Gov’t to distribute 81,000 mosquito traps to cut dengue rise
(Editors’ note: This is an updated version of an earlier news item posted online).
MANILA, Philippines—Citing proven effects of locally made mosquito traps, the government is set to distribute more than 81,000 of them to schools in dengue hotspots in Metro Manila and Northern Luzon provinces as the potentially deadly fever continues to afflict children across the country.
The government has also partnered with the country’s top biotechnology research institutions to look at ways of boosting the effects of the anti-dengue ovicidal/larvicidal (OL) trap and identify possible dengue-fighting properties of plants such as “tawa-tawa”, garlic, sweet potato, papaya, turmeric, ampalaya, oregano and lemongrass.
The Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Education will deploy next week 34,910 kits of the OL trap in 482 public and private elementary and high schools in Metro Manila, including the cities of Quezon, Caloocan, Pasay, Valenzuela, Manila, Muntinlupa and Pasig.
Another batch of 46,500 OL traps will be distributed for free to schools in Ilocos Sur, Benguet, La Union and Pangasinan within the month, officials said.
“We developed the pellet last year and it was proven effective in laboratory tests. We had a very successful field test, that’s why we decided to roll out the pellet,” said Dr. Antonio Ligsay, chief of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, an agency under DOST.
“The pellet attracts the mosquito then kills larvae, so there will be fewer adults. What’s important is that a single mosquito is enough to produce the disease. If you trap 100 eggs, you prevent as many mosquitoes from producing the disease,” he said.
Through the OL trap’s national rollout, the government hopes to replicate the observed decrease in the population of dengue-carrying mosquitoes in dengue hotspots last year, where the kit was first tested.
To maximize its effect, the OL trap is recommended to be placed in known breeding grounds of mosquitoes, including plant pots, bathrooms, gutters and other places where water is known to collect, officials said.
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