Carolyn Feuille: Make elimination of TB a priority
Tuberculosis, the leading global infectious killer disease, is spreading despite the fact that it’s preventable and curable. So, why do we allow it to remain a major cause and consequence of poverty around the world?
It’s because we simply haven’t made the eradication of TB a priority, as we did with polio. Many NGOs, notably Rotary International, World Health Organization, and UNICEF, made the elimination of polio everywhere a high priority beginning in 1988. Today, there are only eight known cases occurring in two countries, an outstanding accomplishment. In contrast, last year California alone had 5.2 cases of TB per 100,000 persons, nearly 1,900 persons total and nearly double the national incidence rate of 2.8.
Congress is currently deciding the funding levels for humanitarian foreign aid. It could continue to generously lead the funding so that other developed countries will continue to follow. It’s time Congress made the elimination of TB a priority.
Please contact your members of Congress to make this wise choice: $450 million for fighting TB in bilateral aid for the 2019 federal budget.
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