The charity Oxfam has cast doubt on an international scheme that aims to boost the provision of the most effective treatment for malaria. Oxfam says there is no evidence the programme has saved the lives of the most vulnerable people. The UK government has contributed £70m to the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm). The body behind the AMFm says an independent study shows it has improved access and reduced drug prices. Source BBC News

I cannot see how a shopkeeper could be remotely qualified to diagnose and then to dispense the correct drugs and dosages for a disease which many of our own doctors and GPs fail to spot and diagnose. Don’t get me wrong, it is true that those who live is areas where there is a high concentration of the vector-borne disease see more cases of friends and family who have been affected by it.

Surely it makes a lot more sense to invest is the medical training of those who will study and treat these tropical diseases locally, thereby investing in the future education and economic development of the countries who only receive the aid indirectly.

The latest estimates show that more than 250,000,000 people contract malaria every year and 655,000, mostly children, die from the disease. How can we be sure that the private-sector drug retailers actually service those areas most affected, after all once established, why would a retailer move their pitch?