Africa Needs DDT
IPN Opinion article
New York Times
To the Editor:
"Fighting Malaria With DDT" (editorial, Dec. 23) was most welcome. The use of the insecticide in malaria control in South Africa reduced the number of cases by an estimated 80 percent in one year and continues to save lives every day. DDT used in northern Zambia reduced malaria cases in the area by about 50 percent in one year.
You correctly point out that donors are reluctant to pay for DDT and other insecticides for indoor residual spraying. It seems that donors prefer to finance interventions, such as bed nets, that will not upset environmental activists. Donors need to decide whether they are going to save lives or simply do what they feel is politically correct.
If political correctness saved lives, malaria would no longer be a problem. Unfortunately, it doesn't, and some donor agencies are doing more harm than good.
Johannesburg, Dec. 23, 2002
The writer is director of Africa Fighting Malaria.