Koreans in South Africa aren’t taking their medicine?

There are two reports in the news about Korean dancers in South Africa dyeing of malaria.

Spellcheck suggested “dyeing” after I incorrectly

typed “dieing” – surely their word means adding

colour to clothes and such though.  What is the right word?

First, my condolences to the families of Koh Eun-joo and Kim Su-yeon.

Second, how could this happen?  The Korea Herald article (KH is no longer appearing on my browser as a malware site) on Miss Kim is short and merely reports her name and occupation.  The Joongang article on Miss Koh sheds more light.  I don’t like to use such long excerpts from a newspaper article, but malaria is serious business.

Kim Su-yeon, 27, was one of two performers in the 45-member troupe to contract the disease, and one of 11 members who had been given chloroquine, a malaria pill that is “not very effective in Africa,” said an official from the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention who asked to be identified only as Im.

“The pills were prescribed by a village doctor before they left. The other 34 were given drugs before their departure by the National Medical Center,” Im said. “It would have been better if they had been given better information before this happened, because that information is not hard to get. It’s on our Web site.”

Im said the 11 performers given chloroquine were all from Namwon, where the National Center for Korean Folk Performing Arts is located. He said mefloquine is usually prescribed as a preventive against malaria.

Kim started showing signs of malaria on June 3 but thought it was simply a cold. The day after she returned to Korea from Egypt on June 5, a hospital diagnosed her as suffering from the mosquito-borne parasitic disease, said Park Min-kwon from the Korean Culture and Information Service, which directed the Korean Culture Festival.

“Another member was also diagnosed with worse symptoms than Kim, but she’s doing better now,” Park said. “All 45 team members were given malaria pills before we left.”

Alright, more news on Malaria in Korea and elsewhere: Gangwon Notes*, the CDC and Wikipedia’s page on chloroquine.

Now, prevention is better than cure, as there are few good cures for malaria.  Part of prevention is done through drugs, but I wonder if the dancers were also preventing mosquito bites.  Nets or fans are important at night (preventing malaria is more important than fears of fandeath, after all) but these are for cheap accommodations.  Reputable hotels should have had properly sealed rooms with AC  if necessary – there should have been no need to open a window at night.

I wonder if the so very glamourous life of mid-level Korean entertainers is the problem.  Extra! Korea posted recently on a newspaper article about  entertainer’s incomes and living arrangements.  I also did so years ago at Gangwon Notes*.


* Yes, I linked to myself twice in this post.  I don’t know how many people read this and what percent of them also read Gangwon Notes, but I’ve discussed malaria on my blogs for four or five years and SurprisesAplenty.wordpress doesn’t show that background.  Also, I am a great writer and you should feel lucky to have a chance to read further of my work.

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4 Responses to “Koreans in South Africa aren’t taking their medicine?”

  1. Mom Says:

    How about….having died
    or near death
    My dictionary wasn’t helpful with the die…ing word

  2. surprisesaplenty Says:

    I typed “dying” into Google and the results -and the word, now that I see it – look right.

    There’s no reason why you would, but do you remember what anti-malarials I took when I went to India?

  3. sapphire Says:

    They really never heard about Quinine…?!!

  4. surprisesaplenty Says:

    I love the stuff – I take a dose almost weekly, mixed with a distillation of juniper berries. You could call it a tonic, I suppose.

    More seriously, I don’t think quinine has been effective against malaria in a hundred years – malaria is pretty much resistant to the stuff nowadays.

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