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Turtles like this one will help fight Zika.

Zika: Defying the “Impossible”

Turtles like this one will help fight Zika.

I am on a plane high over the North Atlantic as I write this, on my way home from the International Zika Summit held in Paris. It was a full house with attendees from all over the world. Speakers were renowned research scientists, professors and medical experts.

Most presentations were focused on the Zika epidemic, terrible consequences for unborn children and latest research in the quest for a vaccine. I was surprised that only a few of the speakers focused on attacking Zika’s cause — Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. It seemed that many participants were of the opinion that nothing can be done about mosquitoes.

When I heard the word “impossible” whispered during discussions regarding mosquito control or eradication, my mind automatically defaulted to what Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” At OBI we do not use the word “impossible” because of our deep conviction that our actions are often divinely-guided.

OBI has already started a major offensive against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. We are going after the cause of Zika with an integrated strategy using nature’s own mosquito predators: hungry minnows, juvenile turtles and tiny crustaceans called Copepods. Each of these living mosquito-killers has proven effective for eons, but they haven’t been used together in a concentrated and coordinated attack.

In Honduras, we are launching a closely monitored community-based test project to reduce the number of potential breeding sites, especially in low income communities where people suffer due to lack of window screens and numerous small water containers. Once that is accomplished, we will populate the remaining water containers with sustainable, living mosquito fighters. Please help support OBI’s historic effort to “do the impossible” in this and other innovative projects. If successful, this model can be used all over the world to fight mosquito-borne disease.

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