Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video


Posted by John H on 1/18/05 at 12:10 (167465)

The recent Tsunami death toll is now over 160,000. Certainly one of the great disasters of our times. Grasp this if you will:

Currently in sub Saharian Africa in excess of 25,000,000 people between the ages of 15-49 are infected with AIDS. 58% are women who have no right to refuse sexual overtures and cannot ask that a condom be used.

44,000 people die each WEEK from AIDS in this part of Africa. 1,500 people are infected each day with AIDS

DDT which was long ago banned for from use because of its supposed dangers to birds and the ecology was long ago scientifically proved to be of no harm what so ever to birds and animals. Malaria was almost erradicated world wide as a result of he use of DDT. Now it kills 14,000 people a week in Africa and could be erradicated by the use of DDT which the west will no longer manufacture. Even the enviromentalist are conceding it should be used in Africa. Tens of millions of lives have been lost from malaria since the ban on DDT.

We have a culture problem in this part of the world that money alone cannot change which promotes the spread of the disease. Even Nelson Mandellas son died from AIDS. The problem is so enormous it is mind boggeling and one really can not wrap their brain around this.

Re: Disaster

Tina H on 1/18/05 at 13:29 (167471)

John, Thanks for reminding us that although the tsunami was a horrible tragedy, that there are other things claiming many more lives each year including starvation, war, aids and other diseases.
I wonder what scientific evidence you have for your claim that DDT is harmless? Last time I checked it was mutagenic, one of it's saddest effects interfering with calcium deopsition leading to bird egg shells so thin they could not support and protect the developing embryo. Maybe I'm wrong that's why I'm asking where you got your info? Thanks Tina

Re: Disaster

Dorothy on 1/18/05 at 14:43 (167482)

There have never been any claims that DDT is harmful to HUMANS. In fact that is why it was so widely accepted....until its effects on other creatures were observed, most especially birds. And it is very difficult to say that something is not harmful to humans if it is harmful to other creatures since we are all interconnected in very important ways on the planet - however, it has never been shown to be harmful specifically, directly to humans. It has been very helpful to humans in some specific ways - mosquito control, for example, and, therefore, anti-malarial. As West Nile virus and deaths attributed to it spread and increase, we may see DDT reconsidered in the U.S. - but maybe not; most people have been heartened to see stories (or experienced seeing the birds themselves) of the resurgence of eagles and osprey after the threat that DDT presented to them that DDT may never be reintroduced in the U.S. African countries are clamoring for its availability because malaria is so deadly. There is no perfect 'cure' for anything anywhere. Everything leads to something else, good and/or ill.

Re: Disaster

Buck T. on 1/18/05 at 15:52 (167484)

Hi John: You didn't mention the one million killed in Rawanda recently.

But, you don't have to look elswhere for problems. I volunteer in a homeless shelter and at food bank in our small Texas town. One thousand people a week show up and qualify for food at food bank. They are really hungry. And, most have jobs. In the shelter we care for about 20 people a night -- many brought to us by police and fire department on cold nights. The small amount of government help has been cut so much that we just let our social worker go.
Sincerely, Buck T

Re: Disaster

john h on 1/18/05 at 17:49 (167490)

Tina this needs to be turned around to what evidence is there that DDT is harmful. I have read several articles recently and seen a recent discussion on TV concerning DDT. I am of course no expert but the consensus I have read is that DDT has not been proven harmful. One of the major enviormental groups has now come out in favor of DDT for Africa. If 14,000 people are dying from malaria each week in Africa and DDT can eradicate the carrier of the disease it seems like a no brainer to me. While people may argue this subject to death there is no argument that since the ban on DDT malaria has increased ten fold and is a major killer of humans in 3rd world nations. This subject is now a live subject and I think you will be reading about it in the papers which will produce some scientific evidence you seek. I would think in Africa with this amount of death even if there was some down side to DDT it is much less than the deaths that are occuring. The reason they are not using it is we are not making it and they cannot obtain it.

Re: Disaster

john h on 1/18/05 at 17:53 (167491)


More on DDT

Re: Disaster

john h on 1/18/05 at 18:20 (167493)




Tina H on 1/18/05 at 18:56 (167495)

My rather limited knowledge of DDT comes from what I've read reviewing journal articles, new releases of college bio texts etc. Yes I've seen those sites that you mention, but for every site touting the unharmful nature of DDT, there are a hundred saying it is harmful. I agree that wiping out malaria would be wonderful, and everthing in life is a trade off. Maybe putting up with the side effects of DDT would be worth it in this case. One of the problems with studying this phenomena is that most of the early studies were done involved topical application. DDT is a poison that exhibits biological magnification where by as one goes up the foot chain it becomes concentrated in fatty type cells having widely different outcomes than topical application.

