Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.


How 18 cents could save a life

“The only thing better than curing a disease is guaranteeing a child won’t get sick in the first place.”

Immunization depends on effective global infrastructures. Vaccines have to be stored and distributed before they can be administered. This is a public health issue, first and foremost. When children in poverty do not receive vaccines, their opportunities in life become further limited. 

To prevent disease in developing countries, improved health care and circulation of vaccines is just one part of the strategy. Just as important is reducing the conditions that cause disease to spread in the first place. Not only is this more cost-effective, but it saves more lives.

Global warming is a primary concern for many countries, especially because it ushers in new diseases as animals, bacteria, and living conditions change. Industrial factories, cities at large, and even health clinics can become incubators for bacterial and viral growth. In the past, these places were practically non-existent in tropical climates.

There is another heartwrenching component: a lot of quantitative measurements used in health studies mistakenly equate “quality of life” with life expectancy. When we consider the poor in the Global South, perhaps broader questions about the relationship between health and economy should also be considered and further explored.