Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health has allocated Rp16 billion (around US$1.03 million) for trials involving the use of mosquitos with Wolbachia to check dengue spread in five cities of Indonesia.

"We are spending around Rp16 billion in five cities," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said during a working meeting with Commission IX of the House of Representatives (DPR), which was followed online from here on Tuesday.

In addition, the government of each city targeted by the trials is spending around Rp500 million (around US$32,318) on the trials, he added.

The Ministry of Health issued the Health Minister's Decree Number 1341 of 2022 on the implementation of pilot projects of dengue handling with Wolbachia.

The method involving the use of mosquitos with Wolbachia has been included in the national strategy for handling dengue, which is being implemented in five cities, namely Semarang, West Jakarta, Bandung, Kupang, and Bontang.

"It (the method) has been running in Semarang, Bontang; Kupang, West Jakarta still in trials; Bandung is in preparation," he expounded.

Sadikin said that the areas have been selected for the trial run on account of their relatively high dengue case rate, which is above the global average of 10 per 100,000 population.

"The implementation of the Wolbachia mosquito trials was also carried out using the local wisdom of the local community to anticipate fuss," he added.

The minister explained that the approach used in Kupang, Semarang, and Bontang replicates efforts implemented earlier in Yogyakarta, which involved researchers from Gadjah Mada University (UGM).

Before implementing the method, the ministry disseminated information to the community through advocacy with local community leaders, he said. The community was also involved in preparing the eggs of mosquitos with Wolbachia.

Furthermore, the community was given the freedom to help name the Wolbachia program based on local wisdom, he added.

For example, the program in Semarang was named Wingko, while in Kupang, it was called Dobrak.

Related news: Disseminating information on Wolbachia method a challenge: official
Related news: Wolbachia effective in reducing dengue cases by 77%: ministry
Related news: Wolbachia bacteria only survives in insect cells: UGM's researcher

Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
Copyright © ANTARA 2023