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World Mosquito Day: Turning the Tide on Mosquito-Borne Diseases  

Every year on August 20th, for the past 126 years, the world has celebrated World Mosquito Day – a day to raise awareness of the threat still posed by mosquito-borne diseases worldwide and to spotlight ongoing efforts in the fight against the world’s deadliest creature. World Mosquito Day is a global commemoration of Sir Ronald Ross’ groundbreaking discovery in 1897 that female Anopheles mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of the malaria parasite. This historic breakthrough paved the way for revolutionary advancements in the field of public health and vector control.   

Today, more than a century later, vector-borne diseases still cause more than 700,000 deaths every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting a variety of diseases including malaria, Zika virus, yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya. While the world has made tremendous progress in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases over the last 20 years, they continue to pose a significant threat to global health.

In this context, new, transformative tools are needed. To celebrate World Mosquito Day, the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research showcased the profiles of 13 early-career researchers who are working on innovative approaches to tackle vector-borne diseases at the source. Their work spans across different countries and focus areas, from conducting studies to understand the behavior and ecological interactions of mosquitoes, to developing new genetic vector control tools, which could complement current approaches to fight mosquito-borne diseases.  

This World Mosquito Day presents us with an opportunity to recognize the progress made in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases worldwide and acknowledge the potential of new control tools. While we have come a long way since the discovery of Sir Ronald Ross, ongoing research and innovation will be key to move closer to a world where mosquitoes are no longer considered the world’s deadliest animal.  

Joyce Najm

Currently based in Montreal, Joyce is working as a Communications Officer at Emerging ag, focusing primarily on developing and implementing communication strategies, including content creation, creative assets development, and events support.

Prior to joining Emerging Ag, Joyce has worked in the MENA region as a journalist, market researcher and communications consultant.

As a Lebanese Canadian, she is fluent in English, French and Arabic. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Saint Joseph University of Beirut.

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