Paul Lachine

Vincere la battaglia contro le malattie mortali

MAPUTO – Uno dei più grandi successi degli aiuti allo sviluppo, negli ultimi dieci anni, è stato il Fondo globale per la lotta contro l'AIDS, la tubercolosi e la malaria, che ha salvato milioni di vite umane e aiutato molti paesi ad arrestare la diffusione di queste tre malattie epidemiche. Oggi, il Fondo rivolge ai governi di tutto il mondo, così come al settore privato, un appello per garantire un altro triennio di finanziamenti. A livello governativo, una decisione in merito verrà presa all’inizio del prossimo mese di dicembre, a Washington.

Nel 2000, un'epidemia di HIV/AIDS devastava i paesi più poveri del mondo, soprattutto in Africa. Nuovi farmaci antiretrovirali cominciarono a essere utilizzati nei paesi ricchi, ma non in quelli poveri, perché troppo costosi. Milioni di poveri morirono di AIDS, anche se i nuovi farmaci avrebbero potuto evitarlo.

Nello stesso periodo, altre due importanti malattie mortali, la malaria e la tubercolosi, facevano la loro ricomparsa sulla scena mondiale. Le vittime della malaria aumentavano a ritmo costante, un po' perché i sistemi sanitari dei paesi poveri soffrivano di una drammatica carenza di fondi, un po' perché il parassita responsabile della malattia aveva sviluppato una resistenza ai farmaci tradizionali. Eppure, controllare la malaria divenne sempre più possibile, grazie allo sviluppo di nuove tecnologie, fra cui le zanzariere trattate con insetticida a lunga durata per prevenire le punture delle zanzare, il perfezionamento della diagnostica per individuare le infezioni, e una nuova generazione di farmaci altamente efficaci.

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