Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award

Monash University's World Mosquito Program

The Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award supports five organisations that are addressing areas of significant social need through bold projects that promise lasting community benefit.

The Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award funding is enabling the World Mosquito Program (WMP) to reach more countries and work toward its vision of a world where everyone can live a healthy life – free from the fear and suffering caused by mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever. The funding is also driving efficiencies in the delivery of the intervention so it will be cost saving for governments to implement in the future.

40%

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

20 countries

will be reached using the Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award funding

Monash University’s World Mosquito Program takes a bold approach to protect global communities from mosquito-borne diseases. In this video we hear from Ms Bani, who has championed the program’s life-changing work in her own community in Kricak Village, Indonesia.

This video was filmed in 2020.

Monash University's WMP protects almost 11 million people (as of June 2023) in countries where they have released Wolbachia mosquitoes. The WMP continues to expand operations by building partnerships with local governments and communities increasingly embracing the Wolbachia method.

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 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.

Since 2018, the intervention had been deployed by the WMP in 14 countries. The challenge is to scale it to cover millions more of the world’s at-risk population within 10 years, as well as bring the cost of the intervention down to US$1 per person.

Project updates

In FY2023, the WMP commenced operations in Laos, Honduras and El Salvador, and undertook preliminary discussions with the Timor-Leste Government around establishing a WMP presence there. WMP also scaled up mosquito releases in Cali, Colombia, supported by active community participation.

In FY2022, Monash University’s WMP announced that its technology had now reached more than 10 million people, and in so doing, it is predicted to have already averted more than 300,000 dengue cases and more than 20,000 hospitalisations in the areas where the technology has been deployed.

In FY2021, the WMP conducted a study to measure the efficacy of the Wolbachia method through a randomised controlled trial in Yogyakarta City, Indonesia. The study showed a 77 per cent reduction in dengue incidence and an 86 per cent reduction in dengue hospitalisations in Wolbachia-treated areas compared with untreated areas.

Vision for the future

The WMP’s vision is for a world where everyone can live a healthy life – free from the fear and suffering caused by mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

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