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Zanzibar tests drones spraying rice fields to fight malaria

Posted on Tuesday, November 5th, 2019 By The Associated Press

In this photo taken Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, Eduardo Rodriguez, left, of drone manufacturer DJI, trains Khadija Ali Abdulla, right, from the State University of Zanzibar, how to fly a drone to spray the breeding grounds of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, at Cheju paddy farms in the southern Cheju region of the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania. Drones spraying a silicone-based liquid that spreads across the large expanses of stagnant water where malaria-carrying mosquitoes lay their eggs, are being tested to help fight the disease on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. (AP Photo/Haroub Hussein)

ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (AP) — Drones are being tested to see if they can help fight malaria on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania.

The drones will spray a silicone-based liquid on rice paddies, which have stagnant water where malaria-carrying mosquitoes lay their eggs. The substance will spread across the water and prevent the eggs from hatching. It is hoped this will significantly reduce the numbers of the malaria-carrying anopheles mosquitoes on the island.

The spraying by drones is a test to see if it will help the government of Zanzibar reach its goal of eliminating malaria on the archipelago by 2023, according to the strategic plan adopted by Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Program.

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