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Early to bed-net


2 Early to bed net

The report criticises campaigners’ fixation with bed nets. As African volunteer Helder Da Costa says: “It’s the west’s ban on DDT that has killed people and is killing people. Telling the truth would be a start and boat loads of DDT not bed nets would make a huge impact.” Ben Hoyte explains further: “When I was a kid in Barbados I had to go to bed early under a net until they started spraying, now I don’t have to spend half my life in bed and I don’t see why anyone else should have to either.”

Recommended Links:

  • The video entitled “The story of a Bed Net” on The Tony Blair Faith Foundation website made volunteers angry and want to respond – watch the video here
  • Article by Ceri Dingle: The great malarial bed-net swindle

Related topics: Global, Science Progress

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kaahja said:

I agree with the idea behind this video: the is no proof that DDT is harmful to humans, and we used DDt to eradicate malaria from europe in the 50ies, so why DC’s shouldnt use it? they should use it as it is cheap and it reduces malaria’s murders in africa: this means less needless deaths especially among children above 5 years old.
But still I think this video doesnt say the hole truth: tht DDT doesnt kill the infectious agent- malaria’s parasite. It actually kills its carrier: mosquitoes, and mosquitoes can resist to ddt. in the early 70ies some entomologists discover that nearly 20 species of mosquitoes capable to transmitt malaria were resistant to DDT. ddt didnt work in sri lanka where malaria was eradicated with another pasticide. mosquitoes resistance to ddt was fueled where DDT was used in agricolture with no restriction, and DDT lost its effectiveness. this is what happened in India.

to ban ddt isnt a good idea, but maybe to permit its use with no bounds isnt a good idea either, and we should introduce ddt with some regulation. rivers of ddt in africa may not work in killing malaria and if the line of scientists that state that DDT provocates cancer and harms the invironment is right, then we would have no benefits and a false hope raised up on malaria’s end for good.

andrewma... said:

fantastic work.

JenJen955 said:

The argument is so simple…so why is it being ignored by world leaders?! So frustrating – this message needs to be heard. This video is really compelling and has taught me a lot about malaria and DDT that I didn’t know before.

ap87 said:

wow i had no idea about any of this. i cant believe such effective cures are being hushed whilst bednets are still being peddled. and people are dying needlessly- thank you for bringing this to my attention! bring on the ddt.

evie2 said:

Really brilliant video, has really given me a good insight into malaria and now i feel confident to discuss it with other people, i was very impressed by all the research and hearing it all has made me feel angry enouugh to want to do something properly, is there a campaign for dtt i can join? Thanks for this

Karlton said:

Bed nets are about as much use as a chocolate teapot! A most insightful film. Hadn’t thought about how people have to go to bed early to get under their nets to avoid getting bitten by mozzies. With so much evidence that DDT is harmless to humans, I see no reason why it can’t be used. I wonder if it would’ve been banned if the US in particular hadn’t eradicated it(with DTT) over there?

Andrew Betts said:

Congratulations on highlighting the bednet/DDT debate but I just wonder whether it is quite as black and white as you portrayed? Surely nets and pesticides (and drugs, standing water management etc) are all tools with a part to play in the fight against malaria.

As someone who has had malaria several times, including cerebral malaria that put me in hospital for ten days, I am also aware that I probably would have had it many more times if I had not used bednets (or indeed antimalarial drugs, screened windows, repellents etc). And I might have even got it more often still had I not painted my floors with floor polish containing DDT.

I am the Director of a small charity working with disadvantaged communities. I work with them to decide how we invest relatively small sums of money from our supporters to improve the lives of people living in poverty and vulnerable to malaria. It is perfectly rational for us to decide together to spend £100 in protecting 20 people from malaria using bednets (and the overwhleming evidence is that they do save lives, especially if treated) while accepting that this will not ultimately eliminate mosquitoes from the community. To do that is simply beyond our resources and influence, so we look for a next best solution that will actually make some tangible difference.

In polarising the issue, your film seems to suggest that it is a case of bednets OR DDT. Don’t we need big, long term, political level solutions such as pesticide programmes and vaccine initiatives AS WELL AS shorter-term household level ones that have an immediate impact?

Thanks again for highlighting the debate and bringing the issue to the attention of many who were perhaps not aware of it.

Stephanie Z said:

To be honest, I was a bit critical about the DDT matter when first watching the clip about it. I didn’t know much about the pesticide, so I questioned the internet… and the first few websites indeed spoke of all the prejudices the clip addressed, describing them as the truth. Later, I did come upon information that backed the clip, but it is very interesting and problematic that the truth is not found first. That unfortunately is common, which only emphasizes how wrong things are.

I wonder what the people who donated money for bed nets would say about this information. Would they understand? Well, they should at least be given the chance. The WHO and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation should tell the donators about it; better yet, they should rethink their approaches.

How can bed nets solve anything? They don’t affect the vectors. The wrong means just cost money that could have been used to actually change something, and time that results in even more death. If there really was no other means than bed-nets it would probably be better than nothing – but there is. So why isn’t it being used?

I agree that the west should stop treating the African people like children, patronizing them and taking the decisions out of their hands. They can think for themselves! Selfish Gifts of condescension are not the way to go. I don’t want to spend my life in bed – who would?

The west is no better than Africa and it should stop acting like it is. The citizens of developing countries should have the same rights as those in the developed ones. The west used DDT? Let the others do that, too. It’s not harmful! It has proven that it works before! What the bed net organizations do seems pretty hypocritical to me.

Suzytoo said:

The point of the bednet short film is that there are no big public campaigns in the UK in favour of DDT or newer pesticides. In fact there are no big public campaigns to support or demand our peers wherever they live should enjoy the best of Western living standards in general. Lets face it the malaria carrying mosquito needs to be wiped out not kept at bay maybe, for a while, if you are lucky. There are plenty of campaigns for bednets headed by people like Tony Blair who are concerned to look good and ‘save’ Africans. The short film on the Blair foundation website is truely patronising. The WORLDbytes report is about thinking big for a change, not patronising, not putting untrue environmental fears before people’s lives and recognising the damage that has been done and millions who have died because of the West’s ban on DDT. It is not a film about whether or not it is worth sleeping under a bed net or telling people how to spend their cash. It is a riposte to the feel good rubbish we are fed on all things African….ooooh don’t get me started. More please WORLDbytes crew