CHICAGO – Malaria: blood, sweat and tears, an exhibition produced by award-winning US photographer Adam Nadel with international non-profit health organization, Malaria Consortium, opens tomorrow to the public at the Field Museum in Chicago. Nadel and colleagues from London-based Malaria Consortium will be joined by VIP guests from among Chicago’s civic and business sectors, the University of Chicago and members of the medical community, at a preview event tonight at the Field Museum to celebrate the launch of the exhibit.
Before debuting in Chicago, Malaria: blood, sweat, and tears premiered at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where it was viewed by over 100,000 people. The exhibit has also been shown at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the UN in Geneva, the Hôtel de Ville in Paris, and the National Museum of Ghana.
The photography exhibition was conceived in 2009 by Adam Nadel and Malaria Consortium, a leading global non-profit organization dedicated to the comprehensive control of malaria. The aim was always to produce a powerful, visual exhibition that would help raise awareness of the impact and history of malaria and the science that underpins global efforts to tackle the disease.
“Most Chicagoans will be surprised to learn that malaria kills one child every minute. This exhibit will go a long way toward creating much-needed dialogue on this critical issue,” said Professor Whitney Addington, Trustee, Malaria Consortium, Honorary Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and former President of the Chicago Board of Health from 1989 to 2001. “Malaria: blood, sweat, and tears is a learning opportunity for every person who views it – a chance to begin taking an active interest in helping to alleviate the terrible burden of the millions of people who are affected by this avoidable and curable disease.”
Malaria: blood, sweat, and tears highlights the complex relationship between malaria and poverty, and the need for continued international support to combat the disease. The images provide highly personal stories of the physical, emotional, economic, and scientific repercussions of malaria, illustrating the effect it has on families, health workers, and local communities’ malaria researchers. The photographs were shot in Cambodia, Uganda and Nigeria over five weeks in 2009.
“While making these images, I witnessed first-hand the despair and devastation that this disease causes families and communities,” said Nadel. “I believe the exhibit creates a powerful empathetic relationship between the subjects of the photos and the viewers, and it is my hope that it continues to inspire people around the world to take an interest in this issue.”
Malaria is transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes, causing a range of symptoms that can quickly become life-threatening. According to a World Health Organization 2011 report, there were about 216 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2010 – more than 400 cases every minute and these are just the ones that were formally diagnosed. Most cases of malaria occur in sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority occurring in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Cote D’Ivoire and Mali. Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the disease because of their undeveloped or compromised immune systems. More than 80 percent of the estimated 655,000 malaria deaths in 2010 were children under the age of five, while 10,000 pregnant women lost their lives as a result of malaria.
Tonight’s preview event is hosted by John W. McCarter, Jr., president and CEO of the Field Museum; Professor Whitney Addington; and Maxwell Kolawole, Malaria Consortium’s programme director for SuNMap (Support to the National Malaria Programme), in Nigeria.
“As part of its effort to confront the scourge of tropical diseases, The Field Museum is pleased to welcome Malaria: blood, sweat and tears as a temporary exhibit. After viewing the photos, I was deeply moved and believe that all Chicagoans will be equally affected by the imagery,” said McCarter. “This exhibit has only debuted in five other cities – all high-profile international locations – so we’re honoured that Chicago was selected as the next home for the exhibit.
Malaria: blood, sweat, and tears opens to the public on June 29 and is supported by UKaid.
For more information about malaria and to learn how you can help, please visit www.malariaconsortium.org or email [email protected]. You can also connect with us via Facebook (www.facebook.com/MalariaConsortium) or Twitter (@FightingMalaria).