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How to fix the failing WHO strategy

December 13, 2017 - 13:52 -- William Jobin

Although I just did a Critique on the 2017 WHO Malaria Report, it is not the Report that needs to be fixed, it is the failing WHO Strategy.

To be brief, WHO needs to:
1. Start to implement and focus on permanent and durable control methods such as elimination of mosquito breeding habitats, and installation of metallic screens with other improvements in housing such as closing of eaves.
2. Gradually reduce wasteful expenditures on the ephemeral and temporary bednets, biocides and drugs which currently are the prinicipal control methods promoted by WHO, and instead put the money into the permanent measures.
3. Require that all large development projects in the Tropics, especially water resource developments such as dams and irrigation systems, include Health Impact Analyses and the needed modifications to avoid increased transmission of malaria and other water-associated diseases. Thus the remedial measures will be funded by the project loan, and not be left to the limited budget of the Ministry of Health to attempt control after the damage has been done.

By shifting the WHO Global Malaria Strategy toward permanent methods, the impact of donor fatigue and civil unrest and government weakness will be eliminated. As these permanent methods are applied successfully in one area, the scarce funds can be used to expand into other areas needing control. That is a prime advantage of reliance on permanent methods, as opposed to those that need to be continuously repeated, thus limiting the controlled area to a fixed size.