Chapter 11 : The Dream of Eradication

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Since the announcement by the Gateses, “proponents have been trying to reassure skeptical scientists and manage expectations, in part deemphasizing the word ‘eradication’ and instead substituting for it the word ‘elimination.’ Calls for malaria eradication raise expectations and false hopes--as they did half a century ago--and can lead governments to believe in miracles instead of realistic and more mundane goals such as control. In some parts of the world it has been possible to suppress malaria by using combination therapy and insecticide-impregnated bednets; however, in many countries the most effective measure is an end to poverty and civil strife. To be fair, the Gateses did not set a timeline for eradication and they recognized that it is not a near-term goal but one encompassing many decades. A new arsenal of cheaper and more effective medicines to kill gametocytes and liver stages as well as the pathology-producing blood forms are needed, as are effective transmission blockers-vaccines, cheap and long-lasting insecticide-impregnated bednets. Today's dream of eradication must not do what the Global Eradication of Malaria Program of the 1960s did: in a fit of hubris, it created a climate of euphoria that contributed more to the eradication of malariologists than of the malaria-carrying mosquitoes and the disease.

Citation: Sherman I. 2011. The Dream of Eradication, p 240-244. In Magic Bullets to Conquer Malaria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816889.ch11
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