CAGAYAN DE ORO. A woman shows off a sample of Olyset Net being promoted by the Department of Health, which can repel mosquitoes and help prevent dengue. (Joey P. Nacalaban)

DUE to the alarming rise of dengue cases in the Philippines, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. from Japan came up with a new innovation of mosquito nets that are currently used by the Department of Health (DOH) in its school-based dengue prevention program.

Called Olyset Net, this product provides a novel approach for personal protection against mosquitoes and flies with its repellant characteristics.

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Al Evangelista, spokesperson of Leads Environmental Health, a company authorized to sell Olyset Net in the Philippines, said the net’s fibers are impregnated with insecticides during production so it cannot be washed out.

“Based on the tests on female adult mosquitoes, with three minutes contact with the Olyset Net, mosquitoes are knocked down within five minutes and 100 percent killed after 24 hours,” Evangelista said during a media forum held yesterday at De Luxe Hotel.

He said Olyset Net uses polyethylene with active ingredients of two percent permethrin. It is ideal for classrooms as curtains or screens on doors and windows and for storage areas.

“Olyset nets have passed the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) pesticide evaluation team, in which it became the pilot project in the Philippines,” Evangelista said.

He said Olyset Net can last up to five years with high durability to washing. It can be washed four times in a year using Perla soap due to its mild ingredients.

“What’s good about this improvised net is it doesn’t require treatment since it has a unique technology that has the capacity to regenerate its active ingredients to the net surface after washing,” Evangelista said.

He warned, though, not to use any bleaching agent when washing the net since it will void the durability of the pesticide. It must not also be put in direct sunlight when drying.

“What’s good about this net is it has a wide mesh size that allows good airflow, unlike the conventional net which resists airflow. It is also designed in such a way that it provides increased comfort but still prevents mosquitoes from passing through,” Evangelista said.

The DOH has initially spent P3 million for the purchase of Olyset Nets, which it has distributed in select public schools in Northern Mindanao starting May this year.

Dr. David Mendoza, head of the Epidemiology Department of DOH in Northern Mindanao, said the Olyset Nets would be used as curtains in schools to prevent the entry of mosquitoes.

He said the DOH and the Department of Education has initially identified 12 public elementary schools in Region X where the Olyset Nets would be distributed.

“This is part of our advocacy to help eradicate dengue. Our targets are the elementary public schools in the region since most of the dengue cases recorded are among five to nine years old, who are students,” Mendoza said.

At least 10 rolls of Olyset Nets would be distributed in each of the identified 12 schools, which can cover 40 classrooms.

In Northern Mindanao, the DOH has already disposed 120 Olyset Nets to different schools with high cases of dengue for 2008 and 2009.

In Cagayan de Oro, the DOH has initially identified West City Central School in Barangay Carmen for pilot testing, which was launched on Monday.

Among the schools in the region that would be given Olyset Net rolls include Valencia Central School, Gango Elementary School, Mahayahay  Iligan Central School, Talisayan Central School, Don Restituto Baul Gingoog Central School, Mambajao Central School, Binitinan Balingasag Elementary School, St. Cruz Tagoloan City Central School, Salay Central School, Duka Medina Elementary School and Libona Elementary school in Bukidnon.

Evangelista said Olyset Nets are only sold by rolls for P7,400, 25 meters in length.

In Mindanao, Olyset Net is solely distributed by Edgar Dy with office at Sugayan Diversified Training in Pinikitan, Cagayan de Oro, near Maria Reyna Hospital.

Interested persons who wish to sell Olyset Nets may contact Mr. Evangelista at 0917-8534236.