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How maths helps us understand why music moves people

July 10, 2017 3.17pm BST
 
Kovac via Shutterstock.com

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  1. as.jpgElaine Chew

    Professor of Digital Media, Queen Mary University of London

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Elaine Chew receives funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK, the European Research Council, and the US National Science Foundation. She is a founding member of the international Society for Mathematics and Computation in Music, and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Computer Music Journal, the founding Editorial Board of the Journal of Mathematics and Music, the Editorial Board of Music Theory Spectrum, and others.

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Music is known to provoke the senses, give pleasure and sometimes move people to tears. Surely this has little to do with mathematical models which are so frequently associated with cold and rational logic. So what can maths tell us about this powerful phenomenon closely connected to the emotions? Can mathematics help us measure what’s sublime or ineffable about a piece of music?

Music evokes strong emotions such as frisson (goose bumps), awe and laughter – and has been found to use the same reward pathways as food, drugs and sex to induce pleasure. A shiver down one’s spine or an uncontrollable guffaw when listening to music is most often a case of the music defying your expectations. Expectations can be defined in two ways: schematic – knowing how a genre of music is supposed to go – or veridical – knowing how a particular piece of music unfolds.

On one end of the spectrum, a performance or a piece of music that does just what you’d expect runs the risk of becoming banal. On the other end, music like that of PDQ Bach – which uses tongue-in-cheek egregious violations of known expectations – makes many people laugh.

 

 
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ListenPDQ Bach: The Short-tempered Clavier: Minuet in C

 

The craving that comes from musical anticipation and the euphoria that follows the reward have both been found to be linked to dopamine release. As a result, performers and composers alike play with listeners’ expectations, often going to great lengths to carefully choreograph their expectations, and then sometimes breaking them, to provoke and heighten emotional responses.

Playing with expectations

In tonal music, which is almost all of the music that we hear and can be thought of as being based on a scale, the note sequence sets up expectations, then suspends, fulfils, or violates them. For a simple example, sing the first three phrases of “Happy Birthday” and stop at the end of the penultimate phrase.

 

 
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ListenHappy Birthday (first part)

 

Anticipation for the resolution to this musical cliffhanger creates a palpable knot in the gut. This hollow feeling can be further intensified by delaying the final phrase. The release is evident when the final phrase is heard and ends happily on the most stable tone.

 

 
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ListenHappy Birthday (second part)

 

Two things are at work here in this miniature example: tonality and time. Tonality provides a framework through which expectations are formed – and the play on time, the delaying of expectations, uses the framework to create a musical cliffhanger and titillate the senses.

Where maths comes in

Expectations can be modelled mathematically and time can be measured – so the shaping of both expectations and time can be described in numbers. Over the years, in my research lab, we have developed models and computer algorithms for quantifying tonal properties and expressive parameters in music. Many of the tonal analysis algorithms are based on what is known as a “spiral array model”.

The spiral array can be plotted in 3D to allow us to visualise the dynamic evolution of musical keys and spot when the notes and their timing combine to do something interesting to tug at our emotions.

An introduction to the MuSA.RT application which implements the spiral array model and its real-time algorithms for determining chords and keys.

As music is heard, the notes can be mapped to the model, duly weighted and summarised as points inside it. Movements in the space inside the model allow listeners to see deviations from expected tonal behaviour.

PDQ Bach: The Short-tempered Clavier: Minuet in C with real-time spiral array tonal analysis; note the deviant trajectories when the music strays away from the expected tonal context.

Musical tension

Just as pitches that sound close one to another are spatially near each other; the converse is true: pitches that sound far from one another are spatially far apart. Feelings of tension translate to quantifiably big distances – notes mapping to widely dispersed points or pulling far away from an established centre of gravity.

Composers actively vary the tension over time to generate interest and captivate the listener’s attention. The shaping of tension over time also helps create meaningful long-term structure. It is notoriously hard for computer algorithms to generate music with long-term structure. But the MorpheuS system, developed by music researcher Dorien Herremans, circumvents this problem to generate music with a pre-set narrative structure by using a tension model based on the spiral array. Listen to this version of JS Bach’s “Minuet in D”:

 

 
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ListenMorpheuS-Bach: A Little Notebook for Anna Magdalena: Minuet in D

 

It follows the tension profile, rhythms, and repetition patterns of the original piece from A Little Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach:

 

 
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ListenJS Bach: A Little Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach: Minuet in D

 

The notes of the generated piece also conjures up similar degrees of tension to the original music. For example, discordant sounds follows the same patterns of discord in Bach’s original piece.

