More of the Same in South Africa
Nowhere does HIV threaten more than in Africa. In 2001 in South Africa 22% of the population was infected. This was an opportunity for an entirely new approach to research funding, such as giving the natural genius of South Africa's medical researchers its head. 

     Instead, the South African Medical Research Council decided to pour funds into an approach which had been repeatedly tried, and failed, in first world countries, - the attempt to obtain a vaccine against HIV. The head of the South African MRC lamented that getting medical researchers to work together was "like herding cats," but reported that by use of the financial stick his country was making progress. 

     The possibility that the researchers might have their own ideas about tackling the scourge of AIDS did not appear to have occurred to him. Perhaps, once again, the Thrasybalus anecdote applies. By financially decapitating South Africa's genius, the Medical Research Council, like its equivalent organizations in first world countries, was revealed as part of the problem, not the solution to the problem. 

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Last edited on 26 February 2001 by Donald Forsdyke