A few days a go I was browsing my Twitter flow when I came across a tweet saying – oh if Cheryl dies it will it be like Diana all over again. I am not into the celebrity thing and didn’t really know about this young woman or why someone was comparing her potential death to that of the late Princess Diana.
I let it go and didn’t think much of it until yesterday when my twitter buddy Jimmy tweeted a Telegraph story about Malaria. When I read this article I realised what the first tweet had been about. Cherly Cole has malaria.
Malaria is a terrible illness and kills more people each year than other disease in the developing world and if you have ever contracted the disease you would know what Cheryl is going through right now. But the difference between her and the folk in Africa is that she will have access to the best health care in the world that money can buy and hopefully she will pull through.
I have had malaria but the worst thing was watching over my son fighting malaria at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital years ago. By the time they got it, it was advanced and it was terrible to watch a 9 year old suffer so.
Some folk in Africa are sadly not that lucky and what is infuriating is that we in the West are taxed heavily so that our governments can pay AID to the developing countries to fight diseases such as malaria only for it to be misappropriated by their governments at the expense of the poor. Corruption in my mind is the number one killer of folk that contract Malaria
Something else I don’t get- is the Environmental lobby- if the Telegraph article is right they are advising against the use of DDT. Yes I do not deny that any chemicals present dangers of side effects etc, but we have to weigh up these dangers and decide whether there are greater than 340 people dying a day from malaria. These are the same people that have never known what it is like to go hungry or be poor but advocate for tree planting at the expense of food security!
Going back to Cheryl Cole, there is something here at stake and it came to me when my fellow blogger over at BIRDS ON THE BLOG Suze wrote about celebrities and cancer. Cheryl’s contraction of Malaria made news and everyone is talking about it, but for the many Africans with the disease it is life as usual!
The fact that everyone is talking about Malaria now maybe a good or a bad thing. A good thing because it raises awareness and more people will get involved in helping to fight it. A bad thing when people stop travelling to Malaria hot spots for fear of getting ill as this might kill off the travel industry in those areas and as such income for local people who benefit directly from visitor numbers.
I am involved in a project South West Uganda and one of our challenges is getting effective mosquito nets to the villagers. Mosquito nets that are out there are not effective as often villagers use them as blankets, or need respraying when the insecticide wears off, folk don’t always do this because they do not how to or cannot afford to.
The nets soon develop holes in them and if not mended naturally mosquitoes will get through and bite. We heard about a new kind of net that doesn’t need respraying and we need 1000 to cover a whole village. To support us pleas follow the link below
Have you been affected by Malaria or have a view about the issues raised here- please leave a comment