A ‘fishy’ way to prevent dengue

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Something fishy is going on in the fight against dengue.

The Asian Development Bank and the World Health Organization have found their latest weapon against dengue-carrying mosquitoes: larvae-eating guppy fish. A recent trial study in select villages in Cambodia and Laos found out dengue cases can be significantly reduced by putting the fish in water tanks and containers near the stagnant water areas where the insects thrive especially during the rainy season.

As of Sept. 2013, there were 51,000 reported dengue cases in those two countries, on top of 96,000 in the Philippines, 18,000 in Malaysia and 15,000 in Singapore. The numbers keep growing each year as urbanization and climate change continue to affect the world’s most populous region.

Health and sanitation is always an issue in Asia-Pacific, and this trial study is an opportunity to implement an innovative solution to combat a serious problem, according to ADB health specialist Gerard Servais.

“We did the project to give a template for the governments when they craft national health policies, specially in dengue prevention,” Gerard told Devex.

Servais explained that the project is viable for any country, no matter how poor, as it provides a cheap and environmental-friendly solution to fight dengue.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

Agriculture, Health Care
infectious diseases, public health