|   Posted: September 30, 2014

Modified mosquitoes

In an attempt to combat dengue fever — a sometimes fatal, mosquito-borne infection — Brazilian health officials in April began releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in high-risk areas. Brazil’s government hopes the two-year trial will cause a population crash by allowing the modified male mosquitoes, which don’t bite, to mate with biting female mosquitoes, creating offspring that die before they can reproduce.

Murders in the Americas

The Americas have overtaken Africa as the region with the most peacetime murders, according to a U.N. report. In Honduras, where Compassion’s local church partners help more than 48,000 children, the U.N. reports that the country has the highest murder rate, with 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people in 2012. The report cites organized crime related to drug smuggling for an especially high murder rate in Central American countries.

Alcohol’s dangers

The World Health Organization says alcohol consumption accounts for 5.9 percent of deaths worldwide — more than violence, tuberculosis and AIDS combined. The new Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health also shows that heavy drinking by parents negatively affects family functioning, parent-child relationships and parenting practices. Compassion’s local church partners see those negative effects regularly in their communities. They continually educate children and their caregivers about the dangers of harmful alcohol use and offer resources and support for alcohol abusers.

Ebola shows no signs of slowing

The World Health Organization says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the worst ever. More than 1,400 people have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. There are no reports of the deadly virus reaching countries where Compassion works, and Compassion’s local church partners in the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Ghana and Togo are monitoring the situation closely and requesting prayer that the virus will not reach sponsored children.