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The absence of malaria in the Seychelles is rather a mystery. Areas of the world which are spared from the disease are rare and for the African region the archipelago is an exception. All the conditions favourable for anopheline mosquitoes, the malaria vectors, seem to be there: climate, location, high volumes of air and maritime traffic. An IRD researcher and his partners( 1) recently made the first demonstration that this absence of endemic Anopheles stems from that of native terrestrial mammals. Livestock, dogs, cats, mice and so on did not arrive until the end of the 18th Century, accompanying humans. This study concludes that the mosquito feeds exclusively on blood of terrestrial mammals, not on that of birds, reptiles or bats, even by default.
However, since Man set foot on the Seychelles, the vector could have colonized the archipelago. Although these islands have been preserved from the ravages of malaria, notably thanks to preventive health control measures at the points of entry, the researchers urge the Seychelles authorities to persist with their efforts.
Research work reported on recently by an international research team1, including an IRD scientist, brought out evidence of the impact on the fish communities of a mass bleaching event resulting from the 1997-1998 El Niño climatic episode. The investigation was wide in scope, focusing on more ...
The population of Sub-Saharan Africa is continuing to grow at twice the rate recorded in Latin America and Asia. This exceptional population growth is a major handicap for efforts to achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Objectives (MDO) in most of the countries lying South of the Sahara. With ...