Iowa Public Television


World Health Organization Endorses DDT to Combat Malaria

posted on September 15, 2006

Banned in 1972 as causing environmental damage worldwide, the insecticide DDT is now being touted as critical in the fight against malaria.

The World Health Organization has endorsed the use of the controversial insecticide to spray the inside walls of mud huts and other dwellings in parts of Africa. Dr. Arata Kochi, director of the WHO's malaria department said, "One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying."

Health officials said there is a distinct difference between the widespread agricultural use of decades ago and the smaller doses used to coat walls once or twice a year.

When small amounts are sprayed on interior walls, DDT forms a residue that both repels mosquitoes .. discourages them from flying into the house... and kills those that rest on the walls.

Tags: diseases insects news