• Tuesday, Oct 20, 2020
  • Last Update : 07:26 pm

UN team to help tackle Aedes mosquito

  • Published at 11:37 pm August 19th, 2019
Aedes mosquito Bigstock

The sterile insect technique is among the most environment-friendly insect pest control methods ever developed

In the wake of dengue outbreak in Bangladesh, a UN team is expected to arrive in Dhaka to carry out a study for the use of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) in controlling the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads viruses such as dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever.

The joint IAEA-FAO-WHO expert team will visit Bangladesh from August 21-23, says a press release issued by Bangladesh mission in Austria on Monday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has approved the mission due to an initiative taken by Bangladesh embassy in Vienna, with the support of the Health Services Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Ministry of Science and Technology, after the dengue outbreak in the country.

As of August 19, official data shows as many as 54,797 people have been affected with dengue-related fever across Bangladesh since Jan 1 with 40 died from the disease, so far, said the release.

A total of 1,615 dengue patients have been admitted to different hospitals across Bangladesh in the last 24 hours.

The work of the expert team - consisting of Rafael Argilés Herrero and Danilo de Oliveira Carvalho, Technical Officers of the Insect Pest Control Section at the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, and Rajpal Yadav, Scientist, Vector Ecology and Management, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, WHO – is expected to help Bangladesh address dengue outbreak.

"We are trying to acquire best possible scientific know-how to tackle the Aedes mosquito. We thank IAEA for prompt response to support Bangladesh in this time of need," said Bangladesh Ambassador in Vienna M Abu Zafar.

The sterile insect technique, or SIT for short, is among the most environment-friendly insect pest control methods ever developed.

It involves the mass-rearing and sterilization, using radiation, of a target pest, followed by the systematic area-wide release of the sterile males by air over defined areas, where they mate with wild females resulting in no offspring and a declining pest population. 

The sterile insect technique was first developed in the USA and has been used successfully for more than 60 years. It is currently applied on six continents. 

The four strategic options in which sterile insects are being deployed as a component of area-wide integrated pest management are: suppression, eradication, containment and prevention.

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