On Monday, February 4 at 19:30 GMT:

Vaccine hesitancy

The World Health Organization (WHO) last month declared “vaccine hesitancy” – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines - a threat to tackling easily preventable diseases.

According to the WHO, vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease. It prevents 2 - 3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.

But measles has seen a 30 percent increase worldwide since 2016. And, though not all cases are linked to vaccine hesitancy,  many countries that were close to eliminating the disease, such as the United States, Australia and the UK, have seen a resurgence. In January, the US state of Washington  declared a state of emergency after struggling to contain a measles outbreak. New York, Texas and West Virginia are also battling outbreaks.

Globally, the number of parents refusing to have their children vaccinated remains small, although research shows the so-called anti-vaxxer movement is growing. So why this trend? We’ll discuss the WHO’s concerns and highlight the growing role played by social media.


Project Raven

An investigation by the Reuters news agency has found journalists and activists were spied on in a hacking operation led by the United Arab Emirates and staffed with former US National Security Agency intelligence analysts.

The hackers, working under the name Project Raven, accessed the iPhones of activists, diplomats and rival foreign officials with the help of a sophisticated spying tool named Karma.

One operative spoken to by Reuters, Lori Stroud, said she and her colleagues saw their mission cross a red line when it began to target fellow Americans in 2016. The group also spied on the Emir of Qatar, armed groups in Yemen, British journalist Rori Donaghy, Emirati activist Ahmed Mansoor, and others. 

We’ll take an in-depth look at the investigation.


Egyptian human rights lawyer Hoda Abdelmoneim was arrested by Egyptian security forces in November 2018. Her whereabouts remained completely unknown to her family for the next 20 days.

Since then, she has made appearances in front of public prosecutors and been allowed brief meetings with her family who report her health and well-being are deteriorating.  She has told relatives that she is being held at an undisclosed location. Egyptian authorities, though, deny she has been arrested and Amnesty International believes she has been forcibly disappeared. We’ll be joined by her daughter to hear the latest on this troubling case.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Pauline Paterson @DrPPaterson
Co-Director, Vaccine Confidence Project 

Courtney C. Radsch @courtneyr 
Advocacy director, Committee to Protect Journalists

Jihad Khaled @Gehad93
Hoda Abdelmoniem’s daughter

Kate O’Brien @WHO
Director, World Health Organization Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Read more:
Ten threats to gloabl heath in 2019 - WHO 
Special report: Inside the UAE's secret hacking team of US mercenaries - Reuters 

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