Welcome to aaron chua make money blog

Hi, welcome to my blog. In this part of my world, I talked about how to achieve financial freedom by learning how to make money online through creating sites and earning from them.

Below are some current and past make money projects that details my learning journey.

My current experiment in making 50 amazon site niches. If you have not been following this challenge, best place to start is this resource page for the amazon challenge, that lists all the articles that I have written so far.

My experiment in making 1000 a month through adsense in 9 months.

If you came here looking for low cost startup ideas, here are 140 startup ideas that you can browse through.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Social network for fighting malaria

I have briefly mention about this before: using social network to fight malaria. Today, I want to take a moment and round up some of the very innovative 2.0 efforts in solving this problem. Through this summary, I hope to come away with some insights that will be useful for future startup opportunities.

Before we begin, let's take a look at some facts about Malaria. It was forecast to affect 300 million people worldwide in 2007 and contribute to one in five childhood deaths in Africa, according to the World Health Organization. According to reports, one child dies from malaria every 30 seconds in the developing countries. Most cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa, but parts of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe are also affected.

Part of the reason for the high death rate is the lack of medicine. It is here that I want to highlight a social enterprise called HealthStore Foundation. It combines microfinance with established franchising practices to address the simple problem of “getting the drugs to sick people when and where they are needed,”.

From the Stanford Social Innovation Review:
The Minneapolis-based foundation gives healthcare workers microloans to open their own for-profit Child and Family Wellness Shops (CFWshops), which distribute medical products and services to remote communities in Kenya. Applying the basic principles of successful franchising, the foundation then trains the franchisees in uniform procedures, carefully selects locations, and conducts regular inspections to ensure quality and consistency. The franchise can also exploit economies of scale to obtain safe and effective drugs at low costs.

Such a powerful idea that is rooted in network models. Speaking of which, the Clinton Foundation might need to apply such thinking in its attempts to lower the costs of Malaria drug purchase. It is striking deals with drug manufacturers to provide lower costs Malaris drugs for the patients. While this is something worth admiring, I feel the approach of 'doing deals' a bit outdated, strategy wise.

Instead, I think the approach by Unitaid might be the right one i.e. leveraging on patent pools to allow for cheaper medicine. If they can somehow create the right mechanisms for others to innovate/remix/recombine on these patent pools to potentially create cheaper medicines, I think the value that is unlocked can be explosive.

Finally, I want to highlight how powerful information revealation is. Look at this index that compares how major pharmaceutical companies differ strongly in their efforts to provide people in low-income countries with affordable drugs, diagnostics and vaccines. This is wonderful as this is the beginning of how transparency will undo many of the corporate 'evilness' from the industrial era.