Health Costs And Benefits Of DDT Use

DDT has been very effective in controlling Malaria in those places where it has been in use and this led to the launch of Malaria eradication programs by WHO using DDT through Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) programs. For instance, the replacement of DDT with alternative chemicals for IRS in South Africa resulted to increased cases of deaths from Malaria, but a reintroduction of the pesticide halted and reversed the epidemic thus proving the effectiveness of DDT for IRS. However, given the human health and environmental risks associated with DDT, its continued use is untenable, but there are situations where DDT will provide the best achievable health benefits and invoking precaution through a centrist position will help design safer alternatives to the control and prevention of Malaria (Bouwman).The use of DDT to control Malaria has been a much contentious issue in recent times especially due to health concerns and ethical considerations (Bate et al). a considerable amount of research has revealed a number of human health risks and environmental risks associated with the continuous application of the pesticide in the control and treatment of Malaria. The debate surrounding DDT can be broken down into three factions, the anti-DDT, Centrist-DDT and Pro-DDT. the anti-DDT position supports a complete ban of the pesticide due to the human and environmental health risks while the Pro-DDT support the continual application of DDT given the seriousness of the Malaria scourge, the human misery and economic implications of Malaria deaths. The Centrist position recognizes both the health costs and benefits of DDT because it practically accepts the current need for DDT to combat Malaria transmission but also recognizes the health risk of using a toxic chemical of that nature in the homes of families.

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