Raising malaria awareness

Tim Lambert over at Deltoid notes Dunk malaria day is coming up this Sunday, and has offered to match donations (up to $300 total) readers make to The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria. Very cool–I’m kicking in a few bucks for a good cause–if you do the same, drop a line at Tim’s blog.

Comments

  1. #1 coturnix
    March 15, 2006

    Should we also all write blog-posts about malaria on that day, and add the links to the Fund in each post?

  2. #2 Tara C. Smith
    March 15, 2006

    Can’t hurt. I’ll actually be on a plane that day, but I’ll see if I can get one written up and scheduled.

  3. #3 Hank Barnes
    March 15, 2006

    Is there a global fund to contribute to the victims of botched drug trials?

    That’d certainly be a worthwhile cause, I could stand behind:)

    Hank Barnes

  4. #4 Dave S.
    March 15, 2006

    No one is stopping you from sending your cash to them directly Hank, are they? Contact the hospital…send your checque.

  5. #5 Guitar Eddie
    March 15, 2006

    “Is there a global fund to contribute to the victims of botched drug trials? That’d certainly be a worthwhile cause, I could stand behind:)”

    Go for it, man. You could be in on the ground floor. Just don’t mention anything regarding denial of Germ Theory.

    He, he.

  6. #6 Hank Barnes
    March 15, 2006

    Guitar Eddie,

    Who denies the germ theory? Are you referring to moi?

    Dave S,

    Good idea! Maybe I will send a check. Better yet, mebbe I’ll have my lawyer go down there and sue the crap outta those negligent a-holes!

    But, at least scientifically, that makes 6 more people injured than the stupid bird flu some of you yahoos are jabbering about.

    Barnes

  7. #7 Dave S.
    March 15, 2006

    Great ideas Hank. Please do send your checque. Make it a big one, and let us know when you’ve sent it off. You are to be commended for that. When you do it.

    And also, please do fire up the lawyers, although I’m sure they’re extremely busy what with releasing all those people who have been wrongfully put in prison for spreading around the completely harmless AIDS virus (and they can’t spread it through sex anyhow).

    How are those lawsuits going Hank?

  8. #8 Hank Barnes
    March 15, 2006

    Make it a big one, and let us know when you’ve sent it off. You are to be commended for that. When you do it.

    Who’s us, Kimo Sabe?

    And also, please do fire up the lawyers,..

    I already have — see Vioxx lawsuit! $253 million is a lotta sheckels! Lotta SEC lawsuits to follow. I dunno if you know anything about stocks and bonds, but you oughta consider “selling short” some Merck stock.

    . although I’m sure they’re extremely busy what with releasing all those people who have been wrongfully put in prison for spreading around the completely harmless AIDS virus (and they can’t spread it through sex anyhow).

    Hmm. Haven’t thought of that. As for spread of sex, though, we’ve already discuss Padian’s finding of “no seroconversions.” (Padian, pg 354.)

  9. #9 Guitar Eddie
    March 15, 2006

    “Hmm. Haven’t thought of that. As for spread of sex, though, we’ve already discuss Padian’s finding of “no seroconversions.” (Padian, pg 354.)”

    And I think Tara showed that seroconversions were irrelevent, among other things.

    GE

  10. #10 Hank Barnes
    March 15, 2006

    And I think Tara showed that seroconversions were irrelevent, among other things.

    Please confess, Eddie: Are you Tara’s secret lover or just her overworked/underpaid T.A.?:)

  11. #11 windy
    March 15, 2006

    mebbe I’ll have my lawyer go down there and sue the crap outta those negligent a-holes!

    I wonder if he’d have to bring his own wig?

    “The health watchdog Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it halted the trial of the drug, intended to treat immunological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and certain cancers.”

    I don’t see how the death virus conspiracy cult would be automatically responsible for trying to find a cure for MS and rheumatism. Or do you oppose all drug development? Would you refuse all newer treatments for MS/arthritis/cancer because they were developed by means that you believe are unethical?

  12. #12 Hank Barnes
    March 15, 2006

    Windy,

    These are pretty good questions!

    Or do you oppose all drug development?

    No, just the drugs that kill or injure the patients.

    Would you refuse all newer treatments for MS/arthritis/cancer because they were developed by means that you believe are unethical?

    Newer treatments are inherently suspect, in my view. It’s like the boy who cried wolf. Every day, we see in the papers some hyped up new drug, promising the moon, but delivering bupkes. Yes, I’m a capitalist, but the pressures to produce new drugs by Big Pharma, is frankly distorting the proud field of science. See Dr. Marcia Angel’s book about the drug companies. She spent 20 years at NEJM, and documents all these shenanigans.

    So, No, I don’t refuse all treatments. But their Phase 1/2 studies should be done ethically, independent of any drug company influence, and interpreted fairly, without prejudice. And if they pass muster, they still should be prescribed cautiously, without all the lies and hype (and deaths).

