Bednets, spraying and Malaria

This quote is particularly striking:

“With bed nets, all you do is distribute them,” says Segbaya. “With indoor residual spraying you have to hire people, train them in managing the pump, mixing insecticide, handling people’s property, all of which require more skill.”

Another factor is the cost – a net to protect one or two people costs £2-3. “Currently it costs around $400,000 (£238,000) to spray one district, which is maybe $10-15 (£6-9) per person. This is almost three times the cost of providing bed nets.”

Translation: It is easier and cost less. But it’s also less effective.

What’s disturbing is that this article insinuates that public sector spending must be augmented by private sector spending in order to afford the most effective Malaria control. I’m not sure how one can come to that conclusion, especially if you look at the net present cost including future health care costs and lost economic activity. And this doesn’t even begin to include the moral issue associated with human suffering from being infected with Malaria, which is totally preventable.

The journal article below covers how using both bednets and indoor spraying together gets massive reductions.

Conclusion: At ~$15/per person, and 700 million people, we could basically get rid of Malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa for $10 billion. To put that in perspective, that’s only about 55% of what US consumers spent on pet food in 2011.


Africa Top 10 Problems: Not the ones you were thinking about!

Africa is not poor. Africa is a rich continent inhabited by poor people. Once we fix the people problem, everything else will fall into place.

How would you develop any country when the dream of  the majority  of its youth and elite is not entrepreneurship, innovation, education and self-sufficiency, but the dream to have a job with a humanitarian organization or to get their project financed by some International aid Agency or proxy.

This article is brash and bold, filled with a lot of truths though not a lot of nuance.

It definitely pushes one to think hard about perceptions and systemic issues in Africa, and how those are really global issues that all of us (in ‘Western’ countries and in African countries) have contributed to.

(Thanks to @PeterAwin for the link.)

Foreign workers skew the market

I hadn’t really been following the issue of temporary foreign workers. But this article is a must read and helped me see this issue for what it is. This is about rights, power, and the fundamentals of our economy and employment market.

My hope is that the public and media reaction to this starts to move beyond the superficial outrage and inspires a debate about how we want our society structured.

Ghosts of Rana Plaza

This is a disturbing, inspiring, illuminating and excellent piece of journalism on the Rana Plaza collapse 1 year ago. I think what disturbs me the most is how this event that killed 1,133 people has faded so quickly from our memory and resulted in only incremental changes to the global fashion supply chain.

Also a great moment to think about our complicity as consumers, and at the same time the complexity of the global supply chains that we live within.