Jason Beaubien

Jason Beaubien is NPR's Mexico City Correspondent. In his current job, he covers Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

Beaubien joined NPR's Foreign Desk in 2002 after volunteering to cover a coup attempt in the Ivory Coast. Over the next four years, Beaubien worked throughout sub-Saharan Africa, visiting 27 countries on the continent. He reported on poverty on the world's poorest continent, HIV in the epicenter of the epidemic, all-night acapella contests in South Africa, Afro-pop stars in Nigeria and a trial of white mercenaries in Equatorial Guinea. He covered the famines and wars of Africa, but also its inspiring preachers and Nobel laureates.

Beaubien was one of the first journalists to report on the huge exodus of people out of Sudan's Darfur region into Chad, as villagers fled some of the initial attacks by the Janjawid. He reported extensively on the steady deterioration of Zimbabwe and still has a collection of worthless Zimbabwean currency.

In 2006, Beaubien was awarded a Knight-Wallace fellowship at the University of Michigan to study the relationship between the developed and the developing world.

From Mexico City he's filed stories on politics in Cuba, hurricanes in Haiti, the FMLN victory in El Salvador, the world's richest man and Mexico's brutal drug war. For his first multi-part series as the Mexico City correspondent, he drove the length of the U.S./Mexico border making a point to touch his toes in both oceans. The stories chronicled the economic, social and political changes along the violent frontier.

He grew up in Maine, started his radio career as an intern at KQED-FM in San Francisco and worked at WBUR in Boston before joining NPR.

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9:40am

Thu December 18, 2014
Goats and Soda

Pakistan Keeps On Vaccinating Despite Tough Terrain And Terror Threat

A Pakistani health worker administers a polio vaccine to a child during a campaign in the northern city of Rawalpindi.
FAROOQ NAEEM AFP/Getty Images

Between the rugged terrain and the constant terrorist threats, vaccinating Pakistani children against common diseases hasn't been easy. Mountains make it hard — at times even impossible — for vaccinators to reach people in the north. In the south, health workers have to use four-wheelers and camels to travel through Pakistan's harsh deserts.

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4:39pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Global Health

Dreaming Up A Safer, Cooler PPE For Ebola Fighters

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:56 pm

This design of this new anti-Ebola suit will make health workers more comfortable and could also save lives.
Courtesy of Clinvue and Roy Heisler

Here's what it takes to design a better Ebola suit: a roomful of university students and professors, piles of canvas and Tyvek cloth, sewing machines, glue guns ... and chocolate syrup.

Even Youseph Yazdi, head of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID), still isn't sure what the syrup was for.

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5:11pm

Thu December 11, 2014
Goats and Soda

You Don't Want To Monkey Around With Monkey Malaria

In Southeast Asia, the battle against malaria is growing even more complicated. And it's all because of monkeys, who carry a form of malaria that until a few years ago wasn't a problem for people.

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6:47am

Sat December 6, 2014
Goats and Soda

Idris Elba Plays A Soccer Coach Out To Crush Ebola In New Ad Campaign

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 12:27 pm

In a new public health campaign, British actor Idris Elba plays a soccer coach whose team is squaring off against Ebola.
Courtesy of Africa United

The soccer coach is giving his team a pep talk: "This is not an ordinary game," he declares as he paces in the locker room. "This is life or death. Ebola has defeated thousands in West Africa. Its key strength is passing."

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2:20pm

Wed December 3, 2014
Goats and Soda

Startling Statistic: Only 8 Patients In Largest Ebola Hospital

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 5:04 pm

A health care worker wheels a stack of freshly washed boots to ELWA 3 Ebola treatment unit in Monrovia, Liberia.
John W Poole NPR

Sometimes you stumble across statistics that just scream at you. I was looking this week through some reports on the Liberian Ministry of Health's website. The screaming statistic was an "8" listed as the number of people "currently in treatment" at the ELWA 3 Ebola treatment unit run by Doctors Without Borders in Monrovia.

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3:50am

Thu November 27, 2014
Goats and Soda

School For Husbands Gets Men To Talk About Family Size

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 1:28 pm

They're participants in Niger's School for Husbands.
Ron Haviv/VII for NPR

It's a bunch of guys sitting around talking.

About the benefits of birth control.

About how a woman should take care of herself when she's pregnant.

About breast-feeding.

You know, the kind of things guys never talk about.

