BTI Not Effective
By Chrishanthi Christopher
After much hue and cry over the importation of the Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis (BTI) bacteria from Cuba to be used in the eradication of dengue, the Ministry of Health now says that the larvicide was not effective as expected. The Ministry claims that the larvicide is effective only when the mosquito is in its larval stage and would not work on a fully grown mosquito. “It is only one out of the ten strategies to eliminate the dengue mosquitoes,” Additional Secretary (Medical Services) Dr. Palitha Mahipala said.
In 2010 the Health Ministry imported 10,000 liters of BTI bacteria from Cuba to a tune of Rs.31 million.
The larvaecide which was used as a pilot project in Kandy is said to have expired and is rotting in the Health Ministry store house. Moreover with the encouragement of the Ministry of Health many institutions went into research and got permission for the production of the BTI bacteria locally. Mahipala says that the Ministry is concentrating mostly on clearing dengue mosquitoes infested areas using proper waste disposal methods.
“We are using the BTI bacteria in the Gampola region but it has only a limited application and the BTI is effective only for two weeks,” he says.
Other methods of eradication of the mosquito is by spraying and fogging highly infested areas says Mahipala.