2 persons die every minute! How long shall we continue to say it?

Post date: May 23, 2009 12:34:20 AM

In his unprecedented efforts for policy change on malaria programmes in sub-Saharan Africa, the Executive Director of Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa (VPWA), Mr Hayford Siaw in an interview on Choice fm 102.3, an Accra radio station last Tuesday ,reiterated his call for civil society groups and governments in sub-Saharan Africa to take the opportunity of President Obama’s presence on the African soil as President for United States of America to call for policy change in the way Malaria is been handle by the powers that be.

He chronicled the methodology used by United States and Canada and some parts of Europe in eliminating the scourge of this deadly disease and hinted that, President Obama will ‘’by all means’’ mention his country’s efforts in combating diseases on the African continent including Malaria and as such, it is important to let him know that, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) which is a direct contribution by the US government in fighting the disease along with Global Fund and other donors are not been used properly and it is time to stop the game of controlling the disease to a serious approach of eradicating the disease using same tools the United States implored in defeating Malaria.

Mr Siaw wondered why in the 21st century, we should be advocating to ‘’control’’ a disease we could eradicate if our leadership in Africa will be serious enough to work with proving methods. As he has always done, he emphasised that even if mosquito net were to be 100% used by an individual, it effectiveness is only part at 25% and that is why people are still dying and it is time we put the billions of dollars going to purchase net to control the disease into effective mechanisms of eradicating it. He buttresses this argument by asking the Host of the Programme if the World Health Organization (WHO) has stopped saying 2 persons die every minute. He recollects that, he got to know it 20 years ago and we still continue to say it as if human life is such a disposable commodity.


He mentioned that, despite the colossal expenditure of over $100 million to combat malaria in Ghana in 2006 and 2007, WHO still reports that there is no evidence of decrease in Malaria cases and reported deaths has increased. He questioned how the money was used and for what purpose.

The Host of the Choice FM Breakfast show, Mr Alfred Ocansey who had also enquire on the current state of Malaria in Ghana from National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) quoted them as saying Malaria cases for 2008 was less but was however not able to give the figures. The Executive Director of VPWA ask how sustainable is their so call reduction in figures and quoted from a WHO Malaria report on Ghana that in 2002, there was total death of 1917 and it was less in 2003 at 1680 but in 2007, death from Malaria has risen to almost a triple at 4622.

Meanwhile, some critics have argued that the aerial insecticide dispensing system that the VPWA Executive Director is advocating to be introduced in Ghana to defeat Malaria in Ghana within three years is expensive and we should therefore concentrate on simple mechanism of distributing nets to as much people as possible. Speaking to this Reporter, Mr Siaw has described the critics as ‘’failures refusing to think outside the box’’. He also described critics as been ‘’brainwashed by Malthusians’’.


In his opinion, Human life is expensive than the method he is suggesting and society must not tolerate people who desire to suppress population growth in such a way. He also ask why net is been recommended and wondered how many mosquito nets was distributed in Europe and America during their fight to eradicate Malaria in those places. He wondered why the Global Fund will boast it success of fight against Malaria by posting the number of nets they have been able to distribute without calculating the life saved if any on their website.