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This week I made a completely mad half way around the world trip to Los Angeles from Uganda to be interviewed for a new TV news program called “Full Frame”. This program picks a famous person who is involved in a particular issue and then brings in “experts” to discuss whatever the issue is. In “Full Frame’s” first episode, they chose one of my all time favorite topics – malaria, and they got Bill Gates to come on the show and talk about his thoughts on the fight against malaria. Unfortunately, I did not get to meet Bill Gates because his interview took place several days before ours, but it was really nice to be asked to be an “expert”. It was a great opportunity – something I have wanted to discuss for a larger audience for a long time. My perspective is definitely different than the traditional thinking in the malaria control world mainly because I have spent a lot of time in Uganda working on the ground with the people who face the disease on a regular basis and dealing with practical problems that are rarely considered when policy on a large scale is made. It would be wonderful if some of this information can trickle up – you just never know!
At the TV show, I met and was interviewed with Professor Bruce Hayes, a biologist from California Institute of Technology. Professor Hayes works with genetically modifying mosquitos so that perhaps one day the anopheles mosquitos – the mosquitos that currently are the only carriers of malaria – will no longer carry malaria. It’s a very different approach to what we do but very interesting to hear about. Our “offices” could not be more different so our approaches to malaria control could not be more different too, but there were lots of things we agreed on and I think Professor Hayes may be coming to visit us in Uganda. I also discovered that you can get from Uganda to LA in two flights – who knew? And thank goodness, it made travelling much easier! The trip to LA gave me the added opportunity to visit with cousins I never get to see, so that was really nice too. Anyhow, the first “Full Frame” episode is supposed to air in early March – fingers crossed it turns out to be an interesting show!