BENEFITING: SUSTAINABLE SCIENCES INSTITUTE
Dengue and chikungunya are tropical mosquito-borne viral diseases that are both spreading uncontrollably throughout the world. Dengue infects 50 to 100 million people each year, with over 3 billion people at risk. There is currently a chikungunya outbreak of almost 1 million cases spreading rapidly throughout all of Latin America, an area which had never seen the disease before 2013.
There are no effective vaccines or cure for either disease. In their absence, the most effective means to control both diseases is to eliminate the breeding sites of the mosquito vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. However, the diseases continue to expand dramatically, in large part due to failed efforts in mosquito control.
Our solution is Dengue Chat, an interactive cellphone and web game that combines mobile technology, evidence collection, education, and game concepts to motivate communities to participate in mosquito vector control without the use of toxic chemicals. Dengue Chat’s innovative approach to community-based vector control is at the leading edge of dengue and chikungunya prevention.
When participants find potential mosquito breeding sites, anywhere with standing water, they eliminate and post photos of the eliminated site online. Most standing water found in and around homes in Nicaragua are barrels used to store water. One way to eliminate the site it is to completely cover the barrel, so no mosquitos can enter to lay eggs. We have collaborated with a local Nicaraguan women’s group to design and produce cost-efficient, effective covers for these barrels. They cost only $4 each to make and we are fundraising to create and distribute 750 covers for our 5 neighborhoods and 1 school in Managua, Nicaragua.
Dengue and chikungunya ARE preventable, and your contribution today helps to stop the spread of both diseases. Please donate now to support local solutions to global public health issues. Thank you!
Check out Dengue Chat at www.denguechat.org!