The World Mosquito Program is working in Suva and surrounding areas 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 and chikungunya viruses in Fiji, and engaging with the community to explain our Wolbachia method and gain their acceptance, we released Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes across the Lami, Suva, Nakasi corridor in 2018–19.
We are now 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.
Following the signing of the project agreement in 2017 between Monash University and the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the project has worked with the community to explain how the Wolbachia method works to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.
Community engagement is an important part of the project. We needed to connect with people from a wide variety of ages, ethnic backgrounds, experiences and access to information, so we worked to inform different levels of the community through social and traditional media.
In Suva and surrounding areas, public acceptance of the project (prior to the release of mosquitoes) was rated 98 per cent.
We released Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes across the project areas in mid-2018–19 and we are now collecting data on the incidence of dengue and chikungunya in the proposed release areas.
The community has been enthusiastically supporting the project in Suva, with hundreds of volunteers helping to release mosquitoes, host bug traps and promote the project.
The project is working across multiple sites in Suva and the surrounding area, including Suva City, Lami, Samabula, Tamavua Wailoku, Raiwaqa, Kinoya, Muanikau, Kalabu Naveiwakau, Cunnigham Tacirua, Narere Navosai and Naulu Nakasi.
We’ve been working with communities in Fiji since 2017 to help prevent mosquito-borne diseases. Read our progress updates to learn more.