Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cure all malaria for 2000 years

For the price of the Iraq War, we could cure all cases of malaria for the next two thousand years. 

Each year, there are 515 million cases of malaria, causing 1 to 3 million deaths and contributing to poverty in many developing countries.  If the rate of malaria infection were to stay constant even as we treat every case for the next 2000 years, we would have to treat 1.03 trillion cases of the disease.

Artemisinin therapies, which are used to treat the disease now that the malaria parasite is resistant to chloroquine and some mosquitos are resistant to DDT, cost $2.20 for a course of treatment. Treating 2000 years of malaria would cost $2.27 trillion, which is less than Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of $3 trillion for the cost of the Iraq War. 

Image used under a Creative Commons License from otisarchives2.