Learning to Drive

Now I’ve got a place at medical school, I’ve decided to try to pass my driving test before I go off to university in September. I know it won’t be easy, but I know I can do it if I try hard and practice whenever I get the chance. I’m having a 2 hour driving lesson tomorrow, so watch out if you’re on the road!

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Malaria Vaccine Trial Brings Hope

On Tuesday ITV news announced that a malaria vaccine, developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and trialled in Ghana, has almost halved the number of cases of malaria in children and could be for sale in Africa within a year.

According to ITV, GSK said it is planning to release the drug to market at the reduced price of $5 per vaccine. Although this cost is still expensive for millions across the Sub-Saharan region, it is relatively cheap and a major breakthrough in the fight against this costly, deadly disease.

The trial is one of the biggest ever undertaken and the results show that the vaccine could save millions of lives each year. 15,000 people took part in it, across seven African countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique.

Professor Tsiri Agbenyega told Lawrence McGinty, from ITV news that they ‘have reached a “eureka moment” in the development of just such a vaccine – the first in the world against a parasite.’ His hospital in Agogo is one of 11 centres where trials of the malaria vaccine are being carried out.

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Although the full results are not yet available, the results are encouraging at this half-way point, as the vaccine nearly halves the number of episodes of malaria in children aged between 17 months and 5 years. For every 1,000 children vaccinated, 941 cases of clinical malaria were prevented over 18 months of follow-up.

 You can read more about it on ITV news here.

Sochi 2014 Figure Skating

This weekend I watched some of the figure skating at the Sochi Winter Olympics. The standard of the skating was amazing, and I thought that the best skater was the Russian 15 year old skater, Yulia Lipnitskaya, who won Gold in the Ladies figure skating.

You can watch her perform here by clicking on highlights.

I began figure skating when I came back from Malawi and now train twice a week in a competitive class. I still really enjoy it and am always trying to improve my own jumps and spins, and recently I’ve been lucky enough to get tickets to see Torvill and Dean in their final tour at Birmingham NIA in April.

image from: http://stmedia.startribune.com/images/2Sochi%2BOlympics%2BFigure%2BSkating.JPG

 

Singing at the Symphony Hall

Last December, I sang at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall with my school choir and the Salvation Army to celebrate the theme of ‘Christmas Around The World’. It was a great experience and a good way to start the Christmas holidays. This is a photo and article about it from one of my local magazines (I’m sixth from the right on the back row).

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