We have been asked by online communications manager Virginia Simmons of the One blog to cross post the following message from Bill Gates, which we are happy to do:
An Audacious Goal
This week in Seattle, an extraordinary group of people — scientists, policymakers, and advocates — came together for three days to discuss what can be done to stop malaria. Melinda and I issued a challenge to those attending the meeting. We asked them to begin charting a course to eradicate malaria — not just to control or reduce it, but to work toward a time when no one on earth is infected with malaria, and no mosquitoes carry the disease.
Today, malaria kills more than one million people every year, most of them children in Africa. That’s the equivalent of losing every student in the New York City public school system in one year.
We know that eradicating malaria is an audacious goal. But advances in science and medicine, new political commitments, and the dedication of people like you have given the world an historic opportunity to conquer malaria. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen quickly, but I’m optimistic that we can make this disease history.
At the forum in Seattle, Melinda and I called on the U.S. presidential candidates to commit to expand the President’s Malaria Initiative, a great program started by President Bush. I hope you will join us in asking all of the candidates to make this pledge and keep the fight against malaria on the national agenda.
I am confident that together, we can produce the energy, compassion, and commitment needed to win the fight against malaria.
I find this post of interest for two reasons. The cause is worthy, and I don’t recall ever having heard of President Bush’s malaria initiative. Gates’s comments are cross posted here.
PAUL adds: We’ve written about malaria several times. In particular, we’ve linked to artices by Phillip Coticelli (and various co-authors) who advocates eradicating malaria in Africa the same way it was eradicated in the U.S. and Europe — through the use of DDT. Coticelli contends that a combination of environmentalists, United Nations agencies, and big business interests has prevented the use of insecticides for malaria control, and thus has contributed to a preventable health crisis.