The FT has a great special section on malaria today (tomorrow is World Malaria Day). Their very sensible editorial says: “...malaria is becoming an industry in its own right. That brings responsibilities, including rigorous evaluation to ensure money is well spent.” There are plenty of other grounds for hope, let’s hope also that somebody will step up to hold this industry accountable. In another article, FT writer Andrew Jack quotes activist Louis da Gama: “The biggest problem has been lack of baseline data. The risk is that you underestimate the problem and overstate the success.” Unfortunately, a few paragraphs earlier, Mr. Jack repeats the old claim that Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Zambia have sharply reduced national mortality from malaria, which this blog pointed out was based on fake WHO data that the WHO subsequently withdrew. Even a second round of discussion on this blog did not suffice to clear this up, although the facts are not in dispute. Sigh.
A mass email went out to journalists yesterday from The Centre for Development and Population Activities: “Expert Refutes Bestselling "Dead Aid"; Available for Background and Interviews”. The available expert was Carol Peasley, President & CEO, The Centre for Development and Population Activities. Among the expert arguments refuting “Dead Aid” (from Peasley's piece in the Huffington Post) was that “Child deaths [in Malawi] have been reduced by nearly 100 percent (from 221 per thousand in 1990 to 120 in 2007).” I guess the expertise being made available did not include math.