GARIMA KARIA, THE HINDU (Opinion)
BOSTON: Changes are you’ve never heard of elephantiasis. Or snail fever. Or trachoma. These names may seem foreign to you, but thousands of children in the developing world know these names all too well. Elephantiasis, snail fever and trachoma, along with river blindness, roundworm, whipworm and hookworm are all names of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that are more than common to the world’s poor, including in rural India.
This year, HNMUN 2017 endeavours to save the lives of many children affected by NTDs through its charity campaign with End7, an organization that has tasked itself with eliminating these seven diseases by the year 2020. Currently, according to End7’s website, nearly one in six people (including more than half a billion children) suffer from these ailments that can lead to lifelong disability and suffering for its victims.
So… what can we do to help End7 reach its goal? It’s simple. By donating 50 cents, you can treat and protect one person, just like yourself, against all seven NTDs for a year. It may seem simple, but health programs like this one save countless lives and make all the difference.
In India, the positive effects of End7’s work can already be seen and appreciated. As per their website, nearly 45% of those vulnerable to lymphatic filiarisis live in India and live the reality of the physical, financial and social burdens brought about by this disease. India’s health ministry has been working with international allies to alleviate this medical threat since 2007. In 2015, thanks to Sabin Foundation Europe (End7’s affiliate organization), Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) was able to expand its lymphatic filariasis awareness and education program to the regions of India that needed it most, particularly Odisha. According to End7, this effort provided aid to the Indian Health Ministry’s drug administration program by “teaching community members how to manage the more severe symptoms of lymphatic filariasis and by reducing the stigma associated with this disfiguring disease.”
With your donations, this program can be used to model replicate initiatives in other regions of India and the world in order to treat more than half a million people by means of mass drug administration, as well as facilitate the interruption of local lymphatic filariasis transmission.
As Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world…”
The Hindu wishes to see a world free of NTDs. With your help, this can be made possible.