Everyone knows about the war on terror.Since the horrific events on that September morning nearly five years ago, our country has steadfastly battled the forces that made 9/11 possible. Almost 3,000 people died that day, and America responded.
Across the globe, millions of children are feeling a similar loss, but for a completely different reason – AIDS.
So then where is the war on disease?
In a report released by Save the Children, a British charity that works to better the futures of children worldwide, 9 million African children have lost a mother to AIDS. Yet, the world has done little. Or at least not enough.
Charity leaders said existing donors must allot 12 percent of their donations toward the care of orphans – this, according to the report, would equal out to more than $6 billion.
But which issue is more pressing: Prevention of the disease or care of the countless children it has left orphaned? If wealthier nations agree to step up their efforts to help children who lose parents, the free fall of youth without mothers might be slowed – but not stopped.
The only real solution to the problem is to fight the disease at its roots, not its fringes. Though AIDS has historically been treatable but not curable, one of the biggest problems has not been caring for the sick, but detecting them. Because of the lack of proper testing facilities, many African adults are unaware they are sick until it is too late to do anything about it. Countries south of the Sahara Desert represent only 10 percent of the world’s population but 60 percent of all people living with AIDS – yet there aren’t enough testing facilities?
Perhaps that requested 12 percent would be better spent on the utilities necessary for timely detection, a resource that could not only help the children of today, but also the ones of tomorrow.
Sports editor Travis Stewart for the editorial board.