PETALING Jaya has seen a 31% reduction in the number of reported dengue cases since the introduction of the Search and Destroy Aedes Ranger (Sedar) programme a year ago, said a local council officer.
“The Sedar Programme has been very effective in reducing the number of cases after it was introduced in November last year,” said Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Health and Environmental Services Department deputy enforcement director Low Ching Keat.
“Petaling Jaya recorded a 31% reduction in reported cases after one year, compared to a 14% reduction in Selangor over the same period last year.”
The Sedar Programme works with residents’ groups in Petaling Jaya to get communities to inspect their housing areas for potential mosquito breeding grounds.
Low said there were about 40 groups under MBPJ’s Sedar Programme.
“They communicate through a dedicated WhatsApp channel for each group.
“One MBPJ officer is assigned as the administrator of each channel to disseminate information and update members on cases in their areas.
“Residents are more welcoming when they see large groups comprising neighbours going from house to house to carry out inspections and explain what is going on, as opposed to a small group of council officers,” he said.
Low was speaking during a Sedar programme in SS9A, assigned under MBPJ’s Zone 20 in the Kampung Tunku state constituency.
Some 60 volunteers comprising Seri Setia Village Safety, Security and Development Committee (JKKK) members, residents and migrant workers were divided into groups to check on more than 100 houses and businesses along four streets.
“Enforcement has been found to be the most effective way to get people to clean up their premises,” said Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San.
“But it cannot be done all the time, so the Search And Destroy method is the next best option.
“Although residents claim their compounds are clean, pools of water or mosquito larvae can still be found in places such as gutters, flower pots and uncovered containers,” he said.
The volunteers also distributed packets of Abate larvicide and leaflets highlighting the need for house owners to spend at least 10 minutes a week to inspect their homes for mosquito breeding grounds.
According to MBPJ, there were 69 reported dengue cases in SS9A from January to November this year, compared to 62 cases for the same period last year.
Lau attributed this to the high-density population and low awareness among residents in SS9A.
He hoped the Sedar programme would create greater awareness and reduce the number of cases in his constituency.