Although useful things (like dermatomes) can be impossible to remember, obscure things sometimes seem to stick fast in our memories. Like Kuru, which, as we all know, is caused by a slow acting virus transmitted by eating the brains of sufferers. Not terribly common here in NSW.
Yet you may be surprised to know that NSW has recently celebrated ‘International Kuru Awareness Week’, which was one of the 140 awareness events on the official NSW Health Calendar each year!
Robert Clark is a journalist who has an interest in ‘Disease Mongering’, where drug companies fund patient-advocacy groups to act as proxy lobbyists. To test the rigorousness of the screening process used by NSW Health in accepting ‘awareness events’, he created the International Kuru Foundation – ‘Helping to Save Lives’, and a fake website . International Kuru Awareness Week was accepted on the awareness calendar immediately.
You may have heard his commentary broadcast on Radio National perspective.
As Robert says
“Unfortunately, no drug companies opened their pork barrels for the International Kuru Foundation. But it did receive one donation. It was an offer to attend a play, a two-act comedy entitled Kuru. If you were in Long Beach, New Jersey, on 8 August last year, you could have heard it read. There was a ticket reserved for Dr Robert Graham of the International Kuru Foundation, and he was unable to attend.”