To Eradicate Malaria, Economic, Political Reforms Needed To Strengthen Health Systems, Reduce Poverty
The Guardian: History shows it will take more than technology and money to beat malaria
Jonathan Kennedy, lecturer in global health at Queen Mary University of London
“The Lancet Commission on Malaria Eradication received widespread attention this week with its claim that the disease could be eradicated by 2050. This would be a very welcome achievement, as malaria currently kills about 435,000 people — predominantly children — each year. The report argues that the key to eradicating malaria is the application of existing and new technology, coupled with £1.6bn extra annual funding. Unfortunately, this solution is unlikely to be successful because it fails to address the underlying causes of malaria: grinding poverty and state incapacity. … Even if advancements like gene-drive technologies are successful at eradicating malaria, without profound economic and political reforms to address extreme poverty and improve primary health care, sub-Saharan Africa will remain vulnerable to the emergence of new infectious diseases — as demonstrated by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a few years ago and the current Ebola outbreak in DRC” (9/11).