Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!


Just wanted to put my plug in for World Malaria Day today.

We talk about "genocide" in so many forms. Malaria is a "Genocide of Apathy." Over one MILLION people die worldwide from it and its sequelae every year. As much as we talk about HIV in Africa, malaria is still the #1 killer of children under age 5 in Africa.

Why the genocide of apathy shtick? Apathy because 90% of it could be prevented by widespread use of $5.00 insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets around bedding at night. Although there is talk about a vaccine, it is still some time away.

My personal experiences with this disease are sparse, and always odd. I have only had to look for it in peripheral blood smears in unexplained fevers in people here in Kirksville who have been to endemic areas. About 3 or 4 times a year someone comes in the ER with an unexplained fever and their travel history brings malaria to mind. One of my favorite "call stories" is the time I had to come in during a BLIZZARD to look at a blood smear for malaria in a college student who had been to Africa on a mission trip!

In the U.S., we hardly give this disease a thought (although 50 years ago, it was still endemic in SE Missouri.) Yet it is still a ravaging killer in the rest of the world. You can make a donation for mosquito netting in underserved areas here.

Oh, and the picture? It's what I am looking for, when I am asked to look at a blood smear for malarial organisms! (Photo courtesy of the CDC.)

2 comments:

You left out the even cheaper method of eradicating Malaria, which was successful in the US and would have been successful in Africa if not for overenthusiastic early environmentalists--- DDT.

Are you joking, Kerfuffle? If not, I suggest you read "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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