Well, that’s unpleasant.
For a tinge of perspective, I spent about 6 months in East Africa (not where this study was done, but there’s malaria there as well) when I was in college. I was on anti-malarial meds, and as a result, had crazy vivid dreams in which I was always on a pirate ship–the “but where has the rum gone?”, not the “let’s hijack a tanker” kind. In some of the more rural places I visited, bottled beer was cheaper than treated water, which says something about clean water availability and now apparently, risk of malaria. I don’t mean to imply that people will simply supply themselves with beer rather than water, but many places worldwide have little access to safe water supplies. And then there’s the malaria issue, as brought up by this paper. There are potentially enormous public health implications in this research.
Speaking of malaria, you can donate to the United Nations Foundation to help supply bed nets to children in Africa here. In more of an aqueous mood? Check out these sites (here and here) to give clean water. I’m really on no Western pedestal here…just spreading information.
article via PLoS ONE