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7-cent Malaria Eradication

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7-cent Malaria Eradication postage stamp

The Malaria Eradication airmail (Scott C33) was issued on September 24, 1962, as part of a worldwide series publicizing the campaign to eradicate this dreaded disease. Malaria has a special significance in the Canal Zone as it undermined the French canal effort of the 1880s and 1890s. The stamp depicts a female anopheles mosquito, known as the carrier of the malaria parasite, and a rendering of the emblem of the United Nations' World Health Organization, under whose auspices the campaign was conducted. Interestingly, in the Canal Zone the anti-mosquito campaign of the American Construction Period (1904-1914) resulted in the eradication of the even more dreaded yellow fever, although malaria still has not been totally eradicated from the Isthmus of Panama.

A total of 2, 3330,000 stamps in the 7-cent denomination were printed, but this was far too many. Eventually, 1,400,000 copies were withdrawn and burned. This occurred on October 31, 1963.

First day covers of this stamp are plentiful and are found with over twenty different cachets by a variety of artists and companies. This is principally due to this one stamp being considered part of a worldwide series. It is also found on many regular airmail letters and occasionally in conjunction with others stamps for a variety of purposes. These 'odd-balls' are quite uncommon though.

Robert J. Karrer