PREVENTION,TREATMENT & CONTROL: How can the spread of infectious…
PREVENTION,TREATMENT & CONTROL:
How can the spread of infectious diseases be controlled?
Strategies to predict and control the spread of disease
Plants/herbs contain compounds which are toxic to bacteria and have antibiotic and antiviral properties. e.g quinine made from bark of South American tree used to treat malaria.
Wormwood plant used to treat malaria.The active anti-malaria ingredient has been isolated frrom it,winning the Chinese scientist responsible a Nobel prize.
China's long and rich tradition of using herbal medicine. Also in Philippines. Was a strong tradition in Europe however much knowledge as destroyed during witch hunts that occurred.
first used by Ancient Egyptians based on the theory that the bodily 'humors' must be kept in balance to maintain health. 'Excess blood' caused by inflammation was removed by cutting an artery or vein, cupping or leeches. Slight benefit in treating bacterial infections as it removes iron which is needed for bacteria to replicate.
actively inhibits bacterial growth and kills bacteria by dehydrating them. used as an antiseptic by Ancient Sumerians
our understanding of the cause of infectious diseases and ways they are transmitted has greatly increased the effectiveness of current strategies.
Public health campaigns
which operate at a global level, providing medical care and support during outbreaks, particularly in developing countries. they ain to bring epidemics under control and minimise the spread. Also monitor them and implement further strategies to prevent pandemics. e.g. WHO
varying degrees of success, long before its cause and transmission were understood
limited the spread however might not have been enough to stop an epidemic. e.g. control outbreaks of leprosy and bubonic plague
allowed money to placed in the hollows of the stone (filled with water or vinegar) during trade to prevent plague being spread via coins
was highly effective in reducing disease spread by doctors after carrying out autopsies
such as bromine,iodine,mercury and arsenic were used to treat infections. Quite effective in reducing bacterial growth,however harmful to healthy cells and caused tissue damage
in 1800s John Snow's use of
to track down the source of London's cholera outbreak to a water pump. Snow's careful investigation and collection of data showed that epidemiology is a valuable process to identify the source of a disease outbreak, in order to control its spread.
Use of Indigenous cultural and intellectual property in development of medicines
Indigenous Australians' strong tradition of using native plants to treat disease
many of these plants have medicinal properties including antibiotic,antiviral,antifungal and antiparasitic activity. Making them potentially useful for development of new pharmaceuticals.
Eucalyptus and tea tree oils
known for antibacterial properties and are already widely used globally. Used to treat respiratory tract infections ,oral infections and skin infections. Tea tree oil in addition has antifungal and antiviral properties useful in herpes virus infections
for use in sterilising prosthetics
could potentially be used to develop new antibiotics and antivirals
Ethical and legal issues
many modern pharmeceuticals have been developed from using Indigenoue peoples' traditional knowledge of herbal medicines.
the Aboriginals get no royalties, compensation or even acknoledgement. it's morally wrong as its basically piracy.
Companies patent the ingredient from the plant, preventing anyone else from using it or profiting from it, with no legal requirement to compensate the Aboriginal owners of the traditional knowledge on which their new product is based.
patent law is designed to protect research companies, who spend many millions of dollars and time to develop each new pharmaceutical product. Without laws to protect them, the companies will not invest in developing badly needed new products as it will not be profitable.
Indigenous Australians are working towards gaining intellectual property rights over their traditional knowledge. however recived mixed results
however has been unsuccessful. It is now being grown by Indigenous communities on plantations and is currently being used in commercial production however 19 international patents and patent applications are limiting the ability of plum growing communities to export their plums, limiting their profits.
has been patented for research, the patent is shared between the local Aboriginal people and the university where the scientists are carrying out research.
Smokebush in Western Australia
collected by US researchers to test for anticancer compounds.
one of only four of the 7000 plants to be tested to have useful antiviral properties for treating HIV AIDS.
the antiviral compunds were patented and a commercial product was developed, making huge profits ($100 million) for the WA government but the indigenous people recieved nothing
Turned out it was possible for multinational companies to buy exclusive rights to use entire species of flora, preventing anyone else, even the Aboriginals from using it.
Theft of traditional knowledge on other continents
Indian farmers receiving no profits when companies used their knowledge of a plant that can be used as a pesticide.
African knowledge of a plant which can be used as an appetite suppressant turned into a commercial product.