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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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ホーキング博士のユーモア

 


インテルがホーキング博士のコミュニケーションシステムを刷新したことは日本でもニュースになりました。インテルは英語でプレスリリースを出していますが、日本のサイトでは日本語版は出していませんでした。このシステムは日本語バージョンがないからでしょうか。

ホーキング博士の意思伝達システムは「オープンソース」:四肢麻痺の患者に応用できる仕組み
インテルはホーキング博士のために、効率的に意思伝達ができる新しいシステムを開発した。オープンソースのソフトを利用しているので、同様の障害を持つ多くの人に応用が可能だ。
TEXT BY KATIE COLLINS
PHOTO BY INTEL
TRANSLATION BY MAYUMI HIRAI/GALILEO
WIRED NEWS (UK)

Intel Provides Researchers with Open Access to New Platform to Address 3 Million People Afflicted with Motor Neuron Diseases, Quadriplegia

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
Replacing Professor Hawking's decades-old communications system, he can better communicate, has increased ease of use for his daily routine, empowered with continued independence.
By January 2015, Intel will provide customizable solution to researchers and technologists.
The Intel-created advanced communications platform can be adapted for 3 million people afflicted with motor neuron diseases and quadriplegia.

LONDON, Dec. 2, 2014 - Today Intel demonstrated for the first time with Professor Stephen Hawking a new Intel-created communications platform to replace his decades-old system, dramatically improving his ability to communicate with the world. The customizable platform will be available to research and technology communities by January of next year.

By studying the acute needs of Hawking, and the very specific relationship between this man and his machine, Intel has delivered a tailored solution - called ACAT (Assistive Context Aware Toolkit) - that results in improved communication for Hawking with the world. It has the potential to become the backbone of a modern, customizable system other researchers and technologists can use to benefit those who have motor neuron diseases (MND) and quadriplegia.

Hawking has an MND related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS), a condition that has progressed over the years. He is almost entirely paralyzed and communicates through technology.

"Medicine has not been able to cure me, so I rely on technology to help me communicate and live," said Hawking. "Intel has been supporting me for almost 20 years, allowing me to do what I love every day. The development of this system has the potential to improve the lives of disabled people around the world and is leading the way in terms of human interaction and the ability to overcome communication boundaries that once stood in the way."


これに合わせて英国版Wiredではホーキング博士をカバーストーリーにしていたんですね。映画も公開されていますし、バッチリのタイミングです。インタビューでも彼のユーモアは健在だったようで、車椅子で科学者なので007の悪役がぴったりじゃないかと語っていたことはたくさんのメディアでも取り上げられていました。

Stephen Hawking Wants to Be a James Bond Villain
Renowned scientists jokes that his wheelchair and digital voice would make him perfect fit for the part
By Jon Blistein | December 2, 2014
Renowned scientist and author Stephen Hawking has made numerous TV and movie cameos and was recently the subject of the critically acclaimed biopic, The Theory of Everything. But the theoretical physicist has big ambitions for his future in film: "My ideal role would be a baddie in a James Bond film," Hawking joked during an interview with Wired's U.K. edition. "I think the wheelchair and the computer voice would fit the part."


インテルのシステムについて語っていた時も、脳波によるシステムはうまくいかなかったようで、I have not had much success with brain-computer interfaces. My carers say it’s because I have no brainwaves.と冗談を言っていました。

Intel has created a writing program for me using predictive text which allows me to write faster. The program is activated by a small sensor on my glasses. I'm writing these answers using it. Intel is going to open source it, to make it available to other disabled people. Intel has also tried facial recognition, though the range of messages that can be conveyed is limited. I have not had much success with brain-computer interfaces. My carers say it’s because I have no brainwaves.

今回ブログで取り上げたのは、本屋で最近になって知ったこともありますが、インテルの開発についてのレポートがウエブサイトでも読めるようになったからです。英語学習者として嬉しいことに記者による朗読バージョンもあります。



Exclusive: Giving Stephen Hawking a voice
2 December 2014
JOAO MEDEIROS
Science Editor
This exclusive article was taken from the January 2015 issue of WIRED magazine. Be the first to read WIRED's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online.

あとは日本のWiredが記事を訳してくれるのを待つだけですね。一足先に読んでしまって、後から英語でもう読んじゃったけど、という嫌な奴になるのも手かもしれませんが(笑)
 

Christopher Nollanの次回作は雑誌Wired!

