Friday, March 7, 2008

Give the nets away

The Economist has an update on a debate that had been raging to a fever pitch in development aid circles: Is it better to give away mosquito nets to impoverished people in malarial zones, or attempt to sell the nets?
. . . a recent study in Kenya suggested providing malarial areas with large numbers of free bed nets brought better results than selling them. Now a new survey carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on behalf of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, which is to be published on Friday February 1st, has shown that the approach works well in other countries, too.
Given recent success, it has been estimated that for just $10 billion,* it will be possible to finally bring malaria under control. The total elimination of this deadly disease is even conceivable.

* What's $10 billion? It's the cost of keeping US troop in Iraq for one month.
Travel and Malaria: My recent post on some issues concerning malaria and travel within Southeast Asia.
Photo: WHO website (2006 malaria section) top shows the anopheles mosquito, accomplice to a deadly parasite.
More: Jeffery Sachs was among those who favored giving away mosquito nets.

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