Drones to Join Battle Against Malaria

Drones to Join Battle Against Malaria
Aid organizations will use drones to fight disease-bearing mosquitoes in remote areas.

(CCM) — International aid organizations are to use drones to step up the fight against mosquitoes which spread diseases such as malaria and Zika virus, the BBC reports.

The drones will be used to carry male mosquitoes which have been exposed to radiation to make them sterile. Sterile male mosquitos mating with females will have no offspring, causing the mosquito population to drop.

The mosquito-bearing drones have been developed by a technology company called WeRobotics to overcome the problem of how to deliver the sterile mosquitoes to remote mosquito infested areas. "A lot of the places where these diseases exist are also places where roads do not exist. The drones could spread the mosquitoes where there are no roads," explained Adam Klaptocz, WeRobotics' co-founder.

To protect the mosquitoes from damage while they are in transit they are first cooled, which prevents them from moving around. The drones are also equipped with a mosquito dispensing system which allows its passengers to warm up and then be distributed over a wide area. Klaptocz hopes to start trialing its drone technology in Latin America, in areas at risk of the Zika virus, in 2018.

Several other companies are also developing drone technology for more commercial applications. For example, Facebook has been testing a solar powered drone which may one day provide internet connectivity in remote areas, while Amazon is planning to use its own drones to provide a 30-minute delivery services in some areas.

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