Progress noted after release of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes

National 7s rep Jasa Veremalua releases the Wolbachia mosquitoes at Sukuna Park. Picture: FT FILE/RAMA

THE World Mosquito Programme (WMP) Fiji says it is happy to be working with locals in Suva, Lami and Nakasi to continue raising awareness of their approach.

These approaches involves the release of mosquitoes that carry Wolbachia – a natural and safe bacteria that reduce the ability of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to pass viruses between people.

WMP’s project coordinator in Fiji Aminiasi Tavui said over the last few months, they had been quite busy as they progressed efforts to help protect communities from dengue and other mosquito-transmitted diseases such as chikungunya and Zika.

“With valuable support from communities and our local partners – Ministry of Health and Medical Services and Live and Learn Environmental Education, we have come a long way since then,” Mr Tavui said.

“We are seeing tremendous progress in our work following the releases of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes over the past few months.

“Releases have been completed in Lami, Tamavua/Wailoku, Cunnigham/Tacirua, Kalabu, Naveiwakau, and Kinoya areas. We anticipate good outcomes in the sites that we are currently releasing in.

“Over time, we hope almost all of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the project site carry Wolbachia, and to remain at high levels, significantly reducing the risk of outbreaks in these areas.”

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