Committing on fighting against dengue fever, Tahija foundation keeps giving research fund through Eliminate Dengue Project (EDP) since 2004.
“Our project started by conducting research on dengue eradication by killing the larvae using a chemical substance in water reservoirs. Unfortunately, it did not succeed,” said Dr. Sjakon Tahija at Permai Store Complex in Yogyakarta on Friday (7/4).
Despite spending USD 5 million and having yet to be succeeded, Tahija Foundation’s concerns in fighting against dengue fever keeps continuing. This foundation even receives an offer from an Australian researcher in dengue eradication using Wolbachia natural bacteria.
“I am interested in the offer and I also went to Queensland, Australia to directly see the research and how Wolbachia can be utilized in eradicating dengue fever,” he added.
According to Sjakon Tahija, the prevention of dengue fever using Wolbachia can give new hope. Based on the research, Wolbachia can effectively prevent the development of dengue fever.
As the form of the commitment, Tahija Foundation keeps giving fund to the research development on Aedes aegypti mosquitos which contain Wolbachia, particularly in Yogyakarta. Meanwhile, dengue fever controls using Wolbachia natural bacteria in Australia, Vietnam, Brazil, Columbia, and India are funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Sjakon said the contribution of Tahija Foundation for human interest is expected to be conducted until 2019 or at least until the result of the research which is conducted by EDP and UGM is affirmed to be safe and effective for eradicating dengue fever.
Prof. Adi Utarini, the main researcher in EDP, said the EDP programs in Yogyakarta has been running according to the plan. It is started since 2011 and expected to finish in 2019.
“Recently, we are releasing Wolbachia by placing buckets containing larvae of Aedes aegypti Wolbachia in many houses. We had placed more than 7,300 buckets since March 2017,” said Prof. Adi.
Adi Utarini said the existence of Wolbachia researchers from Australia has been decreasing. Recently, the researchers from UGM have had the same competencies.
“The researchers from Vietnam, Brazil, and India were visiting EDP not long ago. Therefore, we have fulfilled our researchers capacity,” she added.