Philippines: Researchers from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (DBMB) at the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila collaborated with the city’s health department to fight against the deadly disease dengue using GPS devices.
According to Project coordinator Dr. Francisco Heralde, by learning more about the dengue carriers and passing on the information to community leaders, officials can immediately determine possible sites for an outbreak and map out a plan to reduce or even prevent the prevalence of cases.
To do this, the team will rely on ovitraps to determine the mosquitos present in an area and the type of dengue virus they carry.
An ovitrap is a small black container filled with water and a chemical solution designed to attract mosquitos. Once they lay their eggs, however, the larvae can be killed within days to prevent these from developing into adults.
For the collection of the samples, researchers picked three areas in Old Balara which has posted the highest increase in dengue cases in Quezon City since the start of the year. Homeowners received six ovitraps—three to be placed inside the house and the rest to remain outside. A GPS locator was installed in each house to pinpoint the exact area of mosquito infestation.
According to Heralde, the devices will give the members of the team a universal point of reference.
By pinpointing the exact location of the source of the samples through GPS locators, stakeholders can validate the study’s findings as they can use the coordinates for reference, he explained.
The study results will enable the health authorities to know the exact areas where they should concentrate their dengue-fighting efforts. As Heralde himself put it, the project aims to “institutionalise sustainable evidence-based community-based intervention for the prevention and control of dengue” by providing real-time monitoring for early warning and prompt intervention against the disease.
Source: News Info