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Fredros Okumu's blog

The Amazing Biology of Malaria Mosquitoes

June 15, 2019 - 17:46 -- Fredros Okumu

IN 30 SECONDS: Mosquitoes spread diseases to millions of people around the world, yet they remain poorly understood by most. Of particular interest among these diseases is malaria in Africa, transmitted predominantly by four cruel members of the Anopheles family. This article is an abridged illustration of the many biological intrigues in the lives of malaria mosquitoes. The more we understand it, the closer we will get to “zero malaria”. And we must do so with as few deaths as possible

Insecticides, bednets and medicines may slow malaria down, but real progress requires a more holistic approach

April 25, 2019 - 10:06 -- Fredros Okumu
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IN 30 SECONDS: There is no doubt that bed nets, insecticides, medicines and diagnostics will deliver significant successes against malaria in the short-term. But as major international partners continue prioritizing the commodity-based approach, African governments should be building the necessary resilience in affected communities. Countries should ensure safe houses and physical environments so that exposure to mosquito bites is minimized, strengthen health systems to identify and treat new malaria cases, expand access to health education in schools and households, and improve household economies and food security so that competing priorities are addressed. This needs to be a long-term strategy, paid for by domestic funding, subsidies, tax rebates or other innovative financing mechanisms – for example a ten-dollar malaria levy paid by international travelers visiting endemic countries. This way, the affected countries can better avoid malaria deaths and sickness, or rebounds of transmission, which currently place such a strain on national health outcomes and development.

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