Malaria often kills people?

A trailer for a quiz programme here in Ghana called the Good Life Game Show features the presenter asking the question “Malaria often kills people – true or false?”.

When I first saw it, I thought it was crazy. It’s so obvious. Then I realised how relaxed attitudes towards malaria are here. Many of the villager we’ve spoken with don’t have nets, and yet all, without exception, name malaria as the most common illness affecting their communities. I’ve been told “you get malaria, you get treatment, it’s no big problem”, and yet we also hear from a regional director of health that many in the countryside won’t go to a clinic or hospital until they’re at death’s door – even if they have health insurance.

So it’s a necessary question to ask. I sussed out a short while ago that GoodLife Ghana is a Ghana Health Service behavioural change  initiative in partnership with USAID. So a game show is being used for health education. And we get Deal Or No Deal.