‘Skepticism’ About Global Disease Eradication, Control Programs Should Be ‘Resisted,’ Editorial Says
Recent "skepticism" over programs aimed at eradicating and controlling diseases such as polio and malaria should be "resisted" so as not to "revive opposition" to the programs, an editorial in London's Guardian says. Disease control programs "have always been a challenge" and eradication programs "face even more daunting odds," the editorial says (Guardian, 5/4). Last month, an editorial in the Lancet said that the Roll Back Malaria partnership has failed to control the spread of the disease and possibly has "done more harm than good." The Lancet editorial said that advice from the partnership often has been "inadequate" and "conflicting" because of a "lack of clear division of responsibility among partners." It added that RBM has been "ineffective" since it pledged to reduce incidence and mortality rates at a summit in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2000 (GlobalHealthReporting.org, 4/22). However, with the release of the World Malaria Report 2005 on Tuesday, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and RBM "pointed to some successes" -- including a tenfold increase in the use of insecticide-treated nets in 14 African countries and wider access to newer, more-effective malaria drugs in 23 nations, according to the Guardian. Although the report also "conceded overall success was hard to prove," any "opposition" to eradication and control programs resulting from the "mixed news" on RBM's and other such programs' progress should be opposed because the programs can "strengthen the third world's frail health infrastructure," the editorial concludes (Guardian, 5/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.