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Optimistic About Ending Malaria April 25, 2011

Posted by ToYourHealth in Global Health.
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It’s overwhelming, at best troubling, the countless catastrophic ailments plaguing less developed countries. Will an avenue of health ever be glimpsed by these populations just so they can achieve a sustained ability to lead normal, productive lives? How much more assistance can the rest of the world provide while simultaneously dealing with their own issues? The outlook need not be bleak.

Malaria is one of the top three world-wide killers affecting 300 million people, according to the CDC, and two years ago killed over 1 million, mostly children. Every 45 seconds an African child dies from this mosquito-borne disease. In this six-minute video, Bill Gates explains the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to eradicate the disease from the planet. It’s an inspiring, optimistic view of the probability of global eradication with a sustained effort.

No short-term eradication prognosis, but a high chance in the long-term. While scientists continue to work to produce a vaccine for the ever-mutating organism that causes Malaria, there are simple ways you can help. Widespread use of bed nets is a simple, cheap, effective prevention tool used by 70% of the population with astounding results. One DDT-treated net costs $5 and lasts for 5 years. Alone, bed net use has decreased prevalence of the disease by 50%-80% in tropical and sub-tropical nations.

The United Nations program Nothing But Nets asks for donations before West Africa’s rainy season begins in May.

Malaria No More has donated 2.6 million nets in the last five years and is hopeful for complete bed net coverage within he next four years.

The Gates Foundation continues major funding for a malaria vaccine at Seattle BioMed.

Click here for a breakdown of Malaria disease basics and statistics in an article by fellow health writer Puja Chandra, published via blog.persify.

On this fourth annual World Malaria Day, lives are depending on our help. Donate if you can, spread the word if you will.

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