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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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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4:05pm

Tue August 12, 2014
Africa

Ebola Closes The Doors Of One Of Liberia's Oldest Hospitals

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 9:45 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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9:22am

Sun August 3, 2014
Goats and Soda

Helping Children, Despite Death Threats: A Vaccinator Explains

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:00 pm

A health worker vaccinates a child during a polio campaign in Bannu, Pakistan, June 25. The Taliban threaten to kill vaccinators and parents who immunize their kids.
A Majeed AFP/Getty Images

When my translator and I arrive in a crowded, dusty neighborhood in Karachi, Fatima Noor is waiting in a full black burqa. But she pretends not to see us.

She turns down the alley and disappears. We follow her into a neighborhood, where the buildings are so close together that Noor's burqa brushes the walls.

Finally she slips into the entryway of a building, and with a sigh of relief, she pulls back her headscarf.

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4:15pm

Thu July 31, 2014
Global Health

Sierra Leone Declares Quarantine, As Ebola Outbreak Worsens

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 8:07 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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7:31pm

Tue July 29, 2014
Goats and Soda

The Hidden Costs Of Fighting Polio In Pakistan

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 11:06 pm

During nationwide polio campaigns, hundreds of thousands of health workers go door to door, giving children two drops of the polio vaccine.
Anadolu Agency Getty Images

Pakistan is currently at the center of the global effort to eradicate polio. Although the country has reported only about a hundred cases this year, that's more cases than in all other nations combined.

Eliminating the paralyzing disease is a major logistical operation in Pakistan. More than 200,000 vaccinators fan out across the country, several times a year, to inoculate millions of children. The government also deploys tens of thousands of armed security forces to guard the workers.

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5:04pm

Mon July 28, 2014
Goats and Soda

Taliban In Pakistan Derail World Polio Eradication

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 10:46 am

A health worker gives a child the polio vaccine in Bannu, Pakistan, June 25. More than a quarter-million children in Taliban-controlled areas are likely to miss their immunizations.
A. Majeed AFP/Getty Images

Last January Salma Jaffar was shot while she was going door to door in Karachi, giving children drops of the polio vaccine.

"Even when they took out the pistol, I couldn't understand why he was taking out the gun," Jaffar says of the two men who pulled up on a motorcycle and started shooting at the vaccination team.

"But when he opened fire, that is when I thought it was the end of the life," she says. "My first thought was that I won't be able to see my children again."

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3:17pm

Tue July 22, 2014
Goats and Soda

Rumor Patrol: No, A Snake In A Bag Did Not Cause Ebola

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 4:57 pm

Eerie protective suits and shiny body bags have fueled rumors about the origins of Ebola. Here, a burial team removes the body of a person suspected to have died from the virus in the village of Pendembu, Sierra Leone.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

"A lady had a snake in a bag. When somebody opened the bag, that made the lady die."

That's the beginning of a story that Temba Morris often hears about the origins of Ebola. Morris runs a government health clinic in a remote village near Sierra Leone's border with Guinea. According to the story, somebody else then looked inside the bag.

"And the one who opened the bag also died," is what Morris hears next. The snake escaped into the Sierra Leone bush.

So there you have it: Ebola is an evil snake that will kill you if you look at it.

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4:45am

Tue July 22, 2014
Goats and Soda

Ebola Is A Deadly Virus — But Doctors Say It Can Be Beaten

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 8:34 pm

Sylvester Jusu is a volunteer who works with the Red Cross burial team in Sierra Leone.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Saidu Kanneh was given a hero's welcome last week when he walked into a community meeting about Ebola in a tiny village of mud huts in the Kissi Kama region of Sierra Leone. Kanneh was diagnosed with Ebola early in July, was treated for 12 days in a Doctors Without Borders hospital and overcame the disease.

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10:37am

Sun July 20, 2014
Africa

Facility Sets Up Extreme Precautions To Treat Ebola Patients

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath. The worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded continues to spread in West Africa. And medical workers in Sierra Leone have responded by expanding an extraordinary field hospital. It opened less than a month ago, but it now has the largest Ebola isolation unit ever built, with 64 beds. NPR's Jason Beaubien visited and describes for us the infection control measures that go into treating this highly contagious disease.

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4:34pm

Thu July 17, 2014
Africa

Ebola Wreaks Economic Woe In West Africa

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 11:51 am

A dog sleeps in a derelict building in central Kailahun, where the streets are unusually empty.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

In eastern Sierra Leone, health officials have set up the world's largest treatment for the Ebola virus. It's getting new patients every day, in an outbreak that's killed over 600 people in West Africa. Businesses in the area are suffering, and people are finding it difficult to earn a living.

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4:09pm

Thu July 3, 2014
Global Health

To Combat Ebola Outbreak, Health Officials Call For 'Drastic' Action

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 6:26 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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4:32pm

Wed June 18, 2014
Global Health

As Death Count Rises, Health Officials Work To Stem Ebola's Spread

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:08 pm

The World Health Organization is reporting that the Ebola virus has yet to be contained in West Africa. It's one of the largest Ebola outbreaks in decades — with over 500 cases, some 330 of which ended in death.

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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