If environmentalists get their way, one of the key weapons in the fight against malaria will be banned before any real alternative is available, with devastating effects.
Every year, malaria sickens more than 200-million people and kills about 600,000. Most of these cases and deaths occur in Africa and in women and children younger than five. Malaria cases and deaths have been falling in Africa due to the increased use of insecticides and better drug treatments.
Scientists say they have identified a link between strains of a malaria parasite, potentially paving the way for a life-saving vaccine. A key protein common to different types of malaria parasite is said to have been uncovered and laboratory tests show that antibodies that target the protein are effective in blocking the mechanisms that cause the disease. Researchers at Edinburgh University are now appealing to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to help them apply the findings and bring forward the next generation of malaria drug or vaccine.
THE explosion of cross-border business activity bodes well for Africa and its citizens, but health experts warn that companies associated with emerging industries are ill-prepared and some times unaware of the risk posed by malaria. While the focus has traditionally been on extractive industries and agriculture, new industries are beginning to explode across the region in sectors such as IT, finance and education.
After service in the British SAS Regiment the author became a physician and then an orthopaedic surgeon.
He has held professorial positions in Canada, Vietnam and the United States, practiced and taught orthopaedic surgery in three continents and in several wars.
He has extensive experience as an expert witness in court. Somewhere along the way, time was found to operate a four hundred acre mixed farm, a one hundred seat restaurant and to obtain a licence as a flying instructor.
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