Dichloro Diphenyl Tricholorethane (DDT) is a poison. It is used to kill insects including those that carry disease such as the mosquito. This chemical was widely used during World War II before the harmful effects of this chemical were truly understood and how it harmed the environment. There is still a debate whether DDT should be used to kill the mosquitoes that carry malaria and other diseases.
There are additional concerns about the insecticide DDT. It has been used to fight malaria in Malawi and has an unexpected side effect. It has been shown to reduce men’s libido, their sexual performance and sex drive. This report was from a government official.
Blantyre first reported the sexual side effect that DDT is having on men in this region. Men that have been exposed to DDT get tired easily while engaging in sex acts, they experienced a reduction in their libido and they suffer from low sperm production. This information was provided by Andrew Daudi who is the principal secretary in agriculture. This article was first published in the Weekend Times recently and has been the subject of international attention.
The insecticide is now banned in Malawi and a number of other countries due to the discovery of this new side effect. Members of the Committee on Health and Population have said that DDT is not only bad for the environment but bad for human health as well.
There is one reason why governments are hesitant to completely banning the use of DDT. This chemical is said to be more effective at killing mosquitoes that carry malaria than its alternatives. Malaria still kills thousands of people every year especially in developing countires.
Rabson Chirwas is an Member of Parliament has publically disagreed with Daudi.
According to Chirwas there are thousands of people that die from malaria each year. He does not feel that DDT should be banned due to low sperm count and a decreased sexual desire in men. He said that is not a sufficient reason to ban the use of this pesticide.
No one has talked about the risk that DDT has to the environment and to nature. No information on how it can affect overall human health was related. DDT was banned in the United States back in the 1970s because it was found to be harmful to humans and animals. Other nations followed the lead and also banned DDT.
Malawi is looking for ways to fight off malaria. They have been providing free and cheap mosquito nets to the people of this country. These nets have not helped to decrease the number of deaths due to malaria. This information was provided by the government. This is why MP is looking to keep using DDT in hopes of reducing the number of deaths due to malaria.
In 2009 there were 7,000 people from Malawi that died from malaria. There were 4.5 million cases that were recorded that year. Health experts have stated that the government spends around $7 million each year to treat people that were infected with malaria. It seems that it comes down to a numbers game over which is more acceptable – however, one things for sure, it doesn’t look like the use of DDT is going to be halted any time soon.