Mums for Malaria - the sustainability factor

Posted by muriel / on 04/21/2009 / 0 Comments

While following the tweeters and mosquito bednets, I began to have flash backs to my days in the UN working in water and sanitation, organizing with communities in ridding their environment of puddles, old tires with stagnant water, and other places of mosquito breeding. Too much water can create too many disease problems.

Bednets are very important and every effort to rid the earth of this deadly scourge should be applauded.  We also need to examine ways of making the efforts sustainable, for, as an old man told me when we were talking about using bednets - we need to have beds first...

I had developed a project which I submitted to the Bill Gates Foundation in which he was looking for ideas to Create New Tools to Accelerate the Eradication of Malaria.  I wrote in about  Growing Chrysanthemums to help accelerate the eradication of Malaria. Of note, the bednets are treated with

Permethrin & Pyrethrum Insecticides (One is a natural insecticide the other is syntheti)

 Pyrethrum, natural pyrethrum or "insect powder" a natural insecticide made from the flowers of certain species of chrysanthemum. It is a mixture of several different compounds called pyrethrins and cinerins. Originally pyrethrum was made by grinding dried chrysanthemum flowers into a powder.

Today, pyrethrum is extracted from chrysanthemum plant material with solvents. Pyrethrum is still widely used today in household insect sprays where it is usually combined with another chemical "synergist" called piperonyl butoxide (PBO). PBO helps pyrethrum by enhancing its toxicity in insects.

The Rockefeller Foundation began using pyrethrum sprays experimentally in India to great
success and this method of malaria control was recognised as enormously valuable. The use
of pyrethrum was then expanded to Assam by Dr. D. K. Viswanathan, the well known Indian malariologist in 1942.

"If you would be happy for a lifetime, grow Chrysanthemums." (a Chinese philosopher)

For every effort there has to be some thought to the sustainability of the effort, to what happens when the source dries up. 

We have started a page called the Sustainable Sieve - need your comments

Source: Living with Bugs

 

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