** URGENT - PLEASE READ AND SIGN THIS LETTER BELOW **
(Read more information about the DDT issue.)

120 COUNTRIES ARE MEETING TO BAN DDT FOR MALARIA
CONTROL YOUR INPUT IS URGENTLY NEEDED!

29 March 1999

 

Dear Colleague,
We are writing to you as malariologists and members of the International Board of the Malaria Foundation International (MFI), to ask for your support in endorsing an "open letter" about an impending global ban on DDT.

As you probably know, DDT is still used as a residual insecticide inside homes in Africa, Asia and the Americas, where it saves perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives a year from malaria. However, you may not know that 120 countries are now negotiating a treaty to ban ALL production and use of DDT. The United Nations Environment Programme, major environmental groups, and many Western countries all support a DDT ban. If they succeed, DDT will become ILLEGAL to use for malaria control, possibly as soon as 2007.

While we understand that DDT can harm the environment, we believe that protecting human lives from malaria demands special care. We support an eventual ban on DDT use, but ONLY on the condition that Western countries increase their funding to research and subsidize the costlier alternatives for malaria control.

In our view, setting a firm deadline to ban DDT places an unethical burden on world's poorest countries. Tropical countries simply can not afford the more expensive alternatives to DDT. Rather, the burden should be on rich Western countries to end their shameful neglect of malaria: to research and implement alternatives to DDT that both vanquish malaria and protect the environment. We therefore advise developing countries to reject a DDT ban, unless Western countries agree to fully subsidize environmentally safer alternatives for malaria control.

The Malaria Foundation International is helping to circulate an "open letter" to the scientific community which states these views. We are asking public health experts around the world to sign the open letter, to send a message to governments that public health matters as much as environment. Once it is signed, a copy of the open letter will be sent to every diplomat participating in the treaty negotiations. Some of those who have already signed:
* Dr. Joshua Lederberg, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, Rockefeller University
* Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Harvard Institute for International Development
* Dr. Robert Desowitz, Author of "The Malaria Capers", University of North Carolina

ANY scientist, doctor or other person working in biology or public health is welcome to sign (no students please). You have already read a summary of the open letter above, but if you wish to read the full document (11 pages), links are at the bottom of this page for French and English versions - plain text and pdf files.

Please "sign" by filling out the following electronic form or by sending an e-mail or fax including this information to the author of the letter: Dr. Amir Attaran, The Malaria Project, Washington aattaran@essential.org Fax: (604) 258-7333

your NAME;
your TITLE (PhD, MD, MPH or other)
your FIELD of work or research
your INSTITUTION and DEPARTMENT
your eMail
 

PLEASE ALSO HELP US TO CIRCULATE THIS LETTER BY FORWARDING IT TO ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. We depend solely on volunteered help, and a few minutes of your time, to spread this important message. Please do WHATEVER you can to assist us in this project. We THANK YOU for your response, and for your defence of public health in the developing world.

Sincerely,

THE MALARIA FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL BOARD
Dr. Pierre Druilhe (France)
Dr. Mary Galinski (USA)
Dr. Annette Gero (Australia)
Dr. Socrates Herrera (Colombia)
Dr. Wen Kilama (Tanzania)
Dr. Kamini Mendis (Sri Lanka)
Dr. Wilbur Milhous (USA)
Dr. Barend Mons (Netherlands)
Dr. Robert Nagel (USA)
Dr. Geoffrey Pasvol (UK)
Dr. Mary Stevenson (Canada)
Dr. Joseph Wang'ombe (Kenya)

I would like to read the OPEN LETTER in English or in French.
I would like to open the OPEN LETTER as a pdf file in English or in French.

(Read more information about the DDT issue.)