Mosquitos can be a pesky summertime problem, but for countries who have not eradicated malaria, they can be more than an itchy nuisance – they can be deadly. The good news: according to the Lancet Commission on malaria eradication, we have the technology required to eradicate the disease, and if we play our cards right, we could do so by 2050.
The key is accelerating the downward curve of malaria prevalence. Issues like poverty, political unrest, and increased temperatures can all stagnate malaria reduction, but three critical steps can keep us moving in the right direction:
- Enhance eradication software — give national malaria managers and staff the monitoring resources they need to visualize the crisis
- New eradication hardware — rapid diagnosis and vaccinations are key, but so are radical technologies like gene drives to reduce the prevalence of disease-carrying bugs
- Financial investment — increasing funds from $4 to $6 billion a year would be a crucial tipping point for malaria treatment
We have the tools at our disposal to make malaria a disease of the past. The key is using these tools effectively to mobilize medical treatment to areas where knowledge and implementation of treatment are lacking.