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Thumbs Up For Mosquito Trap

Thumbs Up For Mosquito Trap
April 25
12:00 2018

The moment she start­ed talking, her eyes lit up and you could see her passion for becom­ing part of the solution and contributing to positive change.

Once a dengue patient herself, Evisake Wainiqolo, a resident of Nakasi, has welcomed the work of the World Mosquito Program (WMP) with open arms, calling the programme “fresh” and “innovative”.

Evisake Wainiqolo and daughter happily hosted the mosquito monitoring trap at her Nakasi home.

Evisake Wainiqolo and daughter happily hosted the mosquito
monitoring trap at her Nakasi home.

The programme from Australia’s Monash Uni­versity involves the use of Wolbachia, naturally oc­curring and safe bacterium found in 60 per cent of in­sects, as a new weapon in decreasing the risk of den­gue, chikungunya and Zika viruses.

After learning about the programme’s potential, Ms Wainiqolo became com­pelled to share her story.

“I think about of all the in­itiatives we’re used to, such as clean-up and spraying. These are good, but WMP’s project is really, for me, a big step up towards a more sustainable approach,” she said.

“I [had] dengue when I was in Form 3, but I tell you no amount of Panadol or lemon juice will easily take away the pain that you have in the joints, in the body, fe­ver, headaches.

“Now, just a month ago, my two-year-old daughter had dengue, but we are lucky that it has not been fatal, as it is in some cases.”

The WMP’s entomology team had knocked on Ms Wainiqolo’s door to place a mosquito-monitoring trap at her house.

The trap will catch a small number of mosquitoes, which will be sent to a labo­ratory to be identified. It is likely that most of those samples will be the Aedes aegypti mosquito – the pri­mary transmitter of den­gue, chikungunya and Zika. These mosquitoes live very close to humans, inside and around our homes.

This monitoring network is part of WMP’s partner­ship with the Ministry of Health and Medical Servic­es which will see the team release new Fijian Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry Wolbachia around Suva, Nausori and Lami.

The Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes will breed with wild Aedes aegypti mosqui­toes, passing on Wolbachia to future generations, lead­ing to a reduction in the spread of disease over time.

“I recommend if you want to be part of a long-term, sustainable solution then, if they come around, open your homes and get one of these [mosquito-monitoring traps] to help combat dengue and these other diseases [Zika, chi­kungunya],” Ms Wainiqolo urged.

“I’ve done my bit with like cleaning up, but I’m think­ing about the long-term benefits; I wouldn’t want these diseases to affect the rest of my kids or anyone else, so I’m happy to be part of this wonderful cam­paign,” she added.

Priya Chand is the Com­munications Officer for the World Mosquito Program. For more information on WMP’s work, please visit www.worldmosquitopro­gram.org or visit of its Face­book page World Mosquito Program Fiji.

Edited by epineri.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 

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