World Mosquito Day! Stop Blanketing Africa now!

Post date: Aug 20, 2010 12:49:44 PM

Today is the WHO unrecognized day of the MOSQUITO!

This day is commemorated worldwide in recognition Dr Ronald Ross’s

research in identifying the Mosquito as the transmitting agent of


World Mosquito Day originated in 1897 by Dr. Ronald Ross of the

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. After dissecting mosquitoes

known to have fed on a patient with malaria, Ross discovered the

malaria parasite in the stomach wall of the mosquito. Through further

research using malarious birds, Ross was able to ascertain the entire

life cycle of the malarial parasite, including its presence in the

mosquito's salivary glands. Ross then confirmed that malaria is

transmitted from infected birds to healthy ones by the bite of a

mosquito, a finding that suggested the disease's mode of transmission

to humans. For his findings, Ross is credited with the discovery of

the transmission of malaria by the mosquito, and was honored with a

Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1902.

Last year, we used the occasion to highlight the flaws in current

strategies of using nets and indoor residual spraying/fogger units and

advised African governments not to waste their meager resources on

these non-sustainable measures.

This year, we shifted our attention to advise corporations in Africa

to cease from jumping on the “net” wagon. Many times, companies, as

part of their corporate social responsibility strategies engage in

distribution of nets in coordination with their NGO allies. Yet, the

research shows that other measures are more sustainable and the

donations should be focused in these areas.

Research finds that bed nets are only 25% effective in preventing

Malaria. Therefore, in the unlikely event that every person within a

given geographical area (for example: Ghana) sleeping under bed nets

from 5pm-7am, then malaria cases are likely to drop by 25%. Despite

the research findings, we still we have NGOs raising money all around

the globe in pursuit of 'blanketing' Africa with nets. It should be

noted that mosquitoes do not bite only when you are in bed.

Thus, the good intention of the corporations to distribute nets is not

sustainable and, sadly, it only elevates the mosquitos resistance to


Source: Hayford Siaw (Executive Director, Volunteer Partnerships for

West Africa) +233 24 3340112, + 233 302 937040