‘Many of our fellow malaria researchers think that the fall in countries such as Tanzania, Eritrea, Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia shows that all the control programmes are working, particularly the use of mosquito nets,’ explains lead author Professor Dan Meyrowitsch from the Department of Health Services Research at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
‘That just isn’t the whole story. For more than 10 years we have been collecting and counting the number of mosquitoes in Tanzanian villages. The number in our traps fell from 5 300 in 2004 to just 14 in 2009, and these were from villages without mosquito nets.’
Professor Meyrowitsch suggests that the 99% drop in the malaria mosquito population in the latter half of the 1990s is linked to a drop in precipitation, adding that this may have been triggered by global climate changes.
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