Expert team arrives to help control Aedes mosquito breeding

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DHAKA, Aug 21, 2019 (BSS) – A joint IAEA-FAO-WHO expert team arrived in the
capital today on a three-day visit aiming to help Bangladesh tackle dengue
outbreak caused by Aedes mosquito.

On the first day of its visit, the team held a meeting with senior
officials of the Health Services Division, the Local Government Division, the
Agriculture Ministry, the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry,
Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and the representatives of the public
agencies concerned. Health Services Division Secretary Md Asadul Islam
chaired the meeting.

During the meeting, they discussed mosquito control by applying the Sterile
Insect Technique (SIT), said a press release of the Health and Family Welfare
Ministry.

The main objective of the team is to assess the feasibility of Sterile
Insect Technique (SIT) in controlling Aedes mosquito in Bangladesh.

The sterile insect technique is an environmentally-friendly insect pest
control method involving the mass-rearing and sterilisation, using radiation,
of a target pest, followed by the systematic area-wide release of the sterile
males by air over defined areas, where they mate with wild females resulting
in no offspring and a declining pest population.

IAEA has approved the expert mission due to an initiative taken by
Bangladesh Embassy and Permanent Mission in Vienna, with the support from the
Health Services Division, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the
Ministry of Science & Technology, after the dengue fever outbreak in the
country.

The work of the expert team — consisting of Rafael Argilés Herrero and
Danilo de Oliveira Carvalho, Technical Officers of the Insect Pest Control
Section at the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and
Agriculture, and Rajpal Yadav, Scientist, Vector Ecology and Management,
Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, WHO — is expected
to help Bangladesh in successfully tackling the diseases caused by the
Aedes mosquito population in the country.

“We are trying to avail the best possible scientific know-how to tackle the
Aedes mosquito. We thank IAEA for prompt response to support Bangladesh in
this time of need,” said Bangladesh Ambassador & Permanent Representative in
Vienna M Abu Zafar, according to a Foreign Ministry press release issued
yesterday.