1291Re: [ujeni] Malaria
- Apr 29, 2000That reminds me of two ddt stories:
Back when I was a volunteer, the Ag chief in our village had a simple
solution to his mosquito problem. He sprayted his hous eonmce a month with
concentrated DDT. It worked...but he could never figure out why his kids
were always sick...
Another guy who worked for an NGO smuggled keg beer into the country by
labelling it DDT in big letters all over the kegs...no one ever looked at
Although mosquitos are killing more people than AIDS now, I wonder when it
will be the reverse...
----Original Message Follows----
From: "Weber" <weber@...>
CC: "Jennifer Weber" <jlweber@...>, "Alan Debrauw"
<debrauw@...>, "Joan Granata" <jofra@...>
Subject: [ujeni] Malaria
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2000 08:39:51 -0700
Poor stung by malaria's hidden cost
Sarah Boseley, Health correspondent
Tuesday April 25, 2000
Malaria is taking a far greater toll of the economy of many developing
countries than has been previously understood, leaving them
up to 20% worse off within 15 years than similar countries without serious
infestation, according to a report from the World Health
The report, by Jeffrey Sachs of the Centre for International Development at
Harvard University, and colleagues at the London School
of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says: "The cost of malaria is
substantially greater than economists have previously estimated."
Previous estimates have taken account of only the immediate short-term
costs, such as the loss of labour and the costs of
treatment and prevention. But the longer-term costs are even more
devastating to the country, Dr Sachs says.
"Malaria may impede the flows of trade, foreign investment and commerce,
thereby affecting a country's entire population.
"Tourists shun regions with high malaria, as do multinational firms choosing
the location of foreign investments."
Repeated bouts of malaria damage children's mental and physical development
and play havoc with their schooling. This
encourages parents to have more children, increasing population growth,
impoverishing families and preventing women from joining
the labour force. All these are hidden costs not usually taken into account
in estimating the economic damage malaria causes.
The publication of the Sachs report coincides with the opening today of the
first summit of African heads of state - in Abuja, Nigeria
- to address the issue of malaria. The leaders are expected to commit
themselves to a WHO programme.
"Malaria traps the people of Africa in poverty," said the Nigerian
president, Olusegun Obasanjo. "It stops adults earning a living and
children from going to school. Each year families spend the equivalent of
several months' earnings on malaria treatment and
"It does not have to be like this. Malaria is preventable, treatable and
David Nabarro, head of the Roll Back Malaria programme, said the work of the
economists had shown how malaria control was not
just a health matter but a development issue. "The language of the 80s where
we saw health and education as a luxury was wrong,"
"Between 1965 and the present, the economic growth rates of African nations
have been reduced by 40% as a result of malaria and
its consequences. We're moving towards an awareness that disease is not just
a suffering illness issue but a massive brake on
economic and human development.
"My personal view is this. Say the total economic cost of malaria in Africa
is $2bn (�1.3bn) a year and we know that we could halve
malaria death rate in Africa as result of investing $200m to $300m a year.
Put very crudely, that means one extra dollar spent on
malaria could be associated with $5-$10 economic benefit. That is one of the
most extraordinarily good development deals around."
The way forward, says the WHO, is through programmes that incorporate all
the best practice in malaria treatment and control,
such as pesticide-impregnated bednets and combinations of drugs to counter
the resistance that now exists to medicines like
But the notorious pesticide DDT is still the only way to keep down the
malaria-bearing mosquitoes in houses in the worst-infested
regions of the poorest developing countries, Dr Nabarro acknowledges.
"If we don't use DDT the results will be measured in loss of life. The cost
of the alternatives tend to run at about six times as much
as the cost of DDT." Environmentalists have been campaigning for a total ban
The long-term hope for malaria control is a vaccine. The WHO is working to
encourage academic institutions and industry to
increase their efforts. President Clinton has offered tax credits to
companies producing a vaccine.
� Copyright Guardian Media Group plc.
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