Political Correctness vs Malaria Control

June 16th, 2005 by Rafe Champion

Can Wolfowitz change the culture of the World Bank which has up to date resisted the use of DDT in the control of malaria.

The World Bank is rightly concerned about malaria and the way it stifles development and exacerbates poverty. That is why, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and various donor agencies such as USAID, it launched Roll Back Malaria (RBM) in 1998. The goal was to halve the burden of malaria by 2010. So far that goal remains a mirage. Malaria cases are actually increasing: According to the latest WHO data, they have probably risen by at least ten percent since the inception of RBM.
The failed RBM strategy has much to do with this public-health catastrophe. Almost all of the efforts to prevent malaria cases have focused on providing people with insecticide-treated nets. People, particularly pregnant women and young children–those most at risk–are encouraged to sleep under these nets in order to protect themselves from the Anopheles mosquito. The problem isn’t that these nets don’t work; it is simply that as a sole strategy they haven’t been shown to have any significant large-scale impact on malaria transmission.
Those countries that are making progress against the disease have ramped up their indoor insecticide-spraying programs. These programs entail spraying tiny amounts of insecticide, such as DDT, on the inside walls of houses to repel or kill (or both) the malaria-carrying mosquitoes. This method of control is safe and highly effective: Malaria rates have plummeted in the very poor northern parts of Zambia where this approach is currently employed. Yet RBM and the World Bank, always politically correct, have eschewed this method of control. The World Bank even went as far as to require that its of funding malaria control in Eritrea be conditional on non-use of DDT.

48 Responses to “Political Correctness vs Malaria Control”

  1. Tim Lambert Says:

    Sorry Rafe, but you’ve been conned. ITNs are effective — they’ve been studied to death. DDT does have a role in some places as well and it’s used in Eritrea. Bate’s advocacy of DDT is part of a strategy of environmentalist bashing. Bate even advated using DDT where the insects were resistent to it!

  2. Sinclair Davidson Says:

    Just one of the many, many reasons the World Bank should be shut down.

  3. John Quiggin Says:

    The persistence of overstated claims about DDT in the face of repeated refutation is one of the things that makes me less than optimistic about the blogosphere.

    The fact that the claims of the AEI and others are historically false and take no account of resistance has been pointed out over and over, but they are simply repeated without modification, then reproduced in the blogosphere, supposedly the home of ruthless fact-checking.

    It might be possible to show that the optimal strategy for malaria would involve more extensive use of DDT than is practised currently, but all people like Bate can do is pretend that DDT has been banned.

  4. rog Says:

    South Africa are reintroducing DDT - trials over 2 years have shown rates of malaria plummet.

    DDT is baneed in the US and other countries.

    From wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT#International_regulation_of_DDT

    The Stockholm Convention, ratified in 2001 and effective as of 17 May 2004, calls for the elimination of DDT and other persistent organic pollutants, barring health crises. The Convention was signed by 98 countries and is endorsed by most environmental groups. However a total elimination of DDT use in many malaria-prone countries is currently unfeasible because of the prohibitive costs of alternative insecticides. Countries can apply for exemptions to use DDT for health reasions. The WHO and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) review the DDT exemption every 3 years. Rules and regulations regarding the trade, storage and use of DDT under the convention have made DDT use more difficult and expensive.

  5. Rafe Champion Says:

    “It might be possible to show that the optimal strategy for malaria would involve more extensive use of DDT than is practised currently, but all people like Bate can do is pretend that DDT has been banned.”

    John, do you consider that the information in the above wikopedia is substantially correct? I don’t trust wik because is is open access and anyone can put stuff up, however if that entry is correct there is indeed a great deal of resistance to the use of DDT which in many places amounts to a ban, whatever you want to call it.

  6. John Quiggin Says:

    Rafe, the Wikipedia article contains an accurate summary of the international agreements, as quoted above by rog, along with a lot of more tendentious material.

    The quote from rog clearly indicates that DDT has not been banned. Suggesting that “resistance” is equivalent to “banning” is a misuse of words

  7. Rafe Champion Says:

    More information supporting the contention that the ban on DDT is widespread.

  8. rog Says:

    The whole issue of chemical use and resistance has been explored in much of agriculture, in particular the cotton industry in Australia which has evolved some pretty sophisticated IPM techniques to drastically reduce chemical use whilst ensuring the target population remains minimal and receptive to chemical application.

