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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

POLITICS AND SCIENCE

POLITICS AND SCIENCE

Today I am discussing a topic about which I have written previously, and that involves how distorted science becomes when politicians get involved. Today I watched a TV clip on the First Lady’s visit to Africa trying to help the Africans deal with AIDS and malaria. Nothing will be done to control these diseases because of ignorance and the absence of will.

First, I will discuss malaria. At the turn of the century Teddy Roosevelt had some good doctors in charge of the bad health conditions which really prevented the French from completing the Panama Canal. So many workers died because of Yellow Fever and Malaria. Following the great work of Dr. Walter Reed, Dr. Gorgas who was in charge at the time told Roosevelt that before anything could be done to build the canal, the swamps had to be cleaned up and the mosquitoes destroyed. After this was accomplished, work on the canal began and we all know how successful this project was. But it took the pioneering work of Dr. Gorgas to set the stage. This was accomplished within the first decade of 1900.

Another story is what Mussolini accomplished in Italy. One of the major causes of death in Rome and, if fact, all over Italy was Malaria. In the early 1930's it was under Mussolini’s direction that the swamps around Rome were cleaned up and the mosquitoes destroyed. Malaria was eliminated as a major public health problem.

So why in the first decade of 2000, 100 years after the accomplishments of Dr. Gorgas and 70 years after Mussolini’s work, are the countries in Africa so far behind? In my opinion it is due to ignorance of the political powers in Africa.

Second, the problem with the control of AIDS is yet a more serious problem. As I see it, the number one cause of death in Africa is probably starvation. This is followed by lead poisoning from bullets, AIDS, and Malaria. The United Nations has recognized the major cause of AIDS and it is the unnatural sex practiced by many African natives. I know this is not the politically correct thing to say, but this is science and science deals in evidence, facts, the scientific method. Political correctness has no place in science. You heard it here, folks. Without the correction of unnatural practices of adults/adults and adults/children, the incidence AIDS will not diminish. I do not care of how much anti AIDS drugs you pour into Africa.

Politically, many can get a lot of political leverage going to Africa and stating how much we can do and how much money we can give to help controlling the AIDS epidemic, but the science of this disease must be considered before anything will be accomplished. Most of the advances which have been made in controlling diseases were made in the early 20th Century by instituting basic public health measures. Cholera, Typhoid and the other dysenteries were controlled by cleaning up the water supply. Yellow Fever and Malaria were controlled by cleaning up the breeding area of the mosquito carrier. The next step occurred with the elimination of Polio, Measles, Whopping Cough, Tetanus, etc with the use of vaccines. Finally with the discovery of antibiotics we were able to cure bacterial diseases of infections, pneumonia, etc. But antibiotics will not adequately control viral diseases such as AIDS. We need to return to the basics of instituting public health measures.

There are some things money cannot cure. Frequently we pour money into a project without understanding the true nature of the problem. This, I believe, is much the case with our approach to the AIDS problem in Africa.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic
www.drtauraso.com

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