Dengue fever is a disease contracted by mosquitoes. It became a concern for tropical countries, including Indonesia. ASEAN established 15 June as ASEAN Dengue Day. With the theme ASEAN Communities United against Dengue Fever, member countries were trying to increase awareness on preventive efforts to tackle the disease.
In Yogyakarta, Eliminate Dengue Project (EDP) Yogyakarta team has used natural Wolbachia bacteria to inhibit the spread of dengue virus in the mosquito. The larvae containing the bacteria were spread to houses around Yogyakarta. “We have distributed mosquito with Wolbachia to almost half of the areas of Yogyakarta city,” said EDP’s main researcher, Prof. Adi Utarini, to journalists on Friday (8/6) at Fortakgama UGM room.
Adi Utarini believed that the results of the research would be a reference for minimising dengue fever case in the country.
Head of Disease Control and Environmental Health office of Yogyakarta, drg. Yudiria Amelia, said dengue fever cases in the city had reduced in May with just 40 cases compared to the same period of last year with 350 cases. “In spite of the decrease, dengue fever control has to keep running,” she said.
Related to the decreasing cases, her office and EDP Yogyakarta would do a study to know the impact of the release of Wolbachia mosquito at a great scale towards the decrease of dengue fever case.
The study involves 17 community health centres in Yogyakarta and Bantul and the patients that have themselves treated at the centres. Another researcher from EDP, Riris Andono Ahmad, said they had recruited over 1,408 respondents until 7 June of the 10,000 target by the end of 2019.
“From this recruitment we would obtain comparison of dengue fever case in the areas that are released with Wolbachia,” she said.