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[afro-nets] Roy Innis on malaria (11)
- From: "Peter Burgess" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2006 15:54:29 -0400
Roy Innis on malaria (11)
In response to Jeff Buderer
Jeff said: > 1. I don't believe you have to sacrifice the environment to meet human needs.
This is NOT what is being said in this current DDT dialog. What is being said is that the DDT is the most effective and least cost way of addressing the global malaria pandemic, and that the collateral damage to the environment from using DDT as the pesticide of choice for interior residual spraying (IRS) is tiny relative to the huge value of reducing the prevalence of malaria and its associated mortality and morbidity.
In good accounting there is the concept of "materiality", and as one of very few professional accountants involved with the international relief and development sector, I would like to see better use made of this concept. Using DDT within an IRS program has an immaterial impact on the environment, but using DDT has a material impact on the health and well-being of the people who are much less at risk of having malaria.
I do not see the people who want to use DDT to reduce the huge crisis of malaria in Africa is sacrificing the environment, though some environmentalists seem happy to sacrifice people in malaria affected areas to the tune of 3,000 children every day, and a good many more including adults.
Jeff said: > 2. The point of my email was that a noted expert in health care refer to evidence linking global warming to an increase in many health problems including malaria and that this should be considered in the exploration of the malaria problem.
Applying the idea of materiality ... there is an existing crisis in which some 3,000 children die every day from malaria, mainly in Africa. Compared to this the likely fact that global warming will increase this is by some percentage is interesting but not very important. Run the numbers to see what I mean.
Jeff said: > 3. As others have noted here...citing Stephen Milloy to back the use of DDT - as has been done here in the past - does not help to persuade many of us here who are convinced of the need of integrated health care approach that is based on sound science.
Others have cited Stephen Milloy ... but I prefer to go back to the various studies that have been done by competent scientists. As you are probably aware, Sardinia was one of the last places in Europe to have endemic malaria and DDT was heavily used to get mosquitoes and malaria under control. Massive amounts of DDT were used, and malaria was brought under control. To the surprise of many the impact on the health of the Sardinian population resulting from these high uses of DDT more than 50 years ago has been OK (not a very scientific term, I know) while the benefit from not having malaria has been huge.
Please do not deflect the dialog about DDT and malaria and legitimate questions about environmental safety into the Stephen Milloy space. I think we can find plenty of good scientific facts without using Stephen Milloy as an intermediary.
My concluding thought is that the international relief and development sector (RDS), which is almost totally donor driven in terms of what it does as a priority has been quite cynical in terms of its analysis of performance and its choice of priorities ... the results of failed development are catastrophic, and yet the leaders in the RDS still seem to think that more money doing things wrong will have a better impact than what we have seen in the past. Few people in leadership positions seem to "get it" and want to get some real reform that will put resources where some real value will be realized. The DDT debate is typical of this situation. 3,000 African children dying every day from malaria ... and use of DDT is being held to ransome by European supermarkets selling organic roses! Where is the materiality analysis in this, unless African children have NO VALUE in the European and "north" context. Hopefully this is starting to change. It is long overdue.
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