This month, the GLOBE Mission Mosquito team is shining our "Spotlight" on the work that Diouf Birane and his students are doing in Senegal.
Birane Diouf and his students at the Lycee Seydina Limamoulaye are proud members of GLOBE’s “Zika Education and Prevention Project.” In some areas in West Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever and Zika virus.
Birane and his students are using the Mosquito Habitat Mapper to identify potential mosquito breeding habitats (Step 1- Identify Breeding Habitat) in their local community. They have found both natural and artificial habitats. They are eliminating these habitats (Step 4- Eliminate Breeding Habitat) when possible and are showing people in their community how to clean out containers and become aware of the need to empty water during active mosquito season at least once per week.
Capturing pictures of potential mosquito breeding habitats- D. Birane
Not only did they find mosquito larvae in many of the water sources, but they also counted the larvae (Step 2- Sample and Count). For many of the samples, they used cell phone magnifiers to enlarge the larvae and then used the dichotomous key in the app to identify the kind of larvae they had found (Step 3- Identify Larvae). They felt that the most challenging part of identifying the larvae was determining the size and shape of the siphons.
Close-up image of mosquito larva with a focus on the siphon: D. Birane
Diouf Birane believes that using the Mosquito Habitat Mapper “will revolutionize" the community's ability to fight against mosquito-transmitted disease. When asked how he thought the app would help his community reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, he felt that now they would be able to "kill two birds with one stone" as they emphasize not only identifying areas at risk but also eliminating these breeding sites too.
We are honored to have GLOBE teachers like Diouf Birane working hard to reduce the threat of mosquito-transmitted disease in his community and empowering so many others to participate in the Mission Mosquito Campaign.
Please sign up to receive the GLOBE Mission Mosquito monthly newsletters and be invited to join our webinars. Join us for our next webinar on Weds., Feb. 6th at 2 PM (EDT) / 7 PM (UTC) and learn more about this campaign and hear how GLOBE teachers are using this app to guide their students' science investigations.