Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Malaria Atlas Project and How to Help Stop Malaria

Even though DDT is making a comeback Malaria still remains a major problem killing nearly three million people a year. The disease is referred to as a “poverty disease” because treatments and prevention are readably available only to countries and people who can afford it.

The disease is found around the equator up to the tropics. The only areas “free” of the plague are mountainous because of the difficulty for malaria-spreading mosquitoes to survive.

The Malaria Atlas Project has detailed maps both static, animated, and in KML format along with the supporting data.

A major way the stop infections is to have mosquitoes nets cover one-self as one sleeps. The infected mosquitoes tend to come out at dusk and night. For those interested in helping the distribution of nets check out Against Malaria for more information. The charity even has a map page of where the nets are going!


Charlene said...

One of the unfortunate results of the conservative backlash against environmentalism is the propagation of the falsehood that DDT can wipe out the anopheles mosquito, and that consequently those leftist "tree-huggers" who banned DDT are to blame for the continuing existence of the disease.

That's about as wrong as can possibly be. Even if DDT were able to kill 99.999% of anopheles (an overestimation) and even if every country and every area in anopheles territory could be sprayed (again wholly, ludicrously, stupidly unrealistic), the anopheles population would be at full strength in every area in no longer than six months. You only need six anopheles mosquitoes within ten miles of each other (and of course not of the same sex) to ensure the insect's comeback worldwide within two years.

Worse, other species of mosquitoes which can carry other deadly diseases would in the interim proliferate and (since malaria is a far slower and less sure killer than most insect-spread tropical diseases) kill more in that six-month period than malaria ever could have.

Not only is DDT not the answer, it's a dangerous substitute for the real answer - prevention and immunization. Put the money wasted (yes, wasted, totally) on DDT into netting and into research for an immunization.

Africa Fighting Malaria said...

World Malaria Day is April 25, 2008. Africa Fighting Malaria is issuing a Call to Action to support indoor residual spraying, a highly effective, World Health Organization-approved method of malaria control – check out our interactive Africa map: http://fightingmalaria.org/issues.aspx?issue=14

Also check out our new video and support AFM's fight against malaria! http://fightingmalaria.org/AFMInAction/