July 30, 2011

Inder Singh: The One Man Malaria Fighting Machine

HEALTH - Malaria is a crippling disease in part of the world. But there are people like Inder Singh who are working to stop it.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease and is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Americas. Each year, there are more than 225 million cases of malaria, killing around 781,000 people each year according to the WHO (World Health Organisation) 2010 report.

The majority of deaths are of young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

And the silly thing is that it is a largely preventable disease. There are pesticides for killing the mosquitoes, nets for protecting people while they sleep (most victims are bitten at night while they sleep) and a variety of anti-malaria vaccines.

In steps Inder Singh, one of many people trying to put a stop to the scourge of malaria. Singh is helping 69 developing countries gain access to anti-malaria drugs. The 34 year old man from India.

One of the things he has done is make deals with companies in India and China to make anti-malaria medications at a rate 30% cheaper than other companies... it is unfortunate that many of the pharmaceutical companies that research new anti-malaria medications do so purely for profit, thus finding companies willing to make medications for less profit can be the difference between saving the lives of more people. (Simple math might suggest 30% more people get saved, but the reality is that its a much larger percentage.)

He's also pushed placing a cap on prices, so pharmaceutical companies can't charge outrageous prices.

Thanks to Inder Singh in 2009 12 million people who would have been denied anti-malaria medication got it. That many people means he saved approx. 40,000 lives from dying of malaria.

Really what he is doing is bringing business savvy to a charitable cause... where previously good meaning people with little knowledge of how to best save people were doing what they could, now someone who can actually crunch the numbers and go to the companies with business proposals which will allow them to still make profits, but sell a lot more medications.

Think of it this way...

Option A: Sell 10 kg of pills for $150 / kg = $1,500.

Option B: Sell 50 kg of pills for $100 / kg = $5,000.

Option C: Sell 1000 kg of pills for $50 / kg = $50,000.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that there is way more profit to be made going for Option C. Mass production and more affordability = More people who can buy the medications and more profits.

Inder Singh also uses his business know-how on fund raising ventures and speaks publicly on how people can use their skills to help others.

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