DDT and Malaria Control Essay

1185 Words 5 Pages
Nearly half a billion people are infected with malaria each year and more than a million people die from this disease. Malaria is transmitted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito infected with malaria parasites. When the parasites enter the human body, it slowly destroys the body’s red blood cells, eventually killing the patient if left without undergoing immediate treatment (Stanmeyer 2007). One of the means employed to counter the spread of malaria is through the use of DDT as an insecticide to kill the mosquitoes before they are able to infect more people.
DDT is an organochlorine insecticide that is absorbed through surface contact and kills by poisoning the nervous system (Pesticide Action Network UK 2012).
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It is active in repelling malaria carrying mosquitoes for up to a year (Maykuth 2000). Furthermore, applied DDT is long lasting so only small amounts are needed to sustain protection for one house hold.
In addition, DDT is a cheap form of pesticide available on the market. This is obvious through detailed calculations and recent price quotes from manufacturers and WHO suppliers for DDT and nine other insecticides commonly used in similar malaria control programmes, it is shown that DDT is still the cheapest insecticide on a cost per house basis (Walker 2000). Combining both facts that the pricing of DDT is cheap and that only small amounts are used each time and at long intervals, DDT has turned out to be a cost effective insecticide to be used to combat malaria in poor countries whose government is unable to afford more expensive alternatives.
Furthermore, DDT is also effective against mosquitoes which are resistant to some other insecticides. As this chemical repels mosquitoes from areas where it has been applied, is a moderate irritant and has toxic properties, its use has reduced the risk of disease transmission by nearly three-quarters. Other toxic chemicals kill almost all of the mosquitoes that land on it, but also increase the chance for rapid buildup of resistance toward such pesticides (Medial News Today 2007).

2. Drawbacks of using DDT
Long term usage of DDT affects human health. There are results
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