Johann Hari highlights a worrying development in Cambodia:
“Up until this year, the world was making remarkable progress in whittling down this disease. Since the year 2000, seven of the worst-afflicted countries in sub-Saharan Africa have slashed malaria-deaths by 50 percent. It has a great knock0on effect too: for every Â£1 spent on malaria prevention, Africa gains Â£12 in economic growth, because people can work instead of lying sick and dying. It was a sign that aid, matched by good African government, can produce inspirational results.
But then something began to change â€“ at first imperceptibly â€“ in the forgotten forests of Western Cambodia, where the Khmer Rouge held their last stand-off. The drug that is most effective at treating malaria is called artemisinin: it shocks the parasite out of your system and saves your life. But in South-East Asia, horrified doctors have discovered that the malaria parasite is becoming resistant to it. In a Darwinian arms race, it has begun to evolve a way to beat the treatment. It is taking twice as long to work â€“ and soon it will have defeated the medicine altogether.”
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Science