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Regional health agency head describes genetically modified mosquito initiative as interesting

by | Nov 10, 2014

Dr. James Hospedales

Dr. James Hospedales

Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr. James Hospedales, has described recent media reports which stated that this country’s Government may use genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to fight Dengue and Chikungunya as interesting.

Health Minister Dr. Fuad Khan had disclosed that the mosquitoes may be introduced if the price was right.

Dr. Khan estimated that it might cost around six million dollars to introduce mosquitoes in an area the size of Chaguanas.

GM’s mosquitoes have been released in Brazil and Panama to curb the rapid spread of mosquito borne viruses.

Dr. Hospedales said CARPHA is advocating for regional governments to look at alternative methods.

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He said the agency is interested in working with companies to participate in a rigorous evaluation to determine its effectiveness.

While some commentators have questioned the safety of the initiative, Dr. Hospedales explained the technique.
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