“Mosquitoes Pose Persistent Threat Despite Effort to Combat Malaria”

Thomas Leyk
2 Min Read

A dedicated team of young scientists and volunteers are tirelessly working to combat the biggest threat to global health – mosquitoes. They are conducting tests on new insecticides and developing innovative ways to deliver them. By observing and monitoring mosquitoes that target people while they sleep, they hope to find effective solutions. Tracking the parasites carried by mosquitoes, they collect blood samples from various sources such as babies, moto-taxi drivers, goat herders, and their goats.

Despite their efforts, Eric Ochomo, the entomologist leading this mission, admits that the mosquitoes seem to be winning. In the past decade, humans appeared to have gained the upper hand in the fight against mosquitoes, but progress has stalled and even regressed. The insecticides once effective for spraying houses and bed nets have become less potent as mosquitoes have developed resistance. Malaria cases and deaths, which had reached a historic low in 2015, have been on the rise.

Even the United States, which had not seen locally transmitted cases of malaria for 20 years, experienced nine cases in Texas, Florida, and Maryland during the previous summer. Ochomo highlights the challenges faced in regions historically plagued by mosquitoes and emphasizes the emergence of new threats due to climate change and environmental factors.

Malaria remains the deadliest disease in human history, claiming more lives than any other. Between 2000 and 2015, there was significant progress in combating malaria worldwide, with a one-third decrease in cases and nearly half reduction in mortality rates. This success led to increased investment and aspirations of eradicating the disease completely. However, after reaching a low of approximately 575,000 deaths in 2019, malaria fatalities rose to 620,000 in 2021.

The persistence of mosquitoes and the resurgence of malaria highlight the ongoing challenges faced in the battle against this disease. Efforts to address this global issue continue, fueled by the urgency to protect vulnerable populations and strive for a malaria-free future.

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