THE United Nations (UN) has launched a “Global Mosquito Alert’ aimed at strengthening the fight against mosquito-borne diseases that continue to terrorize people across the globe.
Mandated to track down and control the vector responsible for close to 2.7 million deaths annually, the undertaking brings together thousands of the world’s best scientists and volunteers.
They will work against mosquito-borne viruses, such as Zika, yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue, malaria and the West Nile virus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Official records show that in the Philippines alone, the WHO said on March 27 that 176,411 suspected cases of dengue were reported on Nov. 5, 2016, including 422 deaths.
Jacqueline McGlade, director of science at the UN Environment Program (UNEP), said the alert will offer a shared platform to allow people on the ground to share their observations and information with scientists.
This is to help them monitor emerging trends in real time and leverage citizens science for the global surveillance and control of disease-carrying mosquitoes, according to McGlade.
Maintained by UNEP, the platform provides real-time open data access to policy makers and the general public, using distributed networks, cloud computing, big data and improved search functions.
It is also the first global platform dedicated to citizen science techniques to tackle the monitoring of mosquito populations which, according to WHO estimates, cause up to 500 million cases a year.
Certainly, the stage is now for the ventilation on the pluses of launching more highly-effective programs and projects aimed at eradicating diseases caused by mosquitoes.
It’s a move in the right direction.