Why do we celebrate World Mosquito Day?

Mosquitoes

Observed annually on August 20, World Mosquito Day commemorates the 1897 discovery by British doctor Sir Ronald Ross that malaria is transferred by mosquitoes.  

His findings led to the realisation that malaria was transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito, and laid the foundation for combating the disease.

Every year, August 20 is observed as the World Mosquito Day to raise awareness about the illness and disease caused by mosquitos. It marks the day when Sir Ronald Ross discovered the link between female mosquito and malaria, which changed the course of medical history. The mosquito is possibly the only predator in human history to have thrived through millennia, bringing death and destruction through a variety of vector-borne illness, particularly malaria. According to a survey of the world’s deadliest animals, mosquitoes surprisingly topped the list.

WORLD MOSQUITO DAY 2021: HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE

Since the 1930s, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has been organising an annual ceremony to commemorate the contributions of the British doctor, Sir Ronald.

According to the most recent statistics, over 435,000 people die each year from malaria. Not only that, but malaria is thought to affect around 219 million people worldwide each year. Many people, especially those who reside in places that are not at risk, are unaware of the severity of the problem.

Malaria is present in more than 100 nations. It’s a problem that mostly affects tropical locations around the world. And India, being the favourable breeding place for many mosquito species such as Anopheles and Aedes, makes it the hotspot for diseases like yellow fever, dengue, malaria and more.

It becomes very crucial to increase awareness about the causes of malaria and how to prevent it, as well as raise funds for malaria cure research.

WORLD MOSQUITO DAY 2021: PREVENTION

The best way to avoid contracting this disease is to protect yourself from mosquito bites/mosquitoes. Vector surveillance is critical for early detection of mosquito populations and the implementation of appropriate control strategies.

Puddles, containers, and anything else that retains water should be covered or cleaned on a regular basis to prevent mosquito breeding. Objects discarded in open locations that gather rainwater must be removed. Clogged gutters and flat roofs with inadequate drainage should be checked and cleaned on a regular basis.

Diseases can also be prevented by introducing larvivorous fish to decorative water tanks/gardens or surrounding ponds.