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Jakarta Post

Take bite out of mosquitoes by using nuclear technology, forum told

  • Moses Ompusunggu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 22, 2017   /   03:56 pm
Take bite out of mosquitoes by using nuclear technology, forum told Malaria, one of communicable diseases transmitted by the mosquito vector, is endemic in 19 Asian countries with more than 2 billion people at risk of contract the disease. Asia is also the region with the highest incidence of dengue in the world, with cycles of epidemics occurring every three to five years. (Shutterstock/File)

An Indonesian delegation attending a global nuclear forum in Vienna has called for the use of nuclear technology in the public health service, citing the success of radiotherapy and radio diagnostics.

"Sterile insect technique of mosquitoes for communicable disease vector control is one method that can be developed [using nuclear technology]," Health Ministry secretary-general Untung Suseno Sutarjo told a scientific forum of the 61st International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference on Wednesday.

The sterile insect technique is a pest control method involving the rearing and sterilization of a target pest using radiation and then releasing the sterilized males into the wild to mate with females.

The scientific forum, using "Nuclear Techniques in Human Health" as its theme, was held on Tuesday and Wednesday in conjunction with the five-day IAEA General Conference that ends on Friday.

Top officials from the Health Ministry represented Indonesia at the IAEA annual meeting, along with high-ranking officials from the National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan), the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten), the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry and Indonesia's Permanent Mission in Geneva.

The conference also announced that Indonesia had been elected a member of the board of governors — one of the two policy-making bodies of the IAEA along with the General Conference — from 2017 to 2019 and chairman of the board for 2017 and 2018. (ipa)