The World Mosquito Program and Vanuatu health authorities have been working together on an innovative approach to protect people from mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya.
We are using our ground-breaking technology to introduce naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria to mosquito populations in Vanuatu. Once Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes are released, they breed with wild mosquitoes. Over time, the majority of mosquitoes will carry Wolbachia. These mosquitoes will have a reduced ability to transmit viruses to people, decreasing the risk of outbreaks of dengue, Zika and chikungunya.
Between July 2018 and March 2019, Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes were released across Port Vila and surrounding areas, across a population of more than 50,000 people. The project was funded and supported by the Australian Government. By releasing in the areas most at risk of outbreaks, we expect that surrounding communities will also have greater protection against these diseases.