    Hank

    p.s. Where is Tara, by the way?

  13. #13 Dave S.
    March 15, 2006

    Hank says:

    Hmm. Haven’t thought of that.

    I find that hard to believe. Surely someone in the AIDS dissenting community has thought of it and there must already be many lawsuits out there to release these innocent men (maybe women too, but I don’t know of any).

    Where are those lawsuits Hank? Don’t you care that these innocent men are rotting in prisons for nothing???

    By the way….how many drugs are there out there Hank that don’t kill or injure people at least once in a while? Can you list some for us?

  14. #14 Hank Barnes
    March 15, 2006

    Surely someone in the AIDS dissenting community has thought of it and there must already be many lawsuits out there …

    Well, I ain’t a member of the AIDS dissenting community, (whatever that is), but, Heck, I’d be more than willing to share the Padian paper with anyone!

    Where are those lawsuits Hank?

    Don’t know. Do know about 1 famous lawsuit, where Montagnier sued the crap outta Gallo for stealing the virus, and infringing on the patent for the “HIV test”, which remarkably doesn’t even detect HIV!

    Ugly letter from Luc to Bob right here!

    By the way….how many drugs are there out there Hank that don’t kill or injure people at least once in a while?

    I dunno. How many blondes in Brentwood did O.J. not murder?:)

  15. #15 Dave S.
    March 15, 2006

    Your ducking and weaving has been noted Hank. Trying to distract me with irrelevant links and irreverant comments like Hippomenes distracted Atalanta with the golden apples is not working.

    The race is over, and you lose.

    Don’t forget to send your checque. Unless that was just posturing on your part.

  16. #16 Hank Barnes
    March 15, 2006

    Trying to distract me with irrelevant links

    Well, they’re only irrelevant because you suffer from a severe case of scientific myopia – that is, where a clueless lab rat, desperately clinging to some palty 30K/year gig, will not depart — under penalty of severe ostracism — from whatever prevailing dogma has been inculcated into his feeble, little brain.

    Hey, lights years ago, I had high SAT’s too — but also in English:)

    Barnes, Hank

  17. #17 Joseph O'Donnell
    March 15, 2006

    I’ll write something for malaria, probably focusing on how it likes to attack the immune system to the point of directly assassinating immune cells that notice it.

  18. #18 Ivan
    March 15, 2006

    Hank sez-

    Well, I ain’t a member of the AIDS dissenting community, (whatever that is), but, Heck, I’d be more than willing to share the Padian paper with anyone!

    huh-
    Hank also says….

    Ivan,

    >It’s not online.

    Well, surely as a doctor, you have access to a Medical Library. Go find the bound volumes of American Journal of Epidemiology.

    >Post it (or send it to Tara, I’m sure she will), I will read it.

    Well, it’s a 1997 paper, so that means you haven’t heard of it let alone read it in the past 9 years. I doubt you will read it now, I doubt you will understand it. Yes, I will post it to someone who is honestly interested in the issue. Your assinine response indicates you are not.

    At least this time he’s not stating that a study which followed most of its subjects for less than two years is “ten years”, or that it’s participants “had a lotta sex” when

    Abstention increased from 0% at baseline to 14.5% in the final follow-up visit; consistent condom use increased from 32.3% to 74%, and any anal intercourse decreased from 37.9% to 8.1%.

    Ivan

  19. #19 windy
    March 15, 2006

    Or do you oppose all drug development?
    -No, just the drugs that kill or injure the patients.

    I guess that’s the problem, that we don’t know beforehand which ones are the good drugs :P

    But back to the malaria issue: It’s hard to believe that not so long ago, malaria was found here in Northern Europe almost up to the Arctic Circle. IIRC it didn’t take so long to get rid of the parasite once quinine became available, because it could only survive over the winters in humans.

  20. #20 Hank Barnes
    March 15, 2006

    Windy,

    Some folks say that DDT, a pesticide that has fallen out of favor, is the solution to malaria (kills them skeeters). I’m open to that.

    In Africa, malaria is a much greater problem than AIDS.

    Hank

  21. #21 Guitar Eddie
    March 16, 2006

    “Please confess, Eddie: Are you Tara’s secret lover or just her overworked/underpaid T.A.?:)”

    Neither. I’m just a old hippie with a great admiration for science and the people who do science. I know that there are millions of people in this world who’ve become disenchanted with the scientific method because it doesn’t help them get in touch with their god, or because it never seems to give simple answers to question about the material universe. They are angry because science hasn’t done them any philosphical favors. But it’s the best we’ve got if you’re takling about understanding nature and making our lives a little easier.

