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Last Updated: Friday, 22 April, 2005, 08:20 GMT 09:20 UK
'Malaria is destroying my family'
Image of Aron and his Uncle
Aron is getting the treatment he desperately needs
Aron, from Uganda, is just 13 years old and the last remaining boy in his family.

He once had six more brothers and sisters but they all died from malaria.

Aron developed a complication of the same disease. He has a condition called cerebral malaria.

If a person is not treated, it is fatal within a matter of days.

This malaria, this is the killer in Africa
Aron's Uncle

But luckily he is getting the treatment he desperately needs.

Aron's father was killed a year ago in a rebel attack that led to his entire extended family seeking refuge in Amaro camp, run by Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF).

Now, he and his two remaining sisters live on their own, along with 25,000 other internally displaced people.

His uncle has been looking after him. He told an MSF representative in Uganda: "Can you imagine?

"Six have died already. A whole family is about to be destroyed by the sickness.

"I too have lost three children this way. What can I do?"

"This malaria, this is the killer in Africa."

About two million people die of malaria each year in Africa, 90% of whom are children under five.

Although malaria is cheap and easy to cure - it can cost as little as 60 cents and take just three days to cure a child - as many as one child is dying every 30 seconds from the disease.

Malaria is caused by an infection of the red blood cells with a tiny organism or parasite, called a protozoa.

These organisms are carried from person to person by the Anopheles mosquito.

When it bites an infected person, the mosquito sucks up blood containing the parasite, which may then be passed on to the mosquito's next victim.


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