 


今週発売となった雑誌Wiredの最新号はChristopher NollanがGuest Editorを務めていて雑誌全体がNollanというかInterstellarのテイストに染まっています。日本では今週末公開ですからいいタイミングですね。日本語版も出てくれるといいのですが。。。

どんな内容かは以下のSlateの記事をお読みください。Dimension(次元)を軸に雑誌全体が構成されています。4次元=TIMEが加わることまではわかっていましたが、5次元はuniverseではなくmultiverseになるんですね。。。

Christopher Nolan Will Guest-Edit Wired. We Have the EXCLUSIVE, Mind-Bending Details.
By Slate Staff

Wiredの編集長による前書きでNollanからオファーがあったことを喜びとともに伝えている部分を抜粋します。

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: WHAT IT’S LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
BY SCOTT DADICH 11.17.14 | 6:30 AM | PERMALINK

But late this summer, a single yellow Post-it note waiting on my desk rekindled our hopes. The message was simple but full of promise: “Chris Nolan called.” Below those three words was a number. I picked up the phone and learned, to my amazement and delight, that Nolan is as much a fan of WIRED as WIRED is of him. By the next morning, we had agreed on a path: The December issue would be his to guest-edit. Days later, a team from WIRED was sitting in the Syncopy production facilities, waist-deep in ideas and notes, scribbles for the stories that now fill these pages. That would be the first of many work sessions, brainstorms, and story reviews for our very own Christopher Nolan project.

いうまでもないですがChris Nolan called.” Below those three words was a number.の動詞callは「電話する」の意味で、numberは「電話番号」のことですね。あと、Nolan is as much a fan of WIRED as WIRED is of him.(ノーランはWired(編集部)が彼のファンであるのと同じくらいWiredのファンだった)という受験英語チックな文章が使われていますが、as WIRED is of himの代名詞himの使い方はTOEICで狙われそうですね。以下は最後の部分です。

For those of us at WIRED, making this issue has felt like the collaboration of a lifetime, a chance to play in a universe-sized sandbox. The stories inside come from Chris and Emma and their world. They impressed us in so many ways these past few months, and not the least with their generosity, both in time and spirit. We’ve come to understand their creative process, their appetite for discovery and for invention, and perhaps most important, their endless ambition. I’ll refrain from spoiling the fun, but I will tell you this: Like all Christopher Nolan projects, this one will reward scrutiny and attention to detail. We hope you enjoy it.


ノーラン夫妻への素晴らしさを述べている文章でThey impressed us in so many ways these past few months, and not the least with their generosity, both in time and spirit.でboth in time and spiritとあります。

(英辞郎)
Thank you for the time and effort.
お手間をかけていただき、ありがとうございます。

普通はtime and effortを使うと思うんですがInterstellarのテーマであるTime and Spaceにかけて、time and spiritの方をあえて選んだんでしょう。といってもtime and spiritの方も結構使われる表現のようです。ひとつまた学びました。

"thank you for your time and effort" 約 473,000 件
"thank you for your time and spirit" 約 202,000 件

雑誌はまだすべて読み終えていませんが、Christopher Nollanについての特集ではなく、彼の興味のあるトピックを追求した作りになっているので一般受けはしないかもしれません。

彼自身も以下のような記事を書いたり、インタビューに答えています。

Space. Time. Dimension.
Let’s leap beyond the limits of our world.

By Christopher Nolan

The Metaphysics of Interstellar
A conversation with Kip Thorne and Christopher Nolan


面白い試みとしてはInterstellarのアメコミがあることでしょうか。

REVEALED: THE LOST CHAPTER OF INTERSTELLAR
BY CHRISTOPHER NOLAN & SEAN GORDON MURPHY

すでに紀伊国屋や丸善では並んでいるのではないでしょうか。映画公開を我慢できない方はこちらをどうぞ。iPadをお持ちの方はこの号だけ買ってしまうのもいいかもしれません。
 

Oculus Riftの何がすごいのか

 


Oculus Riftというのを今まで知りませんでしたが、定期購読しているWiredの6月号でCover Storyになっていたようです(汗)興味があるものを読むのも大切ですが、好きな雑誌が特集している内容をまずは読んでみることも大切なようですね(滝汗)

