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Aedes aegypti mosquito illustration/pinterest
BANDUNG—DHF cases in the city of Bandung decreased. Based on data from the Health Service (Dinkes), during 2022 there were 5,205 cases of dengue fever in the city of Bandung. When compared from January to July 2023, DHF cases have dropped to 1,281 cases.
According to the Head of Disease Prevention and Control (P2P) at the Bandung City Health Office, Dr. Ira Dewi Jani, the trend from January to July has been decreasing. In fact, when compared to the same month in 2022, there are fewer cases now.
“Maybe it’s also because it’s summer, so there are no standing water,” said Ira, Tuesday, August 29, 2023.
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Even though the cases are decreasing, according to Ira,
To further suppress dengue cases, the plan is that starting this October, the Bandung City Government will implement the innovative Wolbachia bacteria into the eggs of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. This effort will only be tested in Ujungberung District first.
Here’s how the Wolbachia Bacterial Innovation works to reduce dengue numbers:
1. Ujungberung is included in the 10 sub-districts with the most dengue cases in the city of Bandung in 2022. The head of the UPT Puskesmas Ujungberung has also received training on wolbachia innovation in Yogyakarta.
“Support across regional sectors is also good. Moreover, this is a pilot project, so there must also be support from the community. Therefore, Ujungberung was chosen as the Wolbachia pilot project,” he said.
Ira explained that the vector for dengue fever is the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The mosquito contains the dengue virus which causes a person to get dengue fever.
2. The mechanism of this innovation, the Aedes aegypti mosquito eggs will be injected with the Wolbachia bacteria, then hatch into adult mosquitoes. If the mosquito bites someone with the dengue virus, the virus that the mosquito inhaled will die with the Wolbachia bacteria. So that the Aedes aegypti mosquito will not be able to spread the dengue virus again to the human body.
“Don’t be afraid that the Wolbachia bacteria will enter the human body. The size of the bacteria is larger than the snout of a mosquito. So when a mosquito bites a human, the Wolbachia bacteria will not enter the body,” he said.
3. At the time of implementation in October, his team will place the eggs of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that has been injected with Wolbachia in a bucket. The hope is that these mosquitoes will replace the Aedes aegypti mosquito which has the dengue virus.
Then, these mosquitoes can mate with local mosquitoes to produce other mosquitoes that automatically already have the Wolbachia bacteria. So that the Aedes aegypti mosquito will no longer be able to carry the dengue virus.
“The eggs that have been injected with Wolbachia are produced in the entomology lab or insect lab. The city of Bandung got them from the Salatiga Center for Environmental Health Engineering (BBTKL), “he explained.
4. Actually, Wolbachia is often found in everyday life. The bacteria is in the body of fruit flies, small animals that usually like to fly on bananas or fruits.
“In this scheme, the Aedes aegypti mosquito will still exist for ecological balance. But now it contains wolbachia bacteria so it can stop the spread of the dengue virus,” said Ira.
The first city to implement this innovation is Yogyakarta. From research and implementation of wolbachia in Jogjakarta, DHF cases can drop by up to 70 percent.
5. The city of Bandung is a DHF endemic area and the number of cases is quite high. Therefore, the Ministry of Health issued a decision, if the City of Bandung is 1 of 5 pilot project cities for the implementation of dengue prevention based on Wolbachia technology.
6. Even so, Ira admitted that the implementation of wolbachia does not replace all existing dengue prevention efforts. Previous steps will still be carried out, such as 3M (draining, closing, and burying), fogging according to indications, and the One Home One Jumantik Movement.
“This is complementary because with the efforts we have made so far, the dengue cases have not completely disappeared. Meanwhile, Wolbachia’s innovation has been proven in Yogyakarta,” he admits.
7. The challenge of implementing this innovation at the beginning was the location of the mosquito egg buckets. Because in that location there will definitely be lots of mosquitoes.
If people feel disturbed, Ira said, it’s okay to kill mosquitoes around by patting them, using mosquito rackets, or insect repellent. As long as the mosquito eggs in the bucket are not thrown away until they hatch.
“We’re just asking for help to leave the eggs in this bucket. Don’t disturb the eggs until they all hatch and become adult mosquitoes,” he said.
8. In the future, there will be 33,000 buckets distributed throughout the city of Bandung. However, for its distribution, it must be seen from air and satellite maps regarding the area and the number of occupants. So that the number cannot be generalized for each district.
Ira said, this innovation also aims to reduce chemical exposure that is not according to indications. So it is safer for the environment, society, also economically cheaper. Meanwhile, when compared to fogging, it costs more for gasoline and medicine.
“If indeed this can be implemented evenly, the hope is that the number of cases can go down because the dengue virus is gone. Then, fogging can also be reduced, so that the funds can be diverted to other, more important things,” said Ira.
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Aedes aegypti mosquito illustration/pinterest BANDUNG—DHF cases in the city of Bandung decreased. Based on data from the Health Service (Dinkes), during 2022 there were 5,205 cases of dengue fever in the city of Bandung. When compared from January to July 2023, DHF cases have dropped to 1,281 cases. According to the Head of Disease Prevention […]