Protecting vulnerable communities from mosquito-borne diseases

Monash University The World Mosquito Program

40%

of the world’s population live in areas vulnerable to devastating mosquito-borne diseases

100 million people

Expected to be protected by the World Mosquito Program by 2023

20 countries

will be reached using the Award funding

Monash University’s the World Mosquito Program has a bold goal: to protect 100 million people by 2023 from deadly mosquito-borne diseases, including dengue fever, Zika virus, chikungunya, and yellow fever. More than 40 per cent of the world’s population lives in communities vulnerable to these diseases.

Research shows around three billion people are at risk of contracting dengue fever alone each year, with estimates suggesting 390 million people are infected with this disease annually.

To address this, the World Mosquito Program (WMP) has developed an intervention that introduces a naturally-occurring bacteria called Wolbachia into the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the species most responsible for transmission of these diseases between people.

The intervention has so far been deployed by WMP in 12 countries. Now, the challenge is to scale it to cover three million at-risk people by the end of 2019, 100 million people within five years and 20 per cent of the world’s population within 10 years. The aim is to bring the cost of the intervention down to US$1 per person.

"Our project supplies hope by offering a way to prevent suffering caused by these diseases in developing countries around the world. It focuses on the mosquito itself to have the most impact, treating the problem at the source. Now that we have good evidence that the intervention is working, we want to tackle the problem at scale and deliver it to communities who need it most."

- Professor Scott O’Neill, Director of the World Mosquito Program

"Backed by 15 years of research, the World Mosquito Program represents a transformational opportunity to protect millions of lives from multiple devastating diseases. Strengthening local communities is at the heart of the Macquarie Group Foundation’s work and we’re delighted to support Monash University’s goal to create generational, long-lasting impact."

- Mary Reemst, Chair, Macquarie Group Foundation

Funding outcomes

The Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award funding will enable the program to expand to more than 20 countries and inspire development on an even larger scale, accelerating the program to reach its goal of protecting 100 million people by 2023. The funding will also drive efficiencies in the delivery of the intervention so it will be cost saving for governments to implement in the future.