As the world marked January 28th, 2023, the 20th anniversary of President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an initiative in the United States that has saved 20 million lives by providing more that 100 billion dollars for AIDS prevention and treatment, we pray that people of good will will not take their feet off the gas to eradicate this and other controllable diseases, especially in the developing world and amongst ethnic and racial minorities in the First World.
For the well being of 40 million HIV positive men, women, and children world wide, 6 million of whom are not receiving treatment, Lord hear our prayer.
On World Neglected Tropical Disease Day (NTD), January 30, 2023, the World Health Organization reported that NTDs continue to disproportionately affect the poorest members of the global community, primarily in areas where water safety, sanitation, and access to health care are inadequate. Although as many as 179 countries and territories reported at least one case of NTDs in 2021, 16 countries accounted for 80% of the global NTD burden. Around 1.65 billion people were estimated to require treatment for at least one NTD, globally. For global cooperation to combat this injustice and the suffering that comes with it, Lord hear our prayer.
As of 24 January 2023, a total of 13,156,047,747 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. In gratitude for the gift of science and technology, Lord hear our prayer.
According to a report in last month’s Guardian, the stillbirth rate of black babies in England and Wales is almost twice that of white babies, with families from mixed and multiple ethnic groups registering the highest increase in stillbirths. For a world in which all children receive care and treatment as full members of your beloved people, Lord hear our prayer.
In 2017, the latest year for which such statistics are available, there were 219 million cases of malaria in 87 countries. Ninety percent of the cases were from sub-Saharan Africa. For an end to poverty-based disease and health injustice, Lord hear our prayer.
For Pakistanis suffering from a hepatitis outbreak caused by extreme weather and flooding since the end of last year, Lord hear our prayer.
Sustaining God, we beseech you to provide comfort and hope to those who are infected and affected by HIV, AIDS, and other universal diseases. Strengthen them and journey with them in their time of need. Inspire us all to work to eliminate stigma and discrimination, which continue to undermine prevention, treatment, and care of persons living with such diseases, and to promote the dignity of each human person.
Creator God, we pray for those individuals and organizations that strive to meet the physical, mental, spiritual, and economic needs of persons living with these deadly viruses. We thank you for organizations such as CARITAS and International Red Cross that give yeoman service and that suggest that communities develop prayer, liturgies, anointing services, memorial services, rituals, and symbols that are meaningful. We pray also for those who work tirelessly to find possible cures for these diseases and for those who have died from them, that their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.
Prayer adapted from Leela Radman, “Prayer for World AIDS Day 2022.” Independent Catholic News.
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