Sunday, October 25, 2009

Northern Uganda: Dispute and warnings over DDT-spraying

Email received today, addressed to Uganda Watch:
DDT: Government puts the people in Northern Uganda on dangerous health risks

Dear Sirs,

I'm a science journalist of ugandan origin based in Cologne, Germany. I have a PhD in Genetics and worked for six years at the University Hospital in Cologne.

Please inform the people of Uganda that the government puts people in Northern Uganda on dangerous health risks - especially the children.


“I would like to assure organics farmers in Apac that DDT is not bad as some people might think, and it is going to be sprayed inside the house but not in the field.” he said. The farmers however said they will not allow their houses to be sprayed with the DDT because of its toxicity and economic effects on their products.”

The director of the Research Triangle Institute Dr. John Bahana said this program of indoor residual spraying will cover districts like Apac, Oyam, Kitgum, Pader, Gulu and Amuru.


Lango farmers oppose minister in dispute over DDT-spraying

(adungu, News and backgrounds by young radio journalists in Northern Uganda)

I wrote a commentary to this article which was deleted less than two hours later. I don’t know why.

Here is my commentary:

The farmers in Apac are right. DDT is harmful.

Researchers led by the University of Pretoria in South Africa studied 3,310 boys born to women from the Limpopo Province, where DDT spraying was carried out in high-risk areas between 1995 and 2003 to control malaria. The two-year study included 2,396 boys whose mothers had been exposed to DDT and 914 whose mothers had not.

The study compared boys born to women in the 109 villages that were sprayed, with those born to women from the 97 villages that were not.

Women who lived in villages sprayed with DDT to reduce malaria gave birth to 33 per cent more baby boys with urogenital birth defects (UGBD) between 2004 and 2006 than women in unsprayed villages, according to research published online by the UK-based urology journal BJUI.

And women who stayed at home in sprayed villages, rather than being a student or working, had 41 per cent more baby boys with UGBDs, such as missing testicles or problems with their urethra or penis.

Science Daily, October 23, 2009

Journal reference:

Bornman et al. DDT and urogenital malformations in newborn boys in a malarial area.
BJU International, 2009; DOI: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2009.09003.x

Best Regards,

Joe Otim Dramiga
[end of email]

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