    Sure in the good old days the chemical cowboys ran riot but rising costs of chemicals and collapse of agricultural systems hit the pocket nerve. There is also the risk of breaching MRLs which can be used as a marketing tool by other trading competitors.

    Rarely if ever is this work discussed or even acknowledged by the organic movement which shows just how political the issue is.

  9. Tim Lambert Says:

    Come on, Rafe, where is it banned for use against malaria? For example, your quote mentions Eritrea, but it’s used there.

    These people will sell you all the DDT you want for spraying against malaria. They say:

    In the past several years, we supplied DDT 75% WDP to Madagascar, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Africa, Namibia, Solomon Island, Papua New Guinea, Algeria, Thailand, Myanmar for Malaria Control project, and won a good reputation from WHO and relevant countries’ government.

  10. John Quiggin Says:

    Rafe, I’m disappointed. If we’re going to use terms like “amounts to a ban” to mean “discouraged in some cases”, then it’s open slather. Why don’t you just admit that, in this case, you’ve been misled by an unreliable and partisan source.

    The evidence cited by JF Beck doesn’t help you at all. It’s a piece written in the context of the debate leading up to the agreements cited above, and makes some overstated claims about the merits of DDT (particularly by downplaying resistance). But although the piece uses the word “ban” in places, it also makes it clear that there is no general ban and never has been.

  11. Rafe Champion Says:

    A good point John, I was going to take you to task on the same grounds, if donor countries or agencies make the non-use of DDT a condition of aid, that amounts to a ban if the nation thinks they have to have the grant or aid in question.
    What has been the policy of the World Bank on this issue?
    And what is your personal view on the desirability/undesirability of banning DDT as the more radical enviromentalists demand?

  12. Sinclair Davidson Says:

    “The reason [for donors’ opposition to DDT] is that they don’t consider it environmentally sustainable but by implication they are saying that a million malaria deaths a year is sustainable.

    “Where DDT has been used, thousands of lives have been saved. So you have to wonder, are the donor agencies here to please environmental groups or are they here to save lives?” Richard Tren, Director of Africa Fighting Malaria.

    The moral dwarves, shown up again.

  13. Sinclair Davidson Says:

    ‘Come on, Rafe, where is it banned for use against malaria?’

    ‘Kenyan scientists are embroiled in a deepening controversy over whether Kenya should lift a ban on the pesticide DDT in a bid to reduce deaths from malaria.’


  14. Sinclair Davidson Says:

    goodness me, more.

    ‘Mosquito resistance to other insecticides is a reality and hampers the fight against malaria. However the development of new, long-lasting and effective insecticides is made ever more difficult by the excessive risk aversion in Europe. European regulators often reject technologies if they cannot be proven to have no negative impacts. This is unscientific and places impossible burdens on any new insecticide developer.’


    There’s lots, lots more where that came from. What is surprising is that our lefty fact checkers couldn’t find them. tsk, tsk. Generally, if you want to know what’s happening in Africa use the South African google, www.google.co.za.

    Rafe - well done, this is a glorious victory. Why not post on the relationship between an EU ‘ban’ on GM foods and starvation in Zambia?

  15. John Quiggin Says:

    Rafe, here’s my take

    Sinclair, your links are to a front organisation, run by the very same Roger Bate who wrote the original article posted by Rafe. Check how many times the name Roger Bate appears on this page, then go to Sourcewatch.

  16. Sinclair Davidson Says:

    From Sourcewatch:
    ‘DDT is very effective at killing the insect vectors of malaria. Compared to the harm caused by malaria, the mild harm caused by DDT (to humans) makes the use of DDT reasonable in certain areas and climates. However, its overuse for other purposes has contributed to the emergence of DDT-resistant mosquitoes and has been shown to harm birds and other animal populations, leading to bans on its use.’

    Roger Bate is associated with the Free Market Foundation and the IEA - hardly desreputable organisations.

    But, John and Tim have been saying DDT doesn’t work, and is not banned!?

    John, in the late 1990s there was a malaria outbreak in South Africa (probably other parts of Africa too). This happened after not using DDT, but other malaria control methods. After DDT was reintroduced the death toll dropped. The choice is this: Use DDT and face the possibility of medical complications later in life, don’t use DDT and die now.

  17. Rafe Champion Says:

    This is the bottom line of John’s take on the situation.
    “The current position is that, in at least some poor countries (particularly those where there has been no history of extensive spraying and therefore no buildup of resistance) there is no affordable and effective alternative to using DDT spray on house walls. As long as this remains the case, DDT use should be continued. Where there is a more expensive, but equally effective, alternative, the cost should be borne by rich countries, since the benefits of reduced DDT in the environment are global.”

