While looking for information on the Zika virus, I was surprised to see the effect on local blood supplies. The March 10 story “Local blood supply low due to Zika virus” in The Columbian was astute and indeed the only place I saw it. It is something easily missed. These new global epidemics are reminding us that we must treat them where they begin or they will spread quickly.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria has been helping bring these three pandemics under control, while at the same time strengthening local health care systems so they can eventually stand alone to battle new threats like Zika. The key is to continue the Global Fund’s robust funding and add funding as needed to stop new threats, like President Obama’s request for extra funding to battle the Zika virus. Our opportunity as citizens is to ask our representatives and senators to support this funding that protects us all from disease.