PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 January, 2012, 12:00am


by Alex Perry
Audible (audiobook)

Written by Time magazine's Africa bureau chief, this volume is an important contribution to understanding how best to combat malaria, our oldest and most widespread disease - namely, by distributing insecticide-treated bed nets. Alex Perry also explores the controversial subject of aid and whether it helps or hinders a country's development. And he shows, through his main subject, New Jersey businessman and philanthropist Ray Chambers, why malaria is as much an economic as a humanitarian concern. In 2006 Chambers took on the ambitious challenge of eradicating the disease and adopted methods that focused on efficiency, investment and returns. For research, Perry travelled to some of the most destitute places in Africa and in the world's 'most malarious town on earth', he found the disease was being treated with headache pills and old medicine (quinine, phased out in the rich world long ago). Lifeblood, narrated in gee-gosh fashion by Ken Maxon, is good for anyone seeking to understand how malaria breeds poverty and vice versa.