Controlling Malaria

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Jhpiego , the non profit health organization  affiliated with John Hopkins commented on its web site about malaria prevention and the World Malaria Day on April 25, 2010.  It noted that most of malaria cases , and deaths occur in sub saharan Africa.  The good news is that it can be prevented and managed in low cost measures.   An example of such a low cost measure is the use of bed nets.   Jhpiego has been involved with WHO back to 1998 regarding iniatives to fight malaria.  While the promulgation of bed nets will work, the local population’s apprpriate utility has been a factor in the slowness of eliminating this problem.  Better solutions must come from a grass roots effort which must seek to engage local leaders and groups to better educate their residents about the need to combat malaria, that they can die from it , and the best and most practical appraoach each person to take to gain prevention.  Jhpiego has it right in that it understands the need to get in to local communites in this effort.  That bed net utility comes with a welcomed local knowledge that these nets are not for fishing , but for sleeping and saving lives.  Perhaps the WHO is too big of an organization to be able to drill down to the local level , and organizations like Jhpiego provide a superior bridge to the local level , given theoir expertise in  health care , and deep understanding that health care initiatives and choices are best met at the local level , with a strong consideration for local cultures and practices.  Their efforts against malaria should be applauded, and rewarded with more funding.

Bill Hannan,  Christine Fernandez

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