Find out how drug users banded together to use a simple injection to save thousands of lives. Alexander Walley was a twentysomething medical student when he witnessed the power of naloxone. It was the midnight shift at the Emergency Department at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
The call wasn’t unusual: a middle-aged man had been found unconscious after overdosing on heroin. Walley accompanied a pair of paramedics to an ambulance, and they headed out into the cool moonlit night. After five blocks or so they arrived at one of the city’s housing projects and threaded their way across crumbling sidewalks to a shabby apartment in a dimly lit building. Inside, Walley found the man slumped against a wall, blue-skinned and not breathing. “He looked dead,” Walley says, recalling the incident 15 years later.
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Malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic infection that affects about 3.2 billion people in 95 countries, has become largely a disease of the young and poor.
Due to effective medications like chloroquine and artemisinins, malaria deaths dropped an estimated 60 percent worldwide between 2000 and 2015. The Americas and Africa saw the greatest improvements.
Still, 216 million new cases of malaria were reported in 2016, the latest data available. Most of them occurred in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Ivory Coast and Mozambique. And of the 445,000 people who died from the infection, about 70 percent were children under the age of 5.
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