Jason Beaubien

When Karina Ahuanari's mother Teresa died of COVID on April 24, 2020, at a hospital in Peru's port city of Iquitos, their family had no idea what happened to her body.

At the time, the country was in lockdown and people couldn't leave their homes. Despite the COVID restrictions, Ahuanari's brother and sister-in-law went to the hospital to try to find the matriarch of their family.

The World Health Organization is convening a special session of its governing body, the World Health Assembly, to start talks on a new global treaty covering pandemics. Representatives of WHO's 194 member states will meet virtually for three days starting on Monday to consider new international rules for handling future outbreaks.

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says the world has not worked well together to confront the current COVID-19 pandemic.

People in Iquitos, Peru, refer to their city as "una isla," an island, even though it's not an island. Iquitos is a port city of roughly 400,000 people on the Amazon River in northeastern Peru. Residents proudly note that it's the largest city in the world that's unreachable by road. You can only get there by boat or by plane.

In the early days of the COVID pandemic being isolated seemed like an advantage. It might delay the arrival of the virus. It might make it easier to contain. But that didn't turn out to be the case for Iquitos.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

TB patients have become collateral damage in the train wreck that is COVID-19.

Until the emergence of COVID, tuberculosis was the deadliest infectious disease in the world. But health care workers were making slow, steady progress to contain it. Now for the first time in more than a decade the death toll from TB is rising.

Tuberculosis killed roughly 1.5 million people in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, up from 1.4 million in 2019. And researchers say COVID is to blame.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The world's arsenal against malaria just got a fancy new bazooka. But it's not the easiest weapon to deploy, it only hits its target 30 to 40% of the time, and it's not yet clear who's going to pay for it.

The weapon in question is the RTS,S vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline, which on Wednesday got the green light from the World Health Organization for widespread use.

This is not only the first authorized malaria vaccine, it's also the first vaccine ever approved for use against a parasitic disease in humans.

A huge trove of leaked financial documents called the Pandora Papers has exposed the offshore financial dealings of hundreds of the world's global elites, including more than 330 politicians from nearly 100 countries.

The nearly 12 million documents were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The ICIJ worked with more than 600 journalists in 117 countries to sift through the records.

A 43-year-old woman arrived at an interview for a job with the World Health Organization to raise community awareness about Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was late 2018. The outbreak there was the largest since the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa.

She said the interviewer told her she could only get the job in exchange for sex. When she refused, she said, the man raped her.

Pages