Sunday, 14 December 2008

Leap of Faith

I will not be ordering anti-malaria tablets for my next trip to Kenya in January. Apart from the fact that one month's supply costs almost £30, which is a big slice out of my meagre budget, they have horrible side-effects that I can do without.

No, I will be placing my well-being fairly on the shoulders of a solution for which there have been claims that it can prevent malaria, and if the user is unfortunate enough to contract the disease, on increasing the dose, will cure within a couple of hours.

This may be a dangerous action to take, but, I need to know if this stuff really works, and if I want to see the results first-hand, who better to test it on than me - not exactly scientific, but it's the best I can do.

If this stuff really works, then I will have in my possession a product that will flush the disease out of a body at the cost of a couple of pennies. Presently, treatment for malaria in Kenya costs Ksh 2,000, or about £17 ($25 US).

We intend to set up an education programme, aimed at schools. The idea is to show kids how the mosquito breeds in standing water, then show them where this standing water may be, in old discarded tyres, buckets, tin cans, puddles.

They will be encouraged to try and eradicate these breeding grounds, thereby offering fewer places for mosquitoes to breed.

We may also try a leaflet campaign in the town, as long as we can get support from the municipal council (we don't want to be accused of littering or fly-posting).

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