Mosquito makeover: Tahiti’s groundbreaking solution to disease

Atutahi Potaka-Dewes,  Pacific Media Network,  2024.

Mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting such diseases as dengue, malaria, zika, chikungunya, or filariosis, causing millions of deaths worldwide. French Polynesia is taking a groundbreaking initiative to address public health concerns and demonstrate a commitment to finding environmentally friendly solutions to curb disease spread. Building on a successful decade-long pilot project on the atoll Teti’aroa, the innovative method involves the strategic release of sterilised male Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. The process sees the release of sterile males that will “contaminate” females, rendering them sterile and thereby naturally reducing the proliferation of the disease-bearing insect population. The Louis Malardé Institute’s entomology laboratory says they have now developed an X-ray device that can mass-sterilise the males.

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