Malaria control, the cold war, and the postwar reorganization of international assistance

Med Anthropol. 1997 May;17(3):255-78. doi: 10.1080/01459740.1997.9966140.


This article explores the control of rural malaria shortly before and after World War II. During this period rural malaria moved from being an almost impossible problem to control to one which many believed could be eradicated. However, instead of rural development serving as an operational and economic framework for malaria control, as some had advocated before the war, malaria control moved toward independence in the form of a global eradication campaign. Whereas this transition is generally portrayed strictly in terms of the success of DDT, I document how various factors, the Cold War in particular, contributed to the "inevitability" of eradication.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control / economics
  • DDT
  • Economics, Medical
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Insecticides
  • International Cooperation*
  • Malaria* / economics
  • Malaria* / prevention & control
  • Politics
  • Rural Health*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Warfare


  • Insecticides
  • DDT