The Malaria Capers: More Tales of Parasites and People, Research and Reality

Robert S. Desowitz, Author W. W. Norton & Company $21.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-393-03013-6
While biotechnology has taken great strides during the last 25 years, Desowitz, professor of tropical medicine at the University of Hawaii, reports that because of an ``inbalance between research and reality,'' health and health systems--especially in the tropical Third World--have deteriorated. Although this ironically titled book concerns a tragic topic, Desowitz's accounts of unsung heroes in the battle against disease, coupled with his humanity and storyteller's skill, make for engrossing reading--as does, for instance, his speculation that kala-azarper web , like malaria an ancient, insect-borne plague, may have killed the dinosaurs. Malaria, he recalls, was known as Roman fever until Mussolini drained the Pontine marshes. The author asserts that a vaccine against malaria has not been found because of misrepresentation, misuse of funds and outright ineptitude. Soaring costs have further discouraged corporate research, especially for unprofitable drugs that mostly benefit the world's poor. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-393-31008-5
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-393-29237-4
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