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Bush Gives Mosquito Nets To Fight Malaria

From a joyous Reuters:

U.S. President George W. Bush gets under an insecticide mosquito net, used to combat malaria, as he visits A to Z textile mills in Arusha, Tanzania, Monday, Feb. 18, 2008.

Bush offers more aid to fight malaria in Africa

By Tabassum Zakaria Mon Feb 18

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Reuters) – President George W. Bush on Monday announced a plan to distribute bed nets to protect 5.2 million Tanzanian children from the deadly disease.

On the third day of his five-nation Africa tour, Bush traveled to this northern Tanzanian city in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro to focus attention on the mosquito-borne disease, which kills at least 1 million infants and children under age 5 in sub-Saharan Africa each year.

“For years malaria has been a health crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease keeps sick workers home, school yards quiet, communities in mourning,” he said during a visit to Meru District Hospital. “The suffering caused by malaria is needless and every death caused by malaria is unacceptable.”

Calling the effort to help fight malaria in Africa a “campaign of compassion,” Bush announced a new plan, in partnership with the World Bank, to distribute 5.2 million insecticide-treated bed nets in Tanzania.

He said the campaign, which will begin within six months, will provide enough nets to protect every child in Tanzania between the ages of 1 and 5.

“This is one of the simplest technologies imaginable, but it’s also one of the most effective,” said Bush, standing before an audience of pregnant women at the hospital, where he handed out a few bed nets as well as hugs and kisses to some of the women waiting at the hospital.

“This is a campaign of compassion,” he said. “This is a practical way to help save lives. It is in the interests of the United States to save lives.”

In June 2005 Bush launched a $1.2 billion, 5-year plan to reduce deaths caused by malaria by 50 percent in 15 African countries.

In addition to providing bed nets to protect against mosquitoes, the malaria initiative supports indoor spraying of insecticide as well as anti-malarial drugs and medicine to treat the disease…

Er, $1,200,000,000.00 for mosquito nets? And given that this program was started almost three years ago, is there any sign that it has helped?

“The suffering caused by malaria is needless and every death caused by malaria is unacceptable.”

Right. Because we have DDT, but we won’t use it. Which is criminal, not to mention not very cost effective.

And of course this is on top of the untold billions we are already pouring in to the continent to “fight AIDS.”

(And like that money, most of this will probably end up in Swiss bank accounts anyway.)

But why worry? After all, it’s only (American taxpayers’) money.

And Africa is so grateful.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, February 18th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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