‘Ampal’ made anti-Aedes campaign ambassador


PAPAR: Local artist Abu Bakar Ella, fondly known as “Ampal” by his fans in recognition of the much-loved character he played in one of the state’s earliest locally produced movies “Orang Kita”, has been appointed ambassador for anti-Aedes campaign in Sabah.

Denggi eradication and control campaign Icon, Abu Bakar Ellah @ Ampal (right) exchanging the document with Sabah Health Department Director Dr Mohd Yusof Ibrahim (left) witnessed by Rosnah (second left) and Local Government and Housing Assistant Minister cum Kawang assemblyman Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar yesterday. - Photo by Aniq Azraei

Ampal, who is also well known as a comedy host, singer and cultural activist, was signed by the Sabah Health Department to be the Icon character for its “Bah! Mari Kita Kasi Mati Aedes” campaign.

Ampal, inked an agreement with the department yesterday, under which he agreed to promote awareness on Aedes and to educate the public on dengue prevention and treatment.

Met after the signing, which was held at Taman Pantai Lok Kawi here, Ampal said he felt honored and proud to be given the opportunity to do something important for the people of Sabah.

He said dengue is a dangerous disease and has indeed claimed many lives of both adults and young children, thus being part of the effort to prevent it is a big deal to him.

“This is not an easy task. This is a big responsibility that I hope to carry out to the best of my ability. I must thank the ministry and Health Department for allowing me the opportunity and I will give my best effort to achieve the objective of the campaign,” he told The Borneo Post.

Based on the programmes lined up for the campaign, Ampal said he was expected to make an appearance in three anti-Aedes promotional activities.

“We will be touring the State, especially in areas with high rate of dengue infection or with high risk of dengue outbreak. Our job is to educate the audience on Aedes and dengue, hopefully in a fun and entertaining way so that we can get them to act to prevent the disease,” he said.

State Health director Dr Mohd Yusof, who signed the agreement on behalf of the department, said Ampal’s contract was for a five-month period and will be subjected to renewal upon expiry.

It was however not revealed how much Ampal would be paid for his role as the Dengue Prevention and Control Icon and the ambassador for the anti-Aedes campaign.

Also on hand to witness the signing was Health Deputy Minister cum Papar MP Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin.

“He is a well known celebrity in Sabah as well as Malaysia and with a household name as the face for our campaign, it is hoped that our message on Aedes and dengue would get to the community easily,” she said.

In conjunction with signing, a gotong-royong was held to clean the housing area. Rosnah, Ampal and other VIPs also visited selected houses to demonstrate Aedes and dengue prevention method.