Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/6/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Other diseases which kill far more people need attention too.

Nobody wants to die early. Unfortunately, early death is part of reality. Most victims are simply unlucky, and some are bearing the consequences of poor choices. Every case is tragic. Yet, what is most tragic of all may be the intense focus on the wrong diseases. Dollars spent to research cures of diseases affiliated with popular causes that kill few, means less to spend researching cures for the killers of many.

Obama adorned the White House with a pink ribbon last October. Absent were green and periwinkle ribbons.

Obama adorned the White House with a pink ribbon last October. Absent were green and periwinkle ribbons.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/6/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We love to focus on the wrong diseases. HIV/AIDS, and breast cancer come to mind. These are indeed serious diseases that need funding to develop research and cures, however, they enjoy the good fortune of broad public awareness and brilliant marketing campaigns initiated by activists. As a result, research and cures for these illnesses are better funded and researched than many other diseases that kill far more people.

There is a tendency, and it isn't just in the United States, to focus on the wrong diseases. In many poor countries, tuberculosis and malaria, both serious killers that claim some two million lives per year, garner the most headlines. Politicians in those countries promise ever more finding and initiatives to combat these diseases while other, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) kill millions more.

Heart disease and other forms of cancer, besides breast cancer, kill the majority of people worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer kills less than 500,000 people worldwide each year. Meanwhile, over 7 million deaths were reported from other types of cancer, with lung, stomach, liver, and colorectal cancer each killing more individually then breast cancer.

AIDS kills about 1.8 million people per year while hypertension is responsible for 13 percent of all deaths worldwide, slightly more than all cancers combined. Heart disease of various forms kill about one-third of all people.

This means chances are you will die from a heart attack or another cancer, rather than breast cancer or AIDS. Despite that, charitable drives and public awareness campaigns garner hundreds of millions of dollars to fight these diseases. Everybody knows the pink ribbon is for breast cancer awareness and the red ribbon for HIV/AIDS. They even have special days and months dedicated to their awareness.

What color ribbon does hypertension get? What month is kidney disease awareness month? You'd be hard pressed to find the person on the street who knows.

For the record, Kidney Awareness Month is March (green ribbon) and Heart Disease Month is February (periwinkle ribbon). Where are their commercials and charitable drives? How many green and periwinkle ribbons do you see celebrities wearing?

Non-communicable diseases are the world's largest killers, by far. The poor also tend to be disproportionally victimized by those diseases. Poor nutrition, lack of access to preventable health care services, costly medications that are difficult to obtain, these factors all conspire against those in low socioeconomic standing to bring early deaths to people, and that's just in America.

Five years ago, the United Nations set forth a declaration that they wished to see deaths from NCDs reduced by 25 percent worldwide by the year 2025. While momentum has built, thin finances and the politics of disease have hampered success.

Much of the money sent to Africa for example, has been to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Without a question, that epidemic is serious, but fortunately the world is inching closer to a cure even as we speak.

At the same time, it must be appreciated that other diseases kill more Africans than AIDS. Perhaps the time has come to reevaluate what resources are being spent on fighting less deadly, yet more widely popular diseases, and devote an increasing share to those diseases which affect greater numbers of people.

In other words, the proposal is to take a little from the rich, pet causes that are popular with politicians and celebrities, and spend that money on diseases that are far more likely to kill you and your family.

Some private organizations aren't waiting for the government to catch up. One new startup organization known as "Buy a Dose, Give a Dose" is preparing to allow individuals to purchase medicines that will be shipped to humanitarian missions around the world. Vaccinations for children, flu shots for the elderly, medications to treat hypertension, and chemotherapy, will be available alongside treatments for malaria, polio, and HIV/AIDS.

Recipients can be located anywhere in the world where humanitarian missions operate to distribute the medications, which will even include low-cost and charitable clinics in the United States.

For now, such endeavors remain in their infancy, barely preparing to launch this year. However, governments and people can act now to stem the toll NCDs take. The best course of action would be to recognize that NCDs are far more likely to kill you and your loved ones, and that a new emphasis must be placed on treating and preventing these illnesses, worldwide.

