Jan 152015

Malaria, caused by parasites transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, threatens 3.3 billion people in 106 countries – nearly half the world’s population. Efforts to eradicate this disease during the past 10 years have been very successful in many places. However, there are still about 220 million malaria cases and 1.2 million malaria deaths each year, mainly women and also children under the age of 5. Young Children, handicapped by undeveloped immune systems, account for about 60% of all malaria deaths. Pregnancy also reduces a woman’s immunity to malaria. The threat from this disease is greatest in Sub-Saharan Africa where about 700,000 people die from this parasite each year. Studies have shown that malaria is linked to nearly 25% of all childhood deaths in Africa.

Tuberculosis is a potentially fatal disease that typically attacks a person’s lungs and is often spread through the air when infected people cough or sneeze. One third of the world’s population is thought to have been infected with tuberculosis at some time, with new infections occurring in about 1% of the population each year. About 80% of the population in most Asian and African countries test positive in tuberculin tests -used to determine past or present infection with the tuberculosis bacterium- compared to an incidence of 5%-10% in our population. There are nearly 9 million new tuberculosis cases and 1.5 million TB deaths each year, mostly in developing nations. Many people in these countries have compromised immune systems due to HIV and AIDS infections.

Some advocates claim the effects of global poverty are as bad as any disease. Of the 7 billion people living today, it is estimated that about 1.5 billion people live on $1.25/day, and nearly 3 billion live on less than 2.00/day. About 20% of those living in extreme poverty live in Asia. However, before China’s spectacular 20-year economic boom, Asia had been home to 30% of the World’s poor. About 40% of the poorest of the poor reside in Africa. Advocates say this nation must receive more help to prevent it from being left behind in the world’s economy.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.1793: Global Partnerships Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current disease and poverty policy and wish to defeat H.R.1793

I support setting forth provisions regarding global poverty and related matters, including: reduction of global poverty; acceleration of economic growth; micro enterprise and small and medium enterprise assistance; food security; child survival and maternal health; combating disease; family planning and reproductive health; education; the environment; safe water, sanitation, and housing; gender equality; democratic governance; and humanitarian and disaster assistance among others, and wish to pass H.R.1793

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

A pandemic is an actively spreading disease outbreak occurring over a large region. Many diseases can result in pandemics including smallpox, typhus, tuberculosis and malaria. Other examples are the AIDS and bird flu viruses. As of 2011, about 34 million people were living with the HIV/AIDS virus worldwide and about 35 million people have died from this terrible disease since it was first discovered in 1981. New treatments have greatly reduced the death rate from AIDS but this virus is still not contained in Africa and other places in the world.

Avian influenza, or bird flu, is an avian influenza virus that has crossed the species barrier to humans and caused several pandemics. In 1918, an unusually deadly influenza pandemic called the Spanish Flu infected 500 million people worldwide and killed up to 100 million people, or what was then 5% of the world’s population. In 2003, an Asian subtype of this virus combined with human flu viruses to create a new virulent influenza strain that is easily transmissible and lethal. This outbreak, with a 60% mortality rate, occurred in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In 2013, the World Health Organization announced that it had confirmed 630 cases of this avian influenza, including the deaths of 375 people since its first outbreak in 2003. Health officials say this is a very conservative estimate because China usually does not fully report its number of bird flu cases. Most of these illnesses occurred before 2009, but recent outbreaks in China killed at least two victims in 2012. Health advocates warn that it can take researchers months to develop antiviral medications for a new strain of bird flu once it has been identified. They also warn that during a pandemic these viruses can mutate within their hosts, resulting in new viruses that are immune to the medications which were effective before mutation. They claim that air travel, on the scale we have today, can quickly spread a disease throughout the world before it is even detected. Scientists have recently reported that they have made a “blueprint” for a universal flu vaccine. It is estimated that we are about 5 years away from a vaccine that could counter the effects of all strains of the influenza virus.

The most recent pandemics, both extremely virulent, are the Ebola virus disease in West Africa which, as of August 4, 2014, had killed 932 victims out of 1700 reported cases, and Saudi Arabia’s Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a virus whose origin has been traced to camels. As of June 3, 2014, there were 282 MERS deaths from 688 reported cases. However, this is probably an inexact total since Saudi Arabia, like China, is not forthcoming about reporting all its cases. These pandemics have caused much worldwide concern – both for the victims and from an air travel perspective.

Pending Legislations:

S.626 – Prize Fund for HIV/AIDS Act

I oppose reforming current pandemic policy and wish to defeat S.626

I support denying any person the exclusive right to manufacture, distribute, sell, or use in interstate commerce a qualifying treatment for HIV/AIDS, or to a manufacturing process for such a treatment; prescribing remuneration, in the form of prize payments from a Prize Fund for HIV/AIDS in lieu of such market exclusivity, and wish to pass S.626

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to increase funding for the development of a universal flu vaccine

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

There are nearly a billion people, or about 15% or the world’s population, who are chronically undernourished. More than 2.5 million children die each year from malnutrition. Many others suffer the effects of permanently-impaired physical and cognitive problems that come from not having enough to eat while growing up. Many hungry people live in countries with high levels of debt, very few exports and little ability to help their citizens. Each year, American farmers help feed many millions of hungry people in nearly 100 countries. Human rights advocates say the battle against world hunger must be fought every day. The 2008 economic recession resulted in an explosion of worldwide food prices, including the tripling of rice prices. These prices have remained at relatively high levels since then. Advocates say that converting food into fuels such as ethanol has further contributed to global hunger. In 2000, the UN’s Millennium Development Goals included a commitment to reduce the world’s extreme hunger by 50% before 2015, but it is now doubtful this goal can be met.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current world hunger policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to increase food aid to developing countries

 Posted by at 12:00 am