In a bid to fight dengue, the Department of Science and Technology is distributing some 435,000 Ovicidal-Larvicidal Traps or OL Traps to all public elementary and secondary schools nationwide before the rainy season comes.
“DOST will provide OL Trap kits to every public school classroom all over the country,” DOST Sec. Mario Montejo said. “OL Traps prevent the larvae from maturing into dengue-carrying mosquitoes, thus we aim to contain and reduce the spread of the disease in places where mosquitoes congregate and breed during daytime, like classrooms."
The OL Trap is a simple technology that kills the eggs and larvae of the female Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the dengue virus. The black container attracts mosquitoes to lay their eggs on the lawanit strip soaked with the OL pellet-water solution. The OL pellets, made of organic and non-toxic material, attract mosquitoes and kill their young, in effect reducing the number of the next generation of mosquitoes.
DOST’s school-based OL Trap program intends to reduce the number of mosquito population in schools and communities, and subsequently lower dengue incidents, through the use of the OL Trap.
“In this program, DOST works very closely with the health, education, and local government departments,” informed Sec. Montejo. “Each agency has a very important role in the program to significantly reduce the number of dengue cases among our school children.”
The program has identified 31 priority areas that will receive the first batch of OL Traps totaling some 435,000 kits nationwide. DOST produced the initial batch of traps and has transferred the production of OL pellets to a private entrepreneur.
DOST, through its National Capital Region office, has also began training teachers who will serve as OL Trap coordinators. Said coordinators learn the procedures of using the OL Trap and preparing monitoring reports. They also learn more about dengue and other anti-dengue initiatives of the government.
“It’s not rocket science,” said Department of Education Undersecretary Jesus Lorenzo Mateo. “The OL Trap is a very simple technology but is effective in helping decrease dengue cases among schoolchildren.“
“We are happy that DOST and the Department of Health is partnering with DepEd in this project,” Mateo added. (Framelia V. Anonas, S&T Media Service)