Every year, on August 20th, the world’s scientific community observes the “World Mosquito Day” to pay their respects to the British doctor, Sir Ronald Ross, who, in 1897, discovered that “the female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans“.
The tiny mosquitoes are the carriers of many deadliest diseases, which are responsible for millions of deaths around the world. In 2014, Bill Gates published a blog explaining how mosquitoes are the most dangerous creatures in the world and kill approximately 7, 25,000 people worldwide every year.
I hate mosquitoes. The diseases they spread kill more than half a million people every year. In fact, mosquitoes kill more people in one day than sharks kill in 100 years: https://t.co/r81u9DDB2B #WorldMosquitoDay pic.twitter.com/j6DB4yZ4m9
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) August 20, 2018
In fact, they account for almost 17% of the estimated global burden of infectious diseases. Out of all the deaths that occur due to mosquitoes, Malaria is the worst, killing more than 6,00,000 people every year.
According to the WHO’s World Malaria Report 2019, India accounts for 77% of the total malaria cases in South East Asia. As per the report, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Goa, Southern Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and the North-Eastern states have more number of cases than any other state.
Mosquitoes are the carriers of many bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Mosquitoes, infected with the bacteria, viruses or parasites, bite human beings and subsequently transmit deadly microorganisms into our bodies. And then those microorganisms start waging war on our immune system, causing deaths.
Each year, mosquitoes kill more than 7,25,000 people across the globe with over 24,000 in India; this is way more than any other animal on the planet.
Number of estimated Malaria cases during 2010 to 2018:
In 2019, the World Malaria Report had identified and warned that “the source of Malaria continues to strike hardest against Pregnant women and young children in Africa”. The report is based on the information provided by 80 countries and areas across the globe with ongoing Malaria transmission.
The 2018 World Malaria Report explains that around 228 million people were afflicted with mosquito-borne diseases that killed over 4,05,000 people worldwide. In 2017, the WHO reported that approximately 231 million cases were reported worldwide and warned that sub-Saharan African countries mostly account for a larger share of the diseases’ burden.
The WHO also observed that pregnancy reduces women’s immunity to Malaria, therefore making them more susceptible to the malaria infection and at a higher risk of illness, severe anaemia and death. Further, it identified that maternal Malaria also interferes with the growth of a fetus and increases the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight—a leading cause of child mortality. In this regard, WHO’s Director-General said, “Pregnant women and children are the most vulnerable to Malaria, and we cannot make progress without focusing on these two groups.”
How Does Malaria spread? Watch this video to find out: