Thursday, 23 November 2017

Malaria - Good News for Creationists as Trump Helps God!

World-wide incidence of malaria
(Note: the USA is mamaria-free)
The US President's Malaria Initiative, Plasmodium falciparum transmission and mortality: A modelling study

At last something for creationists of the ID persuasion to celebrate!

Remember, creationists believe that their intelligent (sic) designer is the god they claim is the maximally good giver of morals who always acts to maximise the good in a world which runs perfectly according to his omni-benevolent, omnipotent and omniscient plan.

If you doubt that this is what creationists believe, then let's run through the logic again. Tell me where I go wrong:
  • The intelligent designer (God) created everything
  • God is omniscient and omnipotent and everything it creates works perfectly and exactly as intended.
  • God loves his creation and creates a maximally good world. God defines 'good' and whatever God does in morally good.
  • Preventing or hindering God's plan is morally wrong.
  • God created the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.
  • God knew Plasmodium falciparum would make people sick and die and created it for that purpose.
  • Making people die from malaria was part of God's plan to maximise the good in the world.
  • Killing people with malaria is morally good.
  • Preventing people from getting malaria is morally wrong.
It follows therefore that they think the perfectly designed malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, harms and kills people, including many children, for some ultimate greater good or that killing people is a moral good in itself.

It also follows that this intelligent (sic) designer's modifications to this parasite to help it overcome the anti-malarial drugs human science has produce was deliberate and intended to thwart human efforts to thwart its own plan.

Now we see how the President of the USA that these same fundamentalist Christians helped elect and whom they unswervingly support is helping to achieve their god's aim to keep on killing people with malaria but cutting the funding to the eradication program known as the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) started by his predecessor. The budget is to be cut by 44%.

Perhaps they should be campaigning to have all funding cut, and not just to this area of public health, so that their god can get on with making people sick and die.

No! This is not a joke! According to a piece of research published a few days ago in PLOS Medicine, reductions in funding to PMI could lead to large increases in the number of malaria cases and deaths, damaging global goals of malaria control and elimination. A reduction in funding of 44% would lead to an additional 67 million cases and 290,649 deaths over the next 4 years.

Author summary

Why was this study done?
  • The United States contributes a significant proportion of the global budget for malaria control in the form of foreign aid through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).
  • Due to proposed cuts to US foreign aid and PMI funding, it is important to demonstrate the impact and cost-effectiveness of PMI.

What did the researchers do and find?
  • We used an established malaria transmission model to investigate the impact of PMI funding for malaria control.
  • We estimated the past impact of PMI funding on malaria-related cases and deaths and the potential future impact if PMI funding were to be cut.
  • PMI funding is highly cost-effective, averting an estimated 185 million cases and saving 940,049 lives since it was set up in 2005.
  • A reduction in funding of 44% would lead to an additional 67 million cases and 290,649 deaths over the next 4 years.

What do these findings mean?
  • Ongoing support from PMI is critical to maintain recent advances in malaria control and progress towards malaria elimination goals.
  • PMI has proven to be a highly cost-effective means by which US foreign aid can be invested to reduce malaria burden.

The projected impact of PMI funding on past and future global malaria trends.

The (A) past trends (median estimates) in the global incidence of P. falciparum malaria given funding as occurred (black line) and estimate of the counterfactual trend had PMI support not existed (light blue line). The shaded area represents the cases averted due to PMI funding and (B) shows the associated estimates of death averted each year due to PMI funding. Projected estimates of the additional cumulative numbers of (C) cases (and 95% CrI) and (D) deaths (and 95% CrI) that would occur if PMI funding was reduced by 100% (dark green bars) or 44% (light green bars) over the 4-year period 2017–2020. PMI, President’s Malaria Initiative


When it was launched in 2005, the goal of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) was to reduce malaria-related mortality by 50 percent across 15 high-burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa through a rapid scale-up of four proven and highly effective malaria prevention and treatment measures: insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs); indoor residual spraying (IRS); accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs); and intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women (IPTp). See PMI Technical Guidance [PDF, 2.4MB] to learn more.

Source: PMI About
So this has to be good news for the American fundamentalist Christian creationists who put Donald Trump in power to do God's work, doesn't it? He's now helping to hinder our attempts to prevent their putative intelligent (sic) designer increasing the amount of 'good' (as they define it) in the world by killing an additional almost 300,000 people over four years with the malaria parasite he created and intelligently (sic) designed specially for the purpose.

But just look at all those additional deaths that it could cause if only funding to the PMI were to be cut entirely! How much more fundamentalist Christian 'good' would that bring to the world?

Look! Don't blame me! I don't have these repugnant beliefs or hideous idea of what constitutes a moral good. I'm a Humanist and believe we should try to reduce suffering and cure sickness, not create ways to make it happen or prevent efforts to alleviate it. I'll leave that to people who think creating an evil like malaria was the act of a maximally good god - just so long as it does it to someone else.

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