Apu Gomes/Getty Images

Het uitroeien van dodelijke muggen moet effectiever worden aangepakt

SINGAPORE Muggen mogen dan klein zijn, ze kunnen flink bijten. Ze verspreiden een aantal ziekten – zoals chikungunya, dengue, malaria, gele koorts, westnijlziekte en zikakoorts – waaraan jaarlijks miljoenen mensen overlijden. Alleen al malaria is na tuberclose en AIDS 's werelds dodelijkste infectieziekte, in 2015 verantwoordelijk voor 429.000 sterfgevallen. Gezien de omvang van het probleem is hardere actie om muggen te elimineren – evenals de ziekten die zij bij zich dragen – een dwingende ontwikkelingsopgave.

Volgens de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie behoren muggen tot de grootste bedreigingen voor de volksgezondheid, vooral in ontwikkelingslanden. Zoals vorig jaar door een grafiek op de blog van Bill Gates werd onderstreept, zijn muggen ieder jaar verantwoordelijk voor 830.000 menselijke sterfgevallen – 250.000 méér dan er door onze medemensen worden bewerkstelligd.

Naast de enorme kosten aan mensenlevens brengen door muggen overgebrachte ziekten ook hoge economische kosten met zich mee. Voor ieder geïnfecteerd individu behoren tot die kosten ook de behandelingskosten en de ziekenhuiskosten, het transport naar en van een kliniek of ziekenhuis, de tijd dat er niet gewerkt kan worden, en insectensprays of muggennetten om zich te beschermen tegen nóg meer muggenbeten.

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