Out for blood: the fight against the planet’s deadliest creature

By Elizabeth Matsangou

The deadliest creature on the planet is not a great white shark, a starved lion, an enraged hippopotamus or a poisonous snake – it’s the minute mosquito. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mosquitoes kill millions of people each year, with malaria – the most deadly mosquito-borne disease – responsible for more than half of these fatalities. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has noted: “Malaria’s economic impact is estimated to cost billions of dollars in lost productivity every year.”

Fortunately, positive developments have been made in recent years to bring the death toll down. Between 2000 and 2015, deaths caused by malaria fell by around 62 percent, meaning that 6.8 million lives were spared. But this number may start to rise once again, especially as funding for malaria control plateaus.

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