This is the first World Malaria Day and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to launch a new campaign to eliminate deaths from malaria.
I wish him luck. I have been studying malaria, or more accurately, mosquito control. Studies have been made all over the world, some with really encouraging results, but from what I can see, because these studies are carried out by academics (naturally), once the result has been found, that's the end of it. No one actually puts the trials into long-term meaningful action.
So, let us hope that Ban Ki-moon can kick the powers that be into some sort of shape to do something about this disease and the unnecessary deaths it causes.
The Kenyan government, a long time ago, started a programme of issuing insecticide treated nets to all under-fives, firstly at subsidised prices and more recently, for free. I raise my hat to them.
The problem is that the responsibility has been passed to NGOs, usually foreign. In my experience (admittedly limited), these NGOs are falling down on the job.
For example, my orphanage in Kisii has not received a single net although we have several children under five.
The director of the home has two children under five. He has not received any nets. And other people I talked to in the town with children under five have not received nets either.
The government is paying these NGOs to do a job. Where is the money going?