Diseases may be on the run in Africa (“Diseases are on the run in Africa and elsewhere,” Oct. 27), but it does not appear that “democratic ideals and free-market reforms” are playing a role in their decline. U.S. and international government agencies are funding training programs necessary to change individual behaviors, research to improve the effectiveness of drugs, and drug treatment and vaccination programs.
This government funding helps care for 1.3 million orphans in Tanzania whose parents died of AIDS. This government funding provides mosquito nets that have reduced death by malaria by one-third. This government funding provides vaccinations for diseases such as polio and measles that continue to kill millions of people in developing nations.
What’s the profit incentive for private industry to take over these programs? There isn’t one. Only after government-funded education, research and treatment programs finally eradicate these diseases can the free-market profit from these new trading partners.
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