Sunday, November 18, 2007

Malaria hits poorest of the poor

image For six months, he has side-stepped landmines, plunged through forests, scaled steep sand dunes and barrelled through hazardous climates and terrain.
Now Kingsley Holgate, the acclaimed South African adventurer who is circumnavigating Africa, has arrived in Guinea Bissau "with over 20 000km and six months behind".
On April 27, Holgate officially embarked on the humanitarian African Outside Edge Expedition with his wife, Gill, their son, Ross, Ross's girlfriend, Anna Muller, and photographer and game ranger Bruce Lesley.
Last month, mosquito nets distributed in conjunction with the One Net One Life campaign reached the people of the Ivory Coast, where Holgate wrote that malaria was the "number one killer".
Approximately 300 people, mostly children, were dying every day from malaria, he said.
Next the team travelled to "war-torn Liberia and Sierra Leone", where residents had only recently returned from refugee camps in Ghana and Ivory Coast. Holgate detailed the experience as "one of the expedition's greatest challenges".
After detouring to Djenne in Mali, where hundreds of mosquito nets were delivered, the expedition travelled along the Niger River to Timbuktu, an area Holgate described as "swallowed" by the delta from an unusually high rainfall.
The team began the trek to Guinea Bissau on November 6. The remaining six months of the expedition will see destinations that include the Dahlak and Lamu archipelagos, the Quirmbas and Zanzibar.

IOL: Malaria hits poorest of the poor - Holgate