Diseases of Poverty: Neglected Tropical Infections in Sub-Saharan Africa

In 1967, U.S. Surgeon General William H. Stewart declared that it was finally time “to close the book on infectious disease,” because the vast majority can be easily prevented and treated with simple, existing interventions. Malaria is effectively and easily prevented using insecticide-sprayed mosquito nets that cost only five U.S. dollars each; despite this, more than 1 million deaths and over 500 million cases of malaria continue to occur each year. In some countries, treatment of malaria cases accounts for nearly half of all government health spending. The hard truth is that even in our era of vaccines and new drugs, millions of people around the world continue to suffer and die from infections like malaria that are largely forgotten by those living in the richest nations.