The Economics Of Malaria Nets

A very interesting development article on Africa. The big story here is that WHO abandoned social marketing as a distribution method to get the nets to people. They benched that method in favor of handing out the nets for free.

Two years ago, social marketing was at the heart of a scandal when it was revealed that the United States Agency for International Development, or USAid, which distributes foreign aid, was spending 95 percent of its malaria budget on consultants and 5 percent on goods like nets, drugs and insecticide. Under attack from several senators championing the fight against malaria, the agency later announced that it would spend at least half its budget on goods.

Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, called the new W.H.O. policy “a great move,” adding, “We knew social marketing doesn’t work.”

I think they made the right move instead of sticking with a system that wasn’t working. However, we shouldn’t give up on a longer term, sustainable solution!

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