The Fever portrays the fight against malaria as a case study--in greed and courage. For The Fever Katharina Weingartner focuses on the complex history, present and future of malaria and observes the search for a solution. Could millions of deaths have been prevented, if ancient medical knowledge had been taken more seriously?
Malaria has killed more people than all other diseases and wars on Earth combined. What if there was a herb that could defeat the deadly malaria parasite and save a thousand lives per day, every day? One you could grow in your backyard, which costs next to nothing, and could be easily available for everybody in need?
Sound good? Not everybody thinks so. Big pharma corporations fear for their profits. Big donors like Bill Gates want high tech science. They prefer the old colonial ways, so they exploit a continent already ravaged by poverty and death. And nobody, including the World Health Organization, seems to believe that Africans can find their own solutions.
The Fever is a passionate account of three amazing people in Kenya and Uganda, who show how local solutions could save millions of lives. It is also a case study in greed and courage.
Rehema Namyalo, herbal practitioner in Masaka, Uganda
The single mother of three kids runs a little clinic in her hometown. She works relentlessly to spread the knowledge about how everyone can grow the herb Artemisia annua at home and prevent their families from getting malaria.
"When the majority of the local community uses Artemisia to treat themselves, the government will not get taxes, like they do with imported drugs. Because there are non charged on herbal medicine.”
Richard Mukabana, Professor of biology at the University of Nairobi, Kenya
After studying mosquitos in the Netherlands and the US, Richard returned to Kenya in order to find ecological and local remedies against malaria. However, he soon realized that research grant donors like the Gates Foundation have no interest in supporting community based low-tech solutions and African scientists.
"We are nothing but field workers, porters. It´s a form of neo-colonialism."
Patrick Ogwang, pharmacologist at Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda
Patrick conducted a clinical study on a flower farm next to Lake Victoria with over a thousand workers about the efficacy of the herb Artemisia taken as tea. The result: malaria cases were reduced by 85%. He has proven that Artemisia could save millions of Africans - if Big Pharma would finally stop pressuring the WHO in banning its use.
“When I started this study about malaria prevention I was warned by many people. That I might get killed by those who profit from the drug.”
Paul Mwamu, teacher in Nyabondo, Kenya
Almost all the kids in his class have lost a family member to malaria. He educates them in prevention methods but financial struggles in many families make it impossible for lots of students to take care of health problems.
“We don’t have enough food. Most of them suffer, but their parents would rather look for something for them to eat than to take them to hospital.”