World Malaria Day, 2009

I have gone back and forth on what to write on this day.

On the one hand, this is an opportunity to reflect on the tremendous progress we’ve made so far. On the other hand…the UN set 2010 as the date for uniform malaria coverage.

There’s 614 days left until the day set as the target.  The plan is that by 2010:

  • 80% of people at risk from malaria are using locally appropriate vector control methods such as long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLins), indoor residual spraying (irS) and, in some settings, other environmental and biological measures;
  • 80% of malaria patients are diagnosed and treated with effective anti-malarial
  • treatments;
  • in areas of high transmission, 100% of pregnant women receive intermittent preventive treatment (iPT);
  • the global malaria burden is reduced by 50% of the 2000 levels: ~175-250M cases annually and less than 500,000 deaths annually from malaria. figure2-21

This graph from the Global Malaria Plan shows the projected effects of these interventions on different timelines.  Acting quickly will save lives.

What can we, as individuals in the US, do?

Nothing but Nets is one way to contribute.  Let major pharmaceutical corporations know you applaud (and expect!) their efforts to lower pricing on malarial drugs.  Lastly, let your legislators know you support funding for malaria research and aid.

That last one is hard–right now things are pretty tight in the US for a lot of people. Personally, I may actually have to abandon our house and let it go into foreclosure, if we can’t sell it soon.

But I’m still so, so privileged to live in a place with clean water and electricity on demand and little threat of infectious disease (relatively).  Don’t forget that even now, as financial times are hard, we still are pretty darn lucky compared to our brothers and sisters in Africa, Asia, and South America struggling with malaria.

5 thoughts on “World Malaria Day, 2009

  1. Actually, it’s mostly because the price of the house has fallen so much, it’s actually cheaper to abandon it than to sell it.
    If we do manage to find a buyer, I’ll need at least 10K to close. I have no idea where it will come from.

    In other news…right after I posted about being grateful for our electricity and water….a storm came through and knocked out power for 2 days!
    Makes you appreciate a hot shower all the more. Again–I am lucky.

  2. That’s a sobering bit of perspective. I just wanted to express my appreciation for these sorts of posts, I’ve been absorbed in your posts and links on the subject of malaria, and it’s been good to see an area where science has potential to alleviate a serious problem. I was stuck in company not of my choosing some time ago, and unable to refute some of their claims about how DDT was a miracle chemical being denied to people by some sort of leftist conspiracy, and I wasn’t then knowledgeable enough to refute them, at least not to my satisfaction. I’m glad to say I’m better armed for future discussions on the topic, because of your blog.

    Good luck with the house, power, water, and all those other rough parts of life, as well.

  3. I share your sentiments exactly. I even posted about this day on my own blog. Just realized I never linked your blog to mine. My bad, remedying that today. Best wishes for sale of your home, though wish you didn’t need to:-(.

  4. BG note: This is the second splog comment I have removed from you Stephan. You are now on permanent moderate. Go flog your skin care product elsewhere.

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