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World Mosquito Day Marks 114 Years Of Battle Against Malaria

“Each year on August 20, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) celebrates [World] Mosquito Day to honor the date in 1897 when British doctor Ronald Ross discovered that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between human beings,” AlertNet reports (Mollins, 8/17). “In 1902, Ross’s discovery earned him the Nobel prize for medicine and laid the foundations for scientists across the world to better understand, beat and treat malaria-carrying mosquitoes,” Sarah Kline, executive director of Malaria No More U.K., writes in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters” blog.

“The statistics are stark: malaria claims 781,000 lives every year, with over 90 percent of [these] deaths [occurring] in Africa,” she continues, and highlights a report (.pdf) on funding for malaria research and development launched by the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) earlier this year. “Of particular concern is the current underfunding for diagnostic tools and vector control, a measure aimed at avoiding transmission of the disease in the first place,” Kline writes, adding, “These areas need to be addressed to ensure not only that cases of malaria are correctly diagnosed and treated but also that the insecticides used really do prevent the spread of malaria” (8/19).