World Health Organization announced plan to sterilise male mosquito
World Health Organization (WHO) announced plans to sterilise male mosquito.
The test sterilisation technique is aimed at containing the spread of diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika.
The sterile insect technique,was first developed by the United States Department of Agriculture and has been used successfully to target insects that attack crops and livestock, especially the Mediterranean fruit fly and the New World screwworm fly.
The sterile insect technique is a form of “birth control” for mosquitoes and other deadly insects.
The UN health agency said it recently observed that the technique could prove successful in controlling some species of mosquito from spreading disease amongst humans.
Who said during the announcement,
“The process involves rearing large quantities of sterilised male mosquitoes in dedicated facilities, and then releasing them to mate with females in the wild. As they do not produce any offspring, the insect population declines over time”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have partnered with WHO to develop a pilot programme for countries interested in using the technique to test the impact on disease transmission.
According to WHO, malaria, dengue, Zika, and other related fever account for about 17 percent of all infectious diseases globally, claiming more than 700,000 lives yearly with far greater number suffering infections.
WHO said it has become necessary to find a lasting solution to reducing or eradicating mosquitoes as disease vendors as half of the world population is at risk of dengue.
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said during the announcement, the world’s population is now at risk of dengue.
“And despite our best efforts, current efforts to control it are falling short. ”
“We desperately need new approaches and this initiative is both promising and exciting,” the official added.