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Survival: Lives In The Balance: The Plant That Cures Malaria (Uganda)

Airs Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: This Ugandan farmer (profiled in "The Plant That Cures Malaria") lost his daughter to Malaria. He learned too late that, when caught early, malaria is easily treatable. Now Clovis grows the plant that contains the compound most successful in fighting malaria.

Rosalind lives in the dump outside of Manila. She says every breath hurts. The filth, the crowded conditions, and the ever present smoke make it almost impossible for Rosalind to escape pneumonia.
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Above: Rosalind lives in the dump outside of Manila. She says every breath hurts. The filth, the crowded conditions, and the ever present smoke make it almost impossible for Rosalind to escape pneumonia.

Millions of people in the developing world, mostly children, die each year from treatable and preventable diseases. Slowly, that is beginning to change as economic growth lifts hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty and the circumstances known to perpetuate disease.

"Survival: Lives In The Balance" is a landmark documentary series about global health. Four one-hour films take viewers into villages in the Philippines, Uganda, Niger and Bangladesh, where people suffer from diseases and conditions long since conquered in other parts of the world. Cameras following subjects from pregnancy to birth, through the formative years of a child's development and into adulthood to capture the pain of loss and witness the triumph of hope.

The Plant That Cures Malaria, Uganda:

Malaria threatens half of the world's population. Malaria killed Clovis's young daughter. Clovis learned too late that, if caught early, a three-day course of drugs easily cures malaria. The drug is called Coartem. The main ingredient is Arteminisin, a chemical extracted from the Artemisia plant. The drug is expensive. Most developing countries cannot afford to buy enough to meet the needs of their people. Clovis discovered he can easily grow Artemisia on his farm in Uganda. He has invested much of his family's resources into farming the plant. He's created a community of small farmers that can produce enough Artemisia to sell it in bulk to a processing company. A new company policy, however, may stand in the way of income for this cooperative of farmers.

Watch videos from this series online.

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