Did you know that today is World Mosquito Day? I thought today was dedicated to celebrating mosquitoes like me in all of our buzzing and bloodsucking glory. To my surprise, World Mosquito Day is actually about how dangerous we are and is used by groups like Nothing But Nets to trash talk mosquitoes and discuss the importance of wiping out malaria!
World Mosquito Day happens every year on August 20, the anniversary of the day in 1897 when Sir Ronald Ross, a British doctor, discovered that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans. Dr. Ross must have disliked mosquitoes even more than you, Chris, to dedicate a day each year to remembering the devastation caused by malaria.
Because of Dr. Ross, mosquitoes have an awful reputation for transmitting this deadly disease. Apparently, mosquitoes are responsible for infecting more than 200 million people with malaria each year, causing more than 600,000 deaths annually. Bill Gates called us the deadliest animal in the world! We have been blamed for threatening half of the world’s population and costing over $12 billion in lost productivity in sub-Saharan Africa.
Chris, on this World Mosquito Day, please give us a break! Stop swatting us and telling people about how deadly we are. Nothing But Nets has already done plenty of damage to mosquitoes like me – sending over 7 million bed nets to families at risk of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. These “life-saving” bed nets may protect children and pregnant women from malaria, but they kill mosquitoes like me!
Coordinated global efforts to end malaria have cut child mortality rates by nearly half over the last decade – haven’t you done enough? All of this #MDGmomentum talk makes me think you want to mark this World Mosquito Day by sending even more nets and fighting even harder to defeat malaria – is this true? I’m getting scared.
Not fondly yours,