Millions of doses of HIV drugs are sent to the third world each year, but what about drugs to treat hypertension? What about chemotherapy for cancer victims, and dialysis treatments for those with kidney disease. The world needs more of those too.

For millions of people who die this year, the shift in thinking will come too late. For many others however, there is still time for people to save others, and themselves, that is if they think clearly enough - and act appropriately.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Health

What's the biggest danger in your home? It will shock and disgust you Watch

Image of Kitchen towels in your home may be the biggest danger to the health of you and your family.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The biggest danger in your house aren't stairs, bugs or chemicals, but actually may be hand towels kept in the kitchen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kitchen towels may spread food poisoning, bacteria or other dangerous microorganisms around your home without any ... continue reading


NOT long enough: Ebola could lay dormant in the body for longer than 21 days, expert claims Watch

Image of Biology Professor Charles Hass, who has vast experience of analyzing the risk of transmitting biological pathogens, said

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study warns that the recommended 21-day quarantine period for the Ebola virus is not long enough to contain the spread of the disease. While the World Health Organization advises the incubation period for the virus is between two and 21 days, scientists ... continue reading


Nurse says Texas Presbyterian Hospital was chaotic and filthy during Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, reacted very poorly when it discovered that they had been treating a Liberian man with Ebola. According to a nurse who has since come forward, safety regulations were blithely ignored, contaminated linens and waste ... continue reading


Why aren't we doing this? Colombia bans entry to those from Ebola affected countries Watch

Image of A Liberian man is having his temperature taken by a no-contact thermometer.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two countries have started barring entry to people coming from the nations in West Africa that have been hardest hit by the current Ebola outbreak. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kenny Anthony, the prime minister of St. Lucia-a small island nation in the ... continue reading


Second Dallas health worker contracts Ebola virus Watch

Image of Workers scrub down Amber Vinson's apartment in Dallas, Texas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A second Dallas health care worker has since contracted the Ebola virus - and authorities are now frantically trying to contact the more than 100 plus passengers with whom she shared a flight. Authorities says that the employee, Amber Vinson reportedly showed ... continue reading


World has until Christmas to control Ebola; all bets off afterwards Watch

Image of The World Health Organization, or WHO earlier said there could be 10,000 new cases of Ebola per week within two months.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United Nations says the Ebola outbreak must be controlled within 60 days. Otherwise, the world faces an "unprecedented" situation for which there is no plan. Ebola, according to the U.N. "is running faster than us and it is winning the race." LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


The horrifying truth of Ebola: WHO suggests 10,000 could become infected per week Watch

Image of An aid worker carries a child infected with Ebola in Liberia, one of the West African nations hardest hit by the outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a dire warning to the world. On October 14 they announced that the death rate of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is now 70%, much higher than usual. Even more horrifying, the WHO has stated that West Africa ... continue reading


Ebola is 'the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times' -- WHO Watch

Image of Ninety percent of economic costs of any outbreak

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Deaths from the currently Ebola epidemic has sailed past the 4,000 mark this week, with the majority of deaths confined to West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are the nations most impacted by the disease. But as the first death in the United States from Ebola ... continue reading


Stem cell breakthrough could save diabetics from daily injections Watch

Image of Patients could receive a single transplant with the newly generated cells, which would then read out the amount of sugar in the blood and squirt out just the right amount of the hormone insulin.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists have announced a stem cell breakthrough that could one day free millions of diabetics from a lifetime of insulin injections. Stem cell researcher Douglas Melton has conceived of a method of growing billions of precious insulin-secreting cells en ... continue reading


Safety protocols called into question after first case of Ebola contracted on U.S. soil Watch

Image of More than 4,000 people have died of Ebola since the start of the year usually in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The epidemic appears to be outpacing efforts to fight it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Thomas Duncan from Liberia may have been America's "patient zero" in regards to Ebola, the nurse who treated him that has since fallen ill from the disease represents the first instance of Ebola being contracted on U.S. soil. Health officials, who believe ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 3:14-21
14 This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
1 Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:49-53
49 'I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 23rd, 2014 Image

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter