THE alarming spike in deaths caused by dengue reported in Kuala Lumpur last year, calls for urgent measures to be taken to address this outbreak.
In 2015, there were 8,057 cases reported including 34 deaths.
This is a 61.9% jump in fatal cases compared to the previous year of 21 deaths from the 6,874 dengue cases reported.
To stop this outbreak, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Health and Environment Department director Dr Hayati Abdullah said the combined efforts from the authorities and the public was required.
“DBKL continues to monitor the cleanliness of previous hotspots to prevent them from becoming one again.
“Battling this disease needs a lot of commitment from the community, especially areas with a large population of tertiary students and factory workers.
“Among the recurring hotspots are the army camp and Jalan Raja Abdullah in Kampung Baru.
“Despite repeated enforcement, cases of dengue are still occurring in these areas,” she said.
Dengue cases in Kuala Lumpur are recorded on a daily basis and then grouped into weekly reports.
This means that Jan 1 and Jan 2 are considered part of the 2015 statistics.
As of Jan 4, 16 dengue cases were reported in Kuala Lumpur.
Sungai Besi army camp remains one of the top hotspots with 13 reported dengue cases in 40 days.
Hayati said the community must be aware of their surroundings and pro-actively eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.
“With the implementation of KL Bersih blueprint, localised areas should be free from Aedes breeding areas.
“This being said, the community must also keep their eyes open and ensure there is no stagnant water.
“Rubbish dumps with stagnant water make ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” she said.
When asked about DBKL’s fogging operation, Hayati said the exercise would only kill the adult mosquitoes.
“The larvae will still develop into adults, so fogging has its limitations.
“What is more important is to eliminate the mosquitoes’ breeding ground,” she reiterated.
Some pro-active residents and other members of the public have taken the initiative to address the dengue problem in their respective neighbourhoods.
Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association (BBRA) chairman Datuk M. Ali said the residents had a walkabout with officers from DBKL and the Health Ministry at some dengue-prone areas in Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar.
“Through such walkabouts, the authorities can take immediate action at these locations and follow up on the situation.
“We also had an open day on Dec 19 last year with the community, Fire and Rescue Department, Solid Waste Management and Public Cleanliness Corporation (SWCorp) and other service providers, to raise more awareness on measures to control and curb the spread of dengue,” he said.
He disclosed that there were dengue cases reported in Jalan Medang Serai and Jalan Pudina.
“There will definitely be activities this year with the community to help tackle the problem in the area,” he added.
Another pro-active association, Brickfields Rukun Tetangga (KRT) chairman S.K.K. Naidu said the Rukun Tetangga planned to involve school pupils in some of the community engagement projects that tackle the dengue issue.
“Such awareness should be instilled in children from a young age,” he said.
Naidu also said that the KRT had carried out several gotong-royong campaigns in Brickfields to clean up the area and eliminate potential breeding spots.
“There were four such exercises last year; we will have many more to come.
“During the clean-up, we also identified several mosquito breeding spots at a field near the YMCA building.
“We plan to plant herbs there,” he said.