Monday, December 7, 2009

By Paul Till, Clean the World Co-Founder...

At last weeks Clean the World Benefit Dinner- Changing History in Our Lifetime, Paul Till gave an emotionally charged, impactful presentation. Here is a portion of that presentation:

"I want to talk specifically about diarrheal disease. Prior to this year, I didn’t know the disease even existed. From my research I quickly found out that diarrheal disease not only exists but it is the 4th deadliest disease known to man and the 2nd leading cause of death of children. To quote author Rose George, “Diarrheal Disease is the world’s most effective weapon of mass destruction.” End quote. As horrific as that statement is, there is validity to it and the statistics bears this out.

The majority of deaths contributable to diarrheal disease occur most in children less than 2yrs old. That’s more than AIDS, TB and Malaria combined.

According to a 2008 report published by the World Health Organization, over 70% of the global deaths each year from diarrheal disease are concentrated in 11 countries. Of those 11 countries, 90% of the deaths are children.

While there is certainly a tremendous amount of value in providing statistics for it can paint a clear picture for you, it doesn’t necessarily tell the compelling real-life story. So, instead of continuing to focus on the statistical side of the disease, I’ve chosen to present you a real-life story; a story that is being re-lived thousands of times each and every day all over the world.

My story begins with a mother whose 1-yr old baby has become ill. Her baby seems lethargic yet unusually irritable. He doesn’t seem to want to eat either. This pattern continues well into the following day. Naturally, the mother senses something is clearly not right. There is only one doctor in the region; miles away from where she lives. She has no car, no real method of transportation. Even if she were to make the miles long trek by foot, she knows that she will have to wait a very long time before she actually sees the doctor because of the 50 other mothers with their sick children having arrived before her. So the mother stays home and decides to take care of her sick baby as best she can.

As the hours pass, the baby seems to be getting worse. His eyes are sunken and he now begins to cry. As time continues, the crying becomes more frequent and more intense yet there are no tears coming from the baby’s eyes. The mother knows that her baby is in pain and that something is very, very wrong. The mother pulls the baby in close; trying very hard to comfort him. She doesn’t know it, but severe dehydration has begun to set in. The baby’s body has now experienced 10% fluid loss. His breathing is now labored and sporadic. His heart and respiration rate increases to compensate for his rapidly decreasing blood pressure. It is not long before the major organs in his little body begin to shut down, begin to fail.

The mother is now frantic because she doesn’t know what to do nor does she understand what is wrong. She is helpless to stop the inevitable. The baby’s kidneys have now shut down, followed by the liver then the lungs and finally his tiny heart stops beating. Her baby is no longer crying. The intense pain he endured is no more. The baby dies in her arms. The baby’s death which was brought on by diarrheal disease is not only a tragedy but an absolute travesty. It is a travesty because it could have been easily prevented.

This is the reality of today. The story I would like to be able to tell in the future is not one of death and despair but rather one of hope and accomplishment.

We MUST change this. We CAN change this. Together, we WILL change this."

Paul Till
Co-Founder, Managing Director
Clean the World

2 Comments:

Anonymous Noel of Tagaytay City said...

The Philippines is famous for its beaches, however, due to negligence improper care, some of the beaches and other natural resources are slowly diminishing.

July 25, 2010 at 3:50 AM  
Blogger Japanese Used Cars said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 8, 2012 at 8:12 AM  

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