Mosquitoes: America And Nigeria Compared!
By Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States
July 25, 2007
Many Nigerians have expressed their displeasure to me personally and in writing through e-mails regarding the fact that I frequently compare America to our dear country Nigeria, their angst arises from their entrenched position that comparing America to Nigeria, is in their views, comparing apples to oranges or night to day! These Nigerians have informed me, in no uncertain terms and without mincing words, their belief, that America is heaven and Nigeria is the exact opposite! Their analysis, premise and conclusions are fallacious and completely unacceptable! Here now, are some more reasons for comparisons
There are mosquitoes in America and in Nigeria, these mosquitoes may have variations in specie and types, but mosquitoes in America and Nigeria have the same palate and enjoy similar palette, blood is what mosquitoes in America and Nigeria prefer for Breakfast, Lunch And Dinner! Mosquitoes in America and Nigeria have the same culture of paying their chefs and waiters with the same currency for their meals of blood! Mosquitoes pay humans for the humans’ blood with diseases! Parasite and Virus!
In America, mosquitoes pay with the hard currency diseases, a very deadly disease which in America, the health authorities have named the “West Nile Virus” Whereas in Nigeria, we all know the effect of mosquito payments for their meals on us? Nigerian health authorities have named and describe it as Malaria! An equally devastating disease, that cause Nigeria other tropical countries, especially in Africa, to lose millions of man-hour of productive time per year due to illness and death resulting from mosquito bites and the diseases that mosquitoes infuse into humans as compensation to the humans, whose blood the mosquitoes have just sucked by force! Talk of wickedness with impunity by the tiniest of creatures!
American states and local governments react to the mosquitoes and the diseases left in its wake with such gusto! In New York, during the last five years, there has been an upsurge of mosquito infestation bordering on epidemic and pandemic proportions! And what a people and government to do? New York City reacted aggressively by spraying the invading mosquitoes airplanes and helicopters outfitted like crops dusters! Spraying from the air and pick-up vehicles and other sorts of vans that are outfitted with pumps and sprinklers or spray guns, these combined efforts directed simultaneously at these graceless tiny creatures that are so accustomed to paying for pints of blood with life threatening disease! New York is returning the favors to the mosquitoes!
Florida is a traditionally very tropical like Rivers state in Nigeria, with extensive coastal tributaries and ravine plains in the gulf coast, with an unfair share of floodwater, puddles and stagnant swamps, the ungrateful mosquitoes use all these as their preferred fine abodes and mansions, where all mosquitoes saunter before and after sucking innocent and unsuspecting humans of humans blood! Poor humans! Humans are the mobile five star restaurants for these most ungrateful tiny creatures!
Seriously, mosquitoes in America are not just seen as a nuisance because of the noise mosquitoes make, or because of the nuisance of their bite/sting, mosquitoes in America are seen as a menace and a public health issue! As seasons change and Winter rains change into blooming Spring and then Summer every year, there is the predictable resurgence of the boisterous and ubiquitous mosquitoes and the consequences arising from the blood sucking activities….. West Nile Virus!
I have started to wonder why the 774 local governments in Nigeria and the thirty-six states, with federal government policy supporting the lower tiers of government cannot and have not seen the benefit of having a sustained policy with funding to move aggressively to tackle and eradicate mosquitoes? Mosquitoes are a huge public health menace! Mosquitoes are a huge public health risk that is avoidable.
The people of Nigeria must start to see mosquitoes as the aggressive enemy that mosquitoes are! Mosquitoes are not just irritants that prevent a good night rest with bites and noise, mosquitoes also offer disease, debilitating diseases that lead often to the death of its victims, Mosquitoes must begin to be seen as a national economy enemy number one! The war on Malaria in tropical Africa and elsewhere, must henceforth, be refocused on Mosquitoes! In all situations, it is often better to address the source of an ailment, than to focus only on the symptoms, which are merely effects! Let us address the roots and the cause, before or while we worry about the effect!
This means that Nigerians, all Nigerians! Must agree and start to see Mosquitoes as a national enemy and threat to the national economy and productivity! As Nigerians have died as a result of mosquito bites and the disease that is then spread; Dead people do not contribute to the economy or to nation building! Sick persons are hampered by illness and the productive capacity is minimized or reduced significantly! The time Nigerians spend in hospitals or spent at home recuperating, are wasted times, man-hours that could have been used productively!
Nigerians must collectively change living habits! Stagnant waters, puddles and floods etc are known in America and Nigeria as the famous breed grounds or palatial mansions for our tiny enemies, the mosquitoes! Nigerians must start to dispose of our garbage properly! Than empty can of milk, that empty can of sardines or the empty gallon of paints and any such other containers with crevices capable of holding a body of waters, where the national enemy will certainly breed its army of offspring that will be dedicated to our death, sickness, pain and suffering! Why would any Nigerian want to help this national enemy? Mosquitoes suck our bloods and pay us with disease! Why help must any Nigerian help mosquitoes to procreate more mosquitoes? Why help the enemy multiply?
Mosquitoes carry the malaria parasite and about 3,000 African children die of malaria every day as in EVERYDAY! 365 days of the common year! Each year, a million more children vanish from the face of the earth! Researchers estimate it could be between five and eight years before a fairly decent vaccine against malaria is available for trials to determine efficacies! Shall you and I multiply 3,000 children per by 365 days by 8 years? That is 8,760,000 dead children in eight years at the rate of 1,095000 per year! Unacceptable! Let us not wait for the promised vaccines! The time to act is now!
Nigerian citizens should adopt the old idea and axiom that says, cleanliness is next to godliness! Clean environment helps us to live healthy and wise life, and if I may add? Productive lives! Nigerians in all states and at all levels must help to promote clean living as a new and improved culture, it is in self-interests and our national interests to do this, we must do this at home and at work! We must always think of all the mosquito consequences of our disposal of cans and containers! It is our lives and our health that is at stake!
On the part of Nigerian governments at all levels, particularly, at the local government and state government levels, adequate funding must be directed at mosquito eradication and elimination, and I suggest that Eighty Naira out of every One Hundred Naira and Twenty Naira out of every One Hundred Naira must be devoted to mosquito eradication and elimination and malaria respectively! We should spend more money fighting mosquitoes, the source and cause of malaria! This means, killing mosquitoes is the same thing as nipping malaria in the bud!
Abandoned buildings and vacant lots must be cleared of standing stagnant waters and cans and containers that are breeding grounds for our enemies, of mosquito tribes! Whether their religion is anopheles or sporozoite parasite, individual citizens who are not will to do these things on their own free will, should have the local authorities carry out cleaning of abandoned buildings and vacant lot and the local authorities thereafter sends the bill that represents the cost of cleaning the building or vacant lot at tax payers’ expense! And soon enough! People will get the point of the message! We should help educate our communities about these things! I see this leading to development of vacant lots, and the redevelopment of abandoned and neglected building, a maintenance of disinfection of lagoons, now I eve see job creations!
There are grave consequences if we do nothing? Or if we continue to live the way some of have, without pondering our contributions to the “good life” of our enemies, the mosquitoes! We must send a message to these greedy tiny mosquitoes! We must demonstrate our desire to be rid of mosquitoes with cleaner living, starve the mosquitoes out of our environments, We must stop creating a thriving environment for mosquitoes!
The era of dirty buildings, dirty vacant lots and those other eyesores that breed mosquitoes and then disease will wilt away from Nigeria before we could say Awo or Balewa or Zik! Insha Allah, we will be mosquitoes, parasite and disease free! God have has blessed Nigeria and will continue to do so, even more abundantly!