Subscribe Twitter

Friday, July 27, 2012

One of George W. Bush's greatest legacies- PEPFAR

Father & son receiving ARTs though PEPFAR.

So I've been arguing with a Paulbot about PEPFAR. For the life of me, I can't imagine anyone who would disagree with PEPFAR and its positive impact on HIV-prevention in Africa... unless that "anyone" is a full-blown Paulbot. Just think about this: Since 2003, George W. Bush's bold HIV/AIDS initiative has saved millions of lives in Africa. ARTs, or antiretrovirals treatment, became widely available in parts of the continent that once had very little hope of obtaining it. PEPFAR has also helped those who suffer from different diseases. From the Stanford School of Medicine:
PEPFAR, the largest U.S. initiative ever devoted to a single disease, has helped save lives from all causes, not just HIV/AIDS... The program was begun in 2003 under President George W. Bush and is considered one of his greatest achievements. Though its goal was primarily to fight HIV/AIDS, the new study suggests it has had a spillover effect, benefiting individuals with other health problems as well.
I know that PEPFAR had massive funding at least until 2008, but can you really put a price tag on people's lives? And if you were to launch a global fight against terrible diseases, wouldn't you want the best of the best on your team? Funding for PEPFAR included the salaries for its personnel (which included the medical staff, outreach workers, peer councilors, etc) and the money needed to build health clinics and properly arm them with working equipment. I highly doubt that private donors alone cold have funded this.

If you could save helpless people from dying, if you could help a mother prevent her disease from transferring to her child, wouldn't you?

Here are two twin orphans from Mozambique. They lost their parents to AIDS. PEPFAR allowed them to attend school.

Is this really so wrong?

Hopefully one day there wouldn't be a need for PEPFAR, that those in Africa will no longer need to depend on foreign aid to get their treatments. But things like that... it's easier said than done. We are talking about towns, cities, provinces that have very little hope for the future. They depend on foreign aid because they can't depend on ANYONE- not their own governments, not even their own families. Can you honestly look a dying mother in the eye and say,learn how to fish?

Can you?

Sometimes a little compassion... can save millions of lives.