First releases in Vinh Luong welcomed by community members
In March 2018, the WMP commenced its first releases of Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes on mainland Vietnam. The project is located in Vinh Luong, a community north of Nha Trang, the coastal capital of Khanh Hoa province. Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes have been released by WMP staff over several months, in eight hamlets in Vinh Luong. WMP staff will continue to monitor and evaluate the mosquito population, to ensure that mosquitoes with Wolbachia are successfully establishing in the local mosquito population.
Truong Xuan Do is a 79-year-old retiree living in the Vinh Luong ward of Nha Trang city, Vietnam. Beginning his career in the military, Truong has many years’ experience as a medical associate and been a part of a medical profession that has been struggling with dengue fever for many years.
“When the rainy season arrives, cases of dengue return,” says Truong.
“Many (Vietnamese) people have limited knowledge about dengue risks, and don’t pay attention to disease prevention measures. Thus, many people have acquired dengue. The disease is very dangerous and can be fatal. Patients with dengue often become very unwell, and family members have to accompany them to the hospital.”
Truong has been personally affected by the harmful dengue virus, with three of his grandchildren suffering from dengue fever, involving expensive medical bills.
“They had high and persistent fevers,” says Truong. “The doctors had to give them intravenous medication and they were very sick.”
“The disease did affect their school attendance and studying. They missed a week or so of school… we were very worried. We didn’t know if any complications would occur.”
Truong’s grandchildren live with him, and he is so concerned about the mosquitoes outside that he often keeps his grandchildren indoors.
“If I let the children go outside, I’m concerned mosquitoes might bite them, and that’s unsafe,” says Truong.
Truong says that he is very meticulous, following guidance provided by local health workers to ensure he is taking every possible precaution to minimise mosquito breeding sites in and around his home.
In all of our international project sites, we encourage communities to become actively involved in our work, and only undertake release activities with community support. Truong is a vocal supporter of the WMP’s Wolbachia method in his community, giving community members information about our work.
“The WMP’s Wolbachia method is very beneficial,” says Truong.
“I’ve had this dream for so long, that we will have an innovative dengue reduction program. I hope there will be no more dengue cases in my house and the community. After the WMP’s mosquito release, my family can feel safe and we have trust in the method.”
Learn more about our work in Vietnam.