The Malaysian Health Ministry plans to extend their use of drone technology at state health departments throughout the nation in an effort to combat Aedes mosquitoes and control Dengue outbreaks. Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said The drones can be very effective to detect the mosquitoes, especially in hard-to-reach areas. He continued to say that based on preliminary information, the allocation to purchase the drones could be sought through the ministry through provisions in Budget 2019.

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The Malaysian Health Ministry plans use more drones

“I admit that the use of drones to detect the Aedes mosquito breeding grounds is something new and the device can be purchased at RM20,000 per unit,” the minister said according to the Malay Mail.

“I am confident that with the additional allocation provided for the Health Ministry, the state health departments should be able to afford the drones,” he told reporters after officiating the Mega 2.0 Gotong-Royong Programme to fight against Aedes mosquitoes here today.

According to the minister, the decline in dengue and fatal dengue cases is due to the ongoing efforts to increase the public awareness of the danger of the mosquitoes. The Malaysian Health Ministry also promotes precautionary measures which include the communication for behavioral impact program (combi).

Not the first time drones are used

Earlier this year we reported on another situation in Malaysia where drones were used to monitor deforestation and to track malaria-carrying macaque monkeys deep in the Malaysian forests. Especially in Borneo, there has been a surge in the deadly ‘monkey malaria’, with the disease accounting for 69% of all the human malaria cases in Malaysia. With the help of drones outfitted with infrared cameras, researchers of the Monkey Bar Project are able to better track the monkeys through the forest and ultimately slow down the spreading of the disease

Tanzania uses drones to fight mosquitos as well

Drones are taking the fight against malaria to the disease-carrying mosquitoes in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Malaria affects over 200 million people per year and kills about 500,000 of them. The disease has been a problem in Tanzania for a long time. During one of the more recent campaigns to fight Malaria, millions of bed nets were distributed in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. The aim was to break the cycle of mosquitoes biting infected people and becoming carriers of the disease, infecting more people. The bed nets have been very successful, reducing the number of infected people from 40% to less than 1% in some areas of Zanzibar. More…

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Photo by Azneal Ishak

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