Doing Good Globally: Abod Shelters

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Over 30 percent of the world’s population lives at or below poverty levels. Many of these impoverished individuals live on less than $1.25 a day, barely enough to eat, much less to have decent shelter. Some parts of the world, like Africa, remain in even more critical situations with over 97 percent of countries in need of some additional housing for their citizens or having a significant portion of citizens living in housing that is far below standard and can barely withstand a rainstorm. Abod Shelters is trying to change these facts with innovative housing designs and philanthropic work.

Abod Shelters started in a simple way with a simple story. Doug Sharp, a seasoned architect and builder, was traveling in South Africa when he met a woman living in an impoverished area.

“A woman took me by the hand and invited me into her home,” Sharp said. “It was dark with holes everywhere that scraps did not [cover]. It was unsteady with one tiny window. But, what impressed me was ‘her pride to have it.’ A home is the only means here to express one’s identity. I knew then, we must step up to create better housing for these forgotten families.”

Sharp came home from that trip and put his words into action by stepping up to the challenge. As chairman of BSB Design, Sharp was in a unique position to help. BSB Design is a leading residential and commercial architecture and land planning firm in the U.S. and worldwide. This connection, along with BSB and Sharp’s years of experience, allowed for what otherwise may have been a small step to become an enormous one.

Together, they founded Abod Shelters and made the organization’s vision to democratize housing in the developing world, its mission to build a foundation for affordable sustainable communities for those in need, and its goal to provide real value to individuals and help support local economies.

Using a novel pop-up design, Abod Shelters’ homes are mobile, allowing individuals to move freely if they must do so while still providing protection and stability to those who use them. So far, the organization has built many homes and is planning a community in Cape Town which will have 100 homes. Although this project is just start in an area like Cape Town, where 1.9 million people live in makeshift dwellings, it is indeed a start that will offer great benefit.

In the coming years, Abod Shelters hopes to increase its ability to help those in need by building key partnerships to accomplish its goals. Since November 2014, Ty Pennington, for example, has been helping the organization plan, build, and recruit, and the organization hopes to get other companies and individuals on board soon.

To find out more about Abod Shelters, the good work the group does, and how you can get involved, please visit the organization’s website.

Is there a person or company you would like to see featured in Doing Good Globally? Let us know in the comments below or by emailing our editorial staff.

Flu Report: First Week of Flu

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Flu season is upon us, and here is the first installment of our weekly Flu Report for the 2015-2016 influenza season. In this weekly blog post, we update you on influenza activity in the United States and throughout the world, what you can do to protect yourself and your family from the disease, and other influenza-related topics.

The Flu Report runs from September through April and is posted every Wednesday. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to comment below, on Facebook or via Twitter. You may also email our editorial team.

In this week’s report, we review the available flu data and note the changes in this year’s Flu Report from last year’s version. Next week, September 9, will be our first official report of the flu season, and we look forward to providing you with the most up-to-date and relevant data as the season progresses.
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Routine Vaccination Schedules for Kids

Routine vaccination is an important part of every child’s life. From birth until they leave the home, there are a variety of vaccinations that can help protect them from the most dangerous diseases at the their age and throughout their lives. Passport Health is committed to helping families stay healthy and keeps routine vaccinations in stock at all of its clinics throughout North America.

As another part of this effort, Passport Health looks for unique opportunities to help families and others learn more about the importance of routine vaccinations. Below is a vaccination schedule created by our friends at Nursing@Simmons, the online family nurse practitioner program at Simmons College. Feel free to look over the schedule or favorite the page to look over the schedule whenever you have questions.

Simmons Routine Vaccination Schedule

For more information on routine vaccinations see our routine vaccination portal.

Louis Pasteur, Anthrax, and Rabies

Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur, the French chemist who lived in the 19th century, is famous for developing fundamental scientific concepts. He demonstrated the process of fermentation and debunked spontaneous generation, an erroneous belief that bacteria came from inanimate matter such as dust. Pasteur is also recognized for his work on vaccines; he was the first scientist to use live viruses in vaccinations. Pasteur’s work in infectious diseases was momentous for the development of the rabies and anthrax vaccines specifically. Rabies and anthrax are animal-born diseases that cause serious symptoms in humans.

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IXIARO: Everything You Need to Know about the Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

Japanese Encephalitis Mosquito

As August and National Immunization Awareness Month continue on, we focus on another important vaccine, the Japanese encephalitis vaccine. Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a common mosquito-borne disease throughout Asia and the western Pacific, particularly in rural or agricultural areas. The JE virus is just one of a group of mosquito-transmitted diseases that can lead to inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), and it is a potentially severe or even fatal disease.

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