Scientists have already spent decades trying to understand the way diseases, disorders and conditions affect the human body but this job is a big one and there is so much more work to be done.
With limited government funding, these facilities need additional resources so that they can help more people as soon as possible.
Illness not only affects the life of the diagnosed individual but can also be very difficult for the people around them who suddenly find themselves becoming carers or struggling to cope with feelings of loss.
There are countless medical problems that can change, destroy or end a life. For many of these illnesses, there are multiple strains or different factors that can change the way a person is affected by it. You can imagine that these things combined would make developing effective treatment incredibly complex. Not only that, but labs and equipment are extremely expensive, not to mention the highly qualified and experienced people needed to run them.
Despite the fact that breast cancer mortality, for example, is actually decreasing, still, an estimated 8.2 million people worldwide died from cancer in 2012.4
With more financing, research organisations can invest in the tools, materials, and expertise needed to learn more about the medical problems of today. Not only improving the lives of millions globally, but saving them too.
Charities working to fund medical research have already accomplished some incredible feats; cases of Polio, for instance, have declined by more than 99% globally, meaning it has been almost completely eradicated across the entire world.
Although cure and prevention are important aims of this research, these organisations also support many other areas of research; Studying how to slow the progression of diseases has extended the lives of many people with AIDS - a disease that damages the immune system leaving the body vulnerable to severe illnesses or ‘opportunistic infections’ - and is set to do the same for those with dementia. Equally important, early detection can be life-saving in cancer diagnoses.
Knowledge really can save lives.
- Centers for disease control and prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/polio/progress/
- Centers for disease control and prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/statistics.html
- Centers for disease control and prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/badges.htm