Hard at work: (from left) Zaini Shoid, 57, clearing up the drains at PPR Desa Rejang with Jamaluddin, Rafiq Daniel Razali, 9, and Razali Ahmad, 54 during the clean up.
RESIDENTS of PPR Desa Rejang in Kuala Lumpur are a very worried lot as dengue cases in the area had risen to seven in just 30 days.
In view of this, the flats were chosen as one of 10 locations to hold the Health Ministry’s “Jom Hapus Tempat Pembiakan Aedes” (Let’s Destroy Aedes Breeding Grounds) campaign.
Resident Suwaibah Abdul Halim said she was especially worried for her family as her neighbour had suffered from dengue fever.
“I am disappointed with the attitude of the residents here who do not prioritise cleanliness,” said Suwaibah, 47, who is the flat’s residents association secretary.
She said that although the association tried to organise clean-up activities, most residents would not pitch in.
“The authorities can only do so much. We should ensure that our homes are clean and are free from being breeding grounds,” she added.
Jamaluddin Bazli, 20, who stood out among the older crowd, said he had asked his friends to join him in cleaning up the area but many of them gave excuses not to.
“I am sad that they do not care about the place we live in,” he said, adding that it was every resident’s responsibility to keep the area clean.
The flats were one of the locations for a gotong-royong to be held simultaneously at 10 dengue hotspots nationwide.
Meanwhile, Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya Health Department director Dr Balachandran Satiamurti said PPR Desa Rejang was chosen because the area recorded seven dengue cases in 30 days since Jan 30.
“The increase and epidemic in this area must be resolved immediately.
“The main objective of this activity is to increase the awareness of society in destroying potential breeding grounds,” he said.
He added that the main problems identified at the location were rubbish, clogged drains and empty flats.
“From January to Feb 28 this year, 18,047 dengue cases with 36 deaths were reported nationwide compared to 4,250 cases and eight deaths during the same period last year.
“This is an increase of 325% in the number of deaths,” he said, hoping that cleaning efforts would continue and done regularly to be effective in reducing the number of dengue cases and deaths nationwide.
Other locations chosen for the programme included Taman Sri Jenaris in Hulu Langat, Taman Meru Indah in Klang, Taman Batu Gajah Perdana in Perak and Taman Seri Impian in Penang.
Also present were Setiawangsa MP Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Zahari and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Health and Environment Department deputy director Dr Norhayati Abdullah.