Drones finally start mosquito larva spraying exercise

Yesterday, drones started the long awaited exercise of spraying mosquito larvae.
The exercise was meant to open in late January, but the ministry postponed its launch until yesterday.

The drone technology is one of the new measures the government is bringing onboard to push for the targets to achieve zero malaria in Rwanda by 2030.

The launch event that took place Gasabo district - city of Kigali featured minimal spraying in a marshland in the Rusoro sector, as technicians showcased to the officials how the drones are going to be working.

The program is piloted in six high-risk malaria zones across the country by Charis UAS- a local Drone Company.

The six months pilot-phase is said to cost about 60 million FRW, after which the project is expected to be extended to the rest of the country where there is need.

Such aerial spraying methods use non-insecticide (non-chemical) interventions, for example, microbial larvicides (bacteria that are registered as pesticides for control of mosquito larvae in outdoor areas).

This method targets mosquito larvae, as opposed to the traditional spraying methods that mainly targeted mature mosquitoes. Due to this, spraying is mainly in marshlands among other places where mosquitoes breed from.

Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) said they will use Bacillus thuringiensis serotype israelensis (Bti) – a group of bacteria used as biological control agents for larval stages of certain insects.

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Source: The New Times