There are 12 of them, sitting in a circle under a tin roof. Some wear long, colorful tunics. Their flip-flops are scattered around the outer edge of the carpet. They're part of the "School for Husbands" program in the village of Chadakori in the West African nation of Niger, the country with the highest birth rate in the world.

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5:30pm

Thu November 20, 2014
Goats and Soda

The Whole World Is Fat! And That Ends Up Costing $2 Trillion A Year

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 5:37 pm

This Chinese teenager weighs 353 pounds. At a "slimming center" in China's central Hubei province, he's exercising and undergoing acupuncture to lose weight.
Color China AP

Obesity used to be an issue primarily in well-off countries. It was one of those things flippantly dismissed as a "first-world problem." Now people are packing on the pounds all over the planet. In some fast-growing cities in China, for example, half the people are now overweight.

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3:32am

Fri November 14, 2014
Goats and Soda

Mali Already Has An Ebola Cluster: Can The Virus Be Stopped?

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 7:58 am

A town crier rides his moped through the city of Kayes in Mali, using his megaphone to warn people about Ebola.
Nick Loomis Courtesy of Global Post

"This is not just one case," says Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "It's a cluster." He's talking about the Ebola situation in Mali, where two people have likely died of the disease in Bamako, the capital, and two others have tested positive.

Hundreds more may have been exposed. Officials from the U.N., the World Health Organization, the government of Mali and the CDC are all calling for swift action to keep Mali from descending into the Ebola chaos that's hit neighboring Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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3:25pm

Wed November 12, 2014
Goats and Soda

Mali Is Worried About Ebola, Quarantines Nearly 100

A police officer stands in front of the Pasteur clinic in Bamako, which was quarantined after a nurse there died from Ebola.
Habibou Kouyate AFP/Getty Images

Mali slapped quarantine orders on nearly 90 people on Wednesday and closed a mosque and a health facility in an effort to contain an Ebola outbreak.

The moves come after a nurse at a private clinic in the capital, Bamako, was confirmed as an Ebola victim.

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9:30am

Fri November 7, 2014
Goats and Soda

Guinea Is Seeing More Ebola Cases: Can The Trend Be Stopped?

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 2:08 pm

In the current Ebola crisis, much of the focus has been on Liberia and Sierra Leone. But the virus also continues to spread in Guinea, where the first case in the current outbreak was identified in March.

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5:17pm

Wed November 5, 2014
Goats and Soda

U.S. Military Response To Ebola Gains Momentum In Liberia

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 10:23 am

Air Force personnel put up tents to house a 25-bed, U.S.-built hospital for Liberian health workers sick with Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia's capital. The hospital is scheduled to open this weekend.
John Moore Getty Images

Two new U.S. Ebola treatment facilities are expected to open in Liberia over the next week. One is a 25-bed field hospital near Monrovia's airport, specifically to treat local health care workers who get infected. The other is a 100-bed Ebola treatment unit, or ETU, in the town of Tubmanburg, north of Monrovia.

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5:30pm

Thu October 30, 2014
Shots - Health News

Ebola Researchers Banned From Medical Meeting In New Orleans

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 12:45 pm

Louisiana health officials say that anyone who's been in an Ebola-affected country over the last three weeks will be quarantined in their hotel rooms.

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is telling researchers who've recently traveled to Ebola-affected parts of West Africa that they can't come to the society's annual meeting. That wasn't the medical group's idea.

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12:51pm

Tue October 28, 2014
Goats and Soda

Happy Birthday To Google Doodle Honoree Dr. Jonas Salk!

Jonas Salk was born on October 28, 1914 in New York City. Google is celebrating the birth of the man who developed a polio vaccine with a special Google doodle.

During the fervor of the current Ebola outbreak, it seems like a good moment to tip our hats to one of the heroes of an earlier epidemic. Salk developed a vaccine for polio in 1953. At a time polio was sweeping across the United States crippling children and terrifying parents.

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5:40pm

Mon October 27, 2014
Goats and Soda

Medical Journal To Governors: You're Wrong About Ebola Quarantine

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 12:13 pm

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (right) and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo both insist on mandatory quarantine for healthcare workers who've had contact with Ebola patients. Christie wants them held in a medical facility; Cuomo says a home quarantine with outside monitoring would do.
Mark Lennihan AP

The usually staid New England Journal of Medicine is blasting the decision of some states to quarantine returning Ebola healthcare workers.

