Dr Seuss Does Malaria

NEWSMAP, United States Military, 8 Nov. 1943

This Malaria map was illustrated by Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, during World War II to educate young GIs. According to the Naval Department Library, this map was printed on the back of a Newsmap (two sided poster) that showed the five war fronts in 1943: Russia, Italy, “air offensive”, southwest Pacific and Burma.

The text as transcribed by the Navy Department Library reads:

THIS IS ANN…..she drinks blood!

Her full name is Anopheles Mosquito and she’s dying to meet you. Her trade is dishing out MALARIA! If you’ll take a look at the map below you can see where she hangs out.

She can knock you flat so you’re no good to your country, your outfit or yourself. You’ve got the dope, the nets and stuff to lick her if you will USE IT.

Use a little horse sense and you can lick Ann. Get sloppy and careless about her and she’ll bat you down just as surely as a bomb, a bullet or a shell.

This text is taken from a booklet done by Theodor Geisel to train soldiers or sailors during the war. Cartoon educational materials were probably fairly effective. Newspaper cartoons were very popular at the time and the average GI was very young. Many (if not most) of these soldiers/sailors dropped out of school, often in grade school, to work during the Great Depression so educational materials had to be targeted at a lower reading level that modern military materials.

Since this is now a 60+ year old government publication, I will assume that its public domain. I found this at the Young Dipterists website. “What to do about Ann” was apparently a header on each page after the first page. I’ve tried to reproduce it as well as I could. The site appears to be missing the last page(s) since the last page has a “turn the page”.



10 thoughts on “Dr Seuss Does Malaria

  1. I wish I had access to a pile of these for the students (and others) in the school where I was school nurse, etc. in Liberia in the 1960′s. I prepared an AIDS leaflet but it was nothing like this great piece on malaria.

  2. The sciences, medical and otherwise, can only but benefit from a healthy dose of cartooning and frivolous illustration.

    I’d have paid good money to see Dr. Seuss follow up with a tract on Yersinia

    1. Hi Alexandra,

      Before WWII, Giesel (Dr Seuss) made his living cartooning for insecticides, something called Flit. There are quite a few more from his advertising days. I think he only turned to children’s books after his advertising days were almost over.

      I’d like to see any tracts from plague outbreaks or plague education!

  3. Some bad results, including by some estimates the deaths of millions from malaria, have been said to have come from the ban on DDT. President George W. Bush is properly a hero in Africa for his successful support for the battle against malaria, including by nets.

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