This blog takes the idealistic visions of what could be possible and works to identify efforts to make them a reality. The Millennium Development Goals are an ultimate expression of that concept. The idea that individuals could have even a minuscule affect on global challenges that have afflicted the world for centuries takes both extreme idealism and pragmatism. The Exploring Pathways of Vision dealt with the subject from a more academic, scientific and philosophical perspective though it did recognize how this work could benefit millions.
This post looks at real world application in developing countries. Andrew of Care2 tells us that in Africa, approximately 140 million people are at risk of river blindness, a disease caused by the bite of a black fly that breeds in fast flowing rivers.
Fortunately, one tablet can prevent river blindness and Merck & Co. has promised to provide this tablet for as long as it takes to get rid of this disease for free.
In some villages, most of the adults have gone blind and the children are kept home from school to act as their guides and caretakers. This devastating disease has forced families to move away from fertile lands and fresh water for fear of going blind. Right now, volunteers are working to distribute these free tablets to as many people as possible.
Here is my message to the volunteers at Sight Savers International.
You are not only a great example of humanity for the rest of us, you are also a model of how non-profits and businesses can work together to positively address the suffering on millions. The science of the western world makes no difference if it can't get to where it is needed. A heartfelt thanks also to Merck & Company for their role is this important effort.
More than 40 million people in the developing world can't see their children, parents, and friends, yet most blindness can be prevented or cured with inexpensive medicine or operations. Trachoma infection causes horrible pain, scarring and eventually blindness, and it affects millions of children around the world. But a simple $8 operation can fix these problems, sparing a child years of infections resulting in a lifetime in the dark.
This video provides a glimpse into the suffering that this can cause.
This next one tells us how these problems can be successfully addressed with pragmatic and low cost approaches to care. A concept we seem to have difficulty with in the West.
This blog plays only a very small part in getting the word out about these efforts. It is hoped that by recognizing and telling of the efforts of others I can help generate more support for them.