The World Mosquito Program is working in Cali to protect communities from mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.
After conducting laboratory studies to examine the impact of Wolbachia on dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses in Colombia, and engaging with the community to explain our Wolbachia method and gain their consent, we will be releasing Wolbachia mosquitoes across Cali in 2019.
We are also rigorously evaluating both the levels of Wolbachia in the mosquito population and the impact of Wolbachia on the transmission of dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases.
In communes 1, 18, 19 and 20, and with the support of residents and the ESE Ladera Health Network, mosquitoes carrying the Wolbachia bacteria will be released. The ability of these Wolbachia mosquitoes – and their offspring – to transmit mosquito-borne diseases is expected to be significantly reduced.
In 2016, when the last epidemic peak was recorded, Cali reported about 20,000 cases of dengue, which accounted for about 20% of the total cases reported throughout Colombia. Cali has also been affected by the most recent outbreaks of Zika. In 2016, more than 15,000 cases of Zika were reported in the city.
Cali joined the World Mosquito Program in 2018, following an agreement between Monash University and the Colombian government.
In early 2019, the project engaged with the community to explain how the Wolbachia method works to prevent mosquito-borne diseases. Community engagement is crucial to the success of the project. We work to engage with people from a wide variety of ages, ethnic backgrounds and experiences. So, during early 2019, we worked to interact with the community via different media channels.
We will soon start releasing Wolbachia mosquitoes across Cali and we will also collect data on the incidence of dengue and chikungunya in the proposed release areas.
The community has been enthusiastically supporting the project in Cali, with nearly 900 volunteers helping to release mosquitoes, host bug traps and promote the project.
We’ve been working with communities in Colombia since 2012 to help prevent mosquito-borne diseases. Read our progress updates to see our latest news.