Published on Foreign Affairs, by Sonia Shah, By Sonia Shah OCTOBER 24, 2013.
… The story of malaria is inseparable from the history of poverty. The conditions of poverty heighten the risk of malaria infection; the disease slows GDP growth in affected societies by 1.3 percent every year, according to a study by the economist Jeffrey Sachs. Getting rid of this one disease could simultaneously slash mortality rates and inhibit a major drain on economic growth. That is why the effort to eradicate malaria has tantalized development experts for years. It sounds like low-hanging fruit, as the scientific community has known how to prevent malaria since 1897 and how to cure it since the 1600s. In fact, malaria is anything but, because of a complex interplay of political, biological, and cultural factors.
The main challenge is coalescing political will to do the job. Despite its tremendous burden on affected societies, malaria, in the most heavily infected places, is considered a “relatively minor malady,” in the words of a 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) report. That might seem counterintuitive, but it is a matter of simple risk perception. In places such as Malawi, where the average rural villager receives hundreds of bites from malaria-infected mosquitoes a year, a child might suffer 12 episodes of malaria before the age of two. If she survives, she will keep getting malaria throughout her life, but, thanks to the immunity acquired through continuous exposure, she is much less likely to die of it. For her and millions of other adults in sub-Saharan Africa’s malaria-ridden heartland, the disease becomes something that comes and goes on its own.
Much of the world’s malaria, therefore, occurs in individuals with a degree of acquired immunity and is never diagnosed or treated — or, for that matter, formally counted. These cases are tolerated and forgotten, the way yearly bouts of cold and flu are dealt with in the West. What that means politically is that people who suffer the highest burden of malaria, such as those in countries in sub-Saharan Africa, tend to be the least motivated to do much of anything about it. They do not run to get diagnosed and treated as soon as they fall ill. They do not always bother sleeping under anti-malarial bed nets. Most important, they do not pressure their leaders or protest in the streets about the ongoing burden of malaria. As a result, in the absence of economic development, there is little political will within malaria-infected countries to take on the disease … //
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Gesundheits- Links in german:
Krankheiten und die Pharma-Industrie – Der Krebs Report: Die Krebsindustrie vs. Weg zu gesundheitlicher Freiheit, 78.50 min, von LuxariusIlluminator am 4. Februar 2013 hochgeladen;
Heiner Flassbeck, Dirk Müller u.a.: Nahrungsmittelspekulation, 175.46 min, von Fabian Herzog am July 2, 2011 hochgeladen: see Mario Monti on en.wikipedia: … (born 19 March 1943) is an Italian economist who served as the Prime Minister of Italy from 2011 to 2013, leading a government of technocrats in the wake of the Italian debt crisis …;