Characters in Mehmet Aziz’s World of Anopheles Eradication 1946

Ronald Ross (1857-1932) accredited with the discovery of how malaria is transmitted whilst working in India. Came to Cyprus where local Cypriot Doctor Mehmet Aziz apprenticed under him.

Mehmet Aziz became the Chief Health Inspector and Executive Officer of the Anopheles (Malaria) Eradication Scheme in Cyprus.

Among other landscape management techniques, Paris Green was used to kill mosquito larvae in Cyprus.


Mehmet Aziz traveled with Marshall Barber, the Malarialogist of the Rockefeller Foundation from Cyprus to Syria, Turkey back through to Palestine and down to Egypt and back to Cyprus to study mosquitoes and malaria schemes in these countries. Barber is most impressed with “the Zionist” efforts to control malaria.

Mehmet consulted the work of Fred Soper and Bruce Wilson (4th from the left) who worked for the Rockefeller Foundation on mosquitoes in Brazil and then in the Nile Delta. Their work in Egypt with the Egyptian government informed Mehmet Aziz’s Scheme.

Mehmet Aziz secured funding from the Rockefeller Foundation to test on the Karpas region of Cyprus his plan for not just controlling but eradicating malaria.

Mehmet Aziz worked with Mr P Allen (no image found) of the Near East Foundation in collaboration with the American University of Beirut to send students from Lebanon and Syria to apprentice with Mehmet Aziz and learn from his Malaria Eradication Scheme. Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan sits today on the Council of The Near East Foundation.

Mehmet Aziz has a well organised hierarchy of workers, recruitment schemes and commentary on the aspects of labour in his Scheme. One secondary set of recruits come from the Turkish Lycée of Nicosia, I believe the older version of the same Lycée I attended when I lived in Cyprus.

Mehmet Aziz uses DDT alongside a litany of labour and mapping techniques in his Malaria Eradication (“not Control”) Scheme. Mehmet notes with frustration that “illegal Jewish migrants” sent by British forces from Palestine to internment camps in Cyprus means he has to add extra protocols . Pictured Jewish migrants being sprayed with DDT before being placed on a ship to Cyprus. The cemeteries of those who died during this internment provided the justification (to visit) for my family to migrate across then then closed border between southern and northern Cyprus when I first moved there.

George Macdonald, a malarialogist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine engages in regular and correspondence with Mehmet Aziz urging him on and requests regular reports and results. Macdonald is later accredited with developing the concept of ‘the basic reproduction rate’ to quantitatively understand the transmission of malaria and was one of the first to use computers to mathematically model malaria transmission.


This is rapid visualization of the characters mentioned in Mehmet Aziz ‘Report on the Anopheles (Malaria) Eradication Scheme in Karpas-Cyprus’ 1946. The scheme on which is then based the island wide scheme that eradicated Malaria in Cyprus, for now. The Wellcome Institute holds a archive of photographs Mehmet Aziz’s team took during this Scheme.

One thought on “Characters in Mehmet Aziz’s World of Anopheles Eradication 1946”

  1. Really fascinating story! I was particularly taken by the cartoon of the mosquito larvae being sprayed by Paris Green: the tendency to depict animals that in some way cause harm to humans as if they are doing it on purpose and then being foiled in their intentions is a good way to remove any respect for the creature in question. It says a lot about the rhetoric used to deal with problems such as malaria.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *