Combined war on dengue
PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry will set up 500 more volunteer teams by the end of the year to fight dengue, doubling the Government's efforts to curb the spread of the disease.
This comes in the wake of the 23,057 notified dengue cases, with 57 deaths, recorded between Jan 1 and June 13 this year.
Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the teams, under the guidance of health officials, would take part in gotong-royong projects to clean up areas, especially flats, where the incidence of dengue was high.
"Keeping the surroundings clean and getting rid of breeding places for aedes mosquitoes is the way to check dengue."
"Awareness of dengue is there, but the culture of keeping the environment clean or translating knowledge into action is not there," Liow said on Tuesday.
The teams, dubbed Communication for Behavioural Impact (Combi), began as a World Health Organisation initiated programme.
There have been 559 teams since the pilot project took off in Johor Baru in 2001.
Liow said the war against dengue should be on everyone's mind.
The ministry's target was to have at least one team in each village in the country, he added.
Meanwhile, Federation of Private Medical Practitioners' Association of Malaysia president Dr Steven Chow, in a statement yesterday, urged all private medical practitioners to heed warnings and directives from the ministry to help control dengue.
He said even when patients could not be diagnosed with certainty, doctors should still send them for further tests at government hospitals to rule out dengue fever.
Private clinics that do not report suspected and confirmed cases of dengue fever to the nearest government hospital will face action from the ministry, including a fine of RM5,000 and possible lawsuits.
Liow earlier said reports had to be made so that fogging could be carried out in the areas where infections occurred.
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