CNN WORLD REPORT 14:00 pm ET
November 7, 1999; Sunday 2:35 pm Eastern Time
Transcript # 99110710V04m
Brazilian Health Care Workers Battle Malaria in the Amazon
BYLINE: Asieh Namdar, Daniela Assayag
Malaria kills more people than any other communicable disease except for tuberculosis. While the disease is curable with early diagnosis and treatment, many of those affected in remote parts of the world don't have access to health services. One such region lies in the Amazon rain forest.
ASIEH NAMDAR, CNN ANCHOR: Malaria kills more people than any other communicable disease excePt for tuberculosis. While the disease is curable with early diagnosis and treatment, many of those affected in remote parts of the world don't have access to health services.
One such region lies in the Amazon rain forest. But as Brazil's Amazon Network explains, some researchers are trying new methods to stop the disease from spreading.
DANIELA ASSAYAG, AMAZON NETWORK REPORTER (voice-over): Malaria is the worst disease that infects inhabitants of Amazonia.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm cold and have a fever.
ASSAYAG: In the first six months of the year, the level rises. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
jungle. The next six months, the level (UNINTELLIGIBLE) leaving small puddles. These are ideal spots for mosquitoes to reproduce.
The population moves in fact into the hinterlands. In this family, all members have been sick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I have a strong headache. I should go to a hospital.
ASSAYAG: This baby's only 11 months old, and at the moment, he's infected for the third time.
In just (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the seven states that make up Brazil's Amazonia, the number of malaria sufferers may reach 108,000 cases.
Public health services (UNINTELLIGIBLE) fight the disease with adequate
preventive measures due to a lack of equipment. Long distances also delays the technician's job.
(on camera): (UNINTELLIGIBLE) sometimes they spend eight days in boats like these (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the Amazonia.
(voice-over): Here rivers serve as roads. This man's responsible for finding malaria's path. MARCOS MORAIS, BOAT PILOT (through translator): We agree that God can help us. Because of this, I'm not afraid. We should go where the people are ill.
ASSAYAG: Some technicians offer themselves as human bait to the mosquitoes. These people expose themselves on purpose in order to catch mosquitoes as samples. They also want to know how often a native is stung, usually stung Webmaster's Note:mosquitoes bite people, rather than stinging them. La idimoma de español es más especifico y dice que mosquitos o zancudos pican. This is probably an error of translation because words in Spanish and Portuguese for "mosquito bite" [picar = to take a small bite] are more specific than those in English, where "to bite" means both "morder" [take a big munch out of something] and "picar" [take a little, mosquito-sized bite].
They themselves are stung some 110 times in just one hour.
ARACY CAVALCANTE, NURSE (through translator): We should be human bait to help the native people. We should expose ourselves to malaria. Only in this way we can discover where malaria mosquitoes breed.
ALEXANDER OLIVEIRA, NURSE (through translator): I have been doing this work for 35 years. I can't remember how many times I have had malaria.
ASSAYAG: In the labs, the samples are analyzed. Scientists have discovered that the material used in the battle against malaria has lost its preventive efficacy. Malaria mosquitoes have mutated [Webmaster's Note: - the mosquitoes were selected for behavioral or physiological insecticide resistance by natural selection. The resistance trait is probably not a mutation but existed as a rare gene in the original, susceptible population] and changed their behavior. Now, scientists are trying to find another solution.
WANDERLY TADEI, RESEARCHER (through translator): We should study the malaria ourselves. Other countries can't do it for us.
ASSAYAG: The war against malaria is very difficult, almost impossible, for them to win. However, the damage can be contained in spite of the hardships (UNINTELLIGIBLE) our planet's largest rain forest.
Daniela Assayag, Amazon Network from Brazil, for CNN WORLD REPORT.
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