The number of Dengue cases by the end of the year will surely exceed 46,000 cases.
Death by the 15th December 2008 was 106 cases, compared to 97 cases last year.
Dengue fever is an endemic disease in our country. It is not an easy disease to control since mosquitoes breeds easily especially when the hot spells is interspersed with heavy rainfall.
While the MOH and local authority are doing its best to control Dengue and also Chikungunya, it should be doing more.
1) There is lack of publicity in the media, both print and electronic, about the disease. The media should educate the public about the difference between Dengue and Chikungunya disease, as many are not aware of it.
2) A designated officer should be appointed both at the state and HQ level to brief the media every week. The public needs to be notified about the epidemic and its co-operation is important.
Because of lack of information, there are also rumours about death and all sorts of complications and this has struck fear among the Rakyat.
3) Very few people have heard of Chikungunya although the number of cases reported is about 4000. Since this is an imported disease, the MOH have to be more proactive in educating the public. Chikungunya cases reported this year is the highest ever recorded in the country.
4) MOH has to lead by example to the local authority, where most cases of the Dengue are reported, of which the disease prevention exercises and awareness education should be carried out systematically, not doing it only after the disease spreads.
5) We notice a lack of gotong royong session of clearing up potential breeding places of mosquitoes. The rakyat often do not play an active role and the Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan (PBT) as well as the Local Health Authority has to take charge.
We cannot control an ongoing epidemic by being low key and air of silence. The disease will not blow away.
Blaming the rakyat’s “tidak apa attitude” will not change the course of the epidemic. The rakyat want MOH and local authority to show leadership and concern.
Education and public exhibition should be an on going exercise.
The rakyat want the government to provide leadership and solution to their problems.