Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Eye Medicine: Not Just for Your Eyes

We've been talking a lot about how abysmal the situation is in Africa for children and diseases. Well, here's a bit of good news!

In 2007, kids between the ages of 1 to 9 in Ethiopia were given an antibiotic called azithromycin initially intended to help control trachoma, a contagious eye disease. After analyzing the data, researchers were shocked to learn that participants in the experimental group were 49 percent less likely to experience death than those in the control group. The antibiotic showed high efficacy in controlling lower respiratory infections, bacterial diarrhea, and malaria within the population, representing a giant slice of the fatal African disease pie.

Researchers caution against sending out the confetti and smallpox-decorated cupcakes just yet, though. Most are still unsure about the wisdom of allowing such a nonspecific antibiotic to be used en masse among a population that could potentially become more vulnerable to drug-resistant sicknesses. As usual, more research is necessary.


No comments:

Post a Comment