Friday, March 8, 2013

Why would we lay people off and send our money overseas?

The recent sequestration has been all over the news.  Universities, hospitals, and research institutions are scrambling to determine how they will hold on to the thousands of jobs that may be lost due to budget cuts.  For this reason, it came as more than a minor annoyance when today I saw this grant opportunity. If our country is in fiscal crisis mode and our own researchers on U.S. soil are in danger of losing their jobs, why do we need to send money to Rwanda to improve their media program?  I can understand the other opportunity posted today for a project aimed at preventing HIV in Mali. That project has the potential for saving lives.  I get it.  Improving the media and elections program in a far-away country, though?  Shouldn't the jobs of the people who are working to cure or prevent serious diseases matter more than helping with media matters when financial resources are scarce?  Are we going to set the health of our own population back because we are too busy helping other nations with other matters to worry about our own people?  Given the cuts in availability of funding, our government officials should undertake a serious review of all programs and prioritize by funding those that have the most significant impact on human life, whether in the U.S. or abroad. 

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