Yes, it's a blog about reading.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The missing New Yorker

I knew something was missing in my life and I discovered it while going through and discarding a stack of catalogs – the Oct. 24 New Yorker (Ballerina cover)! I was most impressed with the article about malaria, which Bill Gates is determined to eradicate. I read an article about malaria some years ago, which described the comeback of the disease after it’s near-eradication. And it has come back strong – with drug-resistant strains, so that nearly 3 million people (mostly poor African children) die of it each year. Gates is using his charitable foundation to pour money into malaria research, an area that has been mostly neglected because malaria is no longer a problem in the developed world. Here is a statistic: ‘less than 10% of all investment in health research is devoted to the diseases that affect 90% of the world.’ There is some controversy about Gates’ method – he wants a cure, dammit! But no one has ever come up with a vaccine that works against a parasite and some suggest that money would be better spent in delivering the proven solutions – especially nets that are treated with insecticide. Nets do help prevent the disease, even living near someone who has a net can help a child survive, but hardly anyone has a net. One doctor says that 30 to 50% of at-risk children could be saved with nets alone.


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