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When thinking of dangerous animals, terrifying beasts may spring to mind; maybe a tiger, great white shark or a huge alligator. However, despite their reputation and looks, they aren’t at the top of the tree when it comes to deadliness. Science tells us that the most violent and aggressive creature on Earth is actually an insect; smaller than a pen (lid) and mightier than the sword, it’s the mosquito.
The World Health Organisation claims that these tiny creatures cause up to 725,000 people per year; and other organisations have given even higher numbers. To put this in perspective, here is a round up of other causes leading to serious death counts:
- Snakes: 60,000 deaths/year
- Gun crime: 33,000 deaths/year
- Road accidents: 40,000 deaths/year
We all know to stay clear of snakes, to stay clear of violent places, and to wear our seatbelts. But these causes combined would only compare to 18% of mosquito borne deaths. Malaria alone affects 200 million people, 600,000 of which die. Great White Sharks may have big teeth and a big presence in films, but the reality is that, every year, 20 people die from sharks. Sharks are found in relatively limited locations. Compare this to mosquitos; found in almost every part of the world, living in almost every season, and killing over 700,000 people per year and I’m sure that you can see the scale of problem we are facing.
The most deadly animal on earth occupied every region bar Antarctica. Why then are so many people, living in areas where infected mosquitoes are common, not fully aware of the danger they are in? Fight Malaria tends to focus on the disease (or parasite) that this tiny insect can carry: malaria. Our team strives to educate as many people as simply and effectively as possible about this disease and, as a cause, this is our main focus. It is, however, crucial to learn more about where it originates from and what triggers the hundreds of thousands of deaths per year. As global citizens, it is our role to become as aware as we can on the most important issues our planet faces, and to make as great a personal effort as possible to put an end to them.
More than half of the human population is at risk of contracting, and potentially dying, from a completely preventable disease. Despite all the efforts institutions, organisations and charities put in, we need help in order to fight such complex, diverse issues the world faces. It’s time to take action; and this starts by raising awareness and preventing infection from mosquitoes as much as we can as individuals.
So, how can you help? On our network alone, you can make a difference! By writing insightful blogs, sharing our resources and spreading the word, you will make an impact!
If you are a malaria researcher, blogger or scientist and would like to submit an article for our blog, we’d love to hear from you! Email any articles you wish to share to: [email protected] We can’t wait to hear from you![Cover Image: Google Images]