Next Week: Global Public Health – The War on Malaria

Next week, we will be showing Malaria: Fever Wars, a documentary on the global fight against malaria, focusing on outbreaks in Kenya and in the US state of Florida. The program runs for about two hours so please try to come on time. It is not available online. If you would like to read about malaria and the campaign to eradicate the mosquito-borne disease, check out the World Health Organization’s website.


2 Responses to “Next Week: Global Public Health – The War on Malaria”

  1. 1 Senia Ng 21/11/2009 at 2:01 am

    I never knew malaria was such a big problem, I heard about it, but didn’t know the seriousness of its mutation and stuff. The movie was great.

    Anyhow, I have a question in mind, which seems to be a bit far from the topic, but I’d love to see whether anyone could answer me on this.

    The movie showed some quacks and the doctor/assistant at the clinic who helped to cure malaria in people. I was wondering…whether they are treating the people with their hearts, or whether they are just there to make use of a business opportunity?

    The quacks I don’t know, but obviously, the clinic was for making some profit…they kept forcing them to buy those books! What for??? I can’t think of a reason apart from them trying to make more money…

    And in any case, I think even if the quacks, or these doctors, are really there to help sincerely…their lack of qualification poses a great problem.

    If it wouldn’t for them to give the underdosed malaria tablets…the patients wouldn’t have developed such great resistance….and it wouldn’t have been so much of a problem.

    How long will it take for some real doctors to go in and help?

  2. 2 Corinna Yee 22/11/2009 at 8:15 pm

    I thought the documentary was really good. It was able to capture the severity of malaria and also showed that it’s a global problem. By showing malaria’s effect in developing nations such as Kenya as well as developed countries such as America, the viewer can see for themselves that malaria doesn’t recognize borders. I think the reason why Malaria doesn’t seem like a big problem to us is mainly because we don’t often hear about it in developed countries or nations. After WWII America used DDT to kill off all mosquitoes and declared America malaria free, and it was for the time being. DDT left detrimental effects on the environment and failed to solve the problem of malaria.

    The cases in Florida may be a surprise since malaria is unheard of in America but at the same time it’s not. Due to tourism people travel all over and along with them they bring diseases such as malaria. Due to malaria’s quick mutation there are different anti-malarial pills that can treat different strains of malaria, but like it stated in the documentary it may be an easy access to Americans but it’s not for Kenyans, so how can this drug become more affordable? Is it up to the WHO and corporations to cut a deal to those who need it the most? In addition, I thought it was absurd that donors still demanded money for the mosquito nets, hence donors donate. I really think by treating the problem at its roots is the most sustainable and effective way. By giving Kenyans mosquito nets they can cut their chances of receiving malaria by half and I think it would be a lot cheaper than having to treat each and every one of them with malaria later.

    As for the quacks, that’s a good question. I think they do it for the money mostly but somewhat for treating the people. I think the quacks think they are helping the people and when they luckily treated someone correctly and get praised for it, it reassures them that they are doing a good deed. Quacks may be qualified to treat common colds and fevers but complicated diseases such as malaria, not so much. In addition, the reactions of the quacks when they were arrested were so calm; it made it seem like they expected it because they knew they weren’t qualified. That to me is a good indication that they do it for the money. As for the clinic, it is unfair that they have to buy a book but I think the medical book was for the child’s medical history and on the other hand the treatment for the child was free. I agree that the quacks were trying to help but caused more damage than anything. Because there is an excess amount of people who need to be treated and a limited doctors, the time it takes for a doctor to see a patient varies.

    What I was wondering is that although there are many nations on the near breakthrough of discovering a vaccine, if one were to be found, would it be affordable and attainable? Especially for those who need it the most like Kenyans? Also with a set amount of money, malaria can be controlled but why are we spending more money on warfare then on this?

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