World Mosquito Day: Aug 20th 2022

World Mosquito Day is observed yearly on August 20th to commemorate Sir Ronald Ross’s discovery in 1897 that “Female Anopheles mosquitoes transmit the malaria parasite to humans.” It is also commemorated to raise awareness of the work done by NGOs, government agencies, and others to combat diseases caused by mosquitoes like malaria. 

The goal of World Mosquito Day is to spread awareness about diseases caused by mosquitoes, assisting people to take precautions regarding the spread of malaria and other deadly diseases caused by mosquitoes is a primary activity for the day.

The general public needs to be educated about healthy living habits and simple ways to avoid mosquito breeding around their homes.

The mosquito menace is a big problem worldwide. A small puddle of stagnant water causes mosquito breeding, leading to an infestation in that area, causing diseases. Malaria, dengue, chikungunya, and encephalitis are some of the most common diseases caused by mosquito bites. Despite their tiny size, mosquitoes are arguably the only predator that has survived throughout the ages, transmitting diseases that are spread through their bite, a simple mosquito bite could act as a carrier of many deadly diseases in humans.

There are different species of mosquitoes that act as vectors for different diseases, such as:

  • Aedes mosquitoes cause chikungunya, dengue fever, lymphatic filariasis(Elephantiasis), yellow fever, and zika.
  • Anopheles causes malaria and lymphatic filariasis(Elephantiasis).
  • Culex is the main carrier of Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis, and West Nile fever.

Vector surveillance is crucial for the early identification of mosquito populations and the early implementation of effective control strategies. If mosquito breeding is found, it must be prevented by covering all water containers, emptying and drying water tanks, containers, coolers, birdbaths, pet water bowls, and drip trays at least once a week, and taking other appropriate measures. It is necessary to remove abandoned things that collect rainwater from open areas. Regular inspections and cleanings are required for flat roofs that may have poor drainage and clogged gutters.

Diseases can be avoided by adding larvivorous fish to neighboring ponds, decorative water gardens, or aquariums.

Additionally, useful items include long sleeves and insect repellents. It is possible to construct physical barriers like window and door screens. Another means of protection are nets.

Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN) has continued to implement the Community Led Monitoring (CLM) component of the Global Fund (GF) malaria grant across the 13 GF-supported states through its member Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and has continued to record tremendous successes, particularly in the areas of strengthening community systems for improved malaria service delivery.

Amongst them are efforts by ACOMIN to continually educate the populace through its networks about mosquitoes as a vector that causes malaria, various methods mosquitos gain access to their victims, control measures, eradications strategies, and preventive measures employed to mitigate the spread. Community stakeholders are engaged in this process actively to help disseminate this information to members of their community.

This gesture by the community stakeholders has gone a long way to encourage and facilitate the provision of quality services to clients, particularly as it relates to severe malaria cases, amongst others. 

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