Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases.
– Hippocrates

Protecting People from Illness – One Deadly Disease at a Time

There are few things worse than the death of a child. No matter which child from what part of the world; boy or girl, or whether that child is known to you or not, sadness touches even jaded hearts when a child dies. “About 29,000 children under the age of five – 21 each minute – die every day, mainly from preventable causes.

More than 70 per cent of almost 11 million child deaths every year are attributable to six causes: diarrhea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth. These deaths occur mainly in the developing world.  An Ethiopian child is 30 times more likely to die by his or her fifth birthday than a child in Western Europe. Among deaths in children, South-central Asia has the highest number of neonatal deaths, while sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates.

Two-thirds of deaths occur in just 10 countries. The majority are preventable.  Some of the deaths occur from illnesses like malaria and HIV/AIDS. Others result indirectly from regional conflict. Malnutrition and the lack of safe water and sanitation contribute to half of all these children’s deaths.

But disease isn’t inevitable, nor do children with these diseases need to die. Research and experience show that six million of the almost 11 million children who die each year could be saved by low-tech, evidence-based, cost-effective measures such as vaccines, antibiotics, micronutrient supplementation, insecticide-treated bed nets and improved family care.” (www.unicef.org)

Deadly diseases are not all created equally. They are as unique as the deadly disease list is long.  A deadly disease is categorized as either caused by a virus or by bacteria.

What’s the difference between a bacterial infection and a viral infection?

As you might think, bacterial infections are caused by bacteria and viral infections are caused by viruses. Infections caused by bacteria include strep throat and tuberculosis. Diseases that result from viruses include chickenpox, AIDS and influenza.

Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms that thrive in many different types of environments. Some varieties live in extremes of cold or heat, while others make their home in people’s intestines, where they help digest food. Most bacteria cause no harm to people.

Viruses are even smaller than bacteria and require living hosts — such as people, plants or animals — to multiply. Otherwise, they can’t survive. When a virus enters your body, it invades some of your cells and takes over the cell machinery, redirecting it to produce the virus. Perhaps the most important distinction between bacteria and viruses is that antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren’t effective against viruses. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine whether a bacterium or a virus is causing your symptoms. Inappropriate use of antibiotics has helped create strains of bacterial disease that are resistant to treatment with different types of antibiotic medications. (James M. Steckelberg, M.D.www.mayclinic.com)

The most deadly diseases have victimized our world’s population for years, decades – in some cases – centuries. Sadly, the majority of the most deadly diseases strike regions of the world where our most impoverished people live. Examples of these diseases include, but are not limited to: Malaria, Tuberculosis, Diarrheal disease (i.e. Cholera), Polio, and HIV/AIDS.

What can be done?

What is being done to protect people worldwide from preventable and treatable diseases?

Tuberculosis

The struggle against TB stimulated some of the first quests for antibiotics. The disease most likely promoted pasteurization, which heats and kills TB and other pathogens that can contaminate milk. The infectious nature of tuberculosis also prompted the building of sanitariums, where people could be isolated and treated. The bacteria causing tuberculosis is called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person. Spread of tuberculosis is facilitated by several factors like overcrowding, living in close quarters like in orphanages, prisons etc. and presence of other medical problems.” (www.news-medical.net)

TB is treatable and curable. The main reason for the prevalence of Tuberculosis in our world today is because many people either don’t have access to needed medication or they don’t take the medication properly. Consequently, each year, nearly two million people die unnecessarily from TB.

Polio

It is likely that polio has plagued humans for thousands of years. An Egyptian carving from around 1400 BCE depicts a young man with a leg deformity similar to one caused by polio. Polio circulated in human populations at low levels and appeared to be a relatively uncommon disease for most of the 1800s. Polio is caused by one of three types of poliovirus. These viruses spread through contact between people, by nasal and oral secretions, and by contact with contaminated feces. Poliovirus enters the body through the mouth, multiplying along the way to the digestive tract, where it further multiplies.” (www.historyofvaccines.org)

Because no cure for polio exists, the best course of polio treatment focuses on increasing comfort, speeding recovery and preventing complications. Supportive treatments include: bed rest, a nutritious diet, antibiotics for secondary infections, analgesics for pain, portable ventilators to assist breathing, and moderate exercise (physical therapy) to prevent deformity and loss of muscle function. Because polio is preventable through vaccination, goals have been established worldwide for polio eradication. Many world regions have been successful in reaching this goal, but not all. Polio still exists as a disabling reality in several parts of the world.    

HIV/AIDS

The spread of HIV infection is attributed to 4 main factors: transmission of HIV infection during sex, through blood transfusions, by sharing needles, and from mother to child (in utero, during delivery and/or breast feeding.) Despite the decades-long efforts by millions of dollars and people dedicated to finding a cure for AIDS, prevention remains the most effective defense against the spread of HIV/AIDS. Significant progress has been made. There are many reasons AIDS is more under control these days, from improved sexual education to needle exchange programs. Most important, though, is the widespread availability of anti-retroviral drugs, which allow HIV and AIDS patients to live with lower viral loads, making it less likely that they’ll pass the disease on.

Waterborne illnesses:

Cholera

Cholera is a bacterial disease usually spread through contaminated water. Cholera causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. Left untreated, cholera can be fatal in a matter of hours even in previously healthy people. Modern sewage and water treatment have virtually eliminated cholera in industrialized countries. The risk of cholera epidemic is highest when poverty, war or natural disasters force people to live in crowded conditions without adequate sanitation. Cholera is easily treated. Death results from severe dehydration that can be prevented with a simple and inexpensive rehydration solution.

PCI workers have laid the global groundwork for eliminating deadly diseases in children, for curing people of all ages from all types of illness. More – much more – needs to done. Join us. Please help to make a difference in the health and lives of others.