Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Seuss and the Seven Dwarves Fight Malaria

October 31, 2012

In 1943, Walt Disney films made a series of educational health shorts films for the US government, the first of which was about malaria. Called The Winged Scourge, the film tells us how the anopheles mosquito infects and is infected by malaria to become a carrier. It also shows a malaria map at a time when you could catch malaria in parts of the United States. Disney illustrates mosquito control methods of the day by sending the seven dwarves to fight the mosquitoes.

Luckily, better inventions have been developed since this film aired and malaria control does not rely on Disney characters.  You can watch the movie for yourself below.

Not to be outdone, Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) wrote a brochure in World War II to educate American soldiers on the dangers of malaria and ‘Ann’ the mosquito. You can see the whole brochure online at The Atlantic here.

We’ve come a long way in the fight against malaria since then, but we still have a long way to go.   If you want to learn more about what you can do to fight malaria, visit The President’s Malaria Initiative, The Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Nothing But Nets or Malaria No More.

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