Every era offers something special. I think the most special thing about our current time is the incredible opportunity that scientific advances have provided in the field of global health, giving us the ability to completely control highly dangerous infectious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The recent progress is breathtaking. If we can harness the funds needed, we can essentially take these diseases off the table as threats to greater development.
Timing is critical. If we do not start to act this year, we may miss that opportunity. As we have learned with other infectious diseases, when you have a window of time to control the spread of a disease, you must take action or else face the risk that the disease finds new forms that are far more complex and expensive to defeat. When that happens, all the investment made so far is effectively lost. We need to redouble our efforts this year to make sure we’re raising the money we need to get this work done. We need to make a big push, to secure the funding we need.
Those of us who work in global health know that there is no greater investment in the world than in prevention and treatment for these terrible diseases. When health professionals working in cities, towns and rural areas in countries around the globe can take action to actively limit the spread of infectious disease, everyone benefits. Not just the patients, who maintain or regain their health, and not just their families which are immediately affected. It is also the larger communities and regions and countries whose economies and social fabric thrive on a healthy population.
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