Family in dire straits after breadwinner dies of dengue

Hasnah lamenting her plight to the media after receiving aid from the state government. With her are her children Nur Batrisya Balqis (left), four, and Mohamad Asyraf Arsyad, seven.

LABOURER Ramli Ibrahim is worried for his daughter-in-law and five grandchildren, after his son Mohd Raffie Ramli died of dengue last month.

Ramli, 60, said there were two deaths caused by dengue at the People’s Housing Project (PPR) flats in Ampang Jajar, Butterworth, this year.

He said Mohd Raffie, 30, who worked as an odd-job labourer, did not show any symptoms of dengue, other than fever.

“I’m just worried for their lives as they are living there,” said Ramli.

He said that he was also worried that his daughter-in-law Hasnah Aziz, 33, and grandchildren will no longer be able to live at the flats, as the outstanding payment has not been settled for four years.

Hasnah, who works as a cleaner at the flats, said when her husband was around, the family’s joint income was RM1,600 a month.

“Now, we are barely getting by with RM900 a month.

“My children, aged between five and 11, have to go to school and kindergarten and on top of that, I need to set aside RM200 for the home arrears payment.

“I don’t know how I’m going to manage,” she said after Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng visited her home on Monday.

Hasnah said Mohd Raffie came down with fever on Jan 6 and was taken to a clinic in Mak Mandin the next day.

“Four days later he passed away. The post-mortem revealed that his kidneys were filled with pus,” she added.

Lim handed over RM500 to the family during the visit.

“Dengue can be considered to have reached a crisis level in Penang, because in less than a month and a half, there are already nine dengue deaths compared to the whole of last year with only 19 deaths,” he said.

He added that the Ampang Jajar flats could be considered a hotspot for dengue.

Lim also said that there had been 1,014 reported dengue cases from January till Feb 13, compared to the 908 reported cases in the same period last year.

There were also nine deaths reported compared to only two in the same period last year.

“This is an increase of 11.7% of reported dengue cases,” he said.

Meanwhile, state health director (public health) Dr Noorlia Yahya urged the public to conduct their own checks for dengue breeding grounds at home.

“We hope to receive cooperation from residents themselves as we only have over 300 personnel to look after 1.7mil people in the state,” she said.

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