TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ministry of Health is exploring collaboration with the Fiocruz Institute in Brazil to reduce the number of dengue cases in Indonesia by developing technology and vaccines against Wolbachia mosquitoes.
The head of the Department of Communications and Public Services of the City Ministry, Nadia Tarmizi, said on Monday that the opportunity for cooperation arose when Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin visited the Fiocruz Institute, focusing on cooperation related to technology and vaccine development.
“In Brazil, they have already implemented the Wolbachia mosquito control technology through the World Mosquito Program,” explained Tarmizi.
She noted that the collaboration between Indonesia and Fiocruz to eradicate dengue was previously established through the role of the University of Gajah Mada (UGM) when Wolbachia mosquitoes were first introduced to Indonesia in 2012.
Tarmizi explained that the results of the Wolbachia Application for Dengue Elimination (AWED) study in Yogyakarta using a cluster randomized controlled trial (CRCT) design showed that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which contain Wolbachia, were able to reduce dengue cases by 77.1 percent and reduce dengue hospitalizations by 86 percent.
“The result came from the first cooperation with UGM,” she noted.
Fiocruz is one of several global partners that have begun releasing Wolbachia mosquitoes to reduce the number of dengue cases in the population.
During his visit to the Fiocruz Institute, Minister Sadikin got acquainted with the Wolbachia reproduction process at the research center for the fight against diseases transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
On this occasion, he also discussed future cooperation in the development of technologies and vaccines with representatives of Fiocruz.
The visit also included exploring the Fiocrus Library, where they discovered a rare book from 1703 written by a Catholic monk on medicine.
However, Tarmizi and the ministry’s director general for disease prevention and control, Maxi Rayne Rondonuvu, did not provide further information on the rare book’s treatment methods.
Tarmizi said the visit also highlighted the importance of collaboration in developing innovative health solutions, as well as a reminder that knowledge from the past remains valuable in humanity’s journey to a healthier future.
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