Sri Lanka pushed malaria out of the country, and is certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as malaria-free, as of September 2016.
If you follow the fight against malaria, this may not be news to you. If you’re a victim of the pro-DDT, anti-WHO and anti-Rachel Carson hoaxes, you may be surprised.
Sri Lanka once got malaria to almost nothing, with heavy use of DDT in Indoor Residual Spraying. Then the budget hawks stopped the anti-malaria program (“Success!”) to save money. Malaria came roaring back as it will when vigilance relaxes — but by then the mosquitoes were mostly resistant to DDT, and a civil war kept the nation from mounting any public health campaigns in much of the country.
With the advent of new medicines, ABC therapy, and new methods to diagnose the disease, and using bednets and targeted pesticides other than DDT, Sri Lanka beat the disease. The news was carried in Britain’s The Guardian.
WHO regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said in a statement that Sri Lanka had been among the most malaria-affected countries in the mid-20th century.
But, the WHO said, the country had begun an anti-malaria campaign that successfully targeted the mosquito-borne parasite that causes the disease, not just mosquitoes. Health education and effective surveillance also helped the campaign.
This is a blow to the anti-WHO pro-DDT forces. Sri Lanka has been a key story in their tales of how only DDT could fix malaria, stories told long after DDT stopped working. One more example shot down.
- India Foundation, “Lessons from Sri Lankan success over malaria”
- ‘Big Success Story’: Sri Lanka Is Declared Free of Malaria, Donald G. McNeil, Jr., New York Times, September 12, 2016
Tip of the old scrub brush to The Guardian.