I have an interest in Malaria – having had a bout myself and helped at a funeral of a lively teenager who was taken away in a couple of days by an infection which got to her brain.

There are many approaches to trying to limit the damage. Here are three:

Corporate Route One: Rehabilitate DDT (yes, really!). There are nutty freemarketeers who think that that wiping out invertebrates and birds and leaving rising levels of DDT in humans are a small price to pay for “solving the malaria problem”. This is big news in the USA. If you want to see a “christian” version of the propaganda try this link The Kairos Journal but you will need to register. You can get a flavour of the arguments from this link from Pesticide Action Network.

Corporate Route Two: Fund the big drug companies and sponsor research into less harmful insecticides. This is the approach of Bill and Mrs. Gates. Yes, the man who brought you the Windows 95/8 blue screen of death and the open sesame to viruses and worms that is Windows XP is spending several of his ill-gotten millions on bribing the big drug companies to repent of years of neglecting this poor man’s disease. Here is a good link to that project.

A Human Scale Route: There is a herbal antimalarial that works, is cheap, and does not need a factory or bloated executives to make it work. Have a look at the work which Anamed (a tiny non-profit group) and many others have done. Needless to say, the big drug companies are highly unimpressed and are trying to take over production so that they can sell a highly purified and expensive version of the main ingredient. There is a real possibility that this could end up training the parasite to become resistant as it has to many other treatments (see this link).

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