Anti-Dengue Mosquitoes to be Released in 2 Provinces

Mosquitoes with Wolbachia bacteria, a natural bacterium which is safe for humans, will be released into the wild from March as part of the project to eliminate dengue in two southern provinces of Vietnam.
March 06, 2022 | 18:25

The Wolbachia project in the Southern region recently had a meeting with representatives of the Health Departments and other departments, agencies, Centers for Disease Control of Tien Giang and Binh Duong provinces, and the Center for Community Health Research and Development.

Anti-Dengue Mosquitoes to be Released in
The communities in both cities are all too familiar with the disease and are ready to try a new approach to combat its spread. Source: World Mosquito Program Việt Nam

At the meeting, the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City reported to the stakeholders on the project progress, the level of project information reception, and the people's consensus on the release of Wolbachia-carrying midges to prevent the spread of dengue fever.

The aim of the program is to spread Wolbachia into the wild mosquito population to reduce the ability to transmit diseases of these mosquitoes.

Over 98% of survey respondents in two high-risk areas in the region – My Tho city, Tien Giang province and Thu Dau Mot city, Binh Duong province, support the release of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes.

This is an achievement of more than a year of engaging with people in the cities to ensure they are informed and accept the Wolbachia method in preventing mosquito-borne diseases including dengue fever.

Representatives of the local Department of Health and agencies appreciate the method and hope for its successful deployment to limit the spread of dengue fever.

In the next phase of the project, from March to July 2022, Wolbachia-carrying mosquito eggs are going to be released at more than 5,200 spots in Thu Dau Mot and My Tho.

The release will be carried out by the field staff and deployed in public spaces like parks, suitable streets, sports complexes, and riverside areas.

The project is implemented by the Pasteur Institute, the World Mosquito Program, and Action on Povert in Vietnam.

In February, the CCRD has independently conducted a survey to measure the effectiveness of communication and community acceptance for the release of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes.

The results of a survey of 1,080 households in each city show that over 92% of people surveyed in My Tho and 82.9% in Thu Dau Mot have heard of the project and have access to the program's information.

In both cities, over 98% of people surveyed were in favor of releasing mosquitoes after hearing the project explanation.

The results of the community consultation group meeting also show high agreement and consensus on the mosquito release in the two localities in the near future.

Anti-Dengue Mosquitoes to be Released in
Spraying chemicals to kill mosquitoes. Source: hanoimoi.com.vn

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne infectious disease, with symptoms including fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and a characteristic skin rash similar to measles, according to the World Health Organization.

The disease may develop into life-threatening conditions in a small proportion of cases, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets, blood plasma leakage, or low blood pressure.

Wolbachia is an endosymbiotic bacterium that, once infected, has been found to shorten the lifespan of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes while partially or entirely blocking them from contracting the dengue virus, according to research scientists at Monash University.

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