    This looks like a fair statement, providing a platform for a bipartisan stance along the lines of a case by case appraisal of the situation. Not a blanket ban as advocated by some. Case by case examination will reveal how much resistance to use of DDT is unreasonable, and also whether the so-called junk scientists are indeed that or just disagreeing on specifics.

    John I hope you are alert to the problems created by the long track record of many left groupings in demonising opponents. Incidentally, what is your take on Peter Bauer’s critique of mainstream developmental economics and the failurs of aid programs to the Third World?

  18. Tim Lambert Says:

    DDT is not banned in Kenya. Kenya has an exemption from the Stockholm Treaty for the use of DDT against malaria, so can use it if the government decides to do so. Whether it is more effective than the alternatives is another question. DDT was used extensively in agriculture there in the past, so DDT resistance may be a problem.

  19. Sinclair Davidson Says:

    DDT is not banned in Keyna NOW, the article I listed above is dated 2003.

    Anyway, in responce to John’s challenge I have looked for some damning evidence from organisations and people that cannot be called ‘fronts’. I have found, the WHO, Lancet, the South African government, the Mail and Guardian newspaper and ‘local doctors’ and ‘local officials’.

    The World Health Organisation are hardly a ‘front’, so too the Lancet
    Malaria kills more than 1m people a year, 90% of them in Africa. It is the main cause of death of children under five in some sub-Saharan countries.
    The disease is a serious drain on health resources: 20%-45% of all hospital admissions are malaria patients. And it discourages investors and tourists.
    Yet despite the millions of dollars pumped into malaria control aid programmes, there has been little progress in controlling the disease in Africa.
    This inspired a scathing editorial in The Lancet recently, which criticised the World Health Organisation’s Roll Back Malaria initiative. It said malaria cases had in fact increased since the initiative’s launch in 1998. “It is clear that not only has RBM failed in its aims, but it may also have caused harm,” it says.

    Local doctors say nets have had limited success, mainly because the cost, US$2,50-5/net, is out of reach of most families. Nets also have to be treated regularly.
    “The WHO has not yet shown widespread evidence that controlling malaria through nets is effective and sustainable,” says Limpopo province malaria manager Philip Kruger.


    Environmentalists acknowledge DDT’s effectiveness.
    “We do not support the use of DDT but we understand that something has to be done to help prevent people from getting malaria,” the conservation director for the Worldwide Fund for Nature in South Africa, Rob Little said.
    A former nature conservationist living in Jozini, Andreas Malwane, said: “It comes to a point where the environment will not have any use if everyone living there had died of malaria.”

    The South African government is not a front organization, and this outlet ‘The Mail and Guardian’ has impeccable (left) credentials – despite this, they have always been honest (also the first people to publish my op-eds).

    At the recent launch of the “Racing Against Malaria” Campaign, South Africa’s health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang called on countries in the region to use the much vilified insecticide DDT to combat malaria.

    While her call is sure to outrage the environmentalist lobby in the west for whom the highly toxic chemical is the poison celebre of the century, in the poverty stricken third world the call is likely to be given very careful consideration.

    DDT, which was phased out in South Africa in the late 1990s but was later reintroduced following a dramatic rise in malaria incidence in its absence, is one of the cheapest and most effective pesticides ever to control malaria


  20. Tim Lambert Says:

    Roger Bate is one of the founders of The European Science and Environment Forum an astroturf organization funded by tobacco companies to produce “independent” studies on how the scientists are wrong and tobacco smoke is not harmful. Sri Lanka was forced to switch from DDT to malathion because mosquitoes had developed resistance to DDT and malaria rates were skyrocketing. Bate advocated the use of DDT in Sri Lanka after the tsunami even though he was fully aware of this fact (though he didn’t mention it in his op-eds). Details, with links to sources are here and here.

  21. Tim Lambert Says:

    Sinclair, the source I cited is from 2001. DDT has never been banned in Kenya for use against malaria, they are just using other insecticides at present. Neither John nor I said that DDT was useless everywhere — that’s your strawman. In some places DDT is useless, in others it still works. Even where it still works, it isn’t necessarily the most cost-effective solution when compared with bed nets and spraying with pyrethoids. There is a mountain of research on this, but the Roger Bates of this world will cherry pick one or two papers out of this mountain and use it to pretend that DDT is far more effective than it really is.

