Africa needs basic science

Why science can save the future - not just the people - of these impoverished nations.

Richard Gallagher
Jul 1, 2008

The positive memories of my first trip to Africa will last long in my memory. The negative ones, specifically the traveler's diarrhea that I've just recovered from, won't, although it did symbolize for me how much of a blight infectious diseases are. Progress in the life sciences matters to the daily lives of Africans in ways that we can't begin to fathom.

The good news is that substantial investment is beginning to pay dividends both in the development of new therapies and in delivering them through effective, integrated healthcare interventions. There is a palpable air of optimism, exemplified by the cautious use of the e-word in relation to malaria for the first time in 40 years. E as in eradication.

Efforts to control infectious diseases need to be doubled and redoubled. But other monstrous problems must also receive...

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