Dunk Malaria on March 19

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Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute and Africa Fighting Malaria sends word of a U.N.-backed basketball marathon this Sunday to generate interest in ending malaria. From the official Web site:

On Sunday, March 19th—Take Your Shot Against Malaria

Every year millions of children in Africa die from Malaria–a completely preventable and treatable disease. They need our help! On March 19th join with 99 million people from all over the world and shoot a basket for the children of Africa on Malaria Action Day (MAD). Your shot shows you care and are willing to back up your care with action. The more people who show that they care and are taking action, the more the world will open their eyes to the devastating reality of history's worst killer of children–Malaria. Awareness leads to care–care to action–action to funding–funding to prevention–prevention to health–health to happiness.

African children deserve to be healthy and happy and malaria free! Please help!

Take your shot on any basket anywhere on March 19th to participate…just e-mail us and let us know at dunkmalaria@gmail.com.

More here.

Reason's Ronald Bailey talked about cheap ways to end malaria here.

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  1. Awareness leads to care–care to action–action to funding–funding to prevention–prevention to health–health to happiness.

    No, Awareness leads to governments writing cheques for large amounts of money that will end up paying for a couple of pamphlets and signs warning of mosquitoes, and, of course, a large cut of the cash will end up in some despot’s Switz bank account. Or maybe, like in that article on Cameroonian corruption, someone will build a clinic with a mosquito shaped roof.

  2. Deux:

    I’m shocked! Shocked that you would even think that his altruistic effort to eliminate malara is some sort of scam! Shame on you …even if you are right!

    I mean, why should a little thing like the facts get in the way of our good intentions. 😉

  3. From a “History of Malaria” page:
    More than an estimated 600,000 cases[sic] of malaria occurred in the U.S. in 1914, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

    Good thing the US got lotsa help from Africa in the form of anti-malarial basketball games.

  4. “Take Your Shot Against Malaria”

    Ah, to hell with “shooting” hoops, goddamnit! I say, instead, we each take a “shot”, quite literally, at one of the idiots who still support the blocking of DDT use. At least that might actually further the cause, rather than just make us all “aware” for ten or twenty minutes before we go back to our $7 caramel macchiatos.

  5. That website just suggests you get sponsors and donate to “a malaria charity.” The point is to “raise awareness,” not actually do anything about malaria. Who gets paid to sit around and think up stuff like this?

  6. Marbles:

    I dunno, but my best guess is that they were trained in the halls of beaurocracy.

  7. Evan, DDT isn’t blocked. It’s just that it’s nowhere near as effective as it once was (due to something called “evolution”), and more effective things have been invented (insecticide treated bed nets). DDT is still useful in some places, and it is still used in such places.

    The whole “DDT is banned” thing is a hoax.

  8. Africa Fighting Malaria is lobbying for governments to spend money on bednets and ACTs as well as on DDT. Many African governments would use DDT, which is extremely effective in areas of high transmission, if they could afford it or if donors would provide it. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is one of the only international donors providing grants explicitly for DDT use in Africa. This is primarily because DDT is and has been demonized by environmental groups for decades, and powerful constituencies won’t support it in spite of its demonstrable record of saving human lives. Raising awareness helps groups like AFM to leverage popular opinion in favor of good science and the responsible application of DDT.

  9. African Fighting Malaria is lobbying to PREVENT money being spent on bednets. See here.

  10. There is a weird pro-DDT lobbying campaign going on, and a lot of disinformation being published about it. Espeically here.

    I expect we’ll see the other shoe drop, Fumento style, at some point.

  11. Tim, AFM is not lobbying to prevent the use of bednets, but to increase indoor residual spraying programs – with DDT where appropriate. See AFM’s open letter to WHO here: http://fightingmalaria.org/petition.php

    “While we recognise the potential importance of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) in malaria vector control programmes, their use should not exclude the use of IRS, and countries and international organizations should not support the use of ITNs at the expense of IRS.”

    It would be helpful if the map of insecticide resistance across Africa on your website included references. It seems from the map that DDT resistance is not widespread, as you claim, but rather confined to regions of several West African countries.

    So-called “safer” insecticides tend to be used simultaneously for agriculture and public health programs, significantly increasing vector exposure and the potential for the development of resistance. DDT’s dubious distinction as an unsafe chemical keeps it out of agricultural programs. Indoor residual spraying is minimal and slows the inevitable development of resistance.

    Thank you for helping to publicize AFM’s declaration on your website. It can be read and signed here: http://fightingmalaria.org/news.php?ID=575

  12. I’m puzzled and frankly appalled by this continued opposition to DDT — especially to the way it is used today: not in enormous ground and aerial spraying programs across vast areas, but in tiny amounts on the inside walls of mud-and-thatch and cinderblock homes. Used in this way, virtually no DDT gets into the environment, and barely detectable amounts will show up in some people’s bodies.

    Just as important, the purpose is not to kill mosquitoes — so all these misleading maps suggesting resistance to DDT are largely irrelevant. The real purpose, and DDT’s true life-saving value, is its repellency effects. Sprayed just once every six to eight months on the walls, it keeps up to 90% of mosquitoes from even entering the home. It also irritates any that do come in, so they rarely bite. And mosquitoes are NOT immune to these repellency and irritation effects.

    That’s why indoor spraying programs in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia have been able to reduce malaria disease and death rates by 75% or more in less than two years. With far fewer people getting malaria, medical teams can then get scarce ACT drugs to nearly all victims that need them — and cut rates even further, by 90% or more in many areas,

    Even the World Bank admits that bed nets might be able to reduce malaria by a lousy 20%. That’s a good 50% difference — or a half million more people dying every year, because they have to rely on bed nets, rather than far more effective DDT programs.

    It’s easy for people sitting in front of their computers, in malaria-free homes and offices in Europe and the United States, to raise all these speculative fears about DDT. But those fears are trivial compared to the risk of getting malaria. 500 million people get this horrid disease every year; at least a million die: 30,000 in Kenya, 70,000 in Uganda, a quarter million CHILDREN in Democratic Republic of Congo — year after year.

    As Uganda’s Fiona Kobusingye has put it: “I lost two sisters, two cousins and my son to malaria. Don’t talk to me about birds. And don’t tell me a little DDT in our bodies is worse than losing more children to this disease. African mothers would be overjoyed if that was their biggest worry.”

    I’ve got nothing against bed nets. They also have a place in the war on this killer disease. But DDT is vital.

    Tim Lambert and his ideological soulmates need to show a little morality and compassion for people who live amid the poverty and disease in these countries. They need to let people who confront disease and death every day make their own choices, based on facts and free from threats by the EU that their countries’ agricultural trade will be cut off if they dare to use the best weapon we have in the fight against mosquitoes that sicken and kill so many parents and children every single year.

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