World Mosquito Day
annually on August 20th (since 1897)
World Mosquito Day takes place on the anniversary of the day in 1897 when British doctor Sir Ronald Ross discovered that the female Anopheles mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans. This led to scientists ability to better understand the relationship between mosquitoes and diseases, and what could be done to combat it. In 1902, Ross received the Nobel Prize for medicine for his work. Since the 1930's, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has held commemorative celebrations each year. Although much progress has been done when it comes to eradicating deaths from mosquitoes, there is still much to do. Precise numbers vary, but over 200 million people get malaria each year, and roughly 500,000 die from the disease. More than half of all deaths from mosquitoes are because of malaria, and the largest area at risk for malaria in the world is Africa.
How to Observe
World Mosquito Day should be spent raising awareness about mosquitoes and malaria, as well as other diseases that mosquitoes transmit. Donations could be made to help end malaria. You could also get involved to help get mosquito nets to those in need to help combat the disease. It may be a good idea to get more acquainted with information about mosquitoes, and spend time to reflect on the different ways science has made our lives safer.