by Thomas C. Mountain
About $1 billion of Bill Gates donation/tax deduction was ear marked for research to find a vaccine to prevent malaria which is the number one killer in Africa.
I live in Eritrea in the Horn of Africa and the government here has reduced malaria mortality by over 80% in the last decade. This is the biggest breakthrough in preventing malaria mortality in history yet there has yet to be a single story on this in any of the major international media.
This historic breakthrough has been accomplished in Eritrea by the use of good old fashioned public health methods, that tried and true science that is responsible for the major increase in longevity that took place in the 20th century. That’s right, public health, meaning first of all, clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene has been the biggest breakthrough in human health in history, not antibiotics or vaccines or drugs of any sort. Yet Public Health is increasingly under attack in much of the western world.
The problem with insecticide treatment is it only lasts 3 months after which the net loses much of its effectiveness. The Eritrean Ministry of Health has instituted a mandatory re-treatment program for all of its population and if the people do not bring their nets in for re-treatment, the health teams go to the peoples homes and make them re-treat their nets.
The second part of the Health Ministry’s malaria program has been the establishment of community based medical clinics where the population can go to get a free blood test to determine what variety of malaria they may have and to get the proper treatment for it. Almost every village in the Eritrea malaria belt is within a few hours walk or ride from a community medical clinic and immediate treatment for those who have contracted malaria is now accessible for almost all of Eritrea’s malaria belt residents.
The third part of the program is mosquito habitat eradication by filling in breeding sites and/or spraying insecticide on these areas.
These 3 simple, basic public health practices have resulted in the biggest breakthrough in malaria mortality prevention in history yet to this day there hasn’t been a single major story covering this in any of the major media internationally.