Chris White who is the Malaria Programme Leader with the African Medical and Research Foundation (Amref) responds to the new WHO malaria policy:

The World Health Organisation’s new stance on DDT, yet again only goes to show how so many in the West throw out opinions without really understanding the context or culture of Africa. …

For effective control of mosquitoes, at least 80 per cent of all households must be covered every 6-12 months by well-coordinated spray teams. Is this possible in Africa? Imagine trying that across the Congo basin! It is not realistic to assume that this will happen. It will just leave the communities vulnerable again.

But now imagine every family in Africa having a net. Nets last four to five years and can be carried around by everyone, including internally displaced people and nomadic groups.

The distribution of nets in a one-off large-scale vaccination campaign is less challenging than trying to reach 80 per cent of all households with a veritable army of spray teams every 12 months.

Like the WHO, Amref supports the continued use of DDT as a means to control malaria, but only in areas where it is cost-effective and possible to spray on a regular basis. …

Those who have managed spraying campaigns know that it is very difficult, much like a full-scale military exercise. The new WHO statement is misleading and operationally unsound. …

The Roll Back Malaria working group is putting together a review on the relative merits of spraying versus bed nets. I only hope that when it finally becomes available, the politicians and lawyers leading this pointless and harmful debate will learn something.

Via The Globalisation Institute.


  1. #1 Eli Rabett
    September 26, 2006

    Sometimes the reason for things happening is simpler than you think. Internal politics is always one of the rugs to check under.

  2. #2 JB
    September 27, 2006

    Good point, Eli.

    Under WHO’s rug, the largest lumps are undoubtedly made by the people jockeying to be top lump.

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