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Tag Archives: malaria
In 1955, the World Health Organization launched an ambitious campaign to eradicate malaria. The effort relied on new, synthetic antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine and a miraculous new insecticide called DDT. Initially, it went pretty well: several countries’ malaria rates … Continue reading
Catching up on some old news, I noticed that the November issue of the Malaria Journal has a supplement dedicated to the most elegant insecticide ever developed: the sterile insect technique (SIT). As the accompanying press release explains: SIT involves … Continue reading
The US Agency for International Development just awarded a $150 million grant to open a new front in the Bush administration’s anti-malaria effort. The press release, however, has a rather obvious omission. Here’s how it starts:
The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced the awarding of a $150 million Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) contract to a consortium headed by Research Triangle Institute (RTI). Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) is the application of safe insecticides to the indoor walls and ceilings of a home or structure in order to interrupt the spread of malaria by killing mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite. Malaria is the number one killer in Africa.
And exactly what “safe insecticides” are they referring to? DDT, of course. As I pointed out in an earlier post, DDT can indeed be quite safe in this application, but its revival poses some thorny problems that the Administration might not be prepared to handle. In any case, it’s unfortunate that they felt the need to censor the press release like this. Is this the start of a pattern of obfuscation in this new effort? Continue reading
Forty-four years after Silent Spring, dichloro-diphenyl- trichloroethane (DDT) is front page news again, and as always happens with this compound, critical, finely nuanced issues are being bulldozed into black and white.
The main story, in case you missed it somehow, is that the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it would start using DDT to control malaria in Africa. This follows a regime change in the WHO’s malaria program, which is now being run by an outspoken public health campaigner named Arata Kochi, who previously ran the WHO’s TB program. Continue reading