Weapons of mass salvation

Bill Snyder
Published: July, 2006

Jeffrey Sachs, Ph.D., former director of the U.N. Millennium Project to end hunger, poverty and disease, calls them “a weapon of mass salvation.”

Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Institute for Global Health, calls them “a miracle.”

They are insecticide-treated bed nets, which can ward off the malaria mosquito.

“You can substantially drop morbidity in everybody and mortality, particularly in the young who are most susceptible to death from malaria, with something as simple as a bed net intervention,” Vermund says.

“It’s a marvelous appropriate technology for resource-limited settings.”

Sachs, author of The End of Poverty and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, estimates that 20 million bed nets could be distributed throughout malaria-ravaged nations in Africa for under $200 million.

“Full coverage in these campaigns would protect 40 million children against malaria and save perhaps 200,000 lives a year,” he noted in a column published in 2006 in the New York Times.

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