Dengue, Zika and chikungunya have a long history in the Pacific, including Kiribati. The World Mosquito Program has partnered with the Kiribati Government to bring our Wolbachia method to local communities. Funded and supported by the Australian Government, the initiative has been rolled out in high-risk communities across South Tarawa, including Betio, between June 2018 and June 2019.
We have introduced naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria into the local mosquito populations by releasing Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes. These mosquitoes breed with wild mosquitoes in the area and, over time, almost all mosquitoes will carry Wolbachia. Mosquitoes that carry Wolbachia have a reduced ability to transmit viruses to people, decreasing the risk of outbreaks of dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.
(Data updated June 2022)
The World Mosquito Program has worked with the community in South Tarawa, including Betio.