The pandemic is not yet over but we are beginning to see some light through the cracks in our world. I am proud to say that Canada has taken a leadership role and contributed ever-increasing amounts to end COVID everywhere. More Canadians should be made aware that the experts estimate a return of $5.60 for every $1 of aid we invest. Indeed, it means the pandemic world-wide will end sooner which is good for our economy.
My greater hope is that we learn from our pandemic experience that contributing to better public health abroad is also the right thing to do. The best example is the TB epidemic which continues to ravage many countries and regions, including Canada’s North. TB is both preventable and curable yet has been the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent. In 2019, it resulted in the deaths of 1.4 million people. COVID deaths will be higher in 2020 as we are already over 1.6 million deaths. But the COVID vaccines were not available until this month.
We have seen how quickly governments and communities react when disease hits richer nations such as our own. Many people have been working for a very long time to combat TB in the Global South. Let’s make sure that the community health workers or “front-line heroes” in those nations have the resources they need post-COVID to wipe out epidemics like TB.