Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hungry guppy fish, no more dengue?

In Cambodia, dengue is a serious public health concern. Around 65% of households that are affected by dengue, end up in debt due to the costs associated with treatment and loss of work.

Dengue is mainly transmitted by Aedes egypti mosquito, which are also the main target for interventions related to controlling dengue outbreaks. However, the mosquito has become increasingly resistant to the mosquito control chemicals. One innovative public health intervention includes guppy fish.

Guppy fish as vector control strategies were supported by the World Health Organization in 2006, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, and UK AID from August 2014 to November 2016. The guppies eat the mosquito larvae in standing water to prevent them from developing into virus transmitting-competent mosquitos.

The project ran in Kampong Cham, one of the provinces with the highest rates of dengue. It broke the village into three groups of households – one with dengue health education, guppy fish for a large container, and a hormone that kills the mosquitos, one with only the guppy fish, and a control group with no intervention. Further, a guppy breeding center was also established in the community. It was found that the community was able to reduce the mosquito population by half.

Gianna Nino-Tapias (’18)

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