|This is a disgusting image. So is the disease carried by the mosquito pictured above.|
I came across this National Geographic article last week while editing some materials at work for World Malaria Day on April 25. It's really long, and it's about five years old, but it's still relevant and definitely worth a read if you want to know more about this devastating disease.
And devastating it truly is. Malaria was wiped out in the United States back in the early 1950s, so Americans of my generation tend to know very little about it. After all, they grew up never having to fear it. And our children won't, either.
But in other parts of the world, malaria is a vicious parasite that holds entire regions under the heavy weight of poverty. The article describes it as the "plague of the poor." That's a brutally apt description. There's no way that impoverished areas of sub-Saharan Africa can be lifted out of economic depression when up to 20 percent of infants don't live to be 5 years old because of malaria.