Mums for Malaria
“If you would be happy for a lifetime, grow Chrysanthemums.” (a Chinese philosopher)
Planting chrysanthemums good for malaria, for the environment/planet, good for bringing in $$$ to local communities…
Issues of sustainability are critical in any project if we want really that the project has a longterm viability. Malaria No More is doing great work in spreading awareness about malaria and doing something about it by providing bednets.
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…
In answer to the Bill Gates Foundation in which they were looking for ideas to Create New Tools to Accelerate the Eradication of Malaria. I submitted the idea of Growing Chrysanthemums to help accelerate the eradication of Malaria.
Of note, bednets are currently treated with either 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. (source livingwithbugs)
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.
Beginning Earth Day 2009 and beyond we should start a movement on the planting of chrysanthemums and the extracting of the inherent herbicide pyrethrum to treat the bednets, thus beautifying the environment, generating income, and treating bednets/malaria… MUMS FOR MALARIA
For every effort there has to be some thought to the sustainability of the effort, to what happens when the source dries up. Let us create a Mums for Malaria Movement
Sources: living with bugs, Glasgow submission to Gates Foundation