ACTIVATE – Applying Capacity Building for the Scaling-up of Wolbachia Deployment as Innovative Technology for Dengue Control

Project Description

ACTIVATE – Applying Capacity Building for the Scaling-up of Wolbachia Deployment as Innovative Technology for Dengue Control

Dengue still becomes a considerable health problem in Indonesia. We can easily see this from the ongoing trend of dengue cases over the last two decades, which only shows a gradual increase of patients over time. Although the incidence rate and mortality rate of dengue in Indonesia in 2020 have successfully achieved the national target, hundreds of regencies in this country still haven’t reached that desired target.

Aside from that, extraordinary dengue events were still reported every single year from 2016 to 2020. The economic burden of dengue treatment in 2015 was estimated to be around 5.3 trillion rupiahs, which was equivalent to 3% of the state budget at the time. In 2017, researchers estimated this number to have a two-fold increase, amplifying the magnitude of dengue as a severe health problem in this country.

ACTIVATE is a capacity development program that implements two strategies in the National Strategic Plan for Dengue Control Programme 2021-2025. These strategies include strengthening an effective, safe, and continuous vector management and the development of research, invention, and innovation as the basis of policy and management programs.




2021 – 2022

Principal Investigator

Adi Utarini

Wolbachia technology has become one of the most promising innovations in preventing dengue. A study done in Yogyakarta in 2021 has shown that Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are less susceptible to dengue virus infection, decreasing the dengue cases as much as 77.1% in areas filled with Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti compared to control sites. Wolbachia technology also reduces the need for in-patient treatment for dengue infection by 86.2%. This study is consistent with several similar studies done in Australia, Vietnam, and Brazil. In the global setting, the Vector Control Advisory Group even encouraged WHO to create a guideline to recommend the deployment of Wolbachia intervention for dengue control.

ACTIVATE aims to improve the knowledge, skills, and capacity of the human resources in several target cities and regencies in Indonesia regarding Wolbachia technology to prevent dengue, with the city health department as its primary target. This program consists of five stages from July 2021 to October 2022. These stages include the election and coordination with the eight chosen regencies/cities, assessment of training needs within those selected areas, development of curriculum and outline of the training program material, comprehensive training through blended learning followed by a 2-week internship program in Yogyakarta, and strategic workshops regarding implementation plans in 4 chosen regencies/cities. The team project collaborates with many vital parties, including the city health department supported by representatives from the province, the Indonesian Ministry of Health, and other institutions such as non-governmental organizations as partners of the program.

So far, the assessment has resulted in 8 chosen regencies/cities participating in ACTIVATE. These regencies were chosen based on the dengue burden in the area and the eligibility to receive Wolbachia technology intervention. These target areas include Denpasar City, Gianyar Regency, West Jakarta, Semarang City, Bontang Regency, Gianyar City, Padang City, and Balikpapan City. ACTIVATE will facilitate each target city to assess its capacity and training needs, improve knowledge and skills regarding Wolbachia technology, and create a strategic implementation plan based on the initial assessment made in each city. Through successfully carrying out this series of activities, Indonesia will be one step forward to reach the zero dengue death target by 2030.

The Project Team