Monday January 27, 2020

Countries to Test Nuclear Technique that Sterilizes Mosquitoes to Control Spread of Dengue, Zika

It says every year, more than 700,000 people die from diseases such as malaria, dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever

0
//
Countries, Nuclear Technique, Sterilizes
FILE - Adult mosquitos. VOA

U.N. agencies say early next year, several countries will begin testing a nuclear technique that sterilizes male mosquitoes to control the spread of dengue, Zika and chikungunya to humans. Guidance for testing countries has been developed by the Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization says diseases transmitted by mosquitoes account for 17 percent of all infectious diseases globally. It says every year, more than 700,000 people die from diseases such as malaria, dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

The WHO says dengue has increased dramatically in recent years due to factors such as environmental changes, urban sprawl, and transportation and travel, putting half the world’s population at risk of catching the diseases.

Jeremy Bouver is a medical entomologist at the joint Food and Agriculture Organization and International Atomic Energy Agency. He says a novel technique that uses radiation to sterilize male mosquitoes offers new opportunities for controlling disease. He describes the Sterile Insect Technique as a form of insect birth control.

Countries, Nuclear Technique, Sterilizes
The World Health Organization says diseases transmitted by mosquitoes account for 17 percent of all infectious diseases globally. Pixabay

“You release sterile males that will out compete the wild males in the field and they will induce sterility in the females so that their eggs will not hatch,” Bouver said. “And, so, you will control the next generation. And, if you do that for a long time enough, you will be able to reduce and even, in some cases, eliminate the target population.”

The technique was developed in the late 1950s by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has been successfully used to control insect pests from attacking crops and livestock, such as the Mediterranean fruit fly.

Also Read- Plan to Protect Corals in Gulf of Mexico Close to Becoming Law

A pilot program that will start early next year will be the first time the Sterile Insect Technique will be tested targeting human diseases.  The countries where the trials will take place will be announced next year, although a few likely candidates reportedly include the United States, France and Brazil. (VOA)

Next Story

Here’s How E-Commerce Can Become a Driver of Growth Across South Asia

Small and medium enterprises in the region reported that removing regulatory and logistical challenges to e-commerce would increase their exports

0
South Asia
A survey of over 2,200 firms in South Asia showed that the top concerns on cross-border e-commerce sales included e-commerce related logistics, e-commerce and digital regulations, and connectivity and information technology infrastructure. Pixabay

E-commerce can become a driver of growth across South Asia and boost trade between the region’s countries, but its potential remains largely untapped, a new World Bank report said on Monday.

The report, titled “Unleashing E-Commerce for South Asian Integration” launched in the Capital, said that although e-commerce has grown significantly in South Asia, online sales accounted for a mere 1.6 and 0.7 per cent of total retail sales in India and Bangladesh — compared to 15 per cent in China and nearly 14 per cent globally.

“E-commerce can boost a range of economic indicators across South Asia, from entrepreneurship and job growth to higher GDP rates and overall productivity,” said Sanjay Kathuria, World Bank Lead Economist and co-author of the report.

“By unleashing its online trade potential, South Asia can better integrate into international value chains, increase its market access, and strengthen commercial linkages between countries across the region,” He added.

Increasing the use of e-commerce by consumers and firms in South Asia could potentially help increase competition and firm productivity, and encourage diversification of production and exports.

A survey of over 2,200 firms in South Asia showed that the top concerns on cross-border e-commerce sales included e-commerce related logistics, e-commerce and digital regulations, and connectivity and information technology infrastructure.

South Asia
E-commerce can become a driver of growth across South Asia and boost trade between the region’s countries, but its potential remains largely untapped, a new World Bank report said on Monday. Pixabay

“These barriers are significantly higher when trading with other South Asian countries. The main international e-partners of firms in South Asia are China, the UK, and the US and not other South Asian countries,” the findings showed.

Small and medium enterprises in the region reported that removing regulatory and logistical challenges to e-commerce would increase their exports, employment, and productivity by as much as 20-30 percent.

ALSO READ: Most Teenagers Use Addictive Substances During Vaping, Says Study

“Some practical steps to strengthen online transactions include leveraging the reputation of large e-commerce platforms to offer consumer protection, return and redress, and data security as an initial substitute for robust contractual and consumer protection mechanisms, and permitting cross-border e-commerce payments,” said Arti Grover, World Bank Senior Economist and co-author of the report. (IANS)