Fighting malaria in the Pacific

By Ashley Hay | May 1, 2013

These Aussie scientists are on the front lines of the battle against malaria in the Solomons.

THESE GLOW-IN-THE-DARK mosquitoes are part of an ongoing research project in the Solomon Islands attempting to unravel more of the how, when and where of malaria transmission in this part of the world.

The more that can be learnt about different malaria mosquitoes and parasite species, the better the chance of designing control tools or interventions that can break the cycle of transmission.

One of the main tools available in the fight against malaria in 2013 is insecticide-treated bednets – which work well if the people are being bitten at night, while they’re asleep and under the nets.

In Haleta, these mosquitoes bite earlier, when most people are up and about, thus avoiding the insecticide.

It’s a perfect example of the complexities that make malaria such a large and ongoing public health issue, despite it being more than a century since Ronald Ross discovered that mosquitoes were responsible for infecting humans with this parasite.

See more pictures and read the rest of this thrilling story, in issue 114 (May/June) of the Australian Geographic Journal.


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