April 25, 2009

Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Malaria Has Got To Go

Today, April 25, is "World Malaria Day." Millions of people around the world die every year from malaria. Because of environmentalist efforts to ban many pesticides, especially DDT, millions of people have died - and are dying - unnecessarily. Malaria could be easily controlled, but the Left and their enviro-radical allies simply will - not - allow - it.
Environmentalists and their allies on the Left knowingly allow millions of human beings to die of malaria.
Between 300 and 500 million people contract malaria every year. You will probably encounter some nonsense today about how to combat this horrible disease, which is spread primarily by mosquitos.
Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells. Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, and vomiting, and usually appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines. (Source:
World Health Organization)
An example of the nonsense you may encounter today:
...the organization Malaria No More is using social media tools to spread the word and raise donations to buy lifesaving mosquito nets. The article urges us to "Tweet to beat malaria," and goes on to say, "On World Malaria Day, $30 buys 3 mosquito nets to save lives. Please donate!" (Source) "Tweeting" to beat malaria? Malaria is a parasite. When a mosquito bites, it sucks blood from its victim. Some of the blood in the insect's gut, from a previous victim, can mix with the new victim's blood, thereby infecting the new bite victim. I'm not sure how getting a bunch of people to send messages to each other on Twitter will prevent that process or kill trillions of malaria-bearing mosquitos. This is just more "Leftist Magical Chanting," as I've called it previously. It is reminiscent of the hippies trying to levitate the Pentagon to stop the Vietnam war. It is as useless as a neighborhood crime walk, and as effective as anti-crime candlelight vigil. Hey hey, ho ho, ma-lar-eee-yaa has got to go. You have to wonder who's making a windfall profit from the sale of mosquito nets, which may save a handful of lives but do absolutely nothing to save the millions of people who are bitten by mosquitos when they're not under the damned nets. Earlier this week, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton gave a nonsensical video speech just for Malaria Day: "We're using proven drugs to treat malarial illness, and simple tools to prevent the disease, including insecticide nets, indoor spraying, and safe, inexpensive drugs for pregnant women.... With solutions already in hand, we can envision a world free of the scourge of malaria.... So today, we reaffirm our committment, not just to curbing the spread of this disease but to working with our global partners to end malaria as a major public health threat. We will redouble our own efforts and we will call on our partners to join us in reaching the day when we can celebrate a world without malaria." That sounds nice, but Clinton omitted some very important information. She never once mentioned the possibility of spraying insecticides to combat the mosquitos that spread malaria. She certainly didn't tell you that environmentalists have forced poor nations to stop spraying DDT and other pesticides about 40 years ago. If that had not happened, malaria might have been eradicated by now. The Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT, a powerful pesticide, in 1972. Certainly, tens of millions of people would not have died, and hundreds of millions more would not have become dibilitated or orphaned by malaria. Everything that Clinton spoke about in her fluffy video was about treatment of malaria or the feeble attempt to prevent it by means of "insecticide nets." Neither of those measures do any good on any significant scale. As to the effectiveness of the nets, Hillary Clinton omitted this recent news story: "Studies have indicated that two species of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes found in Kenya have developed resistance to permethrin and DDT," Vincent Corbel, a malaria specialist with the World Health Organization, told a symposium held in Nairobi on 23 April. (Source: "KENYA: Act now on growing insecticide resistance, says malaria expert" - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, April 24, 2009) SciDev.net reported this in February, 2009: "Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) primarily protect only the people sleeping under them and are less effective than generally assumed because ITN distribution does not equate with consistent use. And while the mass distribution of ITNs has undoubtedlysaved thousands of lives, mosquitoes are becoming increasingly resistant to the insecticides used on them, partly because the same chemicals are used in farming.Recent studies have identified growing resistance in Benin and Uganda, where free net distribution has occurred for a decade." (Source: "New insecticides are crucial in battle against malaria" - SciDev.net, February 19, 2009) Get this straight, folks: Those measures cannot and will never bring about "a world without malaria." Unless the primary source of the disease is attacked (mosquitos), the world will continue to need donated nets and medicine. Let me repeat myself: Nets might keep the mosquitos away from you while you're in a tent or laying down to sleep. Meanwhile, millions of disease-bearing mosquitos are breeding and buzzing around right outside, ready to inject you with malaria the moment you go outside. As the Left so loves to do, Hillary Clinton proposes more Band-Aids when what is really needed is major medical treatment. The treatment needed: Spraying large areas with insecticides to kill off the mosquitos. The solution is so simple that it's mind boggling. Spraying with DDT would virtually eliminate the problem in many, many large areas of the malaria-affected world. As the BBC reported in August, 2000: Some of the world's poorest countries say their fight against malaria is being threatened by environmental agencies in the West. Every 20 seconds