NATION

Aust Fund $12.5m Initiative To Eliminate Dengue

A Memorandum of Agreement for a programme to eliminate dengue was signed between the Ministry of Health, Monash University of Australia and Live and Learn Fiji. The Eliminate Dengue Programme
08 Nov 2017 11:59
Aust Fund $12.5m Initiative To  Eliminate Dengue

A Memorandum of Agreement for a programme to eliminate dengue was signed between the Ministry of Health, Monash University of Australia and Live and Learn Fiji.

The Eliminate Dengue Programme (EDP) is seen as a way to protect people from mosquito-borne diseases.

The $12.5million Australian government funded initiative is a project that uses a bacterium known as Wolbachia that blocks mosquitoes from transmitting deadly diseases such as dengue.

Eliminate Dengue Programme, Project Development Manger Dr Quyen Duong from the Monash University said the implementation of the new dengue intervention in the Suva-Nausori corridor is supported and funded by the Australian Government’s innovationXchange.

Dr Quyen said Fiji is the 10th country to join this global initiative in the Pacific region in partnership with Kiribati and Vanuatu’s government.

“EDP applies the Wolbachia method, which is a safe, natural and effective way to combat the threat of dengue.

“Although our main focus to date has been on reducing dengue transmission, the Wolbachia method tends to reduce the spread of other viruses transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes including Zika and chikungunya.”

She explained that the Wolbachia method is not an emergency measure but is a long term, self-sustaining, and natural solution to significantly reduce the risk of future outbreaks of Zika, dengue, and chikungunya in high-risk areas.

She said EDP was working closely with Live and Learn Fiji to assist in implementing the project.

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Philip Davis said the programme was appreciated by the Fijian government.

Mr Davies has urged the communities living along the Suva-Nausori corridor to support the programme and join in the worthwhile goal.

Health Inspector Dip Chand said dengue fever remains a public health burden, not only because of the increasing number of cases every year,  but also due to explosive outbreaks that have recently occurred as the disease spreads to new areas.

He said the current vector control management techniques that Fiji uses is basically the traditional method of reduction, clean-up campaigns larviciding, and insecticide spraying of all hot spot areas.

Edited by Rosi Doviverata

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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