When is it enough?

This post has been brewing for a couple of days and I’ve just now settled in to write it.  I can only hope it makes as much sense in print as it does in my head.

When will the suffering of the world be enough for us to take notice?  Some of us have, but I would wager my next paycheck that the majority of us have not.  There is political upheaval in Burma, genocide in Darfur, extreme poverty in Bangladesh, HIV/AIDS in Africa, global warming that threatens the very existence of life across this planet, and more than 3500 of our own men and women have died in an ill-conceived war.  And yet, we’re concerned about who Anna Nicole Smith’s father is, Earthwhether Barry Bonds took steroids, the need for a $500 iPhone, and if the Spice Girls are going to make a comeback.  When does the conflict, the unrest, the murder of innocents…when is it enough for us to pay attention?

I’m not even pointing fingers on this one, because I’m just as guilty as most of you who will read this.  I have tried to make a dent in the global warming, but I concern myself more with whether the Red Sox win than if women are raped and children are killed on a daily basis.  I feel swamped by the inability to affect change in any part of the globe.  And every time I see a movie regarding an area of the world that could use help, the same theme rears its ugly head: “Americans may or may not see this, but if they do, they’ll simply shake their heads and go back to their meals before the late show.”  People, it is time!  It is time we stopped simply shaking our heads and started giving of our hearts.  It’s time we elected officials who are in a position to make changes that will help others.  And if we can’t elect people who can or are willing to do this, then we need to change the system so that something can be done.  Two hundred thirty years ago, a few brave souls decided they were going to change the system and they did so by dumping some tea into the ocean.  One hundred forty-five years ago, a lot of brave souls decided that the system really wasn’t working right and they fought with each other, brother against brother, to get it straightened out.  Forty years ago, they had to tweak the system again because apparently some people didn’t get the message the first time.  Now is the time that we fix what’s not working.  Now is the time when we have to come together, ALL OF US, on equal footing, regardless of how we believe, who we have sex with, or what country our great-great-grandfathers came from originally and we have to understand that the earth is a shared resource and everyone can benefit from the goodness of the earth AS WELL AS having the earth benefit from our ability to understand how things work.  We have to become one people in search of the betterment of each other in order to continue to exist on this planet.

I think that it’s been enough.  Let’s see to it that someday we don’t have to worry about these sorts of things anymore.

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3 thoughts on “When is it enough?

  1. Facing the Challenges of HIV/AIDS

    Around the world, more than 47 million people are now infected with the HIV/AIDS, It is now a weapon of mankind destruction. It has killed more than 30 million people worldwide according to UNAID and WHO reports since the 1st of December 1981 when it was first recognized. This makes it the worst recorded pandemic in the history of pandemics against mankind. In 2006 alone, it was reported to have killed between 2.5 to 3.5 million people with more than 380000 as children. The large number of these people killed is from the sub Saharan Africa. In some Sub-Saharan African countries, HIV/AIDS is expected to lower life expectancy by as much as 25 years.

    AIDS is no longer a problem of medication. It is a problem of development. It is not just an individual hardship. It also threatens to decimate the future prospects of poor countries, wiping away years of hard-won improvements in development indicators. As a result of the disease, many poor countries are witnessing a worsening in child survival rates, reduced life expectancy, crumbling and over-burdened health care systems, the breakdown of family structures and the decimation of a generation in the prime of their working lives.

    Bangladesh’s socio-economic status, traditional social ills, cultural myths on sex and sexuality and a huge population of marginalised people make it extremely vulnerable to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Everyone buying sex in Bangladesh is having unprotected sex some of the time, and a large majority don’t use condoms most of the time. Behaviors that bring the highest risk of infection in Bangladesh are unprotected sex between sex workers and their clients, needle sharing and unprotected sex between men.

    Though the country overall has a low prevalence rate, it has reported concentrated epidemics among vulnerable population such as IDUs. There are already localized epidemics within vulnerable groups in, and the virus would spread among the IDUs’ family or sexual partner.

    In many poor countries, commercial female sex workers are frequently exposed to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs). Where sex workers have poor access to health care and HIV prevention services, HIV prevalence can be as high as 50-90%. Evidence shows that targeted prevention interventions in sex work settings can turn the pandemic around.

    Bangladesh is a high prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly among commercial sex workers; there are available injection drug users and sex workers all over the country, low condom use in the general population. Considering the high prevalence of HIV risk factors among the Bangladeshi population, HIV prevention research is particularly important for Bangladesh. It is very awful, several organization in Bangladesh are working only to prevent HIV/AIDS but few of them like as ‘Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation’ try to develop proper strategic plane, so should increase research based organization recently.

    Poverty in Bangladesh is a deeply entrenched and complex phenomenon. Sequentially, the HIV/AIDS epidemic amplifies and become deeper poverty by its serious economic impact on individuals, households and different sectors of the economy. Poverty is the reason why messages of prevention and control do not make an impact on a vast majority of the vulnerable population.

    Sources: World Bank, UNAIDS, UNICEF.

    Kh. Zahir Hossain
    M & E Specialist (BWSPP)
    The World Bank
    Dhaka, Bangladesh
    Mobile: 01711453171
    Zahir.hossain@gmail.com

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