Students foster awareness of illnesses

first_imgBagels, hot coffee and educational brochures about neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) welcomed students filing into DeBartolo Hall on Monday morning. ND Fighting NTDs is raising awareness this week about diseases that plague undeveloped countries around the globe. Club president Emily Conron said these diseases do not receive enough attention because people are not educated about their severity. “When people watch the news, they hear about diseases like AIDS and malaria, not schistosomiasis, and so they think that NTDs are obscure,” Conron said. “Actually, NTDs affect more people than AIDS and malaria combined.” The most common NTDs include leprosy and trachoma, according to the World Health Organization. Approximately 1.4 billion people in developing countries suffer from these illnesses, which could easily be treated in a wealthier country like the United States. “All seven NTDs that we focus on can be treated with safe and effective drugs that already exist and which cost about 50 cents per person,” Conron said. Lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic disease that causes grotesque swelling of the limbs, has already infected more than 120 million people worldwide, Conron said. Treatment is limited in some of the areas that need it most. “The problem is getting these drugs to the people in need,” Conron said. The club’s work on campus is a reminder of the global mission to eliminate NTDs, Conron said, and Notre Dame students can advocate for change. “If the global community makes NTDs a priority, then there is no reason why we wouldn’t be able to eliminate them,” Conrod said. “NTDs are the equivalent of a best buy in global health.” ND Fighting NTDs is putting on a series of events and lectures this week to educate students about ways to fight NTDs. “Our goal is to try to get people talking about NTDs who might not have known or cared about them before,” Conron said. To raise awareness, Five Guys at Eddy Street Commons will donate 15 percent of Wednesday’s profits from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to NTD charities. Fundraisers around campus this week will include a dessert sale in the LaFortune Student Center on Thursday, a face-painting booth on Irish Green on Friday and a collection at all Masses on Sunday. “Donations are important, but outreach is key,” Conron said. “Contact your government representatives, advocate to pharmaceutical companies and spread the word however you can.” Conron said the club wants to engage the student body in new ways during NTD Awareness Week. “NTDs are an issue that we take very seriously,” Conron said, “But as college students, we recognize that in order for people our age to become fully invested in a cause, they need to be able to approach it in creative and unforeseen ways.”last_img read more

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Resistance Ride

first_imgVirginia residents are up in arms after Dominion Power Company—one of the nation’s largest energy producers—proposed plans to build a 550-mile, 42-inch natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina.According to the Friends of Nelson County, “Dominion will have to seize private property through eminent domain, uproot farms and families, and disrupt businesses and lives in their attempt to complete the project.”Opposition to Dominion’s proposed pipe line project has been building since August of 2014. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has expressed his support for the project, but on April 16, Virginia 5th District Representative Robert Hurt contacted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to request more time for public comment.Starting this weekend, students from the University of Virginia will be cycling along the route of ACP in an effort to show support for residents and land owners within the proposed pipeline’s path and draw attention to climate change.11069372_934535756596973_4955324676179316542_n“This is a way for us to voice our opposition to this disastrous project,” said Hannah Beaman, one of the primary organizers of the resistance ride. “We are not property owners, but we do have a vested interest in seeing this sacred portion of Virginia preserved, and we’ll do everything we can to stop the ACP.”The ride will begin today and continue through May 19th.Beaman is hopeful that the resistance ride will have a positive impact, but she realizes the power that Domion wields in the state of Virginia.“Dominion is an incredibly powerful entity, and they contribute a lot of money to both political parties in our state,” she said. “But people are rising up against their plan to seize private property through eminent domain. No one stands to benefit here except for Dominion and its shareholders.”Beaman says she and numerous other students will gather the stories of those within the pipeline’s path during their ride and take them to an annual Dominion shareholder’s party in Richmond.“At the culmination of our trip we will be stopping in Richmond at Dominion’s annual shareholder’s party and letting them know exactly how this pipeline is going to effect the Virginia residents in its path,” she said. “We’ll also be pointing out the devastating effects that this project will have on Virginia’s wildlife species and forest habitat.”For more information about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Resistance Ride visit their blog or check them out on Facebook. You can also support the project here.last_img read more