ARUSHA, Tanzania (AP) — President Bush handed out hugs and bed nets to battle malaria in Tanzania's rural north on Monday, saying the U.S. is part of an international effort to provide enough mosquito netting to protect every child under five in the east African nation. "The disease keeps sick workers home, schoolyards quiet, communities in mourning," Bush said in an open air pavilion at Meru District Hospital. "The suffering caused by malaria is needless and every death caused by malaria is unacceptable ...
This little paragraph shows the sad inconsistencies between the rhetoric and the reality.
"The disease keeps sick workers home, schoolyards quiet, communities in mourning," is a reasonable definition of the problem.
"the U.S. is part of an international effort to provide enough mosquito netting to protect every child under five in the east African nation" is a description of a strategy that is expensive, insufficient and doomed to failure.
Young children are at risk of dying from malaria ... more so than older children and adults. But it is morbidity ... :"The disease keeps sick workers home, ..." that impacts the economy and nets for young children does not address this part of the problem.
The good news is that the US and others are engaged in serious funding of malaria reduction efforts. The bad news is that there are almost no data that show that the program is cost effective and will be successful in the long run.
Through a collaboration with the Integrated Malaria Management Consortium (IMMC), it is hoped that the lack of performance metrics can be addressed ... and soon.