- Friday, August 20 is World Mosquito Day, a reason for the global travel and tourism industry to remember and continue the fight against this threat.
- This day is meant to urge people to recognize the looming threat of mosquito-borne diseases like malaria & dengue fever.
- People should adopt preventive measures to stay safe from Mosquito born deseases anywhere in the world.
Every year on World Mosquito Day, the world commemorates the discovery that the female Anopheles mosquito is the vector that transmits malaria between humans. This important finding, made by Sir Ronald Ross in 1897, became the basis for several malaria control programs including Indoor Residual Spraying and Insecticide Treated Nets as well as the development of malaria treatment drugs and chemoprophylaxis.
The celebration is on how this discovery changed the course of medical history.
Although millions of lives have been saved as a result of this single discovery, malaria continues to place a heavy burden on affected countries, with an estimated 409,000 deaths caused by the disease globally in 2019 alone.
Today, Target Malaria researchers and scientists all over the world continue to study the malaria-carrying mosquito in an effort to stay ahead of an ever-evolving parasite and find novel and better ways of fighting the disease.
The news on World Mosquito Day is coming from a country where mosquitos are a real threat to health and safety is in India.
On World Mosquito Day awareness is spread via social media around the need to be protected from mosquitoes.
With the tagline of ‘Kill Pests, Kill Diseases’, an Indian pest company pledges to make every home disease-free.
The company is running consumer awareness programs and discussions in partnership with leading news channels.
Through its EMBED (Elimination of Mosquito Borne Endemic Diseases) program, GCPL has made positive strides in malaria prevention at the grass-root level.
In 2015, the program was started in Madhya Pradesh in partnership with the state Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to eliminate malaria from high endemic villages.
The program has covered more than 800 villages in 11 districts of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. GCPL collaborated with stakeholders to run intensive behavior change programs in regions with a high annual parasite index where malaria transmission risks are the highest.
This resulted in 24% of 824 intervention villages reporting 0 cases of malaria by the end of FY20-21.
The remaining villages were in year 1 of intervention and the aim is to make them malaria-free in year 2 and year 3.
GCPL, in addition, expanded the portfolio to dengue control and management in 4 cities (Bhopal, Gwalior, Lucknow, and Kanpur) and is also providing technical support to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) under GOI’s Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
Commenting on the occasion, Sunil Kataria CEO, said, “At GCPL, our endeavour is to make India healthy, safe, and free from vector-borne diseases. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more important to be vigilant due to the double threat of mosquito-borne diseases and the virus. On World Mosquito Day, we urge everyone to adopt measures to prevent malaria or dengue.
We are committed to driving more such initiatives that will enable people with the necessary awareness and solutions to fight the mosquito menace.
The Health Management Information System (HMIS), a data dashboard of the National Health Mission (NHM), reported thousands of cases of malaria and dengue cases in India between April 2020 to March 2021.
Apart from the health impact, the socio-economic burden or annual expense on the country due to malaria and dengue is much higher.
Taking cognizance of these concerns, GCPL through its social initiative and innovative products aims to propel behavioral change amongst people to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases.
Adv. Jayant Deshpande, Honorary Secretary, Home Insect Control Association (HICA) – an industry body of household insecticides sector, said, “To tackle the danger posed by mosquitoes, one must use proper and trusted solutions only.
The market is flooded with spurious products such as illegal and unbranded mosquito repellent incense sticks containing harmful ingredients.
These products from unscrupulous players may look cheaper but do not go through the regulated manufacturing processes and basic checks on safety parameters of the skin, eye, and respiratory system mandated for all home insecticide products.
All illegal mosquito repellent incense sticks flout norms and are not tested on the aforementioned parameters. Any usage of these illegal mosquito repellent incense sticks is highly risky for the health of citizens across age groups. We strongly recommend everyone to use only government-approved formulations and products.”
Dr. Myriam Sidibe, a global health expert and honorary professor of the practice at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said, “India has done a good job in bringing down malaria and dengue cases over the last 5 years. As all of us adjust our lives to prevent COVID-19, efforts to further reduce the impact of mosquito-borne diseases should continue.
Governments may be calling all hands on deck to address the COVID-19 pandemic, but we don’t have to stop our long campaign against mosquitoes. Public-private partnerships will be critical in lowering the socio-economic burden on India due to malaria, dengue, and other such diseases.
These partnerships can lead to many interesting innovations and models to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.”
Cuthbert Ncube from the African Tourism Board reminds the world mosquito-borne illnesses to remain a threat to the travel and tourism industry specifically in Africa, and one should not forget when going through the COVID-19 crisis .