Saumya Das

Saumya Das, who holds both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, is currently a resident
physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He grew up in Delhi,
India.

Recent Articles

Epidemic Proportions

T he United Nations has made global public health a top priority. At April's anti-AIDS summit in Abuja, Nigeria, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan spelled out what is needed in order to launch a serious attack against AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis: at least $7 billion per year. The initial $200 million that President George W. Bush has offered to kick in is not nearly enough, but it is a start. And so is the recent political pressure for pharmaceutical companies worldwide to lower their prices--particularly for AIDS drugs--in third-world countries. While this is a salutary set of developments, containing an epidemic requires more than money and discounted pharmaceutical sales. It is an enormous medical, political, and social challenge. If Western public-health strategies are not carefully conceived--and if they do not take into account practices in developing nations--they could end up causing more problems than they solve. Indeed, if there is one thing AIDS has taught us, it is to be...