Should Malaria be eradicated?

Essay by lindushexoCollege, UndergraduateB+, June 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Investing funds for developing a malaria vaccine would be a more effective use of the money then trying to prevent the disease. If one considers the human misery and economic costs the disease continues to cause, it is easy to see that time and money should not be wasted using prevention methods, but the complete effort should be used in eradication of the disease. Many countries, including the United States, have been able to eradicate the disease from their border demonstating that this challange is not impossible.

The vaccine showing the most promise, RTS,S, was first formulated more than 20 years ago and has been used in trials since 1992, but due to the tricky nature of the parasite, which is constantly evolving, outwitting modern medicine and the human immune system, the development of a successful vaccine has been a slow process of trial and error. Breakthroughs such as this lead many to postulate about the possibilities of eradicating malaria.

Having a grand goal such as eradication in mind is good, but we can and should learn from history and previous efforts at eradication before we get our hopes too high.

The World Health Organisation estimates that malaria claims more than 1-million lives every year and causes between 300-million and 500-million people to become acutely sick. Most cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, home to the most efficient malaria-carrying mosquito species, which feeds almost exclusively on human beings, as well as the most deadly strain of the malaria parasite. The disease is considered to cost Africa at least $12bn every year in lost productivity and other direct costs of dealing with the disease.

Malaria was a serious global health concern until the mid-20th century. In the 1940s, the successful application of DDT as part of indoor residual spraying (IRS)...