The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
What do the lines on Solo cups mean?
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
Princess Caraboo, servant girl who became a princess, 1817
The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
Loch Ness Monster Hoaxes
Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'?
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
Are there more doctors from Malawi in Manchester than in Malawi?
Charlotte McDonald of the BBC News debunks a persistent rumor that there are more doctors from Malawi in Manchester than there are in Malawi itself. Apparently the rumor has been repeated by a variety of sources including "the authors of an international study of health workers, and the head of Malawi's main nursing union."

However, the rumor isn't true. She estimates there are approximately 265 doctors in Malawi (which isn't a whole lot for a country of 15 million), but there are only 7 Malawian doctors in Manchester, which has a population of half-a-million.

Even if you look at the ratio of doctors to people, Malawi wins out. There's one doctor for every 56604 people in Malawi. And there's one Malawian doctor for every 71428 Mancunians.

McDonald interviewed Malawian doctor and social historian John Lwanda who theorized that the rumor dated back to 1981, when the Malawi ministry of health held a meeting in Manchester. Someone might have commented that there were more doctors from Malawi in Manchester during the meeting than there were in Malawi itself. And so the rumor was born.

I wonder if the persistence of the rumor also has something to do with the alliteration of Malawi and Manchester. It makes the phrase sound catchier, which might encourage people to repeat it.
Categories: Health/Medicine, Urban Legends
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 16, 2012
Comments (1)
But is it true that there are more lumberjacks from Laos in Liverpool than lumberjacks in Laos?
Posted by MG  on  Mon Jan 16, 2012  at  11:00 PM
Commenting is no longer available for this post.
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.