Now, after years of feckless and wasteful attempts at attacking the disease through innoculation and the application of indoor mosquito netting (!), officials are getting serious:
W.H.O. Supports Wider Use of DDT vs. MalariaOf course the W.H.O. is meeting resistance. A group called Beyond Pesticides, headquartered far far away in malaria-free Washington DC, released a statement "saying a dependence on pesticides like DDT 'causes greater long-tem problems than those that are being addressed in the short-term.'”
By Celia W. Dugger, The New York Times
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 — The World Health Organization on Friday forcefully endorsed wider use of the insecticide DDT across Africa to exterminate and repel the mosquitoes that cause malaria. The disease kills more than a million people a year, 800,000 of them young children in Africa.
Dr. Arata Kochi, who leads the group’s global malaria program, unequivocally declared at a news conference on Friday that DDT was the most effective insecticide against malaria and that it posed no health risk when sprayed in small amounts on the inner walls of people’s homes. Expanding its use is essential to reviving the flagging international campaign to control the disease, he said. (link)
Those long-term problems are of no great interest to the parents of the 800,000 little kids who will die in the short-term this year from malaria. When burying their young, it's hard to be thinking long term. They, and I, leave that muddled thinking up to those who live in NeverNeverLand on the Potomac, those who can afford such frivolity.