Fighting mosquito-borne diseases a community effort


SIBU: The public should look beyond their compounds when fighting mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya.

Pelawan assemblyman Vincent Goh Chung Siong said this at the ‘Cleanliness and Beautification Campaign’ at SMK Tung Hua yesterday.

“Never be selfish as to think that so long as our own compound is clean and free from the mosquito breeding grounds, we are safe from the infection. Aedes mosquitoes are active within a radius of about 200 metres, and if there is a mosquito breeding ground down the road where we

live, the whole neighbourhood will be at risk,” Goh said.

Understanding and learning to love the neighbours is crucial in creating a healthier environment.

“As we usher in the New Year, we want people in Sibu to live in a healthier and clean environment.  The only way we can do it is to control the disease’s spread together,” he said.

Community effort to eliminate the mosquito breeding grounds is important.

He urged the public to take the matter seriously and those with knowledge of the danger of dengue should spread the message.

Goh believed the school’s cleaning campaign played an important part in educating the people on public health and environmental hygiene.

The theme ‘Better Environment, Healthier Tomorrow’ was one of the best for cleaning to spread the word on living in a healthy environment, he said.

“The cleaning campaign is a time to learn together, and at such a time when our community is worried about the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, let us help prevent the spread by eliminating the mosquitoes’ breeding grounds,” he said.

World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that two-fifths of the world’s population is at risk of the infection.

“The incidence of the disease has risen dramatically around the world.  About 50 million people are infected by dengue every year. The disease is endemic in more than 100 countries, including and especially Southeast Asia,” he said.

He said by 1995, epidemics of dengue haemorrhagic fever in the world had increased by more than four fold.  By contrast, only nine countries suffered from the epidemic in 1970.

Goh said in 28 days beginning last year alone, in Peninsular Malaysia, 5,062 people were infected and 14 killed.

He said dengue affects the daily activities of those infected even after they had recovered.

“A friend of mine was infected by dengue about six months ago and until now he feels very weak.  He cannot do much work,” he said.

Also present at the campaign were SMK Tung Hua’s Parent-Teacher Association chairman Robert Tan and principal Ling Chai Ping.