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This Little Girl's Disease Is Treatable. It's Just Too Bad She Lives In America.

In a perfect world, Nia (the star of this clip) wouldn't have to go to the emergency room for this. But when you don't have insurance, you don't have much of a choice.

This Little Girl's Disease Is Treatable. It's Just Too Bad She Lives In America.

At 1:01, we learn a really jarring statistic about African-Americans' health. After that, Nia's dad breaks down the reasons why Americans are having these issues and points out what seems to be the obvious solution.


This clip comes from a storytelling project developed by the creators of the award-winning documentary "The Waiting Room," which follows patients and staff on a busy night in the emergency room of a public hospital in Oakland, California. Even with the ACA, there are still a lot of Americans who go without health coverage — and even for those of us who have it, it's not always adequate. (I mean, if some form of universal health care is good enough for France, Israel, Taiwan, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Norway, Mexico, and Canada*, it sure seems good enough for us.) For more compelling stories, visit the storytelling project here. The documentary itself is available on Netflix, and you can look for live screenings here. Follow "The Waiting Room" on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop.

*This list is nowhere near exhaustive. Click here for a full list of countries that provide universal health coverage.

Anyone who has gone through the process of disentangling themselves from an addiction knows it's an ongoing, daily battle. It may get easier, and the payoffs may become more apparent, but it's still a decision someone makes each day to stay detached from their substance of choice.

Seeing someone who has a long record of sobriety—especially after a very public struggle—can be motivating and inspiring for others in different stages of their recovery journey. That's part of why actor Rob Lowe's announcement that he's reached 31 years sober is definitely something to celebrate.

"Today I have 31 years drug and alcohol free," Lowe wrote on Twitter. "I want to give thanks to everyone walking this path with me, and welcome anyone thinking about joining us; the free and the happy. And a big hug to my family for putting up with me!! Xoxo"

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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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