言い訳をさせてもらえば、バーチャルリアリティの波にのった安易な製品だと思っていたんですよ。いろいろなメーカーがいろんなものを出していますから。。。



Wiredの特集記事は、Oculus Riftのどこがすごいのか、開発秘話、Facebookによる買収、今後の可能性などを取り上げてくれていて、とても勉強になりました。

The Inside Story of Oculus Rift and How Virtual Reality Became Reality
BY PETER RUBIN 05.20.14 | 6:30 AM | PERMALINK

下記でno-motion-sickness experienceと紹介しているように、3Dグラスで起きやすい吐き気を防ぐようにしたことがOculus Riftの成果の一つのようです。“I think I’ve seen five or six computer demos in my life that made me think the world was about to change,” he says. “Apple II, Netscape, Google, iPhone … then Oculus. It was that kind of amazing.”という説明はOculus Riftがどれくらいすごいのか程度がわかりますね。

By mid-October, the momentum was unstoppable. That month Iribe stood up at a gaming conference and announced that the Oculus Rift would be a “no-motion-sickness experience.” It was an audacious promise, and one that caught the attention of Brian Cho, a young partner at Andreessen Horowitz, who was sitting in the audience. The VC firm had turned down an earlier opportunity to invest in Oculus’ Series A round. After hearing Iribe’s announcement, the firm reached out and asked for another demo. Chris Dixon was among the six Andreessen Horowitz partners who got a look at the new model. “I think I’ve seen five or six computer demos in my life that made me think the world was about to change,” he says. “Apple II, Netscape, Google, iPhone … then Oculus. It was that kind of amazing.” By December, Oculus had closed Series B funding—with Andreessen Horowitz leading—for $75 million.

Facebookの買収では、どうしてもFacebookのページに何か盛り込むのかという発想になってしまいますが、この記事を読む限りでは、もっと違う次元で考えていて“This isn’t about sharing pictures,” Luckey says. “This is about being able to share experiences.”のツールの可能性を求めているようです。

Over the course of many conversations during the next several weeks, though, Zuckerberg won Oculus over. “I had heard many times that Mark is a laser beam, that Facebook is all he thinks about day in and day out,” VP of product Nate Mitchell says. “So when I first met with him, I thought he was going to be like, how do we get News Feed into VR?” Instead, the person who showed up was someone Mitchell calls “Visionary Mark Zuckerberg,” who saw virtual reality as not just a gaming tool but as a full-fledged communications platform. The Oculus team agreed; they may have started out trying to build a great gaming device, but they realized now that they were sitting on something much more powerful. Zuckerberg seemed to understand that, and he also seemed to understand that it had potential far beyond being an extension of Facebook’s existing social-media service. “This isn’t about sharing pictures,” Luckey says. “This is about being able to share experiences.” The deal was consummated over an eight-day stretch in mid-March. Iribe was so excited about the acquisition that he revested 100 percent of his own equity for a five-year period, guaranteeing that he’d be with the company for the foreseeable future; Luckey, Carmack, and others took similar steps.

Oculus側にとっては、Facebook’s money also means that Oculus doesn’t need to worry about turning an immediate profit—and that will come in handy as it builds its first consumer product.という感じで経営資金の心配をしなくていいことが大きいでしょうか。今はゲームとか映画だけの用途ぐらいしか思い浮かびませんが、「体験の共有」という視点から考えればいろいろな可能性があるようです。ちょっと前のSFでの世界が実現するかもしれません。

But, as Zuckerberg predicted, games are just the beginning. VR could easily change the way we consume media. Early on, Oculus showcased a VR Cinema application that lets users sit in a virtual empty movie theater and watch Man of Steel on a full-size screen. “Last time I was sick with the flu,” Carmack says, “I just lay in bed and watched VR movies on the ceiling.”

Teleconferencing is another idea in the works. It’s easy to imagine strapping on a Rift and finding yourself across a table from someone who is actually thousands of miles away (or at least you’ll be across from their avatar). Oculus has VR Chat proto­types in the works, and a demo that Epic Games unveiled in March allows two players wearing Rifts to interact with each other’s avatars in the same virtual living room. “The key,” Abrash says, “is generating the cues that tell us we’re in a real place in the presence of another person: eye motion, facial expressions, body language, voice, gestures. Getting all that working perfectly is a huge task, but getting it to be good enough to be widely useful may be quite doable.”