Tipping points

Not only do notes themselves create tension, a performer can delay resolutions to heighten suspense. Judicious use of timing is one of the most potent expressive devices for eliciting emotional responses. The right amount of delay can sweeten the anticipation – but take too much time and the performer risks losing the listener.

In music with a beat, the musical pulse forms a baseline grid on which to measure timing deviations – prolongations and reductions of the time unit. In extreme cases, these warpings of musical time produce tipping points, the feeling of being poised at the brink of an abstract hill in an imaginary roller coaster.

Tipping points in Fritz Kreisler’s recording of his Schön Rosmarin. file-20170530-16298-1smbyw7.jpg
 
Beat lengths in Fritz Kreisler’s Schön Rosmarin as performed by Kreisler: example of tipping points. Elaine Chew

We can use maths to present this graphically. When a piece of music is performed precisely as written, it is displayed as a flat line in these graphs. But music is almost never played exactly as written. Performers often exercise significant creative license; as a result, anomalous peaks signal the evocation of musical tipping points.

Tipping points in Maria Callas’s recording of O Mio Babbino Caro from Giacomo Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi. file-20170530-16265-1fl26jq.jpg
 
Beat lengths in Giacomo Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro as performed by Kathleen Battle, Maria Callas and Kiri te Kanawa: example of tipping points. Elaine Chew

By elongating specific notes – or words or syllables – the performer draws the listener’s ears to details that might have been missed or glossed over. Because the listener often knows what’s coming, the delay prolongs expectation – creating drama and exaggerating emotional cues.

Mathematics is the language through which scientists understand the nature of the universe. However, the extent to which numbers can explain the ephemeral experience of music has yet to be fully explored. Why does music move us? How do its variegated structures translate to musical expectations? How do performers and composers exploit these expectations to craft profound and moving musical experiences? Our mathematical forays into these questions are but the tip of the ice berg.

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5Comments
  1. RackMultipart20141102-6768-1hd91j5.jpg

    John McKeon 

     

    A wonderful “out there”, most stimulating essay. Thank you.

  2. Peter Baker

     

    Fascinating!

    I wonder what the spiral array analysis would look like for L'après-midi d'un faune?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOlzpfE8bUk

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With the right education, girls can reach for the stars
2643
EDUCATION

With the right education, girls can reach for the stars

12 April 2017 12:51PM UTC | By: LAUREN WORLEY

GIRLS COUNT

All girls count.

130 million girls don’t have access to an education. So we’re asking the world to count them, one by one.

 
  

Today is the UN’s International Day of Human Space Flight—a day when the world comes together to celebrate the human achievement of sending humans beyond the confines of Earth.

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All girls count.

130 million girls don’t have access to an education. So we’re asking the world to count them, one by one.

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LAUREN WORLEY
12 April 2017 12:51PM UTC

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What we don’t know about refugees and humanitarian aid
120
REFUGEES

What we don’t know about refugees and humanitarian aid

26 June 2017 3:31PM UTC | By: GALEN ENGLUND

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According to the UNHCR, at least 65 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes and become refugees or internally displaced.

But like many of the numbers about migration and displacement, that headline stat comes with some caveats. For starters, 65 million is probably a serious understatement of how many refugees and internally displaced persons live around the world.

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A group of refugees perform a traditional dance in the Dadaab camp in Kenya. (Photo credit: ONE)

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Movement_Refugee_Sudan-1024x512.jpg

A screenshot of our new tool, MOVEMENT.

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Kakuma-1024x683.jpg

Kakuma Refugee Camp. (Photo credit: Katie G. Nelson)

In the long term, quality humanitarian and displacement data can actually save lives. Amazing things can be built with better data: early warning systems that predict refugee flight paths from conflicts or disasters; mobile apps for improving assistance programs that allow refugees and displaced persons to review how aid actually meets their needs; and tracking systems with block chain ledger tech that can cut down on corruption and make sure money gets to those who need it most.

