The World Mosquito Program provided 100 boxes of adult Wolbachia mosquitoes for people to release. With this and subsequent releases, planned until the end of December 2019, the Wolbachia mosquitoes will mate with wild mosquitoes, so that most of the mosquitoes in and around Nouméa will carry Wolbachia, reducing their ability to transmit mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.
This was a historical moment, reflected by the attendees, who included representatives of important partners of the program – the Department of Health and Social Affairs of New Caledonia, the City of Nouméa Directorate of Health Risks, and the Institute Pasteur in New Caledonia – and local supporters from the EEC (electricity supplier), Fontaines d'eau du Mont-Dore (water supplier), and Office des Postes et Télécommunications de Nouvelle-Calédonie (telecommunications provider).
City of Nouméa Deputy Mayor, Tristan Derycke, who is responsible for public health and the prevention of health risks, was enthusiastic about the symbolic release of Wolbachia in the city. He hopes that all of New Caledonia will eventually be host to Wolbachia mosquitoes.