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

Schmidt: Injury won’t worry Ireland

first_img Munster duo Keith Earls and Donnacha Ryan enhanced their World Cup prospects with fine showings as both ended 29 months without Test rugby in a comfortable victory over Wales in Cardiff. Ireland start their Pool D World Cup campaign against Canada in Cardiff on September 19 and with Schmidt’s first serious squad cull on the cards, that tie inches ever more into overall consciousness. “I don’t think they’re ever completely out of the picture, because there can be injuries and there can be illnesses,” said Schmidt. “Selection gets harder and harder if guys keep putting their hands up, and that’s part of the selection conundrum that does make it a headache, but it’s the headache we want to be honest. “We don’t want something to be clear and obvious because someone hasn’t performed: we want to make decisions because two or three players have competed for the same spot.” Ireland’s stars will not be “spooked” by the hip injury that threatens to end Tommy O’Donnell’s World Cup chances, according to Joe Schmidt. Munster flanker O’Donnell required oxygen on the Millennium Stadium field after suffering a nasty blow in the closing stages of Ireland’s 35-21 World Cup warm-up win over Wales. The 28-year-old should learn his fate in the next few days, but his chances of finding fitness in time for the World Cup could be slim. Head coach Schmidt has not given up hope on O’Donnell, and insisted Ireland’s players will not fear injury across a month of warm-up clashes. “I don’t think any player gets distracted or spooked by injuries,” said Schmidt. “They know, they’ve been playing the game long enough. “I think if you’re spooked or distracted by something, then you’re more at risk, so I think they’ll just forge ahead.” Schmidt will cut his squad this week as the August 31 deadline to name his final World Cup 31 edges ever closer. Ireland face Scotland in Dublin on Saturday, by which time their training squad could be as many as seven men lighter. Ireland’s Kiwi boss anticipates several difficult conversations this week – but vowed that anyone omitted at this stage would not be completely in the cold. While it would be unlikely for anyone leaving the Ireland squad in the week to force their way back into the final World Cup squad, Schmidt is adamant that remains plausible. Press Associationlast_img read more