Blog de Valentina Oropeza
The antimalarial fight of Dr. Gabaldón
A malaria epidemic threatened the Venezuelan plains in 1940. About 10,000 people died each year from the transmission of malaria and a third of the population in Venezuela was sick.
Dr. Arnoldo Gabaldón had distributed quinine throughout the country to stop the disease, but military blockades during World War II prevented the importation of new treatments.
The only solution was to kill the Anopheles, the mosquito that spread the disease. Unexpectedly, he found an insecticide that had never been tested for civil purposes.
He ordered to spray endemic areas with DDT and showed that it could be a solution to kill the mosquito.
Almost sixty years later, Venezuela was the country with the highest malaria transmission in America.
The illustrations were made by Lucas García.
This investigation is available as free educational material for students and teachers at Prodavinci.
“This material supports the pedagogical process for secondary education degrees with the Aula Prodavinci program, whose purpose is to contribute to improving knowledge about public health problems and the human rights perspective”, Prodavinci.