Battling Insects, Parasites and Politics


This story from the Times gets at the tricky issue of donor coordination and local implementation of different health projects to combat lymphatic filariasis, malaria and other problems simultaneously. Some of the issues include different donor attitudes towards charging a nominal fee vs. free distribution of supplies and issues of local capacity, trustiworthiness.

Here is an interesting excerpt:

The Carter Center, a health and peace organization founded by former President Jimmy Carter, has been handing out de-worming drugs in Nigeria since the 1980’s. It has no budget for mosquito nets. But Roll Back Malaria, a World Health Organization campaign started in 1998, does, has some money because malaria is relatively “hot” at the moment, thanks to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. So in Somji, the two programs are piggybacking, meaning everyone in each family should get either Carter drugs or a W.H.O. net.

But that requires juggling layers of bureaucracy, since the W.H.O. sends its donation through the Nigerian federal government, which filters the nets down to state governments, which send out workers to do demonstrations. In the two central states where the program is centered, Niger and Plateau, three million people get the drugs. The two states received only 60,000 nets. (Nigeria has more than 100 million people, and no national program.)

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