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Herbs and empires: a brief history of malaria drugs

3 minutes

Our fight against malaria is strange, cyclical and shows few signs of slowing

By far the deadliest parasitic disease in human history, malaria has killed millions upon millions of people over the past several thousand years. Effective anti-malarial treatments have existed since the 17th century, but the disease still kills more than a million people a year, many of them children. Despite enormous efforts to neutralise and eradicate the disease, the malaria parasite has proved hugely resilient, capable of developing a resistance to everything humankind has ever thrown at it. Produced by NPR, Herbs and Empires traces the strange history of one of our most formidable foes.

Producer: Adam Cole, Ben de la Cruz

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Essay/
Illness & Disease
Chronic

For big pharma, the perfect patient is wealthy, permanently ill and a daily pill-popper. Will medicine ever recover?

Clayton Dalton

Essay/
Gender & Sexuality
Transitioning

Individual transgender lives track a wider cultural history of surgery, hormones and revolutionised gender identities

Randi Hutter Epstein