World Malaria Day


Today is World Malaria Day.  While this site is dedicated to global warming issues, many have said the the increase in global warming will cause an increase in malaria deaths.  While it may be true that warmer regions will allow a greater infestation of malaria carrying insects, the conclusion that there will be more deaths is preposterous!

Malaria is one of the easiest to control diseases.  Unfortunately, it tends to occur in areas that are poverty stricken so the simple measures that can prevent outbreaks don’t get taken care.  Rather than cost the economy in the US billions of dollars in cap and trade, we could eradicate malaria at a fraction of the cost.  This is one of the reasons that I contend that fighting global warming using inefficient methods actually inadvertantly causes the deaths of thousands.

Here are some articles on malaria and global warming (here, here, here and here).

Also check out Malaria No More.  Where you can learn about buying a bed net for a family and save them from malaria.

The chairman of Malaria No More recently wrote an op ed at Wall Street Journal – here are some of his comments:

In the midst of the most severe global economic crisis in generations, prioritizing U.S. aid to other countries has never been harder. When we’re making these difficult choices, which will affect the quality of people’s lives the world over, there is one investment we can’t afford to ignore: malaria control. This is a disease we can completely eliminate — right now.

Think about it. We have the tools today to cure an illness that kills one child every 30 seconds. Besides the human toll, its economic and social impacts are also devastating: Sick children miss school, parents miss work to care for them, and development is stifled. In Africa, malaria eats up 40% of all hospital expenditures and costs economies there $12 billion annually in lost productivity. That’s a crippling 1.3% annual loss in GDP growth in countries where it is endemic. Malaria is a self-perpetuating problem — the disease wipes out the human and economic capital necessary to bring the disease under control.

How do we know this investment will work? Because we’ve already seen results beyond all expectations in some places in Africa. In the mid-2000s, Zanzibar blanketed the country with bed nets, attaining a 90% coverage rate, and provided its citizens with access to free, top-line medications. Together these efforts produced a 75% drop in malaria-related mortality in children under the age of five, and a 77% drop in malaria-related hospital admissions. In Rwanda, a national roll-out of top-line antimalarials and 2.4 million insecticide-treated bed nets resulted in a 66% decline in child deaths. It’s worked in Burundi, Eritrea, Kenya and Ethiopia as well, all with financing from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

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