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You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>Mosquito's Malaria: Man’s enemy
Monday, 29 April 2013 04:41

Mosquito's Malaria: Man’s enemy

Written by Dr. D.N. Aribodor
photo: huffington post photo: huffington post


Malaria, described by Hippocrates in the fourth century B.C is almost certainly one of the most ancient diseases of man. Indeed, it is reasonable to suppose that it is older than we, that our primate ancestors were recognizably malarious before they were recognizably human, that the parasite which causes the fever and the mosquito which transfers it from one person to another have accompanied us throughout the Darwinian descent. But is less than a hundred years since the beginning of this century that people have begun systematically to attack it and its insect propagators. From small and scattered raids prior to world war I the fight against malaria and malarious mosquitoes grew into a global campaign after world war II. Fifty years ago victory in all continents except Africa seemed in sight. Today the armies of people everywhere are in retreat as warlords ceaselessly discover various techniques to keep them abate.


But the fact still remains, malaria is resurgent, finding various method to shield man’s attack on it, most tragically in Asia where the battle had seemed almost won.


In India, malaria cases, which were reduced to 50,000 in 1961, soared in 1977 to 30 million or more.


Classically one of the greatest if least spectacular of the killers, malaria may become that once more what happened and why are the subject of this history?


The war on mosquitoes began in the high noon of white man’s empire, at the end of nineteen century. At the time when Ronald Ross in colonial India discovered that mosquitoes transmit malaria. After his discovery, man’s dominant view of malaria and mosquitoes has been that they are unqualified and unnecessary evils; and his dominant aim has been simply to get rid of them. Each time a new offensive weapon offered new hope, enthusiasts imagined that malaria would soon be wiped out. Only when the latest hope lay dashed did any considerable numbers of malariologists shift their thinking from an adversary to be conquered to an adversity to be tamed, mitigated and live with.

The question now is, does it mean that malaria cannot be totally eradicated?


Those who hold with militant view will see this history as a record of a war lost despite important victories on some battle fields. Many of those who took part in the most recent battles do in fact now suffer a sense of defeat. In extenuation some of them point out that their failure is not unique, that in fact one can find very few grand victories in such grand under-takings. That is true but it may also be instructive. Failure so universal, so apparently ineluctable, must be trying to tell us something. The lesson could be of course that we have proved incompetent warriors. It could so be that we have misconstrued the problem.


A lot of factors may have contributed to the resurgence, and this, of which poverty makes a lead. Drug compliance will surely lead to drug resistance by the enemies of man if taken incautiously.


The cause of malaria resurgence may also be as a result of neglect from the people who are supposed to celebrate the success thereby leaving problem to the course of the war lord’s to tackle it alone. This is why Malaria Eradication and Safe Health Initiative (MESHI), is currently undergoing a one day sensitization program in secondary schools in Awka.


•Malaria Eradication and Safe Health Initiative (MESHI), Awka

Nwakaogor Glory

President MESHI

Dr. D.N. Aribodor PhD

Founder/Staff Adviser.


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