BBC program talking about ways for diagnosing and treating malaria in Africa
I made this comment for Facebook about the BBC conversation on the fly:
The segment on malaria reminds me of my own work on this. The observation that Oxfam has a rather predictable agenda comes as no surprise, as does the actual observations by an Oxfam representative. In my view the BBC has also bought in to the impregnated bednet success in a way that is self serving for the experts, and the affordable medicine initiative is also excessively theoretical on top of a huge but extremely poor market economy. Important subject, but not being treated with enough thoughtfulness.
One of the guests ... from the Affordable Medicine Initiative (AMI) ... touched on the unwillingness of the big NGOs top change their established routines, and I certainly agree with this, it also applies to other organizations like the AMI as well.
I take issue with almost all the 'north' based organizations because they almost totally discount the human resource capacity of local peoples. In this braodcast the Oxfam spokesperson said a number of times that '... are not qualified ... ', a blanket phrase that helps to perpetuate the need for a 'top down' approach, because 'the top is qualified ... PhDs and all that ... while those that struggle and succeed on 'a dollar a day' have no competence. Modern society needs to rethink what being qualified is ... it is not doing time in a university and have a piece of paper, but doing some real learning and it does not ... should not ... matter where that learning is taking place. The question is whether or not someone is 'competent' not whether they are 'qualified' by having a piece of paper!
This rant should be expanded ... it is vitally important for over a billion people on the planet!
November 22, 2012
MALARIA MEDICATION IN SHOPS
Is it safe to allow shopkeepers to sell malaria treatments to people with fevers? The Global Fund – which invests millions in preventing and combatting the disease – wants to encourage more private sector involvement in getting malaria treatments to the people who need them. The use of impregnated bed nets has helped to save more than a million lives over the last ten years. Some organisations such as Oxfam have serious concerns about using unqualified shopkeepers to help distribute the drugs – when there is mounting evidence to show that trained community health workers can make a difference. But Barry Bloom, who’s Professor of Public Health at Harvard University and Chairs the Affordable Medicines Facility for Malaria at the Global Fund says that people are voting with their feet and not using clinics.
The text being discussed is available at