Cigarettes Are Best Image of End of USA Trade Embargo with Vietnam

At minute 95:37 of Episode 10 of the PBS Vietnam War series, I captured this screenshot:

USA cigarettes E10-9537

The preceding narration was:

In 1994, after the Vietnamese met the Americans’ demand, the United States lifted its trade embargo. Full normalization came the following year.

I hope the Vietnamese got something more than USA cancer sticks.

I’ve written several blog entries about the Burns & Novick PBS documentary The Vietnam War. I’ve also tweeted about it.

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Newtown School Shooting Tragedy: The Overflowing Cauldron Is a Better Metaphor than Dominoes

Everybody should watch the Public Broadcasting Service Independent Lens documentary Newtown. The appropriate responses should then be a determination to reduce violence. Is gun control part of that? Probably, but it can’t be the only part. Is widening access to quality mental health care essential? Yes, but that’s not what I’m talking about either. Continue reading

Gambia Study Showed No Significant Reduction in Malaria Vectors from Indoor Residual Spraying

In my ongoing series on the efficacy of DDT as a public health measure, check out a recent study published in The Lancet. I’ve excerpted portions of the abstract:

Although many malaria control programmes in sub-Saharan Africa use indoor residual spraying with long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), the two studies assessing the benefit of the combination of these two interventions gave conflicting results. We aimed to assess whether the addition of indoor residual spraying to LLINs provided a significantly different level of protection against clinical malaria in children or against house entry by vector mosquitoes.

We identified no significant difference in clinical malaria or vector density between study groups. In this area with high LLIN coverage, moderate seasonal transmission, and susceptible vectors, indoor residual spraying did not provide additional benefit.

When you read the study, you observe the care with which effective public environmental health research must be planned and the narrow conclusions which can then be drawn. People who believe that DDT could eliminate malaria are not following scientific research.

Statistical Correlation Between Identification as Muslim and Female Genital Cutting in Africa

I posted the following comment to What’s the relationship between Islam and Female Genital Mutilation? Answer: rs=.54 by Oliver Scott Curry

One possible explanation for the statistical correlation between identification as Muslim and practice of female genital cutting is the history of conversion to Islam and Christianity in Africa. Continue reading

Advocate of DDT Says It Is Effective Against Malaria and Poses Little Health Risk

Thomas “Woody” Highsmith of Evans, Georgia is retired from the Georgia Department of Agriculture Entomology & Pesticides Division, was a Department of Defense pest control contractor in Afghanistan from 2006-2009, and is currently facilities pest controller at the Carl Vinson Veterans Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia. He responded to my letter DDT is No Solution to Malaria with a defense of DDT. Continue reading

Preventing Pandemic Influenza and Moral Responsibility for Good Government

I’ve been listening to The Fatal Strain by Alan Sipress. He claims that public health professionals believe that an outbreak of influenza will become a pandemic unless very specific measures are implemented. These include (my layman’s summary) effective isolation of the sick, quarantine of those with whom they have come into contact, delivery of TAMIFLU doses to everyone in the area of the outbreak, strict control of entry and exit from the region, provision of public health workers, lab personnel and equipment to process the samples necessary to plan and calibrate these interventions and building a reservoir of trust among the general population which would engender cooperation. You can read scientific articles on this subject.[1][2] Continue reading