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In TIME Magazine, Bono challenges the world to act now on poverty and disease. When he was growing up, the adventure was to get to the moon.
Today? It's about wiping out disease and extreme poverty.

Here's an extract from Bono's article, click the link to read the whole piece in Time.

'I was a 9-year-old boy in Dublin when a man first walked on the moon. It wasn't just any man - it was an American. I thought I already knew something about America from Elvis, the movies and the hip gear sent home by Irish people who crossed the Atlantic. But now American meant something new. It meant having a sense of infinite possibility, doing the things everyone says can't be done. Even this freckle-faced Irish kid could see that America went to the moon not just because it was a scientific milestone - a career move for the human race - but because it was an adventure.

More than ever, we need to renew that sense of adventure and purpose. Never
before has the West been so scrutinized. Our convictions and credibility are under attack. Who are we? What are our values? Do we have any at all?

We can't answer these questions by going back to the moon. But there is a goal out there worthy of our generation. It's earth-bound this time, but no less exhilarating. It is the defeat of humanity's oldest foe: disease.

Just a few years ago, this was Mission Impossible; today it is tantalizingly within our reach. It is no longer crazy to suggest that we can eliminate tuberculosis and malaria from the planet. It is no longer unthinkable to imagine a world without AIDS or extreme poverty. And this isn't hope talking, or faith. This is hard science pointing us toward a better, healthier world.

In the past year we learned that for the first time there's a vaccine that offers real, if partial, protection against malaria. No more death by mosquito bite is a goal that is within sight. Two new vaccines have been developed for rotavirus, the main cause of diarrheal disease. Today nearly a million people with HIV in poor countries are on lifesaving antiretroviral drugs - more than double the total just 18 months ago.

That's enough to get even a rock star out of bed in the morning.

The question now is whether politicians will prove themselves the equal of scientists. Biomedicine today is where high tech was in the 1990s - it's where the energy and excitement are. But scientists alone can't get lifesaving vaccines and treatments to the people who need them most - not without our help.

Read the rest of Bono's article here.


Keep up with the campaign to fight poverty in Africa here.

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