DOST, DOH launch anti-dengue project in Zambo

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/01 April) – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Department of Health (DOH) hope to bring down if not eliminate the cases of dengue in Western Mindanao as they jointly launched Friday the ovicidal/larvicidal trap project.

The project was launched here as this city accounted for 54 percent or 2,489 of the 4,686 cases of dengue that were recorded last year in the entire region, according to DOH Regional Director Dr. Aristides Tan.

Twenty-five of the dengue patients in 2010 in Zamboanga City died, according to City Health Officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos.

DOST Regional Director Brenda Nazareth-Manzano said the OL trap is a simple invention by the agency’s Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI).

The OL trap includes three components: a black cup, a lawanit board and organic pellets.

Manzano said the OL trap has proved to be effective in eliminating the larvae of dengue-carrying female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes citing it has been tested by the DOST in the cities of Marikina and Quezon last year.

“Our aim is to reduce if not eliminate the next generation of dengue-carrying mosquitoes,” she said.

Manzano said the use of the OL trap is simple and easy since all the user has to do is fill a cup with 250 milliliters of water, pour a sachet of organic pellets and place the lawanit stick into the solution with the rough surface facing up.

The cup may be placed inside or outside the house, in a low-lying area, and let it stand for up to six to seven days, she said.

“If placed outside, it should be protected from the sun and rainfall. It should be in a position that would not spill the cup’s content and out of reach of children and animals,” she explained during the launching of the project.

After seven days, gently brush off into the solution the mosquito eggs stuck on the lawanit stick with a toothbrush, she said.

Then dispose all the liquid content of the cup on dry ground and repeat the same procedure “for as long as you want to use the OL trap,” she added.

Manzano said the scent of the solution would invite female mosquitoes to the OL trap where they would lay eggs on the lawanit stick and on the solution itself.

“The stick, moistened by the solution through capillary action, is highly attractive for mosquitoes to lay eggs on,” she said.

Manzano said eggs and the wrigglers die once they get exposed to the solution.

“Let us work together to ensure that dengue can be controlled,” Tan said during the launching of the project.

However, Tan said that the communities should maintain cleanliness to deprive dengue-carrying mosquitoes of breeding sites.

On Monday, the DOST and DOH will conduct the mapping and identification of household-recipients after which the OL trap will be distributed.

The DOST is distributing 11,200 OL traps in the region to a total of 2,800 selected household-recipients as each recipient-household will receive a set of four OL traps and a six-month supply of organic pellets formulated by DOST-ITDI.

Of the 2,800 household-recipients, 1,960 are from Zamboanga City, 560 in Dipolog City, the capital of Zamboanga del Norte, and 280 in Pagadian City, the capital of Zamboanga del Sur.

The OL traps will be inspected and cleaned thoroughly and the organic pellets replaced every week during the six-month period.

The DOST and DOH have hired personnel to do the inspection and cleaning of the OL traps. (MindaNews)