Today, people are dying because of what the humanitarian aid sector doesn’t know. We must support and build on data improvements that are already underway, and push for innovation in new initiatives.

Want to learn more? Read our data brief, MOVEMENT: Minding the data gaps around displacement, funding, and humanitarian needs.

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26 June 2017 3:31PM UTC

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How Bernice and her bamboo bikes are changing a small Ghanaian community
7272
GIRLS AND WOMEN

How Bernice and her bamboo bikes are changing a small Ghanaian community

18 August 2016 3:24PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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Meet Bernice Dapaah – a young entrepreneur from Ghana who decided to build eco-friendly bikes to not only help the environment, but to improve the lives of those living in her community!

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 15.41.21

Bernice (on the left), the founder of the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative.

While studying for a degree in Business Administration, Bernice decided she wanted to take control of her future and build a business where she would be responsible for every element of the company. After graduating, Bernice’s journey to be her own boss took her back to her home town of Kumasi, where the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative was born.

The initiative uses mainly natural resources – such as bamboo – to create a more sustainable mode of transport for people to be able to get to school or work. And the great part? For every bamboo plant Bernice’s team uses, they plant 10 more to replace it!

The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative is definitely a success story; reducing local pollution, helping people living in rural areas get to work, providing jobs locally, and, in turn, helping to reduce poverty.

Here are 3 reasons why we can get behind Bernice and her bikes:

1. They’re eco-friendly.

Locally sourced bamboo

Locally sourced bamboo. Photo Credit: UN.

The Ghanaian company is able to take advantage of locally sourced resources by using bamboo to build the entire frame of the bike. Conscious that they would be consuming large amounts of local bamboo, Bernice plants 10 new bamboo plants for every 1 plant that is cut down! By building the bikes out of bamboo instead of steel or aluminium, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced making the bikes friendly for everyone, everywhere.

2. They’re helping children get to school.

Bamboo1

School children receiving bamboo bikes! Photo credit: Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative.

A product of education, Bernice is using her eco-friendly bamboo bikes to enable children to go to school. Some children in the community walk long distances to get to school, meaning they are often late, reducing their time to learn. Bernice donates bikes to them so they are able to focus on their education and maximise their time in the classroom.

3. They’re empowering women.

Local women working in the bike shop

Local women learning how to make the bamboo bike. Photo Credit: UN.

Not only is she enabling children to make learning a priority, Bernice is responsible for boosting the community’s local economy by employing locals to harvest and plant bamboo, build the bikes, and sell them to markets around the world. Oh, and did we mention that Bernice also made sure women were hired to be a part of her team of 35 employees so ‘they can do something on their own, rather than being at home looking after their husband’?

Two thumbs up, Ghana Bamboo Bikes, two thumbs up.

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ROBYN DETORO
18 August 2016 3:24PM UTC

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The amazing reason why a Zimbabwe soap business is cleaning up
5764
AID AND DEVELOPMENT

The amazing reason why a Zimbabwe soap business is cleaning up

June 5 2017 | By: GUEST BLOGGER

STOP THESE CUTS

Stop Pres. Trump’s proposed cuts to foreign aid

 
  

Story and photos by Ray Mwareya

Rudo Mazhande, 32, stands smiling in a warehouse among several hundred huge bars of green soap. A crisp, clean scent wafts through the air. This is Rudo’s factory, where she now employs seven people. And once you hear her story, it’s easy to see why she might be happy.

Despite being a trained chemical engineer, Rudo struggled for years to use her skills. “I have never got a job in my field,” she says. “Because of limited choices, I ended up becoming a high school teacher. I quit in less than a year. I felt my skills were lost there.”

Rudo is part of Zimbabwe’s so-called “wasted golden generation” — highly educated young women and men who find it difficult to get jobs in an economy where the unemployment rate is 90 percent, according to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.

Budget_Soap_Blog5.jpg

In 2016, Rudo became so desperate that she decided to convert her spare room to begin making detergents, polish, and soap. For a young woman living in Highfields, one of the poorest townships in Harare, it was a brave move.

“That a jobless woman could manufacture soap in a township bedroom… it was a trial and error belief,” she laughs. “My first product was a horrible failure. The soap came out appearing like a messy porridge. But I persevered.”

In March 2016, a chance encounter with USAID changed everything.

