Cuban dengue experts to cover all affected areas


The two Cuban experts on dengue control will extend the period of their case study to one month by which they would be able to visit all dengue hit areas in the country. A senior Health Ministry official said that Dr. Aramis Martinez and Dr.S. Yalina would be doing a comprehensive research on the use of Bti (Bacillus Thuringensis Israelensis) to control the spread of dengue in the country.

The experts who arrived earlier this week are due to visit Hambantota and Tangalle where they would start their case study. Meanwhile the Health Ministry will be considering the purchase of locally produced Bti or the import of Bti from Cuba.

“We would be giving preference to the locally produced Bti, but first we have to let the experts conduct their case study,” he said. The Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) announced that its scientists have developed a local Bti variety, samples of which have been sent to Bio Power Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., for commercial production.

“We completed the research in 2007 and we were looking for a partner to start production at commercial level. The Government alone could not have started production as it does not have the infrastructure and the capacity,” said ITI Director Dr. A.M. Mubarak.

The Colombo Municipal Council is already using Bti for mosquito control in marshy areas and large dumping grounds. “Although it may be successful when used on a large scale it can do little to control the breeding of the dengue mosquito in small containers. For that community awareness in preventing such breeding places is needed,” CMC chief medical officer Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said.

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