I perceive a weakness in GiveWell and EA in general that it seems to prioritise saving lives over improving quality of life. It seems that there are some key interventions (improving access to pain relief, preventing or curing Trachoma/river blindness and probably others I am not aware of) where not many lives are saved but life quality is greatly enhanced. I would encourage GiveWell to offer potential donors wanting to make a distinction some charities focused more on the "quality" than the "life" component.

How well does EA account for diseases that may not kill or even cause (extreme) physical pain but which are stigmatised?

Meanwhile, Catherine at Givewell mentioned a year and a half ago that given these arguments, Givewell would be looking more carefully at Trachoma charities. Is this indeed taking place? Has there been any progress? Can anyone suggest any charities that might be reasonably effective at tackling trachoma one might be able to support while waiting for more evidence? Are there any other particularly terrible, easily treated diseases we should be targeting among, for example the neglected tropical diseases?




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Dear drbrake,

I can see where your key feedbacks are coming from, i think what you are proposing is definitely valid and should definitely layered on top of saving lives. But i think it's not easy, even such a thought movement such as Effective Altruism has only been recently gaining traction. It's a luxury and privilege to think of helping others on the scale that EA or other multi-laterals can do and often it's a decision to weigh the immediately value accretive decisions such as saving lives over more specific treatments. But i as definitely agree with the validity of your points as a forward looking initiative

Kind regards,

Wei Lun

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