Reps investigates DDT efficacy for malaria eradication
ABUJA: The House of Representatives has directed its Committee on HIV/AIDS, Mal aria and Tuberculosis, to investigate the efficacy of Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDT) towards the eradication of malaria in Nigeria.
DDT is one was as the first of the modern synthetic insecticides developed in the 1940s to combat malaria, typhus, and other insect-borne human diseases.
Moving a motion titled “Urgent need to Eradicate Malaria using Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDT),” Hon Christopher Ngoro Agibe described malaria as a major health challenge which puts enormous pressure on the nation’s overstretched health system.
He submitted that about 300,000 people die of malaria annually with 65 per cent of these deaths being children under the age of 5, while the yearly economic loss to the disease is put at N480 billion.
Hon. Agibe further told the House that malaria could be eradicated using DDT, adding that the insecticide was successfully used to permanently eliminate malaria in many regions like southern Europe, North America, some parts of Asia and the Caribbean during the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Malaria Eradication programme between 1959 and 1969, DDT.
He also disclosed that while the United States of America and some European countries have used DDT to control the breeding of mosquitoes, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda and Zimbabwe have recently used DDT to great effects, with some of them reducing the disease by as much as 90%.
The House however acknowledged that the use of DDT to control the breeding of mosquitoes is enmeshed in controversy over its unproven adverse effects on the environment, thus leading to its ban in 2004 by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants but noted however that the same convention had, in 2006, permitted the use of the insecticide for the control of mosquitoes.