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August 28, 2009
Malaria still kills more than a million people a year

The mosquito-borne disease malaria kills more than one million people each year — most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Shravan Vidyarthi and Christina MacGillivray of┬áthe International Reporting Project report from Kenya on the challenges of preventing and treating malaria.

Michael Novacek, the provost of science at the American Museum of Natural History, joins Martin Savidge to discuss the challenges of fighting malaria.

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8 comments

#8

Jim-
While exterminating or reducing the population of mosquitoes in highly affected areas does sound like a logical step in the primary prevention of malaria, one must think about the ecological repercussions of wiping out a large population of insects.

Because the relationships between the land, the human race, and other organisms are complex and interconnected, it seems like it would be short sited to annihilate mosquitoes in those areas without causing a dramatic effect on the rest of the ecosystem.

This is the reason our efforts to combat the disease must be multi-dimensional. Furthermore, vaccinations are another form of primary prevention in the world of infectious diseases, as is reducing the risk of mosquito bites in families in the high-malaria regions. Therefore, it seems that we should be putting our energy, funding, and research into prevention strategies with less ecologically destructive potential, like vaccines, mosquito nets, and quality health care for those who do become affected by malaria.

#7

studies shows that 50% of the people had a malaria, but what kind of mosquito that creating a disease, and that is malaria…i need the answer right now!!!

#6

is malaria kills million of people????
i hope that thats the true answer….

#5

This is in response to Jim:
Although DDT would solve the mosquito problem at first, you have to think about its long term effects. DDT isn’t exactly environmentally friendly – it’s poison to not just mosquitoes but other life. Eventually it will get higher up in the food chain and will get people sick and begin to create other issues that could have been prevented, or make current situations worse. In the long run, DDT isn’t really worth the try. There is a reason why it was banned in the first place.

#4

How can you broadcast a story on controlling malaria without a single mention of mosquito control? Drugs and nets are secondary responses. Would it not be better to simply kill the damn mosquitoes?

DDT once effectively eradicated malaria in broad areas of the third world, but Rachel Carson’s SILENT SPRING forced a ban on its use. Other effective chemical means of defense exist, but we seem locked into the “politically correct” noneffective solution.

A million people a year die needlessly. Thank you, Rachel.

#3

When real organizations want to intervene they get stamped by red tape and bureaucracies…it is sad to witness these populations just die in vain.

#2

Again we are reminded that the three causes of human suffering are: Microbes, Religion and Greed.

#1

It would be nice to know where’s the money! For years, people have donated money to different “non-profit” organizations thinking this would buy mosquito nets, drugs for Malaria, and a host of other problems the African continent experience. Yet, some of these organizations never really donated food, nets…It’s sad, that these organizations operate under the pretext of helping poor countries. We all know that they have only been lining their pockets.

When you add the private donations, and Aid from worldwide governments, why is the most important necessities lacking?

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