Sunday, April 26, 2009

In celebration of World Malaria Day (which was on Saturday)!

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/23/world.malaria.day/index.html

First, a semi-relevant quote by Samuel Clemens:
"History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes."

   Today, the malaria virus strongly rages, reportedly causing sickness in 250 million people each year and killing around one million. If the WHO had their way in 1955, malaria would have joined the ranks of smallpox as the only diseases to have been eradicated. However, despite the substantial reduction of its presence, the malaria eradication effort fell short of full success. The article points to lack of public support as the main cause for past failure, with help from overconfidence and complacency in medical treatments available back then. For many top researchers and scientists, fully eradicating malaria persists is an impossible goal. In case you didn't know (because I didn't), malaria is a dynamic virus, able to develop resistance to medicines designed to combat it as well as rapidly proliferate through migrant populations of mosquitos. It requires constant and vigilant research and development of treatments. However, despite the apparent challenges, the notion that full eradication is possible is held by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease as stated by its director, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci.
   Regarding Clemens' quote as the beginning, even though previous eradication efforts failed, Fauci believes the past provides valuable insight into how to succeed in the present and future. Efforts for eradication were rekindled by none other than our favorite entrepreneurial, technocratic philanthropists, Bill and Melinda Gates.
   It is interesting to note that drugs aren't described in the article to be the key to successful malaria eradication; rather, wide-spread community education is the critical component of our second round fight against malaria. With better technology and newfound information on malaria, the public can be made more knowledgeable and aware of the disease's capabilities and dangers and thus, create more incentives to invest in the necessary biomedical research towards eradication.

In conclusion, I'll end with a quip because I started with a quote from the quip master.

Let's keep up the anti-malaria hysteria and sustain our pro-eradication sensation!

-teresa

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