This website sponsors an organization whose mission is to eliminate tuberculosis-related deaths among children, focusing on children in poor, resource-deprived countries. (Countries like Swaziland!!!!) If you visit this website, you will find a large, red button that says "donate now." In the introduction to my blog, I asked all of you how much you value a single human life. What would you do to save the life of a single tuberculosis-infected child? How much would you spend? What is their life worth to you?
Here is the good news to my semi-manipulative rhetorical questions. And I'll admit that I'm slightly attempting to guilt you into this by posting the photo of the adorable malnourished child you see on the left. But this is important to me! And I think it is also important to you. Anyways. The good news: tuberculosis can be cured with treatment that costs 50 cents a day. A one-time donation of 25 dollars will save a life. This is where the difference between "how much would you spend to save a life?" and "how much would you need to spend to save a life?" comes in to play. How much you would be willing to spend is basically irrelevant because the amount of money required to save a life is not much: 50 cents a day or a one-time donation of 25 dollars. That is not a whole lot of money!
So will your donation actually contribute? Actually, yes. Since 1995, 46 million people have been successfully treated and up to 6.8 million lives saved through DOTS, a rigorous approach to treatment endorsed by the World Health Organization and the Stop TB Partnership. Below I've listed the five main goals of this program, but if you want more information on it I will post a link to the website following the list.
The five elements of DOTS
1. Political commitment with increased and sustained financing
2. Case detection through quality-assured bacteriology
3. Standardized treatment, with supervision and patient support
4. An effective drug supply and management system
5. Monitoring and evaluation system, and impact measurement
Here are the facts of the matter: Left untreated, tuberculosis can kill. With medication, tuberculosis can be eliminated. This medication can be purchased by a small donation. And you can be the one to donate! You can save a life today. You can fight tuberculosis for those who cannot fight it themselves. This is a life-changing and life-saving opportunity!