The symptoms of malaria were described as far back in ancient Chinese medical writings
Malaria was recognised in Greece. The disease caused the decline of population of many areas in Greece
Spanish Missionaries in the New World were taught by local tribes that the medicine quinine found in Peruvian bark cured malaria.
A French army surgeon, Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran noticed parasites in the blood of one of his patients who was suffering from malaria
The differentiation of malaria species was discovered by the Italian Neurophysiologist, Camillo Golgi and the malaria parasites were named.
Ronald Ross, a British officer in the Indian Medical Service was the first to discover that mosquitoes transmit malaria parasites.
People noticed the larvae (unborn) of mosquitoes survived underwater. Europeans decided to drain the mosquitoes breeding grounds (marshes) and clear slow moving rivers where mosquitoes thrived. They would spread oil on the surface to suffocate the mosquitoes and bomb the sites. This technique for the eradication of mosquitoes brought successes. In the 1930s, the area around Rome was declared malaria-free for the first time in history.
During WWII, the U.S military made malaria their top priority for research as more soldiers died from malaria than from bullets. Scientists tested compounds, trying to find an insecticide. They discovered an insecticide cheap enough for any country to afford called DDT. The WHO (World Health Organisation) began an eradication campaign using DDT to help decrease the incidents of malaria worldwide. It removed the disease from Europe, North America and Russia, and also decreased fatalities exponentially in tropical areas as well as in South America, India and Sri Lanka.
One of China’s leading scientists found a drug (Artemisinin) to kill malaria parasites, but China chose not to share this breakthrough with the rest of the world as they believed the Western world were 'snooping'.
The WHO admitted they needed a new insecticide to eradicate the mosquito as mosquitoes were soon able to resist DDT.
Finally, in the mid to late '90s, China agreed to take sides with the Western world and help prevent malaria worldwide with the drug Artemisinin.