Translation, literacy, Bible teaching, and other news and views from West Africa
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Seven Boeing 747’s crashing into Kilimanjaro every day!?!
In an age when opinion is routinely presented in the media as fact, it is wise to be careful about what one is willing to accept as truth. We need to learn to discern between hard facts and partisan journalism.
For example, in recent years, sensational and exaggerated claims by The Lancet medical journal have tended to undermine the magazine’s credibility to the point where it is difficult to determine what is politically motivated and what remains objective.
Hopefully, they have got it right on the following story:
Apparently, a new vaccine has been developed which could help to eliminate malaria!
A Timesonline article, covering a Lancet report says:
…the [malaria] vaccine, developed by a British company, is safe and has few side-effects. In real-world trials in Mozambique it prevented nearly 60 per cent of cases of severe disease in children.
… “It is a breakthrough,” Dr Melinda Moree, director of the Malaria Vaccine Initiative, which collaborated with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, said. “These findings provide convincing evidence that a vaccine could become part of the world’s efforts to spare children and their families from the devastating effects of this disease.”
Malaria is a huge problem in poor countries. Dr Wen Kilama, of the African Malaria Network, said that its impact on Africa “is like loading seven Boeing 747 airliners with people every day, then crashing them into Mount Kilimanjaro”.
Each year, 500 million new cases are recorded, 90 per cent in Africa. The great majority of victims recover, but the disease can damage the nervous system, kidney and liver. As many as three million people die from it each year, one million of them children under five.
In the trial, involving 2,022 children in southern Mozambique — in which half were given the vaccine and half a placebo — malaria attacks were cut by 30 per cent.
The results, …show that new infections were cut by 45 per cent, and severe disease that causes death fell by 58 per cent. In the youngest children, there was a 77 per cent reduction in severe malaria among those vaccinated before their first birthday.
Good news indeed. Hope it’s true.
Click link below for the full (London) Times report:
Another interesting malaria report from the LA Times:
Using humans to infect mosquitoes