At least 350 million people contract malaria each year. About one million of them die. Most of those are children in sub-Saharan Africa.
For the past 24 years, Dr. Terrie Taylor of Michigan State University has been simultaneously researching malaria and treating its victims in the African country of Malawi, where malaria infects more than four million of the nation's thirteen million citizens every year and one-quarter of all children die by the age of five from the disease.
On Monday December 27th at 9 P.M, WKAR-TV and WKAR-HD will show Taylor and her students fight this dreaded disease, the most common parasitic infection of humans on the planet.
“Malaria and Malawi: Fighting to Save the Children” highlights the work being done by Taylor over the past 24 years in Malawi, including a $9.1 million federal grant to create new prevention and control strategies in the small African nation.
MSU School of Journalism professor Sue Carter and visiting faculty member Bob Gould produced the documentary. Carter narrated the documentary, and Gould shot and edited it. Journalism senior Marty Berman helped create trailers as part of the project.
The faculty members spent their spring break in Malawi gathering footage of Taylor conducting research, teaching MSU students and helping families in Malawi. Since then, Carter and Gould have been editing and creating the documentary, while also teaching and pursuing research themselves.
"Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, and one-fourth of children die before age 5 from malaria there," Carter said in a press release. "Yet, Dr. Taylor has been making huge strides to help people in Malawi and all over the world who deal with malaria. This documentary shows the significant progress being made by Dr. Taylor, her staff and MSU students."
Carter, an ordained minister, said the documentary also explores the importance of faith in healing. She said spending time with a fellow priest in Malawi and his family is another theme of the project.
Monday will not be the only opportunity to watch the program. It will be re-broadcast on both WKAR-TV and WKAR-HD on Wednesday December 29th at 11 P.M, and Friday January 7th at 10 P.M. WKAR World, Channel 23.4, will have a special airing at 9 P.M. on Tuesday January 4th.