I – Diary #9

Malaria, “fracking”, and the end of the “third world”?

Feeling sick and introverted today, so on which cheery note should we begin?!

1. The more i read about this horrible disease and the longer I continue to suffer from its debilitations, the more I wish the research to eradicate it had worked. Plasmodium falciparium, the little bugger, kills around a million people every year.
One could get quite depressed about this country of my friends whose life expectancy is 51 years. This is a sobering excerpt from our man’s stirling research:

Q: What are the main differences between rich and poor countries with respect to causes of death?

In high-income countries more than two thirds of all people live beyond the age of 70 and predominantly die of chronic diseases: cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, cancers, diabetes or dementia. Lung infection remains the only leading infectious cause of death.

In middle-income countries, nearly half of all people live to the age of 70 and chronic diseases are the major killers, just as they are in high-income countries. Unlike in high-income countries, however, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and road traffic accidents also are leading causes of death.

In low-income countries less than one in five of all people reach the age of 70, and more than a third of all deaths are among children under 15. People predominantly die of infectious diseases: lung infections, diarrhoeal diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Complications of pregnancy and childbirth together continue to be leading causes of death, claiming the lives of both infants and mothers.
Q: How many young children die each year?

More than 8 million deaths in 2008 were among children under five years of age, and 99% of them were in low- and middle-income countries.

Most couples here have 6-10 children, insurance for their being looked after in their comparatively old age…

2. Whether it’s malaria or a new issue, I’m feeling like crap today and am propped up on my blue plastic garden chair. I have a theory though, which shows I’m still partially with it! The well water I’ve been successfully treating with my magic Steripen has started smelling very odd. Wine makers, imagine if you can, a stinky brew, concentrated beyond belief… Disulphides, burning rubber. But only when you shake the water. I’m tempted to put a match to it but fear it could be the end of the third world as we know it. Could Shell Oil be fracking nearby? Either way it’s back to bottled water from now on.
We had to phone the 10 farmers’ groups we were due to evaluate today, and cancel. In my humility I’d assumed the show could somehow go on without my mortal presence but such is the respect held for the white man that such visits would have little impact. Mixed feelings about that.

So now I’m stuck fairly near the toilet listening to the latest Nigerian TV drama at full volume and musing just a little on why it, malaria, and fracking have to exist.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Annette
    Aug 07, 2012 @ 07:03:23

    Golly, that sounds awful! Well, rest assured, the Dovedale water supply is not very reliable either. Tim is STILL using water from an alternative well. Hope you get well soon:) HI from Tim. There may be a possible buyer for the property!! But this and Summit will seem a LONG way away for you!!!!!


  2. Tanya D.
    Aug 07, 2012 @ 07:56:04

    Hi Simon
    thanks for the Grapevine material – much appreciated. I’m not surprised to hear that you have made such lovely friends (get what you give etc). The video clips help to make it more “real”, rather than just Simon off on an adventure somewhere….
    Bugger malaria! I hope it doesn’t set you off track for too long, it sounds like you have already made a big difference in a short amount of time. Do post up any items we could send, it seems we’d all like to contribute if we can.

    thinking of you xx


  3. Tanya D.
    Aug 07, 2012 @ 07:56:55

    toilet paper maybe…..?


  4. simthomas
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 11:16:51

    Hi tanya, toilet paper catered for except you’re no idea how you miss having perforated tear bits until you don’t have them. if you’d like to, kids clothing, girls’ blouses, skirts, dresses, boys trousers, ages 3 to 12 especially, anything is reasonable secondhand condition, op shop more than good enough!
    Sim Thomas
    PO Box 93
    The po box takes parcels. That would be so good. Any kids games too, chinese checkers, simple board games. They have nothing.


  5. Ed Scott
    Aug 13, 2012 @ 08:52:41

    Simon, just back from Vanuatu and heard about your malaria on Fresh FM (Lionel Blum). Hope you are recovering well mate. Have been following the pages with great interest. Get well and carry on the good work. Ed & Liz


  6. simthomas
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 15:28:58

    Thank you both. How was Vanuatu? Email new at simonthomas@slingshot.co.nz if you have time.
    Cor, that quinine’s powerful stuff eh? Did the trick though!
    Back to normal and so pleased I’m here, so many opportunities to help.


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