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April 25, 2008

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There are also disturbing developments in Zimbabwe.

The LRA makes the Taliban looking like moderates. And they are...Christians. Didn't somebody recently claim here that today all terrorists are Muslims and that Christians stopped to behave like that centuries ago?
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As for Zimbabwe: according to the radio news I heard a few hours ago Mugabe ordered his forces to storm the opposition headquarters because they allegedly were undermining public security. China has recalled the ship with the weapons for the moment (they obviously thought the publicity too bad at the moment)

Thanks for the link hilzoy. 5 nets on me. I think $50 of DDT would do a lot more – but I’ll leave that for another time.

OCSteve,

Regarding the efficacy of DDT versus bednets, it all depends. The best malarial interdiction programs combine bednets with light spraying of the walls of bedrooms every few years. In general, programs that involve any additional spraying increase malaria deaths because mass spraying fosters the development of resistant strains.

This is one of those cases where you really do want to keep your powder dry: small doses of DDT will force mosquitoes out, but large doses will kill them in the short term and breed unkillable mosquitoes in the long term. Resistance is already a huge problem in some areas.

Turbulence is just right, and I'll add this anecdote: A couple of years ago, I stayed in the home of a young mom in SE Asia who had worked really hard to earn the pennies UNICEF required to 'buy' a baby-basket-sized net.

Used properly, this net had the potential to protect an infant/toddler from bites, which is probably why the UNICEF program was distributing them to families who bought in at about 3% of retail in this rural area.

So when I showed my hostess that the net had to be tucked into the blankets in order to prevent mosquitos from accessing her baby's skin, she was surprised because the aid workers had focused on how great it was that someone in her village had chosen to participate. Not so much on the training-the-end-users, I guess.

Point being, the fight against malaria is a fight we can win, but dumping chemicals isn't the solution. Human behavior is a factor as well.

Shhh, Hartmut. You're not supposed to mention that the LRA calls itself Christian.

Any nutcase Muslim who professes to be acting in God's name gets called "Islamic terrorist" in all the newspapers. But if a nutcase Christian does the same thing, you'll never hear his faith mentioned.

Malaria can be killed in the mosquito. It grows inside. The mosquito can have a mutation developed that will kill the malaria. The last thing that was supposed to work was the sea cucumber; lethal protein, CEL-III.

Those ookinetes cost how much? How much goes to the net and the UN group buying them?

from this link

However, Professor Sinden explains that there is still a lot of work to do before such techniques can be used to combat the spread of malaria in real-world scenario. This is because although the sea cucumber protein significantly reduces the number of parasites in mosquitoes, it does not totally remove all parasites from all mosquitoes and as such, at this stage of development, would not be effective enough to prevent transmission of malaria to humans.

Damn that UN, creating a giant boondoggle when they should be using a not yet completely developed means of reducing malaria parasites.

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