Judges' Special Recognition
"Malaria: blood,sweat, and tears"
"I've been here for almost one year. We study, clean the pagoda, and go to the villages to get some food. Mosquitoes bite us all. We are not supposed to kill animals, but sometimes I slap one by mistake. You just react, which is not such a good thing".
A significant challenge confronting malaria control is the paradoxical relationship between respect for peoples' way of life and actions necessary to attack the disease.
Spraying insecticides to kill mosquitoes will drastically reduce malaria transmission, but could possibly produce long-term health consequences. Even the deployment of mosquito nets can unexpectedly challenge cultural habits. Mosquito nets impregnated with insecticide (Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets) are a central component of WHO's strategy for malaria control, and field studies have shown that the treated nets are significantly more effective in preventing malaria than nets without insecticide. The challenge is getting people to use them, and that means sensitivity to cultural norms. For example, the color of nets distributed in some countries must be considered carefully, as some communities associate the color white with death.
One way to increase net usage is to introduce mosquito barriers that seamlessly integrate into individual and community lifestyles. Insecticide-treated hammocks and hammock nets seen here, accomplish this while reducing bites by 50 % or more.