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A continuing crisis in global health?: Malaria Control, Elimination and Eradication Programmes in Historical Perspective Sanjoy Bhattacharya The Wellcome.

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Presentation on theme: "A continuing crisis in global health?: Malaria Control, Elimination and Eradication Programmes in Historical Perspective Sanjoy Bhattacharya The Wellcome."— Presentation transcript:

1 A continuing crisis in global health?: Malaria Control, Elimination and Eradication Programmes in Historical Perspective Sanjoy Bhattacharya The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL

2 Malaria control efforts during the Second World War World’s largest stocks of quinine in the Dutch East Indies were lost to Japanese forces Sparked a range of researchers into new anti-malarial drugs as well as anti- mosquito measures. The military significance of these researches ensured a high level of government funding. Led to a variety of new discoveries that were actually put into use. Discovery and use of synthetic anti- malarials like atabrine & mepacrine. Unfortunate side-effects limited their use somewhat Robert Jay’s article ‘Malaria in American Troops in the South and Southwest Pacific in World War II’, (Medical History, 43, 2, 1999) - turned regular users’ skin yellow.

3 DDT Wartime researches produced insecticides like DDT. Used effectively by the Allied armies near their bases. Selective usage – ‘priority classes’. Mark Harrison – A basis for the superiority of British and American armies over Japanese military formations.

4 The ‘Cold War’ and the malaria eradication programme (MEP) DDT – Continues to be an important element of the post- World War 2 story. Another conflict, long-lasting in nature, broke out: the so-called ‘Cold War’. DDT allowed the WHO to announce the launch of the Malaria Eradication Programme (Randall Packard and Socrates Litsios) MEP deeply influenced by Cold War rivalries and calculations. Fear of civil war, caused by the demobilisation of huge armies – MEP provided useful avenues of employment for demobilised soldiers.

5 Militaristic nature of MEP & successor programmes Historians have pointed out that the MEP had a militaristic profile. Military metaphors were widely used Militaristic modes of programme organisation. Military/strategic considerations played an important part. Winning wars with healthy soldiers. MEP-related aid as a means of winning geo-political support.

6 And finally…. Search for new anti-malarial drugs. Trials with artemisinin continue (for example, South East Asia). Search for a malaria vaccine. ‘Roll Back Malaria’ programme The need for a new global malaria eradication programme? Based on technological fixes? Holistic science? ‘Adaptive verticality’?


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