Ensuring Life, Health and Prosperity for Future Generations

DDT is back . . .

DDT the once-banned pesticide, is back and in use in several African nations, despite its poisonous impact on humans and the environment…

USAID (United States Agency for International Development) is presently implementing a $150 million-dollar contract for malaria control, using DDT for Indoor Residential Spraying (IRS) programs in Uganda. Congested, government-created camps riddled with diseases like HIV/AIDS and TB in war-ravaged northern Uganda were sprayed this past February, as part of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), announced by George Bush in 2005.

One of the first countries to begin IRS under the new initiative, Uganda presents an interesting case, particularly because of its reputation for corruption and notorious lack of transparency of its Health Ministry and healthcare system. In August of 2005, Uganda was temporarily suspended as a beneficiary of the Global Health Fund due to embezzlement and graft by high-level officials and staff.

15 African countries will be targeted with the $1.2 Billion-dollar initiative, which aims to cut malarial deaths in half. Funding for the program comes from USAID, the Centers for Disease Control, and other institutions including The Global Health Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria, which disburses funds sourced from the public and private sector; among the fund’s largest donors is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Listen to the Africa Malaria Day 2007 PANNA Briefing

(Risks and Effects of DDT)

Download the File (Right Click and ‘Save As’)

From Kenya to Alaska, to New Orleans, DDT toxicity is discussed by experts and researchers from UC Berkeley, PANNA (Pesticide Action Network North America) and other institutions.

There are Effective Alternatives

Mismanagement of Global Health = A Silent Holocaust

“Now, the IMF and the World Bank basically don’t block increases in health spending, if donors come forward. But, I don’t believe they also realize the urgency, and they don’t speak up and say in public what they say in private. In private they know that there is a silent tsunami, silent holocaust underway in rural Africa with mass death. They know that there is not enough budgetary support to hire doctors and nurses and to keep proper provisioning of the health system Jeffrey Sachs”

More Study is Needed

While DDT was recently re-authorized for use by the WHO, the long-term effects of DDT on humans has been understudied. Researchers and scientists at a recent DDT conference at Alma College in Michigan agreed that “much more study and research is needed to determine with certainty what impact exposure to DDT has on humans and the environment.”

Researchers in the field state that there is not enough research on the impact of DDT on immunity, its interaction with other diseases such as AIDS and TB, or the effect of DDT when mixed with other strong chemicals, like antiretroviral drugs.

Most significantly, risk-benefit analysis has not been carried out with DDT to gauge its effectiveness as a malarial control agent, in relation to the serious and lasting toxic effects that it causes. Use of DDT is tantamount to wanton killing and eradication of future generations of Africans.

~ Written by Hellen Otii


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