Malaria and Mosquitoes

In 1958 the epic of man’s struggle against disease reached new heights in the massive fight which the World Health Organization started that year for the eradication of malaria. This was a Herculean task that defied all imagination, but the vision and skill of responsible leaders proved beyond doubt the value of this challenging mission. WHO put on a vigorous campaign to spray with DDT and BHC every dwelling in the malaria-infected areas throughout the world. Thousands of vehicles, spraying machines and microscopes were pressed into service, and more than 129,000 tons of insecticides were used in India alone.

After carefully studying the habits of the mosquito WHO decided to strike at the root of the malarial infection-the mosquito. It was learned that after the female mosquito has had her blood meal, she is not able to fly far and habitually flies to the wall, where she sits for about two hours. If the wall had been previously sprayed with insecticides the mosquito would be poisoned to death. Thus if all the mosquitoes could be killed in this way, it would check the spread of the infection. With this observation as their basis WHO workers started their spraying campaign, and as a result of it the incidence of malaria was reduced by about 94%.

Even though WHO has been very successful in eradicating malaria, it is still very important far all to persevere in their efforts to destroy mosquitoes. The mast effective way of doing this is to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes. The mosquito breeds only in water. The female lays her eggs on the water in a pond, a rice field, a puddle, a bucket, a jar, account shell or any place where stagnated water has collected. The eggs change into. “wrigglers” in two or three days. Mast everyone is familiar with the shape and movements of the small wrigglers so commonly seen in ponds and puddles. In about two weeks the wrigglers change into full-grown mosquitoes.