Antibiotics in Malawi save Malnourished Children

Ngorongoronov 77DB

Scientists in Malawi have discovered that antibiotics given to malnourished children may significantly lower their mortality rate. Unbeknown previously, and still not fully understood, the antibiotics work to combat the bacteria that cause an imbalance in the gut, malnutrition, and related diseases such as kwashiorkor (aka big belly disease). Served along with protein-enrich peanut butter, there has been serious proof of improved health. Thus “giving children a cheap antibiotic along with the usual nutritional treatment could save tens of thousands of lives a year, researchers found.”

What this discovery also demonstrates is the importance of the fundamental research, (economic, statistic, medical), that goes into projects such as this. Without work on the ground, such as that which these Washington University at St. Louis scientists have done, real progress would be stagnant. It is up to determined, intelligent people to make a difference on the ground, and then for policy makers and donors to recognize these differences and act upon them. In this way real development can best be achieved.

Most importantly this is an inexpensive and effective cure, for “a week’s worth of drugs costs only a few dollars, so governments and donors are likely to accept the idea.” This means that this research can actually be applied to the saving of lives, as opposed to some solutions which are more expensive and unavailable to the population in need.

Here’s to one more breakthrough in Sub-Saharan African healthcare.


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