Saving the World Through Entomology
Malaria is a disease transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes; the highest impact of the disease is seen in Africa where 90 percent of worldwide deaths occur as a result of the disease.
Therefore, there is a need to control Anopheles mosquitoes in order to reduce the spread and impact of the disease.
It is against this backdrop that Mrs Yurita Yona Boodhram’s Entomology Master’s degree research sought to understand the survival differences between malaria vector mosquitoes that are bred in the laboratory compared to those caught in the wild. Her research aimed to improve the current alternative biological control systems due to the increased insecticide resistance by Anopheles mosquitoes.
‘I have never pictured myself doing anything else besides being a scientist and I also did not have much knowledge in malaria as well as mosquitoes and I felt like this could be a good challenge for me,’ said Boodhram.
She attributes her success to her supervisors, Dr T Olckers and Professor R Maharaj, the Malaria Research Unit team at the Medical Research Council of South Africa as well as her friends and family who continually supported her throughout her studies.
Graduation for her is a proud and triumphant moment as she struggled with writing her thesis despite smooth sailing where data collection is concerned.
Boodhram is currently a Cosmetic Scientist at Amka Products and plans to further her studies to possibly diversify her career profile.
Words: Ntokozo Dladla