The Sun (Malaysia)
‘Search and destroy’ mission to fight dengue
> Health Ministry steers nationwide programme against the aedes mosquito
PETALING JAYA: The nation yesterday embarked on a massive community gotong-royong programme, spearheaded by the Health Ministry, to search and destroy aedes mosquito breeding grounds, following 282 deaths so far this year.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam ( pix) launched the cleanup in Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara here under the exercise that covered all states and federal territories except Malacca and Johor. These two states will carry out the programme later.
The programme covers 15 dengue hotspots in the country and will focus on idle land or plots where rubbish contributes to 18% of the aedes mosquito breeding grounds nationwide.
“For occupied land or plots, we have issued notices to owners to clean up their premises.
“If they fail to do so, local authorities will help to clear the areas,” Subramaniam told reporters after launching the mega gotong-royong.
He said several government agencies had also carried out the programme at their facilities such as the Malaysian Armed Forces at their camps, the police at their quarters and the People’s Volunteer Corps at Rela training centres.
“The Department of National Unity and Integration has also coordinated the gotong-royong at 222 children’s nurseries and Rukun Tetangga sectors under its jurisdiction,” he said.
The gotong-royong programme included clearing rubbish, inspecting building sites and removing abandoned vehicles.
It also involved larviciding (ecologically safe preventive method used to interrupt the development of larvae or pupa into adult mosquitoes), fogging and giving health awareness tips to the community.
Subramaniam said the programme was launched in Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara because the hotspot had 372 cases with two deaths up to Oct 31, which was higher by 128% compared to the previous year.
As of Oct 31, the number of deaths nationwide was 282 with 102,217 cases, up from 162 deaths and 86,192 cases last year.
On Selangor, Subramaniam said dengue hot spots had been reduced by more than 50% from the nearly 300 hot spots in the beginning of the year.