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Malarial areas

March 5, 2010

I recommend you take your antimalarial drugs, at least in the short-term, but you should still behave as if you’re not taking them because where there is malaria there is often also dengue fever. There is no prophylaxis for dengue, and, although it won’t kill you if you get treatment promptly, you will feel so bad you will wish it would.

So, long clothing at dawn and dusk, bed nets every night, tucked under the mattress, DEET spray all the time, and bug spray the room before you go to bed. Do these religiously, and you stand a relatively good chance of not getting malaria or dengue.

Mosquito net

I like this one, but really, anything that keeps them out will do. Check them regularly for holes, and make sure they are tucking under the bedding. Take a nail along with you to put into the ceiling if necessary (you can bang it in with a shoe), and some string to hang it.

Mosquito spray

Get 100% Deet. Don’t bother trying to get something less toxic, toxic is the point I’m afraid. This one is ok, but anything that is 100% DEET or thereabout is pretty much the same.

Bug spray

Pack a spray can of this kind of stuff, and use it around your room before you go to bed. Try to plug holes in the room with netting, and keep insects out, but be aware that they will find their way in. Spraying the room with this stuff gives you more of a fighting chance.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. lida permalink
    February 8, 2013 10:38 am

    Hi Nick

    I have bought your book and read it with great interest. Thanks. It gave me a good insite in the ‘relief’ world’ , and I realised that volunteer work is the best start. HOWEVER, what I did not realise is the amount of MONEY one have to pay to be able to do volunteer work – up to $3000 for 12 weeks without plain tickets , insurance and whatever. !!!
    My question is: Is this normal practice? Why do one have to pay to be a volunteer? Could you please kindly try and explain this ?

    • February 8, 2013 11:33 am

      Hi Lida, thanks for buying the book – it helps me to offset the costs of maintaining the site. It’s also very helpful to me if you have the chance to rate or review it on Amazon!

      OK – to your question, without specifics, its hard for me to know precisely what you’re referring to. I think from your question that you’ve come across an organization that is offering to host volunteers for 12 weeks at a cost of $3000?

      Is this normal practice? Well, things vary. Certainly most reputable relief organizations don’t do this, and, while it’s not necessarily a bad idea, it certainly rings alarm bells with me. It’s important to do your due diligence and talk to others who have been on the program. Reputable groups will be able to put you in touch with others who have been on trips with them.

      Why do some groups charge money to volunteer? Well there are two things going on here, both relate to supply and demand – the short answer is ‘because they can’. There are some organizations that are essentially travel agencies that arrange volunteer or ‘adventure’ travel to the developing world, usually with some concrete benefit for the hosting communities, and a (hopefully) enriching experience for the volunteers. The second situation is relief and development organizations that sometimes have programs where ‘volunteers’ pay to go and do similar things, visiting communities and often doing some kind of practical work. In this case the program is usually seen as a fundraising stream for the organization.

      In both cases there is a large supply of people who want to help, but have no marketably relevant experience or skills. For some comparison information on the costs of these kinds of things check out ‘Volunteer Vacations – Short Term Adventures That WIll Benefit You and Others’ – there is a review of it I did a couple of months ago linked on the right hand side of this page.

      Good luck – I hope you find what you’re looking for – let us know how you do!

      • lida permalink
        February 9, 2013 4:40 am

        Hello Nick
        Thanks for clearing that up for me. Greatly appreciated. What I did not tell you is that I am sort of at the end of my career (food lecturer) what ever that might means to you, and would have liked to follow a long lasting dream in bringing some relief to others (myself growing up in the desert of Namibia) first hand experience of provery and illiteracy.)
        Therefore I would like to ask you if you could take the time and direct me to some websites of organizations that might help me with my search.
        My aim: World Food Program/ Food Security Analysis or something in that direction.
        I have t realized that you are a proper direct person, and I like it ( to say I respect it … would have been – the proper way, but I prefer the ‘like it’ straight way. ) Thanks Lida

  2. February 9, 2013 2:34 pm

    Hi Lida,
    Depending on your resume (I’m afraid I really don’t know what the resume of a Food Lecturer might look like!) it may be relatively easy to transition into work or consulting on food security issues. You’re probably aware that careers in the UN are a whole different kind of a fish – you might want to check out the UN ESA Guide to Careers in the UN.

    I would suggest that you take a broad look at the sector, and see if you can find any jobs posted that align with your skillset and then seek some informational interviews with people who currently hold those jobs – most people are willing to chat about these kinds of things with folks trying to make the transition.
    Good luck!

    • lida permalink
      February 10, 2013 12:10 pm

      Hello Nick
      Thanks you so much in taking the time and effort to write back to me with such good advice. I feel lucky in founding you on the web. I have not read the UN guide as yet, but will soon as I was consumed with work all weekend.

      Back to my resume… nothing smart … just a normal lecturer in Nutrition and food technology in the UK. But born and bred in the Namib Desert in Namibia…. and previleged to be raised with 5 languages ( which possibily will be of some benefit , one way or another

      My appreciation once more for your superb support – will report my research regarding the UN>

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