Christopher Plowe

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Men take a river bath in the Ayeyarwaddy River in Mandalay, Myanmar on Dec. 9. More than 75% of malaria deaths in Southeast Asia happen in the impoverished nation. (Hkun Lat / Associated Press)

Myanmar is slowly emerging from 50 years of isolation and military rule. Even after the victory of the pro-democracy party in November elections, the country is fragile and fragmented. The military still holds much political power. The country is struggling with entrenched poverty. Decades of ethnic and regional warfare have left Myanmar with more armed groups than there are candidates in the U.S. Republican presidential primary.

What could improve this situation? Maybe malaria.

Last summer in Washington, D.C., more than a dozen of the country's officials, military leaders, opposition politicians and ethnic groups — people with a long history of mutual distrust — met to discuss how to combat this deadly parasite.…  Seguir leyendo »