Sunday, May 07, 2006

The African Scourge

The situation in the Darfur region as well as all of Sudan is horrible. Although the reported numbers of deaths generally seem to be inflated, its seriousness cannot be denied. What the U.S. or any world organizations or nations can do is up to much debate.

"About 180,000 people have been killed and 3 million driven from their homes by fighting in the western Sudanese region since February 2003, when rebels from black farming villages took up arms against what they consider discrimination and oppression by the Arab-dominated government."1.

While not trying to belittle Darfur's condition, it is not the most serious problem in Africa. A Darfur solution would bring several valid opinions into conflict, the approach to the more serious killer should not.

"Worldwide, an estimated 300 to 500 million clinical cases of malaria occur each year, resulting in an estimated one million deaths annually in Africa alone. This age-old scourge is endemic to more than 90 countries, putting at least 41 percent of the world’s population at risk for malaria infection. In addition, malaria exacts a significant economic toll in affected areas, reducing economic growth in African countries up to 1.3 percent each year."2. (Emphasis mine)

It looks like some effective help is on the way.

"U.S. government officials are enthusiastically endorsing and funding the use of DDT in sub-Saharan Africa after years of resisting calls from scientists who said the insecticide would be the best weapon for fighting malaria, despite lingering objections by some environmentalists."...(Emphasis mine)

..."The insecticide credited with eliminating malaria in the Western world years ago was outlawed in the United States in 1972 and is banned in most countries because of environmental concerns and unsubstantiated fears it can harm humans."

"Symptoms of malaria include fever, shivering, pain in the joints, headache, repeated vomiting, generalized convulsions and coma. If not treated, the most serious kind caused by the P. falciparum parasite, can become deadly within two days. The other malaria parasites cause less serious symptoms, but can weaken a person's immune system, making him/her more vulnerable to other infectious, life-threatening diseases."4.

Thomas Sowell wrote in 'The Vision of the Anointed', pages 144-145, "The banning of DDT was followed by a resurgence of malaria, a fatal disease to many. Even a small country like Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) had 2.8 million people infected with malaria in 1948, before DDT was used. This fell to less than a hundred cases by 1962, after large-scale DDT programs were instituted-- and rose again to 5 million cases by 1969 after DDT was banned."

Again and again and again we see the Green and Liberal wisdom and do-goodism leading to catastrophe with no acknowledgement of their responsibility or change of philosophy or methodology. I assume that Bush is now to be held accountable for this dire situation as well.



JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

I agree with this 100%. Banning DDT for the sake of some F-ing bird eggs has been a disaster.

Steve said...

If and when this program gets going, I wonder what kind and how much opposition it will receive. (And how it will be reported.)