YOUR BUSINESS IS OUR BUSINESS: Bill Gates says mosquitoes are number one killer

Bill Gates

What you need to know:

According to Deputy Health Minister Ndugulile, disease-transmitting mosquitoes have undergone behavioral change so much that they make bed-nets redundant! Really? Sheesh!

A mosquito – scientists take pains to tell us – is “a slender long-legged fly with aquatic larvae” that’s found in every region of the world, except in Antarctica.

[Sheesh... Antarctica is the world’s fifth-largest continent – and is the coldest, windiest, driest region on Planet Earth this side of Heaven!] Then the scientists twist the knife in by adding that “the bite of the bloodsucking female mosquito can transmit a number of serious diseases...”

According to ‘Wikipedia,’ the name ‘mosquito’ is Spanish for ‘a little

fly’: mosca meaning a fly – to which is added the diminutive -ito for ‘little’... There are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes, some dating back to about 226 million years!


The female of most mosquito species has tube-like mouthparts called a ‘proboscis,’ with which it pierces a host’s skin – and imbibes blood which contains the protein and iron needed to produce eggs.

Incidentally, mosquitoes DON’T bite; they pierce one’s skin... Many mosquito species inject and ingest disease-causing organisms with their piercing – and are, thus, vectors of deadly diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses.

On April 25, 2014, the world-renown business tycoon-cum-philanthropist Bill Gates named the mosquito “the deadliest (creature) in the world – judging by how many people are killed by (creatures) every year... ”

[Google for ‘The Deadliest Animal in the World’ by Bill Gates]. According to data collated by different sources – including WHO and FAO – mosquitoes kill an average of 725,000 people annually.

By comparison, other killer creatures (with the average number of their victims annually shown in brackets) are: humans (they kill 475,000 fellow humans annually); snakes (50,000 humans/year); dogs (25,000 rabies deaths/year); tsetse flies (10,000 sleeping sickness deaths/year), and assassin/kissing bugs (10,000 deaths/year from chagas disease/American trypanosomiasis).

Freshwater snails (10,000 human deaths/year from ‘schistosomiasis); Ascaris roundworms (2,500 Ascariasis deaths/year); tapeworms (2,000 human deaths/year); crocodiles (1,000 deaths/year); hippos (500 deaths); elephants (100); lions (100 deaths); wolves (10 deaths); sharks (10 deaths)...

So... While sharks manage to kill ONLY about ten humans a year – with rampaging lions killing only 100 worldwide – the tiny mosquito sends some 750,000 humans to an early grave annually across Planet Earth this side of Hades!


In efforts to avoid vector-borne diseases, the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) in Morogoro Region has invented a “low-cost repellent-treated sandals that provide round-the-clock protection against dengue, zika, chikungunya and malaria...”

Wear the ‘Mozzie’ sandals, the researchers tell us – and keep infection-bearing ’quitos at bay. [See Editorial, The Citizen: July 12, 2019].

Fair enough...

But, I’m somewhat dismayed by remarks by the deputy Health minister, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, that mosquitoes have undergone behavioural change so much that it’s no longer possible to contain, control, them!

[See ‘Behaviour change in mosquitoes making them difficult to contain;’

The Citizen, July 10, 2019].

According to Ndugulile, disease-transmitting mosquitoes which used to noisily fly high now silently fly low – and ‘bite’ humans in broad daylight, instead of stealthily biting at night!


If these are functionally-researched findings, then bed-nets are redundant – and we’ve to go back to the drawing boards for new ’quito control measures. Sheesh!