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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Burn the Bed Nets & Spray DDT in Africa

The clinical drug experiment being conducted in Africa to address malaria is admirable. The clinical trial is being conducted in seven African countries and is being sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline PLC and the Parth Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), a charitable group funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. If we had Gates' money, we would spray DDT until the mosquitoes carrying the malaria parasite were eliminated. Then we would end the spraying. It worked in the United States and it could prevent millions of deaths each year. Then the vaccine would be even more effective. If the Gates kids had been at risk they would have sprayed too. Malaria is the leading cause of death of infants and children in Africa.

We get apoplectic every time we hear about using bed nets to prevent malaria too. Or spraying a little insecticide 'in the house' to keep the mosquitoes away. Please. Americans would not go for these ridiculous 'solutions' for one minute. Neither should Africans. If outsiders want to help, work to eliminate the malaria carrying mosquitoes completely and then cease or significantly reduce the use of DDT. Bed nets are poor substitutes for the effective and efficient use of DDT to save lives. Bill & Melinda Gates should not worry about what the politically correct will think about them. Children are dying while they fund bed nets. (WSJ, 5/30/09)

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