IAEA Chief Highlights Sterile Mosquito Program

While visiting Thailand, Director General Yukiya Amano said important progress has been made in its use against mosquitoes. Vector-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, Zika viral disease, and yellow fever are becoming important public health problems in many countries in Southeast Asia, he said.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano visited Bangkok, Thailand last week to discuss areas where nuclear applications play a vital role, including the Sterile Insect Technique that can help to control the Aedes mosquito population and the role of nuclear medicine in the health sector.

He spoke at the first coordination and consultative meeting for a new four-year project on using the technique to control the mosquito population, "Managing and Controlling Aedes Vector Populations Using the Sterile Insect Technique," with Amano saying the technique has proved effective against a number of insect pests that are harmful to human beings, animals, or food crops. "IAEA Member States around the world have used the technique successfully against fruit flies and tsetse flies. Important progress has been made in its use against mosquitoes," he said, adding that vector-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, Zika viral disease, and yellow fever are becoming important public health problems in many countries in Southeast Asia.

Amano met with Minister for Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai and Minister of Science and Technology Arasakas Boonruang. During their discussions, Amano drew attention to IAEA's continued support for Thailand's implementation of peaceful nuclear applications, including in diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy, emergency preparedness and response, establishing a multipurpose radiation technology center, food safety, and building research reactor capacity.

Amano was in Thailand from Feb. 10-12 after visiting Indonesia and the Philippines the previous week.

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