Today is World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. It’s the day the world health community pauses to consider the ongoing challenge to stop TB. The challenge remains daunting and devastating to those who are infected, despite the identification of the TB “bug” more than 130 years ago. Tuberculosis may not seem like a big issue to most of us, but it exists in the United States and is an ever-present threat to our VisionTrust children. Nearly one third of the world’s population is infected with TB, whether they have a diagnosis or not.
This year on World TB Day the theme is Reach, Treat, Cure. As a Global Health Team we are carefully working to immunize our children so that they will not be at risk for TB. The challenge is not easy and requires national and local governments to support immunization programs. Our team is often working as health detectives—seeking to find answers to these questions in each community:
- Are there public health resources committed to children in this community?
- Does the public health system have the vaccines to protect VisionTrust children?
- Does the public health system work with schools and parents to bring these resources to the children?
As we work to protect children from diseases such as TB, we discover gaps in health resources (such as immunizations) and strive to fill them with the help of capable local heroes. Next time you think about diseases such as TB, think about how important your dollars to support children can be to fill the health gap.