  22. Sinclair Davidson Says:

    “DDT has never been banned in anti-malarial use.”

    “But opponents of lifting the ban - which was mooted earlier this year by the minister for environment and natural resources, Newton Kulundu - point to the fact that the pesticide is forbidden in many countries because of its harmful effects on humans and the environment.”

    I suspect we’re arguing over the meaning of the word ‘ban’ and who has banned DDT. While countries got exemption from the Stockholm Convention, individual government may have banned the use of DDT. Following the subsequent outbreaks of Malaria they reintroduced DDT. Now there may well be millions of studies into alternatives (I have no reson to doubt you) and their efficacy (ditto), the fact of the matter is that they obviously don’t work as well as DDT - the body count proves this.

  23. Tim Lambert Says:

    No, the body count does not prove that DDT is more effective. You seem to believe that DDT is some sort of magic bullet against malaria and isn’t. India has been using DDT against malaria since the 40s. They manufacture and fund its use themselves, so they aren’t under pressure from aid agencies. And they are moving way from DDT because of widespread resistence. The Roger Bates of this world will never mention this fact.

  24. Sinclair Davidson Says:

    No. I’m not saying it’s a magic bullet. In the case of malaria it is the cheapest and most effective bullet low-income economies have.

  25. Another Bloody Libertarian Says:

    There is only one way to settle this. What are the costs and benefits of using DDT, and are property rights being applied?

    More generally, is there a benefit in freely allowing the use of technology under a property rights regieme (restricting spillovers), which can accomodate issues like resistance?

    If there isn’t, do the regulations have a benefit or lower level of costs?

    This is how regulations should be justified, and they need to also raise the total standards of living. Only then they should go ahead.

    Anyway, why does it matter who backs the research? If the work is sound, it is sound. This is purely analytical of course, the general public not having access, inclination or ability to read a peer reviewed article. I don’t know how many times certain foods have been labelled beneficial and utterly dangerous by the press.

    I think rog made an excellent point on onput costs and spillovers.

  26. Rafe Champion Says:

    “India has been using DDT against malaria since the 40s. They manufacture and fund its use themselves, so they aren’t under pressure from aid agencies.”

    I wonder if the aid compensates for not being able to use DDT in those countries that have do do as they are told.

    India is very affluent compared with most of the Third World, in fact it probably doesn’t even qualify as Third World these days and presumably this means that they can afford to take on more expensive means of malaria control. They also have the resources to develop and test alternatives.

  27. Ros Marsh Says:

    According to Telegraph India May 24
    “Controlling vector-borne diseases like malaria, kalazar, filaria, Japanese encephalitis and dengue is becoming increasingly difficult in the states of the Northeast and West Bengal because of the steady migration of people from neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal. Very often, initiatives to control mosquito breeding in the border states have little impact because there are no corresponding checks in either Bangladesh or Nepal.

    The fight against malaria, kalazar and other such vector-borne diseases has been successful in several states of the country, but not quite so in the Northeast and elsewhere in the eastern part of the country. There are several reasons for this, including alternatively damp and sultry weather in these states, but the crucial factor is believed to be the influx of people from Bangladesh and Nepal.

    The World Health Organisation has decided on simultaneous preventive action in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. The plan entails spraying DDT in all villages in Bangladesh, Nepal, the northeastern states of India. The health ministry is stepping up efforts to co-ordinate the anti-malaria, kalazar and encephalitis programmes in these areas. Delhi has asked the states to ensure that all such programmes are monitored.”

  28. Tim Lambert Says:

    Rafe, are you serious? You have to wonder whether a country is better off with no money to spend fighting malaria or money that can’t be spent on DDT? It’s like you think that DDT is the only insectide ever invented. Pyrethoids cost about the same and usually work just as well as DDT.

  29. rog Says:

    World Bank claim that DDT is banned in 34 countries and a further 34 severely restrict its use.


    World Bank aid/loans are subject to (amongst others) compliance with an Environmental Assessment.


    World Bank (and WWF, UN et al) are attempting to get developing nations to comply with Stockholm Treaty to eliminate POPs.


