News Releases

Bill Gates gives 1.5 million to UWI

For Release Upon Receipt - March 10, 2009

St. Augustine


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has awarded a $1.5 million Grant to the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus. The recepients are Dr Dave D. Chadee, Senior Lecturer, UWI and collaborators from Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. The five year grant is to be used for research to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito vector of Dengue Fever, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever, Dengue Shock Syndrome and Yellow Fever.

The goal of this research is to effect a reduction in the number of new human infections. This is expected to be achieved through the use of anovel invention – the Attractant-Bait Lethal Ovitrap (ALOT). The development of the ovitrap is based on over 20 years of research surrounding the laying behavior of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. ALOT is a lethal trap designed to collect the Aedes aegypti eggs and kill female mosquitoes visiting the traps. The trap is intended to be a key component of community- based dengue – management programs.

An important component of this project is to demonstrate the ALOT efficacy in reducing mosquito densities and dengue fever cases in the field in Trinidad and to work with public health officials and vector control workers to establish standards and benchmarks for use of lethal ovitraps. A large scale evaluation of this device in dengue endemic countries in Latin America, Caribbean and in South Asia will be conducted during the 3rd and 4th years of the project. It is anticipated that these measures will result in measurable decrease in the abundance of physiologically old mosquitoes (which transmits dengue fever) and in new human infections

This Dengue project demonstrates the commitment of the UWI to conducting research relevant to the needs of Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean region and the wider world. In addition, Dr Chadee is currently assisting Insect Vector Control Division, Ministry of Health in planning and evaluating their vector control strategies to combat both the dengue outbreak and threats of yellow fever in Trinidad and Tobago. This lethal ovitrap is yet another tool which will be introduced to the vector control armory to reduce the risk of vector-borne diseases in Trinidad and Tobago and to the Caribbean region.