a young child somewhere in the developing world contracts malaria and because they cannot afford modern drugs developing countries tackle the disease with cheap pesticides like DDT. In Britain and other European countries, DDT has been banned for years because it's toxic and damages crops and wildlife - and some environmental groups want the ban extended world-wide. (See "Environmentalists threaten malaria fight," BBC, August 30, 2000) In October, 2006, self-described environmentalist Richard A. Posner, Judge, United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Senior and Lecturer, University of Chicago Law School, wrote that the benefits of using the pesticide DDT to fight malaria outweigh the risks when balanced against the loss of life caused by malaria. Posner wrote the following (emphasis added): I am a strong environmentalist, and support the ban on using DDT as a pesticide. Although Rachel Carson's belief that DDT causes cancer has not been substantiated, there seems little doubt that its widespread use as a pesticide, if continued, would have caused a significant reduction in biodiversity because of its lethal effect on many fish and bird species. Althouth the World Health Organization (WHO) actually approved DDT for dealing with malaria, it never actively supported it. "While DDT repels or kills mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite," wrote Joanne Silberner for NPR's All Things Considered, "it doesn't get much good press. In 1962, environmentalist Rachel Carson wrote a book, Silent Spring, about how [DDT] persists in the environment and affects not just insects but the whole food chain....In the early 1960s, several developing countries had nearly wiped out malaria. After they stopped using DDT, malaria came raging back and other control methods have had only modest success." (Source: "WHO Backs Use of DDT Against Malaria" - National Public Radio, September 15, 2008) Judge Posner, then, doesn't like DDT. He doesn't like malaria either, however. Posner, unlike so many environmentalists, is rational about the subject of DDT v. Malaria and puts human life first: Considering how much cheaper and easier it would be to (largely) eliminate malaria than to eliminate AIDS (which would require behavioral changes to which there is strong cultural resistance in Africa), the failure of the African countries, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and private foundations and other nongovernmental organizations to eliminate most malaria by means of indoor spraying with DDT is a remarkable political failure. (Source: Global Envision) Hillary Clinton is a party to that political failure. The Left, as a whole, is too. In 1997, the New York Times noted that "In the 1950's, experts were optimistic that malaria could be wiped out, and for a time DDT and other insecticides led to a sharp reduction of mosquitoes and of the disease. But the use of DDT and similar chemicals was sharply curtailed because of their dreadful environmental effects, and partly as a result malaria began a long upswing around the world in the 1960's and 70's. DDT's "dreadful environmental effects," they say. How's this for dreadful environmental effect of not using DDT: Billions of human beings horribly affected by malaria, and tens of millions dead. How many humans do you think would have died as a result of the "dreadful environmental effects" of using DDT? More or less than from malaria? I'd guess far less. The NYT article continued: As a single disease, malaria has a bigger impact on the world than anything you can think of,'' said Dr. Kazem Behbehani, director of the division for control of tropical diseases at the World Health Organization in Geneva. ''And it's spreading.'' Source: "Malaria Makes a Comeback, And Is More Deadly Than Ever," New York Times, January 18, 1997) A response to the New York Times article, by George Reisman, Ph.D., professor of Economics at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, shone a spotlight on the guilt of the Left and the radical environmentalists in worldwide malarial catastrophe (emphasis added): The malaria epidemic is the result of the vicious, antihuman philosophy of environmentalism. Environmentalism regards wild speculation as the equivalent of scientific proof, and the "environment" - from California condors and spotted owls to rock formations and jungles - as intrinsically valuable and fully on a par with the value of human life. In the instance of the banning and continued prohibition of DDT and the consequent return of malaria as a leading killer of human beings, the environmentalists demonstrate their indifference to the value of human life. (Full post at http://www.capitalism.net/articles/malaria.htm) Also see the index entry "Ecology movement" in Reisman's book Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics [Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996]. Happy Malaria Day. It's a "holiday" that we could have avoided decades ago. Since the environmentalists stand in the way of real progress in the war on malaria by denying the use of DDT or equivalent pesticides on a meaningful scale, perhaps we could have a can hold a big candlelight vigil and chant "Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Malaria Has Got To Go!" RELATED: George Reisman's Blog on Economics, Politics, Society, and Culture IRIN In-depth Killer Number One: The fight against malaria ... Malaria Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment on ... DDT, a bane of environmentalists, returns as a weapon against ... Malaria WHO's New Guidelines Supporting DDT To Control Malaria ... The Malaria Clock - A Green Legacy Of Death Where Are The Greens On Malaria? - April 21, 2006 - The New York Sun New insecticides are crucial in battle against malaria - SciDev.Net Malaria: Anti-DDT policies are deadly WHO Backs Use of DDT Against Malaria : NPR CDC Malaria Risk Map Rachel [Carson] Was Wrong Malaria and DDT CommieBama Hats and More Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Follow ChiNewsBench on Twitter

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