Melinda Gates: technology that saves lives

The village of Kricak in Yogyakarta welcomed a special visit in April from Melinda Gates, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann.

As a philanthropic partner of the Eliminate Dengue Program, the visit highlighted both the progress being made in Yogyakarta and also the emphasis the Foundation places on working collaboratively to better protect global communities from mosquito-borne diseases.

Following encouraging results from four small trials in Yogyakarta, a large-scale efficacy study to evaluate the impact of our method on dengue transmission recently commenced across Yogyakarta. Kricak is one of the areas participating in the study.

“I was especially excited to visit the Eliminate Dengue lab, where researchers are infecting mosquitoes with remarkable bacteria called Wolbachia,” says Melinda Gates. “That technology will save lives. It can even be applied to Zika. And it stands as a testament to the astounding progress we’re making in the global fight against disease.”

As well as visiting the home of a local community member actively participating in the project, Melinda and Sue also volunteered to feed the mosquitoes with Wolbachia at Gadjah Mada University.