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News of the Day ... In Perspective


Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls for DDT use to fight malaria

Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu has joined an international coalition calling on the Bush Administration and Congress to deploy DDT as a primary weapon in world malaria control policy.

The Kill Malarial Mosquitoes NOW! Declaration asks that two-thirds of world malaria control monies be spent on DDT, or any more cost-effective insecticide, plus artemisia-based combination therapies (ACTs). At present, almost none of the $200 million that U.S. taxpayers contribute to world malaria control each year is spent on controlling the vector.

South Africa slashed malaria rates by 96 percent in just three years, using a combination of DDT and ACT. Zambia reduced malaria by 75 percent in two years, through private efforts, also using DDT. A single spraying of household walls protects everyone in the home for at least six months.

In contrast, insecticide-treated bed nets “could” reduce childhood malaria deaths “by as much as one-fifth,” according to the World Bank. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged more than a quarter of a billion dollars to research a vaccine, which might be available by 2011.

Meanwhile, malaria infects 500 million people and kills more than a million each year, mostly African babies and pregnant women, as USAID, the European Union, and others have effectively denied African nations access to DDT.

Supporting the Declaration are the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE); former Surgeon General of the Navy Admiral Harold Koenig, M.D.; Greenpeace cofounder Patrick Moore; and many members of AAPS.

Download the Declaration and signatories. If you wish to support the Declaration, please send your name, title, affiliation, and state of residence to [email protected].

Additional information:

RESOLUTION 61-02, 2004: Legalizing DDT to Fight Malaria in Tropical Countries

“DDT: a Case Study in Scientific Fraud,” by J Gordon Edwards, J Am Phys Surg, Fall 2004

New York Times Supports DDT to Fight Malaria,” News of the Day, Jan 11,2005

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