Budget_Soap_Blog4.jpg

“While strolling I discovered a poster stuck on a tree,” she says. “It invited young entrepreneurs to attend free finance management skills training.”

USAID Zimbabwe was funding the course through its partnership with Junior Achievement Zimbabwe, a forum for youth business growth aggregators.

“It was the spark I needed,” says Rudo. The training gave Rudo the confidence to invest $300 savings into her new business. “Loans, borrowings, even pocket money. Everything was thrown into the adventure.”

Budget_Soap_Blog6.jpg

But the initial reaction of her community to her soap was dismal, she says. “Shop owners didn’t trust us. They preferred to stock soap from Dubai, South Africa or India. We shun locally manufactured products as Zimbabweans. You have to explain to people why you are making soap from your family home and why your product has a poor township address. It is sad.”

“That is when the USAID training made a difference,” she says. “From our course, I obeyed the advice to invest in proper marketing. I sent foot soldiers, our marketing team that showed samples of our soap to hotels, restaurants, and schools.”

The response has been overwhelming, and in June 2016, Rudo was able to move her business to a proper industrial workshop. She also stopped making detergents and concentrated soap due to the amount of competition. Instead, her main product is a 750-gram laundry soap bar that sells for 50 cents, as well as a smaller bar for 40 cents.

Budget_Soap_Blog2.jpg

“This is geared towards the hygiene needs of poor communities,” she says. “Our prices are more competitive than foreign soaps lumped into Zimbabwe’s economy.”

“Yesterday,” she says before pausing, “Yesterday, I sold two tons of soap.” She whistles with joy: “It was massive — two tons gone in a day! The demand and market for soap is mightier than what we can produce.”

With her new factory, her finances have improved, too.

Budget_Soap_Blog3.jpg

“My income has shot up,” she says. “I now have seven employees, all hailing from Highfields township. It is my way of giving back.”

She’s also taken steps to modernize her operations, like renting a bowl mixer to help her team produce soap faster. She’d love to buy the mixers outright, but since they sell at $3,000 each in Zimbabwe, renting is the only option for the moment.

But her scientific background is apparent in her zeal when discussing her soaps’ formula: “No one has given me technical advice in making soap,” she says. “I experiment this or that ratio with oil or emulsifiers until everything settles. Great businesses are born of chaotic experiments.”

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CULTURE

The Maasai brand is valuable — and it should belong to the Maasai people

July 27 2017 | By: GUEST BLOGGER

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By Meg Brindle, Light Years IP

I was at a conference in Kenya when I first met a member of the Maasai, a group of people who live in East Africa. He had a question for me – and the answers could have the potential to dramatically impact poverty for millions of low-income farmers, producers and others.

You’d recognize the Maasai from photos. Many are tall, elegant and very distinctively dressed. Often, when a generic image is used of Africans in photos or advertising, it’s of Maasai. Their designs and style get used by others – but the Maasai don’t earn a penny.

That’s not right. It’s cultural appropriation – but it’s also bad business. Increasingly, the things that make products valuable aren’t the ingredients that go into them – it’s the intangible things, including the brands. And companies are careful to look out for their brands, spending millions to protect and defend them.

Think about Coca-Cola or Apple. Their products are more than sugar, fruit juice, and water, or metal and plastic, chips and screen. Their brand value is much greater than the value of the physical resources. That’s because of the ideas, imagination, and presentation that come together in great products: what business calls “intellectual property (IP).”

So what does this mean for a semi-nomadic tribe of nearly 2 million across Tanzania and Kenya?

We’d been working with Ethiopian Fine Coffee to help them own their own brands and license them. We’d helped return $101 million to coffee exporters.

That’s when I met the Maasai elder. He tapped me on the shoulder and said: “ We understand that IP works for coffee.  The Maasai have a brand that is used by many western companies without our permission.  Can you help us?”

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A group of Maasai people. (Photo credit: joxeankoret/Wikimedia Commons)

We engaged Maasai University students in researching the dozens of companies using the Maasai name, image and brand without their permission.  Our friends at Comic Relief were kind enough to help fund the feasibility study. Brand expert David Cardwell who did the Star Wars licensing deal helped. Our goal was to let the Maasai run the process with some good advice from others. To them, respect and removal of culturally inappropriate images are as important as income.

