THE Penang Health Department will continue with its dengue prevention programmes throughout the year in a bid to control the mosquito-borne menace.
Its director Datuk Dr M. Sukumar said they would organise community-based activities to change the mindset of the public.
“We will continue the same strategy as last year in our cleanliness programme.
“Last year, we held a gotong-royong, a dengue awareness carnival and an aerosol exchange programme where the community was encouraged to bring recyclable items in exchange for a can of insecticide aerosol.
“This year, we will concentrate on a communication for behavioural impact (Combi) awareness programme.
“We will work with Village Development and Security Committees in dengue-prone areas to encourage more Combi teams to be set up,” he said after receiving a RM100,000 allocation from the state government at Komtar on Friday.
For the second consecutive year, the state presented the department with funds to combat dengue.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said there was a need to increase awareness on the danger of dengue.
“People need to be more alert and go to the hospital if they think they have symptoms of dengue,” he said.
Also present at the press conference was state Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin.
“As of Feb 25, there were 324 dengue cases reported since Jan 1.
“This is a significant drop of 889 cases compared with the 1,213 cases recorded in the corresponding period last year.
“There has also been a significant drop in deaths during the same period. Last year, there were nine deaths reported while this year, there are four,” Dr Afif said.
Lim also presented RM50,000 to the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) Penang branch for their religious programmes and charity work.