World Mosquito Day: Unite Against Mosquito-Borne Threats

World Mosquito Day: Unite Against Mosquito-Borne Threats

We can shape a future where the buzz of mosquitoes no longer echoes with disease but resonates with our collective determination to safeguard global health

Dar Es Salaam, 20 August 2023 – World Mosquito Day serves as a reminder of a menace that poses a significant threat to global health security- mosquitoes. These small insects cause more death and disease than any other animal on the planet, endangering half of the world’s population through the transmission of deadly illnesses including malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) such as yellow fever, dengue and filariasis.

The resurgence of diseases such as malaria, and NTDs such as dengue, zika, chikungunya, and West Nile fever highlights the need for an urgent response. According to the 2022 World Malaria Report, Africa bears the heaviest burden of malaria, accounting for 95% of all global cases and 96% of deaths in 2021, a staggering 80% of which were children under five. Similarly, the latest WHO Global Report on NTDs notes that 584 million people in Africa, comprising 35.3% of the population, require interventions against NTDs, underscoring the region’s significant burden.

While vector control stands as a cornerstone for combating malaria and mosquito borne NTDs, emerging challenges threaten this intervention. Anopheles mosquitoes’ resistance to insecticides, for instance, endangers global malaria control progress. The invasion of new mosquito species like Anopheles stephensi into urban areas further jeopardizes the fight against malaria.

The good news is, new mosquito nets have been developed to address the threat of insecticide resistance, with the new dual active ingredient nets receiving WHO approval earlier this year. It is imperative that the procurement and distribution of these nets is accelerated, and the resources needed to support their scale up are secured.

Climate change compounds these challenges. Rising temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, and increased flooding creates mosquito breeding sites, and accelerates malaria transmission.

In the face of these challenges, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), calls for intensified efforts and collaboration. This includes continued investment in evidence-informed strategies, crucial in combating the growing threat of insecticide-resistant vectors and global environmental changes. Strengthened surveillance is equally vital for identifying and addressing emerging threats. Furthermore, research and investments for new insecticides, drugs, and technologies against mosquito-borne diseases is crucial.

Moreover, collaborative partnerships including governments, international organizations, NGOs, and local communities are key in addressing interconnected challenges. Initiatives like the Great Lakes Malaria Initiative (GLMI), Sahel elimination initiative, MOSASWA and Elimination 8  regional initiatives enhance cross border collaboration in the fight against malaria. Similarly, national platforms like the End Malaria and NTDs Councils, now rolling out across African Union Member States are essential for resource mobilization, advocacy  and the development of multisectoral strategies to combat these diseases.

As we mark this World Mosquito Day, let us unite against mosquitoes. By prioritizing evidence-informed interventions, collaborative partnerships, innovation, and resource mobilization, we can shape a future where the buzz of mosquitoes no longer threatens us with disease and the risk of death.  Together, we can forge a path towards a healthier world for all.


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