Obama inspires on disease fight

Perhaps the State of the Union address one week ago is old news, but I am still inspired by President Obama’s statement that, “American leadership in the 21st century is not a choice between ignoring the rest of the world. When we help African countries feed their people and care for the sick, that prevents the next pandemic from reaching our shores. Right now, we are on track to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS, and we have the capacity to accomplish the same thing with malaria.” Allow me to add tuberculosis (TB) to this list since TB has surpassed HIV as the leading cause of death from infectious disease in the world. We must continue to support people impacted by TB on our shores and around the world, for if they are stigmatized and isolated the disease will easily continue to flourish and needless suffering will prevail. After spending time in South Africa last month with advocates and scientists who are doing their best to end TB, it is clear to me that it is up to our local communities to ensure that our government fully support efforts such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. Contact your member of Congress to increase the goal of ending TB for good.

Teresa Rugg

Snohomish

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