Thursday, December 03, 2009

One Dime to Save Millions

Ten cents out of every $100 that the US, Europe and Japan make could save 6 to 8 million lives annually. This is enough to save lives from preventable diseases and care for those already infected. This article, written by US representative Jim McDermott and Dr. Steve Gloyd, puts in perspective the amount of money that is needed to solve these very avoidable problems. This would be enough to train health providers as well as get the necessary vaccines, clean water and treatment that those living in underprivileged countries need. Non-governmental Organizations already provide the developing world with antiretrovirals and aid, governmental organizations have set up clinics and provided even more support to those in need, but there needs to be more done, as always. However, the idea of economist Jeffrey Sachs does not require much on the individual; 10 cents can often be found on the ground or in a trash can. President Obama pledged $63 million over the next 6 years targeting tropical diseases, providing prenatal care, training and care of health care workers, and fighting infectious diseases. There is a lot of work also in development, maintenance of labs and setting up clinics. This all costs money, but the question is not whether there is the resources, but are we allocating them efficiently. All it would take to save millions of lives is a dime out of $100.

-Sara Frodge