Judges' Special Recognition
"Malaria: blood,sweat, and tears"
Kaka Seng, center
"On the day of the net distribution we were all in the fields working, so we did not receive any. We knew they were giving them out, but when there is work, we must work".
When confronted with the choice between work and taking the day off to travel to a net distribution point, Kaka's family chose work.
The poor are disproportionately affected by malaria. In fact, the poorer one is, the greater likelihood of contracting and succumbing to the disease. This is because prevention and treatment cost money, even when they are being given away for free.
Malaria is most prevalent during the rainy season, which is also planting time. Subsistence farmers and migrant workers must labor long hours in the fields to survive. There is no time to seek treatment when symptoms appear, and no money to buy effective medication when the malaria becomes severe and work becomes impossible. In this way, the basic realities of living in poverty create some of the most challenging obstacles towards the reduction and eventual eradication of malaria.