Omission Speaks Volumes on Malaria Relief

Published April 26, 2006

Dear Editor:

In your April 25 editorial, “Catching Malaria,” you muse about the “bureaucratic incompetence” of international aid agencies and their failed efforts to combat the spread of malaria in Africa, rightly pointing out the great work of George Ayittey of the Free Africa Foundation. But you omitted a big part of the story.

Ayittey is fighting for the right to use DDT in his campaign to eradicate malarial mosquitos. He is even circulating a petition advocating the use of DDT, which argues: “Small amounts of DDT sprayed on the interior walls of homes can effectively kill or repel malarial mosquitoes––giving long-lasting protection to the families within. DDT as yet plays no part in the program announced by President Bush in July 2005, to spend an additional $1.2 billion on malaria control over the next five years. Without DDT spending will be needlessly wasted, along with millions of additional lives.”

DDT cannot be ignored in discussions about reforming anti-malaria efforts. We must allow Africans to use this vital tool, which helped eradicate malaria in the U.S. and in Europe.


Ralph Conner

Ralph Conner ([email protected]) is government relations manager for The Heartland Institute.