In 2019, the Ministry of Health of Brazil announced their support to expand the World Mosquito Program implementation across the country.
Three cities were selected, based on epidemiological and logistical data and from being in different environmental contexts in the country. The three cities are Belo Horizonte, Campo Grande and Petrolina.
In 2020, the World Mosquito Program began work to expand its operations to Belo Horizonte, capital of the State of Minas Gerais and the sixth largest city in the country.
The implementation of the Wolbachia Method in Belo Horizonte (MG) is carried out in partnership with the Belo Horizonte Municipality. The mosquitoes are released weekly by the local WMP team and the municipality team.
In 2020, a pilot project was carried out in the Venda Nova region of the municipality, in three contiguous areas. Releases were completed and the monitoring through ovitraps has shown the establishment of the population of Aedes aegypti with Wolbachia in that area.
Since January 2021, a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) has been carried out in the city. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Wolbachia Method in the control of local arboviruses.
The clinical study on the Wolbachia Method produced in Belo Horizonte will be the first of its kind carried out in Latin America. The study in Brazil, called Project Evita Dengue, is conducted by the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG, in portuguese), in scientific collaboration with Emory University, Yale University and the University of Florida. The expected duration of the randomized controlled clinical trial is four years. Releases and monitoring through BG Sentinel traps are in progress.
A Community Reference Group includes representatives from institutions along the nine districts of the municipality, including the Local Health Committees, Secretary of Education, members of Districts Councils and Community Associations.
We’ve been working with communities in Brazil since 2012 to help prevent mosquito-borne diseases. There are now four active project sites across the country.