Doing their part: The club members, together with advisor Salim Daud (left), picking up rubbish around the Taman Cempaka flats in Johor Baru.
JOHOR BARU: Classified as the area with the highest number of dengue cases in the Johor Baru district last year, young residents of Taman Cempaka here have started a club in an effort to prevent further outbreaks.
Some 30 youths, aged between 12 and 15, started their initiative by distributing flyers to the local community and cleaning up possible breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes in the area.
The Health Department recorded a total of nine dengue outbreaks and 10 cases last year within Taman Cempaka, which has some 10,000 residents.
According to the department, a dengue outbreak is when two or more cases occur within 14 days.
Among the club members is SMK Sri Rahmat student Nabiha Rahmat, 14, who decided to join the Taman Cempaka Communication for Behavioural Impact (Combi) youth team for a good cause.
“I joined the group as I read in the newspapers that dengue has been on the rise in the state. I know that many have died because of it and even a schoolmate of mine felt very sick after she was diagnosed with dengue fever last year,” she said.
Another member, Nurul Aini Maaz, 13, said she came to know about the club through a neighbour last month.
“I wanted to be a part of the group and educate others on how they can play their part in ensuring an Aedes-free environment,” Nurul Aini said, adding that she also shared some information with her friends in school.
Nurul Aini added that she learned about dengue through regular talks conducted in her area by the state health department and articles in the newspapers.
The youth team adviser Salim Daud said it was encouraging to see the younger generation volunteering to caution and educate some 10,000 residents here on the pressing issue.
“The alarming figures prompted the youths to take on more responsibility in creating awareness and helping to create an Aedes-free environment.
“The group will continuously conduct activities to prevent further outbreaks in the vicinity including passing flyers and conducting clean-up works at all 27 blocks of the Taman Cempaka flats,” he said.