The list of potential uses goes on. Bring a classroom full of kids inside any museum in the world—no lines, no price of admission. Hell, that goes for vacations too. Even getaways of the mental variety: Why spring for a shaman-guided ayahuasca trip in Peru when you can dive into a drug-free epiphany anytime you want? And let’s not even talk about the oft-predicted sex simulators. “Hardware, while essential, is just an enabler,” Abrash says. “In the end, the future of VR lies in the unique, compelling experiences that get created in software, and if I knew what those would be, even in broad outline, I would be very happy. Right now we don’t even know what kind of artwork and rendering techniques work in VR, much less what experiences.”

将来どうなるのかはこればっかりは分かりません。3D映画は定着してきましたが、家庭用の3Dテレビはびっくりするくらい普及しませんでした。今回の方向性はどういったかたちで落ち着いていくのでしょうか。
 

(続)Wired最新号は国連英検者にオススメ

 
Wired最新号では、アフガニスタンでのポリオ対策の現状が分かるThe Surgeという記事がありました。この記事はまだサイトでは読めないようですが。。。

アフガニスタンはタリバンがポリオワクチン接種に反対であり、関係者を襲撃したというニュースが過去にありました。

Taliban Murders Six Immunizers in Wake of CIA Polio Ruse
BY MARYN MCKENNA12.18.12

記事はアフガニスタンの取り組みを中心にしていますが、ポリオ対策の世界の状況ついても分かるように説明してくれています。

Despite such advances, though, the invisible nature of most infections means that areas thought to have been cleared can flare up
again with little warning. For example, this year tests of sewage in
both Israel and Egypt, which had been deemed polio-free, revealed
polio virus that was descended from a strain detected in Pakistan-
even though no symptomatic cases have yet been reported in either
country. To prevent a return of the virus, population immunity levels need to be kept very high above 90 percent. And every year, a
new cohort of unvaccinated children is born. Unless they are vaccinated, a susceptible population can build, ripe for a return of the
virus. In Somalia, polio transmission was stopped in 2007, but fighting between Islamist groups and the Western-backed government
in recent years has rendered large areas of the country inaccessible
to vaccination programs. The polio campaign watched nervously
until finally disaster struck with a new outbreak in May, with nearly
200 cases this year, and some reported in Ethiopia, Kenya, and South
Sudan as well. In October, WHO announced that it was investigating a cluster of possible polio cases in Syria, where the conflict has
produced more than 2 million refugees, (note: On October29, after
this story went to press, the UN confirmed 10 cases of paralysis
in Syria, dealing another serious setback to the global
campaign. WHO estimates that as a result of the conflict
there, some 500,000 children in Syria are unvaccinated.)

ちょっと調べてみて分かったのですが、ポリオ対策に日本も協力しているんですね。外務省のプレスリリースがいろいろ見つかりました。


ソマリア連邦共和国におけるポリオ対策のための緊急無償資金協力
平成25年8月2日
Emergency grant aid to the Federal Republic of Somalia in response to the polio outbreak
August 2, 2013 
Japanese

本2日,我が国政府は,国際連合児童基金(UNICEF)を通じて,ソマリアにおけるポリオ感染拡大防止等に対する緊急対策のため,約135万ドル(約1億1,000万円)の緊急無償資金協力を実施することを決定しました。
On August 2, the Government of Japan decided to extend emergency grand aid of 1.35 million US dollars (approximately one hundred and ten million Japanese yen) through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to support the polio outbreak response in Somalia.

ソマリア中南部のバナディール地域では,5月9日に,生後32か月の女児から野生株ポリオウイルス1型の検出が報告されました。その後,7月23日までに72症例が確認されるなど感染が急速に拡大しており,緊急の対応が求められています。
On May 9, WPV (wild poliovirus) Type 1 was confirmed in a 32-month-old child from Banadir located in South and Central Somalia. After that, 72 cases were confirmed by July 2 and urgent action is requested as the infection is expanding rapidly.

我が国は,本年6月に主催した第5回アフリカ開発会議(TICADV)においてアフリカの更なる発展のための支援を表明しました。また,あわせて開催されたソマリア特別会合において議論された同国の社会経済開発の発展に向けて取り組んでいくこととしており,ポリオ撲滅に向けた取組の重要性及び人道上の観点から,今般,UNICEFからの要請を踏まえ,緊急無償資金協力を実施することとしました。
The Government of Japan manifested the support for Africa's further development at the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) this June and tackles for Somalia's socio-economic development which was discussed at the Somalia Conference on May 31. The Government of Japan, upon the request from UNICEF and from a humanitarian point of view, decided to extend this grant to contribute to efforts toward polio eradication. 

