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The selection of a subject for the presidential address has to me been the most arduous duty of the presidential office. To those of you who know of my long interest in the subject of malaria, the presentation of a dissertation in this field may seem natural. The fascinating complexity of this subject, however, makes very difficult the selection of a phase that can be comprehensively discussed in a short period. After considerable deliberation, it appeared that an attempt to appraise the current character of the problem afforded by malaria might be the most appropriate.
Malaria, like the weather, seems to have always been with the human race, at least within recorded times, and, as Mark Twain said about the weather, it seems that very little is done about it, certainly little in relation to its magnitude. The appropriateness of the comparison would seem enhanced when the derivation and original significance of this word are considered.