    The EU threaten trade sanctions if DDT is detected in goods from Africa


  30. Ros Marsh Says:

    Following rog’s links I had a look at gems such as The WHO on toxic substances and poverty.
    If anything clarifies the western centred selfishness of the DDT policy this document says it. Thus the developing world needs to focus on smoking, alcohol comsumption, excess intake of food, obesity along with exposure to toxic substances because they are contributors to chronic disease. They should be worried about Parkinsons! The document contains remarkable claims. E.g. an outbreak of FOOD POISONING has to be put down to malathion on the basis that it was found in the leftovers. Buried in the document but justifying it is the fact that the World Bank doesn’t actually know the impacts and their implications, just that it is obvious. A little further and we get to the intellectual property argument again.
    In the meantime for those who live in Malaria effected areas their children are dying as they are themselves, or if they survive an attack of malaria they then have a short lifelong vulnerability to other diseases. The diseases of the ageing baby boomers are not their worry.
    The reality of whose health is being considered here has been made clear by the EU. I don’t think for one moment that Uganda is a major supplier of food products to the EU because it is being kind. So I am left with the conclusion that the threat that Uganda will face trade restrictions if any DDT is found in products is because western baby boomers consider the possibility that small amounts of DDT in their food justifies the denial of life saving actions for Africans.
    The worst aspect of this gross selfishness is that the evidence that it will do them harm is just not there. It is irrational fear on behalf of the sheep as the result of propaganda by very influential rich and powerful western northern hemisphere NGOs. The reach and embeddeness of these NGOs must be considered a matter of concern.
    I just can’t understand what drives them. African nations well understand that the west had no problem rescuing itself from malaria with DDT, but do choose to restrict its use for them. That the RBM is overseeing a marked increase in malaria deaths. That the substance of RBM would appear to be the establishment of more bureaucracies and NGO control. No doubt they tell themselves that this is participatory democracy in action.
    Arguments about resistance are essentially furphies. Malaria needs to be hammered hard and DDT is a useful component of the war on malaria. To deny the major restrictions in its use imposed by westerners on, NOT FOR, the struggling and impoverished of the world is just plain silly to put it nicely. While telling themselves that they are being cruel to be kind.

  31. Tim Lambert Says:

    The World Bank does, in fact, support the use of DDT against malaria.

    It’s well past time you made a correction, Rafe.

  32. Geoff Honnor Says:

    I’m not sure about “support” as such…here’s Dr Adeyi on the WHO position from Tim L’s link

    “We do support the guidelines of WHO and the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants, urging countries to move towards the use of alternatives, and where according to those provisions, where it is absolutely essential and that’s about the only option they have. Then on an exceptional basis only, countries may elect to use DDT, but it’s under very stringent conditions that have to be agreed to by WHO, and again, it’s part of array of interventions.”

    “Deeply unenthusiastic” springs to mind…

  33. Sinclair Davidson Says:

    Well done Geoff - that’s exactly the quote I was about to paste.

  34. Sinclair Davidson Says:

    Just in from townhall.com - things may get interesting in the US

  35. rog Says:


    Summary of Regulatory Status

    Of the countries we have data for, the chemical is:

    Banned or Restricted in: 56 Countries

    Illegal to Import into: 102 Countries Countries


  36. rog Says:

    World Bank “support” is conditional on meeting a whole raft of compliance issues - red tape.

  37. Amanda Says:

    I am undecided on this issue but Phyllis Schlafly’s track record does not inspire confidence in the value of her opinions.

  38. Tim Lambert Says:

    Nice job with the out-of-context quote. He was responding to an “why are you funding DDT isn’t it dangerous?” question. Here’s the relevant quote (my emphasis):

    In accordance with guidelines from the World Health Organization and also in accordance with the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, what the Bank does is to support the program of the government of India with technical sanction from WHO.

    Specifically, it means the government of India is using a range of tools including indoor residual spraying. The government of India actually does use DDT because that is what the government of India wants to do. At the same time, in collaboration with our international partners, we do encourage the use of substitutes for DDT, and there are about 11 or 12 that have been approved by WHO.

    Rafe, will you correct your post?

  39. Luis Says:

    Tim Lambert said “DDT has never been banned in Kenya for use against malaria, they are just using other insecticides at present.”

    So why the Kenyan government “might reconsider lifting the ban of DDT in the control of malaria” (East African Standard, december 2003).