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4:03pm

Tue October 14, 2014
Goats and Soda

Back On Its Feet, A Liberian Hospital Aims To Keep Ebola Out

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:20 pm

Dr. Wvennie MacDonald, the administrator of the JFK Memorial Hospital, has helped put new procedures in place to keep Ebola out, including a triage station to identify possible Ebola patients at the front gate.
John W. Poole NPR

John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital is the largest public hospital in Liberia. It has a trauma unit, a maternity ward and an outpatient clinic that serves hundreds a day.

But there's one illness that the facility won't treat: Ebola. JFK is not equipped to treat or contain it if it gets inside their wards. A new triage unit in the driveway detects patients with the virus and sends them to a dedicated Ebola center.

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3:25am

Mon October 13, 2014
Goats and Soda

On Front Lines Against Ebola, Training A Matter Of Life Or Death

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 7:20 pm

Dr. Patrick Kamara adjusts his googles on the final day of training and the first "dress rehearsal" before being sent out to Ebola treatment units. The World Health Organization is ramping up to train up to 500 new health workers a week as part of the effort to stem the spread of Ebola.
John W. Poole/NPR

One of the biggest roadblocks in West Africa to containing the Ebola outbreak is the lack of isolation wards for people who are infected.

President Obama has announced plans to build 17 new Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia. Those new medical facilities will require thousands of additional workers who are trained and willing to work in them.

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4:55pm

Sun October 12, 2014
Global Health

Liberian Singers Use The Power Of Music To Raise Ebola Awareness

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 6:52 pm

Elliott Adekoya, 31, aka The Milkman, is a DJ at Monrovia's Sky FM radio, pictured here his DJ booth. He is also part of a group of 45 Liberian musicians called the Save Liberia Project. They want to get the word out that Ebola is real, but it is not a death sentence. He says that message, which was propagated early on by the Ministry of Health, actually contributed to the problem.
John W. Poole NPR

In West Africa, one of the simplest ways to slow the Ebola outbreak is to educate people about how to keep from getting infected with the virus. Now, there are some signs that Ebola awareness is indeed driving down the number of cases in parts of Liberia — and Liberian musicians and DJs may deserve some of the credit.

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4:28pm

Fri October 10, 2014
Goats and Soda

A Liberian Doctor Comes Up With His Own Ebola Regimen

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 6:43 pm

Dr. Gabriel Logan is one of two doctors at the Bomi county hospital, which serves a county of 85,000 people. In a desperate attempt to save Ebola patients, he started experimenting with an HIV drug to treat them.
John W. Poole NPR

Dr. Gabriel Logan is a bundle of energy. Wearing a yellow dress shirt untucked from his slacks, he races around the Liberian government hospital compound in Tubmanburg, north of the capital, Monrovia.

He also moves fast on the medical front, experimenting with his own idea of treatment for Ebola patients.

Back in July this hospital, which was the main medical facility for the region, was closed after 10 of the staffers got sick with Ebola.

"We sent them to Monrovia," he says. Of the 10, only one survived.

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5:04am

Thu October 9, 2014
Goats and Soda

Fond Memories Of Ebola Victim Eric Duncan, Anger Over His Death

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 9:13 am

The home of Marthalene Williams, the Ebola-stricken woman aided by Thomas Eric Duncan. A man on the porch, who appeared to be in the late stages of Ebola, informed our photographer that he'd been to a hospital but was told to return home and quarantine himself.
John W. Poole NPR

He liked to joke around with his neighbors. And he always gave them a helping hand. The neighbors that Thomas Eric Duncan's generous spirit is what cost him his life.

Duncan, 42, was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States and the first to die of the disease on American soil. He likely contracted the disease in Liberia when he carried a pregnant woman, sick with Ebola, into her house after no clinic would admit her.

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4:03pm

Mon October 6, 2014
Goats and Soda

Firestone Did What Governments Have Not: Stopped Ebola In Its Tracks

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 3:02 pm

At Firestone's plantation, workers gather at a shelter in the rubber tree forest, where buckets of sap are collected for processing.
John W. Poole NPR

The classic slogan for Firestone tires was "where the rubber meets the road."

When it comes to Ebola, the rubber met the road at the Firestone rubber plantation in Harbel, Liberia.

Harbel is a company town not far from the capital city of Monrovia. It was named in 1926 after the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, Harvey and his wife, Idabelle. Today, Firestone workers and their families make up a community of 80,000 people across the plantation.

