To Save a Life: Mosquito Nets, and More

Richard Tren | 06 Jun 2008
New York Times
Re "A $10 Mosquito Net Is Making Charity Cool" (front page, June 2), about grass-roots charities providing insecticide-treated mosquito nets for those at risk from malaria: Increasing awareness of, and fund-raising for, malaria control is very welcome. The bed nets donated will help save lives and sustain control efforts. But malaria control requires more than just nets. An associated danger with the grass-roots efforts is that simple but effective marketing messages conceal the fact that the disease is very complex and difficult to control. Along with nets, indoor spraying with insecticides is an essential, but poorly financed, method of malaria control. Improving access to high-quality malaria medicines is crucial, especially with the prospect of drug resistance ever present. There is an urgent need to broaden grass-roots support to provide assistance to truly comprehensive and sustainable malaria control that will save lives now and well into the future.

Richard Tren
Director, Africa Fighting Malaria
Washington, June 2, 2008

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/06/opinion/l06malaria.html