Our nine journalists are packing their suitcases ahead of their imminent trip to Germany. But earlier this week it was touch and go whether Kakaire would make the journey…
Health poster, Tanzania
It all started with a severe headache, body aches and joint pains, followed by high temperatures. Malaria. I had come down with one of the leading killer diseases in my country - the annual death toll is estimated to run into tens of thousands.
Like most people who live in areas where malaria is endemic, it wasn’t my first attack. But now I was worried that it might put pay to my trip to the G8.
Until then all I’d been thinking about was what weather and food to expect, and what kind of hospitality my hosts would offer. The day I was diagnosed, I couldn’t think straight and work was out of the question.
Back in 1997 I had life-threatening malaria. I’m not sure if at the time the anti-malarial ACTs (artemisin-based combination therapies) – the current gold-standard treatment – were widely available. If so, they were probably too expensive anyway. Somehow I managed to get through it… with the grace of the creator.
This time around, it wasn’t a complicated attack and I could afford the $10 to get the ACT treatment. But many people in Uganda can’t pay this. ACTs are more expensive than other standard treatments and supplies are sometimes limited.
I’m one of the lucky ones. When most of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, the cost of the drugs is simply draining. Perhaps the G8 leaders should consider what happens to those who can’t even raise a dollar…