Why we need war on the mosquito, the deadliest animal – Bill Gates

October 16, 2016

World's Deadliest Animals, Gates Foundation

World’s Deadliest Animals, Gates Foundation

One could quibble, and point out that it’s the malaria parasite that does the dirty work, more than the mosquito; but it’s only a quibble.

Short film from Bill Gates explaining why he helps wage war on the lowly mosquito. Use of science to find ways to defeat mosquito-borne disease transmission is especially important in the post-DDT world, since DDT resistance now aids every mosquito on Earth.

GatesNotes said:

There are about a dozen different diseases that are spread to humans by mosquito bites including dengue, yellow fever, Zika, chikungunya, and malaria. This little mosquito actually kills more humans than any other thing.

Learn more at: http://b-gat.es/2cUd9Ff

Good news: Malaria deaths cut by half in last 15 years

March 20, 2015

Bad news — still about 600,000 people die from malaria every year, worldwide.

Good news: Dramatic progress against malaria since the turn of the century renews hopes that the disease might be mostly conquered in another 15 to 20 years, and perhaps even obliterated from the Earth. Malaria deaths have been cut in half in the past 15 years, from just over a million a year, to fewer than 610,000.

Since 1963, malaria deaths have been cut more than 80%, from more than 4 million per year, to fewer than 610,000.

That’s dramatic progress.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation shared a video from Comic Relief, a charity set up to fight diseases, featuring David Tennant, perhaps better known the Harry Potter movies and Dr. Who sci-fi series.

Comic Relief isn’t such a big deal in the U.S.  But perhaps you’ll share, and donate?

Red Nose Day was March 13.

Bill Gates agrees: We can eliminate malaria in a generation

January 9, 2015

Do we have the will to do it?


Gates Foundation image:  A nurse dispenses a malaria drug to treat an infected child in Tanzania.

Gates Foundation image: A nurse dispenses a malaria drug to treat an infected child in Tanzania.

Truth in a fair fight: Eli Rabett explains Gates Foundation’s good work against malaria

September 21, 2010

Good works are oft’ interred with the bones of the good workers, according to that Brutus Mark Antony guy — and at Watts Up With That, many work to bury any good workers, too.

So, a specially-scrubbed carrot is due Eli Rabett, who details the good works of the Gates Foundation against malaria, just to counteract the clamor of the howling at WUWT.

. . . since this started with an attack on Bill Gates, it is important to understand at least some of the interesting things that the Gates Foundation is doing to help fight malaria.

Among these, Affordable Medicines for Malaria (AMFM), is one of the cleverest, and may even work. The idea is that AMFM will buy ACT (artemisinin combination therapy – something else the Wattoids didn’t know about) drugs directly from the manufacturers in huge amounts at deep discount, and pass the drugs on to the distributors, public health agencies, private wholesale pharmacies, and NGOs at so far below cost that even counterfeit drugs cost more. The private wholesalers can take their profit.

One may hope someone will find the magic bullet to fight malaria.  There’s the Ghost of Santayana pacing the chalkboard again, however:  Our experience shows that magic is not real, no magic bullet has ever existed against malaria, and DDT is not now the magic bullet it never was in the first place.  “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” Ghost of Santayana mutters.

A special place in hell is reserved for those who remember the past, but tell false tales about it instead.

Eradicate malaria – here’s how

May 24, 2009

Explanation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:

See the Gates Foundation site, “Can we really eradicate malaria?”

How many times do they call for a return to DDT?

What do you think?

Seattle Times special on fighting malaria

February 4, 2008

Dr. Bumsted at Biocultural Science and Management alerted me to the Seattle Times’ special section on fighting malaria. The extensive set of articles ran in the newspaper on Friday, February 1, 2008. You can order a copy of the special reports in a separate section here.

Child suffering from malaria. Seattle Times, February 1, 2008

Child suffering from malaria. Seattle Times, February 1, 2008

Photo caption from Seattle Times: “Malaria strikes hardest at young children, such as 5-month-old Mkude Mwishehe, who lies comatose in the regional hospital at Morogoro, Tanzania. Babies often die as a result of fever, anemia and brain damage caused when the mosquito-borne parasites destroy blood cells and clog blood vessels.”

Seattle’s news organizations look at malaria in large part because malaria is a target of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The package features outstanding photography of malaria-affected Tanzania and Zambia, good interviews, in-depth reporting, good writing, and multi-media presentations that might be suitable for classroom work. The multi-media pieces could be used as examples of what students should be doing with PowerPoint projects.

The Seattle Times’ work on the fight against malaria is a tour-de-force masterpiece of what a newspaper can do to promote the public good. The newspaper demonstrates the heights writers can aspire to. Good on ’em, as Molly Ivins would say.

I have not found a single mention of experts calling for more DDT, as the junk-science purveyors do. There are several attempts to urge DDT by readers in the Q&A session, but the expert malaria fighters are careful with their facts — it’s a real education. Read the articles. The research and the work against malaria pushed by the Gates Foundation is exactly the research and work that DDT-happy advocates frustrate with their political screeds.

Which group does more to save Africans, those who fight malaria as described in The Seattle Times, or those who rail at environmentalists and call for more DDT?

Reason makes progress in malaria/DDT discussions

October 28, 2007

It’s one ray of sunshine in a sky of darkened clouds, but here’s evidence that reason occasionally overcomes bias in discussions about malaria and DDT: “More on Malaria – And Good Karma For Bill Gates,” by Scott Kirwan, at Dean’s World.

That’s good, because the nattering nabobs of negativism still pull out their long knives for Rachel Carson unjustly, unwisely, and invoking all the old junk science and hoaxes in other venues, like Collecting My Thoughts, and “DDT: Behind the Scare Stories,” at the noble-intentioned but temporarily-off-the-tracks Hawaii Reporter.

DDT is still a deadly poison, and still not a panacea against malaria. It’s nice to see reason having sway, probably due to the efforts of the Gates Foundation and its allies.

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