Roving bandit notes that Rwanda has had significant reductions in Malaria. Intriguingly, this story appears to be true in a range of countries. In Solomons, where state capacity is very weak and which is a very hard place to get large scale aid programmes working, not only are the official stats showing a Malaria decline but when we visited the provinces a frequently recurring comment most everywhere was that “there was hardly any Malaria round here any more.” (Not that I’d usually suggest that my own perceptions were a substitute for good data, but data in Sols are patchy enough that I start taking them more seriously when they point in the same direction as the word on the street).
As far as I know no one has thought to study this in Solomons (why the reduction, why the aid/government programme is working rather than the usual). Were I not up to my eyeballs in election data and trying to finish a PhD this is one of the first things I’d like to investigate. In a place where not much works success is bound to be illuminating.
[Update: looks relevant – some old World Bank research on what lead to declining Malaria rates in Solomons in the 1990s here.]