Malaria Up Close

By Kaleigh Rogers, Reporter, VICE

In May, VICE reporter Kaleigh Rogers visited Tanzania to report on malaria, and stopped by the Ithna Asheri clinic in Arusha, where a PSI intervention helped train clinicians and lab techs in using malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (mRDTs) to properly diagnosis and treat fever cases. Below is an excerpt from her article on Motherboard, an online magazine launched by VICE.

Earlier this week, a new study was published. It was serendipitous: an update on the effectiveness of our most advanced malaria vaccine, published right in the middle of my week-long series on the disease.

I read and report on studies like this every day, but this time, as I pored over my printed-off copy at my desk, highlighter in hand, something different happened. There, listed without emotion in the methods section of the paper, was the name of a district: one of the vaccine trial sites. Korogwe, Tanzania. For once, for me, this wasn’t just a data point in a scientific paper. It was a real place.

I’ve been there.

Read the rest of Kaleigh’s photo essay on VICE.

Tanzania malaria

Houses and a clothesline in Chang’ombe, a village in the Korogwe district. Image: Kaleigh Rogers/Motherboard

I’ve stood there. I’ve talked to those kids; the ones whose families volunteered them to test this new, unproven vaccine, in hopes it might help them get sick less often. The ones whose malaria rates were carefully monitored and documented in this paper.

Tanzanian children

Kids from Chang’ombe, a village in the Korogwe district. Image: Kaleigh Rogers/Motherboard

They mugged for my camera, and burst into laughter when I showed them the shots on the display screen, pointing at each other’s faces.

 

rural Tanzani

Kids from Chang’ombe, a village in the Korogwe district. Image: Kaleigh Rogers/Motherboard

This is why I wanted to go to Tanzania. I’ve been covering global health at Motherboard for some time now, and have written on the topic periodically throughout my career. But so often, the stories felt distant and foreign. How can I write about malaria with any kind of authority when I’ve never even seen it up close?

rapid diagnostic test

A woman gets a malaria blood test at the Kijenge Dispensary, a medical clinic in Arusha, Tanzania. Image: Kaleigh Rogers/Motherboard


Follow Kaleigh Rogers on Twitter: @KaleighRogers