torsdag 15. oktober 2015

Syv dødelige sykdommer

Det blir vanligvis ikke så store overskrifter av gode globale nyheter, som at det blir færre fattige i verden eller at flere store dødelige sykdommer er på retur, men desto viktigere er det at noen forteller om det. Og om at innsatsen som settes inn har effekt. The Economist fortjener derfor ros for å bruke forsiden og en lederartikkel forrige i forrige ukes utgave til å fortelle at dersom vi klarer å utrydde syv navngitte dødelige sykdommer vil det redde 1,2 millioner menneskeliv hvert år. De skriver:

"A list of five plausible targets—measles, mumps, rubella, filariasis and pork tapeworm—has hardly changed since the early 1990s, yet measles, mumps and rubella are all the subjects of intensive vaccination campaigns that could easily be converted into ones of eradication. And even though Swaziland is poised to become the first malaria-free country in sub-Saharan Africa only a few dare to make explicit the goal of ridding the planet of the disease. Hepatitis C should be made a target, too. It kills half a million a year, and affects rich and poor countries alike, yet new drugs against it are almost 100% effective and there are no silent carriers. Eradicating these seven diseases—the five, plus malaria and hepatitis C—would save a yearly total of 1.2m lives. It would transform countless more."

I en litt lengre artikkel i samme nummer, "Breaking the fever" går de litt dypere inn i utfordringene rundt det å utrydde den sykdommen som tar livet av aller flest mennesker, malaria. Den beskriver hvordan tidligere forsøk på å utrydde malaria mislyktes totalt, men at den innsatsen som de siste årene er satt inn har hatt stor effekt. Så stor at det er innen rekkevidde å utrydde malaria helt, i følge The Economist:

"Since 2000, malaria deaths around the world have fallen by nearly half. The steepest drop has come in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of fatalities occur. Malaria still kills around 450,000 people each year (see chart 1)—most of them children in Africa. But the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that better control prevented the deaths of 3.9m African children between 2001 and 2013. Such progress breeds optimism. The WHO believes that malaria cases and deaths could both fall by another 90% in the next 15 years. At a summit in November, heads of state from East Asia will endorse a plan to make the region free of malaria by 2030. The Gates Foundation, an important source of funds for antimalarial research and control efforts, believes it can be eradicated completely by 2040."