Punjab is making use of fish for fighting dengue mosquitoes.
Pakistan is in the mid of the dengue epidemic that has taken about 2 dozen lives throughout the nation. While the government seemed to have no detailed policy for this incurable disease, provinces are on their own for fighting the mosquito-borne virus.
Punjab is the most hit province where more than 5,000 cases have been reported so far. For dealing with the deadly virus, the provincial government has introduced Tilapia—a small fish.
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Dengue is spreading because of the mosquito bites while Tilapia feeds on mosquito larva.
Hence, the department of fisheries has launched an army of 2.4 million Tilapia fish into the puddles, ponds, rivers and other potential breeding grounds of dengue.
The head of the fisheries department—Dr. Amjad Rashid said that they have released 2,400,000 Tilapia fish in the many ponds and rivers throughout the province for combating dengue.
Mian Ghulam Qadir—the owner of the fish farm said that the use of the fish for combating the spread of the Dengue has been very successful.
He added that this year, they are preparing to combat Dengue. He also said that all the civil and government institutions could get the mosquito-eating fish from their hatcheries.
He also said that along with Tilapia, the government is also trying Guppy—a fish with the same features for fighting the mosquito-borne virus.
A joint report of the Asian Development Bank and the World Health Organization has found that the use of Guppy fish is quite useful in decreasing the mosquitoes count.
But, as per the experts, there exists a split opinion, that whether Tilapia would be equally effective as per the research, this fish is known to eat mosquitoes, but the insects are not their favorite food.