I know you mean well, and you are usually well informed (and I am also sorry to hear about your kidney ailment), but what you just said about malaria not being common in mainland Belize is the kind of misinformation that I worry about being spread on the Internet.
The fact is that over the past decade or so Belize has had one of the highest incidences of malaria on a per capita basis in the hemisphere and perhaps in the world. The actual number of reported cases varies year to year but it is usually several thousand, six or eight thousand, in a population of 240,000. In 1994 it reached 10,000. Thatís about one of every 24 people in Belize.
A September 2000 study by Wayne D. Usher for the Government of Belize reported that Belize had the highest per-capita infection rate for malaria in the Western Hemisphere.
Another study concluded that Belize had the highest incidence rate in Central America, at 40 cases per 1,000 population.
Now, having said that itís also a fact that these cases of malaria are not common in areas where visitors are likely to go. They are concentrated in southern Belize and in remote areas of the west. And they are concentrated in areas where there are sizeable numbers of immigrants, sometimes illegal immigrants, from Guatemala and other neighboring countries.
Itís also true that the malaria strains in Belize are not usually life-threatening and the only prophylaxsis needed is choloroquine.
But that doesnít make them any the less real.
Have you spent much time on the mainland? In areas such as Toledo or rural western parts of Orangewalk or Cayo districts? Those places are VERY different from Caye Caulker and San Pedro, and malaria is present.
Belize books and publications by Lan Sluder:
Belize First Magazine http://www.belizefirst.com/
Fodor's Belize and Guatemala Guide
Belize First Guide to Mainland Belize
Adapter Kit: Belize
Fodor's UpClose Central America
Belize Book of Lists 2000