    I have a dog in this race, man. I’ve been an asthmatic since age 3. And 10 years ago, I suffered a very serious episode of clinical depression. Advances in medications have literally saved my life. Were it not for these advances, I would’ve been dead in 1969. Instead, I just ended up in the hospital after a near fatal asthma attack and merely missed Woodstock.

    Hence, if I seem unduly defferential towards Tara, it because I’ve experienced first hand the ways my life has improved due to the work people like her do. The simple truth is she knows what she’s talking about while you and Mr. Bialy merely mine scientific literature to advance your socio-political agenda.

    GE

  22. #22 Dave S.
    March 16, 2006

    Barnes, Hank says:

    Well, they’re only irrelevant because you suffer from a severe case of scientific myopia — that is, where a clueless lab rat, desperately clinging to some palty 30K/year gig, will not depart — under penalty of severe ostracism — from whatever prevailing dogma has been inculcated into his feeble, little brain.

    Hey, lights years ago, I had high SAT’s too — but also in English:)

    No…they’re irrelevant because they have nothing to do whatsoever with what I just wrote.

    And wrongo Hank, departing from the “prevailing dogma” is where it’s at in science. That’s where Nobel prizes come from. The arguments that depart the most must be criticized the most. That’s when you’re supposed to stay the course and provide evidence for your side.

    But unfortunately for you and others of your ilk, departing by using ill reasoned and deceptive argumentation, with no evidentiary support for your competing model, doesn’t cut it. Real scientists don’t simply whine about the other side Hank, they get off their asses and prove their case with evidence.

    I could not care less what your SAT scores were Hank. I never took the test myself. I figured that since I wasn’t going to get anything from you other than evasion, that I’d toss in a reference to the classics just to spice things up.

  23. #23 Francis
    March 16, 2006

    No, just the drugs that kill or injure the patients.

    Which is why we test the drugs. On paid volunteers (Ł1,100 (about $2,000) a volunteer in this case). We don’t know all the side effects before they happen – therefore we test them and sometimes something goes wrong. That’s the purpose of testing and we don’t have any other effective method of working this out.

    (Of course it didn’t help that one of the safety procedures was ignored in this case).

  24. #24 Tim Lambert
    March 16, 2006

    Thanks for the link and the donation!

  25. #25 Scott Kirwin
    March 16, 2006

    Having spent a year in the African bush, I’m interested in malaria research. When I was in Tanzania in 94-5, the drug of choice was Larium. At the time I remember reading about a Chinese medicinal herb that showed promise against drug resistant strains of P. falciparum. It turns out that the herb became the basis for the drug artemisinin (sp?) – which has since become the treatment of choice.

    Larium was nasty stuff. I ran into researchers who took it and became almost as sick as they would have gotten with malaria. I took chloroquine and tried not to get bit.

    From what I’ve read, artemisinin has fewer side effects. Unfortunately, it’s a $$$ issue.

    My feeling is that malaria is beatable if you do the following:
    1. Resume DDT spraying. DDT was the most effective pesticide ever used against mosquitos in Africa.

    2. Support insecticidal bed netting programs. Everyone should be able to sleep under a net. They cost roughly $8/each and last a very long time.

    3. Flood Africa with artemisinin/primaquine. The drug combo runs $1.35 per person, vs $.35 for chloroquine, and is much more effective.

  26. #26 Tara C. Smith
    March 16, 2006

    I agree with #2 and am not familiar enough with the ins and outs of the combo drugs to comment, but I disagree with your point #1. Despite the ban, DDT continued to be used in several areas in Africa, and many mosquitoes are now resistant to DDT (which is a main reason many places switched to other pesticides–DDT simply wasn’t working any more. This is also a problem with some insecticide-coated bedding: it acts as a physical barrier, but the chemicals become less helpful over time). Other pesticides, though, have shown efficiency, especially when sprayed inside houses around sleeping areas. Unfortunately, just as many can’t afford bed nets, they can’t afford that kind of treatment either.

  27. #27 windy
    March 16, 2006

    The new drug comes from sweet wormwood, Artemisia annua. I was surprised to hear it because I even had it in my garden. Unfortunately it probably can’t be grown locally in Africa, only in temperate regions.

    If artemisin takes off, perhaps absinthe will replace gin and tonic as ‘the drink tourists think prevents malaria’?

  28. #28 Chris Noble
    March 17, 2006

    There is a concern that inconsistent use of artemisinin based treatments will lead to resistance to this new class of drugs. We’ll then be back to square one.

    The use of combo drugs is important in malaria for exactly the same reasons as for HIV cocktails. As Scott points out money is the limiting factor.

  29. #29 Hank Barnes
    March 17, 2006

    Will we now have to start another global fund for the victims of the abortion pill?

  30. #30 Mike Flacklestein
    August 18, 2006

    I live at 55808 Commonwealth in Seattle. Been up here before?