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Vaccinations are a Life and Death Issue in NBC’s Sci-Fi Drama Revolution

NBC’s futuristic drama Revolution is set more than 15 years into a worldwide blackout that has plunged the US into warring factions and a primitive existence. When disaster strikes like this, vaccinations can’t be produced or stored, and killer diseases return. This guest post written by Devi Ramachandran Thomas, Director of the UN Foundation Shot@Life Campaign, gets behind the motivation driving one of the characters in episode 7 of season 2, “The Patriot Act.” In this episode we learn why Dr. Gene Porter compromises his high moral standards in return for life-saving vaccinations held by a shadowy representative of the so-called Government. He betrays the trust of his family and community knowing that without access to healthcare and routine immunization, diseases that were once confined to history will return and destroy everything he loves. Although this is a fictional story, the importance of vaccinations is rooted in today’s reality. The recent outbreaks of polio in Syria and the Horn of Africa reveal the truth behind the Revolution plot line. When a sufficient number of children are not fully immunized, the virus finds its way to the most vulnerable and takes hold. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a partnership made up of the UN, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and Rotary International works with national health authorities to end the disease worldwide.  According to medical experts, polio is spread through person-to-person...

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Stark reality of maternal mortality shown on NBC’s Revolution

The post-apocalyptic hit NBC series Revolution takes place 15 years after the lights have gone out around the world. The global blackout has plunged the US into warring factions and a primitive existence. This guest post written by Whitney Showler, who heads Music for Relief, the non-profit established by Sustainable Energy for All supporter Linkin Park, touches on some of the issues covered in this week’s episode. Although we may consider childbirth routine, without electricity it can be very dangerous. Women give birth at night in near darkness, cesarean sections are cancelled or conducted by flashlight, and critically ill mothers or babies wait hours or days for life-saving procedures.  The outcomes can be tragic. In Africa, pregnancy and childbirth complications result in hundreds of maternal deaths every day, including within the country of Uganda.  Ugandan clinics often don’t have reliable electricity for lighting and medical equipment.  Power the World, a philanthropic initiative of rock band Linkin Park and Music for Relief, is funding WE CARE Solar Suitcases for Ugandan clinics.  The Solar Suitcase is a portable solar energy system that improves maternal and child health outcomes by providing reliable light and power. The Power the World Solar Suitcase initiative is helping thousands of women around the world who face the same dangers as the woman in Munroe’s flashback on the Revolution episode “Dead Man Walking” who went through labor in a tent with none...

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NBC show Revolution Closes in on Reality of Refugees

NBC dramatic science fiction series Revolution shows how desperate whole communities can become when forced from their homes by conflict. A scene from Season 2-Episode 5 “ONE RIOT, ONE RANGER” in the Savannah refugee camp depicts a scramble for a limited number of places to a new camp with “artesian wells” and “closed sewers,” luxuries for the masses living in this camp.  Unfortunately, in today’s world millions of refugees around the world struggle with just such realities. For example, since the conflict in Syria exploded two years ago, over two million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries – many to makeshift...

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Special UN Day event in Pakistan on empowering young people

Submitted by our UN Information Centre in Islamabad, Pakistan colleagues Interactive Debate for UN Day is Islamabad, Pakistan When: UN Day, 24 October, from 6-7:30 pm What are the stories of youth in Pakistan? Can young people afford going to school? Is healthcare a problem for young people? How can the United Nations contribute to empowering young people? Let’s get the point on reporting on Pakistani youth: their lives, their challenges, their success stories, their hopes. Join an interactive discussion among Pakistani media representatives, students from mass communications universities and representatives of the agencies of the United Nations in Pakistan. The debate will be moderated by Mr. Hamid Mir, GEO TV How to participate The event is open to media representatives and students currently enrolled in mass communications programs. If you’re based in Islamabad and vicinity, please email us at unic.islamabad@unic.org to register and get access to the event. If you cannot attend in person, stay tuned for information on live streaming. Follow UN Secretary-General’s Ban Ki-moon’s Youth Envoy Ahmad Alhendawi’s on Facebook and on Twitter (@AhmadAlhendawi).  Background United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made working with and for young people a priority of his five-year action agenda. The plan is to address the needs of the largest generation of young people the world has ever known by deepening the youth focus of existing programmes on employment, entrepreneurship, political inclusion, citizenship...

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War Clan Leader on NBC Show Revolution Looks the Real Deal

The post-apocalyptic hit NBC series Revolution takes place 15 years after the lights have gone out around the world. The global blackout has plunged the US into warring factions and a primitive existence. Fans watching the show saw the fictional character named Titus Andover in Episode 4: “Patriot Games” refer to the kids in his “war clan” as his children and how he sees himself as a “loving father.” Like Titus, warlords in real life brutalize children, turn them into killers and use them as sex slaves. Various United Nations entities, including UNICEF and the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, work for the release, rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers. Hundreds of thousands of children are used as soldiers in armed conflicts around the world. Many children are abducted and beaten into submission, others join military groups to escape poverty, to defend their communities or out of a feeling of revenge.  Read on for two recent examples. In 2012 Thomas Lubanga of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was the first person to be convicted for war crimes by the UN-backed International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. He was found guilty of abducting boys and girls under the age of 15 and forcing them to fight in a war in the DRC. He founded and led the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) and rebels under his command have been accused of massive human rights violations, including ethnic...

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