Target: Dr. Paul Farmer, Chief Strategist and Co-Founder of Partners in Health
Goal: Applaud non-profit for giving individuals with tuberculosis a second chance at life.
A non-profit organization is helping people with extensively drug resistant Tuberculosis afford the treatments necessary to save their lives. Tuberculosis is a brutal disease, causing fever, chills, chest pain, and coughing up blood. Most cases of tuberculosis can be cured with four to six months of a drug regimen. For patients with multidrug-resistant TB, treatment is longer and more intense, and the outlook less positive. Out of the four hundred and eighty thousand cases of MDR-TB a year, nearly half of them die from the disease, according to a recent article in NPR.
Even worse is extensively resistant tuberculosis, or XDR-TB. Diagnosis with XDR-TB means at least a year of IV delivered through the chest. The drugs have horrible side effects, and many patients drop out, at which point their TB could come back and they could then infect others. Given the difficulty of treatment, many doctors do not even offer it to patients, making diagnosis in some countries a death sentence.
Thankfully, the non-profit Partners in Health is working to change that. PIH helps individuals with XDR-TB through the arduous process of treatment and providing them with the means to finance their health care. Many people with XDR-TB live in countries that lack a social safety net, according to Oscar Ramirez, PIH Coordinator in Peru, in a recent interview in NPR. Through Partners in Health’s microfinance program, participants can earn income to go toward their treatment. One woman in Peru, Maria Carmen Castro, not only received treatment from PIH and survived XDR-TB, but was even able to open her own store thanks to a PIH loan.
By signing the petition below, you can recognize Partners in Health’s life-saving work–an incredible example of how to improve a community’s health and boost its long-term economic prosperity.
Dear Dr. Farmer,
I am writing to applaud Partners in Health for working to support individuals with MDR-TB so they may undergo treatment and recover their health. Doctors in many countries do not even offer treatment to patients with the disease due to the extensiveness of the treatment plan. Yet you and your organization have found a way to provide these individuals with a second chance at life.
Your microfinance program is empowering communities to support themselves through treatment and even build wealth in the process. You are making a huge difference in the lives of these individuals and setting an example for global health initiatives more broadly. I thank you for your incredible leadership and wish you the best of luck in your projects moving forward.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: OpenClips via Pixabay