Prof. dr. Adi Utarini, M.Sc., M.P.H., Ph.D., as the Researcher at the UGM Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing (FK-KMK), was included in the list of Ten People Who Helped Shape Science in 2020 according to one of the prestigious scientific journals, Nature.
Adi Utarini, or who is well-known as Uut, entered this list because of her role in leading pioneering research to overcome dengue fever.
“This is a breakthrough effort to see new hope for dengue fever control. We are currently doing an environmental intervention with the Aedes aegypti mosquito that already has Wolbachia bacteria,” she explained in a live broadcast via Instagram with the Minister of Education and Culture, Nadiem Makarim, and the Director-General of Education. High, Prof. Nizam, on Monday (21/12).
Nature called Uut as a mosquito commander or mosquito and explained the achievements of the Yogyakarta World Mosquito Program (WMP) research team, which superseded in reducing dengue fever cases in Yogyakarta City by the whole 77 percent.
This result has gained praise from epidemiologists. This innovation is considered a long-awaited victory over a virus that has plagued many countries, particularly in low-income countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.
“The impact to the community is when all mosquitoes containing Wolbachia in an area bites, the virus does not transmit to humans,” explained Uut.
She explained that this research had been going on for almost ten years. From 2016 to 2017, WMP distributed 7 thousand buckets filled with Wolbachia mosquito eggs in 7 villages in Tegal Rejo and Wirobrajan Districts, which were also monitored for some time. At the first stage of the spread of Wolbachia mosquitoes, it was found that these mosquitoes could survive high numbers in the population and remain steady.
“Environmentally, this intervention is very sustainable. If it has been above 60 percent, we will stop spreading it, and naturally, the mosquitoes will be breeding,” Uut explained.
There is a plan that this research will be continued to reduce the incidence of dengue fever in Yogyakarta. Hopefully, throughout the results of this research, the spread of Wolbachia mosquitoes can be implemented in other areas in Indonesia.
This list from Nature explores the key developments in science throughout 2020 and the people who played a key role in those achievements and helped make amazing discoveries or draw attention to crucial issues.
Adi Utarini is included in this list with several world-renowned researchers and leaders, including the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Covid-19 vaccine researcher, Kathrin Jansen, and the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern.
Uut’s achievements have also received appreciation from several parties, including Nadiem Makarim and the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, who mentioned Uut on social media.
“It is such great satisfaction for Indonesia and its lecturers to be included in the list of 10 scientists who are very influential to the world. In fact, we rarely get such high recognition,” said Nadiem.
Translator: Natasa A