Old problem, well meaning people, wrong solution

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This must be United Nations day. Here is another story, this one from SciTech Today and deals with the #1 Killer in Africa. Malaria.
Report: Malaria Kills One Million a Year
Insecticide-treated bed-nets can halve malaria illness and more countries are increasing their use of them. However while 30 million -- 40 million nets are needed each year to protect all young children and pregnant women in Africa, fewer than 15 million were produced last year.

Malaria kills more than one million people and sickens between 350 million and 500 million people a year, mainly in Africa, according to a U.N. report released Tuesday.

The report, released by the World Health Organization and the U.N. children's agency UNICEF, is the first comprehensive report on malaria worldwide.

Nine out of 10 malaria deaths are among sub-Saharan African children under the age of 5; an African child dies of the disease every 30 seconds.

"The numbers are astounding and unacceptable," said Ann Veneman, the executive director of UNICEF. She said the disease is "largely preventable and utterly treatable."

"At present malaria remains the infectious disease that takes more lives of children in Africa than any other -- three times as many as HIV," she said.
Emphasis mine: "...is the first comprehensive report on malaria worldwide..." They have the gall to complain about the inefficiency of other nations and yet, with a health problem that is killing one million people per year and which can be fixed simply and effectively, the United Nations is only NOW getting around to writing "reports" on the "problem". Want a definition of hubris -- take a look. The article then goes on to talk about the UN's promotion of fancy drugs and insecticide-treated mosquito netting for over beds but the article (and the United Nations) fails to talk about the one known compound that can stop Malaria dead in its tracks. I am talking about a compound so powerful that a few ounces spread throughout a house over the course of a year will kill any mosquito that lands on it. This compound is harmless to mammals, the Mosquitoes do not have the chance to develop resistance and, icing on the cake, it is cheap to produce. This miracle compound -- DDT -- was unfortunately declared to be environmentally bad and it was therefore banned. What was not looked at was at the time of its banishment, people were using handfuls of the stuff and it was starting to accumulate in the ecosystem. Much smaller amounts are equally effective and if people are educated in its use, Malaria can become a very rare things in ten years.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on May 4, 2005 1:12 PM.

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