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In the meantime, a real crisis

While our stock market is bobbing up and down, one to three million people will die this year of malaria, including 2700 children a day. Oh, but that's not a crisis, just business as usual.

"Yes, Damien, but why do you bring this up now? Just to make us feel guilty and 'in perspective'?"

Medicine Sans Frontiers today called for free malaria treatment in Africa, to deal with the pervasive crisis.

"That sounds nice, but how much will it cost?"

They say about $5 or 6 billion a year until 2020, about $65 billion (my summation). Not much larger than the stimulus plan we didn't get, and less than 1/10th of Paulson's bailout.

"...that's not much."

Made me wonder what the actual cost of treatment is, it did. CGD says $2.40 for a cutting edge course of treatment. Microbiologybytes says between 8 cents and $5.30 depending on local drug resistance. Note that seems to be for a full course, not just one dose. So ignoring distribution and refrigeration problems, one could buy a treatment, for all of the 3 billion people who have to potentially worry about malaria, for $6 billion. More personally, $100 donation to MSF could help 20+ people with a life-threatening disease.

On the prevention front, Wikipedia says Jeffrey Sachs says malaria could be controlled for $3 billion/year. Roll Back Malaria has more details and higher cost -- more like $4 billion prevention, and almost $7 billion for the whole program in 2010. $7 per First Worlder...

MSF US donation page; if you're in another country they'll probably redirect you.

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