We've done it before. In 1980, the world wiped the devastating disease smallpox off the face of the earth -- making it the only human disease eradicated in history. So what does it take to destroy another human disease again?
Nobody knows why Cambodia's malaria parasites are such buffed-up hyper-Darwinian winners. Some scientists think it's because the treatments have been used there so long that the parasites have a head-start.
Societies with the resources sufficient to create sound public health systems can survive and thrive. Societies lacking those resources risk catastrophic assaults on health, which can result in their total annihilation.