To see more of his photography, follow @tomsaater on Instagram.
When he was a teenager, Tom Saater (@tomsaater) took photos on the streets of Abuja, Nigeria, a location that doubled as his home. “I started asking tourists or anyone I saw with a camera on the street if they would let me take a few pictures and if they would then send me the photos,” Tom says. “I was sleeping close to the post office during this period of my life, so I would ask strangers to please send my copies of the pictures I had taken with their camera to that post office.” Despite the challenges of his situation, Tom managed to build a portfolio, secure a camera — through the kindness of a tourist — and started landing assignments. Now 31 and based in Lagos, he travels the world to document events like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (pictured). “Photography is what brought me out of my shell; it was how I was first able to connect with people again. I believe that every human is equal and amazing and I use photography as a way to document and highlight diverse human experiences.” #WorldPhotoDay
Two children have been diagnosed with polio paralysis in Nigeria. It’s a major setback to the international effort to eradicate the disease, which health authorities thought they had sequestered into only Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The news was announced by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday, a day that would otherwise have marked the two-year anniversary of Africa’s last case of polio. If Thursday had come and gone without any cases being discovered, that would have triggered a 12-month countdown to the entire continent’s being certified free of polio, a crucial step in the almost 30-year battle to wipe the disease from the world.
“This is a setback, definitely, these two cases that have been detected after two years of what we thought was a Nigeria free from polio,” Michel Zaffran, a physician who is WHO’s director of polio eradication, said in a briefing Friday morning. “This is a true disappointment.”
Before Thursday, only 19 cases of naturally occurring polio had been found in 2016, all in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the international effort by the WHO, CDC, and Rotary International has been concentrating eradication efforts. The partners will now have to mount multiple emergency vaccination campaigns to immunize millions of children in the area where the cases were found: Borno state, Nigeria’s most northeastern province, which shares borders with Niger and Cameroon and is across Lake Chad from Chad.
Zaffran said Friday that there will probably have to be six separate rounds of vaccination covering northern Nigeria and neighboring countries, including Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and the Central African Republic. The first, in Borno, should begin next week, he said.
“This is a major response to what we consider a major threat to the polio eradication initiative,” he said.