We have all read a great deal about Swine Flu lately, which has killed an unconfirmed 150 people.
Globally every year there are at least 300 million acute cases of Malaria, resulting in more than one million deaths.
Malaria and tuberculosis together kill nearly as many people each year as AIDS, and represent a severe drain on national economies, especially in Africa, where it causes up to $100bn a year in lost productivity, five times more than annual development aid received. And malaria is a slow death.
The distribution of mosquito nets with insecticide is a very effective method of malaria prevention, and it is also one of the most cost-effective methods. These nets can often be obtained for around $3. Medecins Sans Frontieres estimates that the cost of treating a malaria-infected person in an endemic country (2002) was only $0.25 to $2.40 per dose.
So malaria is a disease that is preventable, treatable and curable for relatively very little.
And for much, much less than what is being considered to be spent on Swine Flu efforts. (Sounds strangely similar to efforts to thwart the deadly Avian Flu pandemic of 2005.)