Metro road repairs seen to increase mosquito presence

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Thursday, March 27, 2014


WITH road repairs and constructions taking place in almost every part of Metro Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) believes the surge of mosquitoes will only worsen.

In a press conference, Health Secretary Enrique Ona admitted that the road repairs could result to more breeding sites for mosquitoes, which would also mean an increase of their population.

"We will be coordinating with concerned agencies to prevent the proliferation of mosquito breeding sites that may arise from on-going road repairs, diggings and rehabilitation of major thoroughfares," said Ona.

Over the past weeks, numerous road projects have been launched by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) resulting to numerous pot holes being created that could be transformed into breeding sites if filled with polluted or dirty water.

Because of this, Ona said the DOH has already adopted the 3D approach or detect, destroy and defend, against the mosquitoes wherein the public are encouraged to search for breeding sites such as small, old tires, blocked drainage, flooded diggings and even cracked concrete lids over septic tanks and destroying them immediately.

In addition, the public is urged to defend themselves versus mosquito bites by wearing light-colored, loose fitting clothes, application of insect repellent over exposed skin surfaces, and sleeping under mosquito nets.

"It will worsen if we don’t do anything about it," warned Ona.

Two weeks ago, there had been a sudden increase in the number of mosquitoes in several parts of Metro Manila, particularly in Pasig City, Valenzuela City and in Tondo, Manila.

The DOH had said earlier that the mosquitoes swarming the metropolis do not carry diseases such as dengue as they were identified as being the Culex and Armigeres varieties or known as common house mosquitoes.

Nevertheless, the DOH is warning the public against indiscriminate use of insecticides at home.

"These mosquitoes are often found inside homes and indoor spraying may be necessary but highly impractical in Metro Manila," said Ona.

He said health problems may exist primarily if residents use products that are not registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA Director Dr. Kenneth Go said that using insecticide products that are not FDA-registered may result to diarrhea, bleeding, and convulsion in severe cases.

"Kung hindi registered, hindi natin alam anong chemical gamit nila sa product. It could be agricultural (type of pesticide) na napakatapang kaya dapat hanapin yung rehistrado sa FDA for household insecticides," said Go.

Product registration with the FDA, he noted, can be checked at the FDA website.

Ona, meanwhile, said it would be best if the communities will just get professionals to conduct the space spraying instead of doing it independently.

"Space spraying, either misting or fogging, is not routinely recommended but can be resorted to and only done by trained, skilled sprayers to achieve immediate knockdown of adult mosquitoes," said Ona. (HDT/Sunnex)

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