9 months old."

It's not easy giving money to people in need.

In some countries, poor people may not have a bank account where a charity can transfer funds for financial aid. They may not have the ID — say, a birth certificate — required to cash a check at a bank.

And in an emergency situation — say, the aftermath of an earthquake — banks may not even be operating.

Could a single global digital currency — one that can be transferred through mobile phones — be a solution?

Stroll down the menstrual products aisle of your neighborhood drugstore, and you'll see a dizzying array of disposable pads and tampons in dozens of brands, shapes, colors and sizes.

Tucked away on one of the shelves, you might see a lesser-known option: the reusable menstrual cup.

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