World Mosquito Program Mexico

La Paz
Baja California Sur
Monash University's World Mosquito Program (WMP) is working in Mexico, where mosquito-borne diseases are a growing threat to regional health security. The WMP’s self-sustaining method uses natural bacteria called Wolbachia to reduce the ability of mosquitoes to transmit viruses between people. In Mexico, dengue infection rates are projected to increase by 40% in the next 50 years, with a number of large-scale outbreaks occurring in recent years. Similarly, the number of Zika cases rapidly increased following a global outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease in 2015. Dengue poses a significant health burden across communities in La Paz, an urban area in the state of Baja California Sur. During 2013 and 2014, Baja California Sur experienced a dengue epidemic, with 4,472 confirmed cases. For that period, La Paz had the highest numbers of confirmed cases in Mexico. In March 2018, the WMP established a partnership with the Baja California Sur Health authorities to establish Mexico’s first project in La Paz. Local and national government officials are supporting the project in Mexico in the hope it can offer a long-term, self-sustaining alternative to current vector control approaches. The WMP has gained community acceptance and support, and the first mosquito releases began in January 2019. The WMP’s partnership with BCS Health authorities and the Federal Government is currently funded by the Candeo Fund of Christy Walton through the International Community Foundation. ICF is seeking additional support for the expansion of this program regionally and beyond.