Bart Knolsnovember 27, 2018
After major successes at the start of this century, the fight against malaria has stagnated for the third year in a row, and the need to develop new weapons to fight the mosquitoes that transmit this disease continues to grow.
At present, around 70% of all cases of malaria worldwide occur in only 10 African countries and India. And it is in these areas that we find most of the half million victims this disease claims each year, most of them young children.
The challenges are enormous: working in difficult conditions with limited resources, often surrounded by devastating poverty. These conditions demand patience, but certainly also perseverance and boundless optimism - not unlike what Marc also had to contend with during his polar travels.
As a medical entomologist, my life has focused on the fight against malaria. I know this disease all too well. In the eleven years that I lived and worked in Africa, I got malaria nine times. But there is hope. We know more about the behavior of malaria mosquitoes and are on our way to developing an extremely inexpensive trapping system that can exterminate mosquitoes in a sustainable, insecticide-free manner.
The Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award will help make the development of this system possible, working with an international team and two young Tanzanian researchers who will receive a ‘Marc Cornelissen Fellowship’ stipend. The award will also enable me to write the book, Malaria: the then, the now, the end in 2019. The book will be dedicated to Marc.”