Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/6/2013 (3 years 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 (3 years 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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Health

Native American Health Facilities 'Horrifying' Practices: Woman dies on floor of hospital room after staff causes her to overdose Watch

Image of Native American health facilities (not pictured) are so underfunded that poorly trained staff are responsible for serious illnesses and even preventable deaths.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

During a Senate hearing on Wednesday, several witnesses stepped forward to ask the federal government to fund the struggling Indian Health Service, only to be told that government officials were unable to procure the necessary resources. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Florida Gorvernor declares state of emergency with Zika virus outbreak Watch

Image of At least nine people have been diagnosed with the Zika Virus in Florida (James Gathany/CDC).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency after nine cases were diagnosed from people who travelled to Zika-dense regions. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The state of emergency affects Tampa Bay, south and southwest Florida and Santa Rosa County. ... continue reading


Zika virus sexually transmitted in first U.S. case Watch

Image of Zika has been transmitted within the United States.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The first known case of the Zika virus being locally acquired in the United States has occured in Dallas, Texas. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dallas County health officials confirmed a recent traveler to Venezuela infected their partner after a sexual ... continue reading


Has the origin of the dangerous Zika virus been found? What really started the outbreak? Watch

Image of Women returning from affected areas are being warned to postpone conceive for at least a month in case they have been infected (India News).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Most of Latin America - along with the rest of the world, is frantically trying to come to grips with an outbreak of Zika. The mosquito-borne illness usually leaves patients with mild, flu-like symptoms but causes a wide variety of birth defects to expectant ... continue reading


Scientists get permission to carry out horrifying genetic experiments on babies, then destroy them! Watch

Image of The era of designer babies is about to begin. The only cost is the lives of hundreds, possibly thousands of other babies.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists in England have been given permission to start genetic experiments with unborn children. The scientists intend to turn off genes in between 30 - 120 unborn children just to see what happens. They claim the experiments will give them new insights that can aid ... continue reading


Is Alzheimer's contagious? Find out NOW! Watch

Image of Doctors continue to investigate whether Alzheimer's can be spread from one person to another (Alamy).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Professor John Collinge, the head of neurodegenerative disease at University College London, believes Alzheimer's disease can by transmissible from one person to another during invasive medical procedures -but is he right? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a study ... continue reading


Zika virus may halt Olympics as WHO calls emergency meeting for explosive spread of the virus Watch

Image of The Zika virus continues to spread, leading to babies born with smaller-than-normal heads and brain damage (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Zika virus spreads so quickly and leaves such devastating effects on babies that Rio's Olympics may be cancelled. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called an emergency meeting following explosive outbreaks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According ... continue reading


EVERYTHING you need to know about the dangerous Zika virus Watch

Image of Mothers in Jamaica are being discouraged from becoming pregnant until the Zika crisis has passed (YouTube).

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The number of countries and territories in the Americas reporting cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus rose to 22 on Tuesday, more than double the number a month ago, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


It's a hospital not a restaurant! The insane reason why the ACLU is suing a Catholic hospital Watch

Image of Mercy Hospital in Redding, CA has been under fore for refusing to perform a sterilization procedure on a patient.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Catholic healthcare is back in the news following an ACLU suit against Mercy Hospital in Redding, CA, over whether or not a patient has the right to demand a tubal ligation be performed at the facility following a C-section. A Superior Court judge has already sided ... continue reading


BREAKTHROUGH: Hormone found to extend lifespan by 40 percent Watch

Image of Professor Dixit adds that FGF21 is produced in the liver as an endocrine hormone. Levels of the hormone increase when calories are restricted to allow fats to be burned when glucose levels are low.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A recently discovered hormone may provide the key to life extension, as well as improving the immune function. The hormone, as produced by the thymus gland, extends lifespan by 40 percent. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Some researchers at the Yale School of ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:1-7, 9-13
1 Solomon then summoned the elders of Israel to Jerusalem to bring the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:6-7, 8-10
6 Listen, we heard of it in Ephrathah, we found it at ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:53-56
53 Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 8th, 2016 Image

St. Jerome Emiliani
February 8: Jerome Emiliani lay chained in the dark dirty ... Read More