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Malaria Clock /

The Terrible Cost of Malaria
January 21, 2006

Malaria is a disease which disproportionately affects the poorest people in the world.

Look at the adjacent maps provided by the WHO's Roll Back Malaria Campaign.

We used the mid- through darkest shadings from the estimate of malaria burden to assemble country lists.

We used our country lists to look up GDP (purchasing power parity) from the CIA World Factbook, which we put into a spreadsheet.

We used our spreadsheet and a scaled-back version the WHO estimates of loss of GDP due to malaria to derive a dollar value.

We didn't use very high estimates, just 1%, 0.5% and 0.25% of GDP for the heaviest through mid- burdened countries.

We came up with a terrible number: US$131,421,450,000 loss of GDP per year.

That terrible number is from 10 to 100 times the entire GDP of each of the 20 smallest and/or most impoverished of those countries most heavily burdened by malaria.

That terrible number is almost as much as wealthy-world 'eco-chondriacs' are sacrificing on the Green altar of Kyoto.

As terrible as it is it is not the worst number.

The worst number is much smaller.

The worst number is 'only' 2,700,000.

The smaller number is the worst number because it is the number of annual malarial deaths estimated by the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) (press release, complete supplement). Given the lack of health infrastructure, the effort involved in seeking treatment and the lack of affordability for treatment or preventatives, it seems likely that there is significant underreporting of malaria in the most impoverished regions.

The worst number is probably an understatement.

Part of the reason some one-third of the world's population remains at risk of malarial infection is the appalling indifference of coddled, self-indulgent European consumers with a chemical fetish. So removed now from real-world risk, so pampered by State-funded health care that they obsess over pretend risks, European consumers essentially preclude affordable, effective malarial defence in impoverished regions by threatening desperately needed hard currency flows from agricultural exports from any country that dare use safe and effective DDT in Indoor Residual Spray programs. Most development and aid grants or loans preclude the use of DDT, regardless of health need.

Europeans aren't the only offenders in this regard but they are perhaps the worst.

The consequences of their eco-chondria are terrible.

Europeans also heavily promote the Kyoto Protocol - although they are finding it impossible to implement themselves.

Europeans claim to be frightened because the world is estimated to have warmed by perhaps +0.6 C over a century - even though that amount is less than the precision obtainable estimating the globe's temperature.

Europeans and Greens generally claim to want to improve the lot of impoverished peoples everywhere - they even claim that as a reason to push Kyoto.

Regardless of their position on the global warming bandwagon, climate scientists readily admit full implementation of the Kyoto Protocol can not make any difference in global temperature that humans have the capacity to measure. Even ten Kyotos have a smaller theoretical potential to affect global temperature than the error margin on our ability to measure it. Pretence that we can control the global thermostat by tweaking a few minor variables is some of the worst of human hubris.

This is not a good article.

This is an article about "terrible".

This is an article about "worst".

Unfortunately, it is the consequences for the world's most impoverished peoples that are "terrible".

Disgustingly, when it comes to precipitating these consequences, it is European eco-imperialists who are the "worst".

You could help make things better. We will leave this week's vote active indefinitely. Please register your opinion (as far as the available choices allow). The "has voted" IP tables are cleared at least once per day so, if you come back and vote again tomorrow, we won't think the worst.

This article could be better.

Even the worst eco-imperialists should recognise that development and wealth generation will improve the lives of the world's most impoverished peoples and will do so regardless of any adverse climate change.

And if eco-chondriacs encountered the odd trace of a lifesaving compound imported with third world produce, would that really be so terrible?

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