Personally, I also wonder if it had been used widely over the years, would it have also lead to resistant insects as has happened with so many other pesticides. Interesting discussion though. Thanks Tina


john h on 1/18/05 at 20:53 (167505)

Tina I really have no idea about the effects of DDT and clearly there is disagreement in the scientific community. Sometimes you have to 'dam the torpedoes and full speed ahead' in real life when faced with in excess of 2 million deaths a year from malaria (mostly children) in Africa. If I were personally making the call in Africa as to whether to use DDT to roll back this disease I would move with all due haste. Sometimes it is better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you do not know. We know without question malaria will kill over 2 million people in Africa from the spread of mosquito borne malaria. With this in mind I would not be concerned about the thickness of birds eggs. I often found in the heat of battle on the front lines you did what you had to do survive and accomplish your mission while back at headquarters they argued over theories or differences of opinion. I did not know until this week how many people were dying from malaria. A disease we had well under control prior to the ban on DDT. I suspect as in any bureaucracy no one person can make a decision and by the time they talk this through another 10 million will die from a disease we can control. Life is often a series of trade offs and the trade off in this case seems clear. We cannot bring back to life those 160,000 souls lost in the Tsunami but we can sure save millions who have not yet died in Africa at a very low cost. It seems unreal that the unbelievable loss of life in Africa goes relatively unreported. I realize that due to culture and lack of education that money is not the total answer for AIDS but the diseases which can be controlled should be a topic of discussion among scientist as to whether to use DDT or not. The Muslims in some of the northern areas are doing a total 'ethnic clenseing' of many areas. Wonder why Al Jazera does not show a few scenes of this massacre. I will get down off of my soap box now. I will write my Congressmen and letters to the editor on the subject of malaria as there is something that can be done and be done cheap and be done quick.


john h on 1/18/05 at 21:13 (167507)

Here is some news today out of Africa on the proposed use of DDT in Africa:



john h on 1/18/05 at 21:25 (167509)

I guess I am beating a dead horse so I will try and make this my last post on malaria. This one is certainly worth a read:


Re: Disaster

Kathy G on 1/19/05 at 18:41 (167561)


Bless you for your volunteer work. I am worried that so many people have donated so much to the Tsunami disaster relief that they won't be able to donate anything to other worthwhile home charities. It's not that I don't feel heartache for the terrible ordeal these people have endured but there's only so much money to go around.

I hope everyone remembers to give to their local charities this year.

Re: Disaster

vince on 1/20/05 at 08:02 (167585)

No a single cent should be donated to any charity unless it's going to benefit CITIZENS of the US here at home. Note I said CITIZENS not illegals who have crossed our borders in the dark of night or the scum of the world who pray every day for our destruction. If you do that you might as well raise posionous snakes and wild viscous dogs in your back yards and then send your children out to play. By supporting this scum you are subjecting our children to the same danger.If you had a neighbor that swore evey day that they were going to kill you and your family, that they were going to chop off the heads of your loved ones and throw their bloody bodys in the gutter what would you do? Would you bake them a pie and put in it a box full of money? Not me- I would see to it that thir heads came off first along with any of their sick spore.

Re: Disaster

John H on 1/20/05 at 09:37 (167592)

Often times you have to stop diseases and trouble in other lands before they land on you doorstep. We have eradicated many diseases in this country that are very much alive in 3rd world nations (polio, cholera, malaria,etc). If we do not help control these diseases in other countries they can make their way back to our shores. Aids originated in Africa. Perhaps if it had been recognized early on it would not now be a world wide problem. Call it chairity or call it self preservation but in a global world you can be charitable and at the same time help yourself. You cannot live in isolation as we once did. The oceans no longer protect you.

Re: Disaster

BlisterBabe on 1/20/05 at 11:52 (167610)

Re: Vince;
This is exactly the ego-centric, poor attitude that gvies Americans a bad name. You are part of one of the greatest countries in the world who has the power to do so much good, but selfish jerks like you ruin it for everyone else. Your hate and bitterness are evident. You were just plum lucky to be born where you were. Most of the world's population are living in countries deemed '3rd world'.

I haved walked through a city garbage dump in Guatemala where it is home to over 5,000 people, 3,000 of which are children. Their 'job' is to help unload garbage trucks and search for food, clothing, and useable items. ost children do not even own one pair of shoes, and if they are lucky enought to have shoes, they have the same pair throughout childhood, and their toes hang out over the tops of their shoes when they out grow them.

These are not lazy people. These are not terroists. Their story is not unique either. This kind of poverty affects millions and millions throughout the world, especially in those countries that were affected by the Tsunami.

Open your eyes to what is happening in the world around you. Be thankful this kind of disaster has not happened in North America.

I am very careful where I donate my money to. I like to be sure it will be used to help those in need, and not lost in some administration somewhere. I have travelled to many countries on a 'working holiday' to see for myself the quality of life for those living outside wealthy North America, and to try and make even a small difference by providing food, clothing, and building shelters. Thankfully the people I have met in my journey's are not as ignorant as you.

Re: to Blister Re: Disaster

vince on 1/20/05 at 17:06 (167627)

What gives you the right to refer to me as ignorant just because a I have a Naionalistic point of vue and am not a bleeding heart piece of liberal slime. I hope BLISTERBABE fits you to a 'T' an that you are covered with blisters. You also have no right to think that I am obligated to help anyone but whom I chose. As a matter of fact if it would cost 10 cents to save one stinking miserable liberal hide, and I had all the money in the world, I'de buy a stick of gum. Your attitude makes me want to vomit my dinner. Maybe I will and send it to Guatemala.
Three cheers for the people of Ohio, the red states and Jeb Bush. They are the heroes.

Re: Vince

BlisterBabe on 1/21/05 at 10:48 (167671)

you are right, you are not obligated to help anyone. what you do with your money is your choice. You have a right to your own views and opinions. I apologize for 'losing my head' in response to your first message.

From a 'bleeding heart' who happens to care about the innocent ones.

Re: sport

hamid on 2/21/06 at 12:37 (193900)