GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/25 July) – Some 2,800 households in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao are set to receive anti-dengue Ovicidal /Larvicidal (OL) mosquito traps as local governments and concerned government agencies move to contain the rising incidence of the deadly dengue fever in the region.
Jane Ventura, health education officer of the Department of Health Region 12, said Monday the Department of Science and Technology has signified to begin this week the distribution of the OL mosquito traps in several municipalities and cities in the region that have recorded increasing cases of dengue.
She said the distribution of the OL traps is part of an ongoing collaboration between the DOST and the DOH, which earlier launched a nationwide rollout of the device as a measure to combat the spread of the mosquito-borne disease.
The mosquito OL trap system, which was developed by the DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute, is a simple device that helps reduce the number of the dengue-carrying female Aedes aegypti mosquito by trapping and eventually killing its eggs through Ovicidal-Larvicidal treatment.
DOST officials said the mosquito OL trap system, which was launched earlier this year, has shown favorable results in terms of controlling the population of the female Aedes aegypti based on laboratory and field tests that it had conducted.
The OL trap kits are composed of small tin or plastic containers that are painted in black and filled with organic solution with dissolved Ovicidal-Larvicidal pellets.
A DOST briefer cited that a piece of wood that looks like an ice cream bar stick saturated with the solution is also placed upright in the container. “This is where the mosquitoes will lay their eggs. The black color of the container attracts the mosquitoes and the fumes of the solution kill the eggs and larvae,” it said.
Ventura said they prioritized the areas that have posted an unusual rise of dengue cases during the last several weeks for the initial rollout of the OL traps.
“If the use of OL traps will turn out very effective in terms of combating the spread of dengue, we will commission later on a region-wide distribution of the device,” she said.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
As of last July 16, the DOH 12’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit has already recorded some 1,054 confirmed dengue cases in the region since January.
South Cotabato province posted the highest number of dengue cases with 370 followed by North Cotabato with 224, General Santos City with 196, Cotabato City with 110, Sarangani with 108 and Sultan Kudarat with 46.
A RESU report cited that a clustering of cases or at least three or more cases of dengue had been noted in Barangays Poblacion and Cannery Site in Polomolok, South Cotabato during the last four weeks.
South Cotabato and the cities of General Santos and Cotabato were earlier placed by the DOH under its dengue watchlist due to the rising cases of the disease, which already posted nine confirmed deaths in the region.
Six of the confirmed dengue deaths this year were recorded in six barangays in this city.
But Ventura said the region’s overall situation in terms of dengue incidence remained below the alert level and epidemic threshold this year.
She cited that the 1,054 confirmed dengue cases so far were down by 82 percent when compared to the same period last year, which reached the alert level.
In terms of dengue deaths, Ventura said the region recorded at least 30 cases as of the second week of July last year. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)