Poverty is not an infectious disease, but infectious diseases are one of the major causes of poverty. Vaccines have the power not only to save but also to transform lives, giving girls and boys alike the possibility to grow up healthy, go to school and improve their prospects in life. In developing countries, when an infectious disease strikes a child and the family has to seek medical assistance and/or medicines, it may have to sacrifice a large part of its income for years in order to pay for the necessary therapies. This irreversibly increases the poverty of the family. What is worse, if an infectious illness is endemic in a country, this mechanism generates a spiral of poverty from which neither the family nor the country can manage to recover.
THE VICIOUS CIRCLE OF POVERTY
Never before has the importance of breaking this vicious cycle between infectious diseases and poverty been so clear, given the ever-increasing migration of people worldwide. Only in this way can these populations create a productive future of wellbeing and progress for themselves. Helping poor countries do this is an ethical duty for those industrialized countries that went through the same process in the early years of the last century.