giving back

Tuberculosis Takes 200 Lives Per Hour: How You Can Help

giving backmy worldglobal causesbettering communities

Making a Difference—Did you know that worldwide 200 people die every hour from TB—nearly 2 million lives annually with Kenya leading the charge? It is the leading cause of death for people with HIV and one of the leading causes of death for women and children worldwide. Yesterday, I felt extreme overwhelm and despair from seeing a child suffering from malaria, meeting women and children with HIV, and learning of the conditions in which children give birth to children in Kenya. Then today, the tide shifted from despair to hope as I went into villages and saw families and community members taking care of and supporting each other through not only the struggle to have enough food to survive, but the determination to make it through painful and deadly diseases like HIV and TB.

This picture shows me and Emily McKhann from TheMotherhood.com and two "TB Ambassadors"—a CDC organized community volunteer program with a focus on helping decrease the number of TB-related fatalities in rural Kenya. The woman on the right recovered from TB and is now a support and resource to the gal on the left. They are amazing examples of community, strength, and sisterhood.

We met one woman who shared about her own battle with TB and how she lost her mother to the infectious disease. She passionately claimed how without volunteer workers, people would not take on the treatment. But through them, they are able to help the bed ridden stand up, walk again, and ultimately recover.

In the US, many think that TB is a thing of the past. But  2 million deaths worldwide annually show otherwise. So the question is: "What can we do?"

The answer seems difficult: funding, funding, and more funding. But, really, it is easier than that. I am in Africa with ONE.org, an organization that asks for your voice and not your money. No! Really! By simply subscribing, you can sign email petitions, get suggestions for letters to write to your congressman or woman in an effort to help raise awareness and government funds for important global issues, including programs like the TB Ambassador outreach in rural Kenya. Visit ONE.org/us/actnow/moms to learn more and to sign up. You can make a huge difference!

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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