Malaria is caused by.....

Yes, malaria is caused by a parasite that is spread from person to person by mosquito bites.  We know that much but there is more to be said.  Unreported World on Channel 4 has just started a new series with an investigation of the causes of the malaria cases in Uganda and especially near the government hospital at Apac in the north of the country where many people live near to shallow lakes.  The programme showed a victim of malaria and said that her cerebral malaria leading to convulsions is the most serious kind of the disease. 

Lucy Mangan has written about the programme in the Guardian.  She points out one of the shocking findings of the investigation, the corruption that leads to donated drugs being taken from clinics and being sold in shops so that poor victims of malaria are less likely to receive them.  Even if they can afford the medicines they may not be effective because of being stored at a high temperature.

Some of the anti-malarial drugs that had gone astray were labelled as donated by the USA and others by China.  (So you cannot say that I never say anything good about the government of the People's Republic of China.)  It might be an idea if donors did a bit of finding out what happens to supplies after they have arrived in the country that needs them and whether they really benefit the people in need. 

If you missed Unreported World on Friday 1 October 2010 you can catch up through the website where you can also find more information about malaria.  Look out for the series continuing on Friday evenings at 7:30 pm on Channel 4.  The programme on 8 October is about a hidden result of the conflict in Afghanistan, a huge number of children addicted to heroin or opium. 

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