    South Africa switched to pyrethroid insecticides but then went back to DDT (Coetzee M, Horne DWK, Brooke BD, Hunt RH. 1999. SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNAL OF SCIENCE 95 (5): 215-218):
    “Historical records of dieldrin and DDT insecticide resistance in the African malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae and An. arabiensis have been mapped. Policy changes to the malaria control programmes in South Africa have resulted in DDT being phased out as the insecticide of choice and replaced with pyrethroids. Recent records of resistance to pyrethroids in An. gambiae in Vilest Africa raise concern about the future usefulness of pyrethroids for malaria control in southern Africa.”

    Of course DDT is no magic bullet, but it seems to be more efficient than other more expensive methods.

  40. Rafe Champion Says:

    Tim that is good news if the World Bank is supporting India in the use of DDT. Does the bank have any leverage on India in case it was not supportive? Can you find other places where the Bank is supporting the use of DDT?

  41. Tim Lambert Says:

    Rafe, here are some details on the World Bank’s efforts against malaria in Eritrea. They cut back on the DDT spraying and used insecticide treated nets and other insecticides. The results:

    But today Eritrea, one of the poorest countries in the world, stands out as a success story in controlling malaria.

    The statistics are compelling. The number of people dying from malaria has dropped by between 55 to 65 percent since 1999. Mortality of children under five years of age dropped by 53 percent, while there was a 64 percent drop in the death rate for older children and adults.

    “In 1991, our death toll among pregnant women from malaria was very high,” Eritrea’s Health Minister, Saleh Meky says.

    “Today, it is non-existent.”

    The World Bank isn’t opposed to DDT because of political correctness. The fact that they fund its use in India proves this. Where they fund alternative insecticides to DDT, it’s because those alternatives work better.

    Malaria is a really serious problem and it’s one that can actually be solved. But it’s not helped by folks advocating DDT use where it is not the most effective tool just so they can score points on Racehl Carson.

  42. Cosmik Debris » Global Challenges and The Copenhagen Consensus Says:

    […] my education for my ignorance? Probably not.) And two, a recent blog entry at catallaxy on Political Correctness vs Malaria Control pointed to this article, which had some interesting things to sa […]

  43. Deltoid » Eritrea cuts malaria rates by switching away from DDT Says:

    […] article is deliberately misleading. One blogger who was misled by it is Rafe Champion who falsely claimed that the World Bank would not fund DDT because of “political correctness”. H […]

  44. Joel Shore Says:

    For those of you complaining about restrictions on DDT (eg., rog’s post above): For heaven’s sake, even an organization such as Malaria Foundation International, which lobbied hard for allowing the continued use of DDT to fight malaria, sees the advantages of having tight restrictions on DDT use. In regards to the POP (persistent organic pollutant) treaty agreed to in 2000, they said in a press release:

    The outcome of the treaty is arguably better than the status quo going into the negotiations over two years ago. For the first time, there is now an insecticide which is restricted to vector control only, meaning that the selection of resistant mosquitoes will be slower than before.[/quote]


  45. Deltoid » Facts on DDT and malaria Says:

    […] claims about environmentalists and DDT to correct them have proved largely unsuccessful. Rafe Champion did not make even a token correction. Two weeks after posting an […]

  46. Sinclair Davidson Says:

    Give it away Tim. You lost.

  47. SimonC Says:

    If DDT has been ‘effectively’ banned by WHO and World Bank then how can they support it’s use:

    “South Africa and Uganda have been using DDT on-and-off when the need arises and they have benefited immensely. We ought to borrow a leaf from their book,” says the expert.

    At the time DDT was reintroduced in South Africa, between 19 and 20 million cases of malaria were being reported every year, while between 300,000 and 500,000 people were dying from the disease in the same period.

    However, DDT reduced the incidence of the disease by 40 per cent in 2001 and by 70 per cent in 2002.

    The World Health Organisation has hailed the country’s malaria programme as a success and the interventions are being used as a model for other countries.

    At the same time, WHO has supported the use of DDT in Uganda, arguing that there is no scientific proof of its adverse effects if used indoors and manufactured according to the recommended standards.

    Supporting the WHO stance, Bhatt says Kenya can use DDT sparingly to reduce its adverse effects. “We can restrict it to areas where malaria is endemic and ensure it is only used indoors.”


  48. z Says:

    The reference to the DDT article on wikipedia suggests to me that I should make another effort to edit that article, my previous corrections to the article having been deleted by the ‘Environmentalists are causing malaria’ folks, and myself getting tired of squabbling with monomaniacs. (You can never win an argument with a True Believer). Funny that that should become a reference source now, when it’s this kind of blog and WSJ editorial that are used as references by such folks guarding the article from other inputs.

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