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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Two Fronts of Good in Bangladesh
I think that Jivita is doing a great job on two fronts ["Discovering JiVitAland," Fall 2009]. First, they are conducting valuable research that will save lives not only in Bangladesh, but also in other countries around the world once the research has been validated. Second, they are developing an infrastructure for further research.

The question is how to sustain such an infrastructure, given that public health funding is hard to come by. Born in Gaibandha, I personally understand the need for such projects, and I think that opening up Jivitaland to other research institutes would benefit both the researchers and the staff working on this project.

Thanks for the good work.
Habib Chaklader, MPH
Arlington, Va.

Bold Words for Health Care
It is gratifying to have the dean of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health state it clearly: We need a single-payer plan in this country ["Reform 2.0," Fall 2009]. It would revolutionize health care, and it would make public health even more important than it is now. Bravo, Dean Klag!
Walter Tsou, MD, MPH
Philadelphia, Pa.

The Malaria Menace
Research findings highlighted in your story "Going Molecular on Mosquitoes" [Summer 2009] have increased hope for malaria elimination one day. Having worked in rural Ghana for over 10 years now, I have encountered firsthand the havoc malaria wreaks on humans, especially children younger than the age of five.

With the molecular approach to reducing and possibly halting the mosquito-to-man transmission of the malaria parasite, another angle of attacking the malaria menace is in the offing. I am optimistic that these findings will contribute toward the quest for malaria elimination. Kudos to the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute team.

Ransford Sefenu, MBChB, MPH
Sogakope, Ghana

In a sidebar article to "Mending Wounded Minds" [Summer 2009], Dr. Judith Bass described the results of a controlled trial of a problem-solving counseling treatment in Aceh, Indonesia, as demonstrating that the intervention "doesn?t work." While the data indicate that the intervention did not have a significant impact on the major mental health symptoms being assessed (those of depression and anxiety), intervention participants on average did exhibit significantly improved functioning and significantly higher use of positive coping strategies in comparison to controls and some improvement in social relationships was suggested. Dr. Bass and her fellow researchers regret any misunderstanding that may have arisen from the original comment.

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