Greece battles Malaria Comeback after 40 years: A result of the Libyan war?


by Linda Housman

November 26, 2012 – The increasing economic crisis and related popular turmoil aren’t the only things Greece has to battle: after having been declared free of malaria almost 40 years ago, the country now does its utmost to prevent the mosquito-borne disease from making a comeback.

According a report published in Eurosurveillance on November 22, outbreaks of locally transmitted malaria since 2011 in the regions of Laconia and East Attica make it urgent to increase surveillance and take mosquito control measures to eliminate the risk of the disease becoming re-established.

In addition, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control writes:

Since June 2012, Greece is reporting malaria cases due to Plasmodium Vivax infection. Local control measures have been implemented in accordance with national guidelines.

As of 26 October, 76 cases of malaria were reported by the national public health authorities: 60 imported and 16 autochthonous cases.

Greece isn’t the only country that has to combat insect-induced plagues and diseases as well. On June 5, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations sounded the alarm over the rise of desert locusts in NATO-occupied Libya, which put croplands in the country and in nearby African countries at imminent risk of destruction.

FAO senior locust forecasting officer Keith Cressman told the Financial Times that “the fall of Gaddafi was an enormous factor, to be honest. It depleted the Libyans’ capacity to monitor and respond as they normally would.”

The Jamahiriya government, led by Muammar Gaddafi, tightly controlled the country’s locust population, regularly sending convoys of survey and pest control vehicles into the desert areas where locusts breed, Cressman said. Libyan convoys even came to the aid of other African countries facing locust infestations.

Given the fact that malaria made its comeback to Greece after four decades which equals the period during which the Libyan Jamahiriya government successfully operated in national and international pest control before the Western war forced it to neglect these operations, it isn’t that far-fetched to conclude that Greece’s malaria outbreak is yet another adverse consequence of the violent NATO-coup in Libya.

Additional source: Bloomberg

Categories: Libya

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