*******

国連総会におけるポリオ撲滅に関するハイレベル会合の開催
平成24年9月27日
High-Level Side Meeting: "Our Commitment to the Next Generation: the Legacy of a Polio-free World" at the General Assembly of the United Nations
September 27, 2012

9月27日(木曜日)(ニューヨーク現地時間),国連総会の機会に,潘基文(パン・ギムン)国連事務総長の主催により,ポリオ撲滅に関するハイレベル会合「次なる世代に対する我々のコミットメント:ポリオ・フリーの世界という遺産」が開催されました。カルザイ・アフガニスタン大統領,ギラード豪首相,ビル・ゲイツ・ゲイツ財団共同議長をはじめとする各国政府,国際機関,民間財団等の代表を含む約200名が参加し,我が国から玄葉光一郎外務大臣が出席しました。
On Thursday, September 27 (New York time), on the occasion of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted a high-level side meeting, "Our Commitment to the Next Generation: The Legacy of a Polio-free World." The meeting was attended by over 200 people from various governments, international organizations, and private institutions, including Mr. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Ms. Julia Gillard Prime Minister of Australia; and Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba represented Japan at the event.

玄葉大臣は,ポリオ撲滅のために,パキスタンやナイジェリアでの取組強化が必要な中,持てる力を総動員して外交を行う「フルキャスト・ディプロマシー」がポリオ対策においても重要であることを述べ,パキスタンにおける我が国とゲイツ財団との協力(注)を紹介しました。この他にも無償資金協力やユニセフ経由による支援を行っていることを述べ,ポリオとの戦いにおいて,国際社会が一丸となって立ち向かうことを呼びかけました。
Referring to the importance of strengthening efforts in Pakistan and Nigeria to eradicate polio, Minister Gemba emphasized that "full-cast diplomacy" mobilizing every available resource and expertise of all stakeholders is critical in the fight against polio. As an example of this, he introduced Japan's recent partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on campaigns against polio in Pakistan,(note) as well as Japan's other supports through its grant assistance scheme and through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Meeting participants highly appreciated the contributions made by Japan and concurred with Minister Gemba in his call on the international community to stand as one in the fight against polio.

会合出席者からは,我が国の貢献に対する評価と謝意が表明され,ポリオの撲滅に向けた「最後のひと押し」のために国際社会が一致して取り組むことを確認しました。
Meeting participants reaffirmed the importance of the collective efforts of the international community for the final push to eradicate polio.

(注)昨年8月,パキスタンにおけるポリオ対策を支援するために,我が国はパキスタンとの間に49億9,300万円を限度とする円借款に係る書簡の交換を行いました。この協力により,パキスタン政府がポリオ撲滅キャンペーンを着実に実施した場合,ゲイツ財団がパキスタン政府に代わり我が国に対して円借款を返済する予定です。
(note) In August 2011, the Government of Japan and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan exchanged notes on the provision of a loan of approximately 65 million US dollars for Pakistan's national campaign against polio. Upon the successful outcome of these campaigns, the Gates Foundation will repay the loan on behalf of the Pakistani Government.

ポリオ対策だけを考えた場合は異論がありませんが、マラリアやAIDS、結核などの対策もしなければいけない状況でポリオ対策に力をいれることはコストベネフィットの観点から批判をする人もいるようです。それに対して対策を進めることの意義を伝えているところが以下です。

Against critics who blanch at the cost of eradication, Rosenthal
counters that the polio campaign is paying dividends throughout
the global health system. In Afghanistan, as elsewhere, the initiative
is training a generation of health care workers like Rana in modern,
 goal-oriented public health practices: the cold-chain system, for
example, as well as those new techniques in molecular epidemiology. In Indonesia, Rosenthal points out, "the polio lab network we
built wound up forming the backbone for their measles campaign.
Working on the polio campaign changed the way their public health
officials work."


