SS24 residents unite to fight dengue threat


Communities and neighbourhoods can play an active role in keeping their surroundings clean and free of Aedes mosquitoes.

The dengue menace has not been eliminated and each year, there are deaths related to the disease.

The Aedes mosquito is the carrier of dengue and experts still believe among the best ways to eradicate this disease is to get rid of their breeding ground.

The SS24 Petaling Jaya community was once affected by the disease but has since managed to reduce the number of cases with the cooperation of residents last year.

StarMetro spoke to Taman Megah Phase 2 Rukun Tetangga chairman Ong Thiam Hiong about their efforts.

He said in 2014, the residents understood the seriousness of the disease after a meeting they had with the National Unity Department and the Selangor Health Department.

Ong added that there were seven dengue cases in the neighbourhood then.

However, in just the first three months of 2015, there were nine cases.

With serious commitment from the residents, the neighbourhood managed to reduce the cases to only one between April and December 2015.

“We were worried that by the end of 2015, we might have 36 dengue cases.

“We did not want that and we worked together to tackle the problem,” said Ong.

Among the measures taken was the neighbourhood stayed informed on matters related to safety and security through their community newsletter.

The residents were alerted on what was going on in their community, such as drain upgrade works by the council.

“There was a major drain upgrade project which took place in our neighbourhood.

“Due to some slight error in the drainage construction, it resulted in stagnant water and this became a mosquito breeding ground.

“We informed the authorities and they rectified the problem fast,” he said.

Ong added that the neighbourhood stayed informed and connected through messaging systems such as WhatsApp.

“We would post photos of places which were potential mosquito breeding grounds and would manage the situation,” he said.

Ong had also attended the Asean Dengue Day held in Singapore to learn more about dengue.

He suggested that the authorities form a dedicated team to fight dengue instead of solely relying on the Health Ministry and the local councils.

“There should be a body solely in charge of treating the patients of the dengue disease and another to focus on destroying the mosquito breeding grounds,” said Ong.

He added that the residents and the community as a whole should also play an active role in eliminating the breeding grounds.

“After a downpour, I would take a walk in my neighbourhood and identify spots with water puddles.

“If I can clear it, I would do it myself or inform those who could help,” he said.

Meanwhile, the residents had informed the council about the unoccupied houses with mosquito breeding spots.

Ong said the council had been helpful when matters were brought to their attention.

To show their commitment towards combating dengue, The Taman Megah Phase 2 Rukun Tetangga created their “MozzieBuster” T-shirts and distributed them among its neighbours.

He also urged the public to cultivate a 10-minute inspection regimen of mosquito breeding spots in their houses.

Ong also urged the public to make use of the helpful information available on the Internet on dengue.

“When you understand the cause of the mosquito breeding, you would know how to take the proper measures to eradicate the problem,” he said.

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