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DDT

Managing malaria

Author(s): V P Sharma
Issue Date: May 15, 2001
With the emergence of vector-borne diseases, population pressure and unhealthy living conditions, a very focussed approach and long-term planning is needed in disease control. If all human-made changes and pressure of unscientific exploitation of natural resources are not halted, the planet Earth will not remain a habitable place.

Award for ecosecurity

Issue Date: Apr 30, 2001
vinod Prakash Sharma, an expert on malaria, has bagged the Green Scientist Award 2001 for his work on bioenvironmental control of malaria. The Centre for Science and Environment (cse), a New Delhi-based non-governmental organisation, has instituted the award that carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.

Pesticide in fish

Issue Date: Apr 15, 2001
ddt (dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane) content in fish stocks from Ganga is 16,000 times more than the permissible limit. This was revealed during a study conducted by R K Sinha, a senior investigator of the Ganga pollution-monitoring project. The Patna University, Bihar, is coordinating the project. "I found that the fish contained very high concentrations of the pesticide. This can prove hazardous to human health when consumed for a prolonged period," says Sinha.

EXPERTSPEAK

Ecological Security is all pervasive, all encompassing. It is not merely the flora, fauna, air, water and land. It is whole economics. One cannot separate Financial Security and Ecological Security. But we need to paraphrase the term. It should not be used as the other abused word -- sustainable. Everybody talks about it but no one knows what it means. Hardly any efforts are made to achieve Ecological Security in India. It is the apathy of the government. The government has the funds. But It's just not interested. The quality of space research is very good.

Peanuts for ecology

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2001
If there is one thing true about India, it's that it is a diverse country. Economically, technologically and environmentally. Some are very rich, some are very poor. There are some who use modern technologies, and there are others who still use technologies that were used a millennium ago. And, of course, there are some who live in high mountains, some in hot deserts, some in the world's most flood-intense floodplains, and some in tropical forests.

Deconstructing science

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2001
few people realise that the 21st century is going to be the century of the environment. Technological change in this century is going to be heavily driven by the environmental imperative. Any nation that forgets to invest in environmental science and technology will only do so at its own peril -- its economy and the lives and health of its people. Human technologies will be forced to mimic nature's cycles and gentleness.

Green Scientist Award

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2001
T he Centre for Science and Environment ( cse ) and Down To Earth have instituted the award to highlight the state of environmental research in India and to encourage and honour commendable efforts in this crucial but ignored area. This is one way to make more funds available for environmental research in the country.

Awardee 2001

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2001
Malaria affects the most vulnerable: children of poor families in developing countries face the greatest risk. The chemical pesticides used to combat the disease in the past 50 years or so pose grave dangers to the environment and human health (see box: Problem ). Any solution that can help the most vulnerable people to get out of this treadmill, in which the cure becomes worse than the disease, is of no mean value.

Solution

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2001
At least 35 people died of malaria in 1983 in Nadiad taluka of Gujarat's Kheda district. The Malaria Research Centre, with V P Sharma as director, began its work on bioenvironmental control here. This was a response to the failure of the National Malaria Eradication Programme (NMEP), which was all about residual insecticide sprays and chemotherapy to prevent the resurgence of malaria. Three decades of success with this approach was followed by three kinds of resistance. l Parasites were becoming resistant to drugs.
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