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August 10, 2005

Confidentiality and “Jambo, Jahi”—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2005;294(6):680. doi:10.1001/jama.294.6.680-b

In Reply: I appreciate Dr Lyman’s concerns. “Jahi” was a long-time staff member at the hotel in Tanzania, and his history of childhood malaria was already known to his employer before I initiated my research for this essay. His employer shared the information in the interest of drawing attention to the worsening scourge of malaria.

In writing this essay, several alterations were made to protect the identity of the individual I described. For example, the name Jahi is a pseudonym. I do not believe that the individual is identifiable based on his medical history. Not only does severe malaria account for 9% of all deaths in Africa every year,1 3% to 28% of its survivors have some neurologic sequelae, including chronic neurocognitive deficits.2 Sadly, there are many Jahi’s in Africa today.

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