Thousands of Wolbachia Mosquitoes Spread in 5 Cities, What’s the Purpose? Lifestyle – 5 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The Ministry of Health (Kemenkes) has spread thousands of Wolbachia mosquitoes in five Indonesian cities, namely West Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Bontang and Kupang. This type of mosquito has been proven to be effective for reducing the spread of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) caused by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Ministry of Health Health Transformation Communication Technical Staff Ngabila Salama said that the spread of wolbachia mosquitoes to eradicate dengue fever was appropriate with the Decree of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia Number 1341 concerning the management of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF).

So, what is the Wolbachia mosquito and how can this insect eradicate dengue fever?

Quoting the official website of the Ministry of Health, wolbachia itself is a bacteria that can only live in the bodies of insects, including mosquitoes. When Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are infected with Wolbachia, they become sterile. As a result, mosquitoes containing wolbachia are no longer able to transmit the dengue virus when they suck people’s blood. Thus, naturally the number of dengue cases will also decrease.

In Indonesia, the aim of releasing Wolbachia mosquitoes is for female mosquitoes to mate with local mosquitoes and produce offspring mosquitoes containing Wolbachia. Ultimately, almost all mosquitoes in natural populations will have wolbachia bacteria.

Because mosquitoes cannot fly far, officers will usually release a handful of mosquitoes every 50 meters in the targeted area.

Director of the Center for Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing (FKKMK) Gadjah Mada University, dr. Riris Andono Ahmad MPH, Ph.D added, the Wolbachia mosquito trial previously carried out in Yogyakarta in 2022 had proven to be effective.

“As a result, in locations where Wolbachia has been distributed, it has been proven to be able to reduce cases of dengue fever by up to 77%, in addition to reducing the need for hospitalization of dengue patients in hospital by 86%.” explained Dr. Riris.

The effectiveness of using wolbachia mosquitoes to reduce the incidence of dengue fever has also been proven in 13 other countries, namely in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Sri Lanka, Honduras, Laos, Vietnam, Kiribati, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Mexico.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]