Saturday, September 20, 2008

Promoting Public Health Through Postage Stamps

There's a long tradition of postal authorities using postage stamps to promote issues involving the public health. Stamps are also used to raise funds for disease-fighting entities such as "Easter Seals" or internationally "Various Charity Stamps." Recently China released "Earthquake Stamps" to raise money for the victims of the massive quake. And actually used the money to help the victims.

Ironically, there was actually resistance to placing "matters of private concern" on postage stamps. The feeling ran that it was exploitative of victims to express support of their condition. We now understand that publicity of such conditions, {Breast cancer, Alzheimer's, Diabetes, AIDs, etc} can dramatically assist sufferers by validating their experiences and rallying the medical community for treatments and cures.
There can be no higher social calling for stamps than promoting the public health in the United States and around the World. Though this is not confirmed I heard a story that suggested immunization shots were more acceptable in certain Third World countries after a stamp was released showing a child getting a shot. Maybe it's a stretch but the lowly stamp just might have saved thousands of lives around the globe.

Knocking down stigmas of terrible afflictions should truly be the province of the medical community but like anything today in the modern world you need exposure and quite frankly the news media prefer death and destruction over prevention and progress. I am personally proud to witness stamps being used in such a powerful and positive manner to help effect change in the community-at-large. I deeply disagree with the stamp purists (foreign and domestic) who rather stick monuments, military generals and exotic animals on every stamp ever printed. I have nothing against that and yet more can be done to allow stamps to become trusty vehicle and sharp instrument in the minds of those who need valuable information now.

No comments: