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The Blood Wars

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a young african girl is seen being treated for a mosquito bite that caused her to contract malaria
Rather than dabbing a little chamomile lotion on the inflamed mosquito bite to take the itching away, kids like Nkujuwumba usually die.
Eat Right for Your Blood Type and chances are you’ll fit back into your favourite pair of skinny jeans. Spritz on one of Blood Concept’s aptly named O, A, B, or AB perfumes and your scent is practically guaranteed to mesh with your body chemistry. Take a Body Ecology quiz online and your blood type can help determine your personality, your job and, even, your soul mate. Live in Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa without access to a clean bag of your blood type’s blood and get bit by a malaria-infected mosquito and you’ll probably die. 

Just ask Nkujuwumba. She has no access to blood in her blood type and even if she did, her dad couldn’t afford to buy it for her.

Lying in one of the Mapalamboli Clinic’s hospital beds in Kikimi—a township just outside of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa—the tiny 12-year-old girl is trying to recover from the freezing cold chills and the boiling hot fevers that alternately shake her small body, leaving her limp, depleted of energy and lying in a pool of her own sweat.

She’s just one of the 216+ million people—86 per cent of whom are children five years old and younger—living in Central and South America, South East Asia, India, the Middle East, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa who have been infected by mosquito bites since 2010. But rather than dabbing a little chamomile lotion on the inflamed red bump to take the itching away, kids like Nkujuwumba usually die.

Instead, Nkujuwumba has been rendered speechless, has suffered irreparable neurological damage and now has limited muscle control—all because a deadly, female mosquito, infected with malaria, bit her. Once.

Puts all of the intriguing blood-type trivia into perspective doesn’t it? After all, knowing your blood type and what it means is only fun when you can also put that information to good use. Now you know.

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