Moreover, the math of cost-benefit analyses runs aground when
it comes to eradication campaigns, because the benefits, in theory,
are infinite. That is: No one will ever die from or spend a dime on
vaccinating against smallpox for the remainder of human history,
barring a disaster involving one of the few lingering military stock-
piles. According to a 2010 study, polio eradication would generate
$40 billion to $50 billion in net benefits by 2035. Looking at a long
enough timescale, the eradication of polio could someday be seen
as positively cheap.

これに関してロータリー財団も同じような説明を以下の資料で行っていました。

グローバル・アウトルック:ロータリアンのためのポリオ撲滅アドボカシー入門

ポリオを撲滅させる5つの理由
(1)命を救う
ポリオを「撲滅」ではなく、「抑制」という方 策に切り替えたなら、今後 40 年間で 5 歳未満の 子ども 1,000 万人がポリオによって身体まひと なる可能性があると専門家は話します。
(2)達成可能な目標
ポリオを撲滅し、すべての子どもにワクチンを 投与する手段はそろっています。新しい 2 価ワ クチンを使用すれば、1 回の投与で残存する 2 種 類のポリオウイルスの感染を予防することができます。
(3)価値ある投資
医学誌『Vaccine(ワクチン)』に掲載された 調査結果によると、世界的に 90 億ドルを投じて ポリオのない世界が実現すれば、今後 20 年間で 400 億~ 500 億ドルの経済効果があると推定さ れています。
(4)活動基盤の強化
ポリオ撲滅活動は世界各地で疾病サーベイランス(監視)ネットワークを築きました。このネットワークを生かして、はしかの予防接種、虫下し薬や蚊帳の配布といった保健活動を行うことができます。
(5)成功事例をつくる
すべての子どもにポリオ予防接種を行うことができれば、世界のほかの保健問題も解決が可能であるという証明になります。

記事の最後に懸念点をあげています。タリバンの勢力が強いパキスタンの部族地域ではポリオ対策が進んでいないようなのです。

Now his biggest problem, while the global campaign waits for a resolution of the ban in Pakistan, is to prevent the disease from crossing
back over the border. Attacks on polio workers there have continued
a vaccination center in Peshawar was bombed in October, killing two
people and wounding at least a dozen others. The most worrisome
locus of all is North Waziristan, a region in Pakistan's tribal areas
where the Taliban commander, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, has forbidden any
polio vaccination campaigns since 2012, demanding that the US end
its drone campaign in Pakistan before he relents. Today, researchers
estimate that more than 160,000 children in North Waziristan have
gone unvaccinated in the past year alone. The inevitable outbreak
there is already under way and has spread beyond the province; the
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (which include Waziristan) and
the neighboring province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have had 38 paralysis cases in 2013, or nearly 90 percent of Pakistan's cases for the year.
If children there can't be vaccinated, it will be almost impossible to
stop the virus from spreading into Afghanistan and neighboring
areas and perhaps to other parts of the world.

日本政府の太鼓持ちになるつもりはありませんが、この点についても以下のようなプレスリリースがありました。こちらはなぜか英語版のプレスリリースはありませんでした。

パキスタンに対する無償資金協力「ポリオ感染拡大防止・撲滅計画」に関する交換公文署名式
平成25年3月11日

本11日(現地時間同日),パキスタン・イスラム共和国の首都イスラマバードにおいて,河野章駐パキスタン臨時代理大使とカレン・アレン国連児童基金(ユニセフ)パキスタン副代表(Ms. Karen Allen,UNICEF Deputy Representative in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan)との間で,2億2,600万円の一般プロジェクト無償資金協力「ポリオ感染拡大防止・撲滅計画」(The Project for the Control and Eradication of Poliomyelitis)に関する交換公文の署名式が行われました。
パキスタンは,世界的にもポリオ発症件数が多く,現在世界で3ヵ国残るポリオ常在国(他はナイジェリア,アフガニスタン)の1つです。同国のポリオ発症件数は,我が国を含めた国際社会の支援により着実に減少してきましたが,2010年,2011年は,洪水の影響もあり,発症件数は144件,198件と増加しました。これを受けて,ザルダリ大統領は,2011年1月に国家緊急行動計画,2012年1月には改訂版・国家緊急行動計画を発表し,重点感染地域を中心とした接種活動の強化や,ポリオに関する正しい知識を広める上で重要な啓蒙活動の強化等の取り組みを開始しました。この結果,2012年のポリオ発症件数は58件と,前年に比べ顕著に減少しています。加えて同国では7月以降は雨期に伴う衛生環境の悪化によりポリオが流行する傾向があるため,ポリオ撲滅のためには,非流行期であるこの時期を捉えて対策を強化することが重要となっています。
この計画は,ポリオ発症が確認された際に,それ以上の感染拡大を防ぐための一斉接種活動に必要なワクチン及び接種活動等に関する啓蒙活動を実施するために必要な資金を供与するものです。パキスタンでは,特にアフガニスタンとの国境周辺(ハイバル・パフトゥンハー州,連邦直轄部族地域,バロチスタン州)等の地域においてポリオの発症例が多く,この計画の実施により,これらの地域を中心とする感染拡大の防止が期待されます。

