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[afro-nets] Roy Innis on malaria (14)

  • From: "Jeff Buderer" <jeff@onevillage.biz>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 05:22:54 -0500

Roy Innis on malaria (14)


Thanks for the comments about Kris - that is needed and appreciated - althought i did not see the critical emails. However the point is taken and I often wonder if I myself often sound like a record player talking about the need for an integrated approach to development.

You are misreading my comments and it seems to me like a straw man approach. So I am going to reassert my points

The real disagreement I have with you and some of the others here is not about the use of DDT so much as the approach or way of thinking about this that is put forward in regards to seeing DDT as this panacea. Its understandable that you see Malaria as one of the major health care issues in Africa but it is NOT the only one. And I do believe the issue is more complex than is often put forward in this group.

For the problem is not with malaria, the enviromentalist or DDT but rather with corrupt arrogant and top down oriented instutions all over the world putting forward public and corporate policies (as well as NGOs) that do not truly reflect the public interest. Therefore I do believe Kris' "Transparency and Accountability Mantra" is much more relevant and innovative than the overworn and simplistic Malaria-DDT ones.

I say this because I believe strongly that without an comprenehsive health care and overall development plan, another problem will simply emerge to replace malaria because the real issue is corrupt and ineffective governance and not malaria and deep down i think we all know that. Indeed we see that there is not one world urgent issue but a series of them. In addition we see patterns by which the problems of the developed world complement the developing world. Yes, Malaria needs to be addressed but I think the real and more deeper issue is trust and so that is why such care and thoughtful thinking needs to be used in terms of how we discuss these issues.

My real point of inserting the global warming issue is that it is altering the patterns of the planet in a powerful and unprecedented way. And Craig, I do have to say that your skepticism about Global Warming is to many experts, analogous to saying the EARTH is FLAT. Every year the science is growing stronger about global warming and every year those who still resist this look more uncredible in claiming to make a professional case for disproving it. Indeed many of the Global Warming naysayers such as interestingly enough our good friend Stephen Milloy are paid by (surprise) the very companies that stand to lose the most if we were to adapt sensible policies to reverse Global Warming. We are talking about changes in the climate that may be so destructive that in the next few years that they may drawf concerns about malaria by several orders of magnitude!

So to reiterate, just thinking about malaria will not get us there to the point of global sustainability or even survival. So thinking about malaria in the context and in concert with other global challenges and issues will and national policies need to reflect this more sophisticated way of seeing and understanding how the world truly works.

AIDS, TB, Malaria and malnutrition all seem to be major challenges for health care professionals in Africa and other developing regions. We need to develop comprehensive and sustainable health care development plan that while operating on the regional and national level is truly community and grassroots oriented. It may be that we need to use DDT to improve the health of these societies, but we need to balance this with consideration for the state of the environment and potential long term sideeffects ot using DDT as in the case of the other toxic chemicals that we have grown accustomed to using in the modern world.

A sustainable health care policy in my view is one that is holistic in seeing synergies between various diseases and dysfunctional behaviors in society but also seeking to promote preventative care approaches that minimize the need to see the health professional. For example high levels of pollution in developing countries will lead to more disease over the long term so any cost savings over the short term in running factories without proper controls will be more than compensated by the long term health costs to the society.

So on the same levels using DDT would ultimately have to measured along those lines comparing the short term benefits in eradicating the disease with the long term costs of health and ecological impacts associated with POPs like DDT.

In regards to your comment, Peter about the flowers I would say I have every right as a consumer to DEMAND that what I buy have no trace of POPs or any other toxic modern chemical on them! This is really a hypothetical issue as I dont know the specifics about the flowers in relation to Kenya. Yet it is one thing to say that a people have a right to take extreme measuring including using a POP chemical to eradicate a devastating disease but this should not be equated with another people feeling like that have to import a product from that region that may have traces of chemical which may adversely impact their health.