For six years, we have been about helping the Maasai to organize and form MIPI -The Maasai IP Initiative.  With outreach across Kenya and Tanzania and radio broadcasts, materials translated to Maa and Swahili, Light Years IP and the Maasai have reached 500,000 Maasai — a critical mass to own, control, license and where relevant, to create solutions with large companies that had used their brand name. One big car company, for example, returned the Maasai trademark and negotiations are underway with Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy.

In 2012, a Louis Vuitton fashion show featured Maasai scarves and shirts modeled and sold for upwards of 1,000 euros each. Of course, the LVMH brand is valued highly and IP and brand experts can help us to quantify what portion is due to cultural appropriation of the Maasai iconic values of bravery, strength, and warrior images.

The Maasai are a proud people — respectful and honorable.  The Maasai leadership has been offended at the cultural misappropriation of their brand and name. They understand that it is valuable – and it’s theirs. Our analysis shows it is worth about $250 million.

Maasai elder, Isaac ole Tialalo, leader of MIPI has been to Capitol Hill and to Parliament in London with The African IP Trust, headed by Lord Paul Boating. It’s an honor for our support and advocacy group to help the Maasai achieve win-win situations with companies.

We think that the Maasai are an inspiration and model to other indigenous people who are about 6% of the world’s population and suffer both cultural appropriation and poverty.  The Cherokee, Navajo, and Tourag, for example, add value to countless products and companies. It is not easy to regain control after cultural appropriation, but we think it is the right thing to do.

If you would like to know more about this, go to lightyearsip.net/the-maasai/.

 

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WATER AND SANITATION

Harvesting rain offers access to water, sanitation, and more for this Kenya village

July 22 2016 | By: GUEST BLOGGER

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By Kara Poppe, Johnson & Johnson Princeton in Africa Fellow

When will the rains come? This is a common discussion topic in Nyumbani Village, Kenya, but one that until recently, was very new to me.

In 2006, I was an adolescent in the United States, with little knowledge of the trials others experienced throughout the world—especially with water. I lived in an area with abundant, year-round precipitation, and the thought of anything different never crossed my mind. Clean water was second nature and flowed freely from the tap wherever I went. It never occurred to me that it might not be there when I needed it.

Kara Poppe

Fast forward ten years: I’m now a Princeton in Africa Fellow, supported by Johnson & Johnson, and a resident here in  Nyumbani Village—and water is at the forefront of my mind. With shades of brown as far as the eye can see and a light wind blowing reddish earth around, rain is ever welcome. Living in a semi-arid region near the equator, weeks (and often months) can pass without a drop of rain. These harsh, dry conditions are the biannual reality for Nyumbani Village.

Up until Nyumbani Village opened in 2006, this area was primarily used as a grazing area for cattle and goats. Then, in response to the growing number of orphaned children left behind by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, 1,000 acres of this semi-arid landscape was transformed into a home for 1,000 orphaned children and 100 grandparents who lost adult children to AIDS. Today, there are now 100 homes for families, three schools, an outpatient clinic, a commercial farm, and more.

From the beginning, sustainability has been a key component of Nyumbani Village. Whether it is pressing bricks on-site or growing thousands of tomatoes in greenhouses, it is important to prioritize and conserve locally available resources. While drilling boreholes and constructing shallow wells provided water for construction and domestic washing purposes, it was quickly discovered that the water beneath Nyumbani Village is saline and not suitable for drinking. Fresh water was sometimes scarce. This caused a great deal of worry, especially during the dry spells.

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Where could Nyumbani Village source that water? Taking full advantage of the brief biannual rains was one idea—with more than 140 buildings, the surface area of the sheet metal roofs offered an obvious solution.

Since 2010, Johnson & Johnson has partnered with Princeton in Africa and Nyumbani Village to support the rainwater harvesting project because providing easy access to clean water (and therefore sanitation and hygiene) is a major driver towards a life of health and well-being. For those infected and affected by HIV, access to water means staying safe and in school, and may play a major role in curbing the spread of HIV.

As the Princeton in Africa Fellow, I work alongside Nyumbani Village staff and local contractors and suppliers to install and maintain 10,000-liter rainwater tanks that can capture and contain rainwater for use well into the dry seasons. One morning, one of the women in the village told me how much the tanks mean to her. She told me stories of how, as a child and as a younger woman, she collected water from the nearby river, first with a gourd on her back, then later with jerry cans and a donkey.

