Wolbachia released to eliminate mosquitoes that spread sickness
To eliminate mosquitoes that spread dengue fever, chikungunya and zika more Wolbachia were released at Ratu Sukuna Park yesterday.
World Mosquito Programme organised a family awareness day for members of the public where they were educated about Wolbachia.
Chief Health Inspector and national environmental health adviser, Dip Chand said they would soon be starting phase two of Wolbachia.
“We wanted the public to be alerted and informed about Wolbachia so that it would be easier to release Wolbachia in different communities,” Mr Chand said.
“We are happy with the turn out. This is a family day where they were entertained and educated. We wanted the families to enjoy themselves and have fun.
“For Wolbachia phase one we were sponsored by the Australian Government.
“Vanuatu, Kiribati and Fiji received $3.5 million for the Wolbachia programme. “When Wolbachia is inside an Aedes aegypti mosquito, the mosquito cannot pass on dengue, chikingunya and zika. “When Wolbachia breeds with wild mosquito then the offspring will be Wolbachia mosquito.”
Mr Chand said they hoped to finish phase one in December.
“We hope to introduce Wolbachia to all Aedes aegyoti mosquitoes in the Lami and Suva-Nausori corridor,” he said.
“We will also be going down to the Western Division.”
New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade will sponsor us. The sponsorship is little above $3 million.
“We are hoping that gradually there will be no wild mosquitoes in Fiji.”
World Mosquito Programme, Ministry of Health & Medical Services and Live & Learn Environmental Education are working together to ensure that all homes are safe and to eliminate mosquitoes that spread dengue fever, chikungunya and zika.
Wolbachia mosquitoes were released in Suva by World Mosquito Programme Ambassador, Fijian Olympian Jese Veremalu at Ratu Sukuna Park in Suva on October 13, 2018.