INTRODUCTION: There is growing concern over new outbreaks of malaria in Asia and particularly the malarial strain which attacks blood cells in the brains and is fatal unless treated promptly treated and effectively.
GV Views of jungle areas. (3 SHOTS)
SV PULL OUT TO GV Kampuchean refugee camp.
SV INTERIOR Ill refugees on beds in camp hospital.
SCU PAN & DOWN TO SV Drip bottle and patient lying on bed.
SV Doctor and nurse attending patient. (2 SHOTS)
SV PULL OUT TO GV Sick baby.
SVs Sick patients. (2 SHOTS)
SV Doctor treating sick patient.
SV EXTERIOR Sign outside hospital in Chantaburi.
SV INTERIOR English and Thai doctor treating patient. (2 SHOTS)
SV Nurses working with blood samples. (2 SHOTS)
SV Researcher looking through microscope.
SV Correspondent speaking to Dr. Nick White.
GV Dr. Nick White speaking.
SVs Jungle paths. (3 SHOTS)
SPEECH ON CASSETTE (TRANSCRIPT)
LOCKYER: "The deadly form of malaria which has developed in mosquito breeding grounds in the lush jungle is baffling medical science.
"The strain, known as a cerebral malaria, has swept through the population of a Kampuchean refugee camp and medical teams keep experimenting with different combinations of available drugs to try to keep the people alive. But the statistics are frightening. The most optimistic outlook for anyone contracting cerebral malaria is a fifty per cent chance of survival, and usually the odds are much shorter than that. It's now estimated that almost half the refugees who flooded into Thailand from Kampuchea had some form of malaria, and many died from the disease.
"Research being carried out into cerebral malaria at a provincial hospital in Thailand's south east, has shown how critical the problem has become.
"English and Thai doctors in a joint research programme back the WELCOME Fund of Britain say existing drugs are becoming increasingly ineffective against cerebral malaria. The research has shown that the strain has built up total resistance to some drugs and is gradually building up resistance to the remaining drugs. Hope is now being placed in a new drug being developed in the United States, but medical researchers see it only as a temporary measure.
"Doctor Nick White of Oxford University."
DR. WHITE: (SEQ. 14) "The hope for the future in the near future is that the one new drug Methraquin, will be effective where quinine is no longer effective. But after that there's nothing in the next few years. The long term hopes are for completely different sorts of drugs and a vaccine, but that's a very long way away."
LOCKYER: "Malaria was thought to be under control by the 1970's and big eradication programmes were phased out. Now it is clearly out of control again."
REPORTER: PAUL LOCKYER
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: There is growing concern over new outbreaks of malaria in Asia and particularly the malarial strain which attacks blood cells in the brains and is fatal unless treated promptly treated and effectively. The spread of the disease in Kampuchea and the frontier areas with Thailand is largely the result of the years of instability in Kampuchea which kept the population constantly on the move. Population movement has a two-fold effect: It inhibits efforts to control the disease because carriers mix with unaffected people, and local populations who are resistant to malarial strain prevalent in their own area move to a region affected by a different strain to which they have no natural resistance. ABC's Paul Lockyer reports on the fight to control the disease.