Africa votes to adopt DDT to fight malaria

Premium Times reports:

Amidst staggering mortality and morbidity rates due to malaria in the African continent, African Heads of State and Government have adopted the use of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), a controversial chemical, as the means of eradicating malaria in the continent, This came after several debates which commenced Wednesday July 10 at a meeting of Health Ministers of various African countries; and continued at meetings of Ambassadors and members of the Permanent Representative Council of the African Union on July 12.

The final decision for DDT adoption was arrived at after another round of debate on Tuesday July 16, during a meeting of the African heads of state and government, which ended same day. However, long before its adoption by African leaders, concerns have been raised about the negative impact of the chemical on the health of humans.

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11 thoughts on “Africa votes to adopt DDT to fight malaria”

  1. Who will pay for its use? The greens/lefties have the money locked up – to be used for mosquito nets (which are so handy when out shopping or working in the fields).

  2. DDT aerial spray was mostly used for agriculture. Probably best known aerial use was cotton boll weevil control. It was over used and led to resistant strains of bugs. It was commonly used in Eastern NC in the ’50’s from truck-mounted foggers for mosquito control. Kids followed the trucks, running in the fog. We didn’t have large enough fields to make aerial spraying economical and by the middle-late ’60’s we were using other pesticides, like parathion.
    I don’t recall any problems with chicken, pigeon, quail or pheasant eggs when DDT was used, so I was surprised to read all the egg thinning stuff.

  3. Knowledgweable and objetive scientists estimate that up to 90 million people died of malaria as a result of the DDT ban. It is quite another matter that whike it was used, the dosage was often oversized and the spreadng of it ineffective, but with that known it is easy to modify the use in a more efficient direction. Like a high African official said (can’t recall his name right now): “The DDT ban is like having 7 Jumbo Jets full of children flying into a mountain each day”.

  4. When I was a kid, I would chase those foggers while riding my bicycle. No apparent harm done. I’m still healthy, nearly half a century later. If I die of cancer after another thirty years at age 85, would that count as a DDT related death?

  5. I once read that the developer of DDT, in order to allay fears that it’s harmful to humans, swallowed a tablespoon of the powder everyday for several years without ill effects. Certainly, DDT used judiciously is much healthier than the risk of getting malaria.

  6. The United Methodist Church has a “Dream of No Malaria” program focused on — mosquito nets, which are of very limited value. I think the UMC will have some hissy fits when the DDT question comes along. But DDT actually, you know, works.
    Mosquito nets to fight malaria when you could have DDT is like increasing offshore wind by 800% when it turns out you’re sitting on shale gas that rivals the Caspian Sea fields.

  7. Bob,

    In truth DDT WAS ridiculously overused before the ban. Aerial spraying never made much sense. What’s being proposed now is a much more approriate form, i.e. residual spraying of indoor walls and other surfaces. I’d guess there’s some limited outdoor use in heavily infested locations. Done properly, it’s both safe and effective in reducing malaria.

  8. I don’t see why any sovereign nation needs permission to use DDT. “Africa votes” is a strange concept.

  9. The use of DDT to enhance the human health and the natural environment is — sustainable.

  10. When you compare the real health effects of malaria with the theoretical health effects of DDT, I believe the use of DDT should win hands down. Before the ban, they ran DDT foggers down our streets for mosquito control. I’m willing to bet you find very few illnesses traceable to the health and agricultural use in the US. Besides, I don’t believe that the DDT use planned is on the massive scale that we used and survived very nicely.

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