Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Eradicating Malaria in Africa

Senator Tom Coburn writes to the World band complaining of wasted funds and funding lousy medicine to combat Malaria. Coburn is a doc from Oklahoma...
PDF here
He quoted from the Lancet article that said the same thing PDF HERE

Hearing on Malaria HERE
The Subcommittee's hearing on USAID's malaria assistance in May 2005 led to the discovery that less than 8 percent of the USAID malaria budget went toward life-saving commodities. USAID’s approach had been talking about the malaria problem—not investing in results.

Since that hearing the President proposed a $1.2 billion commodity-based initiative to cut malaria mortality in focus countries by half. USAID recently announced radical program reforms to save lives which includes indoor residual spraying with DDT. Rich, western nations, as well as many others, which used to be endemic for malaria eliminated their malaria problems decades ago by spraying DDT indoors to kill mosquitos and prevent malaria infection. Africans in developing countries deserve to use the same solution. Unfortunately, after solving their *own* malaria problems with DDT, these same nations came together at the Stockholm convention in 2000 and banned the use of DDT worldwide. Fortunately, Secretary of State Colin Powell insisted on a public health exemption to this ban, allowing poor countries to use DDT to eradicate malaria. But the stigma of the convention meant that DDT use was discouraged and defunded by rich donor nations when the poor countries asked for funding to use it. Thanks to Republicans in Congress and President Bush, this is beginning to change.

The reforms announced last year by President Bush and USAID mean that malaria money will now go directly to those who are suffering or are most at risk, and not primarily to American and European advice-givers as has been the case for too many years. USAID reported at the hearing that a public web site with detailed funding and progress/outcomes information will go live soon.

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