By Syrulwa Somah, PhD
(April 25th 2006)
Malaria has been eradicated in the developed nations such as US, Japan, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Romania with aggressive interventions, including widespread use of DDT that ended malaria lethal grip. Today, the citizens of these nations are enjoying malaria freed environment, working, living long life, building their nation, but our people poise for another April 25, 2006 (Africa Malaria Day) which will be marked by myriad of promises. Something is fundamental wrong morally, economically, spiritually, and democratically when estimated 400 -500 million of her sons and daughters of the Black Continent are stricken by acute malaria, including malaria related miscarriages. The figure is vividly captured in the U.N. findings that 95 percent of the deaths worldwide, related to pregnancy and childbirth, occurs the Black Continent where a woman dies from complications in pregnancy every minute.
Something is fundamental wrong morally, economically, spiritually, and democratically when 3 million people are buried from curable malaria since the last celebration on April 25, 2005. Something is fundamental wrong morally, economically, spiritually, democratically when 90% of all malaria deaths, mostly children, happened in Sub-Saharan Africa while Africa is told to bank her hope on bed nets or wait patiently for a vaccine while it swallows the “sour pills”. Something is fundamental wrong morally, economically, spiritually, democratically when the Black Continent spends 12 billon on malaria that is curable.
Something is fundamental wrong morally, economically, spiritually, and democratically when the effective and efficient malaria eradication treatment (DDT) is available but our people are discouraged with loaded environmental messages to continue to live with this disease. Something is fundamental wrong morally, economically, spiritually, and democratically when malaria is still one of the world's most deadly diseases which kills “three times more children in Africa than HIV and Aids” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4927656.stm).
As we observe another “Africa Malaria Day” our message to Africa and the world is clear and simple. This Holocaust must end! Africa needs an integrated approach, including the safe application of DDT, which is 90 percent effective in destroying mosquitoes. Besides, it is cost-effective due to its 90-year durability. Our “Africa Malaria Day” message to Africa and the world is clear and simple. This Holocaust must end! DDT is still the same “miracle chemical” in the treatment of –mosquitoes evidence by the role it has played in helping to eradicate malaria in Western Europe and the North America. Our “Africa Malaria Day” message to Africa and the world is clear and simple. This Holocaust must end! It is know fact that DDT was labeled as the world’s most toxic substance and eventually banned, though DDT is not known to have killed anyone.
We applauds the US Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, which now embrace indoor DDT spraying as an imperative constituent of any integrated malaria control program. In fact, the U.S. Agency for International Development has initiated DDT and other insecticide spraying programs in several countries (See www.FightingMalaria.org) such as South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Madagascar and Swaziland that decimated their malaria rates by more than 75%. This is what the “Africa Malaria Day” must be promoting to once and for all free our people from curable malaria. This Holocaust must end!
Malaria economic burden of Africa is 12 billion annually which is a huge financial and human cost overlays for any meaning development to take place. Just multiple 12 billon by 25 years (you do the math) and see how much needed funds the Black Continent had lost and continues to lose to this curable infectious disease, which causes her people to have chills, fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, delirium and unconsciousness daily--leaving them unable to cultivate farms, care for their families, attend school or work up to two weeks. No wonder sub-Saharan of the Black Continent is miserably poor and democracy is hard to take roots. We must change this trend in Africa.
The presence of malaria and those who fight to keep it there is a violation of our human rights. Malaria only inspires the culture of death. No nation or people have the right to make malaria kill our children while they preach environmental protection and would not send their little children to spend a night in Africa. No one can claim to be caring for our welfare and democracy on the Black Continent by violating our God’s given right to life. To continue to have sympathy for these fragile flies to decimate our future generation in the womb of their mothers and the mother-to-be is a very serious crime and human rights violation. Until people of the Black Continent collectively do something about malaria, the Continent’s socio-economic, cultural, and poverty woes will not only continue, but will cause premature death and miscarriages to impede the growth and democratization of the Black Continent.
Dr. Syrulwa Somah
Liberian History, Education & Development, Inc. (LIHEDE)
About the author:
The author, Syrulwa Somah, Ph.D., is an Associate Tenured Professor of Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health at NC A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is the author of several books, including, The Historical Resettlement of Liberia and It Environmental Impact, Christianity, Colonization and State of African Spirituality, and Nyanyan Gohn-Manan: History, Migration & Government of the Bassa (a book about traditional Bassa leadership and cultural norms published in 2003). Dr. Somah is also the Executive Director of the Liberian History, Education & Development, Inc. (LIHEDE), a nonprofit organization based in Greensboro, North Carolina. He can be reached at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org