How to Save a Life
Our profiles of heroic people whose energy and passion are making a difference in the fight against the world's most dangerous diseases garnered enthusiastic praise. But readers were also aware of the need to do more to save the lives of poor people at risk from preventable illnesses
Your report on the courageous efforts of common citizens around the world to fight appalling diseases in the poorest countries [Nov. 7] should be required reading for all. I especially recommend it to members of Congress. Instead of funding pork-barrel projects, why not finance completion of the malaria vaccine? As a health-care worker, I was astonished to read how far development of the vaccine has progressed. We have a golden opportunity to eliminate the disease.
JANET CRAIN Lake Wales, Fla.
Thank you for selecting Paul Farmer, "America's most celebrated doctor for the poor," as one of TIME's Global Health heroes. He possesses not only the selfless ambition to fight medical inequality in our world but also the ingenuity and talent to create and apply practical solutions to health problems. People often talk about medical problems in terms of finding breakthrough cures and medications. Your report has given me a greater appreciation of the distinctly different challenge of making medical solutions available to those who otherwise could not obtain them.
EDWARD CHAN Evanston, Ill.
Unless accompanied by birth control, efforts to fight the world's most dangerous diseases will result in disastrous global population growth, environmental degradation and famine.
HERSHEY JULIEN Palo Alto, Calif.
As the gift-giving season approaches, TIME's report challenges us to make a tradition of contributing life-sustaining resources to those whose suffering knows no holiday. If the merely comfortable of the world pooled their modest gifts, they could make a difference that no individual hero or celebrity could ever achieve. Let us all be heroes.
DENISE COULING South Lyon, Mich.
You chose as one of your heroes theologian and physician Peter Okaalet, who works in Africa with pastors and their congregations to redefine their response to the AIDS epidemic. Okaalet exemplifies the most important weapon in our war on poverty and disease: education. He teaches people to let go of the holier-than-thou attitude of condemning others, and he helps them recognize that preventive medicine takes us one step closer to the dream of solving the developing world's problems.
MUHAMMED KHAN Jersey City, N.J.
As an inner-city 24-year-old who is tired of seeing the adulation of selfish and materialistic athletes and musicians, I am grateful that TIME has underscored the real qualities that make a person a hero. Displaying love and empathy for the victims of severe misfortune, those caring people put the true value of the human spirit in the limelight. Your issue on Global Health and altruistic heroes forced me to ask, What kind of man am I if I do not help make this world better?
JESUS GARCIA JR. Lynwood, Calif.
Your articles were a wonderful testimonial to people who are solving health problems in the developing world. As you quoted Winston Churchill, we truly do "make a life by what we give." Thank you, TIME, for opening the eyes and expanding the hearts of all of us.