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2:06pm

Wed October 1, 2014
Goats and Soda

Europe's 'Moral Obligation' Is To Repair West Africa's Health Care System

Tonio Borg of Malta, the European Union's Health Commissioner, is spearheading the EU response to the Ebola outbreak.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

It's not just about Ebola.

That's the message from EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg. He was in Washington last week to talk about Europe's response to the crisis at a meeting of the Global Health Security Agenda. The European Union is a key player in the global effort to stop the epidemic.

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12:14pm

Wed September 24, 2014
Goats and Soda

He Fixed South Africa's AIDS Policy, Now He's Out To Fight Salt

South Africa Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has no patience for people who abuse their health and expect the government to fix things.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi had arrived in the U.S. for a two-week visit. "I'm here to meet influential people," he says energetically despite having just gotten off a transatlantic flight.

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4:08pm

Tue September 23, 2014
Goats and Soda

Even When Abortion Is Illegal, The Market May Sell Pills For Abortion

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 9:22 am

In the markets of San Salvador, El Salvador, you can have your palm read, you can buy plumbing tools ... and you can purchase abortion pills.
John Poole NPR

In the central market in San Salvador, you can buy just about anything you want: tomatoes by the wheelbarrow full. Fresh goat's milk straight from the goat. Underwear. Plumbing supplies. Fruit. Hollywood's latest blockbusters burned straight onto a DVD.

And in the back of the market, in a small stall lined with jars of dried herbs, roots and mushrooms, you can buy an abortion.

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5:12pm

Mon September 22, 2014
Goats and Soda

Why A Teenage Mom Was Jailed In El Salvador After A Stillbirth

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 11:23 am

Christina Quintanilla looks out at the lake near her hometown of San Miguel in eastern El Salvador.
John W. Poole NPR

Christina Quintanilla's nightmare with El Salvador's abortion law began on Oct. 26, 2004.

Quintanilla was 17 at the time, and seven months pregnant with her second child. She was living in her mother's apartment, and that night, she couldn't get comfortable. Her belly was bulging, her back was aching, and her stomach was upset.

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4:15am

Wed September 17, 2014
Goats and Soda

Will Obama's Plan Bring The Ebola Outbreak Under Control?

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 12:37 am

President Obama meets with Emory University doctors and health care workers during his visit Tuesday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

It is the biggest anti-Ebola effort yet.

After months of calls by aid workers for the global community to do something about the escalating crisis, President Obama has announced plans for a massive international intervention.

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5:17pm

Fri September 5, 2014
Goats and Soda

The Changing Face Of West Africa Has Fueled The Ebola Crisis

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 1:26 am

Ebola has spread through Monrovia, Liberia's congested capital city.
John Moore Getty Images

There's been a lot of finger-pointing this week over whom to blame for the slow response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Questions are being raised about why this epidemic has spun out of control and turned into the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

The inability of local health care providers and international aid groups to contain the virus is part of the problem. But major demographic and environmental changes in Africa are also contributing to the crisis.

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4:19pm

Wed September 3, 2014
Global Health

Health Officials Warn Ebola Is Spreading Faster Than Efforts To Contain It

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 7:04 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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5:19pm

Tue September 2, 2014
Goats and Soda

A Suspected Ebola Patient On The Run In Liberia

via YouTube

A newly released video shows health workers in Liberia attempting to capture a suspected Ebola patient, who had allegedly escaped from a treatment center on Sept. 1.

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4:54pm

Thu August 28, 2014
Goats and Soda

Tom Frieden's Ebola Assessment: The Risk Is Increasing

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:44 am

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, talks with staff from Doctors Without Borders during a visit to the nonprofit group's newest Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

The Ebola outbreak has crippled local health systems. It's flooded wards with patients, killed doctors, scared away medical staff and forced some hospitals to shut down entirely.

That's the grim assessment of Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who's visiting West Africa this week for a firsthand look at the situation. Frieden spoke to Goats and Soda by cell phone as he was traveling by car from the hard-hit eastern Sierra Leone city of Kenema back to the capital, Freetown.

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4:50pm

Tue August 12, 2014
Goats and Soda

Ebola Shuts Down The Oldest Hospital In Liberia

Wearing protective boots and gloves, a nurse sweeps the grounds of St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital. Overwhelmed by Ebola, the facility is now closed.
Ahmed Jallanzo EPA /LANDOV

Hospitals in Africa are almost always teeming with people. In addition to patients waiting for care, friends and relatives are usually gathered on the hospital grounds.

But in the Liberian capital Monrovia, Ebola has silenced St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital. It is completely shut.

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