Categories
Resources

UN’s ‘Shot@Life’ Campaign Provides Vaccines to Children in Need

According to the U.N. Foundation, 1.7 million children will die in 2018 from diseases that have been nearly or entirely eradicated in the United States, such as measles, pneumonia, polio, and diarrhea. One in five children globally have no access to immunizations.

“Expanding access to vaccines strengthens our ability to fight disease globally and keep our families healthy here at home, while improving economic stability around the world,” a blog published on the U.N. Foundation’s website reads.

That’s what inspired the U.N. Foundation to create the Shot@Life campaign, an initiative to educate Americans about global vaccination programs. It’s a national call-to-action to support expanding access to the most basic medical needs.

With the help of corporate partners and donors, the U.N. provides tangible results: vaccines for polio, measles, and other disease given to underserved populations. At home, they train volunteers to advocate from an educated stance for global immunizations. They also run media placements, including radio and television spots.

We live in the country where, in 1736, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter mourning his failure to inoculate his youngest son. The boy died of smallpox, and Franklin was very certain he knew the cause. Today, nearly 300 years later, a growing contingent of anti-science sentiment has set up vaccination as their bogeyman, and these same diseases that ravage the young of impoverished countries are resurging in the United States. They can only be eradicated through global vaccination.

Shot@Life cites that for every dollar invested, the program gets a $3 return in funds raised to support global vaccines. In their first five years, they have raised nearly $6.5 million in donor and private funds—an amount that could provide nearly 30 million doses of vaccines.

Anyone wishing to donate or contribute can do so here, or by mailing a check to the address under the link. Donations are fully tax-deductible. Shot@Life has a 91% rating on Charity Navigator, with a 96% rating for transparency.

Categories
News

Bill Gates is Putting $100 Million Towards Finding a Cure for Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, with symptoms that range from mild short-term memory loss to being unable to manage basic self-care functions or remember one’s own life. It is incurable, and affects more than 1 in 20 people over the age of 65, worldwide.

Bill Gates, billionaire and philanthropist, says that the disease is common in his family. As he turned 62 this year, thoughts of Alzheimer’s may be pressing in on him. But even if he weren’t personally at risk, medical research is a cause he’s supported before.

Gates will be donating $50 million to the Dementia Discovery Fund, a fund to support industry and government research into treatments for the disease. This will be a personal donation, not made via Gates’ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“It’s a huge problem, a growing problem, and the scale of the tragedy—even for the people who stay alive—is very high,” Gates said. It is arguably the most expensive disease in the developed world, with most affected needing round-the-clock care for years in their decline.

The Dementia Discovery Fund includes drugmakers like GlaxoSmithKine, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Biogen Idec, and the government of the United Kingdom.

In addition to the initial donation, Gates has pledged $50 million to medical startups that are pursuing “less mainstream” approaches to the disease. He has not yet identified any of these startups.

He expects progress to be slow, predicting it to take 10 years or more before solid treatments are developed from his donations. He wants focus to be extended in five areas: disease progression, early diagnoses, multiple approach treatments, protocols around clinical trials involving those with dementia, and collaborating on medical research between for-profit companies.

The effects of his generosity will likely outlive him, but rest assured, the impact of his donations will never be forgotten.

*Photo courtesy of OnInnovation via Flickr Creative Commons. 

Categories
Organizations

Lupus Foundation of America

lupus foundation of america
IMG: via lupus.com

The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to researching, supporting, and solving the mystery of Lupus, an incredibly cruel and devastating disease. Also called systemic lupus erythematosus, it is an autoimmune disease that can affect many areas of the body.  Despite the many suffers, the cause of lupus still isn’t known.

Find out more about the Lupus Foundation of America and the events that they throw every year to help support those who suffer from the disease on their profile.