The Reg Quid-a-Day Nosh challenge: What's the point, exactly?
Malaria sucks, that's the point – and let us tell you how
My story: 'I'm going to die in this s***hole'
My own tale of woe unfolded during a particularly ill-fated trip to Panama's Darien Gap many moons ago. While attempting a truck-borne escape from the arse-end of nowhere (Yaviza, where the Pan-American Highway claps out into a muddy track flopping into the banks of the Río Chucunaque), me and a mate arrived in a small village where I suddenly felt decidedly unwell.
I also found myself suddenly unable to walk, and while crawling down a dirt track in desperate search of a stream, I realised I was in pretty bad shape.
My companion suggested we'd better get back to the truck before it left us to our fate, and the last thing I clearly remember was thinking: "If I don't get up and walk I'm going to die in this shithole."
One nightmare ride back to Panama City and five days later, I had another attack, and spent the night in a hotel room in state of high fever and delirium. I'm pretty convinced I had a profound insight into the nature of being and the universe, but when I recovered, I found I hadn't had the good sense to commit it to paper.
Four or five days after that, the malaria gave me another kicking. The doctor said: "Well, stick it out, you've been through worse." I noted to my travelling companion: "Yeah, that time I copped bubonic plague was a real bummer."
I was then spared for six months or so, until a last blast landed me in London's excellent Hospital for Tropical Diseases, after which malaria finally decided to leave me in peace.
As someone who'd willingly travelled to a malarial area, I considered myself fair game for mosquito-delivered parasites, even if they rather unsportingly ignored my anti-malaria tablets.
My support for Malaria No More is for the benefit of people who have no choice but to live in such places, so if you fancy lending them a hand against this most unpleasant of diseases, you can donate right here. ®