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TB a growing problem in Latin America

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/21/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Just $3.00 can make a difference.

According to USAID, 117 million people in Latin America live in poverty. Although these numbers are improving, they are still significant. In the urban slums of cities like Mexico City, Lima, and Sao Paulo, these people are stalked by a killer -tuberculosis.

TB patients may find beds, but little comfort without better medical treatment.

TB patients may find beds, but little comfort without better medical treatment.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/21/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: TB, tuberculosis, disease, spread, antibiotics, drug resistant, treatment, program, slums, poverty, Pope Francis


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The urban areas of Latin America are the killing fields of tuberculosis (TB), a disease long associated with urban density and poverty. The disease is a bacteria, spread by coughing and in the densely-packed squalor of slums, it spreads with ease. One infected victim can pass the disease to 15 others within the course of a year.

The disease is associated with poverty because it is best spread by proximity. Poor people live close to one another with little space, fresh air and privacy meaning they share diseases as they share space. More importantly, they cannot afford to visit the doctor or obtain medical treatment once infected.

For just $3.00 you can stop this disease!

Although treatment costs only a few dollars, that kind of money is difficult to come by for people who live on just a few dollars per day. A treatment means a day without food and when forced to choose, many pick feeding their children over taking a few life-saving pills.

The choice may not seem logical to us, but poverty, hunger, and children can change the way a person thinks.

This dreaded disease is only expected to spread as population densities increase and more people flock to the urban areas of Latin America. Worse, the explosion of this disease puts millions at risk in the developed world too. Although TB primarily affects the poor, it can make a home just as easily in the lungs of a wealthy person. Tuberculosis isn't picky.

Of course, people of modest means can combat the disease. A course of treatment can kill the germ and save their life, while someone in a slum perishes for want of care.

Yet, there are also resistant strains of the disease which can develop and periodically break into other populations. The resistant strains have no cure and they can someday infect any of us. The mere continued existence of TB, even in the slums, is a threat to all. It is a threat to you.

Combating this disease is the primary work of several agencies, including Your Catholic Voice Foundation. A gift of just a few dollars can save a life by providing a treatment for someone infected with this dreaded disease.

Moreover, YCVF will give a matching dose of medicine to someone in need, though their BUY A DOSE, GIVE A DOSE program, effectively doubling the power of your gift.

We hope you will act now. Just a few dollars can save a life, so why wait?

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