Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rolling Back Malaria (not)

The British Medical Association (back in 2004):

"We have the three tools we need to curb malaria deaths—bed nets, effective combination treatment based on artemisinin, and insecticides. What we urgently need to do is make these tools much more widely available to affected communities, which are almost always too poor to pay for them themselves."

"But even with Roll Back Malaria's best efforts [This is a World Health Organization campaign, started ten years ago], only about one in seven children in Africa sleep under a net, and only 2% of children use a net impregnated with insecticide."

State giving to Roll Back Malaria is running at about 10% of the $1bn or so needed per year that would have halved malaria deaths between 1998 and 2010 (and now won't).

Here's how we can buy and distribute some bed nets, at the bargain price of 10 for £27.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Social Justice: The importance of early years

Just read that

'A child’s education developmental score at 22 months can accurately predict educational outcomes at the age of 26.' (Source: the Social Justice Policy Group report Breakthrough Britain set up by David Cameron, overview, p 8.)

So if you assess a 2 year old, you can predict whether in 24 years time they'll have no qualifications at all or just be tidying up the final draft of their PhD.

Here's some data from the same source about marriage, cohabitation and the welfare of very young children:

  • Nearly one in two cohabiting parents split up before their child’s fifth birthday,compared to one in twelve married parents
  • Three-quarters of family breakdown affecting young children now involves unmarried parents
  • If you have experienced family breakdown, you are 75% more likely to fail at school,70% more likely to be a drug addict and 50% more likely to have alcohol problems.