(参考)
パキスタン・イスラム共和国は,面積約79.6万平方キロメートル,人口1億8,071万人(2011/2012年度,パキスタン経済白書),1人当たりのGNI(国民総所得)1,372米ドル(2011/2012年度,パキスタン経済白書)です。

われわれはすぐに日本政府の批判を実情も知らずにしがちですが、こういう地味ながらも大切な貢献をしていたんですね(汗)
 

Wired最新号は国連英検者にオススメ

 
ちょっと釣り気味のタイトルにしましたが、今月はビルゲイツに編集協力を依頼して出来上がったもので、国際協力に興味ある方には是非オススメしたいものです。iPadをお持ちの方はわずか500円で購入できますので、是非是非。



技術とイノベーションが世界をよりよいものにすることができるという信念は共感できます。世界に関する興味はなく、TOEICなど英語資格にしか興味がないという方は下記ゲイツのエッセイの書き出し部分は自分でも使えるようにするとよさそうです。I am a little obsessed with fertilizer. (…) It’s the kind of topic I have to remind myself not to talk about too much at cocktail parties, since most people don’t find it as interesting as I do.(笑)

Bill Gates: Here’s My Plan to Improve Our World — 
And How You Can Help
BY BILL GATES11.12.136:30 AM

I am a little obsessed with fertilizer. I mean I’m fascinated with its role, not with using it. I go to meetings where it’s a serious topic of conversation. I read books about its benefits and the problems with overusing it. It’s the kind of topic I have to remind myself not to talk about too much at cocktail parties, since most people don’t find it as interesting as I do.

But like anyone with a mild obsession, I think mine is entirely justified. Two out of every five people on Earth today owe their lives to the higher crop outputs that fertilizer has made possible. It helped fuel the Green Revolution, an explosion of agricultural productivity that lifted hundreds of millions of people around the world out of poverty.

These days I get to spend a lot of time trying to advance innovation that improves people’s lives in the same way that fertilizer did. Let me reiterate this: A full 40 percent of Earth’s population is alive today because, in 1909, a German chemist named Fritz Haber figured out how to make synthetic ammonia. Another example: Polio cases are down more than 99 percent in the past 25 years, not because the disease is going away on its own but because Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk invented polio vaccines and the world rolled out a massive effort to deliver them.

Thanks to inventions like these, life has steadily gotten better. It can be easy to conclude otherwise—as I write this essay, more than 100,000 people have died in a civil war in Syria, and big problems like climate change are bearing down on us with no simple solution in sight. But if you take the long view, by almost any measure of progress we are living in history’s greatest era. Wars are becoming less frequent. Life expectancy has more than doubled in the past century. More children than ever are going to primary school. The world is better than it has ever been.

20年前のメリンダさんとのアフリカのサファリ旅行の写真が紹介されていたのですが、そこで目にした貧困が財団を通した貧困対策へのきっかになったようです。以下はその写真のキャプションです。

WE WENT ON A SAFARI TO SEE WILD ANIMALS BUT ENDED UP GETTING OUR FIRST SUSTAINED LOOK AT EXTREME POVERTY. WE WERE SHOCKED.

一番のメイン記事はビルクリントンも交えたインタビューになるでしょうか。



Bill Gates and President Bill Clinton on the NSA, Safe Sex, and American Exceptionalism
BY STEVEN LEVY11.12.136:30 AM

ちょっと現実的な見方になりますが、感謝祭やクリスマスを前にチャリティー気分が高揚する時期だから、ゲイツやクリントンが露出を増やしているのでしょうか?まあ、そんな現実はさておき、いろいろな内容盛りだくさんのWiredはいろいろなことを学べそうです。
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Yuta

Author:Yuta
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