“I am less tired these days, because I do not have to fetch water. I now invest my time in others things, like working a lot in my garden,” she says. Having fetched water for most of her life, she knows the importance of water conservation and regularly educates the children under her care on this. “If we are careful, most years, we have some water remaining in the tank when the rains come again in October.”

Presently, each family’s home and most administrative buildings are outfitted with gutters and a tank. The village-wide system is capable of storing more than 1,400,000 liters of fresh, clean water. If conserved carefully, one 10,000 liter tank can supply a family with daily freshwater throughout the dry season.

Prior to living in Nyumbani Village, many children and elderly walked several kilometers per day to source freshwater for their families. Now in Nyumbani Village, with freshwater access at every home through the rainwater tank, it increases time for other activities, such as studying, farming, and playing sports.

Before Nyumbani Village, life for the nearby children who lost parents to AIDS was bleak. By providing access to water, sanitation, hygiene, and much more, Nyumbani Village is helping them to stay healthy, and live the empowered lives they deserve.

Learn more about Nyumbani Village, then add your name to our letter urging world leaders to support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

 

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HEALTH

This is the simple reason some countries struggle to fight pandemics

6 April 2017 11:56AM UTC | By: SPENCER CRAWFORD

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It’s easy to focus on what makes us unhealthy.  In the past four years alone, there have been over 500 disease outbreaks in developed and developing countries alike ranging from the more common flu to the more extreme Ebola and Zika.

But this World Health Day, we’re focusing on who keeps us healthy: skilled health professionals like nurses, midwives and doctors.  Because these are the individuals that so often determine how a disease outbreak will end: with swift containment or a prolonged health crisis.

Take, for example, Canada’s response to the deadly H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic in 2009 that occurred in 214 countries and killed over 18,500 people.

When the swine flu hit Canada, Canada’s health system sprang into action, enacting the largest vaccination campaign in the country’s history.  At the national level, the Canadian federal government purchased and distributed vaccines to the provinces, which in turn determined the best way to administer the vaccine.

At the local level, health workers in hospitals and labs helped identify, treat and prevent cases of H1N1 in real-time. Canada’s health workforce, combined with a strong surveillance system and high-level of coordination led to control of the epidemic.

Contrast Canada’s example with the case of Liberia in the 2014-15 Ebola epidemic that infected over 28,000 people across 10 countries, primarily in West Africa.

Civil war in Liberia destroyed over a third of the country’s health facilities and depleted the country’s health workforce. In fact, there were fewer skilled Liberian health workers then than students at Harvard and Johns Hopkins medical schools combined. The number of cases rapidly overwhelmed health facilities that lacked treatment beds, supplies and essential medicines. Healthcare workers weren’t adequately protected, resulting in over 400 health workers becoming infected and the three largest hospitals in the capital of Liberia closing.  More people died of Ebola in Liberia than in any other country and its economy was devastated. Liberia lost $300 million due to the epidemic – a whopping 15% of its GDP – and 40% fewer people, especially women, were working since the crisis’ onset.

There are a number of reasons why the case of Canada and Liberia are different. For example, Canada has more financial resources, better ability to control national borders, and swine H1N1 had a vaccine whereas Ebola did not.  These are not insignificant factors.   But at the most basic level, the presence of a strong health workforce who can find patients, administer treatments and promote healthy behaviour matters, and often makes the difference between stopping an epidemic from the outset or not.

The World Health Organisation recommends that a country ideally has 44.5 doctors, nurses and midwives per 10,000 people. Canada has 118; Liberia has just 3.

A country’s investment in its own health system, with support from foreign aid when needed, is essential to building health workforce capacity and emergency preparedness. Consider Liberia, which since the Ebola outbreak has put its health workforce at the centre of their recovery efforts, investing in a community health worker initiative to deploy 4,000 health workers to serve the 1.2 million Liberians living too far from the nearest health centre.

Disease outbreaks happen, but the prolonged health and economic backlash don’t have to. Investing in health systems and the healthcare workers that make them work today – especially in the world’s poorest countries – can stop disease outbreaks tomorrow both at home and abroad.

If you believe that where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live, become a ONE member and join the more than 7.5 million people worldwide in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease.

 

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