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Award of Excellence
Adam Nadel

"Malaria: blood,sweat, and tears"

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Judges' Special Recognition
Adam Nadel

"Malaria: blood,sweat, and tears"

Rothy Drak
Migrant worker center with hat

"Malaria is a normal part of our lives. Whenever we come here to work we get it... We are poor. When we get sick, we just keep on working until we can't even walk - then we buy medication from the market. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. If it does not, we go back and go to a different stall and get some more, maybe a different type.

All we have is a hammock, no nets. How can we buy such things? We don't even have enough money to eat. Today we had to forage in the mountains to find some food."

Migrant workers, traveling seasonally to different regions in search of the next job, may also become the unintentional carriers of malaria. Their outdoor work leaves them constantly exposed to the disease, and their poverty prevents them from taking necessary precautions or seeking treatment. These people simply "learn to live" with malaria.

These workers can also bring new, possibly drug-resistant, strains of malaria into areas that have no drug resistance. Migrant workers can also contribute to the re-introduction of malaria into areas which have been free of the disease. For instance, by 1959 DDT spraying had all but eliminated malaria from Swaziland. When new irrigation projects for the cultivation of sugar cane were implemented, it created standing water that offered mosquitoes a fertile breeding ground. Then, when migrant workers from Mozambique arrived to work the cane, they brought malaria with them. As a result, a decade's worth of prevention work was lost.



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