Researchers use drones to pilot a new tool to fight malaria

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Scientists seeking a breakthrough in the fight against malaria have used drones to spray rice fields in Zanzibar — not with traditional pesticides but with a thin, non-toxic film meant to drown mosquito larvae

CHEJU, Zanzibar - Scientists seeking a breakthrough in the fight against malaria have used drones to spray rice fields in Zanzibar - not with traditional pesticides but with a thin, non-toxic film.

Malawi has used drones to map mosquito breeding sites but the researchers in Zanzibar say preventing pupae and larvae from attaching themselves to the surface of the water takes the malaria fight to the next level. He and fellow researchers chose Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago for the pilot partly due to its progressive laws on the use of drones for research.“It is very difficult to just walk through the paddies and apply the chemicals, so you want to have something that can just spray it on the water surface. It spreads, does the job and that’s it,” said Wolfgang Richard Mukabana from the University of Nairobi, one of the researchers.

 

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