Drones against malaria in Africa
A disinfestation program in Zanzibar
The drones will be used in the fight against malaria in Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. Remote piloted aircraft will spray a silicone-based gel on the rice fields, on the large expanses of stagnant water where the disease-carrying insects lay their eggs. In the hope that this will significantly decrease the number of anopheles in the area, the substance will prevent the hatching of the eggs and the larvae will remain trapped: without the fluid they would become malarial vectors.
"Our goal is to reduce the incidence of this disease to zero by 2023", said Abdullah Suleiman Ali, head of the "Malaria Elimination Program" in Africa.
"Drone pest control is a relatively inexpensive way to prevent mosquitoes from reproducing", said Bart Knols, a medical entomologist and researcher of the program. He added: "The liquid that will be used has been tested internationally and it is harmless for other organisms and without toxicity".
In the last 10 years Zanzibar, with a population of 1.2 million people, has undertaken various methods to fight malaria: thousands of mosquito nets and insecticides were distributed.
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