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 December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Health

Forget the Fountain of Youth: New research discovers ibuprofen's potential to add 12 years to the human life Watch

Image of New research supports ibuprofen's potential to expand the human life up to 12 years.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When people get older, people get sick. What if we could figure out why this cycle occurs, and find ways to intervene with the process? Perhaps, we can then find ways to extend the human health span. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Buck Institute for Research ... continue reading


Global life expectancy up six years from 24 years ago Watch

Image of Death rates from some major chronic conditions were on the rise, including liver cancer caused by hepatitis C, which is up 125 percent since 1990.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

People, on average are living a few years longer than they did in 1990. According to a new study, the average global citizen lives to be 71.5 in 2013, which is up from 65.3 in 1990. Global life expectancy rose by 5.8 years in men and 6.6 years in women between ... continue reading


New plague panic? New strains of malaria appear immune to current treatment Watch

Image of Mass drug treatments have been tried before with varying success.

By Astrid Zweynert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Ka Lar Nar caught malaria for the sixth time when he was working away from home on his small farm in the jungle of southeastern Myanmar but this time it was a lot harder to get rid of it. MIN SAW, Myanmar (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After testing positive for ... continue reading


Growing the Church in China

Image of

By John Smagula

The world's best teas are grown in China, but many of these teas are unknown in the United States. Remote tea farms in exotic locations produce teas that rarely reach the American teacup. Of the 1.75 million tons of tea that China produces each year, less than 2% is ... continue reading


Superbugs strike again: 10 million expected to die annually by 2050 Watch

Image of Drug resistant infections, like E. coli, are expected to resist more antibiotics, making infection prevention impossible.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drug resistant infections currently cause 700,000 deaths worldwide each year. If something is not done to adamantly fight against antimicrobial resistance, a new study professes that number will grow. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Antimicrobial resistance will ... continue reading


If they can't heave health care than neither should you! The hidden agenda behind Obamacare! Watch

Image of President Obama's Affordable Care Act has failed utterly and completely. It has done nothing but harm the United States and its citizens through direct action and ignorance.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When President Obama undertook his extensive campaign to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) one of his chief promises was that individuals were guaranteed the right to keep their current physicians, another was that the ACA would allow those on the new health ... continue reading


Explorer Christopher Columbus did not bring 'STD's' back to Europe Watch

Image of Christopher Columbus has a lot to answer for -- but according to some scientists, bringing syphilis from the new world to the old was not one of them.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus had a lot to answer for - but bringing back syphilis from the new world to Europe was not one of them. A skeleton excavated from a grave in Croatia has disproven this theory, suggesting that the sexually transmitted disease ... continue reading


GOOD NEWS: HIV's ability to cause AIDS weakening worldwide, study finds Watch

Image of Some 35 million people currently have HIV and AIDS has killed around 40 million people since it began spreading 30 years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just in time for World AIDS Day, December 1st. comes some most encouraging news: The world has finally reached "the beginning of the end" of the AIDS pandemic, a leading campaign group claimed today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to a study of ... continue reading


Fountain of Youth discovered at last? Revolutionary wrinkle cream heralded Watch

Image of Created by Professor Chris Toumazou, Regius Professor at Imperial College London, among his many other accomplishments invented the cochlear ear implant, the artificial pancreas for Type 1 diabetics and the wireless heart monitor.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Emollients, moisturizers and facial scrubs are typically used by consumers to keep unsightly wrinkles off the face. Many forego aging gracefully and strive to maintain a youthful face well past middle age. Now, a brand new "wrinkle cream" which uses the client's ... continue reading


How the Obama administration just sued itself over Obamacare enforcement Watch

Image of Obamacare may be intended to have a disruptive impact on medical care, leaving the government as the only agency which can resolve the problems it has itself created.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Obama may face added backlash against his signature healthcare plan as leading CEOs are challenging Obama's "workplace wellness" programs. Although Obamacare has largely been popular with big businesses in the US, its interference with business practices are proving ... 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, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... 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