WHILE many may have access to preventive measures to escape becoming a living buffet for mosquitoes, there are still those who do not have that luxury.
That is what Kechara Soup Kitchen (Kechara) is trying to minimise by distributing mosquito coils and nets along with educational pamphlets to the homeless and urban poor during the first phase of its “Bite No More” campaign.
Kechara president Henry Ooi said Malaysia’s tropical country and areas of poor hygiene offered a lot of breeding sites for mosquitoes.
“With the rainy season, many of the homeless and urban poor cannot afford mosquito coils and netting, and that is why we why we are launching this project,” he said.
He said they were starting the project by focusing on the Klang Valley, and kicked it off in areas such as Kajang, Cheras and Setapak last week.
During Phase One, the target is to distribute mosquito coils and nets to shelter homes, poor families and organisations around the Klang Valley including Pusat Jagaan Al-Fikrah in Kajang and Sanctuary Care Centre in Setapak.
“We are calling on the public to support us either through sponsorship or by volunteering to distribute and set up the nets.
“With continuous support, we hope to expand it nationwide,” he said.
Ooi said he had suffered dengue in the past and everyone could be affected by it.
He added in Malaysia, Selangor had the highest number of reported cases at almost 45,000.
“Aedes mosquitoes also spread diseases such as Yellow Fever, Zika and Chikungunya,” he said.
The campaign kicked off with the sponsorship of 1,000 sets, which costs RM50 per set, from the Tsem Rinpoche Foundation, a charitable foundation.
In addition to the sets, Kechara will be educating the people on how they can actively rid their surroundings of mosquito breeding sites and how to recognise the symptoms of dengue and other diseases spread by mosquitoes.
Dr Valarmathy Vaiyavari, who is part of the medical team, said her team had discovered poor or homeless children suspected of dengue during their rounds.
“They would present symptoms of rashes and fever by that time.
“So, we would straight away bring them to the hospital or if their parents are able to take them, then they will do it,” she said, adding dengue cases had been increasing.
Tsem Rimpoche Foundation founding committee member and trustee Datuk May Phng Li Kim said they would continue to support and find funds for the campaign as it was aligned with their main objective of promoting education.
“We hope we can take this campaign nationwide,” she said.
For details on the campaign, call 03-21416046 (Justin), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.tsemrinpochefoundation.com