Location: Accra, Accra, Ghana

Franklin Cudjoe is head of Ghanaian think-tank Imani: The Centre for Humane Education, whose vision is to educate and create a core of young scholars that will promote market oriented policies throughout Africa. He was formerly a programme officer and research assistant at the Institute of Economic Affairs in Ghana. A Land Economist by training, Franklin works closely with partner think-tanks across the world to promote public policy ideas in Ghana and abroad. He is a frequent commentator in print and broadcast media about Africa development issues, including appearances on BBC, CBC, Swiss and Swedish National TV, Austrian National Radio and varied local Ghanaian media, and has been published or quoted in the Ghanaian Daily Graphic Accra Daily Mail, Ghana Web, My Joy online, London's Daily Telegraph,The Wall Street Journal, El Mercurio (Chile), La Republica (Costa Rica),the Ottawa Citizen, the San Francisco Chronicle, Netzeitung Voice Of Germany, and many others. Franklin speaks to policy makers, students groups in Ghana and abroad. Franklin is an Adjunct Fellow at the Independent Institute in the USA and the International Policy Network in London.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Wedding dresses and fishing nets arethe best use for mosquito bed nets!

Hi Franklin,

Thank you for your news of your BBC debates. I strongly agree with you that DDT is much better than mosquito nets, of course it gives tremendous results. Wedding dresses and fishing nets are the best use for nets!

I wouldn't like to be trapped inside a net in bed with a hungry female mosquito, equipped with infra-red sensory detection. She will always get her fill of blood in the end and wait patiently until her target is asleep. What man can escape a predatory female?

As an historian I did lots of work from primary sources on the history ofmalaria eradication in Southern Italy: 1943-1955 were the key years. It was all completely eradicated with DDT (before the ban, of course) after thousands of years when millions had suffered and whole cities been abandoned in ancient and medieval centuries, time and time again.

Lots of other Mediterranean countries used DDT to eradicate it too, aroundthe same time and the US too. Do you know Gordon Harrison's book Mosquitoes,Malaria and Man, a History of Hostilities since 1880? I myself had a lot of small mosquitoes in my bedrooms in Italy for 17 years because my wife wouldn't let me use insecticides - not even the benign ones still authorised for sale after the ban. We got stung and stung and couldn't sleep at nights.
When she left, I sprayed and in 20 minutes all the mosquitoes disappeared for ever.

Another factor was the flat roof they bred in rain puddles and these needed to be dispersed. I wonder, could they be breeding in the waterin the troughs of corrugated iron African roofs or is that water too shallow?

DDT was banned because it slightly thins the eggs of birds of prey. But the ban probably caused up to 400 million unnecessary prematuredeaths since the 1950s, in the Third World! That's more deaths than Hitler, Stalin, MaoTse Tung, Idi Amin and all the tyrants and wars of the whole 20th century,all put together. So hypocritical too ? the West only banned it after they'd already cleaned up their malaria! India never accepted the ban.

Oh, and another thing Italian public health authorities did in their 1950sand 1960s economic miracle was they de-wormed all their children. Cheap and effective eradication of intestinal parasites and head lice too. I think HIV immune deficiency in Africa is due in large part to multiple parasite infections (malaria and worms in particular). De-worming would be a much cheaper and more effective means of boosting Africans? immune systems thanall the expensive Aids drugs and campaigns that are so fashionable. Also,it gives people more energy when they are free of parasites, so productivityrises and it is a good economic investment in the labour force. Cheaper and more cost-effective than over-educating all the masses.




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3:55 AM  

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