End-of-Year Donations Help World’s Poor Get Basic Health

Patient POV tends to take up issues concerning American healthcare policy and patients in the United States. But we’ve just had a national election and the American public clearly rejected steps backward in healthcare.

Considering that this is the holiday season, which means giving for so many people, I’d like to suggest that readers think about giving donations that improve access to healthcare, provide essential health medicines, better sanitation, and housing. There are nonprofits worldwide and in the United States that know how to use these donations, with little overhead. You can check with Charity Navigator to see honorable charities that will use your funds well.

Through  #sandy and other recent disasters (Hurricane Katrina, recent tsunamis in Sri Lanka and Japan, and the earthquake in Haiti), I learned that personalized donations, e.g. used clothing, although well-intended, often are not useful or appreciated. For example, recently, in Staten Island, affected by Hurricane Sandy, bags of used clothing sat for weeks at a high school. People in need do not necessarily need or want old clothes and can understandably feel humiliated by such donations. People working day to day on the ground in impoverished areas know  what is needed most. The best way to contribute is via a dollar donation that charities can decide how to use. Charity Navigator has several tips on making donations that count.

Noncommunicable diseases, women’s health, and vaccines concern me most, but the health care needs are vast.





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