SOME 6,000 mosquitofish stocks have been released in stagnant waters of Barangay Pogo Grande in Dagupan City as part of the city's dengue prevention measures.
Dr. Westly Rosario, director of the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, said the mosquitofish stocks are propagated and distributed by the center.
"Mosquitofish is classified as larvivorous fish. It thrives even in hospitable areas like shallow waters, fresh water, brackish water or even in areas that have doubled salinity," Rosario said.
He said it was first introduced in the Philippines in 1905. It was again instituted during World War II in more than 30 countries to prevent malaria.
Rosario also said they started stocking in 2012 and yearly, they disperse mosquitofish stocks at canals near schools.
They also had started shipping out to other provinces like Antique, and received orders from Zamboanga.
School officials and Parent Teachers Association officers of the Dagupan City National High School, together with the Lions Club, dispersed stocks at canals and stagnant waters inside the campus last week. This was also done in schools at San Fabian, Mangaldan, and Sta. Barbara.
The dispersion was headed by Mayor Marc Brian Lim and the 60 Manlingkor Ya Kalangweran (MYK), or young servant leaders, led by Frenzy Mae De Vera and Sander Khen Mirador.
The MYKs were also encouraged to undertake dispersion of mosquitofish at their respective schools.
Five barangays in Dagupan are under close watch of the City Health Office (CHO) as high concentration of suspected dengue victims are recorded.
City Health Officer Dr. Ophelia Rivera, in a recent interview, identified these barangays as Bonuan Gueset, Caranglaan, Calmay, Binloc, and Pantal.
Despite the low count of dengue victims in the city, the CHO does not let complacency get in the way.
"We must continue informing the public to clean their surroundings. Even if we have zero dengue cases in the city, we will not stop reminding all to continue cleaning," she said.
Cleaning the environment should be everyone's responsibility, she added.
From January to August 14 this year, the CHO recorded a total of 106 dengue cases in the city. This marked a 75 percent decrease compared to 2018 with 424 cases.
Rivera instructed barangay health workers to continuously inspect different areas in their respective barangays, and identify possible breeding places of mosquitoes.
At present, the CHO continuously goes to schools in the city and conducts fogging operations.
Rivera also urged the public to follow the 4S dengue advisory -- Search and destroy, Self-protection, Seek early consultation, and Say yes to indiscriminate fogging when there is an impending outbreak.
"We will continue going to barangays and conduct information drive on dengue prevention," she said.
The CHO also cautioned the public to take measures in protecting themselves against dengue.
"Make it a habit to wear long sleeves and pants when going outside. Do not forget to apply mosquito repellent," she added. (PNA)